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Friday, August 9, 2013

When What You Thought ... Isn't

So a few years ago Mr. Nina and I left our home state of Maine and bumped from Rhode Island to Vermont and home again. This meant while we lived in other states we had to find product replacements for everything we were used to finding at the grocery store. I walked up and down the aisles of new stores looking for some of the “standards” I kept in my cupboards. One of those basics was carbonated soda water. Not quite tonic, but similar. I drink it all day instead of tap water. In Maine, we bought the store brand. Well, obviously I wasn’t going to find that in Rhode Island or Vermont, so we found something that looked like it would fit the bill. Same description, reasonably priced and 0 calories. Perfect.
Yeah, well, I poured my first tall glass and took a long swallow … and promptly spit it out. It was like drinking Kool-Aid with bubbles. GAH! A mouth full of sugar. When I looked at the ingredients I discovered it contained aspartame. Blech! I don’t like aspartame. I find it overly sweet. I ended up dumping 3 bottles of the stuff because I just couldn’t drink it. I was so bummed. I really felt that the product should have been more clearly labeled. 

What’s this got to with reading books? A lot actually.

A while back I bought a book that sounded very intriguing. The title was about Vikings. The cover showed a Viking. The back cover blurb talked about Vikings, ships and characters from different worlds falling in love. Yay! I was going to read a romantic historical Viking story. I settled in and within the first chapter was introduced to a “space bridge”. Wai … what? The “ship” turned out to be a space ship. The “other world” turned out to be outer space. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE science fiction stories. I read them all the time. Heck, my latest book is a sexy sci fi romance—but I don’t lead the reader to believe they are picking up a light-hearted romantic comedy. The cover of A TOUCH OF LILLY shows a moon, a very bright star and two guys, one of them with red skin … red skin. There is nothing that could lead a buyer to think they were picking up anything but a story set in, if not space, at least a futuristic world of some type. Even if you never read the back cover blurb, you’re not going to think you’ve picked up a steampunk novel or an historical. 

I felt totally cheated. The thing is, it might have been a good book. I might even have enjoyed it, but I didn’t get past the second chapter before I set the book aside in disgust. It’s not what I plunked my money down for. I was looking for an historical romance and what I got instead was an eclectic mix of sci fi and historical which is a totally unique story and a great story idea by this author, but not so much for the unsuspecting reader. 

So how do you see it? Am I way off-base on this? Have you ever picked up a book you felt fell in one genre and actually turned out to be another? Did you feel like you got the old bait and switch? I’m just wondering if I’m feeling a little overly sensitive about this. 
My latest release is a sexy sci fi suspense. It's ON SALE for $.99. I hope you check it out.

Ex-Chicago detective LILLY D’ANGELO has a secret she doesn’t share with anyone. A master of the one night stand, she’s given up ever finding a soul mate and thrown herself head first into her career. That is, until she captures the wrong alien. Kidnapped and sold into the sex slave trade, she’s shipped into deep space. Barely escaping with her life, Lilly now travels the galaxy working as a bounty hunter using her secret talents to bring down criminals and seeking revenge on the one male who ruined her life.   

Agent DALLAS SAWYER works for deep space’s version of the FBI. After a disastrous mission that left several of his team members murdered, a president executed, and Dallas near death, he’s determined to take down the assassin targeting government officials. When a sexy human female gets between him and his goal, Dallas and his alien partner find themselves on the receiving end of a passionate night they won’t soon forget and a proposition that may very well blow up in their faces.  

Because in deep space … true love can happen with just a touch. 

Dallas threaded his way through the crowded sidewalk back to the alley. He’d learned over the past month the residents of this territory on Garalon Five were night owls. Not that they had a choice. Things wouldn’t slow down until the first two moons were well below the horizon and the third just beginning to rise. The lack of daylight had thrown him when he’d first arrived. Though the Nebulae Galaxy--a term that grated as it was technically a solar system--had a major star at its center, the weak light didn’t reach a good portion of the planets. Heat on the inhabitable planets came from deep within their crusts. 
He didn't give a shit about the specifics, just that the interminable darkness was fraying the ends of his taut nerves. Another two days, a week tops, and this mission would be finished and Dallas could return to Earth for a much needed vacation with some human companionship.
Working for the government was a lonely business. Lonelier still when he was out in deep space away from his own species. Five years ago, when Dallas had graduated from Quantico, he'd envisioned this life, traveling the stars in search of bad guys and adventures. But working for QAL wasn't all the pamphlets had promised. It seemed even in space, shit happened, people died and no matter how far he ran, he couldn't outrun a broken heart.

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Cara Marsi said...

Nina, I know exactly what you mean. I've bought books based on one expectation and found the book was totally different. If you know upfront what a book, or even a movie, is going to be, that's fine. But when it seems like bait and switch, that leaves a bad taste. A book's cover and blurb should tell you the truth of what the book is about.

I love the cover and the blurb for your book.

Nina Pierce said...

Cara - Oh, that drives me nuts with movies as well. I went to a movie I thought was a comedy and it turned out to be a very serious thriller. The one commercial I saw had pulled out all of the funny moments.

Thank you so much for the compliment on the cover. I do really love what Dar Albert did for me in designing it

Melissa Keir said...

I think that is why I tend to stay with authors that I know. I don't want to try something and find out that it's not what I thought. I was very fortunate to get to read a large variety when I worked as a reviewer and found some more wonderful authors that I love.

I agree with Cara. Your cover is so beautiful, almost ethereal. All the best!

Nina Pierce said...

Melissa - Sometimes I do like to venture out and try new authors, especially if the blurb catches my attention. It doesn't happen very often that the blurb and story don't work, but ever once in awhile ...

And thank you so much for mentioning the cover. I do love it.

K. April Holgate said...

Oh, I hate the old bait and switch!

I have clear reading moods and if I am in the mood for one genre and end up with another it colors how I feel about the book. I need to be in a scifi mindset to enjoy an alien book and a ballgowns mood to get into a Regency.

I really hate it when the book blurb is amazing and the story turns out to be nothing like it. Or the cover art is misleading.

I love the girl on the cover but the guys are a little too far in the background for my liking. I am all about the eye candy!

Nina Pierce said...

Very well said, K. April. It's definitely a mood thing. Picking up a genre you're getting ready to enjoy and finding out it's something else, is hard. I like a good cover and blurb to let me know what I'm getting into.

LOL! On the cover. This is a redesign. Reader feedback from the original cover said they were put-off by Thaegan's red skin, so we decided to soften it in this version.

denise kyle said...

I try to read a sample chapter before i buy and read the book , unless it's 99 cents then i will try it .. But there are about 50 books that i have deleted of my kindle fire that was not worth the time .. Also so far I have enjoyed all Nina pierce books .. My favorite so far is Bliss

Anonymous said...

I've done the same - bought books based on the back cover blurb which means the BCB did what it was intended to do; entice me enough to open up my wallet! If a book by an author unknown to me grabs my attention, I read a few pages at the beginning and one or two in the middle to see if the BCB and actual content seem to match.

Gorgeous book cover, Nina!

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