Monday, February 14, 2011

Cover Art for Call And Answer

I now have cover art by Trace Edward Zaber for my m/m paranormal shapeshifter story coming from Amber Allure on March 27. Here is the blurb:

Small-town Louisiana in 1959 is a dangerous place to have a gay affair. But Henri can't help his instant attraction to Gabriel, a handsome black musician who accepts his advances with amused tolerance. Henri hopes for a summer of hot, uncomplicated sex before he leaves for college. He doesn't realize that Gabriel is a powerful shape-shifter who also lives as an alligator in the bayou.

When Henri first sees Gabriel transform into an alligator, he mistakes him for the Devil. Then he learns that Gabriel exists to raise power through sex-magic. For that, Gabriel needs a human lover. In the past, some lovers have helped Gabriel spend the power for the good of the land, and others have squandered it for personal gain. What will Henri do – given that he never wanted to be a magic-wielder in the first place?

As his summer romance with Gabriel deepens into passionate love, Henri must learn to face responsibility as he encounters prejudice, family feuds, and startling glimpses into the underworlds of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Can he persuade Gabriel to take a chance on a future with him?

Call And Answer to be published by Amber Allure - March 27

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  1. Darn it, another cover model I don't recognize. ;)

    Congrats, Val!

  2. Wow, Val, stunning cover! (TEZ is really good.)

    And triple-wow for a 1950s bi-racial 'gator-shifter story! I absolutely have to see how you worked this one; it sounds very magical. Go you!

    BTW, what's the length?

  3. Great cover and blurb.

    I'll second KZ..."And triple-wow for a 1950s bi-racial 'gator-shifter story!"

  4. Hey Val! Congrats on the upcoming release and sexy cover! Sounds richly dark and mysterious, as is fitting to that deep bayou setting. :D

  5. A gater-shifter. I'm so proud of you Val. *sniff* I'm all about the alternative shifters. Penquin up next. Really. Do it.

    Great cover. Sounds very interesting.

  6. Hi, Chris, KZ, Lily, Katrina, and Tam! Thanks so much for the comments.

    Chris, yes, I've never seen him before either.

    KZ, thank you! He really did put together an even more amazing cover than I'd hoped for even on down to the little details like the font looking like weathered paint and the reflections/colors in the water. It's 30K words. I'm glad you asked. I added the info to my Coming Soon page.

    Lily, thank you! Yes, I'm not sure how popular this story is going to be with the general readership what with all those strange elements, but at least it's different, ha, ha!

    Katrina, thank you! I really enjoyed writing it. The cover really exceeded my wildest dreams. :)

    Tam, ha, ha! You still have me beat with your hamster shifter (I remember how cranky he was -- just like a real hamster!). Not too many authors work with reptile shifters for some unknown reason. :D I think there are some m/f paranormal romance authors who have done a series with snakes. Not sure how popular this is with the readers -- but I think the mammal shifters tend to be preferred.

  7. Yeah, well, snakes and I? Not so good. I could barely read that Jaye Valentine with the Medusa character. Even Eyre posted a pic with a guy with a gorgeous tattoo all over his back and down his hip and while I'm all about the gorgeous tattoo, I don't think I could handle. Yes, the phobia is that bad. LOL

    There is the book Shifting Sands which is kind of like an anthology but all the stories connected with different shifters and one of them is a snake. It's makes me wonder if I should or could read it. Well, likely COULD, do I want to is another question.

    There is also Coconut Cream Pie by Kate Hill which is a snake shifter. But no, I won't be reading that one either.

    However larger reptiles I can handle.

  8. Tam, I totally understand about phobias. I have a bit of a bug one myself. Can you imagine an invertebrate shifter? Like a roach or soemthing? Ewwww!

    One larger reptile we'll probably never see in a shifter story is a tortoise. Which is too bad because they're amazing. I've heard stories of tortoises that have escaped ship wrecks (where they'd been captured and held as a food supply) and they calmly swim ashore. Several are still alive more than 100 years later in nature preserves! But it would be hard to get a sexy, fast-paced drama going around a tortoise shifter. :D

  9. Now, the Tortoise Shifter and the Hare Shifter......

  10. Ha, ha! Not sure how that's going to work as a romance with the hare maybe weighing 6 pounds and the tortoise weighing 200! You think the human appearance would resemble the animal appearance?

  11. Oh, I'm so excited to see that gorgeous cover. I know I always say, "Trace does such a good job!" to the point where I sound like a broken record, but it's true. I think it's because he reads the stories, so he captures the mood and the feel. My guess is that most cover artists just get art direction from someone on the publishing team without reading it. (Seems like they could read one chapter to at least get a feel.)

  12. Now that is one hot cover (model!). Looking forward to the release!

  13. Hi, Jordan and Lis! Thank you for the comments!

    Jordan, thank you! Isn't it a gorgeous cover? The model, the scene, the alligator even. Out of all of that I think I'm swooning most over the little tiny details like the reflective colors in the water and the way the font looks. I'm sure you're right that he has a feel for how the art should be because he reads the stories.

    Lisa, thank you! He's very hot. Like Chris says, I don't think we've ever seen him before and so he's a fresh young face in the world of cover art, and that has to be good!

  14. Oops, Lis, didn't mean to call you Lisa. (I wish Blogger had a more user-friendly comment correction feature!)

  15. Woohoo for novella length! I can manage that at my desktop.

    I once had a vampire character with two alternate forms, one of which was a little green snake (ptewy to bats!) It turned out to be quite sexy.

    Chris and Val, to make things interesting, the tortoise would have to be the aggressor and/or Dom. Dontcha think? Might take him a while to get his man, though. Heh.

    Tam, don't even think of penguins in an erotic context. Shame on you. I, for one, would like to see a romance based on Jonah and the whale. Think of the possibilities... :-D

  16. Might take him a while to get his man, though. Heh.

    Ha, ha, ha! Think of the unresolved sexual tension! And Jonah and the whale? I've always wanted to be a whale shifter!

  17. Hey, there are gay penquins in real life, they are just asking to be written about. I'm so doing it. Oh and his lover with be a killer whale.

  18. Wow, looks and sounds really nice, Val! Congrats! I don't think I've read a gatershifter story before. :)

  19. Thank you, Jannn! I don't think I've ever heard of one of those either. Sometimes avian shifter, but mostly we get mammals. The reptiles just don't get much representation in fiction at all. :)


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