Monday, June 24, 2013

Can You Recognize Me?

Being an author has allowed me to meet some pretty interesting people. Whether they've been adoring romance fans and book bloggers who've blessed me with their kind compliments and raving reviews, gracious authors who've lent me their time, talent, and advice in this fast-paced industry, or the few sweet, down-to-earth male cover models who are such good sports about being total eye-candy for many crazed romance fans, Ha! I'm blessed for each and every relationship I've made along the way (both personal, professional, and over the web.)

But a few weeks ago, I had the distinct honor of being asked to do a cover shoot for a book cover! How many authors can claim that?

Let me set the stage:
I was at Lori Foster's RAGT 2013 and Kim Killion  from Hot Damn Designs and The Killion Group Inc. approached me about doing a cover shoot. She said she needed a dark-haired, petite woman and I was her first choice. When she mentioned I was to shoot with Billy Freda, (who has become a very dear friend of mine over the past three years) I felt like I'd be stupid to pass up this opportunity. I'd be possibly on a cover (if the author approved it) of a National Best Selling author's book and I'd get to at least do it with a cover model I felt comfortable around. So, after a few moments of thinking it through (and of course making certain clothes were required) I accepted the offer.

As I said yes, I literally felt my stomach somersault a few times with excitement. Kim reassured me I'd do great but I had my doubts. I can smile with the best of them for a promotional author pic, but I've never been embraced in another man's arms for a near-kiss photo!

Kim also said we'd be photographing in her hotel room, which made me feel a little at ease about the whole thing as it would be a "private shoot" without curious eyes watching my every move. (Remember, I'm at a Reader and Author Convention where the hotel is constantly bustling with romance fans, authors, readers, bloggers, editors, publishers etc.) But once I arrived at her room for hair and make-up (courtesy of the amazing and totally awesome Jennifer Jakes) I was informed that the lighting sucked in the room and we had to go outside. UGH!

After swallowing that news, I took a swim in my over-sized corset, western skirt, and jacket, and headed outside to a somewhat remote corner of the hotel where we could shoot in relative privacy. However, we were still surrounded by the parking lot, which as I recalled in all my nervousness, started to gather curious onlookers. I tried my best to ignore them and keep my focus on the job at hand.

At this time, Kim is positioning me and Billy, hoisting my meager chest in this ridiculously huge corset to try to create "the allusion of cleavage" and coaching me to hold poses that were so unnatural they hurt - all the while trying to look Billy in the eye without smiling. That was a feat! But without the talented and creative Kim Killion and the comforting professionalism of Billy Freda, I would not have been able to do this.

It was because of them that this shoot turned out as good as it did. I will forever be grateful for their patience with me. Because of it, the outcome resulted in a host of photos I could hardly believe was little ol' me. I almost looked like a pro. *squee*

At this time I'd like to thank author Shelly Thacker for approving the shoot so that I could add this incredible experience to my list of "extraordinary things I've done" in my author career. Thank you, thank you, a million times THANK YOU!

And for Kim Killion who first put this ball into motion and produced yet another breath-taking cover. I highly encourage you to read Kim Killion's books as well. She is undoubtedly my favorite author and for great reason. She is the author who got me hooked Highlander romance and I've read everything she's ever written!

As a side note, I also believe Shelly Thacker is going to be the one who gets me hooked on westerns. July 30th cannot come soon enough as I've already pre-ordered my copy and you should too!

From Shelly Thacker's Newsletter:
I’m so excited I can hardly type! You can now pre-order AFTER SUNDOWN exclusively at Amazon for the special discount price of just $2.99! This book was a RITA Award Finalist for Best Historical Romance of the Year and a Romantic Times Top Pick. It'll be available for $3.99 at ebook stores everywhere July 30.

Artist Kim Killion went above and beyond to create this cover: She did the photo shoot for me while attending Lori Foster's convention in Ohio a couple of weeks ago. She knew that model Billy Freda was going to be there—so they snuck outside for a few minutes and did the shoot on the lawn of the conference center! Kim took the photo herself, and the model portraying my heroine is author Renee Vincent. Thank you, Kim, Billy, and Renee for teaming up to create such an amazing cover for this very special book!

In AFTER SUNDOWN (originally published by Dell under the title Into the Sunset) U.S. Marshal Lucas McKenna is hunting Antoinette Sutton, the woman who killed his brother. Annie is running for her life—because the evidence against her is overwhelming, and no one will believe the truth about what happened. Lucas captures the dark-haired beauty in Colorado, but before he can take her back to Missouri to stand trial, the two are snowbound in a remote mining town…

I know authors aren’t supposed to pick favorites, but this book is one of my favorites. I hope you’ll pre-order the ebook or paperback today, and I hope you'll love it as much as I do. I have several more books planned for this series!



38 comments:

VICKI BATMAN, said...

It's gorgeous! What a great lifetime memory.

Melissa Keir said...

Congrats Renee! What an amazing time. Thank you for sharing! :)

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Vicki: Thanks so much! I wish I could take some credit here, but it was truly all of Kim Killion's creative work that made this cover look so gorgeous!

Melissa: My pleasure, believe me! I had to keep this story under wraps for so long I thought I was going to pop!

Eliza Knight said...

That is so fun!!! Congrats, and you look gorgeous!!!

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Eliza: Aww..thanks sweetie. What was so cool was how Kim spoke so highly of you. I was proud to say I knew you.
Thanks for visiting with me!

KeriFord said...

oh my goodness! how cool is that? And congrats. you look AMAZING! What a beautiful cover!

Vonda Sinclair said...

How awesome, Renee! You look beautiful on that cover! This is surely another great career for you in addition to your wonderful writing. Way to go!!

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Keri: Thanks sweetie! Hey it's not as great as shooting a movie with Gerard Butler (like someone I know), but I'll take it!

Vonda: Coming from you, that means so much to me. Thank you for you kind compliments on my writing! You are the sweetest!

Suzanne Barrett said...

Renee:

Wonderful cover and fantastic opportunity. I'm gonna buy that book!

Krista said...

What an amazing experience for you and you look fabulous. That's a wonderful cover. I'd frame that !

Ciara said...

That is amazing! You look fantastic! Great cover!!!

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Suzanne: Thanks a bunch! And yes, go buy that book!!!

Krista: You know I will be, for sure! Thanks for your compliments...I still can't stop staring at it!

Ciara: Thanks my fellow TMP author! And I have to say, meeting you at RAGT was another highlight of that weekend. You are such a delight!

Amy Jarecki said...

So freaking AWESOME, Renee. You look GORGEOUS!!!!!

BBTaylor said...

The cover is beautiful. What an amazing opportunity. Hope to see you on more.

Brenda B

Sheri Fredricks said...

You look fabulous, and fabulous on the cover, too! Congratulations. Wow, what a dream come true.

Wendy Williams said...

Renee, It is breathtaking! Congratulations!

Gray Dixon said...

And we were there! Didn't know you were doing that. It's gorgeous, but you are a beautiful woman, Renee, in more than the outside. Congrats, the cover is an eye-catcher.

Margaret said...

Squee! So glad we got to see it!!

Sarah Hoss said...

Such an honor! Congratulations! You look absolutely beautiful and you and Billy together make a great team!

Glad you got to have this experience!
Sarah xo

Kimberly Killion said...

You are such a doll! What a great post! Thanks so much for all the pimpage and you were fabulous to work with! HUGS!!!!

Shelly Thacker said...

Renee, thank you SO much for saying yes to Kim! I'm honored to have you on my cover! You and Billy totally captured the emotion of this book and created something special. AFTER SUNDOWN is a "book of the heart" for me -- but the original publisher, Dell, totally dropped the ball when they released the first edition, and it barely appeared on bookstore shelves at all. I'm SO happy that it now has the chance to find an audience at last, and I'm so grateful for your help in creating a truly beautiful cover. :) Big hugs, Shelly

Tami Dee said...

Renee, oh, my goodness, you are perfect! Seriously, you look like a real life, honest to goodness model. Wow, I am amazed and in awe of you. Fantastic cover, and the book sounds like a great read also! Can't wait to get it. (Release date?)
Congrats on a once in a life time event!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

What a wonderful moment to always remember. I think you look great. So exciting.

Miriam Newman said...

AWESOME, Renee! And yes, I did recognize you. LOL.

Maddie James said...

Renee -- WOW! What fun and you look gorgeous! You never cease to amaze me. The cover is beautiful!

Cris Anson said...

Gorgeous shot, Renee. I totally get your excitement. I had a similar unforgettable experience at an Ellora's Cave Romanticon convention when the fabulous Art Director Syneca asked me to pose with Angelo. OMG, 15 minutes of heaven to actually be in his arms and look into his eyes. I wound up (with my wrinkles totally Photoshopped out) on the cover of my own book, What She Needs. The photo is at:
http://www.crisanson.com/whatsheneeds.html

Nina Pierce said...

OMG! I am soooo jealous! But let me say, I am sooo not surprised they wanted you as a cover model. The cover is amazing and you are the perfect heroine. Cross it off your bucket list!

Cinderwriter said...

Renee! This is such a cool expierence! I am so excited for you. :) Kim did a beautiful job, as always, but it wasn't hard with such a pretty model! :)

Suzanne Lilly said...

This is like a fairy tale come true! You look fantastic! It pays to go to conferences, doesn't it?

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Amy: Thanks so much! You are all making me blush!

BBTaylor: Well, I certainly wouldn't mind being on more covers, not sure if that will ever happen though. But hey, all you have to do authors is request me!! LOL

Sheri Fredricks: Definitely a dream come true for sure!

Wendy Williams: Thanks for your thoughtful praise. I am truly in awe that this is real!

Gray Dixon: What a sweetheart you are! And you were at RAGT! Oh wow, I wish I would have known so we could have met in person. Next time....

Margaret: You don't know how hard it was to see the cover and not be able to show it off. I've known the look of the awesome cover for a little over a week now!

Sarah Hoss: Thanks my darlin! And I'm so glad I finally got the pleasure of meeting you and Melissa S. in person. You two were so cute!

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Kimberly Killion: Thanks a million Kim and I would love to work again with you sometime. It was the best memory I've had in a long time!

Shelly Thacker: I'm so sorry to hear that your original publisher didn't push it. But at the same time, I'm grateful the way things worked out because without it, I wouldn't have had this opportunity. Thank you so much for demanding a petite woman! I cannot thank you enough and I will be surely promoting your books release in JULY!!!!

Tami Dee: Yes, it's JULY 30th! Trust me, you'll be hearing me shout it out on that day. LOL

Sarah J. McNeal: Thanks my sweet smiling friend! Your face always lights up my day. Thanks for coming to my blog. I hope you are doing well.

Miriam Newman: Ha! I'm glad you did. I've had lots of people look and say NO WAY, that's you?

Maddie James: Thanks babe! I appreciate you letting me jet out from a meeting on that occasion to do that shoot. I so appreciate your understanding.

Cris Anson: Oh wow, Cris, I remember that blog post you did about it too!!! We have another thing in common now! I liked that cover too.

Nina Pierce: I know! It wasn't even on my bucket list but I'm certainly crossing it off as some rare thing I once did. A cool story to tell the grandkids LOL

Cinderwriter: Awww....you are so sweet to say that! Thank you. And KIM is amazing!

Suzanne Lilly: YES it certainly does pay to go to conferences LOL Who would've thought I'd walk away with this experience?

Julie Robinson said...

Just beautiful, Renee! What a great 'photo' to pass on to your family.

Julie Robinson said...

Wow, Chris, great experience for you too! Interesting blurb.

Slick said...

Renee, it's a great cover and you and Billy look fantastic together. He was so cute at RAGT saying you were one of his favorite people in the world...so there you go! Thanks for sharing your experience and it was lovely meeting you at RAGT!

Virginia C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia C said...

Seeing you on the cover of a book has made me smile more than anything I've smiled about in a long, long time. I always told you that the sky was your limit, but now I'm thinking: "To infinity...and beyond!".

I am really, really proud of you : )

Alannah Lynne said...

What a fun experience!!! The cover looks awesome! You did a great job!

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Thanks so much ladies!!! You all are so kind to come here and share in my joy!!!