Which Cover Do You Prefer?

A new painting inspired by the aesthetic of my upcoming jazz age mystery novel, Galveston 1922

Today I spent some time thinking about the aesthetics of my upcoming novel, Galveston 1922. I made another painting that could serve as cover art. I also wrote a book description, which I will probably keep tinkering with until the release date in February.

Which cover do you prefer?

Here’s the book description as it stands so far:

Galveston 1922

Alice’s dull life is turned upside down when she meets June – a suspiciously pale flapper only she can see, a young woman who claims to have died and not remember anything about her life. Determined to solve the mystery of her ghostly new friend, Alice allows herself to experience a new side of Galveston Island: speakeasies, jazz, daring fashions for women, more permissive social mores, and an undercurrent of danger that hits closer to home than she would have expected. Despite Prohibition, or perhaps as a reaction to it, Islanders seem to be embracing the new era with gusto, fueled by a vibrant music scene and an abundance of delicious cocktails. But beyond the façade of jazz, speakeasies, and liquor, the Island is haunted by a tragedy not yet forgotten. Merely two decades ago, the Great Storm of 1900 killed almost five thousand of its inhabitants and put an end to its Golden Age. Alice herself is haunted by more ghosts than just June, but she is as much in denial about it as she is blind to some of the more sinister aspects of the Prohibition era, or the lies of omission in her own family relationships. As she comes closer to finding out the truth about June, Alice learns that her otherworldly acquaintance has a secret agenda that will force her into the orbit of rum runners, federal agents, and peddlers of potentially poisonous bathtub gin. She also finds that June is not the only ghost trailing her. A nun she can’t see but whom she definitely remembers has been following her since the Great Storm of 1900, as have a bunch of drowned orphans. June can communicate with these ghosts, but is unwilling to. Alice, too, prefers not to think of the nun, and even less of the dead children. But if she is to free herself, she will have to confront her past just as she’ll have to choose her allegiances in her present. Will she be able to rise from her own ashes like the Island itself? And is such a rebirth in the wake of tragedy truly possible, or merely an illusion?

The book will be out February 5th. And although it’s a freestanding novel, not part of a series, you might want to read Storms of Malhado and The Glory Days of Aimée Bonnard first.

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