Monday, April 16, 2012

The Lamplighter's Special : Cover Reveal

 I'm doing a cover reveal today in conjunction with Danielle Sibarium-Tsapp. You can find her here.

Lisa was in my school in fifth grade: a tall, beautiful girl with short  golden hair that stood straight up on top of her head. I couldn't take  my eyes off her. Her clothes were gorgeous, in a "I don't care what  the world thinks; I'm going to wear what I want" sort of way.

I never thought that, years later, we would become best friends. We went to Ireland and Paris together. We hung out and talked for hours in the bamboo forest behind her house. She designed and made my prom dress. 

And now she is my cover artist. I'm incredibly lucky to have a designer that is extremely talented but and also one of my oldest, dearest friends. When we get on the phone to discuss cover issues, we always end up in fits of laughter, and at this point, after all this time, we can  read each other's minds.

Here is the cover she designed for my upcoming book, The Lamplighter's Special:



I love the way she contrasted the beautiful woman with red hair (my arch villainess, Barbara) with the fishbones on the side. And as The Lamplighter's Special is a steamship, the water detail on Barbara's arms and back is perfect.

And here is an excerpt from The Lamplighter's Special. The characters are on the steamship, and they are in the middle of a very strange voyage, through time and space, called The Passage:

The Passage

Lizzie felt herself get shaken back and forth, the way that the little dog in the alley behind their old house used to do with the large rats that lived there if he managed to catch one in his mouth. “Help me, someone! I can’t bear it!” she shouted. It was as though she had no words. The sound of her voice was snatched away. Ninna screamed something too, but Lizzie couldn’t hear her sister either.
Under Lizzie’s hands, the machine seemed to get warmer. She could feel the heat. Something mechanical moved inside; it felt as though cogwheels and clockworks in the box that had been sealed up rotated faster and faster. She peered into the container that held the instrument, but the typing ball appeared the same as always – a delicate, brass machine with the letters sticking up from the apparatus like spikes on a hedgehog.
She looked up suddenly. She could smell something. There was a scorched taste in the air that she could sense in her nose and on her tongue. In fact, it was almost as if she could hear the burnt smell, or even see it, although of course that was impossible.
At that moment a shower of sparks flew past the window of the observation room. They landed on the sills and were followed by more sparks. It was hard to follow the arcs of the burning embers, due to the continuing motion of the ship. The glowing pieces shook in front of Lizzie’s eyes. Without her eyeglasses, she saw them as fuzzy stars. She wanted to put on the spectacles, but she didn’t dare let go of the box and the machine inside.
The motion increased in speed. Lizzie realized she was moaning with the effort of staying in one piece. A rapid “Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh!” was forced out of her chest as the ship shook faster and with more force.
Priam’s figure danced in front of her eyes. Next to her, Ninna rattled like a balsa puppet. Even Toby’s face, as close as it was, jittered in front of her vision like some kind of fevered dream.
Oh, please, make it stop! Lizzie wanted to shout. But, no, that wasn’t really what she wanted to say. She looked at Priam, considering that she didn’t know Toby’s younger brother very well. From what he had seen, though, he seemed like a survivor. He was physically strong, and usually good-humored; he might be thoughtless at times but he seemed nice enough, at least until he had kissed that Miss Wilkins on the stairs.
And Toby – it seemed terribly important that Toby was there, beside her, his warm hand next to hers. At that moment she sensed that it would always be that way, no matter what happened to them both.
She formed a desperate, silent plea in her mind. Her one thought was: Take care of Ninna. She’s not that strong. Take her through this safely. If there is someone out there who can hear this, then guide my sister through this – this Passage.





10 comments:

Lisa W said...

Gorgeous cover!

Ali said...

Beautiful Cover!!! I would love to read this book.

Alison said...

Thanks to you both! I am pretty smitten with the cover too, if I say so myself.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Wonderful cover! I loved the excerpt too! :)

Kriss Morton said...

OH SO pretty! I love it all! I love LOVE love Steampunk!

Alison said...

Thanks so much, Krista! You put a big smile on my face.

And I agree with you, Kriss - steampunk is the Bacon of fiction! ;)

Pame Brennan said...

This is an AWESOME cover! So exciting! Thanks for sharing with us.

Connie J Jasperson said...

Fabulous!!! Just fabulous art work.

Johanna Garth said...

What a great story of friendship and GORGEOUS art work for your cover.

Lisa Zhang Wharton said...

Love the cover, very captivating.