I am so excited to be hosting the cover reveal for this book, not only because this is such a fun NA series, but because I am alllll over the few and far between NAs that showcase diversity, and it is so great to be able to take any part in a racially diverse NA! I could say so much about this cover’s beauty and how cool it is that Liz set up a photo shoot in order to make it happen and ensure it wouldn’t be Two White People Kissing, but thankfully, she’s here to share with way more insight and insidery info. So, behold! The blurb and gorgeous cover to More than Fashion, by Elizabeth Briggs!!
When pre-med student Julie Hong wins a spot on a fashion design reality TV show, she celebrates by picking up a hot English guy in a hotel bar. But too many drinks leads to a night of embarrassment and a major hangover, and wow is she glad she’ll never see him again.
Until the show starts, and he’s on it too.
Julie quickly realizes she’s out of her league among the other designers, and Gavin Bennett, with his cocky grin and sexy accent, is her biggest competition. Julie can’t decide if she wants to kiss him or kill him. Or both.
After she’s almost kicked off, Julie convinces Gavin to pretend they’re sleeping together for the camera. The ploy works, but as they get closer to the show’s finale their fake relationship starts to become too real. But only one of them can win the show—and they might both end up heartbroken.
Isn’t the cover amazing? I love everything about it, from the two models on it, to the sewing machine on the table behind them, to all the details around the title. My cover designer, Najla Qamber, really did a wonderful job with it (as I knew she would!).
If you’ve seen my other covers, you’ll notice this one is purple, not blue. This was a deliberate choice because More Than Fashion isn’t focused around the band from the other books in the Chasing The Dream series. It can be read as a stand-alone, and I wanted to reflect that in the cover. But if you’re a fan of my other books, don’t worry because the band does make an appearance in this one!
However, the road to getting this cover wasn’t easy. I always knew the main character, Julie Hong, was Korean-American and I really wanted her to be on the cover—especially because I couldn’t think of a single romance cover with an Asian girl and a white guy on it. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly difficult to find good stock photos with people of color. And interracial couples? Forget it! Things are starting to change with stock sites like Mosaic Stock and The Reed Files, but neither one of those had exactly what I was looking for—so I decided to do a custom photo shoot.
I hired Vania Stoyanova, who did the beautiful cover for Cora Carmack’s Inspire. She was amazing to work with and sent me dozens of head shots for different models to choose from. In the end, we picked the gorgeous Agnes Mayasari for Julie Hong, and the very sexy Tim Baumgarten for Gavin Bennett.
Vania soon brought them into her studio and they got to work! First, I was sent a photo of Tim so I could check his scruff level. He had a little too much beard, so we had him trim it down. Here’s a before photo:
Then it was time to pick outfits! I made poor Agnes try on at least a dozen dresses, but none of them were exactly right. I wanted something fun and sexy that would stand out on the cover. In the end, I chose this dress because I liked the color and the lace and the way it showed off her pretty shoulder.
Next we got them on the table and made them pretend to kiss, ha! Vania took a ton of photos, including the one that made it on the cover. You’ll notice we darkened Agnes’s hair for the final photo, since Julie has black hair.
Once that was done, Vania sent them into her shower to get a few more photos for my teaser images, which will be revealed later this month. But here’s a candid shot from just before they got in—aren’t they cute together?
Fun fact: I wasn’t planning on my hero Gavin having any tattoos—but when I saw Tim’s tattoos, I added them to the book. I especially loved the rose tattoo on his hand in the cover photo, so I made it an important part of Gavin’s backstory. But to find out more, you’ll have to read the book when it comes out July 30!
More Than Fashion is available for pre-order exclusively from iBooks at the discounted price of 99c. But don’t worry, it will be available everywhere on July 30. Add the book to Goodreads and sign up for my newsletter to make sure you get an update when it comes out!
Thank you so much Dahlia for hosting my cover reveal and for being such an avid supporter of diverse books!
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She’s the author of the new adult Chasing The Dream series and the upcoming young adult novel Future Shock. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs. You can find her online at http://www.elizabethbriggs.net/