Friday, February 03, 2012

Guest Blog by Laura Kaye - The Cover Gods Were Smiling

Please welcome Laura Kaye to The Qwillery as part of the In the Service of the King Blog Tour.

The Cover Gods Were Smiling

Thank you so much for hosting me here at The Qwillery to celebrate my newest release, a dark paranormal romance called In the Service of the King, the first in my new Vampire Warrior Kings series. Today, I’m giving thanks to covert artists and the cover gods (!), because I think I’ve had some truly great fortune where my covers are concerned. And that’s no more true than with the cover for In the Service of the King. I thought I’d share with you what the cover reflects about the story.

First, the cover offers a mysterious introduction to the story’s setting: Dunluce Castle in County Antrim on the coast of Northern Ireland overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In the story, Dunluce is Kael McQuillan’s ancestral estate, and the vampires now live in a secret underground bunker built into the basalt cliffs beneath the ruins. The destruction of the castle also plays into the story—it was during an attack by Kael’s evil vampiric enemies in the 17th century that Kael’s first mate was killed and the castle brought to ruins. And so the vampires went underground.

Second, the cover artist not only gave me my very first Jimmy Thomas cover (which is almost a rite of passage for a romance author! LOL) but she also managed to give me a pose that totally gives the feel that he’s a vampire. Just look at that cover and imagine it’s the moment before he peels his lips back, reveals his fangs, and sinks them in deep. Aw, man. Gives me the chills!

Third, that woman? She IS heroine Shayla McKinnon to a T. Almost exactly as I describe her in the book. And I love that her eyes are closed, because there’s something unusual about them I would’ve hated to have wrong on the cover.

Finally, didya notice that bit of rope binding her hands together? Heh. Yeah, well, let’s just say that this book explains a couple of truly hot fantasies. And, yes, I’m being evasively evil on purpose. *snort*

So, all of that leads me to bow down to the cover gods and give thanks. Because I think covers are pretty dang important for catching readers’ attention. What do you think? Tell me how important covers are in your decision to read a book and/or if you have a favorite part of this cover.

Thanks so much for reading!

Laura Kaye

About In the Service of the King

In the Service of the King
Vampire Warrior Kings 1
Harlequin Nocturne Cravings, February 1, 2012

Kael, Warrior King of the Vampires loathes the Night of the Proffering. He needs the blood of either his mate or a human virgin to maintain his strength, but hasn't enjoyed the ritual since he lost his mate centuries ago. Kael doesn't want a new companion, yet his resolve is tested when he lays eyes on his new offering, Shayla McKinnon. He is drawn to Shayla's beauty and poise...and the submission she offers. She is eager to give him anything he wishes, including her innocence, to please him. Will Kael give in to their overwhelming desire—even if it means risking Shayla's life?
In the Service of the King - Amazon : Barnes and Noble : Books-A-Million : Harlequin : Kobo
Buy Laura's Books at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble

About Laura

Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is the bestselling and award-winning author of a half-dozen books. Hearts in Darkness is a finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for Best Novella, Forever Freed won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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The Giveaway


What:  To celebrate her new release, Laura is giving away one e-copy of In the Service of the King at each stop on her New Release Tour, 1/30 – 2/15! See below for an additional giveaway.

How:  Leave a comment answering the Laura's question:

Tell me how important covers are in your decision to read a book and/or
if you have a favorite part of this cover? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries to win the ebook of In the Service at the King at The Qwillery by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The ebook contest at The Qwillery is open to all humans on the planet earth with an emailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Laura's Prize Bag Giveaway**:  In addition, all commenters from across the tour with a US Mailing Address will be entered to win a prize bag from Laura filled with swag and various vampire items, perfect for the vampire lover!  Please leave a way to contact you and whether you have a US Mailing address in your comment at each blog in order to be entered in Laura's Prize Bag Giveaway. Please comply with Laura's rules for this giveaway.

**The Qwillery is not affiliated with Laura's Prize Bag giveaway and is providing this for informational purposes only.


  1. Hi Laura,
    Cool pics of the castle used to inspire Kael's home. Your covers are awesome, by the way :) I recently ordered and received the PB of North of Need. I can't wait to finish reading it so maybe I'll be your 50th review ;)
    Now, to your question... Yes, the cover is the first to grab my attention. If the cover looks good and even if I don't recognize the author, I will buy it!!! So I would have to agree that the cover is extremely important in selling a book. My mother-in-law purchased Karen Marie Moning's last book, Shadowfever just because she saw me reading the book and thought the cover was beautiful. She knew nothing about the series or the author. So, yes the cover has to be eye grabbing to attract the reader :) Thanks for the great giveaways and interesting blogs!!! Congrats on all of your accomplishments recently and your newest book release. Can't wait to read it!

  2. Hi Lori! Thanks for kicking off the comments! And thanks for giving North of Need a try! Woot!!!!! Interesting thoughts on covers, too, and so cool that your mother got intrigued by Shadowfever--that is a beautiful cover.

    And thanks to The Qwillery for hosting me!

  3. Yes, the cover is very important, especially if I'm browsing for books online or in a store! I tend to pass over books with unprofessional looking covers, because I wonder if the rest of the book will be equally as bad (perhaps unfair of me).

    I love the photo of the castle at the bottom of this cover - I think it makes it stand out among the HQN Nocturne covers I've seen, since usually they just have a photo of the couple on the front, nothing else.
    + 1 Comment
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  4. Honestly the cover does not influence my buying. It may get me to pick it up but if it doesn't sound good I won't buy it. Don't get me wrong - I love covers I just don't because of them. Most of the new authors to me I find via other authors recommendations.
    Follow as Victoria Sloboda
    Tweeted as Jovial_1


  5. Yeah, Victoria, word of mouth is really key! Great comment! :)

  6. I don't buy books based solely on the covers; but if the cover catches my eye, I will pick it up and read the back cover blurb.

    Last year, I fell in love with an ebook cover. I contacted the author and asked her who I need to contact to ge a copy of it. I wanted to use it as my computer desk top (though I would love to have it as a poster!) The next thing I knew, she had emailed it to me! I was thrilled.

    +1 comment
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    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  7. Beautiful photo. Great, sexy cover, you can't go wrong with Jimmy Thomas. I love book covers They are usually what draws me to a book. If I don't like the cover, I usually won't even pick up the book. With that, something else has to make me want to read that particular book. I can't wait to read In The Service Of The King to find out what happens between Kael and Shayla.


    1. Forgot to add

      +1 for comment
      +1 for following
      I also have a US mailing address

  8. I love covers but they don't make my final decision on a book. They are usually what gets my attention and then I read what the book is about and then make my decision. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest.

  9. Hi Laura! I just wanted to pop in and show some love and support!

    The story of Shayla and Kael is phenomenal and as steamy and romantic as it gets!! I encourage everyone who hasn't read it yet to snap it up! I went to bed with Kael last night and didn't catch a wink, but he was worth it, lol ;D

    I'll be writing up a review and posting it this weekend!

    Gena Robertson

  10. Yes, I definitely judge a book by its cover! I know I'm not supposed to, but there are certain covers that I am just drawn to. This book definitely is one of them! I love the castle in the background with the lightning flashes over it! Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy:)

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet:!/jwitt33/status/165510871831941120

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  11. Hello Laura!
    Yes, covers are very important to me. I am a cover snob. If the cover is of poor quality I usually don't bother to read the back cover copy.

    I love your cover. The color is striking. I also like the lightning bolts. I didn't notice at first that her hands are tied. That tells me a lot about the story. The cover gods WERE smiling on you. Congrats on the new release!

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

    +1 comment
    +1 Twitter follower @GeishasMom73
    +1 Tweeted the link here:

  12. Squee! I'm really enjoying all your comments everyone! And, Gena, Yay! Glad you liked! :D

  13. Hi! Thanks for this chance! Tell me how important covers are in your decision to read a book and/or
    if you have a favorite part of this cover? Yes I'm a cover whore (shame on me) because I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but I can't help it! But THIS cover is totally amazing! (YUMMY!) I love Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole covers!

    I tweet:!/PCravingBooks/status/165547973932097536
    I'm a foolower: Proserpine on GFC


  14. Oh, Prosperine, those ARE good covers, too! I'm squeeing that you like mine! :) Thanks for your comment!

  15. That picture of Dunluce Castle is amazing and so is the cover for your book. I loved everything about it, there isn't one thing I would have changed. It takes you to that moment between them and to the castle itself. I am a lover of anything medieval so castles have that extra pull for me. If I had to choose one favorite thing about the cover, it would be the castle and the coloring of the background that gives the book that something extra kindof feeling. Book covers do have a part in me picking a book off the shelf of someone I haven't read. I've found some really great authors that way. This story sounds amazing and I have added it to my wishlist. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for you are a new to me author :)


    follower and post

  16. Covers are very important, while the blurb or excerpt cements whether I buy a book, it's the cover that makes me pick it up or click on it to learn more.

    GFC Anne38

  17. You know i think the cover used to be more important to me before I got a Kindle...but I think there is still a lot of power in a cover...the colors involved speak to me...especially

  18. I think covers are VERY important! It's the first thing I look at and if it's unattractive...I'm likely to pass it by. Unless, I've heard something really good about it that causes me to take a second look. But it's the cover that usually nabs my attention first. Especially if I'm just browsing and not looking for some thing particular. I didn't notice her hands were bound until you mentioned it...I was too busy gawking at his shoulders and his mouth at her neck. LOL! I can't help myself...I like looking at handsome men! ;) I wonder if they have a support group for that...HA!

    US GFC/email follower

  19. Great comments everyone!

    @Leah--nice to meet you! I love the castle too. The cover artist just nailed all the elements here!

    @Anne--I'm kinda the same way!

    @Kimberly--I think that's true, plus the thumbnail size versions of covers on online bookstores are also changing what's a "good" cover, because it needs to stand out in a thumbnail size, as opposed to being 5x8 or 6x9 inches big...


  20. Ever since I saw this cover for the first time I was intrigued to read the story. With its misty blues, lightning, couple laid over the ruined castle, I thought gothic beauty. I guess that answers the question if I am influenced by covers- absolutely! Its not the only influence, but it is a big one.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity!
    +1 GFC follower: Sophia Rose

  21. Covers usually do not get me to buy the book but they do get me to look closer. I love the castle on this one and the way the couple is on the top part.
    debby236 at gmail dot com Follower

  22. Covers are pretty important to me. If the front cover catches my eye, I'll pick up a book and read the back cover. If the back cover grabs me-there's a sale :). I think my favorite part of this cover is the lightning-not sure why but I think it calls to chemistry and a primal or elemental component-will their relationship be stormy...that sort of thing.

    GFC: ML

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  23. @Sophia Rose, Debby, ML - enjoyed your comments! :)

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. CONGRATS Laura! That is one super hot cover for what sounds like one super hot story:) It sounds like you have been truly blessed by the cover gods... here's hoping it continue with the rest of your success! I don't want to say that covers are that important a factor in my decision of reading a book or not, but they can definitely help or hinder that decision if I'm already on the fence of whether or not to read it.

    +1 Comment
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  26. OMG, I'm ready to read! I loved hearing about this book!

  27. Covers do play a big role in buying a book. Let's face it; we do judge a book by its cover!

  28. I like looking at book covers, some are really gorgeous. But, they don't really effect whether I buy a book. While them may get my attention, if the blurb and excerpts do not interest me, I won't buy the book. I can always look at the cover online, *G*.
    Especially since a lot of the books I am reading these days are e-books, the cover just is not something I really think about. Yours are terrific though.

    GFC follower: June M.
    Tweet link:!/JuneAnnM/status/165862298420916224

    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  29. Covers catch my eye and make me want to find out more about the book. I like this cover.

    I follow the blog.

    Thanks for the giveaway. The book sounds very good.


  30. For me covers are important because it's the first thing I see. So if it catches my eye, I'm more likely to check it out. I love your cover 1) the guy is hot and 2) since I love mythology and legends the castle makes me want to check it out. Thanks for the chance.

  31. I might be attracted by a nice cover but I decide to buy a book based on the author (some are auto buys & Laura is quickly becoming one of those!), the blurbs & the reviews posted.

    +1 comment
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  32. Of course I noticed the rope. Makes things even hotter. hehe. Can't wait to read this book.

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC Follower: Jennifer Bielman
    +1 Twitter:!/JenniferBielman/status/166129827932422144

    US Resident.

  33. Really enjoying all your comments about how covers influence you guys, and this cover in general!

    @Renee - you made me chuckle! :)

    @June - you make a good point about how ebooks are changing the role of covers. Thanks!

    @bn - Woot! Thanks!

    @Linda - aw, thank you!

    @Jennifer - LOL! Glad you noticed that nice little details! :D

  34. Covers do play an important role in my decision to by the more eyecatching the more likely I am to take a closer look.They arent a deal breaker though because if I read a review or interview and hear good things about a book even htough I dont care for the cover Iwill still check the back flap its the blurbs that usually are my deciding factor.

    email and gfc follower
    wanda f

    posted to my blog

  35. I know that we should not judge a book by its cover, but is also true that when it comes to authors I do not know in advance, either the title or the book cover make me pick up the book. Then I of course read the blurb and see if I may like it, but covers that are eyecatching make me notice the book!

    blog follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  36. For me its both the cover and the blurb. The cover is what makes me decide to pick it up but the blurb is the deal breaker.

    +1 GFC
    +1 twitter!/ParaRomParty/status/166990538443198464

    Samantha Dacier USA

  37. @Wanda - I bet a lot of readers are the same! Great comment!

    @Reading mind - That makes sense to me, too, especially when there's such a sea of authors and books to choose from!

    @Samantha - Yup, me too!

    Thanks for the great comments everyone!

  38. I would have to say that for me covers do play a big part for me picking up a book. I am a visual person. I will pick up a book if I have seeing it everywhere and hearing good things about it, even if the cover didn't draw me in to start with. Thanks for the chance.

    I am a follower
    sariahwalters at gmail dot com

  39. The cover is what draws me to the book. Then I read the blurb. So the cover has got to be a grabber.
    gfc: Julianne
    I'm in the US
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  40. This looks like a wonderful book and has a great castle cover!

    FB share:

    riverinaromantic AT aol DOT com

  41. Have really enjoyed your comments on the importance of covers, guys! And glad you like my castle, Megan! ;)

  42. The cover is great and you are look gorgeous.
    I wish you the best future.