About the book:A heartfelt plea to look into the death of a world-famous vintner goes hand in hand with the opportunity to attend an exclusive gourmet event in British Columbia’s stunning wine country. How can overindulgent foodie and criminologist Cait Morgan resist?
Sure that the award-winning owner of a family-run vineyard was murdered, Cait shares her findings with Bud Anderson, a retired homicide cop. But he is convinced that the woman took her own life, whatever her grief-stricken sister might say. That is, until death strikes once again, in the neat rows of grapevines that clamber up the banks of magnificent Lake Okanagan.
Uncovering obsessions that might have fuelled murderous thoughts among the victim’s wacky neighbours is a start, but as Cait unravels the clues, she realizes that more lives are at stake. Can she think, and act, quickly enough to thwart the killer?
The Corpse with the Golden Nose is the second book in the Cait Morgan Mysteries, a classic whodunit series featuring the eccentric Professor Cait Morgan.
Guest Post by Cathy Ace
Judge a Book By Its Cover?
We’ve all heard the saying, “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” right? And yet we still do . . . or do we? If we don’t, then all books could be put on sale with just the title and author’s name in bold black lettering, nothing more. So what’s the purpose of a book cover—other than to protect the pages within?
When I’m browsing the bookstore—bricks or clicks—or the library, I always head for the FICTION section and, within it, the MYSTERIES. When I get there, I start at authors beginning with “A” (I’m really hoping you do too!) and have at it. The vast majority of the books are presented spine-on, even in bookstores. That means that the first thing that has to catch my eye is the title, or the author. Maybe you, like me, know certain authors’ names, and dwell on the titles available, or, if a person’s work isn’t known to you, it’s their titles that’ll tickle your interest. It’s only once I make a small commitment and pull the book from the shelf that the cover design can get to work on me.
I’ll be honest and tell you now that I have put books back onto the shelf because a) the cover didn’t appeal to me and b) I still took the time to read the cover notes, and I didn’t think, at that point, that the book would be my cup of tea. So I do try to not let just the cover put me off a book. If I don’t like it, I try to get past it—but I’m then in a frame of mind where the cover notes have to work even harder to win me over. I have chosen to read books with what I think of as dreadful covers, so it’s not an insurmountable obstacle.
However, if the cover is something that appeals to me, I’m already in a more receptive mood when I read the notes, and that means I’m more likely to open the book and check out some more about it . . . an important step in the selection process. Of course there are some books with very appealing covers that I’ve put back on the shelf, because the book didn’t seem to be for me, so it doesn’t make book selection a sure fire thing.
On balance, as an author, I’d rather err on the side of caution, so I work with a wonderful designer named Pete, who’s employed by my publisher, to try to come up with a cover that’s not only appealing, but resonates with something of the atmosphere that the book conveys. I don’t think it should merely be appealing—I think that it should give the reader a real insight into what sort of book you can expect it to contain.
From the outset of my relationship with my publisher, TouchWood Editions, they knew that I had planned a series of at least nine Cait Morgan Mysteries. What sets each one apart from the others is their location—Cait gets about a bit you know!—so we decided that the cover art for the books would be location/setting orientated. Cait’s first Mystery, The Corpse
The Corpse With the Golden Nose is set in British Columbia’s wine country, surrounding Lake Okanagan, so, again, it wasn’t tough to find glorious photographs of such a naturally beautiful environment. This time the challenge was to find something that showed off the vineyards, but with a clearly identifiable section of lake in play as well . . . since both elements are critical to the setting. Once again, Pete found the perfect shot, and, using his wonderful ageing technique again, he’s given the naturally golden glow of the valley an extra shot of oomph! I think the cover is truly beautiful.
Both covers have made me very happy. I think they both speak to what the reader can expect within the book, as well as being very attractive pieces in their own right. Of course I hope that potential readers, and those who’ve reached the end of the books, agree. They also FEEL great in the hand—so hats off to the printers and finishers for that: how a book feels is very important to me, and they have a delightfully cool, smooth, matte finish to them, which I like in the hand (oh dear, I’m stroking one as I type!).
Now we’re working on the cover of my third Cait Morgan Mystery, The Corpse With the Emerald Thumb, which will be published in the spring of 2014. It’s set on the Pacific coast of Mexico in a small municipality which has a resort along the beachfront and tequila-producing agave plantations in the hills. Again, there are a lot of photographs available of this naturally beautiful area, it’s just a matter of finding the right one. If Pete’s track record is anything to go by—he’ll do it again.
So, whether you’re one of those who does, or one of those who doesn’t, judge a book by its cover, please know that this author, for one, tries to make sure that her books are presented to you with the best possible cover for each book. All I can hope is that you like the title enough to pull the book from the shelf; that you like the cover enough to read a little; that you like the snippet you read to buy or borrow the book . . . and that you enjoy each book so much that you head out actively looking for the next one!
Welsh Canadian mystery author Cathy Ace is the creator of the Cait Morgan Mysteries, which include The Corpse with the Silver Tongue and The Corpse with the Golden Nose. Born, raised, and educated in Wales, Cathy enjoyed a successful career in marketing and training across Europe, before immigrating to Vancouver, Canada, where she taught on MBA and undergraduate marketing programs at various universities. Her eclectic tastes in art, music, food, and drink have been developed during her decades of extensive travel, which she continues whenever possible. Now a full-time author, Cathy’s short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies, as well as on BBC Radio 4. She and her husband are keen gardeners, who enjoy being helped out around their acreage by their green-pawed Labradors.
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July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog: Review & Guest Post
July 20 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner: Review & Giveaway
July 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy: Interview
July 22 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK: Review
July 23 – Storeybook Reviews: Review & Giveaway
July 24 – readalot blog: Review & Giveaway
July 26 – Books-n-Kisses: Review & Interview
July 28 – Brooke Blogs-Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway
July 29 – Mochas, Mysteries and More - Guest Post
July 30 – Escape With Dollycas-Guest Post & Review
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August 1 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard: Interview
August 2 – Socrates’ Book Review Blog: Review