Please welcome my dear friend Elizabeth Musser as my guest blogger today. Elizabeth, Tammy Alexander, and I share the same German publisher, Francke, and the three of us traveled together on a book tour a few years ago. We had a blast! Now, I have the privilege of endorsing Elizabeth’s newest book, “When I Close my Eyes.” Make sure you enter for a chance to win a copy. ~ Lynn
Perspective: Of Mountains and Seas
by Elizabeth Musser
So much of life is about perspective: how I perceive a situation, how I accept the different circumstances that twist their way into my life.
And so it is with our stories. The novelist is giving the reader a certain perspective and hoping that it resonates with the reader.
My newly released novel, When I Close My Eyes, is about a middle-aged writer who is in a coma, remembering her past. Part of the story takes place in Asheville, NC, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains at the height of their color in the fall. The other part of the story takes place at a beach in La Grande Motte, France, beside the a Mediterranean Sea.
When I received the final cover for the novel, I absolutely loved it. They’d caught the feel of the novel down to the detail of the font fading, symbolic of someone going in and out of wakefulness. And my heroine, Josephine, is standing by the Mediterranean Sea.
Even though the main part of the story takes place in Asheville, I wanted to make sure the back cover copy included a mention of the Mediterranean, since that was the cover setting:
There is one story novelist Josephine Bourdillon shirked from writing. And now she may never have a chance. Trapped in her memories, she lies in a coma. The man who put her there is just as paralyzed. Former military Henry Hughes failed to complete the kill. What’s more: he failed to receive payment—funds that would ensure surgery for his son. As detectives investigate disturbing fan letters, a young but not-so-naive Paige Bourdillon turns to her mother’s tormented past for answers. Could The Awful Year be worse than one they’re living now? Set against the flaming hills of North Carolina and the peaceful shores of the Mediterranean Sea, When I Close My Eyes tells the story of two families struggling with dysfunction and finding that love is stronger than death.
But then I received a slew of gorgeous graphics that the team at Bethany House had designed for computer and smart phone backgrounds. And I literally caught my breath when I saw the design for the smart phone. Because of the shape of that graphic, more of the original photo is visible. And guess what? Josephine isn’t standing beside the Mediterranean Sea. She’s standing on a mountain, gazing out at the mist on the mountains.
It’s the perfect representation of the beginning of the book, a description taken from one of Josephine’s novels:
The clouds hang low, a mist caught between the carpet of mountains. I stand at the top of the lookout and gaze into a never-ending motion of undulating valleys and peaks. On and on, seemingly forever, they rise and fall in lush green hues and deep blue ridges that span past history. The mountains hold my imagination, and I feel a call to their beauty. Then they fade out of view as the mist floats above and around them, like puffs of smoke. I hover in the mist; I feel the calling of the dawn. I see the first ray of light piercing through the mist and I know. I am forgiven.
These Mountains Around Us, Josephine Bourdillon
The design team had picked the perfect picture, and in a serendipitous way, the cover perfectly fit both settings in the novel. Do you see the clouds and the mist and the mountains?
I absolutely love this cover for many reasons, but especially because it taught me a lesson in perspective. I can easily see something different because of where I am coming from.
I hope you like the cover. And I hope you also enjoy the story.
To be entered in a giveaway for a copy of When I Close My Eyes, print or e-book, leave a comment below.
ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Elizabeth’s highly acclaimed, best-selling novel, The Swan House, was named one of Amazon’s Top Christian Books of the Year and one of Georgia’s Top Ten Novels of the Past 100 Years (Georgia Backroads). All of Elizabeth’s novels have been translated into multiple languages and have been international best-sellers. Two Destinies, the final novel in The Secrets of the Cross trilogy, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. Her latest novel, The Long Highway Home was a finalist for the 2018 Carol Awards. Elizabeth’s novel, When I Close My Eyes, will be published in November, 2019.
For over thirty years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions’ work in Europe with One Collective, formerly International Teams. The Mussers have two sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. Find more about Elizabeth’s novels at www.elizabethmusser.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.