We are so excited for the second post in our new blog series here at Happily Ever Elephants - cover reveals! What is a cover reveal, you ask? Cover reveals happen several months before a new book hits the shelves, and they provide a wonderful avenue for authors and illustrators to share a sneak peak at their upcoming release(s) with their audience. The front cover of a book is, for all intents and purposes, the first page of the story. It communicates to the audience a bit about the pages inside, and it must be compelling enough to draw a reader's attention. From the cover alone, readers often get a sense of the story's genre, tone and writing style. A cover often makes a strong emotional appeal to the reader, thus getting the reader excited about the book pending release. Need I say more?
For our second cover reveal here at Happily Ever Elephants, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce you to Suzanne LaFleur. I fell in love with Suzanne's writing when I read Love, Aubrey while I was studying writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. I even wrote a critical essay on that book at the time (it was that good!!). Last year, I devoured her novel Beautiful Blue World (see our review HERE), which has become one of my all time favorite middle grade reads. I adored the sequel, Threads of Blue, just as much. I loved it so much, in fact, that my fourth and fifth grade student book club at school has just begun reading this series. Thus, when Suzanne reached out to ask if I would like to do a cover reveal for her new middle grade book, I was elated. Here is the summary for her new book, Counting to Perfect.
Counting to Perfect, by Suzanne LaFleur
From the author of Eight Keys comes a loving story of sisters who are trying to find their way back to each other.
Julia used to be the perfect big sister: she played great games and took good care of Cassie. Now life at home revolves around Julia and her daughter, Addie. No one pays much attention to Cassie: not to her competitive swim meets, and not to what's gone wrong with her friends.
When Julia confides in Cassie that she'll be leaving with Addie--without telling their parents--Cassie jumps in the car, too. As the days of lumberjack breakfasts and hotel pools start to add up, Cassie has to wonder: Could the sister who seems to be the source of all her problems also be the friend she's missed the most?
Without further ado, here is Suzanne, in her own words, with a bit about Counting to Perfect:
IN HER OWN WORDS:
I think readers who enjoy the relationships in my books will feel right at home in Counting to Perfect. I've devoted more pages than ever before to the experience of being sisters. The scenes with both Cassie and her sister Julia were my favorites to write. I love how the girls love each other and can be laughing even when they are fighting. I love how they talk to each other, how they banter and argue. I love how they have to discover who they are, with and without reference to each other.
And now, Happily Ever Elephants is proud to present the cover for Counting to Perfect:
Isn't it beautiful? This cover is a story in and of itself, and I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!
Ready for some more fun with Suzanne? Check out our speed interview!
UNDER THE COVER: Speed Interview!
1. As a kid: books or basketball? Books!! I read for hours every day...I was also a swimmer, but there was always a book in my swim bag, to read on the ride, on deck, between heats...
2. In college: study or soiree? Study
3. To start your day: coffee or tea? Coffee--but make that an espresso--iced--with almond milk--and vanilla--and something sweet. I'll have another in the afternoon, thanks!
4. In your car: top 40 or podcast? I live in NYC and take the subway, which means I have hands and eyes free to read books. So on the go I'm reading or thinking about what I'm writing. At home I have an audio book on around the clock (except for when writing)--so when cooking, cleaning, coloring, playing video games, and even when I'm sleeping. In the morning I set it back to the last thing I remember.
5. Writing schedule: 9-5 or whenever it fits in? No schedule--but not because I'm trying to fit it in. Because every hour or two of writing takes at least eight hours of thinking. I never sit at a blank page or computer without already knowing what I'm going to write. I carry the scenes around, roll the words in my head until they settle. I listen to the narrator say the same thing over and over. When a scene seems ready, I'll sit to record it. I usually do this in the morning, at a coffee shop, though sometimes I work better in the afternoon, so it varies. I put in longer hours when revising under deadline.
6. What came first: character or setting? Always character. The character explains the setting to me as needed.
7. First draft: sloppy or sleek? A sloppy arrangement of sleek scenes.
8. Writing reward: vino or vanilla? A raspberry tart from Le Pain Quotidien. I love both raspberries and pastry cream so that dessert is heaven.
9. On your nightstand: Newbery or Pulitzer? Newbery. I read one book for adults to every dozen for children.