Wandering Wild Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Today I am thrilled that we are sharing the cover for Wandering WildI always get excited for cover reveals, but this one feels particularly special. Wandering Wild was originally supposed to be published by Egmont in October of 2015, but after the U.S division of Egmont closed last year, Wandering Wild lost its first home. Thankfully it’s found a new home with Sky Pony Press, and it will be coming out May 3, 2016.

And here is Jessica’s GORGEOUS cover!!

Wandering Wild Cover

The Story

Raised by Wanderers, sixteen-year-old Tal travels the roads of the southern wild in her Chevy by day and camps in her tent trailer at night. Hustling, conning, and grifting her way into just enough cash to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Wen, from bare-knuckle fighting was once enough to keep her dreams of traveling the whole world at bay. Everything changes when the Wanderers set up camp in a little town called Cedar Falls.

There, Spencer Sway, a boy Tal tried to hustle at a game of billiards, keeps popping up into her life—and worst of all—into her scams. Buttoned-up, starched-and-ironed Spencer talks of places where Tal’s truck can’t take her. His promises of traveling across oceans are almost enough to shatter her love of the Wanderer life.

 When a boy shows up at camp, ready to make good on a nearly-forgotten arranged marriage to Tal, Tal and Wen make a pact: No matter the cost, they will use their limitless skills of grift to earn the bride price and buy back her future—even if Spencer Sway gets used along the way.

Doesn’t that sound amazing? I had an opportunity to read an early version of Wandering Wild, and I can promise it’s just as good as it sounds.

And because Jessica is such a lovely person, she’s also written up an extremely helpful post for us today:

Labeling Magical Realism in the Current Market by Jessica Taylor

Jessica TaylorWhenever I speak to a writing group, I always finish up with some light Q&A. As the author of Wandering Wild, a magical realism story, I’m often asked if I can give a definition of magical realism. I usually give my favorite definition: A story that is not decidedly supernatural but can possibly encompass the supernatural.

Once, as I was moving on the next question, I overheard an audience member stage whisper to his friend, “She’s wrong.” I wasn’t offended because, if I was honest, my definition was oversimplified. The next time a man approached me at a conference with this question, I decided to delve into my English major definition, starting with the Latin American origins and the fact that we call magical realism a “genre” in the children’s literature world while it’s truly a literary mode. An author friend standing nearby said she could see the man’s eyes glazing over. Recently I’ve realized that magical realism isn’t something I can sum up in a few words because, in the current market, many stories are considered magical realism that don’t fit the classic mold.

Many agents ask for magical realism submissions, but agents also complain that writers often call their stories magical realism when they aren’t. Correctly identifying your genre in your query letter is important because it shows agents you’re professional and you’ve done your research. If you’re trying to figure out if your story can be classified as magical realism, my favorite definition is a good place to start. If you’re in a position to query agents with a complete manuscript, it’s important to dig a little deeper. Here’s a test to help you do that.

If you’re unsure if you’ve written a magical realism story, the key is examining your story’s otherworldly elements. Ask yourself this question: What is the explanation for the otherworldly events in your manuscript?

  • If the reason is werewolves, vampires, fairies, or an ancient curse, your manuscript is likely paranormal.
  • If it’s a type of science that hasn’t been discovered (time travel or cloning), you might have a science fiction story on your hands or a story with science fiction elements.
  • If you’ve built a fictional world where otherworldly things are possible, your story could be fantasy.
  • If your character’s mental illness is the reason—and everything is truly in your character’s head, you’ve probably written a psychological thriller.
  • If you can’t or don’t explain the otherworldly elements, your story is possibly magical realism.


  • If there isn’t necessarily anything otherworldly in your story, but you leave it ambiguous as to whether or not something magical occurred, your genre might be magical realism.

If you’re interested in adding a few magical realism reads to your to-be-read list, here are some excellent titles that are arguably (and some not-so-arguably) classified as magical realism:

Young Adult:

  • Everybody Sees the Ants, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Middle Grade:

  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lindquist


  • Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

Now it’s time for our giveaway! Jessica’s publisher has generously donated an ARC of Wandering Wild and if you’d like to win it, all you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


26 Responses to Wandering Wild Cover Reveal & Giveaway

  1. Nick Jan 20 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Thank you very much for the alternative approach to defining this ‘genre’; it is probably the most ‘workable’.

    The cover definitely gets a second look.

    • Stephanie Jan 20 2016 at 8:42 pm #

      Yes! I love Jessica’s definition of magical realism. 🙂

    • Jessica Taylor Jan 20 2016 at 9:22 pm #

      Thank you so much! I’m glad it was helpful!

  2. DJ Jan 20 2016 at 10:09 am #

    I think it’s a really great cover! Creative!

    • Stephanie Jan 20 2016 at 8:43 pm #

      I’m so glad you like it DJ!

    • Jessica Taylor Jan 20 2016 at 9:23 pm #

      Thank you, DJ!

  3. kay Jan 20 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    This cover is so gorgeous. It’d definitely get me to pick it up at the store, im a sucker for forest looking covers though haha

    • Stephanie Jan 20 2016 at 8:44 pm #

      I love covers with forests too, and if you see it in the store, I can safely say you should totally pick it up, Jessica is a beautiful writer. 🙂

    • Jessica Taylor Jan 20 2016 at 9:24 pm #

      Oh that’s great to hear! Thank you, Kay! I really wanted a forest setting and my cover designer came through.

  4. diamondxgirl Jan 20 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    I love the little lace versus the shorts contrast!

  5. Rebecca Jan 20 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    Love the cover! Just wondering if the giveaway’s open internationally?

    • Stephanie Jan 20 2016 at 8:45 pm #

      So glad you liked the cover, and that is a good question. The giveaway is only for the U.S.

    • Jessica Taylor Jan 20 2016 at 9:25 pm #

      So sorry, Rebecca! I’ll try to do an international giveaway elsewhere soon!

  6. Julie Waldron Jan 22 2016 at 9:49 am #

    I really like the cover, it reminds me of summer. I like the girl’s outfit too. 🙂

  7. Nicole Wetherington Jan 22 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Lovely cover!

  8. Dianna Jan 22 2016 at 8:19 pm #

    The flourishes around the title are so pretty.

  9. Kay Jan 24 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    Looks super interesting, can’t wait to read! Love the cover 🙂

  10. Julie Jan 25 2016 at 7:52 pm #

    I love the cover and synopsis! Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy! And congratulations on the new home at Sky Pony Press! I’ve read and reviewed several of their titles and loved them all! I can’t wait to read Wandering Wild! 🙂

  11. wen budro Jan 25 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    I love the cover. I would pick it up and check it out- if I saw it in a bookstore.

  12. Darlene Owen Jan 26 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    The cover looks like spring is coming to me. Very pretty

  13. Sue Hull Jan 26 2016 at 11:29 pm #

    I think the cover of the book is very pretty. This sounds like a book Id enjoy reading. Thank you for the chance 🙂

  14. Angela Saver Jan 26 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    I really like the cover! The lettering & scrolling is very pretty!

  15. Leela Jan 26 2016 at 11:58 pm #

    I like it.

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