Title: Concealed (Hidden #1)
Author: Victoria Michaels
Genre: Romantic Suspense 18+
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Crazy-Bee Press
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Life has been complicated for Sydney Ross. Desperate for a new start, she leaves home but, during her travels, witnesses something that will forever alter the path of her life. On the run for the last six years, Sydney finds herself living the life of a nomad until she one day stumbles into a small town and hopes she's finally found a place to put down roots. With a good job in a local diner and, for the first time ever, friends who feel like family, things start looking up for Sydney. The biggest shock of all is catching the eye of the town’s most eligible bachelor, the sexy sheriff, Wade Jenkins.
Sparks fly between them, and it's not long before Sydney believes Elton, Missouri could be the home she's always wished for. But Sydney's past and her secrets have a way of catching up with her. When a brutal murder shakes the small town, Sydney is terrified that the countdown has begun on her time in Elton.
Have the shadows from her past found her again? The people who mean the most want her to stay, but that would put everyone, including her daughter, at risk. Can Sydney put her faith in Wade or will she keep running from a danger that even she doesn't fully understand?
Books- They all start with a Cover!
Chefs will tell you that ‘we eat with our eyes.’ The very food we find to be visually appealing will taste better and be more enjoyed by those who eat it. What can authors take away from that to help sell books? We are enticed by things that are visually pleasing. If your cover is visually appealing, more people will buy your book.
Don’t believe me?
Go into the book store (or an online bookstore) and pick a section with books in a genre you never read. Then, decide which books look interesting. Knowing nothing about the storyline, or subject matter, more often than not, you are going to pick up books that, on first glance, you are drawn to the cover of. If the cover interests you, you’ll pick it up off the shelf. If you pick it up, then you’ll read the blurb on the back. If you like the blurb, then there’s a good chance you might buy the book. As an author starting out, you have to get you book into a reader’s hand or there’s a 0% chance they will buy it. Like a meal begins at first sight of the food, we begin reading a book on page one which is actually…the cover.
Authors obsess about the opening line of their book, the first page, the first chapter. Grabbing readers is so important that we all spend extra time perfecting that section. But what good does that do if no one is picking up the book to get that far? Covers are meant to draw a reader to the book, they’re the lure. Once it’s in their hand, it’s up to the author to do their job and keep the reader turning the pages. It’s a partnership between author and designer, one that is increasingly important with so many books in the market to choose from.
I can write the books, but my creativity stops there. Imagine a big huge wall about a million feet high and wide that I cannot get past. Visually, to come up with a cover to go with the words I’ve written, I’m useless. It’s so much more complicated than finding a pretty picture or a cool perspective. There’s the imagery, the vibe of the story, the hint of what’s inside- all those things need to be conveyed in one space in addition to the title, author, blurb and price. There’s a whole other level of creativity that goes into cover design so I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who are visual artists.
I’m incredibly lucky to have the same person, the amazingly talented Barbara Hallworth, design the covers of all my books. She had I have been friends for years and we often joke that we share a brain. Our tastes are similar and we both like to do things that are a little different. I wish I could say we have these long conversations and bounce ideas off of one another, but we don’t. I give her the book and she does her magic. It could involve blood, a ritual sacrifice, witchcraft, time travel, or highway robbery… I have no idea how she does it, but it’s always amazing to me. To see her turn my words into a spectacular picture that brings tears to my eyes and makes me grin like a fool. I think Concealed is her best cover yet because it fits the story perfectly. This one has been referred to as ‘art’ by someone and I truly believe it is. It’s beautifully done, has so much there that is subtle but present, and I know that I would definitely pull it off the shelf to check out the blurb on the back.
Book covers, in my opinion, are hugely important- nearly equal to the thousands of words you put inside the book, so make sure that you find someone you relate to, someone who gets you and has the same vision for your books. Everyone’s process from beginning to end on a book is different but I think the main thing to remember is this: If you like a more traditional romance cover, a minimalistic cover, a representational cover—whichever style you prefer—just make sure you find someone who can deliver a gorgeous cover that fits the book. You want your book to be as exciting on the outside as it is on the inside so people will want to find out more.
It all starts with the cover…
motion. Kids’ sports, meetings, homework and general family fun take up twenty-seven hours of her day. In her thirty seconds of free time, Victoria likes to read, write and travel the country with her husband. She most enjoys writing about love and laughter, two things that are central to her everyday life. If you would like to know more about what’s coming next from Victoria, please check back at victoriamichaels.net for updates, news and sneak peeks of future releases.
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