Thursday, May 8, 2014

Just One Look by Virginia Kelly (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome back to author Virginia Kelly who is joining us with her romantic suspense, JUST ONE LOOK!

What’s With That Cover on Your Favorite Novel?

As a romance reader and writer, I’ve seen almost all possible variations of romance novel covers. From beautiful designs that evoke romance without a hint of the hero or heroine, to those highly improbable clinch poses, to the newly popular bare chested heroes. And more. Covers usually tell me something about the story and helping me to choose my next read. If you’d like to see my five covers in one place, check out the books page on my website.

One of the latest books to impact the fiction industry is E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. On the cover is a man’s tie, a gray one, over a gray background. We all know (or think we know if we haven’t read it) what this book’s about because of the publicity. But does the cover tell us anything about the story?

With so many covers to choose from, I was curious about how the cover drives us as readers to buy a particular romance novel, especial a romantic suspense novel. I recently ran a quick, unscientific survey. I asked these questions:

What do you prefer on your romantic suspense novel covers? *
Hero only, bare chest
Hero only clothed
Hero & heroine in danger pose
Hero & heroine in romance pose
Other (please explain) 

And to see if reader age influences preferences, I asked:

What is your age? *
Over 60

Here’s how the respondents (admittedly very few, only 25), said:

Hero & heroine - Danger Pose: 3
Hero & heroine - Romance Pose: 3
Hero only - bare chest: 9
Hero only - clothed: 2
Other: 3

Other: 3 said:

A. Something that hints at both romance and suspense
B. Dark, location. Characters are optional, but definitely shouldn't be head or bust shots so that's all we see. Anything RS by Nora Roberts has always been pleasing to the eye. Really hate all the bare chests we're seeing. A dime a dozen, if you know what I mean. Seen one, seen em all. :P :D 
C. Something intriguing I haven't seen before. Something that raises a question or is utterly beautiful. Splintered by AG Howard. Here by Denise Grover Swank. Hmm, turns out I like covers with female figures.  

Does age of respondent matter?

3 wanted Hero - Bare chest

2 wanted Hero & heroine Romance pose 
3 wanted Hero & heroine Danger pose
        2 wanted Hero clothed 
1 was response B

5 wanted Hero - Bare chest 
5 wanted Hero & heroine Danger pose 
1 wanted Hero & heroine Romance pose
        2 wanted something else (A & C)

1 wanted Hero - Bare chest

(If you’re interested in taking the survey, it’s located here:

Are you surprised at the responses? What do *you* prefer?

Just One Look
Amazon US | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada
Sometimes that's all it takes…

FBI Special Agent Drew Davenport, still recovering from a life-threatening wound after a disastrous shootout, doesn’t have time to be serious about any woman. But Mia Alvarez, with her down-to-earth warmth, leaves him blind-sided.

A painful experience crushed Mia’s belief in love. The last thing she needs is an entanglement with Drew, whose sister is marrying her brother. And certainly not when she’s keeping a major secret. Despite her misgivings, forced proximity and overwhelming attraction lead to passion.

When Mia's secret shows up in the form of a stalker, Drew’s determined to protect her. Can he overcome his fear of failing again when emotions get in the way? And while Mia trusts Drew with her safety, can she trust in love when it happens with just one look?

Just One Look is a stand-alone companion novel to Against the Wind


That’s when Drew saw her.

The knock-out, fiddling with the younger sister’s hair. Who could that be? He’d met everyone, hadn’t he? Both sisters, the endless cousins and assorted relatives. Who the hell was she?

She turned, and he knew instantly who she was.

The older sister. The prickly one with thick glasses. Mia, she’d said as she’d shaken his hand with ice-cold fingers and a businessman’s grip. Only she wasn’t wearing the thick glasses she’d worn at the rehearsal dinner, nor the prim business suit. She stood next to the younger sister... Izzy, that was it. Dizzy Izzy, he’d thought last night. She stood next to Izzy as calm and serene as a queen in a knee-length cream-colored dress that enhanced everything the business suit had hidden.

She wasn’t tall or blond, what he’d always considered his type. Prepared to dismiss her since he’d been fooled too many times by good looks, he nearly turned away. Then she smiled at something the flower girl, daughter of one of the cousins, said, and squatted to be eye level with the little girl.

And all the prim, all the regal, disappeared.

She was simply breathtaking.

He remembered watching one of the old Godfather movies and ridiculing how, based on a single look, the youngest Corleone son had gone bat-shit crazy over a girl.
His rational self argued that this sort of thing didn’t happen.

Still, he watched as she totally disregarded formality, hair, clothes, and hugged the flower girl. No cold fingers or businessman’s grip about her.

Warm and vital and gorgeous and classy…and so damn sexy.

Jesus. He’d counted on a few days of sun, sand and water. He hadn’t counted on her.
It felt like getting shot in the gut again.

About the Author:

Virginia’s first story involved a mouse that hitched a ride with Paul Revere. She was eleven. A bit later and bit more organized, dreams of romance (with a happily ever after), adventure, and danger came together to produce To the Limit, her RWA Golden Heart nominated novel. She recently learned that her novel In the Arms of a Stranger is a finalist the National Readers Choice Awards. She writes about dangerous heroes (sexy, gorgeous ones, of course!) and the adventurous women willing to take a chance on them. An academic librarian, Virginia is a native of Peru and lives in Florida with her family.

Comment and enter the Rafflectopter for a chance to win. Winners will be notified by May 10, 2014.
1st place: $5.00 gift card (Amazon OR B&N)
2nd place: Against the Wind (ebook by Virginia Kelly) (Kindle only)
3rd place: Dancing the Dark (e-novella by Virginia Kelly) (Any format)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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