Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making a Book Trailer

Swag Bag Giveaway
The winner of the Swag Bag is llamannerdymom.
Please contact me at
If I don't hear from you within 3 days, I'll choose another winner.
Thanks to everyone who left comments!

Having failed in my last attempt to make an exciting book trailer myself, I learned a lot for my next try, with Deliverance: Mortal Path Book 3. Why even consider making a trailer myself? The type of trailer I wanted wasn't the still photo with text overlay that was the least expensive type. The kind I wanted was full of action and music. It would cost up to $3,000, and I would have limited opportunity to make adjustments to it. I like tinkering with things myself, getting everything just the way I want, without having to worry about whether I'm on my third change or my thirtieth. That plus the cash outlay convinced me to try my hand again.

Last time, I made a video with my own video camera and narrated it myself. The lighting was poor, the filming was jittery, I can't believe my voice sounded like that, the script was lame, and there was no action. (If you want to see this trailer, click here--and brace yourself.) I don't display this one on my website - I'm not sure if I ever did.

One of the first things a professional trailer production company wants from the author is a working script. Another reason I hesitated to go to the pros was that I didn't have a script and couldn't seem to come up with one. I seemed to be writing one almost as dialogue between two characters - focused and limited in its representation of the Big Picture. I finally threw out all my drafts of that script and wrote a new one in five minutes. It dealt with concepts rather than details. Shazam! Pictures began forming in my head for the visuals to go with the words. To see how high-level this script is, here is the one that freed me:

Sumerian demons survive to this day
causing chaos, destruction, and death
with the help of Immortal human assassins.
Maliha was an Immortal assassin
until she defied her demon
and became a rogue with a new agenda ...
balancing lives she’s taken with lives saved.
Immortal Jake is Maliha’s true love
or is he?
Maliha’s mortal friend and partner
is kidnapped.
Maliha must watch him die
or accept a sinister new master.
She’s damned if she does ...
and damned if she doesn’t.
Is there a way out for her?

Notice that it's broken into short lines that are easy to read and dramatic when presented one per "page" of the trailer. This is the first step in making a quality trailer yourself. Each of these lines suggested an image to me (except lines 2 & 3, which go together with the same image). I looked for places to purchase still images, video clips, and music, and ended up using, which in my opinion has the best selection. (Others are and, plus many more.) These are media that you purchase a Standard license to use, and don't have to pay any royalties per use.

I used Windows Live Movie Maker, a program that came with Windows 7 and is available as Windows Movie Maker in earlier versions of Windows. You might want to play around with it by using some family photos and text overlays just to get the hang of it. You'll end up with a nice movie you can share, too.

When you select images or video clips that go with your script, you can initially download a "comp" - complimentary - version with a watermark that can be put into place in your trailer to see how you like it before you pay for it. This is very useful! I ended up building my entire trailer, including the music, from comps so I could see how it flowed before buying any of the media. There finally comes a time when you have to lay down your bucks, though, because the watermarks are a dead giveaway that you're using unlicensed media. Before distribution, then, pay for everything and substitute the real stuff in your movie.

In my case, I used Photoshop to crop some of the images, but there are a lot of image processors for simple editing, like Picasa, that will do the job for free. You may end up buying a video clip that runs for a minute and only want to use 20 seconds of it. You can do that kind of editing right in Windows Movie Maker, which allows you to specify how long each image or clip stays visible on the screen.

Ah, music! Wonderful, talented people write original scores (with symphonic performances, no less!) just for movie trailers and I found a perfect match for mine. I ended up buying two trailer productions, one for the main part of my movie and one for the section at the end that I use to display quotes I've obtained for the book. I'm really fussy about music and I found that the variations in volume from one part of my purchased music to another didn't sit right. I used a program called MP3Gain Pro to automatically even out the volume level without losing too much off the top or bottom. The results were terrific, but as I said, I am fussy and you can get along without this step.

Total cost: about $400. Plus some time finding the right images and sound, and learning to use Movie Maker. It was a rewarding project for me and I know I'll confidently tackle making the trailers for my books from now on! And here it is:

Do you make video clips of your own and upload them to YouTube? If so, post your link below! How do you think the trailer turned out? Leave a comment and you'll be entered in a giveaway of my Swag Bag: a tote bag, signed copies of Dark Time and Sacrifice, bookmarks, pens, and magnets. If you want me to be able to contact you if you are the winner, include your email in a disguised way. Otherwise, you'll have to come back and check the top of this post to see if you've won after the deadline. The giveaway ends at midnight CST on February 1st. All my giveaways are international.

Easy Tweet: On @superntrlUnderg Blog: @dakotabanks talks about making a trailer for Deliverance; enter to win a Swag Bag!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fun Times In Dallas!

Congratulations to Amy of Virginia who won the signed copy of Forbidden Nights with a Vampire! Thank you all for the comments! Please come back next month on the 25th for my next giveaway! Happy reading!

This last Sunday, I had the pleasure of being invited to the American Library Association's midwinter meeting at the Dallas Convention Center. Not only did I get to meet wonderful librarians from all over the country, but I met lots of readers, too. The highlight of the event (at least for me!) was the booksigning at the HarperCollins booth where a looooong line of readers and librarians received an advanced copy of Phineas' book. Yes, they received Wanted: Undead or Alive two months early!

I'd like to thank HarperCollins for printing all those advanced copies and giving them away. How cool is that? I'd also like to thank all the fabulous people who came to the signing. They drove from all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Some drove four hours so they could get their hands on Phineas. I'm including some of their photos here. Thank you!!

The secret is out. Phineas is falling for that sassy werewolf, Brynley! Unfortunately, I don't have any advanced copies of Phineas' book to give away. So today, I will give away a signed copy of Forbidden Nights with a Vampire which stars another vampire/werewolf couple, Phil and Vanda! Just leave a comment about your favorite Love at Stake couple for a chance to win. International entries are welcome. Good luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Some inspiration for worldbuilding

First, good news - there's going to be a brand new gadda story seeing print. The Black Star Killer will be published in Damnation and Dames, a paranormal noir anthology from Australian publisher Ticonderoga Press that will be out later this year. The Black Star Killer uses the gadda that I invented for my novels, but instead of being set in the modern age it's set in Chicago in the 1920s. Great fun.

I've just returned from seventeen days in beautiful New Zealand. The differences between NZ and Australia are huge - the colour, for starters. NZ is green. This is a wonder to us in shades of brown Oz.

We did a bit of touring around and saw some remarkable sights and I thought I'd share them with you.

This is Rainbow Falls, near Kerikeri. Right by the side of the road, just walk a few metres and you're seeing the power and majesty of nature at its finest.

This is Tane Mahuta - Lord of the Forest. The largest kauri in NZ (50 metres high, 18 metres in girth) and thought to be around 2000 years old. It's so big, there's an entire separate environment of plants and animals living in the canopy. One of the most magnificent things I've ever seen.

Some of the forest near Tane Mahuta - just stunning.

The amazing bark of a kauri tree - I just loved the patterns and has different it looked to regular bark.

And this is the inside of a toilet! The entire thing is done up with these tiles, with all sorts of strange mosaics and artefacts within. Very weird.

I hope one of these pictures inspires you and if not, that you've enjoyed some of the natural (and not-so-natural) wonders of New Zealand.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Upside of Darkness

I’ve faced the same demon for the last six years. I call it ‘Future Earth.’ This is a post apocalyptic dystopia, one I’ve created for the Q E series. It’s not an easy place to be. Writing it, at times, made me ill. But there is a powerful upside to darkness. It can expand the mind.

My worlds clash and the contrast is part of the enlightenment.

Future Earth is a technological hegemony where geo-engineering has failed, most known species of flora and fauna are extinct, women are denigrated and the only currency is drinking water. Not a nice place for my main characters, Kali and Nell, to grow up.

But adjacent to this is Gaela, a pre-industrial, agrarian based, magical hegemony where genders are equal and all life revered. It’s through these contrasting worlds I explore issues of gender, race, aggression, social constructs and environment. Also sentience, and love. Lots of love, even in those very dark places.

On future Earth all but human kind is considered an it. Object. Expendable. On Gaela, everything—people, animal, rock, tree, river, storm—is a thou. As Joseph Campbell said, our whole psychology changes when we see the world as a thou.

How? It turns out the brain can’t tell the difference between a dream, a memory, a fantasy or ‘reality’. If we are emotionally engaged with the story—seeing it unfold through the eyes of the main characters, frightened when they are in danger and uplifted when they fall in love—it’s the same, to the brain, as if the events were really happening to us.

This is the magic of speculative fiction. It takes us to a place where the question what if . . . becomes true. By going there in the mind, new neural pathways form, connecting us to the experience of things like gender equality and reverence for all life. From the contrasting worlds, readers may gain a deeper understanding of themselves and where life as thou can lead. From that point a different future becomes possible because we have, for a moment in time, lived it.

How about you? What dark stories have shown you the light? I’d love to hear about them. Comments welcome.

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing epic science fantasy novels set in the worlds of Earth and Gaela. Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. You can find out more about her at or her daily blog The 11th House. She posts here on the 16th of every month.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Maybe I'm NOT Old....

Last night, I had a lovely date night with my husband. Dinner at PF Changs, browsing the Apple store, stopping by Starbucks, and coming back to a kid-free house and peace and quiet. Okay, so there was a moment of worry when, while waiting to be called for our reservations, three really rowdy toddlers threatened our evening. But, they were nowhere near our table and it ended up really nice.

It made me wonder about the things we did as teens and younger kids that we don't really do much as adults. Good things. Things that shouldn't be forgotten -- like dating. I can't tell you the last time I've ridden a bicycle that wasn't stationary in a gym or roller skated around a cul de sac. Or even playing with my hair and make up in the mirror to try new things! I used to do that alot. Now, it seems I've had the same make up style since I was sixteen. Luckily, it's never been a trendy sort of art style for me. Okay, so I haven't given up video games in my old'er' age, but wow, there are so many things I haven't allowed myself to do since I got married and had children.

So this year, I'm going to try a few. Maybe borrow my kid's bike to try it out. Maybe actually ice skate with the family instead of sit on the sidelines and take pictures. Any other ideas for things I can try out? Anything you used to do that maybe you're not really too old for now and just told yourself it wasn't mature?

Let's get younger this year!!!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

This is just filler to push the poem down.
The lawn is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return
Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,
The sad intangible who grieve and yearn....

                                                    --T.S. ELIOT

I've always loved a good ghost story.  Put me in a spooky old house full of creaks and moans, thunder and lightning crashing, a mystery, a tragedy, or a love story, and I'm in heaven, which is why I cannot WAIT to see this upcoming movie, A WOMAN IN BLACK:

(Yes, it's Harry Potter all grown up, but more importantly, it's a good, old-fashioned ghost story!)

As a storyteller myself, I couldn't resist trying a hand at a few ghost stories of my own, and one is about to be released as in ebook form:


A missing bridesmaid, some embarrassing relatives, and a "girls night out" gone bad land Nicki Styx in the middle of a murder mystery. Can she expose the killer, put a poor girl's soul to rest, and still look calm, cool and collected while wearing the ugliest bridesmaid dress on earth?

GHOULS NIGHT OUT was originally published as part of the Avon anthology, WEDDINGS FROM HELL, but as of January 17th, it can be downloaded as a stand-alone e-book for only $1.99!

(I absolutely love this new cover, btw.)


Let me warn you, GHOULS NIGHT OUT is a modern-day ghost story - it has no creaky old house and no thunder and lightning, but holds plenty of scares, spookiness, and more than just a bit of dark humor.

If you'd like to read an excerpt, you can do it HERE. And if, by chance, you feel a cool breeze on the back of your neck while you're reading it, don't be scared... maybe ghosts like to read, too!

Do you think ghosts exist?  What would you do if you saw one?  (Personally, I'd run as fast as my legs could carry me, because I'm a HUGE chicken!)  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cover Reveal and Giveaway



Amy Valentini



Happy New Year, everyone!

Have you made your resolutions? Or, at least taken a deep breath and resolved to make 2012 a good year? Good. Me, too! And boy, oh, boy, I'm starting it off running. I have three books coming out between now and the end of May and a fourth due in March. The holidays over, I flipped over the calendar, I'm still blinking at it, a little stunned.

The books coming out this winter/spring? (I have covers to reveal, one of which I just received minutes ago!)

A WARRIOR'S DESIRE (Release date Jan. 24th)
This is book 3 in the Esri series for Harlequin Nocturne that began with my publishing debut, THE DARK GATE and continued with DARK DECEIVER. I'm so excited that these last two books are finally hitting shelves! And if you have an ereader, they're very affordable. Just $3.82.
From the back cover:

Former navy SEAL Charlie Rand embarks on the most dangerous mission of his career when he dives through a portal to rescue the only person who knows how to seal the gates between the Esri faery land and the world. But meeting up with his guide and companion through the adventure, the beautiful Tarrys, turns out to be his true revelation. As the pair traverses the dangerous plains, the Forest of Nightmares and the crystal mines of Esria, they’re pursued by beings who seek to kill Charlie and enslave Tarrys. But the greatest danger of all becomes the love that grows between the couple, a love that threatens to doom their mission to save humanity.

WARRIOR RISING (Release date Mar. 20th)
This is book 4, and the exciting, action-packed conclusion to the Esri series.
I don't have the back cover copy for this one yet, but here's a brief blurb:

Enemies turn into lovers as Harrison Rand and the Esri princess, Ilaria, fight to keep the evil King Rith from destroying both worlds in this pulse-pounding conclusion to the Esri series.

A BLOOD SEDUCTION (Release date May 29th)
The Vamp City series will be a five-book continuing-character urban fantasy/romance.
From the back cover:

Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city's magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal who knows nothing of the power she wields. Quinn Lennox is searching for a missing friend when she stumbles into a dark otherworld that only she can see--and finds herself at the mercy of Arturo Mazza, a dangerously handsome vampire whose wicked kiss will save her, enslave her, bewitch her, and betray her. What Arturo can't do is forget about her--any more than Quinn can control her own feelings for him. Neither one can let desire get in the way of their mission--his to save his people, hers to save herself. But there is no escape from desire in a city built for seduction, where passion flows hot and blood-red. Welcome to Vamp City...

So what am I giving away? A signed copy of A WARRIOR'S DESIRE to each of three commenters! (Yes, I've already received my author's copies, so I can put them in the mail this weekend.) Just weigh in on your cover preference. In general, do you prefer covers with just the hero, just the heroine, or the hero and heroine both? (I've got all three covered here, so there is no wrong answer!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dance Like No One is Watching...

Hey all and Happy MONDAY!!!

I'm deep in deadline doo doo so this is going to be short and sweet. I trust you all made it through the holidays and if you're like me, kind of happy that um, they're over?  My kids are finally heading back to school today so in a way, my year is starting NOW.

Now, I'm not really the one to make New Year's resolutions.  Not really. I feel in a way it's like setting yourself up to fall.  But I do believe in setting goals.  Having something to aspire to.  This year my goal is to...Dance like there's no one watching.

I am living this year for myself with no inhibitions, no boundaries and no self remorse. I want to be fierce in my life, my writing and my mind set. This is a lovely video I found courtesy of Megan Hart and  I WANT TO BE HER!

How freeing it must be to live your life with this attitude, no?

So what about you all?  Can you dance like there's no one watching?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

8 for 8 - The Night Huntress Series

While loitering on Twitter last week I came across a conversation between a few of my Twitter buddies. They were cyber drooling over a series they’d all recently read.  Like any other book hungry reader, the sight of cyber drool over a story made me jump right in and hijack on the conversation.  I just had to know what books had caused such bodice busting heavy breathing.  And to my utter delight, I discovered the books in question where none other than the Night Huntress series by our very own Jeaniene Frost.  I hadn’t read any of the Night Huntress novels, so I hot footed it right over to Amazon and bought myself the first book in the series, Halfway to the Grave.  Two days and one happy dance later, I was snuggled up in my bed turning the pages of a lusciously good paranormal romance. 
So for my 8 for 8 this month, I’m going to give you eight things about this book that I loved.

1. The cover. Green is an underused color in books and it stands out so well against the black and gray. Cat looks amazing.
2. Cat. She’s a fab MC. She’s had a lot to deal with in her life, but doesn’t have a case of the poor me’s, even with a mother who despite being loving, is a walking example of how not to rear your child.
3. Bones. Oh dear lord, pass the smelling salts, I’m feeling faint. He’s a kick butt, heavy handed, completely ruthless stud muffin who just so happens to have the sweetest of human natures hidden away behind his gorgeous inhuman body. NOM NOM.
4. The World. Jeaniene Frost gives us a world within a world.  She’s built a paranormal existence and superimposed it onto our reality. Like in the worlds of True Blood, Angel, and Vampire Academy, these creatures move among us in a hauntingly believable fashion.
5. Style. The writing is simply constructed and reads so easily. It flows perfectly, urging the reader to read another page...ah go on another, another.
6. Passion.  I’ve been reading YA books almost exclusively for the last year. This is the first paranormal romance for adults I’ve read and oh my goodness, what a relief it is to see some action. And by action, I mean steaming up the glasses, heart pounding stuff. Bones and Cat are electric. There sexual attraction sizzles on the page.
7. Cat’s grumpy, unforgiving, and highly judgement grandparents.  They only have a small part, but they made me laugh. Imagine having to face them every time you came home from a night of slaying and rampant love making!
8. There’s more. Yay! Nine books in all. I’ll be ravaging these books over the next couple of months. 

Have you read this series yet? Did it make you go all a dither too?

I hope 2012 is being good to you! Talk to you all next month.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Quick Bite of Vampire Goodness

Have you hugged your vampire recently?
Have you held her close, admiring the way the candlelight dances on her fangs?
Have you enjoyed the fact that he doesn't have that annoying heartbeat under your ear when you rest your head on his chest?

Tell me, have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Err.. sorry, these questions had me channeling a little Jack, but I'm back now.

Seriously, have you been needing a fresh bit of undead love in your life?  Or maybe you're just longing for violence and chaos?  Well, I can provide both with a couple quick clicks.


The Dark Days series is waiting for you.  The six-book series follows the roller-coaster adventures of a centuries old vampires named Mira and her companion, a vampire hunter named Danaus, as they race around the globe, fighting creatures determined to crush the human race.  When they have spare time, they are either fighting each other or fighting their attraction for one another. 

The first book in the series is Nightwalker.  Here is a description of the events in the first book:

For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted. 

In the first book, Mira and Danaus race from Savannah, U.S. to Aswan, Egypt to London, England; chasing a nightmare from Mira's past while they try to figure out if they can trust each other long enough to save the human race.

This dark adventure does have an undercurrent of romance, but you have to remember that these two hate each other.  It's a slow burn that leads you to a forest fire before the last book in the series.

Are you interested, but the holidays have left your wallet feeling light?  Don't worry.  My publisher has helped with that.  For the next month (until February 6), the Nightwalker e-book is available for download for only $0.99!  That's right.  Get the entire first book for only $0.99.

Maybe you're still not sure that you want to devote your time to an entire book.  Maybe you just want a taste of the Dark Days world.  I understand and I can help.

On January 31, the prequel novella to the Dark Days series will be released as an e-book.  This novella originally appeared in the Unbound anthology and for the first time, will be available as it's own e-book for downloading.

The Dead, the Damned and the Forgotten

A nightwalker is slain, and suspicion falls on Mira—Fire Starter—the last hope of her immortal race.

Well, that's kind of short for a novella description.  Let's me add this: 

The prequel story takes place in Mira's home of Savannah about a month before the events of Nightwalker.  The story focuses on Mira's investigation of a murder that puts her in a bad spot as Elder vampires are looking to use it as an excuse to kill her if she can't clean up the mess.  You meet several character that will be making appearances later in the series and get a feel for how Mira's world works within the Dark Days series.  That and it's just a fun, short whodunit-type mystery.

When the novella is released on January 31, it will be downloadable for $0.99.  Yep, for less than $2, you can have two stories.  Not a bad deal.

So, if you're now excited about getting some good deals on some books, here are some links to help you along.

Barnes and Noble

Thanks for your patience and I wish you happy reading!  I'll return to my usual rambling on about writing and tattoos and addictions next month.

But why is the rum gone?
Hide the rum. 
Err... sorry.  That was the other Jack now. Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Claws and Effect!!!

Congratulations to Bonnie who one the giveaway!
So, like most of us, I’m still recouping from Christmas (where I hosted twenty-four at my little house on Christmas Eve), New Years, (where I shopped like it was 1999), and a book launch in between.
My brain is a little zapped, partially from the holidays and partially from the secret that I'm dying to tell you guys.
So, let me just tell you about my favorite character in Claws and Effect, my second book that came out December 27th. While writing this novel, I completely fell in love with Tucker Briggs. I’ve never written healing male before. He really becomes stronger and I loved his development into what Violet needed, not a romantic interest but a brother. The Tucker Briggs that you see in the first few pages is not the Tucker Briggs at the end.

An without further ado, a small excerpt, featuring Tucker Briggs.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The buffet we found off the highway said it was all you could eat, but the owners shot me dirty glances from behind the cash register as the four men kept getting up and going for seconds and thirds and fourths. It was worse than a high school basketball team.

Tucker ate with a little more reserve, though he did plow through two plates before he said a word to me. “Sorry about them.”

“I’ll expect better next time.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said with military efficiency. I could see him curse himself afterward. But he was learning.

It begged the question. “Were you in the service?”

“Army. Four years right out of high school.”

“And your brother?”

“When I came back, Tyler had been changed over, and he wasn’t strong enough to make it on his own.”

I winced. “And he attacked you?”

Tucker shook his head. “I chose.”

I dropped my fork. Well, more like, my entire body flinched in disbelief and my fork flew across the room. The owners scowled harder.

“You let him?” the words were like cotton balls falling out of my mouth.They left an odd taste that wasn’t the pork dumplings I was pushing around my plate.

“He couldn’t do it alone. So we did it together.”

I gulped. I couldn’t fathom choosing this life. If it weren’t for Chaz, I think I would rather had just curled up in that alley and died if I knew what was coming, if I could have predicted all of this.

“And the others?”

“Picked them up along the way.”

“So you’re like THE big brother.”

Tucker just shrugged.
I looked back down at my low mein. “Huh. Never had a big brother.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you like that, then let me know and I’ll choose a random commenter to get a signed copy of the first in the series, Diaries of an Urban Panther.
Amanda Arista
Facebook: Amanda Arista
Twitter: @pantherista

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012---& “The Gathering of The Lost”, US Cover & Quote!

Giveaway Now Closed:
Thank you for your positive comments on the new cover! Amanda's post is up so my giveaway has now closed& because I have 10 cover flats to give away and eight commenters that means everyone gets one, which is very nice. :) Now I know some of you have had giveaways from me before so I already have your postal address, but if this is a first off then just drop me a line through my website, contact[at]helenlowe[dot]info, so I can get the cover flat in the mail to you. Happy New Year and see you again on 1 February!


The thing about posting on the first of the month is that I get New Year’s Day—plus April Fool’s Day, and May Day as well, which I have to say is very cool!—and a year ago today I posted: “Happy, Happy New Year: The Wall of Night Book Two—Finished!”

And so it was—in terms of getting to the final line. But a year of revision, editing and copyediting, plus proofing has followed, proving that it is indeed a long slow road from first putting pen to paper to getting a book to readers.

There are still highlight moments though—and with The Gathering of the Lost (The Wall of Night Book Two) due for publication on 27 March (USA) and 4 April (UK/AUS/NZ) I am delighted to welcome the New Year in by sharing two of those highlights with you today.

The first is always a very exciting moment for every book—The Great Cover Reveal. So here it is, seen for the first time here on the Supernatural Underground, the US cover for The Gathering of the Lost, designed by the mighty Greg Bridges:


But there is more—a more that is probably the highest honor one author can pay another. As you can probably imagine, I was both delighted and humbled when Juliet Marillier, author of the marvelous Sevenwaters series and the wonderful Wildwood Dancing, agreed to advance read The Gathering of the Lost. And felt greatly honored when she said:

“Helen Lowe's writing moves from strength to strength. Powerful story lines, memorable characters and a vividly imagined world.” ~ Juliet Marillier

As you may imagine, the cover and quote together make the very best start to 2012, which I hope will bring us all many good things.


But what’s that—you haven’t yet read The Heir of Night (The Wall of Night Book One)? Do you have an e-reader? Then no need to worry—by way of an additional ‘Happy New Year’ Harper Voyager have a bunch of great e-book titles on a super $1.99 special. You can read the full list here, but it includes titles by Robin Hobb, Vicki Pettersson, Kim Harrison, Kylie Chan—and yes, Helen Lowe! So you see, it’s never been easier to read The Heir of Night before The Gathering of the Lost comes out.


And Yes, There Is A Giveaway!
Covers, cover quotes, and e-book super deals all make for a very happy new year from where I’m sitting—but of course there’s a giveaway as well! What better to mark the New Year cover reveal than 10 signed cover flats of The Gathering of the Lost, together with a personalised book plate. Just comment here to let me know what you (yes, you!) are really looking forward to in 2012 in order to be in the draw. (The draw will close when the next post goes up on the 3rd.)

And a very happy New Year to you all!

Supernatural Underground author Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet and interviewer. Her latest novel, The Heir of Night, the first of THE WALL OF NIGHT quartet, is published in the USA, UK, and internationally and recently won the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2011 for Best Novel. Her first novel, Thornspell, is published in the US by Knopf. Helen blogs every day on her Helen Lowe on Anything, Really site and on the first day of every month right here on the Supernatural Underground.