Friday, September 20, 2013

A Peek Into The Making Of A Book Cover ~ Guest Post & Giveaway by Laura Frantz

Today, I'm thrilled to share with you all a fun guest post done by the one and only Laura Frantz! I hope you enjoy reading it and learning a little bit about what goes on behind the making of a book cover - I know I did. ;)
About the author:
Award-winning historical novelist, Laura Frantz, was born into a family who followed the legendary frontiersman, Daniel Boone, to Kentucky during the turbulent 18th-century and still resides there today. Passionate about all things historical, she writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Celtic themes. Her family lineage is Scottish, English, and Irish. According to Publishers Weekly, "Frantz has done her historical homework." She is known for the depth of her characterization and research. The author is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California.


~A Peek Into The Making Of A Book Cover by Laura Frantz~
I often say cover art is my favorite part of publishing, aside from writing the book, and this is especially true if the cover pops in industry lingo. An unappealing cover can sink a book as much as a stellar cover can sell one. Here’s a peek at the process and some questions readers ask:
*How much say do authors have regarding book covers?
Personally, my publisher asks my input over a year in advance of the book’s release. They want specifics of hero and heroine’s physical characteristics, historic dress, and a brief synopsis of the novel. The cover should reflect the tone of the story – humorous or serious, light or intense, etc. Ever read a book where the cover promised one thing yet the content delivered something else? The right cover delivers what it promises. Marketing teams study cover trends closely, especially bestsellers, and aim for a cover that the entire publishing team and the author are excited about. Sometimes a cover has to be redone, especially if sales and marketing think it doesn’t pop or appeal.
*Who is your current photographer for your new series?
I’m thrilled to have Brandon Hill (http://brandonhillphotos.com/) working on this series, a Seattle photographer who’s turning out more than a few exquisite covers in both general and inspirational markets. He’s a hands-on artist who has a knack for capturing just the right look and the right model for the cover shoot. Before the shoot takes place, he sends a portfolio of  models and dresses for the publisher and author to choose from.
For Love’s Reckoning, the first book in The Ballantyne Legacy series, I was able to select the 18th-century dress and asked that the heroine’s hair be left down as it’s significant to the story itself.
For Love’s Awakening, book 2, the dress was rented from Western Costume in Hollywood, California. Sometimes if the right dress cannot be found, a dress is made for the shoot. A great deal of time and care is taken by hair and make-up artists to achieve the right look in addition to the right wardrobe.
*What do you like best about your current cover? Least?
Love the windblown hairstyle which provides a sense of motion and lifelikeness to the model/heroine and carries over from the first cover. Love the rural setting and the dark clouds which give a subtle warning that this book is not all warm and fuzzy. I’m not a big fan of the dress (just not my style) though it is period appropriate. I especially appreciate the pearls as they’re the ones Ellie Ballantyne wears in the novel. The best part is that this model (Cassandra Dietman) really looks like my heroine and has that same pale, ladylike quality true of genteel women in the 1800s. Last but not least, I really like the embossed font/lettering.
For a closer look at the entire cover shoot please follow this link: http://brandonhillphotos.com/loves-awakening/
*Any cover ideas for the next book in The Ballantyne Legacy series?
Since the next story is set in 1850 Pennsylvania in winter, I’m hoping for a snow scene J. This would be a nice contrast to the seasons of fall and spring on the previous covers. We’ll see what happens!
*Do you have a favorite cover out of your five books so far?
Yes, without hesitation I’d say Love’s Reckoning. It’s lush, evocative, and so true to the heart of the story. It’s also the only cover I have framed and hanging on my office/library wall.

*GIVEAWAY QUESTION for Love’s Awakening:
What current book covers “pop” for you as a reader in the general or inspirational markets?
Giveaway details: Enter to win a copy of Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz! Winner can choose a print or eBook copy. Giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. Giveaway ends 9/29.
How to enter: Comment below this post with your answer to the giveaway question (above), but be sure to sign into the Rafflecopter form below (it might take a moment to load) and click “enter” on the mandatory entry (commenting) and each optional entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

All photography, photo illustrations and cover design by Seattle commercial photographer, Brandon Hill.

Connect with Laura at:

95 comments:

  1. I really like the cover for Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson and The Letters by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I like the prominent heroine in front and then a darker background showing the setting.

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  2. A fairly recent book cover that "popped" to me was Kristen Heitzmann's "The Breath of Dawn". The color palette of dusty blues, pale pinks, and lightest oranges really meshed to create a dreamy effect. Also, I think the lady on the cover matched her character well - her expression conveys a sense of surprise and mystery, fitting to the storyline.

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  3. If a cover has a character on it, I prefer that the face isn't shown so I can better imagine what I think they look like based on the author's description.

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  4. Such a fun look into the world of book covers! I am totally a book cover girl! When I find covers I love I can't stop looking at the book just to see the pretty cover! As for what pops I am a complete sucker for the girl in a pretty dress covers! When they are done right they just make the most beautiful covers. So needless to say I'm a huge fan of The Ballantyne Legacy covers! For some specific new release covers I like I'd say Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund, Stranded by Dani Pettrey, and Made to Last by Melissa Tagg!

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  5. Currently, the book cover to Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund pops out to me.
    Great book, too! :)
    amyc

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  6. I love Jody Hedlund's new cover. What appeals to me is the artistry of the time period and the costumes of the characters.

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  7. Her Wicked Angel by Felicity Heaton, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, and Seer by Patrick O'Sheen all have very eye catching covers.

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  8. Enjoyed the interview, thank you, Laura and Melanie! Reading Love's Awakening now and savoring every page. :-) (I'm a big Laura fan.)

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

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  9. I prefer covers that don't show the characters faces. I like far away shots or shots from the back. Then I can come up with my own idea of how the character looks.

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  10. Honestly, Love's Reckoning is one of the prettiest I've seen, along with Sixty Acres and a Bride (Regina Jennings) and The Rose of Winslow Street (Elizabeth Camden).

    In the secular market, Patricia A McKillip's cover artist for her most of fantasy novels, Kinuko Craft, paints incredibly intricate and beautiful covers.

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  11. I love the book covers that reflect the charater of the book and give a little hint as to what the book will be about.

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  12. I think some of the most eye-catching books I have seen recently have to be Elizabeth Camden's "The Lady of Bolton Hill" and Dani Pettrey's "Submerged." Both are bright, bold, and fit with the time period. They give you insight to the book and fit the story well. Both are extremely talented actors and I'm so glad they've had success with their books.

    Mrs. Frantz, I agrees with you that cover is important. There are many good books with poor or mediocre covers. For instance, Rosanna M. White is one of my favorite fiction authors. Her books are beyond wonderful. She is so talented. However, while some of her covers are good, some could be changed/revised to fit the book and her level of skill better.

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  13. Thanks so much for coming by for the insights and giveaway!

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  14. Melanie, Thanks so much for the great giveaway and celebration here! Thrilled to be among these wonderful authors you're hosted. Happy reading to you and everyone!

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  15. I would really love to win, thank you for a chance, Shirley Blanchard
    jcisforme@aol.com

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  16. Thanks for having Laura talk about her book covers. She is one of my 'must read' authors. "The Colonel’s Lady" is my favorite book and cover of hers. If someone has not read her books, I HIGHLY recommend them. You will not be disappointed.

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  17. I thin Love's Reckoning is beautiful. They all are but it just caught my eye. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  18. Well, Love's Reckoning definitely pops in my opinion! Other recent reads whose cover drew me in... Trinity by Ronie Kendig, When Jesus Wept by the Thoenes, Against the Tide by Camden, To Whisper Her Name by Alexander, Forsaken Dreams by Tyndall... :)

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  19. Covers definitely make a difference. They catch my eye and then I look at the book and see if it's something I want to read. There are so many to choose from! I love Laura's covers, she has done a great job with all of them. Also Jody Hedlund's cover for Rebellious Heart is really good.

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  20. I loved Irene Hannon's "Trapped" cover. Bold, enticing, hinted at mystery. Perfect for the story. Tamera Alexander's covers are elegant and fit her stories well. I loved Sharlene MacLaren's "Daughters of Jacob Kane" book covers. Not only did they display the beautiful characters, but a did a great job foreshadowing the story line as well.Out of Laura's books, I loved "The Colonel's Lady" and "Love's Reckoning". "Love's Awakening" is beautiful as well. Will definitely win some awards.

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  21. I couldn't agree more with Laura. The book cover is what draws the reader to the book. If the cover is appealing then your curious as to what is inside. I picked up Dani Pettrey's book and found the cover intriguing. She was a new author to me, but by the time I had finished her book I had become a fan. I am looking forward to reading Laura's books. Thank you for giving up a glimpse into Laura's thought process for her books.
    Blessings
    Katrina
    eppersonkatrina@yahoo.com

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  22. I really love Olivia Newport's book covers.

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  23. I love any book covers that have the characters on them. It doesn't matter if the face is shown or not. I am drawn to those for some reason.

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  24. I love the cover of "Forsaken Dreams" by Marylu Tyndall. It also was a great book. There are many other book covers I like that stand out, especially, the historical & Amish books.

    strgth4yu@hotmail.com

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  25. That is SO cool! Thanks for sharing!

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  26. I would have to say, most all, because the cover and the script is the main draw for me when I am looking for books..How about, Cathy Marie Hake and Mary Connealy book covers?..Although it's not a recent one, Stephanie Grace Whitson's Sixteen Brides is
    a good one. Laura, I LOVE your book covers. My current favorite is Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley. Thank you for the giveaway! I would be honored to win..
    Blessings,
    Juli
    emeraldelena@hotmail.com

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  27. This is like asking me who my favorite author is! There are so many great book covers. Three that come to mind are: Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey-so colorful & each one captured the characters & events in the book; The Grand Tour series by Lisa T. Bergren-such rich colors and the characters costumes and the backgrounds are beautiful; The Edge of Freedom series by Elizabeth Ludwig-the covers are rich in color and the characters are fantastic, the covers just shout "this is a very suspenseful book!"
    Debbie
    P.S. I LOVED this interview!!! What a unique idea to talk about what goes into the covers of books!

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  28. I pay more attention to the author than the cover, but I do love the historical novels with period dresses on them.
    Julie Klassen's upcoming release The Dancing Master did catch my eye.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  30. i love book covers that have people, pets ,childremn, and as i read i some times look back at the cover to picture what the people in the book might look like.
    Shirley Blanchard jcisforme@aol.com

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  31. Hi Laura ...happy to see you running around all over, there are so many beautiful covers and they do influence picking up the book to look but then little about the story lets me know if I want to read it on back of cover...
    It happened at the Fair is great cover-loved Maggie Brendan's "Perfectly Matched", now look at Love's Awakening both front and back make my day.
    thanks for sharing once again with the fans
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  32. I love covers with light in them. Like Joanne Bischof's covers where the sunsets are so gorgeous. Or Laura Frantz's where that sunrise is amazing. Or Jody Hedlund's latest, Rebellious Heart, where the candle splashes light onto the cover. :)

    Great question! Thanks for the giveaway!
    rachelle (at) rachellerea (dot) com

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  33. Hey Laura,

    I love looking at all new book covers to see what the story line is. Oh my goodness I have a bunch of book covers that I love. I guess I should name a few. MaryLu Tyndall, Veil of Pearls , Forsaken Dreams, Olivia Newports bleeding heart , Dani Pettrey submerged, shattered, and stranded. And your of course is Loves Reckoning just beautiful. Can't wait to see what your 3 book cover looks like. Keep up the hard work.
    Your friend
    Danielle Walther

    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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  34. Of Laura Frantz's books, I like "The Colonel's Lady" cover the best. Looking forward to reading this new book.

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  35. These book covers are beautiful. Some of my favorites are any of Deeanne Gist books.
    bookwormgal2011(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  36. I like covers where the face is not showing. It makes it easier for me to picture a character the way I want to picture them. I think it's so much more prettier as well.

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  37. I liked Dani Pettrey's covers and Colleen Coble's. Great color and visual appeal.

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  38. I love the covers of Elizabeth Camden's books, especially "The Lady Of Bolton Hill' and 'The Rose of Winslow Street' They are so gorgeous.

    sunshine6892 at hotmail dot com

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  39. I love the covers for books by Dani Pettrey, Irene Hannon, Lisa T. Bergren, Elizabeth Ludwig, and Lynette Eason -- and SO many more that I don't have time to list!

    Great giveaway, thanks!

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  40. I do like both of the cover, however, for me, I would prefer a photo. The author's professional photo on the cover, for example, but she would have to dress with the appropriate time period.

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  41. I really love any cover that focuses on a person's eyes. Those always capture my attention right away.

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  42. I don't have a favorite because there are so many fantastic covers. I really like the final outcome of the cover for Love's Awakening. The pop of light really sets it off. I agree that the costume, make up (or absence of makeup), body language or facial expresion should all reflect the time period. In other words, if the heroine is a God-fearing, church going young lady and she is dressed in provacative clothing with bright heavy makeup, it doesn't fit and I feel like perhaps the artistry and/or story to be suspect.

    I will say that the realm of Christian publishing has come a long way in presenting quality books both in the stories and their appearance.

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  43. Karen Witmeyer book covers POP out every time! And you're right about the cover can save or kill a book-that's the first thing I look at...to see what era the story is about and as I read about the main characters, I'll keep going to the cover to see if they resemble the description. So many times they don't.

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  44. Loved reading about the process of making a book cover, Laura!

    Would be hard to pick just one book cover, however, will say that I am really attracted to the ones with beautiful dresses on them!

    Would love to read your book - thanks, Laura & Melanie for providing the opportunity to win a copy!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)

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  45. I always reach for anything Amish, Western and historical themed that have a hint of the story. The author is one of my deciding factors to. The cover has to draw me in by how it is presented.

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  46. Recent covers I have loved are two by Joanne Bischof--Though My Heart Is Torn and Be Still My Soul.
    Thanks for the behind the scenes look. It was great!
    may_dayzee@yahoo.com

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  47. Recent covers that I love are: The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky, Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof and Fired Up by Mary Connealy.
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  48. I Love the cover of Stranded by Dani Petrey. Laura's book cover at beautiful. I really enjoyed the interview and look at how a cover is designed.
    godblessamerica.jan(at)gmail(dot)com

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  49. I have to agree I love when you don't see the face so you can picture the character however you imagine them... I love historical covers that showcase the dresses they wore!

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  50. What a fun interview! I clicked on the link too and read more about the awesome photo shoot :-)

    I love book covers like "The Fairest Beauty" by Melanie Dickerson. I love seeing pretty dresses <3 what's going on in the background also enhances the picture. I think that's what attracts me to some book covers :-)

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  51. I love the cover on Cindy Woodsmall's For Every Season, Amish Vines and Orchards Book Three. The covers on Tamera Alexander books are stunning.
    I really enjoyed reading about how covers are made.

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  52. I love the book covers for Born To Persuasion by Jessica Dotta and The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate and of course, Love's Awakening.

    Sheri
    hspruitt[at] frontiernet {dot}net

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  53. Love's Awakening cover. I think because I like light in pictures.

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  54. I love the covers of the books and enjoyed the information on what it entails. I guess i never really thought of all it takes.

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  55. Thank you so much, it is interesting seeing the "process". I also have to say, I absolutely love the dress on your new book. I said it wasn't your favorite, but it is what really appeals to me.

    Made to Last by Melissa Tagg
    The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson
    The Invention of Sarah Cummings by Olivia Newport
    The Miner's Lady by Tracie Peterson
    Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd

    Stephanie C.

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  56. "The Healer's Apprentice" by Melanie Dickerson is one of my favorite book covers (and the design of a cupboard in the back cover was a sweet surprise too) ... I'm a sucker for covers with gorgeous historical/period gowns. Melanie Dickerson's next novel (I don't recall the title, but it's based on Cinderella) is also lovely. Other than that, besides many already mentioned, Julie Klassman has consistently lovely covers.

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  57. My favorite covers and the first to catch my eye are just like this book. I love a cover with a women in a beautiful dress. Makes me pause and read what it's about every time.

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  58. Great cover, Laura. I love Brandon Hill's work. His cover for Joseph and the Gospel of the coat of many colors, which will be published Oct 31, is great. Then there is Sarah Sundin's With Every Letter. And Catherine Richmond's Through Rushing Water. Have yet to see a book cover done by Brandon Hill that I didn't like.

    Your published book list is starting to be impressive and I look forward to reading Love's Awakening and many more in the coming years.

    A J
    ajhawkeauthor at aol dot com

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  59. I love those covers - they certainly POP!! I think a design, the color, or even the picture draws my attention.. the prettier to my eye (and the blurb is great) the more likely I will walk out of the store with it

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  60. I like Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage Series covers and also Maggie Brendan's Blue Willow Brides covers. Bright, deep colors or beautiful dresses draw me in! :)

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  61. Hi! I love the covers for Laura's books. But there are so many others I like too...any of Cindy Woodsmall,Dorothy Garlock's,Fannie Flagg...it just depends on the novel and the cover art. The ones that do "Pop" will stick in your mind more and you can recall faster. :)

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  62. Oh my, this is question is too hard to answer. So many covers that I love. I do prefer not leaving the heads off tho. Messes up the pictures for me. I love all three covers of Julie Lessman's books in Winds of Change. Love most all by Murray Pura's..
    Prairie Song and Short Straw Bride by Mona Hodgson, The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis, and Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz is one of my favorites. AND, I love the book "Gone South". Plus so many more. Would love to win.
    MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  63. I love the covers of Lynette Eason's Deadly Reunions series, all of Dani Pettrey's covers, all of Karen Witemeyer's covers, and I could go on and on!
    I also really love the covers of Love's Reckoning and Love's Awakening, one of the things that really bugs me is when is the models on historical book covers look too modern, if that makes sense! :) So I love that the Ballantyne Legacy covers are an amazing, perfectly authentic trip back in time! I have Love's Reckoning but haven't had a chance to read it yet but I hope to soon!!!

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  64. Love Laura Frantz! Her writing is always so poignant and beautiful. I think I like Courting Morrow Little's cover best out of all her books.

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  65. I'm on the Dani Pettrey bandwagon, as far as interesting covers, but I also like some of the historical ones. I love the covers of Deeann Gist's "bride" books (A Bride Most Begrudging, for one).

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  66. One cover that really seemed to pop for me was Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson. I loved the colors and it felt like the book just reached out to me.

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  67. Forsaken Dreams by MaryLu Tyndall. Judge and King by R.J. Larson. All three of the Alaskan Courage books by Dani Pettrey. Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge. The Quarryman's Bride by Tracie Peterson. All of Melanie Dickerson's books including the next one. There are quite a few more but those are the ones I can come up with right off the top of my head.

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  68. The cover that really popped for me was Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck. I loved how they didn't have the heroine's entire face in the photo ~ sometimes that detracts from a book for me. Even if I love the actual story.

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  69. Covers that pop out to me are ones with a great landscape. It helps me to imagine the where it's taking place as I read.

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  70. I love historical fiction covers. I think my favorite of hers is Love's Reckoning. It reminds me of the movie The Last of the Mohicans. Some recent historical fiction covers I adore are Lisa T. Bergren's Grand Tour series. I love gorgeous dresses on covers - like The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott.

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  71. Sharon Richmond BryantSeptember 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Enter me this book looks great!!
    Sharon Richmond Bryant
    Conway,SC.
    sharonruth126@gmail.com

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  72. I really like the covers for Dani Pettrey's books and Elizabeth Camden's.

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  73. I love the covers on Karen Witemeyer's books for the touch of humor, Siri Mitchell's are elegant and I like the wistful, loveliness on Julie Klassen's, The Tutor's Daughter.

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  74. I like covers with a romantic feel to it. Those covers up above are beautiful because they are warm and romantic. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  75. I love Courting Morrow Little's cover and I also love all of Elizabeth Camden's book covers.

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  76. One that caught my attention was The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd. I'm a sucker for castle looking houses and I really like the color of her gown. It looks really good against the beige of the lane and the green of the grass.

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  77. I'm anxious to read The Governess of Highland Hall. I think it is rich looking with the red clothing. Also a little mysterious

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  78. I like the cover in Prairie Song and another I like is the cover for Goodness and Mercy

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  79. I loved the book cover for "The Selection". Any cover with a stunning ball gown catches my eye!

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  80. I love the cover of Jody Hedlund's "A Noble Groom" Of course, the male model is easy to look at but I love the blowing cravat, it adds some whimsy. I also like Marylu Tyndall's "Forsaken Dreams" cover, it already sets a tone for the book.

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  81. Intriguing. Definitely adding to my "to read" list.

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  82. Hmmm... that's kind of hard! :) First of all, I must say that I love Love's Reckoning and Love's Awakening's covers, they are gorgeous! I also think MaryLu Tyndall's Elusive Hope is very beautiful. And Anne Elisabeth Stengl's covers are incredible with their mystic and detail. Although I can think of others, I'll end with Lisa Tawn Bergren's Glamorous Illusions, absolutely lovely cover! :)
    And as I say every time... I can't wait to read Love's Awakening!! I am so intrigued! :)
    Thanks for this... -Shantelle

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  83. Just like this book, I like the cover to show the main character for 2 reasons. 1: It tells me what era and setting the story is and 2: I like to envision the main character in my mind while reading.

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  84. There are a huge variety. Mostly the ones whose cover or title stimulates my curiosity.

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  85. The Wedding Gift. I don't like to see characters faces either.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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  86. ones with bright colors

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  87. I tend to gravitate to books with modern sleek graphic covers. But then I always notice the title as well...

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  88. I tend to gravitate to books with bright modern graphics. And I always notice the title as well....

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  89. i am not picky about the covers, i read what the book is about to decide if it sounds like something interesting to me

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  90. I love book covers, especially the ones that catch your eye and portray the correct genre while giving a hint of what the story is about. Karen Witemeyer and Jody Hedlund's latest ones come to mind...

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  91. I love historical fiction book covers. A couple of my recent favorites are: The Dancing Master and The Fairest Beauty.

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  92. I love covers for historical fiction. Usually the cover catches my eye and then I check the reader reviews. some of my recent favorites: The Fairest Beauty and the Dancing Master.

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