Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Oh, What a Knight! Day 9 and Cover Story for FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS

Today I'm answering questions. MPax over at Wistful Nebula asks me three questions, including what my book would look like as a candy bar. And fellow MuseItUp Author Heather Greenis, at Heather's Blog asks who I want in my cast, and what part do I want to play? Swing by  and see!

Now, it's time to talk covers. I'm hosting Melissa Petreshock, author of FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS here and she's hosting me over at Dragon Blog. Stop in and see the description I sent Charlotte Volnek to get the necklace on the cover of DIFFERENT KIND OF KNIGHT.

Melissa graciously offered to answer my questions about how her cover came about.

Melissa, I know the cover process varies from house to house, so how did the process work for your cover?

When I first signed on with Swoon Romance, one of the things I had to fill out regarding my book had some questions about cover art such as how I imagined my cover, how I wanted it to look. 

Honestly, I could tell people all about what I did NOT want it to look like, but had very little idea the way I thought it SHOULD look. I basically said I know nothing about graphic design and was sure they’d come up with something mind-blowing. My publisher Georgia McBride (Swoon Romance) did all the work behind the scenes with my CA Rachel. I heard nothing, not a peep until Georgia emailed me the first proofs to look at, and from there it became a discussion of where to go in the way of changes needed to tweak things. Rachel truly had the concept from the first few proofs I saw.

What did Rachel do to become familiar with your story? Did she read your novel or a synopsis?

As far as I know, Rachel worked off the summary Georgia gave her. From speaking further with Rachel on another project she’s been helping me with, some website redesign, I gather she has not read the book in full. She was very open to feedback from Georgia and me on anything we felt needed changed or weren’t 100% satisfied with.

Every Cover Artist (CA) I've worked with has asked me for covers I like and why. What are some of your favorite covers and why?

When Swoon had me fill out the form about covers, I immediately thought of three series with totally different styles of covers which all strike me for different reasons. The BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD has great smoldering sexy covers. Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels are all quirky and off-beat, which suits the humor mixed into the drama and romance of the books. I also LOVE the covers of the TWILIGHT series. They have great sleek covers with such minimalistic design, very focused. Mind you, these are opinions on cover art, not the books. ;-) [Those are some great covers! If you aren't familiar with them, follow the link and see what you think! I had to look up Black Dagger Brotherhood as I wasn't familiar with that, and from the covers alone I will probably be adding them to my TBR.]

I think one of the biggest fears and author has is getting a cover they hate. If you hadn't liked yours, would they have been able to scrap it and start again?

Absolutely. Georgia would never make me suffer with a book cover I hated. She’s wonderful to all her authors and ensures we’re happy (usually ecstatic) over our cover art. Perhaps if I had more of a vision to begin with I would have been involved from an earlier point, but I really had no idea where I wanted to go or where to begin, so I was quite happy proofs just popped up in my email one day. Relieved would probably be the best word. Excited and relieved! In the back of my mind, I had a small fear I would receive an email asking me about beginning the cover art design, leading to me sitting in front of my laptop for two hours with no idea how to respond. This was FAR better!

How soon into the design did you see the cover?

I don’t actually know. I’m not sure how long Rachel had been working on it before I received the first proofs. Swoon’s practice of having authors fill out paperwork regarding cover art when we sign on with them means they can start on the cover art anytime, and we may not realize it. When I saw the proofs, they were very close to the final version of the cover. Georgia and I had to make a couple decisions that affected the placement/size of the fire dragon, title treatment, and some variations in the color of the starry sky in the background. From the point I saw the first proofs, I felt involved in the process and was kept in the loop by Georgia. There were probably more than a couple “eeks” and squeals exchanged via email as we became more excited with it coming together.

Your cover has a lovely girl on it. Did you help pick her out?

No. I knew nothing about having anyone, male or female, on the cover until I saw her, but I was amazed by how perfectly she suits Cait. There’s something in the way she’s positioned and the look in her eyes clearly saying she’s not naïve and that there’s more to her than someone might assume. Cait has her ups and downs, but she’s not a fragile little girl.

Whose idea was the dragon of fire? [LOVE that, BTW!]

Rachel Morgan of Morgan Media deserves the credit for leaving me (and Georgia) saying “wow” and “OMG” over and over while staring at the FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS cover in disbelief. It is just stunningly gorgeous and more than I could have ever imagined on my own. I am so in love with it and hope readers will be too.

So, do you want to see this amazing cover? Of course you do!

Here it is!!!

Following the death of her vampire uncle, twenty-one-year-old CAITRIONA HAYDEN finds herself in the midst of a trio of quintessential alpha male suitors in 22nd century sovereign America where human females should be seen and not heard.

Theo Pendragon claims her as his ward, ordained to guard her through to a long-awaited destiny unbeknownst to Cait, but finds more than he expected when passion ignites within the dragon for the first time. Always drawn to the pursuit of knowledge rather than the heat of desire, powerful demigod Dante cannot deny everything his future holds in Caitriona. America's monarch, ancient vampire Corrin, has no interest in the frivolity of love, yet marrying Cait could be the answer to his continued survival.

Soon, Cait goes from studying for college exams to choosing a husband in seven days, knowing the consequences are eternal, the love undying, and the bond timeless.

FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS is a New Adult Fantasy Romance set in a world filled with shapeshifting dragons, a powerful demigod, an ancient vampire monarch, and a sassy human chick keeping them all on their alpha male toes.

Releasing April 29, 2014 from Swoon Romance in e-first format, but you can pre-order beginning February 28, 2014 (YAY!!!)

About the Author:

Melissa A. Petreshock is a full-time writer and member of the Romance Writers of America with past experience in the medical and educational fields, though she has primarily devoted her adult life to raising a family. Born and raised in Kentucky, Melissa spent a number of years in Massachusetts, living outside Boston and in Springfield before returning to her home state where she now resides on a small farm. She enjoys quiet married life and the silliness of her three children, indulging hobbies of music, Zumba, and a minor television addiction in what little free time she finds. Melissa’s interests include causes demanding social change such as mental health awareness and teen suicide prevention. FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS is her debut NA Fantasy Romance novel.

Finding Melissa A. Petreshock Online:

Melissa’s Publisher Online:


  1. Beautiful cover! Congrats, Melissa.

    1. Isn't it just gorgeous? And from what I know of the book, it fits perfectly.

  2. Nom nom on the Different Knight chocolate bar. :D It was a pleasure to help you spread the word of your new book, Mary.

    Melissa, that is a beautiful cover. All success to you... and to Mary :)

    1. Thanks, Mary!

      And yes, I keep swooning over Melissa's cover. I can't wait for the book to release so I can swoon over that, too!


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