Cover Quirks

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It’s always exciting to get your first look at a new cover. Even if it gives you an odd feeling of deja vu. That’s what happened to me when myFullSteamAhead Cover Final editor first sent me the cover art for my next project, Love on the Mend.

This a novella that follows up with a character from Full Steam Ahead. In that story, the hero and heroine take in a runaway boy named Jacob. The full story of what led the boy to run away in the first place, however, is never completely revealed . . . until the novella. In Love on the Mend, Jacob is a full-grown man, a doctor weary from his time as a surgeon in the Civil War and all the death witnessed firsthand. He longs for peace, but knows he will never have it unless he lays his past to rest. So after 17 years, he finally returns home, only to discover that his past is still alive and kicking.

Now, since this new story will only be available in digital format, and as a novella it will be offered at a fraction of the full-length novel price, my publisher decided that it would be more cost effective to use material they already had in-house for the cover instead of doing an entirely new cover shoot. Being a frugal person, myself, I thought this a wise plan. Besides, it left me with a fun quirk for my cover.

Playing off the doctor angle and using what they had on hand, the art department came up with this adorable cover–one that is remarkably similar to a book by the wonderfully fun Cathy Marie Hake.

My new cover. (You can click on it to pre-order the e-novella.)
That Certain Spark
The original cover from 2009. (You can click this one, too. Grin.)

















They changed the scenery in the background, photo-shopped the color of the dress to change the stripes into a teal color and used a different pose and props than the one selected for Cathy’s cover, yet the two remain very similar.

Now Cathy’s book came out five years ago in 2009, so I wasn’t sure if anyone would even notice. But the first time I posted the cover on Facebook, one savvy librarian from the Netherlands was quick to pick up on it. She asked straight out if it was the same model and dress. Yep. Didn’t bother me in the least, though. It’s not like going to prom and finding two other girls wearing the exact same gown as you. No, to me it was a conversation starter. Besides, I’m a huge fan of Cathy Marie Hake and was honored to share a cover model with her.

The only complaint I have at all is that the style of dress is not right for my time period. Love on the Mend takes place in 1868. The skirt should be much fuller and belled out. But other than that, I’m very pleased. It’s fun, cute, a bit flirtatious, and it fits my feisty heroine, Molly Tate, just fine.

  • So what do you think of the cover?
  • Ever showed up to a gathering wearing the same dress or blouse as someone else?
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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at:

43 thoughts on “Cover Quirks”

  1. yes, have showed up with the same outfit on as someone else and it didn’t bother me in the least,,I thought okay someone has the same taste as I do,,thats okay

  2. That’s amazing how close the models do look alike and how the dress is the same pretty much. i think they should have not done the stripes though because that just what seems so similar is the stripes.
    As long as you are happy with the results then that’s all that matters.

    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

  3. It’s a lovely cover!

    (As an aside – Remember when ALL the covers were of people with the heads chopped off? Not that they weren’t lovely covers, but I went to the bookstore one day and it was like Halloween – a whole shelf of people with no heads. Girls with no heads. Boys with no heads. Couples with no heads. Luckily, the trend seems to have passed.)

  4. Ha! I have many headless models on my covers, Sherri. πŸ™‚ The border has moved up, though, so now instead of being cut off at the shoulders, my models are usually cut off around the forehead. Ha!

  5. Good gracious, I own that book! And I didn’t see the resemblance before? (So I may have been keeping tabs on Goodreads as to books coming out in the next year . . .)

  6. I didn’t notice until that other girl mentioned it, and I even have the paperback of the other book! lol. I’m not so observant I guess. I love reading about some of the behind the scenes stuff from authors about their covers, etc.

    As to what I think of the cover…I think the poor girl’s head seems to be turned around at an unnatural angle. I just keep thinking, she’s gonna get a crick in her neck being frozen that way for all of time…lol

  7. Love the covers! When you live in a small town with limited shopping you WILL show up wearing the same outfit as someone else! My best friend and I bought the same coat! Then someone asked if we were mother and daughter. We did not ask whom she thought was which!

    • Smart move, Connie! I remember showing up at church once wearing the same denim dress as a lady who was probably in her seventies. Lovely, sweet lady – but it did make me question how “old” my taste in clothes was getting. πŸ™‚

  8. Funny how you don’t always see something until it’s pointed out, Karen! I have always loved your covers! They are fantastic! I will look forward to this book like I do all your books!

    • Thanks, Valerie! I’m not sure I would have made the connection on my own without my editor fessing up about it. I did get a feeling of deja vu when I saw it, but I didn’t immediately know why. πŸ™‚

  9. I like your cover but I agree the dress should be more fuller. So will they change the dress on your cover? One time for a school dance I showed up in the same dress as another girl. it didn’t bother me but it bothered her. I got that dirty look all night but I thought oh well and had fun anyway.

    • Good for you, Cori! It seems so silly to me for girls to get bent out of shape if someone comes wearing the same outfit. It’s not like the other girl did so intentionally. But then, that’s teenagers for you. Not very rational. I have 2 1/2 of them living with me right now. (The 1/2 is my 12 year old. Close enough to be counted.)

      I don’t think they will make any adjustments to the dress. I think if they tried to photo shop the shape of the skirt it would end up looking really fake, so we’re just going with it. I doubt non-society women in Texas wore those impractical hoops, anyway. I’m sure their shirts were fuller, but we’ll just pretend my heroine didn’t have enough petticoats to poof it out. πŸ™‚

  10. I thought the cover looked familiar but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Now I know why! I think the cover’s cute though, it does seem to be playful, kind of like the cover of Full Steam Ahead so I think it’s a good match.

  11. What a fun story! And a fun cover πŸ™‚ It’s really cute. One time a guy friend and I both wore the same Mountain Dew t-shirt to a youth group event. He was super embarrassed and said he’d never wear it again to any gathering I might be at. Lol! Also, our church makes t-shirts for every VBS and other things, too. So there have been many times where two or even more people wore the same shirt on the same day, outside of the event it was made for.

    • My two boys have a few shirts that match from church camps and stuff. Sometimes if we are going on trips, I make them match on purpose so I can find them easily in a crowd. But every once in a while they just happen to grab the same shirt on the same day. My older son doesn’t care. My younger son always groans. πŸ™‚

      • Haha, that’s a good idea πŸ™‚ It’s also funny when a whole group of us in matching shirts goes out for ice cream after a night of VBS or something like that. I’m sure people look at us funny!

  12. Karen, it’s what is on the inside, I care about. You always, “Nail it”. I love your style and the stories are so fun to read to my mama. Keep up the good work, however you get it done.

    Got to spend some time with your grandfather yesterday. Dick and Marilyn are up from Sac. He drove from the Coast for a dr apt, then up to visit. I told him to plan on spending the night. Too far to drive back, in the same day. We had a great time. He looks so good..

    • Thank you SOOOO much for letting me know how Granddaddy is doing. I haven’t seen him in quite some time. We talk once in a while over the phone, but it’s not the same as seeing him in person. I’m so thankful he’s doing well. I hope he’s getting lots of fishing in. πŸ™‚

      • I forgot to ask about the fishing, Karen. It’s been raining quite a bit lately. I’m sure that wouldn’t stop him from fishing. He’s a very happy man, with a wonderful, cheerful attitude. He even said he hopes he has several more years to hang around. Wants to live to be at least 100.

  13. Since I love books by both Cathy Marie Hake and you, yes I would notice this and I would also notice that the dress is too skimpy! I bought my first and second Karen Witemeyer book because of the cover! But, yes, it’s what’s inside that really matters.
    As to wearing what someone else is…I make almost everything that I wear and have since I was in high school so that has never been a problem but I was once accused of wearing someone’s tablecloth. πŸ™

    • I have limited skill on the sewing machine, but last week I made my daughter a blue jumper so that she could be the book-loving Belle for Halloween. It had probably been 8 years or more since I’d purchased a pattern and fabric and sewn a dress from scratch. It was a relief when it turned out. πŸ™‚

  14. I noticed, but then I do look for books everyday so I see “That Certain Spark” cover often. At least it is a different pose and the dress color was changed. I have seen books with the exact same cover before and find it very annoying.
    In eighth grade I went to a dance and had the same dress as two other girls! One girl was very upset about it, the other girl and I danced together and had fun with it. Now I have to be careful about wearing a red shirt when I go to Target, people always think I work there.

    • Ha! Your Target comment made me laugh. When I do book signings, I often get asked questions about where things are shelved or where the bathroom is. Probably because I stand there and greet people when they come in. I try to be helpful and smile or when all else fails, find a true sales associate to assist. πŸ™‚

  15. The cover is very nice and fits well with your other covers.

    I did show up tho a gathering and one of the other ladies there had on the same outfit. We knew each other and met up when we realized what had happened. We had a good laugh and congratulated each other on our good taste. Unless you make it yourself or have a designer original, there are dozens or hundreds of outfits like you buy. Chances are good you will bump into someone who has the same thing you have on. I see no reason to get upset. You make the look yours by the way you accessorize it and how you look in it.

  16. Hi Karen! I think her whole posture must be achy after that shoot. Her dress back looks like the front of a dress. Then her hands are turned at the wrist that looks hard to do. (I tried to do it and I couldn’t but too maybe I just can’t do it lol!) I love tho Cathy’s cover dress and color. It looks fresh and fun. But too I love to read what’s in the book but too the cover is part of the package. I can’t wait to get. I read all ebooks now. Making the font bigger is fab.

    I have a rare print of author Christina Dodd book that the heroine has 3 arms on her. I heard about it and one day I saw it at a flea market and got it for a quarter.

    Have a great weekend and thanks. This was fun! Cathie

  17. Covers are the reason we’re drawn to a book, so I’m not surprised a librarian caught the similarities. I don’t like to see the same couple and the same pose on ten covers…with only a slightly different background. I like original covers, just like I’d expect the story inside to be. Karen- your cover was changed enough it passes though.
    Looks like a good book to read!

    • Thanks, Lin. I know it’s a business and money needs to be considered especially on the smaller novella projects, so I’m happy to share a cover model. Especially when they make a point to “accessorize” the cover with new background, props, etc. πŸ™‚

  18. I don’t know if I would have noticed with out the post asking if something was familiar, but then I knew exactly what book shared the cover model. Very cute cover!

  19. I love reading the back story about how books got their covers. Yours is a cute one and is different enough from the original Cathy Marie Hake cover to stand on its own.

    I showed up to a high school banquet in the same black velvet dress as another girl, but it was no big deal. We thought it was funny.

    • Thanks, Brittany. Glad your high school banquet experience turned out lighthearted. That’s the best way to handle things like that in my opinion. If you can’t laugh about it your only other option is to be miserable. I would much rather be happy.

  20. I probably would not have noticed if you hadn’t said anything! I really like your cover though. The color jumps out and catches your attention! It has your name attached, so I am sold!

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