Monday, 26 May 2014

Guest Post by NLB HORTON: Author of WHEN CAMELS FLY



WHEN CAMELS FLY
BY
NLB HORTON

Publisher: NLBHorton, via Amazon's White Glove (May 15, 2014)
Agent:  Mary Keeley at Books & Such Literary Management
Category: Contemporary suspense, thread of Romance
Tour Date: May/June, 2014 Cover Reveal: April, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 370 Pages



A mother's fatal shot. A daughter's deadly choice.

In Israel, archaeologist Grace Madison shoots her daughter's abductor. Seconds later, a handsome shepherd drops from the sky to kill a second assassin. Their world changes in two blinks of an eye.

Unbeknownst to them, a fiercely ambitious evil is destroying everything in its path-the unconventional path Grace and Maggie take. They struggle to right a wrong as old as time, and discover time is running out in the race for their lives. Family and friends are swept into their vortex, extinguishing old flames while igniting new loves.

While the scale tips dangerously toward disaster, millions of lives hang in the balance. And the mother-and-daughter team soon realizes nothing is as it seems. Even each other.


Because choosing what's right is all that's left.

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Carole's Book Corner is delighted to be part of Premier Virtual Author Book Tours and today When Camels Fly by NLB Horton is on Tour and has kindly written a Guest Post for me!



When Camels Fly by NLBHorton

Every publicist I interviewed to facilitate the launch of When Camels Fly was curious about the title, and development of the cover and back-cover copy. Bloggers (one being Carole) asked about these marketing elements, too. While answering their questions, I realized that the cover was doing its job really well if it triggered this much interest. I really appreciate Carole giving me the opportunity to share my observations about the cover with you.

Once upon a time…
When Camels Fly was a lowly file in my computer. It took six months to write, and longer than I’ll admit to reach “professional quality.” The working title (no, I won’t tell you) was a bit of a dud, and a tad academic. As my protagonist’s sense of humor began to shine through, I knew that the story deserved a new, more intriguing title.

That’s when the real trouble began.

My partner in crime in this endeavor, my daughter, and I beat on the title for months over pots of tea in my office. We were, in the lingo of Jeff Madison (my protagonist’s son), epic failures. It didn’t matter if we brought in Scottish shortbread cookies, or baked blueberry bread to encourage our little grey cells to work during these brainstorming sessions. We were stuck.

Silly me. We used the wrong libation.

She and I were sipping glasses of good French champagne when the title trauma resurfaced at the end of the Thanksgiving meal. After a flute, we didn’t care too much, and got a little silly. Then she, of the serious engineering degree, said something about flying camels. I, having consumed less champagne, said, “That’s it! When Camels Fly!” We giggled, and my eight-something (do specifics really matter in your eighth decade?) mother poured more all around. I worked the new title into the manuscript the next week.

All the world may be a stage, but not everybody’s an artist.
My background is in marketing and advertising, and I’ve been privileged to develop some beautiful campaigns. Many authors rely on self-publishing house to design a cover, or take a shot at it themselves using public-domain images, clip art, and Photoshop.

Because I knew the cover would trigger the first click or reach for work by an unknown author, I wanted a Big-Six-publishing-house-quality cover. That means I paid for it.

I lurked in bookstores, watching to see what people picked up. I wandered the stacks to determine what appealed to me. I asked questions of my book-club friends and beta readers (who range from eighteen to octogenarian). I did a LOT of online research about the genres that sell best, and how covers in those genres are designed. Then I put together a team that’s created more than one New York Times best-selling novel cover, and organized my thoughts to do the art direction I used to do for marketing campaigns.

The cover was easy and seamless, and my team is now working on the second cover in the series, for The Brothers’ Keepers, due out November 17th. (I should note that this title did NOT require champagne. However, the book club Readers Guide at the back of When Camels Fly did.)

The Elevator Pitch (or “Why I hate writing headlines”).
When I was a journalism student (when we set type by hand and dinosaurs roamed the earth), I hated writing headlines. How could I condense an article into four or five noteworthy words? Impossible!

About halfway through the writing of When Camels Fly, I signed up for a craftsman level fiction-writing practicum, a one-year adventure with some of the most talented people this side of Hemingway’s grave. And guess what? We had to develop something called the elevator pitch, which essentially meant that if I trapped a publishing executive in an elevator (it is not beneath me), how well could I sell my work between floors? Yep. It’s a verbal headline offering the gist of When Camels Fly in an intriguing fashion.

So I flexed my old ad-copy muscles, grabbed the elevator pitch, and tried to compose the most compelling, powerful back-cover copy since…well, since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I’ll end this guest blog with it, and thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts about my cover. I hope you join me in the adventures of archaeologist Grace Madison in When Camels Fly, and look forward to hearing from you.

A mother’s fatal shot. A daughter’s deadly choice.

In Israel, archaeologist Grace Madison shoots her daughter’s abductor moments before a handsome shepherd falls from the sky to kill a second assassin. Running for their lives, they pursue an evil prepared to sacrifice millions of people. Endangering family and friends, and confronting old loves, the mother-and-daughter team soon realizes nothing is as it seems. Even each other.
When all that’s left is right.


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About NLB Horton:

After an award-winning detour through journalism and marketing and a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, NLBHorton returned to writing fiction. She has surveyed Israeli archaeological digs accompanied by artillery rounds from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon. Explored Machu Picchu after training with an Incan shaman. And consumed afternoon tea across five continents.

When Camels Fly is her first novel. Her second, The Brothers' Keepers, will be available November 2014.

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Available to buy from:


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Follow the Tour: 

Indie Reviews Behind the Scenes May 7 Live Interview-Recorded 
Teddy Rose Book Reviews May 12 Excerpt & Giveaway 
Miki’s Hope May 13 Review
Little Black Marks May 15 Review
Inspire to Read  May 19 Review
Cassandra M’s Place May 20 Review & Giveaway
Deal Sharing Aunt May 22 Review & Guest Post (postponed)
Teddy Rose Book Reviews May 23 Review
Carole’s Book Corner May 26 Guest Post
Back Porchervations May 27 Review & Guest Post
Open Book Society May 28 Review
Pinky’s Favorite Reads May 29 Interview
Two Children and a Migraine May 30 Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
Romance that’s ‘Out Of This World’ June 3 Guest Post & Giveaway
My Devotional Thoughts June 4 Review & Interview
Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author June 5 Interview
From L.A. to LA June 6 Review & Giveaway
Musings From Sri Lanka June 9 Review
Books and Bindings June 11 Review, Interview, & Giveaway
Bless Their Hearts Mom June 13 Review
CelticLady’s Reviews June 16 Review
Bound 4 Escape June 17 Review
Little Whimsy Books June 18 Guest Post
Serendipity June 20 Review
Kim Heart of a Philanthropist June 23 Interview & Giveaway
Mary’s Cup of Tea June 24 Review
Story Matters June 26 Review & Giveaway
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