Judging a book by its cover
I think one of the most exciting parts of the publishing process is seeing my cover for the first time. It's always a thrill to see what the artist comes up with based on the write-up I provided them. Do the characters look like I'd envisioned when I wrote the book? Is it sexy, or sassy, or dark or--gulp--dull? We're always dying to have those questions answered, and I have to say that in the case of my April Blaze, I'm thrilled with it for a number of reasons.
For one, yes, these characters look exactly as I'd pictured them in the book. Sticklers for cover characters matching the author's descriptions will be pleased this time around. That sexy stud you see there is most definitely Matt Jacobs, exactly how I'd pictured him and exactly as he's described in the text.
Secondly, I had no idea until seeing the cover that my book had been tagged a "Blush". For those unfamiliar with Blush, it's an imprint within the Blaze line for those books with a lighter feel, a bit of a throwback to Temptation but maintaing the Blaze heat. Some might consider them romantic comedies, or at least leaning in that direction. So as a big fan of lighthearted romances, this was definitely a pleasant surprise.
But for me, the biggest excitement in seeing the cover is the little teaser that's too small to read in this picture. It says, "Cheating on a sex survey.....What's the worst that can happen?"
I have to say, my editors couldn't have summarized the plot any better than that. And ironically, it's exactly the thought that spurred the original idea for the story. You see, I'd been watching those eHarmony commercials on TV forever. You know, the ones with the couples who look absolutely perfect for each other, expressing the joys of finding that soul mate put on this earth only for them? You can tell just by looking at them they'll be together forever. And me, having the sick and sordid mind that I do, kept thinking there was a story in there somewhere--but not the easy bliss they show on TV. No, I couldn't shake the thought of someone cheating on one of those surveys, lying through her teeth about every romantic and sexual preference, who she is and what she loves, then getting stuck with Mr. Wrong.
Of course, no one genuinely looking for Mr. Right would do such a thing, which was the big kink in my idea. I had to come up with a reason someone would A) take the survey, and B) lie when answering the questions. And once I worked out those details, I had a book that was a whole lotta fun to write (muahahahaha).
In 'Putting It To The Test', my characters are asked to fill out a romantic survey in order to win a spot on a hot project at work. And when my heroine gains some inside information about how the results will be tallied, she sets up her survey answers to make herself the guaranteed winner.
Of course, being the winner means she's been matched perfectly to our hero, a coworker whom she not only hates but who is her greatest rival on the job. And now she's got to pretend to be perfect for him to avoid getting caught in her little ruse.
It's the kind of "I Love Lucy", gee-I-never-thought-that-far plot that makes for a really fun read, and I'm thrilled the cover did such a good job portraying that to prospective buyers.
So being that I've brought us to the subject of matchmaking, let me ask this question: Do you think you'd ever look for a soul mate through an on-line matchmaking service? Or have you? I have a friend who found her husband through a matchmaking service, and after a year she still has a smile on her face.
Post your thoughts in the comments and you'll be automatically entered to win a copy of "Putting It To The Test". I'll announce the winner here in the comments Friday morning.
For more on Lori and her latest release, be sure to check out her website and her blog, the Sizzling Pens.