Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guest Author - Tessa Adams

I'm delighted to welcome Tessa Adams to the blog today. I read Dark Embers as an ARC and thought Tessa's new world of dragon shifters was dark and sexy and intriguing. You can check out an excerpt on Tessa's website.

Please give Tessa a warm welcome everyone, and don't forget to enter her contest!

Tessa Adams

Before I start, I have to have a fangirl moment here. Nalini is my absolutely favorite paranormal writer an
d has been since I read Slave to Sensation many, many moons ago. I am so thrilled that she invited me to post on her blog!

I spent a long time trying to decide what it is I wanted to write about for today and since my latest cover for Dark Embers has generated a lot of comments— and because Nalini has some of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen--I thought I’d spend a few minutes talking about how books get their covers.

To begin with, I have to say that I have been incredibly lucky at NAL— they have given me beautiful, sexy, provocative covers for all of my books and I could not be happier. In fact, I just got the cover for Hidden Embers, my second dragon book as Tessa Adams, and I am very excited about it.

Now, I can’t tell you about everyone’s experience with covers—as I think each publishing house does things a little differently—but at NAL, the cover art really is a collaboration—between the author, her e
ditor, her agent, marketing, the artist, and the art director. Wow, when I lay it all out like that it sounds like a lot of work. But then again, that sounds about right. Trying to get a great cover is a lot of work.

an author just gets lucky, as I did with my first book, Full Exposure. I had almost no input on that cover—I said I wanted something to reflect the heat (Louisiana bayou in the summertime and Kevin is an iron sculptor who welds his pieces together) and something that reflected Serena hiding away and Kevin slowly stripping her defenses from her. And voila, I got the absolutely GORGEOUS cover for Full Exposure (one of my favorite parts is Serena peering out from the spine of the book).

My Tie Me Down cover, however, took a lot more work. My editor wanted to shake things up a bit, and though one major theme in the book is Cole’s sexual domination of Genevieve, there is one scene where she turns the tables on him. My editor wanted to exploit that scene on the cover—to make the book really stand out from others of its kind (which is why Cole is the one tied up here). But when we first got the cover, the title was in huge white block letters, Cole (with his arms tied behind his back) was dead center and the whole background was dark shades of brown.

It was an interesting cover, but both my agent and I—and to some extent my editor—felt that it wasn’t really catering to the audience (in other words, it looked like M/M erotica and we were afraid that people who bought it and found out it that it wasn’t would be upset). Plus the whole cover just looked really harsh and forbidding and didn’t appeal to us as women at all (a problem since romance novels are geared toward women). So we took our concerns back to the artist, who cam
e up with the present cover—he added a layer of cursive underneath the title, added blood to the white letters to signify the serial killings that are the book’s subplots, moved Cole to the left and put Genevieve in the upper right corner. Of course, now the cover looks like a fem dom book (which it definitely isn’t) and my Genevieve has blonde hair, not brown, but at least the overall cover is really striking and beautiful—and has a subtle feminine touch that I really, really like.

I think my Tease Me cover is absolutely beautiful. The color scheme is an interesting cross between Full Exposure and Tie Me Down, which I love. When my editor came to me, we had originally envisioned the first scene from the book, where the two main characters are on facing balconies in a beautiful New Orleans courtyard. But no matter what the art department did, they—and marketing—just weren’t happy with the finished look. So they went back to the drawing board and the very sexy cover for Tease Me was born. I love it and was glad to hear that readers do as well :-)

Which brings me to my Dark Embers cover, which was another one that was nearly perfect when we got it. When my editor asked what I wanted, I told her a desert scene (my dragons live in the modern day, in the caves under the New Mexico desert) and a hot guy with a dragon tattoo—and what I got was exactly that. But when the original version came back, both my editor and the marketing department were concerned that it wasn’t dragony enough, so she had the art department add the belt buckle and my Dark Embers cover was complete.

So in the spirit of my blog entry, I thought I’d ask what some of your favorite covers have been? Some of my recent favorites are Maya Banks’s cover for Sweet Temptation, Unspeakable by Laura Griffin, Larissa Ione’s for Sin Undone, Nalini’s for Archangel’s Kiss, and Lauren Dane’s Inside Out. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of my first Dragon’s Heat novel, Dark Embers.*

*Tessa will close the contest and announce the winner in the comments.


Jackie Uhrmacher said...

Welcome, Tessa! I've been drooling over your cover since it first popped up on the web.

Let's see...my favorite cover this year would probably be Meljean Brook's cover for Demon Blood.

Marnie said...

Covers our my little hobby. I agree on the ones' you mentioned. I also LOVE Revelations by Lauren Dane and Demon Blood by Meljean Brooks.

Leontine said...

I can't get enough talking about covers. Today I actually stumbled onto the cover of Katie MacAlister's Light Dragons series #2 release THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF DRAGONS. Abs, pecs and tats, the first one floored me but the second one is equally as good!!

Donna said...

Hi Tessa! Congrats on your new release and I do love the cover for it - verra hawt! Nalini Singh's ARCHANGEL'S KISS is one of my favorite covers for this year. Along with it I really liked both covers for Katie MacAlister's Light Dragons series so far, STORMWALKER by Allyson James, AFTERLIFE by Merrie Destefano and DOUBLE CROSS by Carolyn Crane. Oh, I have so many more that I just adore...

Ina said...

Hi Tessa!
thanks so much for being here today - I love the covers you mentioned :)
my favorite ones are Fallen by Lauren Kate and Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev...
can't wait to read your book - it's already on top of my wishlist!
greetings, Ina

jeanette8042 said...

Some of my favorite covers is Lauren Dane's Insatiable and Nalini Singh's Archangel's Kiss. Congrats on your release!

Tanja said...

A few of my favorite covers:
- Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
- Angels Blood & Archangels Kiss by Nalini Singh
- Strange Angels by Lili St.Crow
- Grim by Gesa Schwartz
It's mostly the colors that make me like the covers, and tiny little details that make you want to look at them forever.

Chelsea B. said...

Hi, Tessa! Your new release sounds fantastic!
A few of mine are: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley, The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter, and Marked by Elizabeth Naughton.

Biki said...

Welcome Tessa! I love covers, they're a reason I've picked up and started a few series, lol. The ones I really like is Anne Bishop's Black Jewel and Ephemeral series as well as CE Murphy's Demon Hunts, and so many others.

Missy said...

Your new book sounds great, i love dragons :)

I love Lauren Dane's covers and the covers for the Demonica series by Larissa Ione.

Cathy M said...

I totally agree on the list so far. Would also add Joey W Hill's, Daughter of Ariane and her Vampire Queen series.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

kylie said...

Hi Tessa - welcome and good to see you here on Nalini's weblog. Congrats on Dark Embers!

Some particular favorite covers of mine include the Hunter Kiss series by Marjorie Liu and the Drakon series by Shana Abe. The former having this kick-butt chick with tatoos and a sword, and the latter a dreamy, timeless quality.

Teena said...

Hi Tessa, so this is where the dragons went they weren't mythical. I love dragons.
A few of my favorite covers are:
-Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh
-Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
-Gene of Isis by Traci Harding
-Must love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews and Meljean Brook.

TracyW said...

A few of my favorite covers:

Archangel's Kiss (Nalini Sigh)
ShadowFever (Karen Moning)(Comes out in January)
Darkest Passion (Gena Showalter)

Heather Scarboro said...

Hmmm, favorite covers: Lauren Dane's Laid Bare, Patricia Briggs' Bone Crossed, any of the Harry Potter books (great art work), and Jaci Burton's upcoming book The Perfect Play. There are many many more but those are just a few.

cait045 said...

I loved the Mortal Instruments covers by Cassandra Clare and Chloe Neill's Chicago Vampires.

Diane said...

I have to think about that question.
I'm enjoying Nora Roberts' new book but her covers are not inspiring; Thank the Good Lord I don't buy books by their covers. I'm going to pick Chloe Neill's new book: Twice Bitten since I finished reading it last week.

orannia said...

Tessa - you have some goregeous covers. I think my favourite of your covers is Tease Me :)

As for my favourite covers...hmmm. I love Nalini's Archangel covers, and Anne Bishop's Black Jewel series (particularly Tangled Webs).

Christina said...

Hi Tessa! I love the covers for your "Tease me" & "Full exposure".

I love so many covers, where to start? I like the cover model for KMM's Highlander Series, Archangel's Kiss is gorgeous, of course, I like Kresley's Cole's first few covers simply because it has a couple on them and not just a (hot) guy.

I love the cover for the book Lightborn by Alison Sinclair even though I haven't read it.

Can I ask who NAL is? I'm guessing your publishing house, but I'm not sure of the initials.

Ang from Oz said...

Hi Tessa,
I can't wait to read your new book!! Seriously HAWT cover art!!

A few of my fav covers are
* Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
* Archangels Kiss - Nalini ;)
* Merlin's Harp - Anne Elliot Crompton (its a gorgeous cover)
* The Darkest Passion - Gena Showaler

Thanks so much for the contest!

Catherine said...

I like Nalini's cover from Bonds of Justice. Something about the "back tattoo"
I also like the "Bride Quartet" covers from Nora Roberts. Classic and elegant. Totally different from the tattoo look =)

elaing8 said...

Hi Tessa,I love the cover for Dark Embers.
Others are Insatiable by Lauren Dane,Maya Banks Sweet Series,Anya Bast's The Chosen Sin.Velvet Haven by Sophie Renwick..Those are just a few.

Noyba said...

My absolute favourite cover is Laid Bare by Lauren Dane, closely followed by Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh but some of the Black dagger Brotherhood books by JR Ward get honourable mentions.

host said...

One of my favourites is for Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. The other one is Insatiable by Lauren Dane

Chris said...

I love all the covers of the House of the Night Series by PC Cast - they are gorgeous!
congrats on the release!

Anonymous said...

Lora Leigh's Breed books have wonderful covers. I love them.

Also, you can't beat Nalini's covers.

Lisa J

CrystalGB said...

Hi Tessa. Your book sounds great. I love dragons. I love the covers to Lauren Dane's books and Lisa Kleypas has amazing covers for her historicals.

Anonymous said...

Helen G. says...

Hi Tessa!!

I am also a fan of Nalini's and I am excited that you are getting so many great reviews! Congrats! I am eager to read your books! So I will see what is in at my local Bookstore! (or if I win, I will be that much closer, you know? That would be fun!) As for your ?'s, here's my response:

"So in the spirit of my blog entry, I thought I’d ask what some of your favorite covers have been? Some of my recent favorites are Maya Banks’s cover for Sweet Temptation, Unspeakable by Laura Griffin, Larissa Ione’s for Sin Undone, Nalini’s for Archangel’s Kiss, and Lauren Dane’s Inside Out."

I definetly agree with Archangel's Kiss, I also love Dawn Thompson's Nicholas, Christine Feehan's Dark Desire-1st printing Jacques just looks amazing!!, Patricia Brigg's Moon Called, etc.

I could probably go on for more, but I think this post is long enough!!

Thank you Tessa for spending time with us fangirls!! and Thank you Nalini for having this chat opened up!! (I never thought I would be one of those crazy fangirls but I guess I am, as my phone exchange proved undoubtedly but I just wanted to let you know how much your books means to me, and my sis!, whenever things are down in our lives, your books definetly help pull us through!)

Lots of love,

Helen G.

Virginia C said...

Hi, Tessa! Congratulations on "Dark Embers", the cover of which is at the top of my list : )

"Kismet" & the "Assasin" books from Monica Burns

"Addicted" & "Sinful" from Charlotte Featherstone

"Broken" from Shiloh Walker

"Need" & "Captivate" from Carrie Jones

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

heidi330 said...

Some of my fav covers are,Web of lies by jennifer Estep,Lauren Griffin, Unspeakable,First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost.
Congrats on your new release,Tessa.

heidijohnjeff AT verizon DOT net

Anna said...

Hi Tessa! Enjoyed the Dark Embers excerpt on your website! Once I finish re-reading About a Dragon by G.A. Aiken I will need a dragon fix!

My favorite book cover is Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh. Others are
Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
Magic Strikes - Ilona Andrews
No Rest for the Wicked - Kresley Cole

Erika said...

Though it hasn't been released for the public yet, I love the cover of Nalini's Play of Passion. So hot, plus I like the color scheme.

Krystyn said...

Hi Tessa! I have to say that my top three covers right now are:

Branded by Fire and Bonds of Justice by Nalini and your Tease Me Cover. BbF is just waaay hot and Max's tattoo is entrancing. ;) And your cover is exactly that: a tease! :) It's so beautiful and made me want to read it when I first saw it.

There are so many amazing covers out there, but as of this moment, those are it! ^_^



Mary G said...

Hi Tracy & Nalini
I love this subject. Full Exposure really captures the mood of the steamy story. I love Sarah McCarty's covers (Caine's Reckoning - only book I ever bought just for the cover). Lauren Dane's tattoo covers & the Insatiable cover. I guess I like abs & obliques. I do love the dark Embers cover & one of my all time faves is The Missing by Shiloh Walker. I'll probably think of others after.

Fedora said...

Hi, Tessa and Nalini!

Ah, covers :) I've really liked some of Lauren Dane's covers recently--her Laid Bare, Coming Undone, and the coming Inside Out all are really gorgeous...

JenM said...

I have a Kindle so I don't pay too much attention to covers. However, I was completely caught by the cover of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. It's a fantasy and I don't usually read those, but after I saw the cover, I had to read an excerpt, and it was so good that now I must read the book.

Looking forward to reading Dark Embers!

Anonymous said...

i love the cover of be with me by maya banks

Lynnette said...

Some of my favourite covers have been Meljean Brooks Demon Lover and Captivate & Need by Carrie Jones.
Your book sounds interesting. Would love to win this. I'll look for it in my local book store

Pamk said...

your cover looks wonderful. love the cover. Some of my favorite covers are
Jeannine frost's grave series
Nalini's Angel series.
Karen chances series
Ilona Andrews on the edge book. there are lots more that I am probably forgetting but those stand out in my mind right off the bat.

becky Jean said...

I love the covers for JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. My fav would have to be lover avenged :)

Your book looks wonderful!


Tracy Wolff/Tessa Adams said...

Thanks so much everyone for all the wonderful comments about my books. And for all the great cover suggestions-- I've been busy looking them up tonight and you guys are right. There are some absolutely gorgeous covers out there.

Christina, NAL stands for New American Library. It's the sister company to Berkley and falls under the Penguin umbrella (or put another way, it's JR Ward's publisher, LOL;)

mariska said...

My favorite cover this year : The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff and Lauren Dane's Insatiable :)

Marlene said...

my favorite one so far is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

lindseye said...

Love Lauren Dane's Insatiable and Sophie Renwick's Velvet Haven covers.

Anna said...

One I forgot to mention on my earlier post was Claimed by the Wolf by Charlene Teglia. Love the colors and hot tatted guy on the cover. It was a steamy hot novel!

Tracy Wolff/Tessa Adams said...

OMG, Marlene, that is a great cover and a fabulous book! I devoured Before I Fall in one afternoon and recommended it to just about everyone I know.

Rachel498 said...

Hi Tessa! I'm looking forward to learning more about your books! They sound awesome!

Some of my favorite covers are pretty much all of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress covers, Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep, Archangels Kiss, and Shadowfever.


Marlene said...

Hi Tessa! I'm so happy you liked Before I Fall - unfortunately I haven't had the time to read it yet but it's already waiting for me :)
have a great day, Marlene

lia said...

ooo, that's a hard one! There are so many covers that I love (and wish I could display on a shelf rather than stare at the spines on my bookshelf), but my absolute favorite would be Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey... maybe Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews and Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire next? Also, I love the cover of Play of Passion, but I'm reserving judgment until I see it in person :)

Kris said...

That is a hard question. I guess I would have to go with either Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh or Insatiable by Lauren Dane.

Tracy Wolff/Tessa Adams said...

Hi guys! Thanks again for all the great comments and cover suggestions. I was just over at Random.Org and it spit out the number ... 4, so Donna is the winner of the Dark Embers giveaway. Donna, contact me at tracy@tracywolff.com with your info and I'll get the book in the mail to you.

Donna said...

Woohoo!! So very excited! I've sent my info via email. Thank you Tessa. :)