When Stars Die’s New Home!

When Stars Die’s New Home!

It’s no secret that my last publisher, Gnome on Pig Productions, folded after being around for quite some time. I wish I could say I was surprised, but COVID has been doing a number on a lot of people, including the new place I work at and one or two of its branches. Lots of businesses are going under, or having to cutting costs by cutting people. I have heard that even the medical field hasn’t been safe from the damage wrought by COVID.

It’s been both an exciting and admittedly rough time. I have just started physical therapy school amid the pandemic, and this means many of my labs, which are generally in person, are now mostly virtual, and that is challenging as I wrap up my first week. As you can imagine, physical therapy is a very hands-on profession, and it’s just not possible to be a good clinician without putting your hands on someone.

When my publisher let all of us know what was going to happen, I had no idea what I was going to do. I had initially thought of doing self-publishing, but that was before I lost my last job, which paid so much better than this new one does. I would have been able to afford it then. Now I have to squirrel away money purely for PT school.

So I decided to pound the pavement again, but I really only had one publisher in mind because they publish speculative fiction, have bestsellers, have several imprints, and overall have an impressive catalogue of books (with fabulous covers to boot). They’ve been around for eight years and also do accept previously published books. I was pining for them at this point. So I submitted and only had to wait a couple of weeks. And as you can guess at this point, I got the contract!

It is with Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly Publishing (or CHBB Publishing). So I think my Stars Trilogy has finally found its forever home, and I look forward to seeing what Mrs. Sarah Brandon has in store for these books. I feel confident When Stars Die is in good hands and am so, so, so beyond grateful it is being given yet another chance to thrive. For a brief, dark moment, I considered giving up on it because maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. But then I thought about how I started working on the trilogy when I was fourteen, and nine years later, it was first published. How could I let all of that work go to waste? I couldn’t. So at this point, I am grateful and relieved.

And in even more exciting news, because I’m obsessed with beautiful cover art, it has been decided between me and my publisher that my trilogy should have new covers. I still love the current covers and think they are beautiful, but unfortunately Viola Estrella, who created the first two, is no longer doing cover art. This trilogy also truly needs a fresh start, so I thought that would be the best course of action. It’s not that I don’t think someone couldn’t make a third cover and have it line up with the style of the first two. It’s simply more exciting to start anew. That means cover reveals!

There is no release date yet, but once I get it, I will let you all know. For now, I will end with the blurb.

When Amelia finds out her younger brother is a witch, they must flee-or die. The city of Malva is rife with puritanical hatred for witches, who are said to embody the Seven Deadly Sins of mankind. Amelia’s only chance of saving Nathaniel, her brother, is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims, but doing so means enduring a series of trials: near-starvation, intense isolation, beatings, and blood-sucking leeches. Escalating these are shadowy beings only Amelia can see. After harming her best friend with fire, a witch’s signature, she worries they are after her because she is a witch like her brother, who reveals he, too, can see them.

Oliver Cromwell, a dashing priest at Cathedral Reims, confirms her fears. He tells Amelia that these beings are Shadowmen: dead, unredeemed witches seeking others like Amelia to join their ranks. When this group of rebel Shadowmen begin planning to destroy those who slaughtered them, Oliver is the only one who can protect Amelia and save Malva. Yet, he may prove more dangerous than the shadows themselves–and his love for Amelia fatal.

Cover Love: ‘Court of Savages’

Cover Love: ‘Court of Savages’


Every so often I’ve decided I’m going to do a post on a particular book cover I love during that moment. I can’t promise to commit entirely to it, which is why I’m not pinning down how often I’m going to do these. After all, I start physical therapy school next month, and I don’t know how demanding it’s going to be for me personally. So I may only be able to blog once a month.

In any case, as is obvious I’m going to be talking about Court of Savages(I recommend reading the blurb before reading the rest of this.) I thought of doing a book review, but I neither really read book reviews and am not that interested in writing them because it involves having to take notes to keep track of major plot points, and that’s not something I want to do when I’m reading a book. It’d kill the enjoyment for me.

But I will say I enjoyed Christy Sloat’s novel because it’s the sort of dark novel I enjoy where the main character definitely doesn’t get what she wants, and some might argue gets what she deserves.

In any case, let me pick apart what I love about this cover.

What initially drew me to this book was a blurb Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly Publishing posted on their Twitter page. And then that drew me to the book on Twitter, and the cover sucked me in from there.

What I love about this cover is its air of mystery. Just like the Gahana Royal Hotel, everything is kept a secret from London. It’s all hush-hush and essentially under wraps, and the cover portrays that perfectly. And the woman on the cover, I like to imagine, could be any of the female monsters that are in the book. She may even be snotty London  Stiles because London is no less monstrous than the beings inhabiting the hotel. The fact that you can’t even see her eyes indicates that the true intentions of everyone are meant to be hidden, including London’s. And even as you read the book, even right near the end, you aren’t sure of what London’s fate is going to be.

I love the placement of the woman. When I took a drawing class in college, I learned that subjects placed a little to the side create the most interesting portraits because the eye is used to latching on to an object and centering it. When a subject is not placed in the center, naturally it’s more interesting because the eye is forced to look at the rest of the piece while picking the subject apart.

And let’s talk about that color red. You can argue it’s sexy and alluring, but when you read the blurb, it takes on a more dangerous tone. Of course, there is plenty of sex to go around in this book, so yes, I think the color red is also supposed to be alluring, but deceptively so. London is obsessed with her looks. She’s obsessed with attractive men and getting them to find her attractive. But that red color is a warning, and paired with the woman’s hushing gesture, what readers are about to embark on is definitely not a tale for the faint of heart.

As for the flowers that tie this cover off so nicely, they can represent a variety of things. It’s hard for me to tell what types of flowers these are (maybe a rose or two?), but I think by this point I can safely say that these lovely flowers are meant to be beautifully deceptive since not all flowers are safe to be around. Every rose has its thorn and all that. And London’s character is definitely one you’d want to approach with caution.

(In case you can’t tell, I recommend the book itself.)