Archive for February, 2012

Final book cover of From the Darkness Risen Book II

Final book cover of From the Darkness Risen Book II
Posted by Jessica Jewett No Comments »

As you saw in an earlier blog, I was testing my book cover design on you all for my next novel, From the Darkness Risen Book II. I finished both the front cover and back cover tonight, so I wanted to share them with all of you. These are the final designs. The only thing that might change before publication is possibly the wording of the teaser on the back cover but I’m pretty happy with it for the moment. The spacing on the back cover might also look a little wonky right now too but that’s because I had to leave room at the bottom for the bar code added by the publisher. Here are the images and then a transcript of the back cover text below that. You can see bigger versions of the images by clicking on them as well. Let me know how you like everything.

Back cover text:

Escaping a Union military prison was the easy part for Robert and Isabelle Cavanaugh.

The continuation of From the Darkness Risen finds Robert a withdrawn and troubled man raising his children in the pressure of his mother-in-law’s Charleston home. The need for purpose and fulfilling his duty leads him to a recruiting position in the Confederate Army while his wife, Isabelle, endures a difficult pregnancy in a city strangled by the Union blockade. She grapples with the cracks exposed in her marriage, uncertain if her family will survive further Yankee invasion. The wedge between Isabelle and Robert grows when tragedy strikes their young family, followed by the unexpected arrival of her soldier brother, who brings the blackness of the war home with him. The repeated absences of her husband amid a city under siege and a family falling apart force her to rely on her faith to carry her through the ravages of heartbreak, secrets, and a country in ruins. When the dust settles, she must find a way to allow her husband back into her heart so altered and hardened by the independence that she never desired.

Meanwhile, a world away in divided Missouri, Eva Grimm is bored with her position as the new wife of a St. Louis University professor, Thaddeus Grimm. The monotony of a housewife’s simple existence without servants or the gayety of her former life as a Charleston socialite leaves Eva despondent until she receives a mysterious invitation to a Confederate safe house. There she discovers a ring of Confederate operatives seeking those to carry out dangerous assignments in mail smuggling, gathering intelligence, and planting bombs on steamers carrying Yankee supplies up and down the Mississippi River. Excitement fills Eva once again as she becomes more and more drawn into proving herself in the underground war effort, despite Thaddeus’ warning that he would leave her if she ever lied to him again. Her double life becomes a ticking time bomb even more with a Yankee officer, Benjamin Geary, resuming his obsessive pursuit of her. The fear of what Thaddeus will do if he discovers the truth pushes Eva to look beyond her own selfish desires but it may not be enough to stop her from fighting for her country.

About the Author

Born in February 1982 to Lori and Curt Jones in Denver, Colorado, Jessica Jewett showed an early talent for all things creative. Despite her rare disability, Arthrogryposis, Jessica taught herself to write with her mouth before she entered kindergarten. Her first poem was completed in 1988 at the age of six, and she began her first illustrated short story in 1990, followed by the start of her first novel in 1994. She has worked in journalism, freelance writing and constantly evolves as a novelist. Her artwork has been exhibited in a gallery showing throughout the Southeast. She has numerous hobbies in artistic, paranormal and historical fields, which are often the subject of her writing. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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98 years ago Joshua L Chamberlain died

98 years ago Joshua L Chamberlain died
Posted by Jessica Jewett 2 Comments »

On this day in 1914, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain died in Portland, Maine, at the age of 85. He had been very sick on and off for many years as a result of the wounds he suffered in the Civil War. For 50 years, he endured pain, infections, periodic incontinence and impotence but he always seemed to bounce back and continue on with his work. After the Civil War, he served four terms as the governor of Maine, he was an author and lecturer, he was a real estate investor, he was president of Bowdoin college, and he eventually ended his life as a surveyor in Portland. His life took a sharp decline after Fanny (me) died in 1905 and he ended up closing their home in Brunswick of 48 years to live in Portland where there were not so many reminders of her (me).

He died just after 9:30 in the morning, having been down with a cold for a while, and probably got urisepsis from his old wounds. His children were there with him when he died in the back bedroom of the simple white house on Ocean Avenue. The home is in private hands now but I drove by on my trip to Maine a few years ago to see where he left the world. I tend to look at the last years of his life as a historian with little emotion because I had taken my leave in 1905. He had a huge military funeral in Portland and then he was taken to Brunswick for another funeral and finally buried there in Pine Grove Cemetery.

History remembers him as the soldier who executed a bayonet charge on Little Round Top, was wounded six times in the Civil War, and had a number of horses shot out from under him in combat. I remember him as a complicated, tender and shy man who was deeply flawed but deeply spiritual, brave and intelligent too. The soldier was only a small part of his life but it impacted the rest of his life so much that it overshadowed everything else he did. For me, the biggest accomplishment was the way he held the family together even though we were often separated by geography or emotional discourse. No matter what trouble came our way, he never quit. He was a hands-on father as well, much more so than other men of his generation. He also understood women in ways that other men of his generation did not. Stubborn, prone to periodic jealousy and depression, intensely spiritual, highly intuitive, passionate, argumentative, messy and with a fertile mind, it’s really quite impossible to describe him in full form. He was just someone you had to know.

Even though I’m not living that life anymore, something deep inside still feels a void in not being with him in this lifetime. I miss his flirtatious humor and compassion the most. About four or five years before he died, a young lady was walking by the house and noticed him leaning on the front gate. They struck up a conversation and he told her about how he was looking for a new secretary but all the local help was hired out because of Bowdoin’s graduation season. She offered herself for the job and his eyes twinkled as he smiled and said, “Oh, could you?” It was then that she realized she had walked right into his charm and that was his plan all along. I like to tell that story because it shows that he could charm any lady into buying ketchup popsicles even if she was wearing white gloves. The young lady remained his secretary for a few years. As shy as he was in his early adulthood, he was very flirtatious and had quite a few female admirers, especially after the war. It was his humor, sincerity and clever mind that they loved. There was also something externally naive and innocent about him but there was a bit of a devil further inside too, which they all found wickedly attractive. I did too.

It’s difficult to be without him but it must be so for this lifetime. I have things I need to go through and learn that wouldn’t happen if he was here because I would depend on him too much. I’m learning, I’m growing, and one day I will see him again.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain before the Civil War.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain during the Civil War.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain at the end of his life.

The Chamberlain home in Brunswick, Maine.

The house where Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain lived at the end of his life. He died in a back bedroom.

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Do you like this From the Darkness Risen: Book II book cover design?

Do you like this From the Darkness Risen: Book II book cover design?
Posted by Jessica Jewett 5 Comments »

This book cover has been giving me fits for months. Today I jigsawed some things together that look halfway presentable and I need to know if this book cover would catch your interest if you were browsing for novels. I used an 1865 painting of a widow by a Russian artist with a modified painting of the 1865 Sultana disaster. Modified means my friend, Cindy, wiped out the word Sultana from the steamer for me because the Sultana is not actually featured in the story. A little transparency filter, a little text, bingo, bango, I have a book cover design. I’m an independent author, so I can’t afford a cover designer, nor do I have time to wait for someone else to do it (call me a control freak if you must). Here’s a summary of the novel to help you.

Book II finds the Cavanaugh family and the Grimm family living in separate not only separate states but separate countries amidst the ever darkening American Civil War. Having physically recovered from his escape from a Union prison, Robert Cavanaugh is a withdrawn and troubled man raising his children in his mother-in-law’s Charleston home. The need for purpose and fulfilling his duty sends Robert to a recruiting position in the Confederate Army while his wife, Isabelle, endures a difficult pregnancy in a city quickly becoming strangled by the Union blockade. She grapples with the cracks exposed in her marriage, uncertain if her family will survive further Yankee invasion. The wedge between Isabelle and Robert grows when tragedy strikes their young family, followed by the unexpected arrival of her brother, who brings the blackness of the war home with him. Will their faith carry them through to the end of the war? Will their marriage survive the ravages of heartbreak, secrets, and a country in ruins?

Meanwhile, a world away in divided Missouri, Eva Grimm is bored with her position as the new wife of a St. Louis University professor. The monotony of a housewife’s simple existence without servants and the gayety of her former life as a Charleston socialite leaves Eva despondent until she receives a mysterious invitation to a Confederate safe house. There she discovers a ring of Confederate operatives looking for recruits upon the recommendation of none other than Drusella Sappington. Excitement and duty to her country fills Eva once more as she becomes more and more drawn into the underground war effort along the Mississippi River. The only problem is her quiet scholarly husband. Thaddeus swore he would divorce her if she ever lied to him again. As Eva finds herself leading more and more of a double life with more dangerous assignments such as planting Greek fire bombs on river steamers carrying Union supplies, she knows her secrets are a ticking timebomb. Thaddeus pressures her to have a baby but she doubts her capacity for motherhood. And as Benjamin Geary resumes his obsession with Eva, she becomes more convinced than ever that he would harm her child if she became pregnant. What will Thaddeus do if he discovers the truth about his Southern wife? Will Benjamin finally succeed at hurting Eva if he realizes he can’t have her? Will the pro-Union government in Missouri discover the Confederate operatives living right under their noses?

Okay, so that’s basically the direction of Book II. Now take a look at this cover and tell me what you think. Does anything need to be shifted? Does the title color pop? Does it need anything else? Thanks!

UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!! With an obnoxious number of explanation points.

I received several suggestions concerning the proposed book cover and I made some changes. The title has been rearranged as well as the slight color change and the change in font to “Book II” and “Jessica Jewett” because they weren’t clear enough. Additionally, I adjusted the colors on the paintings to make them fit better. The steamer has been moved up a little bit to improve the proportional flow of the cover, making it easier on the eye to see the steamer shape. Muting the fire’s intensity seems to have made it better on the eye as well. I also gave a little more color to the lady because the fire had, in my opinion, washed her out in my opinion. She has to look like she’s being consumed by the fire.

Do you like this version better? Please let me know.

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