I am so excited to have one of my favorite author’s here on my blog today- Roseanna White!!! She’s the author of the FANTABULOUS book, A Stray Drop of Blood and the soon to be released Jewel of Persia! So, let’s give her a warm welcome and let her take it away….. 🙂
Hey, Don’t Run Away! by Roseanna White
Since I debuted the cover of Jewel of Persia, I’ve been getting some truly
amazing comments on it. From “Stunning!” to “Wow, that’s one of the best
covers I’ve seen in years,” the praise makes me swell up inside.
Not, mind you, that the praise belongs to me. I had very little to do with
the cover of this book, though more than most authors. And it’s such a fun
story that I just have to share!
Given that WhiteFire is (a) a small press and (b) believes in giving its
authors say in creative issues like covers, much of the debate about what
would appear on the front of Jewel of Persia started in my own little mind.
“Hmm,” I would think, “I need a cover model who looks Jewish, who’s
beautiful, and who’s wearing ancient clothing.” Needless to say, I couldn’t
find such a lovely creature in the online databases my designer has access
to. So I put out a call that went something like, “Yo, friends! Anyone know
a pretty young woman between 16 and 25 who could pass for Jewish??”
After a series of “Um, er, no . . .” answers, a few false leads, and a
growing worry that this cover would just NEVER HAPPEN, my saintly friend
Dina emailed to say, “Hey, my husband’s Lebanese, and the Lebanese are
close cousins of the Jews. He has lots of Lebanese friends. Want me to
email some of the young women and see if they’d be interested?”
A glimmer of hope broke through the clouds and I replied with something
like, “YES!!! PLEASE!!!!!” (I get all my exclamation points out of my
system in emails so I don’t have to use them in novels. 😉 She had a
particular friend in mind, but said friend took a good while replying to
her emails. Meanwhile, Dina went out for the evening with her family to
meet up with some mutual friends, where she was introduced to a young woman
from Lebanon named Perla, who’s in the States for college. Dina, being the
enthusiastic friend she is, followed her “Nice to meet you,” with “Say,
would you like to be a model for a book cover?”
Apparently poor Perla pretty much ran for cover, LOL. I mean, that sounds
a little weird, right? Some stranger asking you to model?? Yikes. I would
have run too. But later that evening Perla approached Dina and asked her to
explain what she meant. Dina laughed and said how this friend of hers (me)
was publishing a book that takes place in the time of Esther, following
another of the king’s wives. That it was a Christian book, and we were
looking for a model who could play Kasia.
Perla agreed enthusiastically after that, and Dina was a total doll and
set up the photo shoot with a photographer friend. I went and bought the
fabric for the costume, stitched up a chiton, and mailed it down to VA
Beach, where Perla and Dina live. And the results, as you can see, were
STUNNING. (There are many more pics of the beautiful Perla in my Companion
The next fun story is about the bracelet you see on the cover, and in more
detail on the back cover. The lions’ head torc (open-ended bracelet) plays
a HUGE role in my story, and I really, really, really wanted it to be on
the cover. The problem, of course, being that I didn’t own any pictures of
such a thing, nor such a thing itself. But I found the absolute perfect one
The worst they can say is, ‘Leave us alone, you crazy lady, and don’t touch
our images.’” And really, I just expected to never get a reply at all.
But in fact, the next morning I woke up to a wonderful surprise. The owner
of Vaphiadis Jewelers in Athens Greece, Aris Vaphiadis, replied to my email
to say that, while it was indeed a bizarre request, he was flattered that I
so loved his designs and would be honored if I used them for Jewel of
Persia. (!!!!!!!!!) So after a series of emails, in which I also learned
the lions’ head collection is now being sold in the giftshop of THE LOUVRE
(!!!!!!), he provided high resolution photographs of the bracelet, added a
feature about me to his website at
some other joint promotion when the paperback releases.
So I happily sent all this along to WhiteFire’s awesome designer, George
of Tekeme Studios (www.Tekeme.com
). George the Miracle Worker took these
raw images and turned them into the amazing cover we now have. Was it easy?
Um, no. Given that there are no photos of Ancient Persian stuff not in
ruins, he created that background from an assortment of bits and pieces and
added all the color BY HAND after studying the color schemes used most
often back then. Um, wow.
And some people think cover design is easy! =)
How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?
Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But
when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a
concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes’ wives,
loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the
heart of the king of kings.
Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece,
Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or
Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her
people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her
Years of prayers are answered when Kasia’s childhood friend arrives at the
palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in
place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far
from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?
Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus‘s Histories, Jewel
of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and
the friendship that saves a nation.
Roseanna M. White, author of A Stray Drop of Blood, makes her home in the
mountains of Western Maryland with her husband, two small children, and the
colony of dust bunnies living under her couch. After graduating from St.
John’s College in Annapolis, MD, she and her husband founded the Christian
Review of Books, where she is the editor. She is a member of ACFW,
HisWriters, and HEWN Marketing.
THANK YOU, Roseanna! I LOVED that posting! Now, followers, my sweet friend has offered up a giveaway! Here are the choices up for grabs that one lucky commenter can choose from:
- Digital copy of A Stray Drop of Blood
- Signed paperback of A Stray Drop of Blood
- Digital copy of Jewel of Persia
- Signed paperback of Jewel of Persia( to be sent in late spring when Roseanna gets her copies)
The Rules of the Giveaway:
Leave a comment on this post right here. If you have any questions for Roseanna leave them too! 🙂 All entries MUST include some form of contact information (i.e. email addy, twitter name, facebook, etc.) so that I may have a way to notify the winner. NO CONTACT INFO=NO VALID ENTRY. If you would like to have an addition SEPARATE entry into the giveaway, please tell me if you are a follower, either new or old, through subscribing or GFC. Giveaway will end on February 28th@1159pmEST and is open to US and Canada ONLY. Good luck!