Cover to Cover: A Journey with Tamara Leigh

CovertoCovergraphic

I first fell in love with Tamara Leigh’s writing when I read Stealing Adda, a fabulous story about “writer’s block, nibbled nails, plagiarism, oh my! And did I mention romance?” Tamara continued writing great contemporary romance stories with Faking Grace, Perfecting Cate, her Southern Discomfort trilogy, and my all time favourite, Splitting Harriet. Returning to her “first love”, writing medieval romance, Tamara digitally self published Dreamspell, a fantastic time travel romance and launched her Age of Faith inspirational medieval romance novels ~ The Unveiling, The Yielding, The Redeeming, The Kindling, and The Longing ~ sigh….! If you have ever read a Tamara Leigh novel, you will know she writes the BEST heroes ūüėČ But I digress!

As if that wasn’t enough, Tamara gained back the rights to her general market medieval romance novels and is now rewriting them as “clean” romances, and has¬†released Lady at Arms and a couple of weeks ago, Lady of Eve.

GIVEAWAY Giveaway Circle

 

To celebrate the release of Lady of Eve AND her first foray into audiobooks with Lady at Arms, Tamara is sharing the fascinating development of her stunning covers for these two books below with her wonderful comments, and is giving away 3 prizes.

 

  • an audiobook of¬† Lady at Arms and an e-book of Lady of Eve
  • two additional e-book copies of Lady of Eve

 

Be sure to read through this great guest post from Tamara and then enter for the giveaways via the Rafflecopter form below.

Now, over to you, Tamara!

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Tamara Leigh: There are two things that make my fingers itch to pick up a book–a great title that raises an intriguing question and a fabulous cover that appeals to my personal reading tastes and raises further questions. Then, and only then, do I take the next step of reading the back cover blurb. If it promises to deliver hours of reading enjoyment, the next step is to head for the nearest cash register. Since I know I’m not the only once who judges–at least initially–a book by its cover, it was important to me that the covers of my books catch a reader’s eye and faithfully represent the story inside. And I believe my amazingly talented and patient graphic artist came through for me. So, without further ado, here are the major steps in the journey I took with her to create two of my beautiful covers:

LADY AT ARMS


LAA1

 

 

Pic #1:

Yes, I agree.

Lower her chin a bit, as well as her arm.

And gowns during this time period were not open in the back.

As for her hair… Can you work a miracle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAA2

 

 

Pic #2:

Ooh, miracle!

Now that looks like my sword-wielding warrior bride.

Cape? Yes, something a bit fuller, perhaps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAA3

 

 

 

Pic #3:

Nice cape!

But not sure about the gold.

Oh, I almost forgot–I’ve decided on the title¬†Lady At Arms.

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

LAA4

 

 

Pic #4:

Wow, you’ve done it!

We are there!

Now how much did you say this is going to cost me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LADY OF EVE

 

LOE1

 

 

 

Pic #1:

Great choice of model.

She definitely has the look of my heroine.

I know I said “waterfall,” but I’m thinking a castle in the same style as¬†Lady At Arms¬†since this is the sequel.

Tie it in, you know?

 

 

 

 

 

LOE2

 

Pic #2:

She’s coming along nicely.

The gown is very medieval, though I’m thinking blue.

Love the castle on the water.

However, the one in the story is across a rolling meadow.

Can’t wait to see what you do with her hair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOE3

 

 

Pic #3:

Love the hair!

How do you do that?

And that’s a good blue for the gown.

As for the castle and the rolling meadow–perfect!

Now the title… It was a tough decision, but I’ve decided to go with¬†Lady of Eve.¬†

Again, tie it in with Lady At Arms.

 

 

 

 

LOE4

 

 

Pic #4:

Oh, you miracle worker, you!

I thought the hair looked lovely before, but now… Happy dancing!

And the gown with the lacings up the back and the bits of lace visible beneath the sleeves.

Sigh… You are worth every penny!

 

 

 

 

 

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Tamara Leigh holds a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology. In 1993, she signed a 4-book contract with Bantam Books. Her first medieval romance, Warrior Bride, was released in 1994, followed by Virgin Bride, Pagan Bride, and Saxon Bride.

In 2006, Tamara‚Äôs TamaraLeighfirst inspirational contemporary romance,¬†Stealing Adda, was released. In 2008, Perfecting Kate was optioned for a movie and¬†Splitting Harriet¬†won an ACFW ‚ÄúBook of the Year‚ÄĚ award. Both books were released as audiobooks. In 2009,¬†Faking Grace¬†was nominated for ACFW ‚ÄúBook of the Year‚ÄĚ and RITA awards.¬†In 2011, Tamara wrapped up her ‚ÄúSouthern Discomfort‚ÄĚ series with the release of¬†Restless in Carolina.
When not in the middle of being a wife, mother, and cookbook fiend, Tamara continues to write. Recently, she returned to the historical romance genre with the release of¬†Dreamspell, her¬†Age of Faith series.¬†Lady At Arms,¬†a “clean read” rewrite of her 1994 bestselling¬†Warrior Bride, and now an Amazon bestseller, was given new life in January 2014.

Tamara lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, sons, and a Doberman that bares its teeth not only to threaten the UPS man but to smile.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of The Kindling, The Redeeming, The Yielding, The Unveiling and Dreamspell
Review of Restless in Carolina and Character spotlight on Bridget & J.C.
Review of Leaving Carolina and Character spotlight on Piper & Axel
Review of Nowhere, Carolina and Character spotlight on Maggie & Reece
Interview with Tamara
Visit Tamara’s website (she has great recipes, too!)
Buy at Amazon: Audiobook of Lady at Arms, LADY AT ARMS e-book, & LADY OF EVE e-book

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73 Responses to Cover to Cover: A Journey with Tamara Leigh

  1. Tamara Leigh is one of my all-time favorite authors!!! Absolutely love her :) Loved getting to see the cover progressions – so fun to see behind the scenes of these two books that I love so much. I’m rereading Lady of Eve right now :) Yay!!!

    • Isn’t Tamara fabulous, Meghan? Do you have a favourite book? I know, kind of impossible, but I thought I’d ask ūüėČ

      • Lol that is a SERIOUSLY tough question! But I think I’d have to say Lady at Arms. Again though, this is like comparing different types of dark chocolate – it’s ALL amazingly wonderful even if you have a slight preference for one over another ūüėČ

      • And YES, Tamara is amazing! Both an incredibly gifted story teller AND about the sweetest woman you could ever meet :)

  2. Do you just know it’s right when you see it? I have a friend who has done graphic design for me. She is so patient when I ask her to tweak little details.
    I admit to judging books by their covers. I like pretty things.
    This was my first introduction to the author Tamara Leigh. I don’t believe that I have read any medieval romance novels but I would love to.
    Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes journey of cover creation.

    • Tamara will answer your question, Amanda. You can’t go wrong with any of Tamara’s books! Contemporary or medieval, they are terrific.

    • Hi Amanda, I usually do have that “gut” feeling when something is right–or at least on track. Unfortunately (though not in the case of my new cover designer), I’ve been off a time or two :)

  3. Oh my!! I can see why some happy dancing happened there. That braid is just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the transformation of your covers, Tamara. What a great post. And thank you, Rel. :)

  4. Oh wow! Love those cover transformations! Thank you for sharing the work in progress through to the final product. Are we allowed to know who your cover artist is?

    I must admit I have yet to read a Tamara Leigh novel. I’ve heard SO MANY great things about them, and I have collected a few on my Kindle but have yet to read them. If only there were two of me… one that does all the necessary stuff of life, and the other that can spend all the time reading LOL

  5. I would love to win one of her books! I have been wanting to read one of her books for a long time!

  6. I would love a chance to win one of her latest books!

  7. Oh how I love Tamara’s books! I haven’t read all of them yet, but eventually I will! It is so fun seeing the steps taken to get to the final cover. Her covers are absolutely stunning!! Thank you, Tamara!

    Stephanie C.

  8. Oh my goodness, I think this is my favourite cover post yet! How fun to get an insider view on the process and I love both results.

  9. Ooh I love everything cover art related! Those are some beautiful covers and I also love the new covers for the Age of Faith series. Can’t wait to finish up the series and get started on this new one!

  10. Catherine Hudson

    I absolutely LOVED Stealing Adda and was hooked – I used to save each book (Perfecting Kate, Splitting Harriet, Faking Grace and Restless in Carolina)for a night where chocolate and a long hot soak awaited me. I was so sad the series ended! No other author has made me laugh like that.
    I do love a good historical and I guess I shall have to move on and try this series….I’m seeing a shelf full of books waiting to be read with more chocolate and a hot bath :)

  11. The covers are so beautiful! It reminds me a bit of Sleeping Beauty. (o:

  12. As a graphic artist, I love this post. These covers are beautiful!

  13. Loved seeing the steps taken to create the perfect covers – they’re beautiful, and I’d definitely pick them off a bookshelf. Tamara Leigh is a new author for me and I’m really looking forward to reading her work. I’ve got a soft spot for medieval stories. Looking forward to reading them all.

    • If you already love medievals, Andrea, you are REALLY going to love Tamara’s stories. They have everything you expect and more ūüėČ

  14. Another author I have never heard of. I will definitely start looking for her books, I love medieval romances!

  15. I love Tamara Leigh books! The covers are beautiful and the stories are even better. Thanks for this interview!

  16. Wow! The covers are beautiful! I really enjoyed seeing the progression to the finished product.

  17. I am thrilled to find out Tamara has finally released this title. And I also want to mention that I love the new updated covers for her other medieval stories. I really like seeing the men on the cover with the woman. After all, it’s the heroes we are all swooning after.

  18. Watching the transformation from cover to cover is just amazing.

  19. The covers are stunning!!! Do you ever think you will have books published as paperbacks? Hard to share books with friends who don’t have ereaders and your books are amazing!!! :)

    • Thank you, Lisa. I’m really really happy with these covers. Paperbacks… I really want to go there, and I do plan to, but right now my plate is stuffed full. Hopefully, before the end of the year I’ll be able to put some energy into releasing them in print. Bear with me :)

  20. What fun. I’ve never seen a post like this. Loved it.

  21. Great post! You know, Rel, I am like Tamara in that covers matter to me a lot. I loved seeing the notes and the progression. If you are answering any questions, Tamara, I have a couple. Why did you change the covers for your “Age of Faith” series? I actually really like both versions of each one, but I was just curious. And will any of your historical titles ever come out in print form? I am getting used to e-books, and even prefer an e-Bible now as one is easier to move around in, but I do still love to hold a book in my hands. I even love the feel and smell of books. Again, just wondering. Thanks for sharing this info.

    • Hi, Aaron! Thank you for stopping by. There are a few reasons I changed the Age of Faith covers. One is that the graphic artist who designed the covers of Lady At Arms, Lady Of Eve, and Dreamspell did such an amazing job and personalized them so beautifully so they would not be confused with other books that I thought it was time to treat the Age of Faith books to new covers (especially now that the series is complete at 5 books). Another reason was for the upcoming release of the series in audiobook format and the possibility of releasing them as paperbacks. Also, the new cover of Dreamspell, featuring hero and heroine on the cover, was so well received that I thought readers would also like a visual of how I envisioned the hero. Regarding the question about the books being released in print form: I hope to begin releasing them in paperback before the end of the year, but much depends upon time. There just aren’t enough hours in a day! Thank you, Aaron!

      • Thanks for answering my questions and I look forward to getting some of your historical titles when they come out!

  22. Great post! A good artist will get pretty close with the first draft when properly briefed, but it’s those additional touches the makes the cover superb! Thank you for sharing.

  23. I thought it was fascinating to see how the covers evolved and I love the final product!

  24. Love seeing the development of the covers. Thanks Rel and Tamara for sharing. Love Tamara’s writing thanks to Rel sharing her books with me.

  25. I love these!

  26. The artist did a good job fulfilling your requests. They make the stories sound intriguing.

  27. What fun to follow the progression!
    and luv that you have that much input – it certainly pays to have vision!
    Very enticing covers and I certainly agree with the faithful representation to content. It can be disconcerting to discover the contradictions once into the story – it’s like the publisher hasn’t read or isn’t even aware of the author’s story content!

    As a total audio fan, I am keen to listen to yours! TY for your generosity!

  28. Love seeing the transitions!!

  29. I love the castles in the background. The coloring is too saturated and contrasty for my taste, but these books come highly recommended so I’m excited to start the series!

  30. Great cover art! I definitely like the final versions best! Way to go!

  31. That is a great way to see the journey’s your cover choices took you on! I would love to win something in your contest as these are some of the best books I read in the last year!

  32. It was such fun seeing how the covers came together ! Loved the finial results.
    Thank you for the post ! I am looking forward to reading your books as I have not yet had the opportunity.
    thank you !

  33. And the “ayes” have it!! The covers are as beautiful outside as the story is inside. And the new covers for the “Age of Faith” series – – SPECTACULAR!!!!!! I am use to the hero OR the heroine being on the cover – – but BOTH – – that’s pure genius and so romantically done – sigh……. The new covers are as masterfully designed as the masterfully written stories. Tamara Leigh is a God gifted writer and I am grateful she uses her talent to give us many hours of reading pleasure. Well done Tamara!

  34. What a fun post! It is very interesting to me to see how the little changes here and there (and the big ones, too!) can add up to make a spectacular cover out of what was pretty good to begin with. Thanks for sharing it with us, and for the giveaway, too.

  35. Hey Tamera, who does your covers.

  36. I loved her books. Haven’t read the ebooks yet because I don’t have an ebook reader.

  37. The covers are all amazing and it’s so interesting to see their transition!

  38. All I can say is WOW! Love to see how the initial concepts/ideas change into something people now recognize. These are two books I haven’t read yet, and I can’t wait to fix that. :)

  39. Love seeing the transformation always wondered how that was done!

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