Friday, January 3, 2014

Cover Reveal for Morning Glory!

I'm so excited to share my third cover with you, once again designed by the amazing Lena Goldfinch (Stone Lily Publishing & Design Services)! Not only does this mean we can now see all three covers for "The Heart's Spring" series together (not including the companion short stories to come), but it also means that I can unveil a series blog, which I'm very excited to do! Read on to learn more about the story behind the cover, the new blogs, and a themed giveaway...

A Cover Story

Several months ago, Lena was working on the cover for Forget Me Not, the first book in the series and Bleeding Heart's prequel. I had already started another secret Pinterest board for Morning Glory's cover, including some Oregon sunrise/sunset pictures, some morning glories, and another top-secret element to be shared later on when the paperback cover is completed. ;) I also found one red-haired model I liked. I think perhaps I had pinned some of those pics while we were brainstorming the cover for Forget Me Not or something... Either way, Lena jumped straight into this project before we had even finalized the cover for Forget Me Not! She pinned a few model pics, once again (like with the model for Forget Me Not) zeroing in on a model that I wasn't sure felt quite right for the part. Here's the pic:


Her headband, necklace, and bouquet look very modern, but Lena assured me that she could take those things out or rework them. I think I continued sharing a couple other pics, because I wasn't completely convinced, LOL. I should have known by then that Lena's eye for cover design is spectacular!

As Lena wrote down some points to convince me that this girl could work, she was caught up in the vision, declaring that she might just have to put together a comp to show me right then and there. And show me, she did! The first comp showed all of the model's head, and I fell in love with the design and the colors, especially. My reaction:

Oooooooh! You're making me want to write this book right now, LOL! 

I went on to tell Lena that I was on cloud 9, and we pretty much gushed about the colors, Crater Lake, research books, and the fact that we were friends. It was awesome. ;)

Lena made one final tweak, cropping the top of the heroine's head, zooming in so that her skirts were fuller and the headband was no longer an issue.

So basically, Lena picked all of the images for this particular cover, creating something I hadn't envisioned, but ultimately adored. She told me that the design came together "lightning quick," that she saw it like "a gift." It's truly a beautiful thing to see the Lord's gifts at work, and I'm blessed beyond measure to be the recipient of this one!

Then in December I received the final version. Lena tried the full head shot again, but we decided to go with the cropped version, which we agree fits well with the other covers and gives it more of a historical flavor (taking away any overly modern pieces). I'm seriously astounded that Lena took the certainly beautiful but modern model above and made her look like this:


What I Love: The model's expression, perhaps serious, but in a confident, waiting-expectantly-for-something-to-happen way. Her hair, which is absolutely gorgeous - lively, rich, and curled like morning glory vines. Her posture, which is humble with her head bowed a bit, but also tall and elegant. The morning glories she's holding, which are also tall and reaching up to the sky (not to mention a glorious, royal shade). The deep, dark purple-y blues of the background (Crater Lake), and the vivid reds and pinks of the morning sky just touching the cliffs on the other side of the lake - all hinting at dark things that are overshadowed by a bright, coming dawn. The hillsides themselves once again highlighting the emotional peaks and depths my characters face. The title font that's flowy like water and curved like the tendrils of the heroine's hair and the vine. And the whole concept, including the way the depths and heights, the dark and light, are all contrasted in a delightful display of color.

The Heart's Spring Series Home

Before I share about the new blogs, here are all three covers together:


I'd be curious to know if you have a favorite, or what stands out to you about the series' covers sitting side by side! I love each of them, of course, but I think Bleeding Heart has my favorite model/expression, Forget Me Not has my favorite dress, and Morning Glory has my favorite background/color scheme. I thought the progression of the covers was really neat, too, if you take them in the order they're published: Sally is sitting (Bleeding Heart), Elizabeth is kneeling (Forget Me Not), and Felicity is standing (Morning Glory). I think each cover portrays each story's theme and tone so well, and I'm so very grateful to Lena for that!

And now for the blog reveal...

Like I did for Bleeding Heart and Forget Me Not, I created a site for Morning Glory. It's a little bare right now because I haven't really started on this project yet, but be sure to check back in the spring for a book blurb, "soundtrack," and more! In the meantime, if you want to be kept completely up-to-date on all of the series news, be sure to follow the brand-new series blog:


I'm so thrilled to have a place now where all the separate book sites link back to, and where you can find news about the series, learn more about the companion short stories, sign up for my author newsletter, and discover insider information about the books, my writing/publishing process, etc. The separate book blogs are more static - even though I update the information from time to time, there aren't any new "posts" and such. But this blog will allow you to follow the series and get new information delivered to your dashboard/feed/inbox. I hope this will be as much fun for you as it is for me!

A Morning Glory Giveaway

To celebrate all the "reveals" today, I'm offering a themed giveaway! One winner, two lovely prizes from two awesome Etsy sites!

Morning Glory Note Cards (4-pack) by Cindy Lindgren

Lavender & Copper Earrings by Jaye L. Knight

Just use the form below to enter! Please note that this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about how to use the form. The winner will be announced next Friday, January 10th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Cover Reveal Participants

I have such an awesome influencer team, and I'm grateful for each blogger who has shown an interest in this series and helped me to promote the books by participating in the cover reveals, Bleeding Heart's blog tour, etc. Love you guys! Here's a list of the bloggers participating in this cover reveal:
You just might find some info about me and Lena, some bloggers' thoughts on the cover, and such, so I do hope you'll visit these wonderful blogs when you get the chance!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the cover, the new blog, or anything that strikes your fancy in this post! Hope 2014 is going grandly for you so far!

24 comments:

Julie said...

Love the cover Amber and am looking forward to reading the book :)

Ruth A. said...

Congratulations!

Ganise C. said...

Sweet mercy, I saw it on of the blogs participating but I just had to come over to your blog and say that this cover is probably the very best in the series. My jaw actually dropped when I saw it. LOVE it! And now, I must read this story ASAP ;). Just kidding, I really can't wait though. Truly a SPLENDID job Lena and Amber! You've outdone yourselves.

Rachel Heffington said...

Beautiful job, ladies! Lena certainly is clever with how she changed the model to fit your cover. Love it :)

Library Lady said...

My favorite cover is "Bleeding Heart". The first one is plain and the third one is too bright. Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

Ella said...

Your book covers are lovely!
I hope I will get a chance to read your new book when it comes out:)

Carissa said...

I love all three covers Amber but the cover for Morning Glory is my favorite

Hannah said...

Gasp! Congratulations, Amber! I had no idea you'd be having another cover reveal so soon! How exciting! It's very beautiful.

My favorite cover is probably Bleeding Heart.

Rissi said...

Pretty! Congrats, Amber. So happy for you, girl.

I am not sure which is the favorite overall however seeing them all together, it's interesting the visual progression (backgrounds) of the novels if you put them in the order they come time wise - FMN is "darker, gray," BH is brighter with hints of promise then there is MG which has a full-blown beautiful image backing its heroine. Of course, I don't know about Morning Glory since its still in the planning stages however each cover seems to represent its story very well. :)

Meghan Gorecki said...

What a beautiful cover! I LOVE it! Am SO thrilled for you, Amber! <3

Grace M said...

They're all gorgeous covers- I think my favorite cover is "Morning Glory". Now that I've seen them all side by side, I see how similar they are. The designer has done a great job on them! :-D Congrats on your books, Amber. Hope the writing of "Morning Glory" book goes smoothly.

Crystal said...

What a beautiful cover!! All 3 are gorgeous and I can't wait to one day have all 3 on my bookshelf :D

Once again, Lena did a fabulous job! :)

Amber Stokes said...

Hello, dear friends! Thank you all for the encouraging words! :)

Julie: So happy to hear that! I hope the story will live up to the cover and be worth the wait. :) Thank you for all of your support!

Ruth: Thank you so much!

Ganise: LOL, I love this comment! Thank you so much for your enthusiasm for this story and its cover. :) Lena truly did a remarkable job with the design! Looking forward to sharing more of Myghal's story with you in the hopefully not-too-distant future...

Rachel: Thank you! I do not possess the same skill set when it comes to graphic design, so I'm in awe of what Lena can do. :) So glad you like the result, too!

Janet: Interesting! Bleeding Heart is a special cover for me, being my first and all, and I'm glad that you like it. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Ella: Aww, thank you! I hope you get a chance to read Morning Glory when it releases, as well. :) I'm sure there will be giveaways during the blog tour!

Carissa: Glad you love all of them and that Morning Glory stands out to you! I'm really partial to the color scheme. Plus, it's for Myghal's story, so that makes it exciting, right?? ;)

Hannah: Thank you so much, my friend! Yes, it is a little soon to be having another one, but even waiting until now to share it was painful, hehe. ;) Plus, I can now have a series blog without fear of giving away the cover too soon, so I'm glad about that! But don't worry - I plan on having at least one more cover reveal this year, Lord willing, not including the companion short stories I hope to release. :) Glad to hear you still like Bleeding Heart's cover!

Rissi: You are such a good friend to share in my highs and lows of this publishing journey! Thank you for all of your encouragement. :) And that is very neat about the background progression! I hadn't really focused on that, as I thought more about the model progression (sitting to standing), and then the similarities between the cover designs and such (with the hills behind them, etc.). But that is such a cool observation! Even the growing "clarity" is neat - how FMN has dark, stormy clouds, BH has fog, and MG has only a thin strip of hazy clouds in a bright sky. Thanks for pointing that out, Rissi! :) Love it!

Meghan: Aww, thank you so much for your kindness and for sharing this joy with me! *Hugs*

Grace: That's neat to hear, and I'm glad you feel they all fit well together! :) Lena definitely did a fabulous job on all of them. Thank you for the kind wishes and encouragement!

Crystal: Thank you! And you and me both! ;) I really look forward to the day I can have all three paperbacks on my shelf. :D (BTW, Morning Glory will have an extra special paperback cover, so stay tuned for more info on that!)

~Amber

Kristie Truett said...

Can't wait to dig into one of your books Amber!! I Love finding new authors and so thankful MaryLu introduced you to me. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite, I like them all for different reasons. But the vulnerability on the cover of onioning glory grabs me for some reason. Can't wait to read them!! God bless.

Anonymous said...


My favourite cover is The Morning Glory, but love all three. They are all really pretty. wish I had all three. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Cathy said...

Another beautiful cover Amber! I'm looking forward to reading Forget me not and this new one too! : )

Michelle said...

Congratulations, Amber! I love the new cover! It's truly stunning . . . it looks like it all came together beautifully! I love it for all the reasons you mentioned. :)

Can't wait to read the story!

Amber Stokes said...

Kristie: Awww, how nice to meet you, and thank you so much for your kind words! MaryLu is super sweet (and a great author!), and I'm thrilled you found me because of her post. :) That's neat that you noted the vulnerability and not just the colors of Morning Glory's cover intrigued you. The only book in the series currently out is Bleeding Heart (you can find links to purchase HERE), but Forget Me Not is coming soon! God bless you, as well!

Maxie: Thank you for sharig your thoughts! I would love to have all three, too. ;) Can't wait to have Lena's beautiful designs all in paperback! And I can't wait to complete all of the stories and share them with you. :)

Cathy: Thank you!! Not too much longer for Forget Me Not. :) I appreciate your friendship and support!

Michelle: So glad you love it, my friend! I think it's stunning, too - just love the color scheme Lena went with. :) Can't wait to share the story with you!

~Amber

Melanie Backus said...

Amber, the covers are just beautiful! To choose a favorite would be too hard as one is just as pretty as the other. Great author , great books!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Amber Stokes said...

Melanie,

Thank you so much for your sweet comment! That's wonderful that you love all the covers, and I so appreciate the encouragement! :)

~Amber

Sherida Stewart said...

I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to tell you I LOVE the cover for MORNING GLORY! (I love all the covers, actually!) BEAUTIFUL!

Amber Stokes said...

Sherida,

Never too late! ;) Thank you so much for the kind comment, and for participating in the cover reveal! I'm so glad you love all of the covers. :) Lena is an awesome cover designer!

~Amber

Nancy M. said...

I think I like the Forget me Not cover the best. However they are all beautiful. I just love Forget me Nots.

Amber Stokes said...

Nancy,

I'm fond of forget-me-nots, too. :) Glad you like all the covers, and thank you for your feedback!

~Amber