Before we get to the gorgeous cover, check out the blurb for this middle grade contemporary:
Since her mom died, Andie's family has crumbled. Instead of working, her dad gambles away insurance money, while her sister, Paige, has put her future on hold in order to pick up extra waitressing shifts. Andie's afraid of what will happen if people find out just how bad things are. She's not sure how long she can hide the fact that there's no food or money in the house...or adults, for that matter.
When her science partner suggests they study paranormal activity, Andie gets an idea. She wants a sign from her mom - anything to tell her it's going to be okay. Maybe the rest of her family does too. So she starts a project of her own. Pretending to be her mother's ghost, Andie sprays perfume, changes TV channels, and moves pictures. Haunting her house is Andie's last hope to bring her family back into the land of the living.
For anyone who loved COUNTING BY 7s, THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT is a journey through loss and grief, but ultimately a story of hope and self-reliance. As much as Andie has been changed by her mother's death, the changes she makes herself are the ones that are most important.
Hands up - how many of you tried to haunt your own house? (We totally did!) Andie seems to have a really good reason though, and we can't help falling in love with her already! Without further ado, here's the cover reveal:
What do you think? We love the balance between mystery and hope in this cover. And that tent held up by a string of flags is as creative and adorable as Andie! Here's the inside scoop from Tricia about the cover design:
For me, the cover process began with a Pinterest board. My editor, agent, and I all pinned covers that we loved and that had some "feeling" that seemed consistent with THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT. It was a diverse lot of fantastic books and covers, and as I look at them now, there were probably two common threads: they were all illustrated and they typically had some form of silhouetting. From there, I had no idea what my publisher's designer would come up with. This final design sends me straight over the moon. It definitely captures the mood of the novel, and something of a split personality. It's a little sad and dark as Andie is facing so many very real and difficult challenges, but despite her initial loneliness, she is an action-oriented girl. I love how there are multiple points of light in the cover, which showcase hope, that there's always a way out.
When I first started writing this story, I focused on Andie's older sister, Paige. I had envisioned a young adult story with her finding the way to bind her family together, but I kept coming back to Andie and what she would do to get everyone's attention. Middle-graders can be both so innocent and so savvy at the same time which really opened up the idea of haunting her dad and sister. This cover is the perfect manifestation of why I couldn't let go of Andie's point of view.
THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT is her debut middle-grade novel. She lives with her husband and two girls, her parents, and what seems like a small zoo in the much-too-frigid Janesville, WI. Most of her time goes to shuttling her kids to dance and trying to get the glitter off the kitchen floor as well as planning trips to much warmer destinations.
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Thanks, Tricia, for sharing THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT with us today!