In an effort to introduce you to new MG authors, the Middle Grade Mafia is proud to bring you Jasmine Richards and her upcoming fantasy book, SECRETS OF VALHALLA (Harper Collins, January 2016). The cover is beautiful, vibrant and will capture readers’ attention. We can’t wait to read what’s inside. Let us know your thoughts as well.
Middle Grade Mafia: Share with us your thoughts on the cover.
Jasmine Richards: The design team at Harper Collins did a great job with my last novel, The Book of Wonders, and they’ve nailed it again here. The cover of Secrets of Valhalla is a real call to adventure. I adore the palette of deep purples, mauves and silvery blue. I think the sense of magic and wonder and the detail of the tree is just perfect. My main characters, Buzz and Mary look just like they do in my head and I love the way the hand lettering of the title has a Norse, runic feeling to it. I can’t wait to see this cover printed and wrapped around my book!’
MGM: Tell us three things about your main character, Buzz, that will give our readers insight to him and his adventure.
JR: Fact 1: He hates Friday the 13th.
(But getting trapped in a perpetual Saturday loop is definitely worse.)
Fact 2: He thinks myths are hogwash even though he is the son of a mythology professor.
(He’ll soon see that all those myths about Norse and Roman gods are actually real.)
Fact 3: His life is pretty tough at the moment.
(And it’s only going to get tougher now he’s got to save the world…)
MGM: Give us a short rundown of what your story is about.
JR: It’s not every day that you find a famous weather woman bound by magic to a tree deep in the woods. Or discover that the weather woman is in fact Sunna, the Norse Goddess of the Sun and one of the seven day guardians who keep time in order. But that’s exactly what happens to Buzz and his new friend Mary.
Soon, they realize that with Sunna captured by the Norse God Loki, the world is doomed to repeat the same Saturday forever.
Now, Buzz and Mary will have to embark on a quest through many mythologies to find the magical Runes of Valhalla and rescue the day guardians, before Loki plunges the whole world into chaos for good. . .
The figure crept closer, until the heat coming off him singed Buzz’s eyelashes.
“My dragon has a new pet to play with. Come down with me and watch. It’s quite a show.”
A hand shot out toward him, the skin pale and scarred. Buzz leaped backward. The wind from the rift tore at his shoulders.
He stared at Loki, straight into the candle flame eyes. “We’re going to stop you,” Buzz vowed.
“I look forward to seeing you try.” Loki’s burnished blade of a mouth opened to show sharp teeth, and then he sprang forward.
Buzz didn’t hesitate. Half falling and half throwing himself backward, he passed through the rip in the air.
MGM: Whoa! This sounds like a lot of fun. We will keep an eye out for its release in 2016. Thank you for sharing your cover and story with us.
Jasmine Richards was born in London, grew up in a library, and was the first in her family to go to college. After graduating from Oxford University, she had a brief stint at New Scotland Yard, then chose a career in publishing over being the next Sherlock Holmes. Today Jasmine is a senior editor at a leading British publishing house and lives in the Cotswolds in an old Toll House with her husband and son. She is also the author of Book of Wonders, of which School Library Journal said, “Swiftly paced writing, appealing characters, and action-packed, [this] will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson’ books.”
You can visit Jasmine online at www.jasminerichards.com. Do stop by and say hello.