Need something to get your mind off the summer heat? Last fall Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston launched their Heart of Dread series with Frozen. And on Nov. 18, readers with get Stolen with the series’ sequel. Heart of Dread is getting a new look, and we can exclusively reveal the cover for Stolen (click above for the full-size image) and the newly redesigned Frozen (below), which comes out in paperback on Aug. 8.
Here’s the Stolen plot synopsis, then read on for a quick chat with the authors: “Nat and her drakon are the last of their kind—sworn to protect what their enemies seek to control—and she’s risked her life for the reunion. But fighting for the majestic Blue meant saying goodbye to Wes, breaking both their hearts. And although he promised to return to her after finding his sister, Nat and Wes are now being pulled farther apart.
Back in the RSA, in New Vegas, rumors have spread of a flying monster led by a witch. Citizens are threatened by the resurgence of magic and declare war on all the marked. Wes and his team travel to the extravagant indoor city of El Dorado looking for his sister, but when they are caught on the wrong side of the RSA’s strict new laws, Wes is forced to do the unthinkable—surrender and rejoin the RSA military in their quest to uncover the magical source, the same land Nat is struggling to protect. Now he and Nat find themselves on opposing sides of a war that could potentially destroy what’s left of the world.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What do you think of the covers?
MELISSA DE LA CRUZ: I love it. I think it’s such a great nod to classic fabulous sci-fi and fantasy covers. I love the iconic imagery in having the circle in the center in every book, and how cool the dome cities look.
MICHAEL JOHNSTON: It’s amazing. I’m a huge fan of Steve Stone, who is the artist who did these two covers. I know his work well, he did the first four Viking covers for Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, as well as a slew of classic science-fiction and fantasy covers in the Dune, Mists of Avalon series, as well as esteemed authors such as Raymond Feist. I feel very honored that he was chosen for our covers.
What can you tease about Stolen?
MD: We find out a lot about the driving mythology of the series, what happened to cause the world to freeze, and what happened to Wes’s sister Eliza. It’s very fast-paced, lots of action and so much yearning. Things are a little awkward at first for our heroes, but they heat up, um, literally since she’s a drakonrydder.
MJ: It was fun to delve deeper into the magic behind Valonnis and the horror of the killing floor in the flesh markets and there’s a pretty sweet epic drakon battle at the end.
Where does Stolen pick up from Frozen?
A few months after Wes and Nat said goodbye to each other at the Blue. They’re living separate lives, and we get to see how that is going for each of them. Wes is racing in the New Vegas tracks, and Nat is learning how to use her power.
Anything else you want to add?
MJ: It’s another dark but thrilling adventure, with humor and satire, and a few pretty big surprises along the way. It was one of the most fun books to write. It goes from zero to 60 and doesn’t really stop.
MD: Except for a few kissing scenes! [Laughs] Stolen: “Will brake for romance.” That should be the tagline.