Happy Friday everyone! So excited to share the covers from contemporary romance author Kemberlee Shortland’s Irish Pride series. Two of these novels are being re-released and the third in the series comes out in April. I’ve read the first two and believe me, this is a series you’ll want to sink your teeth into.
I caught up with Kemberlee and stole a few precious minutes of her time from editing her third novel. Have a look at what she had to say about what it was like to put new covers on existing novels.
KR: The first two books in your Irish Pride series, Rhythm of My Heart and A Piece of My Heart, were previously published. How did you approach your new cover art differently from when you approached it the first time?
KS: I had a say on both original covers, but the end results weren’t great. Some designers will let you be really involved and some not so much. On the cover for A Piece of My Heart, the stone circle was actually a photo donated from a photographer friend called Chris Williams from Zoeica Images — http://www.zoeicaimages.net. Beyond that, I didn’t have a say in the final outcome of that cover. I had a little more say on the cover for Rhythm of My Heart, but only because the designer works for our company 😉 The biggest problem was finding models who matched my characters and I didn’t want to settle for just anyone, which is what I eventually did in order to get the book published on time.
When Shape of My Heart was put on the publishing schedule, it obviously needed cover art. I had the three series books under one publisher at last. A Piece of My Heart had been published with another house but I bought the rights back, and republishing it meant new cover art. While I had the rights to the stone circle, I didn’t have the rights to the original cover art, nor did that look of the original cover gel with what I had in mind for republishing. Since two books in the series needed covers, I decided to redo book one as well.
I had a look in my head and contacted, Kim Killion from The Killion Group — http://thekilliongroupinc.com — (aka Hot Damn Designs) to let her know what I was thinking. The first sample she sent blew my socks off. More so that she found exactly the right model for Rhythm of My Heart. Harvey Stables was the Kieran Vaughan who’d been in my head while writing. The end results are amazing, eye-catching, and NY quality professional.
And I was able to reuse that stone circle though on the back cover of the print version of A Piece of My Heart, as well as another personal image on the front — our Daisie and Poppy, who were the inspiration behind that story.
KR: Kim did an amazing job and Harvey sure is captivating on Rhythym’s cover. Hell yeah. 😉 Is the cover artist, Kim Killion, new to you/Tirgearr publishing?
KS: Yes, Kim’s a new designer to Tirgearr Publishing. I’ve long-admired her work, and as co-owner of Tirgearr Publishing, I had been looking for an opportunity to work with her. When the Irish Pride series came up, I used my own work as a guinea pig. Kim is a magical rock goddess, and well she knows it! She created an amazing collection of cover art to make my work look like it had come out of a NYC publishing house. I love small press cover artists. They create some amazing designs. But Kim’s designs for the Irish Pride series gave it a look of some of the industry’s top contemporary romance books out there. Cool stuff!
KR: She sure did. As the author, you know what the characters look like in your mind while writing them. How difficult is it to match your vision with live people when choosing them for cover art?
KS: Monumentally difficult! There are a lot of stock image sites out there these days, and a handful of custom designers like Kim Killion who can work magic. But when characters are so specific, with their own personal scars or characteristics, it becomes very hard to find those characters on stock sites. And even in the stock photos on custom design sites like Kim’s. That’s why we see so many decapitated heroes and heroines on covers today. You know the ones . . . where you just see the muscly torso or ball gown and the head is off the top of the cover.
The other problem is in finding that right look on a model, only to discover ten other artists have used it before and you get covers that all look alike. Stock photo sites aren’t necessarily there for cover artists. They exist for advertisers. It just happens that a clever designer can use most any image and turn it into something great. Kim has he own models and does regular photo shoots with various models in different costumes and poses so there’s great variety, and she caters to the romance industry. All pluses in my book.
Kim recently did covers for another of Tirgearr’s authors. Kate Robbins. You might know her 😉
KR: Ha! I do know her and I hear she’s a bit of a wench. 😉 Kim did do my covers and I’m gone over them. We love you Kim!!!
Thank you for stopping by, Kemberlee. And now let’s have a look at those gorgeous covers and find out a little more about the books shall we? When Shape is released in April I’ll post reviews then, but in the meantime have a look at these and visit Kemberlee’s website for juicy excerpts.
Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.
When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.
Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.
Will Kieran be able to protect her?
It’s essential that Mick and Kate work together to save his family’s farm. Mick doesn’t count on his new manager being accused of murder, and Kate doesn’t expect a dangerously seductive woman from Dublin to claim Mick is the father of her child.
Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again; however this newest revelation is too much for her. She is determined to finally say goodbye to her childhood sweetheart forever, but Mick has other plans for Kate’s future. And none of them involve goodbye.
John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.
When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.
Kemberlee ShortlandKemberlee is a native Northern Californian who was raised in a community known as Steinbeck Country, home to author John Steinbeck, as well as Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, and others. With so much literary influence around her, it’s not hard to see why Kemberlee fell in love with the printed word.
Sarah’s Secret, Kemberlee’s first novel, was the result of years of short story writing. It was completed, though unpublished, in 1989, and several other novels following as she learned the craft of writing and developing her voice.
Kemberlee began her professional writing career as a reviewer in 1995, publishing reviews with Compuserve Romance Reviews then What I’m Reading. She was a co-founder and charter member of RIO (Reviewers International Organization), chaired the RIO Award of Excellence awards, headed up the RIO newsletter and served two terms as RIO President. And she’s published travel articles since 1998.
It was in 1997 while employed by Clint Eastwood that Kemberlee couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend six month in Ireland. While in Ireland, she met a man who eventually became her husband. Upon permanently relocating to Ireland, Kemberlee established an Irish travel consultancy and built a reputation as one of Ireland’s foremost Irish travel experts.
Living in Ireland has allowed Kemberlee to study the country’s torrid past and unique culture first hand, and has even picked up a cúpla focal . . . a few Irish words.
Because of her knowledge of Ireland, Kemberlee has had the privilege of working as researcher and editor with some of the romance industry’s top authors who have set their stories in Ireland.
In 2005, Kemberlee was invited to submit her short stories to Highland Press for the No Law Against Love charity anthology which was released in 2006. Those stories included Tutti-Frutti Blues (2006 RIO Award of Excellence Honorary Mention) and Dude Looks Like A Lady, both set in Kemberlee’s hometown of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
Following on the heels of NLAL, Kemberlee’s love of Ireland has inspired a number of Irish set stories, including the short stories Moondance (2006 PEARL nominee) and The Power of Love.
In 2009, Kemberlee was invited again by Highland Press to, this time to submit a novel-length book. A Piece of My Heart was published in 2010, earning her the Coffee Time Romance Award. Constant Craving is the short story sequel to A Piece of My Heart, published with Tirgearr Publishing August 2010. Both of these stories are part of the Irish Pride series, all of which are set in Ireland. Rhythm of My Heart and Shape of My Heart complete the Irish Pride series.
Kemberlee’s current work in progress is The Diary.