The Blood that Binds

9 August 2015: Evolution of a Book Cover … From Drab to Dazzling

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been in the process of updating the look of my book covers and upgrading the image of Jennifer Geoghan Novels overall. Basically I’m throwing the proverbial spice on them and yelling “BAM!”  For Book Three in my series, I wanted to keep the image of the lighthouse. The lighthouse in Stonington, CT where the book takes place is distinctive, not just your basic tower and small building beside it, so I wanted to make it a bit easier on the reader and show them what it really looks like. Plus it’s just really cool looking. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I did get permission from them to use the photo.

I’ll start with this, the original book cover …. Oh, how I thought it was pretty good at the time … yet with time, I realize how lacking it is.

The Blood that Binds

So I started with the photo I took while up there in Stonington.   Then using my Adobe Elements program, I erased the tree branches in the foreground. I like them as a photo, but in a book cover, they’re distracting.


I attempted to start the cover from this image, but found that the distinction between cloud and blue sky was again distracting, so went ahead and filled in the blue sky with more cloud cover. I didn’t bother to pretty it up as I knew I’d be imposing a different sky on it anyway, but I still needed a more even background to build upon.  Then went on and added the GRITTY effect and then TINTED it red because I still wanted to keep with the Red, White and Black theme.  The gritty effect gave better contract with the bricks of the lighthouse then just tinting it.


And then it got cloudy out … really cloudy.  I wanted a menacing sky, a dark one that would not only be dark and ominous, but one I could put a white font on for the title that would give good contrast.  To do this, I used again and went, ironically enough, under the themes section to VAMPIRES.  Under the textures section there, I added the dark clouds and saved it.  Then added more, and more, and more.  You can now see how my patch job on the clouds has been obscured.


When I had the clouds where I wanted them, I added in the title.  To keep a certain sense of continuity with the new covers of first two books, I used the same typewriter font and also used the same font for the word blood just like I did in Book One.

Then came the dilemma of the door.   To door or not to door, that was the question I posed to my Facebook fans. Asking which they preferred, I did a survey. Without won, but I thought it looked a bit distracting to have a total black hole. I liked the mystery of the missing door, but as a book cover, it was a bit much. In the end I compromised and did a darkened door.


Here’s the final cover.  I like it a lot, and boy is it an improvement over the original one.  What can I say, time and experience will teach you a lot about book covers.

The Blood that Binds Cover Art 7-30-2015

Just to show that the road here wasn’t without a few detours, here’s a few different looks I experimented with that didn’t make the cut.

Bad ones

So there you have it, the evolution of a book cover. has lots of great effects you can add and I highly recommend fiddling around on their site if you’re looking to create your own covers.


Jennifer Geoghan, Author of Romance Novels with a Twist.  The Purity of Blood Novel Series, and If Love Is A Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online.

ALSO: Don’t Forget …. Today is the last day The Purity of Blood Vol. One is free on Amazon.  Check it out by clicking on the image below.

Free Weekend 3

16 July 2015: A Mother Shouldn’t Have Favorites

Just like a mother shouldn’t have favorites, I sometimes feel as an author, I shouldn’t think of one of my characters as a favorite.  After all, my characters are my children.  I gave birth to them.

I shouldn’t … but I do …

When I say favorite, what I’m really talking about is my favorite to write for.  When asked which is my favorite of my novels, I always answer The Blood That Binds (The Purity of Blood Volume III)  It’s my favorite for a few reasons, but one is that it has my favorite characters to write for.  Now you’d think my favs would include the Big Three (Sara, Daniel and Ben) but actually it doesn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all my children, but some are just more fun to write.

As I’ve said a few times, when I write, I feel as if I’m really just taking dictation.  I can literally hear the voices of my characters chattering away in my head as I type.  My favorite voices belong to Roger, Lauri and Mason. Roger is Sara’s(my protagonist) brother. He’s a very marginal character until book three when Sara goes to spend the summer living with him and his wife Lauri. Highly intelligent, Roger is a bumbling professor sort, whose clothing always needs ironing. But there’s a lot more to Roger than meets the eye.  Like Sara, he’s a man with a past. Lauri, his floral dress and single strand of pearls wearing wife, is a housewife pulled straight out of the 1950’s.  Her exterior is pure June Cleaver with a sexy twist.  She’s a mother to two small children, a loving and supportive wife.  But put these two love birds together and they’re a 1920’s his/hers comedy act full of one liners that zing back and forth like crazy.  Lauri is continually frustrated at how her husband gives no thought to walking around town looking like a frumpy professor, but despite that is madly in love with him and wouldn’t have him any other way. Roger’s new job as curator of the Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, CT is a dream job and as much as he loves his wife and kids, he could spend all day at work. Together, Lauri and Roger are a joy to write for. Here’s a sample of some of their antics:

I found her in our bedroom in front of a pile of dresses on the bed. Hands on her hips, she stared down at them in nothing but her lacy pink bra and matching panties.

“I can’t decide what to wear,” she lamented with a hint of frustration in her voice.

Walking past her into the closet to change, I said “I think what you have on now is just fine.”

She slapped me on the backside as I passed her by.

“Smart-aleck. Now I know where your son gets it from.”

I started rummaging through my clothes to find something suitable to wear, and after picking something out, walked back in the bedroom.

As she picked up a dress off the bed, Lauri turned and looked at me.

“No. You’re not wearing that in public.”

“What’s wrong with it?” I asked, taking a second look at the decision I was holding in my hands.

With pursed lips, all she could do is shake her head at me like she did with the kids when she was at a loss for words.


She pointed to a pair of pants and a shirt hanging on the back of the bathroom door. “And please try not to get too wrinkly before we arrive at the picnic. I just ironed them.”

Knowing there was no point in doing anything other than what she said, I headed for the bathroom.

And then there’s good old Mason …

Ahh, Mason.  He’s Roger’s new boss, and another one of my favorites.  SPOILER ALERT!!!!  Mason’s the bad guy of Book three. Up until book three, all my bad guys had been vampires, but Mason is a lowly human.  A lowly, sexy, devil-may-care, evil to the core, lecherous, rich, philanthropic, vampire killing, caring, conniving man.  He’s Roger’s boss, but he’s chasing after Roger’s little sister … Sara, and with dishonorable intentions and honorable motivations.   He’s a riddle.  He’s a man you love to hate.  I believe a truly good villain must have a duality about him.  You have to hate him, but at the same time sympathize with him. After all, that’s life. There are no thoroughly evil people in this world. We all have darkness and light in us. Who we are is a result of the ration of light to dark. Sara is our heroine, but eve she has great darkness that hides in her light. She’s far from perfect.  In  truth, Mason is a shadowy reflection of her. He has great light that hides in his darkness. Because of this, he’s a lot of fun to write for.  He wants Sara because of her light, be he’s equally attracted to her darkness because in her he sees a kindred spirit. For Sara, in Mason she finds a man who perhaps might be the only man who could accept her darker side, a man who would embrace her whole. But she also knows he’s not a good person. Yet that desire to be accepted is very strong in us as humans. It can over right our better judgment, blur our sense of right and wrong, goodness and evil.

Here’s an excerpt from a chapter Mason is given the narration of:

Walking out on the back door, I stood on the edge of the patio and gazed down on my sailboat tied up at the dock below. Sara was my only concern. It was her safety and the puzzling mystery of how a vampire had managed to break through our lines only to end up in her bedroom that had plagued my thoughts all day. I couldn’t get the image of her ripe young body lying peacefully on her bed as she slept.   Suddenly the curtains parted. As they shifted, the vampire silently crawled in her window and crept over to stare down at her perfect breasts as they rose and fell with her every breath. Perhaps he’d run his hand up her shapely legs, all the way from her ankle to her hip before he sunk his teeth into her elegant alabaster neck. I shuddered at the waste, at the death of such a creature as Sara. So much potential, so close to being snuffed out. We had to catch this vamp and kill it quickly. Besides the safety concerns for the Donnellys, it was bad for morale and that was almost as important to my overall plans at this critical juncture as Sara and Roger were.

I remembered how I’d felt when Sara had thrown me to the floor like a school boy that morning in the lighthouse, how I’d stared up that sexy leg into her big brown eyes while her shoe pressed down on my jugular.   For an instant I’d seen something there. It was dark, very dark, and I had to admit I’d been incredibly turned on by it. I’d fantasized more than a few times about what could have happened if Roger hadn’t walked in. How I’d have loved to have bent her over the table and shown her what it was like to be a real woman. She’d have liked that, I could tell. She’d beg for more like they all did. Yes, I thought to myself, I was looking forward to this. Swirling the last of the scotch around in my glass, I smiled. Yes, this was going to be a pleasure.

Well, I hope you enjoyed a little of my favs.


Jennifer Geoghan, Author of If Love is a lie: Finding and Losing Love Online and The Purity of Blood Novels.