Some say it’s not really a book until it has a cover, but I don’t believe that’s true. It’s a book the moment it springs from a writer’s crazy thought process. It’s a book as they surge through the first draft, lumber around the second, trudge into the third and agonize over the fourth. Still, there is something definitive about a cover. It marks a birth, a coming of age. Even if the book isn’t finished, a beautiful cover is a milestone for any story.
I have three books currently in the works. Two have covers already, so yay! One, I’m just now wrapping the first draft. Its cover will be a beach house, a garden, and a ghost cat, but not for a while. Let me tell you about it anyway.
The Seaville Ghost Cat, first in a new series tentatively called the Tenth Life Cozy Mysteries.
Septuagenarian Camelia Collins has finally fulfilled her lifelong dream of moving to the coast, but when she learns her perfect little home is a murder house, that dream becomes a nightmare. Three years ago, reclusive businessman Jonathan Chambers was brutally killed on the stoop. The killer is still at large, the trail gone cold until Camelia discovers the victim’s flash drive in her fireplace hearth. This new evidence has nothing to do with her, and the police assure her she’s safe, but she learns differently from another, stranger source.
In Camelia’s back garden is a gravestone etched with the words, “Beloved Soji, Into Your Tenth Life.” The legend of the ghost cat is infamous in Seaville, but what few know is that Soji is real. Born the seventh kitten of a seventh kitten over a century ago, Soji returns, determined to solve the mystery. Will she be in time, or has she set herself up for death twice over?
I’m still working on the blurb, but you get the idea.
Then there’s Cat Winter, Book Two of the Cat Seasons Sci-fantasy Tetralogy. Cat Winter is now in the final stages of editing. It has a cover, beautifully designed by Roslyn McFarland! There will be an official cover reveal soon, so stay tuned.
This branch of the Cat Seasons tree takes a new clowder of cats on the adventure of a lifetime, or of nine lifetimes, if you happen to be a cat. Here is the official back-cover blurb:
Nine were chosen.
The task? Slip beyond time and help put right humanity’s wrongs.
Slayter, the obsidian feline, is one of the selected few.
But something has gone wrong. Humans are dying in mysterious ways that should not be possible in time-stall. In the dark matter of space, a powerful anomaly has come into being. It’s single purpose, to devour the cosmos.
Magical transformations, daring rescues, a journey through time and space. Will Slayter and his companions succeed in defeating the malevolence before the universe is gone forever?
And then there is the next installment of the Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery Series (#7), Cat Conundrum. Its cover incorporates yet another original painting by cat artist Leslie Cobb.
A locked room. A dead man. The cat is the only witness, and he isn’t talking.
A series of locked-room murders in sleepy little Long Beach, Washington has Sheriff Boulder running in circles. As to the killer, he has no idea who, how, or why. He calls in the aid of his friend, animal cop Denny Paris, and sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon comes along for the ride. The officers investigate one line of inquiry, while Lynley and her buddy Frannie take a different approach. The only clues are a cat found at the murder scene and a rich man’s missing wife, but thread by thread, they unravel a scheme more insidious than a novel by Agatha Christie.
Cat Conundrum is also with the editor for its touch up and polish. Traditionally I’ve launched the books in this series at Another Read Through bookstore, but not this year. Even before Covid cancelled the world as we know it, ART had to give up their physical location on Mississippi Avenue. So who knows? Maybe a virtual launch. Maybe a pop-up. But there’s lots of work to be done before then.
Is your curiosity peaked? Do you have any thoughts about a launch party? Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted every step of the way. After all, without you, I wouldn’t need to make and covers at all, and what fun would that be?
Catch up on Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mysteries with #6, Cosmic Cat:
When a superhero cosplayer falls to his death at a comic con, Lynley is left holding the bag— and a cat!
Read Book One of the Cat Seasons Sci-Fantasy Tetralogy, Cat Summer:
Sentient cats save the world from an evil older than history—twice!