Here Comes the Hot Stepper

Remember the high-stepping pink miniskirt lady? You know, she was over here, and she was over there, on sample covers from HarperCollins. Leg problems and romance, that flippy-skirt lady had them all.

And, it seems she has a new wardrobe, and possibly more stock options—stock photography options. From alert reader Becky comes a new link: The Girl’s Guide to Kicking Your Career into High Gear cover features similar legs in a similar pose.

My questions? Who is this lady that she kicks her career into high gear by wearing a very short trenchcoat and a very much shorter and thus invisible skirt underneath? Exactly what kind of career is she kicking here? And who ARE these women who can get away with heels and high-legged marching without stockings on? Do they never get blisters? And finally – is that in fact the same shot, with a different purse and a jacket Photoshopped over the pink tweed?


The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Deb Kinnard says:

    As a reader & member of the Eternal Bitcher, I cannot wait for this cover art trend to pass. Dismembered body parts are fine in the cellar of Vlad’s castle, or the basement of the hospital in which I work, but NO MORE UNATTACHED PARTS ON BOOK COVERS! I’m askin’ nice! Puhleeze!

  2. 2
    Deb Kinnard says:

    I meant, the Eternal Bitchery. Sheesh.

  3. 3
    Joanna says:

    I don’t think it’s actually the same model… the width of her legs are different and a slightly different shade… but with the miracle that is photoshop, anything is possible.
    That said, this cover tells me nothing useful about the plot of the book. Useless.

  4. 4
    Silver James says:

    As a retired forensic photographer (and part of my expertise was comparing/contrasting photos), I’d say….that’s one busy model and a photoshop monkey of some talent. The angles (legs, feet, arm and hand) are all the same. The legs are the same though the “depth of field” is different. On The Trenchcoat cover, the model is appears at a distance while she is viewed closer in the other examples. I do believe that her legs might have been airbrushed to soften the definition of her calf muscles. I really dislike that cover/ad in all its various forms and fashions and personally plan on never picking up a book with that as a cover.  (Caveat: If Sarah and Candy give any such book an A+ review, I might have to read it. If that ever happens, I’ll put a plain cover on it and read it…or just rip the cover off).

  5. 5
    Anaquana says:

    I’d have to say that they are not the same picture.

    The upraised foot on the trenchcoat cover is further out from the back leg, while the appallingly pink cover has the upraised foot right next to the back leg.

    Of course, they could have photoshopped the leg, but that would be a strange thing to do.

    Also, I’m sure because I can’t see it as well, but it looks like the hands holding the bags are placed differently.

  6. 6
    Anaquana says:

    And that should have been, “I’m NOT sure…”

  7. 7
    SonomaLass says:

    I agree that the different angle of the front leg suggests this is a copycat picture, not a Photo-shopped revision.  Flippy-skirt girl’s front foot is next to her back knee, while trench-coat girl’s front calf is at a less severe angle.  But there is SO much similarity that I have to think there’s copying, or common inspiration, going on here.

    And ew, I didn’t like this image this first time I saw it (in the cover proposal post); I would be unlikely to buy that book.  Now that I have seen it over and over, it makes me want to gag!

  8. 8
    Mala says:

    Flippy-skirt Lady is everywhere!  I was going to mention this a while ago but forgot to… I swear I saw the same picture, or at least a variation on the theme on the recent window displays at Payless as well.

    Suffice it to say, I wasn’t moved enough to go in and buy the shoes she was wearing.

  9. 9
    AgTigress says:


    You are so right.

  10. 10
    DianeH says:

    So the cover of this book is Trenchcoat Hooker, but the subtitle is about using your brain…. 

    Note to Editorial Staff:  Send subtitle to art department.

  11. 11
    Erin says:

    I vote photoshop:

    1. The trench has strange flow patterns that don’t make sense. At list the flippy skirt is flippy in a reasonable direction. The trench is just kinda…billowy. And oddly foldy at the corner around the uplifted leg.

    2. The heel looks like a Barbie heel, and it looks like her foot is going in some unnatural direction in relation to her leg. Probably because they photoshopped in the shoe incorrectly in relation to the knee. (Though it does look like the planted pink shoe may be adusted – I’ve got some blurry black lines around that one where there aren’t on the upraised foot. Anyone else see this?)

    3. The hand looks plastic, and the outer fingers are curled in a way that extends beyond the middle and ring finger. Try it – this isn’t so natural. It works if you’re holding the bag loosely (as in the pink), but when you mess with the bag to make it look like she’s got a firm grip, this grip makes NO sense. Try it – firm grip, loose grip.

    4. On the foot that’s held up in the air, she would have to be completely pointing her foot toward her butt to get her foot to have that kind of curvature in the shoe. Or she would have to have an insanely long food, because look how the pink girl has her foot in the same place. There’s even some darker shading where it looks like they messed with her toes or something in the pink picture. Also, her ankle on the uplifted leg is SO MUCH SKINNIER than the ankle in the planted leg.

    Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to move the leg and the have to photoshop in the knee, but people do stupid things with photoshop. See photoshop disasters: (which I think I found on the SB site?)

    Anyway, that’s my vote. Feel free to disagree. Too bad there’s no tell-tale pink skirt there to give it away. Though the billows at the back of the thighs do resemble each other….

  12. 12
    Erin says:

    And yeah, yeah –

    Typo City
    Population: Me


  13. 13
    ilona andrews says:

    Purple bag,  grey coat, black shoes.  What is she, colorblind?

  14. 14
    pissed off one says:

    Man, I am so bummed. This post is great and all but you know what would’ve been more greater? CANDY! She just came and gave us one little peek on Thursday and then she vanished with out a trace. That Candy, living us all high and dry and wanting for more-as usual.
    But there is one thing she needs to understand and that is, if she keeps us wanting for more for a longer period of time then there might be a time when we would no longer be waiting for her no more, and might just move on to something else.
    Therefore Candy, please, please, I’m begging you, come back-we all miss you so much, babe!
    And why must Sarah take the whole burden of this site alone? You guys are a team ad the main reason why people likes your site so much is because you guys are funny and rude, but these days it seems as if the closest thing to a curse I would ever get is a soft “darn”-or maybe that’s the only thing I’ve come across, if there is any one out there with a more compelling evidence about any RECENT cursing-like the really BAD ones, please feel free to correct me.
    Bottom line, Candy, you need to come here more often and do your rude, witty and funny lines. Thank you.

  15. 15

    Hmmm. Maybe they moved the leg so it wouldn’t be covered up by the slightly longer trench coat. Afterall, that pink flippy skirt is reeeally short and her pointed foot is way high up the calf of her planted leg in that orignal image.

    Erin, excellent dissection of the photo.

    And uh, yeah, this doesn’t actuaully look like a book that teaches a woman to use “what [she’s] got (a brain)”… maybe it teaches her to use something else?

  16. 16
    pissed off one says:

    Yup, a really excellent dissections of the photo indeed; but you know what would be more excellent? If Candy were here with us to discuss this ;-D

  17. 17
    Cat Marsters says:

    It’s not the same photo.  On the pink one, her foot overlaps her leg, and on the trenchcoat pic, it doesn’t.  Moving it would mean either a hole in the leg, or lack of shadow (Photoshop doesn’t do shadows very well) . It looks to me like two photos from the same session.

    I’m constantly befuddled by people refusing to buy a book on the basis that the cover belongs to a trend they don’t like.  That’s punishing an author for something she has absolutely zero control over.

    Personally, I like the body-part covers (okay, that sounded ickier than I meant).  They’re much better IMO than the Lord Mantitte covers still abounding, especially in historicals.  They also let me use my imagination and decide for myself what the characters look like, without some clueless, haven’t-read-the-book artist deciding for me.

  18. 18
    Kiv says:

    It is the same photo.  Open the Confessions of a Beauty Addict picture in photoshop or an equivalent.  Copy this picture on top of it.  Resize it and tilt it slightly so the back leg matches up with the leg underneath it.  The back leg and the thigh of the bent leg of the two photos match up exactly.  The calf of the other leg’s been moved; the person who photoshopped it would have had to fill in the hole left by the overlapping foot but the trenchcoat picture is airbrushed enough that if the artist was talented enough you wouldn’t notice it was painted in.

    As for why they would have moved the leg, they probably didn’t want it to look like a stock photo and tried to change it enough so that people wouldn’t notice.

  19. 19
    Indira says:

    My first thought before I even finished reading was that trench coat lady was a photoshop of pink miniskirt lady.  The trench falls strangely (notice the corner and imagine where it would be if she lowered her leg), is grainy, and weirdly shadowed.  And her thigh is clearly up on her hip, almost at her waist.  Kiv was spot on about this.  Also note that she has the same watch/bracelet on in both photos. 

    This is a horrible photoshop job.

  20. 20
    Anna says:

    So . . . what would the “boy’s guide to kicking your career into high gear” feature on the cover?  Maybe a slightly longer trenchcoat, and ditch the purse for a briefcase?

  21. 21
    Tsu Dho Nimh says:

    I found her marching through a Turkish website: 

    I don’t know the context, of course

  22. 22

    Tsu Dho Nimh,

    If you have a link to the original website in Turkish, I might be able to get the context. Two years of studying Turkish ought to give me some skilz. Probably not mad skillz but… I can at least figure out the context if you are curious.

  23. 23

    I’m sure because I can’t see it as well, but it looks like the hands holding the bags are placed differently.

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