What better way to greet the holiday season than with a new look? Well, that’s what Ashe and Riley’s got going for them. Brand new covers!
I’ve been wanting to change their covers for some time now and finally, after a few tries with another cover designer, I decided I’d just do the covers myself using what I keep envisioning in my head that’s been difficult to relay to designers. Either they tell me it doesn’t work or it doesn’t look good.
So today, instead of writing the second book in my holiday romance series, I decided to sit down and do the covers myself. With more books coming for the series, I wanted to set up a template that I could use and that’s exactly what I did.
There’s a certain feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when you manage to create something you saw inside your head and I’m really happy how these turned out. And finally, the cover model is the face I’ve been seeing inside my head all this time…
While going through the text of both books the other day, I couldn’t help but miss Ashe and Riley. I wrote their stories before I started becoming “self-aware” about plots and outlines and romance genre expectations. Of course, going through their story again made me realize that the Celebrity series (also known as the Loving Ashe Trilogy) was never meant to be a genre romance book. It’s more literary fiction with elements of women’s fiction, chick lit and romance. There’s also suspense.
It is what it is, and that’s why I love these books so much. That’s why I obsess over getting the covers right—and not just “right” but covers I actually want to have on my shelf. Covers I love.
I’ve known Campbell all my life. He’s the boy next door and my brother’s best friend… the one man outside of family whom I can be completely myself with.
But when I wake up in his bed the morning after my blind date abandons me for someone else, there are two things I suddenly can’t ignore: Campbell Murphy is all grown up in more ways than one, and I no longer want to be just his best friend’s sister. I want to be more… so much more.
What’s even better is that we’re on the same page.
We want a taste of that forbidden fruit for just one night. Or two…
But what if we don’t work out—even if we don’t tell anyone? Is it worth sacrificing a lifetime of trust between families?
Or is it worth a shot at something that had always been there all along?
I made a slight change to the ebook cover of Breaking the Rules. I brought the focus closer. That way, the digital cover would match the rest of the series. I did leave the original cover as is for the print version so you get to see his tattoo and his torso as well.
I’ve always liked the close-up version but readers voted for the full torso because… man chest. And it’s not what I want as an author, it’s what the audience wants. But upon looking at the series as a whole, it just didn’t gel at all. It bugged me to no end, just like the man and baby on the cover for Falling for Jordan, no matter how cute it was, bugged me constantly until I ended up changing it back to the stock photo of the cute blond guy.
So now, this is what the series looks like:
And I like it. There’s way more uniformity to the series even though ideally, it would have been nicer if Sawyer was closer. But that’s as far as I go with that one. The edit really isn’t as clean as it should be anyway and the resolution gets muddier the closer you get to the face.
Right now, I’m working on a holiday story for Caitlin and Campbell. Caitlin is Jordan’s sister and Campbell is his best friend. So it’s a friends-to-lovers story or brother’s best friend trope. It took me some time to find a temporary cover for it to help inspire me but I may have found one even if she doesn’t have red hair.
It’s a mockup, of course, and right now, the requirement for the box set that it will be published in is 25k to 30k words. Or is it 20k – 25k words? I can’t remember now but I finally outlined it from beginning to end on my own. It’s been tough outlining because I usually have strong beginnings but I falter around the finish line. I never get to that grand finale part where the couple gets back together after a temporary setback. But here’s hoping I got it right because I love the way the outline turned out!
I’m shooting for 35k – 40k words for the holiday novella with Cait and Campbell and then trim out the steamy scenes to fit the “behind closed doors” sex scenes requirement for the box set. I hate doing that but a part of me wants to experience how it feels to be in a box set even though at the same time, it messes up the series so much. I just hope readers will want to read Caitlin and Campbell’s story complete with the steamy scenes that didn’t make the box set when I release it on its own after the box set term ends.
But at least I can say I tried being in one and survived!
I’ll be updating my word count here as well as on my other blog so if you stumbled on this one, great! One of the other things I’ll be doing as well is migrating the Featured Author content I posted on my old author website three years ago to this one. I’d hate to see all that hard work go to waste when the three-year term expires and the site (LizMadridAuthor.com) will go dark.
It’s here! Breaking the Rules, the third book in A Different Kind of Love series is LIVE! It’s only taken me more than a year to write Sawyer’s story partly because I wasn’t sure how a story about PTSD and suicide would go over with readers. So I walked away and wrote Addison and Jordan’s story instead, one that was lighthearted.
But if I thought doing that would take my mind of Sawyer, I was so wrong. Characters often bug me and bug me until I drop everything and write their story and Sawyer and Alma are no exception. I hope you’ll enjoy their story.
In the meantime, here’s the rest of the blurb!
Not all promises are made to be broken…
Marine Sawyer Villier has always preferred to keep his life simple and commitment-free. It’s why he lives off the grid in Taos, New Mexico when he’s not guarding billionaires.
But when he runs into his best friend’s widow during a stopover in LA, Sawyer realizes there’s one commitment he’s failed to keep, one he made to the man who saved his life in a time he’s sworn to forget.
But Sawyer’s not the only one having a problem with promises…
Single mother Alma Thomas wishes she could forget the moment when she had to choose between standing by the man she loved or saving herself and their unborn child. After a year spent keeping his secrets safe, all she wants now is to move on.
But when Sawyer reappears in her life determined to honor his promises, will Alma be willing to let go of her own?