…And That’s My Cover Story

Woohoo! The cover art and blurb for Book 11 are finished! As with any process where I’m involved, there have been some giggles along the way.

Rick Hand of Hand Crafted Images always makes it fun to shoot the cover photo, and luckily he’s got a great sense of humour. He needs it when he’s working with a so-called model like me.

I’ve mentioned my uncanny knack for twisting my face into the world’s goofiest expression at the precise moment the camera clicks. (At least I prefer to think I only look goofy for that instant. If it’s all the time, please don’t tell me – I prefer to cling to my illusions.)

But apparently I also have a gift for twisting my body into poses that make a photographer (and everybody else) go “WTF?!?”

For example, Rick was testing the lighting levels when I did this:

I don’t know what the hell I was thinking but apparently it was something like, “‘Scuse me while I stick this cardboard gun up my own ass. And if I place my left hand just so, it’ll look like a giant schlong hanging out the front of my jeans.

Yep, I’ve got a real gift for modelling.  It’s a lucky thing Rick’s good at arranging me because my sole talent is holding still once he’s got me in place.

Moving on to the title selection:

You probably already know that my geeky OCD personality requires spreadsheets for everything, including titles. I’ve itemized every word that rhymes with ‘spy’, along with a list of common phrases that include those words. So when it’s title time, I consider the themes in the book I’ve just written and try to match up a phrase that works.

But apparently there’s an easier way:  An app at portent.com generates titles automatically based on user-supplied keywords. So I entered ‘female spy’ and sat back to wait for the perfect title for Book 11.

Here are the contenders:

“How Female Spies Make You A Better Lover”: I do my best to make my sex scenes hot, but I didn’t realize I was providing such a valuable service to society. Go, me! *buffs fingernails against shirt and looks smug*

“Doing Female Spies The Right Way”: Is it me, or does Portent seem to have a one-track mind?

“True Facts About Justin Bieber’s Love For Female Spies”: Okay, now they’re just scaring me.

“The 12 Biggest Female Spies Blunders”: This one’s pretty appropriate since Aydan does tend to blunder into situations, but it’s not really the catchy title I had in mind.

“Why Female Spies Are The 51st Shade Of Grey”: Why Portent, you kinky thing! You’ve been peeking through my blinds again, haven’t you?

“Why Female Spies Are Scarier Than Dating Taylor Swift”: I’m not sure what level of fear we’re talking about here. It seems reasonable to be more afraid of female spies, but then again I don’t know Taylor Swift.

“Shocking Ways Female Spies Will Make You Better In Bed”: I’m sensing a theme here…

“How To Fight Lex Luthor Using Only Female Spies”: Superman, are you paying attention?

“How Female Spies Killed Kenny”: I’ve never watched an episode of South Park but apparently Kenny has died in all sorts of creative ways, so this seems plausible.

But I guess I’m just set in my ways. Despite the stellar appeal of Portent’s shortlist, I decided to stick with my spreadsheet even though one of the above titles could probably have made me famous. (Or infamous. It’s a fine line.) So voilà, Book 11:

Secret agent Aydan Kelly is hoping to resume her peaceful life as a bookkeeper, until her director issues an ultimatum: Go undercover as an arms dealer or go to jail for life. But when Aydan realizes her co-worker’s son has been taken by a serial killer, she defies orders in an attempt to save the child.

Neglecting her undercover assignment may cost more than just her freedom. When the gunrunner she’s been baiting threatens her loved ones, Aydan must choose between protecting them herself or entrusting their safety to geriatric amateur vigilantes while she closes in on the killer.

How much will she risk for a child who may already be dead?

* * *

The release date is March 18, 2016, and The Spies That Bind will be available for pre-order in about a week. If you’d like to receive an email notification when it’s available, please click here to sign up for my New Book Notification List.

47 thoughts on “…And That’s My Cover Story

  1. Thank goodness I had a back up made. Lost ‘almost’ all my P.C. but managed to get into some of the files . Now I’m on my lap top and get used to another keyboard. sheesh.
    Loving the posts, loving the laughs I know I can always find here. AND, the progress on #11. I am so ready for it too.
    The cover is great, you got the right “feel” for the topic. LOL
    Got to run again, time for phys therapy and a doc’s visit for hubby. Ahh, the golden years.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Don’t blame you a bit, sista. Gettin’ old ain’t for panty-waists.

          Not gonna get that knee replacement this summer. Rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder instead. Then on the left shoulder next summer. Then the knee replacement the summer after that.

          We figured it out. I wuz gonna retire in four more years. Can’t. Will replace a hip the year after the knee. I’ll have to work another year so I can get the other hip replaced the summer after that.

          Looks like I’ll spend my vacations in rehab. Beats detox, I guess. Or maybe not. I’ll let you know. 🙂


    • Hope all goes well for you on the medical front. And yikes! Backups! YES-YES-YES-YES-YES!!! I’m so paranoid, I make three copies of everything and carry a backup with me whenever I leave the house, just in case it burns to the ground while I’m gone.

      Then again, maybe that’s not so paranoid. One of my friends had written an entire novel but hadn’t backed it up. Dead computer = novel gone without a trace. I don’t know how she survived – if that had happened to me I’d still be puking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you think portent has a one track mind I first read “An app at portent.com generates titles,” as “…generates titties.” I need to enlarge the print. As the first nine books got me through recovery from surgery last year it is about time to continue the tales of Aydan and friends. BTW, you are doing fine as a model.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m lucky to have a photographer who manages to make me look good. 🙂

      And hey, ‘generates titties’ sounds like something I’d misread. Maybe Portent should add that to their feature list – they’d probably see an increase in web traffic from the guys!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You can’t wait for them to knock – need to “push it”. Seriously – how about Netflix? Each book could be an episode. Jessica Chastain or Mireille Enos would both do a good Aydan and I am sure there are others. For Hellhound and Kane? So many men; so little time! Okay, back to work…


        • The casting is the most fun of all! I’m going to be doing a website update over the next month or two and one of the things I want to add is a ‘casting couch’. Stay tuned… 😉

          And you’re right about Hollywood – to get anywhere you have to do a lot of preparation and then pitch it to the people who matter. Because I do every part of my book publishing from writing to graphic design to web design to book production to marketing to release, I haven’t had time (yet) to take the next step with a screenplay. It takes 900 – 1000 hours to write each book (the writing alone, not including research or plotting time or anything else) and I already work 13-hour days 7 days a week, 50 weeks per year. And I love it – I’m not whining! 🙂 But my days are already overbooked. (Sorry, but I couldn’t resist the pun).

          As soon as I finish with the last of the production for Book 11, I’ll concentrate on releasing the first audiobook (which is finished but not published yet), and then update my website. After that I’ll begin Book 12, and I’ll likely start working on the Hollywood aspect then. I may end up doing the screenplay through a crowd-funding platform, but I’ll see when I get there. Too many great opportunities, too little time!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think you can count on Hollywood, Netflix, or any other movie maker to screw up both plot and casting. They won’t dare to give their version of Aydan an extra 10 pounds and any jiggly bits. She will end up blindingly beautiful, as will everyone else. There will be no Molson Muscle, busted noses, facial scars, or battle wounds.

            I agree that Diane’s books read like movies, but how often do the movies really improve on an author’s work? If the author gives up all control, will there be anything recognizable remaining of the source once they’re done?

            I would like to see Diane reap great rewards for her delightful imagination, sense of humor and hard work. If some of those rewards come from movies or a television series I would wish everyone the greatest success. I just think we all paint our own pictures to fit Diane’s writing and everyone envisions things slightly differently.


            • Thanks, el Tea! Like you, I love the freedom of imagination that books provide. Once a movie version appears, it’s either close enough to our own imaginings that it replaces them; or else it’s so far off our mental picture that we hate it and can’t connect with it. And things once seen cannot be unseen. 😉

              I’ve seen so many badly adapted first-person narratives that the thought of a screenplay makes me a little nervous. When a lot of the story takes place inside the main character’s head, how do you translate that successfully to a visual medium?

              Oh well. It’s not on my radar at the moment, so I’ll postpone those worries for another day. 🙂


  3. Oh, and thanks for nuttin on the 18th. I’m supposed to be partying like a rock star all weekend with about 200 of my dear friends, which we do once a year while listening to various misrepresentations of Jimmy Buffet, so of course I won’t see what happens with Aydan until late on the 19th and 20th. Argh.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the cover, can’t wait to read the book. But the 18th????? Your killing me I need a fix!!!!

    Ok so I got 3 paperbacks the other day 😉 so maybe I can cope with the wait.

    It makes you wonder what goes through the minds of people who set the titles (on that site) I dread to think what I’d get if I ever needed a title for some of the um mumbles porn I write
    Not that I’ve written anything in ages, too much on with trying to find a new job and the jewellery

    Roll on march, but not too quickly although your book is out about the 18th my first jewellery sale is the 14th and I’m sooooooo not ready for that

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That anonymous redhead model is still totally hot. You done good, sista!

    March 18? Okay, I can do that. Barely, but it’s doable. 🙂

    If nobody’s told you today that you rock, please allow me to be the first. Very nicely done.


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