Moving Forward with Book 3: Cover Design

Girl in White Dress in Storm HW 4

I’ve been through a million iterations of this cover. Loved one image but couldn’t determine ownership. Loved another but found someone else had used it in a very unfortunate way. So, I went back to this one, which really represents the story in a more compelling way than the other two.

I used the image of transparent innocence to show how two women see themselves: Annie Mac, an abused wife and mother who lost her innocence at a very young age, and Hannah, a childless woman whose best friends are now pregnant. The metaphorical sea rages as the women come together when Annie Mac’s estranged husband tries to kill her and take their little girl and Hannah rallies her coterie of do-gooders in Beaufort–including Detective Lieutenant Clay Dougherty (who had a bit part in Becalmed) to try to save them all.

The title is a sailing term. Becalmed, my first Beaufort book, showed the becalmed, windless life of Tadie. (Find it here.) Heavy Weather picks up the story two years later with Tadie’s best friend, Hannah, trying to help two children and their mother escape the machinations of a murderer. Heavy weather, all right.

What do you think of this cover? Would it make you want to buy it? Does it intrigue you?





Book News: One Finalist and One on Sale!

First of all, the news about four days of 99 cents for Kindle. WhiteFire Publishing has finally put Sailing out of Darkness in the almost-free category, so if any of you dear folk have been waiting to save a couple of dollars to read (oh, and pretty please, to review?) my second book, this is your chance We all like bargains, don’t we?

Here’s the link: Sailing out of Darkness on Amazon

And just to remind you how fun the book is, here’s the trailer again:


My next bit of good news? Becalmed is a finalist in the Heart of Excellence Contest for Strong Romantic Elements. I want to thank the lovely folk at Ancient City Romance Authors, the St. Augustine, FL, RWA chapter, for their support!

Here’s the Becalmed trailer, because I love it, too.


Marketing, Stage 2: Becalmed’s Book Trailer


Some authors and social media experts have suggested that book trailers aren’t worth the effort in terms of sales. Maybe not, but I love watching them. And I’ve wanted one for my books. Only, I hadn’t a clue how to make one. Until today.

I’ve been studying trailers, and I really love the ones that use live action and actors. But I don’t have that capability myself, nor do I have the money to pay an expert to do it for me.

So. I looked at several how-to videos and picked the method that seemed most user friendly for a novice videographer. Yes, I upgraded from free to not-as-free-but-still-shy-of-the-pro-version of Animoto. And I paid for a couple of videos from istockphoto. But we’re not talking big bucks. And this, my friends, is what I produced. I do hope you like it, because I’m feeling like a proud mama.







Are You Nosy?

If you’re curious–okay, fine, nosy,–you want to know about other folk.


Not the bad stuff, please. Not the gossip. But what makes them tick, what influenced them to become the person they are today. That’s one of the reasons I love to read interviews, especially ones that dig a little deeper. You know what I mean?

I think Aaron Gansky did just that in his blog interview today on Author Spotlight. Here’s the link if you’re curious (nosy) about how I got from there to here. (Or at least, a few more bits and pieces than you may know already.)

And take a look at all the things Aaron’s doing while you’re there: teaching, speaking, writing.


Pictures from Sea Venture’s Trip North to NYC

As seen on my Facebook Author Page, including Chesapeake City Book Signing:

The New Bern Sun Journal writes about Becalmed’s Boat Party!

My, oh, my, but a lovely article about Becalmed‘s launch party on board Sea Venture showed up on the front page of the New Bern News Journal  today.  (Click on the link to read the online version.)

The picture in the paper.
The picture in the paper.

You can see what fun we had. The Rocking Chair Bookstore almost sold out of the fifty copies they had on hand, and a friend from New Bern said he thought about 100 people came through (many were families or couples).

The news photographer was very kind to me. Poor Mr. Chuck Beckley must have been miserable as he searched for the boat at the dock in all that sweltering heat. He took hundreds of pictures and very kindly picked one (or someone at the paper did) that showed me with a hiked shoulder–effectively lobbing off a few years from my profile. I should send him a thank-you note.








Schedule of Giveaways: Becalmed Facebook Launch Party

July 1 on Facebook: Have Fun/Win Books

Lots of Books!
Which to choose?

The party starts at 8 AM on Monday. I know that seems early, but Barbara Claypole White will be chatting with us from her home town in England.

One fortunate commenter who shows up between 8 AM and 10 AM will receive a signed copy of Barbara’s delightful book, The Unfinished Garden, as well as an e-book version of Becalmed. Barbara will be there to chat with you, so please stop by. I love that this story tackles OCD with humor, compassion, and (woo-hoo!) romance.

From 10 AM to 11 AM, Robin Patchen will be around to chat about her charming novella, One Christmas Eve. The winner of Robin’s e-book will also receive a singed paperback copy of Becalmed.

From 11 AM to 12 Noon, Roseanna White will have the helm. Roseanna has written one of the best biblical/historical novels I’ve read, called Jewel of Persia. At noon, we will choose the winner of this signed book, who will also receive an e-book copy of Becalmed. Roseanna is busy writing for several publishers and editing books for WhiteFire Publishing.

From Noon until 2 PM, we’ll visit with C Hope Clark, author of Lowcountry Bribe and Tidewater Murder. Hope is the founder of and is a great encourager. Her most recent release, Tidewater Murder, takes place in Beaufort, SC, and involves a trawler. Ah-ha. So, the winner here will be able to read about both Beauforts–North and South! We’ll give away a signed copy of Tidewater Murder and an e-book of Becalmed.

From 2 PM to 4 PM, we have Lorrie Thomson chatting with us about her new book Equilibrium, which releases from Kensington in September. The winner at 4 PM will receive a signed copy of an ARC of this soon-coming book. It sounds like a great read. I’ll also include another e-book of Becalmed.

From 4 PM to 6 PM, Kathryn Craft will be our hostess. She’ll sign an ARC of her January release from Sourcebooks, The Art of Falling, and I’ll include another e-book of Becalmed. Best-selling author Elizabeth Benedict says The Art of Falling “strikes universal chords in all of us who yearn, who love, who fall and fail, and struggle to find our way back home.”

 Lorrie and Kathryn are new friends of mine from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, so I’m sure they’d be happy to chat with you about the group and the genre, if you have any questions. Kathryn is also a developmental editor at

That brings us to the final two hours. Folk who comment between 6 PM and 8 PM will have their name tossed in the hat to win a signed copy of Becalmed.  I’ll be around most of the day, announcing winners every few hours, so come play!

To Recap: One hold-in-your-hands book and one e-book per giveaway

8 AM to 10 AMBarbara Claypole White, The Unfinished Garden

10 AM to 11 AM: Robin Patchen, One Christmas Eve

11 AM to Noon:  Roseanna White, Jewel of Persia

Noon to 2 PM:    C Hope Clark, Tidewater Murder

2 PM to 4 PM:    Lorrie Thomson, Equilibrium

4 PM to 6 PM:    Kathryn Craft, The Art of Falling

6 PM to 8 PM:    Normandie Fischer, Becalmed