The time has come, ladies and gents, to reveal the long-anticipated (at least by me) cover of An Ocean of Stars!
When I say she’s gorgeous, I truly mean it… we all know the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” and while yes, that is true, I think having a book cover that’s a) high-quality and b) properly reflects the tone, genre, and aesthetic of your book is paramount to drawing in the right readers and, of course, marketing. We buy with our eyes, after all.
But I also realize how fortunate I was to have the funds necessary to hire a professional cover designer; not everyone in the indie book industry has that privilege and I do not want to get a high-minded attitude about what constitutes “high quality” in an industry where we, the authors, are paying out of pocket for our product, and often at a loss.
Anyways, I didn’t mean for this to turn into a rant about indie publishing (that’s for another day, perhaps). Mama’s got bigger fish to fry! Cover reveal time, baby!
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Cover Reveal: An Ocean of Stars
Okay, so maybe I’ve already revealed it on social media, but not everyone is on social media (Instagram in particular). However, just in case you’d like to take a gander at my dramatic reel, here she be:
And now the real deal, the actual cover of the actual book! Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for…
Isn’t she a beauty? It was designed by Covers by Violet and she did an amazing job bringing my ideas to life! She specializes in fantasy book covers so I really appreciated her open-mindedness toward sci-fi; she and I both agreed that this genre could use some aesthetic designs!
My inspiration definitely came from other books in the YA science-fiction and space opera genres, particularly Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, and Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik. Here they are for your consideration:
This book is at least comparable to at least the first two; I haven’t read Polaris Rising yet so I can’t say whether they’re similar or not! But boy do I want to read it!
Here’s more information about the book:
Cover Reveal for An Ocean of Stars: Synopsis
Girl, meet boy. He’s the reason you’re lost in space.
Xanorra Nepier of the colony ship Aster has the opportunity of a lifetime: to explore the other side of the first naturally-occurring wormhole ever discovered. But when a mysterious squid-shaped ship attacks and she’s separated from her family and crew, her only choice is to accept the help of the ship’s mysterious captain. The kicker: he’s a boy her age who has never met another human before. And it shows.
Boy, meet girl. She’s the one thing that could put your mission at risk.
Captain Omen of the Atlantis has a destiny to fulfill: to ferry his cargo to a secret world and begin humanity’s next chapter beyond the stars. He certainly wasn’t supposed to rescue a stranded spacer girl, especially one whose ship he just destroyed… and who his android crew insist is a threat to the mission. She may be loud, but she can’t be all bad, can she?
Their paths were never supposed to cross, but what begins as a shaky alliance grows into a genuine connection–a connection that’s tested with each new obstacle they encounter, both within the confines of the Atlantis… and without.
This is the first installment in a young adult science fiction trilogy, series title: The Atlantis Chronicles. I’ve more or less been billing it as a reimagining of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In space. With teenagers.
You could also make an argument for it being a sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I’m not sure about that, either. (Come to think of it, the original 20,000 Leagues is, in a way, a Beauty and the Beast retelling itself. Chew on that one for a while!)
Like I mentioned above, it is comparable to Across the Universe by Beth Revis, and Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, but also These Broken Stars and Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy comics. I also took considerable influence from Treasure Planet and Pirates of the Caribbean.
You know what that means, don’t you? Space pirates! But I digress.
Other Important Information
The release date is January 21st 2023. ARCs just went out yesterday but I will accept applications up until December 7th, 2022, which is subsequently also the day that pre-orders open!
The ARC will be sent as an ebook (your choice of file format, I believe) via BookFunnel. I wish I could send physical ARCs, but alas, it practically costs a small fortune, especially in this economy!
The manuscript is approximately 105,000 words, or about 480 pages typeset. Basically, you’re looking at your standard good-sized YA novel. I’m very happy about it. The Last Celestials was a slim boi (perhaps too slim) so I was eager to work on a longer project!
If you’re the type of person who appreciates content warnings, here’s everything I can think of that might give readers pause. While in general I do not consider the things I write to be explicit (and my goal as a writer is to keep things as wholesome as possible) sometimes it’s a matter of perspective:
- Realistic cursing (I like writing dialogue as close to the way people speak in real life as I can. People curse, so my characters curse. Some more than others; it just depends on their personality!)
- Heavy kissing/light groping (It is a romance, after all! But it’s still a YA romance, so we keep it clean. For now…)
- Psychological trauma (That’s pretty vague, but I don’t want to spoil anything, so let’s just say this: Captain was raised by robots and their child-rearing methods were at times… questionable.)
- Discussions around drug dependency (Prescription medications for mental illness, specifically.)
- Several instances of characters being drugged against their will.
In general, I’d rate this book a solid PG-13! Pretty standard for YA, I’d think.
Do I have to be a book blogger?
Nope! ARC readers can come from anywhere, as long as you are willing to commit to reading the book and providing a fair review! You don’t even have to have a social media platform, though anywhere you’re able to post about the book is greatly appreciated!
What if I start the book and decide I don’t want to finish it?
No sweat! Just let me know that you’re unable/unwilling to finish the book and I’ll take you off of any email communications. You don’t have to provide an explanation, although, if there is constructive criticism you feel would help me improve as a writer, you are welcome to share it!
I’m not interested, but I know someone who might be. Can I pass the link on to them?
Abso-freak’n-lutely! Share away! The more ARC readers, the merrier!
There you have it, the cover reveal! I’m so excited to share this book with you, guys! It was a blast to write and I really enjoy these characters. Honest to God, it’s better than The Last Celestials by leaps and bounds (which will always have a special place in my heart). But I suppose it ought to be if it’s my second published work!