The Mother Cover Lover isn’t critiquing today. I do, however, love to help support Designers, Publishers, and Authors!
There’s nothing quite like a Cover Reveal day!
DEVIL SPRINGS Cover Design by Myra Fiacco, FVP Owner/Editorial Director
DEVIL SPRINGS Promo Designs by Jena R Collins, JRC Designs/FVP Creative Designer
Authors: Faydra Stratton
Book Title: DEVIL SPRINGS
Genre: YA Contemporary with Romantic Elements
Cover Design: Myra Fiacco
Release Date: April 28, 2020
The devil has come to Devil Springs.
Except he hasn’t. Not at all.
But try and tell that to Mesa Crane’s grandmother, Mayor Avis Kneller. This is not the senior year Mesa had pictured for herself. She’s used to her grandmother’s restrictive dress code and no boys rule, but thanks to some skinny-dipping cheerleaders make some questionable social media posts, Avis is ratcheting up her expectations and decreeing spiritual warfare.
Mesa is sick of being bullied into fake piety, but defying her grandmother will mean losing the same freedoms she does have, including her spot on the cross country team. Most unfortunate since she’s started training with the school’s best (and okay, admittedly hot) athlete, Cody Howard. But when mesa won’t get baptized–as Grandma Avis mandates–her isolation begins.
The actual devil may not have come to Devil Springs, but judgment sure has. Can Mesa endure until graduation? Or will she find the swell of faith she needs to stand up to her grandmother once and for all?
Special Chapter One Excerpt
I suppose most people love their own family. At a minimum, they must feel a loyal, blood-is-thicker type of love. When it comes to Grandmother Avis and me, the best I can muster is tolerance—usually. It’s been easier to put up with Avis now that senior year is about to begin. The end of my time under her roof is in sight.
“Mesa! Get in here!”
Avis’s voice carries all the way to my upstairs bedroom. My grandmother likes to holler, and I’ve grown immune. So I hesitate to see if I’m really needed.
“Mesa Celeste Crane! Did you hear me?”
I drop my book to the floor and scoot off the bed. By the time I reach the foot of the stairs, the sharp scent of ammonia that lingers from Avis’s post-breakfast mopping hits my nose. I peek into the kitchen where she stands at the sink, blood dripping from her finger onto the glossy, yellow linoleum counter. I’m curious but not exactly moved to sympathy.
“Get this out of the way.” Avis shoves a colander filled with strawberries toward me and lifts her hand in the air. Blood runs down her wrist and seeps into the cuff of her blouse, white threads bloom with crimson.
“The devil attacked me.” Her voice is sharp. Brimming with melodrama and crap—the statement is so Avis. She must have cut herself paring the berries.
I imagine the knife slipped, as knives sometimes do. Even so, I nod my agreement. Kenzi and her mom will be here in ten minutes to pick me up for our senior picture appointment; now is the time for placating.
“He’s in this town! Staked his claim into its very name.” Her words vibrate between us. Avis’s most fervent desire is to get the town name of Devil Springs changed to Life Springs.
I return the strawberries to the fridge, deciding against popping one in my mouth. It’s too hard to tell if they suffered any blood splash.
“I’ll get the Band-Aids,” I offer.
Instead of acknowledging me, Avis prays.
“He can cut me and bruise me limb by limb, but I will not be broken. As for me and my house and my town, we will serve the Lord.”
I hear her from the hall bathroom as I fetch the first aid kit from under the sink. Avis’s praying out loud never stops being weird. The doorbell rings, and I freeze. I don’t want Avis to continue this rant with Kenzi and her mom here. Avis thinks she’s got a kindred spirit in Ms. Shepherd, the pastor’s wife.
I hurry back to Avis and set the first aid kit on the counter, then remember to pop off the lid for her.
“Go on,” she says, nodding toward the door. “I know you have plans and so do I.”
Avis’s plans will include more praying, quoting Bible verses, and possibly another attempt to rally the town council. Because Avis is the mayor.
When my mom first told me that Avis had won the position of mayor, eleven-year-old-me assumed it was just her turn. In a town as small as Devil Springs, it seemed likely that every household had to put up a mayoral candidate at some point.
It was only by eavesdropping to my parents’ late-night conversations that I learned phrases like, “local values” and “dry town” and “book banning.” Mom had also mumbled, on more than one occasion, that Devil Springs might never be ready for a black candidate, which is just another rea-son to hate it here.
As Avis nears the end of her second three-year term, she grows determined that her legacy will be changing the town’s name. She prays every night against the devil and those on the council who continuously vote against her.
But right now, I can’t care about any of that. My best friend and her mom are waiting on me.
In seconds, I’m out the door.
Promo Design by Jena R Collins
Make sure to add to your Goodreads TBR list today!
Meet the Author, Faydra Stratton
Faydra Stratton is a writer, high school English teacher, wife, and mom to three boys the youngest of whom has Fragile X Syndrome a spectrum disorder similar to autism but with a known genetic cause. Faydra attended the University of Florida (Go, Gators!) for undergrad and UNC Wilmington where she received an MFA in creative writing.
Faydra was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL and now resides with her family a little further up the coast in Port St Lucie. When not teaching, reading, or writing she loves all things beach life from laying out, to kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and snorkeling. But not scuba diving. She just can’t clear her ears.