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Cover Reveal!

So excited about my current series, Ladd Springs. Set in the eastern Tennessee mountains, this romantic mystery family saga has been so much FUN to write! A bit ambitious writing five books in a year, but a great experience. This current book (#4) centers on my a guy with a natural talent when it comes to the horses but an all too unfortunate lack of talent when it comes to making good, sensible decisions. But then again, he’s a man ruled by his passion.


When Troy Parker returns home, a pregnant Casey Owens rejects him outright asserting he lost his right to honesty when he abandoned her to pursue his fortune in Kentucky. Jimmy Sweeney, friend and ally to Casey, never cared for Troy and is more than willing to take part in her deception.

Jack Foster has a few tricks of his own, beginning with reconciling his daughter Felicity Wilkins with the Foster family. Her mother, Delaney Wilkins, wants nothing to do with family reunions, knowing some relations are best left buried.

But as time passes, lies unravel. Casey can no longer deny her feelings for Troy and confronts him about the pregnancy. Felicity is doing some confronting of her own now that she’s learned a disturbing truth.  Yet it’s Delaney’s confession that causes families to collide as folks take sides, shattering both past and future generations, ensnaring Casey and Felicity in painful complications for which neither is prepared…

Family feuds run deep and wide, threatening even the most solid of unions. Find out who survives the perils in this chapter of Ladd Springs…

What do you think? Now back to the keyboard for the final details of the explosive finale!

The Creative Side of Life

Creative people are a different breed.  And I should know.  I “is” one. 🙂  We don’t think like regular people.  Our brains don’t operate in linear fashion.  Well, I take that back.  Creative engineer types make think in linear paths, but I’m no engineer.  I’m a writer.  An artist.

From creative stories to pencil drawings, I’ve always had a penchant to craft, create, make up stories…  Over the years, I’ve won awards, earned recognition for my efforts.  I won the fourth grade writing contest.  The high school drawing contest.  It’s a natural gift that has come in handy–one I’m especially reminded of after a few hours spent reminiscing with my brothers.

“Remember the time we told mom…”

Yes, well, it’s been fun, nurturing this creative streak of mine.  And I love nurturing it full-time as an author.  While not always grammatically correct, my voice is my own.  It’s unique.  Like a finger print, you can read my work and hear me tell you a story, one I hope you’ll enjoy.  But as a self-pubbed author, I find my talents can be “stretched” at times.  Currently at work on creating the covers for my 2013 Ladd Springs series, I find honing the vision can be difficult to translate into words.

Ladd Springs_Book1-LG

And when I say I’m creating the covers, mind you, I speak loosely.  Very loosely.  I have one of the most fabulous artists designing the covers for me–namely one Jax Cassidy–and she’s simply amazing.  She has a great eye for covers, for color.  She sees things I don’t, comes up with ideas I’d never even think of, yet she allows me input into the process.

Therein lies the problem–or thrill!  Depending on which side of the conversation you’re operating from.  Like anything else, cover design is a process.  It’s small changes that make a big difference.  It’s an overall vision that must run consistent with your story, your characters, your fictional world.  Your readers must be able to relate.

For me, it’s a fun process.  Until my perfectionist brain cells kick in and my real life brain cells have to shut them down, that is.  Then, like the tiny weeds in my garden, I have to ignore the impulse to say, “One more 1/16th of an inch and by George, I think we’ve got it!”

Sort of like when friends visit my 400 ft. X 100 ft. garden.  They don’t notice the teeny-weeny weeds.  They’re taking in the entire effect, the overall beauty and grandeur.  Aesthetically pleasing, the leaves and fruits and vegetables appeal to a part of their brain that doesn’t even know what a weed is–can’t even compute the image.

There are days in writing and cover design when it behooves me to remember this little fact of life.  Give readers the “pop” of imagery, the overall emotions of your story–and then trust them.  They’ll open the book, move past the cover and lose themselves between the pages.

Anyone else know what I mean?  For a preview of my upcoming Ladd Springs series, go here.

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