Here’s a new trend in publishing–pair up a highly successful singer/songwriter (or insert any other celebrity career) with a talented author and wa-la, there’s an instant bestseller. Well, I don’t know if The Sweet By and By will hit the bestseller lists, but its certainly a fun read. The folks at Thomas Nelson did a great job in putting Rachel Hauck (one of my favorite authors) with Sara Evans, a big time Nashville recording artist. I’m thinking the plot/characters/theme was courtesy of Sara’s imagination, but the pacing, dialogue and tension came from someone used to telling a story longer than three minutes. Since the spine of this book indicates this is #1 in the Songbird series, I don’t know if that means more from Sara Evans or more collaborative stories from the Nashville music scene. Is Winona also a wannabee author? Taylor Swift?? I was really intrigued by the hardback/slick print cover on this book–it’s like a crossover between a hardback and a softback book. Is this a more cost effective alternative to hardbacks with jackets? Don’t know, but its just one more example that the folks at Thomas Nelson are open to exploring new trends. I like that.