Cover Reveal: The House In Poplar Wood by K.E. Ormsbee

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Kathrym Ormsbee is one of my very favourite people on this planet, so any opportunity I have to work with her or welcome her to the blog is essentially the makings for the Best Day Ever. You can therefore imagine my excitement when Kathryn recently reached out to ask if I would help host the exclusive cover reveal for her forthcoming middle grade novel, The House in Poplar Wood! Coming to a bookstore and library near you August 28th 2018 from Chronicle Books, The House in Poplar Wood is a standalone middle grade fantasy novel that tells the story of the Vickery twins, whose family have made a very usual arrangement – to only leave the house once a year, on Halloween, and to spend the rest of the year serving Memory and Death – until one girl’s equally usual bargain promises to change life as they know it forever. The cover of The House in Poplar Wood was designed by Amelia Mack and illustrated by The Brothers Hilts. Please read on to learn more about The House in Poplar Wood including an exclusive cover reveal, a special note from the author (including an exclusive sneak peek at the book’s soundtrack!) and a chance to win an advance reader copy of the novel from Chronicle Books!


About K.E. Ormsbee

Kathryn (K.E.) Ormsbee writes books in Austin, Texas. She is the Young Adult author of The Great Unknowable End (Simon & Schuster, 2019), Tash Hearts Tolstoy (S&S), and Lucky Few (S&S), and the Middle Grade author of The House In Poplar Wood (Chronicle, Fall 2018) and The Water and The Wild series (Chronicle). She likes clothes from the 60s, music from the 70s, and movies from the 80s. She is from the 90s.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

In late 2013, the story that would become The House in Poplar Wood first took shape in my mind. It was inspired by a deliciously creepy tale by the Brothers Grimm, entitled “Godfather Death”, and it was influenced in equal parts by my lifelong love of autumn, tales of personified Death, and Appalachia.

I couldn’t know then, when I first put pen to paper, that I was embarking on a five-year journey. The path to this book’s publication has been a long and winding one, much like the forested trail that leads to the house in Poplar Wood. I wouldn’t have it any other way, because over all that time, The House in Poplar Wood became a story that holds a tremendously special place in my heart. I’m thrilled for readers to finally meet Felix and Lee Vickery, Gretchen Whipple, and the many other mysterious characters who live in the fictional town of Boone Ridge, Tennessee.

Within these pages, you’ll find a murder mystery, a Halloween bonfire, memories kept in mason jars, and even a magical St. Bernard. And the best part is that Poplar Wood comes out just in time for this year’s fall season. Is it a book to read during a late-night thunderstorm, while snuggled up by the fireside, a mug of hot cider in hand? Yes, it is.

I am enchanted by the work of the Brothers Hilts (check out more of their art on their website!). They’ve perfectly captured the eerie, autumnal mood of the story, as well as the mystery that surrounds the titular house in Poplar Wood. Amelia Mack, designer extraordinaire, has made this book absolutely shine. I cannot wait for readers to see the hardcover in person.

Over the five years that I was writing and revising this book, one constant in the process was the music I listened to. Below are a few selections from my Poplar Wood soundtrack. I hope you enjoy!

Selections from The House in Poplar Wood Soundtrack

“Perennials” – Widowspeak
Can’t you hear the October wind blowing? The fire crackling? The leaves skittering?

“All Souls Night” – Loreena McKennitt
No one captures the magic of autumn quite like the legendary Loreena McKennitt.

“Somewhere” – Pascal Pinon
A song for Lee and Felix’s cursed parents, Vick and Judith Vickery.

“The Plains / Bitter Dancer” – Fleet Foxes
Oh, Fleet Foxes. They are my go-to listening for this book. This song especially captures the mysterious and often treacherous landscape of Boone Ridge.

“Long & Lost” – Florence + the Machine
Both longing and loss are ever-present themes of this story.

“To Build a Home” – The Cinematic Orchestra and Patrick Watson
Poplar House, the home of the Vickery twins, plays an important role in each of the main character’s journeys. I’ve always imagined these lyrics from Felix’s perspective.



Title The House in Poplar Wood
Author K.E. Ormsbee
Pages 440 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre Fantasy
Publication Date August 28th 2018 by Chronicle Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comBarnes & NobleIndieboundThe Book Depository

For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, they’ve only ever been able to leave the house together once a year, on Halloween. The rest of the year, Lee and his mother serve Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement.

But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the murder of local girl Essie Hasting, she’ll help them break the Agreement. The more the three investigate, however, the more they realize that something’s gone terribly wrong in their town. Death is on the loose, and if history repeats itself, Essie’s might not be the last murder in Poplar Wood.

Simultaneously heartwarming and delightfully spooky, The House In Poplar Wood is the story about a boy’s desire to be free, a girl’s desire to make a difference, and a family’s desire to be together again.

As an extra, exciting bonus, Chronicle Books have been kind enough to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to win an advance reader copy of The House In Poplar Wood! One winner will be chosen at random at the conclusion of the giveaway and the prize will be distributed by Chronicle when ARCs become available. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

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