An Enchanting Book Design: The Isle of the Faeries #Fantasy #Mythology #Books

Lush green forests always seem to spring to mind when thinking about faeries. Our latest book design for The Isle of the Faeries by JoAnn E. Henderson uses this imagery for design inspiration.

The Isle of the Faeries by JoAnn E. Henderson

Print and eBook Cover design

The Isle of the Faeries Book Design

Print Cover Wrap Design

Our print interior design and eBook design combines the imagery of the cover design with a touch of whimsy and magic:

The Isel of the Faeries Print Book Design

Chapter Design for Print Book

Interior Print Book Design for The Isle of the Faeries

Interior Print Spread with Magical Accents on Page Numbers

Click here to see the complete book design for The Isle of the Faeries

To see our latest book designs for all genres, visit us on Issuu

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Why Does #Steampunk Matter? By Guest Blogger @ARMeyering

Are you a fan of steampunk? And what exactly is it? Guest blogger and award-winning author A.R. Meyering, creator of The Dawn Mirror Chronicles (and who specialized in Victorian/Neo-Victorian Literature in college) delves into the importance of steampunk and why it matters.

Fans of this genre will enjoy her latest release The Hunter’s Bond, as well as the other novels in The Dawn Mirror Chronicles.

Why Does Steampunk Matter?

Steampunk, put lightly, is a fringe genre. Images leap to mind—elaborate DIY gizmos, outlandish costumes, and that eccentrically brilliant handful of people who crave historical fantasy come to life. During my study of Neo-Victorian literature during college, a professor once described steampunk as a genre that boasted “machines that exist far before their time, all which are on the brink of falling apart.” It was a throwaway line during a lecture, but I personally found it to be an illuminating description of the genre.

As of late, steampunk has been creeping further and further into popular culture, flavoring otherwise unrelated games, music, and movies with its eye-catching designs. Where fans may have learned to recognize it for its token gears and antique flair, I regularly see curiosity in those who wonder what the hell steampunk actually is. Just glue some gears on it and call it steampunk, right?

The Hunter's Bond by A.R. Meyering

What Is Steampunk, Anyway?

Steampunk, in its simplest form, is any type of fiction that features two distinct elements: anachronistic technology and a 19th century aesthetic. That’s really just a fancy way of saying highly-advanced inventions in a Victorian (give or take a few decades) setting. At least that’s how it began to be defined after it was coined in the 1980s by science fiction author K.W. Jeter. I believe the beauty of steampunk is how many die-hard aficionados you will meet who will whole-heartedly argue these points. For all intents and purposes, however, steampunk is a flight of science fancy centered on this time period during which steam-powered machines seemed to be the way of the future.

Steampunk has many fascinating offshoots, such as cattlepunk, a similar genre set in the wild west of the United States, dieselpunk, a mid-20th century variant, and clockpunk, where the trademark cogs so often associated with steampunk might actually feel more at home.

The amazing thing about steampunk, to me, is that it feels like it belongs to the fans more than many other genre of fiction. The spirit of steampunk is ingenuity blended with imagination—it’s that surviving spark of nostalgia mixed with the brave urge to burn recklessly into the future. Steampunk is its own type of music; it’s a warm community of retrophiliacs, of people who create magic out of spare parts, of inventors and artists and dreamers. However, for all its whimsy, there is an undercurrent of darkness that runs throughout it—an unflinching social critique that highlights the monstrosity of the 19th century.

History Happens in Patterns

And no matter what we do, we are doomed to repeat it. 19th century British folks, particularly the Pre-Raphaelites, were somewhat fixated on romanticizing medieval Britain through art and literature, despite its undeniable brutality. I suspect that our modern day Neo-Victorian subcultures look back on the 19th century with the same sort of confused, aching belief that we have lost something special to the past, that we can idealize it to be cleaner and rosier than we want to believe it was, and that we can amend its missteps with our modern outlooks on life and society.

Essentially all of us will look back on the economic and social inequity of 19th century Britain and agree that it was shocking, to say the least. Who wouldn’t recoil when faced with the realities of the lower class struggling to survive in the industrial revolution? At the horror of British imperialism? At a world where the atrocities of slavery were commonplace? Who wouldn’t take issue with the fact that aristocrats earned around 1,200 times as much as soldiers? Of the devastating spread of disease and the reality that it took until the year 1875 before the government stepped in to protect the health of the masses—resistance to this reform came largely from the factory owners who would be taxed to pay for it. And this hardly grazes the surface of the abject suffering that the majority of people lived through in the 19th century, all while a handful of well-to-do families built up the facades of grandeur and austerity that popular culture readily associates with this time period. All while these same well-to-do families rationalized their behavior through flimsy, racist pseudo-science and the nearly unchecked ambition to guard their ill-earned wealth.

Starting to Sound Familiar?

For all of its flaws and eccentricities, I believe that Steampunk’s historical context features a great potential for meaningful social critique. Instead of trying to ignore the unfortunate truths of the past, they can be addressed and discussed. Steampunk is a bizarre sort of abstract microcosm of our own society, all wrapped up in a quirky package, and it matters because it is a way we can recognize the glaring flaws of bygone times­—flaws that are still very much a problem in today’s world—without the interference of our contemporary egos.

It matters, also, because it simultaneously fixates around just the sort of hopeful spirit that ushers in the anachronistic, before-its-time brilliance that leads to a better world. I say, let’s keep dreaming about clanking, aether-run airships en route to the stars because it shows us not only where we have been, but where we are going.

About The Hunter’s Bond

A storybook life ended in one bloody night…

Left injured, alone, and penniless, noblewoman Beatrice Langford can only think of exacting revenge on the ones who took everything from her. After getting a job as a barmaid from tavern-owner Miles Creedy, she soon discovers his dark secret. Following Creedy into the underworld of crime and vigilante punishment, she is tempted by an opportunity to learn skills deadly enough to carry out her vengeful plan. Beatrice may need to sacrifice everything in order to succeed, including her humanity.

From award-winning author A.R. Meyering comes this prelude to the final installment of the steampunk fantasy series The Dawn Mirror Chronicles.

The Hunter's Bond by A.R. Meyering

The Hunter’s Bond by A.R. Meyering is available now in trade softcover or eBook

Read a sample chapter of The Hunter’s Bond by A.R. Meyering

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Biggest #sale on books you may or may not have heard of by @ADTrosper #YA #Dragons #Fantasy #amreading

Whats better than books? Books on sale and books you can snag for free. This doesn’t happen very often so take advantage while you can. Today we turn our blog over to award-winning author A.D. Trosper.

~~~    ~~~    ~~~

Biggest sale on books you may or may not have heard of!

Many have read these, many more have not. Some will share this because they love them, other won’t because they don’t wish to inflict my books on people they care about. On the flip side of that, if you didn’t like them, share this to your enemies! Plenty of opportunity abounds for lovers and haters alike! Here is your chance to spread the love (or torture those you feel are deserving). All of my books are on sale in one way or another, so take advantage of it since I don’t do these often. The sale runs from today, May 27th thru Monday, May 30th.

A New Beginning (short prequel)—FREE

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In the War of Fire, death often heralds a new beginning…

Dragons, magic, and war are commonplace for sixteen year old Emallya. Though she longs for the simple life of hearth and home, some things are not meant to be.

Her dreams for the future are changed in a single night when battle breaches the walls of her home, and she finds her true calling. The innocent hopes of youth are cast aside as Emallya steps forward into a future she never imagined for herself.

*This is a short story within the Dragon’s Call world and includes a bonus peek into Embers at Galdrilene, the first Dragon’s Call book.

 

Get it FREE on Amazon

 

Embers at Galdrilene (Dragon’s Call book 1)

embers new cover

“A ray of light, a stain of shadow, shall endure to breathe life and death into the future”

The war between the Guardians and the Shadow Riders ended in total devastation. The final battle killed all the dragons and left nothing but fields of ash. A small clutch of dragon eggs was all that remained to provide hope for the future.

Five hundred years later, the ability to use magic is a death sentence and dragons are remembered as a curse. But the unhatched dragons sing for their riders…and six lives will be changed forever.

The elements of magic are drawn together as the dragons’ call leads them on a journey where they learn everything they’ve been taught to believe about magic and dragons is wrong.

With the last of the dragons and the world at stake, they will risk everything to heed the call.

But an evil from the past rises again. Shadow Dragons ride the dawn once more…

 

Get it for .99 on Amazon

 

Tears of War (Dragon’s Call book 2)

New Tears of War cover

“Old things come again and new things surface.”

Faced with a looming war, the riders have no choice but to leave the safety of Galdrilene and reach out to the nations for help. But the Shadow Riders are doing the same and not all nations are opposed to their rule.

New discoveries are made, old wounds are reopened and betrayal hides among welcoming smiles.

As one nation begins to unravel it’s clear that some choices, even those made with the best of intentions, can have devastating consequences.

 

Get it for 1.99 on Amazon

 

Ashes and Spirits (Dragon’s Call book 3)

Smaller cover

“The incomplete weave breeds the darkness…”

Presented with impossible odds, the Guardians struggle to hold against the Shadow Riders. While enemies from within are discovered and allegiances are formed, the losses mount.

As the war escalates, one Guardian may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save all.

 

Get it for 1.99 on Amazon

 

Bound by Time—FREE

BBT_AD_Trosper_FC_Amazon

Time knows no bounds when you are tested to your limits…

Isobel Moore is looking forward to spending her summer break alone while her parents are overseas. But when she returns home from college she discovers it’s no longer the welcoming place it used to be…and that something sinister now resides within.

As Isobel begins to question her sanity, a mysterious neighbor moves next door with plenty of his own secrets…and Damien DeLuca has the uncanny ability to always show up when the unexplainable happens.

Now Isobel must unravel a past that tests her limits and everything she thought she knew—before the darkness kills her.

Get it for FREE on Amazon

 

Bound by Legend

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When demons show up there will be hell to pay…

At nineteen Morgan has already faced more loss than she can handle and has more experience living on the street than she wants. Unable to do anything other than keep on the move in order to hide from the demons that hunt her, she guards her heart and emotions carefully. But when the demons start talking to her and calling her by a name from another life, things spiral beyond her control.

Lucian, an ancient dark angel who has seen his fair share of lives, is happy being a free agent until he’s assigned to Morgan. Determined to do everything on her own, she’s unlike any channel he’s ever met.

As the danger mounts and a demon prepares to open a gateway to the underworld, Morgan must find a way to overcome her past in order stop him. Offered what her heart desperately wants, and holding a key that will close the gate but open another, Morgan struggles find the strength to make the right choice.

Get it for .99 on Amazon

 

What people are saying about the Dragon’s Call books

The people that were happy:

“I thoroughly enjoy these books and feel anyone that love true Fantasy, full of magic and dragons, will enjoy these books. The characters are richly written and the storyline is addictive. The interaction between dragon and rider is some of the best Fantasy I’ve read. I love the relationships the author has developed between the two.”

“Took a well used genre (dragon riders) but added a new twist that had me struggling to put the book down. Real page turner that keeps you on your toes.”

“All 3 books are just wonderful. From start to finish it will keep on edge just waiting for what will come next. You won’t be disappointed!! These books have gotten me in trouble!! I couldn’t put it down, tried for work as a result!! Dragon Loves must read set. Looking forward to reading more books by this Author!!!”

And the people who weren’t happy:

“Very boring. ….”

“This book might take prize for overall, most cliche fantasy book Ive read this year.”

 

And those that are neither:

USA Bestseller List says, “Who are you?”

New York Times says, “This is a restraining order…”

 

The happy for the Bound series:

“Such a sweet, romantic and action packed story. From the onset, you’re drawn in and intrigued by everything going on. I never knew a window could be so menacing!”

“I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bound by Time.”

“Amazing & intriguing story. From the very beginning I was drawn in & it never disappointed.”

The unhappy:

“The storyline was slow and uneventful with very little happening along the way.”

“Dull…”

“Hated main character.”

 

USA Bestseller lists says, “We still have no clue who you are.”

 

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Merlin’s Knot by @MarkAndersenTales #ModernFantasy #Arthurian #MythsAndLegends #amreading #bookdesign

Merlin’s Knot by Mark Andersen is a modern-day fantasy set in Houston, Texas and is the first book in the Merlin’s Thread series. Perfect for fans of Merlin, King Arthur, and the weaving of legends set in modern times. Designing the cover for this novel was very design intensive and will be the subject of a future blog you won’t want to miss.

To purchase in either eBook of trade softcover, click HERE

About Merlin’s Knot:

Where in Texas has King Arthur gone?

Merlin the magician sleeps for fifteen hundred years…until his mystical connection to the mind of legendary King Arthur awakens him. Finally, the time has come to find the lost king and return him to his ancient destiny: saving the Britons in their hour of greatest peril.

The quest leads Merlin to Houston, Texas, where his link to Arthur becomes hopelessly tangled. The snarl centers on Alfred, a laid-off engineer suffering his own existential crisis. After Merlin coerces his help, they follow their only clue to a suburb called The Woodlands.

As they unravel the secrets of Arthur’s present life, returning the king to his own time becomes harder. Now Merlin must find a way to reconcile free will with fate—and repair history’s tapestry.

Read a sample chapter by clicking HERE.

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Cover design for print and eBook

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our print wrap design for the trade softcover

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our custom-designed print interior for paperback and eBook

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our custom-designed print interior for paperback and eBook

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our matching eBook design because readers deserve to experience the same book design no matter which format they prefer to read

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April Book Giveaway—Minstrel and Money & The Human Condition #HistoricalFantasy #FinancialPlanning

Now through April 30th, you can enter to win signed print copies of these great reads at BHCAuthors.com. This month features Minstrel, the award finalist, historical fantasy by Marissa Ames and Money & The Human Condition by Douglas Obey, an excellent nonfiction book, which explains how money works as well as offering tips for money management and financial planning.

Minstrel by Marissa Ames and Money & The Human Condition by Douglas Obey: The featured April Author/Book Spotlights at BHC Authors for April 2016

Click HERE to enter to win through April 30th, 2016

About Minstrel

The Tir Athair series introduces medieval fantasy to a wide audience, bringing intrigue, adventure, and a little romance into a highly accessible and engaging saga.

A troupe of entertainers rides into town on the eve of a kingdom’s fall into chaos. The good king has died and twin princes grapple for the throne. Forced into servitude, the players witness deceit that enslaves people from the king’s guard all the way down to a young washerwoman forced to live three lives. When Riordan takes the crown, his twin indentures the minstrel into recording the kingdom’s true history, a decision that condemns both Liam and the prince to a death sentence.

Minstrel details the start of a civil war, through the eyes of a minstrel whose life of poverty becomes a much more dangerous game.

About Money & The Human Condition

Make your money work for you…

With so much at stake—family security, financial growth and retirement—it is concerning that most people have little to no understanding of financial matters, investments or how the economy works. Nor do they believe the basic concepts behind financial growth are anything they need to know. They simply look at their 401K report quarter after quarter, note the changes and wonder, “How did this happen?”

Why in the most capitalistic society on earth, do we Americans understand so little about how money works? A fascinating dichotomy, really, and one rooted in both western culture and human nature. Understanding this will help you master the art of making money work for you instead of continuing to work so hard for it. What’s so fascinating is that it is more about the study of human behavior than finance and money, hence the title of the book, Money and the Human Condition.

Purchase Minstrel or Money & The Human Condition in eBook or paperback on Amazon. Minstrel is also available in audio format on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

LOVE TO READ?

Visit BHCAuthors.com for new author spotlights and our book giveaways each month.

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Cover Design: Merlin’s Knot by @mandersentales #ModernFantasy #KingArthur #ContemporaryFantasy #Arthurian #amreading #BookDesign

We really enjoyed designing the cover for Merlin’s Knot by Mark Andersen—book one in the “Merlin’s Thread” series. Perfect for fans of King Arthur and contemporary/modern fantasy. Available now for preorder. Releases Thursday, May 5th in trade softcover and eBook.

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Cover design for print and eBook—Releases May 5th, 2016

Pre-order the eBook from Amazon now at the special introductory price of $2.99

Merlin Cover Model: Marion Z. Skydancer
Copyright © 2016 Dragon’s Chyld Studio. Image used with permission and appears courtesy of Dragon’s Chyld Studio. All rights reserved.

About the Book
Where in Texas has King Arthur gone?

Merlin the magician sleeps for fifteen hundred years…until his mystical connection to the mind of legendary King Arthur awakens him. Finally, the time has come to find the lost king and return him to his ancient destiny: saving the Britons in their hour of greatest peril.

The quest leads Merlin to Houston, Texas, where his link to Arthur becomes hopelessly tangled. The snarl centers on Alfred, a laid-off engineer suffering his own existential crisis. After Merlin coerces his help, they follow their only clue to a suburb called The Woodlands.

As they unravel the secrets of Arthur’s present life, returning the king to to his own time becomes harder. Now Merlin must find a way to reconcile free will with fate—and repair history’s tapestry.

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Cover Reveal—Elements by Raymond Henri @raymond_henri #fantasy

We had a blast designing this cover for Raymond Henri. Elements is the first book of his Tear of God series. The series blends elements of science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and action. If you are a fan of the legendary anime Naruto series or Harry Potter, Elements just may be the book you’ve been waiting for.

Elements: Book 1 of the Tear of God series by Raymond Henri

Front cover for eBook and Softcover—available March 1st, 2016

Click here to pre-order the eBook for only $3.49 (Release day price of $4.49)

Blurb:

At age sixteen, Mink Jollè still hasn’t discovered his Elemental affinity, which is an identity crisis unheard of on the planet Georra. He has endured constant bullying while being held back in school, and his parents have come to employ drastic measures to help him mature. Their current ruse is a camping trip on Rift Ridge, where they test Mink to the breaking point, to no avail.

Meanwhile, Mink and his parents run across a Machinist scout searching out a mother lode of ore, who finds more than he bargains for. An immense geode buried deep in the ground is fabled to be the Tear of God, and the first nation to claim it will hold power and protection unrivaled on Georra.

The race is on as Mink’s parents stand guard at the Tear of God, sending Mink back to his homeland for help. Defying the odds and surprising himself, Mink succeeds in delivering the news to his people, and is chosen to assist a Team in returning to the site to relieve his parents and acquire the Tear of God for Octernal. Along the way, Mink is forced to rely on his strengths without an Element in order to win respect and ultimately discover his true identity.

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