Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Guest Blogger Colleen Gleason

Love Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Love historicals? Ever wonder what would happen if those two went into the writer blender? Well, you get a really cool series by the Playground's newest friend, Colleen Gleason.

Please give a big Playground welcome to Colleen and make her feel at home. With her first book coming out in January, we're tickled she's taking the time to come blog with us.

I’m very excited to be guesting here at Writing Playground! This seems like a great place to hang out and meet new people, as well as talk about some of my favorite subjects: books and writing. Thank you so much for having me, and I’ll be delighted to answer any questions about my book or my road to publication…or anything else!

I wrote nine books before selling to a major New York publisher (New American Library, which is a division of The Penguin Group), and worked with a reputable, well-known agent for more than two years before she called to tell me that NAL wanted to buy the first two books in my historical vampire slayer series.

It was a dream come true—something I’d strived for off and on for more than a decade—and the culmination of lots of hard work.

But the fun—and education—was just beginning. I got the phone call in September 2005, and my book, The Rest Falls Away, is just being released on January 2, 2007. Fifteen months later!

I did a lot during those fifteen months, including writing the second book, but one of the most interesting things that happened during that time is the epiphany I had in relation to book covers.

As an author, I have a certain idea of what I think the cover of my book should look like, based on personal preference and the type of book it is.

Colleen’s Personal Criteria for Her Book Cover(s):

  • The design should be eye-catching
  • The characters should be depicted accurately
  • The scene portrayed should actually have occurred in the book
  • It shouldn’t be cliché, and I’m not fond of clinch covers (especially since my books aren’t strictly romance)
  • I’m not crazy about cartoon covers either

I couldn’t, of course, give this list to my editor; and even if I had, she wouldn’t have passed it on to the art/marketing department. Besides, NAL’s Signet Eclipse line has, in my opinion, some of the best covers I’ve ever seen.

Thus, I was blessed (and I do mean blessed) with a fabulous cover for The Rest Falls Away. I really couldn’t have asked for anything fresher, more unique or more eye-catching. It fit all of my criteria, and then some.

So…I was very excited to see what NAL was going to do with the second cover in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles series. The book Rises the Night will be released in June, and it’s a continuation of the story of Victoria Gardella Grantworth, who learns that she is the next in a long family line of vampire hunters.

And here’s where I really began to understand book covers.

When I got the cover for Rises the Night, I wasn’t nearly as crazy about it as I was for cover of The Rest Falls Away. Oh, it’s very striking and beautiful in its own way, but there were things about it that weren’t “right”—in my naïve, inexperienced opinion.

First, there was a man with a bare chest on the front cover. (I’m not fond of covers with clinches, as I mentioned above…nor am I particularly fond of bare chests on them either.) (Not that this bare chest wasn’t lovely to look at…it is! It definitely is!)

Secondly, the man depicted, who was supposed to be Max—a prominent character in the series—looked too young, and his hair was wrong, and the expression on his face wasn’t quite right.

Plus the cover has a sort of manga look to it, which, although it’s different, I did realize isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

As you can imagine, I was a little disappointed. After all, based on my criteria, despite the bold color and that fabulous stake he’s holding, it just didn’t fit.

And that was when I had my Cover Epiphany.

That was when I realized that I was only the author of the book (and I don’t mean “only” in a derogatory sense). Although I have a background in art and design, and I also spent eighteen years in sales and marketing, I’m not an expert in this area. I’m really not. I can write the book, I know who the characters are and what’d going to happen and boy, can I put words on paper…but as for positioning it and marketing it on a global basis…my experience is limited.

Once I recognized that, I relaxed.

The art and marketing personnel at NAL do this for a living. The sales reps and my editor and my publisher all know much better than I do what makes a cover pop off the shelves, draw attention, and what sets it apart.

And isn’t that, ultimately, what we want? The absolutely most important thing a cover needs to do is to draw attention. It needs to make the person pick it up.

Pick it up.

Because once someone has picked it up, or seen the cover image somewhere and wanted to find out more…we’ve taken the first step toward that all-important sale.

And these are facts:

Covers with bare-chested men sell really well

Covers with dark-haired men on the cover sell really well

Covers with bold colors sell really well

Also, manga is becoming so popular, especially with the younger edge of my target market, that having a cover with a bit of that feel to it can only help in catching the attention of those fans.

I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter so much whether the cover accurately portrays the book, characters, or events within…it’s most important that the cover attract attention and give the potential buyer a feel for what the book is about.

After all, how many times have you picked up a book (because of its cover) and, after reading the book, stared at the cover and said, “But that didn’t happen in the book!” or “Well, I don’t think he looks like so-and-so!”?

I know I don’t. If I like the book, I like the book, and the cover has little to do with it once I’ve made the purchase decision. But the cover has a whole lot to do with whether I pick it up in the first place!

And that, my dear readers, is what I learned in my Cover Epiphany: as the author, I expect the cover to show exactly what’s going on in the book, what the characters look like, and what happens.

But it doesn’t have to. All it has to do is get someone to pick up the book. The rest of it—whether the book holds their attention, whether the characters are well-drawn and the plot tight and interesting—is up to me.

What kind of cover makes you pick up a book?

********************

Colleen will be giving away a copy of her debut book to one lucky blog commenter today. The Rest Falls Away is the first book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, which is about a family legacy of vampire hunters.

In an era where women are meant only to marry, in a time where they cannot even speak to a man unless they are properly introduced ­and couldn’t even dream of being out and about alone (let alone at night), Victoria has to figure out how she’s going to hunt vampires on midnight streets, how she’s going to carry her stake, and how she’s going to slip out of a ball in order to stake a vampire…all the while juggling the demands of her beaux and her match-making mama.

The book straddles the tenets of most genre fiction. It’s not a horror novel, it’s not a romance, it’s not historical fiction. It’s an amalgam of all three, with some suspense, humor, adventure and history all tossed in with a bit of a love story.

Tell me that's not a cool book. (The Playfriends are bummed 'cause we're not eligible to win.)

61 comments:

KimW said...

A vamp historical. That does sounds like a cool book. I'd love that! Congrats on having your first book come out. That must be so exciting for you, oh and for me, too.

I like both of your covers and yes, I tend to pick up books with bare chested men on the front. They seem to call to me for some odd reason. :) I don't though just buy from that. If I see something in a story I like, I'll write down the title and go home and try to find an excerpt. Then if I like it, I put it on my TBB list for the next trip.

Tam said...

Way cool book! I love historical and vampires. You just put together two of my favorites. I'd pick up the book on the cover alone, read the blurp on the back of the book. I can tell you it would not be going back on the shelves, it would go right into my basket. Buffy was one of my favorites too. We just don't get TV anymore, so I don't even know if it is on any more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks KimW!

As I said, it was literally an epiphany for me when I realized that the cover doesn't have to accurately portray what happens in the book--it just has to catch the eye.

So I'm currently reading Amanda Quick's Lie By Moonlight and that cover has nothing to do with the book...but it's a great, eye-catching cover!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kimw and Tam!

I seem to be having a little problem posting here (I'm on beta blogger), so I hope this comment comes through.

The book was a lot of fun to write, and I'm currently working on the third in the series.

Be warned: it's not a typical romance. :-)

Smarty Pants said...

Thanks for dropping by today, Colleen. We're really excited to have you. The books sound wonderful and I can't wait to read them. A great way to start a career. They really are eye catching. I'll try to keep your advice in mind if and when I sell and get a weird cover.

How did you celebrate the big sale?

What was the biggest surprise about the process from your call to the publication so far?

SP

Angel said...

Hey, Colleen! Welcome to the Playground! Pull up a swing.

I have to admit that covers have very little to do with my buying process. Some of my favorite books that I've read over and over... I can't even tell you what the covers look like.

IF I'm evaluating a cover, I like something unusual and bold colors. But what sells me on a book is the back cover blurb.

After checking out your website (really good, btw), I can't wait to read these books! What an unusual concept. All the characters sound really cool and the plot really intriguing.

Good luck, girl!

Angel (who is off to get ready for DQ's school Christmas party)

Anonymous said...

Hi SP!

Thanks for the congrats.

How did I celebrate the sale...that's sort of a funny story. I was out of town at a training with a company that I was doing some work for, and so I was away from home. The night before, I'd sort of been a little overzealous with the new friends I'd made and stayed up really late, so the next morning, I was late going down to the trainings. (This wasn't a required session.)

Anyway, because I was late, I was in my hotel room when my agent called to let me know she'd made a deal for my books. I always am thankful that I was there when she called; otherwise, it would have been all day before I could have talked to her again!

Anyway, so I celebrated with a bunch of people who had no idea what it really meant to sell a book. I was in my hotel room by myself sending emails to everyone, too.

When I got home, my husband and parents took me out to dinner. Then later I bought myself the cross necklace that I'm wearing in my author photo.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and SP, the thing that surprised me most about the process? I think it had to do with the amount of time that passed between when I got the phone call that I'd sold and when I actually saw the contracts...and then when I got money.

I got the call Sept 28, 2005. (As if I wouldn't remember that date!)

I got my contracts in February!

I got my first check at the end of March.

For four and a half months, I worried that I'd hallucinated about the call and that it really hadn't happened!

Problem Child said...

Hi Colleen!

Thanks for being here.
I'm not a huge paranormal reader, but this series sounds way cool. I can't wait to get a copy.

I've never bought a book becuase of the cover (or not bought it because I hated the cover), but I have picked one up because the cover looked neat. After reading your blog, I realize now that the pick it up part really is important--out of the thousands of books in the bookstore, getting your book actually in the hands of a potential reader is step one.

FIFTEEN MONTHS!?! Were you not going insane with the wait? ("No, really, I am an author--just wait another eight months and I'll show you. :-))

Instant gratification is not a part of this business, is it? Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Hi Angel! Nice to meet you.

You mentioned that covers don't really affect your buying decisions...that back cover blurbs do...so how do you decide which books to pick up and read the back cover blurb of?

I'm curious, because, as I mentioned, this whole cover thing is quite interesting. It's a different perspective than we as writers have.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and PC, the book's not really heavily paranormal. I mean, my heroine stakes vampires--she doesn't make out with them. :-)

I actually wrote the book because I don't really care for vampire novels myself. The vamps are the Bad Guys!

Anonymous said...

PC, that fifteen months was agony.

And, because it took so long to get the contracts, my husband kept asking, "Are you sure you're going to really get them?"

(Not that I wasn't thinking that myself once in awhile.)

However, the good news is, when NAL came back last September and offered me a contract for books three and four in the series, I got the contracts within six weeks, and a check before December. Obviously, it's much faster the second time around.

Carol said...

Hi Colleen,
I like the idea of a vamp historical. I'm more likely to pick up a book that has bright covers but less likely to pick up one with a bare chested man on the front. I prefer a scene that gives me an idea what the book is about. The blurb on the back, however, is what makes me decide to buy the book if it is an author I don't know.

Playground Monitor said...

Hi ho! The Playground Monitor's checking in to check out the activity and make sure y'all are behaving.

Uh... well, I don't read historicals or vampires but never say never. Your book could be the one to break the mold.

I don't buy strictly by the cover, though a snappy cover will make me pick up a book and read the back blurb. A bad cover might keep me from picking up a book, but a bad cover on a beloved author's book makes me want to buy half a dozen copies to help offset the bad cover mojo.

Can y'all tell I overslept, just got up and haven't had caffeine yet?

Congrats, Colleen, on your sales and your impending first release! I can only imagine how excited you must be.

PM -- in search of caffeine

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol.

Thanks for stopping by.

It's the blurb on the back cover that does it for me--at least, that gets me to open up the book and read a page or two.

Actually, I read someone on some blog mention awhile ago that their litmus test--after the cover causes them to pick it up, and the blurb keeps them interested--that they read page 117. And if something good is going on on page 117, then they will usually buy it.

I've started to try it...very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Hi PM! (does this mean I have to behave now that the Monitor is here?)

I've had several writers/bloggers who don't read historicals read my book (Heather Harper, Jana DeLeon [who also doesn't read paranormals]) and they loved it. (And I didn't even pay them to say so!)

So maybe this one might be the one to break the mold for you, PM!

Do you like suspense? Humor? If so, there's both in the book. Not to mention three--yep, three hot guys.

Now, I'm off to run some errands and the DS to the doctor. Probably won't be back for several hours...but keep the questions coming!

Playground Monitor said...

Suspense and humor? That's right up my alley!

And yeah, you have to behave -- a little. No kicking sand in someone's eyes or pushing anyone down the slide. We don't want anyone getting hurt right here before Christmas. And Santa's still checking that list twice to see who's naughty or nice.

See ya later, Colleen.

Minna said...

A vamp historical... Sounds interesting.

Nice covers are always a good thing, but back cover blurbs and familiar writers are the things that make me decide which books I'm going to pick up. It's difficult to say that one thing about the blurb that makes me pick up the book or leave it to the store. If the writer is familiar and I have liked her books before I might take the book even if the blurb wouldn't otherwise make me take it.

Kathy said...

Hey Colleen, I'm chiming in after having a rough morning and am real excited about your book series.

I am greatly attracted to book covers but I also like the covers to have something to do with the story and the title. Then after I've picked up said book, I read the blurb on the back. If I like that, I'll turn to the first page and read an excerpt, if I like that, I'll usually flip to the first paragraph and then guy the book.

Covers really do need to relate to titles, IMHO. I find your covers real intriguing. Congratulation on your sells and I wish you every success.

Where did you come up with the idea for your series? You mentioned Buffy and that you like to keep your vampires bad...but was there anything else that influenced your story?

Kathy

Anonymous said...

I rather like clinch covers }:)

I don't know that a cover is a determining factor when picking up a book, but usually something that is beautifully done with appealing colors gets my attention.

Anonymous said...

Your covers are cool! Love their dramatic color scheme and the beauty of the models as well. I enjoy reading the jacket first and foremost and then afterwards I make a decision upon the book, but the artwork is always a determining factor especially when he is related closely.

Problem Child said...

Okay, so there's no tourtured-souls-looking-for-redemption vampires here? Cool.

Hmm, now how do I rig the contest so I get the book.

krissyinva said...

Your book sounds great. I do tend to pick up the clinch covered and bare chested male books when I am looking in the bookstore.However I don't buy them unless they are on my list or I have heard a good review from a fellow reader or I've read books by the author and enjoyed them. I think your covers are great!! I personally love the landscape covers best.I covers I dislike the most are the cartoony ones, they drive me nuts.

Pat said...

I just love the cover.

I like a cover that is colorful, preferably not with people on it. I tend to like cutesy covers like Marcia Evanick's Misty Harbor Series books or covers like Susan Mallery's or Sherryl Woods full sized series books.

Good luck to all.

sharon said...

I definitely am attracted to covers like yours. With the impressive models and striking colors it draws me in. I do though read the background on the novel and if interested then go for it immediately.

joelle said...

When I start perusing books I check out everything, from covers to the subject. But covers that stop me in my tracks such as yours influence me instantly. Congrats on the book. All the best.

ellie said...

Covers make a book but I do read the back cover in order to dertermine if the book interests me enough to buy it. I love interesting covers that depict the book accurately. Snaphots, color, and scenes all are part of the covers that I enjoy.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great book!

I don't pay much attention to covers when buying books...I guess some do grab my attention with things such as the people on the cover, bright (but not annoying) colors, etc. I buy based on blurbs and excerpts though. I don't browse often...I usually know what I am getting when I go into a bookstore...this comes from experiences where I ended up spending WAY too much because I would browse and find books I just had to have.

I love your covers though and have had your books on my wishlist for a while!

I wish you much success!

alissa said...

Covers can detract or appeal. I love deep and strong colors that enhance the entire book. The novel itself though has the potential and I find this out as soon as I read the back of the book. Love your great covers! Congrats on this book and many more.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I read someone on some blog mention awhile ago that their litmus test--after the cover causes them to pick it up, and the blurb keeps them interested--that they read page 117. And if something good is going on on page 117, then they will usually buy it.

I might have to try that...sounds interesting. I have randomly turned to pages in books though before to read a sample.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Wow that book sounds so cool and the covers are real eyecatcher.

Historicals and Paranormals are my favorite genres and those combined in one book is great

Lois said...

Well, when I go to the bookstore, I usually just stick to my to buy list because there is enough on there at it is. LOL The only thing that makes me get or not get a book is the blurb.

Now, I certainly love looking at covers, like some more than others, love collecting them too. Yeah, I guess I like the clinches (LOL), not a big fan of the cartoony ones (unless it's a comedy, then to me it seems to fit), but the only way a cover (or a title as well) might make me pick up a book is if it's an obvious reference to the Regency period. I'm a sucker then. . . LOL :)

Lois

Amy S. said...

Love the covers for both books! I love vamps and historicals. This is on my to buy list. It sounds great. Covers like yours is what has me picking up a book and looking at and perhaps buying. Bright colors with a bare chested man on the front.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol:

Thanks for coming by.

I like covers that give a feel for what the book is about too...and one of the things that I've learned in my "Cover Epiphany" is that the cover can do that, without necessarily showing an actual scene or event from the book.

As long as the cover "feels" like the book, then it's enough to give me a good idea of whether I want to read the back copy.

Anonymous said...

Minna, I know what you mean about buying from certain authors even if the back blurb doesn't catch me.

I do that for certain authors because I trust that they'll pull me along for a great story, because they have in the past!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy!

Thanks for your enthusiasm about my series!

I got the idea because I got hooked on Buffy. I never read any vampire books or really got into them, but I really liked Buffy because she was so heroic, and so unexpected. She kills bad guys!

And then I started thinking about what the other vampire slayers before her had been like...and then I thought, what if they'd been like Cinderella? So from there came the idea--I tweaked the time period to make it Regency England, which, of course, is a popular time period.

And voila! That was how I got my story idea.

Meljprincess said...

Hi Colleen!
We met in MySpace. I absolutely cannot wait to read THE REST FALLS AWAY! Nice to see you here at the Playground. Oh man, I'd LOVE to win your book!! :-)
I'm attracted to covers that are red, orange, and yellow or a mix of said colors. Same goes with purple, pink, and red. Your cover is brill! I know I'm going to enjoy your book immensely.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, I know there are a lot of people who like clinch covers--and they do sell. That's one thing I forgot to mention as I was writnig my blog entry--art is subjective, always.

So what one person likes, another doesn't. My editor thinks the guy on my second cover is super sexy. I think he looks a little tired (but then, look at that chest!) (whew!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your compliments on my covers, Traveler! I must admit that blue on the second cover is stunning!

The idea is to look intriguing, and I think they do. I would at least pick up the book to find out what it was about.

Anonymous said...

Problem Child...nope, not one tortured vamp seeking a soul in my series.

There's a horribly evil vampire queen named (wait for it) Lilith, but she's not really tortured.

(You do know about Nora Roberts's Lilith vampire queen, too, right?)

Anonymous said...

Krissyinva, thanks for your commments on my covers. I do admit to picking up bare male chest covers in stores too...I guess that's the purpose of them--because I know what kindof book they're going to be!

Thanks, Pat and Joelle! The art department has done its job if the covers are attracting your attention!

Hey, Ellie, I'm with you--the back cover blurb is what makes it for me, along with the first few pages. And usually I read a few pages or paragraphs somewhere in the middle of the book too (unless, of course, it's an author I know. Then I just grab and buy!)

Jennifer Y, thanks so much! I'm glad you're interested in the books. I hope you enjoy them if you get a chance to read them.

Anonymous said...

Alissa and dannyfiredragon--thanks for coming by! I'm glad you're intrigued.

The books were a lot of fun to write, and they aren't a typical vampire novel. Not bloody or gory, but not light and fun either (although there are parts where there is both!).

Lois, I love your icon. You must be a Phantom fan (or a Gerard Butler fan?). Did you know there's an erotic version fo the Phantom being released in August--where Christine ends up with the Phantom?

Anonymous said...

Meljprincess!! Thanks for coming by! I've been so behind on my MySpace page...but I'm glad you remembered me and are interested in the book. I hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great series :)Definitely have to pick it up!
The one cover I can think of that made me pick up a book this year is the one for PC Cast's Divine by Mistake. Was just really eyecatching and nicely done. I do like the ones too that feature the hero *g*

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lis!

I like PC Cast's covers too. Very beautiful and eye-catching.

I think one of the things that grabs my attention is always the font. If it's a beautiful, unusual, gorgeous font, I pick that book up immediately.

Anonymous said...

Your covers are knockouts! Love the exceptional use of color and drama. Your covers have attracted a lot of admirers.I Enjoy your books and congrats on the future releases. I normally read the back of the book so I could get an inkling of the novel. But with your covers I am immediately interested.

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground Colleen! Sorry I'm coming to the party late! I've missed a really good discussion today.

I love your cover epiphany - and you made me have one as well. Covers and whether they're good or bad are a topic of conversation whenever two writers get together. But I've never considered that it really doesn't matter what they depict as long as it's eyecatching to the reader.

One thing's for sure, I LOVE your covers and can't wait to read your books. The series sounds fantastic.

Instigator

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Principessa and Instigator! I'm so glad you stopped by.

I'm running out for a few hours, but will be back to answer more questions (not that there have been many of them....but I'm happy to do so!)

Liz said...

Colleen
I love the idea of a regency Vampire Slayer. Alot of different problem Victoria will have to face than a modern heroine. I'm looking forward to its release

Problem Child said...

Well, I have a question...

How did you pitch this book to your agent? It seems like books that don't fit nicely into one category are tough to pitch and get interest in. What would you call it? Historical? Paranormal?

And another question...as part of the Wet Noodle Posse, do you feel like you got a lot of good exposure prior to selling?

Playground Monitor said...

Just wanted to announce that earlier today we had the 30,000th hit on the blog.

Yay us!

And thanks, Colleen, for helping to make that happen.

PM

Jeanette J said...

I'm glad the 9 books you didn't sell was not a deterant. Congrats and as for covers..I like rich colors and good looking guys on them

catslady said...

Congrats on 30,000 - wow.

My 19 yr old is really into anime and I've come to like it too. I do like accuracy on covers but that's after the fact. I don't go for the cartoon covers either.

I've not had a chance to reading you as yet but I'm looking forward to it. Historicals of any kind are my favorite.

KarenG said...

Your books have nice, sexy covers. I like them both. I would for sure pick them up in a store. I like all kinds of different covers.

Your book sounds very good. Thanks for sharing your stories.
Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz! Thanks for coming by. I had a lot of fun with Victoria and trying to figure out how she's going to handle being a slayer.

At one point in the book, a man is professing his love for her, and she's got to excuse herself to go and stake a vamp. :-)

Anonymous said...

Problem Child...I'd been working with my agent for well over a year by the time I wrote The Rest Falls Away, and so I really didn't have to pitch it to her per se.

All I did was tell her I was writing a "Buffy in Regency England" and she "got" what I meant, told me to finish it, and send it to her.

I'm fairly certain she would have pitched it the same way to the editors--but I'm not sure.

The book's being marketed as a paranormal romance, and that's definitely the genre it fits most closely in, don't get me wrong...but it's not a typical romance, and not a typical paranormal.

1) because there's more than one hero
2) because neither the hero nor the heroine is a paranormal entity.

Anonymous said...

Jeanette J and catslady...thanks for coming by! I hope you get a chance to read it, and I hope you like it!

KarenG, I think the covers are sexy too. I've had several people ask me if that's ME on the front cover of REST.

BWAH!!! I tell them, I only wish. :-)

And I wish the guy on RISES THE NIGHT was my dh. Love that chest. (But don't tell him I said that.)

Jill James said...

I'm very much an impulse buyer. Once I've picked up a book, the author is half-way to a sale with me. I would pick up both those books and buy them with no thinking at all. The mixture of historical and vampire slayer would be a sure buy for me.

Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Jill! Thanks for coming by so late in the day.

I've heard booksellers say that too: once the book is in someone's hand, they are more than 50% there as far as buying it. That's why booksellers are taught to hand the book to the customer. :-)

Anonymous said...

I guess the big turnoff for me as for as covers go are the bodice ripper covers ~ It seems like when you've seen one, you've seen them all. I have seen some very bad covers though ~ although they mostly seem to be saved for the ebooks, which I don't read (at least not yet).

I think both of the covers are lovely, Colleen. Personally, I do like the first one better, but I think the 2nd one is nice too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Devonna! Good to see you here on the playground--I'm glad you came by.

Have a great holiday!