Cover Reveal: A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity

I love cover reveals, especially the ones in which I get to participate. The marvelous Nicole Valentine, whom you remember from this guest post, is back with the cover of her middle grade science fiction novel, A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity (Carolrhoda Books/Lerner) due out October 1. Nicole is represented by Linda Epstein.

Take a good look. Drink in the greatness.

Now, let’s talk to Nicole.

El Space: For quick facts about yourself?
Nicole: I love falconry and want to train my own hawk or falcon someday.
I am a technologist and author, but I also used to design cross stitch samplers! They were from the vantage point of famous classic characters in classic literature.
I also knit and I used to be the Chief Technology Officer of a site called which was great because I got free yarn.
All our family pets have literary names, Merlin, Arthur, Tink, and Pickwick.

El Space: Oh man! Wish I could get free yarn! Now, let’s talk about that cover. It is fabulous! So colorful! I also loved your first cover reveal at MG Book Village. How long did it take you to write this debut novel? What made you stick with this story?
Nicole: It’s so hard to say how long it took. I’ve been writing this novel on and off for years and the novel has changed many times. The first seed of the idea came to me when I was just a teenager. I didn’t start writing it in earnest till I went to VCFA where I met you! Almost all of the stories I have came to me when I was younger or are built on ideas from the past. Everyone should hold on to their journals!

A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity is about a very practical, science-loving boy who discovers all the women in his family can time travel. I have been fascinated with time travel since I was a child and this story explores not just the adventurous side of being able to travel in time, but all the emotional and moral conflicts that would arise. I describe it as A Time Traveler’s Wife meets Tuck Everlasting. While there is plenty of page-turning adventure inside, it is also a heartfelt story about family and loss.


El Space: What expectations, if any, did you have about the cover? What elements did you hope to see? Who is responsible for the cover design and illustration?
Nicole: I was hoping that the artist would not give the main characters a certain look that would color the reader’s perception. I know when I was a kid I liked to picture the characters for myself. I was thrilled when this was the route that Alice Brereton took. She also goes by the name Pickled Alice. I’ve yet to meet her, but I’d love to thank her.

El Space: What was your response to seeing the cover for the first time?
Nicole: I was thrilled at how it jumped off the page and hopefully it will jump off the shelves come October too! It captures the magic and the mystery of the book really well.

You can pre-order A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity now from Indiebound, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. But one of you will receive a pre-order of the book just for commenting. Winner to be announced on April 2 (rather than April 1, lest you think this is an April Fools Day prank). (I will not have a post next week, by the way.)

The official book synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Finn is used to people in his family disappearing. His twin sister, Faith, drowned when they were three years old. A few months ago, his mom abandoned him and his dad with no explanation. He clings to the concrete facts in his physics books and to his best friend, Gabi to cope with his sadness. But when his grandmother tells him the family secret: that all the women in their family are Travelers, he realizes he has to put his trust in something bigger than logic to save his Mom.

Looking for Nicole? You can find her at her website,, Twitter, and Instagram.

A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity book cover and author photo courtesy of Nicole Valentine. Other covers from Goodreads. Hawk from

49 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity

  1. I can understand your interest in falconry, Nicole. Recently, I watched a replay of H is for Hawk on PBS, it was fascinating. Congratulations on your latest release, the cover is fabulous!

  2. Your cover reaches out with a hug … see that extended arm … brava!
    I’m interested in covers, having just released my own this month. But back to your cover. I’ve read the two books your life path and book topic evoke. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffennegger, my son’s writing teacher when he attended Columbia College, Chicago. Also, I read H for Hawk. Besides Helen Macdonald, you are the only writer I know who’s interested in falconry.

    Magic and mystery – I’m in! I hope I score a win from the pre-order giveaway. Thanks, Nicole – and L. Marie for featuring her! 🙂

  3. This book cover is fascinating and drew me into it. Which is a good thing. I’ll look for Nicole’s book. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of time travel. I think we can blame that on Dr. Who.

  4. Great cover – certain to catch the eye of potential readers! I love the idea of cross-stitch based on classic literature too! Good luck to Nicole with the launch. 😀

    (As usual, L. Marie – please don’t enter me, since I’m a child-free zone… 😉 )

    • Got it! (I usually picture a giant can of repellent with the word Child on it every time you mention that. 😀)

      Yes the premise is compelling! I’d love to see a new generation embracing science fiction as I did when I was a kid.

  5. Drink in the cover – I did! Wow! It’s engaging, colorful, evocative of time travel and well, I like it.
    Both of our daughters were avid readers in school, but, our oldest was especially interested in time travel as a middle schooler, and onward into her life. She especially enjoyed A Time Traveler’s Wife, being a Columbia College/Chicago alum. ) I’m sure both mother and daughter will enjoy this. Good luck, Nicole, and as always, thanks L. Marie.

    • I’m always happy to do so, Penny! It’s nice to know that Audrey has had such an impact on students. 😀

      There’s something about time travel that’s so fascinating to kids (and adults). Have you read To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis?

  6. Great interview and great book cover! Nicole, I’m a knitter too and the idea of getting free yarn is enough to make me do somersaults (in my head anyway). I agree with you about book covers: “I know when I was a kid I liked to picture the characters for myself.” I like to use my imagination, and it puts me off a bit when the model on the book cover doesn’t mesh with the character’s description.

    I love your novel’s concept. It sounds like a story that would be enjoyable for mature readers as well as young adults. I wish you the best of success, Nicole. Thanks for sharing this interview, L. Marie!

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