Lauren Mechling (she of the enviably glossy hair) shared her Cover Story for Dream Girl here last year. Now, she's back to dish on the sequel, Dream Life, which is all butterflies, all the time. Whee!"Dream Life is a sequel to Dream Girl, so I knew it would likely feature a cover in keeping with the visuals of the first book, which always reminds me of Japanese candy. Shortly after I'd started writing it I was given an even more specific idea to store in the back of my mind: my very cool editor Krista Marino showed me a photograph she was hoping to use on the new cover. If memory serves correctly, it showed the same model as the one who plats Claire on the cover of Dream Girl. But instead of sitting and looking lady-like, she was flung across a couch, her head tilted back and her arm falling down to the floor. It was very dramatic and much less lady-like than the first image. It was intense. I liked it. "So a year or so later, when it came time to see the cover image Random House's design genius Angela Carlino had whipped up, I saw the damsel-in-distress image had been given the boot. Instead there was a picture of the model seated and reading an antique book, surrounded by a blur of butterflies. It hardly screamed 'danger!' which was a surprise. I was also surprised by how much I liked it. Even though Claire isn't much of a reader and butterflies don't really figure into the book, it captured the quirky, mysterious spirit of the book. "The bubblegum pink of the first book's original cover (now it's blood red for paperback, see the contrast at right) had been a problem for book shoppers, as they mistook the book for chick lit instead of a weird dark mystery. Conveying Dream Life's sinister side was definitely a problem the designers had to deal with, and I was impressed with their solution. It would have been easy to make some black-and-red Twilight knockoff. Somehow the story's edgy element comes through, even if the model is striking a demure pose and surrounded by butterflies (not exactly werewolves!). "And so the only feedback they heard from my end was: 'I LOVE it.' Which I totally meant." Thanks, Lauren! I really like the whimsy of these covers, all. The contrast of her paleness with the lovely green wall color is great. What do you guys think--will readers get the edginess of the books?