Cover Reveal for Born to Treason

Born to Treason comes out May of 2016, but I’m excited to already have its gorgeous cover!


About the book:

Smuggling pages from a forbidden book is a small act of defiance against Queen Elizabeth I, but it entangles Joan Pryce in a plot that may cost her both her heart and her life.

Joan is not only Catholic—her beliefs outlawed by the queen—but also Welsh, a people long oppressed by the English. When Joan’s father dies, she is cast out from her home. Nicholas, the childhood friend she was supposed to marry, is a cold stranger, disfigured by an accident no one talks about. Smuggling religious books gives Joan a chance to do something about the injustices around her, but draws her into a world where everyone has a secret. An agent of the queen is closing in on her, and she must choose between her loyalty to her faith, her country, and her heart. One misstep will land her at the gallows.

It’s okay to fall

My daughter recently went ice skating for the first time. The instructors started the kids out with a cheer: “It’s okay to fall!” And boy did they. A few of the kids had skated before–one even plays ice hockey–and those glided around the rink, their skates glinting in the artificial light, but the rest made a series of spectacular flops and tumbles across the ice.

My little girl–an odd combination of independence and caution–wouldn’t let anyone help her, but also didn’t want to let go of the wall. Finally, I convinced her to try skating with a “walker” to help her get her balance. She still fell. A lot. But she got her feet under her and slid around, and she had a smile on her face the whole time. She was unembarrassed needing a “crutch” to help her keep her balance, and the other kids she was skating with (some of whom had walkers and some of whom didn’t) all skated together without seeming to note the difference. Whenever one of her classmates fell, my daughter was quick to skate over and let them use her walker to stand again.

I realized I could learn a lot from her attitude. She had fun even if she wasn’t the best skater there. She helped her friends. She fell, but she got back up. She came to understand that falling is scary and a bit painful, but it isn’t ultimate failure. We don’t fall when we’re clinging to the side, but we also don’t learn, we don’t have fun, and we don’t help ourselves or anyone else. It’s okay to fall. The important thing is to get out on the ice and try.

Titles are not my forte

My husband came up with the best working title ever for my WIP set in Utah during World War I. Ready for it?

All Quiet on the Wasatch Front.

My co-author suggested A Bridgerland too Far, which is a close second even if it is the wrong war.

I have no clever titles of my own to add. My folder for the project is labeled, “WWI.”

A good cover is probably more important than a good title, but only by a little. Think of the books you’ve picked up just because the titles were beautiful, funny, or intriguing, and especially the books that really live up to their titles. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Across a Star-Swept Sea. The Drawing of the Dark. It’s a Mall World After All. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Different books, different genres, all great titles.

My agent has rejected at least a dozen title suggestions for the YA fantasy I’m revising, and I’m not there yet. A fellow author, Chadd VanZanten, suggested finding a great line from the book–one that really gets to the heart of the story–and using that. While I like to think I have some lovely writing in there, I can’t find that magical line (which probably suggests another area where I can grow as an author). A lot of people steal from the classics, but everything I come up with that way has already been used. I guess, This Book is Awesome and You Should Read It probably won’t fly. Of course, I may come up with something I love just to have a publisher change it, so maybe I won’t stress about it too much, but someday I want to develop that knack for clever titles that beg readers to grab the book from the shelf.