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Monday, October 24, 2016

MAGIC STUDY's 10th Anniversary Give Away!!

Original Magic Study cover
Can you believe it's been 10 years since MAGIC STUDY was first published?  I can't. Then again I can't believe it's October 24th of this year already - where did September and early October go?

Magic Study was first published as a hardcover in October 2006.  It was published a year after Poison Study hit the shelves and it was well received - it sold more copies than Poison and that's a good sign in the publishing world :).

During the last 10 years, Magic Study has gone through a number of cover designs.  The original hardcover matched the original hardcover of Poison Study - they were based loosely on two different Johannes Vermeer paintings - Poison on Girl with the Pearl Earring - and Magic on The Geographer.  Unfortunately, the model who had posed for Poison's cover had returned to her native Russia and another model was used for the second book.  Can you see the difference?


Original Poison Study cover
I really liked the cover for Magic Study, but there wasn't a seashell or an astrolabe in the book.  Good thing I was still doing revisions and I managed to include those items in Master Magician Bain Bloodgood's office. :)

Then the covers of Poison and Magic were redesigned and re-released in 2007 as trade paperbacks.  I really loved the new covers and they're still my favorite of the US edition covers.  What do you think?

Trade Paperback cover
In late 2008, Magic Study's cover was once again redesigned and re-released, but this time with a YA cover and price.  I'd gotten so many emails from YA readers who loved the book, my publisher thought they'd print YA editions. Do you think this cover would be more appealing to teens?

YA cover
And the latest incarnation of Magic Study is the new eBook cover that matches the covers for Shadow Study, Night Study and Dawn Study.  This is not available in print and was created in 2014.  Take a look - do you like this one?  I like the concept, but think Yelena's makeup is too much.

eBook cover
Magic Study was written before Poison Study was published and I was very happy about that.  Because if Poison Study got terrible reviews and everyone hated it, I'd be devastated and unable to write.  If everyone loved it, I'd be terrified that I'd disappoint everyone with the second book and unable to write. So instead of obsessing over it, I was able to write it without any worries.  That came when I was writing Fire Study! ;)

My favorite part to write was when Valek appears in Yelena's room at the Magician's Keep.  Here's an excerpt from that scene:

     Valek held the Valmur statue I had bought for him long ago, admiring it in the f irelight. He wore
a simple black shirt and pants. The clothes did not appear to be as tight fitting as his hooded sneak suit, but seemed snug enough not to impede his movements.
     “How did you—”
     “Fool your guards? They’re not very good. They forgot to check the ceiling for spiders.” Valek grinned. His angular face softened.
     Startled, I realized he wasn’t in disguise. “This is dangerous.”
     “I knew falling for you was dangerous, love.”
     “I meant coming to Sitia. Being here in the Magician’s Keep with guards just outside my door.” I gestured wildly.
     “It’s only dangerous if they know I’m here. According to them, I’m just Ambassador Signe’s lowly and dull-witted aide.”
     Valek stood; his movements liquid. The black fabric of his clothes clung to his lean build. He stretched his arms out to the side. “See, I’m not even armed.”
     He made a weak attempt to look innocent, but I knew better. “Should I guess how many concealed weapons you have or should I strip search you?”
     “A strip search is the only way to be absolutely certain.” Valek’s deep blue eyes danced with delight.
     I took three steps and was wrapped in his arms, where I belonged. No confusion here. No worries here. No troubles here. Just Valek’s scent, an intoxicating combination of musk and spice.

Magic Study also was when Kiki made her debut.  I worried that my readers would think a horse that can magically communicate with Yelena would be cheesy and unrealistic.  I didn't need to worry - Kiki quickly became a reader favorite.  She is based on a real horse, who has an official name, but was nicknamed Kiki when the owner's young niece thought the large horse was an oversize cat and tried to call her Kitty, but couldn't quite say Kitty.  I learned how to ride with Kiki - her owner Susan, kindly taught me how to ride and care for horses when I was doing research for Magic Study.

Kiki died back in 2010, but she will always live on in my Study Series of books!  Here's a photo:

The beautiful Kiki!

And now on to the give away!

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Here's the Rafflecopter form:

a Rafflecopter giveaway