And what a day it has been!
First and foremost, I beg you to let me smother you with the gorgeous cover art for THE QUEEN UNDERNEATH, which was revealed with much fanfare this morning by the fantastic folks over at YA BOOKS CENTRAL!
But they weren't just kind enough to show off the cover. They also put up a two chapter excerpt, so that everyone can get a feel for what their in for, once the war in Yigris comes to a bookstore near you. AND they are giving away THREE signed ARCs of the book (For those of you who're new to book slang, and ARC is an advanced reader copy, which means that the winners of these ARCs will get to read the whole book 4 or 5 months before the rest of the world! So if that's a thing that you're interested in, be sure to head over to YA BOOKS CENTRAL and enter the giveaway. And take a look around at their fantastic site... they do a great job with reviews, there's an active, passionate community of YA readers, and they give away books, so... basically their the best.
I want to take the cover apart, just a little, because I'm finally allowed to talk about it. It's been a huge, burning ember of joy in the back of my head for a few months, now, so being able to share it is basically Christmas and my birthday rolled into one.
There's a lot going on in this cover, but the thing that I love the most is that eerie glow radiating out from around the castle. That lightening of shades around the castle can be seen two different ways -- some people see hope radiating out into the darkness that surrounds it. But some people have said that it reminds them of a slow burning fire, the embers just illuminating the palace enough to feel menacing. And I really love that, because this isn't a black and white book with black and white characters. This is the story of people who live in the gray area between wrong and right, and while I hope you'll cheer for our protagonists, they aren't always "good" people. And the "villains--" I'm not sure I wouldn't do exactly what they do, were I in their shoes. All villains believe they are the heroes of their stories, and that is a central theme that I really tried to remember throughout the story. And the amazing design team at Page Street managed to put all of that into one image and I couldn't have done it better if I'd tried.
But the cover wasn't the only big news, today:
As of about 9:30 a.m., you can pre-order THE QUEEN UNDERNEATH at all major outlets. You can find it here at Amazon, or here at Barnes & Noble, or here through Indie Bound, which will help connect you to a local independent bookstore in your area.
In the next few weeks, I'll do a post on the importance of pre-orders in the success (or failure) of a book's performance, but for now, I just wanted to get the links out there and Squee about it, because, well... it's been quite a day!
And if that wasn't enough, my fantastic editor, Lauren, has sent out my very own ARCs-- which means that within a matter of days, I will be holding a book-shaped object that I created from ink and sweat and tears and about 87 canisters of Pringles. And when I do, you can bet your sweet sugar plums that I'll be posting about it, once I can breathe again.
Until next time, please enjoy the gorgeous cover. And if you need me, I'll probably still be here, basking in it's awesomeness.