Posts Tagged cover reveal

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.

Cover Reveal: Space Care

cover art shows an astronaut in full gear against a dark background with title in neon lettering


MUF cover reveal logo with critter and text saying "cover reveal"I am so excited to share the newest cover reveal for an awesome new space book by our own Mixed-Up Files Jennifer Swanson’s SPACE CARE: A Kid’s Guide to Surviving Space

Drum roll……….. here it is!

Cover Reveal

cover art shows an astronaut in full gear against a dark background with title in neon lettering

Publisher: Mayo Clinic Press Kids
Publish Date: July 18, 2023

About Space Care:

Have you ever wondered how astronauts stay healthy in space? What if an astronaut gets sick on the space station? Does snot run in space? This fascinating photo-illustrated look at space and medicine explores how scientists and physicians study astronauts in space, how they help keep them safe, and what we’ve learned about the human body through space exploration. Questions from real kids and answers form from astronauts, along with photos from NASA, combine for an out-of-this-world exploration of health.

I’m so excited we got a chance to talk to Jen about her newest fabulous middle grade non fiction book.

Interview with Jen Swanson

HMC: Congratulations, Jennifer! Your book is one of a new group of  kid’s books being released by Mayo Clinic Press this year. How did you feel about writing this topic for them? 

JS: Space medicine? YES, please. At one time in my life, I wanted more than anything to be an
organ-transplant surgeon and an astronaut. Not that those two careers necessarily go together, but
maybe someday. 😊
In any case, I was thrilled to be asked to write this book for Mayo Clinic Press Kids. Not only do
I love space but I also live very close to the Mayo Clinic here in Jacksonville and often ride my
bike past it. It was the perfect book for me to do.

HMC: Can you share some cool details about what’s inside?

JS: This book is chock full of details about what humans go through while living in microgravity. There are facts about how astronauts sleep, what they eat, and yes, even a picture of the bathroom on the ISS. There is information about the garden where fruit and vegetables are grown in space and even a section about some of the cool medical research being done in microgravity. (Did you know that astronauts have to draw their own blood sometimes?)
The awesome photos give readers an up-close view of life on the ISS and even make them feel a little bit like they are their themselves.

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

JS: I got to zoom with Astronaut Megan McArthur! That was just so fun. Megan is fantastic and really smart. She wrote the foreward for the book, and gives the reader a great inside story of what it’s like to live in space. And yes, all of those answers in the book are from her. She and I chatted about them during our zoom session.

HMC: Will there be more books about space from you?

JS: Definitely! I’m working on a book right now called WHO OWNS THE MOON, that I’m co-writing with Cynthia Levinson for Margaret Quinlan Books. It is takes a much broader look at NASA’s Artemis missions and asks the question we are all wondering—how will different countries (and commercial companies) live and work together on the Moon? Packed with cool technology, discussions on space debris, governance, and more, this book will be a great resource for kids who want to learn as much as they can about space. It will publish in early 2025.

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:


Cover Reveal: A Horse Named Sky

I’ve been hard at work on a new animal-narrated MG novel. It’s a companion book to A Wolf Called Wander and A Whale of the Wild. I’m thrilled to be working with the team at Greenwillow once again. And I’m even more excited to be paired with the brilliant illustrator Kirbi Fagin. Here is her gorgeous art work on the cover for A Horse Named cover A Horse Named Sky

Sky will be galloping into young hearts and minds on September 5th 2023. I will be signing and personalizing pre-orders at Annie Blooms Books in Portland. But you can pre-order it at your neighborhood bookstore too.

A Horse Named Sky is the story of a mustang born in the Nevada wilderness who never wanted to leave home and never meant to become a leader, but learned how to find his way and fight for a family so much bigger than his own. The story is set in 1860, when our nation, like this young horse, was grappling with what it means to be free.