Good Afternoon everyone,
How are you this week?
I have returned to the office and it’s my first time there for an entire week since February so I’m once more listening to audiobooks in my commutes, which is great because my audiobook TBR is starting to look like my ebook/paperback TBR…never ending.
But today I’m not here to talk about audiobooks (even if two of my favourite books have been released in audio this week). I’m here with another topic I absolutely love! Can you guess what it is? If you’ve been following From Pemberley to Milton, you probably guessed by now that we will reveal a cover today! Covers are definitely one of my favourite topics and I love to be the one revealing them to you, especially when the final work is so beautiful as this one!
The cover has a silhouette which I absolutely love to see in book covers, but it is a profile silhouette which is not so common to see. I loved the simplicity and taste of this silhouette and the combination of colours in the front cover. The dark blue with the golden leaves is just perfect! Also, the silhouette kind of reminds me of Richard Armitage and that is always a plus isn’t it? I haven’t read the book yet, but being a mystery I feel this cover captures it’s tone, and increases my will to read it.
You’ve probably noticed that I am a huge fan of Janet Taylor’s cover art which always reveals not only a profound knowledge of the story with little elements hidden in the cover, but also an incredibly good taste, so I decided to ask Janet to talk to you a little about the cover herself. I always ask her about her creative process because I often see little details in her covers that have a special meaning, and I love hearing her talk about them, so I hope you like to read more about the story of Accusing Mr. Darcy’s cover as much as I do.
Accusing Mr. Darcy Full Wrapper, Behind the Scenes by Janet Taylor
This cover is completely different from anything I have ever done before, and I guess you could call it “my baby.” I designed it as a generic version last year. I had seen several stock photos that caught my eye, and I purchased them, knowing I would use them eventually. The more I looked at them, the more I felt they would make a nice cover, so I started playing.
One stock photo was a square cobalt blue background with subtle leaves at the top and a gold gradient leaf design at the bottom. I separated the two and used each part to create the background for the full wrapper. The subtle leaves are the top of both the back and front covers. The gold leaf design is at the bottom front under Kelly’s name and on the spine. The other stock photo was the partial sketch of a man. I changed some of his features, and I also changed the colors. If I was going to put the stock photos together, I needed the background for the sketch to be the same blue as the first stock photo. I also made his outlines yellow to go with the bottom leaf design. The outcome was the basic design for a full wrapper that stayed tucked away in my files for future use.
When I read Kelly Miller’s manuscript, Accusing Mr. Darcy, I knew “my baby” might have found a home. I added Kelly’s title and name; then started looking for a stock photo of a scene I wanted to depict for the back cover. When I found the one you see, I knew it was the perfect setting, except for color, some wires in the background, and a female walking down the street. I changed the color to match the yellows of the front, got rid of the wires, and put a Regency male over the female. Now I had the ideal scene for Kelly’s book. The result is what you see today.
Kelly’s novel is an intriguing murder/mystery. I believe it is her best work to date. The intensity and intrigue of who is behind the murders is spellbinding. The romance between Darcy and Elizabeth is swoon worthy. (They have lots of page time! 😊) Kelly grabbed my attention from the first page and kept it to the very end. I hope all of you love Kelly’s book as much as I do and can see why I wanted “my baby” to wrap around “her baby” to make a complete package.
Thank you, Rita, for asking me to give you some background for the design of the cover for Accusing Mr. Darcy. Thank you, Kelly, for allowing me to share your day! 😊
So here is the beautiful cover Janet is talking about 🙂
Isn’t it a marvellous cover? I love how perfect the photo in the back is for a mystery story. The cobblestone street made me think of Jack the Ripper which transported me to England and to a world full of mystery. I loved the second silhouette, how beautifully blended in the strong blue of the cover the image was, and how the street light captured the golden tones in the front.
Once more, Janet Taylor designed a cover that would convince me to buy the book, even if I didn’t know the story. Which reminds me, I haven’t talked about the book blurb yet, have I??
Could Fitzwilliam Darcy harbour a shocking, sinister secret?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet count themselves among the many guests of the Kendall family, whose estate lies amidst the picturesque hills, gorges, and rocky slopes of the Peak District in Derbyshire. Elizabeth’s cousin Rose Kendall believes her dashing brother-in-law, Captain James Kendall, is Elizabeth’s ideal match. Rose’s husband, Nicholas, hopes his good friend Darcy—a rich, proud, and taciturn gentleman with a spotless reputation—will fancy one of the other eligible lady guests.
News of a brutal killing at a neighbouring estate sends a wave of shock through the genial group of friends and family. When one of the Kendalls’ guests is attacked, all of the gentlemen become suspects, but the former Bow Street runner tasked with investigating the crime finds the evidence against Mr. Darcy particularly compelling.
In this romantic mystery, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice cross paths with a ruthless killer. When faced with dire warnings against Mr. Darcy, will Elizabeth heed them or follow the dictates of her heart?
You can find Accusing Mr. Darcy at:
My love of reading began in childhood, and has stuck with me all of my life. One thing that has evolved over the years is my choice of reading materiel. As a child, an enduring obsession with horses dominated my interest, so I read everything I could find on the subjects of horse breeds, riding, and horse-training.
In my early teens, long before I had any awareness of Jane Austen or her books, I developed a fondness for mysteries. My mother and aunt, both avid readers, purchased mystery novels each week by many different authors. Once they had both read these books, they ended up at our house, so I never wanted for books to read. I learned to favor books by Agatha Christie and Ruth Rendell, AKA Barbara Vine, as well as the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine anthology books.
Accusing Mr. Darcy came about because I wanted to challenge myself to write a Pride & Prejudice story that would center around a murder mystery. I wanted this tale to be unlike any other I had read, so I changed Elizabeth’s Bennet’s family background a bit and made slight alterations to Mr. Darcy’s as well. Then I placed Elizabeth and Darcy at a house party in Derbyshire along with a host of new characters. My research into the Peak District uncovered several interesting destinations for my characters to visit in the story, and I arranged to tour these locations on my trip to England in 2019.
I hope readers will enjoy the twists and turns comprised in this story. I had a great deal of fun writing it!
This excerpt, in Darcy’s point of view, is from the day Darcy arrives at his friend Nicholas Kendall’s estate.
Over several games of billiards, Darcy and Nicholas told each other of their recent activities and spoke of the issues each had encountered of late at their respective estates. Afterwards, carrying glasses of brandy, they took seats in a pair of chairs situated before a large window overlooking the River Wye.
“I am happy you are here, Darcy. I imagine when I wrote to you of a house party, it gave you pause, but you may rest easy. None of our female guests will plague you with unwanted attention.”
Nicholas’s words, designed to reassure him, instead reawakened the apprehension they had been meant to dismiss. He swirled the amber liquid in his glass, grasping for a politic way to voice his concerns. “I am glad you think so, yet how can you be so certain? It would be easier for me to believe your statement if you said none of the guests were unmarried ladies.”
“In truth, there will be”—Nicholas canted his head and completed an internal count—“five unmarried ladies, not including my engaged sister. Even so, I know all of them and their situations well enough to stand by my previous statement in all confidence.”
Such an assertion could not but intrigue Darcy, but he refrained from asking the questions that filled his head. Ingrained habits learned over his adult life took over: he never displayed more than a mild interest in any unmarried ladies.
“Of our female guests, there are a couple whom you may decide to pursue.” Nicholas waggled his eyebrows.
Despite his friend’s teasing demeanour, Darcy’s jaw tensed. “Nicholas…”
His friend gave a hearty laugh. “You should see your face—such a serious expression. Come now, give me a modicum of credit. None of our female guests will be interested in you for mercenary reasons. Two of the ladies, Miss Selina Oliver and Miss Barbara Lambert, are Rose’s close friends. They are both from prominent families and are wealthy. They need not marry at all unless they wish to. Rose is confident of their fine characters, and I trust my wife’s judgment. In my opinion, either of these two ladies would make a fine match for you if a mutual attraction developed. Both ladies are accomplished, affable, and attractive.”
Darcy pressed his back against his chair and rubbed his chin. His friend’s descriptions of the two ladies made them sound agreeable, yet many other ladies who had been introduced to him in the past had appeared promising at first, but they all disappointed him. “If they are so amiable, eligible, and attractive, why have they not married before now?”
Nicholas smiled as he lifted his shoulders in a shrug. “I might ask the same of you.” A moment later, his smile widened. “Although…not everyone sees you as amiable.”
He pursed his lips. He could not dispute his friend’s assertion. At times, his taciturn nature had caused insult to others when it had not been his intention.
“As to Miss Oliver and Miss Lambert, both are the youngest children in their families, and they came out at the age of nineteen. Rose told me that both ladies have declined offers of marriage by fine, eligible gentlemen. Neither lady has yet met a gentleman she wished to marry, nor will either of them settle for anything less than a love match.”
Darcy took a leisurely sip of brandy. Based on Nicholas’s description, the ladies piqued his interest—not that he would admit it. “Well, I do not doubt Mrs. Kendall’s sincere belief that she has judged her friends with accuracy. I hope she is correct, yet people tend to see what they wish to see in those they care for.”
“I thought you would be sceptical, but you will see the truth of the matter soon enough.”
Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.
Accusing Mr. Darcy is her third novel published by Meryton Press. Her previous books are: Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy; and Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic variation.
Kelly’s blog page is found at www.kellymiller.merytonpress.com, her Twitter handle is @kellyrei007, Instagram: kelly.miller.author, and she is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.Kelly.Miller
Meryton Press would like to offer one ebook copy Accusing Mr. Darcy to one of my readers. The giveaway is international an open until the 11th of September. To apply to it all you have to do is comment on this post and let us know what you thought of the cover.
Good Luck everyone!