Hello, readers! I’m coming off my blog vacation at the same time I turned in my third-round edits and copyedits for Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine. School starts for my boys next week. It truly feels like a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Anyone else feel that same energy around this time of year?
This summer has held a lot of wonderful things — a family vacation, a literary pilgrimage, an award for Blue Birds (this was such a surprise, I couldn’t even comprehend what had happened for a minute or two), a really fun cover to share with all of you (see below), and news I’m eager to tell you about once I have permission. More on many of these things in the days to come.
But today’s all about Jasper Johnson. I’ve watched this cover evolve over the last few months and am beyond thrilled with the final result. I love the details illustrator Craig Phillips has included, from Jasper’s broken glasses to his mama’s washboard on his back.
Without further ado, here’s the cover for Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine!
And here’s a description of the book:
Desperate to get away from their drunkard of a father, eleven-year-old Jasper and his older brother Melvin often talk of running away, of heading north to Alaska to chase riches beyond their wildest dreams. The Klondike Gold Rush is calling, and Melvin has finally decided the time to go is now—even if that means leaving Jasper behind. But Jasper has other plans and follows his brother aboard a steamer as a stowaway.
Onboard the ship, Jasper hears a rumor about One-Eyed Riley, an old coot who’s long since gone, but is said to have left clues to the location of his stake, which still has plenty of gold left. The first person to unravel the clues and find the mine can stake the claim and become filthy rich. Jasper is quick to catch gold fever and knows he and Melvin can find the mine—all they have to do is survive the rough Alaskan terrain, along with the steep competition from the unscrupulous and dangerous people they encounter along the way.
In an endearing, funny, pitch-perfect middle grade voice, Caroline Starr Rose tells another stellar historical adventure young readers will long remember.
Jasper releases into the world Tuesday, February 7 — just six months from now. This is a book of firsts for me: my first prose novel, my first boy protagonist (modeled after Huckleberry Finn), my first mystery / adventure. I hope you love it.
Want to know what I’d love? If you’d consider pre-ordering a copy today. Pre-orders are one of the most important ways a publisher learns of interest in a book. The more early buzz a book receives, the more in-house support it gets. Pre-orders affect a book’s print run and can set a book up for success (…or obscurity). You can pre-order through your favorite local bookstore or online retailer. There’s no wrong way to do it.
Order a copy for yourself or a young friend. Ask your school or public library to consider making a purchase. Buy a copy for your child’s teacher next year. Tell your local indie or chain bookstore this is a book you’d like to see on their shelves. And if you want to really be a part of supporting this book, please subscribe to my newsletter and consider joining my book launch team. More to come about this in the weeks ahead.
It’s good to back in the blogging swing of things. See you again soon!