Night Night Ned

The Cottonwood Project is proud to launch Night Night Ned by Winfield Thomas. Illustrated by Olivia Higgins.

“Ned is ready for bed…” Watch the video version here for free!

Buy on the paperback on Amazon here.

Leave a review on Amazon, YouTube and Facebook to help boost the launch!

Making the Cover (with Mary Toth)!

Becoming the Plagiarist by B.T. Higgins

Like any sane person, I judge a book like I judge a lasagna. Is there a generous layer of bubbling cheese on top? There should be! If no? Then I am suspicious. It might be a ‘healthy’ lasagna. There might be broccoli hidden down there. You never know. What else did they remove to make room for the kale?

A book is also filled with delicious layers and magical flavors, but unless there is a bubbling layer of cheese on the top it’s natural to be suspicious of its quality. What part of the book is the bubbling cheese? The cover. Of course.

Making the cover for Becoming the Plagiarist proved to be a lot of fun. I worked with Mary Toth illustration.

I thought it might be fun to share some of the concept art and steps that led to the final cover, which is revealed below:

Mary took some of my thoughts, concepts drawings, a selection of published covers that I admired and put them through her creative blender. The first step was thumbnails sketches. These drawings helped us visualize the cover without investing too much time in any one pose.

Here she made a sketch with more detail of one of the poses.

We finally decided on the standing pose, so she went to work on the next version. A week later, I received this more-detailed drawing. The cover started to take shape quickly.

I really liked it. It caught my eye. It gave hints about what the story might contain. Why does that kid have a magical looking walking stick? What are all those orbs above his head? Compared to my concept art, things were really starting to bubble. If you know what I mean?

Mary recreated the cover digitally. She added more detail. The background started to take shape.

Now it was time to add color. The options were many. Here she did a mock up of different options.

In the end, I chose my favorite colors like I was ordering a la cart from the color menu. It is amazing what can be done with digital painting. Here is what Mary sent back to me.

At this point, all we needed to add was the Title and Author.

Drum roll please!

The final cover for Becoming the Plagiarist!

Many thanks to Mary Toth Ilustrations!

Christmas in July!

Come celebrate Christmas in July with 30 Ambassador International authors and 30+ books!
From July 20th to July 24th authors will talk books (from nonfiction to historical from children’s to romantic suspense, there’s a book for everyone), research, missions, and other fun topics. Plus, there will be many giveaways!
Hope to see you there! Just click the link to join the group.

I will be the host on Friday (24th) from  8:00-8:30 pm CST (5-5:30 AKST)

The Maker’s music is our source of strength, restoration and encouragement.

Theme Five (An excerpt from the Digging Deeper section of The Cracking of Monday Egg)

Think about it

I have always thought it funny that a blanket can also be called a comforter. We have a huge comforter on our bed at home. It is thick, white and fluffy. We call it the cloud because when it envelops you it feels like you are lying in a cloud. It is warm and wonderful on cold Alaska winter nights.

The other meaning of the word comforter is a person who comes and consoles you, makes you feel better. After Jesus died, rose back to life and ascended to heaven on a cloud, he sent the Holy Spirit to believers to be our comforter. When we are discouraged, he strengthens us. When we are tired, he provides the energy to keep following the Maker. The Holy Spirit is the music that fills our hearts with good hope and reassuring love. When I listen to music, especially while lying in the cloud, I am thankful that we have a perfect comforter.

2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.(NIV)

Zephaniah 3: 17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.(NIV)

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (KJV)

Discussion Questions

The first time the music came to Monday he felt it was alive and sparking with energy. It arrived layered with feelings, as though it understood his pain. (Chapter 10)

As time went on, Monday learned to drink the music in, as it swelled and softened in exactly the way he needed. Every time the Maker sent the music Monday realized it was new, written for that very moment. Because of the music, Monday had a response greater than his sorrow. (Chapter 20)

  • How do you feel when you realize someone understands your pain?
  • What would it be like to have a dependable source of encouragement when you feel discouraged?
  • Would a reminder that God delights in you give you hope?
  • Jesus asked God to send us the Holy Spirit as Comforter. Do you believe you can experience his comfort?
  • What are some ways you hear the Maker’s music and receive its restoring power?