Last year, Harlequin Worldwide Mystery republished my first Endurance mystery, Three May Keep a Secret, in July as a mass market paperback. These books are smaller than your usual paperback, and they easily slip into a purse or tote bag. I was so excited to see the new cover. It showed Grace Kimball, teacher that she is, checking out a board of clues to help Detective TJ Sweeney solve the mystery of an arson fire that killed Grace’s former colleague. The book had been previously published by Five Star Publishing, and then I self-published it when the rights reverted to me.
Imagine my excitement when Harlequin said they would publish not only this book, but also the other two novels in the series.
Next in line is Marry in Haste. It will be available to the public after Harlequin sends it out to their book club members. You can see it on their website now here. May 25, 2021 is the date for its worldwide release. They recently sent me the new cover. Because Marry in Haste was also published by Five Star and republished by me, it now has three covers. All are the conceptions by three different artists.
The first cover was designed by Deirdre Wait of HighPinesCreative.com. She caught the corner of Lockwood House, the huge Victorian home built by Charles Lockwood in the 1800s, and she used dark blue shades. The color set the tone for this darker story in the Endurance mysteries. Jeff Maitlin, Grace’s now-boyfriend, is renovating it in the present day. The picture Deirdre used was from the actual Victorian I lived in fifty-some years ago. I love the contrasting bright colors of the title.
The second cover was designed by Karen Phillips of Phillipscovers.com. She, too, included the house—a fuzzy, rendition of a long-ago time, portrayed in blue once again. But she added portraits of the two women who lived there one hundred years apart. The modern photo is in color, and the picture of Olivia Havelock from a century earlier is in black-and-white. This was a wonderful touch because it captured the two parallel lives in Marry in Haste.
The new cover has just been sent to me from Harlequin. New artist, new conception. This time we see the connection that makes the double-plotted book work. Jeff Maitlin bought Lockwood House, and as he is showing it to Grace Kimball, they come upon a squeaky board in the upstairs bedroom. It seems loose. When they pry open the surrounding boards, they find a diary, old, but nonetheless readable. It is the diary of Olivia Havelock, who lived in Lockwood House a century earlier. Her story has eerie parallels to the murder mystery of Conrad Folger in current-day Endurance. I don’t know yet who the artist is on this cover, but it beautifully matches the Harlequin cover for Three May Keep a Secret.
When you write a book, you never know the reaction of people who work with it or read it. I’m always intrigued by the choices the artists make when they try to capture a book in one picture. Mood, characters, and plot connections evidently crossed the minds of these three artists. I love each cover for various reasons and am eagerly awaiting a box of Harlequin copies of Marry in Haste.
Fascinating to see the different interpretations. Exciting news for you, to be sure!
Thanks, Judy. It always amazes me what artists can do with the same concept!
It is interesting to see the different concepts. Everyone reads a little differently. Thank you for sharing. It is fun. Congratulations on the Harlequin release.
Thanks, Mary. I always knew reading was very subjective, but once I began writing I understood that idea even more.
Wow! Thanks for sharing all three covers so we could see the evolution. It reminds me that artists always interpret things differently. We have to look no further than a themed anthology and how one concept results in vastly different interpretations. Congratulations!
I’d agree, Micki. And while my main character, Grace, is 56, she doesn’t have gray hair. But I’d bet Harlequin is appealing to an older reading audience. This might mean that readership also impacts the artist’s concept.
Congrats on your upcoming release! Thanks for sharing the evolution of the cover. I found the use of gray hair interesting. Most of the 50something and 60something women in my circle don’t have gray hair.
So true, Joanne. I was surprised with that concept in the first book, so audience was the only thing I could think of to explain that. I still like their covers.
Really enjoyed seeing the three renditions, Susan, and I love the way the new cover links to the cover for the earlier book in series. All the best! Hope you have amazing sales!
Thanks so much, Kate. You are so right about the matching covers. And all three covers are so different!