Is THE DECEPTION Cover Too Sexy?

Kindle CoverI’ve had some interesting feedback on the cover art for The Deception. It’s sexy all right, and it’s apparently made a few readers uncomfortable. Some of you may even be wondering why I chose it.

Part of it is the genre. Romance readers expect, well, romance. And, as I’ve explained in my post, Sweet, Sensual or Erotic Romance? Why I Write Sensual, I include some, shall we say, adult content in my novels. Today’s readers want to see the characters consummating their relationship, and sex is a part of life.

My main reason, however, for doing this cover has to do with the plot line. The Deception is the story of Carrie Daniels, a likeable woman with a girl next door quality about her. Carrie has fallen on hard times. Through no fault of her own, she’s been left homeless and destitute. She’s camping out in the back room of her photography studio, and it’s only a matter of time before her landlord finds out. If that happens, she’ll be out on the streets. Carrie’s mentor, Louise Dickenson, soon hears of her plight. Louise has just picked up a private commission from a client who wants a series of photos of a female nude. She offers to “help” Carrie by asking her to model for the photos, assuring her they will only be seen by private art collectors. Carrie, being desperate, has no choice but to accept Louise’s offer. Later on she’ll have to face the unintended consequences when the photos end up in the wrong hands and her entire world turns upside down.

I wanted the cover to depict one of Louise’s photos. Sexy, yet tasteful, like something one might see in a print advertisement for soap or perfume. We know the model is nude, but all we can see is her back.

The illustration was done by Wes Lowe, the same artist who did the cover illustration for The Reunion. He will also be illustrating the cover for my forthcoming novel, The Journey. To see more of his portfolio, please visit his website at


Meet Maggie Andrews, The Queen of Mean in THE DECEPTION

Photo by

Sometimes the villains I create in my novels are downright disturbing, and Maggie Andrews certainly fits the description. She’s the woman readers love to hate in The Deception.

At first glance Maggie is the last person you’d expect to be so mean. She’s a stay-at-home mom who’s married to Scott, a software engineer who she fell in love with when she was nineteen. They have two typical all-American kids and live in a nice home in the suburbs. She and Scott also share a passion for art collecting. Maggie believes she’s living the good life. Unfortunately for her, Scott has been leading a double life, and her perfect world is about to be shattered.

Maggie’s favorite hour of the day is in the morning, right after everyone else has left for the day. That’s when she likes to grab a second cup of coffee and catch up on her email. Then one fateful morning her computer crashes. She calls Scott, who let’s her use his laptop, and her life will take an unexpected turn. She’ll discover that Scott has a second email account, and when her curiosity gets the better of her she’ll hack her way in and learn something she never wanted to know. Her heart breaks, but whatever sympathy readers may feel for her will be short lived. A darker side of Maggie quickly emerges as she hatches a plan for revenge that will have potentially deadly consequences.

Maggie is a fictitious character who wasn’t inspired by anyone I’ve encountered in real-life. (Thank goodness.) She’s a spiteful woman who’s incapable of forgiveness, even after those who have wronged her have admitted to and apologized for their transgressions to her. She’s also the personification of the concept that two wrongs never make a right. That’s why readers love to hate her.


The Inspiration Behind THE REUNION

Reunion Loew CoverWebSometimes readers may think plots, storylines and themes of a novel are one in the same, but they are not. The theme is the idea behind the story. It’s the point the author wants to make. For me, the theme is the inspiration that compels me to write the story. The plot is simply how the idea is expressed.  The theme, or the idea behind The Reunion, is second chances. They say opportunity knocks but once, but sometimes, if we’re lucky, it may come again.

I’ve known people who’ve been lucky in life. They met the man, or woman, of their dreams at a young age. Things worked out. They got married, had a few kids, and, with hard work and determination, they lived happily ever after. Then there’s the rest of us. Either Prince Charming took a detour, or he turned out to be an impostor, or he got cold feet. Whatever the reason, we never got to have the “happily ever after” that we were promised.

Before writing The Reunion, I had a conversation with a man who told me about reconnecting with his long-lost high school sweetheart on Facebook. They hadn’t seen or heard from one another in years, but he found her, so he decided to take a chance. He contacted her. It turned out she was divorced, just like he was, so they reconnected. So far as I know, things worked out this time around, and it showed me that second chances really can happen. Sometimes people really do get a happy ending later in life. That conversation was part of my inspiration for The Reunion.

In The Reunion, Ian, Gillian’s Prince Charming gets scared and he gets cold feet. This happens when the two characters are young. After Ian ends it he moves to another another state. He soon realizes his mistake, but believing it’s too late, he marries the wrong woman for the wrong reasons. Gillian becomes a successful artist, but true love eludes her as well. Years later, fate intervenes. They meet again, and have a second chance.

The Reunion is a story of hope. The point I am making with my story is that true love not only never dies, it deserves a second chance.