Welcome our guest author – Cadence Denton! With a giveaway!

Update – Amy Remus is the winner of the giveaway!

My guest this week is Cadence Denton. She lives in a sleepy town on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River. A fanatical collector of all things Halloween, she shares her writer’s cave with two mini Dachshunds, a miniature chocolate Labrador Retriever, and a perpetually confused Cocker Spaniel.  Welcome to Magical Musings!

 Lightning, Love, and a Good Book

We have all felt the lightning strike, that breathless excitement that makes your hands tremble, your fingers clutch around your treasure and sends you scampering to the cashier with the book. You know the one. It’s the book you can’t put down, the book that will keep you up all night frantically turning pages to discover what happens next.  What you feel is a bit like falling in love, I suppose, because it is love – love at first sight.

For most readers, love at first sight is actually a result of multiple “sights”. The book’s cover is only the first. If I find the cover art attractive and the book’s title intriguing, I pick it up for a closer look.  My next move is to turn the book over and read the blurb. You can tell a lot about a book from its blurb. A mini-synopsis, the well-written blurb uses carefully chosen words to set the hook deeper creating deeper interest and curiosity. Finally, the savvy reader (uh…me) opens the book and reads the first page. The first three sentences provide clues for the entire story in general and for the climax, in particular. I always read to the end of page one to see if the final sentence is equally hooky. Like a siren’s song, I must be seduced to read on.  If the book passes these three tests, then off to the register I go with my newest love clutched tightly in sweaty hands. A seasoned writer makes certain these three “sights” are firmly in place to woo potential readers and sell books.

I’ve always been addicted to science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romance.  Selene of the Underworld franchise has been a great favorite, as is Peta Wilson’s Nikita from TNT’s La femme Nikita series, and don’t get me started with Milla Jovovich’s Alice in the Resident Evil franchise! As a writer, I resonate with a strong heroine who has an equally tormented and damaged past. My heroes tend to be wounded ass-kickers who doubt themselves and question their loyalties.

In Fire and Blood, Book one of the Immortal Firewalkers, my heroine, Jeannette Darcy, single-handedly caused the downfall and ultimate demise of her people, the Zha’Ignisiin, a race of blood drinking immortals. If she delivers the one semi-immortal who tricked her then she will be cleared of her crimes and allowed back into Zha’Ignisiin society, but she will never be forgiven.  When she finds a Fecund, one of the Zha’Ignisiin’s extinct human mates, she thinks she’s hit the jackpot. Not only will her crimes be pardoned, she’s certain to be named savior of her race. Now she just has to get her prize to the Council of Seven, alive and intact. Here are the first four sentences:

She had the Midas touch. Except everything she laid hand on didn’t turn into gold— it exploded in her face.

Which was just what a person should expect when she was cursed, right? How well Jeannette Darcy knew this having lived under that shadow for nigh on six centuries.

Fire and Blood ends in a cliffhanger and the second installment, Heart of Fire, is presently in the editing phase. My current work in progress is a Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy entitled, Shattered.  Set on modern Earth, the story involves a struggle between a harsh, dusky prison planet called Sorrow located in the Scorpio system and Fidelis, the home world. Earth, an ancient Fidelan colony, becomes the battleground when the resource both worlds seek is found there, in the story’s seventeen-year-old heroine.  Here are my first paragraphs:

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice.

In fact, scientists claim there’s a one in nine-million chance of a person, once struck, being hit again by lightning. So, why did she have to be that one, Comfort Tiffany wondered?

Yeah, Comfort.  A family name she’d had foisted on her while she was too young to object. As for Tiffany, well, she was related to that famous family, but the relation was so distant as to be nonexistent. In school, she was known as the girl with a first name for a last name. Go her.

Writing is fluid, an ever-changing creation. Will these first few paragraphs stick? It’s too soon to tell, but I believe they serve the purpose and foreshadow the proposed climax.

What does it take to sell you on a book? Is it the blurb? On the other hand, is it the cover? Or is it the author’s name and reputation? Comment and one lucky poster will receive a copy of Fire and Blood.

I am also an avid canner. I make jellies, jams, butters, gourmet pickles and chutneys. If you stop by blameitonthemuse.com and post this week, you will be entered for a chance to win a basket of my homemade goodies and a tidy selection of ebooks. Stop by and post. Hey, you could get lucky!


About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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16 Responses to Welcome our guest author – Cadence Denton! With a giveaway!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Cadence, great cover! She has a strong face. And that fiery sword doesn’t hurt either.

    Everything you say resonates with me. I love hooks. I’m revising my wip now, and I felt horror when I realized the first sentence of my second chapter wasn’t hooky. Must change that.

    Thanks for being our guest!

    • Cadence Denton says:

      I’m honored to be here, Edie. The problem with editing is that it is never ending! I have to say edits are my least favorite part of writing. Thank you for your kind welcome and comments! 🙂

  2. Livia Quinn says:

    I love a great cover. Actually if a book doesn’t have at least a decent cover I usually won’t give it a second look unless someone tells me about it or I stumble on a great review about it.

    I’m looking forward to your scifi! (comment isn’t taking my website url. Hope it goes through this time.)

    • Cadence Denton says:

      Thanks for poppin in, Livi. I must confess that only recently have I noticed how often the opening sentences foreshadow the climax of a book. 😉

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Cadence,

    Thanks so much for being our guest today! I do love the cover. I’m also one who ends some books on hooks. I have several YA series that end in cliffhangers. They are fun!

    I will buy certain books because they were written by one author. And if there is one or two I don’t particularly like, that’s fine, I’ll try a few more times before I won’t buy their books again. With new authors, it’s cover first that attracts my interest.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Blog Tours – now!

    • Cadence Denton says:

      Thank you so much for having me, Dale. I love cliffhangers! An author who does it very well is Ilsa Bick. Her dystopian entitled Ashes is a primer on hooks and a great cliffhanger. Thanks again!

  4. Cynthia Eden says:

    This is such a great post! You hit on a lot of my favorite things (and had me at collector of things Halloween…)

    Congrats on Fire & Blood!
    Cynthia Eden`s last blog was …The Summer’s Hottest Heroes!!!

    • Cadence Denton says:

      My favorite Christmas gift is something for my Dept. 56 Halloween village or anything, ANYTHING Halloween! I left my Halloween tree up until May this year and only took it down to touch up the black paint. We do a big Halloween basket/casket giveaway at Blame it on the Muse. Be sure to stop by! Thanks for commenting… 😉

  5. bn100 says:

    The story has to sound good. A nice cover doesn’t hurt.

    • Cadence Denton says:

      You’re right, the story must be there, but the cover is like a Venus Flytrap – it lures you in initially and then the blurb scarfs you up! Thanks for your comment. 😉

  6. It’s usually a combination of all. But I mostly buy books based on what other readers recommend.

    That’s a great cover, btw!

    • Cadence Denton says:

      Word of mouth is hard to beat. I have one or two friends whose taste in books I trust. If they say it’s good, I buy it sight unseen. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Amy Remus says:

    It is nice to meet you on this blog! The cover of the book usually draws me in first and then the blurb. I usually don’t read the beginning of the book because I tend to mostly buy ebooks and never do the sample thing. I also rely a lot on recommendations from other writers and readers. I am a repeat reader of an author. If I like their books I tend to try and read them all. Congrats on your books!

    • Cadence Denton says:

      I have tried samples and then I’ve purchased simply on cover art and blurb, too. I still like to read a page or two just to make sure. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Virna DePaul says:

    Cover and blurb is huge for me. I love yours! Congratulations!!

    • Cadence Denton says:

      Thank you, Virna. The blurb is probably the one most difficult thing for me to write. I mean how hard is it to condense a 100k word book into two or three short paragraphs or even one or two sentences? *sigh*

Comments are closed.