I'd planned a big reveal (you know I'm fond of big reveals!), but my Amazon pre-order page had other plans. So I'll get on with it.

Yes! This is my cover:


As many of you are already aware, it popped up on Amazon last Friday. And I assure you, I was just as surprised as you were.

Last weekend, I received dozens of emails, Facebook messages, Goodreads messages, and tweets. THANK YOU. You guys are amazing. Several of you mentioned that as soon as you saw it on Amazon, you rushed here to my blog, looking for the announcement. You can't fathom how happy that made me!

(And sorry, because it wasn't here.)

The cover is final, though I'm not sure if it's final-final. Sometimes covers — like titles or release dates — change throughout the process. So we shall see. Everything is still a blur. I'd seen the mock-up of my cover last November, but I hadn't seen it since!

And then . . . there it was.

And here it is again. Because really. It has my name on it.

I like how clean and modern it is, and I'm happy the Eiffel Tower looks structural (as opposed to curlicue or floofy, like so many covers that feature the tower). And the hands! The hands are my favorite part. As I told my friend Myrna recently, they're quite appropriate. Most of the novel is about longing and being close to something . . . but still so far away.

Which reminds me of something else I've been meaning to talk about. A few people mentioned they were startled when they saw Anna's page count on Amazon. It's currently listed as 384 pages, and though that will change a little (it's still being edited), it's pretty darn close.

Yes. Anna and the French Kiss is a big book.

The reaction to this has made me realize that perhaps I've been TOO flippant about my novel, so I want to say this:

I am not under the delusion that I wrote something Important, Award-Winning, or Bestseller-y. (The day a contemporary romance written by a woman wins a major award, I will eat my hat. Or something edible, but really really gross. Like pickled eggs. Or haggis.) And I hope I'm NEVER under this delusion of self-importance! There are millions of books in the world. I wrote one.

And it's a GOOD book that I LOVE and I'm PROUD of.

But . . .

There's this mean, embarrassing part of my brain that has a difficult time accepting my novel as something worthy, BECAUSE it knows it's not Important, Award-Winning, or Bestseller-y. Which is so so SO dumb, because I spend a great deal of my time (especially here on my blog) talking about books and movies that fall under these Not Important categories, but that I love with all of my heart.

I hate that the people I scorn for making me feel bad about what I do, still make me feel bad about what I do.

Not all the time. But sometimes.

So yes, it's a book with funny bits and kissing. That's why I write. I like to make myself laugh, and I really like to make myself swoon! But I also like darkness, sadness, and anger. I like novels with complex problems, I like novels with identifiable themes, and I like novels with a definite sense of place. And I believe these things are perfectly compatible with romance and comedy.

So all of that — hopefully — is in my writing, too. And that makes for a higher page count.

(I just enjoy the kissing scenes the most.)

♥ The best my husband and I could do, taking the photo ourselves. ♥

Moving on . . .

I also have an official author photo!

Me, being official 'n' stuff.

It was taken by my friend Destinee Blau, and I couldn't be happier. She's so talented! There was a serious PRESSURE on this. I've spent so many years working with books, so I know exactly what booksellers and librarians say about author photos. Talk about karma. Sheesh! That'll teach me to keep my mouth in check.

Anyway, that will be the ME that will appear in your copy of Anna. Unless Dutton decides to go with this one, which I also wholeheartedly endorse.

Three last things:


Kiersten and I are "Frequently Bought Together!" And not only that, look who else you're buying — Laini!!

I have the best, best, BEST blog readers! THANK YOU! There are no two writers I'd rather share an Amazon page with. I love those ladies, and I love those books!

(2) To make up for not having a fun announcement post, I will invent a NEW fun announcement.

It'll be about my second novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and I'll post it later this week. It won't be an excerpt, because I am not THAT crazy. But it will be DETAILS. And you know how I feel about SHARING DETAILS. So that's a pretty big deal for me.

(3) What do you think of my cover??

Because I'm dying to know.


  1. Wow, congratulations! I really love that cover. Love, love it. You're right about the hands too. Your cover makes me think of Sarah Dessen's books, who is one of my favorites, which makes me all the more eager to read your book.

    And also, super cute author photo. This must be such an exciting time for you!

  2. I totally love your cover! Wow! It's romantic and pretty and perfect! And your author photo is fab!

    And your cover -- it's really great, Steph.

  3. LOVE!

    And I can't wait to hear more about Lola!

  4. Dude! It is Gorgeous! I love that it is so clean and non-frou frou, and yes, what you said about the Eiffel Tower not being all stylized. The black scarf gives it that perfect Parisian understated-but elegant flair. And the author photo...omg SO CUTE.
    I am still debating w/myself whether to just go ahead and pre-order on
    Amazon, or wait for the excitement of walking into a bookstore and finding it on the shelf... either way, there is still far too long a wait to read it!

  5. Gorgeous cover! I particularly like the typeface of your name and the 'and the' bit. (Yes, I am a font geek.)

    You must be so thrilled! And relieved!

  6. Your cover is GORGEOUS! I love your recreation of it too! :)

  7. Oh my gosh: WANT!! Seriously, I love it!

    And you say your book has longing in it? And kissing? Do you know how much more excited I am for it now... I mean I was prety excited, but man oh man... now I'm EXCITED! :D


  8. Your cover is fantastic, and beautiful. And the hands? Well, what you said about them pretty much sums it up (And can I just add how much I love the picture of you and your husband doing the cover pose? Precious.)

    And... cause I feel compelled to add?

    ANNA is Important! It's like you said, it's a book that you love and that you loved writing and it'll come through every part of it, and your readers will love it just as much as you (thus, it will also be Bestseller-y).

    I myself love a good swoon and am SO EXCITED for ANNA because I've discovered through your blog that I also like the same movies and books (and James McAvoy? HELLO) and now I can't wait for the funny bits and kissing (seriously. December is SO FAR away). But I'm equal parts excited for the story, the characters, and the balance that you speak of.

    In sum (because I'm rambling?), I can't wait to read it!

  9. Your cover is FABULOUS! And I laughed out loud when I clicked your link back to the post on the change in your pub date. My book sold in Dec and I fell off my chair (really--right onto the floor) when Macmillan told me we would be on the shelves in Sept.

    I'm so glad you scored an awesome cover. I'm still waiting for mine. *bites nails*

  10. I am loving the cover. The hands are by far the best part, and you and Jarrod did an awesome job trying to replicate it! (Miss you both to pieces!!!!!!)

    I want the book now... why do we have to wait again?

    waiting for release dates suck... major. (you would think I would be used to it ;)

    I love the fact that your book is going to be a bit lengthy. One thing about YA fiction is that I sometimes feel the books are a bit too short... like they could use a chapter or two more to really completely wrap things up. This isn't all the time, but sometimes I finish and I am like.. wha???

    Oh and you mentioned kissing.... I like kissing...

    gah excited.

  11. Such excitement!! I love when covers are revealed.

    I think it's a really cool cover. It's elegant and fun without being busy (this from the person who takes covers VERY seriously. The highest grade a cover could get on my old review criteria was "Ooh, shiny! Me touch?"). But what's with cutting the cute boy out? That's just mean.

  12. Congratulations! I love the hands too. But the photo of you and your husband is even better - so cute. And your author photo is fab!

  13. I think the cover is gorgeous and I think it's a very noble thing to make people laugh and swoon!

  14. Anonymous5:00 AM GMT-5

    C'est magnifique! And that's as far as my French goes... But the cover looks great! As does your Super Official Photograph -- have I mentioned I luurrve your hair?

  15. I love how clean the cover is, and I adore the different fonts that make up the title! This would definitely catch my eye on a shelf. I can't wait until I can buy it!

  16. First off the boy masterpiece sure does hava a nice hand!! Second I love the scarf, we had a friend tell us that on our trip we would see 8,000 scarfs and she was right. The cover makes me want to go back, and makes me feel home sick. I sat on a simalar bench in a Paris park. There may not have been a boy masterpiece next to me but there was a baguette and crepe that I looked at the way Anna is looking at her boy. I miss Eurpoe.

  17. Oh my gosh I love it!! This just makes me even more excited to read Anna, which stinks because December is so far away! Curse you, slowly-moving publishing business!

    Also, your book is TOTALLY worthy. How crappy a place would the world be without books about swooning and kissing (and hot boys)? If anything, we need more like that!

  18. Your cover is amazing! So happy for you.

    Looking forward to reading Anna but flaming flying bananas I wish I hadn't been so hasty in pre-ordering Paranormalcy.

  19. Perfect!

    Your author photo is gorgeous, too!

  20. Congrats! It's such a cute cover! Looking forward to its release!

  21. Um, can I say LOVE IT? It has the feeling I imagined for the book after reading so much about it, Stephanie - best thing ever! :-)

    Can't wait to preorder.

  22. I actually saw it last night on amazon and squeeed. Its sooo pretty and I can't wait to read it and I LOVE the author photo and there is just too much excitement happening in one post. Awesome, awesome!!! :-)

  23. Like you said, I love how modern and clean it is. Does the model on the cover look anything like Anna in your head? I like the font the title is displayed in. For some reason, fonts really draw me in. I LOVE the Eiffel Tower in the background - you are right, it is presented in such a different way than it usually is. I like how it's sort of looming over Anna and The Boy, as if it is itself a character.


  24. Stephanie, I love it! I even showed my three year-old I was so excited. I love the picture of you and your husband. In fact, maybe you should talk to Dutton about using that photo instead. :) Congratulations! (btw, I'm excited for ALL the bits...the kissing and the dark bits.)

  25. It is adorable! It just makes me feel a smiley when I look at it. I love the cute actress they choose to photograph. And LOOK that's your name on the cover!

  26. LOVE the cover (as you know) - but also, LOVE THE AUTHOR PHOTO!!!! Looks awesome - you look beautiful. And you should never, never feel like you have to be writing deep literature to be valid. I'd be so unhappy if you mucked up your perfect, quirky, charming, kissing, longing, clever books because you thought they were lacking gravitas. Stay true to your voice - it's amazing!

  27. Such a happy and exciting time!

    Love the cover!

    Can NOT wait to read it!


  28. I love your cover! The hands are great, and I also love the green in the title and the grass, and the fonts are gorgeous! I am big on noticing fonts. I can't wait to have this on my shelf!

  29. LOVE the book cover!

    LOVE the author photo!


    (Are you doing a signing in Asheville? BECAUSE I AM SO THERE.)


    That's what I think of your cover. :-)

    I keep thinking that summer cannot get here fast enough. But you know what? December (and September) can't either.

  31. Ooo love the cover! LOVE the author photo. I can't wait to read Anna!

  32. If I didn't know a thing about this book, the cover alone would make me want to pick it up. It works!

    The fact that it is a YA work with kissing AND serious stuff just makes me want to read it even more.

    And can I just say I love your author pic? It's delightful.

  33. Greetings from Argentina. I started reading this blog a few weeeks ago, and I stumbled upon it by chance.
    I think the cover looks amazing, super "neticing". I want to read it just from looking at it, and reading the title!
    I'll have to get a friend or something to by it for me, but eventually I know I'll get to read it.
    It's already on my "cannot wait to read" list!


  34. Congratulations on your cover! I love how honest you were with this post, discussing your fears and internal doubt about the quality of your book.

    Also, I LOVE the fact that you have blue hair. I had streaks like you for a little bit in high school, but in the corporate world they frown on that, lol. It is my solemn vow to myself that when I can afford to be a full-time writer I will have blue hair again.

    Love it!

  35. Both the cover and your author picture are adorable!! Congratulations!!

  36. You already know my feelings. I love this book so, SO much, and I'm so glad it has a pretty cover : )

    And a PRETTY AUTHOR to go inside the cover : )

    And that our books are AMAZON BFFs!!

    Also, let me say for the record, having read Anna a few times and being so excited to read it again, while it is cute and adorable and funny and quirky and DELICIOUSLY romantic, there's also a weight and depth to it that I think is missing so much in this genre. Unlike so many other romantic comedies that are fun to read and easy to forget, this is a book and these are characters that stay with you.

    It's wonderful.

  37. The cover is beautiful! I love it and can't wait to read it. :)

    And all books are worthwhile to someone. There is always going to be people in the world that will need to read your book when they do, and that will make all the difference.

    Plus I'm sure it's going to be awesome.

  38. I love the cover and your author photo!!! I also love the one you took yourself. I'm filled with love for you entire post today!

  39. The cover is beautiful! Looking forward to seeing that on my bookshelf! :) And your author pic is lovely too. I love that you and your husband duplicated the cover photo yourselves. So cute!

    For the record, there is nothing more "Important" than love. And the world can always use a little more humor & a little more kissing too, those are the elements that make our days memorable and joyful. Romance has a real and tangible value in our lives.

  40. I love your cover! Very eye-catching. And that's a lovely author photo! :)

  41. BEAUTIFUL! Holy man, I LOVE your cover! December seems so, so far away; I can't even wait to read ANNA.

  42. I can't wait to read the book. The cover definitely could've used more tongue, though. French Kiss. Tongue. Plenty of it. That is all.


  43. Wonderful! So exciting!
    I haven't pre-ordered yet (because i'm broke) but it's coming as soon as i get paid.

  44. Very nice! I like how it is fun and bright, but not overly girly. Very fun, I can't wait!

  45. LOVE the cover! And you look adorable in your author photo. Congrats and be proud of all of this - you have achieved something huge!

  46. I like the cover a lot but what I liked even more is your description of funny kissy bits, with dark conflict thrown in. JUST MY CUP.

    That makes me want to read it now. Congrats!

  47. I LOVE the cover. It's wonderful and perfect and cute. Your official pic is fab. You look so official authory and stuff. I love what you say about your book. Books don't have to be award winnerish to be wonderful and loved and read from cover to cover over and over. To me it's all about the entertainment value. I know yours will entertain because I can't not read your blog. You entertain. Your enthusiasm and passion for what you do is contagious and incredibly fun to share in. Congrats on the beautimous cover with your name on it. That rocks.

  48. Squee! I haven't seen the cover yet! I love that you can't see the guy, and the hands. Soon, this book will be on my shelf!!!

  49. Anonymous1:32 PM GMT-5

    Congratulations! It's gorgeous. I love the expression on the girl's face, and the strength in the guy's hand. Fab.

    Plus, your author photo is stunning!

  50. The cover is beautiful! They did a good job with the type :)


  51. LOVE IT TO PIECES!!!!!!

    Congratulations big time, Stephanie! SO happy for you!

    And you KNOW, I'm just dripping green with envy because I wrote a Paris book with lots of kissing three years ago. It's waiting to go out on submission with my agent. IN A PARIS MINUTE (a play on "In a New York Minute", ha, ha! about how a girl's life can change on a dime, or in a minute.)

    Anyway, I just showed off the cover to my actually "sold" book - instead of those still on manuscript paper - just last week, too! Happy days!


  52. I LOVE your cover! It's absolutely FAVULOUS!! (yeah, I made up that word.)

  53. One word: AWESOMESAUCE! I love that cover! I'm so glad you didn't end up with curlicues and poodles in berets.

    And the photo of you and Jarrod kinda made me swoon. So sweet.

  54. Ack! Stephanie, I'm so excited! The cover looks so good. I think I actually even like the Eiffel Tower in it. I can't wait to turn your book out in the Y.A. section, or better yet, put it on the recommended shelf.

    Hooray for you and your awesome cover!

  55. Yay! I'm so glad you got to post this! And I ordered Paranormalcy at the same time so I helped make you "frequently bought together" too!

  56. Wow! What a great cover! Congrats!! I can't wait to read the book. :)

  57. Oh, and I love your author photo too. So pretty! That red heart necklace is killer! :)

  58. Can't wait to buy the book :)

  59. I love Love LOVE the cover!! And I NEVER comment on the authors' blogs I have bookmarked on my computer, but your cover was so amazingly fabulous that I decided to write and tell you!!! If I didn't already REALLY want to read your book from following your blog, I would so pick this up if I saw it in a bookstore because of the awesome cover!!


  60. I would pick this up based on the cover. Paris and two people sort of together on a park bench. What more could you want?? :0)

    Great cover, so happy to see that I will not be the only one obsessed with seeing my name on my own cover. :)

  61. That cover is brilliant! I can't wait to read Anna. Congratulations!!! :D

  62. Congratulations! It is a gorgeous cover!

    I'm going to go back and read your post on your journey to becoming a published author. It really inspired me when you first posted it and I think it's just the thing I need to read right now:)

  63. The cover looks fantastic! So clean and modern - and I love the colours. The font is also really cool, feminine without being fluffy.

    My publishers are working on my book cover right now, and I'm so excited to see it! :) Like you, I was a bit stressed out about the author photo, having worked in a bookstore. Am pretty happy with how it turned out, though, and can't wait to see it on my book! :)


  64. Anonymous5:23 PM GMT-5

    I love both the book cover and the official author photo. So pretty! :)

  65. This is so exciting!!!!!!!!!! I love love love it!!!! And love that you and Jarrod did the SAME cover! so cute!

    But best of all is your author photo!!! I saw it on Amazon and thought it was divine. I love the perfect blue streaks which almost glow and the giant red I-write-romancey-books necklace! It's just all fab!


    And my word verification is pariescr! Kinda like Paris... ahhhhh

  66. It looks great! I'm looking forward to reading it!

  67. I'm so glad I just found your blog! I can't wait for your book. I LOVE the cover. :]

  68. Anonymous6:02 PM GMT-5

    It's simply gorgeous! I don't usually like that style, but it really is perfect for you. (I really like that the girl is wearing a scarf. ;)

  69. I love it! I can tell just from the cover that it's my kind of book. Also, fabulous author photo. Can't wait to get my sticky hands on it!

    - Liz

  70. I saw, I read, and I had a mini-stroke. It's FANTASTIC, Steph! I'm so excited for you... This is making me want to get offline and keep editing MY novel, so that this could one day be me. Oh, and your author picture rocks. I've worked at library for five years now, and know exactly what you mean about the awful pictures that are plastered on the back covers. I mean, hello- Danielle Steel?! Anyway, congrats!!!

  71. Thank you so much, Stephanie for the kudos on my blog! I meant to tell you that I think you're author photo TOTALLY ROCKS! You are just SO cute!!! And tres, tres lovely. xoxo

  72. Gorgeous! Absolutely perfect!

  73. Being a self-proclaimed coverologist, I'd just like to say that your cover

    Although I might have to Amazon it or have someone else buy it for me, because the cashier always gives me a funny look when I buy lovey books.
    Somehow it's always the SAME cashier. I think she was checking me out, though.

  74. There's a whole lot of loveliness in this post, Steph. Congrats!

  75. Love it, love it, love it. Can't wait to read it. Love it. Love the photo too, and the photo caption of you with Kiersten and Laini on Amazon. Love it!

  76. So I just emailed you but I wanted to pipe in here too.

    Love your cover! Can't wait to read your book! Congratulations!
    And fun blog!!

  77. The cover is awesome, and I don't find 384 pages intimidating at all.

  78. I love the cover! Makes me want to run out a buy it RIGHT NOW. Congrats!

  79. I love your cover! I would definitely pick it up in a bookstore.

    I also adore your postand as the kind of books you love, sound exactly like the kind of books I love. I think I'll have to go pre-order Anna now :)


  80. Gorgeous cover!! I would totally pick it up in a store! Yay!!

  81. It's beautiful, and I'm so so so so excited for you! Wheeeee!

    And also....... I have a contemporary novel that I'm about to query, and it's 87K words (cut down from 100K), so those 384 pages make me breathe a sigh of relief!

    And IT HAS YOUR NAME ON IT! I'm totally squeeing for you.

  82. Your cover is kewlness and I love the contemporary, flirtatious vibe. Plus there's the tantalizing you-just-know-that-guy-is-hot-but-you-can't-see-him intrigue.

    Go you!

    Also, you have a bright gorgeous smile and a great energy to your author photo.


  83. I gave you an award, but you don't have to bother with it unless you want to. It matches your blog.

  84. I LOVE IT!!! You have a COVER!!!!

    OMIGOSH!!!! :D Congratulations, it's totally and completely awesone and wonderful and it has your NAME ON IT!!!! I'm jealous. :)

    Be proud of your book, Steph. I teach first grade and lots of people think that what I do is "cute" and "fun" and not at all hard or important (I actually had someone ask me once if my hubby makes more because he teaches harder grades in HIGH SCHOOL).

    You know what you do and the accomplishment you made and, heck, if it sucked, it wouldn't be for sale. :) You should be super happy and proud and enjoying every moment of this! :) Congrats!

    Lindsey (a usually quiet follower, lol)

  85. ahhhhhh love it! congratulations!!

  86. OH. MY. GOD. I AM SOOOOO GONNA BUY IT WHEN IT HITS INDONESIA!!!!! I don't know why but I'm so proud to be your worshiper!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS STEPH!!!!!!

  87. Anonymous7:52 PM GMT-5

    Egads, I can't believe I'm so late to this party! Well, needless to say (but it's so FUN to say it, isn't it?), your cover is BEAUTIFUL. It just exudes hope and fun and romance. Congratulations!! You must be thrilled. :)

  88. I'm late at saying this, but it's so amazing! I LOVE it, and it definitely makes me want to get my hands on a copy ASAP. :)

  89. You are so beautiful!!! What a fabulous picture! Kathleen, Pat and I are here at the library spying on you. :P We are so happy that your author picture truly captures your light. YAY! We love you!