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The Girl Who Cried “Covers!”

Huge hugs and many thank yous go out to everyone who helped me with yesterday’s EPIC April Fool’s prank, which I have hereby dubbed the “HERO 4.1 April Fool’s Day Project.”

Like all the best jokes, this one began with a seed of truth: There WILL indeed be a 4th version cover of HERO, as-yet-to-be-released (but I promise, you folks will be the first to know. For realz). I was notified about this roughly a week before April 1st, so I took the opportunity (with the blessing of my esteemed publisher) to have some fun and…well…make lemonade, if you will.

Of course, since my favorite artist BFF got struck down with Wretched Eye Gunk From Mars, I scrambled to find other artists willing to pony up in only a few days time.

Here are those  wonderful, amazing artists who came through for me in such a short time, as well as the locations where their covers popped up yesterday around the internet. You can also view the full HERO Variant Covers Album HERE.

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HERO: Deadpool / Artist: Marc VuletichMarc Vulteich (HERO: Deadpool)
When Marc Vuletich is not leading the ranks of Deadpool’s Zombie Army to world domination, he spends his free time drawing comics. Marc has an undying love for everything comics, movies and video games which helps to motivate and inspire him to pursue his goals in the comic book industry. Marc currently resides in the beautiful city  of San Diego, CA.

Marc’s art illustrates webcomics written by Emily S. Whitten for news sites such as MTV Splash Page and ReelzChannel and collected at http://askdeadpool.com/comics, and more of his art and webcomics can be seen at Vulture34.deviantart.com and scarletvulture.deviantart.com.

I was so awed by Marc’s gorgeous artwork that I didn’t even notice the Deadpool nod at first. HA! Marc’s cover of HERO was featured on Goodreads (split the day with Bradley), as well as A Backwards Story and I Smell Sheep.

*HERO Hooping / Artist: Bradley Powers (10 years old)

Bradley Powers (HERO Hooping)
Bradley is a very good friend of mine, whose art I’m proud to say hangs in a place of prominence in my house: on my fridge.

10-year-old Bradley decided to use herself as the model for this particular HERO cover, changing Saturday Woodcutter’s infamous sword into a hula hoop for her hip-swaying pleasure.

Bradley’s illustration was featured on Goodreads (she split the day with Marc). as well as A Backwards Story and I Smell Sheep. She is also still my Facebook profile picture.

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Quinn Conner (HERO Collage)

HERO Collage / Artist: Quinn Conner (6 years old)Quinn is six years old, and already poised to be Queen of Everything. She’s possibly the only person I know with more natural go-juice than the Energizer Bunny.

Quinn–who also has a permanent art installation on my fridge–has lately been into collage work.

She and her fabulous mother Lesley (hi, Lesley!) composed this piece together…yet it was I who ultimately slapped it into the Spoof Template and added the tagline.

A labor of love AND a collaborative effort, all in one!

Quinn’s cover was the cover photo for my Facebook Fan Page all day yesterday.

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Hero Wars: A New Hope / Artist: Avery FlynnAvery Flynn (Hero Wars: A New Hope)

Fellow Waterworld Mermaid sister Avery Flynn was the first of my friends to jump forth into the breach and therefore inspire many more covers in her wake.

Avery and I have a history of silliness together, as evidenced by this impromptu video interview we put together last year at the WRWDC Writing retreat. (I still have no idea why it seemed to have filmed in mirror-image.)

You can find out more about the fabulous Avery Flynn, her antics, and her latest sexy book releases at her website: http://averyflynn.com/

Avery’s cover was revealed in the crossposted blog entry that appeared on the Waterworld Mermaids blog.

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Real Herowives of ArillandAlethea Kontis (The Desperate Herowives of Arilland; HERO: A Fabulous Boy and His Sandwich)

Some of you might remember–back in February, after my grandmother’s funeral, I stayed with my sister Cherie and we took this picture of her, posing like Saturday Woodcutter in her velour tracksuit of the same color as the dress on the cover.

The second after I came up with this April Fool’s prank, I knew that I wanted to use the Cherie image for my HERO spoof cover. I dusted off my photoshop skills to add multiple Cocos (Cherie’s toy shih-poo) and change the title, in honor of the vapid crap my big sister actually made me watch. *sigh*

But as the day went on yesterday, I had so much fun revealing all the covers in all their various locations that I decided to make another one. I incorporated an idea the Faory Godboyfriend had along with a picture of my brother West I had been saving and…VOILA. The Boy and His Sandwich was born.

Hero: The Fabulous SandwichI am only sad I didn’t end up making a cover that featured Soteria as well.

The Cherie cover was featured on this website yesterday as the new cover reveal.

The West cover was featured on the Books page of my bibliography (where the placeholder image for HERO is now.)

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I hope you all had as much fun as I did hunting down all these different covers yesterday. And to the one or two folks who might have thought any of these covers was serious, I sincerely apologize. HERO 4.2 will be coming, and it will be amazing.

IN THE MEANTIME…are you sad you missed out on the fun? Are you jonesing to make YOUR VERY OWN SPOOF COVER OF HERO? Well, now’s your chance.

Using the HERO Spoof Cover Template (or not), create your most gorgeous and/or hilarious image and send it to me (akontis at gmail). I will post all of the covers on Facebook in the HERO 4.1 April Fool’s Day Project Album. Whichever one has the most “Likes” by the time I leave for WRWDC (let’s see…we’ll call that April 18th), the artist will receive A SIGNED COPY OF THE HERO ARC.

Here’s your template:

HERO 4.1 Spoof Template (courtesy of Harcourt Books)

Go forth and make good art!

 

 

 

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Cover Reveal: HERO 4.1

(Crossposted to The Waterworld Mermaids)

Sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you’re the windshield. Yes, folks, HERO really is getting yet another cover. This is the way of publishing, and I am so glad I have you all along for the ride.

When I was but a wee lass attending the Ingram Publisher’s Showcase (may it rest in peace), Harlan Coben once gave a hilarious talk–with slides–about the progression of his book covers. One of these days, maybe I’ll be able to give a similar talk. It may go a little something like this:

Once upon a time, I was approached by Harcourt and asked about a cover concept for HERO. I was sent various pictures of various models holding various swords, from which my editor and I picked the one we felt most resembled Saturday Woodcutter. Here’s what we chose

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…and here’s what we got.

Hero First Pass Cover

Now, I really couldn’t complain — Girls With Foofy Dresses on the Cover have been proven to sell more copies by the Marketing Powers That Be. Plus, it more closely resembled ENCHANTED, which I was told to believe was a good thing, since ENCHANTED actually did pretty well.

And hey: it’s gorgeous. If Saturday had to be wearing a dress, she should be wearing the only dress she’s worn in her life, right? The one from the first ball in ENCHANTED. It actually *does* factor into the novel…in a sideways sort of fashion.

I only made a few nitpicky comments, just to be a Good Author and earn the “cover consult” we so painstakingly negotiated into the contract. One of those points was “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was someway to have dragons in the filigree?”

So they came up with this:

Hero (2) filigree

Which was AWESOME! I made tons of swag with  this cover. The ARC has this cover. I made tons of swag with this cover.
I am now trying to give away all my swag with this cover, because a Professional Calligrapher happened to be in the neighborhood and did this:

HERO (3) filigree

…and again, I can’t complain because it’s just MORE GORGEOUS. Subtle and intricate and beautiful.

And then a Beatific Cover Angel descended from the sky and said, “Behold! Harken ye unto my words and your book will be adored by bookstores the world over.

So more tweaks were made. Some roses were added to the filigree, like ENCHANTED. A tagline was added to the top, not like ENCHANTED. Lo and behold, we once again had a new cover, blessed by the angels and now–once again–officially signed off on as the new-new-new-reallysupernew cover of HERO.

Real Herowives of Arilland

There was also a slight title change.
BUT ISN’T IT GORGEOUS?!?

Your thoughts are welcome in the comments below. And, as always, sharing is encouraged.

 

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E is for Edward

E is for Edward, a God of Goth Pride
He wrote silly nonsense, and later he died.

Happy birthday, Edward Gorey, from the legions of young people you inspired…and me.

 

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A Loving Tribute

I can’t add all of the Dark-Hunter role players on Facebook to my friends list and I don’t have the time to play with them as much as I’d like, but the DH Origins folks have always been wonderful to me and treat me like family.

When I woke up to the usual 3am insomnia this morning, I had a present waiting for me from the Simi in the form of this beautiful slideshow video in honor of my grandmother. I’m so very touched I don’t know what to say…besides Thank You, Simi. With all my heart.

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Cherie as Saturday

Because when your sister’s velour track suit matches your book cover, this needs to happen.

Hero Final CoverCherie as Saturday

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Holding Out for a Hero

Ladies and Gentlemen–
Princess Alethea Proudly Presents:
The cover of Hero!

Hero by Alethea Kontis

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she’s the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, “Did romance have to be part of the adventure?” As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

Christine Kettner, Art Director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (and cover designer for Enchanted), has outdone herself again. (A Backwards Story did a fabulous interview with Christine about the Enchanted cover HERE.)  Isn’t it GORGEOUS?!?

Hero will be released on October 1, 2013.

Click here to preorder on Amazon. (Likes and tags are also appreciated.)

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Rainbow Sun

I meant to post this the other day, when I accompanied FGB into DC to help him with some work. I was looking out the window for a street sign and the sky took my breath away. There was a full, perfect rainbow all around the sun.

Rainbow Sun

I thought this a fitting magical image with which to wish my father a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!

Love you, Dad. xox

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Small Business Saturday 2012

Hello, lovely friends!

It’s that time of year again — SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY. That day in which you can put your money where your mouth is and support those small, local folks who are busting their rump to make a living against the Giant Chain Stores that sponsor Black Friday.

I started my Saturday early yesterday, and shopped at some lovely independent stores here in Newport News. I encourage you to do the same today.

What’s that? You’re still stuffed from Turkey and can’t move? You’re too tired from standing in line at Best Buy all night?

Well, then, you’re in luck. Here are some links to a few FABULOUS folks online whose items would make GREAT presents for those hard-to-buy-for members of your family.

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Dixie Dunbar Studio — fine, handcrafted, original jewelry designed by my one-and-only fantastic little sister, Soteria Kontis. Don’t see something in your price/taste range? Give her a call at (843) 722-0006 and tell her what you’re in the market for. She’ll make something to suit your needs.

J.K. Lee Art & Sundries — Every year, Janet uploads a new line of limited edition Christmas ornaments in addition to her art prints and giclees. Have you seen this year’s yet? I’m a big fan of Sneaky Santa and the Art Nouveau set!

Water Closet Soap — Handmade soaps by local Loudoun County mom (and avid book reader) Kristen Kane. (You may remember Kristin as mother of the Infamous Lorelei.) Kristin is on vacation until November 27th, but do sign up for the email notification of her return. You won’t want to miss these really fun and fragrant designs.

One More Page Books — This super independent bookstore in Alexandria, VA has graciously offered to order in your favorite books by Alethea Kontis so that I can personalize and sign them just for you! Give them a call at 703-300-9746 or info@onemorepagebooks.com to place your order.

Carol Berning Fine Art — This year’s 2012 Happy Holidays CD was illustrated by Murfreesboro, TN artist (and all-around wonderful person) Carol Berning. You can order prints–and even greeting cards–of some of her most popular works from her website. If you love Winking Santa, you can own him today!

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Do you have any favorite online small businesses? I encourage you to post their links below.

Thank you — and Happy Holidays to you all! xox

 

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Surprise Art!

Sneak attack!

I have a surprise post over at the Waterworld Mermaids today — Kerri Mermaid wasn’t feeling well, so I jumped in the pond to debut some NEW ART that I worked on last week.

That’s right! I said NEW ART. BY ME!

But you have to click here to see it.

(And you better tell me how awesome it is.)

xox

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Dragon*Con 2012 Pics

UPDATED: I have stolen the Fairy Godboyfriend’s photos, and Bryonna’s, Samantha’s, Kat’s…and everyone else’s as well. Thank you!

Here is the complete Dragon*Con photo journal. Just click the photo to get to the album.

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