Guest Post: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted January 23rd, 2014 in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 20 comments

Welcome to The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant Blog Tour. The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is a YA paranormal mystery that I have had my eye on for quite some time. I have a copy and will be reading it soon. For now, enjoy the awesome guest post by Joanna where she picks out her favorite YA covers for 2014 9 (so far). Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway below.

Title: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant
Series: The V Trilogy #1
Author: Joanna Wiebe
Publisher: BenBella Books (Jan 14, 2014)
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Young Adult
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble

After her mother’s death, 16-year-old art prodigy Anne Merchant moves from sunny California to the cold woodlands of Wormwood Island, Maine for what is supposed to be a fresh start. She is the newest student of Cania Christy, an elite boarding school that is as filled with secrets as it is with the world’s most privileged—and competitive—teens.

From the first day of school, Anne finds herself thrust into the Big V competition, an intense race to the top of the class. With enviable talents, she quickly becomes the enemy of every junior seeking the Big V—especially Harper, the presumed frontrunner.

Like every student, she is assigned a guardian, and a unique mission. Anne’s assignment is to “look deeper.” Anne is determined to succeed, and won’t let anything —not even her distractingly beautiful neighbor Ben—get in the way. But the deeper she looks the more questions arise, and the more she is forced to reexamine all of her assumptions—about the school, her classmates and even herself.

As layers of secrecy deepen, Anne leans on the friendship of Molly, a lifelong islander, and Pilot, the only junior not competing for the Big V, to make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world. But when people start disappearing, Anne uncovers a stunning truth that she must face head on—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.

My Favorite YA Book Covers of 2014 (So Far)

by Joanna Wiebe

We’re barely into 2014, but, let’s be honest: we’ve all been watching the cover reveals of this year’s most anticipated YA books for a while, right? I know I have.

I’m slightly obsessed with Book Cover Gazing. I hunt new covers down; I compare them against each other; I seek out the names of the fonts used on the covers (which is why I adore that more and more publishers are now sharing the names of their fonts, graphic designers, etc.). For me, a great book cover needs to:

– Stand out when faced on a bookshelf

– Pop on a bookstore table

– Draw the eye when in thumbnail view, like on Amazon and Goodreads

– Reflect the tone of the story

– Give me just enough of the story that I want to read the back cover

– Elevate the title and author’s name (rather than minimizing it)

I was really, really lucky to be part of the creative process that led to the cover for my novel, The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (in bookstores Jan 14). My amazing publisher BenBella let me help select the cover model, took my feedback on the feel of the background and even sat patiently as I submitted typography ideas and favorite fonts for the title. The result is a cover we’re all quite proud of.

My publisher is already working on ideas for the second book in the V Trilogy, which has got me thinking about the upcoming books with covers I want to consume, put on a t-shirt, get tattooed to my cheek. Here are 3 of my very, very, very favorite (with a little detailed explanation) and 4 of my crushes…

FAVORITE: Amy Plum’s After the End (Coming May 6, 2014)

Set in post-WWIII Alaska, this novel is one I’d be dying to read even if the cover wasn’t so spectacular.

What I love about it in particular is the amount of detail in the image – to say nothing of the weight of the sky, which seems close to collapsing over the snow-meets-sand-meets-moondust covered earth.

The scene stands alone; the title pops; and there’s just enough of a hint of the story that I definitely want to read more. Obsess-worthy for being different and, dare I hope, trendsetting…

FAVORITE: Ilsa J. Bick’s White Space(Coming Feb 11, 2014)
Um, beautiful much? Bick’s covers are always quite striking – remember Monsters? – but this one is especially interesting. It reminds me of the artwork for the film The Black Swan, and the feathery look of the black markings behind the title only adds to that.

In fact, it’s not a book about competing ballerinas. It would be very odd for sci-fi master Bick to write such a book! J But, well, the cover art doesn’t give that much away about the story, which is in fact about a girl who jumps between the lines of books.

I’d love to get a stronger scent of the story with the cover, but the vagueness of it certainly doesn’t take away from it enough to fault it. (After all, did the US covers of Twilight or The Hunger Games give away much about the story? Nope!)

FAVORITE: Jennifer L. Armentrout’s don’t look back (Coming April 15, 2014)

This one attracts my eye more when the cover is surrounded by other YA covers. It stands out because it’s so different from what we’ve been seeing in paranormal, in fantasy, and even in contemporary YA like John Green and Rainbow Rowell.

It feels a little risky. Especially for not being that risky. I mean, it’s brown. Or brownish-purple. That’s not normally considered risky…

But when you put it next to the blue, orange and yellow covers, with all their layers, of 2013’s top YA cover picks, this does seem unusual. Unsafe. Different. And not only worth picking up but, for me, impossible to pass up. I can only hope the hardcover is all matte and smooth…


One beautifully icy. Another eye-catching from afar and up close. And two with fantastic typography that, admittedly, is similar to what we’ve already seen from them but oh-so-dazzling.

Joanna Wiebe is the author of The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, now available online and in bookstores. Amy Plum called the novel “deliciously dark”, and VOYA said it’s great for fans of Anna Dressed in Blood.

Visit Joanna at and follow her on Twitter or Goodreads.

Author Bio
By day, Joanna is a copywriter and the co-founder of CopyHackers.comand, a critique site for published and unpublished writers. As an undergraduate student, Joanna won several academic awards for excellence in creative writing: Canada’s James Patrick Folinsbee Prize, which she won twice, as well as the Godfrey Prize.

After graduating, she lived for a year on the remote northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, which is the inspiration for the verdant Wormwood Island of the V Trilogy. She holds a BA in Honors English and an MA in Communications from the University of Alberta and lives with her partner Lance in Victoria, British Columbia.

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is her first novel and the first installment in the V Trilogy.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads  

Tour Schedule:
Monday, January 6th – Refracted Light Reviews
Tuesday, January 7th – Dee’s Reads
Wednesday, January 8th – The YA Bookworm Blogger
Thursday, January 9th – Book Swoon
Friday, January 10th – Parajunkee
Monday, January 13th – Curling Up with a Good Book
Tuesday, January 14th – Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, January 15th – Such A Novel Idea
Thursday, January 16th – The Story Siren
Friday, January 17th – Book Whales
Monday, January 20th – Jump Into Books
Tuesday, January 21st – Supernatural Snark
Wednesday, January 22nd – Doonie Darko Girl
Thursday, January 23rd – Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy
Friday, January 24th – Literary Me
This is a tour wide giveaway!

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post

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20 Responses to “Guest Post: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

  1. sherry fundin

    I like all the covers, Joanna, and your descriptions were fantastic. If Jennifer is eager to read a book, I am interested in hearing what she has to say. Thanks for the wonderful post and giveaway.

  2. Braine TS

    Oooh lovely selections esp A Shard of Ice & Between Spark & Burn. And I love her cover art too! Some authors skimp on their cover arts, they shouldnt because it’s their first impression and unfortunately, when it comes to real books, we DO judge them by their covers… a lot!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I do judge books by the cover so it’s odd to me when certain authors spend so little on theirs. The cover is so important. You can tell Joanna cared about her cover.

  3. Christina R.

    She’s picked out some awesome covers from some awesome authors:)

    Her cover is just as eye-catching and it gives the tone of the book:)

    Thank you:)

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