When I heard that there was another Brandy Colbert book coming out, I was like, "I'M GAME. LET'S DO THIS." Brandy brings the perfect balance of diversity, romance, and real life to her books. It's no surprise that Little & Lion won the Stonewall Book Award, and that readers everywhere are falling in love with Finding Yvonne. Well, Brandy did again with The Revolution of Birdie Randolph, a novel about first love and family secrets, perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Nicola Yoon. Without further ado (because I can go on about this forever), here's a little teaser...
EVOLUTION OF A BOOK COVER
by Dawn Kurtagich, author of Teeth in the Mist, And the Trees Crept In, and The Dead House
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The same can be said for publishing with book covers. Authors aren’t generally involved in the creation or design of their covers and for good reason: we’re writers, not designers! I’ve been incredibly lucky to have such an enthusiastic publisher, one who understands the strange and wacky things I do with my art. I’ve been given a lot of freedom to express ideas and give input into the visuals.
When my editor asked me if I had any specific ideas for the cover of my third full length novel, Teeth in the Mist, one line from the book wouldn’t unstick itself from my mind: “The Devil is upside down of God.” This idea is so integral to the heart of the story that I had an immediate concept of what that might look like. I ended up putting together a black and white concept image. It depicted a black mountain on a white background, and beneath it, upside down, a white house on a black background.
The team loved the upside down element and sent me a cover composition a few months later that was so ridiculously perfect I fell instantly in love! Because of licensing issues, that specific composition couldn’t be used, so my editor (being the amazing wonder-woman she is!) said that a photo-shoot would be done to recreate the cover. Not only that, but I would be sent a portfolio of the models they were considering and get to pick who I liked best (what?! I. KNOW. Amazing). I ended up choosing the girl on the cover as well as her outfit!
The end result is this amazing, gorgeous cover, which I will happily put up on my wall as a poster as soon as I can. The cover reflects the strange, eeriness of the world between the pages and I’m thrilled to have such a uniquely talented team behind this book. Thank you, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and thank you, NOVL! Teeth in the Mist hits shelves June 2019.
A genre-bending epic horror-fantasy, inspired by the legend of Faust, spans generations as an ancient evil is uncovered—perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Ransom Riggs.
Seventeen-year-old Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember—so she and her best friend Poulton decide to explore the ruins. But are they really alone in the house?
In 1851, sixteen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward—one of three, all with their own secrets. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.
This haunting horror and captivating mystery redefines the horror and fantasy space.
Rule by Ellen Goodlett comes out tomorrow! Fans of Three Dark Crowns and Pretty Little Liars, this is the book for you. In Kolonya, the king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion is brewing in the east. But before the kingdom descends into leaderless chaos, there are three unexpected options. Enter Zofi, Akeylah, and Ren: the king's three illegitimate daughters who are uprooted from their different backgrounds and find out that one of them must become the heir. But each has their own secrets, and someone in Kolonya is out to get them.
I screamed (and slammed my fist on the counter) when I got to the end of Rule. It's a striking fantasy and I'm so excited to introduce Rise, which is fulfilling all my needs for dark pasts and forbidden romances. But before I show you the cover, let me give you a little teaser to each sister in Rule...
Forbidden magic? Flying and fighting? Girl power? Yaaaaas, we're all for it! NOVL is here to give you a teaser to We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett, a riveting debut that's part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.
Revna didn’t realize the war had come to them. Not until the factory stopped.
She sat at her conveyor belt like a good citizen, oblivious to the oncoming storm from the west. The organized cacophony of industry filled her to the brim. Shining war beetle parts drifted past, twitching and trembling with fear and faint traces of magic. As the belt slowed, the voice of her supervisor emerged from the din. “Girls!”
The hissing, ratcheting, and clanging died away. Revna’s fingers were half-buried in the oily bones of a leg that shivered and twisted of its own accord. She soothed the living metal, trying to keep the sudden spike in her heartbeat from infecting it with her own unease. In her three years working at the factory, she’d never heard the machines go still.
She turned her wheelchair away from her workstation and pushed toward her supervisor’s voice. Machines towered around her like trees, frozen in the act of spitting out legs, carapaces, and antennae. Revna rounded the base of an enormous sheet press to find Mrs. Rodoya standing at the door of her office, hands clasped over her belly. Other factory girls crept out from behind conveyors and riveters, ducking under cranes. They clustered together in front of the sheet press, gripping one another with slick fingers.
Mrs. Rodoya took a deep breath. “We need to evacuate. Get your things.”
God, Revna thought reflexively, even though Good Union Girls weren’t supposed to think about God anymore. They would only evacuate for one reason—the Elda. She imagined regiments of blue-and-gray men marching through the smoke, bringing the hard mercies of conquest. But the Elda wouldn’t march into Tammin. They’d obliterate it from the sky, with Dragons of steel and fire.
And when they came, they’d aim for the factories.
Mrs. Rodoya sent them back to their workstations for their War Ministry–approved survival kits. Revna strapped her kit to the back of her chair, then wheeled over to the factory door. She could walk, but Mrs. Rodoya had doubted her ability to stand on prosthetics day after day, and Good Union Girls deferred to their supervisor’s judgment.
The girls lined up in pairs at the door, clasping their survival kits in one hand and their partners’ hands in the other. Revna went to the end of the line. She had no hand to grab, no one to whisper that it would be all right. She wasn’t going to the shelter for good citizens, for Protectors of the Union, but to the alternate shelter for secondary citizens and non-workers. She’d sit in the dank cellar and play with her little sister, Lyfa, and try not to see the worry in every line of Mama’s face.
Revna heard a low hum, like an enraged cloud of insects. Elda Weavecraft. Her heart jumped. The primary citizens’ shelter was a five-minute trip, but hers was ten and Mama worked even farther away. Revna wanted nothing more than for Mama’s hand to be the hand that clasped hers now.
Mama would find her in the shelter, she reminded herself. They’d be together there, and surely safer than out on the street with the Elda and their aircraft.
Mrs. Rodoya opened the factory door and counted each pair with a bob of her head as they went through. Then she grabbed the wooden handles of Revna’s chair and began to push without asking. Anger boiled up like an allergic reaction, mixing with Revna’s nerves and making her feel sick. She could get herself to work every morning—she could walk it, for that matter. Her living metal prosthetic legs had been called a work of art by Tammin’s factory doctors. But Mrs. Rodoya didn’t care what Revna or the doctors thought. “Now, now. We want speed over pride, don’t we?” she’d said in early practice raids. A different Revna would have punched her. But this Revna wanted to keep her job. As long as Revna had a job, there was money to set aside and extra rations for Lyfa.
“I’ll take you the first part of the way. But once the routes split I’ll have to look after the other girls. You’ll be on your own,” Mrs. Rodoya said. She’d said this every drill. But now her voice had an edge to it and climbed a little too high as she called out to the rest. “Quickly, now.” The factory girls began to move. Mrs. Rodoya and Revna followed, lurching as the back wheel of Revna’s chair caught on a loose stone at the edge of the road.
The factories of Tammin Reaching spat out legs, carapaces, rifles, helmets, all that was needed for the churning Union war machine. Oil and dirt coated everything—the brick walls, the windows, the streetlamps that never turned on anymore.
Even the propaganda posters developed a coat of soot a few days after the papergirls plastered them to the sides of the factories. Revna rolled past image after image of Grusha the Good Union Girl, her patriotic red uniform already spattered with grease and mud. Don't chat. Gossip won’t help build war machines, said one, showing her scowling with a finger to her lips. Night won’t prevent us from working, said another. Practice makes prepared, declared a third.
Revna found that laughable now. She’d practiced her trip to the shelter so much that she could go there in her sleep. But real life had surprises. Real life had Dragons.
Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she's caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They're both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women's military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can't fly together, and if they can't find a way to fly well, the enemy's superior firepower will destroy them—if they don't destroy each other first.
We Rule the Night is a powerful alternate-history fantasy about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.
If you're looking for a fiercely funny, queer romantic comedy, look no further! Hailing from Australia, Erin Gough brings us Amelia Westlake Was Never Here, where two girls who can't stand each other join forces in a grand feminist hoax to expose harassment and inequality at their elite private school.
It even got us thinking...what would our subversive pseudonym be? And what would yours be?
I am officially going by Sophie Ryan now. Don't call me anything else.
Harriet Price is the perfect Rosemead student: wealthy, smart, over-achieving. Will Everhart, on the other hand, is a social-justice warrior with a chip on her shoulder. And the two girls can't stand one another. When a worrying incident with their swimming coach is swept under the rug, the unlikely duo reluctantly joins together to expose him, pulling provocative pranks and eventually creating an entirely made-up person to help right the many wrongs of their elite institution. But as tensions burn throughout their school—who is Amelia Westlake?—and between the two girls, how long can they keep their secret? And how far will they go to really make a difference?
Award-winning Australian author Erin Gough's Amelia Westlake Was Never Here is the timely story of two girls fighting back against power and privilege—and possibly falling in love while they're at it.
Perfect for fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and I'll Give You the Sun, We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra is an exhilarating and emotional novel about the growing relationship between two teen boys, told through letters they write to one another.
It gave us all the feels—just looking at the cover makes our hearts beat faster. We love it, and we're sure you will too. Here's a sneak peek with the first two letters our heartthrobs Jonathan Hopkirk and Adam "Kurl" Kurlansky wrote to each other.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Dear Little JO,*
I guess when you read this letter you’ll be sitting right here looking at what I’m looking at. The front of Ms. Khang’s English classroom with the old-fashioned blackboard and the posters of famous book covers and the Thought of the Day and this new thing, this big wooden box painted in bright colors. I mean you don’t know me because I just drew your name randomly. And if you’re in grade ten this will be your first course with Ms. Khang, which means you don’t know her as a teacher yet either. Pretty weird getting a letter from a total stranger I bet. Or how about getting a letter period, in this day and age.
Khang stands up there taking as much time as possible telling us what this box is for. She’s turning it around and around to show off her paint job, tilting it forward to show the two slots in the top, pointing out the separate combination lock for each lid. All that buildup. After a while we’re all expecting doves to fly out of it or something. And then poor Khang looks all disappointed when we’re disappointed that it turns out to be only a mailbox. Which is the whole problem with buildup. Well you’ll see it for yourself pretty soon I guess.
On the board it says Introduce Yourself. So my name is Adam Kurlansky and this is Grade Twelve Applied English. One of the courses I flunked last year, which now I’m regretting because this assignment is not something I’m all that interested in. A letter every week for the entire semester. *JO stands for Jerkoff in case you were wondering. I’m sticking it here in the middle of the letter instead of at the top because Khang wants us to hold up the paper to show her before we put it in the envelope. To prove we actually filled the minimum one page. If she asks me I guess I’ll just say JO is short for your name, Jonathan.
Don’t take it the wrong way. I figure it’s fair game to call you a little jerkoff even though I don’t know you personally because I was one too, as a sophomore. Only most likely not as little. I was already pretty close to my full height by then: six foot three.
I mean I see you all in the halls with your faces turning red whenever I catch you staring at me. You’re like these arcade gophers popping in and out of holes. People know who I am because of being a bunch of credits behind and not graduating and having to come crawling back for the so-called victory lap. Or not because of that. More likely because of football I guess. Because they decided to let me keep playing football.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
May I call you Kurl? From what I’ve overheard in the halls and absorbed from the general atmosphere of this school, the nickname “Kurl” is used nearly universally in addressing or referring to you, so I assume you’re content enough with it. You don’t know me, of course, but I do know a bit about you by reputation if nothing else. When my older sister, Shayna, started ninth grade, she tore the photos of the football and basketball teams out of the Lincoln Herald and put them up in her room. Then she set out to memorize all the players’ names, not because she was a particular fan of those sports but because she surmised—correctly, I believe—that members of the football and basketball teams would be the key tastemakers in the Abraham Lincoln High School social scene, and back then she was still interested in keeping abreast of that scene. This was prior to Shayna becoming best friends with Bronwyn Otulah-Tierney and entering her Age of Skepticism, as our father, Lyle, calls it.
We haven’t discussed it in so many words at home, but I would say that my sister has moved further in the last year or so, to what I’d call an Age of Nihilism. Sleeping all day, staying out late, greasy hair, plummeting grades, glowering. I wonder if this state of existence rings a bell for you, Kurl, if you’re repeating courses this year? Did you have an Age of Nihilism? What comes after it?
Anyhow. I have a very clear memory of these team pictures. I was twelve years old and would assist Shayna by quizzing her on the players’ names, so I would probably still be able to greet many of those boys by name if I met them in the hall—but of course most of them have graduated by now. You were one of the younger players at the time; I suppose you would have been a sophomore, one of the little jerkoffs you mention in your letter.
I remember your picture in particular because you were one of only two boys who played on both the football and basketball teams. Adam Kurlansky, the photo’s caption read, but Shayna referred to you as Kurl. Hearing my sister say it—there was a kind of reverence in her voice, or at least a deep respect—I immediately sensed the power conferred upon its bearer by a good nickname. I’ve been “Jojo” to Shayna and Lyle on and off since I was a baby, but that was obviously not going to suffice in the context of high school.
I began testing out possible new nicknames for myself. I asked my father to call me “Kirk” from that day forward. Lyle was really generous about it, but after attempting it for a day or two he said it was too strange for him because Hopkirk is his last name, too. When Shayna caught wind of my nickname quest, she informed me that it doesn’t work that way, that one never, ever gives oneself a nickname, that one has to simply be admired and beloved enough for a nickname to magically be conferred upon one by one’s peers. And even back then—even in seventh grade—I knew I would never be cool enough to warrant a nickname. So Jonathan it is, or JO, I suppose. (A confession: I saw your Dear Little JO and, for approximately five seconds before noticing your asterisk and dropping my eyes to the middle of the letter, I did imagine it might a pet name for Jonathan. Nonsensical, of course. Why would you give a nickname to someone you have never even met?)
I just asked Ms. Khang if I could finish this letter at home and deposit it in her mailbox first thing tomorrow morning. She said that although I’m always welcome to write additional and/or supplementary letters in my spare time, I have to turn this one in now to avoid the “perils of lost or reconsidered correspondence,” as she put it. She smiled in a secretive way when she said it, so I suspect she was quoting from one of her favorite eighteenth-century novels. My apologies for the abrupt ending, Kurl.
From Ms. Khang’s list of “Acceptable Salutations” on the blackboard I will choose the one that resonates most closely with my personal philosophy—something I will have to explain in a future letter.
Jonathan “Kirk” Hopkirk (I know, I just can’t quite pull it off, can I?)
Jonathan Hopkirk, a Walt Whitman fan, and Adam "Kurl" Kurlansky, a football player, are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen pal assignment.
With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that eventually grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and familial strife, Jonathan and Kurl must struggle to hold onto their relationship—and each other.
This rare and special novel celebrates love and life with engaging characters and stunning language, making it perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nina LaCour, and David Levithan.
Defy the Fates by Claudia Gray is the epic conclusion to the Constellation trilogy. There's no better time to binge-read a series when all the books are out! Defy the Fates comes out on April 2, 2019 but we have an exclusive look at the cover along with the summary here.
Refresh your memory with the different worlds in Claudia Gray's universe:
Hunted and desperate -- Abel only has one mission left that matters: save Noemi Vidal at all cost. But to do that, he not only has to escape the rallied forces of Genesis, he also must bargain with the one person in the galaxy who still has the means to destroy him. Gillian Shearer, Burton Mansfield's daughter, still wants to use Abel's mechanical body to house her father's consciousness, and it's Abel's last bargaining chip. After all, aren't Noemi's life and soul worth far more than his own? Without hesitation, Abel flies towards danger, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for Noemi to have a second chance.
Alone in the universe -- Noemi Vidal never wanted to be special. She only wanted to save her planet, Genesis, and after that, to save Abel. But now Noemi is something else, something more. Not quite mech, not quite human, Noemi must find her place in a universe where she is now utterly unique, all while trying to end Earth's iron grip on the planets of the Loop once and for all.
The final battle between Earth and the colony planets is here, and there's no lengths to which Earth won't go preserve its power over the colonies. But Earth doesn't foresee Noemi and Abel coming. And together, the universe's most advanced mech and its first hybrid might just have the power to change the galaxy--and the Loop--for good.
You Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno is genre-bending story following antihero Magpie Lewis as she copes with the aftermath of family betrayal and sexual assault by disappearing into an alternate world of her own creation that's more sinister than it first appears. It comes out on April 23, 2019. Katrina Leno is switching up genres so here's a guest post on why she wrote You Must Not Miss. Plus, take a look at her amazing cover!
Magpie Lewis spends a lot of time floating on a pizza pool float in her backyard swimming pool. And that’s exactly where I first got the idea for this book—floating on a pizza pool float. I had my sunhat over my face (just like Magpie!) and I wasn’t thinking of anything in particular when this character just popped into my head. A girl—a little angry, a little lonely, a little sad. What was her story?
Over the next year, I tried and failed a bunch of times to get this idea down on paper. Magpie’s story was a slippery one, and Magpie herself is an elusive creature. But I finally got it right, and I’m so lucky it found a home with Pam Gruber at Little, Brown for Young Readers.
If you’ve read any of my previous books, you already know I like to feature strong, real female characters who overcome some sort of obstacle, all while struggling and living life and just doing their best. But… you’ll quickly realize that Magpie isn’t really doing her best at all. She’s sort of doing her worst. And that was really fun to write, too!
There is a definite genre switch in my work with this book. I’ve thought a lot about why that is, and I think it’s because each book I write has a purpose, something to teach me. The ups and downs of my own life are mirrored in the things I choose to write about. With You Must Not Miss, I had an incredibly cathartic experience going creepier and darker than I ever have before. I think I had to, to work out some of my own emotions. And as everyone knows, emotions aren’t neat and tidy… so neither is Magpie’s journey.
I couldn’t be happier with how the cover turned out, and I’m so glad I get to share it with you all today. I can’t wait for you to meet Magpie Lewis… I think you’re going to love her a little, hate her a little, and love to hate her a lot.
Magpie Lewis started writing in her yellow notebook the day she walked in on her father having sex with her aunt on her parents' bed. That was the night her mom started down a spiral of self-destruction. That was the night Eryn, Magpie's sister, skipped town and left her to fend for herself. That was the night of Brandon Phipp's party.
Now, Magpie is called a slut whenever she walks down the hallways of her high school, her former best friend won't speak to her, and she spends her lunch period with a group of misfits who've all been socially exiled like she has. And so, feeling trapped and forgotten, Magpie retreats to her notebook, dreaming up a place called Near.
Near is perfect--somewhere where her father never cheated, her mother never drank, and Magpie's own life never derailed so suddenly. She writes Near so completely, so fully, that she dreams it into existence, right in her own backyard. It's a place where she can have anything she wants...even revenge.
Acclaimed author Katrina Leno spins a twisted and suspenseful tale of friendship, revenge, and the monsters that live inside us all.
A stunning novel on love, identity, loss, and redemption.
When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she's isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.
But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.
Look at that shiny sticker! The paperback comes out on July 3, 2018.
About The Revolution Handbook:
Seen the news? Hate it? Don't know what to do next? Start a revolution with artist and activist Alice Skinner's smash-the-patriarchy guided journal-perfect for anyone who dreams of a better world, and wants to help make it a reality.
With dozens of prompts that are both snarky and practical, the Revolution Handbook will get you to stop yelling helplessly at your news feed and start planning your resistance. Fill the interior pages to track the movements you admire and want to join. Plan your arguments on paper BEFORE you get tongue-tied at the dinner table. Log your scripts for calling representatives, make time for self-care, catalog the heroes you want to remember, and even sew Trump's mouth shut.
So what are you waiting for? It's time to grab a pen and start your revolution. Get all your thoughts and emotions out-and get ready to change the world!
If you know Holly Black, then you must know that she is the Queen of Fae. At the beginning of this year, she brought us back into Faerie with The Cruel Prince. If you haven't read it, stop right here and go grab a copy. You'll come back with more questions than answers and a thirst to dive back into the world of Faerie.
If you devoured it like many fans did, then here's something to whet your appetite. Our friends over at Entertainment Weekly revealed the cover to the highly anticipated sequel.
Are you ready? Here it is:
Ugh, yessssss. If you're intrigued (which, come on, you are), here's what it's about:
After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.
If you need even more, head over onto Entertainment Weekly to read an excerpt!
Psst...if you want a chance to get one of the very first ARCs of The Wicked King, sign up for our newsletter. We'll be giving one lucky person an ARC in our next issue!
Cover reveal for How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett, an intense and thought-provoking about a girl who must overcome her survivor’s guilt after a fellow classmate is brutally murdered.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor has a new paperback cover and we’re so excited to show you!
Cover reveal for Rule by Ellen Goodlett, a high-stakes world where three sisters are vying for the crown but they all have deadly secrets. And someone knows …
Cover reveal: The Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason along with fun historical facts!