Random thoughts

Updated: Feb 5

The inspirtions I use while writing my novels are always great fun to search for and create. I look through hundreds of images and love it when I find the right face for Charlotte, Elizabeth, or Julia. Looking for Lucien, Tristan, and Michael is just as much fun.

But my inspirations don't always come dressed for the right time period or, in the case of the heroes, with the clean-shaven grooming required during the Regency years of England. I've played with them for myself by combining images the way I showed in a past blog, but commercial covers require more than playing. Thanks to Lisa Messegee, I have a cover I love. Scandalizing the Duke will be available February 23, 2021 and I'm excited to reveal Charlotte's cover. You can preorder it now from your favorite sales venue.

Updated: Jan 19

My local Romance Writers of America chapter recently celebrated the anniversary of its formation with its annual birthday bash. It is the day we announce the winners of our Orange Rose Award for emerging writers and the winner of the Charlotte for published books.

Part of the celebration included a cover contest. The entries were beautifully and professionally printed on poster sized foam board, lined up on display tables, and voted on by the attendees. It is very tempting to enter the pretend covers I made for each of my manuscripts, but I have held back since the final covers are likely to be very different from my "inspiration" covers.

I was fortunate that the cover for my contemporary book ( published by Kensington Publishing in1996) beautifully illustrated my vision (See it on my books page). Of course I had mailed in photos of faces that fit (the hero was a model from a cosmetics catalogue and the heroine was a drawing that I had refined from the original). I knew that didn't always work, but I will admit that when I saw the cover for Silent Song I "cried for happy."

Still, I love the inspiration cover I made for Scandalizing the Duke and decided I want to share it. It is a composite of several components. I am including the original sources here. The background landscape is a photo I took in York during my research trip to England and Scotland last year. I used royalty free images I purchased from depositephotos.com for the dog (put together with two photos), the heroine's face (with nose lengthened and hair altered, and a public domain image of a painting from the internet. I changed the direction, the color of the dress, raised the neckline, added sleeves, gloves and drew the bonnet using photoshop.


The world of historical fiction lost one of its best contributors yesterday.

Jo Beverley’s books covered the Medieval, Georgian, and Regency periods in scope and did them all with depth, humor, and a sense of time suspended.

Her characters became three-dimensional friends with whom readers fell in love and wanted to meet again… which we were able to do in each of her series titles. Her stories never disappointed.

Jo was more than an author to be admired for her words on the page. She was a gracious, down-to-earth woman of humor and encouragement. She made everyone she met feel comfortable and appreciated. She listened to those she was with and shared her experiences freely.

It has been several years since I was able to talk to her personally, and I doubt she would remember me specifically, but I will miss her and her talent nonetheless.

Rest in Peace, Jo

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