Monday, February 28, 2011

Judge a Book by the Cover with Guest Blogger Luxie Ryder

Win a copy of Worth Dying For and meet author Luxie Ryder today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

Do Authors judge their own book by the cover?

Recently, I've been talking to a lot of other authors about the e-book covers being produced by some of the newer e-publishers I work with. Everyone I speak to is so impressed. The designs are simple but stunning and, for me at least, sum up the feel of the stories within so well. I've had a few of covers in the past from some other artists that I loved as much but then again, I've had others I can barely stand to look at, which leads me to wonder - what is it that makes me either love or hate a cover?

I worked with a publisher once when writing under a different alias (no names mentioned for obvious reasons) and I know from experience that a disappointing cover changes the way I feel about the story. The quality of the art work is far more important to me than the images used, because I guess nobody was ever going to 'see' the characters the same way I did.

But for me, if a cover looks cheap and tacky, it's like I've been sent out into the world wearing my best dress, but with the hem tucked into the back of my knickers, or with toilet roll stuck on the bottom of my shoe. It's not a big deal but it's not quite the image I wanted to project.

I don't have an agent so the covers of my books speak for me, not just the story. They are my representatives in places I cannot be. They are my pimps. I want them to make a good impression and put my best foot forward in my absence. A tacky cover makes your book seem a little bit Megan Fox when what you were going for was Angelina Jolie.

But on the other hand, at least a dodgy cover isn't 'all fur coat and no knickers', as my old mum would say! If I have a cover that I absolutely love, then I begin to worry that the reader might be disappointed if the story doesn't live up to the glorious images seducing them into making the purchase.

I have the world of respect for cover artists. I wouldn't want the responsibility of trying to create images that work for the author, the publisher and the public. That's why my preference is for the kind of covers where you don't always see the models faces - although I don't mind looking at the gorgeous Jimmy Thomas all day long!

I can't remember how many times I have been reading someone else's novel and the image on the cover doesn't match the picture I have in my mind. So is that proof that any concerns I have about getting a perfect cover image are wasted, because the reader is just going to let their imagination take flight and conjure up the type of hero they prefer anyway, as I often do?

I wonder if cover artists are wracked with the same self doubt as the authors they design for. If so, it's a miracle that any books ever get released!

So what do you think?

A Note from the Book Boost: Luxie, you are a riot! Your post was so much fun and made me laugh out loud. I love the analogy you used when describing our covers as the clothes we wear as authors. Great stuff! Thanks for joining us today and please tell us more about your book.


Is a vampire's love worth dying for?

Malachi Bane had been condemned to live forever without the woman he would love until the day he died. He waits out eternity in isolation, on a small island in the Maine Archipelago. When a visiting couple threatens his peaceful existence, Bane prepares to kill them if he has to, in order to defend his home and protect his privacy. Instead, he is compelled to save the life of the woman he has become strangely fascinated with, not realising the consequences of his actions at first.

Amber Kirkwood isn't impressed by Bane's macho attitude and has no idea how she got embroiled in the mess her life has become. Her rescue from the island and subsequent arrest for her colleague David's unexplained death, sets off a chain of events she has no control over and no desire to be a part of. On top of that, she is then kidnapped by Bane and held hostage so he can protect her from Katerina, the vengeful female who created him and has never forgiven him for leaving her.

When the physical and emotional bonds begin to grow between the unlikely couple, Bane longs to 'change' Amber, in order to save her life and keep her with him forever. But she fears for her immortal soul and, with so much at stake, Amber can't be sure that what she feels for Bane truly is worth dying for.


Amber’s mind had stopped automatically rejecting every new thing it was being forced to deal with.

Travelling at speed across the gulf in a small inflatable boat—propelled only by the power of a superhuman being—was insane
enough. She laughed, then cried, then laughed again as she watched his huge arms powering through the water, the moonlight glistening along his wet skin the only reason she could see him at all. The motion forced her to relax and the gentle sway of the dinghy as it glided almost silently across the ocean lulled her to sleep.

Bane apologised when he woke her up and, despite her protests, refused to let her walk. The terrain they encountered
minutes later would have been impassable even in daylight and she found herself admitting that he’d been right to insist on carrying her on his back again.

A fog had rolled over the hillsides, smothering the ground. It swirled around Bane’s feet and rolled up towards her,
evaporating against the heat of her legs and leaving small drops of water instead to soak into her clothing. The trees around them frightened her, seeming like dark, hulking shadows waiting to attack. Amber closed her eyes and clung on tighter. Every night she’d ever spent on this island had terrified her.

The mist cleared higher up the mountain, disappearing altogether by the time they reached a dense patch of trees covering
the entrance to a cave. The foliage rendered the opening invisible from only a few feet away. Bane carried her to the lip and she clutched at him in fear. The mouth of the cave looked dark and bottomless and Amber tensed as he walked towards the edge without hesitation.

“You’re safe,” he said, as if sensing how afraid the idea of going in there with him made her.

“You’ll like it inside. I

He stepped off into the void. She screamed and clutched at his shoulders, squeezing her eyes tight shut. A gentle bouncy
feeling told her they had landed seconds before he put her down in the darkness.

Amber suddenly knew what it would feel like to be deaf, blind and vulnerable as she waited in the pitch black. An overhead
light came on without warning, causing her to scream again. Bane stepped away from her, a frown on his face as he rubbed his ear.

“I’ve got really sensitive hearing,” he said when he caught her looking at him. “If you can help it, try not to scream in
here. The sound is intensified and it’s agony for me.”

So, he had a weakness. Amber couldn’t help but relish the fact. She stored the information away for future use, empowered
by the knowledge. Bane’s quiet laughter drew her attention back to him.

“I said it was agony, not that I couldn’t tolerate it, so you can forget whatever you are thinking behind those pretty
green eyes of yours.”

The urge to hit him almost overwhelmed her.

Smug…arrogant…domineering. The words raced through her head and she bit her lip
against the desire to scream them at him for as long and as loud as she could. Let him be the victim for a change. Let him wish someone gave a damn about how he felt. But he walked away, forcing her to forget the pathetic mutiny she was planning and follow him through a narrow corridor into the living area.

“Wow. Where’s Ursula Andress?” she muttered under her breath, smothering a laugh when what looked like a secret,
underground lair from a James Bond movie came into view.

The centre of the cave rose cathedral like above the modern, sparsely furnished living area. A couple of leather sofas
lined the walls and an entertainment centre with a large flat screen TV dominated another.

The opposite side of the room
had been turned into an enormous storage space filled with thousands of books. Amber estimated it had to be twenty feet tall by almost as wide, with shelves carved out of the rock face.

“Sit down.” He didn’t wait for her reply and gave her a gentle shove.

“This is crazy.”

“What did you expect?”

“I don’t know. Bearskin rugs and a log cabin, I guess.”

Bane snorted. “Like some kind of savage, I suppose?”

Want More Luxie?

Visit her website here:

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Contest Time:

Visit Luxie's website here ( and send a message, question or comment using the contact form. The fifth person to comply will be the winner!

**Winners for Book Boost February prizes are drawn the first week of March and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

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