Exclusive: Check out the awesome new cover art for Sarah Kuhn's new book Heroine's Journey

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Mar 22, 2018

I have always loved superheroines—when I was a kid, my favorite thing was to pretend I was Asian Princess Leia Who Could Shoot Fire Out Of Her Hands.

Now I write a series of novels called Heroine Complex. Princess Leia’s not involved, but they do star Asian-American superheroines, and at least one of those superheroines does shoot fire out of her hands. My heroines also save the world from demonic cupcakes, get entangled in swoony romances, and bond through their shared love of junk food and karaoke. I often wish I could go back in time and share all this with kid me.

Today, however, adult me is beyond stoked to reveal the cover of the third novel in the series, Heroine’s Journey—as well as some exciting news about the future of these books.

Let’s get to the news first: I am absolutely thrilled to share that the Heroine Complex series will continue beyond Book 3! The awesome people at DAW Books have acquired three more full-length novels and an e-novella, which means I get to write even more supernatural San Francisco-set adventures for mild-mannered fire-wielder Evie Tanaka, diva telekinetic Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang), and problem-child emotional projectionist Bea Tanaka. And the e-novella, which will be released in July 2019 and serve as a bridge between the two trilogies, shines a spotlight on a character many readers have asked for more of: Lucy Valdez, Team Tanaka/Jupiter’s charismatic fight trainer and weapons expert (who also happens to be a vintage fashion plate and the most badass person in San Francisco without superpowers).

Now let’s look at that gorgeous cover for Heroine’s Journey, which comes out this July. Jason Chan, the brilliant artist who did the covers for the first two books (Heroine Complex and Heroine Worship), always perfectly captures the fun, energetic tone of the series and the vibrant personalities of its heroines. The star of Heroine’s Journey is Bea Tanaka—who readers will remember as the tempestuous younger sister of Evie, the protagonist of the first book. Even though Bea’s no longer the bratty teen she was in the first two novels, she’s definitely getting into all kinds of trouble with her powers of emotional projection. I love how well Jason captured her playful, impish spirit—as well as her distinctive look, which she describes in the book as “cartoon character in a state of goth rebellion.” Everything from the mermaid hair to the dramatic lipstick to the devilish gleam in her eyes is exactly as I pictured when I was writing her.

There are a lot of other fun things going on with this cover. Fire! Punching! Evie and Aveda fighting an army of porcelain unicorns! (Sorry, you’ll have to read the book to learn what that’s all about.) 

And yes, there’s a cute dog. Fans of the wonderful Los Angeles-based all-romance bookstore The Ripped Bodice will notice this dog bears an uncanny resemblance to their adorable resident pup, Fitzwilliam Waffles, and that’s no accident. I wrote most of Heroine’s Journey sitting on the beautiful pink couch at The Ripped Bodice, and Fitz provided key inspiration for a very heroic new character named Pancake. (Special thanks to Fitz’s amazing moms, Bea and Leah Koch, for being so enthusiastic about his likeness being used in this manner.)

I also love that Jason managed to get all three of the series’ heroines on this cover—no matter how many times I look at it, it makes me very emotional to see these three very different, very powerful Asian-American superheroines battling the forces of evil side by side. I am so excited to continue their adventures—and so grateful to everyone at DAW (especially my editors, Betsy Wollheim and Katie Hoffman) and to all the amazing readers who showed up for these books and made it possible.

And if you’d like to know more about all the trouble Bea’s getting into in Heroine’s Journey, here’s the official blurb!

The third book in the smart, snarky, and action-packed Heroine series completes the “Heroic Trio” as Bea Tanaka joins her sister, Evie, and diva Aveda Jupiter in their quest to free San Francisco from its demon portal problem

If there’s one thing Beatrice Tanaka never wanted to be, it’s normal. But somehow, her life has unfolded as a series of “should haves.” Her powers of emotional projection should have made her one of the most formidable superheroes of all time. And she should have been allowed to join her older sister Evie as a full-fledged protector of San Francisco, pulverizing the city’s plethora of demon threats. 

But Evie and her superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter, insist on seeing Bea as the impulsive, tempestuous teenager she used to be–even though she’s now a responsible adult. And that means Bea is currently living a thoroughly normal life. She works as a bookstore lackey, hangs out with best friends Sam Fujikawa and Leah Kim, and calms her workplace’s more difficult customers. Sure, she’s not technically supposed to be playing with people’s mental states. But given the mundanity of her existence, who can blame her? 

When a mysterious being starts communicating with Bea, hinting at an evil that’s about to overtake the city, she seizes the opportunity, hoping to turn her “should haves” into the fabulous heroic life she’s always wanted. But gaining that life may mean sacrificing everything–and everyone–she holds dear…