Sentinals Awaken- Book One Cover Reveal!

I am so excited! My cover is finished!

So here is the big reveal! Would you stop and take a look inside? I hope so, let me know what you think via the contact page.

Cover by Jeff Brown of jeffbrowngraphics.com

From a rough sketch, which my cover designer, Jeff mocked up in front of my eyes as we chatted on a video conference call, (see left), to more formalised 80% done (see below right) to the finished article (above!)

Jeff has created a beautiful work of art as well as a book cover, and I can’t wait to see it as a poster.

So a big thank you to Jeff from Jeff Brown Graphics (www.jeffbrowngraphics.com) for designing such a beautiful cover; from the Lady and the Moon symbol to the grand panoramic scene (see at bottom of post) as Jerrol and his Sentinals ride through an encroaching storm to attempt to rescue the King of Vespiri.

With the advent of online bookstores and eReaders, the cover must be eye-catching as a thumbnail image, which means the main image must be more prominent, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be artistic.

The cover is one of the most important aspects of a novel, it is what catches the readers eye in the first place, to take note and stop and browse, and hopefully, to pick up out of the choice of many, and then the first few lines of the book catch your attention and draw you in.

Want to know what’s inside Sentinals Awaken? – Sneak peek!

Chapter 1
Lady’s Temple Gardens, Old Vespers

The sword missed his nose by an inch, if that. A momentary relief as solid steel thunked into the ground and Jerrol jerked back like a snake about to strike and then slithered away, inhaling the scent of soggy grass, dirt and roses. Roses?

His brow wrinkled in confusion as he scuttled away and regained his feet. Backing towards the tall Sentinal tree arching over the Lady’s temple, he strained to see his assailants. He leaned against the trunk as he scanned the gardens. He would have to apologise later; staying alive was more important than the sanctity of the temple gardens.

There were three guards, large and brutal: Chancellor’s men eager to deliver him up more dead than alive. The complaint of him snooping around the Chancellor’s business would be enough to get him placed on report, if not demoted. He wasn’t supposed to be near Chancellor Isseran, let alone following him.

Gritting his teeth, Jerrol considered his options. He couldn’t kill them, not on the Lady’s soil, yet he couldn’t let them report back, either. The satin-smooth bark of the tree beneath his fingers warmed for a moment as he hesitated. The image of a tall, black-haired man stood before him. This apparition wore a silvery green high-necked uniform that glimmered in the swirling mist. He was striking to look at, unnaturally pale, with distinctive features and straight, black eyebrows over silver eyes that gleamed in the dim light.

Jerrol gaped at him, unable to stop staring. It wasn’t possible. Lady help him, it wasn’t possible, was it? He recoiled as the man spoke, taking a step back.

“Captain? Is it time?” the man asked, his silver eyes burning bright.

He was young – younger than he was, Jerrol thought. Yet his expression was grave. There was a sense of a burden understood and accepted; of experience over youth. He had a sword strapped to his hip and a bow across his back, and he looked like he knew how to use them.

Jerrol frowned. “Time?” he asked, and the image faded.


Sentinals Awaken, is set in the word of Remargaren, a world where magic was banished by the deity Leyandrii over three thousand years ago along with the malevolent Ascendants. Jerrol Haven, a Captain of the King’s Rangers discovers treason at the highest level and although the ailing King tries to help him, the Crown Prince sentences Jerrol to death. Jerrol must escape, discover why magic is returning to his world and discover the source of an insidious disease spreading through the Watches. After accidentally awakening a Lady’s Sentinal he needs to discover how to awaken more Sentinals and rescue the King – but even then, his troubles are only just beginning.

I hope the cover and opening excerpt tempt you to order Sentinals Awaken when it launches in the autumn and you enjoy reading the book. Please ensure you leave a review when you do, reviews drive visibility and keep an independent author like me writing!

If you’re interested in delving into the world of Remargaren and would like to visualise the Kingdom of Vespiri, I have been collecting some images on a Pinterest board at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/helengarraway/vespiri-world-of-remargaren/

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Just look at that scenery, gorgeous!

Featured

How are your balancing skills?

I have concluded that writing is all about juggling. You must be an expert juggler to keep the balls, or is it plates or hoops? No, it’s novels! Up in the air at the same time. Or is balancing the better concept? I’m a Libran, so balance resonates better, juggling feels like it could spin out of control at any moment, whereas balance is calmer, less frenetic, feels right.

Photo by Deniz Altindas on Unsplash

I am in control, right?

From the sheer excitement of having your first meeting with the cover designer and seeing his interpretation of your ideas come to life before your eyes to the grind of checking the copy editing on book one, editing book two and then aargh – A whole new series has popped into my head and is demanding to be written.

But first, cover design! 90 minutes of discussion and watching Jeff draw my ideas in front of me, and then mocking up that first cover with my name on it!

OMG! What a feeling of absolute delight and pride. It may be a raw sketch but just wait until its finished, I love it already. I debated about posting the initial concept here, but I think I’ll wait to show you the rough draft versus 85% finished!

Just a sneak peek if you’re interested. Let me know!

Copy editing is almost finished on Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Each revision I learn something new, which is great, and means each book will improve: next maps and internal formatting.

I’ve edited Book Two: Sentinal Rising, cut and consolidated chapters where needed; I suppose 135k words was a bit long. Moved some things around, then corrected my grammar. I’ve sent it to my number one fan Michael to beta read and put it aside before I return for another edit. Then this idea for a whole new world bubbled up, and I’ve been capturing the ideas and planning out the skeleton of the story, and I’ve already written 20,000 words. Holding name is the Freedom series, can’t wait to see where it goes.

How to fit it all in is the challenge. But it is fun, and I love it, and I wish I had started writing a long time ago. Sometimes, I suppose you just have to wait for the right moment, and then take that step and begin. Who knows where it will take you, but wherever it takes me, my balancing skills can only improve.