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Cover reveal — The Secret Daughter

Thanks to all of you who played the jigsaw game and saw the cover for The Secret Daughter. For those who didn’t play, or couldn’t, or didn’t have the time, here it is in full.

My editor and the Berkley Art Dept and I went through several cover designs and the final version was tweaked several times. I’m very grateful for their patience, but covers are so important, especially now that the market is flooded with books and most people buy on line. But I’m very happy with the final result. It’s so pretty, don’t you think?

I’ll tell you more about the story later — it comes out on Christmas Eve 2024, and though it’s not a Christmas story, as such, there is a Christmas scene in it.

You can pre-order The Secret Daughter. I love preordering books because often I’ll forget to order the latest book by some author I love unless I’m reminded of it by a random comment on FB or by a friend. But if I preorder a book, it just arrives on my e-book reader as a lovely surprise.

In the meantime, you can preorder The Heiress’s Daughter, which comes out on May 21st. It’s Clarissa’s story and you’ll meet the heroine of The Secret Daughter in that book.

I’ll be talking more about The Heiress’s Daughter as the publication date comes closer.

I also have some special offers  for people in North America, the UK and some great prices for some of my audio books. Stay tuned. I’ll also be putting them in my newsletter. (Have you signed up for it? The link is here.)

Another special

I have another BookBub special sale coming up.

Between September  22 and Sept 29,  THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING will be priced  at $1.99 (normally $6.99) . Make sure you check the price before you buy, as not all e-book retailers get the reduced price up at the same time.

I’m telling you ahead of time in the hope that this blog will be emailed to you in time for you to get the special. I don’t control when the blog gets sent — it’s an algorithm that decides, not me. <g>

The best way to be reminded of my BookBub specials is to go to this site, and click on FOLLOW (the red button beside my name.) Then you’ll get an email every time one of my books is offered at a reduced price.

Another way to get reminded of a new release is to follow me on Amazon, which you can do by clicking this link and then clicking on FOLLOW.

THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING has one of my all time favorite covers. The earlier covers in that series were really disappointing, but my editor at the time was not a cover person. However this time, the actual publisher (a person, not a company) took an interest in my books after meeting me at a conference in the USA, and I suddenly got this spectacular cover with the most beautiful bride dress. I nearly wept with gratitude.
If you click on the amazon link, and then run your cursor over the cover image, you will see what I mean. Even the texture of the lace is visible. (I actually patted that cover when the paperbacks arrived, as you could feel the pattern of the lace.)

I also loved the story. I’ll post some more information about the book later.

You can buy The Accidental Wedding from these e-book sellers: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple, Kobo, or click on this link for your favorite e-book retailer.



Choosing a Cover

Today’s post is inspired by an email from a long time reader who said: 

I am reading The Laird’s Bride, and enjoying it but wanted to tell you the cover is fantastic. The girl on the cover matches the girl in the story. Thank you.

That comment made me smile. So often I’ve had covers where any resemblance to the character(s) in the book is a nice surprise. I’m not talking about my headless heroine’s covers either, though I always liked them because at least they didn’t NOT resemble the heroine in the book. <g>

The reason the cover matches the girl in The Laird’s Bride is because the book is self-published, which means I communicated directly with the cover designer (Kim Killion). I told her exactly what I wanted — the girl, the castle in the background, and so on. I sent her some images  to give her an idea, but of course she didn’t use any of them because they were all licensed. They were just for inspiration.

She sent me a draft, and then we tweaked it a bit until I was happy. Some of the things we tweaked was the color of the shawl and the girl’s eyes  — if you’ve read the story you’ll know the significance of that— the color of her hair, the water in the background and the overall mood of the story — I didn’t want it looking too gloomy. I also didn’t want it looking medieval, because so many Scottish stories are set in that time, whereas The Laird’s Bride is set in the early 1800’s.

This kind of direct communication can only happen because with self-publishing, I am in charge.  With my other books, published by Berkley, I’m part of a chain of communication. I explain to the editor what I’d like on the cover — a description of the heroine and hero (though heroes never seem to make it onto my covers) and suggestions for what the heroine is wearing.  I also attach some location images. 

She passes it on, but from then on it’s more of a group decision — the Art Dept and the Marketing Dept  and who knows who else. And they decide what they think would work best. I’ve given up hoping for those covers to fit the story in the way The Laird’s Bride (and also my self-published Christmas Bride novella) did, but they’re almost always pretty covers that will appeal to readers, so I’m happy.

Quite often, as they did with The Heiress’s Daughter, they give me the choice of two covers. This time it was a very difficult choice to make. One cover was the one you see below (which was the one in the jigsaw — thanks to all those who tried it).  In the other the cover girl was wearing a dress that was more accurate in Regency terms, but it wasn’t as lively a scene. (Sorry, but I can’t show you that cover.) So I chose the livelier cover with the slightly more modern style of bride dress.

(And by the way, you, the readers of this blog, are the first people to see the cover. I’ll be sending out a newsletter later today with it, and then at the end of the week I’ll post it on social media and after that Berkley will share it. So thank you for subscribing to this blog.

What do you think of the cover? 
And did you try the jigsaw puzzle? Did you enjoy it or did you give up?