In Search of a Cover

When I started writing historical fiction set in ancient times and exotic places around the world, I had no idea that I’d be able to embark on so many adventures around the globe to research my books and see amazing sights. My research has taken me to Egypt, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Israel and Jordan, and this past month I revisited many of those beautiful places via a cruise around the eastern Mediterranean.

The trip was partly research and partly an anniversary trip with my husband, and he gamely let me drag him through Rome, Sicily, Athens, Pompeii, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, and Ephesus, not to mention all the photos and he videos he took for me!
But one particular day was extra-special…

My upcoming novel, Isle of Shadows, is set on the Greek island of Rhodes. But as the cover design was coming together, with a beautiful photo of Greece in the background and a model the publisher hired superimposed over the photo, I had a suspicion that the original photo had been taken somewhere on the island of Santorini. And so the hunt began!
From our cruise ship, docked in the middle of Santorini’s caldera (the huge sea-water filled crater that resulted from a volcanic eruption over 3500 years ago), we took a small boat to the shoreline of the island. A cable car took us to the clifftop city of Fira, and my husband and I quickly made our way through the picturesque streets to an ATV-rental store. A few minutes later we were speeding up the rocky coastline, toward the city of Oia on the northern tip of the island. Gorgeous views along the way, but absolutely stunning sights to come when we reached Oia. (Google “Oia, Santorini” and click on Images to see what I mean!)
We wandered up and down streets, winding around whitewashed buildings, blue domes gleaming in the island sun, all the while comparing the vista to the cover of Isle of Shadows.

And then suddenly, there it was!
It took a little positioning to get the angle just right, and some patience while a guy who looked like he had nowhere to go hung around in the picture, smoking his cigarette.  But finally we were able to take some perfect photos. If you look at the background behind me, then at the cover of the book, you’ll see what I mean!
And then, as if the discovery wasn’t perfect enough…  A nearby church started playing some music, and couples began dancing in the courtyard.  I took a 30-second video to capture the moment.

I hope my special memory has given you a taste of this wonderful island! With every story I write, it’s my passion to transport readers to wonderful places.


  • Jan Higley

    I have always wanted to go to Santorini. I think it must be the most beautiful place on earth. The volcano is still active but sleeping. I read that an eruption caused a great tidal wave to decimate Crete and the Minoan civilization. Perhaps a possible story??? I love researching and learning about ancient civilizations.

    May 22, 2013
  • Yes, Jan, Santorini is incredibly beautiful. I’ve been wanting to go back since the moment I left!
    As to the eruption… stay tuned. I have a book in the works about that very event!

    May 24, 2013
  • Taylor

    How beautiful! It is amazing to think of how many people from all over the world and from all over time how walked anole that street and stood in awe of the very same view. It makes one’s imagination fly! :)

    July 15, 2013
  • Jackie Robertson

    What cruise ship did you take? Would you recommend it and the itinerary? I would love to visit these places, and, it seems, that this would be a good and safe way to do this. Thanks.

    January 16, 2015
    • Jackie, we traveled on a Celebrity cruise, and I chose the itinerary because it included so many of my book setting locations. The cruise left from Rome, went to Sicily, Athens, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Ephesus, and Naples (Pompeii). We had an amazing time, and I would highly recommend Celebrity cruise lines.

      January 17, 2015

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