Cover reveal!

SecretsofaCharmedLife_coverreveal When I get the email from my editor that the art department has come up with a cover for a new book, I always take a deep breath before I open the attachment to look at it for the first time. It’s the only time I can ever be just like the reader who is looking for a new book and who stumbles upon mine. They see the cover with fresh eyes and they know hardly any thing about the book except that maybe I wrote it.  What emotions will that first look evoke?

Sometimes I will see a cover and I will know that it is perfect. Other times it will grow on me. Other times I don’t feel like the essence of the book has been captured and I will have to craft a carefully worded email describing what I like about the cover and then attempt to explain, even though the cover has merit, why it doesn’t seem to work.

When I saw the cover for Secrets of A Charmed Life my eyes were drawn instantly like a magnet to the woman’s half-face, her ruby lips, her porcelain complexion and that gloved hand by her cheek. Is she flicking away an errant hair or raising a palm to her cheek in shock as we often do when something surprises us? What is she thinking? Does she know the secrets of a charmed life or is she desperate for someone to tell her what they are? Her lovely green dress fading into the River Thames in London tells me the setting and her 1940s vibe suggests to me it won’t be an easy setting. Not then.

All that it is to say, I did fall in love with this cover, but it was after I contemplated this woman and the mystery that surrounds her. This book, which will release in Feb 2015 by Penguin, is set for the most part in England during the years of the war. In a nutshell, Emmy is a idealistic teenager of a single mother who aspires to design wedding gowns. She sneaks back to London after she and her little sister have been safely evacuated to the countryside. Emmy has an appointment to keep with someone who wants to see her fledgling designs, and no rumors of an attack by the Germans will stop her. But she and little Julia arrive on the very day the Luftwaffe sends a wave of 800 planes over London’s East End – in broad daylight — bombing it relentlessly. When Emmy finally makes it back to the ruined flat where she left her little sister for a meeting that was only supposed to take an hour, Julia is gonSt-Thomass-bombed-1940e without a trace. And since Mum wasn’t expecting her girls to be at the flat – why should she? Emmy and Julia are in the countryside – Mum stayed elsewhere when the attack began. Julia had been left alone in the flat while hell rained down.

And so begins Emmy’s quest for absolution, for redemption, for restitution. She is a girl searching for the secrets to a charmed life. She had thought the perfect life began with the perfect wedding dress – the emblem of happiness and fulfillment. She was wrong…

So the cover works for me. Very much so. I see Emmy in this woman wearing the green dress, especially when Emmy attempts to reinvent herself after the loss of her sister which she clearly believes is her fault.  This is her journey in the book: Becoming someone who can find a way to live with regret. But what she discovers is something else entirely.

I would love to hear what you think of this cover and the little bit I’ve told you. Thoughts??

Author: Susan

This post has 31 Comments

  1. Cathy West on May 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Susan,
    Ooooo!! I LOVE the cover – green is my favorite color so that pulled me in at once. I think the dress is perfect and I love the London scene at the bottom. I’m a huge fan of any story that takes place outside of the US so I’m very eager to read this one. The plot sounds intriguing! I’m excited for you!

  2. Susan on May 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you, thank you, Cathy. Just what I wanted to hear!

  3. Kate Motaung on May 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Stunning, captivating cover. Just finished A Fall of Marigolds, and now I can’t wait for February! 😉 Thank you for using your gifts to the glory of God, and for the encouragement of others. Blessings to you!

  4. Susan on May 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks, Kate. Captivating is a great way to describe this cover! Blessings backatcha…

  5. Stephanie on May 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!

  6. Laura McClellan on May 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I said on the first Facebook post that I loved the cover. As I read your brief description of the story here, I choked up and even stopped breathing for a moment. I’ve lived with regret for terrible mistakes made, so imagining the impact of these events on Emmy . . . wow. Knowing how you write, I can’t think who could tell this story better. I can’t wait to read it. Truly.

  7. Susan on May 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks, Stephanie and Laura! I am so glad you gals like it…

  8. Esther on May 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm


  9. Steph Kornman on May 23, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Wow! Looks like another amazing book from an amazing author. Can’t wait!!!

  10. on May 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    It is beautiful and she’s not wearing a cape or an open umbrella!

  11. Becca Whitham on May 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Stunning! I would pick this up to see what it’s about even without your name on the bottom.

  12. Pam Ingold on May 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Just looking at the cover makes me want to read it! Can’t wait to dive in and join another adventure with you!!

  13. Susan on May 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks, Steph! Debbie, that made me laugh! Becca, that’s what I want to hear, and Pam, here’s to adventure in books!!

  14. Mary Kay on May 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I really like the cover too, Susan. I’m a fan of England and Scotland so that helps. The London skyline! The dress and gloves hint at the era–another fave. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing the cover. (And after what you say about the story–the only thing missing from the cover is a purse ala The Remedy for Regret!)

  15. Susan on May 23, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Ah, Mary Kay! I am still on the lookout for that purse!

  16. Carrie Turansky on May 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Beautiful cover! This sounds like a great story. I will look forward to reading it!

  17. Colleen Turner on May 23, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    It is perfect! I love the composition, with the beautifully dressed woman fading into London. And London during WWII is one of my favorite settings for stories. Can’t wait!

  18. Chris Jager on May 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I am not sure I will make it without being able to read this book before February. 🙂 Love the cover.

  19. Cathy Gohlke on May 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful cover, Susan, and wonderful storyline! Looking forward to another great one from you!

  20. Pam K. on May 23, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    It’s a great cover for what sounds like a very intriguing book. It will go on my “want to read” list.

  21. Susan on May 23, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks, Carrie, Colleen, Chris, Cathy, and Pam!

  22. Laura Christianson on May 24, 2014 at 12:01 am


    I’d read the book based on the cover alone… and the fact that you wrote it, of course. Lovely!

  23. Jeannne M Dickson on May 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Sue the lover. Love the premise. Can’t wait to read it!

  24. Deb Shlager on May 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I love the cover, that marvelous era in history and the setting! Can’t wait to be immersed into another of your page-turners where I am transported into that place and time.

  25. Amie Charney on May 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Well I must have that dress, and gloves, and pearls…and if I were you I would immediately ask for contract renegotiations…and have the dress added to your royalty package….hmmm….wedding dresses…always a great foray for you Sue…guess I will pull out my very dog earred, loved copy of Blue Heart Blessed to hold me over until this masterpiece comes out. So proud and excited for you!

  26. Susan on May 24, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks ever so much, Laura, Jeanne, Deb and Amie! The dress indeed is way too cool!

  27. Mocha with Linda on May 25, 2014 at 4:19 am

    I tried leaving a comment THREE times yesterday and it wouldn’t “take.” LOL. Your site hates me. 🙂

    What a compelling cover!! Of course, the author name makes it an automatic must-read but that cover would entice me even if it were someone else’s book!

    And your description makes February seem impossibly far away. Why do you delight in torturing us so?! <3

  28. Linda Heltemes on May 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I love it! Can’t wait to have the book in hand!

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  30. Lecrisha on December 2, 2014 at 2:07 am

    I saw the picture on Pinterest. It instantly caught my interest. After reading what you wrote about the book, I can’t wait to read it!!!

  31. Holly on October 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    The cover combined with the summary caught my attention. I love dress up and vintage clothing styles and emerald. That I explains the cover. The summary caught my attention because I want to believe we all have that desire to right the wrongs. In life it seems impossible so a work of literature can take us to a place where real love conquers all.

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