We talk a lot about inspiration and story ideas, where they come from, how we reach our goals as writers, but I’m curious how readers are inspired to pick up books by unknown writers and hope it wasn’t a mistake? Every editor has a different idea about it–some seem to feel the “perfect” blurb or tag is the attraction, others (authors included) feel that the cover is the lure. I know myself I have on more than one occasion been lured by a spectacular cover, only to find a very disappointing book behind it.
I’ve been pretty blessed with the covers of my books, they’ve pretty well all been done by good artists who know what catches the eyes of readers, but also reflects the story within. Some of my favourites have been done by Kayden McLeod, who is truly one of the most talented women I have ever known, everything she touches is a thing of beauty and imagination. (If you have any doubts, look at my website–her work is all over it!)
Apart from snappy, eye-catching covers, I think genre is a huge lure. I pay more attention to books listed in the subgenres I love. For me they tend to run paranormal and historical over contemporary. Anything in the fantasy line is also hugely appealing. If I can get a book that mixes it all into a solid story, I’m a devoted fan for life.
Despite it being the genre of my very first release, and a few of my better works since, it’s been a long time since I released an Historical Western. A couple of weeks back, the newest title on my catalogue signalled my début with Eirelander Publishing. To my happy surprise, it’s also going to herald my first audio release later this month. I can’t wait to hear it myself!
So, what does lure you, the reader, into purchasing that first book by an unknown to you author? What elements are the most important in getting your attention?
Here’s a look at my newest book, and there is a very cool contest happening at the moment, so read to the end!!
RETURN TO LOVE
Genre: Historical Western - sensual romance
COMING SOON in Audio
Blurb: Clay Butler is a man who rules the quiet town of Cedar Springs with an iron will, and a code of honor that defines all he is. But the past haunts him, and the loss of a woman who was his second chance at happiness weighs heavily on his over-burdened mind...
The stage came thundering to a stop a short distance from the Lucky Star Saloon, and the driver, a man called Noah, shouted greetings, his laughter filling the air outside the carriage. Inside, the sole passenger fought down waves of nerve-induced nausea.
Amber Hamilton clutched her stomach for a second, and offered Noah a weak smile when he opened the door and held out his hand to help her to the street. The ground below her feet was hard, still frozen by winter. In a few weeks the road would be a mire of mud.
“Butler’s gonna be a happier man than he’s been lately, once he sees you, Miss Amber.”
Her smile brightened a little and she touched his arm in a gesture of appreciation.
“I hope you’re right, Noah,” she replied, though the knot of apprehension didn’t ease in the slightest.
“I know I am, ma’am,” he said with a grin.
Amber hesitated, stared up at the balcony that ran across the front of the club. Clay’s door should have been open. He should have been perched at the corner, smoking, smiling at the people who populated the busy street. The shutters were still down, and there was stillness about the place that was unnerving.
“He’s not out of town, is he?” Inside, she knew he was only a short distance away; she could feel his presence as keenly as if he stood next to her.
“No, ma’am,” Noah answered, then turned to shout at Walker.
Amber turned as well and saw guarded curiosity in Jesse Walker’s light blue eyes as he halted next to the stage. He hadn’t changed much in the past six months. Walker was still the scruffy, attractive, mysterious, outwardly hard man she’d always felt mildly intimidated by. Yet, there was a peace in his manner that had been absent before. She spotted the silver star pinned to his vest and inquisitiveness all but ran away with her.
“It’s nice to see you again, Mr. Walker.” She smiled. “Sheriff Walker?” she corrected with enough surprise to make it a question. Jenny and Austin had always wanted him to be the Sheriff of the town, he’d never been interested. She admired Jesse, he was one of the few men who challenged Clay, and kept him from crossing lines from which there would be no returning.
“Butler know you’re back?” Walker acknowledged her greeting with a nod of his head, and ignored the query she hadn’t directly made.
* * * CONTEST * * *
I'm holding a fun Post-Halloween contest, and the prize is a lovely ring that is a replica of one featured in the popular TV series THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. The winner will be announced in one week and is open to everyone, so have fun!