Does anyone know of a book cover contest award? Because I want to submit my latest cover, for Shattered Palms, Lei Crime #6.

It's just amazing. Dynamic. Conveys the mood of the book. In every way, my branding of “classy but foreboding, with a tropical feel.” Mike Neal and Julie Metz outdid themselves.

But as I always share, there's a story here.

Usually I have a cover concept. In fact, for every cover until this one, I've had a concept. Then I wrangle my faithful photographer and husband, Mike Neal, into a photo shoot in which we torture ourselves until we get the shot. Every single one has been an adventure and here are some of the blog posts to prove it:

Stolen in Paradise

Broken Ferns

Torch Ginger

Black Jasmine

One of the coolest things I've discovered about self publishing is the freedom and creativity of developing the cover. However, Shattered Palms. I was stumped. Literally. I thought maybe some palm stumps? a broken palm branch? As we got closer to deadline, I wandered around looking at palm trees, hoping for an idea. I read an entire book of palm tree photos hoping for something Mike could re-create. I kept coming back to Mike saying, “Shattered Palms! What does that even mean? What a dumb title! What was I thinking!”

Finally, I asked, “Do you have any ideas?”

He was reluctant. My usual wifely MO is to shoot his ideas down (nicely of course) because I have such strong ideas. But, I humbled out and said, “HELP. Do whatever you think. We have to send the photo to Julie in January to guarantee her time and I got nothing.

So one night while I was pillow snorkeling, Mike drove to a nearby park and shot a photo of three palms by moonlight.

Then, he took a picture of  broken glass, and, using photoshop, did this:

Shattered Palms initial photo

Shattered Palms initial photo










WOW!!! I loved it so much I sent it to Julie wondering how she could improve on it, and bring it into the “family”of my other covers. She was thrilled and sent back an excited note of how much she loved the photo too, with EXCLAMATION POINTS (she's a very reserved New Yorker.)

And she came up with this. And seriously, I want to enter it in a contest. Send me info in the comments if you know of any.

Look for Shattered Palms, Lei Crime #6, mid- March.

SO EXCITED! (yes, I like the exclamation point, it's true!)


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