Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cover Reveal: Love's Dream Song by Sandra Leesmith

It is with bittersweet pleasure that I introduce you to Sandra Leesmith's upcoming release and its colorful cover! (I only say "bittersweet" because I loved working with Sandra on her book projects and look back on my time of freelancing for her with great fondness. :))


First, want to hear about this exciting story?
Autumn O’Neill came to Arizona on an archaeological dig hoping to find out what happened to the ancient Anasazi tribes, but her true desire was to discover her own Navajo roots. It didn’t help that the dig was located on Jess Barron’s ranch and that the handsome rancher scorned his own native American heritage and believed Autumn was part of a drug ring operating on his land. 
When the dig is compromised and danger threatens their lives, Jess and Autumn can no longer fight their attraction for each other. They both come to understand that finding answers means listening to the voices of their ancestors and the longings of their hearts.
Sounds intriguing, right?? The setting and the Native American cultural elements certainly catch my attention!

And (*drum roll*) here's the cover...


Paperback version:

Love's Dream Song will release October 17th, but you can pre-order the ebook now on Amazon!

And don't forget to add the book to your TBR shelf on Goodreads!

My Thoughts on the Cover

In a word: dreamy. ;) The stark and gorgeous backdrop, the swirly script in the title, the eagle soaring in the bright blue sky above the swoony hero and lovely heroine, the intense look on the hero's face (and the stubble. of course! this is a running theme!)... Yep, it all comes together to paint a dreamy picture.

What are your thoughts?

Interview with Sandra

Sandra was gracious enough to answer several questions, too!

Amber: Welcome, Sandra! Love's Dream Song is a book that was written and published once before as Dream Song. How did you go about writing the book the first time, and what was it like preparing the book for republication? 

Sandra: Hello Amber, and thank you for revealing my new cover for Love’s Dream Song. This book was actually my very first romance novel. And as so often happens, it wasn’t the first one published. When I was teaching, we were given an assignment by my Arizona State University professor to write “what we loved to read”. I loved to read romance so that summer, I wrote a romance novel. We were camping in Northern Arizona Color Country, hiking around a lot of the Anasazi ruins, so the story evolved from the interesting facts we were learning about the ancient culture.

This has always been one of my favorite stories so I was very excited to re-write it for republication. The wonderful advantage of the new paradigm in printing is we can revisit novels that went out of print. Warner first published it in the eighties, but I have changed it a bit, hopefully using my improved writing skills.


Amber: How wonderful! I'm so glad this story is finding new life with a new audience (and a great new cover!). :)

What was the most interesting thing you learned while researching the Anasazi and/or Navajo tribes? 

Sandra: It has always been a mystery as to what happened to the very advanced and flourishing Anasazi people. They are the Native Americans who lived in the ancient cliff dwellings found in the Southwest. Hundreds of years ago, they suddenly disappeared and archaeologists are not certain as to why. I used one of the less popular, but more intriguing, speculations as part of the premise in Love’s Dream Song.

When I finished writing this novel, I happened to be invited (through my work with ASU) to the Navajo nation to present educational workshops to the teachers on the reservation. Several women I met helped me with many aspects of the culture of Dineh (The People).

Amber: Arizona is a state you know very well. :) What do you hope readers take away from the book about the setting?

Sandra: Northern Arizona and Southern Utah are called by the tourist industry Color Country, and they are called that for a reason. The red rocks in the area are spectacular. The picture on the cover is Monument Valley and it shows you the gorgeous array of color found in the area.

I hope readers become interested in exploring the popular area and seeing the beauty for themselves. The human history is fascinating as well.

Amber: What is your favorite part of the cover for Love's Dream Song? How do the models match up with the characters in the book? 

Sandra: I am an animal lover so I have to admit my most favorite part of the cover is the eagle. The mighty bird shows up at pivotal moments in the story. Animals are a major part of Native American spirituality and I think the eagle helps show that.

I really love how Debora Lewis at ArenaPublishing.org matched the characters to those in the book. When I look at that hero, I have to say “be still my heart”. I really like how she continued with the Love’s _____ theme established by you, Amber, and Lena Goldfinch in my previous books.



Amber: "Be still my heart," indeed! Debora did a wonderful job. 

So, how does Love's Dream Song compare to your other recent releases in terms of the story?

Sandra: All of my books are so different. I know I should be developing a brand or certain type of story, but I have to write what comes to me. I guess I like variety. Love’s Dream Song has a lot of historical elements and a relationship to another culture, which I don’t have in any of my other novels. There is more suspense also. Love’s Refuge had some suspense, but you wouldn’t call it a romantic suspense. I think Love’s Dream Song qualifies for that genre.

Even though all of my books are different, they all are written by a faith-based author so you will not find the bedroom scenes nor vivid violence. I may or may not refer to God directly, but it is understood that the hero and heroine are Christian and live by Christian values.

Amber: A romantic suspense? Awesome! And variety in this industry is a great thing in my book. 

Thanks so much for joining us today, Sandra!

* * *

Readers, don't forget that you can pre-order your copy of Love's Dream Song today! And please do feel free to share any further questions or observations in the comments. :)

15 comments:

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thank you Amber for the wonderful cover reveal post. I like how you teased us with the characters first. smile I like how you used the elements from the covers for quotes. You are so artistic and clever.

Thank you so much and it was really fun to work with you again with this blog article. I really do miss you.

Myra Johnson said...

Gorgeous cover, and the story sounds intriguing, Sandra! I remember so well the trip out west my husband and I made several years ago. Mesa Verde was one of my favorite stops. We also visited some interesting ruins in New Mexico that I had read about in a Phyllis Whitney novel. So fascinating to see these sites and imagine the people who once lived there!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Myra, It is really interesting to explore the ruins of the ancient civilization and picture them living there in the cliff dwellings. As writers we do have vivid imaginations to do so. smile

I'm glad you like the cover. I thought Debora did a terrific job.

And Amber did a wonderful cover reveal.

Amber Stokes said...

Sandra,

You're very welcome! It's the least I can do. :) I miss you, too!

I'm thrilled you like the post - and thanks so much for your sweet words! I'm not really super talented when it comes to designing things...but PicMonkey is my new best friend, and I have fun trying new things with sharables and whatnot. :)

Again, congratulations on this upcoming release!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Myra,

I agree on both counts - great cover, intriguing premise! I think Sandra has a winner. :)

How neat that you've been able to visit those sights! It's incredible to go to places with such a wealth of history.

~Amber

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

The cover is *just* *stunning* Sandra...
Truly.
It's beautiful.

Been out that way and the cover perfectly captures the area, and that good-looking couple... oh yeah!

Isn't it wonderful to know your story is out there again?
For such a time as this perhaps... Ministering to someone who needs it now!

And I'm CERTAIN the story benefitted from X years under your belt as an award-winning author!

Congratulations!

Nice interview, Amber - as usual!
Know you are enjoying work. You'll always have the friends you made previously (me included!!!) and will continue to grow and learn and help others, as is your calling...

Have a wonderful day...

We will #NeverForget

Rissi said...

So cute! I have one of Sandra's novels and am still looking forward to reading it. I should pull it out and put it in my "must-reads" pile. Because I do think her books sound awesome. Thanks for sharing, Amber. :)

Amber Stokes said...

KC,

Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Such encouraging words - for both Sandra and me. :)

Truly appreciate your continued friendship! Hope you are doing well. ((Hugs))

And yes, #NeverForget.

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Rissi,

Aww, that's great! Which one of her books do you have? Is it Love's Refuge? (I think I remember you talking about this during one of the previous blog tours or something. :)) So hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out Sandra's fab new cover!

~Amber

Sandra Leesmith said...

KC How sweet of you to say that. And yes, the couple on the cover really fit the characters I had in mind. smile I love it when that happens.

And yes, Amber did a great interview. It has been so much fun working with her again. Don't you love how she does the sharables?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Rissi, Its great to hear from you again. I do hope you enjoy my books. That is what really makes writing special when we touch someone's heart even in some small way.

Happy reading.

Rebekah Millet said...

Congrats Sandra! Great interview Amber!

Amber Stokes said...

Rebekah,

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading the post! :) Glad you enjoyed it!

~Amber

Cindy V said...

Well, hello Girls!! So many familiar faces here -- are we getting the band back together? The "Friends of Amber" group? Just wondering . . . Kind of feels like old times with this post, doesn't it?

Anyway, a huge congratulations to you, Sandra, on the new cover!! It's gorgeous!! I've been through that area many a time myself, (hiking, camping, and oh, yeah, right, breaking an ankle . . . which really put a damper on the whole hiking and camping part . . . ) and yes, it is stunning. A future congrats on the book release, too! So exciting. Hope it all goes well.

And a huge thanks to our dear Amber for posting all this!

Amber Stokes said...

Cindy,

Awwww! I just love this. ♥ You all are the best! Grateful for such wonderful friends - and happy to see your comments here. :)

Ugh, you broke your ankle on a hiking/camping trip? That's terrible! I'm glad you were still able to enjoy the view, but I hope you get a chance to go again without the injury!

And you know it's my pleasure to share about great books and even better friends. :) I'll be happy to post about your next release when you're ready for me to do so!

((Hugs))

~Amber