Cover reveal – The Rift

At last I get to reveal the beautiful cover for The Rift, sequel to The Seventh!

In this cover, the designer Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art has captured the break – the ‘rift’ – in the circle of seven that has Mimi feeling alone and isolated on a number of occasions throughout this story. There are are ghostly swirls surrounding her, and the dark wintry scene illustrates the mood of the story. Once again, this cover shows the mandala representing the seven gifts.

A big thank you to Evernight Teen for providing such an excellent cover designer, and to Jay for getting the cover just right (she even did some hand painting on this one)!

And …. here it is! (Scroll down for an excerpt)

The Rift-evernightpublishing-teen-JayAheer2015-smallpreview

Excerpt from The Rift

Cassie and a couple of her girlfriends had run into Mona near the tennis court gates, and an argument was brewing. I could hear them getting louder, exchanging a barrage of insults while Gabe hovered nearby uncertainly. I grabbed Drew’s hand, tugging him towards the small circle of people.

“You’ve always gotta be in charge, don’t you Mona?” Cassie was drawling while her drama-loving friends giggled. “Always got an answer for everything.”

Gabe appeared to have switched sides since showing sympathy for Cassie in Homeroom. He nodded supportively when Mona responded, “What, you mean I care about something other than where my hair straighteners are, and how tight I can make my PE uniform?”

Cassie was so incensed, bright pink spots appeared in her fair cheeks. “You’re not as smart as you think,” she spat. “I saw your French results yesterday when Mademoiselle was handing out our papers. C minus? So much for a language genius.”

Mona’s face twisted angrily and I could almost feel how much that comment hurt. “Why don’t you go find yourself a doghouse where you can hang out with the rest of your bitches?” she said coldly.

There was a tense silence while they glowered at one another. I went to step forward to grab Mona and get her out of there before it got much worse. At the same moment, Gabe’s mouth opened to say something—but a loud screeching noise directly above us made him jump. A chaotic flapping of black wings descended on our group amid a cacophony of aggressive squawks. Several large crows had swooped down—and they were attacking Mona, clawing and pecking at her head with their hard beaks. Mona crouched down, shouting and throwing her arms around, trying to scare them away. Gabe, Drew and I dove in to help Mona, batting at the big, black birds. Cassie’s friends seemed to decide as one to scatter, screaming like preteens at a boy band concert. Cassie just stared, her mouth hanging open, while Drew ripped off his jacket and flung it wildly at the hostile birds.

The crows finally seemed to decide they’d had enough and flapped away, still cawing furiously. Mona was bent down, holding her arms over her head while she sobbed, blood pouring from several wounds in her scalp. Hurriedly, I snatched my scarf from my neck to use as a dressing on her injuries while Gabe took off at a run to get help. Drew tried to comfort Mona, who was terrified. Her skin, normally a warm, deep brown, had a greyish pallor. The shock, I thought. I couldn’t stop glancing at Cassie, aghast at what she’d done.

Drew helped Mona sit on the ground, where her sobbing slowed to gasping breaths. She wiped an arm across her forehead to stop the blood from running into her eyes, and looked up at Cassie.

“How could you—” she started, and then stopped. The expression on her shocked face told us exactly what she was thinking. “Did you … do that?” she finished.

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