Alice Cramer is tired of being pitied for her family’s transgressions, so she resolves to break out of the gutter and into the spotlight. As long as her local congressman can forget about their checkered past and help her secure a federal grant to open Harmony Falls Little Theatre, she’ll be the brightest star in town. But when Alice stands up in church and stops the congressman’s wedding, she dives headfirst into fresh scandal.
Why is Harmony Fall’s golden boy, Justin Mitchell, speeding down the interstate sans a new wife but with the local drama queen he’s been trying his whole life to avoid? Alice Cramer may have saved him the hassle of an arranged marriage to a woman he didn’t love, but she’s put a business transaction big enough to save an entire town in jeopardy–not to mention his reputation.
Soon Alice and Justin are dredging up and indulging in an attraction that threatens all their dreams and aspirations. But what if life together is the dream that matters most?
Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.
Elley has been reading romance novels since she was a sixteen-year-old babysitter, sneaking Judith McNaught and Danielle Steele novels off the bookshelves of the women who employed her. She started her first manuscript when she was twenty-five, writing during babies’ naps. A total of three children and ten years later, the manuscript was complete. Little did she know, her journey to publication was only beginning…
Elley writes provocative contemporary romances for Crimson Romance.
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Why Book Covers Are Important
There’s nothing wrong with judging a book by its cover. The idea of thoroughly getting to know something before you accept or deny it is a good policy to have with human beings, but not with books. There are so many to read and so little time to read them! I liken it to an editor who reads a query, the synopsis or first few chapters of a manuscript and rejects it because she or he didn’t feel passionately enough to pursue it further. They’re busy people. Nobody doubts that. It’s acceptable for them to make kneejerk decisions based on a cursory glance. Maybe if they read they whole manuscript they’d feel differently, but they don’t, and that’s okay. I sincerely mean that, because this is how I buy books.
Covers are a reader’s first impression. I should be able to tell from a cover something about the book’s genre and hopefully subgenre. If I’m shopping for a fun contemporary, I’m not going to take a closer look at a book with a vampire on the cover. Of course, that’s a no-brainer. It gets much more difficult.
The first mock cover for Crashing the Congressman’s Wedding featured a movie theater marquee and some other things that screamed Hollywood to me. This was in direct conflict with the small town, wrong-side-of-the-tracks storyline. Fortunately, the Crimson Romance art department listened to my concerns, and a new—perfect—cover was born. If the book had been published with the first cover, I would’ve anticipated some negative feedback from people expecting a Hollywood, movie setting.
The bottom line is, covers are important, because they set expectations. Should they be the sole reason a reader buys a book? Probably not. But I’ve been guilty of it before, and I’m sure I’ll be guilty of it again.
How about you? Have you ever bought a book based on the cover only to be terribly disappointed because the story didn’t match? Do you have a favorite cover? I’d love to know! And please, while you’re here, don’t forget to enter the contest. Thanks so much! I hope you’ll give Crashing the Congressman’s Wedding a shot.