has been…quite a month. I have this vague recollection of coming home from my writing retreat bursting with ideas for Thoughtful posts and other website work. Super excited about classes and workshops and tea parties and T-shirts and all the many things I have going on over here.
Then…well, then the Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis for my 12-year-old son threw us all for a loop. We’re adjusting, and God is so good! But midnight blood sugar checks and insurance worries and so much thought going into meals and food, plus playing catch-up from all the work I fell behind on have taken their toll on me, LOL. So my big goals of having a fabulous post this Thursday have yet again resulted in it being Wednesday, and here I sit with no ideas. 😉
So…a cover reveal!! Those are always fun, right? I already shared this cover with subscribers to the WhiteFire Publishing newsletter (that’s the small press my husband and I run), but I wanted to share it with you guys too!
Jewel of Persia was my second published book, which released in January of 2011, so we’re coming up fast on its ten year anniversary. I deem that a fine time to refresh the cover. =) I’d had it on my list for quite a while, and I’d played around with different designs, but they all looked so much like the original that there was no point in changing, LOL. Then, on my birthday back in August, I decided that would be a great way to spend my day. 😉 So I decided on a new color scheme (cool colors instead of the warm tones of the orginal), used the same model photo, and got to work.
If you haven’t read Jewel of Persia, it’s my Esther story that’s not about Esther, LOL. You know me–I write historical fiction through the eyes of a fictional character, not the historical ones. 😉 In this case, I focus on Kasia, Esther’s childhood best friend who ends up a wife in Xerxes’ harem before Esther ever arrives there.
My research for this book combined the biblical account with Herodotus’s Histories, the ancient text about the Greco-Persian war. One thing I absolutely LOVED was how the war history fits perfectly into the biblical narrative–have you ever noticed that there are YEARS between the queen being deposed and new brides being brought in so a new queen will be named? I hadn’t! But that was when Xerxes was attacking Greece! And the very personality of this great king is consistent between the two accounts, proving they’re speaking about the same person. (That “I’ll grant you up to half my kingdom” promise was one Xerxes was rather famous for–he was constantly offering people cities if they pleased him, LOL.)
Jewel of Persia is actually one of my two bestselling books of all time, coming in right behind The Lost Heiress. I love that this book has reached so many readers, and I also love that I can now give it a fresh, updated look. =) But I also love that I still had the photos from the original shoot, so I could use the same model. That’s actually a funny story too.
So the girl was, at the time, a college student here from Lebanon, named Perla. My friend, critique partner, and fellow WhiteFire editor, Dina Sleiman has a lot of Lebanese connections due to her husband hailing from there, so when I said I needed a model of Middle Eastern descent for the cover, she said she’d ask around. Hilariously, that very weekend she was at a beach party and saw Perla, who she’d never met. So she thought it would be fun to introduce herself with, “Hey, would you like to be on a book cover?” Poor Perla ran away, terrified. LOL. But later she came back and asked what Dina meant, and a few weeks later, they arranged a photo shoot. I sewed the chiton she’s wearing, Dina added the beautiful striped scarf material, and we ended up with a slew of fabulous images.I love this one best, though, because of the movement in that scarf…
Here’s the original cover, which I still love:
And now, the new version! Same Perla shot, new background; I changed the color of her clothing, and I had to reshoot the bracelet–making my daughter model the actual bracelet that I have, courtesy of the amazing owner of the Greek Jewelry Shop, Aris. (A few months after he granted me permission to use this bracelet, his lions’-head torc designs actually found a home in the gift shop of the Louvre!!!! For the original cover, he let us use his photography, but then he actually sent me a sterling silver torc, made to my size!) New title font, bigger name to be more easily read in thumbnail…and voila! Ready??
And just for kicks, here are the two side by side. What do you think?
The new version will be available in both ebook and print in time for Christmas!
“Classic” cover editions are now on sale for 50% off!
I love the new cover! I didn’t know there was such a long span of time between Vashti’s exit and the call for more wives!