I was reading a Carina Press blurb–or, excuse me, the back cover copy–when I experienced a burning desire to read the book. And that inspired a post about blurbs that work for me.
If these elements are in the blurb, it’s pretty much an auto-buy for me.
Warrior Women. I even bought a nonfiction book once called Warrior Women. It was all about various fierce women in history, mostly vicious backstabbers and poisoners, but with a fair share of actual warriors. You put a woman with a sword on the cover and I’m half-sold already. I have not read any warrior women books lately. Any recs? (Other than urban fantasies?)
Ancient Historical Setting. Doesn’t matter the culture. If it’s BC, I’m all over it. I’m dying to read a book about the ancient Phoenicians. One book I have on my nook is Stephanie Draven’s Lily of the Nile.
The Word “Epic”. Epic fantasy, epic historicals, epic family sagas–they all work for me. My current favorite epic is David Anthony Durham’s Acacia series.
Secrets. Hint at a secret in the blurb and right then and there, I experience a burning desire to know what that secret is. The book I was looking at over at Carina Press was of this sort, but there are actually two on the front page right now, River Time by Rae Renzi and Dangerous Secrets by Katie Reus. Dangerous Secrets also has the added allure of a Character in Disguise (see below).
Clash of Cultures. Whether it’s a time travel romance or Shogun, I love clashes of cultures. Or at least, I like reading about them. Especially when a romance is involved.
Here are some auto-buys, with caveats:
Dystopian. Not quite an auto-buy if I feel it’s going to be too gritty. But I just love near-future dystopian novels. But near-past is good as well. My perennial favorite is Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank.
Mythology. I enjoy reading about made-up mythologies and interactions between deities and humans. I don’t really like reading about actual mythologies. I like to be able to fully suspend disbelief and if its an actual belief system I have a little trouble. Dare I mention Dragonlance as my favorite example? Holly Lisle’s Hawkspar is also good.
Recent Historical Setting. I love stories that take place in the 20s through the 50s. Really, I like any period, but recent historical periods are of especial interest for me at present. Jacqueline Winspear writes an excellent mystery series set in the 30s, and it begins with Maisie Dobbs.
Characters in Disguise. This goes along with secrets. If the blurb mentions someone who is hiding their identity for any reason from superhero identity to hiding from the Mob, I’m all over it. I’m overdue for a novel of this sort.
Vastly Different Cultures. I’d love to read a romance that takes place in India right now. With Indian characters. Preferably by an Indian author. Any recommendations?
What blurb elements work for you?