Wednesday, August 12, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Guarded by Carmen Fox

Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I have Carmen Fox, author of Guarded here today. Welcome!



My publisher designed the cover of my first novel, DIVIDE AND CONQUER, largely without my input, and the result wasn’t what I’d imagined. Not that it was horrible, it just didn’t match my expectations. For a control freak like me, that was tough to swallow.

With GUARDED, I was able to take charge, which proved a truly liberating experience. In broad terms, the covers that appeal to me most are uncluttered, with a definite feel for the genre. And that’s exactly what I was after.

First I had to conjure a theme. Since GUARDED is a sexy novel, I wanted a sexy albeit not erotic image to grace the cover. No hot bod of a hunk or a semi-clad young woman for me. Even if my book is heavy on romance with an over-18 tag, the story primarily focuses on the character of Ivy, a sassy 25-year-old who changes from a shy ‘good girl’ into a young woman who’s comfortable with her sexuality. A character-driven book needs a character-driven cover to represent it.

One by one I assembled the basic elements of an eye-catching visual. A woman’s legs in a short red skirt, because a strong stance expresses control and sensuality. And a (were)wolf to symbolize the genre.

Once I’d made up a mock-up picture, I asked my Facebook followers for comments and advice. They helped me perfect the details. The vibrant red of her skirt, in itself an aggressive color, should be reflected in the wolf’s eyes, and the confrontation between Ivy and the wolf must be palpable.

Armed with this, I researched book designers. The choice was almost overwhelming, but I whittled my final candidates down to Ana Grigoriu, whose covers just spoke to me. She favors simplicity, no clutter, but with wonderful lively colors. I e-mailed her my mock-up, filled in a short questionnaire about the tone of my novel, and within a few days, she sent back her version. And holy toaster, did she knock it out of the park.

I couldn’t have asked for a better designer or a better result. Everything you need to know about GUARDED is right here. A strong, sexy heroine. The paranormal element. Conflict. Even the background adds a sense of mystery, once again in keeping with the plot where everything, from the true identities of Ivy’s suitors to her past, is shrouded in uncertainty.

Together with the backcover blurb, the cover tells a reader exactly what to expect when picking up my book in a store or online.

I’m working on the sequel now, and while I have no clue yet as to what my cover will eventually look like, it’s comforting to know I have Facebook friends and readers to help and a designer who will convert a vague idea into a piece of art.

There are many obstacles you face as a newbie author, but having complete control over the cover art is a pretty awesome perk.


About the Author
Carmen lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. An avid reader since childhood, she caught the writing bug when her Nana asked her to write a story. She also has a law degree, studied physics for a few years, dabbled in marketing and human resources, and speaks native-level German and fluent Geek. Her preferred niches of geekdom are tabletop games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

She writes about smart women with sassitude, about pretty cool guys too, and will chase that plot twist, no matter how elusive.

Expect to be kept guessing.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER, Carmen’s first urban fantasy novel, was published in March 2015.

Find the author:


When everyone's existence depends on the lies they tell, trust doesn't come easy

Ivy’s neighbors have a secret. They aren’t human. But Ivy has a secret, too. She knows. As long as everyone keeps quiet, she’s happy working as a P.I. by day and chillaxing with her BFF Florian, a vampire, by night. When a routine pickup drops her in the middle of a murder, her two worlds collide. While Florian knows how to throw a punch, deep down he's a softie. His idea of scary? Running out of hair product. It’s time Ivy faced facts. Even with a vampire on stand-by, one gal can only kick so many asses.

For help, she must put her faith in others. A human, who might just be the one. A demon, who will, for a price, open the doors to her heritage. And a werewolf, who wants to protect her from herself.

Torn between these men, Ivy must tread carefully, because one wants her heart, one wants her body, and one wants her dead.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I really appreciate it.