Today we are thrilled to unveil the amazing cover for Shadowboxer, the new upcoming novel from Arthur C. Clarke Award winning author Tricia Sullivan.
Without further ado, behold: the Smugglerific Cover!
The Smugglerific Cover
Nothing she’s faced in the cage will prepare her…
Jade is a young mixed martial arts fighter. When she’s in the cage she dominates her opponents—but in real life she’s out of control. After she has a confrontation with a Hollywood martial arts star that threatens her gym’s reputation, Jade’s coach sends her to a training camp in Thailand for an attitude adjustment. Hoping to discover herself, she instead uncovers a shocking conspiracy. In a world just beyond our own, a man is stealing the souls of children to try and live forever.
Tricia Sullivan on the Cover
I should probably come with a CONTROL FREAK warning label. My house may be messy and I never know what day it is—but on the page I’m a glutton for power. Maybe that’s because everything in my novels comes from my heart and soul. I build the world from wishes and memories and spit duct tape. I research. I call up characters out of thin air, wrestle with the plot, sculpt the language. I’ve fussed over each detail of what’s between those covers and I’ve agonized over every flaw. For better or worse, all of those words are down to me.
But when it comes to what you see before you pick the book up and start reading, it’s out of my hands. In traditional publishing, cover art isn’t part of the author’s remit. And can I just say, for someone like me that’s torture.
With Shadowboxer I was carrying an extra layer of angst because I already knew the YA field has its problems with whitewashing book covers. It’s not such a long time since the Book Smugglers wrote this and I can remember very well the recasting of the covers of Liar and Magic Under Glass that only happened under public pressure. Important conversations are happening right now about diversity of all kinds in the publishing industry, but let’s face it: we are pulling ourselves out of a deep trench of racist practices that have been unexamined for too long. There is a lot of work to do.
So maybe you can imagine my ecstasy when the conversation with Ravenstone went like this:
Ravenstone: Hello. So what were you thinking for the cover?
Ravenstone: We were thinking about X, Y, or possibly Z. What are your ideas?
Me: Are you talking to–? Wait. Do you mean me?
Ravenstone: Open to your thoughts!
Me: *pinches self* Ow! Not dreaming.
Seriously, I still can’t get over the fact that when I brought up my concerns my publisher didn’t tell me to take my control freak self out to the shed to breathe into a paper bag and count to ten thousand. I was included in the concept discussion and I got to see rough art and offer my input. Nobody batted an eyelash when I explained that the image of Jade on the cover had to represent her ethnicity (Dominican-American) as well as her temperament (fierce). It took a little bit of back and forth, but artist Erik Mohr looked at the images I sent him of real boxers from the Dominican Republic and came up with a depiction of Jade that I think captures who she is.
But this isn’t just a novel about a young fighter in contemporary New Jersey; that’s only part of the story. Shadowboxer also has a supernatural strand involving an otherworldly forest that is home to animals and immortal beings. One of the characters has the ability to step in and out of this forest at will and can traffic magical substances through it—so there is crime. And where there is crime, there are ghosts. That’s a lot to convey in a single image, but Erik has integrated the forest with the urban landscape so that Jade seems to be in more than one world at the same time. There’s a lot of darkness in Shadowboxer, but there is also hope and I think you can sense this in the use of lighting.
The quote from Patrick Ness on the cover says, ‘Sullivan writes novels that are so entertaining they’re almost embarrassing—seriously, when was the last time you read a really smart book that was also fun?’
Another quote that you can’t see here is from Justine Larbalestier, Andre Norton Award winning author of Liar and Razorhurst, who wrote: “Shadowboxer is a fast-paced, gripping contemporary dark fantasy thriller. Everything about this book feels utterly real from the monsters out of Thai mythology to the cage fights but especially the incandescent Jade Barrera whose passion and fury are sometimes bigger than she can control.”
Every time I read Justine’s quote I grin ear to ear. I worked so hard on this book, and it wasn’t easy—but it’s finally done. I’m delighted to be able to share the cover with you thanks to the generosity of Ana and Thea. I hope you like it.
About the Author
Tricia Sullivan is an Arthur C. Clarke Award winning author of science fiction novels for adults. She lives in Shropshire, UK with her partner, MMA trainer Steve Morris, and their three children. She has a six foot Muay Thai bag in her shed. On a bad day she can hit it pretty hard.
Find out more about Tricia on her website, or follow her on twitter (@beep9999).
To celebrate the cover reveal, we are giving away 3 copies of Shadowboxer! This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, and will run until Saturday, July 5 at 12:01am EST. To enter, use the form below!
GraceJune 23, 2014 at 7:00 am
Thanks for the giveaway!
ihate_00June 23, 2014 at 8:06 am
SaraJune 23, 2014 at 9:19 am
This looks like an awesome book; I can’t wait to read it. As a librarian, I’m always looking for novels with diversity for our YA collection.
micheleJune 23, 2014 at 9:26 am
Please sign me up for the giveaway.
wandering-dreamerJune 23, 2014 at 10:32 am
What the heck, I want a shot at this!
CarolineJune 23, 2014 at 10:39 am
It’s a great cover! I’m intrigued.
SharonJune 23, 2014 at 11:06 am
Those blurbs totally have me sold!
Megan S.June 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm
That cover is AWESOME. I love her pose and the lighting.
Tyler CohenJune 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm
EricJune 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm
Looks like a great read!
SL HuangJune 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm
It’s not often that a cover blows me away so much that it makes me want to read the book — covers differ from the contents so often that even if I like one my brain usually doesn’t connect the two anymore. But this. THISSSSS. As someone who intersects with the fighting world, can I just say that this ROCKS.
And she’s so much more arresting — and more attractive — than the spindly leather-clad models we are so much more often asked to believe can punch through their opponents. I’ve not heard any other buzz about this book but just from the cover I want it noooooow.
Mary AnneJune 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm
Neat cover. And boxing? Different…could be very cool.
Margo-LeaJune 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm
Not my usual reading choice, but my brother recently brought me a Muay Thai tee shirt from Thailand. Synchronicity?
This is the proof I tweeted that wouldn’t copy in the right place:
Rachel GJune 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm
This looks so good! I love reading books that are about things I don’t know much about, like boxing and Thailand, plus books that are already about something before a supernatural element comes into it.
JohnJune 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm
Cover looks great! Looking forward to reading it, free or not!
Sarah K.June 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm
The cover is cool. Her arm is so big. It’s a little scary.
celeste caoJune 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm
Thanks for the chance 🙂
KitJune 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm
Thanks for the giveaway! This looks excellent.
Karen B.June 23, 2014 at 6:06 pm
Tricia Sullivan pretty much rocks. So glad she has a new book coming out!
LexiJune 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm
Interesting, the cover definitely catches the eye.
HebeJune 23, 2014 at 8:15 pm
The cover looks good – I really like the city/forest crossover.
erinf1June 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm
sounds very intriguing 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Anita YanceyJune 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm
This book sounds so good. I would love to read it. Thanks for having the giveaway.
David GoldingJune 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm
Mary PrestonJune 24, 2014 at 5:34 am
Loving this cover & story line.
StefanieJune 24, 2014 at 8:28 am
What a great strong cover! Woo! So refreshing.
PaulJune 24, 2014 at 8:36 am
Thanks for doing this!
alexaJune 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm
I’d love to read this.
EmmaJune 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm
That cover is so cool! I’d love to read this book.
ElisaJune 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm
Awesome cover and the story sounds intriguing!
Celia MeredithJune 25, 2014 at 12:15 am
This looks so good! After reading “Santa Olivia”, I’ve been hungry for some more YA novels featuring badass WOC. Looking forward to reading it 🙂
DanJune 25, 2014 at 9:11 am
This book looks great!
Shae/Shelver @ Shae Has Left The RoomJune 25, 2014 at 9:47 am
Yesssssss! I saw the accurate (read: NOT WHITEWASHED!) cover on Tumblr and immediately sat up a little straighter. Also, who doesn’t love a female MMA fighter?
AngelaJune 25, 2014 at 9:50 am
I’ve seen lots of MMA fighters in romance recently, but only men. Can’t wait to read about a young woman stepping up!
Katrina MFJune 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm
As a lady who used to wrestle and play rugby on male teams, I’m always up for a kickass heroine!
KiraJune 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm
this book sounds amazing!!!
KaylaJuly 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm
This book sounds good! Hope I win it
BookgazingJuly 4, 2014 at 7:54 am
This is amazing and so suited to my particular tastes. Look at the lovely!
GerriJuly 4, 2014 at 9:15 am
It sounds (and looks) quite interesting! Going to give this giveaway a shot 🙂
K RobertsJuly 4, 2014 at 10:36 am
Thanks for the lovely giveaway!
DanielleJuly 4, 2014 at 4:14 pm
This book looks fantastic! Can’t wait to read it.