Hooray, a cover!

This is way too exciting to wait until my next newsletter.

Here it is. Ta-DA! Designed by Aaron Yeagle, this is the cover for Blackthorn, my soon-to-be-released gothic novel!

The book is written, but it’s not done yet. It’s not baked. At this stage, consider that it is in a warm room, rising. It will go into the oven soon.

The cover, like any other stage of this process, has taken place over several weeks. A few images here, some conversations there, a lot of back and forth, more images. And then Aaron went for it. Photo, typeface, tagline, every little detail is a collaboration, with him at the helm of the design process, sending ideas and mockups.

This is so much fun!

Our last hang-up, after a few iterations, was the thorny branch. Don’t ask me how Aaron accomplished this, but the thorns finally made their way my computer screen, and they are perfect.

There is a lot of symbolism surrounding the blackthorn plant, and its relationship with humans as food and tonic goes back thousands of years. Its spiritual and healing qualities were well known to the Druids. Harry Potter’s wand was made of blackthorn. Irish men used hard-as-ebony blackthorn clubs as weapons. Blackthorn can herald dark deities or protect against evil. If you have a hawthorn in your backyard, observe its spines. Hawthorn and blackthorn are sister plants.

Blackthorn fruit is a dark berry called sloe. Does anyone know that vile concoction known as sloe gin? I will rest my case.





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7 Response Comments

  • Ginny Adelsheim  January 6, 2019 at 5:27 am

    What a fabulous cover, Judy! Kudos to Aaron and you. It’s evokes all the ominous emotion of a gothic thriller in the gorge. Thanks for the lesson on blackthorn, too.

  • shannon leonetti  January 6, 2019 at 5:31 am


    Do you have ARC’s yet? Do you need a reviewer? I have read all your previous novels and would love to write a review of your latest. I am 68 years old and have read very little in the gothic genre so it would be very exciting for me to read this….I live in Portland just in case that helps 🙂

    • Judy Nedry  January 6, 2019 at 11:00 am

      Hi Shannon,

      I would love to supply you with an ARC when they are available. Thanks for your ongoing support! Are you related to the Leonettis in Walla Walla?

  • Jennifer  January 6, 2019 at 8:33 am


  • Annie Munch  January 6, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Judy, what an interesting cover photo of the Columbia River Gorge with the Blackthorn. Agreed that Sloe Gin is unpalatable.

    • Judy Nedry  January 6, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Well, we all had to try it once, Annie, probably in college some time when we were young and foolish!

  • Judy  January 6, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Wow. This is a great cover. I’m looking forward to the release! WooHoo!!