Archive for November, 2014

GoingUnderCOVER2

Well, hello there, my lovelies!! Things have been a bit crazy for me here in book blog land. I’ve just done a major host move and things are still a bit wonky, so please pardon the bits of dust and a few missing pieces.

I’ve been rushing to get the site all prettied up because TODAY we get to see the brand new cover for the trade paperback version of a book from one of my very favorite people!!!! SERVANTS OF THE STORM was the YA debut from Delilah S Dawson. Not only did she write a kickass, creepy, insanely unique YA paranormal, but the cover “powers-that-be” at Simon & Schuster gave it an appropriately creepy hardback cover. Regina Flath is the designer that took on the project. First, we’ll take a reminder peek at the hardcover, then chat just a bit with Regina and Delilah about the covers… then… at the end… the big reveal of the just-as-awesome trade paperback cover!!

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Q & A with cover designer Regina Flath:
As a member of the S&S design team, are you able to choose projects, or are you assigned a book cover to work?
What’s great about my team is that we all respect each other’s preferences for types of books we like to work on. Usually when a list is presented to us by editorial, the designers will all take a look through a quick synopsis of the books and then decide what we like to work on best. After we’ve picked our preferences, everything else is assigned based on work load: if I have less titles, I’ll take the stragglers from the list, that kind of thing.

In either case, what were your first impressions of SERVANTS OF THE STORM?
When the book was presented and I heard the words demons, secrets, and missed medication, I KNEW this was my kind of book! I loved the dark tone and rich atmosphere of the world. I also loved how respectfully the author treated the main character’s mental illness in the book; it’s such a huge part of the story (and I won’t spoil it for you!) and I thought that was really well done. Plus, demons, I mean, you can’t go wrong!

Did your initial design ideas make it through to the final cover? If not, what were the major changes that were made?
With SERVANTS OF THE STORM, it was a little bit different as far as process. I actually found the cover image when searching for imagery for an entirely different book! When culling images for that other book, the editor expressed that image could work for SERVANTS. The next season, when the book came across my desk, I pulled the image back up after reading the book and realized that yes, this would be a great image for this cover. I did additional photo research but none of that ended up being used. We knew from jump that that image was perfect. There were some changes to the image, color shifts to make things a little more dramatic, but this was one of the rare projects where the first idea went to final.

How was the decision made to create a different cover for the paperback release? What was the goal in giving the cover a new look?
Often times paperbacks are an opportunity to give a book a new readership that it didn’t have in hardcover. For SERVANTS, we all LOVE the original cover, so there was a lot of back and forth about whether changing the cover for paperback would even happen. It was decided that we wanted to give this book a more atmospheric look in paperback, to showcase the incredibly dark and interesting world that the author built. There are some great scenes at a fair ground (again, no spoilers!) and the Southern Gothic feeling was what the team wanted to emphasize. I did a pretty exhaustive image search to find images that evoked the feeling the book gave me. I settled on the creepy signage because it reminded me of the gothic Savannah setting, almost welcoming the reader into this strange and perilous world. I put the title in the sign in an off kilter way because I wanted it to feel almost like graffiti; as if the residents of this story were simultaneously warning you about what’s to come and inviting you to look closer. The original photograph didn’t include the lightning; I added that to give a sense of foreboding and emphasize the STORM in the SERVANTS OF THE STORM. The ferris wheel is another thing I added, again to reference the creepy fair ground scenes. My hope is that it all comes together to give you a creepy-cool image that makes you want to pick up the book!

What’s your favorite book cover that you did NOT design? If you could design a new cover for any book, what book would it be, and what would you like to do?
My current wish-I-designed-it cover is by S&S’s own Lucy Cummin’s “We All Looked Up” by Tommy Wallach. It’s GORGEOUS, simple, and so striking. I don’t know that I have any books that’d I’d want to re-cover. Maybe a few of my own that I did early in my career (which shall remain title-less, haha). Often, I find myself wanting to cover adult books in a way that would position them for YA audiences. I’m not sure what I would do and it’s also hard to describe a concept in words (I’m much better at the images part!).

 

Thoughts from author Delilah S Dawson:
We know most authors don’t get a lot of input in their cover design. BUT, did you share your ideas about what you would *like* to see on the cover of SERVANTS OF THE STORM?
Nope– both times, it arrived like magic in my inbox to thoroughly delight me. But I have complete trust in Regina and am always amazed by her work. My entire editorial team is magnificent, and they really get my books and care fiercely about them and me.

How well did the final cover fit your original idea? How well did it capture the overall feel of the book.?
As my first YA, I had no idea what would make a good cover for Servants of the Storm. The closest Southern Gothic-y comp title I know is Beautiful Creatures, and that one’s all typeography. My only concern was that I didn’t want a white girl in a prom dress or anyone in a black bustier. To be quite honest, it feels like a tough concept to represent, and I love both the hardcover and paperback takes on it. Both covers capture the off-kilter creep factor without being too overt about the secrets revealed as the story unfolds.

What do you think about changing the design for the trade paperback release?
I think it’s fantastic! I’m not precious about my books, so I love trying new things and seeing if maybe we can hook some new readers. Plus, it’s just a really amazing cover. I’m going to need a framed print on my wall…

Anything else you’d like to share??
Well, if you haven’t picked up Servants of the Storm, I hope you’ll give it a shot. Southern Gothic Horror demons in a storm-ravaged Savannah, complete with a mixed race heroine, spooky cemeteries, an abandoned amusement park, and a demon Basset hound. What’s not to love? We also recently revealed the cover for my April 2015 YA, HIT, which is about reluctant teen assassins in a bank-owned America. (http://fashion-by-the-book.tumblr.com/post/100746321166/here-is-the-cover-of-delilah-s-dawsons-newest) This masterpiece is also Regina’s handiwork, and I think you can begin to see why I consider her a goddess.

Thanks so much for letting me SQUEE about this new cover! <3

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And… since you transitioned us so nicely… I’m happy to present the NEW cover (for the trade paperback, available in June 2015) for SERVANTS OF THE STORM…

 

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So… I LOVE it… what do you think???

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Today’s feature is spotlighting one of the funniest and most talented people I know. Debra Anastasia doesn’t hold ANYTHING back… whether is be in social media, or her incredible stories. Somehow she manages to balance sexy, sweet, snark, and genuine truth in each book. Debra is the author of two popular series, The Seraphim series (paranormal romance), and The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series (contemporary romance). Today, we’re getting a little more info about the Brotherhood series, and book 3, SAVING POUGHKEEPSIE, due out November 22nd.

 

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10 Things About The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series:

1. Jennifer and I have known each other a long time!

2. Poughkeepsie (book 1) was originally fanfic.

3. Poughkeepsie has more vowels than any other word in the world. (Not really but it feels like it when I’m writing it out! And my name is Debra Anastasia. It’s like I have a vowel fetish.)

4. The computer containing the Poughkeepsie manuscript was one of the things I grabbed out of the wreckage of my house before it was demolished in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

5. The dog in Poughkeepsie, Peanut, is named after my cocker spaniel.

6. In Return to Poughkeepsie, Beckett adopts his dog Gandhi from an animal shelter because that something that matters to me. (I have 4 rescue pets!)

7. The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series has more creative curses than someone can shake their dick at.

8. I grew up in New York, and Poughkeepsie was where I went to the mall on occasion.

9. The Hudson Valley is gorgeous, as is the Poughkeepsie Train station, where the book starts.

10. Saving Poughkeepsie will be released 11.22.14, and is the end of an era!

Thanks Jennifer for letting me take over your list!

XO

Book 1 Poughkeepsie
Book 2 Return to Poughkeepsie
Book 3 Saving Poughkeepsie (Drops on 11.22.14)
You can find Debra online at her website, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and GoodReads.

****Adding my own “11th Thing” to the list… (it’s my list, so I can totally do that, lol)****
The first book in the series can be “experienced”. Through some seriously amazing technical mojo, and a tiny bit of magic, the publisher created an enhanced version of POUGHKEEPSIE that includes the soundtrack, image gallery, author/editor notes, and other cool stuff. So, if you’re like me, and you look for all the “extras” that go along with the stories you love… it doesn’t get better than this!
Check out the Enhanced POUGHKEEPSIE!
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Between Series Spotlight & Giveaway

Posted November 6, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you all for stopping by our series spotlight today. We’ve got two books in Kerry Schafer’s Between series available to rave about, and a third on the way.

Between_CV-Final3-185x300Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.

All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes–forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.

And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once–a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…

Here are a few things people have said about Kerry’s debut novel, BETWEEN.

“I never expect a series to sweep me off my feet in the first book, which makes it all the sweeter when it happens. . .I can’t wait to read what Schafer comes up with next.”—AllThingsUrbanFantasy.com

“A smart, resilient heroine, a scarred hero, dragons that are all too real and much too close, and myriad doorways that lead from a modern ER into dreams and waking and everything in Between make for a sparkling debut novel. Most enjoyable.” – Carol Berg, author

18281996Vivian Maylor is trying to hold it together. But her attempts to build a life with the man she loves seem doomed by the dragon inside her yearning to break free. Vivian is a dreamshifter, the last line of defense between reality and the dreamworld, and the only one of her kind.

Weston Jennings also believes he is the only one of his kind. He fears his powers as a dreamshifter, and resists learning to control them. After suffering a tragic loss, Weston heads deep into the woods of the Pacific Northwest to embrace a safe life of solitude. But when a terrible mistake leads to an innocent’s death, his guilt drives him to his former home, where he encounters what he never thought he would find: another shifter.

Now Vivian and Weston must work together to defeat a new threat to the dreamworld.

Some reader thoughts about book 2, WAKEWORLD…

Vivian is so much stronger and really comes into her own in Wakeworld. It was clear that she’s come to terms with the fact that life is going to be crazy now and that she is the one that needs to deal with it, go Vivian! – Anya, On Starships & Dragonwings

“Rising star Schafer continues to advance an elaborate mythology that places her heroine at the intersection of worlds. Schafer proves densely plotted and emotionally charged storytelling is definitely her forte!” – RT Magazine

Wakeworld is a fine adventure. Kerry Schafer gives us heroes we can root for and a world that twists and turns like an Escher print so that nothing is quite what it seems.” – Anne Bishop, author

“Schafer brings a unique voice to urban fantasy, and her writing has a dreamlike, magical quality. A captivating read, a real page-turner!” – Yasmine Galenorn, author

So… that leads us to book 3!! Kerry just unveiled the cover for THE NOTHING…

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Vivian has one chance to save the worlds, and it could cost her everything.

In The Nothing, the third and final book of the Between Trilogy, a mysterious illness is killing healthy people in their sleep. While doctors and world leaders scramble to determine the source of the mysterious epidemic, Vivian Maylor travels through an increasingly unstable Between on a quest to stop it. She already knows the source of the disaster: Aidan the dragon queen has poisoned the dreamworlds. Every time a dreamworld dies, any dreamer caught up in that dream dies too. Much as Vivian despises the dark magic of the Sorcieri, they hold the secrets she needs to be able to pursue Aidan through the locked gates into the Forever. She has one chance to save the worlds—if she can persuade the Sorcieri to share their secrets, and if she is willing to sacrifice everything she loves…

A message from Kerry about THE NOTHING…

A Chance to be Part of the Story…

An unfinished series is a very sad thing. As a reader I am devastated when I finish a book and there isn’t another one and the story hasn’t yet ended. It reminds me of the time I bought a book and for some reason the last page was missing. There I sat, holding that book in my hands and screaming inside, “But I don’t know what happened!!!”

When I started writing a trilogy I made a promise to my readers that I would finish what I started. And I intend to do that. Ace Books has opted not to pick up The Nothing so I’m going to publish it independently. However, I would like for the quality of the last book to be at the same level as the first two and good editors don’t come cheap.

For all of these reasons, I’m running a Kickstarter to help give The Nothing a chance to find its way to more readers. If you would like to be part of this—either by backing the project or spreading the word—you can read all about it at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/574989945/the-nothing-is-comingdream-if-you-dare

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Right now, there is a GoodReads.com giveaway for BETWEEN!!! To enter to win a copy, check out the contest here, before November 13th.

You can also win a copy (either print, or ebook) by clicking on the rafflecopter link below. This Series Spotlight contest ends on November 11th.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE SERIES SPOTLIGHT GIVEAWAY

GOOD LUCK!!

 

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Cover Reveal: HEARTSICK by Caitlin Sinead

Posted November 5, 2014 By Jennifer

We’re SO EXCITED to reveal the cover of HEARTSICK by Caitlin Sinead today! HEARTSICK releases from Carina Press in February 2015 and we can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on this fantastic book! In the meantime, check out the awesome cover below!

Heartsick-final cover

About HEARTSICK

Quinn is looking forward to her senior year. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend Mandy, flirt with cute boy-genius Rashid, party at her favorite dive bar, and figure out what she’s going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major degree. But that is before she meets Luke, a hot townie who moves back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it is before the weird epidemic that starts sweeping campus in which people’s eyes mysteriously turn purple. Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug? Is it a rogue bacteria that was developed in a campus lab? Whatever it is, tensions are heating up as the town starts blaming the university, and the student religious group is convinced that it’s the mark of the devil. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle, especially when Quinn learns that Luke isn’t just a happy-go-lucky, redneck boy-next-door—he is a detective—a fact that triggers Quinn’s phobia of guns and memories of her deceased uncle. In spite of herself and her desire to remain unattached and independent, Quinn finds herself falling for him. But when town and gown relations heat up even further, and Quinn’s friend Danny mysteriously falls to his death, Quinn vows to discover the truth behind the epidemic. As she searches for the people responsible, she realizes that sometimes to gain your independence, you have to be willing to give a little bit of it up.

Add it to Goodreads HERE!

Preorder it now for just $3.79 – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Excerpt from HEARTSICK

“Did you go to college?”

His jaw is tight. “Yes.”

“Do you think I could guess your major?” I ask.

“Probably not,” he says.

I don’t like that I don’t even get a hint at what he did before or what he studied. I shrug, start on my second hotdog and then lean back, really aiming for a glint in my eye, if that’s possible to control. I’ll make this a game. “Well, do you think you can guess mine?”

He smiles. “Do I get something if I guess right?”

I hop up onto a stool and let the tip of my toe brush against his knee. When I make contact, he starts, before leaning in. “What do you want?”

“I want a lot of things…” He stares at me. “But for now, I’d settle for a second date.”

“Okay, if you can guess my major, on the first try—” I emphasize that bit with a pointed finger, “—then I’ll reluctantly agree to go out with you again.”

“I don’t like the reluctant part, but I’ll take what I can get. Now, let’s see…” He rubs his chin as though he’s an old-timey detective. He’s ready to pace back and forth across the room with a pipe and a deerstalker hat. “You like photography.”

Shit, he does know that. I start to hum the Jeopardy! theme song. Maybe if time is running out he’ll be more likely to guess quickly and get it wrong? Do I want him to get it wrong?

“Okay, I got it.” He rubs his hands together. “You’re an art major.” His cheeks swell with the weight of his smile.

“You got that just because I take pictures?” I rub my forehead.

“I know more than that.”

“Someone told you,” I say. “If this bet was rigged, it doesn’t count.”

He jerks back and shakes his head, frowning. “No, I wouldn’t do that,” he says. “I noticed you had some pottery on your coffee table, with initials on it, a Q. B.?”

I nod. He’s talking about the bowl I made last year. Initials usually go on the bottom, but I painted them big and proud in the middle. And the bowl is empty. Mandy and I haven’t decided what to put in it. We narrowed it down to fake fruit (lame), M&M’S (which we would devour) or Micro Machines. Clearly, we’re leaning toward Micro Machines.

Luke takes my hand. I think he’s trying to convey his earnestness, his respectability and seriousness of not tricking me into a bet. The pads of my fingers brush against his rough palms and I suppress a sigh. His thumb runs along my pointer finger, sliding to the fingernail. “You also have paint under your nails.” His victorious, smug smile is in full bloom.

I pull my hand away, embarrassed. “Yeah, it’s hard to get all the paint off.”

“I’m sure,” he says.

About Caitlin Sinead

Caitlin Sinead SocialCaitlin Sinead is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. and her debut novel, Heartsick, will be published by Carina Press in 2015. Her writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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