Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Break Time!

Hey Everyone!

Just a quick post today to say I'M GOING ON VACATION! Well, it's a staycation really since my husband and I aren't actually going anywhere, just taking time off, but I couldn't be more excited. Normally when I take vacation time I still keep up with the blog, but for the first time in 6 years, I'm taking time off from everything. Except reading. I'm going to get some serious reading done and I can't wait! Please leave me lots of good recommendations in the comments, I want to know the best thing you guys have read recently!

Posts will resume as normal the week of July 11th:)

*bear hugs all of you*

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Making of a Book Blog Tour: The Creation of Compass South

Today I'm excited to be a part of a very special blog tour for Compass South, a MG adventure graphic novel by Hope Larson and illustrated by Rebecca Mock. Each stop on this tour is going to be sharing some behind-the-scenes info about what went into the making of Compass South, so be sure and follow along to get all the juicy details! I'm kicking things off today, so I'd like to extend a very warm Supernatural Snark welcome to Hope Larson!

I have always loved adventure stories. As a child, all my favorite books were fantasies and quests. I spent weekends traveling through Narnia, Prydain and Middle Earth. When I discovered comics, I traveled the world along with Tintin, and Europe with Astérix and Obélix. I loved quieter books, too, but I never tired of seeing a protagonist rise above humble beginnings to become a hero. For an introvert, it’s a great comfort to be told that one can become more than she is; that friends and guides will appear to help when they are needed; that there’s a happy ending on the way.

Still, it took me a long time to write a story like this. Compass South, my first adventure book, is my seventh graphic novel. There are several reasons for this: While adventure stories are the bread and butter of the comics industry, they are mainly confined to the mainstream comics industry–that is, superhero comics. No one would discount the importance of Bone or Amulet, but they remain exceptions in traditional publishing. It’s tricky to fit a big, rollicking story into 200 small pages, and equally tricky to make a publisher commit to more than one graphic novel at a go; comics are expensive and time-consuming to produce, and backing one is a significant financial risk.

Compass South would not have been possible without A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. The success of that project enabled me to lobby for a bigger, bolder, more action-packed story, and it also showed me the important of such stories: because they appeal to reluctant readers. When Wrinkle came out, I heard from many parents who explained that my adaptation was the first book their son or daughter had read on their own. This touched me, and for the first time I was able to justify my work as a cartoonist. I love comics, but for years, when I was asked to explain the importance of the medium, I didn’t have a solid answer. Because that’s what I’m drawn to? Because I love words and pictures? Because it’s how I envision the stories I tell? Just . . . because? Now I could see that comics were a way for kids intimidated by walls of text to enjoy reading. That kids with learning disabilities or autism could pick up a comic and understand the characters’ emotions through pictures in a way that is impossible with words alone.

I started writing a story that would be big and fun, but not intimidating. I made my protagonists brother and sister, so the book wouldn’t feel gendered. I adopted the episodic, chapter-based structure of A Wrinkle in Time and broke the story into small chunks. I enlisted the help of illustrator Rebecca Mock to bring it all to life on the page, and found the sort of brilliant, passionate collaborator all comics writers dream of.

I am so proud to share Compass South with the world, because getting it out into the world has been its own adventure. The story began humbly, a few sentences scribbled down on a plane. It swelled into an outline, then a script. An artist and editor appeared to lend their aid, and the three of us had many adventures and endured many trials. We sacrificed sleep and evenings and weekends, but we knew it would be worthwhile–that, someday, there would be a book. I can’t think of a happier ending than that.

Thanks so much Hope!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


It’s 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra’s father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. But once there, Alex is shanghaied to work on a ship that is heading for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Cleo stows away on a steamer to New Granada where she hopes to catch a train to San Francisco to find her brother. Neither Alexander nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are in — they are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. How they outwit the pirates and find each other makes for a fast-paced, breathtaking adventure.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Hope Larson adapted and illustrated A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, for which she won an Eisner Award. She is also the author and illustrator of Salamander Dream, Gray Horses, Chiggers, and Mercury. She lives in Los Angeles.

Rebecca Mock is an illustrator and comics artist. Her work has appeared  in various publications, including theNew York Times and the New Yorker.  She is co-organizer of the Hana Doki Kira anthology. Compass South is  her first book

Be sure and check out all the stops on the tour for more peeks behind the book creation curtain!

June 27th — Supernatural Snark
June 28th — Love is not a Triangle
June 29th — Forever YA
June 30th — YA Bibliophile
July 1st — Sharpread
July 2nd — Watch. Connect. Read.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Season For Fireflies Blog Tour: Playlist + Giveaway!

Welcome to Day #5 of the A Season for Fireflies Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel (6/28/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Rebecca and 10 chances to win a copy of A Season for Fireflies, as well as a chance to win a Summer Reading Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

A Season for Fireflies Playlist by Rebecca Maizel
These are the songs I listened to while writing Fireflies:

Stop by A Dream Within A Dream on Monday for Day #6 of the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:
June 20th – The Fandom
June 21st — Bookhounds
June 22nd — Daisy Chain Book Reviews
June 23rd  — Mundie Moms
June 24th — Supernatural Snark  
June 27th — A Dream Within A Dream
June 28th — The Book Cellar
June 29th — PageTurners
June 30th — Bookish
July 1st — Parajunkee


A captivating contemporary novel about first love, second chances, and the power of memory, by the author of Between Us and the Moon, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Katie Cotugno.
One year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfits and falling in love with her best friend, Wes.
Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her first love, Wes, ignores her, and her best friend is the most popular girl in school. Penny is revered—and hated.
But when a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year, or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee, Penny realizes she may have the second chance she never expected.… 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Rebecca Maizel hails from Rhode Island, where she teaches high school literature at her alma mater the Wheeler School. She tries not to force her students to read her books, though. Rebecca is the author of several published novels for young adults, and recently achieved an MFA in Writing for Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She also enjoys Indian food, her dog Georgie, and running moderately long distances.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


There are two separate giveaways for this tour (WOO HOO!), so be sure and enter for a chance to win both! First up is a copy of A Season For Fireflies. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and then skip down to all the details on the Grand Prize Giveaway! Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

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Grand Prize Giveaway!


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Friday Flourish: I'll Be Yours

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope you guys are all having a great summer so far! Mine is flying by, I can't believe it's almost July already. Since the official first day of summer was this week, I thought I'd share a recent cover design that's perfect for your summer reading lists (even if technically football takes place in the fall ;-))!

As much as I love illustrated covers and effects-heavy designs for all that they teach me new and fun things in Photoshop, it's equally rewarding to work on projects that are a little more straightforward visually and focus on the simple gorgeousness of color, type or photography. Author Jenny B. Jones got in touch with me for one of her recent releases, a sports-themed contemporary YA romance, and I had an absolute blast bringing I'll Be Yours to life on the cover!

While I of course wanted this cover to feel like it fit with the genre, I also wanted to make it as unique as possible, incorporating the football element in a more subtle way. For the main image we focused on a specific lakeside scene from the book, but I knew I needed to bring the football element in as well since it played such a pivotal role. I could have gone with a university-style font consisting of large block letters that scream sports, but since that's been done and done well on a number of covers, I wanted to take us in a slightly different direction. I found a big, bold and rounded font with tons of personality that I knew I needed in my life immediately, and once I saw it in place, how to introduce the football element finally clicked for me. Since both football plays and romance can be expressed with x's and o's, I thought it would be cute to bounce them in and around the type, making the title treatment a strong visual statement against the colorful sunset sky.

I absolutely love how this one turned out, so I hope you guys do too! Plus, any cover with a dog on it is an automatic winner to me:)

She’s the coach’s brilliant daughter, clueless about love. He’s the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101. When dark secrets and sparks collide, there’s no playbook for what happens next.

The day Andrew Levin arrives at Washington High, Harper O’Malley knows he’ll make the perfect starter boyfriend. The school’s newest band geek is totally in Harper’s league, yet completely out of this late-bloomer’s reach. Between fitting in with a new family, scoring the first chair in band, and rescuing dogs for the local animal shelter, Harper’s never had the opportunity to hone her dating skills. But even though Harper’s love life is far from perfect, she’s got the perfect plan.

Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley Estes, a notorious heartbreaker and the star of her high school’s football team—but in exchange, he’s offered to school her in the game of love. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a football scandal rocks her family, her town, and Ridley’s entire future. Harper suddenly has everything to lose—her family, friends, and even her heart. When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love.

Find Jenny:

You can check out more of my design work at Seedlings Design Studio 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dad Reviews: America's First Daughter

Today I have a very special guest reviewer - my dad! *high five for family participation* As you guys know, I've been a bit behind lately on reviews as work is infringing on my reading time (boo!), and my dad was nice enough to step up (along with my mom and mother-in-law) to try his hand at reviewing. While I don't think I'll be able to convince him to read and review any YA or adult romance, it's nice to have a little genre variety here on the blog, so thank you Dad for helping me out!

Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
Historical Fiction
William Morrow
624 pages
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

When reading this book, one has to remember that this is not a history book. It’s a novel. So it’s much more interesting to read because the characters come to life through dialog that is “creative license.”  But it is strongly based on history, and in fact, each chapter does open with a written record of something from Tom himself. (If you read this book, you can call him Tom. After 624 pages, you should be on a first name basis with anybody.)

So you won’t learn a lot that’s new to you about Tom himself unless you are really unfamiliar with him to begin with. You DO come to appreciate what a struggle it was to start up a country: the risks the founding fathers took with their lives, the relationships they had with each other – who they liked, who they didn’t – and the work it took to bring it all together even after the war was done.

But mostly, you gain real insight into how incredibly difficult it was to live 200 years ago in a society that ranged from moneyed plantation owners to regular farmers and tradesmen to slaves. Added to that mix are the views of men toward women and vice versa in a land where life was fragile and dangerous, and you and your family’s very survival depended upon each other. It was a complicated culture whose vestiges are still with us today even though we have shed many of the discomforts, dangers and distasteful doctrines of that time. 

It’s a heavy topic and a long read, but you come to know the characters quite well and wish the best for their future, even though you know how it ends. Because hey, It’s based on history. But served up much better than you remember in high school.

Find Stephanie:

Find Laura:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: Places No One Knows

Brenna Yovanoff
Contemporary-ish Young Adult
384 pages
Delacorte Press
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Waverly Camdenmar spends her nights running until she can’t even think. Then the sun comes up, life goes on, and Waverly goes back to her perfectly hateful best friend, her perfectly dull classes, and the tiny, nagging suspicion that there’s more to life than student council and GPAs.

Marshall Holt is a loser. He drinks on school nights and gets stoned in the park. He is at risk of not graduating, he does not care, he is no one. He is not even close to being in Waverly’s world.

But then one night Waverly falls asleep and dreams herself into Marshall’s bedroom—and when the sun comes up, nothing in her life can ever be the same. In Waverly’s dreams, the rules have changed. But in her days, she’ll have to decide if it’s worth losing everything for a boy who barely exists.

Places No One Knows is one of those reads that feels effortless, one about everything and nothing at the same time that flows from one page to the next with such ease that we have little choice but to lose ourselves in the quick slice of life detailed for us in black and white.

Waverly is a puppet. Perfectly maintained and beautifully flawless, dancing on her strings to a tune set by her best friend and the expectations of her peers. She's not empty-headed or oblivious, instead she's aware of her strings and wears her perfection like a suit of armor, fully capable of wielding a pair of scissors and setting herself free, but so used to having them wrapped around her that her hands have forgotten how to make a cutting motion. There's something completely absorbing about watching as a quiet but impactful earthquake named Marshall and a frenzied delight of a hurricane named Autumn rattle her foundations, introducing a little change into the monotony of her high school existence.

Marshall is wrapped up every bit as tight as Waverly, but where her strings are pristine and unbroken, his are frayed and doused in alcohol. He gets through his days by drinking himself into feeling better, his home life an absolute mess and the main reason he seeks escape at the bottom of a bottle or the end of a lit cigarette. When Waverly starts showing up inexplicably in his room late at night however, he's forced to see his world through eyes that may or may not have trouble discerning what's real from what's not, and in doing so finds a direction he would never have found otherwise. His relationship with Waverly is fragile, existing in stolen nighttime moments and then disappearing with the rise of the sun, but not without leaving a few small remnants of the two of them behind.

Overall Places No One Knows is a beautiful story, defining and then redefining relationships and friendships as they ebb and flow, and leaving us with a smile on our faces as Waverly and Marshall find a way to bring the truths shared only at night into the light of day.

Rating: 4/5

Find Brenna:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Waiting on Tuesday: A Study in Scarlet Women

Hey Everyone!

I've got a little schedule switch-up this week as I'm part of a review tour tomorrow when I would normally feature a Waiting on Wednesday post, so I'm changing it up and doing a Waiting on Tuesday post instead:) I always love participating in this meme, I get such great recommendations and enjoy putting new books on people's radar, so I hate to miss out when I have a schedule change!

Lady Sherlock #1
Sherry Thomas
Available October 18th from Berkley

From Goodreads:

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society.  But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

I'm a HUGE fan of Sherry Thomas, whether she's writing historical romance or YA fantasy, so as soon as this one popped up on Goodreads I immediately started obsessing over it. I'm always up for a Sherlock-style story, and the fact that this one features a female social pariah whose demonstrating a little sleuthing badassery makes it all the more appealing. I have a feeling she's going to match wits with this unseen mastermind like no one's matched wits before ;-) Can't wait for October!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Giveaway: Sneak Peek of STRANGE THE DREAMER

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope you guys have fun weekend plans, or not-plans as the case may be. Usually there's nothing I like better than parking myself on the couch and not moving for 48 hours ;-)

To help you get in the weekend spirit, I have a very special giveaway to share today! One of my all-tine favorite books is Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, so when I heard earlier in the year that we'd be getting a new Laini series, I may or may not have done a spastic excited flail the likes of which you've never seen before. Which is for the best really, since it probably would have scarred you guys for life if you'd witnessed it ;-)

The first book, Strange the Dreamer, releases in September from Little, Brown, but today you can enter to win a sneak peak! I have a chapter sampler of the book as well as some fun buttons for one lucky winner, all put together in a pretty metallic gold bag thanks to the awesome team at the NOVL. Before we get to the actual giveaway though, here's a little more about the book!

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as dangerous as she is in danger.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.

Who's excited? THIS GIRL! To enter the sampler giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cathy Reviews: The Unexpected Everything

My amazing mother in law Cathy is back today with her latest review!

Morgan Matson
Contemporary YA
Simon & Schuster
519 Pages
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson lives up to its name. In Ms. Matson's newest YA romance, Andie thinks she has her life planned out and she likes it that way. Then her politician father gets caught up in a scandal and Andie's plans–and world–are turned upside down. Not only is her father home all summer, but Andie's camp plans fall through and she has to find a job. I was laughing out loud while reading about Andie's job search. It was treated with such humor. I could especially relate to when she was learning to be a dog walker. Her initial ineptness reminded me of me when I would try and walk Jenny's two boxers! It was all a little chaotic. (Jenny interjects - NONSENSE! They were low-energy, perfectly behaved dogs at all times. ALL TIMES! ;-)

Since this is a romance–meet Clark. He is the exact opposite of Andie and this adds some depth to the story. We get to enjoy a slow build up in the relationship. It's endearing reading about all the longing looks and early yearnings of young love. There was a nice natural progression to the romance. As with most YA novels, there is some teenage angst, but I found all the emotions to be real and not over exaggerated. It was a storyline that kept you turning the pages to see how the relationship was progressing. I do want to add that this is a big book but isn't a slow read.

Another enjoyable aspect of this book was the cast of characters that made up Andie's circle of friends. Several of them had their own side story that would intersect with Andie's, but each character was well-developed and engaging. Andie and her three best friends spend a lot of time texting. I found that to be imaginative and on trend. All the stories wrap up neatly by the end of the book but not in an overly contrived manner. They ended realistically. This book makes for a great summer read!

Rating: 4/5

Find Morgan:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my, or in this case Cathy's, honest opinion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Poison's Kiss

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

Breeana Shields
Young Adult/Fantasy
Releases January 2017 from Random House BFYR

From Goodreads:
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya--a poison maiden--is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Normally when the synopsis for a YA book starts with a line about kissing dozens of boys, I'd be moving right on by as it sounds like a recipe for high angst and romantic drama, BUT, the second sentence above is a game changer. Executing men via kissing sounds miserable indeed, and I'm now infinitely curious about Marinda and how she's going to change her world. Though this sounds like a fairly straightforward YA fantasy with romantic elements at first glance, the Indian folklore aspect is really intriguing and not something I've read much about, so this is on my list for sure!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: Rock Hard

Rock Kiss #2
Nalini Singh
Contemporary Romance
387 pages
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Rock Hard is another shining example of Ms. Singh's ability to write an engaging, poignant and funny romance all wrapped up in layers of sexual tension, keeping us on the edge of our seats waiting for the moment our lead couple is going to combust.

Thanks to an abusive ex-boyfriend, heroine Charlotte suffers from severe anxiety in her day to day life, anxiety that spikes to extreme levels when she's faced with imposing men like her new CEO Gabriel. It's impossible not to want to spend a good portion of our time reading wanting to hug Charlotte and never let her go as her nerves get the better of her repeatedly, but she is in no way meek, and finds a spine of steel when she needs it most. Once Gabriel makes his romantic interest in her known, she opens up to him about her past, and continues to be upfront with him when something he says or does triggers a flashback so that they can move forward instead of getting stuck in the past.

Gabriel is every bit as good at communicating as Charlotte (with a few small exceptions which only add to the humor and tension), asking for her honesty but never demanding it, and letting her know when his protective instincts are at an all-time high so she can take a step back and let him work through it. They two of them together are ridiculously adorable, and while waiting until well past the halfway mark for things to really heat up between them physically seems like it would kick their romance into frustrating territory, it instead feels perfectly paced, and Ms. Singh ensures that we're not left wanting for swoon.

Overall, Rock Hard is an outstanding contemporary romance, and one that easily stands alone despite being the second book in the Rock Kiss series. Longtime fans of Nalini Singh or newcomers to her work should add this one to the TBR list for a sweet and sexy summer read!

Rating: 4/5

Find Nalini:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Flourish: They Mostly Come Out At Night

Happy Friday Everyone!

It's been a little while since I've shared a recent cover design, and in light of a very cool honor for the one I'm posting today, I wanted you guys to see it!

Author Benedict Patrick told me early on in our talks that he had his heart set on one of my illustrated covers, and as soon as I read through the design memo he submitted, I knew what we came up with was going to be one of my very favorites. You all already know how much I love illustrated covers in general, and when they're in the dark fantasy genre I get even more excited (if that's even possible), so I was essentially vibrating with glee when I started the initial artwork for They Mostly Come Out At Night.

Benedict had asked that the focal point of the illustration revolve around the mask his Magpie King wears as it plays a vital role, so I started putting the core elements in place with a strong emphasis on movement and texture, and then added a large full moon and bare tree branches to up the ominous vibe. Lastly, I added the type, incorporating a font I fell madly in love with the moment I saw it and knew I had to have it for this cover.

After a few small tweaks, we had our finished cover! As I said before, it's in my top 5 covers I've done, so I was inordinately pleased and honored when Benedict entered They Mostly Come Out At Night into the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off and, out of hundreds of entries, it was shortlisted (along with Masque!) and joined 30 others for final voting. I'm in some exquisite company, so be sure and check them all out when you get a chance!

Releases June 16th

He locked himself away from the dark, but in the Magpie King’s forest nowhere is safe…

Lonan is an outcast, accused of letting the monsters that stalk the night into the homes of his fellow villagers. Now, he will not rest until he wins back the heart of his childhood love and reclaims the life that was stolen from him. However, locked safely in his cellar at night, in his dreams Lonan finds himself looking through the eyes of a young prince…

Adahy has a destiny, and it terrifies him. How can he hope to live up to the legend of the Magpie King, to become the supernatural protector of the forest and defender of his people? But when the forest is invaded by an inhuman force, Adahy must rise to this challenge or let the Wolves destroy his people.

Watching these events unfold in his sleep, Lonan must do what he can to protect his village from this new threat. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to earn back their trust or watch the monsters kill everyone that he holds dear.

You can check out more of my design work at Seedlings Design Studio 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Torn Tour + Giveaway: Interview with Cynthia Eden

Today I have the immense pleasure of welcoming Cynthia Eden back to the blog as part of the promotional tour for the fourth book in her LOST series, Torn. I absolutely adore this series and highly recommend it to all who love a little thriller action mixed in with their romance. Cynthia was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about lead couple Wade and Victoria, so I hope you guys enjoy the interview!

To introduce those who haven’t yet met Wade and Victoria in the previous books, how would each member of the LOST team describe them in one or two words?

Now that is a fun question! ;)  So, for Wade, the quick & dirty description would be: Hard ass. (Yes, I’m afraid that is how the other agents of LOST—would describe him. Wade is a tough, ex-detective, a real rule follower, and he isn’t the most charming sort.

For Victoria, she’d be described as: Intense. Quiet.
Victoria is a forensic anthropologist, and she’s far more comfortable working with the dead, and not the living. 

If Victoria was to teach a class on forensic anthropology, what’s the first thing she would say or lesson she would teach her students?

The first thing she would say is, “The dead have secrets. Your job is to uncover those secrets, no matter how long it takes.” 

Though their work often leaves them little time for relaxing or leading any kind of social life, what would Victoria or Wade say their dream date would entail?

LOL, I think Wade would enjoy a night at a local bar, maybe a football or a baseball game, then some alone time with his lady. 

Victoria would be the total opposite. Her dream date would be a day at the beach, far away from crowds, a cozy picnic, and private time with Wade.

Opposites attract, right? 

You clearly do a great deal of research in order to write this romantic suspense series. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve typed into Google for research purposes?

Sometimes, my Google searches scare even me! Okay, the weirdest one may have been…How do you survive being buried alive in a coffin? I wanted to know exactly how long one would survive and if there were any possible ways of escape.  

What is one interesting tidbit or piece of trivia you learned about forensic anthropology that you didn’t know before you wrote Victoria’s character?

I actually learned a great deal, thanks to Victoria.  (She was a helpful lady. Now I have all kinds of conversation starters.)  One weird tidbit I picked up was this…if you are trying to determine the age of a person’s remains (say you are working with a skeleton and you want to know how old the victim was at death)…try looking at the ribs.  It turns out that as people age, the ends of our ribs will be less flat and more ragged right in the area where the cartilage connects with the sternum.  So if you’ve got a skeleton with ragged ribs, you’re looking at an older victim. 

Another little fact (sorry, now I can’t stop!) I picked up…if you are trying to determine ethnicity, the skull is the key.  You can measure the distance between the eyes or you can study the shape of the victim’s teeth in your quest to figure out ethnicity. 

Thanks for taking the time to interview me—and for letting me talk forensic facts! ;) It has been fun!

The more facts the better! Thanks so much Cynthia!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


In New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s latest novel featuring the Last Option Search Team (LOST), one agent’s investigation entices a killer into making her his prey.


Forensic anthropologist Victoria Palmer has always been better with the dead than the living. Shutting down her emotions, she lets few people in. But then Victoria’s latest investigation takes her and agent Wade Monroe to Savannah, Georgia. Handsome, dangerous, and more than ready to play dirty on any case, Wade weakens Victoria’s aloofness with just one glance.

. . . LOVERS

Wade knows their recent cases have pushed Victoria beyond her limits. But her skills are crucial to finding a college student who went missing five years ago. Victoria is able to determine she was murdered, and that the killer is still on the loose.

And when the vicious murderer targets Victoria, Wade must do everything in his power to protect her . . . because he refuses to let a woman he loves be torn from him . . . again.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a two-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over thirty novels and novellas. Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


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