{Virtual Book Tour} By Its Cover by Deborah Hawkins, author of Dance for a Dead Princess

Dance for a Dead Princess FinalABOUT DANCE FOR A DEAD PRINCESS

Wall Street Attorney Taylor Collins, has something Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham, has been searching for since the death of the Princess of Wales: the videotape Diana made in January 1997 before her death in August, naming her assassins.
Determined to avenge Diana’s death by exposing her killers, Nicholas lures Taylor to England with his promise to sell his ancestral home, Burnham Abbey,  to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls.   But Nicholas, who has dated American actresses since the death of his beloved wife, ten years earlier and who has vowed never to fall in love again, is immediately overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.
Taylor, unaware that Diana’s tape is in the estate of Mari, her long-time friend and client, and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish and is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York.  But while working in the Abbey’s library, Taylor uncovers the Tudor-era love story of Thomas, the first duke and founder of the Carey family.  As she reads Thomas’s agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine.  But just as Taylor’s own feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana’s voice from the grave, she is confronted with evidence Nicholas may be responsible for a double murder.  When Nicholas is arrested and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth once and for all about Nicholas Carey and the death of the Princess of Wales.
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            Before your reader can encounter your magical prose, or be swept off his or her feet by your irresistible hero or enchanting heroine, you have to persuade that prospective reader to look inside your book.  And enticing the reader is the job of your book’s cover.   Nothing is more valuable in book marketing than the cover.
            Although “don’t judge a book by its cover” has been drilled into us from an early age, we do exactly that when we consider a prospective relationship with works of fiction or non.  This principle came to the forefront recently in a discussion with my Google advertising account representative as I considered an ad campaign with the legendary search engine giant.  I was lamenting my inability to come up with snappy key words to make my proposed ad highly visible to Google searchers when he assured me he could fill that gap without a problem.  But, he asked, what about your book’s cover?  And we both agreed without a great cover all the clever key words in his arsenal would not sell books.

            For me, a great cover features the title and author’s name in a legible but interesting font, and displays an image that hints at the book’s topic.  The image is very important for me because I often focus there first before my eye travels to the title and the author’s name.

            As a first-time author, I was anxious about finding an artist to create a great cover for Dance For A Dead Princess.  But I was very fortunate.  I found Judy Bullard on a Smashwords list of cover artists and loved the professional quality of her work. 

            Based upon a short summary of the plot and information about the real world images that inspired the book’s setting, Judy came up with a terrific cover on the first try.  I was delighted and amazed.  Her color scheme of lighter clouds against a darkening sky perfectly conveys the mystery-thriller component of the plot.  She placed Nicholas, the hero, and Taylor, the heroine, on opposite sides with Burnham Abbey and Princess Diana’s tiara in the center between them, showing the reader the dramatic themes that place them in opposing camps throughout much of the story.  I also loved the way the script she used for the title picks up the dainty swirls in Diana’s crown, just above it.   Finally, her attention to detail was impressive.  She contacted me before sending the proof to make sure she had gotten the color of Nicholas and Taylor’s eyes right! 

            Thanks to Judy’s work, any reader considering Dance For A Dead Princess knows at once the book is a romantic mystery involving royalty and a centuries-old country house.  Then, as soon as the reader scans the first few pages of the Prologue, it becomes clear the royalty is Diana, Princess of Wales, and the country house is Burnham Abbey which Nicholas, the Eighteenth Duke, is determined to destroy until he meets the woman he calls, “that remote star,”  Taylor Collins.  


Deborah grew up in the South, wrote her first novel at the of age thirteen, and has been writing ever since. In graduate school, she studied Irish Literature and came to believe all Irishmen and Southerners are born storytellers. In addition to writing, she loves music and plays the clarinet. Now that her children are grown, she devotes her time to law, music, writing, and her two Golden Retrievers, Melody and Rhythm.
Deborah taught college English and worked as a technical editor before going to law school. She worked for several large East Cost firms before coming to California in the mid-1980's where she developed a solo practice as an appellate attorney while raising her three children as a single parent. She is admitted to the bar in two states and the District of Columbia, is a certified appellate specialist, and has a Master of Laws in addition to a Masters in English. She believes that even a legal case always begins with a story. Visit her blog at: http://dhawkinsdotnet.wordpress.com/



Pump Up Your Book and Deborah Hawkins are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from July 1 - September 27. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 28, 2013. Each blogger who participates in the Dance for a Dead Princess virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com.  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway ----------------------------------------------------------

Dance for a Dead Princess Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, July 1 - Book reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher
Tuesday, July 2 - Book featured at Cindy's Love of Books
Wednesday, July 3 - Book featured at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
Thursday, July 4 - Interviewed at Read 2 Review
Friday, July 5 - First chapter reveal and review at Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, July 8 - Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers
Tuesday, July 9 - Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Wednesday, July 10 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Friday, July 12 - Book trailer reveal at Pump Up Your Book
Tuesday, July 16 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Thursday, July 18 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Friday, July 19 - 5 Things post at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, July 23 - Book reviewed at Miki's Hope
Wednesday, July 24 - Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Thursday, July 25 - Interviewed at Broowaha
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