Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Illegal Moves by Dalton Diaz and Samantha Cayto

When I told people I was planning on starting a blog about nudity in romance covers, this was one of the first ones suggested to me. Gee, I wonder why?

From Dalton:

Covers can be a very touchy subject for an author, especially concerning our own books. We can be quite rational about someone else's, though! I remember one erotica from a fave author where the heroine was a tiny Asian woman who used her long, silky black hair as an integral part of the sex scenes. The cover was clearly a Nordic Blonde. I’m sure the author was upset, but truth be told, that book comes to mind every time this subject comes up - which in turn makes me remember that it was a great read. So what about my own covers? Take a look for yourself. You can see all of them at DaltonDiaz.com… butt the one that’s front and center on this blog is the one you all want me to talk about, right? It’s ok, really, you won’t make an ass of yourself by taking a crack at it.

Ok, I’m done being cheeky.

All joking aside, this cover gave me fits, but probably not for the reason you think. It all started with not knowing that my 15yr-old son was standing behind me the first time I opened the file. Yes, he knows what I write, but getting a visual at that age is almost as bad as catching your parents in the act. Needless to say, he’ll never sneak up behind me again while I’m on the computer. Once that dust settled, I went back to the picture to look at the details beyond the “Oh my god, there’s a naked butt front and center!” aspect.

I can only speak for myself, not my co-author, Samantha Cayto. I couldn't get past the butt. Not because they were naked; because they weren't Cavemen. See? Told you it wasn't for the reason you'd think. If I had disappointment, it was because the guys weren't the kind of hot I'd come to expect on an EC cover. It was, however, something I could live with.

Or so I thought.I instantly hit roadblocks when I tried to do my regular promo. A surprising number of blog sites wouldn't post the cover. It wasn't just the butt, either. The (also) naked man in the background has one hand on the woman's breast, the other between her legs. Ultimately, it was the latter that made the difference. A year ago, that was not okay for B&N's shelves. I don't know if that has since changed, but Illegal Moves got a new cover for print.

Bottom line (snicker), I got the best of both worlds. The print cover is sedate, and quite stunning. It does not, however, depict that the story is a menage. Realistically, had this been the original cover, I don't think Illegal Moves would have sold as well. As a 2nd cover, it is perfect. This is the cover I use for those PG-13 blogs. This is a cover that someone can be comfortable being seen with in public. I was even able to design a bookmark that shows both covers, but you can choose to insert it in the book so only the print cover sticks out.



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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Risking Eternity by Voirey Linger

Voirey says

Seeley, thanks for having me on your blog! 

I love this place and all the skin it flashes, but then I have a penchant for skin, male and female. I think the human body is a beautiful thing and the more skin I see the better. Somehow I don't think this will shock anyone who knows me.

When I got my cover the first thing I noticed was pants. Yes pants. I'd had my heart set on a naked angel. I even gave them this beautiful image to share the general idea.

I probably should have specified it. 

Well, my cover did end up with a lot of yummy skin showing, and seeing Dominicus, my hero, in person (so to speak) gave me a thrill. I love a well-formed chest and this angelboy has that in spades.

Next time I want full-on naked. I'm going to ask for it specifically. Something that will make little old ladies titter and gasp. Because naked is beautiful.

For two hundred years, Dominicus has lived in isolation, sentenced to take human souls to hell. But this night’s victim is unlike all the others. She tempts him. One kiss and she comes apart in his arms. One taste, and he can’t walk away.

But Maggie isn’t the only temptation he faces. Dominicus fights an attraction to Renatus, his best friend through the eons and a male with whom sex is forbidden. With her, he risks Hell, with him, losing the only piece of Heaven he has left.


And Seeley says:

You know, the first thing I noticed was his pants as well, but not for the same reason. I, um, didn't think that was a belt buckle.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BIG Temptation by Robin L. Rotham

  Damn, this woman can write, and damn that's a lot of skin on the cover. 
(and I jsut figured out how to resize images, so I made it huge. Huge! that's what she said)
From the lady herself: 

When I submitted my cover request for BIG Temptation, I didn't make a lot of specific requests. Only two, really. First, I asked for the man's face to be partially hidden because Barrett, the hero, has scars on the upper part of his face and wears heavy glasses, and I figured there would be no good way to portray that on a sexy cover. Second, I asked for all skin -- no clothing.  I was determined that there be truth in advertising the story. There's a lot of hot sex in BIG (and I do mean A LOT) and I wanted it to be patently obvious with a single glance at the cover. I think the only other clue I gave the cover artist was that there was an almost unacknowledged Dominance/submission element to the story, and that while Barrett was sexually dominant, he ultimately broke, and Jillian, the more submissive partner, turned out to be the strong one.

When I first saw the cover, I wasn't sure how to react. It's so extremely sexual, I actually blushed to see my name on it. And yet it fits the story more beautifully than I could have imagined.  Their first love scene ends with them in a similar position, and over the course of the story, Barrett forces Jillian to not just acknowledge but revel in her own sexuality. The cover is a perfect portrayal of their relationship -- I love that, while he's in the dominant position, Barrett's actually hiding, whereas Jillian is open and vulnerable to him in every way.

A few potential readers at signings have passed it up with a regretful, "I'd love to read it, but I couldn't be seen with a cover like that in my hands." This was the risk I took when I requested a nude cover, and I knew it. While women are getting more adventurous in their reading, most of us aren't so willing to display our adventurousness with nudie covers on the train or in the park, especially when we have kids underfoot. Maybe I'll start keeping a handful of book covers on my table at signings... *grin*

You can read an excerpt of and review quotes from BIG Temptation here: http://robinlrotham.com/ex-big.html.  The reasonably priced digital version is available at Ellora's Cave http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-6775-228-big-temptation.aspx, but there are also print and digital versions available at Amazon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Moonlight Mistress by Victoria Janssen

I love this cover. I rarely say that about any cover, romance or otherwise, but this one actually caught my attention. All that's missing is the nipple that seems to have been airbrushed out. (I'm not entirely sure why male nipples are acceptable, but female ones aren't, but I know I'm a little odd like that).

And now, the author's thoughts:

The Moonlight Mistress by Victoria Janssen

When I opened the PDF of my cover flat for this novel, the first thing I noticed was that it showed a lot of pale skin.  The second thing I noticed was that one of the women was staring out, directly at the viewer.  I love that.  I think it says a lot about the character of Lucilla and about the novel that the cover features a woman’s direct, frank gaze. The other woman, lying on a fur rug (a reference to her being a werewolf) looks perfectly happy in herself without needing to swoon in a man’s arms.  Meanwhile, the only man on the cover is completely focused on his partner, his face against her neck and his hand cupped tenderly over her bare shoulder.  So yes, this cover is very naked..  But it’s also very evocative and representative of the novel.
As World War One begins, English chemist Lucilla Daglish finds herself trapped on German soil. She and a French scientist, Pascal Fournier, escape and share a brief, intense affair.
They are reunited as Pascal investigates rumors of werewolves and the rogue scientist who abducts and tortures them.

Meanwhile, a group of soldiers, including Lucilla's brother, deal with forbidden relationships, little knowing that one of their own is also a werewolf.

The cover appears to be an homage to this Vaity Fair cover -