The Lust Boat: Erotic Cruise Ship Book Cover Design

I’m working on a fun Romance book cover design for “The Lust Boat” by Cathryn Chapman.

Opening line:
“24 hours onboard the ship and I’ve shagged someone already. Not the most auspicious start really, given that I just left Daniel, my fiancé of four years, sobbing in a rather embarrassing fashion at Heathrow airport.”


Ellie is a nice, normal English girl who suffers a broken heart and runs away to sea… to work on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. She discovers that working at sea is not as romantic and wonderful as it sounds, because when people are away from home, they often behave like they are living in a moral vacuum. All around her there are parties, crazy sexual exploits, drinking, good times and fun… and also a lot of lying, cheating, backstabbing and politics.  She makes a few good friends, and together they navigate the rough road of cruise ship life – although not everybody gets out unscathed.





Native American-Dream Catcher Book Cover Design

Some fun book cover designs for “Laughing Hawk” by Linda Katmarian.

We started with this rough sketch:


And got this: red truck, woods, handsome hunk – this could have been a strong cover.


But then we wanted to expore some road trip + dreamcatcher images….






Still brainstorming but getting closer.

Here’s the summary:

In 1964 Elizabeth Leigh is looking forward to college, escape from her unhappy home, and the fulfillment of her dreams. Adventure. Love. Her place in life. On a restless afternoon, she leaves school early and discovers her mother is packing to run off with a lover, abandoning Elizabeth and her stepfather. Worse, she learns her mother has squandered the college money her grandfather left her. 

A fortuitous invitation from her cousin Melina to come to Los Angeles rescues her from an uncertain future. In Los Angeles, Elizabeth finds security in the embrace of her aunt’s family and is introduced to the man who soon becomes her fiancé, Collin Greenslade, an ambitious, up-and-coming real estate developer. Life could not be more perfect.

But Elizabeth looks at life through the eyes of an artist anad a dreamer. When her cousin’s boy friend, a civil rights activist, has his Thunderbird vandalized in Mississippi, he enlists his roommate, Mark Laughing Hawk, to tow his car back home. To Melina, this is an opportunity for a fun romp across the country and she insists that she and Elizabeth should come along for the ride. For Elizabeth, what starts as an adventure, becomes a journey of the soul. Dreaming of Laughing Hawk explores the universal human desire for love, power, and sense of purpose and the lengths we will go to attain them.

You can find out more about the book here:


A Cowboy Western Book Cover Design

I’ve been working on what I think is my first really cowboy-western book cover design: Beyond the Crazy Mountains by Charles Hackenberry.

I was stuck for awhile, because the author has a really specific idea for what he wants on the cover design:

Three figures on horseback in front of this: the lead
figure (who looks like a cross between Brad Pitt and
a younger Jeff Bridges) is looking back at the second
figure, so we see him nearly full face. The second
figure is a woman with long blonde hair, mens’ garb,
looking straight ahead, so we see her in profile. The
third figure, a little ways back, looks like a cross
between Ernest Borgnine and Chevy Chase. Figure three is
looking toward the other two figures in front of him.
All figures are riding toward the left.

I dutifully spent a couple weeks trying to find the perfect images to make this happen, but ultimately gave up.

Even if I had found the right faces, in the right poses, and clothes, I would have had to cut and paste them together, strip out the background, and try to fix all the lighting (nearly impossible if the lights in the originals were coming from different angles.)

I hate saying “no, this can’t be done”, and I actually got surprisingly close with a few of these, but this is probably one of the times I should have stressed that a simple, emotive cover is stronger and more powerful than a busy cover that accurately portrays the author’s view of his characters.

Still, although these are very rough samples, we should be able to clean one of these up into a winning book cover design.