Published by Month9Books, LLC
Merged by Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress.
But as the line between what’s possible and what’s right draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost.
Scientists have created an evolved form of living known as Merged Consciousness, and sixteen-year-old Lake finds herself unable to merge with her Mentor.
Lake, the Nobel for Chemistry and Orfyn, the Nobel for Art, are two from among the inaugural class of Nobels, and with the best intent and motivation. But when Stryker, the Nobel for Peace, makes them question the motivation of the scientists behind the program, their world begins to unravel.
As the Nobels work to uncover the dark secrets of the program’s origins, everyone’s a suspect and no one can be trusted, not even the other Nobels.
As the Mentors begin to take over the bodies and minds of the Nobels, Lake and Orfyn must find a way to regain control before they lose all semblance or memory of their former selves.
Link to Goodreads:
Why We Love the Cover of Merged
When the cover was being designed, our publisher asked for our suggestions of scenes from the book that might make a good cover. Fortunately, the designer developed something far better than anything we came up with. Everything about it works to convey the story: the characters, the background, the fonts, and the color.
When we are writing a novel, we keep a binder with pictures from magazines and the internet for all of our characters, both major and minor. This is important when writing with a partner; otherwise, you could wind up with wildly inconsistent concepts of how a character looks and acts. The visuals of Lake and Orfyn portray two YA characters who really look like people you would root for. People you want to spend hours with. When we first saw the cover, it was as if we had sent the designer our pictures of Lake and Orfyn along with a detailed description, which we hadn’t done. We can only imagine she read the book and really absorbed who these characters are.
Beyond our character’s appearance, the way they are looking at each other and reaching for each other, but not quite touching, suggests a true love story. People you ache to get together, but with tons and tons of obstacles keeping that from happening.
We also love the tag line, “Great minds don’t always think alike.” (BTW, we didn’t write it). First, it suggests that the characters are not just ordinary people. Characters should either be relatable people in extraordinary situations, extraordinary people in relatable situations, or even better, extraordinary people in extraordinary situations with relatable elements to both. Since we know these characters have “great minds” we know they are special people with special talents. Second, we are told they “don’t always think alike,” which builds conflict right into the premise. That’s a pretty effective tag line.
Beyond all that, we love the color. And this is no ordinary blue, it’s a bluish-aqua that feels more technical and futuristic than something you might find in nature, such as a lake or the sky. This very effectively suggests the sci-fi component of the story. We love to go to bookstores and look at covers, and inevitably, our favorites feature blue. It might be some type of innate emotional reaction. Blue makes people feel differently than red or green. Ask any artist or designer. So, we were thrilled.
Finally, we love the simplicity: a six-word tagline, one-word title, and the authors’ names. Despite just this limited information, you get a real sense of a complicated YA sci-fi story, with a romantic element. That is a cover that really works at getting across the story you are about to read. And it’s not just hype to say we love it. We literally can’t stop looking at it. Hopefully, other people will feel the same way and want to read the story after seeing this great cover.
About the Author
Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl are a husband-and-wife team who write stories of mystery and adventure from their cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. When they aren’t dodging moose, their story ideas appear during their walks with their dog, who far prefers chasing balls to plotting novels. Jim and Stephanie are world travelers who seek out crop circles, obscure historical sites and mysterious ruins.
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