A Tale of Three Covers: An Exposé by Nikki Navarre
Posted by Laura Navarre Feb 16 2017, 9:00 am
It started with a plot. Innocent historical romance author Laura Navarre never dreamed it was coming…until it hit. Laura’s diabolical twin, double agent and spy romance author Nikki Navarre (that’s me), surged to global notoriety when the book I wrote purely for my own pleasure ended up not only published by a boutique press, but selling better than anything Laura had written for larger houses. That book was The Russian Seduction, my sexy spy romance about a renegade Russian submarine captain and a rising-star American diplomat at U.S. Embassy Moscow, inspired by my past as a globetrotting ex-diplomat working weapons of mass destruction issues in Russia.
“Hmm,” I mused, over my morning intelligence briefing in an undisclosed location. “That gambit was unexpectedly successful. And the risk of reprisal from my hapless twin is negligible. Let’s write another.”
The diplomatic community was accordingly titillated by The Russian Temptation, Book 2 in the Foreign Affairs series, about an ex-KGB hit man and the gorgeous but incurably meddlesome American ambassador he’s hired to kill. According to sources, the world’s most infamous ex-KGB agent, Russian President Vladimir Putin, had become an avid fan. Surely it was mere coincidence that, mere months after I wrote about Russia invading Ukraine and an authoritarian regime using chemical weapons in the Middle East, these horrific events actually occurred? I sipped my vodka martini, adjusted my attaché case, and wondered.
Then, in real life, an Ebola outbreak paralyzed West Africa.
“What if,” I inquired of my enigmatic accomplice, “that outbreak was spawned by an illegal biological weapons test gone awry?” Fast forward to today, where world leaders are stunned yet stimulated by The Russian Obsession. She’s a scientist without a memory. He’s a smuggler without a conscience. And their mission—to find an experimental Ebola vaccine before the Russians find THEM—is as deadly as the jungle heat.
In a crafty maneuver to throw rival governments off the scent, my publisher rebranded the entire series. The stately original cover of The Russian Seduction was eclipsed by the gorgeously steamy unveiling of a bronzed and shirtless Daniel Craig-like hero embracing a near-naked beauty. I reveled in my new cover. But advertising sites balked at running it. Cover #2 was so hot the book was mistaken for erotica. Undaunted, my redoubtable publisher redesigned it again. This third splashy spectacle, blazoned with stylized flags, onion-domed cities, bare skin and plenty of heat, was the pièce de résistance.
“World domination is ours,” I observed over my daily intelligence briefing, while my diplomatic colleagues fielded congratulatory phone calls from Vladimir Putin and the United Nations. But was it?
In her secure island hideaway in the Pacific Northwest, my innocent twin Laura Navarre pens her next Tudor historical romance…and bides her time. She knows Nikki’s unconventional adventures in the world of diplomacy will land her in real trouble.
One of these days.
Until then, spy on me at: