Today my Writing; The Alphabet series continues with 'C' is for Covers and my guest to discuss the issue is Julie Shelton.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD BOOK COVER
“You can’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s an old saying that has never been more true than today. Since most people DO judge a book by its cover, that’s the reason covers are so crucial in today’s world of ebooks, where they are competing with literally thousands of other ebooks in the same genre. In the world of fiction, there are two kinds of covers. The ones that tell you nothing but the title, as with Stieg Larsson’s books, and the illustrated ones that give you at least some information about what is inside the book. Larsson’s titles are intriguing enough that you pick up his books, ready to embark on the journey inside, without knowing anything except the title. You are trusting that he will provide you with enough information in his story for your imagination to take over and fill in the details.
I write romance novels and I believe these covers need to provide a little more information than just the title. A little more incentive for the reader to pick it up and find out what’s inside. Take the cover to my first book, Loving Sarah. The cover tells you that three people are involved in this romance, two men and a woman. You know what the characters inside the book look like, one man has short, dark hair, the other is blond, the woman has long, dark hair. The interaction among the three people on the cover is sensual, sweet, loving. They are totally absorbed in each other, discovering each other. Yet, you know from this photo that the emotions they’re feeling are powerful. If you’re looking for an emotionally wrenching read, then Loving Sarah, will not disappoint.
When I received the cover photo for Owning Sarah, the sequel to Loving Sarah, I was disappointed. While the same three models had been used, the woman’s make-up was so thick and heavy, it looked like it had been done by Sherwin-Williams instead of Revlon. It aged her thirty years. In addition, instead of flowing long hair, they had her in a wig that was a mass of curls. She looked like a hooker. I sent it back to Siren outlining my grievances and they sent a replacement cover photo, the one that’s on the book today. Look how tightly they’re holding each other. This pose is much more dramatic and intense, letting you, the reader, know that their relationship has deepened and that they are desperate to prevent outside forces from trying to tear them apart. Again, when you read the story, you will not be disappointed.
In the cover to Keeping Sarah, you will notice that the three are all facing toward the reader, presenting a united front that will stand them in good stead during the course of this new book. Considering that Keeping Sarah embroils them in an Albanian blood feud, a near-massacre at a BDSM club, a sex slave auction, betrayal, danger, and intrigue, as well as some hot M/M action between the two heroes, I think the pose works well.
Watch this space on for a steamy excerpt, interviews and other goodies from not only Keeping Sarah, but also Loving Sarah and Owning Sarah as well. Happy reading!
Recent Releases from Julie SheltonCOVER BLURB FOR LOVING SARAH
Eight years ago Jesse Colter fled his small town, leaving behind eighteen-year-old Sarah Marshall, broken-hearted and devastated. Now a retired Navy SEAL, he’s back and he wants only one thing—Sarah Marshall—preferably bound, naked, and on her knees before him.
She has never forgotten Jesse. He’s been the object of all her sexual fantasies since she was fifteen, as well as the star of nightly dreams that have become increasingly erotic over the years. So when he suddenly reappears in her life, she is torn. Can she trust him not to hurt her, or will he once again break her heart? Warily, she agrees to let him introduce her to his world—the world of bondage, Domination, and erotic slavery. When he also introduces her to his best friend, Adam Sinclair, Sarah faces a daunting future of sexual submission to two powerful alpha males.
But Sarah faces an even bigger challenge. Someone is stalking her. Is it the old enemy who’s just been released from prison? Or is it someone else from her past who is determined to destroy any chance she has at happiness? Can Adam’s and Jesse’s love protect her? Or will her world explode in a cataclysm of betrayal and violence that will destroy them all?
LOVING SARAH -- ADULT EXCERPT
“Greedy little sub,” Adam chuckled. He manipulated her slick, swollen pussy lips, sliding them back and forth until one of the frozen red grapes popped from its dewy prison. It sat, glistening lewdly, nestled between her sopping wet lips like some obscene sex organ. “Do not come,” he instructed quietly, working his tongue beneath the grape and sliding it all the way up her slit. He flicked it rapidly across her frazzled clit before pulling the small fruit into his mouth and chewing noisily.
She was gasping like a beached fish, desperately trying to hold off her climax.
“Do not come,” he repeated, squeezing another grape free and looking at it for a long moment before taking it into his mouth. “God, you taste delicious,” he murmured, sliding his tongue back and forth along the length of her slit, just barely touching that nerve-ridden nubbin of flesh that was the center of both her pleasure and her torment. “Like sunshine and flowers and sweet, sweet cream.”
She lay there, shuddering and twitching as he tunneled his tongue into the depths of her
cunt, releasing two more grapes and sending her body spiraling up, up, up toward the orgasm that hovered so tantalizingly out of reach. The orgasm she so desperately craved, yet knew she must not have. The one she fought with every trembling muscle in her body.
Adam pushed her right up to the edge. Then stopped.
He straightened, watching her entire body shudder helplessly as yet another orgasm retreated. He reveled in the power her submission gave him. Power to control, to direct, to manipulate. Power to render her helpless against her body’s own dark needs even as he drove her to the ultimate in sexual pleasure. “You do not have permission to come,” he reminded her as, one by one, he pulled more round red globes into his mouth. He released her pussy lips and stood up to allow Jesse to take his place.
A sob heaved from her lungs as she frantically fought her body’s brutal need to climax.
Jesse spread her labia apart with his thumbs, revealing her entire slit from her clenching ass hole at the bottom to the portal of her vagina and her clit at the very top. Her flesh was pink and swollen and dripping with the cream of her arousal. By now the remaining grapes were held firmly in place within her vaginal walls. Jesse rubbed his nose along her cleft, lapping his tongue at her dripping entrance, making her shudder and squirm. Placing his palm over her mound, he pressed down. “Push,” he said and a grape popped out onto his tongue.
He bit into the crisp flesh and was rewarded with a burst of tart sweetness that blended with Sarah’s own unique flavor, making it the most delicious treat he’d ever eaten. He ate all the remaining grapes, taking his time to dig each one out, finger-fucking her, building her arousal to a fever pitch. By the time he finished the last one, she was moaning and writhing and burning with the need to come. “Please, Jesse,” she begged, her voice hoarse with passion. “Please….”
“Please what?” he asked perversely, grinning as he slowly circled his finger around her clit, manipulating the surrounding flesh without actually touching the pearl itself, keeping her teetering on the edge, frantic and desperate.
It was pure torture and she gritted her teeth and stiffened her muscles in a losing effort to
keep her climax at bay. She knew she wouldn’t be able to hold out much longer. “Please let me come,” she begged.
“I don’t know.” Jesse tilted his head, appearing to consider. As he did so, he began tapping his thumb repeatedly against her clit, increasing her suffering a hundred-fold.
Oh. My. God! The breath shuddered from her lungs. Her muscles clenched so tight she feared she‘d never get them to relax again. She squirmed as her need to climax threatened to swallow her alive.
“Whaddya think, Adam? Has she earned the right to come?”
Sarah’s beseeching gaze flew to her other tormenter, who gave her a sly smile as he reached for her clamped breasts. “Yeah. She’s been a pretty good girl.”
“Then come for us, Sarah,” Jesse toggled her clit, Adam released the clips on her nipples, and she let out a shriek as her orgasm hit her with the force of an avalanche, blasting through her, leveling everything in its path. Her back arched into a rigid bow as pleasure clenched her muscles so tight, she thought she heard bones snapping. And while she was still screaming and jerking about wildly, Jesse stood and unzipped his jeans, freeing his iron-hard cock. Grabbing her hips, he thrust into her, stroking savagely in and out until she came again, her muscles clamping around him so tightly his eyes crossed.
And again she came, with tremors so violent they rivaled a magnitude 10 earthquake,
even as Jesse spilled his seed deep inside her. He pulled out and Adam took his place until he, too, climaxed, emptying himself inside her still-convulsing cunt. He remained deeply buried, rocking his hips hard against her, letting the long, liquid pulls of her inner muscles milk every last drop of come from his pumping cock. There was so much it splatted onto the floor in thick, milky blobs. Finally, with a hoarse cry, he pulled out, staggering backwards to collapse into the chair behind him, his hand still stroking his dwindling cock, wet and slick with the combination of all their juices.
Sarah flopped back on the table, jerking like a spastic marionette, totally spent, wondering desperately where all the oxygen had gone.
She was dimly aware of Jesse scooping her up off the table and flopping into the nearest chair with her straddling his lap, holding her close, crooning softly in her ear. His voice came at her from a great distance, gradually fading until there was nothing but silence. She had passed out.
BUY LINKS FOR LOVING SARAH
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1bv0Pmt
Owning Sarah, back cover blurb
It’s been a month since Sarah Marshall was kidnapped and held at knife-point by her ex-fiance. But Jesse Colter and Adam Sinclair, her two loving Doms, know that there is an even deadlier threat still out there—Ryder Malone.
He blames both Sarah and Jesse for sending him to prison eight years ago for attempted rape, and he’s determined to make them pay. So, he begins a systematic campaign of terror and intimidation against them. But the danger he poses doesn’t end there.
Set against the deepening love and commitment between Sarah, Jesse, and Adam, Owning Sarah is more than just a sexy, sensual, BDSM love story. It is a harrowing race against time for Jesse, Adam, and a team of former SEALs to stop one of the biggest arms-for-drugs deals in U.S. history. And to rescue Sarah before Malone sells her to a human trafficker and she’s lost to her men forever.
OWNING SARAH - ADULT EXCERPT ONE
“There’s my good girl.” His face softened. “Look, sugar, I agree that this is your domain, where you’re in charge. I get it. What you don’t get is that you are only in charge if I’m not in here with you. Because then it becomes my domain, and I’m in charge, because no matter where we are, if we’re together, I am in charge of you. Are we clear?” When she didn’t answer, his eyes darkened.
Pinioned by no more than his black gaze and the hand tightening around her neck, she might just as well have been tightly restrained. She couldn’t move. Not even when he took the final step that closed the distance between them, commandeering her personal space, dark intent in his eyes and raw hunger in every savage line of his face. She held her breath. Her nipples hardened and her stomach plummeted. “Jesse…”
One black eyebrow shot up. “Are we clear, baby?”
She gulped, struggling to maintain her swiftly-vanishing equilibrium. “Y-yes, Jesse.”
“Good. Glad that’s settled. Now, I believe I gave you a direct order, Sarah. But since you seem to be incapable of following it, I’ll help.”
She watched, aghast, as he shoved her chair out of the way with his foot, sending it scooting across the marble floor. With both hands, he unbuttoned her teal silk blouse, jerked the tails out of the waistband of her skirt and removed it, tossing it casually onto the seat of her chair. Reaching behind her, he deftly unclasped her ecru lace bra and pulled it off, revealing her creamy breasts to his hot, hard gaze. Folding the scrap of lace carefully, he stuffed it into the flapped pocket on the left leg of his cargoes. “Offer your breasts to me, Sunny.”
She gulped. Sunny. The name he and Adam had given her—the slave name he and Adam had given her. The name that let her know that a scene had officially started and she was their property until they saw fit to release her. Swallowing again, she curved her hands beneath her voluptuous breasts, lifting them up as if sacrificing them to a pagan god.
Every cell in his body burst into vibrant, throbbing life. He tried to swallow, but all the moisture in his mouth had evaporated and he couldn’t get his tongue to work. Christ! She wrecked him! She simply wrecked him! He still couldn’t believe he finally had her after needing her for so long. Eight years! Eight fuckin’ years!
“Jesus, sugar, your breasts are so gorgeous.” It was a hoarse whisper, barely audible above the blood pounding in his ears. His head descended. He closed his lips around one berry-like nipple and began suckling hard, flicking his tongue across the tight little nub like a scourge, sending ribbons of pleasure lashing against her clit.
Whimpering, she dropped her head back and arched forward, undulating her hips as she sought more of his exquisite torture.
Roughly replacing her hands with his, he plumped the soft pillows of her breasts as his mouth ravaged her nipples, going back and forth from one to the other, licking, sucking, taking sharp little nips that made her squeal, before soothing her with his tongue.
Spiraling higher and higher toward release, she could feel her juices running freely down the insides of her thighs. God, she was close…So close…
Grabbing her shoulders, he turned her, and bent her forward, smashing her wet breasts against the cluttered, glass-covered desktop. Jeez, that’s cold. She sucked in a gasp as he roughly hiked her skirt up around her waist. Cool air brushed across the exposed skin of her buttocks. “Hands over your head, baby, grab the front edge of the desk and spread your legs.”
“Jesse, please,” she gasped, shoulders straining against his superior strength as he man-handled her into the position he wanted. “Judge Walters’s clerk is on his way over here. He’ll be here any minute!”
“Then I suggest you get a move on, little sub.”
“Jesse, please…” She continued to resist, even as tremors of need pulsed through her until she was shaking all over. Part of her, the prim and proper, sexually repressed part, the part she’d named Angel, told her to defy him, since he was clearly out of line by coming into her office like this, expecting her to just drop everything and have wild, desktop sex. The other part of her, the inner, wanton, hedonistic imp she’d named Dolores, knew defiance was pointless. Knew she’d already lost this particular battle. Just do it, goaded Dolores’s shrill little voice in her head. Let him bend you over the desk. Let him force you to have sex—yeah, like he’d have to force you. After all, Dolores clapped her hands gleefully, seeing she had Sarah’s rapt attention, what’s the worst thing that can happen? The hottest man on the face of the planet will fuck you to the best orgasm of your life, that’s what! Really not seein’ the problem here, sweetcakes!
Unfortunately this was the part that always got her into trouble. Because ever since Jesse and Adam had come into her life, this was the part she always listened to. “What if someone just walks right in? They’ll see…”
“Time’s a-wastin’, Sarah.” Without waiting for her reply, he grabbed the elastic waistband of her teal silk and ecru lace panties and yanked them down until they caught halfway down her thighs, stretched to their limit. “Close your legs.” Barely giving her enough time to slide her feet together, he lifted one booted foot, placed it between her legs atop the bunched fabric and shoved the panties down to the floor. “Step out.”
Kicking the scrap of brightly colored silk out of the way with the toe of his boot, he unzipped his jeans, freeing the iron rod of his cock. With a low groan, he rocked his hips forward, humping his hot, damp cock into the crease of her ass. “Christ, sugar, you feel so fuckin’ good! I’ve been dreamin’ about this all damn day.”
BUY LINKS FOR OWNING SARAH
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/18AOP2T
TEASER BLURBS FROM KEEPING SARAH
TEASER BLURBS FROM KEEPING SARAH
“Just follow my lead.”
“The last time I followed your lead, I got shot,” Jesse reminded him.
“Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee you’ll fare any better this time around,” Adam said wryly. He rose and held out his hand. Jesse took it and used it to pull himself up out of the deep, cushion-y sofa. Neither man let go as they stood facing each other, so close their bodies were almost touching, each feeling the other’s heat. Then Adam lifted his other hand and curved his fingers around the back of Jesse’s head. For a long moment, they neither moved nor spoke. They simply stared into each other’s eyes as their heartbeats accelerated and their breathing became harsh and shallow. Jesse could not remember ever being more aroused than he was at that moment. His cock was hard as a railroad spike. Nervously he licked his lips, his gaze riveted to Adam’s, watching as Adam slanted his head and moved toward him.
Wow - these books look HOT! Thank you so much for being my guest today, Julie. I look forward to welcoming you again on 22nd August for my Meet the Author spot.
Join me again on Friday when Mya Larose will be my guest for this week's Meet the Author spot - we'll be finding out all about her and her latest release. Until then enjoy the rest of the week and have fun with whatever you are reading and/or writing.