Cover design is one of the most fun and frustrating parts of being an independent writer–I have the freedom to choose anything, but then, I’ve got to make a choice. I could spend ages brainstorming (just ask my cover designer), so a few weeks ago I forced myself to fish or cut bait.

That means filtering through literally hundreds of photos of hot guys to find Gavin Slater. Life is rough.

TT_FAUXAnd we have a winner! First, here’s a bit more background on Tattoo Thief, so you’ll know what I was looking for:

22-year-old Beryl doesn’t know why Gavin Slater trashed his penthouse, abandoned his dog and fled the country. But as his house sitter, she must pick up the pieces for the front man of the white-hot rock band Tattoo Thief. 

When ultra-responsible Beryl confronts the reckless rock star, she wants to know more than just what to do with his mess. Why is he running? What’s he searching for? And is he responsible for the death of his muse?

New York newbie Beryl must find her footing in Gavin’s crazy world of the ultra-wealthy to discover her own direction and what can bring him back.

Steamy, sassy and tender, Tattoo Thief is a story of love, redemption and escaping your comfort zone to find a second chance. 

So what kind of image did I want for Gavin?

  • The guy has to be rock star material.
  • Not a gym rat.
  • Not a bodybuilder.
  • Not too pretty, but most definitely swoon-worthy.

At one point in the book, Beryl is checking Gavin out with a Google image search and imagines running her tongue over his abs just to count the ridges. (She immediately tries to reign in her thoughts.) And then there’s this vee on his torso … we don’t know what it’s called, but it makes women lose their minds.

Gavin’s rough around the edges. He’s scruffy and rarely wears something other than jeans and a T-shirt. He’s got plenty of stubble and blond hair that gets wilder with his moods.

When I saw this image, I knew it was exactly right. This guy captures Gavin perfectly.

(Do I have a crush on Gavin? Oh, yeah. Big time.)

For me, a cover is magic. It transforms my story from a bunch of words in, well, Word, to something real, tangible and permanent. Opening my first box of print copies always makes me cry, even though I’m a devoted Kindle fan.

Can you read Gavin’s tattoo? Can you guess why it’s reversed? The answer is revealed in Tattoo Thief. You can read the prologue here. Tattoo Thief is available for KindleNookKobo, iBooks (link to come) and in print.

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