Posts Tagged cover reveal

Cover Reveal!! The Winterton Deception 2: Fault Lines by Janet Sumner Johnson

I am beyond excited to share the cover of one of my most anticipated books this year:  The Winterton Deception 2: Fault Lines, by the wonderful writer (and my great friend), Janet Sumner Johnson.


Before we reveal the cover, please tell us a little bit about the Winterton Deception 2:  Fault Lines.

The Winterton Deception 2: Fault Lines has a kidnapping, a clue hunt, lots of family tension, and, of course, a treasure to find.

After the incredible events of the last official Winterton Bee, Hope and Gordon Smith have discovered that having an extended family isn’t so bad . . . and maybe their famous relatives’ lives aren’t so charmed. But Hope is still hiding a secret, and it’s a big one.

When Elizabeth Springer goes missing just before the Winterton’s big Thanksgiving celebration—their first reunion since the spelling bee—Hope knows it’s time to come clean. Her secret may be the only thing that can save Ms. Springer. But none of the Winterton clan want to hear it. Worse, they accuse Hope of making up the whole thing as an attention-grab.

Poised to give up on her new-found family, Hope gets a cryptic coded letter with instructions on how to find James Winterton—her long-estranged grandfather. What’s more, the letter hints that the Winterton’s secrets go well beyond a simple hidden treasure. Now Hope and Gordon face the impossible task of convincing their family to follow a shifty clue to find the man they want to see least, in order to save the woman who’s been lying to them for years.

I can’t wait for it to hit shelves!


And…The Reveal:


Cover Art by Francisco Fonseca


It’s gorgeous!!! I know that there’s a secret about the cover. Tell us about that.

I would love to! When my editor approached me about the cover for Book 2, we discussed all the possibilities, but really wanted to keep the mood and atmosphere that the cover of FINAL WORD offers. Happily, I had recently done some research for Book 2 and had taken some photos of a key location in the story. I sent off these photos, and the cover artist, Francisco Fonseca, created this brilliant work of art. It’s so fun to have had a part in the making of the cover (even if it’s a small part)!


















You left us with a big reveal at the end of Book 1. What twists and turns do you have in store for us with Book 2?

I did! Of course, I can’t tell you all the twists and turns, because that would spoil it for you, but I will tell you that while I waited for the very end to deliver the big reveal in Book 1, in Book 2, I offer a big reveal early on. I’m so excited for readers to get to that moment! Writing a second book (which was not in the plan until it sold as a series) was so satisfying because I got to explore these characters a little more deeply. Unexpected emotions surfaced, and I learned things about them I hadn’t known when I started. Can I confess I still cry every time I read the ending? But they’re happy tears! It’s amazing to watch your characters grow and change.

Thank you so much for having me and for hosting the cover reveal for Fault Lines!


The Winterton Deception 2:  Fault Lines is available for pre-order now and will be hitting bookstores October 8, 2024.


Cover Reveal with Janet Sumner Johnson | MUF

Janet Sumner Johnson writes both picture books and middle grade novels. Her debut picture book, Help Wanted: Must Love Books, was the winner of the 2021 CLEL BELL Read Award and was nominated for the Children’s Choice Book Awards in Colorado (2022) and Washington (2023). The first book of her middle grade mystery series, The Winterton Deception 1: Final Word received starred trade reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist. When she isn’t writing, she loves eating cookies, playing the piano, and singing along with the radio at the top of her lungs. She lives in Utah with her husband, three kids, and her dog. Visit her online at





Are you excited about The Winterton Deception 2:  Fault Lines? Let us know in the comments below.

Cover Reveal – The Lost Forest

The Lost Forest
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The Lost Forest

I have a special treat today … MUF gets the exclusive opportunity to reveal the gorgeous new cover for The Lost Forest (Millbrook Press, April 2, 2024) Check this out!The Lost Forest


What’s even better about today’s cover reveal is that this is the latest work from MUF’s very own Jennifer Swanson, and is a JLG gold standard book.JLG

About The Lost Forest:

Dive into the unexpected! Have you ever heard of an underwater forest? They are rare, but they exist. Ancient stumps stand tall in a secret location, hidden from view for more than 60,000 years.

Take a deep dive with scientists exploring a sunken cypress forest that had been undisturbed in the Gulf of Mexico since the last Ice Age. Page Plus links lead to videos of the scientists at work.

In addition to getting our MUF exclusive cover reveal, I got a chance to chat with my friend and colleague Jen abotu writing her newest amazing book.

Interview with Jen Swanson

HMC: Congratulations, Jennifer! And congratulations on your Junior Library Guild Selection! Your book sounds really cool. An underwater forest? What is that exactly?

JS: Yes, most people don’t think that forests can be found underwater, but of course, they can. Most underwater forests are kelp, which sort of looks like big, wavy, palm trees that look like seaweed.

But the forest that these scientists studied is an ancient cypress forest. Cypress trees are normally found above ground, not under the water. That’s why this is so special. There are still partially standing trees—some as tall as 6 feet—in the water. This ancient forest is believed to have been covered by silt and sand for almost 60,000 years.

HMC: So the description says that this was a secret underwater forest. Why is it secret?

This forest was revealed in 2018 after Hurricane Ivan went through the Gulf of Mexico. It was discovered by accident by fishermen who saw that this area had a lot of fish around it. The fish were feeding off of the creatures that were living in and around the forest.

The cypress forest is a treasure trove of information about the environment in the Gulf of Mexico. It needs to be preserved and studied. But the cypress trees are also very valuable, so the exact location was initially kept secret so that companies would not harvest the wood and make furniture out of it.

HMC: How did you become aware of this story?

One of the lead scientists on the only team chosen to do research on the site is a good friend of mine. Dr. Brian Helmuth was the expert on my Astronaut-Aquanaut book. We’ve stayed in touch since that book and I’ve visited his lab in Nahant, MA. Once he learned that his team was chosen to be the ones to do the research, he called me and asked me if I was interested in writing their story. WAS I? Absolutely! It was a truly wonderful experience.

HMC: What was the most exciting thing about writing this book?

JS: The scientists on this project made me a part of their actual team. I was invited to attend several of their planning meetings, and was even invited to go out on one of their research trips to the forest. Unfortunately, I was not able to do so, but I got tons of access to them, their data, and all of their photos and videos. They made me an honorary aquanaut, which to me, is a huge honor!

HMC: What do you have coming up next?

JS: I’m excited to see my first ever narrative nonfiction picture book biography come out next year. It’s called, Up Periscope: How Engineer Raye Montague Revolutionized Shipbuilding (Little Brown BFYR). The book is illustrated by the fabulous Veronica Jameson and follow the life of the U.S. Navy’s Hidden Figure, Raye Montague. The amazing Ms. Montague was the first person to figure to develop a computer program to design a ship. Before that, everyone had to make calculations by hand and it too months and months. This is the very inspiring story of how Raye faced many challenges to accomplish this amazing feat. The book releases November 2, 2024.

HMC: Where can everyone learn more about you and your other books about STEM?

JS: You can find information about me, my books, and tons of STEM resources including free teacher guides, videos for students, and learn about my podcast, Solve It! for Kids at my website:

HMC: Thanks again, Jen and congratulations!


Cover reveal! Lisa Schmid’s HART & SOULS

A special treat today: A COVER REVEAL Hart & Souls, written by my friend and fellow Mixed-Up Files contributor, Lisa Schmid! Out 7/23/24!

Now, before we reveal the cover…

Hart & Souls: A summary

After getting bullied at Figueroa Elementary, Stix Hart wants nothing more than to be invisible as he starts middle school. He’s heard all the horror stories, but none involved ghosts.

On Stix’s first day of sixth grade, his anxiety is off the charts. It doesn’t help when he encounters an older kid who reminds him of his old nemesis, Xander Mack. Soon after, he encounters two other students who take a keen interest in him. He quickly learns the spooky truth—the trio are ghosts in need of a solid. They are stuck in middle school and cannot move on until they resolve their unfinished business. It’s up to Stix to figure out how to help these not-so-normal new friends. To succeed, he must use his unique abilities: drumming talent, a big heart, and anxiety to sort out this paranormal predicament.


(Isn’t it a beauty?)

Interview with Lisa Schmid

MR: Congrats on the upcoming publication of your spooky MG, Hart & Souls (7/23/24)! I’m honored to host your cover reveal—especially on Friday the 13th 🙂

LS: Thank you so much! I am giddy to share my new cover with the world. I’m especially delighted that you signed up for hosting duties. I feel like we’ve been on this author’s journey together and have so much in common—one might even say we are soul sisters.

 MR: Ooh, I LOVE that! Now, tell me: What was the inspiration behind Hart & Souls

LS: The idea for Hart & Souls came to me after encountering the local “school bully” at Target. He was on the phone at the front of the store, frightened and crying. After eavesdropping, I learned no one had picked him up from school, and he didn’t know where else to go. It was heartbreaking. I kept an eye on him until his dad arrived, but it got me thinking. An important lesson I’ve always taught my son is that when somebody is unkind, it usually means they’re fighting a battle we know nothing about.

At that moment, I knew I had my next book. By the time I finished shopping, the title HART & SOULS was swirling around my brain. While sitting in the parking lot, I figured out how the story would begin and end. I’ve never veered off course—I knew I had something special. I actually recreated the Target scene in my book through the eyes of Stix. It still makes me tear up when I read the chapter.

MR: How long did it take you to write the novel, Lisa?

LS: It took me about a year and a half to write. I am a card-carrying Pantser, so I work out the details as I go. Unfortunately, I always get stuck when I reach the “mushy” middle. Sometimes, I need to let things percolate before moving forward. I hit a couple of bumps in the road, but in the end, much like my lost souls, I found my way home.

About the Artist

MR: Since this is a cover reveal (!!!), I’d love to know more about your gorgeous cover—and about the artist, Carolina Vázquez.

LS: I am so in love with this cover! Carolina totally captured the heart and soul of this story. The expression on Stix’s face makes me giggle—it personifies his state of mind to a tee. And the three ghosts are just as I had imagined them to be. I want to hug each one and let them know everything will be all right.

I am also obsessed with the details that make it so extraordinary. Little nuances like the talent show flier on a backpack, and my favorite: the ghost’s individual auras reflecting off Stix. It makes my heart sing!

HART & SOULS is Carolina’s debut middle grade cover, and I think she knocked it out of the park.

Fun fact: her debut picture book cover, TANGO RED RIDING HOOD, was written by a local author, Rachel S. Hobbs. I recently connected the dots and will attend Rachel’s book signing next week.

What a small world—A fabulous illustrator from Argentina ends up working with a pair of California girls on her first two books.

I can hardly wait to take a picture of us together and share it with Carolina.

MR: What was the process like in choosing the cover? I know it’s different for every writer, and every artist.

LS: I am so lucky that my AMAZING agent, Leslie Zampetti, found the perfect home for my little ghost story. Andrews McMeel Kids is a fantastic publisher that encourages a collaborative experience. My wonderful editor, Hannah Dussold, and I threw out a couple of ideas for Carolina, and she came back with this gorgeous cover.

There were, of course, minor tweaks and changes, but overall, Carolina nailed it. I am so grateful for her patience and creativity. And the good news . . . she’s creating thirty interior illustrations, so you will be seeing a lot more of her art!

MR: Congrats again, Lisa, on Hart & Souls. I can’t wait to read it. And I encourage Mixed-Up Files readers to pre-order it!

LS: Thanks so much. And thank you to everybody for pre-ordering my book. I truly hope you enjoy my ghost story. I loved writing it for you.

Author bio

Lisa Schmid is an author and co-host of the podcast Writers With Wrinkles. When she’s not scaring up ghostly adventures, she’s most likely visiting schools to talk about writing and books. She lives in Northern California with her husband, son, two dogs, and one very sneaky hamster. Learn more about Lisa on her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Artist bio

Carolina Vázquez was born in 2000 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was endlessly inspired by books and animation from an early age and started taking drawing classes when she was thirteen. She graduated from Palermo University with a degree in Illustration Design in 2021. Since then, she has been working on children’s illustration projects such as picture books, magazines and board games. Learn more about Carolina on her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.