I am in love!
I just got this cover from my editor at Berkley Sensation (Penguin USA). As you can see, it’s for the re-released version of Untamed. And I shrieked when I saw it because, there in the background, are the ramparts of Fort Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon), where much of the story takes place.
I am so happy I could sprout wings and fly!
This editor is the same one who brought you Jed Hill on the cover of Breaking Point and who went out of her way to make sure the new covers for the MacKinnon’s Rangers series were historically accurate (no tipis!). Her name is Cindy, and she flat-out freaking rocks.
Say it with me: Thank you, Cindy!!!
Thanks to the production team at Berkley, too. I owe them all a beer. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to New York and be able to deliver on that promise.
I turned the edited version of Untamed in this morning, together with “The Ballad of Morgan MacKinnon,” which will go in the book this time. As some of you know — and some of you don’t — Untamed had 25 pages of content cut out to fit the original publisher’s arbitrary maximum page count. They kept shrinking the size of their books — smaller books = more books per box = lower paper, printing and shipping costs — and I kept paying the price for that because I write long stories. (My contracts say the books need to be no fewer than 90,000 words; almost all of my books exceed 115,000 words, which is one reason it takes me longer to write them. There are more pages.)
For the re-released version, which will be out in January, we went back to the original untouched manuscript. Those 25 pages are in the book, which has a different edit this time, too. I’d forgotten until I was doing copy edits on the manuscript this weekend that the villain dies in a completely different way in the original version. (Talk about making huge changes to a story! Ouch!) I was so excited, because I much prefer it.
Untamed got a starred review from Publishers Weekly when it first came out, but it’s never quite had the buzz that Surrender did, and I think that’s in part because those 25 pages were cut. I have discovered in editing my older manuscripts that I don’t put unnecessary stuff in, so when you take stuff out, you’re changing the emotional tone of the story. As I read Untamed, I actually really liked it. And, as my Home Team can attest, I don’t say that very often.
So I feel very good about Surrender 2.0 and Untamed 2.0 and can’t wait to share them with you! Today, at least, I get to share this freaking awesome cover.
And here’s some photos from Fort Ticonderoga that my son and mother took when we visited for research purposed back in Autumn 2008.
You can still see the remnant of the French lines in the forest around the fort.
Here’s a view from the upper level of the fort looking down toward Lake Champlain with the La Chute River (plays a role in the story) and Rattlesnake Mountain (where the Rangers spy on the French) just out of the photo to the viewer’s right.
This is close to the view from the cover of the book. To your right would be the lake (and ahead of you, as well, because Fort Ti is on a peninsula) and Rattlesnake Mountain. The other photos of the lake were taken from up there.
A closeup of a cannon with Rattlesnake Mountain in the back. Up there, hidden among the trees, the MacKinnon Brothers are spyin’ on the French with their Mahican brother beside them....
Thanks for reading! I just wanted to share my excitement.
(P.S. Who has figured out that I’m just a big history nerd masquerading as a romance novelist?)
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