Monday, February 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: GOLDEN DAUGHTER . . . plus interview with Julia Popova

Dear imps, I have been eager to share this cover with you since last summer. But publishing schedules being what they are, I have had to exercise patience until now. At long last, however, I am at liberty to share with you the beautiful cover for my newest Tale of Goldstone Wood novel . . .

Beyond the Realm of Dreams

Is a World She Never Imagined

Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.

But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch?

For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn.

Coming November 25, 2014 

So what do you think? I am so thrilled with this cover, I can't even begin to tell you! I love that the new color scheme stands out from all of the other books, but the circle theme from the first three books is brought back beautifully in this image. It's a dramatic, dynamic image; so much more than just a pretty girl posing in a pretty dress! Sairu is interacting with her unique setting, surprised at what she has just discovered through that gate. Did you notice that the landscape through the gate behind her is very different from the one into which she has just emerged? I love the glorious stars, the ocean, the gate, her knife, her costume . . . so many wonderful details from the book are captured in this one gorgeous image!

And yes, for those of you wondering, that is our favorite poet-cat, Eanrin. Making his cover debut and looking very fluffy while he's at it.

If you'd like to learn more about Golden Daughter, do visit the new book page! There are several fun articles, including a "Characters You Will Meet" page. And you bloggers can help me out by sharing the blog button below:

Please include this link when you share

And now, dear imps, I had the fun opportunity of interviewing the brilliant cover artist who created this cover! She is a very gracious and talented lady with a wonderful eye for color and composition. I was enthralled by the images I saw on her website and so delighted to have her become the new Goldstone Wood cover designer! She creates images that fit nicely with the original cover designs, but brings her own unique and magical style that is so perfectly suited to fairy tales. I hope you will enjoy learning more about Julia Popova and her work. First, here is her bio:

Julia Popova is a digital artist from Russia. She lives in Novosibirsk city.
She devoted a long period of time to studying programs of digital image processing. Every day she creates new photo-art uniting fantasy and technical experience. This is a perfect way to allure audience into a bright world of art and happiness, to share dreams and ideas. Julia makes an emphasis on kindness and positive principle. For her digital photo-art is a hobby which grows into work. Work that becomes as pleasant as hobby.
Julia has higher economic education. In addition she studied in art school for a long time. She uses Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Wacom Intuos 4 and stock images for photomanipulation.
Julia is 26 years old. She is happily married. 


Endless Dream
Hello, Julia! Welcome to the Tales of Goldstone Wood blog. I'm so glad you could feature here today. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Were you always an artist even as a child? Do you come from a creative family?

Julia: Hello! What shall I say about me? Well . . . To tell many good words about yourself is not very modest, but I am cheerful, curious, and creative person.  I was born in Altai region, and much of my true inspiration is still connected with nature, with mountains and forests. I would say I was an artist when I was a child because I received a profile education in art at my school over the course of nine years. I cannot say that my family is totally creative but I think that my parents have creative talents.

Your art work is so beautiful. Where did you study art?  Did you start out drawing and painting, or have you always preferred digital art? 
Prayer for Comeback

Julia: I’m very glad to hear kind words about my artwork. As I have said, I received an edcuation in art, focusing on classical subjects – drawing, painting, color and composition, various arts and crafts, world art etc. And it was perfect base for start with digital art. 

Your online name is ForestGirl. Is nature your primary inspiration for your art? 

 Julia: I believe that nature is a very big creative power and a constant source of inspiration for me. Sometimes I receive the inspiration from books, music, world art culture, or images of famous photographers. 

Are you a full time artist, or do you enjoy other hobbies or work as well? 

Julia: I am a full time artist but I have many hobbies. I have a higher economic education. I love reading. I would be happy to read Golden Daughter in Russian. and I`m sure the translation should be done once! 

I spend time researching the stock images industry and am working to find my place there. Travels with my husband always were unbelievable, inspirational, and unforgettable for me. I like to plan our travels from zero without a travel agency, and I like searching for places to visit. I am big fan of sports and yoga--stadium on summer mornings or gym over winter are my favorite places. My lifestyle is self-development, self-perfection.

Warrior Cats: The Power of Three
Your art always has a magical, storytelling quality to it. I feel as though I am seeing a story in every image. Do you have a story in your head when you create each work of art?

Julia: I usually don't have a complete idea for a story when I am starting work. I view the work  in process and sometimes a good idea for a story dawns upon me. And I think about this story more and more as I go; I contrive new signs which helps me to tell this story from image, add the details to image and complete the fairytale. I always adore when people have a lucky guess at what I meant.
Winter Souls
And finally, since this is a blog that loves fairy tales, I’ll ask: What is your favorite fairy tale?

Julia:  I am absolutely in love with The Snow Queen tale. And also with modern 3D interpretation by Disney – Frozen.

Thank you so much for the interview today, Julia! It was really fun to get to know you better.

I hope all of you readers enjoyed learning about this wonderful artist. Be certain to visit her website, Julia Popova, Art & Retouch to see even more of her wonderful images! And you can like her page on Facebook and keep track of all her exciting updates and news.

And now, in an exclusive sneak peek, I'm going to show you what the full wrap-around cover of Golden Daughter looks like . . . before the text! 


I hope you're excited for this newest adventure in Goldstone Wood. I love this new story and am eager to share it with all of you later this year. You will be happy to learn that this is by far the longest Goldstone Wood novel yet . . . a good 50,000 words longer than Dragonwitch (which used to be my longest). So lots of epic adventure awaits!

In the meanwhile, do please share the book cover and tell your friends. And do take time to enter the giveaway I'm hosting to celebrate this reveal.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway