This is a picture of me and Barbara Vey, the blogger par excellence from Publishers Weekly with the Mr. Romance Contestants. If you've never tried Barbara's blog, BEYOND HER BOOK, I urge you to pop by.
Barb is a treasure trove of Everything Romance! Her site features recommended reads, industry news, and she practically lives out of a suitcase year round, traveling to conference after conference. Plus she's one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.
Every year at RT, Dorchester sponsors the Mr. Romance Contest. This year, we had fewer entrants and there was even one draftee. That's him in the suit. His name is Andrew and he was one of the Aspiring Writers in the classes I taught on Monday and Tuesday, pre-conference. Bless his heart, he learned the dance moves for the Mr. Romance Show on Saturday and spent the week posing for pics with conference attendees to benefit the SaveOurSoldiers charity for Wounded Warriors. If there isn't a book in his experience as a cover model hopeful, I wash my hands of him!
This is Charles Paz, last year's Mr. Romance, with the 2010 Mr. Romance Jamie Ungaro. They are both genuinely good guys.
I was drafted at the last minute for the Mr. Romance Show. After the guys did their dance, walked the catwalk and flexed their muscles, they each escorted an author out on stage and had to answer our questions.
My contestant, Franco D'Angelo, was so well prepared. He presented me with a rose, chocolate truffles, a little bottle of champagne and had a very touching answer to my question. (Don't worry. My DH is in no danger of being dethroned as the True King of Romance!) But when I asked Franco what ignited a passion in him, he said, "My kids." Awwwww. Good answer.
You'll probably recognize Charles Paz from the cover of Connie Mason's LORD OF DEVIL ISLE. Since Connie wasn't at RT, Charles signed copies of her book at the massive book fair and he sold out! He makes a wonderful Captain Nicholas Scott, the swashbuckling Lord of Devil Isle himself. (If you haven't read this sexy, adventurous tale, I highly recommend it! Buy Here!)
As part of his prize for winnng the title, Jamie Ungaro, the new Mr. Romance, will be featured on a Dorchester cover soon. Hmmm . . . my next Leisure Book will be HAPPILY EVER HIGHLANDER (under my new Mia Marlowe pen name).
Side Note to my editor Leah Hultenschmidt: In case you happen to be lurking, Leah, what do you think? Wouldn't Jamie Ungaro look amazing in a kilt?
Since we're on the subject of covers, here's your chance to voice an opinion. What sort of cover moves you to pick up a book? A good looking guy? A clinch? A headless heroine in a gorgeous gown? A garden blooming in wild profusion like my STROKE OF GENIUS cover? (Sorry. Just had to get that one in!)
See, I absolutely would pick up your Stroke of Genius cover even if I'd never heard of you, because it's unique, and so pretty!
I like covers that look like old paintings, and pretty dresses, and cozy mystery covers with all sorts of things on the front of them.
That contest looks like much fun!
It was fun! I really didn't expect to be part of the show because one of the cover models was already portraying my STROKE OF GENIUS hero, Crispin Hawke and the director was using other Dorchester authors who didn't have a character portrayal for the interview portion of the competition.
But at the last minute, they were one author short. I'm such a ham. You never have to ask me twice to get on stage.
RT sounds like so much fun!
I had the opportunity to meet Barbara a the GRW and she is so sweet and funny.
Emily, I love the cover of your new book!! The colors are just beautiful! A scene is usually the kind of cover I like best, or something that invokes a question.
I can attest to Emily's Mr. Romance experience. She did a fantastic job sitting at the white table cloth covered table with a handsome guy and doing her best to make him blush…..LOL It was so much fun!
I would pick up Stroke of Genius or anything that had a landscape on it. It want the hotness between the pages, not on top of them, because my children are going to see it lying on my nightstand or my coffee table, or poking out of my purse or sitting in the car. Covers than can be seen any time, anywhere, by anyone, appeal most.
I will pick the book with a hot, sexy guy every time. Take a look at the new covers for Karen Moning's Highlander series...there hot http://www.karenmoning.com/novels/index_highlander.html.
I don't even care if he's decapitated on the cover as long as he has a ripped up body.
Yes, Jamie Ungaro would make a very sexy highlander for your book. I wish you had more pictures of him. I'll have to google him.
But then again, I'm always reading the books with those strong alpha males so flowers and pretty dresses just don't seem to work for those book covers...IMO.
Not only is Jamie totally hot! He's an outstanding young man. See I chose wisely (I got to be a judge). I went on a photo shoot with him Sunday morning and believe me, the camera loves him. I believe will see great things out of Jamie in the coming year.
I would pick up a book like SOG, too, because of the pretty and feminine appeal it has. I like couples on a front cover, but really don't like headless pics. Some of the UK covers are cute and whimsical and I like those as well.
Even thought Stroke of Genius is already on my must-buy list, I'd pick it up anyway. A cover has to tell me a story in itself for me to pick it up on a whim, and yours does that.
And might I say WOW and *drool* on the subject of Mr. Romance. *fans self* Is the heat on in this place?
Lori--RT was tons of fun. And I got to visit with Barbara a couple times, once for lunch on the last day there. She knows so much about the romance genre (and a ton of others too!) I would not want her travel schedule.
Caroline--I have to give my editor Leah credit for the STROKE OF GENIUS cover. It's her concept after reading the manuscript. I always try to write "out of the box" stories and she's given me an "out of the box" cover!
Mina--Good point. If I were still working at the bank, I could put STROKE OF GENIUS up in my office. (However, I'm so glad to be writing full time instead!)
Viking Princess--I think it depends on whose story it is. If it's all about the alpha, a guy on the cover makes sense. If the primary POV is the clever heroine who brings him to heel, a girl in a gorgeous gown works.
Cindy--YOu were a terrific judge! And the nice thing about Jamie is that he's the poster boy for "Handsome is as handsome does!"
Deb--I think the point of the headless heroine is so the reader can put her own face on the figure.
tsueversteeg-I'm glad my cover speaks to you! Thanks for planning to buy my book. I so appreciate every one of my readers!
Emily, thank you for a pleasant review of RT and Mr. Romance (other blogs sites are sharpening their nails on negative comments about the contestants).
Barbara's blog was also pleasant and upbeat. By far, she provided a well written column for several days.
I look forward to RT in LA!
A perfect example of your strong heroine (Lady Aislinn)that brings her alpha(Wolf)to heel is this new cover for The Wolf And The Dove http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FC14LM/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1570960291&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1M9B95BVGS25X41FP
On this cover you have Lady Aislinn in a pretty gown standing beside some flowers.
Kim--There are some seriously mean people out there who delight in running others down. IMHO, they do not represent the romance world.
Romance is about love, whether we deserve it or not. Maybe especially if we don't deserve it.
When the women's movement first began, they started emulating some of the worst of men--viewing members of the opposite sex as merely a collection of body parts, for example.
We are all so much more than the houses of flesh we inhabit. I pity those who cannot see that.
Interesting, V Princess. Looks like The Wolf and the Dove has undergone at least 4 different cover treatments.
Who knows how many others in international editions?
Great recap! The Mr. Romance competition was a blast. Thanks for coming in at the last minute to join in on the fun onstage!
-- Andrew Shaffer
I never buy a book by its' cover. The blurb on the back will make me look inside and what I find there will make me buy the book.
I want to go to RT one day. It sounds like you had so much fun.
Andrew! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope you enjoyed your RT experience. It was certainly a trial by fire for you.
Sandy--The only problem with using the blurb to make a decision is that you can't be sure the author is responsible for those words. I didn't get to write my cover blurb until STROKE OF GENIUS.
Excuse me while I mop up my drool...
Your Stroke of Genius cover appeals to me as it is very Grecian. It would sit well in my Cypriot home on display.
I am tired of clinch covers. I don't know what it is about the headless/partial head covers that are so popular right now, but I like them. It may be that I prefer to imagine my characters and seeing the eyes tell too much about them. I like covers that have items pertinent to the story. Land capes are goo.
Glynis--The STROKE OF GENIUS cover is classically appropriate since the story is sort of a revamping of the Pygmalion myth.
Pat--How interesting that you learn too much from a cover model's eyes . . . windows to the soul, indeed.
I had so much fun at RT this year. Everyone was pleasant and the workshops were helpful. When I heard the things some of the bloggers were going on about I wondered if they'd attended the same convention as I did.
Meeting Barbara Vey was one of the high points of the convention for me. And getting to help with the Mr. Romance contest was exciting and fun. Like Emily I got to go on stage and ask my contestant, Andrew a question. His quick wit helped steal the show.
Andrew was the best sport and such a doll. His self-confidence and lack of hubris makes him real hero material. His wife is a fortunate lady.
I like your covers. Pretty.
I like wonderful dresses but I want the woman with a head please.
Gardens and vineyards are great covers, with or without people.
Flowers bring out the best in us.
I agree with MINA- my books are out on display.
Also like your new name:
Did you pick it or did someone else?
Elysa--Oh, I think you set things up perfectly for Andrew to shine--what with your Granny or Trannie question. What a hoot! So many people I talked to couldn't believe we were all improvising up there. You were a stitch!
Janet Kaye--I picked Mia Marlowe. Mia is a fairly popular baby name now according to the Social Security Administration. And Marlowe is a placename in England. Since that's where most of my work is set, it fits.
The name is also true to my ethnic background. My DH is Norwegian, but my family is mostly English on both sides. We've been in America since the 1600's (which tells me my ancestors were probably in trouble in the Old Country!)
I sure hope to make it to an RT get together sometime soon, like next year. :) Sounds like it's an amazing time. I' so glad you write full time now too. :)More great books to read. Mia Marlowe is an interesting name. I like it. I love Highlanders so I look forward to your book written by Mia Marlowe. :)I will definitely pick up a book when I see a Highlander on the cover. Karen Marie Moning and Monica McCarty's covers of Scottish Highlanders actually sizzle.I also like your cover very much for Stroke of Genius. It's a very appealing cover. But truthfully Emily , all your covers are very nice.
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