Cover Reveal!!!

Cover Reveal!!!

I am so very excited to share his cover with you today! Dreams of Savannah will release in January 2021 and is a stand-alone novel set in Savannah, Georgia during the Civil War.

A quick history–I’ve had this book sitting in my digital drawer for nine long years. I pulled it out about a year ago, wondering what to do with it…and was thrilled when Bethany House offered a contract. I did quite a bit of rewriting this past winter, making sure my Confederate-set story is both accurate to history and yet something that will appeal to readers in today’s climate. More, I pray it’s something that will speak to readers in today’s climate. Because one thing both my hero and heroine learn is that it isn’t enough not to do evil when it comes to the issue of slavery. They have to do good.

So without further ado, here’s an actual description of the book, and then the oh so GORGEOUS cover!!!

About the Book

Cordelia Owens can weave a dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him.

As the War Between the States rages ever nearer and Savannah’s slaves start sneaking away to the islands off the coast to join the Yankees, both Phin and Cordelia get caught up in questions they never thought they’d have to ask–questions that threaten the very dreams of a future they’d cherished.

The Cover
















Cover Reveal! A Portrait of Loyalty

Cover Reveal! A Portrait of Loyalty

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

And how better to celebrate love … and love stories … than by putting a face to my next book. 😉 Ahem. Or at any rate, when I was told I could share this week, I decided that doing a Valentine public reveal would be super fun!
I can’t quite believe that The Codebreakers series will be coming to an end already in September, but I’m so excited about how this final book, A Portrait of Loyalty, has turned out. For those of you following along, this is the one that I completely rewrote back in November. As in, totally. But I love how it turned out, and so do my editors, so phew!
If you’ve read On Wings of Devotion, then you’ve already met Lily Blackwell and Zivon Marin, who will be our main characters in A Portrait of Loyalty. Lily is a volunteer at the hospital where Arabelle works…and is also a photographer employed by the Admiralty to alter photographs for the war effort. Zivon Marin is a Russian cryptographer who flees to England in the wake of the revolution in Russia.
Here’s a general idea of the story:
Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s
top cryptographers, until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced
to flee after speaking out against Lenin and separated from his brother along
the way, he arrives in England driven by a growing anger and determined to
offer his services to the Brits.
Lily Blackwell sees the world
best through the lens of a camera—and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes
to retouching and recreating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda,
she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove.

After Captain Blackwell invites
Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily. He sees
patterns in what she deems chaos; she sees beauty in a world he thought
destroyed. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and no one is quite certain where Zivon’s loyalties really lie—until his enemies are discovered to be far closer than he’d
feared, and only Lily’s skills can save him.

Now the moment you’ve been waiting for. The cover! 

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Cover Reveal! On Wings of Devotion

Cover Reveal! On Wings of Devotion

Well, this is the first time this has happened–I have a new cover to show you, and the “reveal” date was the same as the release date of my previous book! So I’ve sat on this one for a week while The Number of Love launches. Not hard to do, because I am so excited about introducing Margot and Drake to the world!
But at the same time, THIS COVER! On Wings of Devotion is book 2 in The Codebreakers, picking up right where The Number of Love drops off chronologically–actually, it begins somewhere before the epilogue of TNoL takes place, but after the main part of the story ends.
If you’ve read The Number of Love already, then you know who the hero is going to be in book two–Phillip Camden, a pilot in the Royal Flying Corp and school chum of our current hero, Drake. In the course of the story, we see that Camden has landed in some serious hot water. Thanks to Drake, he ends up working in Room 40…but he isn’t happy about it–or anything. He’s reeling from the loss of his squadron and doesn’t mind taking it out (rather hilariously, I think) on everyone around him. But he still can’t quite overcome his instincts–loyalty and selflessness. Made for SUCH a fun hero to write in this new one!
But I’ve been getting a lot of questions asking who the heroine is going to be, which make me giggle. She’s there in book 1…but you won’t know it, necessarily. Her name is Arabelle Denler, and she’s a nurse in Charing Cross Hospital. And of course, this being one of my covers, she’s the one we see there on the front of the book–and though it may seem like this book is all about Camden since we know him already, trust me–Ara deserves to be pictured!
Let me tell you just a little bit about her, and then I’ll show you the cover!
Arabelle isn’t beautiful. But, as Cam thinks upon meeting her, “she does a good job of hiding it” behind a quick wit and fashionable clothes. She’s tall–around 6 feet in height–and frequently described as “gangly.” But Ara is also the kind of girl who will sacrifice anything if it will help someone heal. After a heartbreaking childhood (her mother dies and her father is lost in the wilds of South America for years), she feels God saying to her, If you want to heal, then heal others. This is why she’s a nurse…and why she does some things at the start of the story that baffle and intrigue Cam.
And now… THE COVER! Are you ready???

Isn’t it GORGEOUS!!!!!!???????
I’m so in love with this. Here’s why:
The golden colors are just breathtaking–and that DRESS! (Pass it over here, please. Right over here.)
The model they chose for Arabelle is perfect. I mean, still too pretty, but you’ll have that. 😉 I love that she has heavy brows, though, as Ara does, and her hair isn’t quite perfect. She somehow gives off a vibe of “I’m not really as pretty as I look,” which is spot-on.
Next–THE GLOBE! Until y’all read the story, you won’t know exactly how important this is, but a quick explanation: Arabelle’s father is an explorer, “stranded” in London during the war. She’s getting to know him for the first time in her life. In his study, he has maps and globes everywhere, and this is where she and Cam really get to know each other. I’d suggested a globe for the cover and LOVE that they put it in! 
And finally, if you look on her chest, you’ll see she’s wearing a pilot’s wing pin. This is SO IMPORTANT. Just like “18” had to be on the cover of The Number of Love because it IS the number of Margot’s love, so did this pin have to be on this cover.

So what do you think? Do you like the colors? Are you intrigued? Which cover of the series is your favorite so far? (I’d be hard pressed to pick. They nailed both of them!)

My first book, back again!

My first book, back again!

Twenty-one years ago, I had an idea for a story. Specifically, this idea came to me on Good Friday. The story of a woman there in the crowd at Jesus’ trial. A woman who went to said trial eager to see Barabbas find justice. A woman who instead, collided with mercy, grace, and the eternal power of the blood Jesus shed for us. That day, when I was fifteen, I sat down and wrote a short story which I called “A Stray Drop of Blood.””
Over the next six years, I slowly turned that short story into a book. A long book. I finished writing it during my last few months of college, finishing it up the same week I graduated. The next year, my husband published it as the launching title of WhiteFire Publishing. That was in 2005. Not much happened with that hardback version. We just made (literally, in our basement) a few hundred copies and boxed them up.
Shockingly, we eventually sold out of them. So in 2009, we decided to put out a paperback version.
This, my friends, was the start of something. I just didn’t know it at the time.
In those four years, I’d learned so much about writing and the publishing industry! So I totally rewrote the book. I cut it from over 200,000 words to a “reasonable” (ahem) 180,000 (yes, that’s still two normal-sized books. Insert me shrugging, LOL). Kindle was just getting on its feet, so we put up an e-book.
And over the next couple of years, this book that I loved so much, that had taken up so many of my thoughts for so many years, began to truly sell. WhiteFire began to grow. Through this book, we gained the attention of other writers and began adding them to our list. In ten years, we went from a publisher with just me to a publisher with 50 authors and 115 titles. In that same ten years, I went from having that one book out with my husband’s company to have 22 books out or under contract. It’s been quite a decade. And it really all started with that 2009 version of A Stray Drop of Blood.
In January, we looked down and realized that 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of this book as it is now. The 10th anniversary of WhiteFire as the publisher it’s become. 
That seemed big. So we decided to celebrate.
First, with another hardback. To harken back to that first version we literally hand-crafted (we’re not doing that this time, LOL. No apologies). Second, with a re-designed paperback (with typos corrected, haha). And third, with some bonus content. When I created the 2009 version, I also created a Companion Guide with some of my research, which had been available on my website. I added it directly to the book for all three of these new versions, including the digital one.
I am so, so excited to bring you this new version of this old book! I’m in love with the new cover. I’m in love with the idea of having a hardback-with-dust-jacket version again. And mostly, I’m in love with the idea of recognizing formally the journey that we’ve been on and thanking God for every step along the way.
Since the sequel to Stray Drop had been designed to coordinate, I redid the cover for it too. And I have to say, I’m just as in love with this new look, LOL. As I was reviewing the PDF for A Soft Breath of Wind before submitting it to the printer, I spot-read a bit here and there and was also reminded of how much I love this story, how God orchestrated things in ways I never would have dreamed to hand me the time to write it, seven years after the idea for it first came to me.
Last week, after I finished up some edits, I focused on getting these new versions ready to print. I had to pick a release date, so I just looked at the calendar and chose one that seemed logical. Only afterward did I realize that the date I selected — April 8 — is pretty significant.
April 8 is what David and I always celebrated as our dating anniversary. Which would be the date that began this journey. Because it was that decision–and the resulting argument with my best friend over it, LOL–that led me to sit down on the couch that Good Friday with my Bible a few hours later and read about the day. That’s what led to this story. So when I realized that the date I chose is, in fact, the anniversary of the short story…I had a “wow” moment.
So…yeah. I’m super excited about this re-release, as you can probably tell. 😀 And I’m also excited to be able to offer you bargain pricing on the Classic Edition if you’d like the chance to read it for cheap. Now, these are the original press run, which has some typos that have since been corrected–fair warning. 😉 But other than corrections and some styling, it’s the same as this newest version.
I realize not all of my readers are fans of biblical fiction, and that many prefer the lighter style of my historical romances (my bib-fic tends to be pretty intense). And of course, my writing has evolved a good bit since 2009. But I still love these books so, so much. And I’m so excited to celebrate the last decade of writing with you!
Would you be interested in seeing a
Behind the Design on the cover process for these two new ones?
If so, let me know in the comment section!
In case you’re curious about these books…
Hardback (Releases 4/8)
Paperback (Releases 4/8)
E-Book (Available now)
Book Cover Design – True Nobility by Lori Bates Wright

Book Cover Design – True Nobility by Lori Bates Wright

Time for another Behind the Design of the book cover process! This time, I’m backing up a few months to a cover that remains one of my favorites: True Nobility by Lori Bates Wright.When I read the answers Lori filled out in the questionnaire, I knew I was going to love doing this one. She wanted the cover to feature her heroine–face not fully visible–in a beautiful blue hoop dress. Now, I confess: I love historical covers with gorgeous dresses. I think they grab the eye immediately. I love them as a reader, I love them as a writer, and I love them as a designer, LOL.

As a designer, these are far easier to find images for than everyday historical garb. Go figure, I guess they’re more fun for models to take pictures in. 😉

In this case, I began with the dress. I wanted to find something accurate to the era, and I was thrilled when I stumbled across public domain images from the Met galleries. When I saw this one, I knew I’d hit upon a winner.

In general, this fit the description Lori gave me very well. My only concern was that this fabric had a pattern, and I wasn’t sure that was exactly what she had in mind. But I figured it was worth a try, so this was what I started with.

As always, I started by selecting just the dress from an image in the collection that I liked best. I enlarged it until it filled the frame pretty much entirely.

Next was finding a model to put in it. When putting together images like this, the primary concern, of course, is matching angles. I tried several, eventually deciding that this young woman would work quite well. Her hair style was perfect, the body angle was right, and I liked the emotion and movement in her body position.

So just putting this girl’s face behind the dress, I got this.

Now, obviously we’re missing something here, LOL. And there was some other tweaking to be done too. First, I found some arms–from a different model–that I could put over top of the dress.

It was surprisingly challenging to find those! And then, of course, I had to make them look like they were natural, so I added some shadows.

And then, the hair. I had to move it so that it wasn’t tucked into the dress, and I also had to darken it just a bit.

Now, the other thing Lori had specified was that the character had a blue and silver brooch that she wore on the dress. She told me what it needed to look like, so off I went in search. I found plenty that were close…but never quite it. I also needed something at an angle, to match the body position, not straight-on. Finally, I found this one.

It was almost perfect, except that it needed to be silver instead of gold. But that was a simple matter of de-saturating that part of the design. I then positioned it onto the bodice of the dress, and voila!

I was loving how this was looking! But next came the background. I tried quite a few, trying to find something that would identify the Southern setting…but when I plugged this one in, I fell in love.

Even that much is great, right? It was really starting to come together. But of course, I had to fuss with the lighting a bit. I made it warmer and added some sunburst effects to soften the line between dress and background.

And then I added a Sutro filter and some shading to the bottom so the title would stand out.

Which means it was time for the title! For fonts, I wanted something with just a bit of flourish to it, but largely a nice, bold serif. So I used Requiem Display for True and then one called The Last Font I’m Wasting on You (LOL) for Nobility.

Then, of course, the author name, and a divider to frame the title and separate it from the author.

Almost done! It was only missing the series badge, which I added into the upper right corner, choosing one that matched the style of those dividers. And so here it is–the finished cover!

I was SO pleased with this, and when I sent it to Lori, she loved it too! We did try a few more backgrounds…

The sailboat is important to the story, so we liked the idea of those…but ultimately, we agreed that the original background was the best, and we decided to just incorporate the ship element onto the full cover.

I think one of the highest compliments I got on this one was from my husband who, when Lori sent me a copy, mistook it for one of the books I’d just ordered from Bethany House, LOL.

About the Book

Alone in an unfamiliar country where her noble title is useless.
Everything she believes in is shattered. Driven by desperation, she
risks it all to return to the one man whose love promises to be true.

Victoria Haverwood, beloved daughter of a widowed Earl, has spent years
at a fashionable boarding school longing for the day she can come home
to finally take her place as mistress of Wrenbrooke. But when she
becomes the target of a murderous plot, her idyllic plan is swiftly
turned upside down.

Nicholas Saberton, an accomplished American Naval
Captain, is commissioned to escort the earl and his daughter safely
across the ocean to the lively shores of Savannah, Georgia. Pledged to
protect her with his life, Nicholas is determined to remain immune to
Victoria’s innocent charm. Focused on building his shipping empire, the
Haverwood heiress and her quirky relatives become an irresistible

Danger shadows them. Soon the repercussions of her
father’s past ensnare Victoria in a web of deception that threatens to
consume her. Only her love for Nicholas will give her strength to
discover the truth. But will it be too late?

Purchase Links

Barnes and Noble

What do you think of the cover? What’s your favorite aspect of it?

Do you have any technical questions about how a particular step is done? I’m always happy to share, though I try not to get too technical in the posts as a whole, lest I bore the majority. 😉

COVER REVEAL!!! The Number of Love

COVER REVEAL!!! The Number of Love

It’s that time again!

I confess: seeing my covers is one of the most exciting parts of the whole book-creation process. I mean, I love writing the story. And holding it in my hands for the first time can’t be beat. But getting that first glimpse of a story’s face? Yeah. That’s pure awesomeness right there.
And though An Hour Unspent only released a month ago, I’m already fully immersed in my next series, The Codebreakers. If you’ve read A Song Unheard, then you’re hopefully (LOL) already a fan of this next heroine. Margot De Wilde, little sister of Lukas, takes center stage, all grown up and helping England with her cryptography skills in the mysterious Room 40, intelligence hub of the British Admiralty. Haven’t read Shadows Over England yet? No worries–characters they have in common will just appear like secondary characters, and it won’t be assumed that you’re already familiar with them. 😉 But if you the Ladies of the Manor series, you’ll be excited to know that those characters appear too! Brook actually spurs Margot into a rather funny decision… Anyway!
So, bit of backstory on the cover. On my birthday (August 14) I got an email from my editor that wished me a happy birthday and said they’d actually just wrapped the cover photo shoot a few minutes ago, so he sent me a candid shot from it. Best. Gift. Ever. It was fun to see the set they used (which involved a window set up on blocks and held upright with a clamp) and the model they’d chosen. Aaaaggghhhhhh!!!!!!! That glimpse was enough to know I was going to love the final product.
Then a few weeks later, I saw the cover itself. Oh yes. Total LOVE. It was EXACTLY what I’d asked for. Margot, at an old window, foggy rain beyond it. Writing the number 18 on the glass with a finger. Wearing a long, belted cardigan, hair in waves. Bethany House always does an amazing job on my covers, but this is the first time that my exact suggestion was used, so it made me all the more excited.
So are you ready???? Here it is!
Isn’t it gorgeous??? I love the model they chose–she definitely has that European look that Belgian Margot should have. The expression on her face is perfect. I adore the red of the cardigan–in the story originally it was blue, but I promptly changed it to match, LOL, as we all agreed this color was perfect for the cover. The art deco touches and font is spot-on, and that 18 she’s writing on the window…
What’s the significance of that? Well, you’ll just have to read it in June and find out. 😉 Though, funny story. I showed the cover to one of my writing partners, and she loved it. Then read the manuscript that weekend and had to come back with a thrilled email of “THEY PUT 18 ON THE COVER!!!!” A detail that doesn’t mean a whole lot until you read the story. And then it means everything. 😉
Here’s a bit more about the book:
Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is
their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather
information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De
Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her
days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down
by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.
Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an
enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent
Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that
sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?
Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German
spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake
will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought
them together.
(other retailers not yet available)
What do you think of the cover? Do you like the mood? Do you find the image intriguing? Make you wonder about that message on the glass?  What’s your favorite part?