Cover Reveal and Interview: Rip Tide by Colleen McKeegan

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Are you ready to be one of the first to get an exclusive look at Colleen McKeegan’s Rip Tide? This suspenseful novel follows two sisters whose homecoming is marred by the appearance of a dead body. As secrets from their past threaten to resurface, they must grapple with who they used to be and who they are now. We Are Bookish has an exclusive reveal of the cover, but first, read our interview with the author. Then head over to NetGalley to request your copy!

 

From the author of The Wild One, a heartfelt and suspenseful novel about two sisters returning to their childhood beachfront home who are forced to confront their traumatic past when a body washes ashore.

Told in fast-paced, dual timelines, Rip Tide is a steamy, tension-filled tale of suspense about family, friendships broken and repaired, young love lost and rekindled, forgiveness and second chances, taking control of your life, and the dangerous decisions we make when blinded by desire.

It’s been fifteen years since Kimmy Devine promised herself she’d never move back to Rocky Cape, the idyllic South Jersey beach town where she grew up. She doesn’t want to relive the crushing heartbreak and scandal that ravaged her world as a teen. Her younger sister Erin shares those feelings, the wounds she caused so many years ago forever binding her and Kimmy.

As the sisters celebrate their homecoming at their parents’ yacht club, a handful of familiar faces arrive to dampen the revelry. The next morning, a body is found floating nearby and long-buried secrets from their adolescence begin to emerge. Someone from the sisters’ past, it seems, is out for revenge.

 

Tell us about your book cover! What was the cover design process like for you?

I’m biased, but Rip Tide’s cover is such a stunner. The Harper art team perfectly captured the story’s shoreside setting and focus on sisterhood, while hinting at the layers of betrayal amid its pages. In terms of the process: I sent my editor a memo with links to a few paintings that reflected my vision for the mood of the book. I liked the idea of cover art with painterly vibes, echoing the watery world of Rip Tide’s sunny setting with an undertone that not all is perfect in their little beach town. I also wanted to make sure the cover didn’t feel too much like that of a thriller: Rip Tide is plenty suspenseful, but it’s ultimately a story about desire, loyalty, and two sisters losing themselves in their late teens only to re-find themselves in their early 30s. We had a bit of back-and-forth to make sure the final design captured all of that… And obviously, the art team knocked it out of the park.

 

What inspired you to write Rip Tide?

In some ways, the foundation for Rip Tide has been percolating in my head since my early 20s. I knew I wanted to one day write a book exploring the intensity, passion, delusion, and heartbreak that often define teenhood and shape you into the adult you become. The form of that story wasn’t clear to me for another ten years—when I had enough distance from that period of my own and my friends’ lives to really reflect on what I wanted to say. That’s how Rip Tide morphed into a novel about family, sisterhood, and all the complex ways you hurt and help and love one another throughout the various stages of your life—set in a small South Jersey beach town where the past is always trying to lure its residents back in. I wrote the book I wanted to read, which is the best writing advice I’ve ever been given, and I hope it’s a book many others will enjoy reading, too!

 

In three words, what can readers expect from Rip Tide?

I completely agree with Carola Lovering’s (very kind!) blurb on the cover: “nostalgic, steamy, and utterly addictive.”

 

Cover design is constantly changing and evolving. Is there a current trend in covers that you enjoy? What do you think is the secret to a good book cover?

Oh gosh, there are so many gorgeous covers out there it’s hard to narrow in on a specific trend. I’m personally drawn to illustrated covers that make you do a double take, whether that’s through a gorgeous painting with bold, contrasting display copy, or minimalist art that immediately makes you want to ask a zillion questions. All to say, I am far from an expert on design—so, in my opinion, the singular secret to a good book cover is a brilliant art director. 

 

What books do you recommend we pick up while we wait for Rip Tide to hit shelves on August 13, 2024?

A few I’m so excited for that come out this winter: Come and Get It by Kiley Reid; Love, Me by Jessica Saunders; Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander; Bye, Baby by Carola Lovering; The Hunter by Tana French; Memory Piece by Lisa Ko; and The Divorcées by Rowan Beaird.

Now, let’s get our first peek at Rip Tide!

Illustrator: Stephanie Shafer
Art Direction: Joanne O’Neill

Here’s the official summary for Rip Tide:


From the author of The Wild One, a heartfelt and suspenseful novel about two sisters returning to their childhood beachfront home who are forced to confront their traumatic past when a body washes ashore. 

Told in fast-paced, dual timelines, Rip Tide is a steamy, tension-filled tale of suspense about family, friendships broken and repaired, young love lost and rekindled, forgiveness and second chances, taking control of your life, and the dangerous decisions we make when blinded by desire.

It’s been fifteen years since Kimmy Devine promised herself she’d never move back to Rocky Cape, the idyllic South Jersey beach town where she grew up. She doesn’t want to relive the crushing heartbreak and scandal that ravaged her world as a teen. Her younger sister Erin shares those feelings, the wounds she caused so many years ago forever binding her and Kimmy.

As the sisters celebrate their homecoming at their parents’ yacht club, a handful of familiar faces arrive to dampen the revelry. The next morning, a body is found floating nearby and long-buried secrets from their adolescence begin to emerge. Someone from the sisters’ past, it seems, is out for revenge.

Colleen McKeegan is an author and editor whose work has appeared in The Cut, Elle, Bustle, Glamour, Fortune, and Marie Claire, where it was nominated for a National Magazine Award. A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Georgetown University, Colleen now lives with her family in New York. Her debut novel, The Wild One, is out now and her second novel, Rip Tide, will be published by Harper in 2024.

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Stuff Your Shelves

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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