Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Yes, I'm home from London, jetlagged, footsore, and worried by some serious reorganization going on over at Penguins Random House. BUT..... Here's the cover for the new book! Coming March 2016:

So what do you think?

Here's the cover copy (which I may have posted before, but I'm too jetlagged to remember):

The tragic death of an enigmatic young stranger draws Sebastian St. Cyr and his wife, Hero, into a perilous tangle of passion and intrigue in this breath-taking new mystery from the “best historical thriller writer in the business.” [Lisa Gardner]

Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village’s inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help.

Almost immediately, Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died, and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma  was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick. Also troubling are the machinations of Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the megalomaniac French Emperor Napoleon. Held captive under the British government’s watchful eye, the younger Bonaparte is restless, ambitious, and treacherous.

Sebastian’s investigation takes on new urgency when he discovers that Emma was not the first, or even the second, beautiful young woman in the village to die under suspicious circumstances. Home to a haunting, ruined monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades—and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian’s own unsettling origins.  And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he’s willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.


Susan J. said...

The cover for the new book looks good, not quite how I imagine Sebastian, I see him as thinner faced, more intense. Also, the neck cloth should be tied much higher under the chin for that period. No self respecting gentleman would be seen dead in that scrappy thing! All in all, however, it's an attractive cover and should attract potential readers, which is the most important thing.
Hope you had a good time in London, apart from publishing worries.

cs harris said...

Susan, yes; and his breeches are also very baggy. But they were so proud of themselves for having this outfit especially made for the cover, I really couldn't complain (although I did ask that they remove the ruffles from his shirt sleeves). I like this model's looks better, although I also find he doesn't have Sebastian's hard edge--intense is a good word.

And yes, I did have a wonderful time in London, although yesterday's publishing bombshell has me in fits. More on that later.

JustWingingIt said...

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Welcome back! Thanks for sharing your pictures from your London travels on Facebook. They were lovely.

I love this cover! The model still isn't quite flush with my mental picture of Sebastian but he's closer than the previous one. Every period movie/tv show I've ever seen has had men in baggy breeches, made more noticeable with movement. It was the cut of the cloth, I think, what with that big (but functional!) flap in the front. lol


Rachel Walsh said...

Welcome back! And what a terrific cover (though I'm glad you managed to talk them out of ruffled sleeves!). Very excited to see this, and to read the blurb - can't wait for the book! :-)

cs harris said...

Veronica, thank you! I suspect the problem is whatever cloth they use for the breeches. Definitely not doeskin.

Rachel, thank you. And yes, i about died when I saw those sleeves.

Anonymous said...

I love it. Agree with the intense look others were talking about. Keep us posted on your publisher. Welcome home. Sabena

cs harris said...

Sabena, I've lost my wonderful editor. I am just sick, sick, sick.

Suzanne said...

I love the cover, it is fabulous! So beautiful and atmospheric. As for his cravat, well, if you are being chased by a crazed killer you are bound to get somewhat dishevelled. I love the ruins in the background. Just gorgeous.

Lynne said...

Let me ill fitting hat, atmospheric background...let's be honest - this guy is a hunk!! Young enough looking to be my grandson but who cares? He'll do nicely. And I'm with Suzanne - the slightly ghostly background is very nice. I wouldn't notice the cravat but I'm glad you vetoed the ruffles - Sebastian isn't a ruffle kind of man. And welcome home - hope you had a terrific time.

Anonymous said...

candy - welcome home. i don't do facebook but glad to hear it was a great time for you. so sorry to hear about the troubles with your publishing house. yikes. keep us posted. i really like the cover. and the new Sebastian. i think if you zoom in on it he looks pretty intense to me. maybe i'm hoping his love for Hero and Simon has soothed him some. and the clothes may not be perfect but i think the "look" is good. cant wait for this book. it will feel like years. again welcome home - and try to get some sleep/rest. best, ali

cs harris said...

Suzanne, ha! That must be it.

Lynne, thank you. And I'm thrilled you like the cover!

Ali, thank you. I did have a wonderful time, although coming home to the Berkley/NAL shakeup was not good. I'm planning a series of "Sebastian's London" posts.

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad you got in that rip. Very cool.

JustWingingIt said...

Sorry to hear that you are losing your editor. It's hard to replace trust and faith won through long association. Just to be clear though, the changes at your publishing house aren't putting the series in danger, are they? Sebastian is safe and sound, hopefully.


cs harris said...

Charles, it is a neat cover.

Veronica, I honestly don't know what will happen. I now know of FOUR Berkley and NAL editors who've been let go; there is no way the remaining editors will be able to absorb all the orphaned authors, which means they must be planning to seriously trim their list. There is going to be a lot of blood on the floor before this is all over. I have no red ink anywhere on my blotter and the series is selling well, so I THINK I'm safe, but one never knows. My editor has been with me from the beginning, is incredibly insightful, and loves the series as much as I do. I am devastated. But I'm told my new editor is very good, too. It's all just a tad scary.

Susan J. said...

Sorry to hear about your editorial problems, I do hope the series is not at risk, surely the publishing house would not wish to lose an author who has built up such a following, with readers waiting with bated breath for the next book? It just wouldn't make sense. I should get your agent to put out feelers to other publishers now if I were you, try to get into a good bargaining position in advance. Taking some kind of action will make you feel better.

Sissy said...

Even if the worst happened and the publisher doesn't renew, I'm positive you would succeed as an indie. I love Sebastian and Hero! And the cover is great!

cs harris said...

Susan and Sissy, they have now reassured me that they are solidly behind the series and anxious to go forward with new plans for promoting it, so I'm breathing a huge personal sigh of relief even as I feel bad for the people whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by this.

Susan J. said...

So glad to hear the series is safe. It made me so angry to think it might be at risk, when there is so much rubbish out there and your books are so well researched and the reader can really feel they care about the characters. So often when I read a book, I start to think do I really care what happens to these people and actually I don't! Not so with your books. Speaking of that, I do hope Paul Gibson will be in the next book, even though it will be set outside London. Please don't kill him off and do let him get his opium problems sorted out soon. He's one of my favourite characters.
Also, really pleased that you described Napoleon as a megalomanic. We just had a three part BBC series on TV presented by a historian who thinks of him as a hero! He argued that he created the first meritocracy and that the rest of Europe were Monarchist regimes who were out to destroy the French republic, completely ignoring the fact that he crowned himself Emperor, became a dictator and gave all his generals aristocratic titles! He also conveniently ignored the way the French army marched across Europe living off the land without paying for anything!

cs harris said...

Susan, yes, Napoleon is not one of my favorite people at all! I'll never understand how a historian familiar with the millions of people who died because of his grandiose ambitions and ego could ever call him a hero. But then, I have a low tolerance for borderlines and sociopaths.

Anonymous said...

candy - i have been checking back for news on the happenings at Berkley - so relieved by your last comment. not more than you i'm sure!! they would have to be the biggest fools ever to not continue the series. enjoy the weekend and maybe a little more peace. i know i feel better. best, ali

JustWingingIt said...

Whew! Very glad to hear that, despite other shake ups, your publishing house is still Team Sebastian. Just to do my little part though I went ahead and pre-ordered When Falcons Fall even though I never pre-order this early (makes the wait seem that much longer for no good reason whatsoever). :)


Suzanne said...

I am so glad that the series is safe. I have lived through many restructures and one hostile takeover in the corporate world and they are never pretty. It must be a big load off your mind.

cs harris said...

Ali, it is a huge relief. I was so blindsided by it all.

Veronica, thank you! It really does help.

Suzanne, it's a scary thing to watch. And it keeps happening in publishing, over and over again. I'm glad I'm not an editor!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I have to say your tease about various Sebastian London posts made a huge smile come to my face. Can't wait. Sabena

cs harris said...

Sabena, my trip to London was all about Sebastian! It was incredible.

Susan/DC said...

This cover model is not bad, but my personal image of Sebastian is rather more Daniel Day Lewis -- tall, dark, finely drawn, very intense.

Just got back from London too. Had a good time other than that my husband suffered a detached retina. He had surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital and must now remain in the UK for 4 weeks post-surgery as he can't fly (or climb mountains, but that's less of an issue).

To honor the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, I visited Apsley House, Wellington's home. My favorite new fact is that Joseph Bonaparte tried to carry much of the Spanish royal treasury to France with him as he raced ahead of Wellington's forces, but the baggage train was slow and fell prey to looters and the allied armies fighting Bonaparte. Wellington took a special interest in the artworks and had them sent to his brothers for safekeeping. When King Ferdinand VII was restored to the Spanish throne, Wellington wrote to him 3 times offering to return the paintings. Ferdinand did not reply to the first two letters; in the third he told Wellington to keep the paintings. One would hope that a ruler would not be so cavalier with his country's heritage, but evidently Ferdinand was a Very Bad King.

Julianne Sawyer said...

The cover looks great. I loved the last book as well. This is one of my favorite series of books and that's saying a lot as I've read thousands of books in my lifetime.

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