The Siren Call of Sensory Details

Whether taking a long walk in the woods on a brisk October day, or skimming my toes in the damp sand during a vacation in July, I’m a woman who embraces every sensory detail. How the tepid water laps at my ankles. The cry of a gull as he careens toward his mate. A tang that tickles my nostrils as the ocean tide slaps the shoreline. A rich burst of flavor from freshly-ground Arabica beans as I sip coffee on the balcony and another sunrise smudges the horizon. Those and so many other gifts from Nature are provided for my sensory pleasure.

While I enjoy being outdoors when weather permits, another of my favorite places to visit is the local bookstore. So many delightful literary offerings there. New authors whose work I’m longing to read. Favorite authors whose talent at turning words and phrases always amazes me and finds their books on my shelves. Of course, the cafes where I sample certain confections and coffee beverages from time to time.

But you might ask what I find so mesmerizing and magical about a bookstore. Every visit is an adventure. From the moment I step over the threshold, I’m surrounded by displays from which I take a visual cue during my shopping. The entire wonderful experience begins with an eye-catching cover. Appealing cover art will find me picking up a book and reading the back cover blurb. If my interest is piqued, I speed read through the first chapter. I applaud authors, publishers and cover artists for their ability to bring the story and/or central characters to cover life. Because of evocative covers, I’ve purchased many new authors’ books I might have otherwise missed. Kudos to all involved in the cover art conceptualization. I’ve been blessed to work with many fine cover artists including Sahara Kelly (my first cover, SAINTS AND SINNERS), Scott Carpenter (TAMING THE TEMPTRESS), Syneca (HELLE IN HEELS and ROUGHRIDER), Ginger Heaston, and Sable Grey. You can check out some of these covers at My Website.

Readers, have you been drawn to a particular shelf because an appealing cover is facing out and urging you to take a peek at the pages? What are some of your favorite covers? I’ll confess my favorite cover is pictured above.

Very visual vixen,

Shawna Moore
ROUGHRIDER – Ellora’s Cave
HELLE IN HEELS – Ellora’s Cave
TORMENTED – TBD Ellora’s Cave
Shawna’s Myspace
Helle’s Myspace


Elen Grey said...

"Readers, have you been drawn to a particular shelf because an appealing cover is facing out and urging you to take a peek at the pages?"

Absolutely! Covers can be art form for me. I have to agree, I love your cover for Roughrider and Helle in Heels. You have some of the best cover art I've ever seen, Shawna.

If I'm searching for a fave author, I almost don't care about the cover. But, that's because I know the writing is exceptional and the story is going to be great -- an auto-author.

It's hard to say what makes a cover stand out for me. When I'm into a cover, I'm into it. By the same token, I know what will make me pass a book by, if it's not an auto-author.

Here's a sampling of what I love:

Karen Marie Moning's -- The Immortal Highlander -- cover. Actually, the more recent covers in that series. All dark and broody. Gorgeous. JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Lucy Monroe's -- Willing. Also, LM's -- Ready. That is a very small sampling. But, this isn't my blog! lol

Fun topic!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Shawna,

I don't know that a cover has ever made me decide not to buy a book, but they certainly have drawn my attention to books and encouraged me to read the backcover blurb and perhaps the first couple of paragraphs--which has led to my purchase.

I am blessed with some of the best covers in the world--IMHO. ;-)

I particularly like the covers on the books by Anna Campbell and the Ice series from Anne Stuart. Melody Thomas's historicals have had a couple of beautiful covers.

Then there are those where one can only ask, what was the art department thinking?

Ann Macela
WINDSWEPT, Medallion Press, Available Now

ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Elen!

Many thanks for the cover compliments :) I'm quite thankful to work with talented folks who have the gift of bringing my concepts to cover life :)

For those auto-buy authors, I also don't care what's on the cover LOL The way to those favorite authors' books is never hard to find :)

You've listed some great covers as standout choices, too! I appreciate your sharing your thoughts :)

Happy week wishes,


ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Ann!

Indeed, your Magic covers rock! Very beautiful :) Can't wait to finish plotting the current project so I can enjoy Windswept :)

Have to agree with your selection of Melody's covers. They are gorgeous, and she's quite a gifted author :)

May the cover gods continue blessing you and me :)Thanks for sharing your views!

Happy week wishes,


Anonymous said...

Hi, Shawna. Roughrider's cover is very well done. Not just another body on the cover, but one that tells its own story.

I like covers that lead into some part of the book, and entice me to flip to read back blurb.

Good luck with sales on your new novel.


Kim Lenox said...


I agree -- I like covers that make me curious about the contents of the book. I find that I usually like "mysterious" covers, where I feel like Pandora peeking into the box. If that makes sense. ;)

Great post Shawna!

ShawnaMoore said...

Good Morning, Carol!

Ever since my mother mentioned enjoying covers that somehow connected themselves to the characters and story, I've tried to capture the same in titles and details I include on my cover-art sheets. This gives readers or potential readers an idea as to the tone and content. A preview of sorts IMO.

Many thanks for sharing your viewpoint and for the compliment and good wishes :) ROUGHRIDER is quite the cover hero :)

Happy week wishes,


ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Kim!

Glad you enjoyed the post, and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts on cover art :)

An element of mystery is important for covers. Something that makes the reader ponder the meaning of the object or location pictured. Prompts them to make the purchase and start reading to find out the answer :) Great point!

Hope you have a wonderful week :)

Smiles across the miles,

Shawna -- who's also enjoyed your novel covers

Unknown said...

I agree, if the author is an auto-buy I don't really notice the cover, but I still love to look at all the half-nekkid men covers...ok I'm shallow but I do like them:)

The one cover of mine that people always comment on is Planet Mail' it still helps sell that book:) I also like all the Aphrodisia covers :)

Elen Grey said...

"The one cover of mine that people always comment on is Planet Mail"

LOL. That is a dynamite cover, Kate. Then, your cover for Simply Sexual is pretty awesome, too. Yum!

I just couldn't resist adding my 2 cents here.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Kate and Elen!

I'm with you on the hunky masculine covers :) They'll find me taking more than one look :)

Aphrodisia definitely has designed some sizzling covers. Very appealing as is your cover for Planet Mail, Kate :) When those covers turn out so well, we celebrate!

Best wishes always,


ShawnaMoore said...

Hi, Terry!

Blurbs are excellent selling points. If the blurb piques my interest, I read the book's first chapter. If I'm still hooked, it's time to proceed to the counter :)

Smiles across the miles,


Vonda Sinclair said...

Your cover is one of my favorites too, Shawna! I love those bare chest hunk covers!! They always catch my eye and make me want to investigate the book further.