Here’s the cover for, the second episode (Act II) of Master of the Opera: Ghost Aria. I posted the one for Act I, Passionate Overture, last Friday. The next two will be revealed by Bookpushers on Thursday, August 15! I love how each cover is the same image, with a slight variation to reflect the theme of that Act. Here’s the blurb for this one:
In the second seductive installment of Jeffe Kennedy’s thrilling Master of the Opera, a young woman falls deeper under the spell of the man who haunts her dreams, fuels her desire, and demands her surrender. . .
With each passing day of her internship at the Sante Fe Opera House, Christine Davis discovers something new, something exciting–and something frightening. Hidden in the twisting labyrinths beneath the theater is a mysterious man in a mask who, Christy’s convinced, is as real as the rose he left on her desk–and as passionate as the kiss that burns on her lips. He tells her to call him “Master,” and Christy can’t deny him. But when her predecessor–a missing intern–is found dead, Christy wonders if she’s playing with fire. . .
If her phantom lover is actually a killer, how can she continue to submit to his dark, erotic games? And if he is innocent, how can she resist–or refuse–when he demands nothing less than her body and soul?
I love how they wrote these up – they sound ever so much better than what I would have written.
I also got this yesterday:
Nothing like a shiny award to perk a girl up! This award comes at a great time, too, because the sequel, Rogue’s Possession, comes out October 7! Which no longer seems forever in the future, huh? The other day, a couple of book bloggers who loved Pawn heard about the sequel’s release date and were squealing with excitement on Twitter, speculating about what might happen next. I may or may not have succumbed to teasing them a bit about it. 😀
Still, there’s really nothing better than having smart enthusiastic readers excited about the next book. My favorite kind of conversation ever. Having someone else love my characters and story as much – maybe more! – than I do is a kind of transcendent feeling. This is why, if for no other reason, writers should find ways to communicate with their readers. It closes that loop, the one that starts with daydreams and hours alone at the keyboard, in a way that nothing else does.
It’s difficult for many authors, I know, to figure out how to behave in public. This might sound silly, but many people who become writers succeed because they’re happy being away from society for the huge chunks of alone time needed. Musicians and others in the performing arts are necessarily more social. They have to learn to engage with their audience, at some level or another. Visual artists have a long history of being cantankerous, cranky or just plain crazy. In times past, lovers of art and books rarely met the creators. Except for publishing house horror stories about autocratic and terrifying authors, for the most part no one knew what the writers themselves were like.
Recently a book blogger asked people about meeting their favorite author and asked if they regretted it. Of course, this is like asking people about car wrecks or kitchen accidents – everyone trots out the most horrific story they know. But they told of authors ignoring them, blowing them off, acting snobbish, being downright mean, etc. If I remembered where I read it, I’d post the link because it really was instructive.
The thing is, I could kind of read into some of the stories and know where the author was coming from. Not in an excusing-them way, but in a sympathy way. Often what’s read as snobbishness or a blow-off is the author not knowing how to behave. If they’ve never worked in corporate culture, never learned to deal with a range of people, they can come off as frozen, when they’re really overwhelmed.
I read this article recently. No, I didn’t click on it just because it’s about Hugh Jackman. Okay, maybe I did, but then I *stayed* for the content! It’s a terrific contrast piece about meeting a CEO and meeting Hugh Jackman – and the first impression each made.
For me the key part of the article is this:
In three minutes, Hugh Jackman turned me into a fan for life–but he didn’t sell me. He didn’t glad-hand me. He just gave me his full attention. He just acted as if, for those three minutes, I was the most important person in the world–even though he didn’t know me and has certainly forgotten me.
There’s the way through that deer-in-the-headlights moment (or two-hour signing). The ubiquitous “they” often give the advice to ask people questions about themselves, when you’re in conversations that are stalling. It never hurts to focus on the other person and, as writers, we’re all naturally interested in character. Give that person your full attention, treat them as important and learn something about them.
After all, it’s only three minutes.
Less, in social media.