Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jesus Loves Cover Art

As I am known to do, given my job, I was tip-toeing through catalogs today and hit the jackpot of beautiful cover art thanks to the Baker Publishing Group.  For those of you who don't know Baker, they publish the inspirational fiction imprints Bethany House and Revell.  Take a gander at this cover art and weep bitter copious tears that secular romance publishers haven't caught a clue.

Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell - publication date March 2013

Description:  Lucy Kendall always assumed she'd help her father in his candy-making business, creating recipes and aiding him in their shared passion. But after a year traveling in Europe, Lucy returns to 1910 St. Louis to find her father unwell and her mother planning to sell the struggling candy company. Determined to help, Lucy vows to create a candy that will reverse their fortunes.

St. Louis newcomer Charlie Clarke is determined to help his father dominate the nation's candy industry. Compromise is not an option when the prize is a father's approval, and falling in love with a business rival is a recipe for disaster when only one company can win. Will these two star-crossed lovers let a competition that turns less than friendly sour their dreams?

 Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot - publication date January 2013

Description: After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker's shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer, Charlotte feels drawn to him.

If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can't shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.

Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett's plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

 Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer - publication date April 2013

Description: Lydia Eldredge longs to provide a sanctuary for her son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.

Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population in Queens, but under cover of darkness he provides another service that must not be discovered lest his and his brother's lives be in danger.

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Through unforeseen twists and turns, they seek a refuge of safety--for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God unexpectedly puts in their lives.

 Moonlight Masquerade by Ruth Axtell - publication date March 2013

Description: Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need--or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte.

When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess's butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London's West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham's spell. Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, will he do the right thing?

 The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen - publication date January 2013

Description:  Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.

When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame...and which brother to trust with her heart?

 Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson - publication date February 2013

Description: Feisty wedding photographer Hannah McDermott has dealt with her share of difficult brides. But none can compare to the ultimate Bridezilla she's dealing with now. Still, she's trying desperately to impress Bella Neeley, Galveston Island's most sought-after wedding planner, so she can take the top spot in Bella's list of recommended photographers--a spot currently occupied by her arch-rival, Drew Kincaid. What she doesn't count on, however, is falling head over heels for the competition.


Back cover blurb commentary aside (seriously, the word "feisty" should be outlawed from the English language), I think all of these covers are absolutely gorgeous.  Every single one of them would at least get me to pick up the book long enough to read the plot description and the first couple of page.  Instead what secular publishers keep offering me is an endless parade of head-less man-titty that I can't distinguish one cover from the next.  And OMG - period costume!  My kingdom for historical romance covers with actual period costume!

What say you?  Do you like these covers or do you find them boring?  Am I being too hard on the scores of headless man-titty on romance covers?  (Hey, hunky cover models have to eat too!)


Phyllis said...

Someone I know had hr book published by them recently and I agree!

The model's expression needs some work, but otherwise, I loved it.

Phyllis said...

I meant that as a general prop to inspie covers, I guess. Her's in Barbour and you're talking Baker and Bethany. Whoops!

Samantha said...

Those covers are beautiful. I don't usually read inspirationals, but those first two I'd be tempted to give them a try just based on the covers.

jmc said...

All those covers are gorgeous; I wish other romance subgenres would get a clue.

On Siri Mitchell, she has gotten some beautiful covers on her historical inspies. Sadly, I have not been impressed by the couple I tried. I really enjoyed her comparatively light inspy contemporaries, The Cubicle Next Door and Tokyo Moon, but find her voice too modern even for the more recently-set historicals she's written.

LynnS. said...

I completely agree. I don't always like the books, but I see a lot of really striking inspy covers out there. Baker has some of my favorites, but I've seen some really pretty ones from most of the other publishers, too.

Lil Sis said...

Ok, I just cracked up at the "headless man-titties" comment. I would probably never read inspirational nor romance (you know me and my tastes) but they are very pretty. And I find man-titties to be odd...anyone with bigger boobs than me is a no go. :)

Tracy S said...

These covers are beautiful and that first book sounds intriguing with the candy making. I do read inspirationals so thanks for the descriptions along with the covers! :)

And Lil Sis, I had to laugh at your last comment. I swear some of those guys do have boobs bigger than mine and I'm a DD!! LOL

Leslie said...

I rarely read inspirational romances but I can't help looking at the covers when I'm at Sam's Club. They have some of the most vivid colors and the costumes are gorgeous! The Amanda Cabot cover is a perfect example.

Marg said...

There are a number of inspy authors I have contemplated reading just because their cover art is so good!

Tracy S said...

Here is another gorgeous cover. I just got this from the library yesterday:

Kristie (J) said...

I hear you!! I wish all romance books had the same kind of covers as inspirational covers instead of the embarrassment that are many of the 'regular' covers. Avon in particular take a page from these covers. I would never be red faced caught reading any of these in public.

Wendy said...

Phyllis: The colors are always so pretty on inspy covers. And all props are good - I was just singling out Baker here since it was there catalog I was browsing.

Samantha: I pick up the occasional inspy when the description intrigues me. I might have to try some of these!

JMC: I shouldn't just pick on secular romance. I find pretty much all urban fantasy covers interchangeable these days too.

Lynn: The Amish ones tend to blur together for me, but all the others I find really striking. I honestly think it's the use of period costume on the historical covers!

Lil Sis: Well....I have gotten you to read romance, you've just been reading it in "cocktail" form where it's blended with something else (that Jill Sorenson was definitely a romance, but also a suspense).

Tracy: I love that candy-making premise, and early 20th century / Edwardian is a time period I would LOVE to see more of. I may have to try that one when it comes out.

Leslie: I LOVE that dress on the Cabot book. It's perfect.

Marg: It's amazing to me how FAR inspy covers have come in even the last decade. They used to be truly appalling. Very amateurish looking.

Tracy: You know, I haven't tried any inspy suspense yet. I've pretty much stuck with the historicals. Will have to remedy that!

Kristie: I'm a sucker for pretty dresses - and inspy covers like to feature pretty dresses :)

Marissa said...

Oh, beautiful. I have exactly zero interest in inspirational books, but if such a cover was on a genre I liked, I'd purchase it in an instant.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

wow, love those! I don't read inspirational, either, but I just love these covers!

Wendy said...

Marissa & Crafty: I know, aren't they pretty? I'm such a girl - distracted by pretty dresses ;)

AmyW said...

What time period is "Sweet Sanctuary"? '50?

Wendy said...

AmyW: I'm not quite sure.... That's what I'm thinking - post WWII? Publication isn't until the spring, so all I'm really finding right now is the publisher description. No hardcore details :(