I like the way they look on my bookshelf: Sarabande, Conjure Woman’s Cat, Eulalie and Washerwoman, Lena, Widely Scattered Ghosts, and Special Investigative Reporter.
En route to becoming hardcovers, each book requires a cover design and that’s a bit tricky because the size and layout of the cover depend on the number of pages in the book. The cover for A Distant Flame certainly won’t fit on a Southern Storm or A Stillness at Appomattox. Unlike the paperback, there’s also the space on the front and back cover flaps to consider as well. The dust jacket proof looks like this:
If you plan to keep a book and read it multiple times, hardbacks usually last a lot longer than paperbacks. Of course, that makes them suitable for libraries. Unfortunately, libraries don’t usually keep the book jackets. Traditionally, the purpose of the book jacket was to protect the book, but we haven’t figured out how to protect the book jackets from library patrons who often use the flaps as bookmarks (and other crimes).
Technically, I know how the dust jacket should be set up. But, practically speaking, forget it. That’s one of the many reasons those of us at Thomas-Jacob Publishing are lucky to have, in Melinda Clayton, a managing editor who bit the bullet–or a handful of bullets–and mastered the nitty-gritty details. Clayton, who is also an outstanding author (Appalachian Justice), does all the interior book formatting for each edition of each book as well as the covers. Thank you, Melinda!
Since she’s just finished up all the work for Special Investigative Reporter, I’m going to let some time go by before I suggest that my next novel might be as large as Southern Storm (see photo above).
- When I got stung by 8 wasps several weeks ago, I didn’t expect my wife to try to top my experience. Okay, now she’s in first place with 23 aggressive bumblebee stings. She was mowing high grass and brush and hit a hidden nest. I took her to the ER where the folks at Rome, Georgia’s Redmond Hospital couldn’t have been nicer or more responsive. We were there about an hour while they put her on an IV of Epinephrine, Benadryl, saline, and a steroid of some kind. She has lots of swollen places and the expected amount of itching.
- Great news about the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team beating the Netherlands. I wish them luck in their lawsuit that seeks to equalize prizes and pay between their teams and the men’s teams. There’s no excuse for paying the women a pittance.
- Today is grocery store day for me, so I was happy that Serena William’s Wimbledon match was set for 8 a.m. She won. That started my day off on a positive note.
- Among the most recent hardback releases from Thomas-Jacob are the new editions of Melinda Clayton’s four-book Cedar Hollow Series that begins with Appalachian Justice. This is a highly popular series.
- Being cheap, I waited until The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton came out in trade paperback to buy a copy. I’ve enjoyed the book primarily because it focuses on the problem of cyber-warfare as a real issue that could totally disable the government, military, and commerce of a nation. A very readable book.
- My upcoming Special Investigative Reporter, a satirical novel about (guess what) an investigative reporter, is working its way through editing, formatting, cover design, and a book trailer. More about that later. Here’s a snippet:
The meatloaf was surprisingly lousy. It was the kind of meatloaf Aunt Edna fixed Jock when he was an innocent kid on or about the time when she was losing track of things such as who he actually was and what ingredients belonged in the food.
- Thanks to all of you who have been posting reviews on Audible for the audio editions of Conjure Woman’s Cat, Eulalie and Washerwoman, and Lena.
- Gosh, you’d think a name-brand dryer would last more than 18 months. Ours stopped working last night. We can air dry (ha ha) stuff, but there’s no heat. If it were older, we’d simply replace it, but we’re not like those people who buy new cars whenever the ashtrays get full. First, the bee attack and the ER, and now the dryer quits. Typical trickster crap from the universe.
A selection of stuff for the blog today because my bad cold makes me too tired to write an exciting post. However, we will be speaking of magic again soon.
Parked in the garage this week.
The yard is out of control. If you have a yard, you know what this means. My wife and I planned to rein in the unruly grass and encroaching weeds even though we hadn’t yet recovered from our one-week trip with family to Disney World and Universal Studios. But then it rained. Dang, we had to postpone our yard work. Several days ago, somebody didn’t secure the pasture gate and we found our yard full of cattle. Not the first time this has happened. They ate some of the grass before we chased them back into the pasture.
- While in the Orlando area, I was lucky to finally meet
Melinda Clayton of Thomas-Jacob Publishing.
my publisher whom I’d worked with on line for quite a while but had never met in real life. Great times at a cool restaurant in Sanford. Her husband, my wife, my brother and my brother’s wife were there as well.
- Speaking of my publisher, Melinda will be happy to know that I finally ran out of excuses and have added new scenes to Lena, the upcoming third book in my Florida Folk Magic Series. The series begins with Conjure Woman’s Cat.
- NPR wants you to fill Twitter with “your haikus, tankas, limericks and the nonsensical, and we’ll feature some of our favorite bite-sized verses online and on the air.” Learn more here.
- FROM MY FACEBOOK AUTHOR’S PAGE: Napoleon Hill’s statement that “Whatever The Mind Can Conceive And Believe, The Mind Can Achieve” separates, I think, those who succeed from those
Original cover. The 1902 book is still in print.
who don’t–this depends on how one defines “succeed.” Or, as James Allen wrote many hears ago, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” Everything I know about magic can be based upon these and similar statements. Whether one is talking about magic or the processes of daily living, many people limit these statements because they either don’t see that people are more powerful than they know or because both statements force a person to acknowledge his/her responsibility for his/her “lot in life.”
- Photo from the trip: Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. There were long lines, of course, but it was fun seeing this re-creation as well as my two granddaughters’ reaction to it. They each bought an interactive wand which, if you used it just right, made things happen in many of the store windows.
Have a good week.
Thomas-Jacob Publishing is offering free copies of Melinda Clayton’s novel Making Amends to those who sign-up for our newsletter via the InstaFreebie site. This offer is good through the end of this month.
Just enter you name and e-mail address, and then choose the file type you want: MOBI, EPUB, or PDF.
We promise not to send you a deluge of stuff. We hope you’ll like what we do send: announcements of new books, a few poems, and a bit of news.
I enjoyed reading Making Amends. Here’s the publisher description from Amazon:
On a beautiful fall evening, in the middle of a game of hide-and-seek, five-year-old Bobby Clark is kidnapped by his estranged father, a shiftless man with a history of domestic violence and drug abuse. Bobby’s twin brother Ricky watches, terrified, from his hiding place behind the bougainvillea, while mother Tabby, who also struggles with addiction, lies inebriated on the living room floor. Bobby isn’t seen by his loved ones again until a fateful morning twenty-five years later, when video of his arrest dominates the morning news. He has been charged with the murder of his father, but before the trial can begin, he manages to escape. As Tabby and Ricky absorb the news of Bobby’s return and subsequent escape, Tabby is convinced he’ll come home to the quiet Florida street from which he was taken so long ago. But when events begin to spiral out of control, she’s left to wonder: is a child born to be evil, or shaped to be evil? And in the end, when it’s time to make amends, does it really matter?
I hope you enjoy the book and the Thomas-Jacob newsletter. The next issue should be out near the end of this month.
On Sale January 20th from Thomas-Jacob Publishing
Few of the eccentric inhabitants of her father’s Main Line, Philadelphia estate have much time for Fleur Robins, an awkward child with a devotion to her ailing grandfather, a penchant for flapping and whirling, and a preoccupation with God and the void. While her mother spends much of her time with her hand curled around a wine glass and her abusive father congratulates himself for rescuing babies from “the devil abortionists,” Fleur mourns the fallen petals of a rose and savors the patterns of light rippling across the pool. When she fails to save a baby bird abandoned in her garden, a series of events unfold that change everything.
Billy May Platte is a half Irish, half Cherokee Appalachian woman who learned the hard way that 1940s West Virginia was no place to be different. As Billy May explains, “We was sheltered in them hills. We didn’t know much of nothin’ about life outside of them mountains. I did not know the word lesbian; to us, gay meant havin’ fun and queer meant somethin’ strange.”
Lena, a shamanistic cat, and her conjure woman Eulalie live in a small town near the Apalachicola River in Florida’s lightly populated Liberty County, where longleaf pines own the world. In Eulalie’s time, women of color look after white children in the homes of white families and are respected, even loved, but distrusted and kept separated as a group. A palpable gloss, sweeter than the state’s prized tupelo honey, holds their worlds firmly apart. When that gloss fails, the Klan restores its own brand of order.
In 1955, at the height of alarm over the Emmett Till murder in Mississippi and after the Supreme Court ruling against school segregation, Associated Press reporter Rachel Feigen travels from Baltimore to Tennessee to report on a missing person case. Guy Saillot’s last contact with his family was a postcard from the Tennessee Bend Motel, a seedy establishment situated on beautiful Cherokee Lake. But they have no record he was ever a guest.
Shadow Days by Melinda Clayton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Shadow Days” is a delightful addition to Melinda Clayton’s popular “Cedar Hollow” series, featuring in this novel protagonist Emily Holt who suddenly leaves her home in Florida and runs away on the anniversary of her husband’s death.
She ends up by chance and destiny in Cedar Hollow. The sheriff wonders if she’s crazy when he finds her and her broken-down car a few miles from town.
After she finds a place to stay, she begins to learn about the town and its people. Readers who’ve been with the series since it began with “Appalachian Justice,” will recognize just about everybody. Those who read “Shadow Days” first will, like Emily Holt, learn who’s who as the plot unfolds.
Emily has to come to terms with her husband’s death, the remnants of her life in Florida, her two sons who are off at college and don’t know where she is, and just who she is now in this off-the-beaten track town in West Virginia.
This is a well-told story with a cast of characters that increases in depth and scope as each new novel in the series is released. There are nice touches in the memories of characters such as collecting calendar towels and saving S&H Green Stamps. Very satisfying and hopefully not the end of the story.
View all my reviews