Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Tour Stop

September 4, 2013 2013, 4.5 star books, april genevieve tucholke, Gothic, mature themes, mystery, Wendy 59

If the idea of Tennessee Williams writing a supernatural gothic novel intrigues you, you will not want to miss the gorgeous, wretched beauty of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke. 

Who is the mysterious stranger who’s renting the guest house behind Violet White’s manor? River has the sly  charm of a  fox, but he also has secrets he’s not telling–ones that could be Violet’s undoing. The story is strange and wild and romantic and crazy all at once, and the simmering tension beneath the languor of hot summer nights grows and grows until it becomes shrieking, wild-eyed, descent-into-madness horror. I LOVED IT. I hope you will, too.

We’re very pleased to welcome the author to The Midnight Garden today as part of the official
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea blog tour. What better way to ring in the end of summer than this truly creepy (but also steamy!) debut? Follow along the tour as April offers insights into her characters, her writing, and bringing gothic horror back again.

~ Wendy 

The Story Behind the Beautiful Cover & Title

by April Genevieve Tucholke

I asked Penguin for a font-driven cover like Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, and they sweetly obliged. I think font-focused covers have a timeless feel. They remind me of the Gothic books I used to read as a teen–swooping letters weaving in between sea cliffs and an imposing manor and a white-dressed figure with flowing hair. Fantastic.
I had temporarily titled this book “Devil River,” and then one day I was listening to some vintage jazz and heard Cab Calloway sing “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.” The tune was a bit too cheerful, but the lyrics were dead perfect. They describe Violet’s feelings toward River to a gosh darn T. The last stanza is quoted in the beginning of my book.

I don’t want you,
But I hate to lose you,
You’ve got me in between the devil 
and the deep blue sea.

I should hate you,
But I guess I love you,
You’ve got me in between the devil 
and the deep blue sea. 

About the Author

April Genevieve Tucholke digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She lives in Oregon at the edge of a forest. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

Watch the book trailer here!

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is available in stores and online now. And I have to say, I can totally imagine Violet and her brother and River listening to that song in their crumbling old mansion!

Have you read this book, or are you planning to? I hope your answer is yesssss.

An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Next tour stop: Paranormal Fantasy Reviews.

59 Responses to “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Tour Stop”

  1. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    This is one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve seen! Proof that you don’t need people on covers for them to look good. I’ve been wanting to read this one forever but I’m waiting to get a ebook copy, my kindle has spoiled me.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Molli Moran

    This one sounds FANTASTIC. I am having so much trouble NOT buying it right away. I’ve been pining for it for ages and ages. I LOVE the cover; it really does invoke images of the classic Gothic novels we’re familiar with! And those lyrics. Haunting!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  3. Sam (Realm of Fiction)

    I think font-driven covers are some of the most effective. I also loved Shadow and Bone’s. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is another great one. And it’s nice to hear that Penguin listened to April’s suggestion! I know not all authors get a say in the cover process.

    Lovely post! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Agreed–they’ve very eye-catching and definitely stand out in the sea of girls in dresses covers for YA. I’m glad they listened to April, too!

  4. Heather Roddenberry

    Gosh, I LOVED this book. I loved the Gothic feel, and the family secrets and the story within the story, and the swoony romance, and the fact that River is clearly morally challenged but there are reasons and I can’t help but love him anyway. I loved the urban legends that were built-in and I loved reading about how Tucholke was inspired to write this story and where she got the title from:) Whew. Deep breath:) Clearly, I am so ready to read the sequel!

    • Wendy Darling

      Wasn’t it gorgeous? I love gothics so much, and this one got the mood so, so right. “Morally challenged” is the reason I think some readers are having a problem with it, but I think moral ambiguity is a very tricky and interesting thing to read about, and sublime when it’s done well. So glad you loved it too, Heather! I’ll be right in line with you for the sequel. :)

  5. Carina Olsen

    Aw, I do love the cover :D I cannot wait to read this book. Have an ARC of it that I won. <3 think the book sounds awesome. Thank you for sharing :D

  6. Donna Smith

    The cover is certainly gorgeous. This is one that’s at the top of my wishlist. I’m planning to grab the audio. It sounds like it will be an amazing read with the right narrator!

    • Wendy Darling

      Ohh, I wonder if you’d like this, Donna! It goes pretty nuts later on in the story, and I’m hearing from people that they had a serious problem with some aspects of it. I loved it, though, so I’ll be waiting to hear what you think of it.

  7. boricuanbookworms

    I totally think that her cover preference was a great choice! It gives the book such a “spooky” feel, especially with the title! I had requested an ARC, but I’m too impatient! I may have to buy the hardcover. Thanks for sharing, Wendy!

    -Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes, the font choice really does lend the book a spooky-type feel. :) The hardcover is gorgeous, so you’re probably better off with that vs. an ARC anyway. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Tanja - Tanychy

    I really love this cover and I need to read this book soon. I haven’t seen the trailer before but it’s really good. Great post Wendy :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Yeah, the trailer is pretty cool; I especially like the way the title treatment is illuminated for a minute against the darkness. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Tanja!

  9. Jasprit

    I much prefer the new title for this book and I think that song sounds perfect for it. It seems to have that eerie vibe going on that the cover represents. I think the publishers did a great job with the cover too, it’s got a great gothic feel to it. I’ve heard great things about this book, so can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for sharing a great post with us Wendy!

    • Wendy Darling

      Agreed, the title that stuck seems both more romantic and to the point. There IS kind of an eerie vibe going on, but what’s interesting about this is that a lot of it takes place during daylight hours. An interesting way to turn things on their heads.

  10. Melanie

    I always thought that this cover reminded my strangely of Shadow and Bone! Looks like I’m not that nuts after all! I really can’t wait to read this one, I have been meaning to read some gothic books for quite some time.

    Thanks for sharing, Wendy! <33

    • Wendy Darling

      And now we know why! But in a good way, not one of those “another girl in a pretty ballgown” kind of a way. Or “we’re using the same stock photo” way, hah.

      I hope you like it, Mel. It may be too much for some people, hah, but I loved it.

  11. Christina @ Christina Reads YA

    Your reference to Tennessee Williams – I saw it months ago when you’d first pubbed something to the GR feed – made me want to crack open some of the novels I’d read from him in HS… I don’t quite remember all the finer details. I wish I did so that I could think more on your comparison.

    I love the cover. The font-focused aspect definitely gives the book a timeless feel that I think plays really well with the old and young stream-of-time kind of feel that I got from the book. I didn’t read a lot of Gothic books as a kid, so I don’t quite know about those other covers… but this one works so well – Dial did such a fantastic job.

    The lyrics for the song really do work well for the book too. I liked the book and I loved her writing, but I also still can’t reconcile my feelings about the villain and Violet/River. I think River’s a fantastic character, but merrrr, the end with Violet’s realization? (Sorry, I’m trying to stay vague so it stays a non-spoiler — though maybe I already have included a spoiler?) That makes me feel so conflicted. I wanted River not to be presented as a romantic interest. The villain – this is totally spoilery, so I guess I already failed on that count. Another blogger who I discussed this book with described the villain as feeling like a diagnosis of a psychopath while River was a realized version of one.

    • Wendy Darling

      The Tennessee Williams reference is more by way of the seething tension building in a hot summer setting that erupts in madness, Christina. He’s one of my favorite playwrights, I would like to revisit some of his work myself.

      I know what you mean by the romance; it was hard to accept River as a romantic interest in a lot of places, but because the book sets up such a oddly dreamy/nightmarish feel, somehow I could accept that she would allow herself to be seduced in that way. That’s an interesting analysis of the villain/River, too. I’ll have to think about that when I go back throug it at some point.

  12. Kim

    I’ve been wondering about this book. Regrettably, I’ve heard mixed things about it. But you know me, I adore horror — particularly Gothic horror — so I’m going to give this book a try anyway. The cover caught my attention right away. I agree that font focused covers do seem to be timeless. They just give you so much to imagine, whereas a cover with a person on it can take away your ability to imagine what the characters are like.

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Andrea, it was fun for us to hear the story behind the cover and title, too. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Wendy Darling

      I had never actually heard the song before, isn’t that funny? I really liked it, though, I’ll have to get a copy. I’ll think of Violet in her sad, big house every time.

  13. Bookworm1858

    I didn’t realize you got a say in your cover-that’s so cool that they obliged and really outdid themselves with this gorgeous cover!

    • Wendy Darling

      I don’t think this is all that common, Bookworm, but I’m really glad they listened to her opinion in this case! It’s such an eye-catching cover.

  14. Jackie

    Oooh! I loved this book :3 Its all just so unique and amazing and and and…Did I mention I love this book? xD
    Happy reading

  15. readingdate

    This does sound like a Wendy book! I’ll need to sneak this one in later this fall when the weather is more Gothic friendly :)

    The cover is gorgeous and seems to match quite well to the synopsis. Good to hear the author got to collaborate on the final look.

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah, this is VERY much a Wendy book. :) Fall really is more Gothic-like, isn’t it? But this one has a bit of a summer gothic feel, though that’s nice to read when it’s cooler, too.

  16. Candace

    I’m in love with this book! And I’m so glad she requested the font based cover and it’s great that they LISTENED! I think this cover matches the story perfectly as well as the title. Love it all!

    • Wendy Darling

      I love it, too! I am so glad they listened to her, because I agree, it definitely suits the elegant, over-the-top nature of the story.

  17. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I think the request for a font-focused cover was a great choice! It adds to the intrigue and the old, gothic feel of the book overall. Such a great story.

  18. Shirin

    YES, YES and YES!
    Great choices! I have been looking forward to this for so long!

    Anyways besides your good taste in Wow books aha, I’ve been reading for posts and I seriously put 4 books in my TBR shelve so thank you for that!

    I’m a new blogger and would really appreciate it if you would check out my WOW and followed my blog @

  19. Keertana

    I’m so excited to read this! I’m expecting my copy in the mail (STILL!!), so I’m looking forward to checking this out. I also ADORE this cover! It’s so eye-catching and utterly gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, Wendy!

  20. Diamond Cronen

    I just HAD to buy this last week. Usually I try to wait until it comes in paperback but I couldn’t! I can’t wait to read it.

    I’m loving all these YA gothic novels that are out this fall/ this year. It’s amazing!

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you got yourself a copy, Diamond! I actually usually prefer paperbacks as well (space issue, plus easier to read), but the hardback for this one is gorgeous. Really happy that we’re seeing more YA gothics, too.

  21. Curling Up With a Good Book

    I am reading this now and it is AMAZING!!!!!!!! I am just completely hooked! I love the April Tucholke’s writing style!! and the scenery?? OMG YES! Creepy yet fantastic!!! I cannot wait to finish it and see what happens!

  22. Liviania

    That song is definitely a bit too upbeat for the book when you listen to it, but it does fit so well. I really loved this one.