Book Cover Image Copyright for Dummies

This is an excellent article by gsprendergast about the danger of copyright infringement on book cover images and how to avoid it.

Cover Your Dreams

Recently I’ve had to explain image copyright to a couple of people. No fault of theirs really – we can’t all be experts on everything – but it certainly underlines the importance of working with a reputable designer who can properly advise you. If you DO insist on making your own cover, or getting your brother who is quite good at scrapbooking to do it, what follows is a kind of primer on copyright.


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Monday author Meetup: Carol Spradling’s “When Love Arrives”

Carol Spradling

About the author:

Carol may have grown up on Florida beaches, but her heart has always belonged to the mountains. Last year, she and her husband finally fulfilled her lifelong fantasy. They moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains. YAY!!!!! If she can curb her endless mountain gazing from her front door, she might get some work done on her next book. She still can’t believe she lives in an area she loves so much.

Short story writing:

When I was first approached to write a short story, I was excited and a little nervous. Could I tell a full story within 2000 words? I viewed this exercise as a personal challenge. I have to admit, it was difficult to not go into massive details, but once I got past the desire to tell the reader every aspect of the story, I relaxed and the story flowed. A short story is just that, a quick read that delivers a condensed version of a full-length novel. And to be honest, every now and then, a short story is just what a reader wants, a good story without elaborate description.

When Love Arrives blurb:

When Laurel McGrath is exposed as a stowaway on a Santa Fe wagon train, she becomes the responsibility of Butler, the group’s wagon master. He promises to keep her with the group, regardless of the threats of several men. Remaining by his side, Laurel nearly forgets the reason she sneaked into the group, but an unexpected meeting with someone from her past threatens to destroy more than her growing feelings for Butler.

When Love Arrives excerpt:

She’d never openly admit it, but Butler had been the object of more than one of her own daytime fantasies. Her eyes lowered to his wide mouth. Would the reality of his lips on hers be as wonderful as she had imagined?

Her body flushed and she lifted the hair off the back of her neck. She needed to get to Santa Fe and reunite with her fiancé before she forgot the reason for her trip. As much as she tried to fight her escalating emotions, her attention returned to the man stirring her desire.

Butler’s brows drew together the way they did when he tried to reach a difficult decision. Laurel squeezed her knees tighter around her mount. Was it possible to hope Santa Fe was nearby and at the same time, want it to be miles away?

Horshoe, cactus, stetson & horse divider

The Highwayman's Grace


Grace Blackstone never wanted to be a time traveler. She also didn’t want to be abandoned within reach of a notorious highwayman. A chance meeting with the outlaw leaves her vulnerable to more than her new ability. Having seen behind the wanted man’s mask, Grace is confused to find another man claiming to be her rescuer.

Highwayman Ethan Tanner has one goal in life, to destroy Bennett Brown. He has faced gunmen and braved the elements, but a young woman who seemingly appears out of nowhere terrifies him.

A rainy night brings Ethan and Grace together in more ways than one. She will have to trust him with her secret and he will have to trust her with his life, but are they willing to release their pasts in order to have a future together?


“You are agreeable to this?” Ethan asked, wanting to know her honest opinion.  He tried to keep his tone flat, giving her a chance to revise her decision.

She walked toward him, looking as uncertain as he felt.  “I’m not sure I know a better option,” she said.

“I hate to admit it,” he offered, “but this might be the best way to keep you safe.”  He reached his hand to her, hoping she saw his action as an open gesture, without concealed intent.  “As soon as I can find a way out of this,” he tried to assure her, “I’ll grant you your freedom.  I promise.”

“I hate to intrude, but I am in a rush,” the pastor interrupted.  The clergyman pointed to the lower section on the paper, and Ethan obediently signed the document.  Strangely enough, his hand didn’t shake as he affixed his name above Grace’s.

“Fine.  Fine.”  The pastor sanded the wet ink, and then opened his Bible.

“Ethan Tanner, do you solemnly promise to take this woman, Grace Blackstone, as your wife, providing for her and protecting her all of your days while in the sight of God?”

The words weighed heavy on Ethan’s shoulders.  All of your days.  He had just promised Grace he’d find a way to free her, now the pastor asked him to affirm to the contrary.  Deep red and purple abrasions encircled her throat next to the collar of the dress she wore.  He hadn’t seen them before, but Addie assured him, these marks were not isolated incidents.  He’d swear an oath to both God and Grace, and hope that one pledge wasn’t contingent on the other.

“I promise,” he said.

The minister turned to Grace.  “Grace Blackstone, do you promise to accept Ethan Tanner as your husband, abiding in his household and obeying his commands?”

Grace nodded slowly as though unsure.  She lifted her eyes to Ethan and her chin rose assertively.  “I promise.”

Addie sniffled behind them, and Ethan cringed.  This had been an impromptu ceremony.  What would she have done with a year to prepare?

“You are husband and wife,” Pastor Whitten proclaimed.  “May your life be filled with many children.  Now that this is done, I’ll be on my way to the Clancy farm to discuss the details for tomorrow.”  He touched the signatures with his fingertip, folded the paper, and then placed it inside his Bible.  Tucking everything under his arm, he waved to them in passing.  “Good day,” he said, and then disappeared through the opened doorway.

Ethan stared awkwardly after the minister, not completely certain what to do next.  He supposed he should take his wife and sister home.  His wife.  When he started out this morning, he hadn’t thought his day would end with a marriage ceremony.  He glanced over at his bride.  She was caught in Addie’s tight embrace, being rocked from side to side.

Lavender oil should soothe her abrasions, but he doubted her internal scars would heal as easily.  Other than give her time to forget what had happened to her, he didn’t know how else to help her.  He looked to the bruised skin at the cuffs of her sleeve, feeling as responsible for her pain as if he’d personally clamped the constraints against her delicate skin.  He’d taken two vows tonight, and while he wasn’t sure how, he planned to honor them both.  Whether successful or not, one thing was certain, no one would lay a hand to her again while he lived.  But more importantly, Bennett would pay for what he did to this woman…his wife.

Purchase here:

Find Carol  here:

Amazon Author Page: Western Romance, Time-Travel Author

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Monday Author Meetup: Peggy Henderson’s “Yellowstone Proposal”

Peggy Henderson

About the author:

Peggy L Henderson is a laboratory technologist by night, and writes during the day, with ten published books to her name. She has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for twenty years. Along with her husband and two sons, she makes her home in Southern California. They dream of moving to Montana some day.

Welcome, Peggy. It’s nice to see you again.

Thank you, Lyn, for inviting me back to your blog today. I’m excited and pleased to be partnering with you and a dozen other western romance writers for the short story Anthology, Rawhide n’ Roses.

When the idea was first proposed on the Western Romance Writers thread on the Amazon Meet Our Authors Forum for each of the authors to write a short story and publish it as a collection, I jumped at the chance. A short story of roughly 2000 words? Sure. No problem. How hard could it be?

Famous last words. Writing a short story is a real challenge, as I came to find out very fast. I think the shortest novel I’ve written is just under 70,000 words. Writing a complete story using fewer words than an average chapter soon became an almost impossible undertaking.

For my story, I chose to go with what was familiar to me, namely the Yellowstone setting from my Yellowstone Romance Series and its spin-off trilogy, the Teton Romance Trilogy. I picked a character I introduced briefly as a very minor character in Teton Splendor, added the character who is the hero in my current WIP, Teton Sunset, and added a new character, to build my story. The resulting short story is called Yellowstone Proposal, which takes place in the time between the last two of the Teton books, Teton Splendor and Teton Sunset.


Evan Connelly has been in love with Kara Russell since he first arrived in St. Louis. But how could he possibly tell her? He was from Boston, and she grew up in the wilderness of a place he’d only heard of. She couldn’t possibly see anything in him. When Kara returns home to her beloved mountains, can Evan find the courage to follow her and make his feelings known?


“Mr. Osborne? I would like to request a leave of absence.”

Zach Osborne had glanced up from the papers he’d been studying at his desk.

“Do you need to return to Boston?”

“No, sir. I . . . ah . . . I made a mistake when Miss Russell left.”

“Mistake?” The corners of Zach’s mouth twitched. “What sort of mistake?”

“I let her get away, sir.” Evan glanced at the ground. “I should have told her that I love her.”

“You want to go after her?” Zach’s eyebrows rose.

“I’ve lived in Boston all my life, Mr. Osborne. All I’ve known is how to keep my nose in a book. My family was in disbelief when I told them I was moving to St. Louis. Here, I met a girl I would like to make my wife, and I should have made my feelings known. If she rejects me, then so be it, but at least I won’t have any regrets that I didn’t try to win her over.”

“I wish I could go with you, Evan, but you know I can’t leave the practice on such short notice.”

“I’m not asking you to go with me.”

“All right, Evan, but you’ll need a guide to take you up the Yellowstone.”

Three days later, Zach Osborne had introduced him to Lucas Walker, an army scout who was heading back home to the Tetons for the winter.

“You’re in love with little Kara?” Lucas had given him the skeptical once-over. “I warn you right now. That girl is a handful. I’ve known her since we were little kids. Her claws are sharper than those of a mountain lion.”

“The Kara Russell I’ve met was nothing less than a lady,” Evan said, standing taller.

“Suit yourself.” Lucas shrugged, grinning broadly. “But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Just understand that heading to the Yellowstone will be harsher than anything you’ll ever experience.”

“It’ll be worth it, if I can win Miss Russell’s hand.”

Lucas laughed. “You sound like my brother. He suffered from a sickness of the heart, too. I sure as hell hope I’m never afflicted. I don’t need my brain addled that way.”

“When do we leave?”

“Before first light in the morning.”

Peggy's Ad

The Yellowstone Romance Series

For Aimee Donovan, it started out as an unbelievable journey into the past. Little did she know that her time travel would shape the destiny of the place we know today as Yellowstone.

The Yellowstone Romance Series is an enticing mixture of adventure, love, and danger through the generations as we meet the Osborne and Russell families.

From the dawn of the rugged and untamed wilderness of Yellowstone to the majestic national park we know today, we feel the passion, heartache, and excitement on every page.

My books (and audiobooks) are available at the following links!


Barnes and Noble


My blog


Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice Badge

How do you like my new badge from the PRG? Isn’t it pretty? No, I didn’t win the contest. Sigh. But I did place third, not bad. Now I have a matched set of these little beauties. Well, not quite. The one I received in 2011 was for 2nd Place, although it wasn’t labeled as such. It was labeled “Winner”. The Guild has evidently changed their badges since then to reflect how the entrant placed in the contest. More fair I must concede. Anyway, I’m quite happy with both.


Contest Deadline

Yellow Rose Header

2014 Winter Rose Contest

Romance authors, published and unpublished, you are invited to enter this highly respected contest sponsored by the Yellow Rose chapter of Romance Writers of America. The entry deadline is January 26th. That’s coming up fast! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have your work read and evaluated by experienced authors, many of them published. For detailed entry information visit:

If you are published, click Winter Rose Contest for Published Authors on the sidebar.

Monday Author Meetup: Charlene Raddon’s “Marrying Jenna”


Partners, I’m glad to report that Rawhide ‘N Roses, the western romance anthology I introduced to you last week, is coming together nicely. My guest today is Charlene Raddon,who is not only contributing a great short story to the collection, she’s also designing a fabulous cover for us.


Charlene brings talent and knowledge of the publishing industry to this project. Her first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. She’s been writing ever since. Because of a love for romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. At present, she has five out of print books published in paperback by Kensington Books, and more recently published as e-Books by Tirgearr Publishing.


Here’s Charlene:


Short stories are not my forte. I’ve only written one or two before my talented western writing buddies and I began putting together Rawhide ‘N Roses, A Western Romance Anthology. But I was thrilled to be included and agonized for days over how on earth I was going to write a short story, let alone what the tale would be about. I put off actually writing until yesterday. It took that long to come up with an idea. Since I had more fun writing my latest release, Taming Jenna, than any other book I’ve written, I decided to do a little sequel.

Taming Jenna

In the book, Jenna is a no-holds-barred, I-can-take-care-of-myself Pinkerton Operative after a train robber. Branch is a tough-as-nails bounty hunter pursuing the same man. Jenna finds the thief first and takes him right out from under Branch’s nose where he’s been chatting with the fellow in a Salt Lake City bathhouse. Being naked at the time, there wasn’t much Branch could do to stop Jenna, but he did eventually catch up with her. The two spend the rest of the book trying to hang onto this charismatic Spanish gambler who claims to be innocent. In her spare time, Jenna searches for her missing father. Branch spends most of his time searching for Jenna, and trying to tame her wild spirit. My short story, Marrying Jenna, continues where Taming Jenna left off.



Park City, Utah 1878

“Jenna’s gone, Uncle Branch.”

Branch McCauley stared at his young niece. “What do you mean, she’s gone? This is our wedding day.” He brushed a hand down over the new black serge suit he’d bought for the occasion, as if to prove his point.

“She’s going to save Miguel. Dove says he’s about to get hung.” Anna pointed at the window. “Look outside and see for yourself.”

Branch’s brow furrowed at the news about their friend, Miguel. He went to the window and pushed the curtain aside. Two women stood on the boardwalk below. The one with mahogany colored hair he knew instantly to be his beautiful, and stubborn, bride-to-be. She wore an ivory satin dress with lace on the sleeves, the fancy bustle and the hem of a skirt that dragged three feet behind her.

Her wedding dress.

But her resemblance to an ordinary bride ended there.

“What in thunderation,” he muttered, as Jenna took her Stetson from the woman standing next to her. Dove. The wife of Miguel Mendoza, the man responsible for bringing Jenna and Branch together.

Jenna had been sent to Utah by as a Pinkerton Operative to catch Miguel for several train robberies. Branch had been hunting him as well, but not as a thief. He believed Miguel had gunned down his brother. Later they learned he was innocent of both crimes, but not until after Jenna mistook Branch for her quarry. The only way she could identify Miguel for certain was by a scar on his bottom. So, when Branch denied he was the outlaw, she held a Colt .45 on him and forced him to drop his trousers. Seeing no scar, she made a hasty retreat, but he caught up with her. He’d been trying to tame the woman ever since.

Down below, Jenna was struggling to get her hat on over the elaborately woven coil of hair on top of her head. He could almost hear her cursing. She shoved the hat back at Dove and ripped the pins from her hair, letting them fall where they may. After getting the hat set the way she wanted it on her head, she went to her horse at the hitching rail. She checked to make sure her rifle was secure in the scabbard on her saddle, took a gunbelt from her saddlebag and buckled it around her tiny waist. If Branch hadn’t been so furious, he might have laughed. Only Jenna would wear a six-gun and a man’s hat with a wedding gown and go off on horseback an hour before her wedding.

Apparently he hadn’t succeeded in taming her yet.

Horshoe, cactus, stetson & horse divider

Did that whet your appetite for more? It did mine. I can’t wait for the book to come out so I can read all the stories!









Charlene Raddon

Historical Romance Author

Great Review!

This review for Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle was post on Amazon.

Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle

5.0 out of 5 stars Sorry It Ended January 10, 2014

By MishkaGirl

This is one of the best series I have read. The stories are introduced via the Chicago Fire in White Witch and it whets the appetite for what is to come. The next 3 books about 2 sisters, Jessie and Rose and their brother, Tye, keep you wanting to do nothing but read. They are definitely page turners. They kept me intrigued and interested from beginning to end. I was sorry they ended. I feel like I have lost my best friends. Well written and, with the paranormal element, they were different but enjoyable westerns. I highly recommend this series, you will not be disappointed.