This episode of Evolution of a Cover brought to you by LADY EVER AFTER (Fall 2016), the rewrite of my 1997 HarperCollins medieval time travel romance, UNFORGOTTEN, featuring 15th-century Lady Catherine Algernon and twenty-first-century Collier Morrow. From start to finish, the process took approximately one week.

PART I: FINDING LADY CATHERINE ALGERNON ~ After another day in stock photo land, I presented my cover designer with this. Not exactly what I wanted, but if any graphic artist can make it uniquely Lady Ever After, it’s mine. And thank goodness she’s a first-rate photo manipulator since this model is now appearing in various poses on one romance cover after another.

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PART II: UNIQUELY LADY EVER AFTER ~ Now for the magic. My cover designer found this gorgeous model. So…a face replace, a 15th century wardrobe change, and away we go!

PART III: ALL THE RIGHT ELEMENTS ~ I love how the elements of the story are represented–the portrait over Catherine’s shoulder and the pocket watches pouring from her hand to represent time travel. And that gown–wow! So now let’s darken her hair (in the portrait as well). As for those amazing pocket watches, they need to be more prominent, perhaps falling out of her other hand since they’re hard to see behind the title.

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PART IV: HAIRSTYLE, HAND PLACEMENT, GOWN, AND PORTRAIT ~ The beribboned tress over her shoulder is lovely, but the style doesn’t fit the rest of her hair. More locks? More length? A braid? The pocket watches look better on that side, but the hand is too high and hard to see against the skin of her chest. Her right sleeve doesn’t match the left, not only in style but color. Now the portrait–can you narrow it so the subject appears centered in the frame and darken the lady’s hair a bit more?

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PART V: PERFECTING LADY EVER AFTER ~ Hair color and style looking good, but the beribboned tress still doesn’t blend well with the shorter hair on either side of her face. This hand is much better, as well as its placement, and the sleeves match beautifully. Love the magical dust in the lower right corner. Can you add sparkle to the glow around the pocket watches, like on Dreamspell’s cover?

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PART VI: TA DA! ~ The finalized LADY EVER AFTER. Happy dance time! Thank you for joining Lady Catherine and me. Now back to the rewrite!

FINAL LEA eBook 05.26.16

EXCERPT: www.tamaraleigh.com


Another Round of Edits (AROE) ~ LADY UNDAUNTED

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Now for another installment of “Another Round Of Edits (AROE)” in which this author edits the full manuscript of LADY UNDAUNTED. The following is from the second and most intensive round–there will be at least one more–to ensure LU is ready for her Spring 2016 release:
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BARON OF GODSMERE and BARON OF EMBERLY now available in real, live, crisp, smell-good, feel-good paper. Finally! DREAMSPELL coming soon!

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England, 1308 ~ Three noblemen secretly gather to ally against their treacherous lord. But though each is elevated to a baron in his own right and given a portion of his lord’s lands, jealousy and reprisals lead to a twenty-five year feud, pitting family against family, passing father to son.


England, 1333 ~ The chink in Baron Boursier’s armor is his fondness for a lovely face. When it costs him half his sight and brands him as one who abuses women, he vows to never again be “blinded” by beauty. Thus, given the choice between forfeiting his lands and wedding one of his enemies to end their feud, he chooses as his betrothed the lady said to be plain of face, rejecting the lady rumored to be most fair.


On the eve of the deadline to honor the king’s decree of marriage, the fair Elianor of Emberly takes matters into her own hands. Determined none will suffer marriage to the man better known as The Boursier, she sets in motion her plan to imprison him long enough to ensure his barony is forfeited. But when all goes awry and her wrathful enemy compels her to wed him to save his lands, she discovers he is either much changed or much maligned. And the real enemy is one who lurks in their midst. One bent on keeping the feud burning.

Excerpt: BARON OF GODSMERE: Book One

Purchase: BARON OF GODSMERE: Book One

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England, 1334 ~ In the second book of The Feud series, Baron Magnus Verdun is a warrior whose handsome face gives little indication of the darkness he struggles to contain. While pursuing the murderous brigands who plague his lands, he becomes the unwitting savior of the woman the king has decreed he wed—the reckless Lady Thomasin, whose very presence threatens his carefully ordered life. And more so when she proves outspoken beyond what is required of a dutiful wife. Can he tame this woman whose willful ways ought to offend, but instead captivate? More, dare he allow her near and risk exposing the secret that could push her away?


Despite efforts to make a proper lady of her, the illegitimate Thomasin de Arell knows she is no match for the Baron of Emberly. Though she expects her new husband will think her beneath him, she is unprepared when he insists on separate chambers. When he also demands she control her behavior, the spurned Thomasin rebels—and unknowingly becomes the pawn of forces determined to further the feud. But upon finding herself in Magnus’s arms, she discovers he is not as indifferent as he would have her believe. And when she glimpses his torment, she is determined to shine light on his darkness. Will he let her in? Or will their enemies use the distrust between husband and wife for their own ends?

In this sequel to the bestselling medieval romance, Baron Of Godsmere, join Baron Verdun and his lady as they discover that true love seeks first the soul, and is as easily seen in the dark as in the light.

Excerpt: BARON OF EMBERLY: Book Two

Purchase: Amazon ~ BARON OF EMBERLY: Book Two

RESTLESS IN CAROLINA: Book 3 Now Available!

RESTLESS IN CAROLINA, the third and final book in the Southern Discomfort series is now available at Amazon, iBooks Store, Kobo Books–and coming soon to Nook.


Tree-huggin’, animal-lovin’ Bridget Pickwick-Buchanan is on a mission. Well, two. First, she has to come to terms with being a widow at thirty-three. After all, it’s been four years and even her five-year-old niece and nephew think it’s time she shed her widow’s weeds. Second, she needs to find a buyer for her family’s home–a Biltmore-inspired mansion surrounded by hundreds of acres of unspoiled forestland. With family obligations forcing the sale, Bridget is determined to find an eco-friendly developer to buy the land, someone who won’t turn it into single-family homes or a cheesy theme park.

Enter J.C. Dirk, a high-energy developer from Atlanta whose green property developments have earned him national acclaim. When he doesn’t return her calls, Bridget decides a personal visit is in order. J.C. Dirk is neither amused nor interested when Bridget interrupts his meeting–until she mentions her family name. In short order, he finds himself in North Carolina, and Bridget has her white knight–in more ways than one. But there are things she doesn’t know about J.C., and it could mean the end of everything she’s worked for…and break her heart.

To read an excerpt, visit: Tamara Leigh ~ Restless In Carolina

To purchase a copy, visit: Amazon, iBooks, Kobo Books and soon at B&N


This episode of Evolution of a Cover is for LADY UNDAUNTED, the rewrite of my 1997 HarperCollins medieval romance, MISBEGOTTEN, featuring Lady Joslyn and Sir Liam. From start to finish, the process took about a week. First I’ll share the models who didn’t make the cut. Let’s call this “Pre-Evolution Of A Cover”:

NAH #1: This one’s too… “I’m gonna whomp you.” Lady Joslyn wouldn’t do that. I think…


NAH #2: This one…  I like her. She’s different–unique–but she isn’t quite Lady Joslyn. Next!


NAH #3: This one… A good fit for how I envision Lady Joslyn–all that determination–but not quite there.


NAH #4: This one…lots of determination, but not quite Lady Joslyn and the pose is too…posed.


YEAH #1: With 4 “Nahs” I spent a day searching for my Lady Joslyn. And found this… And now for Evolution Of A Cover!

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PART I: THE PERFECT LADY JOSLYN ~ My cover designer, armed with a better idea of what I envisioned for LADY UNDAUNTED, did me one better with this model. Now to place Lady Joslyn against an appropriate background and see her into a 14th-century gown.

PART II: THE PERFECT BACKGROUND ~ Hello Ashlingford Castle! I see why we had to switch horses, the original’s neck and head too far forward to fit the cover. What do you think of a different mane? As for the gown, I love its transformation and the addition of the sword belt (I’ll have to work that into the rewrite). Definitely keep the stunning pink, but lower the sleeve toward the wrist and nix the multi-colored ruffles.

PART III: HORSING AROUND ~ I thought the background was lush before, and now this… Sigh! The sleeve looks great, but I miss the gauzy bit of gown behind her. Can you add it back in? Horse-wise, this one has too much movement considering the heroine appears to be at a standstill. Let’s go back to the last horse and lighten its mane.

PART IV: PERFECTING HORSE & GOWN  ~ Wishy-washy me says the mane’s original color looked better, so…you know. Love the gauzy bit of material returned to the back of her gown. Hey, this was a relatively easy one. So just one more thing–darken and soften her hair.

PART V: TA DA! ~ The finalized LADY UNDAUNTED. Happy dance time! Thank you for joining me.

Website: www.tamaraleigh.com


LADY OF FIRE now available in real, live, crisp, smell-good, feel-good paper. About time 🙂 LADY OF CONQUEST, BARON OF GODSMERE, BARON OF EMBERLY and DREAMSPELL coming soon!


Believing only death will prevent him from returning to England, Sir Lucien de Gautier answers his king’s call to arms. When he is captured and his family refuses the ransom demand, he finds himself bound to the oars of a galley. Enraged and embittered, he has no hope of escape—until a rich merchant’s wife offers him freedom. In exchange, he agrees to smuggle a virtuous young woman out of a harem and onto a ship bound for England, unaware the real danger lies in the bond forged between him and his fiery charge. But when he learns she is as much his enemy as those who enslaved him, can he forgive her? More, can he forget her?


Determined to wed her childhood friend, a betrothal her English mother will go to any length to break, Alessandra refuses to abandon the only life she has known in Algiers—even if it means compromising her faith. But when she is entrusted to a new bodyguard whose scarred face and soul draw her to him, she soon discovers the bold Englishman is only playing a part, biding his time until he can fulfill his end of a treacherous bargain. Desperate to turn him from his course, she reveals her identity, but only succeeds in gaining his contempt. Now that he knows the truth, will he ever feel for her all she feels for him? And will it be enough for her to forsake her world to live in his?

Click to purchase at Amazon

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To Read Excerpt, visit: Tamara Leigh

PAPERBACKS ~ AGE OF FAITH Series and LADY Series Now Available

The AGE OF FAITH SERIES, LADY AT ARMS and LADY OF EVE now available in real, live, crisp, smell-good, feel-good paper. About time 🙂 LADY OF FIRE and LADY OF CONQUEST coming soon!


THE UNVEILING: Book One (Age Of Faith Series) ~ Click to purchase at Amazon

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THE YIELDING: Book Two (Age Of Faith Series) ~ Click to purchase at Amazon

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THE REDEEMING: Book Three (Age Of Faith Series) ~ Click to purchase at Amazon

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THE KINDLING: Book Four (Age Of Faith series) ~ Click to purchase at Amazon

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THE LONGING: Book Five (Age Of Faith series) ~ Click to purchase at Amazon

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LADY AT ARMS: Book One (Lady Series) ~ Click to purchase at Amazon

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LADY OF EVE: Book Two (Lady Series) ~ Click to purchase at Amazon

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To Read Excerpts, visit: Tamara Leigh


Here we go again! The last Evolution Of A Cover was for NOWHERE CAROLINA, the second book in the Southern Discomfort series (Available 12.30.15). Now for the third and final book, RESTLESS IN CAROLINA. The following process took my cover designer about a week.

PART I: The Original Restless In Carolina ~ I was thrilled with the original RESTLESS IN CAROLINA cover from Waterbrook/Multnomah–unique, fun, and it said Bridget Pickwick up one side and down the other. But it’s time to put a new cover on the book that allows readers a look at the face above those jeans–and, of course, her hero, J.C.


PART II: Sigh-Able Places ~ When I landed on this sigh-able background, I knew it was a perfect fit–just as I imagined the Pickwick mansion at the end of that long driveway.


PART III: Finding The Perfect Bridget and J.C. ~ I fell in love with the joyous kiss shared by this couple and nearly used the photo for the new cover of NOWHERE IN CAROLINA. But it kept whispering “Bridget and J.C.,” so I held it in reserve. But now there’s work to be done. My once-upon-a-dreadlocked Barbie doll is a blonde, and J.C. doesn’t sport an earring.


PART IV: Of Dusk and Fireflies ~ The perfect background for that joyous kiss! The lamp is a great prop, but its placement is awkward. I keep imagining J.C. backing into it (should the kiss get more joyous–and it might). Hmm. What do you think about a flashlight instead? Thumbs up on the fireflies. However, let’s cut back on their number–love me some sparkle, but that’s too much. Bridget’s hair could be darker and needs more detailing. As for that neon green font. No. Just…no. Let’s try yellow, a bit paler than the glow of the lamp.


PART V: Losing The Glow ~ Hmm. I like the flashlight, but you’re right, we’ve lost the magical glow over the couple. Okay, back to the lamp (less the tripping hazard). As for fireflies, that number works. The yellow font is a go, and to be consistent with the first two books, move the series title to the upper right corner.


PART VI: Ta da! ~ Series title. Check. Lamp placement. Check. Romance. Check. Introducing the new RESTLESS IN CAROLINA: Book Three (Southern Discomfort) available mid-winter 2016.


PART VII: The Complete Southern Discomfort

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NOWHERE CAROLINA, the second book in the Southern Discomfort series is now available at Amazon, iBooks Store, Kobo Books–and coming soon to Nook.

Maggie Pickwick is a lifetime away from her days as head cheerleader and the mistakes she made in high school. Twelve years later, this single mom has traded pompoms for an auctioneer’s gavel, popularity for peace and quiet, and strives to be a good example for her daughter, Devyn. She’s keeping it together just fine until an old flame moves back to her little North Carolina town.

Renowned artist Reece Thorpe wants nothing to do with Maggie after what she did in high school, but he might also be Devyn’s father. Fed by her own pride and fear for her daughter’s happiness, Maggie finds herself on a slippery slope of white lies as she attempts to convince Reece that she has changed. But the truth has a way of making itself known, and now Maggie’s past and present mistakes could ruin her chance at love.

To read an excerpt, visit: Tamara Leigh ~ Nowhere Carolina

To purchase a copy, visit: Amazon, iBooks, Kobo Books and soon at B&N


I don’t suppose I’ve mentioned how awesome my cover designer is. Oh, have I? It bears repeating. This episode of Evolution of a Cover was to have been for RESTLESS IN CAROLINA, but when I asked my wonderful readers if they’d prefer a sneak peek at BARON OF BLACKWOOD… Oh. My. Word. So coming up–Baron Griffin de Arell and his bride-to-be, Lady Quintin Boursier. P/S: From start to finish, the process took about 5 days.

PART I: THE PERFECT GRIFFIN ~ Come on. Do I need to justify my reason for picking this knight in shining armor to portray the formidable Baron Griffin de Arell? The man speaks for himself–well, once we get rid of those Fabio locks 🙂

PART II: THE PERFECT QUINTIN ~ “Too soft, too sweet,” I muttered over the multitude of potential Quintin Boursiers. And then in strolled the lady herself, vim and vigor in every step. But that cap? Well, we’re all allowed the occasional fashion faux pas.

PART III: POSITIONING GRIFFIN AND QUINTIN ~ Here’s the first mock up, using the same format as the first two books in the series, BARON OF GODSMERE and BARON OF EMBERLY, and a similar background to which we need to add a medieval castle. Thank goodness that cap of Quintin’s is history. And love the swirling banner, this time green to represent the house of De Arell. If you’ve read the first book in the series, you know the relationship between these two is pretty contentious–see that dagger of hers?–so let’s turn this couple opposite each other. Now, Griffin… Make his tunic black and trim it in green to match his family’s colors, and definitely shorten his hair. Quintin… The color of her gown is a bit bland. Pink? Purple?

PART IV: PERFECTING GRIFFIN AND QUINTIN  ~ Love the castle background, and having the hero and heroine turned opposite each other sets the right tone. Griffin’s short hair is perfect. Now his tunic…much better color, but I’m thinking replace the cross with a griffin. And his eyes are intense blue. Quintin doesn’t have the usual medieval lady’s long tresses (with good reason), but let’s lengthen her hair a bit and turn it black. Eyes-wise, hers are Foucault brown. I do like this color of gown, but can I see it in other colors? And what do you think about a necklace? Oh, let’s put space between these two to show more of the banner-wrapped blade. Whew!

PART V: OF GRIFFINS AND COLORFUL GOWNS ~ Nice griffin, Griffin de Arell. Very manly. And, my, such blue eyes you have. Quintin’s hair length is about right, so let’s give her some wave. Lovely necklace. The gowns are beautifully vibrant, but none grab me. How about a darker version of her original color? Say, burnt orange? Lastly, there needs to be a bit more space between the baron and his lady. Almost there!

PART VI: TA DA! ~ The finalized BARON OF BLACKWOOD! Hopping up and down happy. Thank you for joining me on the journey. Wasn’t that fun?


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Website: www.tamaraleigh.com