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And on to the next weekend…

I wanted to share a few photos of my adventure with helping on the construction of a gypsy trailer…or tiny house, as they are being called. But the week has flown by with the pics off the camera at least, but not into the world. I have however, gotten through my copy edits on Volume Two of The Luminated Threads, and seen the second mock-ups of the cover art!  So exciting week for me.

Here’s the short version on the gypsy wagon… and the photos if anyone is interested in the step-by-step process of construction, like I am. A group from church is working on two of these tiny houses on a lovely river property.

gypsy wagon

interior of tiny house

One gypsy wagon purchased by the landowners is already on the floodplain property. It’s a nice way to ‘camp’ at short notice and still be close to nature.


The property floods, so the solution to having sleeping ‘cabins’ available for a few folks who might not be able to tent, is to have portable structures that can be moved when–when, not if–a flood event occurs.

floodplain property

This was not the first workday. The army surplus wagons are already set up and a deck built between them. The flooring was laid down last spring with hardware cloth rodent prevention and foam insulation.

marking the flooring for

Our goal for the one workday was to frame in the three sides of the beds with studs on 16 inch centers, and prepare a level surface for an overhanging edge to widen the inner dimensions a bit. The trailers still have to be a width to be transported on the highway to higher ground.





One wagon had side supports that needed to be worked around by cutting notches with a jigsaw–a little detail which required a lot more measurign and cutting. Something to keep in mind if you have the option to choose a wagon style.


The extension boards fit nicely around.

edge boards

We finished mid afternoon and were able to enjoy the evening on the river.

sharing meals

We have a creative crowd, both for construction and meals!

Hope I’ve given you a few takeaway hints!

Setting Teaser

Wow, I’m still grinning stupidly from cover reveal day. Thanks for all the posts, tweets  and good wishes!

So how about that beautiful farming valley my cover artist Craig created? The Peaks District in England–the setting of the story–doesn’t quite look like this, as my Pinterest research board shows. I bet you’ve figured out why already: The Unraveling is a fantasy, so this valley is special in some way. Thus, I had to give it a special name, one not found on any UK map. Critique members and family alike have had the same reaction to the name, so I asked the heroine what she thought:

TU Teaser 4 (Blighted Basin?)

There’s a reason for Blighted Basin’s bizarre name, but like the cover, it’s part of the slow reveal of the story!

With two days to go to my cover reveal, let me introduce my artist, Craig Shields!

Did you notice on my Thursday post I had my thumb over part of the credits next to my new logo? I couldn’t reveal too much at once (!) and my thumb hid…

Art Credits 1

My cover artist is Craig Shields.

Craig Shields cover artist

Craig is the artist behind the stunning covers of Claudia Gray’s Firebird series: A Thousand Pieces of You and Ten Thousand Skies Above You. I love his vibrant use of color, particularly in this second:

Ten Thousand Skies Above You

No surprise it’s sitting in the #1 spot on the Goodreads list Most Beautiful YA Covers of 2015!

Craig has created the cover artwork for 30+ covers, and will soon be featuring his book cover art in the link on my cover. His book page isn’t live yet, but you can view his advertising, magazine and personal illustrations in his portfolio at


When I contacted Craig, he was excited to work on a steampunk cover, and I was excited to work with such a talented artist to express my story. Though The Unraveling is geared to a new adult audience, it doesn’t fit what readers currently expect from the genre–contemporary set, steamy college stories. I wasn’t even going to try to copy those covers with a story set in Victorian England, heavy on fantasy, with steampunk and romance competing for a reader’s attention, plus a few shapeshifters thrown in for fun. My story is firmly in the category NA Alley calls speculative new adult.

So I went the opposite direction of most NA covers and looked at fantasy covers. I looked at a lot of covers. I saved them on Pinterest (See my board!) and then looked at my friends’ collections of book covers. And in those covers I found my cover artist. 🙂

What was I looking for in a cover for The Unraveling? Color. A magical feeling. And steampunk…

I love what Craig came up with for my story and can’t wait to share it with you…in two days!

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