Getting a novel published is a roller coaster ride. Transforming a finished manuscript into a book people can read is a six-month journey filled with highs and lows. Difficult edits and short deadlines are lows. The high — at least for me — is my first glimpse of the cover. To celebrate the beautiful cover Christy Caughie designed for Happy Independence Day, my third novel, I’m conducting a big giveaway. See below for details.
Some authors know exactly what they want on a cover. Not me. I never have a clue. Filling out the form for the artist about the characters, setting, and other aspects of the story is downright painful. My brain lacks the appropriate pathways to answer probably a third of the questions. I’m pretty sure it’s an undiscovered learning disability related to my inability to follow a map.
A few weeks after submitting the form, the email arrived in my inbox with three different designs. I liked something about each one, and sent my comments back to the art department. In my simple brain, the artist would cut and paste for the final version I envisioned.
Wrong. Christy Caughie put together a new design combining everything I liked about the first three versions into the stunning cover you see here. Don’t Cameron and Terrence look hot?
The Stonewall Inn in the background is the backdrop for the story. To give you a good excuse to visit all the other blog for the giveaway (details below) here’s a little quiz about the Stonewall Inn and the 1969 uprising that made it famous.
1) What is the Stonewall Inn?
2) What was the legal environment in 1969 for NYC homosexuals?
3) Who owned the Stonewall Inn?
4) What made the Stonewall Inn a magnet for homosexuals?
5) What happened at the Stonewall Inn on the night of June 28, 1969 to cause the uprising?
6) Who/what started the riot?
7) How long did the Stonewall Uprising last?
Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks.
Cameron McKenzie dropped out of college and left tiny Paris, Kentucky after the death of the grandmother who raised him, dreaming of an acting career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes, he is in way over his head, and he can’t see a way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve a swim to the bottom of the Hudson in a pair of cement flippers.
Cameron is left with a choice: endanger both their lives by telling Terrence everything or walk away from the only man he ever loved. The Mafia hustler and the student activist want to find a way to stay together, but first they need to find a way to stay alive.
Although the stories are independent, Happy Independence Day includes spoilers for anyone who hasn’t yet read After Christmas Eve. So you’ll be ready for the August 20 release of Happy Independence Day, I’m giving away autographed copies (U.S. residents only with Ebook for international winners) on each of the participating blogs of After Christmas Eve. Leave a comment on my post here and on any of the blogs below between now and July 31, 2014 for a chance to win.