Book Cover Disasters!

A Brother's Bond by Lee Tobin McClain
Finally, the right cover! Do you agree?

Hi there! I’ve been quiet lately because I’ve been writing madly, getting my new series ready to go. And it’s finally happening! A Brother’s Bond and A Bond at Risk are now up for preorder, with book 3 coming soon. 

The Sacred Bond Guardians are the next generation from the Covenant School, grown up into heroic men who’ve gone into law enforcement or military professions. With their vow to protect the weak, they’re bound to get into some challenging situations…which is why this series is romantic suspense. They’re love stories, just like the Sacred Bond series, but with a good dose of danger blended in.

And speaking of danger, what’s really dangerous is to put a visually-challenged person like me in charge of covers. I have a condition called prosopagnosia, which means that my brain doesn’t recognize faces. So I’m the last person who should be choosing handsome men for book covers.

I adore the hero of A Brother’s Bond, disabled veteran Adam Calloway, who’s faced with an impossible tug-of-war between his emotionally-fragile sister and the beautiful woman who crashes into his life demanding justice. I just wanted to get the perfect cover for Adam’s book, but when I gathered images I liked and shipped ‘em off to my cover artist, this is what happened:

image of book cover with scary hero holding axe
Cover Mistake One: The Axe Murderer Vibe
Cover Mistake 2: “Mom, he looks like a stalker!”

Yikes! He was supposed to be a hero, not an axe murderer! We tried again, and this time, we ended up with that unappealing “I’m cranky and my shirt is too tight” vibe. Side note: the shirt problems happen because many stock photo cover guys are shirtless, which isn’t the right look for my Christian romances. Adding a shirt over all that male brawn is pretty challenging, from what I hear! But I seriously had nightmares about this cover. And my teenager took one look and said, “Mom, he looks like a stalker!”

Finally, one night, I sat bolt upright at about four in the morning, grabbed my computer, and emailed my cover artist to stop the presses. This guy was way too scary to be my Adam.

In the end, my cover designer and my editorial consultant took things into their own hands and came up with the guy in the leather jacket, above, who is totally Adam! He’s handsome and a little sad as he fights corruption in his West Virginia mountain community. I hope you’ll love him as much as I do!

[bctt tweet=”What makes a Christian guy handsome? Romance book cover disasters.”]

Adam’s book, A Brother’s Bond, will be available September 15th. You can preorder it now. Or if you’d like to get started on the series right away, check out the prequel novella, The Protector’s Bond, to find out how the Sacred Bond Guardians got started.

And you’re invited to a party! I’m getting together with some of my friends who write Christian Romantic Suspense to have a Facebook party celebrating the series release. Lots of fun author chats, and lots of book giveaways. A word to the wise: if you enjoy Love Inspired Suspense, you’ll want to come to this party! Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss the details!


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3 Comments on "Book Cover Disasters!"

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Morshe Araujo

Lee, thanks for posting this. I’ve finally decided to press with publishing my thesis novel and outside of the final edits and the back cover blurb, the cover surprisingly has been a challenge. So reading this helped me to realize I’m not the only one going through this process and to keep pressing until I get a cover that matches the vision I have for my novel.

Nicole Peeler

None of these are Luis Guzman, so there is that. ;) Love ya, chica!