WELCOME! I’m so happy you found your way here. This weekend, over 40 authors are offering fun, and prizes and lots of sexy spring love in our “Fool for Love” blog hop. If you’ve stumbled upon my blog without finding your way to the “bus”, then click HERE to join in all the fun and see what fun other authors are offering.
Since writers are always looking for the hero that will grab a reader by the heart, I’m wondering what romance hero tugs at your heartstrings every time …
1. Cowboys are one of my favorite heroes. Just a few weeks ago one of those sexy men walked into my dreams and decided perhaps I should write a series set out west. Who doesn’t like a sexy man in a hat and chaps and a reeeeaally slow smile and eyes just for you?
2. And who can resist a man in (or out) of uniform? Like say … a fireman? My vampire firefighter, Reese Colton in SHADOWS OF FIRE is one of those sexy men you want showing up at your house, but not when he’s on duty … maybe just a social call?
3. Oh, yeah … why choose one hero when two can be so much naughtier! I’ve never written a book with twin heroes … but seriously … why not?
4. *sigh* That durn horse of mine is always running off and the neighbor is such a hero for bringing him back. I’m a lucky gal! (Actually, I call that good training!)
5. My favorite hero is that alpha male with soft gooey center only the heroine sees, like Cole Takoda in my SHIFTING BONDS series. This wolf shifter is both the police chief and the keeper of the heroines heart … what more could a woman want? Tattoos are just a nice perk.
6. And this guy is so bad … you know he’s going to be really goooood! That scars tells me he’s wounded and ready for some healing. He reminds me of Dallas Sawyer, the futuristic FBI agent in my sexy ménage A TOUCH OF LILLY
7. When I’m feeling down, I would love to have a musician to sing to me. Damon Corey in BLIND HER WITH BLISS is a concert pianist who pays the bills as a bad boy shock jock. *sigh* Yeah, that’s a lethal combination!
8. And when you’ve had enough of the city, a hero like Nicholas Gradin from DIVINE DECEPTION will take you for a ride on his motorcycle through the vineyards of New York to forget all your troubles.
9. Puh-lease, you didn’t think one of my badboy heroes wouldn’t be wearing a kilt? Have you ever visited my blog?
10. I grew up on the coast of Maine. I love the beach. And a man bare foot and bare chested in just jeans walking at the beach … oh yeah, it makes my knees weak every time! Rainmaker, the FBI agent in my novel IN HIS EYES spends a lot of time hunting down a serial killer on the beach.
11. And then there’s a hero like Jonathon Brierton in MAID FOR MASTER, the real estate magnate who will push you to limits you didn’t think you’d enjoy … 😉
12. What fun is a romance without a hero who makes himself comfortable while he’s waiting for his woman to come home?
Now get out the Windex and paper towels and clean off the monitor and your keyboard. I only offer the eye candy and prizes, you need to clean the drool up off your own chin! LOL!
So what type of romance hero is your can’t-resist-must-read-because-he-makes-your-knees-weak-and-your-heart-race-and-make-you-seek-out-your-man-must-buy-the-book hero? Curious writers want to know.
**** THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED ****
Anyone commenting on this post between now and SUNDAY, APRIL 6 at 4pm EST will be eligible to win a gift pack of goodies including a signed copy of DANGEROUS AFFAIRS. One winner will be chosen at random from the commenters on this post. Thanks so much for visiting! (Shipping to US residents only. An international winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card in lieu of prizes.)
For those of you joining us on our Midsummer Night’s blog hop … Welcome! I hope you’re enjoying yourself as you bump around the internet checking out hot guys and hotter excerpts. *wink* For those of you who have just stumbled here, perhaps you’d like to join in the fun and start HERE (beginning July 19) to find new authors (and all kinds of cool prizes)!
You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about men lately. The heroes of my stories, that is! (Get your naughty minds back here on the blog, ladies. *vbg*) I mean, it’s hard enough finding a name that fits. No one wants a romance hero named Chester or Gerald or Ralph. And names like Raphael and Dominic have a certain ethnic ring to them. The name has to fit who the man is and what he does for a job.
And there’s the rub. It’s tough to find the profession that both fits my hero and my story and is still, well … hero-worthy. In DIVINE DECEPTION, Nicholas Gradin is a chemical engineer. It just seemed to be a natural offshoot of growing up on a vineyard and learning to mix wines. Of course the engineer in and of itself isn’t sexy, so I’ve got him riding a Harley. Yep, that’s a hero I can get behind! *snort*
In SHADOWS OF FIRE Reese Colton is not only a firefighter (How hot is that?), but a vampire as well. *sigh* I love him.
Then there are the professions that just scream I’m an alpha male!. You know those totally take charge men who square off with a feisty heroine and rock her world. Like Aiden the DEA agent in DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE or my police chief, Cole Takoda in BONDED SOULS. Nothing says don’t worry ladies, I have your back (and your front and …) well, like a man who’s protecting others.
So what about you? How do you feel about a romance hero’s profession? Can they make or break a romance story for you? Any certain professions that just make your knees go weak or have you throwing a book against the wall? Inquiring minds want to know.
**** CONTEST NOW CLOSED ****
One random person commenting on this post between now and 4 PM EDT on SUNDAY, JULY 21 will be chosen to receive a $15 gift card from Amazon and a print copy of DANGEROUS AFFAIRS. (Shipping to US residents only. An international winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card only.)
The hero or should I say heroeS in my newest release A TOUCH OF LILLY, are FBI agents looking to take down a nasty assassin who’s been killing off world leaders.
Ex-Chicago detective LILLY D’ANGELO has a secret she doesn’t share with anyone. A master of the one night stand, she’s given up ever finding a soul mate and thrown herself head first into her career. That is, until she captures the wrong alien. Kidnapped and sold into the sex slave trade, she’s shipped into deep space. Barely escaping with her life, Lilly now travels the galaxy working as a bounty hunter using her secret talents to bring down criminals and seeking revenge on the one male who ruined her life.
Agent DALLAS SAWYER works for deep space’s version of the FBI. After a disastrous mission that left several of his team members murdered, a president executed, and Dallas near death, he’s determined to take down the assassin targeting government officials. When a sexy human female gets between him and his goal, Dallas and his alien partner find themselves on the receiving end of a passionate night they won’t soon forget and a proposition that may very well blow up in their faces.
Because in deep space … true love can happen with just a touch.
“I know who Grebetz’s boss is,” Lilly said. Okay, so that might not be the truth. Lilly suspected she’d seen Venair Grebetz’s boss. The hologram of the Braugtot had certainly flustered the otherwise confident Znedu. But if this was a bargaining chip to keep her from QAL headquarters, then she’d go all in.
Dallas walked up to her. “What do you mean you know his boss? Have you been hunting him?”
“She’s lying,” Thaegan said. “The witch is trying to buy some time.”
“Shut up, Thaegan.” Dallas kept his dark eyes focused solely on her. Her stomach did a slow roll that had nothing to do with fear.
“Lilly, tell me exactly what you meant,” Dallas said.
“I haven’t exactly been hunting him.”
“How about if you elaborate.” Dallas dragged the words out slowly.
He reached for the dagger in her hand and she gladly handed it over to him. What Lilly needed was for Dallas to trust her. She no longer wanted to get away from this man, quite the contrary as a matter of fact. It had been so long since a human male had touched her with the passion Dallas had, and Lilly wanted more of that even if Dallas didn’t believe she had control over his desires.
“I’ll tell you only if I still get the bounty for Grebetz,” she said bravely. Even male companionship wouldn’t keep her fed.
“I don’t think you’re in a position to make any kind of deal, Seraphelium,” Thaegan said.
Dallas turned abruptly to his partner. “Damn it, Thaegan, I’m warning you…”
And if you’re not hot enough already, how about a few more professional men to add to your fantasy list (you’re welcome *g*) …
This week before all Hallow’s Eve I wanted to share with you some interesting facts about Halloween. (And don’t mind the sexiness … the guys just haven’t been around for awhile and thought they’d just hang around and visit.)
1. Halloween’s roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their “Druid” religion, November 1st was New Year’s on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st, and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night. (That’s one heck of a party! And after a night like that … it’s the morning after that would bring the walking dead!)
2. The first Halloween celebration in America took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921. (I’m thinking they danced around a bon fire and made sure this guy was around to make sure it all stayed safe.)
3. Druids wore masks on Samhain to protect themselves from goblins, ghosts and evil spirits because it was believed the dead walked the earth. (And I’m thinking a little blindfold on Halloween might be juuuust enough.)
4. Vampire bats are real and they do drink blood. They live in Central and South America and feed on cattle, swine, and horses. Whether there are real human vampires depends on who you talk to. (And if there are vampires and they looked like Alex O’Lauglin … I’d happily let them take a bite out of me!)
5. Halloween’s colors are black and orange. To Pagans, orange represents strength, valor and energy. Black absorbed and banished evil. Non-Pagans viewed orange as the color of autumn and harvest; black as signs of death and malevolence. (Sometimes all you need is black and white.)
6. The original Jack-o-Lanterns were mangel-wurzels, large yellowish beets. According to legend, Jack was a mean spirited Irishman who outsmarted the devil. When Jack died, he was denied entrance to both Heaven and hell. The devil threw him a lump of coal to guide Jack on his eternal earthly journey and he put it in a mangel-wurzel.(Tht’s right sweetie, stay close, I won’t let you get lost in the dark.)
7. In an early form of trick-or-treating, Celts costumed as spirits are believed to have gone from house to house engaging in silly acts in exchange for food and drink. (I wonder what sort of acts this guy is up to?)
8. 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags. (Maybe we should bind his hands to be sure he’s a good boy. 😉 )
9. Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending. Consumers will spend over $2.5 Billion during Halloween. That’s a whole lot of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods. (Pshaw… it’s the margarita mix and salt! Yee Haw!)
10. A man in Rhode Island broke the pumpkin record this year, growing a gourd that weighed 2009 pounds! He smashed the former record of 1818 pounds grown by a couple in Quebec, Canada in 2011. (Yeah, yeah, whatever … how about handling this guy?)
11. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces – enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end. (How about I wrap myself around this man candy just once?)
12. “Witch” comes from the Saxon word meaning “Wicca” which means wise one. Witches were thought to be wise enough to predict the future. (I’d just like this guy to work his magic on me!)
13. The world’s fastest time to carve a pumpkin recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records was 54.72 seconds by Stephen Clarke of the US. (Sorry, Stephen, there’s not one woman walking this earth that thinks 54 seconds is a good time!)
NOTE: No Ouji boards were harmed in the writing of this blog.
Since some of us haven’t seen the yellow orb in the sky for several days and many of you have had too much of it, I thought it would be fun to give you 13 facts about the sun. I added some pictures … I hope you can suffer through them.
1. The surface of the Sun, called the photosphere, is at a temperature of about 5800 K. (But a swim with this guy will certainly cool things off.)
2. The Sun is personified in many mythologies: the Greeks called it Helios and the Romans called it Sol. (And I just call this heavenly.)
3. The Sun’s magnetic field is very strong (by terrestrial standards) and very complicated. Its magnetosphere extends well beyond Pluto. (But can it hold a candle to this guy?)
4. The Sun is by far the largest object in the solar system. It contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System. (I don’t know, this guy seems to be taking up juuuust the right amount of space.)
5. In addition to heat and light, the Sun also emits a low density stream of charged particles (mostly electrons and protons) known as the solar wind. (But he certainly looks like he could protect me from that big, bad wind.)
6. The solar wind has large effects on the tails of comets and even has measurable effects on the trajectories of spacecraft. (And this guy has a measurable effect on my heartrate.)
7. Sunspots are “cool” regions, only 3800 K. They look dark only by comparison with the surrounding regions. (And a little swim with this honey would certainly “cool” me off.)
8. The Sun is, at present, about 70% hydrogen and 28% helium by mass everything else “metals” amounts to less than 2%. This changes slowly over time as the Sun converts hydrogen to helium in its core. (Yeah, yeah, whatever, show me the man candy.)
9. A small region known as the chromosphere lies above the photosphere. (And the region above a man’s hips is known as “the lickable zone”.)
10. The highly rarefied region above the chromosphere, called the corona, extends millions of kilometers into space but is visible only during a total solar eclipse. (And man candy this fine is only visible in the summer.)
11. The solar wind and the much higher energy particles ejected by solar flares can have dramatic effects on the Earth ranging from power line surges to radio interference to the beautiful northern lights. (… to beautiful bodies.)
12. The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. (But still shines brightly on young studs.)
13. The outer layers of the Sun exhibit different rotations, at the equator the surface rotates once every 25.4 days; near the poles it’s as much as 36 days. (I’d like to take a spin with him…)
I’ve been hanging around the internet a few years now. I’ve been hosting people, visiting blogs and just generally making a nuisance of myself. But in the process of all of that running around, I’ve learned a few things about being a gracious guest and I just thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned. (Keep in mind this is faaaar from a complete list and only my perceptions):
1) Be prompt: Regardless of the platform your host uses, it takes time to upload a guest blog. If there are links, bookcovers, and excerpts even more to set it up so it looks appealing. Be sure to get your interview questions or blog post to the host at least a week prior to your visit. Everyone is busy. When you do this you respect the host’s time.
2) Be yourself: Whether you’re answering interview questions or offering a guest blog the visitors want to get a feeling for who you are. If you have a snarky sense of humor, let it shine through in your answers. If you have an interesting day job that lead you to the world of publishing be sure to share that. Readers of blogs are interested in the little details of your life they may not know. That being said …
3) It’s not all about you: Okay, what I mean is … it’s not all about selling your book. Readers get really tired of the “ME ME ME ME, BUY MY BOOK” posts. Engage the reader. Talk about an interesting antecdote or how your character screamed at you the whole time you were writing the book. Visitors are more likely to be intrigued by personal facts rather than the buy link. Why would anyone want to comment on a book cover, blurb and excerpt? Ask them something. Remember, this is about engaging visitors in conversation. They want to like you and talk to you. Give them something to chat with you about.
4) Hosts are busy too: I’ve had guests that were so excited about a blog tour that they sent me daily emails with DETAILED instructions of what they expected me to do for them including running their contest. Ummm … no. I’ve offered a corner of the internet and hopefully introduced new readers to their book. Other than being available to interact with visitors, I don’t have time to babysit a guest blog. This goes back to #1 … respect your hosts time and efforts. I will promote you and your post, but in turn, I want you to promote my blog.
5) Don’t abandon ship!: A guest blog isn’t a lone post just hanging out by itself. Commenters want to know someone’s actually there and they’re not talking out into the cyber universe. Make time at least twice (if you can) to visit and respond to commenters. If your day job or other obligations makes that impossible, take time to visit at the end of the day and respond. Remember, it’s about making connections with new readers.
6) Engage the Readers: When you write your post try to leave it hanging. Ask a question of the readers at the end of your post or make a statement that visitors can comment on. It keeps them from visiting without taking time to comment.
7) To giveaway or Not giveaway: It’s always difficult to decide whether you want to give a gift to commenters. Readers love to receive gifts from authors, but sometimes it’s cost prohibitive to offer a prize to each blog in a blog tour. Try offering something from all the commenters of ALL the blogs you visit? I’ve found this to work very well. But remember, readers don’t always need prizes and big giveaways, your interesting post and an intriguing excerpt are enough to make their day.
I love introducing people to writers they may have never met. I love going out and visiting other blogs to meet new people. This list isn’t complete by any stretch of the imagination. I’d love to hear what intrigues you? And what drives you completely insane when you’re reading a guest blog or interview. Because you know me … I’m always looking to improve my blog. 😉
And it’s been awhile since I’ve had a sexy guest, so I in honor of beach weather arriving a little early, I thought I’d share…enjoy your weekend!
Today I’m hanging out over at MELISSA SCHROEDER chatting about Love at First Sight, believe it or not? I hope you’ll stop over and share your stories and thoughts.
I’m actually recycling one of my favorite posts from last year. Not only because it got a lot of reaction and started some great discussions, but because I just don’t have the energy to pull something new and exciting from the well today. The Pierce house has been thrown a major curve ball and we’re kind of reeling from the impact not sure what’s going to happen next. Add to the fact that I’m trying to push through the edits of the third book in the Tilling Passions series and I’m just a little overwhelmed. Don’t worry, I’ll be back on my feet by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, please enjoy the post and all my Friday eye candy!
Okay I’m going to admit it. I LOVE the male torso. There is nothing sexier than those deep ridges accenting a sculpted abdomen. Can’t you just imagine running your hands over all the warm skin or better yet…licking along every rise and fall?
Well maybe it’s just me and maybe it’s because I’ve become rather fanatical about the male torso since I started writing. (That’s my excuse. Actually I grew up on a beach and my fondness for the shirtless male came at a very young age…but I digress.) In my stories I don’t have the luxury of a picture to show the detail. It’s the description that drops the reader into the arms of my hunky heroes. The words that create the visual stimulus that makes a reader sigh with satisfaction. I know you’re thinking “well DUH, way to state the obvious Nina”.
But here’s my confession as I’ve gotten older it seems I’m moving farther in age from those really hunky young guys that totally make me drool. But I’m okay with that. It seems though many around me aren’t. Some get squicked out with the whole “he’s too young for me” thing. Well, yeah, that’s true. But I’m not talking about sleeping with the guy, just admiring him. Beauty is ageless in my opinion. And a great work of art whether it’s a brand new painting or a classic by Renoir should be enjoyed at any age.
I do have the added curiosity of REALLY looking at men (and women) now to see the subtle nuances of an alluring body. It gets kind of boring (for me and the reader) to paint every man or woman with the same broad brush strokes of the cliched descriptions. It’s the newness, the fresh angle that keeps the words flowing for me and (hopefully) the pages turning for the reader. So I stare and I admire.
That’s just how I see it. It has nothing to do with the young man’s age or whether it’s appropriate for me to be with him. It’s about the beauty of the package. (Okay … now YOU need to get your mind out of his pants and back to his chest.) I meant the WHOLE package. Is it really so wrong to outwordly admire someone who is the same age as your children? Or am I way off base here?
I’d love to know how you see it. And while we’re at it … what part of the anatomy catches your attention?
Welcome one and all. This weekend I’m doing something a little bit different. I’m participating in a blog hop with all kinds of authors offering all kinds of prizes. If you happened upon my blog first, please do start HERE and join in on the fun to be eligible to win a Kindle 4!
I have no doubt this tooshie is popular on our hop today. But isn’t he worth another look?
Ah hem, okay, back to our regularly scheduled tour … Participants were offered the opportunity to “roll” a scene generator and challenged to use the words offered in one scene. Of course working it into a Halloween theme gets me extra points. (I totally made that up! *vbg*) But here are my characters: VETERINARIAN, DEMON, BOUNTY HUNTER and I somehow I had to incorporate the personality traits SMUG, OBSESSIVE, SHIFTY and it all had to take place in a SALON. LOL! I’m always up for a good challenge. Leave me a comment to know what you think and you’ll be entered to win a set of my romance trading cards(which you can check out HERE) and an ebook of BLIND HER WITH BLISS, the first book in my Tilling Passions series.
Please enjoy my story …
I slammed into the salon, the cheery bells announcing my arrival.
The day had dawned way too early after a night that had ended way too late. But calves didn’t arrive at the convenience of veterinarians. It felt like I’d no sooner fallen exhausted into bed when the alarm screamed at me to begin another day at my practice. I’d started my morning under a cold spray of water from a water heater my landlord had yet to fix. Add the burned toast and grinds in my watery coffee and I’d barely been coherent enough to change the flat tire I’d no doubt acquired at Old Man Corey’s farm the previous night.
“What the hell, Delanie Shepherd? You look like something one of your horses trampled. And I wouldn’t call a flannel shirt and jeans much of a costume.” My best friend, Peggy sauntered out of the back room, the sexy demon costume hugging her curves, reminding me I’d forgotten to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters who would be knocking at my door tonight.
“Don’t give me a hard time. I’ve had a crappy morning and I’m already running late. I told you I’d pick up little Oliver on my way to the office.”
“Of course I remembered. I’ve got my little guy. We’ve done some special bonding this morning commiserating about his surgery.” Peggy was obsessive about her ten cats. As responsible as she was, she always felt neutering was cruel form of toruture. “Why don’t you give me thirty minutes to work at trying to give that hair of yours a little style and maybe find you a sexy doctor’s costume you can wear for the day?”
The bell over the door rang.
“No time this morning. I’ve got shots to give and testicles to remove. Busy. Busy.”
“Ouch! I’m glad I’m not one of your patients.”
A low groan rumbled in my chest. That toe-curling Irish accent could belong to only one man. So not who I wanted to run into after I’d barely gotten two hours of sleep. But I pasted on my best I don’t care smile and turned to find Heath McTabbit in all his six-foot-something-mouth-watering glory standing there in a Hans Solo getup. The Bounty Hunter costume made the local pediatrician appear even more dangerous. The smile he flashed seemed to reach down and grab the pit of my stomach, pulling it into a hot lump in my throat.
“Are you emasculating all males you come across today or targeting specific ones?” he asked.
“Only males with shifty eyes who have no control over the libidos.” I shot back.
“Dr. Heath,” Peggy cried. “I’m so glad you could stop by this morning to pick up our basket of goodies for the children’s party this afternoon. Let me get that for you.” Peggy disappeared into the back room.
I rolled my eyes at my dear friend’s obvious attempt at matchmaking. Happily married, Peggy hated that I hadn’t found my Prince Charming. “I think Peggy’s arranging more than hair today.”
Heath stepped closer to me, the heat of his body buffeting me through the thin flannel of my shirt. The fresh scent of his cologne assaulted my nose, making my knees go weak. “I for one am glad she did. You seem to avoid me every time we’re in the same room.”
I backed up, only to find he’d trapped me between the free standing hair dryer and the wall of his body. My heart hammered in my chest and I suspected by the way his gaze dropped to my throat that he could see how he affected me. “That’s not true. I do not avoid you. I’m just…a busy woman.” A lie. There was something about my younger brother’s best friend that I found unsettling. Heath McTabbit never missed an opportunity to single me out at parties. But our five year age difference made me feel awkward and uncomfortable. In our small town, I had no desire to be the grist for the rumor mill that never stopped.
He toyed with my hair, his mesmerizing blue eyes raking my face. “Prove it. Find some sexy costume and join me at the Halloween dance tonight.”
“Heath…” I dragged his name over my tongue, trying to make my lips form the word no even as my head screamed yes.
“Stop worrying about other people, Delanie. Don’t think what’s right. Think about this.” His mouth came down hard on mine, not some soft exploration, but a full on assault that had my eyes falling shut and overwhelming me with the dizzying softness of his lips. He tasted and nipped before slowly easing back enough to talk, his breath feathering over my swollen mouth. “Say yes, Delanie.”
My lids fluttered open, my mind overwhelmed by his heat. His taste. His smell. “Yes, Delanie.”
The smug smile lighting his face, stole what little breath I had left. “Then it’s a date,” he said dangerously quiet in that Irish brogue that promised wicked tricks and sinful treats.
Peggy’s squeeing brought me back down to reality. “Well it’s about time you two figured this thing out.” She held up a basket of cookies and the cat carrier.
Peggy may have been wearing the demon costume, but when Heath winked, I was sure I’d just made a date with the devil.
Enjoy the rest of your blog tour!
**** CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNERS ****
(Blind Her With Bliss and Romance Trading Cards)
(A set of Romance Trading Cards)
**** CONGRATULATIONS TO BLOG HOP PRIZE WINNERS ****
DJ – Grand Prize of the Kindle
Jessica Sutton – Winner of my “Bonded Souls”
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYONE WHO JOINED IN THE FUN!
I know it’s a little early for Easter, but I’m in the middle of setting up a blog tour and trying to buy a house. To say I’m feeling overwhelmed is an understatement. So I just thought I’d find some happy man “candy” to lift my spirits. I hope you enjoy.
*sigh* I don’t know about you, but my world has come back into alignment. Yeah, I’m shallow, but on days like this, looking at all the lovely man flesh … I’m not ashamed to admit it. Hope you all have a wonderful day.
These pictures have been purchased through iStockphotos and Fotolia. Please respect the copyrights of the photographer.
When readers are asked what first stops them and makes them pick up a book, 95% of them will say the cover. (Okay, so that’s not an actual statistic, but you get the idea that it’s most people.) So it’s no wonder authors are always anxious for the day the art department sends the cover for a new story. I have to say I’ve been really blessed with some awesome covers.
Healer’s Garden was my first ever cover and I cried when the image on the left arrived in my mailbox. (EC redid the cover with the image on the right when it was released through them in 2010.)
Then came the three Tilling Passions covers (currently not available)…
The cover artist and I worked for a couple of days to get those covers just right. The feel. The symbols. The couples. All of it came together to create the right mood for those books.
And so it’s gone for each of my stories. You can see all my covers to the right and each one was created to entice the reader to take a closer look. Now, as much as I feel very blessed by the cover Gods, no cover (with the exception of my first) has moved me to tears with the exception of …
The cover artist, Reese Dante, read every detail of my character and setting descriptions (right down to the scar on Dallas’ face) and totally captured my story. (This cover is an Ariana Cover Award finalist. I’m squeeing happy!) But okay, what’s this got to do with cover models?
Well … the image on the left, of my hero Dallas, is the cover model SAM BOND. I didn’t know this until a few days ago when Renee Vincent posted an interview of this man. (Along with some drool-worthy pictures … go on … check them out … I’ll wait a minute or two or three …)
Sam seems like a wonderful guy. But here’s the interesting thing for me. I’ve had pictures of “Dallas Sawyer” on my computer all during the writing of “A Touch of Lilly”. Every time Dallas did something a romance hero should do, I fell a little more in love with him. So it’s no wonder when I saw Sam’s picture that those feelings all come rushing back.
I know Sam is not Dallas. I’m not daft. (Well, about that anyway.) But the visual creates such a visceral response for me. Sam’s picture immediately throws me back into the story and the feelings his character evokes. And from some of the comments, I suspect I’m not the only one. Sam is really a great guy (and totally in love with his girlfriend, Emily), but I wonder if he really has any idea the impact his image has on readers and authors.
I don’t know, maybe I’m way out there. Perhaps my visual sense has overcome my common sense. So I’m curious … how do you see this whole thing. Book cover and cover model? Am I living in my own little fantasy world? Am I the only one affected by photos? Because you know me … I’m kinda curious that way.
And just in case you needed another stimulus, here’s a picture of Sam I lifted from his website. I hope he doesn’t mind. 😉