Friday, August 30, 2013

Mindy McGinnis Tells the Truth About Parenting Your Book Baby

Sure, they're pretty. But if you're not careful, that book baby can turn into a spoiled mess.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Birthday RELIC!

We Thirteeners are so excited today because it's the release of Renee Collins' book, RELIC! This book is so fantastic we can't wait for everyone else to be able to read it, too. Read this summary and you'll see why.

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive the best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.
Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.
Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

Guys...THIS BOOK! Maggie is amazing and strong in the face of so much adversity. And the setting is fresh, visual and alive. Old west, cowboys, mesas and magic? YES PLEASE! 

Here are some visuals that remind me of the feel of RELIC to get everyone in the mood. 

Cowboys...yum, k?

Old West Saloons!

Cowboys IN Saloons!

Wealthy relic barons...


And, we really can't emphasize this enough...

hot cowboys!

Who ride horses!

And are oh so clean...yeah...yum.

All of this, AND MAGIC. So need to get this book now! You can buy it at any of these links.

And just one more cowboy image to leave you with...

You are welcome.

Huge congratulations to Renee and Relic! We're so happy for you!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Megan Shepherd Takes the Dare

I wanted to do something extra special for this dare, since it's been so long since I've done one, and I've so missed the public humiliation. So I decided to revisit one of my most popular previous dares, that went as follows:

Design an original cover for your book.

For the record, here are the real covers of The Madman's Daughter, and the sequel, Her Dark Curiosity, which comes out in January 2014 and is available for preorder. I just adore these covers. They're so atmospheric and classy and elegant and just beautifully photographed and designed.

I tackled this dare for the first time back in February 2012, for The Madman's Daughter, before that book even had a real cover. I came up with this gem. Lovely, no? Can't you just feel the tropical heat and tension in the air? It might not have quite the professionalism of the original, but you have to admit, it's just as classy.

For this dare, I wanted to continue with a similar graphic design, and show you my interpretation of the core story found in Her Dark Curiosity, which is inspired by The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and picks up a few months after The Madman's Daughter ends.

Ta da!

Like my first cover design, I think this one really showcases the book's strengths. There's obviously a much darker tone. There's mystery (that cloaked shadowy character in the bottom left), an atmospheric setting (Victorian London at Christmas...note the mistletoe), a hint of danger (lightning crash!), a deep and meaningful theme (the comedy and tragedy masks in the banner symbolize the duality of human nature, and also there's a really cool masquerade scene in the book), and a healthy dose of romance! My husband asked why the image was so grainy and I said that was clearly meant to be snow, but in case it was confusing, I decided to enhance the cover with lots of more obvious snow.

What do you think, does my cover design make you want to read it even more??

Megan Shepherd is a young adult writer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her debut novel The Madman's Daughter (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins) is the first in a Gothic thriller trilogy. The second book in the trilogy, Her Dark Curiosity, will be released January 2014. She’d love to hear from you at her blog, TwitterFacebook, or on Goodreads.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Birthday DEVIL!

Us Thirteeners are very excited today, because April Tucholke's BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA is finally on shelves! *blasts off confetti cannon*

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Guys, THIS BOOK! I read it in one of its earliest form (April and I (Erin) have been critique partners since we were both unagented and chasing a dream), and even then DEVIL blew me away. The morally ambiguous characters! The gorgeous, visceral prose. The copious amounts of Creepy. And let's not forget the haunting gothic setting.

A crumbling estate...

set against an angry sea...

bordered by train tracks and tunnels...

and a sprawling graveyard.

All of which only become creepier after River rents Violet's guest house. Yes, River. With his crooked smile, and mischievous ways, and sexy swagger.


River, who Violet can't help loving even when she knows she shouldn't. 

Go grab your copy today! Just make sure you keep the light on while reading.

Congratulations, April! We couldn't be happier for you!