Saturday, July 02, 2011


CONGRATULATIONS Obe! You’re the June winner. To receive your free autographed books please contact Leigh Duncan and Laura Marie Altom through their Web sites.

To enter the contest simply leave a blog comment and your name will go into the drawing. Simple and painless. And FREE BOOKS.


Friday, July 01, 2011

Seeing the world afresh

My recent project, in the minuscule amount of spare time
between writing my latest Harlequin American medical romance and teaching
writing, has been reissuing my Regencies, mysteries and older romantic comedies
in digital editions. This has been a learning experience, fraught with errors.
But while I did figure I’d learn a lot, I never imagined I’d be seeing the
world in a new light.

Here’s how this latest twist came about: I was delighted
when one of my friends, Golden Heart-winning author Debra Holland (who has
self-published her wonderful sweet historical Wild Montana Sky), read my
Regency A Lady of Letters and posted a five-star review on Amazon, which
helps readers find the book. But while I appreciated her enthusiasm for the
story, I was bummed to learn that the scanned text contained annoying hyphens that
didn’t show up in my Word documents.

She wasn’t crazy about my homemade cover, either.

I figured out how to un-hide the hyphens, which I’ve learned
sometimes result when copy is scanned from printed text. After deleting them
and re-posting all my Regencies on Amazon (for the Kindle ereader) and Barnes
and Noble (for Nook), I decided to cope with my covers. Wiser folk suggested
hiring designers at $50-$75 a cover, which is certainly reasonable. But I’m stubborn, and besides, that’s a
lot of money, since I’ll be posting at least 20 books and maybe more before I’m

So I gathered my courage and decided to tackle a truly scary
(to me) computer program: Photoshop Elements 9.

Right now, I’m about a third of the way through the book
that describes how to use it. While I haven’t actually begun to work on my
covers, something strange has happened.

Although it’s possible to buy stock images online, I started
seeing things around me in a different way. I grow a lot of flowers—roses,
lilies, and so on. I’ve begun taking photographs of flowers and thinking about
how they’ll look on covers. At my mother-in-law’s historic home, I noticed
fascinating details of windows and antiques. In my head, I began figuring how I
might use these, too.

Did I mention how much more I appreciate morning light? Or
how aware I’ve become of shapes, angles and composition?

Stay tuned. One of these days I’ll make and post an actual
cover to share with you!

Or run screaming into the hills. But if I do, I’ll
take my camera.