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Thursday, July 11, 2013


LORINA STEPHENS, PUBLISHER, AND JEFF MINKEVICS, Artistic Director of Five Rivers Publishing have once again done the impossible. With very little lead time, they've managed to get The Tattooed Witch ready for publication! I'm so pleased about this, as I was hoping to have it ready for When Words Collide, the annual writing convention that takes place this August 9 to 11, 2013, in Calgary. I plan to launch it there. I'm also planning additional launches here in Edmonton and elsewhere. (I'll let you know about those, when I have plans set.)

As for the cover, which I present here (I've also talked about it on Facebook) I'm quite pleased with it. Lorina, Jeff, and I had some prior back and forth about it; at first I was concerned that the white was too bright and gave the wrong impression—that the book is light and airy, when it definitely is not—but the tattoo and bloodied knife tell a different story. Initially, I wanted a black background, but I think the white makes it stand out better. The image 'pops'.

As The Tattooed Witch is the first book in the trilogy, we needed an image we could build upon for the next two books, The Tattooed Seer and The Tattooed Rose. This image comes from a scene early on, where my protagonist Miriam Medina has just carved herself with a knife in order to create a tattoo—a necessary requirement before she attempts even darker magic, the resurrection of a high priest. She and her father have been accused of his murder. The man who accuses them is the Grand Inquisitor, the real murderer. In books two and three, Miriam's first tattoo is embellished for new requirements and reasons.

To give you a rough idea of what the books are about, The Tattooed Witch takes place in Esbaña (much like medieval Spain in our world). With the Inquisition hot on her trail, Miriam runs headlong into her mother's people, the mystical Diaphani who have long awaited her coming. Through them, she comes to see that life is not simple, that the world is comprised of things both seen and unseen, and that love can be difficult and complicated, demanding a high price. In The Tattooed Seer, Miriam and her Tribe, as well as her love interests, make their way through Esbaña to reach a port that will take them to the new world. Relationships deepen, rivalries are endured, and more sacrifices are made. In The Tattooed Rose, Miriam and her Tribe go through many trials, including shipwrecks, piracy, and dark voudou. The Caribbean is the new frontier, where anything, including the Fountain of Youth, is possible. Those questions raised about love, reality, and destiny in The Tattooed Witch and The Tattooed Seer are finally answered.

According to Five Rivers's website, The Tattooed Witch will be available August 1st. If you'd like to buy it, you can order it here: (It will be available as both trade paperback and e-book. To find it, look about half-way down the page.)

If you do buy the book and like it, please drop me a line. A writer's life often feels like it's lived in a vacuum, where we do our own thing for years until our books are finally published. It's great to get positive feedback when we've been off on our own for so long.

Next Post: Those first three chapters: what are agents and editors looking for? Featuring advice by Robert Runté, Editor in Chief, Five Rivers Publishing.

Stay tuned.

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