Friday, March 5, 2010

Do You Dream of Genies?

Does this really need an explanation?

I got the cover and permission to share it.

I am so excited and I absolutely love it! The incomparable Anne Cain, who did my Mer books (and Cheryl's Cat Star Chronicles), is again on the ball/job with this one. She's really captured the "flow" of the world and the colors are just beautiful.

And the butterfly... ah. It plays a very auspicious part in the story so it was really great to see it on the cover.

We Casablanca Authors are pretty luck in not only having wonderful covers, but also because we get to provide some input into our covers. Not all authors do.

This cover doesn't look anything like I'd dreamed, but that's why I'm the writer and not the artist. I know my strengths and I'll stick to writing, thankyouverymuch.

And thank YOU very much, Anne Cain, and the art/marketing departments at Sourcebooks for, once again, capturing my world. It's beautiful and I love it.

Anne said that she and the "male cutie" had fun doing the photo shoot for this and played around with the genie theme while doing so. I love the bottle they came up with for Eden. And, of course, there's the wonderful quote from Jill Barnett.

Overall, another winner, and I can't wait to see it on my bookshelf next to the other three. I'll confess to having printed it out in mass market size and standing it up there already. :)

So this month's theme is traveling and I have to tell you, I've been doing that vicariously through any number of sources. First and foremost, I have to thank the founders of YouTube and the people who pick up their videophones or cameras and take video all over the world. In my second genie book, Genie Knows Best, the heroine finds a genie lantern in the souk, or marketplace, in Old Medina, Casablanca. I could imagine what it looked like because I lived in Spain, which, especially in the south, has heavy Moorish influences from when they ruled the country prior to the late 1400s. I've been to marketplaces in Andalusia (not Andalasia like in Enchanted :) ), so I had the general ambiance, but I never made it to Morocco.

But, thanks to YouTube, I have been. That and Google Earth can put me in the middle of the action, as it were, without having to leave my chair. Sometimes, like today since I'm sick, that's a good thing. Other times, I'd love to have the excuse. (Like researching Bermuda for the Mers, but Hubs wasn't buying that story since the Mers live in Atlantis under the island and he knew there was no way I was going in that water!)

So now I'm writing about genies in Morocco and the Sahara Desert. I had dinner last night with a high school friend who lives in Greece, as well as my other friend and her husband (he's from Egypt and was very helpful in language research for the stories). My now-Greek friend has been to Morocco and actually stayed at the hotel I'm using, so that was serendipitously fabulous. Playing catch up for the years we haven't seen each other AND doing research. Sheesh, it seems like I'm always working!

So traveling doesn't have to physically mean packing a suitcase, finding someone to watch the dogs, and spending two hours in the TSA lines at the airport. Sometimes you can do it from your chair. I know our Auntie Cindy gets to visit most of the wonderful places she writes about; I envy her that.

I know Marie's lived in Rota, Spain. I can't wait to get back there, but we're doing a trip out west this year with the kids - tying it into the RomCon convention in Denver July 9. We'll be visiting Mt. Rushmore, Mt. Crazy Horse, Devil's Tower and Yellowstone - a trip I made with my parents in 1979 and used as the basis for Val and Rod's cross country trip in Wild Blue Under.

Anyone else out there I can envy? Where have you been? Any really off-the-wall places that a lot of people, especially Americans, don't usually go? Traveling is definitely the spice of life and I'd love to be able. Maybe when the kids are on their own.


  1. Love that cover!

    Can't think of anywhere exotic I've ever traveled to, but the other day I was remembering my first trip to Colorado. The scenery was spectacular of course, but what I wanted to see and feel and smell and experience up close was sagebrush.

    You can get mountains and oceans and beaches and rivers and things from pictures, but sagebrush--you kind of have to go where it is.

  2. Beautiful cover!

    I've only been to the usual places--Mexico, Canada, Europe. I don't like long plane trips, so I'm reluctant to travel to India or Africa.

  3. Oooh, I can't wait to read this!

    Husband and I are total travel junkies, so we've spent time in many of the areas you mentioned (Greece, Spain, Morocco). One of my favorite Morocco memories was riding camels into the Sahara at sunset and camping in the desert under billions of stars (with the smelly camels nearby, just to set the romantic mood!)

    Your cover is gorgeous. Looking forward to reading this!


  4. Oooh, Tawna - I might be picking your brain for this second one. :)

    Yep, MM, you're right. You can't recreate the smells of the locales, nor the sense of actually being there.

    See? I really need a trip to the South Pacific if I write more Mers!

    Shana - if Europe is at the other end, I don't care how long the flight is. I'm planning to take each of my kids on a graduation present to Europe (keeps them away from Senior Week craziness at the shore, gives them culture, a trip to remember, some last one-on-one time with me, and I get to see places I've wanted to visit forever!)

  5. Me, I'm just envying Anne for getting to take pictures of those male cuties! What I'd really like is to get the phone number for the model on the cover of Hero. Then I will travel to wherever he happens to be!

  6. Cheryl - Zenithia.

    Get thee to a space craft, woman!

  7. Another gorgeous cover!

    This isn't too far off the beaten path, but I lived right near Chinatown in NYC for about 5 months in college--it was amazing and a lot of fun to explore. I was there during the Chinese New Year celebration and that was so lively and fun!

  8. Judi, sure thing! My brain is wide open for picking. I think I've even still got travel guides for Greece and Spain, though I believe our Morocco guide went missing in Marrakesh. Email link can be found on the "contact" page of my website.

    Happy writing!


  9. Judi, what a beautiful cover!!! You are so very fortunate to be blessed with Sourcebooks.

    Besides, DC I haven't been anywhere since I've become an adult, so I live through other sources too. One of my really good friends lives in Europe and she gets to travel all over. She shares her experiences with us when she blogs about her travels.

    When I was a kid we went to the Grand Canyon. It's absolutely amazing, pictures can never do it justice.

  10. Lovely cover, Judi!

    And you're right, we are very lucky to have all those great people in the Sourcebooks Art Dept. working on our covers. They do a wonderful job!

    As far as Morocco, I've only been to Tangiers and did NOT like it. It was all those hustlers trying to stick their merchandise under you nose. When we were in Spain, the DH and I took the day trip over. I'm sure if we'd stayed longer and gone elsewhere, I'd have liked it.

    LOL about the smell of the camels, Tawna. I think our handler smelled worse than his critter! We also saw (but did not ride) bactrian camels in China (a place I'd LOVE to see again). But I think the most exotic place I've visited so far (and I LOVED IT) was Thailand. But the flight there was a KILLER -- 11 hours to Tokyo then another 6 to Bangkok. UGH!


  11. Gorgeous cover! Makes me want to grab it - I loved 'I dream of Jeanie' growing up so a spin off book sounds very exciting!

  12. Not exotic. Anchorage for Left Coast Crime during Fur Rondy which was a blast. And I got to ride a dogsled and see the snow sculpture contest.

    Multiple times to New Orleans, Salem, Boston, Seattle, Florida, Sedona, and visiting ghost towns all over.

    It was great and fueled my imagination even back then.

  13. I love the cover Judi, it's beautiful! I love your books for the words, but for readers who are unfamiliar with your writing, I think the cover will help draw them in.

  14. Great cover, Judi. I absolutely love it!

    I've just done the usual traveling through Europe, nothing very unusual. I did a lot of hiking through the streets of New York and in the back woods of Idaho--luckily, I get to use that myself.

  15. Your cover is squee-worthy, Judi! Congratulations!