Illusive: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway

October 22, 2013 2013, cover reveal, emily lloyd-jones, giveaway, sci fi or futuristic, Wendy 107

Hello friends!

Today we’re pleased to be hosting the exclusive cover reveal and giveaway for debut author Emily Lloyd-Jones’ new book Illusive, coming out July 24, 2014 from Little Brown. I’ve had my eye on this title for awhile now, and I’m excited that we finally know more about it.


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Illusive Synopsis

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She’s what’s known as an illusionist… She’s also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere teams up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn’t? The lines between good and bad, us and them, freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.

Illusive will be released on July 24, 2014.

Doesn’t it sound like fun? For a die-hard scifi and thriller fan like me, it’s pure catnip! Without further ado, here is the cover, along with a few things the author wants you to know about her story:

Feel free to share this gorgeous cover!


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5 Things to Know About ILLUSIVE   
by Emily Lloyd-Jones    

1. This book has a very geeky origin story. 

I envy the writers who can reminisce about how their novel idea came to them in a dream/on a trip/during a moment of clarity. Those stories all sound so dignified.

I watched superhero movies. I watched too many superhero movies and decided they were unrealistic. That little voice in the back of my head kept saying that I could do it—I could write a realistic superhero origin story. But this plan hit a small snag when I realized something…     

2. The main character isn’t heroic.

Ciere Giba is a 17-year-old super-powered thief. She’s got a short attention span, is a terrible driver, a decent pick pocket, has a weakness for cute animals, and her only real skill is that she casts life-like illusions over herself. When I was creating her, I realized that if teenagers had superpowers, the temptation to misuse them would be very strong.

I mean, if you could change your appearance at will, wouldn’t you be tempted to sneak into places you shouldn’t go?      

3. I did a lot of research for this book. I had to. People who know me think it’s hilarious that I write about criminals… because I am the least criminal person ever. No really, I am. I follow traffic laws, I’ve never shoplifted, and I’m far too nervous to attempt anything illegal.

The research for ILLUSIVE included buying books on security cameras, learning the theory of lock-picking, having a friend’s dad teach me how to fire a handgun, and discovering what it felt like to be in a choke-hold.

Oh, and there was a sunny afternoon I spent driving up and down the Schuylkill River outside Philadelphia, looking for a place I could (theoretically) dump a body. That day, I really made sure to follow traffic laws.  

4. Much of the inspiration for ILLUSIVE came from my fascination with Cold War history. 

I like history. (Scratch that—I’m sort of in love with history.) One of the time periods I’m interested in is that of the Cold War—how two major super-powers faced off for decades, how the aftermath of the Manhattan Project affected the world, how close humanity came to the brink.

I realized this is how superpowers might play out in real life. People who possessed powers would be seen as walking, breathing weapons. These people would be dangerous and valuable, and governments would be desperate to have them. And not just have them, but use them. A bomb wouldn’t be the most terrifying thing out there: it would be a person who could make you hallucinate, read your mind, or even control your actions. Such circumstances would create an atmosphere of paranoia—you could never know who is dangerous and who isn’t. The world would be forced to operate under the assumption that every person possesses the potential to be a threat.

There would be no superheroes. Just people who possess powers—and want to survive.  All of this probably sounds a little grim, which leads me into number five…

5. At its heart, ILLUSIVE is a caper. I meant it to be a romp with criminals who can levitate, read minds, cast illusions, and snark at one another. I hope readers have as much fun with this book as I did.


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Win an ARC of ILLUSIVE!  

Isn’t the cover amazing?  I love how the noir moodiness of the colors and artwork, and the slanty words are very superhero-like. It almost looks like a sophisticated graphic novel.

Thanks to the author and our friends at Little Brown, one of our lucky readers will receive one of the very first ARCs of this title available. (Guys, it doesn’t even come out until July 2014, but you’re going to get it before the holidays!) All you have to do is leave a comment below telling us why you’re excited to read this book, and to fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and up, or 13 and up with parental permission. See complete rules on the entry form. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Emily Lloyd-Jones writes words. She also works at an indie bookstore, where she sells words. She currently resides in northern California, with an overflowing bookshelf and a very neurotic cat.

For all the latest news about Illusive and Emily’s future books, visit her on her website or follow her on Twitter.


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107 Responses to “Illusive: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway”

  1. Jamie

    I love superheroes, and I grew up on the x-men. A good caper sounds fun and when you add super powers I to it, it sounds like an awesome book! I’m excited to read it!

  2. Jessica R

    I’m sorry, a caper with geeky origins and inspired by Cold War history? Does this not sound like the coolest thing? Plus that cover gives off an excellent vibe. So looking forward to reading this one!

  3. Josiphine

    The only thing better than a thief is a super-powered one! And the cover is so amazing–I have a weakness for illustrated covers.

  4. Jessica Noreault

    To be honest, I have a THING for thieves. Not irl of course, stealing is bad >.> but in books? Oh baby~ I insta want to read them. Lol. The cover is fantastic, I love how the title pops.

  5. A Canadian Girl

    I love books where the characters have superpowers! I’m also pretty excited that the author mentions she did a lot of research and loves history.

  6. ashleyn1988

    I really like the story plot for this book! I’m always looking for the next adventure in my books that I read. Thank you for sharing I will be sure to buy it even if I don’t win the arc.

  7. becca fowler

    OMG this book sounds AH-Mazing!!! vaccines that turn you into superheroes?! Why didn’t I think to write this book? Hope I win! Thanks!

  8. Kaye M.

    Okay, when you mention that you’ve done research, you win me over. Completely. Also, superheroes are, in my opinion, quite lacking in the YA market – or maybe I’m not being pointed in the right direction? In any case, superheroes are always a good thing.

  9. Larissa

    This book honestly seems amazing! It’s the perfect mixture of everything I love. I’ve honestly never wanted to win a giveaway more than this one?? haha (:

  10. Kimmy

    Ahh finally a book with super powers! Super interested and soo looking forward to this. Can’t wait :)

  11. Bailee

    I love the cover! It has a very old school thriller sort of look while maintaining a modern beauty. It is super pretty. I wish I knew how people come up with such amazing designs because they certainly fit the book’s story to a T. Also the summary just sounds epic as well!

  12. Carina Olsen

    Ohh, I love the cover! It looks awesome. And the book sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing. <3 (Not entering the giveaway, since US only) but loving the post :)

  13. meryvamp

    This reminds me of the show Heroes. I loved that show! I love anything to do with superpowers, lol. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Steph

    This book sounds awesome! Super powers and a cool heroine? Count me in! Love the cover too!! :)

  15. Aimee

    The cover looks great, but I’m excited that it’s a caper + special abilities + snarkiness! Sounds like a mix made in heaven!

  16. Neyra

    I love, love LOOVE the idea of this book! I’m a geeky girl myself, and I’ve always been fascinated by superpowers lol. Thanks for the giveaway ladies and to Emily for giving us a little more about Illusive(:

  17. JanisKay

    The cover’s funky. I like it:) Reading the interview pretty much sold me on it since I’ve never heard of a story that involves realistic non-superhero-superhumans lol. It’s a nice change for me since I normally read about people who save the world with their heroic-ness.

    Thank you for the giveaway:)

  18. Kristin

    I was sold at the tagline, now you see her, now you don’t. And I LOVE capers. Seriously, the cover has intrigue, suspense, and shadows. I’m loving the idea of a band of teen superhero/thieves. Thanks for the great interview, can’t wait to read!

  19. readingdate

    Ooh I just love the cover. It’s so eye catching. And yay for geeky origins and capers! Thanks for putting Illusive on my radar- now I’m itching to read it.

  20. Kim

    A non heroic MC and a lot of research went into this book? Plus that cover? I’m sold. This sounds so interesting :)

  21. Candace

    Well this sounds incredible! The cover is striking and memorable, one that will stay in my head for sure! And I love that she describes it as a caper, cause that sounds very appealing to me!

  22. dreamsofawalrus

    I have to admit I thought this post might benefit from an excerpt while I was reading it, just because it’s hard for me to imagine. That being said, I LOVE the thought of a superhero book… where the main character is more of a villain. (Also, where the main character isn’t a man. hey-o.)

    Looking forward to seeing more on this!

  23. Jasmine Stairs

    The cover is spectacular, it definitely catches the eye. And I’m glad it did, because then I stuck around long enough to hear “superhero thief”, and I was sold. :D

  24. Charlotte N

    I have never read a book where the main character doesn’t use their powers for good. I look forward to reading about Ciere Giba and her experiences.

  25. kelpeterson

    They pitched it as X-men meets Ocean’s Eleven. Yeah, there’s a reason it’s been on my to-read list for forever. (And just for the record, the geeky backstory is awesome. ^^)

  26. starryeyedjen

    I added this to my TBR last week before I even saw this, but now I’m even more excited! I love seeing a “behind the book” from an author. And I love that cover! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Molli Moran

    WHAT. This looks AWESOME. I LOVE the cover – so thrilling. And I really am digging the synopsis, and how the MC may not be a typical heroine. YEAH.

    BTW, not entering the giveaway, but love y’all for bringing this cover and this book to my attention.

  28. fannie630

    I’m looking forward to this book! YA thrillers have been hit-or-miss for me lately, but with the addition of superpowers and cold war/history perspective, this sounds like it will be just the thing I’ve been craving!

    • Wendy Darling

      I think YA thrillers are hit or miss in general, with more misses across the board, to be honest. But I’m always excited to find exceptions, and every other element that the author mentions makes it sound like a very non-cookie-cutter story. Fingers crossed!

  29. Cyn

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for the cover reveal! I love the synopsis. I like how Emily describes the main character as not heroic. I’m interested in how we’ll see her!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Wendy Darling

      Well, I’m glad we were able to bring it to you! :) It sounds like this heroine’s going to be pretty interesting, and I can’t wait to meet her, too.

  30. Meg M

    This book sounds amazing! The synopsis reminds me a little of Vicious (in that they are both antihero, superpowers kind of books) and that was one of my favorite books of 2013.

    I also love an author that does her homework (see Mira Grant and the relationship she developed with the CDC when working out the details of Kellis-Amberlee) I’m a huge research nerd, so I relate to the desire to look stuff up, plus you can totally tell when an author has or hasn’t done their homework.

    Plus the cover is lovely, great cover palette and typography usage.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, I need to read VICIOUS too–I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it, since I haven’t come across too many reviews for that yet. I really enjoyed THE ARCHIVED, though.

      I am the biggest Mira Grant fan, so understood completely on the huge bonus when an author does her research. Have you read PARASITE yet? Another great example of integrating research into a story in a way that feels organic.

  31. lesliemdrake

    That cover looks gorgeous! I totally want to read it. I’ve been in a mood to read thrillers and that looks like something that I won’t be able to put down until I finish it.

    • Wendy Darling

      I always love a good thriller, so it’s exciting that we’re getting such a promising one next year! Fingers crossed that it’s the page-turner we’re hoping for.

  32. TiffanyDrozd

    I’m excited to read this book because my favorite superheroes are the ones who live in the gray areas. They aren’t Superman wholesome, and kind of play around with the definitions of good and evil. They make mistakes and questionable decisions, and they’re usually more interesting, well-rounded characters because of it.

    • Wendy Darling

      I agree–I like Superman and such, but the ones that are more nuanced and complex are definitely much more interesting. It makes them more…human.

  33. Becca @ Nawanda Files

    Oh, I love the sound of this! And that cover is really pretty :D (the tagline hooked me!) And most superhero stories are pretty unrealistic, so I’m curious to see how Emily went about tackling that aspect :D

    • Wendy Darling

      Yeah, sometimes simple and tried and true sayings work out well. I’ve enjoyed a couple of the YA superhero stories I’ve read, but this one definitely seems to offer a fresh take on the genre.

  34. Jae Lee

    If I saw this in a bookstore, I would definitely pick it up.I love superhero books, and though this cover reads a little bit more noir/mystery, it gets the point across. And it looks like a book that isn’t taking itself too seriously. This is going on my too-many-books-to-read-in-one-lifetime-I’m-going-to-try-anyway-WTR list.

    • Wendy Darling

      I like that it’s a girl with powers who is sort of hiding in the shadows–and yes, it sounds like it’s going to be a fun book!

    • Wendy Darling

      I like that it’s not a typical strong girl in kickass pose, you know? And that shadowy-ness of it adds to the air of mystery. :)

  35. Bonnie R

    Oh my gosh, yes. I am a total sucker for anything super hero because I am one giant X-Men nerd. I love the spin that she’s not actually 100% good, that definitely adds some depth to an otherwise typical superhero storyline. Oh I’m definitely reading this. Love the cover too!

    • Wendy Darling

      I love love love X-Men, too. And before them, I loved Superfriends and Wonder Woman, it’s the ultimate fantasy to have a special power that comes in handy. The spin definitely adds a huge amount of interest as well!

  36. Skye

    I’ve had my eye on this book a while now too! Superpowers are my favorite reading subject, so I’ve been really been looking forward to this one! And that cover is AWESOME – definitely gives it a proper caper feel.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    • Wendy Darling

      The publisher did an amazing job with that cover–it seems to suit the story perfectly, both the criminal side of it and the super power side.

  37. Liviania

    I like the cover – it reminds me of Dark Eyes and other YA superhero books. And there is nothing I love more than a superhero book!

    • Wendy Darling

      I haven’t read DARK EYES or many super powered YA books; I often love the idea more than the execution, although there are always exceptions. Ciere sounds like an interesting character, though, so I am very hopeful!

  38. Ellie

    Hah. I love the story about finding a good spot to dump a body! One of my favorite things to do is research for a book. :P

  39. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I like that the MC isn’t heroic. Just because you have powers doesn’t make you good or bad. You’re just a human with a little oomph (though, wouldn’t that be cool to have a little oomph? I’d be all over it).

    • Wendy Darling

      Exactly–nuanced characters are the most interesting kind, both protagonists and antagonists. I’m really curious to see how Ciere uses her powers, I know I’d probably get into some trouble if I had some, too. ;)

  40. Kayla Beck

    I’ve had terrible luck with superhero books lately, but Illuminate sounds fantastic! I look forward to July. :-)

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh no, which ones have let you down, Kayla? I hope you end up enjoying ILLUSIVE, it sounds incredibly promising. July is sooo far away, though.

  41. Joyous Reads

    Nice. I’m liking the character already! I’ve been on a super hero hero/villain kick lately so this book sounds like something I’d enjoy!

    Thanks for sharing, ladies!

  42. Keertana

    I hadn’t heard of this one at all but it sounds like a ton of fun! I love history and super-powers (who doesn’t?), so I’m looking forward to giving this a shot next year. Thanks for sharing!(:

    • Wendy Darling

      I like that she refers to this as a caper–I adore the feel of books like that, and combining that with kids with superpowers who don’t always use them for good is fascinating to me. Can’t wait!

  43. Tanja - Tanychy

    Woha now I really like that cover and not to mention the whole idea of the story. The main character sounds really different and I would love to meet her. Great post Wendy :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Yeah, I was already intrigued by the one or two lines I initially read, then got more excited by the synopsis, and then by the time I read her post about what to expect, I was totally sold! Really looking forward to meeting Ciere, too.

    • Wendy Darling

      I am in love with that, too–especially learning to shoot a firearm! I feel like I would be really good at that, or very, very bad. There is no in between.

  44. Melanie

    This one sounds really badass and refreshing! Can’t wait until it comes out.

    Thanks for sharing! <33

    • Wendy Darling

      Isn’t she lovely? I teased her about the “research” for dumping dead bodies, but thriller fan that I am, I think that’d actually be kind of fun to scope out.

  45. Rachel

    Ooh, this sounds interesting! I like that they’ve got superpowers but aren’t really using them for good. And I want to know what this big crime–and how it will play out, of course. Also, I’m digging the cover–plays onto the synopsis nicely! Thanks for the reveal and giveaway!