Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Author: Shirley Wells

Today a special treat from one of my favourite authors!! She has a new book out today...

First, a huge thank you to Toni for inviting me to her lovely blog.

For people who don’t know, Toni and I share a publisher in Carina Press. We’re also contributors to Not Your Usual Suspects, the blog where Carina Press mystery and romantic suspense authors tell it how it is.

Although I was published in the UK, the US was an unexplored world to me so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I heard that Carina Press, a new US publisher (so new they hadn’t released a single book!) had accepted my first Dylan Scott mystery, Presumed Dead. When the Carina Press website finally went live, I saw some of the most awesome covers ever. And I mean awesome. The one that really grabbed me? Toni’s Sea of Suspicion. I loved everything about that cover.

When it comes to buying books, I can be very picky. I read a lot of books so I have to be. There are a few auto-buy authors on my list, like Ruth Rendell, Jodi Picoult and Ian Rankin, and I hang out on a lot of book review sites. If I spot a good review from someone whose opinion I respect, I’ll read the blurb and, if possible, read a sample before I buy. With Toni’s Sea of Suspicion, however, I bought it simply because I fell in love with the cover. (Yes, I really can be that shallow.) I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what I did. I had to read Sea of Suspicion. End of. And wow, I loved that book. I was hooked from the first page.

I thought I’d be disappointed when I finally saw the cover for Presumed Dead, that I’d compare it to Sea of Suspicion and find it lacking. Thankfully, there were no tears or tantrums. I loved it. It was perfect in every tiny detail.

Twelve months on and I waited to see the cover for my second Dylan Scott mystery, Dead Silent. I couldn’t believe it when it arrived in my Inbox. Stunning. I think it suits the mood of the book perfectly. 
If you’re curious, this is from the back cover:

Ten months ago, Samantha Hunt set off for work...and was never seen again.
Despite the statistics of cold cases, Dylan Scott wants to believe the young woman's alive—and not just because her father, his client, is desperate to find his missing daughter before he dies of cancer. By all accounts Sam was a lovely girl, devoted to her younger stepsisters, well-liked at her work, in love with her boyfriend.
But as usual not everything is as it seems in sleepy Dawson's Clough. Sam's boyfriend has a violent past. She may have been having an affair with her boss. And Dylan can't shake the feeling that her stepfather is hiding something. Meanwhile, someone is trying to scare Dylan off the case.
Who wanted to silence Sam, and why? The truth turns out to be worse than anyone expected...
What about you? Have you ever judged a book by its cover?


Multi-published author Shirley Wells was born in the Cotswolds and lived in Cyprus and Orkney before settling in Lancashire, the UK, where the beautiful Pennine Hills provide the inspiration for her popular mystery novels. She and her husband share their home with two dogs, two cats and any other strays who fancy a pampered life. Her latest Dylan Scott mystery, DEAD SILENT, is published by Carina Press. Connect with Shirley via her website, follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook.


  1. Congratulations on your fantabulous release, Miss Shirley!!! I want to take Dylan along in the car with me again. He is a gracious passenger.

  2. Congrats on the new release! And I always judge a book by the cover. While it doesn't usually affect whether I buy or not, it sure affects which books catch my eye. That being said, I have bought a book just because I liked the font on the cover. So that maybe makes me ridiculously shallow! :)

  3. I definitely pick up a book because of the cover. Then I read the back cover copy, then the first paragraph or two. Love this cove. Makes me want to read it.

  4. Thank you for inviting me to your lovely home, Toni!

    Maureen, thank you. A gracious passenger? Dylan? *snort* I'm surprised he allowed you to drive. :)

    KC, thanks. We'll be ridiculously shallow together. Years back, I fell in love with a book cover, read the blurb, decided it wouldn't be my sort of book, but bought it anyway. And guess what ... it wasn't my sort of book. ;)

  5. Lucy - sometimes don't get as far as reading the back cover copy. I love this cover too. The Carina Press art department does an awesome job with our covers. We're so lucky!

  6. Oh dear, I've been found out :). I HAVE bought a book for its cover, plenty of times - but usually because I know the author as well!

    Just goes to show the power of the first impression doesn't it? And yours is marvellous, in full size or thumbnail, it really stands out and creates an immediate mood.

    The Carina covers really show quality. A lot of covers pass my view online, but it's only when good ones strike that you realise quite what talent is involved.

    Congratulations on the release!!!
    (and a special extra wave to Toni :)).

  7. Hi Clare! Thanks for the congrats.

    At least you know the author when you judge. I tend to see book covers like people see works of art. Toni's Sea of Suspicion could have featured a couple in their 80s discussing the laws of physics and I would *still* have needed to 'own' that cover. Note to self: Stop being so shallow... ;)

  8. "Toni's Sea of Suspicion could have featured a couple in their 80s discussing the laws of physics and I would *still* have needed to 'own' that cover."

    LOL--it DOES feature exactly that! :)

    I keep meaning to put it on my wall in a frame. I feel like they are works of art and Frauke is working on another one right now. So excited.

    Shirley--you have lovely covers but even more important, you write wonderful books :)

  9. Oops! Sorry, Toni, I didn't mean to dish up spoilers... ;)

    Thank you for your kind comments. *blushing*

    I can't wait to see the new one Frauke is working on for you. And yes, we really should frame them.

  10. Congratulations on your release, Shirley! It is a tremendously moody cover.

    I often judge a book by its cover, but never buy without reading a bit. There are too many great books out there for me to buy something pretty but bland.

  11. Hillary - thank you.

    I'm determined to be more sensible in the future. I've bought books purely because of the cover and struggled to get past the first chapter. Crazy. On the other hand, I've found several authors who have become favourites.