Christina’s New Cover

gilded-fan_frontToday I’m very pleased to be able to share with you the cover for my next Choc Lit novel, The Gilded Fan – I’m really thrilled with this one and love the Oriental feel of it, which was exactly what I wanted!

Seeing a new cover for the first time is very exciting and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of that part of the publishing process. I love watching it take shape, from the original ideas, through several draft concepts, to the final polished result.

The Gilded Fan is the sequel to The Scarlet Kimono, and I think it’s especially important to get the cover right when a novel belongs together with another book (or books). They need to be different, but still similar, and in this case, I think the cover artist has succeeded in doing that superbly. Hope you agree!

Here is the blurb:-

How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?

It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?

Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?

During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…

thescarletkimono_frontsmallerThe Gilded Fan – coming February 2013

Wonderful Wednesday: Sarah’s official cover…Choc Lit’s ‘Twilight’

On this rather Wonderful Wednesday, I can share with you the official cover for No such thing as…immortality. Needless to say, I love it!

No such thing as...immortality. Choc Lit's 'Twilight'

No such thing as...immortality. Choc Lit's 'Twilight'

You may note a ‘Twilight-esque’ feel to the design. That’s for good reason. No such thing as…immortality is to be promoted as Choc Lit’s Twilight.

  • As told entirely from the hero’s perspective ― this is vampire, Nathaniel Gray’s story
  • British
  • For grown women

Controversial? Quite possibly, but these days, any powerful first person love story featuring a vampire is likely to attract comparisons with Twilight, no matter the plot or the characters. We therefore decided to embrace such comparisions, particularly as the white rose on the cover couldn’t be more perfect for Nate’s story.

So Choc Lit, the home of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s, 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and best New Comer awards (well done again Jane and Evonne!) will now be home to a grown-up and very British, Twilight.

Thank you Choc Lit for having the faith in me and the book to market it this way. And thank you Berni Stevens for the perfect cover. How excited and squealy am I?  And look! That’s my name on there…*squeeeeeeel*

Henri’s first EVER book cover!

up-close_v2-newp-resized-30-percent

I think I just fell in love… with my book cover!

When I wrote Up Close, I pictured the characters in my head, their feelings, the things they did, places they went, and all these thoughts featured heavily when I was imagining what the cover of my book would look like. Or, to be perfectly honest, when I was fantasising about how it would look…

So I was surprised when I saw the first visuals from Choc Lit, because it was nothing like I’d imagined. It made me realise that, although I’d dreamt about covers a lot, it was all very vague, just something to do with the Norfolk coast where the novel is set.

But the cover made me go “Wow!”, and I take my hat off to the talented cover artist who was able to put this author’s nebulous thoughts into a visual format. It can’t have been an easy task.

I love the colours, the contrast between the dark foreground and the grey-blue winter sky, the rickety groyne leading into the unknown and creating a sense of distance in the image. And I love the lone sea gull perched on a post, haughtily surveying its kingdom: the untamed nature in this corner of the country.

The brooding atmosphere with the curling mist speaks of secrets yet to be revealed and hints at hidden dangers. And for both Lia and Aidan there are plenty of secrets and dangers to do battle with.

The best thing, of course, is that it has my name on it. Nothing can quite describe how I felt when I saw my name in print, and the knowledge that my first novel containing my words and my imagination will soon be on display for all to see and read if they want to (a scary thought, actually…).

So, in December I’ll be up close with Up Close (sorry, couldn’t resist!) when I finally get to hold the physical book in my hands. Can’t wait!

Jane Lovering – a Cover Story

All right, I know you’ve all heard me banging on about my lovely covers, and now you’ve seen Margaret and Kate’s lovely covers too, but yesterday I received my Lovely Cover in person! Advance copies of my books were sitting on my doorstep when I arrived home from a tedious visit to my daughter’s orthodontist. (Oh, it’s all right, my daughter was with me, it wasn’t like a personal call or anything). But having to visit a hospital with your teeth is a pretty awful way of spending the day before Christmas Eve, and the arrival of the books made everything better.

Shiny! Stars! Colours!

And now I am really even more looking forward to February the First (release date, for anyone not keeping up)!.

And now I shall leave you with a picture of my face after unpacking said books, and my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

I'm not usually this pink.  It was cold.  But look at the lovely book!

I'm not usually this pink. It was cold. But look at the lovely book!

Kate Johnson’s incredibly exciting Christmas present

Up until now, my most exciting ever present was a pair of kittens (to clarify, they didn’t come in a box; I got a card saying We Owe You One Cat from my parents. I bargained them up to two). Now, no disrespect to said kittens, but I think they might have a challenger.

I’ve just been sent the cover for The Untied Kingdom. Behold!

The Untied Kingdom cover

It’s absolutely perfect, from the tattered flag to the bleak landscape. I love the light and dark, and the detailing around the title. And I really love that the couple are shown in silhouette, so you’re not coloured by anyone else’s vision of how they look before you read the book.

And because it’s Christmas, I’ll share a picture of my other best ever present (I didn’t mean it, cats, I love you just as much as the new book cover!).

Sugar & Spike making first contact

What’s the best present you’ve ever received?

Margaret James – a gorgeous bunch of Roses!

roses-004-31No, not the chocolate kind (although they’re pretty delicious – I have always loved the dark orange creams), nor the flowers (although I have a garden full of them, Jacques Cartier and Margaret Merrill being my all time favourites). Today, I’m celebrating the arrival of my author copies of The Silver Locket, and admiring the beautiful cover which features my heroine, Rose.

By some amazing fluke of serendipity, those clever people at Choc Lit chanced upon the perfect image of Rose, and when I saw the photograph I recognised my heroine straight away. There could be nothing and no one else on that cover, which is just perfection. The silver swirly bits pick up on the title, and the sepia background is exactly right for the time when the novel is set – during the First World War, which disrupted and changed the lives of millions all over the globe, forcing some of them (including Rose) to make some very difficult choices.

The book is published on 1 November, and I can’t wait to see it in the shops!

Jane Lovering on Covering Up

dressesChoosing a cover for Please Don’t Stop the Music has been rather like trying to choose myself the perfect party dress. I want to advertise what’s inside without giving too much away, whilst looking tastefully eye-catching. After all, no one wants a cover which is the allegorical equivalent of a tank top, do they?

This is all proving very difficult. Choc Lit have provided me with lots of lovely images and choosing between them has been harder than making a single selection from designer rails on a 50% off day. I want to be daring, yet discreet, give little hints as to what lies within and yet not have my entire metaphorical chest hanging out. The colours must be right too, not too gaudy and not too plain, eye-catching, but without giving the impression that style has triumphed over substance.

dressWe’re nearly there. I’ve riffled through the hangers and we’ve got the selection down to a mere handful of images, any one of which I would be proud to display, and now comes the hard bit – coming up with the one that will strut up the shelf-catwalks, turning heads as it goes …

Margaret James – The Silver Locket

So exciting – the cover of The Silver Locket has been finalised, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The heroine looks exactly as I’d imagined Rose Courtenay to be.  She’s even wearing a silver locket round her neck, so that’s perfect.

The locket is a gift from the hero Alex Denham, who is as irresistible as the best dark chocolate – very intense, but with a delicious, perfect sweetness.

TheSilverLocket:Layout 1

Gorgeous cover

Want to Know a Secret?

I have been enthusiastic about all of my Choc Lit covers but this one – hot off the designer’s computer – has a little extra spark. Don’t you think? I love it.

Everyone at Choc Lit pays a lot of attention to the detail of their covers so this one has been flicking through cyberspace between the designer, Choc Lit and me for the past four weeks or so. The font has been pink, yellow and purple, the flying seeds have been moving around and the dragonflies have been several shapes and sizes.

And, in the end, it’s a gorgeous jacket with a lot of individualism and, hopefully, even more pickupability.

I did an event in Teddington, yesterday, which went well. The librarians had to bring in extra chairs. It meant I spent most of the day in one train or another but I had a couple of Georgette Heyer books with me: The Nonesuch and Faro’s Daughter. All time comfort reads.

And it was nice to see All That Mullarkey for sale in WHS on the stations! You can read the Prologue and Chapter 1 here, for free.

Tomorrow I’m doing a charity event at The Shop, Gold Street, Kettering, in support of local school for those with learning difficulties, Wrenn Spinney.