Dreamspinner Press, EM Lynley

Judging A Book By Its Cover: A Guest Post And Giveaway by EM Lynley


You see a gorgeous cover over at your favorite place to shop for books and CLICK you check it out. Who wrote it? What’s it about? Who the heck cares? Pretty, pretty, pretty BUY! Plenty of times a pretty boy on a pretty cover has made me throw all caution to the wind and click on BUY.

Raise your hand if you haven’t done that. Okay, I see one person’s hand up. Right. *smirks and shakes head* Not believing you. It’s the first thing you notice when you check out the new releases or coming soon page at your favorite publisher or distributor website. It’s what grabs your attention on a Facebook news feed of dozens of posts, images, and links.

It’s why we taunt you until we do a special reveal…. Just like a strip tease.

It’s those covers, right?

Forget that crap about not judging a book by its cover, because we all do it (me, too, and you’d think I would know better). There are several books with really iconic covers (Catt Ford’s A Strong Hand and the Cut & Run series are just two examples) I won’t name some of the well-known ugly covers, but you probably know at least one I could mention.

So, you can imagine that for an author, getting an amazing cover is like winning the Lotto. Getting a meh cover makes us want to hide under the blankets. Getting an ugly cover has us thinking up new pen names. At most publishers, we fill in a long form to request a cover, including details about the MCs looks, clothing, setting, season, time period, relationship, etc. I HATE those forms. I don’t know what the hell I want on my cover. Even when we say what we want, we have no idea what the cover artist will do.

So, it’s an absolute pleasure to get a cover that represents the book, the characters, and makes the author happy.

Working with Paul Richmond, Dreamspinner’s Art Director, on BOUND FOR TROUBLE was one of those amazingly effortless experiences. At least it was for me. I didn’t fill in the form and Paul had to chase me down, but it was because I had a certain idea in mind. I wanted a black-and-white image with a super-hot guy in bondage. And he had to BE Ryan Griffiths, the MC who’s a feisty rent-boy/sub-for-hire.

You’d think that wouldn’t be too hard to find, right?

I poured over pages of photos and couldn’t find just the right guy. Or if I found the right guy, he wasn’t tied up, or he was tied but had a silly expression on his face. I just gave up and let Paul find me a batch of images to look through.

Then I got the email while I was at RT in New Orleans. “Cover drafts”

It always sends shivers up my spine and not usually in a good way. I hate clicking on those cover draft emails. What if I hate it? What do I say? I wait a few hours before opening it up, until after I’ve thought up good phrases to say “I’m not thrilled,” really, really politely.

I think Paul had 8 or 9 covers for me. I looked at them in order, not seeing Ryan, not seeing the kind of guy or the kind of situation that fit my story. I was feeling kind of shaky, until I looked at the very last image in the email.

OMG, it WAS Ryan. It wasn’t just Ryan, but it was actually even better than I had imagined him in my mind. Not only was the cover perfect in terms of body type, but the expression on the model’s face was just so completely Ryan I think I shouted with relief (and some excitement, because he is HAWT).

Ryan Griffiths is slim and sexy, and he has so much attitude and sass he’s sure to attract the drug dealer that FBI agent Deke Kane is trying to catch. But flirtatious, playful Ryan makes it impossible for poor Deke to keep his cool around Ryan at all. Ryan loves to push Deke’s buttons and his boundaries. With such an amazing model on the cover of this book, you can really understand the magnitude of his power. When you see the smoldering look in Ryan’s eyes on the cover, you get why Deke might get a little distracted. There’s a lot more to Ryan than what’s on the surface, and once Deke finds out more, he’s done for.

Which is precisely why Deke and Ryan are Bound for Trouble.

Some kinds of trouble are just more fun than others.


Blurb: Daniel “Deke” Kane is a broken man, facing the end of his career in the FBI. He’s on desk duty after a botched drug raid left the suspects and two children dead. He’s got one chance to prove himself, or the only thing he’ll be investigating is the Help Wanted ads.

Ryan Griffiths has been on the run for ten years. Forced onto the streets when his father kicked him out, Ryan earns his living in other men’s beds. Finding his john dead in a hotel room drives him under the radar until a favorite client gives him a chance at a safe, clean life. But Ryan’s relatively stable new world shatters when Deke Kane catches up with him.

When Deke’s tasked to take down a drug dealer with terrorist ties and a taste for the dark side of BDSM, his only chance to get close is the suspect’s interest in Ryan, and he convinces Ryan to become a confidential informant. In return, Deke offers Ryan immunity from his past. As Ryan falls under the drug lord’s domination, Deke finds himself falling for Ryan.

Buy Links: DreamspinnerAmazonAll Romance eBooksBarnes & Noble


Pen & InkAbout EM Lynley: EM Lynley, a Rainbow Award winner and EPPIE finalist, has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

Author Links: WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterNewsletter


The Giveaway:

A $15 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card


Brought to you by Pride Promotions

Brought to you by Pride Promotions


7 thoughts on “Judging A Book By Its Cover: A Guest Post And Giveaway by EM Lynley

  1. Tammy says:

    A pretty cover pulls me in every time just as a bad one turns me away. It took me a long time to give in and read one series because the covers were so atrocious. I just couldn’t believe the books were as good as people said. I finally gave in and read the first book and then quickly devoured the rest. It became one of my favorites. It’s nice to know that you had the freedom to choose a cover that fits your image of the character. From the picture it looks like Ryan might be a bit of a handful. I look forward to reading his story. Thanks for the giveaway.


  2. Barbra says:

    I absolutely LOVE this cover. The model is something else! I don’t have the book yet because I don’t usually read BDSM, but I might just get it to stare at the cover. :-)


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