Saturday, April 14, 2018

What Grabbed My Attention

I know I've been absent from the Saturday Seven - I needed a bit of time to come up with something to write about.

It's not always easy to find a different angle that has yet to be done. I think I might have found it.

As you've probably guessed from my previous posts, I have a HUGE bent towards the paranormal, fantastical and fantasy.

What grabs me often is the title of the book, or the back-cover synopsis or even the authors themselves. Rarely does the book cover alone make me buy or read a book.

This first book to pop into my head was How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrilyn Sparks. The title inspired me to pick it up, the back-cover synopsis prompted me to buy it. I have read practically every book Ms. Sparks has written. What a ride that series was. Now, she has a new series and, because I was so happy with the previous one, I gave it a whirl. Yes, it's the author herself that had me buying into the new series. She still rocks!

This book broke my rules of not making decisions based on a cover. Karen Marie Moning's Kiss of the Highlander showcased only the bottom of a man's face. For a long, long time, book publishers only showed this model's arms or in this case, his lips. How often does a reader get a visceral reaction just from a man's lips? I did. Oh, wow did I ever.

I read every title in that series and couldn't wait for more ... until she shifted focus with that Fever series she has going. I read it because of the author. I kept reading because of the mystery of one of the key characters. I stopped reading it once the two protagonists finally admitted loving each other and that made me happy, but at the same time, the book had taken a dark turn. I haven't read another book since. Every back cover synopsis or blurb I've read since confirms my belief that the series is too dark, hopeless and unpleasant for my tastes.

For this next book, Undead and Unemployed, I thought the title was clever. The synopsis was also unique which is good because I was never a fan of the cover artwork. So, the title is what made me pick it up, and the heroine, Betsy sounded original. The book was funny, punny and a hoot. So, I got the first book in the series, enjoyed that too and continued to read the others in the series for quite a while. I stopped because Eric, the hero, drove me nuts. The feeling like their relationship was on a never ending gerbil wheel finally got to me. And I stopped. Until I reached that point, however, I laughed and giggled during every book.

The next book that grabbed me wasn't based on the title or cover but the synopsis. Slave - The Cat Star Chronicles by Cheryl Brooks sounded really unique. A few survivors from a planet that no longer exists because some dude with Darth Vader syndrome blew it up? Add in that the heroes' very interesting sexual talents were ... definitely different. I ended up reading the entire series and I enjoyed every single one. I was actually sad to see the series end.

And then there was this, Pooka in my Pantry by R.L. Naquin. How could I pass up a title like that? How about the first book, Monster in my Closet? Then came Fairies in my Fireplace. I have read every single book in that series and it was totally engaging. They take turns being humorous and serious but always highly imaginative. Sure, the titles grabbed me but the stories kept me.

An unusual book caught my eye one day, Infected: Prey (Infected, #1) by Andrea Speed. In that book I met Roan and fell a little in love with the character. It's M/M, yet not. What I mean is, this book was more a mystery with lots of suspense, investigations and unique challenges for the main hero, Roan. To a reader it's quite clear that Roan and Paris are two guys who really love each other despite or in spite of their health challenges. Due to a virus, hence the 'infected' reference, Roan can turn into a ferocious lion. The cost is rather high and debilitating. But the guys' physical expressions of love and lust were mostly behind closed doors. I think what hooked me was the best part - there was PLOT, substance and damaged, fallible characters that made an impact. I've gobbled up the books in the series since. The book had the best synopsis hook and I'm so glad I discovered it. So title and synopsis were the key elements that grabbed me.

Last but not least was this title that grabbed me, Size Matters by Robyn Peterman. The cover was certainly quirky, but it was the synopsis that clinched it. When I read Hasselhoff, Bigfoot, and Sasquatch hunters, it was an immediate buy. How could I not? I laughed and laughed and had a riot of a good time reading it. I tried other books in the series because of this one, but none had the same high-powered comic level Size Matters did.

So, those are samples of what, as a reader, grabs me most. I think the conclusion is, it's a toss up between title and synopsis.

What about you? What's your favorite hook?

Oh, and please visit the other contributors to the Saturday 7 - it's a great way to discover new reads!!!


Stormy said...

I've actually had the privilege of hearing Kerrlyn Sparks speak at a reader's event. She was fantastically funny and full of engaging stories, just like her books. I've read the Cat Star Chronichles as well and loved them so much, shared my paperbacks with a friend who was hooked from Slave. Great post and recommendations!

Michele said...

SWEET! Now I have author-experience-envy!! :)

And, I ::waves:: salute another fan of Ms. Brooks and Ms. Sparks. You have excellent taste! Thanks for visiting! :)

Kathy said...

Really would like to read "Undead and Unemployed". You know, I say that paranormal is not my genre but...when I first began to review for you guys I reviewed a mystery that had a witch in it helping the main character which I loved. Is that paranormal or just sweet?

Michele said...

Hi, Kathy!
If the witch was able to do magic, then it's paranormal. Paranormals can be sweet though. So, maybe you got a bit of both. Sounds like a win! :)
Thanks for visiting, Kathy :)

Lydia Schoch said...

Welcome back, Michele. I've missed seeing Saturday Seven posts from you, and i'm glad you thought of something to write about this week.

I agree, Kathy. Undead and Unemployed sounds like a unique read.

My SS post for this week:

Michele said...

Awww, Lydia, What a sweet thing to say. Thank you!!! :)

Poinsettia said...

I used to really enjoy the Undead series as well! I haven't read How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, but I just recently had a friend loan it to me. I'll have to pick it up soon!

Marianne Arkins said...

Is that Nathan Kamp's lips on "Kiss of the Highlander"? ...hmmm?

Michele said...

Hi, Poinsettia!

I hope you enjoy reading How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire because if you do? You get to binge read the whole series without waiting anxiously for the next one to come out year after year. Lucky!

That's fascinating that you used to enjoy the Undead series too! What's your opinion about Eric? :)

Thanks for visiting! :)

Michele said...

**GRIN** Hi, Marianne!

And... yessiree, that IS who you think it is. :)

He's still "got it" too even though he doesn't model for romance book covers any longer. darn.