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Mondays are awesome when you get to reveal an awesome book cover for an awesome author/person. I’m a huge fan of Eric Smith and his book, THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO DATING, and it’s an honor to be revealing the cover for his debut novel, INKED, due out from Bloomsbury Spark on January 20th, 2015. Eric’s cover designer, Jenny Zemanek, is here today to tell us about the design process before a Q&A with the author himself:
JENNY: It’s such a pleasure to be here today to talk a little bit about the design of INKED’s cover, it was a truly collaborative process with the Bloomsbury Spark team and I’m excited to see it revealed to the world today!
The design for INKED started first and foremost with the type. Often times the concept for a cover takes a great deal of time and research, hunting for the right visual or visuals that perfectly communicate the details of the story in an arresting way, but with INKED we had a solid visual from the beginning in the tattoos. I knew I wanted the title to be a focal point, so once I found a typeface that had the feel I was going for, I built the rest of the floral scrollwork tattoo around it.
We wanted INKED to be immediately identified as a fantasy novel, so in addition to the tattoo elements, we hoped to incorporate a landscape that would read as fantastical in nature. What you see below is our first comp.
While it was agreed that the title treatment worked really well, there was a feeling of disconnect between the very graphic style of the tattoo and the photographic quality of the castle. In the second round of proofs, I tried to reconcile those two elements by eliminating the photograph altogether and moving forward with a fully illustrated cover. Meredith at Bloomsbury also asked if I could create a sense of movement within the image, incorporating bolts of lightning as they play a prominent role in the story.
The movement created by the lightning was a hit, but without the castle and the human element implied by its presence, the cover wasn’t quite communicating everything we wanted it to. We decided to return to the visual of a castle as seen in the initial comp, but wanted to make it more of a stylized silhouette to better complement the title treatment. The lightning was incorporated as well, and with a few additional revisions to the blue glow around the title (another important element of the story) and the overall color, we reached our final cover.
Adam: Congrats on the awesome cover, Eric! Did you have an idea on what you wanted for a book cover as you wrote INKED? Did Bloomsbury Spark match your vision or did they surprise and wow you with their own creation?
Eric: Thanks! And yes, I did. Early on in the process, Meredith Rich over at Bloomsbury Spark sent me a little survey asking me about my favorite YA book covers. What did I like about them, what did I hope to see in my cover, things like that. I had a lot of thoughts and opinions, and sent over a bunch of favorites.I probably had too many ideas, as I’m sure every excited author does. I ramble a lot. I wanted something that focused on a tattooed part of the body, like an arm or a hand, or maybe just two of the main characters in a fantasy-esque setting. CODE NAME VERITY, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, and UNDER THE NEVER SKY were some examples I emailed over. And then I got something very different, and I absolutely love it! So they definitely went the route of wow and surprise. Very surprise. Such wow. Etc.
Adam: Describe that moment you saw your final cover….with one GIF.
[Note: The feels listed on that document are good feels.]
Adam: What can you tell us about INKED?
Eric: It’s a fantasy novel that takes place in a world where, when teenagers come of age, the government gives them mandated magical tattoos that tell the world what they are best at. The tattoos shift and move, and basically broadcast who you are, what your future will be. The story focuses on Caenum, a teenager about to be Inked, and his desire to lead his own life. And how that desire leads to a lot of trouble for him and those closest too him; a best friend who is already Inked, a Scribe (the name for tattoo artists) with a surprise gifts, and his family.
Adam: This sounds so awesome and has me itching for another tattoo. Speaking of getting inked, have you gotten your book cover inked on your face yet? If not, what are you waiting for?
Eric: Hah! Not yet. Waiting until after my wedding. Perhaps I’ll get it someplace else though. We’ll see.
Thanks for revealing your cover on Pub Crawl, Eric! And thanks to Jenny at Bloomsbury for giving our readers some scope into her process. You can add INKED on your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads and pre-order it on Barnes & Noble and/or Amazon. Let us know what you think about the cover and its process in the comments below!
Adam was born and raised in New York and is tall for no reason. In the past he worked as a marketing assistant for a literary development company. He’s currently a children’s bookseller and reviews children’s and young adult novels for Shelf Awareness. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, about a boy who wants to undergo a memory-alteration procedure to forget he’s gay, will be coming out on June 16th, 2015 from Soho Teen. Go say stuff to him on Twitter.
Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.
Here's what's on my mind today:
1. Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston Congrats to Meradeth on the release of her newest book! It's on my Kindle right now!
Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.
She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.
When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.
2. Riven and Prodigal Double Cover Reveal The very awesome Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley have two gorgeous new covers to reveal. Check out Riven and Prodigal in the Lost Imperials Series.
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
What should be a routine mission leaves Ethan with a serious problem. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.
Forced to face his dark past and a decision he may never forgive himself for, he will be trained unlike any of the others, to become a true guardian for time. If he accepts, it will mean leaving everyone he loves behind. If he refuses, time itself could unravel. After a glimpse of the dark future awaiting them all, he will have to choose between destiny and desire. Will he rise up and take his place as a defender of the natural order, or will he watch as all of time burns at the hands of the girl he loves?
Welcome to the time war.
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Stein has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.
During a test to verify her bloodlines, Stein makes a terrible discovery. She is carrying a rare genetic mutation that is slowly killing her. Unsure who to turn to and running out of time, she has no choice but to turn to Tesla—her most hated enemy—for help. But can she trust the man who she’s been fighting against her whole life, or will she end up another piece in his deadly game of cat and mouse with the people who betrayed her so long ago?
3. Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich I couldn't be happier for my agent! Her upcoming release looks amazing. Check it out.
Releasing December 4th, 2014
Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
4. Editing November is packed with client edits for me. That means no NaNoWriMo yet again. I've never actually participated though I have unofficially joined the fun in the past. Still, I finished a draft in October so I'm okay with missing out. Good luck to all who are fast drafting this month. 5. Into the Fire Challenge Winner Announced! On November 1st, I announced the winner of the #IntotheFireChallenge. Congrats to Sherry Alexander! She will appear as a phoenix in the third and final book in the Birth of the Phoenix series. 6. Promo Like a Mad Woman! I've had a lot of author events lately, and while I'm busy and I got sick, I'm having a blast. Here are some recent photos from my events.
Family Reading Festival in the Fairlane Village Mall in Pottsville, PA
Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA with Cyn Balog, Kristi Cook, Molly Cochran, and Jennifer Murgia
That's it for me. What's on your mind today? *My FREE monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up, you can do so here.*
Seventeen-year-old Lark Singer only has two things going for her, her music and her best friend Bean. While entering a competition she hopes will launch their music career, Lark searches for answers that will make her whole. Her quest reveals some secrets that those around her would rather keep hidden. As the competition looms closer, Lark discovers not only who she really is, but also who her real friends are. Then tragedy threatens everything she has worked so hard to accomplish. Can she pick up the pieces and move on?
I want to be like Gideon Lee.My lips move as I read the title of my essay. They twitch as I stifle a snicker. Looking around the room, I make sure no one has seen my facial tic. My eyes light upon the Presidents’ pictures lined up on the wall. They face me, each with a unique expression, and I wonder what they were thinking while they posed. They are above the clock so my gaze naturally falls on it. It’s almost time for lunch.
I settle back in my seat and my lips twitch again. A feeling of defiant exhilaration washes over me like a tidal wave.
Montgomery’s going to freak when he reads this.
Despite my best efforts, a giggle escapes and the boy in front of me turns around and gives me the evil eye. I return the glare. He is slumped over, and sweat beads on his upper lip. I think this is odd — it’s rather chilly in the room — but dismiss it before I turn back to my essay.
I bet old man Montgomery doesn’t even know who Gideon Lee is. This thought sends another giggle to the surface, but I quickly squash it by biting my lip.
I picture him searching Gideon Lee’s name on the Internet. I see his expression changing from confusion to disgust. I imagine him taking off his black, thick-rimmed glasses and shaking his head. I hear him mutter, “Lark Singer, what are you doing?” He rubs his face. I can actually hear the rough sandpapery sound as his hand finds his day old stubble. He sighs and puts his glasses back on. “What am I going to do with you?”
I remember when Mr. Montgomery first told us about the assignment. We were supposed to write an essay on someone we admire, someone who has contributed to society in some way. I know when he says this he wants us to write about an a historical figure. After all this is history class, but I raised my hand anyway.
“Lark,” he called out as he stood at his lectern.
“Do they have to be dead?”
He cocked his head as he studied me with his piercing blue eyes. Then he ran his hand over his military style crew cut, and I watched as his salt and pepper hair flattened then popped back into place as if each hair was standing at attention. I could tell he wasn’t sure where this was going.
“Well… I guess not.” That’s when he froze, as if he realized he had just opened a door for me and he wasn’t going to like what was on the other side. He shifted his weight, and looked down at the floor before he backpedaled. “But they have to have made a positive contribution to society. It can’t be about a mobster or anything like that.” Pursing his lips, he stared at me, fiddling with those glasses. “This is one half of your semester grade, Lark. I wouldn’t pull any funny stuff.”
“Oh, I won’t. Scout’s honor,” I answered sweetly, placing my hand over my heart and giving him the scout salute, while inside I planned my rebellion.
I have him. I’m going to write about Gideon Lee, and there’s nothing he can do about it.
Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. Hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade, she even wrote a few
of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. Her first series, “The Super Spies,” has reached bestseller status.
After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree, she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side. The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she’s working on a Coming of Age Young Adult series called The Starlight Chronicles. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.
Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.
Here's what's on my mind today:
I'm home! I finally got to go home this weekend. The walls are back up and most are painted. Two more floors have to be installed, and the kitchen still needs to be finished, but we're making progress.
Reading I'm making an effort to catch up on my reading, which took a big hit from not being home.
New Meme Buttons Now that others are joining in on my weekly memes, I made new buttons. Check them out and feel free to participate in any of my memes.
Crow's Rest Cover Reveal Check out this cover for Crow's Rest by Angelica R. Jackson.
Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.
But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers—and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone—some thing—has taken his place.
Her quest to find the real Daniel—and get him back—plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.
A big-city doctor in a small-town Montana practice….A former nurse who has sworn off doctors forever….The scene is set for passions to ignite in Big Sky Country. For readers of Robyn Carr and Sherryl Woods. City doctor Josh Stanton and his sports car don’t suit the country, but with his medical school debt about to bury him, Josh has to make the best out of a bad situation. Adjusting to his new job and life in the middle of nowhere isn’t easy, but at least the views of the mountains—and one distractingly attractive local—are stunning…
After eight years away, Katrina McCade is back in Bear Paw for a break from her life, bad choices—and men. But when a broad-shouldered stranger bursts into town, she finds herself unexpectedly saddled with the town’s sexy new doctor as a tenant. Katrina doesn’t need a man to make her happy, especially a disgruntled physician. But try telling her body that…
Fiona Lowe is a RITA® and R*BY award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin , Carina Press and, Berkley USA. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she’s not writing stories, she’s a weekend wife, mother of two ‘ginger’ teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes, slave to a cat and often found collapsed on the couch with wine.
Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.
Here's what's on my mind today:
Scholastic Book Fair I'm helping out with the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's school this week. That's always dangerous because I can't be around books and not spend a lot of money.
Kiss of Death I have a FREE Touch of Death prequel novella from Alex's POV. It's no secret I love Alex, so I had to tell his story. It's been in my head since I wrote Touch of Death. Check out the cover below, and download it FREE here.
Into the Fire Challenge Have you seen my #IntotheFire Challenge? If you review the book on Amazon before October 10, you'll be entered to win an awesome prize. You could become a phoenix in the Birth of the Phoenix series and get signed copies of all the books! Check out my video about the challenge here.
FREE! In celebration of the releases of Perfect For You and Into the Fire, I'm making Campus Crush permanently FREE. It's already free on Nook and I'm trying to get Amazon to price match. Hopefully soon.
Milayna Cover Reveal Michelle Pickett has a cover reveal today. Milayna releases March 17 through Clean Teen Publishing. Check it out.
It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.
With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting by her side is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who’s sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love… or her nemesis in disguise?
When she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust… not even the one she loves.
Last fall, Tu Books released Killer of Enemies, a post-apocalyptic steampunk adventure by Joseph Bruchac. Readers were introduced to seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen, a kick-butt warrior who kills monsters to ensure the safety of her family.
Set to be released next month, Joseph Bruchac has written an e-novella that’s a prequel to Killer of Enemies, titled Rose Eagle.
Rose Eagle is set in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where readers are introduced to seventeen-year-old Rose Eagle of the Lakota tribe who is trying to find her place in a post-apocalyptic world.
Before the Silver Cloud, the Lakota were forced to work in the Deeps, mining for ore so that the Ones, the overlords, could continue their wars. But when the Cloud came and enveloped Earth, all electronics were shut off. Some miners were trapped in the deepest Deeps and suffocated, but the Lakota were warned to escape, and the upper Deeps became a place of refuge for them in a post-Cloud world.
In the midst of this chaos, Rose Eagle’s aunt has a dream: Rose will become a medicine woman, a healer. She sends Rose into the Black Hills on a quest to find healing for their people.
Gangly and soft-spoken, Rose is no warrior. She seeks medicine, not danger. Nevertheless, danger finds her, but love and healing soon follow. When Rose Eagle completes her quest, she may return with more than she ever thought she was looking for.
Thanks to the following blogs for participating in the Rose Eagle cover reveal:
From a pack of your favorite NYT and USAT best-selling paranormal romance authors comes a collection of ALL NEW novellas that will make you howl, scratch and bite… and leave you roaring for more!
Love comes in all shapes and sizes. No surprise there, right? Passionate, wild, hungry, dripping, salty, sweaty, steamy; falling in love is the best thing in the world.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a bunny with curves, a brand new werewolf without much clue what’s happening, a feisty wolverine shifter, a fun-loving house cat or a were-tigress with a short temper for obnoxious men, there’s a big, protective, incredible alpha for everyone… or in some cases, two of them!
Except… sometimes, it gets complicated. Mysterious and magical resorts, dangerous rogue wolves, dentists that get just a little too excited and start growing hair in funny places, a couple of bears who might be terrorists, and a tiger with a bad attitude?
Gulp. Things could get REAL complicated.
In places where the only rules are Pack rules; in towns where shifters and witch doctors rub shoulders; on exotic vacations where only eagles dare, and on planes where a wolverine shifter is sandwiched between two of the sexiest bears she’s ever imagined, you’ll never have more fun, or get more steamy, seductive, incredible paranormal romance in ONE PLACE at ONE LOW PRICE.
From our pack to yours, enjoy these incredible novellas, and keep howling for the moon!
* Waking Up Were by Celia Kyle * What’s a gal to do when a dog bite isn’t a dog bite and her boss makes her want to howl at the moon? Keep him.
* Bear Your Teeth by Lynn Red * A slightly clutzy rabbit-shifter and a big, bad bear of a dentist will take you along on a steamy, hilarious ride you’ll never forget!
* Tiger by the Tail by Jessica Sims * Were-tiger Adrian Merino is determined to see the newest shifter on the block, Mandy, become his mate. But it’s got to be her idea first…
* Bears Repeating by Flora Dare * It takes double the werebears to handle one cranky wolverine in this menage romance.
* To Screech His Own by Marina Maddix * It may be against the rules, but when a hot eagle shifter lands at an exclusive resort, one employee really wants to ruffle his feathers. What’s a curvy kitty to do?
Have a seat, children. Let me tell you a little tale.
The year was 2000. I was a recent college graduate making her way in the world, fighting the good fight against an inevitable career in librarianship (a fight that I happily lost in the end). While tooling around Portland, Oregon I came across the wild televised stylings of one Steve Irwin and it was love at first sight. The fellow was a nutcase in the best sense of the term. Whether he was fleeing hippos or climbing trees to escape Komodo dragons I was very attached to his boyish looks and seemingly genuine enthusiasm. With my friends we would buy little documentary videos of his personal life. When he died it wasn’t a surprise (see: previous mentions of his escapades) but it was shockingly sad. This was a fellow with so much life and vitality to him. Sure, sometimes he could be a bit much but he was just so doggone endearing. And then poof! Gone.
Fast forward. The year is 2014 and Grosset & Dunlap have hit the 100th book in their Who Is? / Who Was? / Quien Fue? series. I’m a fan of those books. They’re quick and catchy and act as good gateway nonfiction for longer bios. Well with the 100th book looming, Grosset & Dunlap held this book contest, which ran from March 1st through June 1st, 2014, and allowed readers to cast their vote for the personality they wanted to see featured in the 100th biography in the series. Say they, “With over 67,000 votes cast in total, Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin was the winner with over 14,000 votes. Runners up included religious icon Mother Teresa, the country music group Florida Georgia Line, King of Pop Michael Jackson, and Kenyan political and environmental activist Wangari Maathai. Who Was Steve Irwin? will be released in Summer 2015.”
They asked if I wanted to take part in the cover reveal of the latest and you know what? I still love old Steve. I would have devoured his videos as a kid. He had pep and verve, a sense of humor and an honest-to-goodness love of the natural world that trumped everything else. So here you go, Steve my man. This one’s for you. You deserve it:
Back to the eye doctor I picked up my new glasses on Friday and when I brought them home, I found out one of the lenses is not the correct prescription. *sigh* So I'm going back again today.
The Monster Within Monster Giveaway The big giveaway I'm planning for The Monster Within begins this Friday. Want to join me? Sign up here.
Mother's Day I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. I had a great day with my family.
Editing I'm playing catch-up this week with client edits since my eye drama last week made it very painful to sit in front of the computer screen for very long.
Curse of the Granville Fortune I had a cover reveal on Friday for my debut middle grade novel, Curse of the Granville Fortune, which releases October 22, 2014 through Tantrum Books. Check it out!
Find the fortune, break the curse!
The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.'s family history. He's been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.
To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he's not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he'll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it's too late.
I am honored to take part in the cover reveal for a personal friend! Can't wait to read the rest of her novel - she's a master at her craft and this is sure to be a captivating novel!
HOW WE FALL by Kate Brauning
YA contemporary Publication date: 11/3/2014
Publisher: Merit Press, F+W Media Inc. ISBN-13: 9781440581793 Hardcover, 304 pages
About the Book:
He kissed her on a dare. She told him to do it again.
Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting—a bit too much—with her cousin, Marcus. She pushes away the inevitable consequences of their friendship until her best friend, Ellie, disappears, and the police suspect foul play. Just when she needs him most, Marcus falls for the new girl in town—forcing Jackie to give a name to the secret summer hours she’s spent with him. As she watches the mystery around Ellie’s disappearance start to break, Jackie has to face that she’s fallen in love at an impossible time with an impossible boy. And she can’t let Marcus, or Ellie, go.
Sneak Peek Page:
Last year, Ellie used to hang out at the vegetable stand with Marcus and me on Saturdays. This year, her face fluttered on a piece of paper tacked to the park’s bulletin board. Most weeks, I tried to ignore her eyes looking back at me. But today, Marcus had set the table up at a different angle, and she watched me the entire morning.
The day that photo was taken, she’d worn her Beauty and the Beast earrings. The teapot and the teacup were too small to see well in the grainy, blown-up photo, but that’s what they were. She’d insisted sixteen wasn’t too old for Disney.
The crunch of tires on gravel sounded, and a Buick slowed to a stop in front of the stand. I rearranged the bags of green beans to have something to do. Talking to people I didn’t know, making pointless small talk, wasn’t my thing. My breathing always sped up and I never knew what to do with my hands. It had been okay before, but now—surely people could see it on me. One look, and they’d know. Chills prickled up my arms in spite of the warm sun.
Marcus lifted a new crate of cucumbers from the truck and set it down by the table, his biceps stretching the sleeves of his T-shirt. Barely paying attention to the girl who got out of the car, he watched me instead. And not the way most people watched someone; I had his full attention. All of him, tuned toward me. He winked, the tanned skin around his eyes crinkling when he smiled. I bit my cheek to keep from grinning.
The girl walked over to the stand and I quit smiling.
Marcus looked away from me, his gaze drifting toward the girl. Each step of her strappy heels made my stomach sink a little further. Marcus tilted his head.
He didn’t tilt it much, but I knew what it meant. He did that when he saw my tan line or I wore a short skirt. I narrowed my eyes.
“Hi,” she said. “I’d like a zucchini and four tomatoes.” Just like that. A zucchini and four tomatoes.
Marcus placed the tomatoes into a brown paper bag. “Are you from around here?”
Of course she wasn’t from around here. We’d know her if she were.
“We just moved. I’m Sylvia Young.” The breeze toyed with her blonde hair, tossing short wisps around her high cheekbones. Her smile seemed genuine and friendly. Of course. Pretty, friendly, and new to town, because disasters come in threes.
“Going to Manson High?” Marcus handed her the bags.
She nodded. “My dad’s teaching science.”
Finally, I said something. “Three bucks.”
“Hmm?” Sylvia turned from Marcus. “Oh. Right.” She handed me the cash and looked over the radishes. “Are you here every day?” Her eyes strayed back to Marcus.
“Three times a week,” he said.
“I’ll see you in a day or two, then.” She waved.
I was pretty damn sure she wouldn’t be coming back for the radishes.
Kate spent her childhood in rural Missouri raising Siberian huskies, running on gravel roads, and navigating life in a big family. Now living in Iowa, she is married to a videographer from the Dominican Republic, and still owns a husky. She loves bright colors, fall leaves, unusual people, and all kinds of music. Kate has written novels since she was a teen, but it wasn’t until she studied literature in college that she fell in love with young adult books. Kate now works in publishing and pursues her lifelong dream of telling stories she’d want to read. Visit her online, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
The Monster Within MONSTER Giveaway If you missed my post last Friday, I'm giving away a copy of The Monster Within, SWAG, two other YA novels, and a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card. Enter here. And here's another teaser quote for you.
Website Updates I've become obsessed with updating my website. I just added a pretty rotating banner to it as well as redesigning the entire site. Feel free to check it out here.
BEA I can't wait for BEA. I'm such a little kid. I have two signings (Thursday and Friday) and an author breakfast panel (Friday). Yay!
Proofreading, Editing, and Drafting This week I'm proofreading Into the Fire, editing for a new client, and continuing to draft a new book.
The Devil Made Me Do It Cover Reveal My fellow Darkly Delicious YA author Shawna Romkey has a new book coming out. Check out this great cover.
Lily is working with the angels to stifle the last of the demon outbreaks and to figure out how to stop the Silence of God, so life can get back to boring normality. But all hell breaks loose when she’s stolen from school and brought face to face with the devil himself. Lily has to find her way back home to Luc, crack the prophecy that breaks the curse silencing God, and figure out how she and Luc can ever really be together; but Lucifer has other plans for her that don’t include her ever getting out of Hell in tact.
Today I have a cover reveal for The Night is Found, the final book in Kat Kruger’s Magdeburg Trilogy! The book hits stores July 22nd. What do you think?
When they tried to kill a prince, they made a king
In the aftermath of his pack leader’s assassination Connor Lewis is ready to take control. Rodolfus de Aquila’s plan before he died was to unite the European werewolf packs against their common enemies: the Hounds of God who make the laws and enforce them ruthlessly and with questionable motives, and the Luparii, an intergovernmental group of werewolf hunters now bent on the extermination of his kind. The uneasy alliance between these two factions has fallen apart, and now a battle wages leaving the pack werewolves scrambling to escape bio-chemical warfare on one side, and total domination on the other.
After hearing rumors of a union between the American packs Connor returns with Amara to his home city of New York to learn how to bring the Old World packs together. Werewolf society in the New World has taken a very different course from that of Europe, but when Connor meets the American leaders he begins to question if their ways are, in fact, the path forward.
A world away from Madison, Arden, and all those that he is trying to protect, Connor must discover the secret to uniting and leading the packs under one final charge, or else risk extinction for their entire species in the epic conclusion to The Magdeburg Trilogy.
Today I’m really excited to reveal the cover for my good friend, David Arnold, a fellow 2015 debut author, whose YA novel MOSQUITOLAND is so incredible I tried to rate it 100 stars on Goodreads despite the max being 5 stars. (This ain’t over, Goodreads….) I pretty much want this novel tattooed on my body so I never have to be without my homegirl Mim Malone because she’s glowing with wisdom. But you’re not here for me to rant about the genius that is MOSQUITOLAND. Not only are we hosting David’s cover reveal, we also have Ken Wright, the publisher of Viking Children’s Books and David’s editor, offering some words on the directions they explored for previous cover designs before landing on this bad boy….
Mim Malone is not okay.
After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. When Mim learns her real mother is sick back in Cleveland, she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound.
Along her thousand-mile excursion, Mim meets a strange band of fellow travelers, including Walt (a homeless boy with Down syndrome) and Beck (a heroically-flawed traveling photographer). Walt and Beck stir Mim’s spirit in new ways, challenging her to confront her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking
Ken Wright, publisher of Viking Children’s Books:
“When I first read MOSQUITOLAND on submission, I knew it was that rare novel that straddles the very, very thin line between literary and commercial. It’s also both hilarious and heartbreaking, and will certainly appeal to teens and adults. So that posed a challenge in terms of cover design. How could we convey all these ands?
I originally really wanted a mosquito on the cover. We had one big mosquito, multiple small mosquitos, even a squashed mosquito. But none of them helped tell Mim’s story, so eventually we heavy-heartedly changed directions. (But now I’m so glad we did!)
There were other covers in between—everything from Mim’s therapist’s taxidermied grizzly bear to bright, psychedelic designs—but we finally landed on showing the road trip narrative in an illustrated style that will appeal to teen readers as well as adults. When I saw the artist’s portfolio, I knew he could capture the feeling of the book. And when our wonderful design team finished putting together this magnificent cover, all thoughts of mosquitos and grizzlies were gone. This says MOSQUITOLAND. It says Mim. And it says all the ands we were originally hoping to capture!”
Adam Silvera:When you saw the final cover, did you – like Ken – think it screamed MOSQUITOLAND? David Arnold: Absolutely! I’d always envisioned an illustrated cover for Mim. Additionally, I’m a huge fan of Wes Anderson (and his movie posters), and this cover, for me, really nailed that aesthetic.
A.S:Did Penguin involve you and/or your agent (Dan Lazar) in the design process at any point? If so, what were your contributions? D.A:The (brilliant) idea and execution of the design was all theirs. However, after Penguin presented the initial concept, Dan and I did give input, and they were nothing but gracious and receptive toward our suggestions. Specifically, I submitted a few references pointing the illustrator in the direction of my aesthetic, and Dan and I both offered suggestions about the fonts. In the end, we landed on a cover that resonated with all of us, and that I am so very proud to share with you today!
Adam was born and raised in the Bronx where he wrote fan-fiction in between competitive online gaming and napping. He was a children’s bookseller and a marketing assistant at the literary development company, Paper Lantern Lit. He currently reviews children’s and young adult novels for Shelf Awareness. He is tall for no reason.
David writes stories and songs. He likes pesto, Arcade Fire, indie bookstores, Middle-earth, GARP, Elliott Smith, Christmastime, and all things Sorkin. He doesn’t like olives, liars, or wet socks. His debut novel, MOSQUITOLAND, will be published by Viking/Penguin on March, 3rd 2015. His second book, KIDS OF APPETITE, is tentatively set for a Fall 2016 release. He is represented by Dan Lazar at Writers House.
I'm happy to share the cover of my fellow YA Bound buddy Trisha Wolfe's upcoming book, Losing Track, book two in her Living Heartwood series.
COMING SEPTEMBER 2014!
Sometimes you have to lose your way before finding the right track. The roar of a bike engine. The vibration between her thighs. The feel of cool darkness kissing her skin as she coasts along twisty back roads at night—Melody Lachlan lives for these things. Ever since Mel and her best friend Darla escaped their small, backwoods town, they’ve traveled the countryside in search of fast rides, tatted bikers, and good times. A self-proclaimed poet and lover of all things free, Mel views her life as one long bike ride—with pit stops along the way to numb the pain. But she never saw herself as a junkie. Party as hard as you ride. That’s her motto…until a tragic night steals her soul. Then she’s forced to delve below the surface, to where her demons rage. When she meets recovered drug addict Boone Randall, she’s more likely to deck him than kiss his dimple-adorable face. She doesn’t want his help; doesn’t want to own up to her part in that night. She just wants to do her time and keep her promise to her friend. Yet Boone challenges Mel, and soon she doesn’t mind sharing the road. Only when Boone’s own secret demons threaten their newfound, fragile security, Mel’s course becomes rocky, and she must decide if letting her well-worn track marks fade is worth finding a new path. Told from Dual point of view from Melody and Boone, this is a New Adult Contemporary Romance intended for readers seventeen years of age and older.
Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.
SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy
Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.
And risk losing everything.
What people are saying about this series:
"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer
"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX
"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer
Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.
When I originally read The Riverman by Aaron Starmer this year it blew me away. I couldn’t think of anything to really compare it to. Entirely original, wonderful and strange, it has remained quite clear in my memory ever since. Yet I was shocked when I learned that it was just the first in a trilogy. At first I couldn’t reconcile the first book with a second in my brain. Yet as time passed I found myself really and truly wanting to see where it would go. It’s as if my entire interpretation of the first book hinges on the second. Well, I am pleased and honored to present to you today a cover reveal for its sequel.
Ladies and gentlemen . . . The Whisper!
On shelves March 17, 2015.
Many thanks to Mr. Starmer and Macmillan for allowing me to reveal the jacket here today.
Following his parents' ugly divorce, Jake Oliver chooses to move with his father to a remote corner of Connecticut. Bad enough their new home turns out to be a fenced-in dump in the middle of nowhere, but it seems that the previous owner, his dad’s late Uncle Horace, had been the local crackpot ridiculed by the community for his belief that a Bigfoot roamed the vast woodland preserve that lay beyond the property. Not everything about Jake’s new life is bad, though. His job at the local market is okay, and it doesn’t hurt that his coworker is pretty Nell Davis. But when odd things start to happen, like weird calls in the dead of night, stones thrown by an unseen assailant, and lingering foul odors wafting on the breeze, Jake starts to believe that maybe old Horace wasn’t so crazy after all. With Nell’s help, Jake is determined to make a name for himself by proving to the world that the mythical Sasquatch is alive and well and living in the woods just on the other side of that fence.
Title: Sasquatch Author: SASQUATCH Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.spencerhillpress.com) Please feel free to use any text, images, links, etc. from our website. Print ISBN: 978-1-939392-47-3 Ebook ISBN: 978-1-939392-54-1 Release Date: March 2015 Formats: Paper, e-book
Andrea Schicke Hirsch has been a bookseller, editor and copywriter, teacher and paralegal. She studied theatre and English at Fordham University and has a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Bridgeport. A Connecticut native, she lives in Wilton with her family. This is her first YA novel.
Cold Burn of Magic is sooooo on my wish list, so I’m happy to share the cover reveal this morning. The book sounds so good! What do you think of cover? Is this on your reading list?
Cold Burn of Magic
Black Blade #1
Releasing April 28th, 2015
KTeen, imprint of Kensington Publishing
THERE BE MONSTERS HERE… It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.
I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.
But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call—get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her…
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Estep is constantly prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Jennifer is the author the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington and the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. She is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series.
Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups. Jennifer’s books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications.
I have a couple cover reveals this morning. First up: I read about The Elementalists last week, and the plot sounds intriguing. Besides, anything with dragons gets a second look from me. What do you think of the cover?
It is the hottest year on record for the fifth year in a row, and famine riots spread across much of Africa. Along the Gulf Coast, the hurricane season is one of the worst in memory. The latest in a string of 9.0 strength earthquakes has claimed two-hundred thousand lives in central China. Far below the earth’s crust, imprisoned in ancient slumber, the elemental powers of the land grow restless…
All seems normal in small town Virginia, where fifteen year old Chloe McClellan dreads the start of her sophomore year. Whip-smart, athletic and genuine, she’s also a bit of an angry loner who is totally unaware of her charms. Despite her plans to stay under the radar, Chloe becomes a target for the fiery queen of the It-girls in fifth period gym. She then draws instant notoriety when she’s struck by lightning after her first disastrous day of school. As if that weren’t bad enough, she soon comes to believe, that either she’s going insane, or her accident has unleashed a powerful and terrifying creature from the mythological world—triggering the final countdown to the world’s sixth great extinction level event.
Chloe finds some solace as she inexplicably wins the affections of an unlikely trio of male classmates: the earthy and gregarious captain of the football team, the flighty stoner with a secret, and an enigmatic transfer student who longs for the sea. All the while she struggles with the growing realization that “Dragons” exist, and she may be the only one who can stop them.
The Elementalists, book one of the Tipping Point Prophecy, follows Chloe and her group of friends, and enemies, as they struggle to save humanity by harnessing the power of the elements.
This is C. Sharp’s debut novel. He studied English Literature and Anthropology at Brown University and Mayan Archaeology at the Harvard Field School in Honduras. He works in film and commercial production. Chris now lives in Concord, MA with his wife and daughter.
So this is a huge treat because I don’t think I have done a cover reveal on this blog before! If you’ve got to start somewhere, I’d suggest something spectacular. And that’s what I have for you.
A few weeks ago, I tweeted this:
Tina and Carson Kugler have created a masterpiece in this book. Isn’t there something so spectacularly meta about artists creating a book about an artist? And artists who smoosh their individual styles together to imagine something entirely new?
It makes such beautiful sense.
It’s a book about found things, collected and loved and shared. Their collaborative process makes the story that much more powerful, more meaningful, and more perfect. (click to enlarge) Check out this interview Tina did over at Kidlit 411 for some extra behind-the-scenes info.
And so here you go. (Click to see it even bigger!)
Look for In Mary’s Garden (HMH) on March 17, 2015!And in its full wrap around glory:
I have a cover reveal and giveaway to share for Marissa Clarke’s Love Me To Death. What do you think of the cover? Are you going to add Love Me To Death to your TBR?
Love Me To Death by Marissa Clark
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Synopsis: Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar. When she is shot in a convenience store robbery, Elena finds herself rocketed into supernatural insanity courtesy of a sexy immortal law enforcer. He’s convinced she’s some kind of freaky half-vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster. Yeah, right.
Nikolai Itzov never anticipated battling the urge to kiss the offspring of his father’s murderer. As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, his orders from the Underveil General are clear: Kill her or die.
Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans. With her analytical mind and his centuries of training, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives and maybe their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.
As her sizzling new series continues, Jennifer Chance sparks some serious combustion between a sexy biker and a corporate go-getter who’s ready to let her hair down.
New grad Anna Richardson works hard—so hard that she’s given up having a romantic life. Anna has even convinced her friends that she’s dating an amazing guy—who they’ve simply never met. But now Anna has a wedding to attend and needs to produce the hottie she’s been lying about for the past six months. Enter Jake Flynn, her infuriating, motorcycle-riding, jaw-droppingly gorgeous neighbor, who’s more than willing to fake it for a weekend. In fact, Jake won’t be satisfied until things get real.
Though Jake is only playing the role of adoring boyfriend, he’s starting to feel the heat, and judging by Anna’s sweet blush, so is she. Letting chemistry this intense go to waste would be a real shame. Soon, though, the thin line between fantasy and reality fades. Jake may not be what every buttoned-up fast-tracker wants, but he’s sure as hell what Anna needs. And if she takes a ride with him, their adventure never has to end.
“Jake, the wedding would completely suck for you,” Anna protested. “My ex is a nightmare and you would hate all of my friends. You would think the whole thing is ridiculous—because it is.” He just watched her, maddeningly, his smile curving as she tried to sputter out her refusals. “You don’t want to do this. Trust me.”
“I just said I did.”
“But . . . you can’t . . . you wouldn’t . . .” Anna stopped, flustered. What was happening here? Was she actually turning down a viable date? “There’s so much you would have to memorize about Dave. There’s no way you’re going to want to do that.”
Jake just lifted his brows. “You know, for someone who’s just met me, you seem to know a lot about what I would and wouldn’t want to do.”
“I don’t! I mean, I can guess. But I just . . . can’t.” Anna swallowed. “Look, I appreciate it. If I strike out tonight, I’ll call you. How about that?”
“That sounds good.” Jake signaled to the bartender. “So I guess I should make sure you have my number, then.”
“Oh, well yes. I guess. Or, you know, I could just—” Before Anna could complete the sentence, Jake had a pen in his fingers. They were both leaning on the bar, their faces inches apart. He tipped the pen to its side, sliding its base alongside her jaw. The cool metal on her flushed skin startled her, and Anna’s gaze jumped to his. The challenge in his eyes was unmistakable.
“Hold out your hand, Anna,” he said, as if they weren’t in the middle of a crowded bar, in front of everyone.
“That’s not necessary,” she said quickly. “I have other people’s cards—you can just use—just write on one of those.”
His gaze grew hotter, more intense. “That’s no good,” he said. “You might lose it.”
Anna hesitated, then something was triggered deep inside her, and she felt a dangerous flicker of pleasure. She knew that flicker, remembered it from somewhere, even as life and work and responsibility had taught her to keep it doused, out of commission. It had been a long time since she’d let that fire burn.
But now Jake Flynn was positioned in front of her with gasoline and a blowtorch.
Someone cleared his throat beside them, and a disgruntled voice rang out. “Excuse me, I’m Gary, and your friend Lacey—”
“Take off, Gary,” Jake said without turning around. His gaze held hers. “Anna?”
Anna held out her hand, and Jake held her arm steady, cradling it with his fingers. Sensation rocketed through her at the intimate touch, intensifying sharply as she felt the smooth slide of ink on her skin. He wrote slowly, sensually, the pen tracing wickedly silken lines on the hypersensitive skin on the inside of her wrist, all the way down until he reached her palm. By the time he was finished, Anna was amazed she was still conscious. Then he glanced at her.
[Author Photo] Jennifer Chance is the award-winning author of the New Adult series Rule Breakers. A lover of books, romance, and happily-ever-afters, she lives and writes in Ohio. Visit her website and find her on Twitter.
To celebrate the cover reveal for Who R U Really? Margo Kelly is giving away TWO Advance Reader Copies of the book! Visit www.margokelly.net to enter by Sunday, May 11, 2014!
WHO R U REALLY?
by Margo Kelly
Merit Press -- September 18, 2014
Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.
Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a real-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.
About the Author:
Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, Margo is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her debut novel and will be published by Merit Press in September 2014. Margo welcomes opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.