Gotcha Covered by Guest Ginger Bolton and a #giveaway

Barb: I’m just back from Malice Domestic where I saw today’s guest, Ginger Bolton, for all of about 40 seconds when we were walking in a hallway. But that’s the way Malice can go!

Ginger is here to tell us about how the cover of her seventh Deputy Donut Mystery, Cinnamon Twisted came to be. And she’s offering a giveaway to two lucky commenters. See details below.

Take it away, Ginger!

How are book covers designed?

It varies from book to book, but here’s how the cover of Cinnamon Twisted evolved.

Before I finish writing a story, my publisher begins working on the cover. My editor asks for a short synopsis and cover suggestions.

Here’s a summary of the story: Emily is serving donuts and coffee at Deputy Donut, her popular café in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin. An apparently frightened customer offers Emily’s cat Dep a faux fur catnip-filled donut. One of the people who might have frightened the woman comes through the front. The woman flees through the back, dropping an earring in her panic.

Attempting to return the earring, Emily discovers the woman’s body.

Fallingbrook’s ambitious new police chief sends Emily’s detective friend out of town, ignores Emily’s suggestions about who might have frightened the woman, and concentrates on the envelope he found among the woman’s possessions. Strangely, it is addressed to Emily and contains an old photo of the first owner of Emily’s house and an almost indecipherable letter hinting of hidden treasure.

The new police chief snoops around Emily’s home. He might not be the only one . . .

Before danger can encircle Emily, she needs to untwist the connection between the present-day murder and a long-ago feud.

Knowing that my covers should depict donuts and Deputy Donut, the cat who kindly lent her name to Emily’s café and to the series, I send my editor a few photos and several cover suggestions that more or less match scenes in the book. I say “more or less” because Dep the cat is not allowed where food is prepared and sold. But she can pose there for covers. And she’s been known to accidentally (!) invade Deputy Donut’s dining room and kitchen.

For Cinnamon Twisted, one of my suggestions was: Dep is playing with a faux fur donut. The seam is coming unsewn, and stuffing and catnip are spilling from it. A table of cinnamon twist donuts is nearby, and at least one of the twists is broken and/or crumbled. The view out the window could be a street in downtown Fallingbrook or a wooded scene with a lake in the background.

Now, here’s the funny thing. This is the photo I sent with my cover suggestions:

When I saw the cover, I forgot which photo I’d sent. I figured that I must have sent this one:

After I received the artwork for the cover, I had time to add details from the cover to the manuscript. Mary Ann Lasher drew a menu on a chalkboard, so I revised Cinnamon Twisted slightly, adding some of the donuts on that menu.

I love the cover of Cinnamon Twisted so much that I hope people will judge the book by its cover. For a few years, without conscious thought, I nearly always chose to read books with blue covers.

Readers: What draws you to a book cover? Two commenters will each receive a signed copy of Cinnamon Twisted. US and Canada only, please.

About Ginger Bolton

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mysteries—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Agatha-nominated Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops. The seventh Deputy Donut Mystery, Cinnamon Twisted, came out April 25. Three more Deputy Donut Mysteries are in the works.







Where to buy:

86 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations on your book release. I do love the cover and yes I’m drawn to covers that tells me what is inside the book and also it must be visually appealing

  2. Oh yes, that cover is so cute! Draws me right in and gets me interested in reading the book! I always seem to be drawn to books with animals on it, or really pretty scenery. And food lol!

  3. I love this cover. This is the type of cover that draws me in. Love cats on the cover. Thank you for this chance at your giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com

  4. I love the colors and themes on book covers. Sometimes I can get hooked on the cover before even reading the description.

  5. LOVE the cover! There are several things that draw me to a cover. It can be anything from a color (from choice of color to the brightness of them all), the title (love the cozy titles and the play on words), the items on the cover that may suggest danger or intrigue (love picking the covers apart and guessing how they work into the story and then going back after the book and seeing if I was on the right path about them), or even just the down right cuteness of how it’s laid out of a character or critter.

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a copy of “Cinnamon Twisted”! On my TBR list and can’t wait for the opportunity to have it in my hands sitting down to read it. Shared and would love to be one of the fortunate ones selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thank you! I love the way cozy covers suggest danger or intrigue, often in subtle ways like crumbled pastries or a cat getting into mischief.

    2. I’m drawn to strong visual elements that comprise a cover– like the color palette, the typeface and the small nuanced details. I like covers that give hints about the story. Yours are wonderful!

  6. Congratulations on Cinnamon Twisted! Great cover! As a cinnamon fan, you had me wanting to pick up bits from the table – I live with cats, so that’s not a problem for me.

    What draws me to a cover? It varies, winter scenes in the depth of summer catches my attention and vice versa, definitely colors and yours are fabulous.

  7. Thank you! Those cinnamon twists do look realistic. I wondered if readers might resist picking up books with off-season covers. Glad to hear they attract you!

  8. Congratulations on the new book. What draws me to a book cover is the color and picture.

  9. Congratulations on your brilliant series, Ginger. I only read cozies, and I know that I select new books by their covers, unless they are new books by authors I already read, and can’t wait for a new one in a series to be published. I am attracted to artful, colorful, playful cover art that must include a pet, and possibly a food establishment. I study the cover to see if I can find some clues, like a missing earring…?… or a weapon. I love the location of your books: Fallingbrook…I live in Fallbrook, so I can imagine your stories are happening right in my neck of the woods 🙂 Thank you for the fun reading hours you give us. Luis at ole dot travel

  10. Very interesting, thanks for sharing this, Ginger. I do enjoy the Deputy Donut series and love those pictures of your cat playing.

  11. I specifically am drawn to cats playing or “sneaking” on a cover. Especially if there is a cute scene or play on words with the cover.

  12. How fascinating – it never occurred to me that an author would revise a book to add details from the cover. What draws me to a cover? Animals, food, and setting that creates a mood or feeling.

    1. One of my Threadville (written as Janet Bolin) covers showed a sign in the shop door that was hanging by a thread . Even though the sign was almost hidden on the book’s spine, it was such a wonderful detail that I just had to add it to the manuscript. They’re never big changes, just tiny additions like that. It’s fun!

  13. What gets my attention faster than anything else is to have a cute dog or cat on the cover. I’m a big animal lover and I’m a sucker for doggies and kitties. The book sounds and looks great. Congratulations

  14. I love the cover! Anything with cats and donuts and desserts works!!!! The colors are great!

  15. What draws me to a book cover is: the color the couple, a Cat or Animal or some other animal but please no Cartoon or unrealistic covers and the setting in the background that draws me to a cover.

  16. What catches my attention is the cover, especially cute animals. I’ve always loved your book covers, so cute!

  17. I always enjoy stories about how covers came to be. Thanks for sharing. (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

  18. Love the cover! A great cover always draws me in to wanting to know more about the book.

  19. Great series and a cute cover! I’m drawn to colorful book covers that include elements of the story, and cute animals are always a plus. I don’t like mismatched “stock images” used on some cozy covers that don’t relate to the characters or story at all, like a picture of a smiling young woman on a book featuring a senior citizen sleuth

  20. I love the cover for Cinnamon Twisted! From the beginning, I have loved the covers of all of the books in the Deputy Donut series. The cat, Deputy Donut, has so much cuteness! Of course, donuts are ALWAYS needed on the cover. I have read all six books in the series and am delighted that book number 7 will soon be released. Please keep those books coming!

    1. Thank you, Patti. I agree that they are wonderful covers. I’m very lucky! Cinnamon Twisted was released last Tuesday. And I’m working on the next 3 Deputy Donut Mysteries.

  21. I am drawn to a cover that gives a little hint as to what the story is about much more than a generic cover with just words. I love the cover for your newest book. I need to get catnip donuts for our cats!

  22. animals are always a draw as well as hand crafts or food. but just as important is what is not on the cover such as something gruesome or very bloody.

  23. Congratulations on your new Deputy Donut release. A cute, colorful cover that catches my attention is what makes me read the blurb about the book and purchas it.

  24. Congratulations on another book! Covers like this are exactly what draw me to a book. A cute animal like a cat or a dog and pretty colors.

  25. I love a good cover and this series has great ones! All the donuts! I am drawn to a cover with good graphics and many copies hide clues or a skull on every cover, fun!

  26. The graphics on the cover always catches my eye. I absolutely love the cover and now I’m craving a cinnamon twist from the cover.

    1. Good news–there are 2 recipes in the back of CINNAMON TWISTED. One’s for traditional, deep-fried cinnamon twists like the ones on the cover, and the other recipe is for a quick, baked version. They’re both delicious!

  27. I like book covers that are colorful and give a glimpse into what the story might be about. If the cover doesn’t have much to do with what most of the story is about then that bothers me.

  28. Food and/or cute animal (and this series has both!) on the cover, or something very unique and eye-catching. No need to enter me as I’ve already bought and read the book, just wanted to say how much I love this series, been reading since the release of the first and always look forward to the next.

  29. I am drawn to a book by its title and author and then the picture of what is taking place.

  30. I’m excited. I was unaware of you or your series. Now I have a whole new bunch of books to look forward to reading. I love the cover. Bright graphics giving a real idea of what the book is about, plus a cat, will grab me every time. I also love punny titles.

    1. I had a nearly endless supply of punny titles when I wrote the Threadville series, but I’m running out of punny titles involving donuts! Any help would be appreciated!

  31. The cover is the first thing that draws me to a book. The second would be the author. Is it someone that I have read their work before or is it a new author to me. The third would be the blurb on the back of the book. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  32. I am drawn to covers with bright colors, pets and food on it. Your book’s cover definitely is an example of what attracts me to a cover.

  33. Love the cover. I am drawn to colorful covers that entice you to read the book! Thanks for the chance!

  34. If the book is from one of my favorite authors, I will buy it regardless of the cover. One author recently changed her book covers and I do not like them as they are too cartoonish/animated, but I will still buy hers. Now that does not go for other authors unless I have heard really good things about them. I love covers like yours as I love the artwork (I majored in art and taught it for years). I also love covers with animals, food and showing something in the background that is part of the plot. I can’t believe how the 2nd photo of your cat looks like the one on the cover and you sent the other one. That artist must have felt something for your cat to come up with that. I also like the summary to see if it really does interest me. Good luck on the book and I would be honored to add it to my autographed book collection. Thank you.

  35. I like cozy book covers! They are so detailed and hint at what the book is about!

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