Guest Author & Giveaway: Phoebe Conn

Those of you love historical romance will be familiar with the artist Pino’s wonderfully sensuous covers. He sold romance with great artistic flair. My first Pino cover was for CAPTIVE HEART, a Viking tale with both heartfelt romance and high adventure. He painted a couple in a fiery embrace surrounded by orchids. Yes, orchids. It’s a beautiful cover you’ll find on my website:


I bought the cover from him and it’s hanging in my bedroom. The room is painted a soft mauve to show off the gorgeous painting to the best advantage. If you stand close, you’ll see Pino originally painted a blond man and a brunette. Both the hero and heroine were blond and when Pino arrived at the Kensington offices with the original painting, my editor, Leslie Gelbman, told him to go back to his studio and fix it. He thought it would be easier to change the manuscript. Ms. Gelbman refused. The painting is beautiful, even with the repainted hair and an orchid filled Denmark.

The book was a New York Times bestseller.


I had many Pino covers following CAPTIVE HEART, but it will always be my favorite.

Pino attended Romantic Times conferences so many authors who had his beautiful cover art were able to meet him. He was a very charming man. For a photograph with Kensington authors, Pino told the photographer where to stand and how to adjust the angle for the best photo. Pino passed away in 2010, but his art is featured on his website:


CAPTIVE HEART was such a fun book to write. I’d traveled through Scandinavia and visited wonderful museums with thousand-year-old artifacts that provided excellent details for the story. There is a museum in Oslo with the Oseberg ship found in a burial mound. Vikings believed in an afterlife and needed a ship to continue their adventures. There’s another Viking ship museum in Roskilde, Denmark. In approximately 1070, the five ships were sunk in the harbor to protect the city from invasion. They were excavated in 1962 and are displayed in a stark modern building right on the sea. Standing beside them, I felt an eerie sensation, as though the ships were haunted by the brave men who’d sailed them. I couldn’t wait to get home and begin a book where my hero and heroine sailed in a proud Viking ship bound for adventure and best of all, romance.


I love my new cover for the Samhain’s Retro Release of CAPTIVE HEART. I’ll give an ebook copy, or a print copy (United States only) to someone who comments. I love to hear from fans,

Or visit my website:


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