Today, USA Today bestselling author Cheryl St. John is guesting. She’s here to talk about her latest release Maybe I’m the One, book seventeen in the Aspen Gold series, a sweet romance. Don’t forget to check out the excerpt.
I adore the cover of Maybe I’m the One, and I’m counting on readers loving it too. Sometimes I buy a book just for the cover. On the other hand, I’ve passed by some terrific stories because the covers turned me off. I can think of one in particular. I got the book in my stack of entries to judge for a contest. I even put it off until the last, only to discover it was an incredible story that hooked me from the get-go and never let go. I liked the author’s voice and style so much that I hunted her backlist and read as many as I could get my hands on. So, what was it I didn’t like about that cover, you ask? It was a cartoon cover. I had never before purchased a book with a cartoon cover—now I have!
Most of us have auto-buy authors – an author you buy simply because you know they’re going to deliver a story you will enjoy, no matter the subject or the cover. I have several of those. The cover is only the sprinkles on the icing on the cake, because the cake and the chocolate filling are the book, and I never pass up chocolate cake.
I’ve purchased books based on reviews – like movie reviews that draw me to see a movie. Not because the review was glowing, but because the synopsis told me the book was about a subject or character I knew I would like. I’ve bought books because someone recommended them to me. I have purchased a book because of an ad. I’ve never bought one because of a quote on the front or because I saw the book trailer. I recently bought a book on the recommendation of a reviewer I trust and the comparison she made to an author I like. I loved the book.
Covers are enticing. I’m impressed by colors and textures, like hair and fabrics. And I prefer cover people with heads. I don’t like to stare and stare, trying to figure out where the story peoples’ faces are. I read more on my Kindle than I ever did before, but I confess I do miss holding that book and gazing at the cover.
What are the top three elements about a cover that entice you to buy a book?
The bigger her star has shone, the smaller her world has become.
Blurb: Audrey Knox sacrificed to make a successful career in Nashville, but the bigger her star shines, the smaller her world has become. After an eye–opening incident on tour, she wants her daughter to experience small-town life as she knew it, so she takes a break from touring to reconnect with her roots and introduce the eight-year-old to life on Big Pines Ranch. Facing the past might be her biggest challenge yet.
Jericho Tanner has loved Audrey since they were children on adjoining ranches, their families entwined. He fills the void of intimacy, love and belonging with ranch work and his deputy position in Rockwell County, with aspirations of taking over as sheriff. Emotional vulnerability is frightening, and his walls are sturdy and tall. When Audrey and her young daughter show up in Spencer, he’s forced to see his wounds in a new light.
“Fish and Game heard shots,” came a voice over his radio. “Are you all right, Deputy Tanner?”
Jericho pressed the button. “Affirmative. The brown bear has left the area, and I have Melinda with me. She’s fine.”
They made their way down the trail, and as the sky grew dark, were joined by two green-uniformed Fish and Game officers, who led them down the mountainside with flashlights.
“Thank you, Deputy,” the girl said as she opened her car door. “You’re a pretty good singer, by the way.”
The officers gave him a curious glance, but he got in the Tahoe and headed for Spencer. An hour later, he’d checked in his vehicle, security cam and radio, filled out a report, printed out the photos from his phone and turned his weapon over to the sheriff for routine inspection. Getting into his pickup, he was starving. Home was another half hour drive, so he called in an order to Pearl’s, picked it up, and ate chicken sandwiches on the way. Once on the highway, he powered on the radio.
Clear as the stars shining in the night sky and every bit as mesmerizing, came a sultry voice that never failed to make his heart beat a little faster while it unearthed a hundred memories and raised two hundred questions.
“’What we have now was a long time coming. Seems all I ever did was wait. But when you saw me, you really saw me, and our love is more than I could anticipate.’”
As it always had, his entire body responded to her voice. Audrey Knox would be in Spencer in another week, and performing at the Rockwell County Fair soon after. And he’d be working security with her people.
He’d rather face another bear than be in close proximity to the woman who’d clawed his heart to shreds.
Cheryl is the author of almost sixty historical and contemporary romances. Her stories have earned numerous awards and are published in over a dozen languages. In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real-life situations.”