Monday, October 20, 2014

Cover Reveal: COUNTERMEASURES (Aka: You Win Some, You Lose Some)

So, perhaps I’ve mentioned that I have a four book series coming out with Harlequin Intrigue in 2015 (actually the first one, INFILTRATION, hits shelves in late December, and is available for pre-order, ahem, here).

The books officially come out January/February and then June/July 2015. They’re called the Omega Sector Series, but they’re also books based on the four Branson siblings: Cameron, Sawyer, Juliet and Dylan.

I talked a couple of weeks ago about the angst that comes along with seeing a cover for the first time, since I have no control over the cover. The cover for Book 1 INFILTRATION was pretty great:
Infiltration Omega Sector Series

I got the cover for COUNTERMEASURES (Book 2) last week:
Countermeasure Omega Sector Series
When I saw this cover, my heart sank. Not because the cover was bad as a cover (although the guy isn't my personal type), but because the cover looked NOTHING like the characters I describe in the book.

Here are the heroine’s thoughts about the hero when she first meets him (taken directly from the book): 
If it wasn’t for the scar on his chin and slightly crooked nose —it looked like it had been broken at some point in his life— Agent Branson definitely could’ve made a living in front of the camera. Black hair, cut short and stylish, a perpetual five o’clock shadow, gorgeous green eyes. Megan put a hand up to her chin just to make sure she wasn’t accidentally drooling.
And the heroine? Described as having brown curly hair framing her face and shoulders and big brown eyes, with glasses.

So… yeah.  Um, that cover doesn’t look anything like my characters. Hello, blondie.  (And, for the record, I do complete an Art Fact Sheet providing detailed information about the characters and settings in each book)

I immediately put in an email to my editor: Was it possible to change the cover? If not, was it possible to change the text in the book so I could describe the characters to look more like the cover? She checked with the art and marketing department, but alas, no.

It was too late.

I have to admit, I was pretty devastated. After all, this was Sawyer and Megan’s story, and my favorite book I had written to date. When I think of a Sawyer, I think of:
(Although, looking at this picture, I'm beginning to understand where the art department was trying to go with the hero on Countermeasures. Maybe they're Lost fans too.)
And when I think of Megan, I of course think of: my BFF Megan:
Who wouldn't model a character after her?
So anyway, I was upset about the cover. But nothing could be done. In an online chat room I asked some of fellow Intrigue authors (who have been writing for years – some for decades) if anything like this had ever happened to them.

Trust me when I say, their stories both reassured me and had me in stitches on the floor.

For example, someone pointed out (international best seller multiple times over) Suzanne Brockmann’s book Get Lucky:
That dude looks like the Pillsbury Dough Boy! Rumor has it, Suzanne Brockmann  handed out smiley stickers to put over his face when the book came out. I remember reading that book. Brockmann has been one of my favorite authors over the years.

And speaking of RUMOR HAS IT, may I present:
Cindi is one of my friends, and also writes for Intrigue. A hugely talented and very kind lady. But what the heck is happening on that cover???  That can’t be anatomically correct, right?

Ultimately, their point was: Regardless of whether the details are correct, as long as the cover is good overall, then don’t worry about it. There will be some readers who comment that the coloring of the characters isn’t correct –because hey, it’s not— but it shouldn’t affect sales too much over all.

More importantly, I think the art/promo department really got the back cover copy right for COUNTERMEASURES:
The clock was ticking, the enemy was watching.

At first it looked like a glorified babysitting job: safeguard a scientist while she created a countermeasure to neutralize a dangerous weapon that had fallen into the wrong hands. But when Dr. Megan Fuller's life was threatened, undercover agent Sawyer Branson knew the enemy was closing in. Sticking by Megan 24/7 wasn't something he took lightly, even if Megan didn't seem to appreciate his constant presence.

For a man used to getting any woman he wanted, Megan was a challenge he was coming to enjoy. Because beneath her boxy lab coat and pinned-back hair lay a brilliant and beautiful warrior. And before long, Sawyer's determination to save the world was matched only by the sudden need to make Megan his.
SEXY! I love it!

So although the cover for COUNTERMEASURES was not what I had hoped it would be, in the end I think it’s going to be just fine.
Countermeasures Janie Crouch

And if you want to take a marker and color her hair curly brown on your copy, that’s perfectly okay with me.

Pre-order the Omega Sector Series now:
Book 3 & 4 - available June & July 2015; links coming soon!


  1. Thanks for the Monday morning laugh.. Those original Brockmann covers were hideous :) Even though your cover may not match exactly to your characters you have to admit they are light years better than what they used to be. And the guy on Countermeasures reminds me of a young Rick Springfield and we all had a crush on him back in the day :) Looking forward to this series as I was a fan of Primal Instinct and Special Agent Jackass :)

    1. Thanks so much, Cindy! I do love me some Rick Springfield... You know I wish that I had Jesse's girl... :)

  2. Speaking from the perspective of one who hasn't read the book yet, I do think it's a good, attractive cover. Muuuuch better than the Brockmann and the Blaze cover. lol Just puttin' it out there - feel better about it! You're multipublished with Harlequin, and that's gotta be great! :)

    1. Thanks Kristen! Not nearly as great as Lucky in Love. :) Do you have another book coming out soon?

  3. Girl. I feel your pain. Oh, I wish I could attach my second book cover for you. Instead, let me send the link... because NOTHING says REAPER like a blonde pompadour and a his porn star girlfriend. I too had more of LOST Sawyer in mind. Geez.

    1. Oh man, Lisa! blahahahaha, I see your point. But I do really like your cover! It's compelling even though it's not what you had planned.