The first thing I look at when I pick up a book is the cover. What's the story about? Who's in it? Where does it take place? Colors can strike a mood. Something warm and fuzzy usually doesn't come dressed in stark black and white. Red and gold can signal sensuality, while greens and browns strike a familiar chord—Earth's color palette. To me that means adventure and the outdoors.
While many people may get caught up with how a hero or heroine may look on the front of a book, it is the overall palette of the cover that sends a message. As if in harmony with the author's voice, the colors and hues that compliment whatever images hint at the storyline, reach out to readers in more subtle ways than we realize.
When I had the opportunity to work with Nikki Brown, artist for Awestruck Books, for my sweet environmental romance, TURTLE SOUP, some of the things I wanted to represent in my story set between Atlanta and St. Thomas, were beautiful underwater shots and a close-up of one of my surprise guest characters, Sebastian, the sea turtle. Nikki found a wonderful couple with happy, affectionate smiles to represent the sweet heat index of my story and blended the images together into a beautiful canvas.
TURTLE SOUP is a light-hearted sweet romance about saving ourselves before trying to save everyone around us. The cover won the 2010 Dirk A. Wolf award for contemporary romances covers, an honor I am grateful for. While I hope that all of my stories touch my readers, I also strive to always make sure the "front door" to my books are colorful invitations that hint at all of the feelings, warmth, and adventure they will experience before the last page.