Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: So Happy I'm Flinging Poo

...And that's even more fun than it sounds.

A couple weeks ago I got to see the cover art for my midgrade novel CHAINED, which comes out next May, and I've been dying to share it with everyone. I mean really, everyone. I had to stop myself from running up to strangers at the gas station to show them the picture on my phone.

I was not-so-patiently waiting for word from the publisher that I could go ahead and show the cover, and then I got home Tuesday afternoon to find these guys on the front porch:

Well, hello there
Aren't they gorgeous? Until those advance copies arrived I didn't know what the tagline on the cover would be; if you can't see it in the picture, it reads "Deep in the jungle, a young elephant keeper plots an escape from a dangerous circus."

Here's a picture of the cover art itself--this is from before the tagline was added, but it shows the colors more clearly:

I might have hugged it a few times. The awesome people at MacMillan asked the super-talented Chris Sheban to do the cover illustration. When I first saw the many rough sketches Chris sent of his ideas for the cover, I knew I'd be thrilled with the result.

And here's the back!

Nice close-up of the elephant's sweet face. And the tagline there looked familiar--back when I was querying agents, the book description in the query letter ended with "...the two friends discover the bond that links them together is stronger than any shackle, lock, or chain."

Now for even more fun stuff. Before I had a cover, I made some business card bookmarks using card stock made from elephant poop.

Who knew elephant poop could be so adorable? And if you get some of these bookmarks and your friends don't believe you when you tell them what they're made of, well there it is, labeled on the back:

And as soon as I got the cover art I ordered some stickers and miniature business cards from Moo:

The Moo cards are about half the size of a business card & make cute little bookmarks

Also I made bookplates on Office Depot's website by uploading the book cover to one side of a blank mailing label:

Here's where I totally steal an idea from Sarah Prineas, because I loved the contest she did for Anne Nesbet's CABINET OF EARTHS cover reveal. So, if you'd like to win some of the stuff I've shown here, plus a a blank journal made of elephant poop paper or an advance copy of CHAINED, leave a comment and mention a page number from 3 to 242; I'll reply with a line from that page of the book. Include your email address too so I can notify you if you win. When the contest ends next Thursday, I'll randomly pick two winners. (U.S. addresses only).

Here's package 1, with two of the handmade elephant poop bookmarks, one elephant poop bookmark from Rainbow Gifts, three signed bookplates, two cover art stickers, two Moo cards, and a blank journal made of elephant poop paper from

The paper in the blank journal is a little rough for writing on (must be all that hay), but I think it'd make a great scrapbook. The silver square on the front is a metal elephant medallion. The handmade bookmarks might be different colors than those pictured here, but I have a wide variety of card stock, so I can probably make some using your favorite colors.

And pack 2, with one of the Rainbow Gifts bookmarks, three of the handmade bookmarks, two Moo cards, three signed bookplates, two cover art stickers, and a signed ARC of CHAINED:

Quick rules for entering again: leave a page number from 3-242 in the comments. Contest ends Thursday, November 3rd at 11:59 PM.

Good luck! Hope you all love the cover as much as I do.


  1. Your cover is so beautiful, Lynne! And of course I LOVE the "pick a page" sort of contest!

    Let's see. Could you give us a glimpse of page 77, please?

    who can't wait to read CHAINED for real!

  2. Your cover is gorgeous, Lynne! So happy you can share it with us!

    I think I'd like a peek at page 12, please.

    Poop paper for the win!

  3. Lynne, I love your cover. It would grab me from the shelf, no doubt. Congratulations!

  4. Thanks! Here's a line from page 77: "I don't know how to free an elephant from a trap, but I didn't expect that getting into the trap myself would be part of the plan."

    And from page 12: "I spend the rest of the morning inside my house, but I can't stay away from the window."

  5. The elephant poop paper is amazing! P 33!

  6. Beautiful cover, beautiful story! It's been so fun to watch the process, from first draft to one gorgeous read -- can't wait to hold a copy in my hands.

    How 'bout page 3?

  7. Love the cover and all your elephant poop paraphernalia!

  8. Lynne, the cover is so heart wrenching--it tells a story on its own! And I love all the cool swag!

  9. Your cover is both adorable and haunting, and the poop bookmarks are possibly the most creative swag I've ever seen. Something from page 146, please?

  10. Oh, oh, oh! SO beautiful! Lynne, I can't wait to read it! Let's see, p. 179 please.

  11. Oh Lynne, it's absolutely marvelous! And the tagline really draws you in with that little boy and that little elephant...**sad eyes** Didn't it feel like your baby finally came home when you got your ARCS? So proud of you and congrats!


  12. Congrats on your beautiful cover, Lynne! Love the swag you made too. Nice work.

  13. Amazing! I've loved having the privilege of seeing this enchanting story unfold. I'm SO excited for you, Lynne!

    How about page 53?

  14. I already couldn't wait to read this book and that cover just makes me that much more impatient. It's so stunning, Lynne.

    Great contest too! I'll take p. 88.

  15. If that were my cover, I would definitely be trying to show it to random strangers too!
    Pg. 8?

  16. Thanks for all the comments and for playing, everyone! Yes, I want to hug that little elephant whenever I see the cover.

    Ok, here are the lines from those pages:

    p. 33: "As we walk down the road, I tell Yusuf about everything that brought me to the marketplace--Chanda's illness, Amar and Moti, my mother's job with Sharma's family."

    p. 3: "I sit on the floor of our hut and hold a cold washcloth to Chanda's forehead."

    p. 146: "At this moment, she does not look like the sad, overworked show elephant, but more like the playful wild elephant she was when I first saw her."

    p. 179: "Redness darkens his face."

    p. 53: "I hear the elephants before I see them."

    p. 88: "I wonder if it will be this exhausting to feed her every time."

    p. 8: "If they get to a doctor on time, sometimes they get well and come back. Sometimes."

  17. Lovely cover. I'm very happy/excited for you. :o)

  18. Amazing cover and I love the poop!!!! And girl, you've got swaggity, sway, swag!!!! Congrats!!!!

  19. I love the cover! I've always thought elephants are cute :)

    And elephant poop paper? Interesting... Oh, can I please take a peek at page 97 please?

    Can't wait for Chained!

  20. Congrats on the gorgeous cover, Lynne! It's really lovely. p. 71?

  21. Beautiful cover, Lynn! I collect handmade bookmarks, and I LOVE the idea of one made of elephant poop! Can't wait to read CHAINED. p. 44

  22. I love this cover, Lynne! And every line makes me want to read it even more. Please may I have a look at page 218?

  23. Page 7! I want page 7! Actually I want ALL the pages, but that just means you're gonna have to PICK ME as the winner!

    SO SO SO SO EXCITED FOR YOU, and I cannot wait to read it. I also volunteered to interview YOU for the Lucky13s blog. HOORAY!!!!!

    Did I mention I was SO EXCITED????!!!!

  24. I adore that cover! :D

    And I choose page 121!

  25. Here you go!

    p. 97: "I try to be polite and eat slowly, but I'm so hungry that my food disappears from my plate as fast as water into Nandita's trunk."

    p. 71: "But I must have drifted off to sleep again, because the sound of a nearby animal startles me awake again."

    p. 44: "The cloth rice bag on my lap holds all that I own, except for the stone from Baba."

    p. 218: "Without taking his eyes off me, Timir reaches out and shoves Ne Min aside."

    p. 7: "The lamp I light shines through the fabric and makes a sunset on the wall."

    Tara, are you excited?! You seem excited!

    p. 121: "She looks scared, like she wants to run away."

  26. Love the colors, love the softness, love everything!

    I pick page 6!


    (And your giveaways are so smart!)

  27. Here's one from page 6:
    "When Amma isn't watching, Chanda and I bring him some of our dinner or a cup of milk."

    And p. 37: "My mouth would be watering if it were not so dry."

    Thanks for playing!

  28. So gorgeous! I cannot wait to share this one with my boys.


  29. The cover is beautiful! Can't wait to buy it for my son (and me!).

  30. I love the cover. The colors are fantastic!

    Please drop me a line from page 25. Thank you!

    Have a great day!

  31. I love your cover, Lynne! Fantastic!

  32. No joke, I dreamed about this book last night, probably because I saw the cover right before I went to bed.

    LOVE the cover, LOVE the poop bookmarks, LOVE it all. As I've said elsewhere, this cover has that classic, timeless feel, like it's one of those books people will be reading for years and years, a book that lasts.

    Congratulations on the ARCs and on such a beautiful cover! Page...47!

  33. What a beautiful cover and the elephant poop bookmarks are amazing! How about a peek at page 13, please?

  34. How beautiful! I am so happy for you and can't wait to read it. How about a line from page 222?


  35. Love the cover, love the poop paper. Hit me with a line from page 60 please.

  36. The cover is sooo cute and the chains on the baby elephant made me sad.... Page 111 please. :-)Thank you and congratulations, Lynne!

  37. So happy to see all this cover love!

    p. 113: "I take a deep breath and try to sound braver than I feel."

    p. 25: "Her fingertips brush the side of my face, a soft touch with a rough hand."

    p. 47: "The high thatched roof and walls made of mud remind me of home."

    p. 13: "When I was a little boy, the age Chanda is now, I thought that our home grew right out of the ground and that our roof was made of a tree whose branches drooped down to cover the walls."

    p.222: "The trees around me are a blur as I race to Ne Min's house."

    p. 60: "Elephants must be smarter than Timir thinks they are."

    p. 111: "While I work, I feel my father over my shoulder, guiding me."

  38. Fun contest!! I pick page 67.

    So happy for you, and love the cover. The elephant is so sweet.


    gina dot carey at gmail

  39. Beautiful cover! and those lines make me so excited to read it.

    Page 213 please!

  40. 17. My lucky number. Fling some poo my way!

    PS: LOVE the cover!

  41. It's a great cover, Lynne. I'm laughing thinking how you had to keep from approaching strangers at the gas station!

    I'm thinking page 163.

    And thanks for the random sneak peeks!


  42. Ok, here's another round!

    p. 67: "But what if a tiger finds her first?"

    p. 213: "You're hurting me worse than the elephant did."

    p. 17: "But I worry I'll never feel safe again."

    p. 163: "I expect him to take the bowl and place it on the grill over the fire, but instead he takes the stone from my hands and places it directly into the flames."

  43. The Princess chooses pg number 98. She's beginning to come around to the idea of touching anything that was formerly elephant poop.

    lulushae at gmail dot com

  44. The Diva chooses pg number 60. She however has no issues touching anything that was formerly elephant poop.

    cowgirlyeah at gmail dot com

  45. It's so beautiful Lynne!

    Um, pg 21? Did someone say that yet?

  46. Nope, no one picked 21 yet, Genn. Here's one from that page:

    "Something isn't right."

    And for the Princess and the Diva, Machelle, even if they don't appreciate the poop:

    p. 98: "She sprays the cool water over her back, soaking me just as much as herself."

    p. 60: "But the sound I dread even more is that of an elephant crashing into the trap."

  47. Exciting! I love the page number - sentence idea. Really enjoying reading these little snippets.

  48. Love the cover, Lynne, it's so beautiful. I've already been hit with some poo, so I'll leave the contest to the poo-less among us.

    Congratulations!! Love reading the bits from the book -- fun!


  49. Wow! What a great cover! Can't wait to read it.
    Hit me with something from page 91!

  50. I adore elephants and I LOVE this cover! It's absolutely beautiful and even a little mysterious.

    Can we see something from page 82?

    I love all of the prizes, especially pack #2 :)

    -Sarah @ Y.A. Love

  51. Sure, here's a line from p. 91:
    "I grip the bottle tightly, but Nandita's able to steal it from me again."

    And p. 82:
    "I'll be your family until then."

  52. Awwwww, so cute and then I noticed the chain and thought how sad. Great cover!

  53. Love the sweet face on the cover. It reminds me of the elephants from the elephant orphanage near where I lived in Sri Lanka. What a great idea for a book :) It's a beautiful cover & your excitement is contagious.

    What does page 13 look like?

    dkulawiak (at) gmail (dot) com

  54. Yes, she wants to get rid of those chains too, Petra!

    Danielle, that's so cool-- I'd love to see that elephant orphanage.

    Here's a line from page 13:

    "A neighbor would help me carry it if I asked, but I want to do this myself."

  55. Great cover, fun contest idea, and the cutest elephant. I'd love to hear something from page 241.
    Good job!

  56. I love the cover! But love the elephant poop paper even more

  57. Thanks, Marion! Here's a quote from page 241. Hard to quote from that page without giving any spoilers!

    "I still cannot say I will ever be thankful for much of what has happened to me, but everything I've ever done has brought me here."

  58. WOW! This is one of the debut books that I have been really looking forward to reading--and your swag!? AWESOME! Congrat's. Lynne!

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Great marketing ideas! And a lovely, moody cover. How about page 1? (I love openings)

  61. The lush cover colors (and title) hooked me right away. How about some action from page 200?

  62. Beautiful of my favorite illustrators !
    Is it a pastel ? Your snippets are very enticing...
    great idea !

    How about a line from page 64 ?
    Please & thank you !

  63. Congratulations! The cover looks great.

    I pick page lucky number :)


  64. Alrighty, new round of lines!

    How about first page, first line, Suzanne?
    p. 1: "The flood left, but the fever stayed."

    p. 200: "But I don't dare leave to go look for him."

    p. 64: "When they notice me the room grows quiet."

    And lucky page 10, Andrea: "From the doorway I watch Amar pedal out of sight with my whole world in the back of his rickshaw."

    Thank you, everyone!

  65. Aww...the cover is totally adorable. It pulls you right in. I'll chose page 7, please.

  66. Thanks, June! Here's one from page 7:

    "After Baba died, Chanda started having nightmares."

  67. I love the cover, Lynne. And though I'd heard of elephant poop paper before, I've never seen it look so cute!

    Have you given us a peek at page 118 yet?

  68. Thank you, Shelli! I don't think we've seen one from page 118 yet:

    "With a wide smile and a laugh, Timir welcomes the visitors to his circus and assures them they won't be disappointed."

  69. Lovely stuff and I'm excited for you! How about a little something from 42?

  70. Thanks, Sam!

    From p. 42: "Give me one more minute, please," Amma says, wiping tears from her face.

  71. 122, yo. And I just want to take that little elephant and hug him and kiss him and name him George...

  72. Me too, Mike! (but it's a girl elephant).

    p. 122: "When Sharad moves his arm, I notice a bit of the silver handle he hides in his sleeve."

  73. Gorgeous cover! And your promotion is so creative too!

  74. After saying on the blueboard that my hallways are spilling over with books, that I don't enter giveaways, I want you to pick my name for the book!!! I feel like such a hypocrite but this is the best contest ever because it has elephant poop bookmarks and paper. Not to mention the book. The cover is gorgeous and I still rememeber when you first told me about this story. Wowza!

    I want to know what's on page 240 because I love peeking ahead.

    Thanks, Lynne.

  75. Vijaya, I'm glad you made an exception for one more book to be added to your collection!

    Peeking ahead to the end, page 240:

    "I am so relieved to see her, I need all the strength I have left to keep from crumbling to the ground."

  76. Sitting here with my 10 year old daughter talking about how awesome it would be to win this book and some elephant poop paper!

    I see someone else has already asked for a peek from my lucky number 17, so how about page 71?

    Thanks! Robin

  77. Good luck to you and the daughter, Robin!

    From p. 71: "But I must have drifted off to sleep, because the sound of a nearby animal startles me awake again."

  78. What a beautiful cover!

    Can I hear a bit from pg. 24?

    RuthSchiffmann (at) hotmail [dot] com

  79. Thank you, Ruth!

    p. 24: "The peeling paint that clings to the walls shows that the shack must have been white a long time ago."

  80. Love love love your cover!!! And I'd like to see a sneak of page 216, please and thank you. :)

  81. Thanks, Stephanie! Quote from page 216 for you:

    "There, lying in the dirt, is the hook."

  82. Thanks so much for playing, everyone! I had a lot of fun posting the lines from the book.

    And now the winners...

    Package 1: June G.
    Package 2: Kai (amaterasu)

    Congratulations! Post your email addresses so I can contact you to get your mailing addresses, or email me at lynne01[at]gmail[dot]com

  83. Love the cover and all the swag! And the glimpses from different pages. How about page 66.

    Congrats on your book :)

  84. Thank you, Cherie!

    I've already posted the winners, but here's one more line, from page 66:

    "Good thing the elephants leave the river at sundown," he says.