Posts tagged: Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

The Headman & the Assassin, Earth’s End III

Captain Arthur Romero, a secret commando whose orders come from the highest levels of the military. He's down in bomb shelter, too.


You never know where you’ll find love. The village headman, Sam Baahuhd, finds it in the least likely place of all: the underground bomb shelter at Piermont Manor. Sam finds true love with the least likely person ever, a government breaker. Before it all ended, Emily’s job was murder. Murdering people, that is.

In the Earth’s End Trilogy, nuclear Armageddon destroys Earth. People seek refuge wherever they can. A few find it in a cement city three hundred feet below the planet’s poisoned surface. The underground: a dank tomb. An echoing mausoleum. A sanctuary you can never leave.

Can love survive in the underground? Can anything survive there?

Find out in The Headman & the Assassin where lovers discover each other in hell and can’t escape a passion that lasts a lifetime. A sizzling tale of love beyond time and hope. Earth’s End Book 3

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The Headman & the Assassin (Earth’s End 3) 1/2015 from Sandy Nathan on Vimeo.

The Headman & the Assassin

You’ll never forget The Headman & the Assassin.



Award-winning Book, Award-Winning Cover

I’ve got a great article from designer Lewis Agrell about what an award winning cover needs already posted on Your Shelf Life. You can read it here. Lewis says that the most successful book covers are the most beautiful. I think so, too.

They’re a few other things winning covers need as well. Here are some guidelines for award-winning covers, illustrated with covers of award-winning books.

  1. The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

    The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy--This book won four national awards, including the Gold Medal in the 2011 IPPY (Independent Press) Awards in Visionary Fiction, the Visionary Fiction Category in the 2011 Indie Excellence Award, and New Age Fiction in the Best Books of 2011 (USA Book News). It was also a finalist in Fantasy/Sci-Fi in the Best Books Awards. This cover achieves dominance by being light and airy. It's theme, the transcendent dancer, carries out the theme of the book. It is a beautiful cover, meeting Lewis Agrell's standards. (It should: He designed it.)

    The text on your cover should be visible from six feet away. Some designers are in love with the notion that “small is beautiful.” Maybe, but not on book covers. If the type on your cover is tiny, blurred, or unintelligible, your sales and saleability will be impaired. You won’t win anything in contests. Sorry.

  2. “Achieve page dominance.”A concept from telephone book ads. For a quick tutorial on commercial design, let’s look at phone book ads. Open the yellow page ads in any phone book. Scan the page quickly. Where do your eyes land? Note the ad. Do it again on another page, and another.In all probability, the ad that draws your attention is simple. Uncluttered. Either black, white, or mostly empty. The ads that grab your eyeballs and hold them have attained page dominance. People hire consultants to create dominant ads for them.Now go to a bookstore sale table and look at the books. Which books grab your eyes? Which do you pick up? Buy? A book contest is like that table. Clear, bold design that dominates the competition will win.Your cover must have an emotional hook. Think archetypes. Primal images. Something that grabs the inner psychology of your reader/judge.To win contests, and much more importantly, to be purchased, your book cover and spine must dominate any table and any bookshelf.
  3. Your title is really, really important. Your title embodies your book’s essence. It is the first text the reader sees. It should be engaging, easy to read, evocative, and compelling––it should set the emotional tone for your book. As should the subtitle or tag line (the one line description below the title). Also, most of the big catalogs of books will list your book by its title only. It better be memorable.
  4. The words on your cover, flaps, and first few pages of your book, your book’s copy, should be unforgettable. These words are your prime real estate and are what will make your book succeed. The book contest judge, book store owner, and your buyer will make a decision about your book based on these words––in seconds. You want emotional hooks, ease of reading, and enchantment.Writing copy is a skill. You can write text like an angel and not be able to pump out a winning tag line. Emmy-nominated screenwriter Laren Bright, the best copy writer I know, wrote an article about “The Most Important Writing in Your Book.” It’s copy. That’s what sells the book.
  5. Book design, interior & exterior: Your book should look like Random House produced it, no less. Every page and every word should be as well designed as your cover. Go to a book store and look at bestselling books. Get a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style––a gigantic book that lays out everything about books––and make it your best friend.
  6. Numenon Cover

    Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money. This book won the Silver Nautilus Award in Bicultural Fiction, the Silver Medal in the IPPYs, and awards in Visionary and Religious Fiction in the Best Books and Indie Excellence Awards. Notice how this cover would dominate pretty near anything.


    A very important note: Never have your title page on the left side of the book. Do not do that. (I saw books with this flaw in a book contest I once helped judge. This is such a bad error that if you don’t know how bad it is, you’re in big trouble.) Know the proper order of pages in a book. Know what a half title page is and where it goes. The contest judge will know about these.

    I was going to put a few links to other sites about award-winning covers, but when I looked up the articles, I found I didn’t like their covers. A major rule is: If it’s your book (or blog) you should like the cover.

  7. I’m going to do a scrapbook of winning covers below.
    [My blog software has decided it doesn't want to work any more on this post. ;-(  So I can't label the last image. That's the cover of a new book, Sam & Emily: A Romance from the Underground, Book III of Tales from Earth's End. It hasn't won any contests yet, but I hope it will. It fits the book perfectly.]

I’ll sign off here. All the best,  Sandy Nathan



Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice. Another big winner:2007 Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist in New Age (Spirituality/Metaphysics)Bronze Medal Winner in Self Help, 2007 IPPY AwardsNational Indie Excellence Awards 2007: Finalist in THREE Categories: Autobiography/Memoir, New Age Non-Fiction & Spirituality.Best Books of 2007, USA Book News, Finalist in


Sam & Emily: A Romance from the Underground

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could Wins the 2011 Silver Nautilus Award!

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could, by Sandy Nathan, is a Silver Nautilus Book Awards Winner!

Press Release. April 25, 2011:

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could by Sandy Nathan has won the  2011 Silver Nautilus Award for Children’s Nonfiction (Grades 1-6).

The Nautilus Award recognizes books, audio books, and e-books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living & positive social change. In addition to its awards for adult literature, the Nautilus Awards recognize distinguished contributions to the worlds of art, creativity and inspirational reading for children, teens and young adults. Previous winners include: Echart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and . . . Sandy Nathan . Author Sandy Nathan also won the 2009 Silver Nautilus in the Indigenous/Multicultural category with her novel Numenon. (Once on the link, scroll down to find Numenon.)

“I’m terribly excited about this win,” says author Sandy Nathan. “The Nautilus Award means so much to me. It’s purpose––recognizing life-enhancing, life-changing literature and spoken art––aligns with my life’s purpose––producing books that enhance and change the lives of those around me. I couldn’t be happier.

Tecolote’s win is especially meaningful. The little premature and soon-orphaned horse in the book grew up to be my horse. He’s the only horse we own who is reliable enough for me to ride. I’ve got a replaced knee, fused ankle and a couple of other physical dings that make me very cautious about getting on a horse. Tecolote is my boy. He takes care of me.

“One of the things about horses that makes them so special is the way they bond with human beings. Or maybe it’s the way we bond with them. Whatever. Teco and I are bonded. That’s a sweet experience.

“We thought Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could was a natural for the Nautilus Awards. Tecolote’s been inspiring us since he showed us his will to live after being born prematurely and then losing his mother when he was so young. His sweet story of trouble and triumph inspires children and adults.”

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

What are the reviewers saying about Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could?

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could has a five star average (as high as it can go) on its Amazon reviews. Here are a few words reviewers have said about the book:

Rebecca Johnson, Amazon Top Ten Reviewer: “Sandy Nathan is such a good story teller you will be captivated from the first word until the last. She has included adorable pictures which make the story come alive. This is such a warm and amusing tale it made me laugh out loud a few times. I loved how Sandy Nathan explains how horses grow up and need special attention to be well mannered and tame. This is not just a children’s book, it will be enjoyed by people of all ages. What a lovely book.”

L.C. Evans, author Talented Horsewoman: “The book is beautifully illustrated with photos of Tecolote and the other horses on the farm. It would be a great gift book for horse lovers of all ages. Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could is written simply enough so children can read it themselves, but it will also appeal to adults.”

Zippora Karz, author The Sugarless Plum: I absolutely loved this book! Through Tecolote’s journey we feel the love of a mother for her child, (horse for filly and colt), how to find friends, play with them, and create mischief as well. This is a story for any age. I cried and laughed and marveled at all the ways love can be expressed in our lives.

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Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could is available on Sandy Nathan’s Web Site and on Amazon in print and Kindle forms.

Tecolote as a paperback book.

Tecolote as a Kindle book.

Tecolote: The Grown-up Horse

From Sandy Nathan: “My preference is the paperback book. It’s color, inside and out. The book is beautiful. In addition to all the photos, the print book has a header and footer on each page. The header––a long strip across the top––is clouds and blue sky. The footer is green grass. They emphasize the country feeling of the book.”

“On the other hand, you can download the Kindle version in a minute and be reading it. You can’t beat the price: 99 cents. I was very pleased at how the pictures came out in the Kindle book. Very clear, though black and white.

“We’re working on getting Nook, Sony, and iPad versions ready.”


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