This Side of Salvation: RELEASE DAY & Giveaways

THIS SIDE OF SALVATION
This Side of SalvationEveryone mourns differently.
When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.


Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined…

What Others Are Saying
“THIS SIDE OF SALVATION is impossible to pigeonhole. It’s a mystery, a love story, a tale of friendship, of prejudice, and of a family overcoming tragedy…Jeri Smith-Ready has her finger on the pulse of American youth.” — Printz Honor winner and NYT Bestseller Elizabeth Wein

“This is a frighteningly realistic story that delicately handles the issues of religion and family—an emotional mystery sure to be popular and perfect for discussion.” — VOYA, **Highlighted (Starred) Review**

“[A] smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self—while never being heavy-handed.” Booklist, **Starred Review**

“This book has some of the best written, strongest, and most satisfying character dynamics that I have read in a long time...There are no extreme moral rights and wrongs in this book. These people just are, and they work, and they make this story beautiful.” — Bibliopunkk

Giveaways Galore!
Jeri has two ongoing giveaways to celebrate the release of This Side of Salvation.

Join the Rush swag fest: free EXCLUSIVE swag for everyone who orders TSOS on or before Monday, April 7.

Superfan contest (March 31 – April 9): share the TSOS characters’ “trading cards”  on your social networks to earn points. Biggest Superfan wins the grand prize, but there’s a chance to win a book and a gift card every day you play!

Here's the first day's card, featuring the main character, David Cooper:

Cat blogging meets book birthday!
Meet Misha and Twinkle, the real-life inspiration for the cats of This Side of Salvation, on PulseIt, the official site of Jeri's publisher, Simon Pulse.

Order the hardcover
Order the ebook Find Jeri
Visit Jeri's website, or follow her on one of these sites:

Standalone Reading Challenge 2014 - April Sign-Ups

It's month four for the Standalone Reading Challenge, and this time, we've got four awesome prizes for one lucky participant.

The Standalone Reading Challenge is easy and fun - plus you'll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. Read more about the challenge and SIGN UP HERE. And be sure to grab a button for your sidebar too!

So what are you waiting for? Read a 2014 standalone - if you're not sure what counts, check out our list of Standalones here - write your review, link up, and get your name in the hat for April's prize pack!
sarc-apr
(1) ICE DOGS Hardcover
(1) ON THE FENCE ARC
(1) NEVER ENDING Hardcover
(1) FAKING NORMAL ARC

Please note, prize pack contents are subject to change. Open to US Only.

So what are you waiting for? Read, Review, and Link up! Drop any questions in the comments :)
And if you still haven't signed up, do so HERE.






Cover Reveal: The Hit List

Book Details
Title: The Hit List
Author: Nikki Urang
Genre: NA Contemporary
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
ISBN: print: 9781939392329, ebook: 9781939392312
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Formats: Paper, e-book

Cover & Summary
The Los Angeles Conservatory for the Arts is supposed to be a new beginning for Sadie Bryant. Moving across the country is exactly what she needs to escape the gossip surrounding her injury, the devastating betrayal of her ex-partner, and to rebuild her career as a solo dancer.

When the school announces that the annual Fall Showcase, a performance that secures a spot studying in London, will now require each dance to have a partner, Sadie's fresh start is a nightmare. Now she has to dance with Luke Morrison, the school womanizer with a big ego. Sadie doesn't know how to trust Luke enough to dance with him after her last partner left her broken, but Luke is determined to change that.

Then, The Hit List comes out. A game of sexual contest where guys get points for all the girls they hook up with—and it seems like every guy at the school is playing.

The girl worth the most points? Sadie. 

Find Nikki online

I love this cover and I love the synopsis! I can't wait to get my grabby hands on this upcoming Contemporary.

A Cover Design Process: The Dragon's Egg (Cover Reveal & Giveaway)

My name is Heidi Bolton, but I use my initials for my writing name, H.B. Bolton. I’m the author of the middle-grade fantasy series, Relics of Mysticus. The Dragon’s Egg (Book Three) is in the final stages of development and is almost ready for its May release date. Today I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my newest book cover with you.

Cover artist, Elisabeth Alba, offered an inside peek of her work’s progression through her photographs and commentary. I’m extremely fortunate to know this Scholastic Book illustrator and have had the privilege to benefit from her talents for all three of my covers. In fact, we’ve already started talking about The Mummy’s Amulet (Book Four).

I met Elisabeth about 14 years ago through one of my drawing classes. From her high school freshman year through senior year, she was one of my students (a favorite one, at that). I taught advanced-placement art, which was before having children of my own and creating worlds with unlikely heroes for my mythical stories.

Thank you, Elisabeth, for helping to bring my characters to life!

As a bonus, I’m offering a free eBook version of The Serpent’s Ring (Book One) through Amazon from March 10-13.
~H.B. Bolton (Author)

Progression of a Book Cover Illustrator by Elisabeth Alba 
This is a progression of The Dragon’s Egg book cover from sketch to final drawing. Truth be told, I haven’t illustrated many multi-figure images before, and then add a ton of stuff happening around them, so I was in for a challenging composition — a fun challenge! You can see how I gradually worked out and tightened the image. In the beginning, I had planned to make the background darker but then realized if the glowing fog was everywhere, then it wouldn’t be so dark. It framed the floating castle better as well.

Once I figured out the drawing, which I did digitally, I worked on a color composition to figure out how I would paint it. This was an important step — especially since watercolor is really hard to fix if you make a mistake.
At this stage, I printed the line drawing onto watercolor paper and got to work. I painted with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus fine-art liquid watercolors to start. I painted the base color first, which in this case was greenish.
After painting more of the base colors, I decided to do some line work with pen and ink to solidify the shapes.
Once the base colors were done, I sealed the image with matte medium. The Hydrus watercolors can be difficult because they are not like normal watercolor. Once they’re down on paper, you can’t wipe them away, but sealing with matte medium helps them not to smear — which is nice! You can also see how my desk lamp caused some glare over the castle when I took the photo.

On top of the matte medium, I painted with acryla gouache to darken and saturate the colors, and to do any highlights like the edge lighting around the figures. Finally, once the painting was done, I sealed the entire image with Kamar varnish. It brought out the colors even more, because once the acryla gouache dried, it became matte and the colors faded some.
Once I scanned the image, I worked on any digital touch-ups (some things are hard to do in watercolor, like getting colors really dark, and also the colors sometimes don’t scan well). This was how it looked once scanned, before any touch-ups. It was a more faded and less vibrant version of the original painting. I also lost the highlights.
Finally, after all of the digital work was complete, the cover was ready for text.

For the typography, I added a dark-blue gradient around the edges to frame the image and help the text stand out. I’ve used the same font for all three books, but in this one, I replaced the “O” in “Dragon’s” with the actual Dragon’s Egg relic.

Official Blurb
The Dragon’s Egg (Book Three)
Sure, the glass castle floating over Evan’s head makes him uneasy, but that’s the least of his worries. With each step inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, he must battle against his worst nightmares. One after the other, wispy smoke-filled bull sharks come at him — he must remember they’re only illusions pulled from his imagination by those dreaded shadowlike hands. If only the vengeful dragon circling above was also an illusion and didn't have his mind set on destroying the one person who can control him: Emrys.

Inside the castle’s glass tower, Emrys sleeps in an eternal slumber, and Evan’s uncertain whether he can save the great wizard. Especially now that Emrys’ former student, the Lady of the Lake, has joined forces with the cunning immortal Alamaz. Together they have already stolen the Dragon’s Egg, but their greed doesn’t end there. The Siren’s Pearl calls to them, and that means only one thing … Atlantis is in trouble.

Join Evan, Claire, and Dunkle — along with a few other unlikely heroes — as they travel across the realm of Medieval Legends, float through the Ancient Isle of Avalon, plunge inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, and be there when Atlantis rises once again.

You can see more artwork by Elisabeth Alba and keep up with her future creations through her sites:

Elisabeth is a Queens-based illustrator whose work focuses on fairy tales, fantasy, and historical subjects. She earned her MFA in illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her clients include Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. Elisabeth wants to thank Heidi for being the best high school art teacher ever, and setting her on the path to becoming an illustrator!

Connect with H.B. Bolton here:

Giveaway
Signed copies of The Serpent's Ring and The Trickster's Totem (US)
ebook of The Trickster's Totem (you can grab the first book for free!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Lucky Is Reading Giveaway Hop

I'm happy to be participating in this hop organized by Val at StuckInBooks! It's been a while since I've been part of a hop. It was time for me to have another fun giveaway.

Remember that there are quite a few blogs participating for this hop. Check out all of the amazing prizes being offered. You may do this by checking out the linky at the end of this post (if it's working), or check the list at Val's blog HERE

Thank you for stopping by my blog and good luck to ya!

Giveaway Details
  • International entrants are welcome to enter as long as The Book Depository delivers to your country (double-check the list).
  • If the winner is a resident of the US, his/her book will be shipped from Amazon. 2-day free shipping is hard to beat. :)
  • If you are entering this giveaway, I ask that you be 13 years old or older.
  • Since it will be someone's lucky day, I will let the winner choose his/her book of choice.
  • NO cheating. Entries will be checked. Please don't be a doofus!
  • The winner will be emailed on March 22. He/she will have 48 hours to reply to the email or a new winner will need to be selected.
  • Smile!

Hey! Don't forget to visit more participating blogs for more great prizes!