I am very, very, very excited to show you this cover for the new book, JAR OF HEARTS, which is coming June 12, 2018 from Minotaur Books. Very excited. Super excited. Did I mention I was excited? In case I didn't, I AM EXCITED. It's always a scary moment when you get the email from your editor with "Cover Art" in the subject line. It can go so many ways, ranging from, "Ugh," to "Meh," to "YES YES THIS IS IT PLEASE KEEP THIS DO NOT CHANGE IT LATER!" I've been pretty damn fortunate that all my covers have ultimately ended up in the third category, but sometimes they don't always start out that way.
This needed almost no help from me, though. Kind readers, may I present to you the official cover for JAR OF HEARTS:
It's stunning. I can't even believe this is mine. I have loved all my covers, but this cover . . . oh, this cover. This one is special. This book is special. Where CREEP, my first novel, was all pelvic thrust (metaphorically speaking, of course) and angst and desperation and longing, JAR OF HEARTS is all . . . heart. It's love. It's patience. It's rage. It's grief. It's hope. It's personal. It's so, so emotional. On some level, I don't know if I'll ever write another book like this one. I don't know if I can. I don't know if I should. I don't know if that matters. They're all different. But this is a book that, as a writer, I've always wanted to write. And I couldn't have done it four books ago, or before I got my heart broken, or before I had a kid, or at any point in time before I actually wrote it. And then the time came, and I seized it, and whether you think the book is wonderful or terrible or somewhere in between, there's not a single word in it I would change. And I NEVER say that.
I just got back from Bouchercon yesterday. Like most attendees, I still feel both euphoric (from the friendships and camaraderie) and vaguely ill (from the lack of quality sleep and alcohol consumed), but hey, it wouldn't be Bouchercon if I didn't come home feeling that way. I got a lot of questions about the new book, and the new publisher, and why I left the old one, and here's what I will say: There was zero drama. It was time to try something new, and anyone who's ever left an old job for a new job, or an old relationship for a new relationship will understand - you just know when it's time to venture out and see what else is waiting for you. I moved on with the blessing and support of my old editor (who's not actually old, she's young and accomplished and pretty damned kick-ass, and we're friends and always will be), and found a new editor who's exactly right for me and where I am now. I mean, he loves cats. He took me to a cat cafe during Bouchercon! If that doesn't say MEANT 2 B (just imagine that on a little candy heart), then I don't know what else would.
I won't bore you with a formal write-up of my Bouchercon weekend, because I'm sure if you're reading this you've already seen all the pictures (with descriptions) that I posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. What I will say is that I'm happy. I'm ridiculously blessed. I'm over-the-moon excited to release JAR OF HEARTS, in a way I've never felt before. I'm relieved as hell that this isn't my first novel, because gawd, you stress over everything (and I mean everything) when you're a debut. But I'm still just as motivated and hungry as I was when I started . . . maybe even more so, because I have a much better understanding now of what's possible.
May I always stay hungry.