Those of us who create novels want our cover art to portray to our audience a glimmer of what's inside. I think covers mean a lot. If our readers aren't attracted to the book cover what do you think would be the next thing to pull them in and grab the reader walking by the bookshelf and say, "Hey, get back here. Don't you want to see me? Don't you want to look at the back cover? Don't you want to open the book and look inside?"
Have you read a book that you loved but the cover didn't do it justice? What made you read it anyway? Word of mouth? The title?
Well if you do open the book and turn to Chapter One this is what you will read:
We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character. —Henry David Thoreau
London, 29 March 1818
St. James Park loomed in front of them, shrouded in a heavy mist that created difficulty for horse and driver as the coach and four maneuvered its way into the park.
Inside the vehicle, Victoria leaned toward the window, straining to see the outline of trees. “Such a disappointment,” she sighed. “This is not what I expected my very first morning in London. I’d so hoped to see more on the ride through the park, something exciting to tell Devlin when we get to his home.”
“Don’t despair, my lady.” Nora, her maid, pulled a heavy shawl tighter about her shoulders. “’Tis sure to be the same mist that abounds in Yorkshire. This nuisance will lift eventually. It always does.”
Victoria patted the sleek head of her dog. “Even Lazarus grows bored.” She marveled at her best friend, a behemoth of a mastiff, as he lowered his bulk to the floor of the coach with a loud groan and laid his head across her slipper-covered feet, creating a comfortable warmth. He’d been with her for years, and she couldn’t leave him behind. The poor dear would cry himself to sleep every night.
Victoria allowed the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves and Nora’s penchant for humming songs to lull her into a light sleep. Nora’s humming had comforted her all those years she’d been sick at Ravensmoore. While everyone else lived their busy lives out around her, she’d done little but survive, taking comfort in the small things that brought her joy.
A sudden crash caused the coach door to vibrate. Victoria screamed and bolted upright as Lazarus pressed his nose and giant paws against the carriage window. A low growl rumbled in his throat.
She grabbed Lazarus by the collar. Heart pounding, she turned to Nora. “What was that?”
“Highwaymen!” Nora’s hand crept to her neck, and fear filled her eyes.
The coachman drew the horses to a halt and opened the top hatch. “I fear I may have run someone down, my lady, but in this fog I can’t tell.”
“We must find out at once. Someone may be hurt.” Victoria threw open the door, and Lazarus bounded into the mist. “Lazarus! Find!” She called after him, but he was already well on his way. She stepped from the coach, nearly tripping in her haste.
“Wait, my lady,” Nora cried. “’Tis not safe. Come back!”
The driver’s voice echoed through the mist. “You’ll lose your way, my lady. Stop where you are.”
But the warning wasn’t necessary. Victoria could hear Lazarus snuffling the ground someplace nearby. She bit her lip and told herself to be brave, even as her heart pounded. At the same time Lazarus let out a warning bark, the mist shifted.
Victoria’s hand clamped over her mouth.
I'm really hoping I have your attention now. If you read a blurb about this book it would go something like this:
Lady Victoria Grayson has always considered herself a keen observer of human behavior, but when she finds herself involved in a sinister plot targeting the lords of Parliament she is forced to question how much anyone can really know about another human being.
Chameleon is the story of Lady Victoria Grayson, fondly referred to as Snoop by her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore. Lady Victoria journeys to London for the first time in her adult life after battling a chronic childhood illness that kept her home bound for years. She is embroiled in a hornet’s nest of intrigue when her brother is called upon to treat a Member of Parliament after a brutal attack.
The Prince Regent has called Jonathon Denning, Lord Witt, from his home in the country to investigate Ravensmoore’s activities. The Regent isn’t so sure he wants one of his lords working a trade and expects to put an end to what he considers eccentric behavior. Jaded by his profession as a spy, Witt understands that some people are not what they pretend to be. When he meets Victoria his cynical nature is challenged along with his doubts about God. Together they must confront their pasts in order to solve a mystery that could devastate their future.
If you don't love historical romance with a heavy mystery/suspense edge to it I'd like to convert you.