Monday, September 23, 2013

Cover Reveal: GODDESS TITHE

Dear Imps, it gives me great pleasure to present to you the cover of Goddess Tithe, the first of what I hope will be many novellas set in the world of Goldstone Wood. Without further ado . . .

 

The Vengeful Goddess
Demands Her Tithe

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.
Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.
Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?
 

Coming November 12, 2013

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So, what do you think? I am particularly excited to introduce this cover since it is the first one for which I have been directly involved in the design process. I came up with the composition, found the various reference photos, applied the text, etc. The actual artistic work, however, was done by talented cover artist Phatpuppy, whose work I have admired for many years. It was such a thrill for me to contact this artist to create a look for Goddess Tithe that is reminiscent of the original novels but has a style and drama all its own.
 
The boy on the front was quite a find. I hunted high and low for an image of a boy the right age, the right look, with the right expression on his face. Phatpuppy and I worked with a different model through most of the cover development stage. But then I happened upon this image, and both she and I were delighted with his blend of youth, stubbornness, and strength of character! It wasn’t difficult to switch the original boy for this young man. He simply is Munny, and this cover is a perfect window into the world of my story.
 
You can’t see it here, but the wrap-around back cover for the print copy contains some of the prettiest work . . . including quite a scary sea monster! Possibly my favorite detail is the inclusion of the ghostly white flowers framing the outer edge. These are an important symbol in the story itself, and when Phatpuppy sent me the first mock-up cover with these included, I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement!
 
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Many lovely bloggers are helping me to celebrate this cover reveal today. Do feel free to stop by any and all of their blogs to see their opinions on the cover, to read an excerpt from the story, and to see one of the full-page illustrations included in this story. Many thanks to all of the bloggers participating!  Including:
 
 
 Each of these bloggers keeps an entertaining blog, and I recommend you follow every one of them (if you don't already!).
 
I'm also revealing the Goddess Tithe book page today (click HERE to see it!), and you can find a variety of tidbits about the story, not to mention the whole First Chapter!
 
And I have a fun blog button for the bloggers among you:
 
http://goddesstithenovel.blogspot.com/p/read-chapter-1.html
 
Do, please, share this with the link to Chapter 1 on your blogs!
 
And now, the fun part of this reveal . . . I am offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe in a giveaway! These copies are not final proofs, so there are little glitches in them. No major issues, however, and the story and illustrations are complete! If you would like a chance to win an advance copy of my upcoming novella, do enter your name below! (USA and Canada only.)
 
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cd52416/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
 


50 comments:

Allison Ruvidich said...

The cover looks fantastic! Was it difficult, with your trademark large cast and deep plot, to keep a novella idea from spiraling out into a novel? It looks great, thanks!
Allison

Galadriel said...

I'm really excited about this. By the way, I changed blog addresses recentally, so I'm no longer at The Wordsmith's Shelf. I'm at ofquasarsandfeathers.blogspot.com under the title Tell Me a Story Raggedy Man

Galadriel said...

How did you keep yourself from simply re-using scenes from Leo's journey?

Sarah said...

I love the cover, and I'm going to go check out the page now! We get the whole first chapter? Awesomeness!

Question: What inspired you to write this novel?

Maria W said...

Awesomeness!
Question: Will these books be linked to your other series in any way?

Anna B. said...

This looks amazing! :) Can't wait until it's released!!!! :D

Jenelle Leanne said...

I can't think of any questions... erm, please forgive the multiple emails in your inbox, as I didn't realize there was a box on the giveaway widget that would do that step for me (Rafflecopter newbie here) LOL

Clara Darling said...

Will Munny or any characters (other than Leo) be showing up in other novels?

Bree Holloway said...

It was such a pleasure to participate in this, Anne Elisabeth!

What is your favorite aspect of the cover? :)

-Bree Holloway
http://godslittledesigner.blogspot.com/

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Allison, who asks: "Was it difficult, with your trademark large cast and deep plot, to keep a novella idea from spiraling out into a novel?"

You know, it really wasn't to difficult to keep this book in the novella word-count range. But GODDESS TITHE did get larger than I first intended! My original idea for the story seemed so short and simple to me (compared to my usual works), I thought it would end up about at about 10,000 words. Instead, it ended up at 24,000 words! LOL. Munny surprised me with the depth of his character, and I became very invested in him and his backstory. :) Thus the story as a whole grew.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Galadriel: I think I got your link right! If there's an issue with the link, do email me and let me know, but when I click it Tell Me A Story, Raggedy Man, it seems to take me to the correct location. :)

And you asked: "How did you keep yourself from simply re-using scenes from Leo's journey?"

Good question! But there really is only one scene in VEILED ROSE that takes place at the same time as GODDESS TITHE, and that's the scene when Captain Sunan has Leo dragged up from lower storage where he's been hiding the last six days. Other than that, I was free to do whatever I liked with the voyage! Plus, this story is definitely Munny's story, not Leo's, so that also makes for brand new material.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@ Sarah, who asked: "What inspired you to write this novel?"

I wrote up this little article on the book page to answer that very question! http://goddesstithenovel.blogspot.com/p/how-it-began.html

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Maria, who asked: "Will these books be linked to your other series in any way?"

Absolutely! GODDESS TITHE already takes place within the context of VEILED ROSE. It also gives us a little more hint as to the backstory behind Captain Sunan . . . backstory that will be fleshed out in novels 7 and 8 of the Goldstone Wood series. You won't have to read GODDESS TITHE in order to understand those books, but I hope GODDESS TITHE will pique everyone's interest in Sunan!

I also have tentative plans in the works for a future novel featuring Munny when he is a little older . . . but that one is still in the very earliest brewing stages, so I can't say too much about it now. :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Christa, who asks: "Do you think you might add some illustrations to your future novels as well, or just the novellas?"

I will probably limit the illustrations to the novellas. It already takes so much creative energy to write and produce the full-length novels in a timely fashion . . . it might kill me to try to illustrate them as well! But since the novellas are short, I think it's nice to give them a little added interest by including illustrations.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Clara Darling, who asks: "Will Munny or any characters (other than Leo) be showing up in other novels?"

Sunan is one of the major characters in the as-yet-untitled Book 7 (which will hopefully release late 2014). He is also a planned major character in Book 8, but since I haven't written a word of that one yet, I can't say for absolute certain. :)

Munny may or may not make an appearance in a future novel. As stated above, I have the beginnings of an idea for a novel featuring him when he is a little older. But there are so many novels I need to write first! :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Bree, who asks: "What is your favorite aspect of the cover?"

I really love the boy . . . and the colors . . . and the ship . . . and the flowers . . .

And the sea monster on the back cover which you can't see yet! :)

Lauren said...

When will we get to see this sea monster? I'm super curious to see it now!

Meredith said...

Congratulations, Mrs. Anne Elisabeth! I'm so thrilled to learn more about Captain Sunan, because he really struck me as a very intelligent and knowledgeable man. Maybe he knows lots of things about the Far World. I remember being glad when he reprimanded the Duke of Shippening for his abuse of the sylph. And, I always wondered if Leo got to know anyone on the ship or if he just remained hidden. This is so exciting! I hope Eshkhan is featured in some way as well. I'm wondering if perhaps Sunan knows of him in some way. And, yet another villainness to love/hate! I loved the first chapter, and Money is very intriguing! God bless.

Queen Ali said...

Wow! This is so amazing ! Thanks so much for this giveaway.
Is there any chance of meeting former characters from Goldstone in here?

Erin G said...

Love the cover! The colors are gorgeous.
How many novellas do you have planned at the moment?

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Lauren: You'll get to see it as of November 12th when the book releases! And you'll also get to see the sea serpent on page . . . oh, wait. I shouldn't spoil it, should I? :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Queen Ali, who asks: "Is there any chance of meeting former characters from Goldstone in here?"

Absolutely! This story takes place within the context of VEILED ROSE, so you'll be seeing Prince Lionheart (aka Leonard the Jester) as a major character. The mysterious Captain Sunan, who had only a few short scenes in VEILED ROSE gets fleshed out in this story too. :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Erin G. who asks, "How many novellas do you have planned at the moment?"

This, one of course, then another that I hope to release between Books 7 and 8, and a third which I will (hopefully!) release between Books 8 and 9. I have a few others brewing in the back of my brain as well, but those next two are definitely going to be written. I hope to write both of them this January, before I start working on the manuscript for full-length novel Book 8. (But I have to finish the draft of Book 7 first!)

The Writer said...

Will Una be mentioned at all in upcoming novellas? Are these 'separate' from your books, in a way?

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@The Writer: Well, Una isn't mentioned in this one, and the next two I have in the works are both set before Una is born. So sadly, not yet.

But who knows? I might get more ideas down the road that would feature our favorite Petulant Princess. :)

The novellas are written to be separate from the other books in that you don't HAVE to read the novellas in order to keep track of the major storylines going on in the novellas. They're just stand-alone, fun extras. But this one contains plenty of hints about storylines that will later on be embellished in full-length novels, so I do recommend it as a way to pique your appetite. :)

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your books immensely! Especially Starflower since it's about Imraldera and Eanrin. Those two are such a good pair. :)

How many more books to you plan to publish in the Tales of Goldstone Wood Series? Do you plan to write other books besides this series?
Sorry if these questions have been asked and answered. If it was, I didn't see it. :)

Bethany said...

Very excited about this book and Shadowhand!! Ever htink about writing another series/genre? I'll be real sad when Goldstone Wood comes to a close.

Christy Maurer said...

I love the books I've read so far! I love the cover and love that this is a novella set in Goldstone Wood! Are you planning on another novel for the series or just novellas now?

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Anonymous, who asks: "How many more books to you plan to publish in the Tales of Goldstone Wood Series? Do you plan to write other books besides this series?"

I actually couldn't say for certain how many I will write in this series! I have 15 total novels in mind, but every time I write one, I get ideas for another. And now that I have the novellas in the works, I truly don't know! The world is so large, and so full of interesting histories and characters whom I would like to explore.

As to another series . . . I'm not sure about that either! I have toyed around with a handful of other ideas, but none of them have struck with inspiration the way Goldstone Wood does. Someday I might, but I plan for now to stick to Goldstone stories, I think.

I could see this series very easily turning into my own version of Terry Pratchett's wonderful (and 30-plus volume) Disc World series! :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Bethany, who asks: "Ever think about writing another series/genre?"

Not at the moment, no. So far any idea that I've had for OUTSIDE Goldstone Wood becomes much stronger and more interesting as soon as I transfer it INSIDE Goldstone Wood. The novel I'm currently writing--Book 7 in the series--was originally conceived as a stand-alone historical. But I couldn't get it to gel quite right. As soon as I transferred to my world--with all its intricacies and mythologies and various characters to draw from--everything came together! So until I get an idea for something that is better WITHOUT Goldstone Wood, I'll just stick to the Wood. :)

Meagan said...

Love the story idea and the cover!

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Christy, who asks: "Are you planning on another novel for the series or just novellas now?"

I am planning on many more novels, yes! I am currently in the home-stretch of drafting Book 7 in the series . . . and when I say "Book 7," I do mean FULL LENGTH Book 7. I don't really count the novellas as such. And last night, I made the first couple of serious notes for Book 8 as well. Not to mention I already have a rough draft written of Book 9, which I wrote around the same time I drafted HEARTLESS.

So, yes, lots more novels to come. :) I'll be doing an official "Title Reveal" for Book 7 on November 1, so be watching for it!

Maria said...

What made you decide to do illustration for the novellas?

I'm super excited to read this story! I feel like a kid again since this book will have pictures! :-D

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Maria: Well, I trained as an illustrator in college, so I thought it might be fun to actually give it a go! The dream used to be to write AND illustrate my own books, but it's a bit hard to do that with novels (and a bit overwhelming, honestly!). However, it seemed like a very manageable task to go along with a novella. :)

And I had a lot of fun with it! Particularly with the sea monster on page--oh, wait! I've said too much . . .

Jenelle Leanne said...

15 novels planned?!?!?! That is the best news I've heard all week!!!! :)

Meredith said...

I have finished Dragonwitch. What can I say but thank you. It was such a beautiful story, and I particularly loved how history repeated itself, (won't say much here, but you probably know what I mean). Loved the nod to a certain well-known true story. And, I loved the first-person narrations from Rhi Sora's perspective. Oh, Mrs. Anne Elisabeth, I know you must have truly loved this character. I did, even as I was so frustrated. She broke my heart. You have to admire her courage even as you long to help her. My favorite character was Mouse, but I loved them all. Thank you.

And, I am so excited about Goddess Tithe!

CajunHuntress said...

I am so excited for Goddess Tithe. I absolutely hated Lionheart, he drove me batty. But, I loved his journey and all of the interesting people that he met. I cannot wait to know them better. Who is your favorite character that Lionheart meets along his journey?

Rina S said...

This doesn't have anything to do with the TGW, instead I've been wondering what you're going to do with all the Glass Slippers entries that don't make it into the book. Will we get a chance to read some of the others? There's bound to be more than five good ones...

Brooke Barenfanger said...

I didn't hate Lionheart so much as feel sorry for him. My sister definitely hated him. My favorite character so far is Eanrin. He may seem to be all levity and fun, but he has a heart. I just hope he shows it to Imraldera sometime soon! Cajun Huntress, the emperor is my favorite character that Leo met on his journey.

CM said...

I can't wait to read this novella!

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@CajunHuntress, who asks: "Who is your favorite character that Lionheart meets along his journey?"


Hmmmm . . . in the novella, my favorite character Lionheart meets is Munny, the hero of this new story. But in VEILED ROSE, I think my favorite character he meets might be the creepy Oracle in the Hidden Temple. She is quite terrifying! And the novel I am currently writing explores a little of her history, so I find her that much more intriguing now . . .

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Rina, who asks, "I've been wondering what you're going to do with all the Glass Slippers entries that don't make it into the book. Will we get a chance to read some of the others?"

Well, those stories won't belong to me, so I don't get any say about who reads them and when. I will only OWN the five stories I select for the collection (according to the submission agreement). But there are so many stories being submitted, I have a feeling I'll be urging a lot of these writers to publish their short stories themselves, even if I can't include them in the collection!

It's going to be tough picking just five . . .

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Brooke and CM--I'm glad you enjoy my stories, and I hope you'll get to read GODDESS TITHE soon! :)

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Meredith: I'm so glad to hear you got to read DRAGONWITCH! You are always such a tremendous encouragement to me. I hope the Braille copies of GODDESS TITHE will be quick in coming. :)

Jennette Mbewe said...

Can't wait to read it! Not sure I have a question that wasn't already asked. :-)

Hannah said...

Wow, the Oracle was your favorite character Lionheart met, Anne Elisabeth? Well, I look forward to hearing the history, though I shudder to learn how she came to such a horrid state.

I have to say my favorite was...uh...I really like the boy emperor, Captain Sunan was fantastic and I can't WAIT to know more about him, but my favorite was probably the sylph. So sad, so mysterious. I'm positive the Dragon didn't pick him as the "gift" at random and I'm not sure that Duke didn't care what he got either.

Meredith said...

Lionheart frustrated me in Heartless, but I grew to like him very much in the later books. He's tormented by the role he's expected to fulfill and his free spirit. Remember that Lady Life-In-Death won him in the game, so he is tormented by her as well. I think we judge him so harshly because we ourselves are tormented in exactly the same way. Of course, we don't want to admit it.

Like Hannah, the sylph was one of my favorite characters, and I absolutely loved the emperor. What a perfect foil for Leo's character. He was fulfilling his role in their society, and what a gigantic responsibility for such a young man! I think he's very brave and wants to protect his people. Yet, he is a child, and I loved that he requested clowns for his coronation. I have a feeling we'll learn more about him in book 7 perhaps? And, the oracle was indeed creepy. I felt sorry for her, and that part where she ate the pearl? Yikes!

Regarding Goddess Tithe: I asked this in an email, but I thought I'd ask it here as well: Will there be any female protagonists in this novella? I don't think it whould take as long for Goddess Tithe to be brailled. It will be interesting to see how Mrs. Laurie describes the illustrations in the book.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Meredith, who asked if we will see more of boy-emperor, Khemkhaeng-Niran Klahan in Book 7. I'm sorry to say that we won't . . . because Book 7 takes place close to 1500 years BEFORE Emperor Khlahan is born.

Yup, we're still "back in time." But we'll see more of the young emperor eventually. I have a story brewing about him which will, I think, be a lot of fun.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Meredith, who also asked: "Will there be any female protagonists in the novella?"


Since the story takes place on a ship peopled with an all-male crew, there are very few female characters in this story . . . other than the "goddess" herself, of course! But there is one major female character who, though she only appears in a few short scenes, provides us with one of the most important story-threads and motivations. And she might be my favorite character in the story! I don't want to say too much for fear of giving away spoilers . . . but the ghostly white flowers on the cover pertain to her. :)

Meredith said...

It's so neat how these stories are being told in nonlinear fashion, so we get bits and pieces that are coming together so wonderfully. I'll be thrilled to learn more of that society even if the emperor himself is not featured in book 7. So intrigued about that rarely appearing but so vitally important female character in Goddess Tithe. Such fun. Thanks for the answers to the questions. God bless.