A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

I’ve been writing for more years than I care to remember and, so far, I’ve only had one cover that has reduced me to tears. The story in question was a contemporary romance/saga set on the beautiful Shetland Islands and featured a romance between a doctor and a fisherman who spent days/weeks at a time on a trawler in some of the most dangerous seas in the world. Woven into this was the story of the Shetland Bus – where men risked their lives day after day taking small boats into occupied Norway during the second world war. The cover?

A bimbo holding a red rose? Why???

I’m not particularly pleased with one of the covers for my crime novels, Where Petals Fall. This story opens with the finding of a body in a disused quarry so I can see the logic behind the cover, but I can’t like it. (I loathe the title more – and yes, I chose the thing.)

So when I know that I’ll soon be seeing a new cover for the first time, I worry. Carina Press have given me the best covers ever but still I worry. My luck has to run out some time, yes? Well, it’s not running out just yet. Here’s the cover for my November release.

I asked readers of my blog to tell me what they thought. Everyone loved it and a few said it suggested “gothic horror” to them. I hadn’t thought of that but I can see exactly what they mean.

Me? It’s almost reduced me to tears – of the good sort! I may have said this about the last cover but I believe this is definitely the best cover I’ve ever had.
Here’s the blurb:

Portrait of a mystery

Dylan Scott vowed never to return to the dreary town of Dawson's Clough. But one visit from a beautiful ex-lover and he's back in Lancashire, investigating a possible murder. The police think Prue Murphy died during a burglary gone wrong, but her sister isn't so sure—and neither is Dylan. After all, the killer overlooked the only valuable thing in Prue's flat.

So who could have wanted the quirky young woman dead, and why? Dylan's search for answers takes him to France, where he discovers Prue's family didn't know her as well as they thought they did. And the more he digs, the more secrets he unearths—secrets someone would kill to keep buried…

So what do you think? Mystery? Horror? Gothic horror? 

Writers, have you had a cover that's reduced you to tears? Readers, does a good cover entice you to read? Does a bad cover put you off? 


Maureen A. Miller said...

Another fantastic Dylan cover. Bravo, Carina Press! Bravo, Shirley for writing it!

Your Dylan Scott covers should be framed and over your mantle. :)

Wendy Soliman said...

I think you can definitely judge a book by its cover, so this one should fly off the digital shelves.

Good luck with it.

Shirley Wells said...

Thank you, Miss Maureen, and what a great idea. :)

Thanks, Wendy. We're all so lucky with our Carina covers, aren't we? If only all publishers were as reliable. ;)

Marcelle Dubé said...

It's a gorgeous cover, Shirley, and fits beautifully with the other Dylan covers. Carina does a bang-up job on the covers, don't they?

Shirley Wells said...

Thanks, Marcelle. Carina does an amazing job with our covers. I've yet to see a bad Carina cover - and long may that continue.

Toni Anderson said...

Looks fantastic, Shirley! Mystery for sure. I'd love to read that first story BTW :) just up my street. Is it still available?

Rita said...

Its Bee-u-tee-ful. Congrats and wishing youj many sales

Wynter Daniels said...

I love that cover - very striking! I had one that made me very unhappy, but the publisher fixed it a little by adding an element they's neglected to add. It was a MFM erotica and they forgot the woman, which made it look like a MM book. I know if it had been left with two guys I would have gotten hate mail for misleading the readers!

Anne Marie Becker said...

Love it, Shirley!! So dramatic and eye-catching.

Cathy Perkins said...

Fantastic cover! Really consistent with the other Dylan covers.
It says "mystery" to me.

Mike Keyton said...

"What can I say that's different?" said William the Concurrer. A great cover. And I love covers - an under-rated artform. And yes, that first one that moved you to tears - I reckon they just got the covers mixed up. Probably a Barbara Cartland clone book out there somewhere with a cover showing bullets and corpses against a backdrop of the North sea.

Shirley Wells said...

Don't get too excited, Toni, LOL. It was a serial written for The People's Friend magazine so it's high on morals, low on action and brings a whole new meaning to the word 'sweet'. :) I think there are a few large print copies kicking around, but that's about it. And that's probably not a bad thing...

Shirley Wells said...

Thanks, Rita. It is gorgeous, isn't it. :)

Wynter, that's awful. How could they forget the woman?! Thank goodness they fixed it.

Thanks, Anne Marie.

Cathy, it is consistent, isn't it? I love the way Carina do the series covers.

Mike, I agree about cover art being under-rated. Hmm, I may have to start checking out Barbara Cartland's books and see if 'my' cover is there. :)

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