Do you see this beautiful book? It is a brand new young adult novel written by one of Sweet Pea and Mimi’s best friends, Elise Saba Stephens. In addition to our happiness for Elise, we are extra excited because Rusty designed the book cover.
When Rusty learned that Elise’s novel was going to be published, he submitted a design for the cover and we were all somewhat shocked when the creative team chose it. The learning curve was steep! I didn’t even consider that he would have to design the back and the binding too. I was completely unaware of what this project would entail, but Rusty pushed himself to learn a new design program, take more photos, and many other details.
He began by photographing our friend, Katie, sitting on a wall on the UofI campus. The original photo had Samuel holding a dark colored sheet behind her. Rusty took that image and combined it with multiple images of a Seattle skyline, a starry night, the moon, etc. to create this beautiful cover. I was stunned when I saw what he accomplished, especially since he has no formal training in photography or graphic design.
This is especially sweet because it is Elise’s first novel and we are so proud of her. Elise has been Sweet Pea’s friend since they were babies. We love to tell the story of Elise opening the presents at Sweet Pea’s first birthday party because Sweet Pea didn’t know how, and being one year older, Elise was an expert. She was also a beautiful bridesmaid in Mimi’s wedding.
Early Saturday morning we will pack up the car and together with my five oldest kids, plus Katie, we will head to Seattle for the book release party. With seven of us wedged into the minivan, it will be a cozy trip, but we plan to meet Sweet Pea at the Columbia River (half way) where some kids will hop into her car. It should be a fun, exciting adventure. We’ll get our copies of the book at the party and I’m sure some of my kids (the ones who don’t get carsick) will read all the way home. I suspect I won’t have it in my hands until they are all done.
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This is what I know, Moonlight and Oranges is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche set in Seattle. It is a young adult novel that is a clean romance. There are multiple great reviews of Moonlight and Oranges on Amazon, if you are interested.
Here are two excerpts:
This can’t-put-it-down novel tells the story of the romance and character growth of two adorably imperfect lovers, Kestrin and Lorona. Stephens’ story takes a refreshing turn from typical love stories by following the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Kestrin and Lorona know at once they’re destined, but differences and shattered trust drive a wedge into their relationship. The ensuing romance and adventures are more exciting than most real-life dramas, but the deeper themes of rebuilding trust and finding purpose are universal, especially in this age of jaded relationships and fleeting thrills.
If you’re a Seattle native, you’ll discover the local references like delightful Easter eggs, but the story transcends its geography. If you’re looking for a Harlequin romance, you’ll probably want to search elsewhere, as this is the mature work of an author who deftly handles her prose and descriptions, and she will force you to think about your life and your relationships as she explores the rocky crags of marriage in a tactful way, without a wisp of steam.
This has been an exciting adventure for Rusty. I look at all of my older children and marvel at the amazing people they are becoming; it’s incredible to see them develop their gifts. Rusty has another BIG project in the works that I will share soon.
If you have an aspiring writer in your family, they may enjoy following Elise’s blog.
#391 – 400 giving thanks
an hour of quiet
Eby proudly cooking his own eggs
sweet conversation with Russ – we’re still learning and growing
a happier morning for Honeybee
Sunshine’s excitement as she left for homeschool classes
living life with friends
This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.