Friday, March 29, 2013

I Have a Book Cover To Show You!!!

You know how I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I have a cover for my YA Contemporary Fantasy, ALMOST NIGHT?? Well, the day is here!!! (and there's details for a giveaway at the bottom of the post!)

Without further ado...

Cover art by Claudia Mckinney of Phatpuppy Art and font designed by Ashley at
The Summary:

Fourteen-year-old Lilly Grey exists in two worlds at the same time. She just doesn't know it.

As the only albino in a million mile radius, Lilly is used to being different. Pink eyes and white hair aren't exactly the best camouflage in the harrowing jungles formally known as high school. And yeah, she's used to being an outcast and seeing the world in a slightly different way, but she never guessed how literally "different" applied to her.

Not until a clan of shape-shifting dragons tell her she's not just albino. She's a unicorn and the only mortal alive who can live on both Earth and its antithesis, Morcah. Now all those times she thought she saw a floating brown blotch in the sky or eyes peering out at her from the bark oftrees make sense. She's been seeing Morcah, a land that exists in the exact same spot as Earth, just in a different phase.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows for this unicorn. As the only one who can live in both phases, she's also the only one who can bring Morcah--and all its inhabitants--to Earth. And creatures who've been trapped on Earth since the Dark Ages are willing to do worse things than kill to make that happen.


A Sneak Peek:


                Once upon a time the last unicorn in the whole wide world lay dying on his bed. No one was sad. Not even himself.
                "Jovan," he said to the dragon standing by his side, "another unicorn will come. I can hear the angels' whispers now that I'm so close to going to them. And they talk of making another. Someday..."
                "Then we will kill it," the dragon said.
                "No. Please, for my sake, protect it."
                The dragon growled deep in its chest, for that is what dragons do.
                "Promise me."
                "The door must not be opened. That is what is important."
                "It must not be opened," the unicorn echoed, a whisper upon his dying mouth. "Protect it."

Chapter One:
“Youngest King’s daughter,
Open to me!
By the well water
What promised you me?”
-The Frog Prince, Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales

                I sat on the couch, painting my toenails Vegas Strip pink while my best friend Maggie thumbed through her collection of DVDs. It was that time of year again; two days before the new school session and our last chance to pull an all-night movie fest.
                "What should it be this time?" she said. "Freaky? Funny? Or faaaabulous?"
                I laughed and threw a cotton ball at her head as she made smooching noises into a pillow.
                "Definitely not fabulous." I painted the last stroke on my pinkie toe and closed the bottle. "I don't think I can stomach any more romance tonight."
                Maggie plopped onto the couch, a pout on her face and the case of movies in her lap. "You're no fun. We're almost in high school. Romance is all we should be thinking about." She nudged me with her elbow and waggled her eyebrows. "It's the law."
                I shook my head. "You are so weird."
                "What?" She stuck her tongue between her teeth and grinned.
                "Let's go with freaky. I could use a good horror."
                "I do not know why you like to be scared." She shuddered violently and I threw another cotton ball at her.
                "I like the freaks. It's good to know I'm not the only one out there." With that, I flicked my snow white hair in her face, grabbed the empty popcorn bowl, and went into the kitchen to microwave some more.
                Maggie followed on my heels. "So, what? Now you're going to become a homicidal maniac?" She grabbed a can of soda out of the fridge, popped the tab, and spun back around. "Good to know."
                "They're not all homicidal. Some are know...socially inept."
                Soda literally flew out of her nose. I didn't even know that kind of thing was possible.  I took a step back as a few foamy drops splattered on the island counter in front of me.
                "Ow! Ow! Ow!" Maggie squealed and ran for the roll of paper towels. "Holy crap, that hurts," she said after she blew her nose and threw the used tissue in the trash. "They always make it look so funny on tv, but it stings like a bitch."
                "It serves you right for laughing at me." The microwave beeped and I pulled out the hot bag of popcorn.
                "I wasn't laughing at you. I was laughing at your theory." She groaned loudly and flopped beside me, leaning back against the counter to look up at me upside down. "Besides, you are not a freak, and if you make me say that one more time, I'm going to hit you."
                I rolled my eyes and walked back to the living room. "Please. I'm totally at ease with my freakdom."
                I heard her pad across the carpet at near super speed before something hard smacked me on the back. I lurched forward and dropped all my precious popcorn. I almost cried. "You're going to wake up my mom." I stooped down on my knees and gathered all my little pretties, sometimes having to pull carpet lint out from between their buttery folds.
                "I warned you," she said in a singsong voice before she bent down and helped me pick everything up.
                "Gah! Why have we been friends so long when you're super annoying?"
                "Because you loooove me."
                I smiled and nudged her with my elbow. "Yeah, I do." Of course I did. Maggie was my best friend and had been since we were seven. She'd been with me through every bad night, every doubt, every moment I just wanted to give up. In many ways, she was the reason blood still flowed in my veins and not on my bedroom floor. With just a phone call, just one right word, she'd kept me from pushing the blade in deeper.
                I loved her. Completely. Forever.
                So once we got the last of the lovely, fluffy white kernels back into the bowl, we plopped onto the couch. It squeaked with the effort of holding us up.
                "So, Freaky it is." Maggie pulled a DVD out of its sleeve. "This is a new one. You'll like it. There are monsters galore."
                After skipping all the annoying previews, the credits started on a black screen with dark, ominous music playing in the background. I settled into the plaid, scratchy cushions and put my feet on the table. This was going to be good.
                And then the credits faded into a panoramic shot of New York City's skyline with a big brown blotch right above it. "Dammit, Maggie. Are you buying pirated copies again?"
                "What is your problem this time?"
                I pointed to the screen even though I knew the splotch was way big enough even for her to see. "The distortion. Your parents are loaded. Can't you ever buy your movies from a store?"
                "Listen, princess, I always buy my stuff from a store. Don't get on my case because you can't see right."
                I was about to say something in response. In fact, I had a really good, scathing comeback--especially in regards to the "princess" thing--but I decided to keep my mouth shut because Maggie's normally rich cappucino skin had puffed out and turned a very deep shade of red. She kinda looked like a tomato. A very angry tomato.
                "You honestly can't see the big brown thing above the Empire State Building?"
                Huh. I rubbed my eyes and looked back at the tv. By the time I did, though, the scene had changed to someone's very swank and airy apartment. "Maybe I should get my eyes checked." I'd never had a problem before--at least I didn't think I did--but bad eyesight was just one of the many drawbacks for people like me.
                The room suddenly felt too stuffy to me.  Creepy crawlies tingled all over my skin and the air turned thick. I grabbed the remote and shut the movie off.
                "Hey!" Maggie said around a mouthful of kernels, in her standard perky voice. The angry tomato face had gone back to normal.
                "Do you want to go for a walk outside?"
                This was also standard for our all-night movie fest. Or really, any time she came over. I couldn't stand being cooped up in the house for too long and even with all the windows open, I still wasn't getting enough fresh air. And since my daytime excursions had to be limited, nighttime it was.
                "So early?" She screwed her face up into mock disgust and looked at her cell phone. "It's only 11:30."
                "I know." I shrugged.
                "All right. Let me get my sweater." She skipped over to the closet--feather-light with her dancer's legs--and pulled a very lovely cream cashmere piece of dainty cloth off a hangar. It was the only nice thing in there and it had been shoved to one end, far away from my mom's coats like those flashy cars in parking lots that don't want to park too close to anyone else.
                I, on the other hand, was just fine in my long-sleeved tee. As long as leaves graced the trees outside, I kept my wardrobe light and breathable.
                I skipped down the front porch steps and stopped in the middle of the driveway with my head craned back. Crisp air filled my lungs. I took a huge breath and let it out in a nice, long sigh. The tingly tight skin feeling peeled away like sun burned skin. This was where I belonged. Outside. It was too bad I had to spend so much time stuck indoors. I'd stayed outside too long in the middle of the day once before and had to go to the hospital for second degree burns. Mom freaked out, crying for weeks and yelling at me every time she saw my huge, red blisters.
                Now it was either reeking of sunscreen or waiting until the sun went down. And that was all right with me; I hated the sun.
                The new moon cast no light and since several miles of thick woods stretched behind me on our dead end road and the only two street lights we had stood all the way at the other end, I could actually see the stars. Orion, Ophiuchus, Monoceros, Draco. They were all there, clear and crisp like diamonds. Sometimes I wished I could go to them.
                Tonight, though, was about enjoying the second to last night before facing high school--my own personal hell.
                Maggie stood beside me, her head craned back like mine. "Do you think your mom will let you date this year?"  
                I shrugged and looked back at the road. Maggie couldn't think about anything but dating lately. Well, not anything but dating and her future journalism career--a career she freaked out about on a near weekly basis. Ever since her mom told her she could start wearing makeup, she'd planned it all out. She'd be part of a couple before the first week was out.
                My mom and I never talked about it. Sure, I wanted to date a boy like any other teen girl, but I really didn't think that option stood before me. No one really wanted to be with a freak.
                "So..."Maggie's voice dropped to a whisper and she looked at me out of the corner of her eye. She always got that way when she was about to share something she considered particularly life-altering. "I had my interview at The Beat today."
                "Wow, Maggie, that's great!" I'd known for a while she was considering applying for the fall teen internship at the local newspaper, The Beat. I just didn't know she'd gotten over her nerves and actually done it. I pulled her in for a hug and we stood frozen like that on the street. Maggie could come off as really sure of herself to people who didn't know her. But I did know her. And I knew how shy she could be, especially about her dreams and anything even remotely related to them. The fact she actually went to an interview to be judged against other teen journalists and writers was huge.
                I felt her shaking with excitement--or nerves--beneath my arms. And just like that I thought maybe this year might be a good one after all.
                Two days later and I wanted to vomit.
                In theory, I knew it was inevitable--especially after Maggie had gone home yesterday morning after movie night--and in practice, I had spent all day freaking out by my closet--which looked like the aftereffects of Mt. Vesuvius, if Mt. Vesuvius spit out pre-loved clothes from the goodwill instead of lava. None of my shirts were appropriate for hiding my freakdom. Either the sleeves were too short or the cloth too heavy for a day the weathergirl had said would be in the 90s.
                The only thing I could find that even halfway worked to cover most of my skin was a shirt my mom had snuck in the cart when I wasn't looking. Straight out of the eighties, it had a My Little Pony on the front and eggshell blue sleeves.
                One would think I'd have planned ahead and bought more than tank tops and camis for the beginning of the school year, but honestly? I'd been drawn to the pretty stuff I wished I could wear and I guess I kind of fooled myself into thinking I could pull them off.
                So ten minutes after my alarm went off, I crawled out of bed, grabbed my Rainbow Dash long-sleeved tee, a pair of jeans, and clean skivvies and headed to the bathroom.
                The smell of fresh-brewed coffee and the sound of the morning news drifted up the stairs. My mom had already been up for an hour, just like any other morning. She liked to wake with the dawn. Thankfully, I hadn't inherited that little quirk from her.
                I closed the bathroom door behind me and carefully avoided the mirror as I did what hundreds of other Bethlehem teenagers were doing at that moment: regretting the end of summer vacation by taking as long as possible to perform basic hygiene.
                After thirty minutes or so--my mouth all minty fresh and my face dripping water--I rummaged through my basket of barrettes and hair ties and pulled out a hot pink clip. With my gaze firmly resting on the sink below the vanity mirror, I pulled the front layers of my hair back and snapped the clip in place.
                And that was it for my beauty routine. Rainbow Dash stared up at me from my flat chest.
                Downstairs, Mom sat at the counter already dressed and primped with a cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper lying flat in front of her. She once told me she only subscribed because her parents had read the paper everyday and now she felt like a real adult every time she heard the crinkle and felt the oily ink beneath her fingertips.
                I kind of wished she'd get an iPad to read her news and feel like an adult in the 21st century, but of course, we couldn't have afforded it even if she wanted to.
                "Hey, sweetie," she said, looking up from the front page.
                I slid into the stool across from her and took a sip of her coffee. Sweet and creamy. Just the way I liked it.
                "Are you excited?"
                I shrugged and set the cup down. "Maggie will be there. How about you?"
                Mom was a teacher's aide at the elementary school. I knew she really looked forward to the first day of a new school year. She loved kids. And also, she loved getting a paycheck. Summer vacations were kinda hard on us and this last one was no exception. Her normal summer job at a local plant nursery had been given to a teenager who could afford to work for a lot less money. It had been hard living on the piddly savings she'd scrounged together during the winter months, but we survived. Because that's what we were: survivors.
                She nodded. "It'll be nice to see the kids again. And to meet the new three-year-old class."
                "Have they talked any more about giving you the teacher's position when Ms. Craig retires?"
                Mom's gaze dropped and she shoved the paper away. "Yes." She paused. "I got a call last week. I've been wanting to tell you, but..." She shook her head and got up to rinse her cup in the sink. "They said I'd need to take night classes at Albany and they just don't have the money in the budget. Neither do we."
                "That's so stupid. You've been there for over ten years. If anyone could get away with teaching without a degree, it'd be you."
                To my surprise, she laughed. "Honey, I wish it were that simple. You know it's not, though. "
                I didn't argue because I knew she was right. There were laws about this stuff. And besides, life had never been easy for us. Case in point: she'd be celebrating her thirty-first birthday next week. I figured out the math a long time ago; she was sixteen when she had me. Had I ever met my dad? Nope. And that was not a topic we discussed in the Grey household. It had been over fourteen years since he ditched her and she still cried at night; yet another thing I'd come to terms with early on. With bedrooms right across the hallway from each other, it was hard to drown out the noise of her sobs.
                She cocked her chin at me, changing the subject. "You look nice today." A knowing, self-satisfied look twinkled in her eyes.
                I groaned and headed for the door. My turquoise satchel leaned against the wall, all filled up with crisp notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils. I slung it across my chest and grasped the doorknob. "Let's just get this over with."

If that little nugget and the GORGEOUS cover piqued your interest, check out ALMOST NIGHT's goodreads page

Now on to the giveaway!!

I have a brand new author bio floating around on one of the blogs helping me with the cover reveal today! The first person to leave a comment on this post with the correct blog address gets a $15 gift card to Amazon or B&N!

Good luck!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Apparently I'm Weird

Because pictures of half-naked (and fully naked) men do NOT get me excited, but this does:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Needing Some Volunteers

I was very delighted (but not surprised) to see a lot of you really supported me during my rant the other day. Thank you very much! I feel another rant building up, but it's not quite at the explosive point yet. Look for it. It might be soon. :P

But today I have big news!
Which is probably why I'm way too happy to do any ranting. ;)

--My YA Contemporary Fantasy--
Has a cover!!

And it's a gorgeous cover (and I'm so excited about it--hence the huge letters)!

This is my FIRST self-published full-length novel and I'm hoping it will be HUGE

So PLEASE help me by signing up to be a part of my cover reveal tour!!
(just send me an email at emilywhite_1112(at)yahoo(dot)com for the details)

If you like unicorns and dragons and tree sprites and modern fairy tales and punk rock bands and Chinese mythology and goth guys in kilts, you'll love this book.

Please email me! 

(Check out the book's summary here)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sex Appeal, Go Away

I have to rant.

I HAVE to.

James Dashner (one of my ALL-TIME favorite authors) just posted a gorgeously delicious tidbit about the movie adaptation for his Maze Runner series.

The article was "Will Poulter Offered Leading Roll in 'The Maze Runner' Adaptation." I clicked on it immediately because 1. I couldn't remember who Will Poulter was and 2. I MUST KNOW!!!

Now, the article doesn't say which part was offered, but seeing as the leading character is Thomas, everyone's coming to that conclusion.

Here's the actor:

You may recognize his face from "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Not overly handsome, but not a great picture, either.

People vocalized their disappointment in the comment thread to Mr. Dashner's fb post. "He's not pretty enough," "Thomas should be pretty," "Please, James, nooo! He does not appeal to us."

For one, authors rarely get a say in who plays their characters, so let's just stop with that plea on those grounds alone. And for another, Thomas was NEVER described as pretty. At best, he was plain and at worst, his friends made fun of him for how ugly he was.

Please, please, please stop expecting gorgeous main characters! I am SO tired of this. Let's get back to loving books and loving characters for who and what they are. I don't want to hear about these immediate judgments because the main guy or gal isn't good-looking enough. 

I love Thomas. Scores of people love Thomas. He's not pretty. Never was and never will be. Stop looking for eye candy and start appreciating real, exciting, deep characters.*

*I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but you never know when a visitor might stop by who actually needs to hear this.