IT’S HERE IT’S HERE IT’S HERE IT’S HERE IT’S HERE!!!!!
Sorry, I’m just really excited that my new cover is getting revealed today! There is so, so much I want to say about UNDER THE LIGHTS, and that’s why I’m starting the 4-part reveal here, on my blog, so I can babble a little, guilt-free!
First off, in case you need a refresher, here’s the blurb for UNDER THE LIGHTS, which comes out June 30, 2015, and is sort of a sequel-companion hybrid to BEHIND THE SCENES:
Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents’ wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls…opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he’s trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he’s in the spotlight—on everyone’s terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents’ disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she’s painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van’s life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she’ll have to choose between the one thing she’s always loved…and the person she never imagined she could.
And here are five more things to know about it:
1. I say sequel-companion hybrid because it takes place after BEHIND THE SCENES, but it does have completely different narration, and can be read without having read BtS. I’d still recommend reading BtS first (obviously!), but it isn’t necessary.
2. People seem confused about whether the Daylight Falls duology is YA or NA. The answer is that it’s YA, but UNDER THE LIGHTS in particular straddles that line pretty hard. The big reason I have loved writing about teen celebrities is because, fame aside, when it comes down it, these are teenagers who are earning their own living and growing up at a faster rate than most. They’re both YA and NA age, and they have both YA and NA problems in ways I definitely didn’t when I was 18. They didn’t go to high school, and they don’t go to college. So, make of that what you will!
3. There is a romance, and it isn’t between Van and Josh ;) Read the second paragraph of that blurb carefully, my loves! I’ve been told the cover copy could be clearer to indicate that this is f/f romance, and here’s the straight-up reason it isn’t: The blurb was released right around when BtS was, and I wanted to minimize the number of people who’d be reading BtS knowing Vanessa liked girls before she herself knew it. But trust me – the full version of the cover will make it plenty clear!
4. I get a lot of questions about whether Ally and Liam appear in UtL, and the answer is that they do, but it isn’t their story. That said, there’s a deleted scene or two that’ll make some fans of theirs pretty happy :)
Before I tell you #5, I’m gonna go ahead and reveal an important piece of the cover: ME. Sound good? Yeah, I thought so!
LOOK, IT’S MY NAME:
Voila! And you’re probably noticing something right about now – that doesn’t look anything like the cover of BtS. And you are correct! Because:
5. UNDER THE LIGHTS had a brand-new cover designer (someone very near and dear to me, who you’ll hear from at the full reveal), and not only did she make me a kickass cover for this book, but she also made a brand-spankin’-new design for the cover of BEHIND THE SCENES. That cover will be e-only (*cough* unless you guys wanna push BtS over into a second printing *cough*), but I adore it, and as much as I hate mid-series redesigns, I promise you this one was worth it. You’ll see so yourself soon! (But not today. Today could only contain the awesome of one cover. BUT SOON.)
And now, I’m gonna shut up, and let Josh Chester do some of the talking in this first-ever excerpt from UNDER THE LIGHTS!
By the time I’m done getting ready, I’m already running late, but I look so damn good I highly doubt anyone will mind. Holly greets me at the studio and all but shoves me into a chair opposite Gavin Lawrence, Smarm to the Stars. A cute little blond chick runs over and powders my face; Gavin’s already wearing plenty. Then he smiles, and so do I, and it’s on.
“The elusive Josh Chester!” The smile grows even bigger. It’s like the fucking Hollywood sign of teeth. “You’ve been a busy man lately. First, those new Aspen ads—which look great, by the way. Then joining Liam Holloway and Vanessa Park for an arc on Daylight Falls, and now a family reality show…”
“I like to keep my fans guessing,” I say smoothly, using a line Holly fed me on the phone this morning. “I get bored easily; what better way to shake things up than by playing the field?” Aaaaand wink at the camera.
“And that you certainly are! Just when rumors seem confirmed that you and Shannah Barrett are back together, this story breaks about you and Vanessa Park—”
I cut him off with a forced laugh. “Oh, God, that. Trust me, there is zero truth to those rumors! To any of them,” I add firmly, because no chance I’m letting Shannah’s famewhoredom cockblock me. “I’m single, ladies! Come at me!”
Now Gavin forces a laugh, but he’s a lot more practiced than I am; I’m not sure he’s ever used a real one. “I don’t know if I’m buying this,” he says in what I think is an attempt to be playful but makes me want to punch him in the nuts. “There were a whole lot of pictures of the two you together, and I did hear she emerged from your house this morning after some serious partying last night…”
I take a deep, exasperated breath and think about K-drama, how distraught she seemed that morning, and how paranoid she is that this’ll be the end of her. It’s bad enough she has to bone Zander Wilson of all people; I can’t make it worse, even if I think it’s funny as hell.
And even if I kind of like the idea of people thinking we’re together.
“Vanessa Park is a good friend of mine, and she’s welcome to stay in my guest house—alone—as often as she wants, just like my other friends do. There is not, nor has there ever been, anything romantic between the two of us. Off set, that is,” I add with a smile. At least Mickey Davis will appreciate the bit of promo there, even if he hates me for sullying the good name of one of his stars.
“Then why was she staying at your place at all, and not with her boyfriend, Zander Wilson?” Gavin asks, all bullshit casual.
“You’d have to ask her that,” I say with a shrug. “I’m just here to talk about my favorite subject: Me.”
More fake laughter. “Fair enough. So, with all these rumors about you and his ex, is there tension between you and Liam?”
Seriously? I should’ve known coming here was a bad idea. I don’t know how Holly envisions this doing anything good for me, but all it’s really doing is pissing me off. “Dude,” I say flatly, “this is getting boring. We all know nothing happened, so no, no one gives a shit—not Liam, not Zander, and hopefully none of any of our fans. Do you have any actual questions, or can I get back to something that matters?”
“Like what?” he asks sweetly.
I’ve never been a guy with much self-control, but whatever of it I possess goes into stopping myself from punching Gavin in the face. The worst part is, he’s right. I don’t know where I’m going from here, what I’m doing next. Without this bullshit drama, I don’t even know why people would care to keep watching me on this stupid reality show. Because I’m rich? Because I’m hot? Because I party?
When I’m not the bad boy, I’m nothing.
Thanks for joining me for part I of the reveal! For part II, which will have an excerpt from Vanessa’s POV, drop by the fabulous DiversifYA at 10 a.m., EST!