It's that time of the month again, time for the Cover Wars to start! This month there are 45 very nice covers to vote for and you have 40 votes a day to spread among them, that's right, 40 a day. So, get your vote on by clicking HERE. It's a super simple and lots of fun!
|After Summer Ends in Cover Wars!|
This month my cover, After Summer Ends, by Carrie Butler of Forward Authority Designs is in the running! If you could vote for Summer and Willow each day you'll help spread the word about the release on September 24!
Some of you may not be familiar with this book. It's a new genre for me and I wrote about the reasons for the book on NA Alley blog several weeks ago. The most important reason, is this girl:
I'm sure you're curious who she is and what she has to do with this, so again, I encourage you to visit NA Alley and read my post "Sweet NA LGBT Romances. Is there such a thing?" to find out why. Like all my books, the main character, Willow Erwin, is disabled. She is a proportionate dwarf with rheumatoid arthritis. Willow is an English teacher and falls head over heels in love with the new janitor at her school, Summer. Below is the book description.
a teacher that reason alone should make it my favorite season, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. For me, summer brings everything I abhor; bugs, heat, sweating, and painful memories of a woman I will never see again.
Then, in the wink of one very beautiful blue eye, all of that changed. This is the story of Summer and how she taught me to love her. It’s about her quiet, and sometimes fearful, way of teaching me to embrace the moment, and to live recklessly. It’s about how both of us learned to forgive, to hope, to pray, and to love, even after summer ends.
The book releases on September 24, which just happens to be the day after summer ends :)
The door opened and an unfamiliar face peered out at me. “Do you need help?” she asked, holding the door.
I nodded gratefully, picking up the bags. “Thank you, you saved the day. I was having a hard time getting all this into the building.” She let me pass and then grabbed the inner door, swinging it open for me. I hesitated near the entry until she came through the door. I set my bags down to relieve the pain in my hands. “Are you new to the school?” I asked, taking in her custodial shirt and jeans. She was sporting keys and other janitorial paraphernalia on her belt as well.
She stuck her hand out. “Yes, sorry, I should introduce myself. My name is Summer. I’m the new janitor.”
I shook her hand slowly, taking in her long chestnut hair pulled up into a messy bun, and the best pair of most electric blue eyes I had ever seen on another human being. Her pink lips had a hint of glossy sheen to them and I licked mine instinctively. She let go of my hand and it fell to my side, but I was certain my face was bright red, having been staring at her for too long.
I cleared my throat. “Nice to meet you, Summer. I guess you must have replaced Chris when he retired.” She nodded her beautiful head up and down, and the bun bobbed. I hoped it would fall apart and her hair would cascade down around her shoulders, but I was disappointed when it didn’t happen.
She was looking at me funny and I cleared my throat, feeling like a love-starved teenager. “I’m sorry, where are my manners. My name is Willow. I’m one of the English teachers. I’m sure we will be seeing plenty of each other.”
Her smile got even brighter with the mention of my name. “Oh, of course, Miss Erwin. They showed me around the school a few days ago, but I remember your room. It seemed so fun and relaxing.”
I returned her smile. I was glad someone besides me recognized the work that went into making the room feel that way. “Thank you. I like my room to be a safe zone for students from whatever may be bothering them, academically or socially. Having the reading nook has also built some really strong readers in the school, which I’m proud of.”
She looked down at my hands and then back to me. “Can I help you with your bags? They look heavy.”
I nervously rubbed my gnarled fingers on my skirt. “Um, sure, that would be great. Thanks,” I said, turning quickly to head down the hall to my room. “I’m not interrupting your cleaning, am I?”
She was walking next to me now and I took in her legs, which were twice the length of mine and ate up the distance easily. She was average height, but there was nothing average about her. She was beautiful and her legs were thin, tanned, and strong.
“Nope, I was getting ready to start on the biology room. I like to start with the biggest project and work downwards. That way I feel like I’ve accomplished something.”
I laughed, nodding. “I’m the same way. That’s why I’m here today. I had all these books sitting at home that I need to check in and shelve for my classroom library. I never have time during the school day to get it done. I love it though. A person can never have enough books. Kids these days think they aren’t missing anything reading on their devices instead of an actual book.”
“An actual book compared to a fake book?” she asked, chuckling lightly.
I laughed too, pointing my finger at her. “You got me there. I meant a real book made of paper, not words on a screen. There’s just something about holding a real book in your hand and smelling the scent of the ink.”
“I can understand that way of thinking. I feel the same way about my art sometimes. I do so much painting on my computer, but sometimes I want to hold a real paintbrush and smell the oil paint.”
I turned to look at her, surprised by what she was telling me. “So, you’re an artist?”
She nodded, giving me the so-so hand even while carrying my bags. “I attempt to be an artist, but I guess we are all artists in a way. Some of us use paint, some use music, and some use words.”
“Very insightful, Summer. I couldn’t agree more. For me part of enjoying that art is holding the actual book in my hands.” I thunked my forehead, “There I go again, using ‘actual’.”
She laughed then and it reminded me of the only thing I liked about summer. Wind chimes. The kind you hear when you sleep at your grandma’s and the wind blows through the garden late at night, or early in the morning. The metal tubes caress each other just enough to make a melodic sound that lulls you back to sleep.
“You actually are the cutest teacher I’ve met so far.” She lowered one lid and I watched it go down into the wink as if time was moving in slow motion. She was gorgeous and I was staring.
“Well, this is me,” I said, pointing at the open classroom. She set the bags inside the door and wiped her hands on her jeans. “Thanks for again for helping me, Summer. That’s a great name, in case I didn’t say it earlier.” I pointed back towards the door nervously and then dropped my hand.
“Thanks, I picked it myself.”
“Excuse me?” I asked, and she laughed, waving her hand at me.
“Kidding, of course. I really like your name, Willow. It fits you perfectly,” she said shyly.
“Most people think I was named after the movie, because I’m a dwarf, but that’s not the case. My mom named me Willow because of the dwarf willow plant. It doesn’t get very tall, but it spreads across the ground. She said that’s what I did to her heart.” I rubbed my hands together and clasped them in front of me. “I’m sorry, I’m rambling on like an idiot, and you have work to do.”
She smiled and her eyes shone brightly under the fluorescent lights. “No, you’re fine, but I guess I had better get back to work. I’ll see you around?” she asked and I nodded my agreement.
“I’m always around. You’ll get tired of this face by the end of the summer.”
“Not likely, Willow. See you later.” She winked and gave me a half-wave before she turned around and headed back down the hall toward the biology room. I stepped inside my room and lowered myself to a beanbag chair on the floor. What just happened?
So let's recap! Vote in the COVER WARS HERE for your favorite covers (including After Summer Ends!) and spread the word about the preorder status of the book and the release! I will sweeten the pot for anyone who shares this post on Facebook or the tweet, and offer a paperback or ebook copy of After Summer Ends!
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