Teen Shiver Tabs

September 30, 2011

On a Dark Wing – Cover Tease

By Jordan Dane

On Monday October 3rd, I’m revealing the cover for ON A DARK WING on TeenShiver, my second YA with the awesome Harlequin Teen (Jan, 2012). This will be an exclusive for TeenShiver, ‘cuz I love you guys. So I wanted to hint of things that will be on the cover, important images that will capture the essence of the story of a young girl who stares into the eyes of Death—twice.

The choices I had made that day, all of them led to that one moment when the school bus drove off and fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for and Death would be my willing teacher.    ~Abbey Chandler

Five years ago in Alaska, Abbey Chandler faced Death on the worst day of her life—the day her mother died. Now with gaping holes in her memory caused by the horrific car accident where she lost her mom, she struggles to remember what happened, but she can’t get past her guilt for the role she played in the crash when she missed her school bus. But Death never forgets her. For reasons of his own, he seeks her out years later with an agenda she never sees coming.
As an author, I had to imagine what it would be like for a young girl to stare into the beautiful and mesmerizing eyes of Death. What would she see? Would she even recognize the captivating boy for what he is? How would Death keep her from being afraid or would he even care if she’s scared?
I see Death as a keeper of souls, yet with the frightening power of an immortal charged with a lonely duty—being the last one to turn out the lights on humanity. By the end of the book, I ached for him and the solitude he must endure forever. His sense of duty and purpose felt like a burden that no one soul should have to bear and I wondered if he'd ever been given a choice. Below is Abbey’s first encounter with Death, before she realizes what really happened to her mother.

Excerpt – Abbey’s First Encounter with Death

Momma. Please…help me.

I searched for my mother, but couldn’t move my head. I didn’t even sense her next to me. I felt alone, cocooned in pain and deepening shadows. How long I lay there shivering, I didn’t know, but eventually I sensed something that, to this day, I have never forgotten.

A strong presence filled the SUV.

Soothing heat replaced the numbing cold that had settled in my bones. It made me want to close my eyes and sleep, but a strange urgency wouldn’t let that happen. I strained to stay awake and searched the shadows, waiting for a glimpse of something…anything to explain the eerie feeling.

After an intense light stabbed my eyes and sent a shock of pain down my spine, I saw movement. Something eclipsed the truck’s headlights. It drifted toward me, inching closer until it hovered over my body. The brilliant glimmer swept over me and through me. Even though I could see through it, the light took shape and substance. The ghostly flicker turned into a body with arms and hands…and finally a face.
A boy’s face.

I was only ten, but he looked older, like a high school boy. He had the most intense eyes that I’d ever seen. Beautiful. They were deep blue and reminded me of the frigid depths of the ocean. His eyes were the only real color on his face, but that wasn’t the most incredible thing about him. White tufts undulated and billowed within the boundaries of his filmy body, beautiful and peaceful. He conjured memories of a perfect summer day with me lying on my back on a grassy hilltop, picturing animal shapes in drifting white clouds.

When I shifted my gaze back to his eyes, I saw a long tunnel with a glimmering light at the end of it, a light eclipsed by the vague shapes of bodies undulating on a watery surface. Those wavering images calmed me. At that moment, I felt a part of them, as if I belonged. He comforted me in a way no one ever had.

The boy fascinated me. I must have had the same impact on him. He stared at me with such concentration that it looked as if he were memorizing my face. Who are you? I wanted to ask, but I couldn’t make my lips work.

When he reached out his hand, a strong impulse made me take it.

In my research of this book, I found several references to Death not traveling alone. Inky black ravens are his harbingers and signal his coming with their eerie presence. They are a chilling glimpse of things to come. Abbey is stalked by these shadowy creatures until she realizes why they seek her out.

Excerpt – His Ravens

Below my bedroom window, a tree moved in the night breeze. It wasn’t until I looked closer that I saw them. The tree was filled with ravens and crows. Hundreds of them. When their iridescent black wings flapped, they caught the moonlight in their feathers and it made the whole tree look as if it would lift from the ground and drift into the night sky. The birds had gathered for a purpose that I didn’t understand, but for some strange reason, I knew one thing.

They had come because of me.

ON A DARK WING (Harlequin Teen, Jan 2012) is a coming of age story for a girl who is lucky to be alive, but she can’t move on with her life carrying a burden of guilt over the death of her mother. The tragedy marks her. It defines her. Tanner Lange looks out for her from a distance, the only way he thinks she’ll accept him—as her best friend. Being a boy in a wheelchair, he doesn’t feel he has much to offer her except his unflinching loyalty, the same loyalty she had always shown him after he was paralyzed. Tanner sees the major crush Abbey has on the perfect boy—a great guy who doesn’t even know she exists—Nate Holden. When Death finds a unique way to face Abbey again, she will learn what love and loyalty truly are.

The cover will be posted on Monday, Oct 3rd. I hope you’ll stop by and let me know what you think. Please show Death some love by cross posting him. Believe me, he’ll be watching.

For the question of the day – if you faced Death like Abbey, what would you say to him? Or what would you hope he’d say to you?


  1. Jordan, Jordan, Jordan! OMG!!! I want this book NOW!!! Wow, what a fabulous tease you are!!!!

  2. Thanks, Ells. Writing the dialogue for Death & imagining him was a real challenge. But he tugged at my heart, for sure.

  3. You excerpt is gorgeous! Writing grief (and death stuff) can be a real challenge, but you've totally sucked me in! Can't wait :)

  4. You're a major sweetie, Ells. Kisses

  5. Jordan, this ROX. I just love your writing style. Descriptive, elegant and melancholy. My fave triad. And Death as an MC? Brilliant! Even better that he's beautiful and captivating. I can't wait to see your cover, and to put this on my GoodReads list!

  6. Jordan...WOW! This sounds amazing! I cannot wait to see the cover. (AND READ WHAT LIES BEHIND IT!)

  7. Hey Anita. I'm honored by your generous comment. I can't wait for your book to come out and the rest of our TS authors. I love dark YA and TeenShiver is a target rich environment. Yeah, baby!

    I might have to get some GR lessons from you. I feel like a klutzz-ola out there.

    Okay, I've screwed up Blogger. Apparently I shouldnt be logged in on my cell AND my PC so I have to go anonymo again. Sorry about that guys.

    Jordan Dane

  8. Hey Bethany--Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I noticed on your profile that you are represented by an agent. I'd love to hear more about your writing too. Post a reply if you feel like it.

    So I'll be anxiously waiting to see what you & others think on Monday. *shakes*

    Jordan Dane

  9. OMG I want this book NOW! I've got chill bumps! Can't wait to see the cover!

  10. Thanks, Trinity. Chill bumps in TX are very rare, unless the A/C is cranked like mine usually is. Happy writing & thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

    Jordan (the anonymous one)

  11. *waits patiently* *taps fingers* *gets impatient* :) I'm super excited to see this! And after your excerpt, I can't wait to read it!
    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books

  12. Hey thanks, Courtney. I can hear those fingers tapping. You have a really cute blog site. Love it. See you on Monday. Have a great weekend.

    Jordan Dane

  13. I like the ravens as heralds or harbingers of death.

    I also liked your phrase, "cocooned in pain." I can't remember hearing "cocoon" as a verb before, and it's very effective. Caught my attention.

  14. Hey Steven. Thanks for your comment. Coming from another author, I appreciate your thoughts.

    I loved the imagery of the Ravens, my tribute to Poe as well as part of my research into the mythology of Death.

    And my use of cocoon was my attempt at the visual of Abbey being swallowed by pain, isolated and alone. It chilled me to think of a child of ten going through this, especially given the guilt she felt.

    Thanks for being a follower at my other group blog--THE KILL ZONE. I love those guys.

  15. I'm hooked, Jordan. WOW!Can't wait to read this book.

  16. Thanks, Jenny. We'll have some announcements early next week, along with the cover reveal on Monday. I'm excited. Have a great weekend.

  17. I can't wait for this book!!! WOW!! I'd have many questions for death about why he took some people early. Though I would like to think I will be brave in the face of death.

  18. SJUNE--you are so awesome for posting ur thoughts on death. I want to believe that people who have gone through near death experiences actually see & feel something they remember & bring back. My dark angel has his duty but he comes to Abbey with an agenda that's personal, the first time he's done something for himself. You might find comfort in his words. I did.

  19. Can't wait for this book! I loved In the Arms of Stone Angels!

  20. Hey Savannah--I'm so excited to see your little face here today. Brenna & White Bird say HI too.

    I can't wait for you to meet Abbey, Tanner, Nate, and my dark angel. They're dying to meet you too.