Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Here's another strong, independent woman to add to my growing collection of heroic women. It's a recent cover for a book by new author, Christine Blevins, soon to be published by Berkley Books and titled, Midwife Of The Blue Ridge. The book is set in 1763 and has a very original story .
......."In the highlands of Scotland, Maggie Duncan is desperate to alter the course of her lonely, hardscrabble life. In search of a new beginning, the young midwife puts her mark to terms of indenture, turns her back on her homeland, and embarks on an adventure into the great unknown.
Maggie survives the perilous journey across treacherous seas and makes landfall in Virginia Colony. Her indenture is sold at auction and she is bound to provide four years of service to a farming family living on the remote frontier in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
No longer under threat of war, the Virginian uplands are being claimed and settled by bold men seeking their fortunes. Frontier folk face adversity daily as they carve out an existence in this wild, beautiful place. Rugged backwoodsmen vie with determined homesteaders and brutal land speculators for ground, game, and the favors of a handful
of women.
More than one of these daring men are drawn to the pretty midwife, and more than ever Maggie must rely on her wits, her healing skills and her strength of heart to survive in a savage land where the whisper of Indian uprising lies just over the horizon."
I was given this assignment as a rush job. The author had actually provided a great sketch, so I was able to "see" Maggie in my mind, given very little information beyond a brief description. This is either intuition, experience of just luck. Maybe all three rolled together! The cover crops in on my image just below the woman's nose, so Christine had never seen her face. When I sent her a jpeg of the full image this was her reply: ....."it is a bit eerie to see the full image. Your version of Maggie is exactly ? I mean EXACTLY how I pictured Maggie Duncan in my head. It is actually amazing to me that you caught her with such minimal information."
Well I'm pleased that she's pleased and the publisher is happy, too.
I don't know why, but I really like portrying heroic women. Maybe it's the contrast between their beauty and their determination, but actually, their beauty is partly a result of their determination! Whatever the fascination is, give me more stories like this to illustrate!
Model: Cole, from Click agency. Photography, Shirley Green. Costume, Sharon Spiak.Thanks all!

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