Book Genre: Contemporary Romance/Adventure
Release Date: September 6, 2014
Buy Link(s): http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1499517157?pc_redir=1409554888&robot_redir=1
Back cover blurb:
Dr. Kathryn Hastings felt the tremor in her fingers and hastily dropped the scalpel back on the tray. Her career as a neurosurgeon had just ended. One slip and her patient would have come out of surgery a different man than when he went in.
On the advent of her thirtieth high school reunion, with her life at a crossroads, Kate finds herself dwelling on the past and choices she made--particularly those having to do with Clayton Beech. Desperately needing to find a new calling and to correct past mistakes Kate sets out on a journey that takes her from North Carolina to London, from Paris to Kenya.
From a clinical perspective, Dr. Kate Hastings found acquiring a disease she had been treating for over twenty years fascinating. Emotionally it was terrifying. Especially when her access to the operating room was curtailed and her colleague has drastically cut her patient load.
The life-altering diagnosis coincides with Kate’s thirty-year high school reunion, a reunion that has Kate reminiscing about her first love and her plans to have Clayton Beech by her side through the rigors of med school, a lengthy surgical residency and the rest of her life.
An idealistic Clayton Beech, an expert in languages, a player of jazz piano and football, dreamed of saving the world. Exploring this calling, he signed on for a stint with the Peace Corp. Clay planned a life of service, always with Kate by his side.
However, futures cannot be planned. Neurosurgeons get sick, lovers leave with no explanation and saving the world might best be done alone.
A no-show at the reunion, Kate discovers Clay is the head of an important healthcare organization in East Africa. With time on her hands and the growing conviction that they should have always been together Kate follows his trail to London. It is in London that she discovers that it was she not Clay who made a serious mistake that destroyed their dreams.
After almost thirty years their lives are continents apart. Can Kate find a way to correct past wrongs? Can she merge into the life they should have had although Clay is adamant that he has no time to take her on safari and does not want her in Africa?
With the sole responsibility for a large NGO weighing on his broad shoulders and wanting to be with Kate weighing on his heart Dr. Clayton Beech knows that until he makes the most difficult decision of his life, neither weight can be lifted. Until he makes that decision, Kate is a distraction he just cannot afford.
Between stints as a lion tamer and exotic dancer, LA Parker earned a degree in Art History from the University of Delaware.
After a harrowing experience excavating ancient ruins along the Amazon, she earned a second degree in Computer Science from East Carolina University.
Dabbling in the art of lying for fun and profit, she has published three works of fiction: Against the Grain, Stella's Sheets and Society of Benevolent Strangers.
Settling for a quieter life, LA is currently residing in North Carolina with her husband, son and dog, Tony, Zach and Max the Bandit, where she is happily dreaming up more fantastical and phenomenal lies for your entertainment.
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Are Book Covers Still Important? -- Guest Post by LA Parker
I want to say no.
Digital content has almost completely removed the necessity of judging a book by its cover. Today’s readers have an array of content to recommend a book--reader reviews, friend’s tweets, sample downloads, star ratings and blogs. Sure there is a postage stamp sized picture featured but generally it is so small that you only get a peripheral impression of the image. The book cover has been relegated to decoration, not information. Digital books open to chapter one, page one skipping the fluff and getting right to the core.
Yet I spend almost as much time thinking about my cover image as I do the story inside.
I want to say yes.
When looking for a good romance, does the headless/faceless half-dressed character on the cover cause you to select one book over another? Hardly. How many broken strings of pearls and blood spattered knives have you seen on detective novels? Or evil-eyes glowing out of the darkness on a horror cover? While repetitive, many genre specific images do let the reader know exactly the kind story they will find beneath the cover. Take romance for instance. Candy-colored cartoon women—chick-lit, yards of billowing fabric and bountifully revealed breasts—historical, buff shirtless men with scantily clad women clinging to them—erotica.
A well designed cover can establish a brand for a series. Think of a red apple cradled in a pair of hands on a black background. Twilight, of course. That iconic image set the tone for the series and made the books easily recognizable.
All that said, I think of a book’s cover as gift wrap. It does not need to inform as much it needs to set the tone for the story, entice the reader to unwrap and seek out the surprises inside. Society of Benevolent Strangers was the first book where I did not design the cover myself. I worked with cover artist, Karri Klawiter at Art by Karri. She was wonderfully patient and did a wonderful job creating my SBS logo on the back cover. After about six versions and revisions I had settled on a cover that I liked, one that seemed to illustrate Kate’s Journey.
I thought it was perfect.
Then Karri said, yes, it is pretty but it looks like a travelogue not a romance novel. Hmmm…I don’t feel that Society of Benevolent Strangers fits neatly into any particular romance cubby hole so none of the standard images seemed to fit. But I took Karri’s suggestion and I spent a good amount of time looking though stock photos of Africa. None of the iconic images of lions basking on the savannah or giraffes on the horizon at sunset had anything to do with my book. Kate is definitely not on safari. Although the book deals with refugee camps and aid workers, it does not take place in a camp so those images did not really speak to me either. Finally I found the silhouette of an African Hornbill sitting in a thorn tree and I thought of the flocks at Lake Baringo. The image was exotic and beautiful. I had found my cover!I hope you unwrap Society of Benevolent Strangers and enjoy the story inside.