There are big things going on at Casa Oppedisano these days! With both Disarming Caine and The Phoenix Heist going live next month, I’ve been super-busy! I’m also working on the 4th (as yet untitled) book in the Caine & Ferraro series and have outlined the 5th book.
All this brings me to… covers!
When I released Burning Caine, I had 5 covers designed, which I was mostly happy with, at least in concept. But once they were out in the wild, something wasn’t sitting right with me.
Burning Caine covers
The original Caine & Ferraro series covers were created in July 2021. They were all concepts, which would be refined closer to when they’d be posted up for pre-order. The Burning Caine cover went through six revisions in that timeframe… and I’ve got the proof copies to prove it! They were mostly minor tweaks, but a few were big leaps.
Version 1: It all started with something I slapped together super-fast for a “Vivian award finalists” Instagram giveaway. That was the first time I’d touched Photoshop in at least 15 years (or more)!
Version 2: After winning the award for “Most Anticipated Romance” and making the decision to self-publish, I figured it was time to create something real. Thus the “couple on top and location on bottom” cover was born! It was modelled after a few series that were favourites of mine at the time. That’s what went up for pre-order. It was so exciting!!
But I was never quite happy with it. There was too much empty space between the couple. The city (Lansing, Michigan — the story takes place in a bedroom community) was too busy, and I didn’t like the font. Plus, at a really small size, the man’s arm that extends into her hair just looked like a black mass, so it was nothing more than two floating heads.
Version 3: So, I modified the couple (merged two photos together), bought a more distinct font, and re-positioned the title. This was the version that was available at go-live!
But I was still not quite happy. While the treatment on the font was neat (it’s canvas), it felt off. Unclear. I didn’t like the city behind the title. And the couple was too orange. As I progressed into the future books, all of which would have the same layout with colour variations, I didn’t like how they were coming out.
Plus, “couple + city” wasn’t as common as “a guy” on the cover for romantic suspense. Similarly, “all block text” is giving way to “simple font plus script font” in cover trends.
Which brings me to…
Version 4: Just a guy, with a simple font and script on the title.
Caine & Ferraro series
More importantly, Disarming Caine is coming out next month. That means I was putting the finishing touches on the cover based on the “Version 3” concept (which was only ever a black cover on Amazon).
And I was… can you spot the trend? Not happy with it.
I was nervous about re-covering the series when people had already bought the existing books, but the way I looked at it, better to do that before I’ve got 3 books, let alone 4 or 5, right?
On the upside, I sell a lot more digital copies, and those will just update. Plus anyone with a paperback now has a collector’s edition!!
And why not go all in and making a title change? The other change that crept in as I was working on the books was that I decided to alphabetize the titles.
- Burning Caine
- Chasing Caine
- Disarming Caine
- And at least 2 more titles coming
I’d written a prequel short story called Meeting Caine in 2021, which provided some backstory on Sam and Antonio’s real first meeting. The word ‘Meeting’ made sense at the time, but then I was starting with an M and moving into alphabetics!
So, Meeting Caine changed to Admiring Caine, also with the brand new cover.
And here they all are!!
As of writing this, the changes are still making their way through Amazon, but if you have a digital copy of the book, you’ll either already see the update or will soon.
The Phoenix Heist
The Phoenix Heist is a novella prequel to a new series I’ll have coming out next year, called Reynolds Recoveries. The series centers around a company that recovers lost things, but the books focus on their ‘big ticket’ jobs which are heists to steal back stolen belongings.
This first book will be free to all my newsletter subscribers, but it will also be available in paperback (a very skinny paperback at about 115 pages!!) on Amazon.
The official description will be coming soon, but the quick and dirty description is: A second-chance romance between Zac Fraser, the Reynolds’ getaway driver and Ashley Bradford, an FBI Special Agent. She’s on a case to track down the buyers at an upcoming black market auction and his team’s in town to steal one of the items before the auction can take place.
Every book in the series will have a different member of the Reynolds team finding love, with action, adventure, suspense, and a guaranteed HEA in every book.
In the end…
You may also note the similarity between the Reynolds cover and the new Caine covers. They’re not identical, but they look more like they belong together on my author page.
This is super intentional!! And was another important goal with the Caine series re-covers.
And for now, I’m happy.
All the books, all the covers, and so many exciting things to come!!
Thanks for reading,