Covering Boston to San Francisco - Julie Lessman Guest Post [GIVEAWAY]

Note: It's my pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite authors, Julie Lessman, as my first guest blogger on The Artist Librarian.  Enjoy this peek into the book cover design process of her "Daughters of Boston" and "The Heart of San Francisco" series and don't forget to check out the giveaway for any of Julie's books at the end of this post! I recently reviewed her latest, Surprised by Love.

"You can’t judge a book by its cover."
— Bo Diddley—

Horse feathers! As much as I respectfully disagree with Mr. Diddley, I just have to say the man knows “diddley” squat about publishing! Not only can you judge a book by its cover, but according to a statistic quoted in Publisher’s Weekly, 12% of people who buy books do so because of the cover. Now 12% may not sound like a lot, but when you figure that 3.13 billion books are sold every year, that’s a LOT of pulp, people!!

First impressions are important, whether valid or not, and the first glimpse of a cover is a first impression to a potential reader. Which is why my covers are so very important to me and why my prayer partners and I have prayed about every single one well in advance.

 So while I was cleaning out my files a few weeks ago, I came across the portfolio shot of the model who posed for Collin McGuire on the cover of A Passion Most Pure, and I thought it might be fun for you to hear some of the background on each of my covers because as high maintenance as I can be, each book cover has been a real trip.

Photo of cover model for Colin McGuire in A Passion Most Pure
Because A Passion Most Pure was my debut book, I had no idea what to expect with the cover process NOR any common sense to know that I was a newbie who needed to keep her mouth shut. Fortunately for me, the artist I work with at my publishing company is one of the sweetest human beings on the planet, and she was kind enough (and patient enough) to work with me to get a cover I was happy with. As an author, initially I send my publisher my character descriptions and personality traits, along with pics of movie stars or models I think they resemble. My publisher actually did two different shoots—the first of the female model, then later another shoot with the male model, which they strip into the first pics for the final cover. So unfortunately for the model who played Faith O’Connor, she never got to meet the male model who played Collin McGuire, which in my opinion is a real shame. Especially when you check out the portfolio shot of the model who played Collin. Hubba hubba! 

Initially, the artist sent me pix of Faith with her hair long and a pretty, lacy top that was a bit off-shoulder and showed a lot of her back and neck. “Oh, no,” I said to my artist, “Faith’s hair looks like a prairie romance, and this is 1916 Boston we’re talking about here, so can we put her hair up?” Yes, we could and did, much to my relief. “Can you make the hair a little redder and the eyes a little greener?” I asked. No problem. Then they gave Faith a high-neck dress, which I thought worked a lot better—more chaste and proper for a modest young Bostonian. And FYI, in the pics with Faith, keep in mind they used some guy on the set to stand in for Collin for placement purposes only. So far, so good, right?

Photos of A Passion Most Pure Cover Concepts
And then the tears began. The artist sent me a pic of the Collin model with a namby-pamby, almost weak smile and I started to cry, telling my husband he looked like a wimp. “Do you have any other shots from the shoot?” I asked the artist. “Only one other,” she said, “but Collin looks mad in it, and nobody thought it would work.” “Can I see it?” I asked, hope springing in my chest. And the rest is history. I took one look at the smoldering, moody face of Collin McGuire, the man who was angry because he couldn’t have the woman he wanted, and I knew we’d struck pay dirt.

Photo of cover model to portray Mitch Dennehy in A Passion Redeemed
 On book 2, A Passion Redeemed, it was a real wild ride. Check out the model pic of the guy chosen for Mitch Dennehy, then imagine my shock when the first cover showed him with slicked-down hair like an English dandy. More waterworks, of course, and I begged my artist to “play” with the cover for me, giving stubborn hero more of an iron jaw and an angrier look in the eyes (all my heroes tend to be angry for some reason … maybe because they have to deal with me!). “The hair has got to go,” I said, so I searched on the Internet for 30 minutes for just the right head of hair—blond rumpled curls instead of slicked down, and my artist agreed the changes worked. Did I mention before what a saint my artist is??? Here is a before and after to show you what we did.
Photos of A Passion Redeemed early and final cover versions
Suddenly I zeroed in on Charity and noticed that the very buxom, drop-dead gorgeous vixen named Charity O’Connor was not as buxom as I’d hoped and even less than her sister, Faith, who was supposedly unendowed. So, as a final change to the cover, my artist graciously endowed Charity with a bit more charm as you can clearly see in the before and after.

By book 3, I’d given my poor artist so much grief on the first two books, I made up my mind to accept the cover for A Passion Denied any way they gave it to me, no complaints. And so, despite my utter shock at the model, who looked NOTHING like the Lizzie in my mind, I kept my mouth shut and prayed. And guess what? Right before the cover was finalized, my publisher intervened on her own and said this first model didn’t fit the character image, so she ordered a second shoot and VOILA — Lizzie was born, and I never had to say a word!


For my second series, Winds of Change and the my third series, the Heart of San Francisco, my publisher decided to steer away from having the hero on the cover. They felt it was just too difficult to match a reader’s expectation with a cover picture, so they opted to do without.

Since the Heart of San Francisco series was intended to be lighter and funnier than the O’Connor saga, I suggested some fun options for covers that had a humorous tone.

For book 1, Love at Any Cost, I envisioned the blonde heroine—Texas cowgirl Cassie McClare—in a full-length, off-the-shoulder evening gown with her hair piled high in the Gibson style of the day, looking over her shoulder at the reader with a Mona Lisa smile. Very sweet and elegant, but with a lasso—which is an important part of the story—in her hands behind her back that trails to the floor.

For book 2, Dare to Love Again, originally the ebony-haired heroine Alli McClare wanted to take up boxing because she wanted to learn to defend herself after being attacked one night in the Barbary Coast where she volunteers at a school for the poor. I saw Alli in the same kind of flowing dress as book 1, in full-view stance with head cocked as she looks at the reader with a coy smile, a pair of boxing gloves dangling over her shoulder. In the final book, however, Alli learns jiu-jitsu rather than boxing, a self-defense technique popularized by Teddy Roosevelt who was the U.S. President at the time.

Book 3 [Surprised by Love] is an ugly-duckling-to-swan story about the auburn-haired heroine Megan McClare who wore Coke bottle glasses as a child before she is transformed in Paris while attending school for a year. I thought it would be cute to have Meg holding eyeglasses behind her back or against her lips as she gives the reader an innocent look, once again in full evening dress or even a Gibson style skirt and blouse.

Photo of Laura Frantz' Love's Reckoning book cover
Picture of Love at Any Cost split cover concept
However, my publisher was leaning towards more sophisticated covers that had more of an artistic flare in the posh style of Laura Frantz’s Love’s Reckoning, but I couldn’t get that particular jpg to print, so I’m showing a split cover they did, which they also considered in order to show more of San Francisco.

[Jen: Laura Frantz's book covers are gorgeous!  On the left is the book cover Julie's referring to.  The split cover is interesting, but I do like the final cover style better!]
 
But midstream, they decided to take go back to my idea of a lighter approach with sassy smiles and big hats, which became the gorgeous covers you see below.

 Thanks so much for giving us a peek of your experience with the book cover process, Julie!  As a reader, there have been several times when a book cover depicts a character in a different way than I pictured in my head, so I can only imagine how that would feel for the author herself!  How awesome that the artists were willing to work with you to bring your vision to life. =)

What are some of your favorite book covers and why?  Is there anything that surprised you about Julie's experience with the book cover design process?  Any questions you'd like to ask her?

GIVEAWAY! Julie Lessman has graciously offered a chance to win any of her books (U.S. paperback or e-book available; international: e-book only).  The drawing will be held December 1st, 2014 and the winner will have 72 hours to respond to the email.  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  If you have trouble, contact me and I will enter you manually.


Picture of author Julie Lessman
 JULIE’S BIO:
Award-winning author of “The Daughters of Boston” and “Winds of Change” series, Julie Lessman was American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards. She has also garnered 17 RWA and other awards and made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Her indie book A Light in the Window is an International Digital Awards winner, a 2013 Readers' Crown Award winner, and a 2013 Book Buyers Best Award winner.

Julie loves to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact her and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest or by signing up for her newsletter. Julie also has a blog “Journal Jots,” which is a very laid-back journal to her reader friends, or readers can check out Julie’s favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of her books on the “Excerpts” tab of her website. In addition, Julie can be found daily at The Seekers, a group blog of 13 published authors that inspires, encourages, teaches, and informs aspiring writers on the road to publication and beyond. Although Seekerville has been listed on Writers Digest 2013 and 2014 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” it is also a blog devoted to readers as well.

Picture of A Light in the Window book coverFinally, Julie has the following freebie/sales/low-cost novellas currently going on:

* FREE DOWNLOAD on her debut novel A Passion Most Pure, American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year with over 591 five-star reviews.

* FREE DOWNLOAD ON KINDLE UNLIMITED of Julie’s Irish Christmas love story, A Light in the Window—winner of three awards, and here’s the video to give you a peek—ALITW Video. OR ON SALE FOR $3.99 on regular Amazon.

Picture of Romance-ology 101 book cover
* Only $2.99 each for two brand new Christmas novella collections from the Seekers called Hope for the HolidaysThe historical collection features novellas from Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Myra Johnson, and Ruth Logan Herne, while the contemporary collection features novellas from Marcy Connealy, Mary Connealy, Audra Harders, Sandra Leesmith, Ruth Logan Herne, Tina Radcliffe, and Missy Tippens.

* Calling All Writers!! Julie’s writer’s workbook entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets is on sale for $2.99.

Covering Boston to San Francisco - Julie Lessman Guest Post [GIVEAWAY] Covering Boston to San Francisco - Julie Lessman Guest Post [GIVEAWAY] Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 11/24/2014 12:34:00 AM Rating: 5

161 comments:

  1. It seems to me authors should have great input on their book covers! I too have been really disappointed or confused when the cover model doesn't match the description given in the book...

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Whoops, PATTY ... answered you in the comment below. :|

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. I know what you mean, Patty. It goes the same for accessories or iconic items also. A couple of Star Wars books I read had a character with the wrong colored lightsaber, so my sister and I weren't sure which Jedi she was supposed to be --the one who matched her appearance or the female Jedi who had that color lightsaber. :)

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  2. Hey, PATTY, I totally agree, obviously, given all the saltwater I lost over my first few covers!! ;)

    Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  3. I think my favorite covers are the original ones for the first series. The thrid series covers are good as well. I love the dresses!

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    1. Hey, KATE, thanks for coming by! I actually like having the guys on the cover, although it IS very risky!! My favorite cover of all is A Passion Most Pure for that very reason -- Collin is a hunk who not only sells the book by being on the cover, but he emblazons the exact image for Collin that I had and that readers will carry through six books. :)

      And don't even get me started on those dresses and hats!! The Gibson Girl era is one of my all-time faves for fasion. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      JULIE

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    2. The dresses are amazing --I think that's one of the reasons why I love historicals so much. The fashion! :)

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  4. I always look at book covers and try to envision what the book is really like. Thank you for sharing the creation of your book covers!

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    1. No, RUTH, thank YOU for taking the time to come by and read it!

      When I read a book, I constantly refer back to the cover because like you, I need to "envision" those characters. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. Ruth - learning about the different experiences authors have had with their book cover design and art is one of my favorites! I was so excited to have Julie guest blog on the topic. :)

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  5. So neat to see your cover process on these, Julie! They are all so beautiful! As far as some of my favorite covers... I'm glad you mentioned Love's Reckoning because that one is right up there for me and I love Love at Any Cost. There's something about her stance that's so fresh and vibrant. Mixed with the sun peeking through, it's one of my favorites!

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    1. JOANNE!!! Hey, girl, ALWAYS great to see you, my friend, and YES, Laura's Love's Reckoning definitely ranks right up there as one of my all-time faves too. Thanks for your sweet comment on LAAC, and speaking of faves, I have to admit that Waterbrook did a pretty sensational job on your covers as well, although I do think I love This Quiet Sky best, so you are one talented lady!!

      Hugs and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
      Julie

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    2. Thank you for stopping by, Joanne! I think Laura Frantz also did a blog post on her book cover development for her book series. I really need to find it again ...

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  6. The covers are fun, Julie, but the stories behind them are GREAT!! Thanks for sharing - I'd love to win a print book (I share them w/my 88 year-old MIL who is really into inspirational romance.)

    Gail

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    1. Awesome that you have a reading buddy, Gail! I do that with my mom all the time. =)

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  7. What a fun post! I love your covers, Julie, and it's fascinating to see how much goes into them! Thanks so much for the giveaway! :)

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    1. Thanks, ANNA, and I agree -- it is fascinating all the time and effort and thought that goes into covers. I always took them for granted before, but not anymore. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. Now that I have a tiny bit of experience with Photoshop, I definitely appreciate the effort that goes into all book covers, even the small, indie or self-published ones I don't always care for. :)

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  8. Hi, Julie!
    I am still a "fan" or "reader",as you prefer!!!!
    I have moved from Ohio to Georgia! What a change!
    My favorite cover is the one your husband designed for "A Light in the Window"!!!!!
    I also prefer the first series with the guys!
    I am so glad you are back in the limelight yet love it that you took time for yourself and your Lord! Good for you!
    Take care, dear author friend!

    Many Blessings and Smiles :)
    Charlotte

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    1. Oh, CHARLOTTE, what a sweet comment -- THANK YOU!! A Light in the Window is actually my favorite cover, too, but only because it's a family affair with my hubby designing it and my daughter modeling for it. :)

      Ohio to Georgia does sound like a bit of a culture shock, but I love Georgia!! Have never been to Ohio, so nothing to compare it to, but I'm partial to Georgia because of Gone With the Wind, I guess, and the strong spiritual influence down that way too. :)

      LOL ... well, "limelight" is something I used to enjoy, but since God has adjusted my thinking a wee bit, I'd much rather give the limelight to Him! ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. I agree, Charlotte. While the guys weren't all how I pictured them *coughBradycough* there were some really great ones (like Collin), so I'd say it's worth the risk. ;)

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  9. How very interesting! I'm a digital artist so this is fascinating to me. Of course the author should have full say on the cover - that character exists fully in their mind.
    The cover on a book is very important to me. It makes the character more three dimensional. Kind of introduces you before you start reading. And it gives a hint on the content.
    I do not like the split covers. I appreciate what they're trying to accomplish, but it makes it too busy.
    Nice blog article!!!
    raeray2 at yahoo dot com
    e-books are best for me since we're full time RVers :)

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    1. Ooooo, ROBIN, full-time RVers??? You luck dog!! I suggested that to my hubby, but he's more of a landlubber, I'm afraid, so he wants to put roots down by a lake.

      And you're a digital artist? Do you have a studio of sorts in that RV, I guess? That's pretty darn cool to be able to work wherever you go, which is how it is for us too. My hubby is an artist/designer with lots of computer equipment, but we take it wherever we go, along with my lone laptop, so we can work anywhere, which is soooooo nice, isn't it???

      Anyway, thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest. And e-book it is if you win, my friend. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Robin, that's one thing I wish my undergrad program taught me, digital art! Unfortunately, for studio art, they stayed away from computers, though there was a lot of modern and contemporary "conceptual" ideas.

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  10. Interesting to see the cover process from your perspective, Julie. My personal opinion of book covers has changed over the past few years as I experienced some not-so-great plots due to wonderful covers and some great near missed-reads because of poorly done covers. Instead, I now opt for the back of the book to be my first glance whenever possible. How the story is depicted in one or two short paragraphs says more to me than what a cover might convey. After reading about the time spent on your covers I have to ask, do you find this disappointing?

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    1. Hey, ELLEN, not at all, my friend, because I do the same thing! Yes, the cover draws me, but I always flip the book over to read the back, then open it to read the first page. If the combination of cover, jacket blurb, and first lines grab me, I'll probably read it.

      Trust me, I've read my fair share of bombs with beautiful covers, too, although not as many good books with bad covers because generally a bad cover is indicative of indie book that might not have been proofed or edited any better than the cover has been designed.

      I did judge a book in the Rita once that had a cowboy on the front, but the story was about a dapper Englishman who was a brilliant businessman, so I never quite got the connection because the cover was realllllly stupid and did not do the story justice AT ALL. I actually gave that book high marks, but NOT for the cover. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. Ellen, I also have to read the book summary before I decide. =)

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  11. How fun to read about how your covers came into being, Julie! Makes me feel a little better for being so picky about my own, especially when the cover models don't look anything like I pictured my characters. Sort of what it would be like taking your baby to have pictures made, only when you go to pick them up, you discover they've given you someone else's by mistake.

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    1. MYRA!!! How fun to see you here, my friend, and girl, you have some of THE BEST covers out there, in my opinion!

      LOL about the paby pix -- SOOOO true!! I'll never forget the original model for A Love Surrendered because she was AWFUL!! As you may recall, the heroine is a 17-year-old just turned 18 who looks like she's 15. The first cover my publisher showed me had a gal on the front who looked -- and I'm not joking here -- close to 40 years old or late 30s. I about flipped out on that one (uh, well, actually I did flip out!), but once again, my INCREDIBLE artist at my publisher quickly stripped in another model who was world's better and pretty close to what I had envisioned the heroine to be. But, BOY, what a shocker when I opened that original email ... :)

      Hugs!!
      Julie

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    2. Myra, I've become really attached to book characters as a reader, so I can't imagine what it's like for the authors when the image on your book cover isn't how you've been picturing your characters!

      @Julie - Oh wow! Maybe they thought it was supposed to be Caitlyn on the cover? =)

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  12. I love the cover for Dare to love again! It reminds me of the old Gibson girl photos! Shelia Hall sheliarha64@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, SHELIA -- just another example of my great artist at Revell, who followed the Gibson Girl guidelines I gave her to a T! :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend. :)

      Julie

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    2. I agree Shelia --with a little bit of sass added too. =)

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  13. I commented earlier, but don't think it worked - I really enjoyed this post, Julie. Loved seeing all the great covers, but even better is the story behind them. Thanks for sharing - my 88 year-old mother-in-law reads inspy fiction, so we'd both enjoy your book!

    thanks.

    Gail Kittleson

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    1. Oh, GAIL, don't you just HATE when that happens??? It's happened to me a lot (not here, but elsewhere), and it makes me crazy!! So I'm sorry about that, but at least this one took. :)

      Thanks for sharing my books with your MIL -- that blesses the socks off me AND, I hope off her too, although I don't want her feet to get cold ... ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  14. Hi Julie,
    Love all the cover stories! Now I have one of my own as well!
    Cheers,
    Sue

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    1. SUZI-Q!!! Thanks for coming by, my friend, and YES, you are just embarking on all your cover adventures!! Whether fabulous or fiasco, I'm sure the stories will sells themselves. :)

      Hugs!
      Julie

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    2. Thanks for stopping by Susan and congrats on getting published! =)

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  15. I think my favorite covers are probably the daughters of Boston series. The book cover process is so interesting. I never would have guessed that the couples weren't in the picture together but rather taken separately.

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    1. Hey, MARISA, the process really is a lot of fun, especially when you have a great artist like I do on all my books. She is THE BEST!!

      And, yeah, it's amazing what they can do with covers today, isn't it? I pretty much freaked out when I saw the "stand-in" Collin they used in the pre covers, but my artist assured me I would love the final product and boy, did I!! :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. Marisa - I am constantly amazed at what photo/image manipulation programs can do in the hands of an artist. The Daughters of Boston trilogy are some of my favorites too!

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  16. I guess my favorite cover is A Light in the Window....beautiful! I love all of Julie's books and can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the chance!

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    1. Aw, JACKIE, thanks SO much! That cover is near and dear to my heart since my hubby did it and my daughter is the model, so that blesses me!

      Here's to a win, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  17. How fun! I must confess that the cover plays a rather influential role in which book I pick up. I don't like the split covers either. I wasn't sure whose book covers you were asking that I liked so, here are a few: A Passion Most Pure, Dare to Love Again, Fire By Night, Wind Dancer, All The Tea in China, Gunpowder Tea, Love in Disguise, A Lady of Hidden Intent, Like A Flower in Bloom, Forsaken Dreams.....Anyways, thank you so much for sharing with us!! I love the Gibson Girl era..;) ~ Juli emeraldelena@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh, JULIANNA, you've mentioned some great covers there, my friend, and thank you for including some of mine, too. :)

      I love the Gibson Girl era, too, which is why I'm glad my editor asked me to switch my original time period of early 1930s for Heart of San Fran series, to the early 1900s. It was soooooooo fun to research and write! :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. Nice choices, Julianna! I love historical fiction book covers ... =)

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  18. I love the book covers that have the old dress and hat women on them. Julie's covers are very eye appealing for me. love them..

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    1. ABS!!! Glad you made it here, girl, this is one of my last giveaways of the year, so fingers crossed! :)

      I do think ALL of my covers have been very eye-catching, but I will agree that the Heart of San Fran series covers are pretty cool with those hats, for which I have my editor to thank. I actually didn't want hats originally, but she insisted, and now you see why SHE's the editor and not me! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. When I was putting together the image of The Heart of San Francisco books together, I was struck with how beautiful and cohesive the McClare girls all look with the jewel tone colors and those hats!

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  19. That was really interesting to read. I think that the covers you have chosen for your books suit your characters Julie :) The San Francisco novel covers are my personal favourites :) I love how you used old-fashioned costumes and a beautiful colour palette :)

    Why did you decide to write historical fiction?


    My email is: starlight059@gmail.com

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    1. Hey, STARLIGHT, thank you!!

      Interesting story why I decided to write historical fiction. I started writing A Passion Most Pure at the age of twelve after reading Gone With the Wind and knew immediately I wanted an Irish family coping with a war (like GWTW), but didn’t have the audacity to try another Civil War epic ☺. World War I seemed a good time period because it was 1) unique and seldom done, and 2) far enough from the Victorian era that it wouldn’t restrict me romantically, but close enough to the Roaring Twenties that I could have a moral arena with a choice between being a good girl or bad girl.

      My original 150-page, single-spaced manuscript (begun at the age of twelve) had the settings of Boston and Dublin, so I kept them for A Passion Most Pure. When I began writing it almost 40 years later, I was excited to learn that Boston was considered the heart of Irish America because of its large contingent of immigrants after the potato famine, so it all fit! :)

      And it's been a love affair with historicals ever since, although I am almost finished with my first contemporary, called Isle of Hope, which has been fun to write, too, and WAY less research! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Starlight Starbright, awesome username! I agree with you --the color palette is so vibrant yet subdued ... the tones definitely give their dresses a rich quality to them. Also, wonderful question!

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  20. I do judge a book by the cover and hate it when they model does not look like she or he is described. Glad you took interest in your covers, which is promoting all your hard work. :) Love a great book cover.

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    1. Hey, MARILYN, me too!! I read a book once where the heroine was described as a blond, and she was a brunette on the cover. Whoops! ;)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. Marilyn, I agree --it can throw me out of a story when they do that ...

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  21. Hi, Julie!!

    I love gazing at beautiful book covers!! Love this "behind the scenes" look at the cover selection/making process - thank you!! Who would know more about what the cover should entail than the author, although I realize the publisher and artist, among others, have vital knowledge/input as to what makes up that perfect eye-catching cover that draws readers in and sells books.

    That being said - with the wide number of gifted Christian fiction authors and books available, I primarily read books by authors whose books I love or, know I will love (per recommendations by the authors I know and love), and would probably read them regardless of how the cover looks (if I do buy an unknown, to me, book - yes, it is the cover front that first attracts me, along with the blurb on the back). But I sure do love gazing at them - one of the reasons I insist on buying both the paperback and eBook of the books I love, along with wanting to retain them for rereading.

    I have so many beautiful books/covers in my possession - however, some of my faves are the covers Brandon Hill has done for both you and Laura Frantz, but I have to agree with some of the other commenters in that my very fave cover of yours is probably the one your dear hubby did - "A Light in the Window"!! I was just instantly mesmerized by it!!

    Just keep following His lead in the writing of many more beautiful, heart-warming, entertaining, inspiring, passionate books with your touch of humor, characters who steal my heart, unexpected twists and turns, drama, angst, happy endings - and beautiful covers - and this reader will be continually blessed and grateful!! Love you and each one of your books, Julie!!

    Shared post!!

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    1. Oh, BONNIE, I'm such a goose -- I responded to your comment below instead of here. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Bonnie Roof! I am reading about your right now in Surprised by Love. ;-)

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    3. Bonnie, thanks for stopping by! I know Julie is definitely edified by your words! I know what you mean about book covers. "A Lasting Impression" by Tamara Alexander is one of those books that stopped me in my tracks. The blue dress featured on the cover is gorgeous! I haven't read anything by the author yet, but it's one of those book I want to get to because of the cover ... =)

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  22. BONNIE!!! It always makes my day to see a comment from you, my friend, so thank you for coming by.

    Like you, I will always read my favorite authors regardless of covers, although I do like to repeatedly look at the covers while I read. But there was one cover of a favorite author that dispelled my image of the heroine so badly, that I refused to look at it while I read the book, which in turn robbed me of a tiny bit of the joy I get in devouring a book, cover and all.

    But for all the influence covers have, like people, it's really the inside that counts. :)

    Hugs!!
    Julie

    P.S. Am mailing your bookplates tomorrow, sweet friend, so thank you again for buying my books as gifts for your family. :)

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  23. I admit to being a snob about book covers. It's hard to even want to look inside a book that has a boring cover. I think all of Julie's books have wonderful covers. I'm so glad they didn't go with the split cover on the San Francisco books; it just looks so unnatural. One thing I miss when reading an ebook is being able to look at the cover whenever I want to.
    Thanks for this info from Julie about her book covers and a chance to win one of her books. I need Surprised by Love to complete (for now) my collection.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. LOL, PAM, I'm a bit of a snob, too, I'm afraid. The cover definitely colors how I look at a book, and if the cover doesn't appeal, I probably won't pick it up unless someone has recommended it.

      And I feel the exact same way about ebooks, but I still look at the cover on them as well, it's just not as easy. I wish Kindle would have a tab at the bottom of the screen where you could click to the cover and automatically come back to your place. Instead, you have to click on several tabs to see the cover, and then it's sometimes difficult to get back tot he correct page even when I bookmark it. Sigh. Such problems!! ;)

      Good luck, my friend, and HUGS,
      Julie

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    2. I know what you mean about ebooks, Pam! There are some advantages to ebooks (e.g. a search feature, enlarging the text) but for me, they can't quite replace print copies. =)

      Delete
  24. I have heard authors rarely get much say in their covers. I'm glad you got to speak up for what you wanted! I do prefer to imagine the hero rather than be influenced by a guy on the cover; tastes vary significantly, and the models tend to be hit or miss for me.

    And I have to say, I adore the hats on the Heart of San Francisco books; I have always wanted a giant My Fair Lady-style hat of my own - Meg's would do very nicely!

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    1. LOL, RACHAEL ... me too!! What an elegant era that was, hats and all, and OH, don't even get me started on My Fair Lady -- one of my FAVORITE movies!!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      JULIE

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    2. Oh, Rachael --now that you mention it, the hats are quite reminiscent of My Fair Lady (I love Audrey Hepburn in that one). =)

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  25. I had to pull up my Pinterest so I don't miss any of my absolute favorites. ;) Gotta admit I absolutely LOVE Julie's covers, though! Karen Witemeyer's covers make me smile every time as well - definitely matching the book inside. And Dani Pettrey's for her "Alaskan Courage" series are lovely as well! SO many great covers out there - and yes, I shamelessly judge books by their covers.

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    1. Whoops, CHARITY ... did it again!! Replied to your comment in the wrong space, so look down below for my response. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Charity --Ah, I just got a pintrest and I had to promise myself not to do anything until the semester is over. Karen Witemeyer has some awesome book covers. I tend to like historical fiction covers more, but Dani Pettrey's "Alaskan Courage" series is one of the contemporary ones that stick out to me. I love how united the design feels over all her novels. I just checked out your blog, I'll definitely be following you! =)

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  26. LOL, CHARITY, join the club, darlin' -- we're all guilty! And I agree that Karen's are SO eye-catching and fun, like Deeanne Gist's used to be when she was at Bethany House. It's funny to me how suspense novels like Dani's, Irene's, Sandra Orchards, Pat Bradley, etc. ALL have a similar feeling, kind of like the right bait to catch a fish, you know?

    Thanks for coming by, and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  27. I really liked Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin cover.
    I think your covers are well thought out & so lovely ! ! My e-reader just doesn't do a book cover justice (although it's still pretty)...

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    1. Hey, DEANNA ... I agree, Kristy's book is beautiful! And thank you for your sweet comment about mine -- Revell does a wonderful job! :)

      Oh, don't even get me started on e-book covers ... I agree they're nice, but NOT EVEN CLOSE to a real cover. :)

      Hugs!!
      Julie

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    2. Deanna --I may have to add The Butterfly and the Violin to my "to read" list --thanks for sharing!

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  28. I love all of your covers, Julie! As well as the stories inside them! I think my favorites are the covers of the second series. Having gone through this process myself, I know what you mean when you have preconceived ideas about how the covers "should" be, but then something else comes out that's just as beautiful! :D

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    1. DAWN!!! How are your three babies doing, my friend? ;) I'm talking the two books out ... AND the one that actually crawls! ;)

      It's funny how everybody has a different take on the covers. Most people like the San Fran. or DOB covers (APMP) best, but I agree -- I like WOC covers A LOT, so it's all a matter of taste.

      Hope things are going well, my friend, and GOOD LUCK in the contest. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Dawn, your book covers look lovely! I'll have to add your trilogy to my "to read" list.

      WoC had amazing covers --all of the girls were just as I pictured they'd be. Especially Katie, they got her sass down perfectly. =)

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  29. Julie! I love posts about book covers. And I love all of your covers. Very pretty! And the smoldery-angry Collin was it! Can't have any of that wimp stuff. And Lizzie... well, thank goodness for the change. The new model made a world of difference. I know the "discarded" models are great, and work for other books, but I know you're stuff and your covers are good. ;)

    My favorite books covers? Laura Frantz is at the top. Not only for her covers, but as an author. <3 her and her books! Julie and Laura are two of sweetest authors, and best authors. Rebecca DeMarino's covers are also gorgeous. Sarah Sundin, Pam Jenoff, Jody Hedlund, Lori Benton, Julie Klassen, Colleen Coble... to name a few!

    Thanks for sharing. And yes, I agree with others that authors should have a HUGE say, if not the final say, in their cover concepts and design.

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    1. WHITNEY!!! Ah ... another beloved Laura Frantz fan!! Laura is actually one of my top faves -- both as an author and as a friend, and you are right -- her covers are GORGEOUS, but not as gorgeous as what's inside, both the book AND the author! ;)

      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Ah, good picks, Whitney! Julie Klassen is one of my most favorite Regency authors and I adore her book covers! I really need to read Laura Frantz ... so many of my friends love her books. =)

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  30. I wasn't aware authors had any say in the covers of their books. In my opinion if a cover doesn't fit what I think goes with the ninside story it takes away from the enjoyment of the story. It leaves me confused. I have seen some cover and say to myself what does this have to do witb the story at all. I enjoyed seeing the '" out takes " on the different covers. am one that judges a book by it's cover. One that is me pleasing to the eye would be more like to make me want to buy it. Thank you for the interesting post on cover. I found it informative and enjoyed it.

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    1. DEANNE, I soooo agree that if the cover doesn't fit, it DOES take away from the enjoyment. I actually judged a book in the Rita once that had a cowboy on the front, but the story was about a dapper Englishman who was a brilliant businessman, so I never quite got the connection because the cover was realllllly stupid and did not do the story justice AT ALL. I actually gave that book high marks, but NOT for the cover. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. Deanne - I love seeing "outtakes" of book covers also. It's neat to see the process they go through ...

      @Julie - Hmm, maybe it was just a stand-in cover (not the final one)?

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  31. Hi Julie! I love hearing about the book cover process. Though covers are not the only thing that influence my decision in buying a book, they are definitely the first. I love walking up and down aisles in bookstores and gazing at the beautiful covers. More often than not, the story within calls out to me from that one photo, so yes, they are VERY important. They also influence me to flip the book over and read the back cover blurb. Equally important.

    There are many covers that I love. I love all of Julie's as well as Laura Frantz, MaryLu Tyndall, Carol Cox, The Love Inspired Historicals, Jody Hedlund, and new author Nancy Kimball.

    Thanks for sharing, Julie, and yes I agree that authors should have some say in the cover process.

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    1. ANGI!!! It's soooo amazing how similar our tastes our, my friend -- everybody you like to read, I like to read too -- ESPECIALLY Laura and MaryLu!

      Thanks for coming by, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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    2. Good book cover choices! MaryLu Tyndall and Jody Hedlund are some of my faves!

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  32. Julie, I love your books and loved seeing how the covers morphed into the correct one that fit the book so well. As I have just finished publishing my first book I too was surprised that the writing of the book is only a small part and some of the other steps can be a bit daunting--especially when doing an Indie.
    For mine, I found a photo with a shadowed profile of me, walking on the beach in the sunset, with my head down a bit. I loved how the shadowed profile went so well with my title (Hope in the Shadows) and since this is a Memoir, it was great using a photo that actually was me. So photo found and chosen--then I found out the resolution was not good enough and thought it was all for naught. Step in, my HS friend and professional photographer, who fixed it for me. YAY! Then the last almost snafu--I found out my title had been used by someone else--NOO--my title & my cover worked so well with my 'story! I was so upset. Then a couple other author friends commented on my FB post (saying how bummed I was) that it was okay--I could still use it. YAY, once again! So, as of last Saturday on the day of my 20 yr. Survivor party, it is now live on Kindle.
    Sorry to write so much about my own book but 1. I'm excited and 2. I wanted to show that I truly understand where you are coming from (especially such a personal book as my Memoir) and 3. I told you I would let you know when I was finished with the Memoir (after reading my tetimony on another blog with a snippet of my story.
    As usual, I would most likely choose ebook/Kindle because of our traves. ;-)
    Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your books!
    Vicki

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    1. VICKI!!! SUPER CONGRATS, my friend -- 20 years -- AWESOME!! What a testimony that is, girl, and what better way to celebrate than to indie pub a memoir, so I hope it sells a million!

      And the cover looks AWESOME!! And you're right -- it is SO cool that YOU are on the cover, given it's a memoir. I agree that the title and the cover work BEAUTIFULLY together, so GREAT job!!

      Hugs and Happy Travels, my friend. :)

      Julie

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    2. Vicki - I imagine designing a memoir cover would be even more personal and important than a fictional novel. Congrats on publishing!

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  33. I have really enjoyed seeing all of Julie's book covers, and I'm glad she intervened when she did! I have seen so many beautiful book covers, but I do remember some in particular that I've read, such as The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer, and A Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund. However, I think one that may have beaten them all is Sarah Sundin's latest Through Waters Deep. (I've seen other beautiful covers, but couldn't afford them at the time, so now I can't remember their names. Bummer!)
    Anyway, I am so excited to read Surprised by Love!! Sounds like such a cute story. :)

    Thanks to Mrs. Lessman for being so generous with her books!

    Danielle Diez

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    1. Hey, DANIELLE, YES!! I agree Sarah's Through Waters Deep is GORGEOUS, and very eye-catching. And we both know that the inside will be even better than the outside, so what a book to look forward to, for sure!!

      Thanks for coming by and hope I get to send you a signed copy of SBL!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Awesome username, Danielle! Sarah Sundin has some wonderful covers --I've only read "With Every Letter" so far, but I hope to read more of her work soon!

      Delete
  34. I must admit I totally judge books by the covers. A lot of times that is how I discover new artists. I also have a tendency to try to figure out where in the story the character would be wearing the outfit that the cover model has on. I'm usually more disappointed when the outfit doesn't match any description than when the model doesn't match (I usually come up with a completely different looking person in my head based more on the character's personality).

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    1. LOL, BRITT ... I do EXACTLY the same thing with the dress, and like you, I am reallllly disappointed if the heroine doesn't wear it in the book. And conversely, I get tickled when there IS a scene with the dress on the cover described. Aren't we girls funny?

      Anyway, thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Brittany, I know what you mean! I think there are a couple of authors who have actually changed the description of their character's clothing to match their book cover. I believe I remember reading that Melanie Dickerson did for "The Healer's Apprentice" (Rose's amazing gown for the feast) ...

      Delete
  35. Also, "She Walks in Beauty" by Siri Mitchell has my all-time favorite cover.

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    1. BRITTANY, YES!! That cover and A Constant Heart by Siri are two of my faves as well, so great taste like great minds, I guess! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. I have that book on my to read list and I agree --the cover is amazing (and I love back cover as well)!

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  36. Replies
    1. Thanks, KIM, for coming by and for your sweet comment! Here's hoping it nets you a win. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. I agree, Kim. Revell has done an awesome job on Julie's books!

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  38. I have read many of Julie's posts in the past about her finishing touches on her book covers to win over readers. I must say that I absolutely LOVE her covers for the Daughters of Boston series! I like it when we get to see the hero on the cover as well! Another author that has beautiful book covers is Deeanne Gist, I like how on most of hers the woman's face is cropped off. It gives us readers a little bit more reign on our imagination of what we think the character looks like. I also love how her and Julie both used their daughters on a book cover. Such as ALITW and Deeanne Gist's A Bride in the Bargain. :)

    ladysalxd(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hey, SALYNA!!!

      I agree that Deanne's books have great covers, especially the Bethany House ones that you mention. In fact, Revell has their authors fill out a titling survey where they ask you to suggest cover styles you'd like to see for your book, and I gave them many of Dee's for the Heart of San Fran series since it was a lighter, funnier series. And, in fact, the survey also asks for celebrity lookalikes for an author's characters, so I sure wish I had known you back then ... ;)

      Hugs and hope you had a blessed Thxgiving!!

      Julie

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    2. Salyna (I love your name/username), Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors! I really need to catch up with her books ... =)

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    3. Julie! Lol I know! I think that Bethany House does that is a great idea, and I have seen the celeb look alikes that Deeanne chose for her characters! Love who she chose, but I have my own idea for some of them. Lol

      The Artist Librarian! Thank you, it is my name! Real spelling. You should definitely catch up on Deeanne's books, I don't know which ones you haven't read but they all are to die for!

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    4. Aw, awesome! I started becoming interested in anthroponomatics (the study of names) in high school, so unusual names always catch my eye. =)

      I've read all of Deeanne's books up to "Maid to Match" --I haven't gotten to "It Happened at the Fair" and everything after that. Her next release, "Tiffany Girl" sounds wonderful, so I'll probably catch up with the ones I missed soon!

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  40. Your covers sure have been lovely. I like the one with the Snowball! But I also like the one of Love at any Cost with the girl in green and the city below. Thank you for this offer and I would love to read one of your books anytime! Love to write reviews also.

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    1. MAY, THANK YOU!!! And, girl, you are JUST the type of reader I am looking for -- one who has NEVER read my books before AND who writes reviews! ;)

      AND ... you are IN LUCK, my friend, because the first book in my Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure, is available EVERYWHERE for FREE DOWNLOAD!! A Passion Most Pure won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 594 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it's not a dog, I promise. Here's the link if you want to download it FREE:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      The cover with the "snowball" is actually a snow globe that factors into the story, which has a Christmas theme. My artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so here's the video if you want to check it out -- it's GORGEOUS, if I must say so myself. :)

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW BY JULIE LESSMAN

      Anyway, thank you for coming by and good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. May, definitely download Julie's first book if you have the chance!

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  41. Finding out the back stories to book covers is something I love! For your novels, Julie, A Passion Most Pure is definitely my favorite cover. Another favorite historical cover for me is Laura Frantz's Love's Reckoning, like you mentioned above. A couple of contemporary covers that I absolutely adore are It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren and Meant to be Mine by Becky Wade. I don't buy/read the books for the covers...but a great cover does make the book more enjoyable for me.
    Brittany McEuen
    kbmceuen at yahoo dot com

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    1. BRITT!!! I totally agree about the back story on covers -- SO fun to hear about, and I love both Susie May's and Becky's too, although Laura's LR is at the top of my faves list. And without question, a great cover DOES enhance a great book. :)

      Hugs!!

      Julie

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    2. Brittany, you actually mentioned several of the contemporary novels I've had my eye on to read!

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  42. I like your covers with the hero on them. The new ones with the girls in the big hats are beautiful but I would like to see the guy in there too. I also love your Romance-ology 101. It's a great help in writing romantic scenes.

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    1. Well, BARBARA, thank you SO much for reading Romance-ology 101 -- MUCH appreciated, my friend.

      And there is something special about seeing the hero on the front ... IF you can get one that's universally appealing like Jody Hedlund's A Noble Groom or Karen Witemeyer's Short-Straw Bride. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest. :)

      Julie

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    2. Barbara --I enjoyed Romance-ology 101 as well! Even though I'm not a writer, I had to get it, 'cause Julie wrote it. =P

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  43. I enjoyed every detail in the cover process! And you're right, I look at the cover before I decide to read the back. Karen W. and Regina J. have my favorite covers!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. I've tried and tried but no rafflecopter. Could you please enter me? I already commented. I also tried the CONTACT form but it won't send.

      Delete
    2. Hey, MEL, I totally agree about both Karen Witemeyer's and Regina Jennings covers -- they're sassy and cute, like Dee Gist's used to be as well, which is soooo eye-catching and appealing. :)

      Fingers crossed on a win, my friend. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    3. Hey, MEL, just now saw your comment about the Rafflecopter, and I will contact Jenn via email to ask her to fix it and enter you, okay? Check back tomorrow to try again, which is the last day of the giveaway, and hopefully Jenn will have it fixed. I'll try to let you know via a comment here, okay?

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    4. Hey, MEL -- Jenn is adding you manually, girl, so GOOD LUCK!!

      HUGS,
      Julie

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    5. I'm sorry for the trouble, Melody. I'll check out the contact form also. Could you shoot me an email about what wasn't working later? Someone else was able to send me a message through it earlier this week ... jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu Thanks!

      Delete
  44. I always look at the cover to see if is interesting. I envision the characters living in a house, or township if it's on the cover. The woman with a guy to think of how they are going to interact, I always, always read the back cover. To me the back is probably the most important part. It's the deciding factor of buying the book. Thank you for the chance to win one of your books. God Bless

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    1. LINDA!!! I don't know how I missed you, girlfriend, but I did, so my apologies.

      And, WOW, it seems like you are a very deep person, the way you delve into the covers like you do, which means you would probably like my books because they are VERY deep! ;)

      You also sound like you haven't read any of my books yet, Linda, so if not, You are IN LUCK, my friend, because the first book in my Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure, is available EVERYWHERE for FREE DOWNLOAD!! A Passion Most Pure won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 595 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it's not a dog, I promise. Here's the link if you want to download it FREE, and if you don't have an ereader, let me know, and I'll send you a link to download a free Kindle app for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Droid, okay? With that app, you will NEVER have to buy another Inspy book as long as you live because there are SOOOO many freebies available out there, and I can help you find those too. :) Anyway, here's the link for A Passion Most Pure:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      And then, A Light in the Window is a Christmas themed book for which my artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so here's the video if you want to check it out -- it's GORGEOUS, if I must say so myself. :)

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, thank you for coming by and if you do read my books and like them enough to post a review, PLEASE let me know so I can enter you in my contest to have a character named after you in my next book and a signed copy, okay? And if you don't like them? Uh, well ... never mind ... ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Linda, the book cover can often help me visualize as well! =)

      Delete
  45. I love this piece. I thoroughly enjoyed your "Daughters of Boston" series and it was fun to read the back story.
    I have enjoyed many of your books Julie. You are truly blessed.

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    1. Hey, MELISSA, thank you SO much for your sweet comment AND for reading my books in the first place! And you're right, my friend, because ANYONE fortunate enough to do what they love to do (WRITE!) for Someone they LOVE to write about (GOD!) is truly "blessed."

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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    2. And we are definitely blessed as readers, Julie! =)

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  46. I like ihe cover of Light In The Window!

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    1. Hey, ANONYMOUS ... THANK YOU!! And my artist husband and daughter thank you, too, because he designed the cover and video, and my daughter modeled for them. :) I don't know if you've seen the video, but if not, I hope you take a peek because it's done very well if I must say so myself! :) Here's the link:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  47. I love the covers with the Hero's on the cover. But I also love the expressions on the faces of the Heroines from the Heart of San Francisco series. And the cover to A Light in The Window is wonderful as well. I am one of those people who tend to judge a book by its cover. If it looks interesting than I read the description on the back.

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    1. Hey, LISA, thanks for your input and although I do love to see a hero on the cover, it can be very risky!! For instance, my favorite traditionally published cover is A Passion Most Pure because Collin is a hunk who not only sells the book by being on the cover, but he emblazons the exact image that readers will carry throughout six books, which is a powerful hook. :) BUT ... conversely, if the readers do NOT like the hero's image, you're in trouble. :)

      And THANK YOU for you sweet comment about the cover for ALITW because my artist husband designed it and the video, and daughter modeled for them. :) I don't know if you've seen the video, but if not, I hope you take a peek because it's done very well if I must say so myself! :) Here's the link:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Lisa, a good cover can definitely pique a reader's interest (it does for me as well)!

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  48. I love the Passion Redeemed and Passion Denied Covers

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    1. Thanks, LAURA, and although I do like those covers, I will admit they are my least favorites of all my covers, I guess because the heroes aren't exactly who I pictured for the books. :|

      Good luck in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. I liked the composition of those covers, especially Charity and Lizzie's poses.

      Delete
  49. I love it when others share about their favorite authors. It helps to draw the reading community together

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    1. Me, too, ANONYMOUS!! Especially when you KNOW you like a person's taste. For instance, there is a blog of GREAT reviewers called OWG (Overcoming with God) whose reviews are SO dead-on, that I automatically know if they like, I will like it. Not only does that draw the reading community together, as you said, but pretty much guarantees you a great read. :) And frankly, as busy as we all are, we cannot afford to waste time on books that don't enthrall or inspire us.

      Good luck in the contest, and here's to a win!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  50. What an interesting interview! I did not know how complicated it is to make a cover for a book! But I have always thought that covers are very important. They must catch readers attention! As for my favourites, there are many that I really love! Besides the covers of The Heart of San Francisco series, I adore the covers of Karen Witemeyer's books! Especially Short-Straw Bride and Stealing the Preacher. :)

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    1. Thanks, MARIA, and I agree with you on Karen Witemeyer's books, especially Short-Straw Bride -- reallllly darling!!

      Good luck in the contest, and if you have never read my books before, I hope you consider downloading the free copy of A Passion Most Pure. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Maria, I love Karen Witemeyer's books (and covers) --they all also look cohesive as a whole (even though most of them are stand alone novels).

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  51. I am sorry to say I have not read any of Julie's books. But, today someone made a comment on FB about A Light in the Window and it caught my attention. Tomorrow, I will be checking the library for it and also, checking the Daughters of Boston series, they sound like good books, too.

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    1. KAREN!!! I am thrilled you are thinking of checking out my books, girl, so THANK YOU!!

      And don't be "sorry" because I have a way to remedy that! You are IN LUCK, my friend, because the first book in my Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure, is available EVERYWHERE for FREE DOWNLOAD!! A Passion Most Pure won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 595 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it's not a dog, I promise. Here's the link if you want to download it FREE, and if you don't have an ereader, let me know, and I'll send you a link to download a free Kindle app for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Droid, okay? With that app, you will NEVER have to buy another Inspy book as long as you live because there are SOOOO many freebies available out there, and I can help you find those too. :) Anyway, here's the link for A Passion Most Pure:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      And then, A Light in the Window is a Christmas themed book for which my artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so here's the video if you want to check it out -- it's GORGEOUS, if I must say so myself. :)

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Anyway, thank you for coming by and if you do read my books and like them enough to post a review, PLEASE let me know so I can enter you in my contest to have a character named after you in my next book and a signed copy, okay? And if you don't like them? Uh, well ... never mind ... ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Julie, it was the video for A Light in the Window that got me interested. I was going to get the book but it is not listed anywhere in the library catalog from the 25+ libraries I request books from, therefore I won't be able to get the book.......sooooo, I decided to purchase the kindle edition. I will read it and post a review. And, as for A Passion Most Pure is on my kindle. I got it last year and forgot I had it. Yay! Going to start reading A Light in the Window sometime this week. Thanks.

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    3. KAREN!!!! I am soooooo excited because you are about to be introduced to an Irish family that you will hopefully love as much as I do, so BLESS YOU, you sweet, girl!!

      You may not know if, but A Light in the Window is actually the prequel to A Passion Most Pure, which I wrote after all six books from that Irish family were finished. You see, I couldn't let the family go, so I made it full circle with a prequel that connects them all. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)

      Thank you SO much for purchasing the ebook, my friend, and HAPPY READING!!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    4. Karen, I hope you enjoy Julie's books! You've discovered them similarly to me. I read a guest blog post Julie wrote and then realized I had downloaded her free ebook earlier in the year.

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  53. I am an avid reader, and I completely agree with you...even though I know I shouldn't, I often judge a book by its cover! I really enjoyed reading your blog post about the creative process that goes into the cover art of a book. Thanks for sharing! :)
    P.S. I love all your books!! :)

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    1. Aw, EM, thanks SO much, you sweet thing, for both sharing this blog article and reading my books. :)

      And join the club, my friend, we're all human beings that judge a book by its cover because that's how we are wired. :)

      Here's hoping I can send you a signed copy of one of mine.

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!

      Julie

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  54. Sorry you had trouble with your covers! I remember the one with Mitch but didn't know about the others. My heroine in my recent novella had her hair color changed in the story because the photo we used had a model with more auburn hair instead of ebony and more hazel eyes than dark brown. So I just had to go with what we had. LOVE your books regardless of the covers--but they've all been nice!

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    1. CARRIE!!! I always get a HUGE smile when I see your beautiful face pop up, my friend, so thanks for coming by. I plan to pop in tomorrow for Deb's party -- LOVE that woman and wouldn't miss it for the world.

      LOL on your cover colors ... at least she didn't have blue eyes and blonde hair on the cover -- that would have been WAY off color. :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. It was great to see you there, Julie! TY for your kind words. Can't wait to read your next novella in the Spring!!! That will have a group cover, though, I think.

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    3. Aw, both of those hair and eye color combinations sound lovely though!

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  55. I just started reading your books this year.Love at any Cost was my first read .I loved it.The cover caught my eye so I took a peek inside.That is all it took and I was hooked.Looking forward to reading more in the future.Cat F.

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    1. CAT!!! Thank you SO much for reading Love at Any Cost, my friend -- MUCH appreciated! And if you posted a review, be sure to let me know so I can enter you in my contest to have a character named after you in my next book and a signed copy, okay?

      Also, since LAAC is the only book of mine you have read, do I have a deal for you! My very first book in my Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure, is available EVERYWHERE for FREE DOWNLOAD right now!! A Passion Most Pure won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year and currently has 595 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it's not a dog, I promise.

      And if you don't have an ereader, let me know, and I'll send you a link to download a free Kindle app for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Droid, okay? With that app, you will NEVER have to buy another Inspy book as long as you live because there are SOOOO many freebies available out there, and I can help you find those too. :) Anyway, here's the link for A Passion Most Pure:

      A PASSION MOST PURE BY JULIE LESSMAN

      And then, just FYI for future reference, my Christmas book A Light in the Window is FREE on Kindle Unlimited right now and $3.99 on Amazon. My artist hubby designed the cover and the video with my daughter as the model, so I'd love it if you checked it out because I reallllly like it and hope you do too. Anyway, here's the link for the video:

      A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW VIDEO

      Thank you for coming by and GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs,
      Julie


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    2. Cat - I love how "Love at Any Cost" just captures Cassie's confidence. Hope you'll get to read more soon!

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  56. Thank you SO much *Ms.* Julie for keeping up with the comments this week! Between Thanksgiving and my cousin's wedding this weekend, it's been quite a busy time ...

    I have a comment from one of your readers that had trouble entering your drawing:

    "I love all your covers and books. They draw me into an era of time I enjoy reading about. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent.

    Regards,
    Mrs Brent Magers"

    Just 7 hours left! =)

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    1. HEY, JENN ... my pleasure, my friend. And thanks for posting MRS. MAGER'S comment. Here's my response:

      MRS. BRENT MAGERS ... thank you SO much for going to the trouble of trying to enter the giveaway AND for your sweet comment. Here's hoping I can send you a signed copy of one of my books.

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
      Julie

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  57. As an artist I love seeing the design process behind book covers! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Hey, HEIDI, thanks for coming by, and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Heidi, that's one of the reasons why I love looking "behind the scenes" as well! What type of art do you do? =)

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Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! Comments are always welcomed and appreciated. In respect for others, please keep your comments PG/"family friendly" =)

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