A Fiancée’s Guide to First Wives and Murder won’t go on sale until July 27, 2021, but I’m ready to share the cover art now!
Here’s a little bit about the book:
For Frances Wynn, widow to the late Earl of Harleigh, life has a cosmopolitan flavor of late. No sooner has she sent her mother and daughter off on a shopping trip to Paris than she and her fiancé, George Hazleton, are socializing with visiting members of the Russian royal family. Yet amid this whirlwind, scandal also comes calling when Inspector Delaney turns up outside Frances’s house with a young French woman with a shocking claim: she is Mrs. George Hazelton.
As the future Mrs. George Hazelton, Frances assumes the woman is either lying or demented. “Mrs. Hazelton,” aka Irena, makes other outrageous statements. Among them, she insists that she is the illegitimate daughter of Russian royalty, that she has been abducted and held for ransom many times, and that someone is sending her threatening letters. When George arrives, he clarifies that he is certainly not married to Irena—though he can confirm her royal parentage. But even as he agrees to investigate whether Irena’s life is in danger, her claim proves tragically true. Irena is found strangled in Frances’ garden.
To uncover a killer—and clear their own names—Frances and George must determine which of Irena’s outlandish stories were based in fact, and who stood to benefit from her death. And as the search reaches a shocking conclusion, they may find that villainy lurks all too close to home . . .
I love contributing my ideas for a new cover to my publisher. It usually involves browsing fashion magazines of the era and providing description of what I think the characters should be doing. This time I did it a little differently. The character’s expressions play a big part and I thought it would be great if I could send my editor a photo of real people with those expressions. We had friends coming over for dinner, so I thought, why not ask them?
Here’s how the evening started:
Here’s how it ended:
Just so you know, this was all pre-Covid. We actually had several possible photos for the cover, but this one never fails to crack me up! (That’s supposed to be a marriage certificate in my hand.) Considering what I submitted, I was really worried about this cover, but I’m pleased the artist chose the photo with “George and Frances” gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. I think she did a beautiful job!
I’ll add buy links to the website soon, but if you’d like to pre-order, you can do so here.