Update: This great cover was done for me by Dar Albert before I decided to change the title back to the original, pre-Tor publication title, The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove. If I save up my pennies, I'll ask Dar to update the title because I love her design.

My young adult gothic novel, Dark Companion, has a new cover by designer Dar Albert of Wicked Smart Designs! I thought the original cover by Tor/Macmillan was beautiful, but I wasn't happy that my multiracial protagonist was "white washed." Is it a big or little thing? It was a big thing for me, because one of my recurring themes is being Other in society.

Which reminds me, my favorite brother informed me recently that there is no such word as "reoccurring." Seriously? I wish someone had corrected me before because I use that word all the dang time, and I'm sure my pals are cracking up afterward. I will have to interrogate them and find out.

I love Dar's design with the small cottage among the trees, the sense of danger, the red petals, and the girl who is looking straight out at the reader. Because Jane Williams is direct and serious.

Dar also designed the wonderful new cover for The Dog Thief.