Guest blogger: Jennifer Zane
I get tons of interesting comments about the covers of my Gnome Novel series—as they specifically have a garden gnome on the cover. Some say they didn’t know what the book was about and were surprised when they read it. My answer to that: read the book blurb! Some say they read the book because they love gnomes. Others told me they’re petrified of them. No matter what, I get lots of curious people taking a second look.
So why a gnome on the cover instead of a really hot guy without a shirt with a western landscape in the background? First off, I wanted to spoof the typical western romance cover. It takes place in the Big Sky country of Montana, but it’s far from the typical romance western. I didn’t want the chiselled abs, the brawny physique and to-die-for face luring the reader with testosterone. That’s in the story. Secondly, I wanted something different, something out of the ordinary, to stand out among all the great romance books out there. Even though romance has a very specific formula and fabulous happily-ever-afters, I’d like to consider Gnome on the Range to stretch the story boundaries a bit. To surprise the reader throughout the book, to make them laugh out loud unexpectedly.
Is it steamy? Yes. Does it have a hot hero? Yes (he’s a fireman so of course he’s hot!) Is the heroine feisty and determined? Yes. It also has a meddling mother-in-law who runs the town’s only adult store, mystery and danger, a hot cowboy, and tons of humour. And the garden gnome? It brings everything together in the story, including the hero and the heroine, and is the common thread between the books in the series.
The idea for including a garden gnome came about during one of my many garage sale outings with my kids while living in Montana. Why not take a real-life experience and say: ‘What if?’ This small idea turned into an entire book, and the first in a series. And all those readers who looked twice at the crazy cover? They read it and gave rave reviews. Enough for me to proudly say it won two Readers’ Crown awards at RomCon 2012—Best Contemporary and Best First Book.
I hope you will take a second look and enjoy it as well!
Once you get the zing you can’t go back.
Jane West has everything a woman could want. A job in a small Montana town’s only adult store, two busy young boys and one dead husband. Everything except a little excitement–a little zing. But that changes one summer morning at a garage sale when her kids buy some garden gnomes.
Now someone wants those gnomes and will let nothing get in their way. Including Jane. This new excitement for Jane spells trouble for a relationship with new neighbor–and hot fireman–Ty Strickland. Can Jane and Ty handle a relationship meddling mother-in-law, crazy kids, and stay alive while trying to solve the mystery of the garden gnomes?
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