Behind the Crow's Rest Cover Art

So by now you all have likely seen the cover for the Crow & Pitcher Press edition of Crow's Rest, due to be released on May 22. But just in case, here's what it looks like:


What may be news to you is that the cover features my own artwork, as well as a little Photoshop magic from my designer. I scheduled a shoot at Preston Castle in July 2017 with model Renee Sprouse, with an eye to getting some shots for the covers of all three planned books in the Faerie Crossed series. (The view through the arch is another of my photos from Bunratty Castle in Ireland, incidentally)

I wanted to use my own artwork for the creative challenge of it, but also to avoid licensing conflicts or fees. It made it slightly more challenging for designer Kelley York of X-Potions Design but I'm well pleased with the results. The photos we've selected for Merlin's Stronghold and Spellmeet are going to be fantastic too!

I've been holding back on sharing some of the photos while we made our final decisions on which ones to feature on the next two books, but I wanted to share some of my other favorites from the shoot here. Enjoy!







As you can see, we edited out Renee's tattoo in the cover--it just didn't fit Avery, although it's a cool design. And Renee looks remarkably composed, considering it was 106 degrees the day of the shoot! We were both so tired by the end.

There is one more photo that I'm using to make an all-new teaser in May. So check back for that one! Pre-orders for Crow's Rest should be live soon too, and the best way to get the inside info is to sign up for my newsletter, Crow Tracks.

Throwback Thursday Teaser 5

The re-release of Crow's Rest is coming from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, 2018! As a way to pay tribute to its previous life as my debut novel, I'm sharing teasers and material from those early blog tours for the next several weeks.

Then, as the release day approaches, I'll switch gears and drive us right into the new release with all new teasers. So remember to check back here on the blog on Thursdays!


Throwback Thursday Top Ten List 4

The re-release of Crow's Rest is coming from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, 2018! As a way to pay tribute to its previous life as my debut novel, I'm sharing teasers and material from those early blog tours for the next several weeks.

Then, as the release day approaches, I'll switch gears and drive us right into the new release with all new teasers. So remember to check back here on the blog on Thursdays!

Top Ten Places Where the Border Between Our World and Faerie Is Weak

1. Las Vegas: think about it—it would explain so much. What better place for the Fae to hide in plain sight than where people walk around in elaborate costumes every day?

2. Arch in Balboa Park: okay, so I can’t remember exactly where this was, but as teenagers, some friends and I were wandering around by the outdoor theater in Balboa Park at dusk. I swear that one of the arches was not just an arch, but a doorway.

3. Barton Woods: with views like this, how could it not be a glimpse into Faerie?



4. The cave on Tom Sawyer’s Island at Disneyland: our family had annual passes to Disneyland, and lots of summer days were spent on the island (partly because I didn’t have much patience for lines at the rides). Back when it was known as a racially insensitive _____ Joe’s Cave instead of Dead Man’s Grotto (as I believe it’s now called), all kinds of spooky, unexplainable things happened in there

5. Belvedere Castle in Central Park: you might think this is just a 19th-century folly, but I’ve always suspected that it’s a mirror castle, meaning there’s a corresponding (but oh so much better) castle on the Fae side of the border

6. Davis Arboretum: the arboretum on the campus of University of California, Davis, is a pleasant-enough place to stroll and study plants, but there’s this one spot where the path passes under the road, and I don’t think it’s just empty shadows under there…

7. Hope Valley Aspens: the aspen trees around Carson Pass and Hope Valley truly do have an otherworldly beauty about them. This spot is actually near a main road, but within a few short steps all you can hear is the sound of trickling water and twirling leaves



8. White Wells baths: this historic bath house in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, has a documented visit from the Little People, back in the 19th century. They scampered about the walls like squirrels when they were interrupted.

9. Preston Castle: Built as the Preston School of Industry in Ione, California, the hauntings at this castle could also be signs of a weakened Faerie border



10. Hollywood: same situation as Las Vegas—it explains so much about the beautiful, Hollyweird celebrities, that they’re actually from Faerie
(All photos by Angelica R. Jackson)

Throwback Thursday Teaser 4

The re-release of Crow's Rest is coming from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, 2018! As a way to pay tribute to its previous life as my debut novel, I'm sharing teasers and material from those early blog tours for the next several weeks.

Then, as the release day approaches, I'll switch gears and drive us right into the new release with all new teasers. So remember to check back here on the blog on Thursdays!


Throwback Thursday Top Ten List 3

The re-release of Crow's Rest is coming from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, 2018! As a way to pay tribute to its previous life as my debut novel, I'm sharing teasers and material from those early blog tours for the next several weeks.

Then, as the release day approaches, I'll switch gears and drive us right into the new release with all new teasers. So remember to check back here on the blog on Thursdays!


ARJ’s Top Ten Urban Fantasy Influences

1. The Borderland series, which starts with an anthology of the same name edited by Terri Windling, and moves on to some novel-length works like Elsewhere by Will Shetterly. It may have actually established the "collision of the strange and the everyday" definition in my mind.

2. Ariel by Steven R. Boyett is a cult favorite from 1983, which takes place in a post-Apocalyptic landscape--where the Apocalypse was caused by technology failing and magic returning to our world.

3. Books by Charles de Lint, who made Urban Fantasy popular with his Newford stories. I recommend starting with Little (Grrl) Lost for the younger YA set, or Svaha for older readers.

4. Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Fiest is a great example of UF that straddles the line into horror

5. The Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone, which starts with Three Parts Dead, is a great example of what makes UF so hard to compartmentalize--this fantasy novel takes place in an urban environment where the natural laws on the existence of magic are completely different from our world, and yet aspects of the city and its denizens still seem so universal and relatable.

6. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black can stand in for the vampire books that are sometimes labeled "paranormal" (with or without "romance" added to it), sometimes fantasy, but in my mind are UF.

7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is another that fits the above description (but not with vampires).

8. Gail Carriger's YA Finishing School series, which begins with Etiquette and Espionage, is another world that could equally be described as steampunk or UF. Her Parasol Protectorate series, which starts with Soulless, is more on the paranormal end of the scale, in my opinion.

9. Cassandra Clare's books, especially her Infernal Devices series, also straddles that steampunk/UF/paranormal line.

10. Christopher Moore’s books, which are shelved in general fiction in most bookstores, although they have elements of magical realism, urban fantasy, fantasy, mythology, and horror to various degrees. My favorite is his A Dirty Job, and there’s a sequel to it coming out in August.

Throwback Thursday Teaser 3

The re-release of Crow's Rest is coming from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, 2018! As a way to pay tribute to its previous life as my debut novel, I'm sharing teasers and material from those early blog tours for the next several weeks.

Then, as the release day approaches, I'll switch gears and drive us right into the new release with all new teasers. So remember to check back here on the blog on Thursdays!


Throwback Thursday Top Ten List 2

The re-release of Crow's Rest is coming from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, 2018! As a way to pay tribute to its previous life as my debut novel, I'm sharing teasers and material from those early blog tours for the next several weeks.

Then, as the release day approaches, I'll switch gears and drive us right into the new release with all new teasers. So remember to check back here on the blog on Thursdays!


ARJ’s Top Ten Creatures from Myths and Legends 

1. Kelpies: these water-horses have fascinated me since I was a child. I was horse crazy to begin with, and then you add in magic? Yes, please! The bit about them drowning and/or devouring people didn’t faze me a bit; I just knew I would be the exception and the kelpie and I would become fast friends. Fortunately, this belief was never tested, because older-me fears I would have just been another tasty morsel.

2. The Wild Hunt: this is another one that combined my love of horses with hounds, and like Hagrid and his blast-ended screwts, as a child I refused to believe their sinister reputation. Once I got older and more morbid, their sinister reputation was what renewed my fascination, lol. The Wild Hunt makes an appearance in the Crow’s Rest sequel, Merlin’s Stronghold.

3. Puca: I’m a sucker for trickster characters, and a puca is the ultimate trickster. If you haven’t seen the movie Harvey with Jimmy Stewart, I highly recommend that as an introduction. The film features the puca’s rabbit form, but they’re also fond of goat, horse, or dog shapes. 

Art by ARJ
4. Raven (the trickster): back in my days as a professional storyteller, I discovered the stories of Raven and Coyote from Native American tribes. They came to be some of my favorites, even though I didn’t tell them myself and I’m sure this affection was part of the reason why I settled on crows as a Fae conduit.

5. Unicorns: yes, I admit I was one of those girls whose bedroom walls were covered in unicorn posters, and who toted around a sticker book containing 90% of the unicorn decals ever manufactured. They were like the best horse ever, but with an upgrade. My very first attempt at a novel, when I was around eleven, included unicorn and werewolf characters, lol

6. Selkie: One of my all-time favorite movies is The Secret of Roan Inish, a story of a young girl who tries to reclaim her baby brother, lost to the seals. It’s a great example of how the Fae can protect human folk, and aren’t always sinister.

7. Hedley Kow: You can find the tale of the Hedley Kow here, but he’s basically another shapeshifting trickster. His tricks are more on the prank end of the spectrum, than on the “laughing while they devour you alive” side.
The Hedley Kow as pictured in More English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs (public domain)

8. Cat Sith: this is a creature that must be appeased with a wake that includes games, singing, dancing, storytelling, and offerings, lest it steal the soul of your dead loved one. I may have shared a home with this sinister black cat for twenty-plus years, but I could never prove it. She answered to Tippy.

9. Pegasus: are you noticing the fantasy-horse theme among my favorites? What could be better than a horse that actually flies? I remember reading a book where some children climb up a pole to the gas station’s sign, a flying red horse, and bring it to life. They fly off on adventures, and I was so envious. Then there are the actual Pegasus myths from Greece, which are epic in their own right.

10. Corbin: okay, so this is the creature I made up for Crow’s Rest. But a corbin and his trickster ways, along with a more young adult sexiness, combines all the things I love about mythical and legendary creatures. So even though corbin don’t have as long of a history as his puca brethren (they’re closely related), they will always have a place in my heart.