Always Remember Cover Reveal!

Last week, I received the final cover for my August 2013 release ALWAYS REMEMBER. Because we went through several designs, I thought I’d give you a behind the scenes peek at the cover process.

Originally, I’d found the image of a couple I wanted to use on the cover (below). Since ALWAYS REMEMBER takes place on a ranch outside of Cochrane, Alberta, I went with a western look. I loved the couple’s pose in this image and the look of the guy screamed babe-magnet. Yeah, he fit the image of Nate Coltrane just perfectly. But I didn’t like the woman’s snarky smile because it didn’t portray my heroine properly, so I asked my designer, Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs, to cover up her face.

Western Couple

As usual, Kim did a super fab job on the cover and below is the first composition she sent me.

SheilaSeabrook_AlwaysRememeber_comp01b

The cover is beautiful, isn’t it? In fact, when I first saw it, I thought it looked like a painting worthy of being hung on my wall. Except there was one problem with it. I felt readers could mistake this book for a historical romance.

So we went back to the drawing board and Kim came up with a more contemporary look.

SheilaSeabrook_AlwaysRemember_POD_comp02b

Again, totally gorgeous. Now you know why Kim designs my covers. 🙂 There was no way readers could mistake ALWAYS REMEMBER for a historical romance now, but the man looked like he belonged on a golf course instead of a ranch. We tried a cowboy hat on him. Uggg. And I really missed my cowboy hero from the first cover.

After some discussion, during which time we played with the first image to see if we could come up with something that I’d be happy with, I decided the original image of the couple — with that gorgeous cowboy guy — wouldn’t suit the contemporary cover I wanted.

We restarted the process and I headed online to gather new information to send to Kim. I looked at existing covers that projected the feel I wanted for my book (very contemporary) and went searching for an image of a couple that would represent Nate Coltrane and Jessie Adams, the hero and heroine from ALWAYS REMEMBER. At last, I resent my request and crossed my fingers.

Always Remember - POD Cover

And WOW! I’m totally in love with Kim’s design. With the purple hues and the romantic couple front and center, this cover is absolutely-perfectly stunning! I now have it as the desktop on my MacBook Air, my iPad, and my iPhone, so I can admire it every day before I get down to work on book two of the Rocky Mountain Romance series.

What are some of your favorite covers? Go ahead and leave links in the comments below. And out of the three covers above, would you have chosen one of the other covers? If so why? Hey, we’re all different and I get that and I’m very interested in how others perceive cover design.

Thanks for sharing this special moment with me and remember to sign up for my newsletter!

 

Duck Tales Part II

Mama DuckThis part of my story begins a few days after my original The Ducklings Are Coming post. If you haven’t read that post yet, go do so now. I’ll wait.

♫ ♬ ♪♬ ♫

Oh, you’re back. I was just humming a tune. You probably noticed my musical talents are … shall we say … ear-numbing? 🙂

A few days after I wrote The Ducklings Are Coming post, we heard our son shout for assistance. As we raced outside, he told us that the neighborhood tomcat had disappeared under the front deck dragging Mama Duck by the neck.

The men flew into action. My husband raced for one end of the deck while our son headed for the other end. The pounding of our feet against the floorboards and the sound of our loud voices must have frightened the tomcat into releasing Mama Duck because a few seconds later, the tomcat sprang out from one side of the deck and Mama Duck came flapping out the other end.

My husband raced after the tomcat, while poor Mama Duck took one look at the remaining humans and took flight in the opposite direction.

We took a quick peek through the branches of the juniper at the eggs. There was blood on them, so we knew Mama Duck had been hurt, but the eggs looked intact and unbroken. Provided Mama Duck came back, the ducklits still had a chance.

A while later, DH reappeared. He’d chased the tomcat clear across the yard and halfway across the farmer’s field. But now that the tomcat knew where the nest was, we knew he’d be back.

So we waited, keeping watch for Mama Duck, the return of the tomcat, or for the crows and magpies to discover and destroy the vulnerable eggs. To add to our worries, the temperature dipped to near freezing.

Mama DuckThe next day, we saw Mama Duck down by the pond. She was alive but limping. By mid-afternoon, we saw her walk from the pond toward the house to check on her eggs. If you look really close at the picture on the right, you can see her walking across the lawn.

My story has a bittersweet ending. While the duck eggs didn’t make it, we’re happy to say that Mama Duck recovered from her injuries. For the next week, she recuperated down by the pond, the Mallard duck in attendance. She didn’t fly, but instead walked everywhere. From our viewpoint near the house, it looked like she was searching for a new place to nest.

At first we mourned the loss of the duck eggs, but when we saw the tomcat once again sneaking up on the juniper, we knew the loss of the eggs had been a blessing in disguise. At least Mama Duck was safe … or as safe as Mother Nature would allow.

We currently have another family of ducklings visiting our pond. They appear late in the evening, just before sunset, and spend the night on the duck deck which floats in the middle of the pond.

And we’re keeping an eye out for our Mama Duck with hopes that she will appear in a few weeks with a new batch of ducklits. If  not this year, then maybe the next.

And if you’re looking for something to read, head on over to the Summer Book Crush site where, from June 26th to June 28th, you’ll find “swoon worthy reads to take to the beach” for only $.99.

Thanks for stopping by today!

I’m at the moment when…

Arrrgh-imageI’m at the moment in my latest mess-in-progress when everything sucks. The plot is filled with holes. The characters are a crazy mess. I’ve thrown everything into the story pot and it tastes like chicken soup gone bad.

Yes, the first draft of Terms of Surrender is complete. You’ll briefly meet the heroine — Harley Jane Davis — in Always Remember. She’s an emergency room nurse who recently lost her twin sister and who volunteers at the local women’s shelter. When she ends up in the middle of a domestic situation, she’s rescued by the hot-guy-who-got-away.

Enter crisis negotiator Gage Toryn.

Gage may look like he has it all together, but deep down, he’s as messed up as they come. A victim of his violent childhood, he fears the monster inside and refuses to let any woman get too close.

I’m turning their world upside down, one road block at a time. 🙂

Duck Tales

Mama DuckFor the last few weeks, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of our ducklings. You see, ever since we moved onto our acreage and built a big pond at the back of the property, we’ve had a pair of mallard ducks stop to nest. We’ve even had a few broods hatch and within weeks, the mama duck is parading them through the yard or teaching them to swim. The photo to the left is of the female duck as she walked past the basement window.

Sometimes, though, the local predators get the eggs before they hatch. If that happens, the ducks search for a new nesting spot.

This year, while my DH was using the grass trimmer along the edge of the front yard, the mama duck came flapping out of a spreading juniper we have in the front flower bed. Later, when he used the small tractor to mow in that area, she came flapping out of the juniper again.

That’s when we realized our mama duck was nesting in the front yard next to the driveway.

IMG_0399She’s been sitting on her eggs for at least two weeks and the incubation period is roughly 28 days. So we’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new brood. She’s even gotten used to the roar of the trimmer and tractor as my DH takes care of his grass duties.

Sometimes while I’m working in the flowerbed, I’ll peek between the branches of the juniper and see her sitting there, keeping her eggs warm. She flies out only to feed and go for a quick swim in the pond, and then she heads back to her nest to sit some more.

While I finish up the last of the edits on my upcoming book, Always Remember, our family is eagerly anticipating the arrival of our new guests. They’re camera shy, but I’m hoping this year I’m quick enough to get some pictures.

Here’s a few facts about mallard ducks:

1) They mate for life.

2) If predators destroy their nest and eggs, the ducks will lay another batch of eggs anywhere between two to four additional times that year. In other words, they don’t give up!

3) If a mama duck is attacked while in her nest, she will fly away, and only when the danger has passed will she return.

4) While the mama ducks are sitting dutifully on their nest of eggs, the papa ducks are off galavanting with their buddies. I’ve read that they stay near the female duck and nest, in order to protect them, but this year, I haven’t seen the male duck anywhere near the main yard.

Do you have any ducks or other wild animals making their home in your area or any duck/wild animal tales to tell?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

Authors Give Back Blog Hop

ThadAndBrendasmBrenda Novak’s annual online Auction for Diabetes Research is running till May 31, 2013. If you haven’t yet done so, please check out this worthy cause. There are lots of great items to bid for and lots of great prizes to win. If you’re new to the auction, all you have to do is register so you can begin to place your bids. And of course, if you’re a previous participant, you can login here.

This year, Brenda dedicated the auction to Author Lauren Hawkeye and her family. Lauren is a member of my local RWA chapter and has been a long time supporter of Brenda’s auction. Just a few month’s ago, Lauren’s young son was diagnosed with diabetes, so head on over to Brenda’s auction, start bidding, and help Brenda raise money for diabetes research.

KindlePaperWhiteNow for the Authors Give Back part of the post…

The WG2E Street Team authors have donated a Kindle Paperwhite (and charger) loaded with over 40 books to the auction. My upcoming book, Always Remember, is included in the package.

The Kindle Paperwhite, charger, and digital books are on the auction schedule for one day only — today, May 28th — so make sure you put in your bid right away. As well, the WG2E authors are holding a separate Rafflecopter at the RG2E site for one $50 gift card raffle and three $5 gift cards. To be eligible for the draw, just follow the instructions on the RG2E post for the raffle.

Good luck, have fun, and thank you for participating!

 

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