Cover Kibitz and Giveaway: A Dance With Danger

Tell you a secret: When I first saw the cover of my debut book, Butterfly Swords, I was kind of concerned. First of all, it didn’t look like anything else out there in historical romance. Second of all, I didn’t know if it was dramatic enough. It didn’t look action-y. It didn’t look romance-y. The hanfu, though red, was rather plain looking to me in the historical romance field where pretty dresses reigned supreme. It certainly was very bold-looking, but there were so many examples in Hong Kong cinema that to me looked so much more romantic and dashing than my girl in red.


I was wrong to complain even just a little. Everyone LOVED that cover. It really stood out.

But when I got my first glimpse of The Sword Dancer, I was completely blown away. The Harlequin art department had come MILES from Butterfly Swords. Then when I saw the cover for the sequel, A Dance with Danger, I couldn’t stop grinning. It looked exactly like a still from a Hong Kong, Crouching Tiger style action movie. I had to put them side by side for comparison.



So here’s my cover commentary for A Dance with Danger:


  • First of all, in a world of clinch covers and heated embraces, this cover shows the hero and heroine mid-sparring duel!!!! You know I love the flirtatious sword fight. Awesome scene. (Note: In the book, my heroine actually never touches a sword though she does spar with a staff. Whatever. The sword looks cool. Points for the sword.)
  • I do love the detail on the dress and the colors and the flowiness of it. My Little Sis was tickled that they even had the pom-poms in her hair. That’s not necessarily authentic to Tang Dynasty, BUT it’s very popular in HK depictions of imperial Chinese dress.
  • I like that this one has the hero in it. And that he’s wearing a shirt. Tee hee. And he’s scruffy looking, in a good way.
  • In my mind, Bao Yang, the hero of the book, is clean-cut and suave in appearance. The hero depicted here looks closer to what I imagined the outlaw Liu Yuan would look like. But that hardly matters. He’s attractive and it’s good to see an Asian male model getting work in Romancelandia.
  • Why are they both closing their eyes? Would have been nice if there was a shot of them looking at one another.

All in all, wow have my covers evolved since Butterfly Swords! It still looks like nothing else out there in romance or fantasy, and I have no idea if that will be a turn-on or turn-off for readers, but it certainly looks like a Jeannie Lin cover doesn’t it?

What do you think? Oh yeah, and I have a bunch of advance copies. Reviewers don’t seem to go for those much anymore. So I’ll be randomly drawing names from the comments to win advance copies. Let me know if you’d like to be entered and I’ll contact you via e-mail. If you are outside of the US or Canada, you may need to wait for release day and I’ll send via BookDepository.


  1. Katie-Rose Repp
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 08:02:34

    This cover model is clearly so good-looking, he doesn’t NEED to take his shirt off! Congrats on the new book!

  2. Elaine Shi
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 11:28:49

    Nothing hotter than some subtle scruff. Excited for your new book!

  3. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 11:47:02

    I’ve always been a Han Solo girl. I love scruffy-looking.

  4. Christine Tan
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 12:13:45

    Sign me up for the giveaway please! Love your covers ( and your stories!).

  5. Robin Marwick
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 12:39:45

    Ooh, sign me up! I’d love a copy!

  6. Melanie Meadors
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 13:11:34

    Love this cover!! I’ve been following along with you since book 1, and I’m so proud of how far you’ve come, and especially with an Eastern/non-Regency, etc setting! πŸ˜€


  7. Anne Golden
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 14:06:32

    i love all your covers but I really love that the hero is on this one AND I really really love all your books !!!

  8. Elizabeth S.
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 15:11:55

    Can’t wait to read it ! (and hoping I win a free copy) =)

    I do agree that I wish their eyes were open.

  9. Michelle
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 15:38:47

    WOW! Gorgeous cover indeed! I have loved all of your book covers because they represented parts or people in the story. I’m very glad to see that Harlequin has kept the covers unique to the author. I can spot a Jeannie Lin in a bookstore from a mile away! Why? Because of the beautiful yet graceful covers with rich colors and stunning models. Just awesome! Please enter me into the drawing.

  10. Jena Lang
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 15:39:34

    I love all of your covers, especially this one!

    Yes, please enter my name in your giveaway. =)

  11. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 15:50:11

    @Elizabeth S: I’ll just tell myself that they’re caught up in the moment. πŸ™‚

    so nice to see y’all! I’ve been away from blogging for a bit. I’ll select the giveaway winners by…Friday. Sound good?

  12. naomi
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 15:57:34

    Swords do have more cover appeal than staves… (Not that I usually see covers larger than thumbnails.)

  13. naomi
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 15:58:38

    (Yes, I would love an advance copy.)

  14. Kathy P
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 16:05:00

    would love an advance copy. I think the cover is great!

  15. Julie
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 16:11:21

    This new cover is super dramatic. It’s a nice change from reclining characters!

    Thanks for the chance to win. πŸ˜€

  16. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 17:06:17

    Good point Julie! The Pingkang Li mystery books had women lying down. This series is definitely more action/adventure.

  17. Asa Maria Bradley
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 17:27:01

    Hi Jennie,

    I love all your covers. I “discovered” Butterfly Swords because everyone at RWA national that year kept using your book as an example of a gorgeous cover. Plus, the title intrigued me.

    You push the boundaries of what traditional historicals are and look like, which I love, because it opens up the field for more diverse books and more diverse authors. Thanks for being a trailblazer!

  18. flchen1
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 17:31:28

    Ooh, I LOVE the newest cover, Jeannie! I do think you have had good fortune with the cover gods πŸ˜‰ I really do like that A Dance with Danger features the couple, not just one or the other of your leads πŸ™‚ I guess what I also love is that it isn’t just that your covers are worth admiring–it’s that I know that the story inside is SOOOOOOOO good. Can’t wait to add a copy of this one to my keeper shelf!

  19. Samantha Thomas
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 18:27:32

    I’ve only recently started reading your work and I credit you with getting me into romance! All of your covers have been incredibly beautiful but your books are very hard to come by here in Australia.

  20. Sara M
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 18:58:43

    I love how your heroine seems concerned that the hero is trying to embrace her while she’s holding a sharp pointy object! Flirtatious swordfighting for the win indeed.

  21. Christina K.
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 19:24:11

    I love this cover! It really makes the wuxia nerd in me squee in delight! I can’t wait to read this latest scroll!

  22. Charlemagne
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 19:26:25

    I’d love an advance copy of the book! The male model is so handsome!

  23. Marci
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 19:59:34

    i still like the cover for Butterfly Swords. But I’d love to win your newest book!

  24. Julia
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 21:13:25

    I agree with everyone. I love your covers because they’re very distinctive. They really stand out when you’re looking at a bunch of other books on a rack or on Overdrive.

    I would love to win your newest book!

  25. Ruthg
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 21:36:53

    I have really loved your covers and would be super excited to win your new book.

  26. Yvette
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 22:07:03

    I like how dynamic the mid-dual pose is, and I agree wholeheartedly about the Han/scruffy thing as well as wishing there was some eye contact. I’d buy this from the cover appeal alone, but I’d love to win an advanced copy!

  27. Nicole
    Mar 12, 2015 @ 08:45:09

    Certainly has an element of danger to it! I would love to be a part of the giveaway!

  28. Eve
    Mar 12, 2015 @ 09:22:35

    Would love an advance copy if you don’t mind πŸ™‚ And yes, why *are* their eyes closed? But a romance cover with the couple in the midst of a duel (involving swords, no less) is rare, so yay.

  29. Rosemary K
    Mar 12, 2015 @ 14:09:57

    I love your covers. They are classical and lovely. I love the characters and the poses. Often less is more. I would love to read and ARC of your new release.

  30. Regina Wade
    Mar 12, 2015 @ 14:31:32

    I love the covers! I’m currently reading Butterfly Swords and really enjoying it.

  31. Larisa.
    Mar 13, 2015 @ 11:07:23

    Delicious! Love the movement, the clothes, the scruff and best of all the clothes are all *on*. Hope I win an ARC! Plus thank you for books that remind me why I became addicted to adventures and romances set anywhere outside the US and in most any era.

  32. Megan S.
    Mar 13, 2015 @ 16:47:33

    I keep my copy of The Sword Dance facing out on my bookshelves, I love that cover so much. (Also, I’d love to win an advanced copy!)

  33. Jeannie
    Mar 13, 2015 @ 21:02:46

    The winners have been chosen by random number generator:

    Rosemary K
    Sara M

    Congrats!! I will be contacting you via e-mail. If you didn’t win, I will be sending out my newsletter next week with a giveaway just for subscribers. So sign up and get another chance. I only update when I have new releases or special news.

  34. flchen1
    Mar 15, 2015 @ 00:44:15

    Congratulations, Marci, Rosemary, Yvette, and Sara! Green with envy πŸ˜‰ Jeannie, will be keeping my eyes peeled for your newsletter πŸ™‚