This was one of the hardest covers I've designed. I had a fairly specific idea in mind, but I couldn't find the right image. Initially I was looking for couple photos, and while I found a few I loved (and hope to use for future covers), either the guy or girl or both weren't right (skin colour was a big thing - River is Aboriginal, and it seemed impossible to find a guy who would represent that). I designed three different covers, showed them to my two most trusted friends, and one of them suggested I search for pictures of girls alone so the cover would match Charlotte's. After that, it didn't take long to find the image I ended up using. It just spoke to me, and I knew I'd finally found the one. So, without further ado, here is Ella and her cover...
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For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.
When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reservation, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.
Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought…
*Expected publication: April 2014*
“Everything Chris said about me is true.” My voice is a choked whisper. I swallow hard, praying the tears that are building in the backs of my eyes won’t fall. “He was around all summer and saw me go from one guy to another, so he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t sleep with him. He treated me like crap, but I didn’t think I deserved any better, so I let him do it. Who would want to be with a girl like that?”
“I do, Ella. None of the things Chris said were true, and even if they were, you’re not the same person now.”
I’m shivering again, even harder than before. “I feel so dirty when I think of all the things I did.” I’ve never said this out loud before, even though I’ve thought it a million times in the last couple months. “I don’t know how you can even look at me or touch me, knowing the person I used to be. All the guys I was with…”
His brows draw together, and his eyes fill with what I think at first is pity, which makes me feel even worse. But then I realize it’s more sadness than pity. “I’m sorry you feel that way. But I don’t. I don’t know what you think I should see when I look at you, but I see a beautiful girl with a big heart that’s been broken. She’s a little lost at times, and she gets this haunted look in her eyes that tells you everything she won’t say out loud, but she’s trying her best to heal the cracks, and help heal the people around her. That’s what I see. That’s the girl I’m crazy about.”
He closes the distance between us, enveloping me in his arms. The voices in the distance fade into the background, and I forget about everything except the feel of River’s warm breath on my neck, the weight of his arms around me, the smell of his clothes and hair and body—that familiar, comforting scent I’ve grown to love, mixed with the underlying smell of bonfire and beach.
“And if you can’t see all that,” he murmurs against my neck a few minutes later, “I’ll try my hardest to show you until you do see it.” He pulls back so he can look me in the eye. “Especially the ‘crazy about you’ part.”
Want to be part of the Angel Island Street Team? Street Team members help spread the word about Waiting for the Storm and After the Storm, and will be the first to get information about the third book in this companion series. In exchange, members will get swag, entries into exclusive giveaways, ARCs, and other goodies. Learn more here.
Even though After the Storm is a standalone companion, it would likely help to read Waiting for the Storm first so you're familiar with Ella, Charlotte, and the rest of the Angel Island group. To celebrate the After the Storm cover reveal, I've reduced the price of Waiting for the Storm to just 99 cents from February 10th-15th. If you haven't read Waiting for the Storm yet (or if you have, loved it, and want to get a copy for a friend/family member), now's a great time to give it a try!
One person will win a $10 Amazon gift card or $10 PayPal cash. Open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you to these bloggers for participating in the cover reveal:
Jessica from Thoughts at One in the Morning
Molli from Books and Whimsy
Suz from A Soul Unsung
Michelle from Much Loved Books
Rachelia from Bookish Comforts
Jaimie from Be The Spark
Ashley from Book Labyrinth
Margie from Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
JaimeKristal from Tales of a Book Lover
MaryBeth from Keystrokes and Word Counts
Alexia from Adventures in Reading
Monica from A Southern Girl's Bookshelf
Alexandra from Little Bookling
Jasmyn from Hot Off the Shelves
AJ from So Paranormal
*If you'd like to read more excerpts from After the Storm, be sure to check out the cover reveal participants' posts throughout the week*