Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

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  • Let’s Talk the Tiger’s Dream Cover

    January 31, 2018

    I know you’ve been waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and Tiger’s Dream is finally just around the corner. So, on this blog post, I’m going to try to answer a few non-spoilery types of questions and talk about the brilliant cover too!

    First of all…Why The Wait?

    This is a fairly easy answer. My first imprint, Splinter, who published the rest of the tiger series, closed. What that means is, they are no longer purchasing new material to print. They are, however, still in the business of printing the other tiger books and continue to hold the rights to the series in the United States and Canada which made finishing the series doubly difficult. No other publisher wanted to pick up the last book in a series when someone else owned the others. Believe me when I say I tried. I really did. That left me with one option, self-publishing, which explains the cost of the paperback as well as why there isn’t a hardback, but I digress. That’s another blog post.

    Now the self-publishing of Tiger’s Dream is only true in the United States. In Brazil, China, and other countries that have purchased the tiger books, Tiger’s Dream will be printed in the usual manner.

    That explains the printing part, but now comes the waiting part. Because I signed a new contract with Delacorte to write the Reawakened series, I had to negotiate time between books to write Tiger’s Dream. It’s a slightly scary prospect for an author to begin an over 200,000 word project without a publisher attached. To that, all I have to say is…



    I ended up writing Tiger’s Dream between Reunited and The Lantern’s Ember. Since The Lantern’s Ember is still being released at the one year mark from Reunited, you can be certain that I rarely slept in 2016 or 2017.


    This means that while Ren and Kishan were my first loves, I finished Amon’s, Asten’s, and Ahmose’s series first. Hey there, that’s five swoonworthy young men. They would make the world’s most awesome boy band, don’t you think?

    Moving on…

    What’s Up With the Tiger’s Dream Cover?

    Funny you should ask. As you know, most of my covers don’t have actual people on the cover. The only ones that do are Tiger’s Promise and Tiger’s Dream. And there’s a reason for that which I’ll talk more about below. Of all my books, I have been able to choose the cover for three of them, Tiger’s Promise, Tiger’s Dream, and Reignited.


    Reignited was easy. I just had it matched to the other books in the series and told them to do a cool eyes, the goddesses at the bottom, and then chose the color palette. One really cool thing about the Reawakened covers is that the color of either the title or my name at the top indicates the color of the next book released in the series. This is a really pretty set when you look at all the covers.


    With Tiger’s Promise, I couldn’t put a magical creature on the cover since there weren’t any in the book. Except koi. There are koi fish on the cover, but not in a prominent place. Who’d pick up a book with a gaping mouthed koi fish on the cover? Besides, the story wasn’t about the koi, who make a comeback appearance in Tiger’s Dream by the way, it was about Yesubai. It felt wrong not to put her on the cover.

    Since the publisher, Splinter, wanted to focus on the eyes with each cover, I thought it fitting to emphasize Yesubai’s eyes. If you want to read more about the Tiger’s Promise cover and the symbolism behind it, you can read the BLOG POST I wrote about it a few years ago.

    When it came time to sketch out the Tiger’s Dream cover, I went back to the artist who did all the other tiger books, Cliff Nielsen. I told him about the book and he came up with some really cool designs.

    Early Designs for the Tiger’s Dream Cover

    We knew we wanted to match the other books so the first thing we came up with was a cover featuring Fanindra. I love the idea of that and seeing her on the cover would have been extremely beautiful. Ultimately I passed on that one since the book isn’t really about Fanindra even though Tiger’s Dream does explain Fanindra’s origins and does spotlight her in a cool way.

    The next cover image sprung entirely from Cliff’s imagination. I have spent far too many moments studying this piece and it is a work of art. I would have LOVED to have a finished image to keep in my collection. It’s a mashup of Fanindra and Kishan’s tiger side. It’s amazing! It was my hubby’s favorite and it was so hard saying no to this one.

    Finally, we took a look at Cliff’s drawing with people on the cover. Why people, you might wonder, instead of tigers? Firstly, I already have books with tigers on the covers. Also, I wanted to show readers that the curse has been broken, that they finally get to be men. Additionally, I wanted this book to be something very different from the rest.

    I chose this drawing and ended up with this amazing cover!

    Okay, But What About Those Models?

    You all have been asking me for years about who was my inspiration for Ren and Kishan. You send pictures, links, and pins for me to peruse and I have to tell you all straight up that I have NEVER found anyone, model or actor, who exactly fits the bill. But, because I chose to put Kishan and Anamika on the cover, I had to look through pages of models. I know. You’re thinking poor me! Yes, it’s one of the perks of the job. It’s research, I tell my hubby. Research! Now, move along. (Hubby narrows brows and backs away slowly)

    Now, where were we. Ah, models. So these two. Gorgeous, aren’t they? Once I described the characters of Kishan and Anamika, Cliff sent me a group of about twelve to fifteen male models to look through and both of us were immediately drawn to Sharif Dean. I believe Cliff put it best when he said that Sharif had the smolder. I agreed. It’s true that Sharif is Armenian/Italian and not Indian/Chinese but he was absolutely the best choice in the group.

    Here’s the picture that made me a believer. It was the arms…the abs…gah! No, I mean the eyes. Seriously, it was the eyes in the shot of him below in the white shirt. They were like my black tiger’s eyes staring back at me.

    And for those of you coming to the pre-launch party, you’ll get to meet him!

    You can follow Sharif on Twitter @Shar_Dean or check out his model profile on Model Mayhem.



    Anamika was much easier. There were several beautiful Indian women to choose from but I chose Ayushi Chhabra. She’s not only lovely but she seems to radiate power and confidence. A bit like Wonder Woman, I suppose.

    You can follow Ayushi on Instagram @ayushi_mehr or check out her model profile on Brand Model and Talent.

    What’s on the Cover?

    To help, I’ve made you a graphic to explain all the cool things about the cover.

    To tell you more is to give away too much of the book. Ooh except one I forgot. The light surrounding the amulet, just behind the sword symbolizes the theme for this book. I’ll give you a hint. Curse was the earth book, Quest was air, Voyage was water, and Destiny was fire. In Indian mythology there are five elements. You can look it up if you like. Also, if you recall, there were five pillars in the first temple Ren and Kelsey went to in Tiger’s Curse. One had been destroyed. A reread of the series is highly recommended before you start reading Tiger’s Dream.

    There you have it. If you have more questions regarding the Tiger’s Dream cover, you can either leave a comment on the blog post or you can ask on the

    Tiger’s Dream Q & A on Goodreads.

    Happy Reading!




    This entry was posted in Tiger's Dream.

    52 Responses to Let’s Talk the Tiger’s Dream Cover

    1. Stacia Harden says:

      I don’t know if you remember, but, I asked a question as to why Durga was confused about the giant shark and looked to Mr. Kadam in confusion. You answered my question saying it will be revealed in this book why she was confused. Is that still the case? That has always been the one thing that confused me haha. I’m also super excited for the last book, I love you series and have read it over 20 times!!! Thank you for all your hard work!!!!

    2. Olivia Chambers says:

      I love all of the symbolism put into every cover! I think that Tiger’s Dream and Tiger’s Promis are my favorite covers.

    3. Karisten Deem says:

      Sorry not a question, I’m just so thrilled your final book is being released and wish you were closer to Florida for the release party! Not to worry, I preordered online 🙂 Thank you for all your hard work, I have reread your series so many times!

    4. Andréanne Moquin-Bissonnette says:

      I was wondering when the book would be available in canada? Because this is my favorite serie and I just can’t wait!

    5. Sarah says:

      Since Tiger’s Dream is being self published, will we be able to buy from places like Barnes and Noble or is it strictly available buying online from Amazon?

    6. Marcus says:

      I AM VERY, VERY ANSIOUS, to read this book! I’m happy for all of your work on this cover, although I like the idea where we would have Fanindra and Kishan in the form of tiger on the cover.
      I am that Brazilian fan of yours that I have to present a replica of Gada at the launch of Reawakened in Brazil. Thanks for writing this book, Colleen! <3

    7. Diana Johnson says:

      What will Tigers Dream be about? Is it an ending to the fourth book or does it talk about everybody’s backgrounds a bit more? By the way I loved your series and I have been waiting 3 years for this book, and I am so excited!

      • I’ve been a bit quiet as to what Tiger’s Dream is about, but you can read the cover copy on my website or Goodreads. On my website, just go to the home page and scroll down until you see Tiger’s Dream, then you can read the copy.

    8. Varia Biban says:

      Will tigers dream be released in australia/internationally on March 20th as well? And will they be released in stores?
      I calculated how much it would cost me to buy it from amazon US, and it cost $50, and that’s ridiculous, despite my love for the series!

      • Hi Vaira, I checked and they only have the ebook available at this time. However, you should be able to order Tiger’s Dream the print version from The Book Depository. They ship any book worldwide for free. I’ve used them before and they do a good job. You just have to wait until the book is available which will be March 20th since they don’t do preorders.

    9. Caryn Johnson says:

      I am a little worried from reading the description of Tiger’s Dream because Ren is not mentioned at all and I know that is most likely for a reason. As soon as I heard this book was coming out, I became nervous and excited. So much that butterflies appeared in my stomach and I know I’m going to be taken through another whirlwind of emotions. Thank you for self publishing this book for your fans. I absolutely love your writing. I hope with this book that I might actually start to like Anamika. I didn’t like her in book four because she came in between Kelsey and Ren even though both of them made it easy for her. Thank you again!

      • I think you’ll really get to know Anamika and what makes her the way she is. Ren IS in the book. In fact, all the characters are in Tiger’s Dream, some in a very surprising way.

    10. Aricka Q says:

      I’m so excited!! I will admit in the beginning I was a little hesitant with the whole humans on the cover idea, but looking at it longer, hearing the explanation behind it, and seeing all the other ideas, I really like it! (though that Kishan and fanindra one was AWESOME!) I am a little sad though… the series is finally gonna be over :’D (happy sad tears) but aside all that, I am incredibility grateful that you put in all this hard work to make this happen! Thank you 🙂

    11. Natashia Young says:

      I just finished the book and I cried and cried. However, I am so happy the book comes full circle and that Kishan gets his time to shine (even though he can be thick headed). I really didn’t like Anamika when she was first introduced, but this book has made me come to love her.

      Amazing job all around. All my questions from the previous books were answered and it really couldn’t have had a better, more thorough ending. But as with all endings comes a saddness… I am happy though as I re-read the series I have more understanding as to why things happen they way they do.

      My question is… Did you know how thing were going to end from the begining? Or did it naturally progress into a circle?

      You are one of my favorite Authors!

      Much love,


      • Hi Natashia, so glad you loved it. I’m so happy to finally be able to finish this series the way I intended. I knew, yes but I didn’t know ALL the details. You can see as you read through the series that I left little clues here and there that came together finally in the end.

    12. Alita Cronwell says:

      I like the first and second pre-covers. Fanindra would have been amazing as the cover or Kishan and Finindra… I honestly think the last one kind of looks weird. All of the other covers have animals on them, Ren in Tiger form, Kishan in Tiger form, the dragon, the phoenix… And the last being of humans? It doesn’t fit… that’s my opinion anyway, but hey, I digress.

    13. mahala says:

      Hey, Colleen! I just wanted to say, i fell in love with the series whenever i was in middle school. i immediately asked my mom to purchase all the books so i could have them all. i am now 17 and today i finished reading the fourth book for the third time! i cried like a baby just as i did every other time. i am so, so excited to start reading this one. i’ve waited and waited. my life will be COMPLETE when the movie comes out. i cannot wait!! thank you so much for writing this series. it has truly blessed my life.

    14. Ally says:

      Hello Colleen Houck. I love the Tiger’s Curse Saga and hopefully will read the Lanter’s Ember soon. I have the first book actually signed by you and I got my mom hooked on the series as soon as she got done with the first book she asked me for the second book. Plus I rant on and on to my husband when i get riled up. I am a big fan of Kishan and can’t wait to see how things work out for him. I have question though. I have looked for both Tiger’s Dream and Tiger’s Promise in the hardcover since I have the whole series in hardcover and I love the impression sin the corners of the books. Will they come in hard cover soon?

    15. David says:

      At 70 I guess I still believe in happy ever after. How in the world could
      Kishan think that Ren stole his girl, and why not just leave it there. Ren
      and Kelsey are married and happy. The letter from Kishan said he had
      found love. I really enjoyed this series, but why not just let everyone
      ride into the sunset?

    16. Alyssa Holmes says:

      I happened upon Tiger’s Dream about a week ago, when trying to search for new material to read on Goodreads which I used once. Years ago. When I put that I had read all of the other Tiger’s Curse saga, Tiger’s Dream was suggested. I was confused. Then bewildered. Then overjoyed! I was a little disappointed when I saw it wasn’t being printed in hardcover, but c’est la vie. I’d rather have it in paperback than not at all! Can’t wait for this to show up on my doorstep. In the mean time, looks like it’s time to reread the Tiger’s Curse saga… Keep up the fantastic work, Colleen! Your books are a joy to devour

    17. Kelsey says:

      Hi, I just finished reading Tiger’s Dream and it was amazing. I’m a little confused though, how exactly was Kelsey in trouble? I’m just not quite understanding why Kishan had to go back in time and fix all of the events that happened in the previous books.

      Much love, this series is definitely a favorite.

      • Hi Kelsey, excellent question. Well, here’s the thing, if Kishan hadn’t gone back to when Kelsey was a teen, she would have died. If she had died, she couldn’t have met Ren and helped to defeat Lokesh. He wasn’t really “fixing” all the events, he was setting everything in motion, including the curse. In fact, if he hadn’t done all those things, he would never have been born. It’s a little complicated. Time paradox always is…=)

    18. Inês says:

      Hi, i really love this serie but unfortunately in portugal (where i live)
      they did not publish the last 3 books so i was thinking buying them in english do you recomend some site in special? im really exited to finish this serie i love your work and congrats.

      • Hi Ines, I would try the Brazilian edition in Portuguese. If you have access to Amazon, you should be able to order them there. Otherwise you can get an English version through The Book Depository. They ship worldwide for free.

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    Author Bio
    Colleen Houck
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.