Although client work has been light this week, I've been working hard on the next book due for publication: Russian Revival. It's in my editor's hands now. I look forward to seeing what she does with the manuscript, because her insights and comments help me produce a better story each and every time.
I hired a cover artist for Russian Revival. We're going in a bit of a different direction. Yes, the cover art will still align with genre expectations, but I don't want the cover art to be lost amid a sea of similar covers. So ... we're going with actual art, not just a stock photo with the author's name and the book's title slapped over it. The cover artist, Drew Robinson of Spork Design, has produced the most lovely charcoal drawing. In his words, "I’m really lik[ing] the texture and composition and texture on this. It accentuates her innocence and his shadowy past."
Once the cover is finalized, Drew will create the cover art for the rest of the series. I look forward to seeing what he'll produce. By the way, the cover art absolutely blows my budget out of the water, but I believe the results will be totally worth the extra expense. (And if you're looking for a dynamite cover artist, I cannot recommend anyone more highly!)
I've drafted a new cover blurb: you know, that sales copy that goes on the back cover of the book. Amazon calls it a book description. The blurb is now in the hands of a publicist to revise or rewrite. She also has a synopsis of the book, because you can't write a cover blurb without knowing what happens in the book.
Russian Revival is due for release on January 15, 2023. Stay tuned!
Next in the queue is the sequel to Triple Burn. In this book, I introduce a new alien species, the Ahn'hudi. I envision them as a venomous, ophidian-like race. (Is ophidian a new word for you? Look it up!) As per the sub-genre's tropes, the heroes (the plural is deliberate) are dominant types who coddle their mate—regardless of whether she wants to be coddled. It's up to her to establish herself as competent adult with her own thoughts and opinions. That's where the conflict comes in. Everybody loses something important, but the trick is to make what they gain worth that loss. (Yes, like Triple Burn, it's a polyamorous romance. If that's not your thing, try something else.)
This manuscript has been somewhat problematic for me, because the characters are determined to write themselves into a deep dark hole. I have decided not to rescue them by deleting a large portion of the story and rewriting it so that it progresses as I intended. What I am going to do is let them dig that hole and continue digging, but I'll redirect them so that the hole becomes a tunnel which, at the end of the book, will erupt from the side of the mountain into daylight. Redemption and the truism that life has no do-overs are running themes throughout many of my books; this will be no different.
I hope to release this book in early March 2023. I still don't have a good title for it, but am thinking of Doubleheader, Double Play, or Douple Dip. I want to stick with the first book's titling terminology (except double instead of triple, second word up for grabs). If you have a suggestion for an M/F/M alien romance, feel free to contribute. If I use it, you'll get the credit for it.
Finally, I hope to have Champion of the Twin Moons ready for release by midsummer. This book will be a good deal longer than either Russian Revival or Double-whatever.
After a 2-year hiatus, I need to be productive again.