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Cover Reveal: THE NIGHT FOX by Ashley Wilda

Cover reveal! The Night Fox by Ashley Wilda is a luminous, haunting debut. Alternating between now and then, reality and magic, it tells the story of a girl confronting heartbreak while at a mysterious recovery program in the wilderness.

When seventeen-year-old Eli arrives at Raeth, a remote mountain retreat for teens with mental health issues, her mind is made up—she is not interested in participating, and she doesn’t need to “heal.” Still reeling from a breakup that left both her heart and faith shattered, she is determined to fake being “fine” so that the program’s warden will clear her to return home.

But the retreat itself has other ideas. The valley’s magical surroundings transform each time she ventures out, playing with her mind and dredging up her grief-laden memories. Despite the warning signs, Eli explores more of the area than she had ever planned, even venturing into the dangerous night realm.

This spellbinding novel mixes prose and poetry into an exquisite and evocative portrait of love, grief, depression, and the slow path toward healing.

Scroll down to see the cover and read a sneak peek, and remember to preorder your copy here!

Artist Pedro Tapa, Designer: Theresa Evangelista

“We’re going to Raeth,” Mom says.

RAY-eth. Round and unfamiliar and alluring on my tongue, like a smoky whisper. The name sparks something in me, although I’ve never heard it before. Something mysterious. Almost… magical. Like the smell of damp earth in spring beneath a full moon. That’s odd. Not the magic part, but the spark part. It flares in my gut, leaps to my chest, and dies quickly—but it was there. Unnerving.

So I say, “Where the hell is that?” knowing it will tick her off.

She doesn’t take the bait. “It’s a special place… somewhere you can heal.”

Heal? I gave up on that a while ago.

“Mom, you know that’s not up to you.” In other words, drop it.

“I think a good, long stay there will do you good.”

Good. Long. Stay.

White halls. Cold tile floor. The smell of rubbing alcohol. Forced therapy sessions. I swallow the fear down.

“You’re just going to drop me off somewhere random and expect me to be fine with it?”

All of a sudden, I do care, and the whiplash from nothingness to fury is jarring.

She continues before I can butt in again. “It’s for kids like you. And it’s only for the summer.”

I stare at her, at a complete loss for words, which, believe me, doesn’t happen very often. “The summer,” I say slowly, venom building. “Kids like me.”

She eyes me, and I can tell she knows the storm that’s coming just as well as I do… and is just as powerless to stop it.

But somehow, I stuff it down. Push all the emotion down, down, down, from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet, shove it into a bottle and cork it.

And there it is again—that terrible, terrible emptiness.

Almost worse than being the saddest or angriest or loneliest girl in the universe.

Which I am.

“Liz?” Her tone is hesitant, probing. Almost apologetic.

I shake my head. I don’t even look at her. I can’t. “You don’t get to talk to me right now.” My voice sounds flat, dead. Unfamiliar, like it’s not even mine. I close my eyes. Lean my forehead against the cool window.

She’s sending me away.

If my father were here, would he be handling this differently? Handling me, my love for you, differently? No use wondering. The dead can’t answer questions.

I tug my journal free from my canvas backpack. The grief pounds under my skin, desperate for release. Only on the page do I feel understood. Only in ink does my story make any sense, even to myself.

The emptiness laps at my consciousness as I put pen to paper, threatening to pull me into the infinite darkness of myself, where I know I could fall forever and never be found.

But under it all, lives this pulsing truth.

No one understands the way I love. Not even my mother. It’s fiercer and deeper and faster than the blood in my own veins. Stronger and more savage and more stubborn than time. My love is different.

I should’ve known that no one would understand my grief either.

Penguin Teen