When I saw the cover for L.K. Madigan's October release, The Mermaid's Mirror, I had to find out how such a windswept, atmospheric image came about.Here's L.K. to tell the tale: "Sadly, I have no eye for design. I can envision scene after scene in my mind as I write them ... but I can't come up with an iconic image to represent the book. Since the book is about a girl surfer who finds a mermaid, I thought the cover might show ... um, a girl surfer... or a mermaid. "Which is why I'm a writer, not a designer. The first cover design my publisher sent me was very pretty (right). I loved the girl's hair, and the water droplets effect, but the blue graphic didn't really convey anything about the story. Only the word 'mermaid' in the title hinted that it might be a fantasy. My agent and I talked about it, and decided to ask the art director to consider incorporating the ocean into the design. "The final cover is what she came up with - I LOVE it. So beautiful and moody, and it definitely makes me think 'northern California,' which is the setting of the book. "After the cover was approved, we found out that a Jaclyn Moriarty book showed the same stock photo (right). But that book was a U.K. edition; it will be interesting to see if they release the book in the U.S., and whether they keep that same cover. "I just received my author's copies of the book a couple of days ago. I thought it would be interesting to include photos of the REAL LIFE cover. As you can see, it's a little darker than the previous image ... and there's more ocean on the back cover. More moodiness! "It's so pretty and layered. I love the lighting around the girl - Lena - and the misty blue swirling effect. I even love the little green shell detail on the spine. Carol Chu is the art director at Houghton Mifflin, and I've been lucky enough to have her design both my book covers." Thanks, L.K.! I adore this cover and I wish I could messily swirl my hair so perfectly into that mermaid bun. Sigh. Also, Alea noticed the cover twin in her awesome lookalike series earlier this year (along with some others--love this blog series). You can win a copy of the book here on Jaclyn Dolamore's blog if you enter by Friday. So what do you guys think of the cover?