Purply darkness revealed… I’m gonna need to up my eyeliner game.
This fall will bring the release of Playing the Witch Card, the first book in which I let my inner magic-fantastical-Tarot-loving there’s more things in heaven and earth Horatio flag fly free. In The Chicken Sisters, Mae and Amanda discover that reality TV rarely solves anyone’s problems. In Playing the Witch Card, Flair learns that the same is true of magic. Damn it, wherever we go, there we are.
Here’s the “flap copy”:
Three generations of magic. Two rogue exes. One Tarot deck. The perfect recipe for chaos.
Flair Hardwicke knows three things: magic is real, love isn’t, and relying on either ends in disaster. So while she’s grateful for the chance to take over her grandmother’s Kansas bakery after she finally leaves her cheating husband, she won’t be embracing Nana’s fortune-telling side-hustle. Hers is a strictly no-magic operation—until the innocent batch of Tarot card cookies Flair bakes for the town’s Halloween celebration unleashes the power of the family deck, luring Flair’s unpredictable mother to town, tempting Flair’s magic-obsessed daughter, and bringing back Flair’s first love while ensnaring her ex in a curse she can’t break.
Flair’s attempts to control the chaos only make things worse, playing right into the hands of a powerful witch. Suddenly there’s far more at stake than her status as the most reluctant witch in town, and the magic Flair has long rejected becomes the only card she has left to play.
And here…. you saw it here first**… is the cover!
And I thought, just for entertainment value, you’d like to see the various iterations it went through.
The left is the first cover. It’s pretty close to the final–but the background images are more focused on baking and less on Tarot cards. So they get moved around in the next version, which also has Flair’s dog, Teabag, on it. I argued for Teabag, but apparently she made it “too cluttered.” So… no Teabag. On the front, anyway. I’ve suggested she could move to the back. I’ll keep you in the loop, as I know you’re dying to hear how that comes out.
In the final, you see: fewer trees (again, too cluttered.) And the text under my name is less detailed. (But I guaran-damn-tee that you will see the phrase New York Times best-selling author on every book I ever write from now on. I’m considering a second tattoo. (Not really, Mom.)
Some things to note here: You’re right! This cover (which I adore) looks… a lot like the covers of similar books you’ll see out there (especially as fall approaches). Here’s what it is subliminally trying to say to you: If you liked The Ex Hex or Payback’s a Witch (both best-selling witchy rom-coms from 2021 and 2022) you’ll like this! (Their covers are below.) The purples and blacks, the swirls (and the title) signal magic and a more fantastical edge to the story than in (bright yellow) The Chicken Sisters or (turquoise) In Her Boots.
You should know it’s not a rom-com–bc there’s only one figure on the front. But you can expect cozy, small town vibes (that’s the small building, the streetscape), a modern setting (because it’s not women walking away from the camera in period clothing) and baking (the name, the extra background images) and a happy ending (the overall gestalt).
Because the truth is, publishers EXPECT you to judge a book by its cover. So… I hope you like mine. But if you don’t, don’t tell me, because it’s too late. But DO… PLEASE… pre-order! Pre-orders tell booksellers you’re interested. If you REALLY love me, you will call your local indie and say, I can’t wait for this book, order it for me! That, however, is an awfully big ask. So here’s a Bookshop.org link and an Amazon link.
If everyone who opened this pre-ordered, many many good things would happen for me. I could “hit the list” again. Which would be amazing–but more importantly, I’d be able to write more books. So if you love my recommendations, order a copy? Or two? Throw In Her Boots into the cart as well? (I know most of you don’t have that one.)
On to BOOKRECS:
If you need a delicious gobble of witchiness RIGHT NOW, let me suggest:
A Witch in Time, Constance Sayers (witchy historical time traveling… Outlander meets Daisy Jones)
The previously mentioned Payback’s a Witch and the rest of Lana Harper’s Thistle Grove series: Feels, romance and witch feuds that deliver satisfaction after an impossible ride.
Cackle, Rachel Harrison–truly, no one likes a woman who refuses to conform in any way–and thrives on the result. Is it witchcraft? It is, but that’s not why it scares people. So the question becomes, what’s it like to be scary? This one is DIFFERENT and I loved it.
The Change: these three new friends gain their powers when they hit menopause, and the result upends a wealthy enclave of men who thought the power was all theirs and misused it against women. Glorious fun.
That’s it, A long one, KJ out. BUY MY BOOK!
*Counting Crows, people. Always.
** Unless, you know, you clicked on the link last week.
Why eyeliner? Because authors of witchy books often have excellent goth author photos, and I want that for myself. I cannot WAIT.
If you’re not already signed up to get book recs every week, do that thing now! Why not? We all need more books.