Thanks for inviting me to be with you all today! I thought I’d talk to you all about the mysterious process of brainstorming the book cover for my second book, TRUE LOVE AT SILVER CREEK RANCH. You all know the covers for small town books—idyllic pictures of small towns and countryside. My series is set in Valentine Valley, a small mountain town outside Aspen, Colorado, which automatically lends itself to beautiful scenery. (Although that’s not why I chose Colorado. My son lives there, so I have somebody to turn to for research questions!) There was no question we’d use the mountains as a backdrop, just like we did in the first book, A TOWN CALLED VALENTINE. But we couldn’t show the Silver Creek Ranch buildings, because we’d already done that for the first cover. But there’s an old log cabin on the ranch, which has been renovated into a bunkhouse. Our hero, Adam Desantis, desperately needs a place to live…but let me back up.
Adam is an ex-Marine, who’s been adrift for a few months since he left the service. He’s fighting demons from the past, and isn’t all that anxious to return to Valentine Valley, where he grew up the bad boy from the trailer park outside town. But his Grandma Palmer, one of the ladies who lives in the Widows’ Boardinghouse, seems to be feeling poorly, and he comes back home to take care of her—or at least to figure out what’s wrong. He has no plans to stick around, but he finds himself going a little stir crazy living with the widows. Then the Thalbergs offer him a temporary job on the ranch, and the use of the bunkhouse/log cabin, which also lets him be closer to his boss, Brooke Thalberg. Though they’re the same age, they spent little time together back in school. She was too busy being a cowgirl, and he was too busy getting in trouble, until the football coach helped straighten him out. But this is the genesis of the log cabin on the front cover of TRUE LOVE AT SILVER CREEK RANCH. Needless to say, some fun and sexy scenes take place in that cabin…
You’ll notice the snow on the cover. The book is set in November and December, ending just before Christmas. I love snow on evergreens, don’t you? But the skating pond shaped like a heart was created because my editor happened to be reading my Facebook post where I discussed having just written a skating scene on a pond (I grew up figure skating.) She thought it would be perfect on the cover, and the art department came up with the idea to make it heart-shaped. Brilliant!
So there you have it, the creation of a book cover. So tell me your favorite book cover! Leave a response, and you might win a copy of the first book in the series, A TOWN CALLED VALENTINE.