My 2013 Book

I know you guys have been exceedingly patient. :-) And now it all pays off. The title of my Fall 2013 book (the project I’ve called frockalicious, the one formerly code-named PIMP) is:

Across a Star-Swept Sea


Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

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Questions? Comments? I know you have some. Leave ‘em here and I’ll do a big ol’ FAQ tomorrow.

Posted in star-swept, YA

26 Responses to My 2013 Book

  1. Question: OH EM GEE when can I get my hands on a copy want want want?! Comment: You are some kind of a crazy genius, woman. Scarlet Pimpernell = all time favourite. I have been waiting my whole life for this book!

    • Diana says:

      Thank you, Zoë. It’s one of my favorites, too. And I freely admit that a big motivator with this project was seeing how quickly I could get a “Mary Sue” label slapped on a classic character whose foremost characteristics include good looks, stunning fashion sense, and breathtaking cleverness just by making said character a female.

      • Oh NO, I hadn’t thought of that. So fast it’ll give Goodreads whiplash, I should expect – and how very sad! You are a brave, brave lady. I salute you.

      • Diana says:

        I *welcome* it. I dare them to call her a Mary Sue and reveal the base sexism of the term.

        Funny story: one of my betas was unfamiliar with Pimpernel, so I had to explain in Bruce Wayne terms, which he understood. The Pimpernel is not a Mary Sue. He (or she) is a superhero.

  2. Shanelle says:

    OMG!!!!! Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my favorite books EVER! *hyperventilates*

  3. I feel in love this story when you read the first chapter at Con and I cannot wait til it’s released!

    Although I should be ashamed that as an English major I’ve never read “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. Maybe I should work on that prior to the book coming out?

    • Diana says:

      You COULD (I’ve read them all at this point) but the cool thing about TSP is it’s always been a delightfully multimedia platform. It was actually a play before it was ever a novel. I personally like the 1980s movie version with Jane Seymour and Ian McKellan as the villain best.

      • Well that sounds like all kinds of amazing. I adore Jane Seymour, which may have a lot to do with the fact that I was obsessed with “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”. And who doesn’t love Ian McKellan? Definitely checking for this on Netflix.

  4. This is very exciting news, Diana! And the book sounds like it will be just as (if not more) exciting as FDstS! Now that I finally have your Killer Unicorn books, I am glad I have enough reading material to keep me occupied until AaSSS comes out. :) Congrats!

  5. Angie says:

    It’s going to be brilliant. Cannot wait.

  6. Oh my goodness. This sounds so epically awesome! I can’t wait :)

  7. Cecelia says:

    Could you be more of a genius? Could I be more excited for this book?

    NO ON BOTH COUNTS.

    (daaaaaaaaaaangit, there’s a whole year until Fall 2013)

  8. Linda W says:

    Wow! Sounds great! I loved The Scarlet Pimpernel. Loved For Darkness Shows the Stars by the way.

  9. Yes! The Scarlet Pimpernel in SPACE!

    (totally kidding there in case you couldn’t tell).

    All kidding aside, I’m all in a flutter waiting for this one.

    • Diana says:

      Ha! And, FYI, we were very particular that terrestrial words (like “Sea”) were in the title as well as the cover showing unequivocally that the character was NOT in space, due to all the confusion about FD’s setting.

      Fool y’all once…

  10. PurpleRanger says:

    Obvioiusly, this is set in the same universe as FDSTS. Will AASSS be set in the same time frame? Is New Pacifica a far-distant land that the ARGOS discovers on one of its voyages? In other words, can we expect an appearance by Elliot, Kai, and Ro?

    (Or have I just given you the start of your FAQ — Frequently Anticipated Questions, that is?)

  11. PR’s questions are mine.

    So I had to Google The Scarlet Pimpernel, as I have shamefully never read it. And it sounds AWESOME. How did I miss this brilliant superhero story when I was in college? (Possibly because I was really not into Victorian literature).

    I’m squeeing because this has a little bit of everything you’ve previously written that I’ve loved: the awesome world of FDSTS, the science-y and battle bits of KU, the secret societies of SSG, AND frocks and crime-solving!

    How could this be more awesome?! I love this concept so much. I anticipate a red cover a la FDSTS coming…

    Questions: How far in the distant future is this? You’ve mentioned quite a bit of science – in the FDSTS world, science is basically outlawed, but there’s obviously a ton of science here, from medic Justin to the drug to the genetically engineered sea mink. Will we get a sort of backstory to how the world went from the Reduction to the present day of AaSSS? Also, Kai was genetically modified in FDSTS – are there genetically modified people in AaSSS? Will Wild Poppy/Persis be genetically modified?

    Also, did you by any chance borrow the name Persis from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne series (Persis Selwyn, from the legend that Captain Jim tells Anne about her House of Dreams)?

  12. Christine says:

    Fabulous news! I’ve read the novel before, but I have to say the BBC movies pop up on the netflix queue- especially when it’s time to fold laundry or do the dishes.

  13. PurpleRanger says:

    Okay, I just realized something. Kai? Ro? This wasn’t an obscure GL reference, was it?

    • Diana says:

      I have no idea what GL is, so no. ;-)

      Kai is sometimes taken to mean “sea” which I thought was a good fit for my sea captain hero, and Ro was a one syllable name that didn’t sounds like anyone else’s and that I thought was cute and fitting for her (the Tomorrow part was pure serendipity.)

      • PurpleRanger says:

        Obviously, this was so obscure a reference that I’m the only one who made this particular connection.

        First things first. GL = Green Lantern.

        And I was flashing back the Green Lantern segments of the 1960s SUPERMAN-AQUAMAN HOUR. In those cartoons, Green Lantern had a blue-skinned alien sidekick named Kairo. Go to Youtube, and type “green lantern filmation” in the search box if you’re curious enough.

  14. Alexa says:

    So excited! This is going to be amazing!

    I also have a feeling I am going to LOVE the seamink, the new Bonecrusher :)

  15. JoLee says:

    Another awesome premise! And I love the title.

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