J. Dianne Dotson – Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Author - Cover Reveal: The Inn at the Amethyst Lantern

I’m delighted to reveal the incredibly gorgeous cover of my young adult debut Lunarpunk SFF novel, THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN! Publishing October 24, 2023, via Android Press, this cover reflects everything fabulous about the world within its pages. Enjoy this cover art, and then read on to learn more about the book and the cover design, and how to preorder.


I’ve written previously about the details concerning the book deal and more about the book itself, for those curious. To sum things up, here’s a description of the book:

Atop a seaside bluff, an ancient lighthouse named the Amethyst Lantern sweeps its violet light across the sea and around the bayside town of Glimmerbight. The citizens do not remember a time in which the Lantern was built. But tales abound of the Inn in its shadow. Long ago, the Inn played host to a wonderous twilight era of a time long passed before the sun’s harsh rays forced humanity to adapt to Night Living. Legend tells that the shuttered Inn still houses a mystic hermit who powers the Lantern, and who may have founded the town itself.

Gentian “Gen” Lightworth and her brother Jas are two teens who live at the edge of the woods beyond which the Inn and the Amethyst Lantern still stand. After their cousin, Mira Celestus, breaks the societal age code by attending the annual Glowworm Ball via magic, something awakens in the Inn. Two giant Luna moths carry an invitation from the Inn addressed to Gen alone, portending that something stirs at the base of the Amethyst Lantern after all. Gen and her friends seek to uncover the truth of the Inn and find that something strange is happening in all the land, that could threaten the pleasant town of Glimmerbight and force Night Living into a more sinister era of darkness, or even worse, to bake in the brilliance of a savage sun.

For the new novel, I wanted to tap into several very fun influences or homages. Some of these include Stranger ThingsThe GooniesSabrinaNancy DrewThe Hardy Boys, and, yep, even John Carpenter’s The Thingand Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan…among other influences.

The Cover Art

For this cover, I asked the editor, Justine Norton-Kertson, if I could choose the cover artist. Because I had someone particular in mind who I knew would absolutely slay the cover. We wanted Gen Lightworth, the main character, to be on the cover. And I was determined to have the lighthouse, the Amethyst Lantern, featured as well. We wanted a Lunarpunk cover that featured night, bioluminescence, fireflies, and a Luna moth, as those all feature in the book. The Amethyst Lantern sits atop a promontory over the ocean so that needed to feature as well.

Regarding the Amethyst Lantern, I wanted it to look like a purple version of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a place of special meaning to me. It’s my favorite lighthouse, although I love ALL lighthouses.

I’m so pleased that I could choose the artist…

The Artist

The illustrator of the cover for THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN is someone I have worked with in the past: Kim Herbst. Kim made a definitive illustration for my character Galla-Deia, the chief heroine of THE QUESTRISON SAGA. Kim’s art is ethereal, fluid, otherworldly, and luminous. In other words, perfect for this book. And thankfully she was available and willing to make this cover.

It’s swoon-worthy. I love all my book covers, but this one is the first with a character on the cover (it will not be the last!). Kim perfectly captured Gen at a pivotal moment that changes her life forever. In many ways, Kim’s art also gives a Studio Ghibli vibe, which I adore. Many kudos to Kim. It’s perfect.

The Cover Font

With the font choice, Justine and I went back and forth in a fun comparison of various fonts, and finally settled on one that has a bit of an Art Nouveau vibe, which is a nod to some of the historic aspects to the inn in the novel. Justine made the glowing effect and I really love this. What’s also fun about this book cover is that you can immediately tell it’s fantastical and unique. I hope readers feel the same about its contents.


Preorders on the publisher’s site are now live, and will be added elsewhere at a later date!

I can’t wait to invite you to this new universe I’ve created, so that you can meet Gen and all her friends.