Wednesday, June 24, 2015

THE GREAT HUNT Maps and Other Fun Stuff

I can't believe it's time for The Great Hunt's cover reveal, and soon ARCs!  (Advanced Review Copies)  I've been so focused on Kaidan's story, Sweet Temptation, hitting shelves in 2.5 months that The Great Hunt has really snuck up on me!  :)  I have so much to share about it…

First off, the official cover!!!

Coming from HarperTeen March 8, 2016!

Book Blurb:

Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.

My thoughts on the cover:  

The publisher went a different direction than I expected, opting for a realistic, wistful image, and I think it turned out SO lovely.  On a side note, Aerity's hair on the cover is red, but in the story she is actually strawberry blond. As you know, covers do not always depict characters exactly--their focus is to capture the overall tone and grab readers' attention.  That being said, I don't want you to read the book and be like, "Hey! That is not strawberry blond!" I know, I know, I'm sorry. LOL. Here is how I envision Aerity's hair, only longer:

Actress Molly C. Quinn

What to expect in the story:

The Great Hunt is a high fantasy YA romance.  It's told in 3rd person from several points of view.  We'll have a traditional royal family under a lot of pressure, and a princess and her lady cousin/best friend trying to be strong in the face of disheartening circumstances. We'll have romantic tension and smooching (of course!) along with a society dealing with stereotypes, fears, and injustices.  There's a lot going on and a cast of characters who I'm so excited for you to meet!  The Great Hunt has my first ever character who I had bafflingly ambiguous feelings toward while writing: Lord Lief Alvi. Actually, I know how I feel, overall, and how I'll feel about him at the end, but this particular man was tough to write. One moment I was swooning for him and the next moment I was thinking, "What a pig!" But I couldn't bring myself to tone him down.  I wanted these characters to be realistic in their flaws and differences. In real life we all have good and bad aspects of our personalities, right?  I'm interested how you'll feel about Lord Alvi - I've got even crazier plans for him in book 2!

The name of the story world is Eurona.  The Great Hunt is book 1 of 2 in the Eurona Duology.  The land where most of book 1 takes place is called Lochlanach.  This books will have maps!  How cool is that??  I drew the original maps, which are awful, but I want to share them since the final professional sketches will not be ready in time for ARCs.  The maps will definitely make it a richer, less confusing reading experience.  

This is Eurona's world map with all five kingdoms

The Five Kingdoms of Eurona:

Lochlanach, the waterlands
Ascomanni, the coldlands
Toresta, the ridgelands
Zorfina, the drylands
Kalor, the hotlands

Close-up of the Kingdom of Lochlanach, the setting for The Great Hunt

Close-up of the Royal Lands of Lochlanach where much of the story is based

I'm sorry that the picture quality is not great, but I hope these images will be useful to those who receive ARCs!

Add The Great Hunt on Goodreads!

Preorder The Great Hunt on Amazon!

Check out The Great Hunt Pinterest Inspiration Board!

Enter to win an ARC on YA Books Central!

That's it for now, Sweeties.  Thanks for listening to my ramblings.  *hugs*

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  1. Hi, Wendy!

    Thanks for explaining the cover in regards to her hair. I wouldn't have sent an email complaining but I do admit I would've been like, "Ughhh? Did I miss something?" LOL

    I love the cover, it's beautiful. I wish you were a ninja writer & had books coming out quicker but alas, I know you're only human. Just love your writing so much!

    Going to PreOrder now! :)

  2. Those maps are fantastic to give us an idea of the world where the books are taking place!! YAY FOR A DUOLOGYYYYYY!!! So excited to meet all the characters!! And now I shall be picturing Aerity as Molly while reading the book!
    Cannot WAIT for The Great Hunt!!

  3. Yay! Can't wait to read it!! :)

  4. how do we sign up for ARCs if possible

  5. looking forward to reading this. Love the idea of the maps and the cover is fantastic !!