Everyone knows how important it is to get the book cover right. After seeing my book come up on Amazon alongside its contemporaries, the one thing I noticed was the other books shouted romance or chicklit loud and clear yet mine seemed not to be shouting but more talking quietly. The title, of course, indicates it’s a romance but when flicking through thumbnails on Amazon etc, the title is not often the first thing that grabs the attention of a potential reader, it’s the cover.
Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphics designed my first cover, under my brief of ’nothing too girly, fluffy or pink’ – well, she took that on board and together we agreed on a cover that was very much ‘me’. The Texan flag design on a stable door, with the star being replaced by a heart. However, on reflection, it didn’t say a whole lot else about my book.
So in an effort to give more of a flavour of the story, ie. a woman at work, a bistro/restaurant, an American influence and a hint of Texas, I cobbled together a very poor Power Point representation – no, I’m not going to show you. Oh, all right then I will and, yes, you can laugh at my graphic design skills ..
That is what Cathy had to work with and the words ‘girly, pink and fluffy’ featured highly this time. Cathy did a great job and this was the first version.
We decided that the cursive script would be hard to read on a thumbnail, especially with my surname which, although an everyday name in France, isn’t particularly common in the UK. We made the pot plants smaller so they didn’t intrude, added the stars and stripes on the blinds, restricted it to three colours and added a border so that on a white background the cover didn’t just merge in.
Although I am sad to say goodbye to my much loved original cover, I do think the objective has been achieved as there is no mistaking the genre of my book now and I have a theme I can take forward for future novels.
Just a quick round up of where I’m blogging/posting today and anything else that might be of interest
Today I’m over at the Love A Happy Ending Lifestyle Magazine talking about Clothkits and sewing.
There are lots of great articles at the Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine ranging from travel and gardening to chickens and traditions, with everything in between. Well worth a look.
I have a mini blog at Love A Happy Ending Bookshelf where I’ve popped a post up.
I received a lovely review of my book, United State of Love, from BestChickLit yesterday.
I’ve sent a couple of books off to The Bookstop Cafe in Lincoln who are opening their book/coffee shop this weekend and are keen to support Indie authors. Good luck to them!
At The Romaniacs‘ blog, we have Pauline Barclay talking about her latest novel, Storm Clouds Gathering.
And this evening I’m off to a talk from Chichester Copywriter about publishing.
Have a good week!
Author David Baldacci, 52, has written 26 best-selling thriller novels with help from pals in the US Secret Service. His latest, The Hit, is out now
What’s The Hit about? It’s about a government assassin who has been tasked with tracking down a colleague who has started to kill members of her own agency. Then he starts to wonder why she’s killing these people – is she on the side of right?
I have always enjoyed Christina Courtenay’s books and this one was no exception. An adventure across continents, where different cultures meet, we follow Midori and Nico as they set sail from Japan to England.
Midori was a great character with mixed heritage, a Japanese father and an English mother, she could wield a sword as good as any man, if not better. She was fiercely independent and determined to deal honourably with the situation that forced her to escape from her beloved Japan and seek refuge with her English family in Plymouth.
Nico, captain of the ship that carried Midori to England, was simply delicious. A true leader, strong and well respected, fair and with a gentler side when needed. His meeting with Midori presented itself with all sorts of problems from the start and took him not only to physical places he had no intention of going, but to emotional places which he had long since buried.
Set in the 1600′s, with the English Civil War as a backdrop, there was lots of action and adventure in this book, together with a healthy dose of romance, I really enjoyed spending time with these characters.
How do you start a new life, leaving behind all you love?
It’s 1641, and when Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord, is told she has to leave Japan or die, she has no choice but to flee to England. Midori is trained in the arts of war, but is that enough to help her survive a journey, with a lecherous crew and an attractive captain she doesn’t trust?
Having come to Nagasaki to trade, the last thing Captain Nico Noordholt wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one. How can he protect her from his crew when he can’t keep his own eyes off her?
During their journey, Nico and Midori form a tentative bond, but they both have secrets that can change everything. When they arrive in England, a civil war is brewing, and only by standing together can they hope to survive…
Twitter : @PiaCCourtenay
Publishers : ChocLitUK
With a slight shift in sub-genre from romance to romantic suspense, Mandy Baggot’s books get stronger and stronger. This is probably my favourite one to date.
We meet Autumn Raine, singing superstar and she is not instantly likeable, coming across as spoilt and self-obsessed. However, gradually the walls come down and you get to know the real woman underneath who is both vulnerable and determined at the same time. Underneath the celebrity exterior, there is a genuine likeable person. She’s had a lot of emotional obstacles to overcome and has not always had the best advice. Now she’s up against the biggest challenge yet with her life in danger.
Cue mean and moody, northern bodyguard, Nathan Regan. He doesn’t change his attitude or his mind for anyone, that is until he comes up against Autumn Raine . As if outwitting kidnap plots and extremists isn’t enough for one guy, he also has demons of his own to battle at the same time.
With unexpected twists in the plot, Security, has suspense and tension all the way through, together with some great chemistry and tough romance, this really is my sort of book.
Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.
Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?
As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?
Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?
As part of of the Security launch, Mandy is having a giveaway. Anyone who posts a review on Amazon up until the end of May can enter into the Rafflecopter draw to win a £25/$40 Amazon gift certificate. You will be able to enter via this link:
About the Author
Mandy Baggot brings you award-winning fiction! In 2012 she won the coveted Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her novel Strings Attached was also short listed for Best Author Published Read!.
Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US
publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube – check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man.
Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.
You can find out more on Mandy’s website
or check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing
This visit was arranged by
I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Wyer last year at the Bedford Festival of Romance and what a whirlwind of a lady she is!
Anyway, I’m giving my blog over to Carol today as she launches her Surfing in Stilettos novel
He who laughs…lasts
My mother who is a chain-smoking, party-loving octogenarian has a lot to answer for. I have finally worked out that she is to blame for my irrepressible sense of humour. It is thanks to her that I find almost anything amusing.
Yesterday, my very own grumpy old man and I were headed for the shops, when we noticed a sign near the town that read ‘Resurfacing Works. Starting April 2nd’. Given that the grumpy one has complained about this stretch of road every time we travel it (which is at least three times a week) for the last six, yes, six years, I thought he would be delighted to learn that the road is finally to be resurfaced. Alas, no. He fell into an even bigger funk than usual. Why? The repairs are going to take four months to complete. He then spent the next few hours complaining about the inefficiency of our workforce, the diabolical states of the roads and potholes. He moaned so much he hadn’t worked out that I had, in fact put on my iPod, and was drowning him out with The Killers, all six albums that I have on my iPod for such occasions. For some childish reason, the more he complained, the more I wanted to laugh at him. It was just so funny to see him beetroot red and almost exploding with annoyance.
I told my mum about it and she too fell about laughing. “Only in the UK could a tiny piece of road take four months to repair,” she chuckled, gleefully glugging back a glass of wine. “It’ll take them a week to set out all the cones and find the traffic lights, and then they’ll need a few more days off because it’ll no doubt rain.” She sniggered and took a long drag of her cigarette and giggled some more. “I might drive by. I could do with cheering myself up leering at some workmen, and making them nervous as I keep going backwards and forwards through road works, waving at them as I go.” That’s her answer to everything. See the funny side of it. I’m not saying that she doesn’t find some things difficult, of course she does. When she fell off her high-heels running for a taxi and broke her hip, it wasn’t amusing at all, but she got over the weeks of pain by watching comedies on television and reading books by Terry Pratchett. She has taught me that finding amusing things in life can see you through the harder times.
I like to practice what I preach, and if I am not out giving talks on ‘ageing disgracefully’ to WI meetings, or ‘The Importance of Laughter’, then you’ll find me writing articles and books that will hopefully help someone feel better about life. The more I write, the funnier I seem to find things, especially the ridiculous things in life that can drag us down. Discovering you have lost all the hairs in your left eyebrow but are now sprouting a fine moustache can knock your confidence. Better to just shrug your shoulders, and distract yourself with some loud music, comedies and a large bag of wine gums.
If you feel a little low and you are struggling with life then take a dose of humour medicine. Put on some seventies music, have a little dance round the kitchen and then either watch a funny DVD or read a light-hearted book. You’ll soon find you feel better, have a smile on your face and will be singing along to ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’
You can find out more about Carol and her books on her webside www.carolewyer.co.uk
This book tour was arranged by Fiction Addiction Book Tours, to find out more, click on the image below.