Tag Archives: book cover

A completely new look for the lovely @SherylBrowne’s fabulous books!

It’s my extraordinary pleasure today to welcome back to my blog the one and only Sheryl Browne. As you’re about to see, Sheryl’s a fantastic (and prolific!) author. And she’s also a wonderful friend and roomie unbelievably tolerant of other people’s (read: my) insomniac and slightly inebriated foibles. She’s a fabulous listener, a great cheerer-onner, and an all-round wonderful person. So when I discovered that all of her book covers had a bit of a stunning makeover, I invited Sheryl to come over here and do a bit of shouting. She’s too modest, you see, Sheryl is. She doesn’t like shouting about herself. But I got her, and here she is… give up for

Sheryl Browne!

Hi Nicky! Thank you for inviting me onto your beautiful, rocking blog and huge CONGRATULATIONS on the release of your delicious new book, Fallen for Rock! I tell you what, looking at that gorgeous cover, I could.

Talking of covers, Nicky has kindly allowed me to take up blog space and show off my very own re-vamped covers from Safkhet Publishing. Without further ado then, here we go … ta-dah!

  cover spread jpg

So, what am I all about? I think the recently released Birmingham City University Anthology, I am therefore I Write (in which I’m proud to say a first scene from my play, Life Class, was published), sums me up. I think Nicky would concur that the writer’s life is a frenetic one, juggling many humungous balls. Occasionally, we drop one and get squished. But we always come back fighting, because to an author, writing is simply as important as breathing. It might not buy us a holiday home in the Bahamas, or even Bognor, but it’s our life blood. We simply wouldn’t know how to be without it. A little bit madder, possibly, which brings me to one of my books, A Little Bit of Madness, from which my stage-play, Life Class, was written. The first scenes, excitingly, have already been work-shopped on stage at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and, I have to say, I was rather gobsmacked when I realised my leading man was Dan Hagley, who plays Darrell Makepeace in BBC Radio 4’s, The Archers. My claim to fame! He was fabulous. I can’t thank him enough for his inspirational performance.

Generally, my aim is to bring readers poignant modern fiction. Taking a slight detour from my usual humorous, stories, my latest release is a thriller, which, quoting a fabulous review from Crime Fiction Lover “is well on the romantic spectrum of crime fiction”. No, I haven’t changed genres. My attempt is still to write edgy, humorous, heart-wrenching fiction for people’s enjoyment. I’m more exploring – as ever – the fragility of love, life and relationships. My books will always tend to turn around the family unit, looking at family dynamics and the tenuous bonds that hold people together, usually having a strong, but flawed, male lead. I think The Edge of Sanity, having at its heart a family torn apart by tragedy, does fall into that category.

And that’s enough about me! I leave you with my taglines, which might give you a flavour of the content behind the covers and also (because I couldn’t resist) a little peek at my heroes from Learning to Love and Warrant for Love. A girl has to dream.

Dr David Adams


Keep safe.

Lots of love,


 Sheryl’s Books

(…and they’re hilarious, heart-warming, thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining. Well worth a read. Sorry, couldn’t resist throwing that in! I’ll shut up now! ~Nicky)

Recipes for Disaster Sexilicious Romantic Comedy combined with Fab, Fun Recipes.

Somebody to Love –Sigh with contentment, scream with frustration. At times you will weep.

Warrant for Love Three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly.

A Little Bit of MadnessWhite Knight in Blue rescues The Harbour Rest Home.

Learning to Love Exploring the Fragility of Love, Life and Relationships.

The Edge of Sanity How far would YOU go to protect your family?

Aren't they gorgeous? Well worth a closer look, my friends! Go on. Don't be shy!

Aren’t they gorgeous? Well worth a closer look, my friends! Go on. Don’t be shy!

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, a little Ohhhh la la! and thrills! Sheryl Browne brings you poignant, witty modern romance. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl now has six books published with Safkhet Publishing.

Find, follow and stalk  Sheryl here…

 Sheryl’s Website  / Safkhet Publishing  / Amazon.co.uk  / Amazon.com

Author Facebook  / Romantic Novelists’ Association

Sheryl is a Loveahappyending Lifestyle Author and Feature Editor.  Twitter: @sherylbrowne

Go on. What are you waiting for?

Thank you for visiting today, Sheryl, I’m so glad you could make it. 🙂 Rock on!

CentreStage with Gilli Allan: Getting All Torn Up over Designing the Cover for Torn

Welcome to a special Saturday edition of CentreStage!

CentreStage features amazing authors from around the world. These authors may share with you their life stories, their stories, the story of their stories, or anything else that takes their fancy. Today, it is my great pleasure to welcome back my lovely friend, Gilli Allan. Not too long ago, Gilli visited here to introduce us to her novel, Life Class which I subsequently read and enjoyed immensely!

I asked her to come back some time and tell us how it’s all going. Well, today, here she is! Gilli talks about the launch and relaunch of her novel, Torn. Yes, launch and relaunch. At the same time. Read on to find out more!

A New Cover and a new format! TORN – Now in paperback as well as e-book.

When I first published TORN I designed my own cover, using my own photograph. Though I’ve always liked the image, I never felt it did the novel justice and wasn’t doing its job of drawing the reader in.    So, when I decided to publish TORN in paperback, with Create Space, I wanted a new, more dramatic cover; a cover which more strongly conveys the main themes of the book. You can never take anything for granted.  Even the sunniest, most inviting prospect can have pitfalls and dangers.  And sometimes the obstacles to what you think you want are in yourself.

Create Space offered various generic styles and templates which I could have used, but they were limiting.  I wanted to design my own cover from scratch, so I went to Bigstock, the online picture warehouse, to look for an image.   I already had an idea in mind which helped narrow down the search.  I purchased five pictures and began playing around with them.  I’d soon narrowed the choice down to one and I could proceed.

For me the design part of the process was easy.  It was the rest that was difficult. You have to precisely calculate your size – incorporating a margin for trim and an extra margin for bleed.  You also have to calculate the spine width – which is variable according to the number of pages. All this was a fairly tall order for someone like me, desperately un-techie and at school not even allowed to do exam level Maths at age sixteen.

And add that to the fact that while I was trying to get my head around all of this I was running in and out of the sitting room trying to keep tabs on team GB’s Olympic progress!

I thought I’d cracked it. I had my draft front cover and I had my draft back cover and spine.  All I needed to do was join the two together. There was a false dawn when it seemed to go right.  So I proceeded to create the final version. Wouldn’t you know it? From then on I suffered failure after failure.  It seemed so simple. To ‘stitch’ front and back together, all I needed to do was slot them side by side into my template, but they stubbornly remained too big, despite me checking the sizes over and over and over and over and…………

My online cries of distress were answered by a professional cover designer – Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics – a friend and supporter of Famous Five Plus, the group of independently published writers I belong to.  She recalculated my template – which to my surprise I had actually got right – and gave me the invaluable tip that when it comes to designing ‘on’ and ‘for’ computers, size is not just inches or centimetres, it’s pixels!

On September 22nd TORN is launched in paperback and re-launched with its new cover, as an e-book.

Whoop! What a story, and what determination. What’s that classic Beatles song? **Sings** “I’ll get by with a little help of my friends…” I love how the cover came together for you, and isn’t it just gorgeous?

Let’s take a closer look at TORN:

Jessica may escape her old life but will she ever escape herself?

TORN is a contemporary story, which faces up to the complexities, messiness and absurdities in modern relationships. Life is not a fairy tale; it can be confusing and difficult. Sex is not always awesome; it can be awkward and embarrassing, and it has consequences. You don’t always fall for Mr Right, even if he falls for you. And realising you’re in love is not always good news. It can make the future look daunting.

Jess has made a series of bad choices. Job, relationships and life-style – all have let her down. By escaping the turmoil of her London life, she is putting her young child first. This time she wants to get it right, to devote herself to being a mother. But the country does not offer the romanticised ‘good life ’idyll she pictured. There are stresses and strains here too which pull her in opposing directions. There is conflict over a new bypass. Conflict between friends with very different, and sometimes hidden, agendas. Conflict between her own nature and her good intentions.

In the face of temptation old habits die hard. She is torn between the suitable man and the unsuitable boy.

From today, TORN is available in e-Book via Amazon and Smashwords… and, of course, in Paperback edition!

Huge congratulations, Gilli, on the amazing relaunch and launch of TORN. Whoot! Wishing you all the very best for today and beyond.

And now a little bit more about Gilli herself…

I suspect I’ve always been a writer. Long before I was capable of committing more than a few laborious sentences to the page I routinely developed long and complex stories in my head, peopled typically with fairies, princes and princesses and the sons and daughters of red-Indian chieftains.

I never finished anything, but I’m nothing if not persistent and once I’d caught the writing bug I carried on throughout my teenage years making many beginnings to various, and increasingly morbid stories.

My career was in advertising where I worked as an illustrator. When I stopped work to have my son, I started writing again. The first two novels I finished were immediately taken on by a new independent publisher. Sadly, my publisher failed to achieve the marketing, promotion and distribution necessary to achieve success for itself or for its new authors. It folded after a few years and since those days the world of publishing has changed completely. This is why, in a time when publishers and agents are increasingly risk averse, I decided to self-publish my novel TORN. I found an e-publisher for my next book Life Class, but they folded before bringing it out. So I have self-published Life Class as well.

Even now, many books later, I cannot follow any kind of formula in my writing. Love may still be the engine of the plot, not that my characters are necessarily aware of this, but I try to write honestly, refusing to romanticise the downsides and the pitfalls in modern relationships.

Come and visit me on the Gilli Allan blog, on Famous Five Plus, or on the  British Romance Fiction blog. You can find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, and I am also a Goodreads author!

Thanks so much for visiting today, Gilli, and for sharing the trials and tribulations of cover design with us. It was worth it in the end!

Over to you! I think Gilli offers some amazing tips for aspiring cover artists! Have you ever designed your own cover for paperback publication?