The Saffron Crocus is a historical mystery set in Venice in 1643. If you love sword play, murder, and music mixed in with your coming-of-age romance, this book is for you. It will be released by Black Opal Books on December 13, 2014, in both e-book and print.
The story takes place in Venice in 1643. It was hard to decide how to represent that, but since the Rialto bridge plays a key role in the story, having that as a background worked well.
The biggest challenge of the cover was how to represent two important props in the story. One is the brooch made of precious and semi-precious jewels shaped like a purple saffron flower — a saffron crocus that the first murder victim, Margherita, gives to her singing student, the heroine, Isabella.
The other important prop is Rafaele's (the hero's) sword. It was very important to me to show the sword and the brooch together on the cover somehow. Mishi's 3D design was the perfect solution.
Her drawing of the fleeing couple perfectly encaptured a moment in the book where Rafaele and Isabella are trying to find safety from a storm, only to run into a more mortal danger.
The other important part of the cover is the kudos from Nancy Holder. Nancy is the author of more books than I could list even if this blog went to ten pages. She's perhaps most well known for her Wicked Saga. Personally, I love her vampire series, Crusade, written with Debbie Viguié.
Here is a scene from the story:
Who knew a singing career would be this much trouble?
“Rafaele!” She flew into the garret. “Piero, it was so wonderful, wait until I tell you!”
The stool next to the bed was knocked over. The tray with the genepy bottle was on the floor, one of the cups broken. The fat candle that had been burning next to Rafaele’s bed had been flung to the other side of the room. Canvases were strewn all over the floor, some of them slashed, and many of Master Strozzi’s jars of paint elements were broken.
Did Piero and Rafaele have a fight? She quickly suppressed the thought. Who would get into a fight with a man who was already injured?
Something else must have happened.
She walked across the garret. “Piero? Rafaele, are you here?”
Rafaele was not in the bed. The sheets and blankets she had piled on top of him were strewn everywhere. Blood-stained sheets spilled over the edge of the pallet. There was a pile of clothes on the floor.
She walked around to get a closer look.
Not clothes. It was Piero. Face down, one arm stretched out in front of him, as if in supplication.
A puddle of blood under him.