In Pursuit of An Emerald

IMGP1552In Pursuit of an Emerald is available NOW for pre-order from Amazon. Here’s a snippet from the second book in this wonderful Civil War era historical romance by Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock.

All ex-slave Violette McMillan ever wanted was to see her troubled daughter Emerald grow up to be a better person than Violette has been, so when Benjamin Catlett, an old acquaintance, asks her to become his bookkeeper in 1869, in a business that is sinking due to southern backlash during the Reconstruction era, she agrees. But when his arrogance surfaces, their goals collide, and Violette wonders if she might be forced to renege at the expense of her daughter’s future education.

Benjamin Catlett is plagued by his past as a free man of color whose African American father was a slaveholder. Renouncing his father’s way of life, he moves to Natchez hoping to quietly atone. But his new hire, Violette McMillan, and her flirtatious teenage daughter, Emerald, test the limits of his good intentions one time too many, offending his straight-laced upbringing and tempting him to fire Violette.

Will the Lord who tugs at the heart of both Benjamin and Violette prevail in solidifying their efforts to tolerate each other and finally affirm the love already blossoming in their hearts?

A Most Precious Gift

While you’re waiting on this ebook, download the first book in the series, A Most Precious Gift.

Book Cover Release – Aimee


Another book cover has been finished! This has been a fun cover to work on. Aimee is by author and editor, Pam Harris. Pam has published two preteen mystery novels that I had the privilege of creating covers for. Now, I’m proud to say that I created the cover on her historical romance.

Pam sent me some photos she had taken of the log schoolhouse that anchors the setting for her story. I’ll be honest – I’m not always happy when someone sends me photos. Mostly because sometimes the quality is just too low to work with on a book cover. But Pam’s photo was great, except for the big yellow park sign plastered on the front of the school house. LOL! Oh well, that’s what Photoshop if for, right?!!


Have I peaked your interest yet? Here’s a blurb about this book which will release in the next few weeks from Mantle Rock Publishing.

Aimee Winters has made the bravest decision of her life. Left alone and homeless, she has accepted her father’s offer to stay with him in the Arizona territory and teach at the local school. The problem is she has no memory of her father, having been raised by her mother and taught that her father died when she was a baby. Hungry to know the truth of her past, she leaves Memphis behind and journeys alone to the mountainous region where she faces challenges she never could have anticipated. The rugged living conditions and the isolation of the community are almost more than she can bear, but she is determined to prove she can do things “the Arizona way.” It doesn’t help that the handsome rancher, Levi Raines, seems to take a special delight in pointing out her weaknesses. It isn’t long, however, until her heart is woven into the lives of her students, their families, and especially Levi. As their relationship grows, the shadow of their very different backgrounds and goals is ever present. Can they find common ground?


While you’re waiting, check out Pam’s other two books, The Ghosts of Graceland and Music City Mayhem, both available on Amazon.


Book Cover Release – The Right Choice

We live in a politically charged era. I tend to sometimes think that these are the worst times ever to have to live through in terms of politics and government. But I truly know that they aren’t. Our government has endured many difficult times from the Revolutionary War when our nation took it’s first steps, to the battlefields of Shiloh and Gettysburg, to the marches for civil rights, and on we go. Along this nation’s history other battles have risen, the women’s right to vote among them.

I was honored when Sandra Robbins asked me to make a cover for her book, The Right Choice. Some covers are a labor of love and this one stand among those. Here is a teaser.

The Right ChoiceIt’s 1916, and the seventy-five-year struggle for women to gain the right to vote has escalated. Sarah Jordan, a young woman who embraces the cause, is determined to lend her voice to the growing dissent across the country. However, there is a choice to be made. Alex Taylor, the young lawyer she’s in love with, works in a firm that opposes women gaining the vote, and he claims Sarah’s political beliefs threaten his career.

Heartbroken, Sarah turns her back on Alex and begins a journey that will take her from everything she’s ever known to Washington, D.C., to join the pickets at the White House and on to the infamous Occoquan Workhouse as a prisoner. When she becomes a victim of the ‘Night of Terror’, Alex discovers she is near death and rushes to Washington to the save the life of the woman he’s always loved. Together they must make the right choice—one that will affect not only their lives but also those of generations of women yet to be born.

Keep checking back for details about the release of The Right Choice by Sandra Robbins.

Book Cover Release – Under This Same Sky

Just a quick note announcing the book cover for Under This Same Sky by Cynthia Roemer. Historical fiction is a genre that stretches my skills every time I have to create a cover. Artwork in this theme is overused due to a lack of quality photos. But this one came out beautifully! Look forward to seeing this book on presale ordering next month from Mantle Rock Publishing.

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It’s been super busy around our house this past week. I spent two days at home with an HVAC repairman. While two days at home during the week would normally be a good thing, I was not able to get a lot done. If I would go upstairs to our bonus room where my computer is, he would come in with a question about something. I eventually made a loaf of banana bread and sat down in front of Netflix. I did show some restraint. I didn’t eat the whole loaf during the two days…

This week has been better. Savannah is on college spring break and will be home Wednesday with her friend Elle. No telling what we will get into this weekend but I’m sure it will be fun!

TBT – Keeper of Trust

FC-Keeper of Trust(originally posted 3.23.2016)

Keeper of Trust is the second book in the Carty Sisters Series by Mary Kay Tuberty. It’s a wonderful story of Irish immigrant Julia Carty and her new life in St. Louis. We were introduced to Julia in the first book, Keeper of Coin and her “flighty” personality was a nice contrast to her calmer sister, Anne. I’m looking forward to diving into this book as soon as it is available from Mantle Rock Publishing on April 22. Here’s a teaser from the back cover.

     Julia Carty resolved that she must change her ways. Her father had called her “flighty” and sent her younger sister to America ahead of her. Her beloved Martin referred to her as his “beautiful butterfly, flitting from one adventure to another.”
She had come to St. Louis in 1861 at the start of the Civil War. In the intervening years, she worked hard at the church mission and at Dempsey’s Bakery to prove she had put aside her childish habits. With the arrival of her young sister Lizzie though, she realized she had not contributed her share to the immigration fund. She left it to her sisters Anne and Kate to save the majority of passage money to bring the children out of Ireland’s poverty.
When Martin suffered a life-threatening accident and faced disabilities that would alter his life forever, he needed her love and support. When additional tragedy struck the Cartys, her dear family turned to her for strength and encouragement. Had she matured, at last? Would she be capable of sustaining them all?

Both books in this series are available on Amazon.


TBT – A Light in Bailey’s Harbor

A Light In Bailey's Harbor(originally posted 10.7.2015)

Light in Bailey’s Harbor is a wonderful debut novel by Bethany Baker. I had a lot of fun pulling together this cover for Bethany. Historical novels are always challenging because it is sometimes hard to find hair styles and clothing that will match the character created by the author. Together with the help of Photoshop and a lot of photos, I was able to pull together a lovely young lady.

     Katy Kippling has an abundance of personality, or so she was told by a recent male acquaintance. Trying to conform to the etiquette of an 1880’s lady is difficult enough, without adding the challenges of having an abundance of personality.
Katy loves the Cana Island Lighthouse, serving her small lakeside town in Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin. In the summer of 1880, the new lighthouse keeper arrives. While Katy imagines his stately captain’s beard and noble brow, Blake Strawberry, the new keeper, is quite the opposite.
Blake is a young man searching for something to heal the pain and heartaches of his past. By moving west and accepting this new position, he plans to forget all of his painful memories and disappointments. What he hasn’t counted on is that the Lord’s voice can be heard just as clearly in Wisconsin as in Massachusetts.

A Light in Bailey’s Harbor is published by Mantle Rock Publishing and is available on Amazon.

And then there were 3

Thursday, I reposted the cover release of Keeper of Coin, a great little historical romance written by Mary Kay Tuberty. Mary Kay is a wonderful lady whom I had the pleasure of meeting and sharing a meal with during the ACFW Conference held here in Nashville. We dined at Monell’s and laughed through a delightful evening of southern country food and good company.

Now, you are asking, I’m sure, “Why are you rehashing the throw-back Thursday post?” Well, it’s because the third book in the Carty Sister Series released today on Amazon. Keeper of the Flame follows the story of the third sister to come to St. Louis while escaping famine and poverty in Ireland. Each book shares the trials and tribulations of this family as they forge ahead under the most difficult circumstances to find love and happiness in a new country.

And as in typical Diane style, I was a little late creating the cover and getting it just perfect. I’ll update you later on the process of getting the perfect girl for our cover, but in the mean time, let’s just have a peak at the cover.


As I said earlier, the book released on Amazon today, so go grab it here!

Here’s some info from the back cover:

In 1869, post-Civil War St. Louis overflowed with immigrants seeking new homes or preparing to head out West. Kate Carty had arrived from Blackwater, Ireland nearly four years before, and the dressmaking business she established had been flourishing right along with the growth of the city. When the need for additional space became urgent, Kate turned to her landlord and dear friend Walter Dempsey who readily agreed to help her expand her shop.

The pleasant circumstances she enjoyed while living at Dempsey’s and working in her seamstress shop were overshadowed by the turmoil roiling within Kate. She worried over the welfare of her young brother and sister still in Ireland and felt deep anger toward her parents for not sending the children to America. Her sisters, Julia and Anne, became concerned that the anxiety and bitterness she harbored would endanger her health. Their apprehension proved valid. Even the arrival of their young brother Michael could not still Kate’s distress, and she fell seriously ill.

Her recovery was met with additional troubles. An epidemic that swept through the overcrowded city touched her family in St. Louis, while still another crisis threatened her family in Ireland. Kate sought to come to the aid of her loved ones, and once again, Walter offered his help. Could she rise above her own resentment to help her family? Could she look beyond her family’s troubles and allow the grand friendship developing between Walter and her to grow into something more?

The other two books in the series are available as well.

Keeper-of-the-Coin        FC-Keeper of Trust

TBT – Keeper of Coin

Keeper-of-the-Coin(originally posted 9.01.2015)

Keeper of Coin is a lovely story set in St. Louis in the 1860s. Anne Carty, our main character has left her family in Ireland to come to America in search of a better life. She is faithfully sending funds back to her family to help them financially and hopefully to allow her siblings to come live with her and escape the dire poverty that has enveloped Ireland. Her new life centers around her bakery job and the friends she makes. She finds both friendship and love that helps smooth the rough times during the Civil War.

Author Mary Kay Tuberty wanted a cover that depicted both Anne’s home in Ireland and her new life in America.

Keeper of Coin is available on Amazon from Mantle Rock Publishing in both print book and eBook. Click here to purchase.


FC-Keeper of Trust

Keeper of Trust, the second book in the Carty Sisters Series, is now available on Amazon!

Book Cover Release – A Hobo’s Wish

a-hobos-wish-final A Hobo’s Wish is a historical novel by Connie Lounsbury. Based in the fictional town of Kathleen Creek, Minnesota, Dr. Pete Walker finds himself penniless during the Great Depression. Having ridden the rails, he hops off the train in Kathleen Creek and begins a new life.

Connie and I went through several design concepts before we settled on this cover.  Bringing the train and a grungy looking hobo together on the cover was a fun endeavor.

A Hobo’s Wish is scheduled to publish in November from Mantle Rock Publishing.