Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Shelve These Under Gorgeous!

Here is the revelation (reveal?) that I promised: a new look for the Shattered Realms series.

As long-time readers know, I've been exceedingly lucky with my cover designs, through three series and two different publishers. I can't take the credit for the outside -- I paint my pictures with words on the inside. Fortunately, my publishers have always included me in the design process, where my role is not to micromanage what genius designers and illustrators do, but to identify mismatches between cover and story that will bring me a slew of emails.
So when HarperTeen proposed changing the cover look for the Shattered Realms to one that was more character-focused than iconic, I knew it presented opportunities and pitfalls. It might attract a new audience, but there's a certain amount of risk in setting aside an established brand. The iconic covers allow readers to create characters in their own image. If you are a fantasy fan of any age or gender, it sends the message: this might be for you.
On the other hand, keeping that brand for three series causes confusion for the reader. After all, the books involve different characters and settings (contemporary Ohio and the Seven Realms) and there are only so many variations on one basic design. Many readers are looking for a character to align with--how cool if the process begins with the cover!
I'm pleased that the first covers feature two of my favorite kick-ass female characters--Jenna Bandelow and Alyssa ana'Raisa. First, I sent descriptions of those characters taken from Flamecaster and Shadowcaster to designers Erin Fitzsimmons and Amy Ryan at Harper. They worked with the illustrator, Alessandro Taini to develop the concept. I love the way Talexi gave these characters a super heroine, graphic novel feel.
After several revisions, I think they've nailed it. I hope you agree!
Here's the hardback and paperback covers of Flamecaster. The refreshed cover features Jenna Bandelow, a saboteur and demolitions expert who loves to blow things up.

And the ARC and final hardback cover for Shadowcaster. The refreshed cover features Alyssa ana'Raisa, a seasoned soldier and the heir to the Gray Wolf Throne (think shield maiden of the north,)

We're already at work on the design for the cover for the third book in the series, Stormcaster.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Flamecaster Holiday Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Flamecaster Holiday Giveaway. I'm pleased to announce the grand prize winner, EMILY BROOKS of Mentor, Ohio. Emily entered to win a signed set of books for her boyfriend, who introduced her to the Seven Realms series. A signed set of the Heir Chronicles Trilogy, a signed galley of Shadowcaster, a writing journal,  and other swag is winging its way to her right now!

As for the others who entered, some of you may have already received your swag packs by now. Enjoy!
Signing Shadowcaster for the Contest Winner!
Best of all -- I donated $250 to the Cleveland Food Bank based on the number of contest entries. This money will be used to feed the hungry in Northeastern Ohio in 2017.
Thanks to everyone who entered. Readers rock!
If you didn't win the grand prize, don't despair! I'll be giving away more Shadowcaster galleys in the next few months. And stay tuned for a major cover art announcement tomorrow!

Monday, December 19, 2016

New Series, New Year, New Look!

I often say I'm in the business of transformation. I'm the grand-daughter of a coal miner, the daughter of a truck driver. I've gone from first grade failure to first generation college graduate to dietitian to full-time novelist. But while some things change, others have stayed the same. I've lived in Ohio for nearly all of my life, except for a three-year jaunt in the south. I'm still married to my high school sweetheart. And I like to think that I'm still the girl who went door to door for my candidate the first time I was old enough to vote.
In my book life, Disney Hyperion developed an iconic cover brand that has persisted through two series: The Heir Chronicles and The Seven Realms. When HarperTeen bought my new series, The Shattered Realms, the designers developed a similar brand for the new series, as we were eager to reassure loyal readers that they could look forward to more of what they loved before.

The Heir Chronicles

The Seven Realms

Shattered Realms Original Covers
After ten books, it's confusing. When I'm at a bookfest, behind a table stacked with all of the books in my various series, newbie readers look them over and say, Is that all one series? And, Where do I start? Because the books are not always numbered on the covers, readers don't know if a book is the start of a new series or the continuation of an old one. Maybe--just maybe--it was time for a change.

              Coming January 4, 2017
       A New look for the Shattered Realms!

So the design team at HarperTeen put their heads together and decided to launch a new look for the new Shattered Realms series -- beginning with the paperback Flamecaster and continuing with the hardback Shadowcaster. This time, we decided to showcase some of my kick-ass characters--the ones that go through hell to get from one end of the story to the other.

I've seen the new covers, and they are GORGEOUS!! I can't wait to share them with you. Watch this space and 4 Jan 2017!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Flamecaster Holiday Giveaway

Winter is coming...and with it the winter holidays. Brighten this dark season with the gift of a good book. And if you choose to give Flamecaster, the first book in the Shattered Realms series, you will give and be gifted in multiple ways.

Everyone who orders Flamecaster from any retail outlet (local bookstore, chain bookstores, online, digital, audiobook) is eligible to enter the FLAMECASTER HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY.

The grand prize is your CHOICE of a box set of The Seven Realms paperbacks or The Heir Chronicles trilogy box set, plus a signed ARC of SHADOWCASTER, the second book in the Shattered Realms series. PLUS a writing journal with a note from ME to YOU in the front of it. Grand prize winners will also receive other swag, including a signed bookplate for your shiny bright copy of Flamecaster, signed bookmarks, a limited edition Flamecaster light-up pen, and your very own dragon necklace to show your dragon spirit.

The first 150  entries will receive a signed bookplate and other swag--just for entering--if you include your mailing address with your entry. 

All royalty income from these holiday sales will be matched by me and donated to the GREATER CLEVELAND FOOD BANK.  Because, you know, winter is coming. 

Here's how to enter:

1. PLEASE follow these directions. I'm not very good at following directions, either, but I need your help in order to get you properly entered because I don't have minions.
2. Send an email to cwchimapromo at gmail dot com. In the subject line, put HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY ENTRY
3. In the body of your email, include your name and snail mail address; which box set you prefer,  and how/if you would like your books to be personalized.
4. If you would like to receive a signed bookplate, bookmark, etc include your snail mail address.
5. Make sure I have the best email to contact you
6. THIS IS IMPORTANT: Attach an image of proof of purchase for your ordered book, whether it's an online receipt, a receipt from a store, an email confirmation of an order, a notarized statement from your local bookseller--whatever way you can show me you've placed an order.
7. Books must have been ordered/bought between November 1, 2016 and December 25, 2016 (in other words, previous sales excluded.) Deadline for entry: December 31, 2016.
7. This offer good only in the US and Canada.

Questions? Email me at that same address with the header HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY QUESTION

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I'll be at Yallfest in Charleston SC this Friday and Saturday! Shake off those election blues and come PARTY with awesome YA authors! You'll find the complete schedule here!

Friday, October 7, 2016

I'll be Hanging With Lots of Awesome Authors This Fall!

There's a certain crispness in the air that says its time for fall bookfests!! So empty out your mad money jar and lay in some reads for the cold season. Winter is coming, after all!

Cincinnati, OH
Books By the Banks
Come see me and 27 other YA Authors!
Saturday, Oct 15, 2016, 10-4 pm
Duke Energy Center
Cincinnati, OH

Northern Ky
Teen Book Fest
14 FABULOUS YA Authors
Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 11-5 PM
Lloyd Memorial High School
Erlanger, KY

Wooster, OH
Buckeye Book Fair
Book Lovers' Paradise
Saturday, Nov 5, 2016 9:30-4 pm
Fisher Auditorium 

Charleston, SC
Yallfest 2016
70 (Count 'Em) YA Authors
Friday and Saturday Nov 11-12, 2016
Scads of YA authors, panels and more
More info coming soon!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My First Vote? Heartbreak and Redemption

My first vote? Heartbreak and redemption in the 70s.  #firstvote16 Now, Kamie Garcia and Amie Kaufman: let us know about your first time!