Praise for Crow's Rest

The 4-star review for Crow's Rest that just came out from San Francisco Book Review reminded me that I never posted an excellent review from my local paper, The Mountain Democrat. So I'm posting a few quotes from each, along with the links to read the entire reviews.


On June 4, 2018, Wendy Schultz of The Mountain Democrat said:

"A haunted castle (one everybody knows), a clash between realities, changelings, fairies and teenage hormones make for a combustible tale that is just beginning. If you love fantasy and characters who continue through a series of books, you’re going to enjoy Angelica R. Jackson’s young adult fantasy adventure series, “Faerie Crossed.”"

You can read the full review in The Mountain Democrat's Between The Covers feature.



San Francisco Book Review
In the September 2018 issue of San Francisco Book Review, reviewer Elizabeth Konkel also had praise for Crow's Rest:

"The story focuses on a small group of characters, each one well-defined, whose actions drive the plot forward, even the lovable dog next door has a part to play...Jackson has delightful and often flirty humor woven into a story of courage, adventure, love, secrets, and strength."

You can read the full review on the San Francisco Book Review site.


I'm so happy that Crow's Rest is getting some love, as we're barely a month away from the release of the sequel, Merlin's Stronghold. You can click on the cover below to pre-order Merlin's Stronghold on Kindle (the other formats won't be live until October 23).


Cover Reveal for Merlin's Stronghold

Merlin's Stronghold is book 2 in the Faerie Crossed series and releases October 23, but I'm revealing the cover here today!

First, the cover for book 1, just to remind you what it looks like







And now, the cover for Merlin's Stronghold



And to help celebrate, and get you caught up on the series, I'm giving away an audiobook of Crow's Rest! Enter through the widget below


The book trailer for Crow's Rest got a refresh with new photos!




Note: It says it's available in Audiobook because I didn't want to have to redo it in a month, but I'm on track for getting the audio version out in mid-July!

Gieveaway of Crow & Pitcher Press Books

To celebrate the release of Crow's Rest from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, I'm giving away signed copies of Crow's Rest and Capturing the Castle: Images of Preston Castle (2006-2016), plus a goldtone Celtic knot necklace! This giveaway is open only to U.S. mailing addresses, sorry.

Again, this giveaway is open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Thank you for your understanding.

Giveaway for Crow's Rest Plus Swag

To celebrate the release of Crow's Rest from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22, I'm giving away a signed copy of Crow's Rest plus swag! Giveaway includes the signed paperback, two beautifully-illustrated cards by Cathy McClelland, plus a goldtone Celtic knot necklace!

Click on the photo below to go to the KingSumo entry form for rules and to enter (sorry, I know that's an extra step but it's not embedding properly for this post for some reason) This giveaway is open only to U.S. mailing addresses, sorry.




Again, this giveaway is open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Thank you for your understanding.

Giveaway! E-book of Crow's Rest


You can win 1 of 3 ebooks of Crow's Rest, in your favorite format! Click on the photo below to go to the KingSumo entry form for rules and to enter (sorry, I know that's an extra step but it's not embedding properly for this post for some reason) 

Enter from May 5th through May 13th. THIS GIVEAWAY IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY



Pre-Order Crow's Rest

The release of Crow's Rest from Crow & Pitcher Press on May 22 is going full steam ahead!

That means that you can now pre-order it in print and e-book (the audiobook version will be starting up soon) by following these links:

All e-book formats



Kindle



Paperback

And, as always, you can add it to your Goodreads shelf


While we're talking all things Crow's Rest, don't forget that subscribers to the Crow Tracks newsletter get all the news first. You can sign up here.

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.

Throwback Thursday Teaser 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!


Throwback Thursday Top Ten List 1


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 Bad Titles for Crow’s Rest 
There was a game going around Facebook for a while where you go to a random page and line in your book, and land on a short phrase—that phrase was then a Bad Title For Your Book. The funny thing is, some of them actually turn out really good. For this list, I randomly turned to a page and typed whatever phrase my finger stopped on.

1. Daniel’s Mom Is Expecting Me for Dinner (this one is actually pretty apt)

2. Threads of Weakened Laws (sounds kind of poetic, but more fitting for a literary lawyer novel)

3. Uncle Tam Made a Face (again, somewhat apt, but explaining why is spoilery)

4. Silence On The Other End (this one made me think of a fart joke)

5. Blecch, It Even Smells Like One (I would be afraid to use this as a title, in case someone cruelly turned it against the book in a review, lol)

6. His Smile Made Me Stumble (I actually like the romance feel of this one)

7. There’s Nothing In Here On That (out of context, this one makes me feel…nothing)

8. Where Did You Get That Spell? (I heard this one in a Valley Girl voice in my head, preceded by “Omigawd”)

9. Daniel’s Hands (could go either sexy or sinister)

10. Now Comes My Reward (again, sexy or sinister—or maybe that’s just the way my own mind works)

Throwback Thursday Teaser 1

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!



I've been working hard behind the scenes to get Crow's Rest ready for a May 22 release, and I can finally share the cover! I started out by teasing on Facebook and my websites with a partial cover:





And now, the entire thing! (you can click on it to see it bigger)






I hope you all love it as much as I do! Kudos to Kelley York of X-Potion Designs for another great cover. She actually did the design on the earlier edition of this book, released through Spencer Hill Press in 2015, which was styled after a mockup I did with stock art.

This time around I didn't want to hassle with licensing and permissions, so we used entirely my own work (plus a little painting by Kelley, like the skirt). I paid to do a private photo shoot at Preston Castle with model Renee Sprouse and we got some great shots for this cover, Merlin's Stronghold's cover, and for assorted teasers. It was well worth the time and expense--and almost worth the 105+ degree day of the shoot.

The archway and brick, and stone rail, were taken on the front porch of Preston Castle, a haunted former boys' reformatory I've been photographing for about a decade.* I knew it would make the perfect framework for introducing Avery, and leading us into a magical world.

The path beyond the arch is at Bunratty Castle in Ireland, in the Folk Park which features tableaux of villages and cottages from surrounding areas. My husband and I stumbled into the grounds directly after landing, and my own skewed perceptions (from jetlag) lent them a surreal quality indeed. The real path is paved, but Kelley and I liked the wilder look of a grassy walk found in Stourhead Gardens (taken on the same UK trip).

Kelley expertly fused all these elements into an image that I hope conveys a bit of the story, with Avery's feet planted in one world but her attention captured by another. We have more great covers in store with the rest of the series, plus in the weeks leading up to the release on May 22, I'll be sharing teasers (some with the shots that didn't make the covers) and other fun content.

Stay tuned for more!



*I've collected my photos of Preston Castle in an art book, Capturing The Castle: Images of Preston Castle (2006-2016), which you can purchase on Amazon, B&N, etc with links here