My wonderful cover artist, Charlotte K, Volnek, Charlie, has been working on the cover for TAINTED. She has done all of my covers, and I love her work. The heroine and hero are full-on 50. So I don’t want someone who looks 20. Charlie and I have been looking at lots of pics of blonde women with short hair. Some look ridiculously young. Others, I think, that’s too old. I didn’t look like that when I was 50. (I’m pretty sure I didn’t) LOL But, folks, finding that right combination of maturity, strength, beauty, and seriousness is tough.

So I’m going to show you a couple of the things we’re considering. Not the entire cover since we’re not there. I’ll show you the entire one once we’ve got it figured out, which should be in the next couple of weeks.

Part of the Title—love the trees and mountains but think the font for Tainted needs to be scarier looking. What do you think?


Here’s the pup. Isn’t he adorable? I need to make a few changes to the book to describe him better, but that’s pretty easy. This little guy looks more like our Simon than he does our Charley, but he’s too cute, not to use.


Jackets are a big thing in the book even though it’s summer. Summer in Red River can get really chilly. Nothing like Texas. Which of course is the whole reason to go to Red River in the summer. (I’ve been posting Red River pics on Facebook commemorating the vacation this week that isn’t.)


And here’s a suggestion for inside of the house. I posted on FB a pic of the house, I used as a model for the book.


Still have a bit more editing to do on the book, but I’ve put together some of the front and back sections. May make September, but certainly early October. After attending the virtual marketing conference this weekend, I’ve been reminded of how important getting the book out there for pre-orders is. And also to search for folks willing to read the book before it comes out to leave a review on release day. So please let me know if any of you are interested in that. I’ll ask again in my August newsletter.

Here’s a real pic of Red River my SIL took when they went in June. I sent it to Charlie to give her an idea of what the area looks like. IMG_4700

Before I became an author, I never knew how much went into coming up with a cover. How important to you is the book cover? Even in an e-book. So I used the word “mature in the TAGS and thought, hmmm. What does that mean now a days? Maybe not 50?

Hope you are being safe and staying well. Always love to hear from you.

Please sign up for my Newsletter and Blog on  my WEBSITE

Contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow me on my social media sites.



9 responses to “TAINTED COVER–ALMOST

  1. Oh yes, indeed. The book cover has to be eye-catching to stand out among ALL the books available. And it has to be simple enough to show up well on those tiny thumbnails online. I love the font for the title, but I’m afraid it won’t be readable in the thumbnail? You have some great images to use. I know Charlie will put it all together in a great book cover. What an exciting time for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, JQ. Yes, Charlie is the best. Good point about the thumbnail. I hadn’t thought about that. As soon as I get the cover finalized, I can put the book up for pre-order. Exciting times for sure. Thanks for stopping by and always sharing your knowledgeable perspective. 🙂


  2. I think the cover is important, but it’s not the end all. Since you asked, the word “Tainted” on your cover looks a bit like it’s for a gothic romance, not too mysterious. Although the lettering is attractive.

    It sounds like our books may be coming out about the same time. I am aiming for the beginning of October. The title is Dress to Kill (An Irina Curtius Mystery). I’m on the 5th and final revision Chapter 10 of 20. Then it’s off to the editor. Once the book is published, I think I’ll take the rest of the year off, other than writing general ideas for the 6th Kay Driscoll on a pad of paper as I think of them, and do what others are doing during Covid: Clean out closets, fun art projects, etc.

    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Susan. Yes, I’ve talked with Charlie about the title font. It’s pretty, but not right for this book. Have no doubt she’ll come up with the perfect thing. I’m going to read my print copy again. I’m hoping Bob can give it a peak, but he’s pretty busy. Coming out about the same time, we can cross pollinate. 🙂 Looking forward to reading the next Irina mystery. I don’t know what will be next for me. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love that your heroine is in her fifties. Traditional publishing books French didn’t have a romantic heroine above fifty and the cover would show someone who looked 25 tops. A book cover is your books introduction. Those who know your writing may read anyway but a good cover will hopefully draw more readers in. It sounds as if you’re well on your way to creating a great one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Pat. All my books have heroines in their 40s and 50s, but then I have younger folks who are their kids and older who are parent types. Yes, I have to like the cover to pick it up. I read a fairly narrow kind of book, so I’m not picking up something with lots of blood and gore or black and red on it. LOL I’m sure we’ll come up with something we both like. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂


  4. Hi Marsha, I love that your heroines are 50-plus. You have a great tagline for your work and your ‘brand’ is really consistent. I love the photo of the tall trees. From the angle, it looks both beautiful and slightly sinister. I planned to pre-order a copy as soon as the book is available. I’ll certainly leave a review. Really looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Marsha, what an excellent question you’ve posted! As a reader, I would hope that the final choice for cover model would be someone who represents the nature of the main character(s) and is relatable to the audience who reads the book. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who thinks this way, but I like to try to imagine myself in the role of the female lead. She doesn’t have to look exactly like me (that’s silly, right?) but a general appeal is good. Still, I would read a book even if the cover didn’t appeal to me. I just read the synopsis and decide. I rarely look at reviews before I decide to read a book; it just might be uncommon. What do you think?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s