SHADOW TWIN (a BLACK DOG novel)~cover art/design by AidanaWillowRaven ()
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SHADOW TWIN (a BLACK DOG novel) ~ book cover art & design for Rachel Neumeier (@RachelNeumeier)
When I first started working with Rachel, she commissioned me to create the cover for a collection of short stories that take place in her Black Dog world, introduced to her readers in her first book, Black Dog, which was still under contract with the original publisher. We wouldn't be able re-do that cover until the contract ran its course.
We planned out which of the four stories she wanted to me to represent on the cover. Library Work (here on the left) was the story we decided to visualize for Black Dog Short Stories (only available in ebook) The collection was gathered as a compliment to the printed novels of the series. That's how our friendship started.
Right on the heels of Black Dog Short Stories, I started work on Pure Magic, the second full novel in the series and the first time we get to see my visualization of Rachel's 'black dog'.
Technically, there was another book cover project after Pure Magic. It was for a book unrelated to the Black Dog series. And even though that project was completed, a publisher ended up wanting that manuscript and they put their own cover on it. So for now, we're either holding on to that cover for use when her contract expires or, there was mention of maybe using it for a novella related to that novel. Sort of a spin-off. We'll see.
Since we can't officially count that other project, the next time we teamed up was for the second collection of short stories that take place in the Black Dog world. This time, though, the plan was to present the cover on two variations/formats of the book. Unlike with the first collection, where there wasn't really enough to warrant a print version, with this second collection added to the first, there was now enough to publish in both print and ebook formats. So two variations of the same cover were created. One for print (Black Dog Short Stories I & II), as a compilation of all eight short stories, and one for the second collection of shorts as an e-book (Black Dog Short Stories II).
Sometime after Pure Magic, we discovered the rights to Black Dog were back in Rachel's hands, so we re-dressed Black Dog so the series would look more consistent aside the other books.
And finally, we come back to Rachel's latest project and the third novel in the Black Dog series, Shadow Twin.
Believe it or not, I think this cover was more challenging than all of the others. Not because there were more elements, but because there were fewer. Plus, the scene depended heavily on mood rather than action or narrative. Effectively lighting a dark setting and still be able to see the key elements can be tricky. So, without further teasing, here's the blurb for Shadow Twin.
After everything she's seen, Natividad was sure Ezekiel could take care of himself. Under any circumstances. Against any enemy. Whether he was temporarily exiled from Dimilioc or not. Then the link between them, forged when she absorbed a trace of Ezekiel's shadow, makes it clear she was wrong.
She knows Ezekiel isn't dead. She knows he must have met an enemy he couldn't defeat alone. And she knows she has to rescue him, no matter the cost.
* * *
Miguel's brother is a black dog and his sister is Pure, but Miguel himself is only human. That has its downsides for anyone living among the Dimilioc wolves, but at least an ordinary human has a chance to think problems through, his mind unclouded by black dog rage.
But when Miguel and Natividad and the wolves of Dimilioc have no choice but to walk into a trap, even human ingenuity may not be able to get them out again...
For more information on this series or any of Rachel Neumeier's books, connect with her online:
Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...