Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Choosing a Cover?

With the contract signed I'm ready to move into the exciting world of cover art and I'm having way too much fun. Look at all these great images. It's clear to me that I need some help from my dearly devoted friends, fans and family.

Which image would you like to see selected for the cover of Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire? Keep in mind this is still part of the The Temple of Indra Series, but it has more of a mystery/thriller vibe to it as opposed to the adventure .

As a librarian, Sophia Marcil loves reading, especially books about ancient curses and reincarnation, but she never imagined the legend of the Purple Delhi Sapphire was true until she inherited it and was transported back to a past life where she was murdered. Now she knows that not only is reincarnation real, but so is the devil’s magic locked inside the precious gem. Just as she’s about to tell her boyfriend Cullen about it, he proposes with an engagement ring made from a piece of the very sapphire that’s cursed her. Reeling from the shock and surrounded by his family, she allows him to place it on her ring finger. As soon as it touches her skin, she feels herself being wrenched back in time.

Before she knows it, she’s wandering the hallway of an old Victorian house in the body of her great aunt. Unfortunately, her nemesis has also reincarnated in 1920—as one of her family members. Sophia struggles to locate the Purple Delhi Sapphire in time to prevent the deaths of those she loves, but she fails and returns to her present-day life, to the precise moment she left, with a deep understanding that her killer’s soul is also tied to the sapphire and every life she has, he is resurrected as someone close to her. Her stalker ex-boyfriend Nick seems like a prime candidate this time but she’s convinced she’s a step ahead of him, thanks to a tip from a medium, she knows that if she uses the magic of the stone correctly she can trap Nick’s soul in the sapphire and save herself. But when Nick is murdered, she finds evidence that has her questioning everything she thought she knew. Is Cullen husband material or is history doomed to repeat itself?


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Sequence of Extraordinary Events

As I sit at my desk watching the steam roll off my coffee, I take in the dark wood paneling, old books and brick fireplace that make up my study. Something about this space reminds me of that Victorian steampunk film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. You know the one, set in the late 19th century featuring an assortment of fictional literary characters appropriate to the period. Maybe I love it because it's filled with Victorian Era superheroes or maybe because it draws on the works of some of the greats: Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mark Twain—just to name a few—or maybe I just really love it because of the kick-ass library. I truly am an atmospheric person. Architecture, decor and everything old, these are the keys to my creative spark. My husband promises to build floor to ceiling library shelves complete with a rolling rack. But even just as it is, this room is too beautiful and too inspirational not to write in and I really need to write. My soul has been aching for the past week to create something fresh but there is just too much excitement going on in my life and I feel like I must share it before I can relax and allow book three to flow once again. So here it is—so many big changes.

Mid-August we made up our mind to move. We quickly found our dream home, a massive Second Empire Victorian Home, built in the late 1800's. This house comprised of three floors still has original doors, hardwood flooring, large baseboard trim and 12 foot ceilings with intricate crown moldings. The Parlour, Dining Room and Study are three of my favorite spaces but the best and my absolute favourite has to be the third floor which formerly held the servant’s quarters. I've included some pictures below. This space with its aged wood and arched dormers is something out of Flowers in the Attic, and has proven to be a complete treasure trove: pirate chests, heavy velvet pink drapes, old doors, shutters, windows, trim, and stoves. It's a DIY addicts dream—but I digress. Back to the story, so we bought our Addams Family styled Mini Mansion and sold the home we'd loved for four years--all in a matter of weeks. It was all so sudden and yet it wasn’t. We'd been debating the move all summer but we'd allowed for some feet dragging. My black and white movie star dressing room and our backyard lagoon styled oasis were just too perfect to give up while there was still a sliver of summer left but as September approached we knew the time had come to cut the cord. My son needed to start school and I wasn't switching him mid-way. The guilt, a gripping dark monster that lived in the pit of my stomach, was bad enough knowing we were ripping him away from the friends he'd grown up with, but this house was to magical a place to let slip and we all agreed, including him that we were ready for new adventures. It was time for the Stapleton's to branch out; we were hitting up the wilds of Norwood in our monstrous mini mansion.

Now this move was part of a strategic plan to continue writing. September had always been my deadline. Either I would go back to work and let my soul slowly perish or I would get Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, the second book in my Temple of Indra series picked up thereby allowing me to continue my dream to write and travel.

Enter September 9th—just another Twitter Pitchparty—I think not. This would be a life changing day. I tweeted my pitch twice an hour from 8am-8pm just as Brenda Drake outlined in the rules and I had much success. I got seven favourites from a combination of agents and publishers. The next day I emailed off my queries, partials and fulls as requested. And I went on with my week, painting, filling the new wardrobes I'd purchased from an antique shop down the road, volunteering in my son’s school. Then Friday morning something extraordinary happened. I was in the kitchen, brewing a coffee and contemplating my egg whites, having just returned from dropping my son off at school, when I checked my phone and low and behold there was an email from one of the Publishers I'd just submitted to two days ago.

"Rachael, I've had a chance to review Curse of the Purple Sapphire, and find it extremely compelling and well written. I've attached a contract for you to review and sign. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask."

My heart skipped a beat, I let out a squeal. Was this for real?

Stay Tuned for my next post...decisions, decisions. What’s a girl to do?