The time has come to introduce you to my second novel, Finding Grace. The drama of a cover reveal is a moment to be savored; I have been enjoying it with equal doses of trepidation and thrill. You know that old saw—you can’t judge a book by its cover—well, don’t believe it. People buy books by their covers ALL THE TIME!  We all do, even if we don’t like to admit it. Maybe because a cover draws you to look at the summary statement about the book by the author or the blurbs, or maybe you are in a book store and a pop of color draws you to it. Maybe you are scrolling on-line and see something interesting—a pattern, or abstraction that pulls you in.  Any sale requires that first look after all.

It’s almost like the icing on the cake. It takes a long time to decide on what type of cake you are going to make. Finally, you think you have a decent recipe for the cake itself. You use the freshest ingredients you can find. You carefully measure sufficient amounts of TLC and any surprise substitutions you dare make.  You worry about whether you folded or whisked with a steady enough hand. Then you set the oven and watch over it tenderly as it bakes. You resist opening the oven door but keep the oven light on.

And, after all of that, the final touch that will either catch someone’s eye, or be overlooked as  all of the other cakes are bought up… the frosting—which you haven’t made yourself!

Cover design is way more intricate that I would have believed before I started writing novels.  But, when I was looking for a publisher, cover art was a differentiating criteria for me. She Writes Press, my hybrid publisher, happily celebrating twenty years in the business, is well recognized for their lovely covers. I respect their expertise. And, as a book-lover, I have grown more discerning about cover art as I visit bookstores. 

Anyway, I hope you like the cover. I had six designs to choose from and it was tough!  But, this one brought all of my requested design elements into play and looked natural as an integrated piece.  First, I wanted the lake. Lake Superior is a passion of mine, and this book is set along the shores of that big lake. Second, it shows the skyline of Duluth, with the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge in the background. The family in the story lives on the Scenic Highway between Two Harbors and Duluth, so the view looking south to Duluth is fitting. The figure depicts an adolescent Grace, the vulnerable child who is a main character in the book. Looking away is symbolic of her emotional need to escape. The birds, raptors here, are significant as both a scene marker of the Northland, and a note about Caroline’s ornithology career. And, what can I say about the sky and the lake with the setting sun reflecting so beautifully upon it? Gorgeous.

With the pub date only five months away, I will be sharing more about the book in my next  posts, but for now, I’ll leave you with this lovely blurb from one of my sister She Writes Press authors.

“Cold mothers and troubled children. A father’s desperate wish for vital and lasting connections. The peculiar senseless decision-making of teens who are hurting.  Second chances at love. The essence of community.  Set on the shores of Minnesota’s Lake Superior country, the novel’s beautiful descriptions of the harsh beauty in the outside world perfectly frame the complex inner worlds of the central characters. This is a poignant story of enduring love’s victory over disappointment and trauma.”

          Barbara Stark-Nemon, author, Even in Darkness & Hard Cider