This cover turned out to be rather difficult to put together because, as it happens, there are hardly any good stock photos available of women archers. You would think these would be plentiful, what with the popularity of Katniss from the Hunger Games series, but no. The photographers have yet to catch up, and many of the available photos are unusable.
For example, one that the designer found featured an archer holding a longbow as if it were a crossbow. Given that the heroine in the book is described as a world-class archer and that she consciously thinks, during the course of the book, about her form and making sure it is correct, that wasn’t going to do.
For those familiar with the Hearts and Thrones series, this novella takes place after Assassin’s Gambit but before Prince’s Fire (out in April 2014). It features a couple who will appear again in Prince’s Fire. And of course, Vitala and Lucien are present in this novella, in minor but important roles. Here is the back cover copy:
Nalica Kelden, war mage and world-class archer, doesn’t need love. She’s come to the imperial city for a single purpose: to win Kjall’s most prestigious archery tournament.
Until she meets one of her fellow competitors, and he sends an arrow straight into her heart.
Justien Polini is the man she’s always dreamed of. Like Nalica herself, he’s from the rough country in the eastern highlands. He’s big and strong and handsome, and he’s nearly as good an archer as she is. Best of all, in a country where most men look askance at women warriors, Justien admires Nalica’s talent and strength.
But Nalica can’t let her personal feelings get in the way of her ambitions. The tournament must come first… and there will be only one winner.
Want to beta read? I’ll be sending out copies to beta readers at the beginning of January. If you’d like to participate, please contact me via my Contact Page. The overall content of the novella will be final by then, but I’m looking for typos, formatting errors, that sort of thing.