I just love release days! And today, Toil and Trouble is available!
College student Allie Jones has everything going for her. She's got a good job, is working toward her degree, and has a great car. Her life is ordinary and predictable, until one day a stranger enters her gift shop and attempts to kidnap her. Saved by a young man named Dez who claims to be a fairy guardian, Allie finds herself traveling to the Fey Realm where she learns fairies, mermaids, and elves are real and she was never as ordinary as she thought.
Together they work to discover who was behind her attempted kidnapping and what they were really after. The plot they uncover threatens not only the Fey Realm, but the mortal sphere as well. With an elderly witch, a snarky cat, and a glowing bird as their companions, Dez and Allie prepare to take on the greatest challenge either has ever faced.
Just for fun, I thought I'd show you some of the different ideas I had for the cover design. I wanted something fall and also a little ominous. Toil and Trouble has a happy ending, but it's also got some spookiness to it and some definite tension. While the original image here (left) is definitely fall, it was a little too light and cheery. So a few tweaks to saturation and hue gave it the look I wanted.
Then it was time to find a cover model. A wonderful friend of mine has a daughter who, while younger than my main character, looks exactly as I envisioned Allie. After talking with her and with her mom, we planned a photo shoot and had a great time together. Then it was time to decide which of the many great pictures we had was the right one for the cover. And I had a few ideas:
My husband and I looked at the concepts we'd created and tried to pick the best one. The left and right ones were our favorites. While the middle picture looks great as a picture, we were having a hard time getting the color and lighting to match the background we wanted to use. After sending the two we liked to my cover model to see what she preferred, we chose the left concept. And then it was time to really begin polishing. Fonts were changed out and the photos softened and blended. I'm pretty happy with how the final cover turned out. I think it perfectly sets the mood for the story. What do you think?
Toil and Trouble is available for a temporarily low price of 99 cents through the end of the month. After Halloween, the price will be raised. So, get it while it's on sale and enjoy this trip into the Fey Realm!
Jessica L. Elliott
Author, artist, mom and super-genius