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When an author signs with a publisher, he or she has little or no control over the book’s cover. In self-publishing, the author has full control. The author can hire a designer or download images from sites such as http://123rf.com or http://fotolia.com to create a cover using Photoshop or some other photo editing software. There are also sites such as Jimmie Thomas’ http://romancenovelcovers.com where an author can buy individual images or a pre-made cover.

The only problem with these sites is that thousands of authors and the smaller publishing houses use the same images to create their covers.

But I wanted something unique for the cover of my time travel romance, Winds of Time. So, when my friend, Jennifer, suggested I use her daughter on the cover, I jumped at the chance.

Caroline has recently gotten into modeling and acting. She has blond hair and blue eyes and can pass for a young woman of sixteen to twenty-five, depending on her hair, makeup, and clothes. In Winds of Time, Selena Tillman is a twenty-five year old posing as her twenty-year-old ancestor, and like Caroline, she has blond hair. (See book details following Caroline’s interview.)

My brother is a graphic designer with an impressive portfolio (agwvisual.myportfolio.com) and he agreed to make my cover. He used one of the dozens of pictures Jennifer sent of Caroline dressed the way Selena was dressed in Chapter One, the tornado  and locket images I purchased from Fotolia, and a Photoshopped picture of my son-in-law, who’s one quarter Lumbee Indian.



Once my brother manipulated the images, he added the title in a cool, wind-blown font and my name. Then he sent me the proof, and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s one of my favorite covers. And Caroline Kelly is definitely my favorite cover model. She’s also the only one I personally know, so I could be biased. She helped with marketing and promotion, and her mom, Jennifer, taught me how to use Instagram.



Both before and after the book’s release, Caroline promoted it on  Instagram https://www.instagram.com/clkblue21 and Facebook.








The cross promotion was an added bonus I wasn’t expecting. She even agreed to answer a few interview questions, posted below.

Caroline Kelly Interview

 How do you like the cover? Did it meet your expectations? 

I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I love how it turned out. I can honestly say I don’t know anyone that is on a book cover, and to see myself as a book cover model is surreal. 

Tell me about some of your recent modeling jobs.

It’s been an exciting year for me. I’ve been in a couple of fashion shows in Charlotte NC. I have also had an opportunity to be an extra in a couple movies and a cable show. 

What can you tell me about the modeling gig you have coming up in the next couple of weeks?

I’m going to be in the Charlotte Summer Seen Fashion Show representing a swimsuit designer.

Swimsuit in picture is NOT from the Charlotte show or the designer.

What types of acting roles have you had?

I haven’t had any speaking roles yet. I have been a church extra several times for It’s Supernatural a religious cable show. I was a softball extra in a movie this past Spring that was filmed in Charleston SC. My most recent movie set experience was a cheerleader extra in a Clint Eastwood movie filmed in Atlanta GA. I really hope that scene doesn’t get cut 

What did you think of your experience with the film industry, and would you do it again?

Definitely. I love being on the movie set, and the experience I’ve gained as an extra has been amazing. I hope one day, it will lead to something bigger.

Would you like to be on another book cover?

Absolutely. Being part of this book cover has been a fantastic experience and is something I would love to do again. I have a real interest in doing print work, especially formal wear and wedding dresses.

How can other authors contact you if they’d like to discuss using you on their covers?clkblue21@gmail.com or https://www.instagram.com/clkblue21

Thanks so much to you and your mom for working with me on the cover and making Winds of Time my favorite book cover.

Winds of Time

Release Date: June 21, 2018


The past is her future, the future, her past, but can she save an innocent man’s life before history repeats itself? 


As long as Selena Tillman dreams of her ancestor, Mary, who disappeared without a trace in 1871, she’ll never find peace. As long as she dreams of the half-Native American army scout accused of killing Mary, she’ll never find love. Hoping to end the dreams and learn the truth, Selena goes to Texas where Mary and the scout died and sees more than ghosts. She sees a tornado kill Mary in real time before it jumps to the twenty-first century to pull Selena into its vortex and send her back to the nineteenth century. Selena believes she’s fated to prove Dylan’s innocence and save his life, but Dylan isn’t just the man of her dreams; he’s her destiny.

Fed up with the army, bigotry, and women—especially white women, Captain Dylan Casey dedicates himself to solving the mystery of Mary’s disappearance, proving his innocence, and trying to stop a war between the whites and the Indians. Then Mary’s cousin shows up, claiming a tornado killed Mary. Dylan doesn’t trust Selena, but she’s his only ally in Canyon Creek. Yet despite their common goal, growing mutual attraction, and a Comanche shaman’s prophecy of a white woman who will change his destiny and foretell the fate of the Indian Nation, Dylan refuses to take a chance on another spoiled, white woman—until fate changes his mind.


Captain Casey stepped closer and raked his eyes over her, taking in her disheveled appearance. With surprising gentleness, he swept her hair from her forehead. When his fingers touched her flesh, her breath froze in her lungs, and every muscle in her body coiled. Shocked by the electricity in that brief touch, her knees buckled, and she sank back down to the sofa. When he hunkered down in front of her and took her chin in his strong hand, her breath caught in her throat.

“You really are hurt. What happened?” The deep timbre of his softly spoken question was like the man himself—sexy.

She met his probing gaze before lowering her eyes to the floor. “My horse threw me and ran off. I don’t know what spooked him, and I don’t know where he is.”

He rose to his feet and curled his lip. “Where are your trunks?”

“They’re due to arrive from Pecos later this week,” she said, unable to meet his gaze.

“Why would you leave your trunks in Pecos and travel alone on horseback? Why not wait at the hotel for the next stage to Canyon Creek?”

She was nervous enough without him towering over her, so she rose to her feet and forced herself to hold his intimidating gaze. “I felt a lot safer taking my chances on the road dressed as a man than I did staying in some skeezy hotel in Pecos where everyone knew I was a woman traveling alone.”

It was a reasonable explanation. She was wearing jeans in a time when women didn’t even wear slacks, and she had just shown up without taking the stage. He might have actually believed her if it hadn’t been for her modern vernacular.

He raked his eyes over her with a quirked mouth and skeptical lift of his brows. “You couldn’t fool a blind man in those clothes, and no man would wear an undershirt that color. You even smell like a woman,” he added, sniffing the air around her neck. When his nose grazed the tender flesh behind her ear, goose bumps raced down her arms.

Pages: 250

Print ISBN: 978-1-7323904-1-6

Digital ISBN: 978-1-7323904-0-9


Buy Links:

 Universal buy link: https://www.books2read.com/b/mvKKwX

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D989VQJ/ref

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/winds-of-time-lilly-gayle/1128772241;jsessionid

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1388810657

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/winds-of-time-7

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lilly_Gayle_Winds_of_Time?id=BAJeDwAAQBAJ

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40207097-winds-of-time?from_search=true

Contact Information:

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Look for all my books online and in print at your favorite online retailer.

Historical Romances:e

Wholesale Husband

Slightly Tarnished

Slightly Noble

Helpless Hearts

Wilder Hearts

Winds of Time

Paranormal romances:

Out of the Darkness

Embrace the Darkness

Winds of Time