Styles change over time. I remember when I was a little girl I had a white brocade cotton dress trimmed in yellow. I loved it. I wore it to church almost every Sunday. But soon I wanted to wear it on other days too. I imagine I pulled it out of my closet every school day as well, holding it out with expectant eyebrows raised to my mom, who I can picture shaking her head with a pained look.
Now, I wouldn’t dream of wearing a white textured form-fitting mini-dress. Styles change.
Speaking of changing fashions, I’ve read some headlines saying that “skinny jeans” are no longer in style but the dreaded “mom jeans” are back in. The funny thing is I never owned a single pair of skinny jeans. When I buy a pair of denim jeans, they’re in my wardrobe rotation for close to ten years. My mom jeans never left, and now they’re in style again!
Just as styles change in clothes, the same can be said for book covers. See for yourself: go to your bookshelf and search for a book that you read twenty years ago but couldn’t part with because you loved it so much. Pull it out and blow the dust off it. What is the cover art like? Does it look anything like modern books released this year in the same genre? I’m going to guess not.
In my own inspirational romance backlist containing twenty-four books, twenty-three of them take place (entirely or partially) at the beach. It’s sort of my thing. Since the beach is my Happy Place, I set my books there. My first series of beachy inspirational romance is Pawleys Island Paradise. There are six novels and one nonfiction companion book, published between 2014 and 2016. I worked with my cover artist to come up with a look so all the books in the series were branded together, but reflected the unique content of each individual book. I loved those covers, and still do today!
But they’re seven years old, some of them! Cover styles have come and gone and now we, as readers, look for something else. I started noticing a trend last year. Beachy books sported beautiful beachy covers. No couples. No heroes or heroines. Just scenic photographs of the ocean. I’m so drawn to those types of pictures. They fill the walls of my house. I belong to several Facebook groups where we simply share beach photos. I decided to work with my artist to cover my Pawleys Island books with beautiful, new beachy covers.
Since I was giving this series a fresh new look, I decided to also spiffy up the content! I’ve learned a lot about writing inspirational romance novels since these books came out. So I embarked on a journey to reread and polish up these books written by my “seven-years-ago-self.” I didn’t want to change them drastically because readers have always loved these stories. But I did clean up a few errors. I changed a few verbs to be more active. I cut out redundant wording. And I took the opportunity to remove some elements of the stories that readers had told me in their reviews that they didn’t like. Nothing drastic. Just cleaning them up.
Now, just in time for spring break trips to the beach (real or virtual!) the books are ready for a whole new generation of readers to find them and enjoy them! I present to you: a look at the old and the new, along with a short description of each and a place you can buy them if you’re interested.
Here are my questions for you (and I encourage you to be honest): Do you like the old or the new better? Which cover would entice you more to read them? What do you think about the trend of authors putting new covers on older books? Do you like mom jeans or skinny jeans? What are your favorite style trends from the past (either book covers or clothes)? I will pick one random winner to receive an ebook copy of the Pawleys Island Paradise book of your choice, any format. I’ll select a winner on Monday March 29!
Book 1: Roadtrip to Redemption: Get acquainted with Leslie Malone as she makes a life-changing journey after her well-established life gets derailed like never before. Gather on Pawleys Island, South Carolina as she meets Hank, a man of few words but a huge heart who helps her see just how good her life can be. Purchase it here.
Book 2: Tide to Atonement: Join Hank’s son, Jeremy as he is released from prison, determined to redeem himself and live a good life. A relationship with reporter Emma Slotky will not be easy because of his history with her family, but can it possibly be the love God has in store for him in His abundance of grace? Purchase it here.
Book 3: Journey to Fulfillment: Jeremy’s sister Marianne and her husband Tom face a devastating family event. However, instead of this near tragedy pulling the two of them together, it tears them apart. How can this married couple come to resolution beyond the ultimatums and hurt feelings? God has a plan, but what is it? Purchase it here.
Book 4: Bridge to Fruition: Leslie’s daughter Jasmine is about to jump headfirst into the real world. With college graduation nearing and searching for a job, she doesn’t expect the real world to knock her out–literally. After an incident lands her in the hospital, she uncovers a truth about her past, a past she wasn’t prepared to discover. Vowing to find the answers, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and faith. Purchase it here.
Book 5: Path to Discovery: Brokenhearted, New York actress Roxanne Frazier welcomes the escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city to take the lead in a Pawleys Island dinner theater show. It’s the solace and sanctuary that she’s needed ever since her world came crumbling down. But then he walks in… Back into her life. And her memories of her worst nightmare. Purchase it here.
Book 6: Return to Devotion: Leslie’s friend Rita is an Army wife and she’s committed to living her life that way. Bo’s second deployment was tough on her and now he’s being called for his third. Loneliness is setting in and Rita doesn’t know if she’s got it in her this time. Becoming friends with Glenn fills the emptiness. But can men and women truly be friends? Will an innocent kiss lead to destroying everything she and Bo have built together? Purchase it here.
If you love heartwarming, life-changing Christian fiction, this is the series for you. Each book filled with compelling characters, a beautiful real-life beach setting and faith-based truths, I hope you fall in love.