Monday, September 23, 2019

Cover Reveal: After Ben by Con Riley

Re-release Date: October 5 2019

Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link 

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Length: 95,000 words approx.


Seattle Stories: Book One

No more kissing a ghost…

A year after the sudden death of his longtime partner, Ben, Theo Anderson is still grieving. The last thing he’s looking for is a new lover, but as Theo discovers, sometimes life has its own plans.

The strength of his attraction to fellow gym member Peter is surprising. So is how compelling he finds Morgan, a new friend he makes online. Morgan is witty and fierce on the internet forum they frequent, while Peter is physically present in a way that’s hard to ignore.

Both men bring Theo closer to acceptance: he needs to lay Ben’s memory to rest if he’s to start afresh with a new lover.

Getting honest about the reasons for his yearlong isolation means confronting why he lost Ben… only just when he’s ready to commit, Theo finds he isn't the only one haunted by the past.

Whether with Peter or with Morgan, choosing to love again—after Ben—might not be Theo’s toughest challenge.

Please note: This is a 2nd edition with minor changes from the first edition, and a brand new cover. 

Drum roll, please...

How do you choose a new cover for a romance that so many readers have already adored? 

Choosing a new cover was a real challenge when the rights to After Ben reverted to me. I was delighted to update the artwork to something more contemporary and commercial with the help of my designer, Natasha Snow. However, changing the artwork only led to another dilemma: which character should feature on the cover? 

The widower, Theo, who is central to the story?  

The handsome paramedic, Peter, who he meets at the gym? 

Or should it be the elusive Morgan, with whom Theo spends so much time online? 

I simply could not decide between them, and as the book is not a ménage story, putting all three men on the cover would be misleading, particularly as another central character would be missing. It was realizing that someone so important was absent that made me ask a final question:

Was I brave enough to put a dead man on the cover?

You see, that elegant, handsome Italian man on After Ben’s new cover doesn’t actually appear in the story in person, although he is there in Theo’s every waking moment. In After Ben, you catch glimpses of him around every corner. He is there every time Theo touches the old pair of pajamas he keeps under his pillow, and he’s there every time Theo habitually grabs a second spoon to share his ice cream. He is as real to Theo now—whispering in his ear when he forgets to eat, catching at his heart every time he fumbles for his door keys—as he was the day he died.

So, I think it’s important for readers to see exactly what Theo lost. 

The man gracing this gorgeous new cover is without doubt my most enduring character, the one that readers respond to most passionately, saying over and over just how much they loved getting to know him. 

Beautiful inside and out, romantic through and through, and deeply kind to the core, I chose the man who would always want Theo to live and love again, without him. 

I chose Ben, and I hope that you will too.

With love from your teary-eyed author, 

Con Riley

About the author:

CON RILEY lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean. Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that make them live and breathe. 

When not people-watching or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.


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  1. According to AMZ-US, I bought this book in 2012. So is this simply a re-release with a new cover? Or is this a second edition of the book, with significant edits, revisions, additional text, etc? Inquiring readers would, I suspect, like to know.

    1. Hi Eric, the author tried to reply to your comment but was unable. This is a re-release of the book with a brand new cover. The post has been updated accordingly, and a short guest post from the author was added. I apologize for the confusion.

  2. I loved 'Be My Best Man' and am expecting to be just as enamored by this new selection!


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