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spring2016scavengerHunt

NOTE: The scavenger hunt has ended for this time around, so the prize offers are over. But if you’re finding this post later, you might still enjoy making your way through the sites that were part of the scavenger hunt to learn about new releases you haven’t seen or discover a new author whose books you think you’d enjoy.

 

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all 33 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 3 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS with Stop #1 at Lisa Bergren’s site.
  • The hunt is BEST VIEWED using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer)
  • It is open to INTERNATIONAL entrants.
  • PRIZES include 3 sets of all 32 books, $500 in Amazon gift cards, and many authors are offering additional prizes!
  • There is NO RUSH to complete this hunt—you have ALL WEEKEND. So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books you might want to learn more about!
  • Submit your ENTRY for the GRAND PRIZE at Stop #33 (back on Lisa’s site) by Monday night (4/25) at midnight Mountain time.

USA Today Bestselling author Tamara Leigh returns with a tale of betrayal, vengeance, and forbidden longing in Lady Undaunted, her latest historical romance set in medieval England. I write historicals, but have never ventured as far back as medieval times. Here’s a bit about Tamara’s book:

BETRAYED
Declared illegitimate and denied his inheritance, Sir Liam Fawke has given six years of his life in service to his younger brother for the promise of being named heir to the Barony of Ashlingford. But when he is summoned to his brother’s deathbed, he learns his treacherous kin has secretly wed and fathered a son. Vowing to claim what is rightfully his, Liam contests his nephew’s succession. And not only finds himself at dangerous odds with the boy’s lovely, spirited mother, but attracted to one who is forbidden him—one whose son is the means by which he could twice lose all.

FORBIDDEN
Three years ago, Lady Joslyn struck a desperate bargain to wed a nobleman and provide him with an heir. Now widowed, she must protect her young son from her husband’s vengeful brother who will stop at nothing—including murder—to take what does not belong to him. But when she seeks an audience with the king to secure her son’s inheritance, she discovers Sir Liam may have the stronger claim and that the truth of him could make lies of all she was led to believe. More unsettling, she is drawn to the man beneath the anger who can never forgive her for the part she played in his brother’s deception—nor forget to whom she first belonged.

And here’s Tamara to tell us how she came to have another great cover.

EVOLUTION OF A COVER: The Art of Photo Manipulation

My first cover flat was the second bundle of joy I received in 1993. Not that it held a candle to my first bundle of joy, who weighed in at 7 lbs. 8 oz. and went by the name of Skyler Hunt.

Earlier that year, I signed a contract with Bantam Books for four medieval romances. Though excited to see the painting my publisher commissioned, I was fearful. Back then—oh, gosh, that makes me sound ancient—the covers of typical romances were often referred to as bodice rippers, featuring a steamy embrace that meant the heroine’s bodice must be terribly askew. Yes, back then I wrote for the general market. Now, blessedly, the inspirational and clean read markets.

WarriorBrideAs for Warrior Bride’s cover, there was nothing askew about it. To my relief, my hero stood protectively over my heroine’s shoulder.

Much has changed with publishing these past 23 years. Nowadays, few paintings are commissioned. Pricey! More often, covers are created from photographed models, which can also be pricey. Thus, publishers often utilize stock photos. However, unless a publisher has exclusive rights to a photo, that image may show up on other authors’ books. Not good.

Enter photo manipulation. It takes a talented graphic artist to create a unique image from a stock photo, and—boy!—do I have one. So prepare yourself for a cover evolution.

Recall my relief over my first cover. Years later, I opened what was not a bundle of joy—the cover flat of my 1996 HarperCollins release, Misbegotten. Bodice ripper and—come on!—my hero did not have long hair! Use your imagination, because I refuse to include that image here.

Redemption time. I’ve been rewriting my early medieval romances into inspirational/clean reads. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to put a new cover on Misbegotten, releasing this month under the title Lady Undaunted. What follows are the major steps taken to create a unique cover and a summation of my work with the graphic artist.

THE PERFECT LADY JOSLYN ~ My cover designer found this stock photo. Now to place Lady Joslyn against an appropriate background and see her into a 14th-century gown.

Beautiful woman on a horse

THE PERFECT BACKGROUND ~ I see why we had to switch horses, the original’s neck and head being too far forward. What do you think of a different mane? As for the gown, I love its transformation and the sword belt. Now let’s lower the sleeve toward the wrist and nix the multi-colored ruffles.

Mock1

HORSING AROUND ~ I thought the background was lush before, but this… The sleeve looks great, but I miss the gauzy bit of gown behind her. Horse-wise, this one has too much movement. Let’s go back to the original and lighten its mane.

Mock2

PERFECTING HORSE & GOWN  ~ Wishy-washy me says the mane’s original color looked better, so…you know. Love the gauzy material returned to the gown. Just one more thing–darken and soften her hair.

Mock3

TA DA! ~ The finalized LADY UNDAUNTED. I love sharing my cover evolutions. To see more, visit my website: www.tamaraleigh.com

Lady Undaunted eBook

Tamara Leigh is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of 27 medieval and contemporary romance novels published with Bantam, HarperCollins, and RandomHouse since 1994. Tamara lives near Nashville with her husband, sons, a Doberman who bares his teeth not only to threaten the UPS man but to smile, and a feisty Morkie who keeps her company during long writing stints. Visit her online at her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Here the Stop #16 Skinny:

You can order Tamara’s book on Amazon, iTunes, or at your local bookstore.

Make sure you write down this clue: physical place

The next stop, #17, is Tamara’s own site.

Thanks for stopping by my site. Before you go, I’m offering a set of the first three books in my Amish Turns of Time series. To enter, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page and leave a comment there. If you’re new, please Like the page and let me know. If you already follow me, I’d love to hear if you have a favorite book of mine. The winner will be announced on April 27 both here on the blog and on the Facebook page.

Happy hunting!

P.S. If at any point you get lost, you can go here for a complete list of all the stops.

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