So Long, 2016 & Cover Reveal

Hey, 2016, don’t let the door hit you on the way out…

pop_champagneI suspect I’m not alone in feeling like 2016 was quite the mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Too many celebrity deaths, for one thing—or at least, it seemed so, especially with the recent tragic loss of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Some celebrity deaths hit harder than others. Carrie Fisher and her legendary mom were like that for me.

Then, of course, there was the dismaying vitriol of the U.S. presidential campaign, the hacking, the leaks, the incivility and fake news…  Yuck.

Thankfully, on a personal level, I had plenty to be grateful for. Our family remained in good health and doing well with jobs and school. My youngest son got married to a wonderful girl, and a dear friend battling cancer continued to make amazing, positive strides.

Less important but notable for my sanity (or insanity) was that it was a dismal year for my personal creativity. Good writing days were few and far between.

In April, we unexpectedly lost our beloved ten-year old Chihuahua-poodle Kacee. For empty nesters like my husband and me, losing our pup was rough. On the upside, we adopted a new member of the family, Lexi, a lovable Cockapoo who has livened up our household considerably.

So, there it is, the mixed bag that was 2016. It’s true of every year–the good, the bad, and the ugly. There’s always more to be grateful for than to complain about, but I’m ready for this one to turn.

How about you?

So long, 2016!

Creation of an Ebook Cover

When I decided to release two more books in my 1920s romantic series as an indie author, I faced the challenge of creating cover art that would harmonize with the first book’s truly awesome cover (created by Carina Press).

1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mysteryEasier said than done.

My biggest hurdle? I didn’t have access to the same cover model or cover artist. In addition, there was one concept I wanted to handle differently. Namely, I wanted both my lead characters on the cover, not just the heroine.

Thus began hours of searching through stock photography at romance cover art sites.  There were plenty of model couples to choose from in time period costume that ranged from Medieval Europe to the Old West, but almost none in my time period—the Roaring 20s.  The few that did fit either failed to match the physical descriptions of Sean Costigan and Trixie Frank or they featured couples in a “clinch” pose that didn’t suit the light romantic tone of the series. (RNC) Custom Photo Shoot - Behind The Scenes - Jimmy Thomas & Inessa - DL Royer Custom Photo Shoot – Behind The Scenes – Jimmy Thomas & Inessa

I was about to give up when I arrived at, a site owned by cover model Jimmy Thomas. What that site offered that the others didn’t were custom shots that featured either Jimmy Thomas alone or paired with a female model chosen from a list of available models by the client.


Did going this route rather than using stock photography cost more? Sure, but maybe it wasn’t so much when you consider how much time and effort go into writing and editing a novel.

As a writer, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing my characters come to life through cover art. Thanks to, New York City homicide detective Sean Costigan finally came off the written page.

And as for my perky tabloid reporter Trixie Frank?  She was reborn. 🙂

The Darrin Syndrome


Dick York

Anybody remember this?

In the 1960s, the popular Bewitched TV series made a clunky mid-series switcheroo that has gone down in TV history as the “Darrin Syndrome.” With no warning or explanation, they replaced lead actor Dick York, who played Elizabeth Montgomery’s long-suffering husband Darrin, with actor Dick Sargent.


Dick Sargent

In the end, the two Dicks were not interchangeable, and the new Darrin was never quite as popular as the original.

Thinking about that, I braced myself for…  the Trixie Syndrome.

What do you think of the Trixie switch from Cover 1 to Cover 2?

111-trixie-syndromeTo be honest, I was happily surprised by the resemblance between the two models, but, more important, both are a great fit for my leading lady, Beatrix “Trixie” Frank.

Putting it Together

The final step was to take those custom shots of Sean and Trixie to a cover artist to work some magic. I chose Fiona Jayde of Fiona Jayde Media.

Along with my custom shots and my back cover blurb, below are some keywords Fiona and I worked with to create the mood and tone for the cover of Good Night, Angela.

  1. 1920s
  2. Mystery
  3. Romance
  4. Detective
  5. Reporter/Newspapers
  6. Black & White/Sepia
  7. Art Deco
  8. Golden Age Cinema

Now, can you picture it?

Maybe not. I couldn’t. That’s what cover artists are for. They pull all the pieces together.

And here’s the result!

Good Night, AngelaGOOD NIGHT, ANGELA

A Trixie Frank – Sean Costigan 1920s Romantic Mystery

New York City, Spring, 1925.

When the wife of a popular Midwestern radio evangelist is kidnapped for ransom only hours after they preach to a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden, Detective Sean Costigan and tabloid reporter Trixie Frank suspect there’s more to the case than meets the eye.


Let me know what you think.

Check out the blurb and an excerpt of Good Night, Angela’s on its new book page here!

Photo Credits:

Champagne bottle clipart  is from WPClipArt

 It Had to Be You – Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Dick York – By McDermott Company (public relations) (, front of photo, back of photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dick Sargent – By American Broadcasting Company (, front of photo, back of photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Goodbye, Tootsie and Good Night, Angela cover art design by Fiona Jayde Media. Learn more About Fiona here. Custom Photo Shoot and Cover Model Images from

8 thoughts on “So Long, 2016 & Cover Reveal

    • Thanks, Natalie! I love all the covers, but I think this is my favorite of the last two. I especially like her expression, a bit mischievous and flirty, and both their smiles.


  1. I really like both covers and I think they get together quite well.

    It was also very intersting to read you process in creating the cover. I too write 1920s stories and the only book I self-published so far has a Chinese main character. It was hell to find a suitable cover and while I think mine it’s pretty, I’m not completely satisfied with it.
    Maybe, if I had foudn the Romance Cover site, I could have gone a different way, who knows.

    So thanks so much for sharing this. Maybe next time…
    And I’m putting your series in my TBR list. 1920s romantic mystery? I’d say that’s right up my alley 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Sarah! It’s great to meet a fellow 1920s fiction author. The 20s is such a rich and colorful time period but difficult to find stock photography for cover art that’s even close to accurate with regard to fashion and setting. Add to that the challenge of finding models that fit our story’s particular mood, tone, and characters, and we have our work cut out for us. I hopped over to check out your cover for GIVE IN TO THE FEELING ( and it’s just beautiful. I also love the idea of a Chinese heroine in 1920s Chicago and am adding it to my TBR list. (Chinatown in 1920s NYC is a setting I’ve been thinking about for future projects.) I hope you’ll stop by again!

      Liked by 1 person

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