Help me choose the cover for my newest memoir

My latest book is waiting in the wings, rehearsing her lines, awaiting her debut. But first she needs your help with her costuming: The front cover. Yes, you! Your help. You’re a potential reader. Or maybe someone simply interested in what I’m up to. Will you help me choose a cover for my new book? How about if I tell you there’s something in it for you?

If you make a comment to this blog post about which cover you like (and, if you’re feeling talkative, why you like it), I’ll randomly choose someone from among all those who comment to win a FREE signed copy of the book when it comes out, slated for late January or February.

As I mentioned in my last post here, the title of my new book is …

Truth, Dare, Double Dare,
Promise or Repeat:
On Finding the Meaning
of “Like” in 1982

Ooh, sounds interesting. What’s it about? Here’s the book blurb:

In a world before social networks made it a routine act performed with a click, “like” is a state of mystery and meaning among teenagers navigating the halls of Wadena Senior High School. Fifteen-year-old Monica is sure she would be happy if only she had boyfriend, but first she endures a litany of boys who think flirting is accomplished with insults and other shenanigans. After her first kiss, performed on a dare and described in the pages of Dear Diary as “the pits! Gross! Dirty!,” Monica learns the truth about French kissing from a charming outsider. Navigating relationships and learning the meaning of like—or love—is far trickier.

Set in a “hick town” on the windswept plains of Minnesota where a teenager’s social calendar is marked by basketball games, cafeteria dances and playing Pac-Man at the bowling alley arcade, Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise or Repeat: On Finding the Meaning of “Like” in 1982 examines the fateful year Monica devotes to reeling in a keeper of a boyfriend like so much walleye. With self-deprecating humor, authenticity and awkward details captured on the pages of the diaries Monica faithfully kept at the time, it’s a story that reminds us what it feels like to be a teenager again, grappling with timeless questions of desire, loyalty and meaning.

This book is for every teenager trying to navigate the maze of finding true love, or at least true “like,” and for every woman who grew up in the ’80s who might have forgotten all she learned during those seemingly simpler times.

I got a little carried away creating options for my book cover so please forgive me for offering five options instead of the traditional three. Don’t let an abundance of riches stop you from choosing one.


Option 1: Blue Shoes

Let’s just say blue shoes play a role in the book. Here’s an excerpt:

“How on earth did one blue shoe get into my locker?” I thought as I dug through a blizzard of teenage artifacts looking for my notes for science class. I was puzzled, and I didn’t like mysteries. Pulling a shoe out of my locker that should have been under a pile in my bedroom was bewildering.

cover 2 rgb.jpg

Option 2: Wardrobe

Again with the blue shoes, but this time they’re the odd ones out in a sea of black high heels.


Option 3: A la Glass Castle

If you’re a fan of memoir at all, you’ve read Jeannette Walls “The Glass Castle” (and if you haven’t read it, you really ought to). This cover is an homage to that classic, complete with an image of me kissing … someone. The world will never know. Because an old boyfriend made me tear out the recipient of my love smack. But you get the point.


Option 4: Graffiti

This was my working cover, my personal favorite. I created this graffiti over the text of a story I wrote on notebook paper 35 years ago. This is not a favorite among my close confidants, but I thought I’d throw it in the mix.


Option 5: Fiverr

Some other indie authors use Fiverr to create their covers. Fiverr is an online marketplace for creative and digital services where, yes, you can buy design services for as little as 5 bucks. “Janielescueta” created this cover for me.

Which cover do you like best? Which one makes you want to run out and buy a copy right now? Comment below by, oh, let’s say the end of the year. One of you will be randomly chosen to receive a copy signed by yours truly.

Have a teenage girl in your home? Ask her to vote, too.

Want to remain anonymous? No problem. Simply click one of the options below (I’d love your input even if you aren’t interested the drawing for the free signed copy).


Thanks for your help!