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MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW – JANUARY 2020

Bookwatch, January 2020 One If By Land, Two If By Submarine

Synopsis: When Paul Revere is kidnapped by a time traveler who is determined to change the outcome of the American Revolution, thirteen-year-old Kep Westguard is sent back in time to Boston, 1775, to take Revere’s place on that famous midnight ride.

Kep’s four-person team has twenty-four hours to light the famous lanterns at Old North Church, warn Lexington and Concord that the British are coming, and rescue John Hancock and Samuel Adams from hanging as traitors to the crown. As the clock ticks, one teammate is arrested as a runaway slave, a British watchman stops another from lighting the lanterns, and Kep nearly drowns when he attempts to cross the Charles River in a Patriot inventor’s prototype wooden, hand-crank submarine.

When Hancock and Adams ask Kep to sneak a trunk of critical papers out from under the eyes of the British Army during the Battle of Lexington, Kep has to decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice for his country. If he fails, there will be no America to return to!

Critique: A deftly crafted and simply riveting read from first page to last, Eileen Schnabel’s “One If By Land, Two If By Submarine” is an extraordinary science fiction story by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a remarkably effective narrative storytelling style. All the more impressive when considering that “One If By Land, Two If By Submarine” is Schnabel’s debut as a novelist, this first volume of a planned series is especially and unreservedly recommended for both school and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections for young readers. It should be noted for the personal reading list of all dedicated science fiction fans that “One If By Land, Two If By Submarine” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

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Interview with ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SUBMARINE’S award-winning cover artist Ricky Gunawan

People really DO judge books by their covers. They must find something in the artwork that speaks to them as readers, that evokes emotions and hints at a story they’d want to read. Ricky Gunawan, the cover artist for ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SUBMARINE, recently won Cover Wars from authorshout.com and kindly took the time to answer some questions about his work as an artist.

1.  What challenges do you face as a cover artist?*

The challenge so far is to maintain the quality of my illustrations and to create distinct covers for each client that help to evoke their unique stories.

2.  Where do you get ideas from?

Mostly I get the ideas from a lot of media: films, comics, photographs, movie posters or other artists’ illustrations. But  some of the   great  ideas come from the writers themselves.

3.  What is your working process?  Do you work at cafes or need to work in a quiet environment?*

My working process is very simple. I do some sketching based on the ideas we’re brainstorming then show it to clients. And once they approve the sketch, I begin to paint. I do the entire process in my home. I’d rather work in my own place than at the  cafe, so yeah, it needs to be a quiet environment. 

4. How long does it usually take to complete a book cover?

Usually less than a month. Two weeks on the fastest.

5. Who are some of your favorite artists?

I don’t want to sound like an apathetic person, but I really don’t have a favorite artist. There is artwork I adore, but I don’t know the artists’ names, though I really love my wife’s father’s photographic works. I regret that he passed away several years ago, but I learned a lot from him.

6.  What book covers currently are some of your favorites?

My favorite covers from my portfolio? I have several (see attachment). As for other artists, I really like Mario Puzo’s The  Godfather cover art and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, both the book cover and the movie poster. It’s very iconic and with only minimalist  design, they pierced the message in to my brain.

7.  What role do you feel artists have in society?

Artists are the foundation of human culture whether they are visual or audio artists, they are shaping how the world is running.  You will see works of art in every part of our surroundings. Book cover art is not only for entertainment, it pulls a reader into a story. It’s very important.

8.  How did you get started in drawing?

I drew as a hobbyist since my childhood. And started drawing professionally ten years ago when I realized I needed to make money from my hobby. I made the covers for a children’s book series as starter.

9.  What advice do you have for people who would like to become cover artists? 

There are a lot of amazing book cover artists out there and there are a lot who have even better skills than I do, but somehow I can survive. I’m still in the process of doing it. I’d recommend the following: try to be different, stay focused, be yourself and learn from other artists but stop idolizing them. When you idolize someone, you will try to be like them and maybe in several years you can copy their styles, but then you realize that you’re not alone. There are others like you doing exactly the same things as you. So it’s better to just find your own style and be persistent.

The link to Ricky Gunawan’s artwork: http://ricky-gunawan.daportfolio.com/


“In some ways, reading this book reminds me of reading the first book of the Harry Potter series as the main characters of this book are also strong-willed kids with different personalities and skills who are not afraid of taking on challenges. ” Goodreads Review

“For me it was an intriguing page-turner that sucked me in to reading in three sittings over three days. The intermixing of time travel, history, adventure and morality kept me guessing when and how the next twist would surface.” Goodreads Review

“So many twists, I couldn’t wait to discover what lay ahead for the main characters with every turn of the page. It’s a great novel for kids and adults alike, and I look forward to seeing (and reading!) more works by this author in the years to come. ” Goodreads review

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First letter to readers

Dear Fellow Reader,

I hope this finds you well and scouring the bookshelves at libraries and bookstores and online to find new worlds to explore and new lives to live inside the hearts and minds of a multitude of new characters.

My first middle-grade story, ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY… SUBMARINE will be released October 2019.

I’m excited for you to meet my characters Kep, Max, Tela, and T.J. as they arrive in Boston, 1775, and attempt to save the country at its very birth.

When Paul Revere is kidnapped by a time traveler determined to change the outcome of the American Revolution, thirteen-year-old Kep Westguard is sent to Boston, 1775, to take his famous midnight ride. Kep’s four-person team has twenty-four hours to light the famous lanterns at Old North Church, warn Lexington and Concord that the British are coming, and rescue John Hancock and Samuel Adams from hanging as traitors to the crown.

As the clock ticks, one teammate is arrested as a runaway slave, a British watchman stops another from lighting the lanterns, and Kep nearly drowns when he attempts to cross the Charles River in a Patriot inventor’s prototype wooden, hand-crank submarine. When Hancock and Adams ask Kep to sneak a trunk of critical papers out from under the eyes of the British Army during the Battle of Lexington, Kep has to decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice for his country. If he fails, there will be no America to return to.

I got my first reviews on Goodreads! I am SO excited and grateful to those who took the time to read and review! After having lived with these characters in my head for so long, it is a joy to send them out into the world.

Best wishes to all for a spring full of great stories – both on the pages of books and in the hours of your days!

Eileen