Cross My Heart by Catt Ford: Exclusive Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Guest PostBecause this is a story about a man who likes to dress and live as a woman, creating a cover presented a challenge. As an artist, I can certainly take a photograph of a man and apply believable makeup in Photoshop, but at the postage-stamp size, the cover would just look like a story about a woman.

By cropping the model to leave most of his/her appearance to the imagination of the reader, but providing feminine clues, such as the dress, shoes and even the room, I hope to intrigue people enough to investigate further.

I realize that the subject matter will not appeal to everyone, but the essential theme of the book, as in all romances, is acceptance. Being loved for who you are, something I think we all yearn for.

I always find it difficult to decide what to include as an excerpt, but I hope you will like this one:

excerpt

When Dom finally pried himself away, Lana bolted the door after him in relief.

She really hadn’t needed that added little bit of drama Dom always seemed to stir up. She went back to the window. The man had apparently given up. He was walking west to the end of the block. Then he turned right. Lana waited. After a minute she spied Dom following the man in a suitably surreptitious manner, skulking as he’d promised. Lana rolled her eyes when she saw Dom flatten himself against a building and then sneak around the corner. She drew the curtains, hoping Dom would not call her tonight with the results of his playing detective. If the phone did ring, she would feel obligated to answer to prevent Dom rushing back over here to make sure she was alive.

Lana picked up her shoes and carried them to the bedroom. It was tucked behind a partial wall and furnished with furniture she’d found at the flea market.

The headboard was upholstered in velvet, and a silk duvet covered the bed, lending a bit of luxury to the secondhand pieces. Lana stored her shoes neatly away in the mirrored wardrobe. Early on she’d discovered living in such limited space required organization and constant policing, difficult when paired with an addiction to clothes. She took off her suit and hung it on a padded hanger. Lingerie went into the hamper.

She went down the narrow hall leading to the bathroom. A pedestal sink shared the microscopic space with the toilet and shower, but a bathtub had been sacrificed for the practicality of a washer. The frosted glass window let in light while still guarding her privacy.

Although small, the flat was the first place she’d ever had all to herself. Lana loved the beauty and tranquility she’d created. The only thing that would have made it better was someone to share it with, but that dream was impossible.

Quickly, Lana removed her makeup and bent over the sink to wash. She buried her face in the towel for a moment and then looked up at the mirror to see herself stripped bare.

“Hello, Roland.” His voice was soft and husky. “Nice to see you again.”

Roland reached for a jar of moisturizer. As he started to smooth the cream onto his skin, he closed his eyes and pretended it was another man’s hands roaming over his body. Not just any man, he realized. The hands Roland wanted to feel on his skin were those of the handsome man who’d followed him. The man might prove to be dangerous, but he was sexy as hell. Roland kept thinking about the man even though there was no point. Roland tried to forget him and concentrate on the usual faceless, nameless hero of his imagination. He wrapped his arms around himself in a tender embrace, but tonight the fantasy of happily ever after wasn’t working. That castle in the air dissolved into his lonely reality. After one last try, Roland opened his eyes to be confronted with the reality of him groping himself. He sneered at himself in the mirror.

“L’amour. Le bullshit. Pathetic.”

He returned to the bedroom, put on a negligée, and went to bed.

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Dreamspinner Press ebook

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synopsis

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Roland Reynolds—or Lana Renault, as she’s now known—knows that life is no fairy tale. Fortunately she has her trusted friends, nicknamed the dwarfs, to keep her company. She lives her life to the fullest while keeping what’s beneath her skirt to herself.

American painter Daniel Hunter is no stranger to adversity either, and it’s left him with not only strength but secrets. Unlike Lana, he remains aloof, content to observe life and beauty from the sidelines… until the first time their eyes meet on a crowded Paris street.

Cupid’s arrow finds its mark in Daniel, but while Lana longs for romance, she knows there’s no prince in her happy ever after. If their story is to have a fairy-tale ending, Daniel will have to convince Lana to let down her walls—and, in the process, reveal what he fears sharing the most.

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Are you ready to see the gorgeous new cover created by Catt Ford?

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CrossMyHeartFS_v1

meet the author

Catt Ford lives behind the orange curtain in southern California with a partner and two familiars in the form of cats whose fur is as black as their evil little hearts. She is a graphic artist by day and a storyteller by inclination. Catt enjoys the research required for writing a believable story. She is a rabid card-carrying fan of bull riding and also enjoys swing dancing. She gets drunk on words and sometimes over imbibes, but loves to write about love and happy endings.

Blog: catt-ford.livejournal.com

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