Join me in popping out of my writing cave today to welcome my friend and agent-mate Abigail Drake to the blog today! We’re celebrating the release last Friday of Abigail’s novel TRAVELLER. I already have my copy and can’t wait to dig in once these darn RITA books get read and judged. AND, if you’re going to Authors After Dark in Savannah next August, both Abigail and I will be there and might do something crazy like buy you breakfast or a cocktail one day (probably not at the same time, although I am fond of a peach bellini….).
About Abigail: Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, fun, and sexy. Abigail is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
ABOUT TRAVELLER: Former Junior Miss Kentucky Emerson Shaw won pageants using martial arts as her talent and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” as her guide, but a painful secret leads her to the University of York, and puts her in the path of tattooed and pierced bad boy, Michael Nightingale.
Michael is a Traveller, part of an ancient line of mercenary gypsies who protect the world from vicious monsters called the Moktar. When Emerson gets attacked, she has no choice but accept Michael’s offer of protection or face certain death.
Traveller society, full of outdated rules and ridiculous superstitions, isn’t a good fit for the headstrong Emerson. Traveller women aren’t allowed to fight. Traveller women aren’t allowed to win. Traveller women aren’t allowed to leave. But Emerson will do what she must, even if it means losing the one person who matters most.
Sounds cool, eh? And now, let’s hear from Abigail…and prepare to be teased! (And this is coming from someone who has been accused by many of you as BEING a tease–ha!)
On Becoming a Tease:
Creating Teasers that Make Your Readers Want More
“I can’t look at another half-naked man.”
I never thought I’d say those words to my husband. He gave me sympathetic pat, refilled my glass of wine, and sat next to me on the couch.
“You can do it,” he said.
I shook my head and took a long sip of wine that was more like a chug. “No. I can’t. I’ve been doing this for hours and I just can’t do it anymore.”
Then he said the words I most wanted to hear. “Let me help.”
My brave seventeen-year-old son sat on my other side. They both knew I was a woman on the edge.
“I can help, too, Mom.”
Looking at photos of gorgeous, partially clad men had sounded like fun at first, but soon I became sort of blind to all the abs and pecs and muscly muscle-ness. I had to choose a photo for my promo company to use as a “teaser” – something to entice my readers to want to know more about my book. I had a beautiful cover, and a great book to offer, but I was stuck on finding just the right photo of my character, Michael Nightingale. Michael, my very hot and tattooed mercenary gypsy warrior, had a specific “look” – and I couldn’t find anything that came even close to matching what I’d imagined. I started to wonder if I’d ever find my Michael.
I’d started with the easier teasers. My book takes place in an area of York, England called The Shambles. It’s an old, higgly-piggly part of the city with narrow streets and buildings jutting out at odd angles. Finding a photo of The Shambles was easy, and locating an excerpt to match it wasn’t hard either.
Next I had a lovely romantic excerpt about the first time Michael touched my heroine, Emerson Shaw. I decided to let the words be the powerful part of this teaser, and found a perfect image to accompany them.
Finding someone who looked like Emerson, a former Junior Miss Kentucky who won pageants using martial arts as her talent, was a bit trickier. I needed the right mix of pretty with a touch of southern sassiness. As soon as I saw this photo, I knew it would work.
Now I was down to Michael. Beautiful, strong, amazing Michael. Monster hunter, Traveller leader, and leather-clad bad boy extraordinaire. But I couldn’t find him, or anyone even remotely like him.
“How about this one?” asked my husband, pointing to a photo of a bare-chested man.
“No. His nipples are wrong.”
He gave me a long look. “You know what his nipples look like?”
“Well, yeah. I wrote his nipples. Of course I know what they look like.”
A few minutes later, after trying several search words chosen by my son (“Try ‘hot, tattooed, sexy, and bare-chested,’ Mom.”), we finally found it. The perfect photo. The swoon-worthy, exactly right image of Michael Nightingale’s chest.
“That’s it,” I said.
My husband enlarged the photo. “Are you sure?”
I nodded. “Oh, yeah.”
I grinned as my husband and son did a high-five over my head. We were quite a team. And here is the Michael Nightingale teaser.
Thank you to my good friend Suzanne for letting me visit her blog today. Suzanne and I have known each other for many years, and we’ll be together (at last!) and Authors After Dark in Savannah August 3-7. If you will be there, too, stop by and say hello.
Thanks again, and happy reading!
Thanks, Abigail! It’s awfully warm here today. I need a fan. Anyone got a fan?
What we DO have is a tour giveaway. Click here to sign up for Abigail’s newsletter and be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card. And for an extra TBR prize from me, tell me which of the four teasers is your favorite!