Blog Tour: When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

Today I'm celebrating the upcoming release of When She Reigns, the final book in Jodi Meadows's Fallen Isles trilogy. Scroll down to find out what goodies you can get when you preorder (you still have 5 days!), check out my painted pages tutorial, AND enter the tour giveaway!

When She Reigns (Fallen Isles, #3)

Release Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: young adult fantasy
Status: Book 3 of the Fallen Isles trilogy


The First Dragon

The Great Abandonment has begun. Panic has seized the Fallen Isles, where no one knows which god will rise next. Mira Minkoba believes her dreams hold the secret to bringing an end to the destruction, but in order to save her people, she’ll have to find a legendary treasure: the bones of the first dragon.

The Last Hope

Mira’s desperate search leads the Hopebearer and her friends on a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory: the Algotti Empire itself. The empress is more than willing to help—for an impossible price. And as tensions escalate beneath the shadows of the risen gods, Mira grapples with a terrifying question: What will she have to sacrifice to preserve what she loves?

The explosive finale to Jodi Meadows’s Fallen Isles trilogy is ablaze with sizzling romance and fiery magic as Mira’s fight to save dragons from extinction evolves into a mission to save her world from annihilation.

Preorder Goodies:

What you get: 
A signed When She Reigns bookplate!
When She Reigns dragon stickers!
When She Reigns bookmark!
WWhen She Reigns dragon card!

If you order a book from One More Page, then you get all of the above plus: 
Exclusive 3” round sticker designed by Hey Atlas Creative (will arrive with your book)
A signed, personalized, and stamped edition

How you get it:
  1. Preorder When She Reigns.
  2. Forward the receipt to (Feel free to delete any personal information you don’t want me to see).
  3. Make sure to include your address at the top of the email — and write it out exactly as it needs to be to write it on an envelope. International readers, this is you especially since I don’t always know where the line breaks should be!
  4. If you order multiple books, then you get multiples of all the things! Just be sure to tell Jodi at the top of your email.
  5. Supplies are limited, especially the exclusive! 
  6. Offer ends 11:59 pm Eastern, September 9, 2019. 
  7. And yes, this giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.

Painted Edges Tutorial:
By now, everyone should know that I am a Big Fan of books with colored pages. I have a rather extensive collection of books that I've purchased, and I maintain a list of (mostly YA) books that have been published with them. However, a lot of these books are rare-ish special editions that come in book subscription boxes or are published in the UK (or frequently both of these things). It requires a lot of privilege to purchase subscription boxes on a regular basis and even more to purchase books and boxes from the UK because of the exchange rate and international shipping.

Additionally, so few books are published with this gorgeous feature, which is a darn shame. I have a ton of books in my personal collection that would look stunning with a little something extra so I recently decided to take up book painting as another bookish hobby. It's super easy, doesn't cost much, and it's really fun to boot!

(Links are not affiliate. These are just what I personally bought to get started.)

Brushes - I like the variety this set offers: big brushes to cover a lot of area at once and small brushes for detail work.
Acrylic paint - Again, a lot of variety in this set. Gorgeous colors that I can mix and match with books, plus large bottles of black and white to help with color mixing to create fun custom shades.
Palette & mixing knives - With the small paint pots in the paint set that cover a literal rainbow, this is a little bit extra, but for this project I did mix my colors, and these were SO helpful.
Aluminum foil - for protection
Books - obviously (cannot have deckled edges, obviously)
Music, audiobook, podcast, movie - something to listen to, but nothing that will take your attention away from the task at hand

Step 1: Protect your book!

I've tried a few different things now, and they all work decently well so YMMV. I bought a roll of painter's tape, but that worked best with a sleek case cover (think Illuminae). I tested it on a regular paper case cover, which is what most books use, and the tape pulled up a tiny section. Washi tape may be gentle enough, but I feel like it's too expensive to use for this project. Instead, I like to make a dust jacket out of other material. I've used newspaper, but that requires extra taping, it's not paint-proof, and it isn't very reusable. So a couple other ideas I've had include aluminum foil, plastic grocery bags, and plastic wrap.

For this project, I tried out aluminum foil, and I like it so much, I may never experiment with plastic bags or wrap. Pros of aluminum foil: it's reusable (I used the same sheet with both books, and it's still in good condition), it's paint-proof, it's easily manipulated, and once folded, it stays in place. Cons of aluminum foil: it tears on the corners and can be a little bulky on the top and bottom. I recommend putting the edge inside the book and rolling the foil around the back to try to give it a little... well, give, but I still wound up with torn corners. However, even with exposed corners, the paint didn't come anywhere near the book itself so it wasn't really a problem. As for the bulky issue, just make sure you pinch it as tightly as possibly around the edges so you can get the block of pages as flush with the case cover as possible.

Step 2: Mix your paint
I HIGHLY recommend that the first book you try to paint, you do one color without mixing so you can get a sense of how much paint you'll actually use. Another reason I like the set of paints is that I didn't have to waste paint by pouring it onto the palette; I could just dip my brush straight into the little pots. But for Before She Ignites and As She Ascends, I needed to mix custom colors to match Mira's dresses on the cover. It worked very well for BSI, and I had just the right amount of paint, but I underestimated for ASA. I ran out on the bottom edge, which meant I quickly had to mix up a teensy bit more. But I didn't get the ratios 100% correct so there are a few patches where the color is slightly off (thank goodness it's the bottom!). So my best advice is, if you're mixing make a little more than you think you'll need!

For Before She Ignites, I used a medium and light pink and a medium orange to get the peachy shade of Mira's dress and flower crown.

For As She Ascends, I mixed a shade more like the darker part of Mira's dress than the light. It came out a little on the blue side, but the finished product is *kisses fingers*.

Step 3: Squeeze the book
Some tutorials talk about putting your book flat on a table and placing heavy objects like a giant stack of books on top. I don't really like that because 1. I don't have a good table to work on, and 2. I don't like the precarious nature of a giant stack of books or the lack of maneuverability. But you DO need to get the pages close together to make a smoother painting surface and prevent paint from leaking down onto the actual pages. I have opted to simply squeeze the books with my hand, and it's worked so far, with minimal seepage. However, that wears out my hand, AND it won't work for books that are much thicker than the Fallen Isles trilogy. My next investment for this hobby will be clamps to do the work for me, but I'll need to do some research first so I don't hurt the books. Broken/bent case covers are the WORST. Much worse than a little paint on the pages.

Step 4: Paint the top
Take a deep breath and pull a Nike: just do it. Start big. Cover big sections of your pages using the biggest brush you have. I tend to go down the middle first, and then I go back and do the sides. Try to really spread the paint in one stroke first, rather than glop it all in one place and the spread around. Also, go with the "grain" of the pages, rather than perpendicular to it. Since I'm a righty, I squeeze the book in my left hand (see above) and paint to the right, toward the open end, shifting my hand for each section (to cover the white section, I moved my hand so it was squeezing from the top, rather than from the spine). 

Once you have the first side mostly done with the big brush, go back with the smaller brushes for detail work. I use a small angled brush to get close to the binding and for various missed spots in the middle of the section or on the sides and a teeny tiny pointed brush to get the paint into the corners.

Step 5: Separate your pages
Acrylic paint dries pretty quickly so I recommend doing this step after painting each side. Your book will be USELESS as a book if the pages are painted shut. And if you take too long to separate, you're gonna rip pages. This step is honestly one of the most necessary, and yes, I recommend flipping each page individually. You may want to have a wipe or napkin or paper towel handy to clean off your fingers if you have any paint on them.

Steps 6-9: Repeat on side and bottom
After the top, move on to the right and bottom sides of the book. Broad paint with big brush, details with smaller brushes, separate pages. It's frustrating to page through a 400+ page book 3 times, but my paint dried really fast. Before She Ignites was especially tricky on the second separation, and that was after only a minute or two. I never use the wet side to flip through, and by the time I got to the third side, the top was good and dry so I used it as my hand hold.

Step 10: Clean up
Just to make sure any paint on the inside of the pages dries without sticking, I like to rest the book on the top or bottom and open it, spreading out the pages. This will ensure everything is good and dry when it's time to put the dust jacket back on and put the book on the shelf. I also clean up my area and rinse out my brushes, making sure they're nice and clean for my next project.

Final Product

I am SO happy with how these two came out, and I can't wait for my copy of When She Reigns to arrive next week so I can paint it to match. Obviously it is going to have a lovely pinky-lavender to match Mira's final dress. I'll be sure to update when I've finished!

Go forth and paint, my friends, and please share your pics with me on Twitter or Instagram!

Purchase Links:

Tour Schedule:
9/2: Bookcrushin’  | Review & Reading Guide
9/3: Smada’s Book Smack  | Guest Post
9/4: Mary Had A Little Book Blog  | Painted Edges Tutorial
9/5: The YA Book Traveler | Style Guide
9/6: Alexa Loves Books | Booklook, gift guide or dragon themed post
9/7: Moonlight Rendezvous | Review and Spotlight
9/8: YA and Wine | Guest Post

About the Author:

Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the Incarnate TrilogyThe Orphan Queen duology, and The Fallen Isles trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and a coauthor of My Lady Jane and My Plain Jane (HarperTeen). Visit her at website:

Author Links:


Win a custom enamel pin & $25 Amazon Gift Card! Open internationally.


  1. Such a cool tutorial! I am always so afraid to paint my books (or anything really! I'm not all that creative). Thanks for sharing and I hope you enjoy the last book!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    1. I am sooooo not creative, but this gave me a fun creative-ish outlet! I definitely recommend giving it a try at least once.

  2. This turned out amazingly! Your colors match the colors so well. I saw on Twitter that you were talking about trying it out and I'm glad to see that it worked. Thanks for taking the time to give all of us this tutorial!

    Mari @ Musings of a (Book) Girl