D&D cover voting feature

Judging a Cover by Its Book: Choose the Cover Direction for DUELS AND DECEPTION!

Cover voting is now closed. Thanks for all your help!

Dearest Swoon Readers,

On this most splendid of days, we are so very pleased to present for your consideration the cover directions for Cindy Anstey's latest foray into the Regency era, Duels & Deception!

Swoon designer Anna B. has worked tirelessly to produce these four exquisite cover options, sure to appeal to even the most discerning of tastes. But first, a reminder of the plot, for those in need:

"Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…"

And do not forget, the images below are not necessarily final. These are merely directions, so it is likely there will be some slight changes made before the books are released out into the world. (For more information about the difference between a cover direction and the final cover click here.)

Affectionately yours,

The Swoon Reads Staff

To view enlarged images, right click the image to view it in a new tab. Cover voting will close at noon EST on Tuesday, March 29.


D&D Roses cover

Roses Cover

The Regency period (and the Victorian period, okay, fine) always makes me think of toile. I don’t know if there’s any logic to this, or if it has something to do with my best friend’s childhood home, which was decorated with lots of toile. For this comp, I started out looking for classic toile patterns, which are usually made up of fairly complicated one-color illustrations on a white or cream. That wasn’t really working, though, so I decided to go with nineteenth-century-ish floral pattern instead.

  

D&D Turquoise cover

Turquoise Cover

When I’m designing a cover, I usually start by sketching thumbnails on scrap paper. I love making the type really big, warping it, and trying to fit it into different shapes. This comp is based on one of my first sketches. Lydia and Robert’s silhouettes are about as far apart as they can get, echoing the disparity in their social strata, but they’re treated equally, and they’re facing each other. The illustrations of Roseberry Hall and the dueling hill add a little context and help anchor the silhouettes. If this comp is chosen, I think we’ll hire an illustrator to really refine the art and the lettering!

  

D&D Blue Stripes cover

Blue Stripes Cover

For this comp, my goal was to make something that would reflect the design for Love, Lies and Spies without making this book look like a sequel. I really wanted to get a carriage in the cover somehow, so I made a pattern out of the kidnapping/chase scene, where Robert is on horseback chasing Lydia and the kidnappers in the carriage. The fonts here are all the same ones we used for Love, Lies and Spies, though I’ve made the title and Cindy’s name a bit bigger for this design.

  

D&D Red Shawl Cover

Red Shawl Cover

Like the Turquoise Cover, this one came from an early sketch. I had originally planned to have a carriage in the central space, but when I came across this image I thought it might work better. Lydia is such a strong, independent character that it feels natural to have her solo on the cover, and I’m hoping that the casual, playful lettering hints at how much fun this book is!

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Swoon Reads Staff

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