Back in August I shared the announcement about Shadowed Loyalty, my 1920s Chicago story, that will be coming from Chrism Press in May of 2022. Well, not long after that, I had the joy of working on the cover for it!
It isn’t often that I get to design my own book covers, and while Chrism Press is a branch of WhiteFire Publishing (the company my husband and I own), the designs are all done by the amazing Rhonda Ortiz, so I was fully prepared to come, hat in hands and eyes wide, to beg her to let me do this one, LOL. But she beat me to the punch by saying, “You’re going to do yours, right? You do ‘Roseanna covers’ better than I could.” To which, of course, I said, “YES, PLEASE!!!”
Honestly, I’d already been searching for images. I thought I’d do a “pretty dress” cover with that iconic 1920s style…an authentic era gown, even. So I went to my usual sources for genuine era gowns with public domain photos…and I found nothing. Nada. So by the point that the task was officially handed to me, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Until Rhonda said, “We totally need something with the same vibe as Stephanie Landsem’s In a Far Off Land.”
To which again I said, “YES!!!!”
I absolutely adore this cover of Stephanie’s (and the book is amazing too!), and while it’s set a decade after mine, in Hollywood rather than Chicago, the vibe is allll kinds of right.
So off I went, searching for 1920s styled models. And hilariously, I found the exact one they used on In a Far Off Land. At first I thought I’d better avoid her for that very reason–I don’t want it to look too much like hers, after all. But then I thought, “Well, let’s see what I can do to make it unique.” So I chose a different position…I darkened her hair…I changed her lip color…I added a hat. And of course, I put a historical Chicago background behind her.
When I announced the book, I had quite a few comments that mentioned how much they liked the feel of the image we used in the blog–dark and mysterious, with a gangster flair (this is about the Mafia, after all). So I wanted to make sure I captured that air of mystery, of the underworld. And when I showed it to a few people, I got some great reactions.
Are you ready to see? I hope so! Here it is, and be sure to scroll down to the text afterward to get more info or pre-order a signed copy!
So as you can see, I went with some deep shades, toned in blue. I focused on the headshot, but we still get a glimpse of her fabulous beaded dress and her era-signature cloche hat. I use an Art Deco accent and font, but not a full frame, the better to leave room for her lovely face.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
When I showed it to the Chrism editors for approval, one of the first questions was, “Are you going to be selling those earrings in your shop? They’re fabulous!”
I do totally agree. I also love the matching bobby pins…and I found a necklace from the same jeweler that matches the description of one that plays a key role in the story too! So I’m excited to offer all three items in my store. (As of this posting, I have the items ordered from the jeweler, though they’re not in hand yet. I will fulfill any orders that come in as soon as I get them from the acclaimed Sweet Romance Jewelry shop!)
And of course, if you’d like to pre-order, you can do that EXCLUSIVELY from my store right now! It will begin appearing elsewhere in the new year, but why wait to reserve your signed copy? 😉 Pre-order pricing will only last until release!
As a reminder, though, placing the order now will charge your card now but the item will not ship until May, when I have them in hand.
About the Book
Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turned out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Now she sees how ugly the underworld can be. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—maybe Lorenzo, her straitlaced fiancé, had it right when he said it is better to stay far removed. And maybe, if she can understand him and his baffling faith, he will give her another chance.
But Lorenzo isn’t sure he’s ready for that. All his life he has loved Sabina, only to realize she had never felt the same about him. While he’s relieved to see her pursuing God, the Prohibition agent is pursuing her father just as intently, and it falls to Enzo—and his legal skills—to keep trouble at bay. He wants to believe that Sabina can change…assuming they can stay alive until their wedding day.
Shadowed Loyalty, set amid the glitz and scandal of the Roaring Twenties, examines what love really means and how we draw lines between family and our own convictions, especially when following the one could mean losing the other.