Of opals, warriors, and coffee-bean dresses

Good news! Now that line-edits are completed on Opal’s Wish, I’m about to post a proper excerpt which I’ll link to in the book page :) But in the meantime, after the last somewhat angsty post, I promised a lighter, more amusing discourse… and I’d like to keep that promise.

Okay, so I don’t know ’bout you, but I often find it bloody disappointing when characters depicted in my favorite romance novels don’t match up to the models used on the cover. I’m like, GRRRRR! if the hair color doesn’t match. But ever since I’ve started sourcing my own cover art, I’ve gotten much, much(!) more sympathetic about cover/content mismatches. Because I know just how hard it can be to find heroes/heroines on royalty-free stock photo sites who match character descriptions. More often than not, something is sacrificed to get an eye-catching cover.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve found the perfect man/woman/couple/teenager on a stock photo site, only to check their photo portfolio and discover ALL their photos have them grinning like they’ve just won Lotto. Which would be fine if I wrote light, funny, uplifting books. But alas…. And so it’s back to squinting at thumbnails and clicking Next Page over and over and over again.

Confession time: I’m so an*l about– at the very least– having hair color and clothing styles matching, that I’ve been known to alter my character’s descriptions in a completed manuscript to match the stock art we’ve chosen to use for the book’s cover. And I gotta say, Opal’s Wish cover art proved especially challenging… but not for any of the reasons DH and I expected.

You see, after viewing screeds and screeds of inanely smiling men, and screeds and screeds of men pumping iron and/or scowling so direly they’re just plain scary to look at, we found an almost perfect photo for Opal’s Wish. We hummed and haaaahed, but in the end we liked it so much that we decided to depart from the usual solo male covers we’ve done for books one-through-three in this series, and do a couples cover.

DH downloaded a sample photo and did a small mock-up cover to make sure the photo would work as we hoped. I squeed and gave him the thumbs up. He purchased the photo license….

Aaaand it wasn’t until we checked out the full screen version of the photo on his laptop that we had our big, huge, uh-oh moment:



Both the title and the description of the photo CLEARLY state “dress made of coffee beans” right? So how’n the heck could we have missed that??? I mean, she even has a fricking headband made out of coffee beans!!!

Cue the two of us doing classic head-desks. And me going downstairs to make– you guessed it– coffee. Because we were obviously severely caffeine-deprived if we missed both those big-ass clues. Duh!


DH learned a few more tricks of the PhotoShop trade. And the photo above, plus this:




Eventually became this:



Moral of the story?

Don’t go shopping for stock art when you’re caffeine-deprived.



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2 Responses to “Of opals, warriors, and coffee-bean dresses”

  1. flchen1 says:

    ROFL!!! I didn’t know you could make clothing out of coffee beans–perhaps I need more coffee ;) Glad it all worked out in the end, Maree!