05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Friday, February 5, 2016

Favorite Places and Book Covers

I’m Judith Ashley and I write romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.

Usually I write my monthly blog post several weeks ahead of time but for some reason that didn’t happen this month. I kept waiting for inspiration, some fantastic idea, etc. to come to me and nothing happened. So, here I am the morning before you read this sitting at my computer with a vague idea of something to write. Here goes!

Book covers!!! Specifically the covers on my books.

I’m putting together the cover images for the last two books in The Sacred Women’s Circle series and so setting is on my mind. Setting is about place. Where does the story take place? What is magical about the place? What role does the setting play in the story?

The covers for Lily and Elizabeth are directly related to those stories. Lily Hughes spends time along the California coast. Elizabeth Elliott sees visions of the sacred grove and those visions draw her to Ireland.

However in Diana the setting on the cover is designed to show the reader the stark emptiness of her life but there is hope. See the crocus?

Ashley is one cover that really doesn’t show setting. It does show dragonflies which are very important to the story.

Hunter's cover evokes movement and water. Hunter is a dancer and much of the story takes place on the shore in Rhode Island.

Right now I’m working on the cover for Gabriella. While the story begins in a cabin in the woods in Oregon, much of it takes place in Italy, in a villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I think I’ve found the elements – a beautiful urn on a railing with the Mediterranean Sea in the distance. Adding to that a lighthouse and the background is complete.

For Sophia I’m looking for gardens. When I go back to look for more pictures I’m narrowing it down to Victorian Gazing Ball in a garden and see what that brings.

What’s important in creating the covers and in writing the stories is that you, the reader, can ‘see’ yourself there. Feel the dampness of the sea soaked wind on your face. Smell the plethora of scents from the blooming garden. Sigh with relief in the cool of the forest on a hot summer day.

My covers also have overlays—muted images overlaying the stronger picture of the setting. These overlays are connected to the sub-title of each book. Lily’s subtitle is “The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl”. Can you see the overlays?

In addition, in the upper left-hand corner you’ll see a circle of crystals. Something is different about that circle of crystals on each cover. Can you see what that is?

Three comments will be chosen at random from all comments with the correct answer AND the additional requested information that follows. Each winner will receive a free e-book of her/his choice from The Sacred Women's Circle series. In addition to the 'right answer', your comment needs to include the name of the book you want, the file format (mobi for Kindle, e-pub for everyone else) and your email address.

You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Follow me on Twitter: @JudithAshley19 

I’m also on Facebook.

© 2016 Judith Ashley


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Cool post, Judith. I had no idea covers could be so intricate! :-)

Maggie Lynch said...

Because I already know the answers, having spoken with you about them, please don't enter me in the drawing. However, I do want to say that I LOVE your covers. You have put a lot of thought into them, but the reader doesn't have to know all of it. When they see your cover they see the primary image of the main character. The subtleties in the backgrounds and muted, shadowy elements are noted by the subconscious without it necessarily becoming conscious until the reader gets into the story.

Really well done, and an example of how to get important elements in without overwhelming the focus image--the primary character.

Diana McCollum said...

I love all your covers, Judith! It looks like each book in the series has a crystal in the cluster. As each book is published one crystal for each book sparkles white. For instance, 'Diana' is book three so her cover the cluster of crystals has 3 white ones and 3 purple ones. I'm reading "Lily" now, great story. If I win I'd like the next in the series, 'Elizabeth'. I have a nook.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lynn. Until I indie published and had input into my covers I wasn't aware of all of the elements either. I also took a How to Create a Book Cover class from Maggie Lynch and Christy Caughie that was excellent. I may even try to create my own simple covers for the short stories/novella's that will go with this longer length novels. I will say Book Covers are a world unto themselves!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Maggie. Wish I could take create for them. Of course I had some ideas but most of them came from my friend and graphic designer, Lois Regn. But it was the magic of Christy and Gilded Heart Design that made them shine.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Diana. You are correct. It is the element of the crystal circle that carries a subjective about where the book fits in the series. I'm excited that Christy is finishing them up. Hopefully I'll be able to share the new covers here on the first Friday of March or April.

I'm glad you like "Lily". I'll email you about getting "Elizabeth".