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Guest Blogger: Juniper Bell (Contest!)
Saturday, August 27th, 2011

The oddest, most random things can inspire a story. In the case of my upcoming release, Go Deep, the spark came from a rejected cover for an earlier book. The cover was absolutely stunning, but wrong for the book—it suggested BDSM, which would have been misleading. We went with a different, equally stunning cover, but the first one kept haunting me. It was based on a striking black and white photo of a woman, her hands cuffed behind her back, a collar fastened around her neck. I’ve actually seen the photo used for other covers, which doesn’t surprise me.

A well-done photograph can be so powerful. It draws you into another world and makes you wonder. What’s going on in this scene? What’s going to happen next? Who are these people and how did they come to be here? What’s it like to be them?

I love the photo of this couple because it feels so intimate. But a more “posed” photo can be fun too.

Photographs don’t have to be graphic to pull you in. Some are more about the mood the artist creates with lighting and exposure and little details such as how she’s resting her head on the wall.

I’ve seen so many photos that I wished had a story attached because I wanted to know more. If only all great photographs were actually book covers! If only you could open them up and read about what happened before that frozen moment and after it.

Maybe that’s why my almost-cover photo popped into my mind when I wanted to write about a married couple hiding their true sexual desires from each other. What if the wife came across a photo that haunted her, and the husband saw her reaction? What if that provided the vehicle for them to start really talking to each other and sharing their most intimate needs and desires…

Of course, I had to change the photo to suit my characters. I added a man, then a second one. I changed a few other little details. But the mood of the photo—mysterious, erotic—stayed with me and the story reflects it. Amazingly, the cover artist, Dar Albert, captured a similar mood in her cover—with no prompting from me.

Go Deep is coming out September 7 from Ellora’s Cave. Here’s the final cover and the blurb. You can read an excerpt here.

In honor of my Go Deep release, I’m offering a $5 Amazon gift certificate.
All you have to do is tell me which of the above photos is your favorite!

A standalone sequel to Go Wild.

Beth is the shy, dreamy type. No one guesses at the wild sexual thoughts she hides behind that quiet façade. She doesn’t even share her secret longings with her husband.

Gavin loves his wife, but he’s tired of living in a marriage in which neither he nor Beth reveal their true desires. When Gavin sees Beth’s response to an erotic bondage photo in her framing shop, he jumps at the opportunity to break through her barriers.

He accepts an invitation to a showcase match for the amateur hockey team he coaches during Wild Nights, the infamous winter festival during which “anything goes, nothing counts.” But he’s opened a sensual Pandora’s box—Beth has some surprises of her own. When she meets Eagle, a free-spirited Wild resident, she knows he’s the perfect man to help enact her erotic fantasies. And once they go deep, there’s no going back.

20 comments to “Guest Blogger: Juniper Bell (Contest!)”

  1. Ilona
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    1
      · August 27th, 2011 at 8:59 am · Link

    I think my favourite is the second one with the very intimate couple :D

    Love the sound of Go Deep, very interesting premiss.



  2. Kathleen Clark
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    2
      · August 27th, 2011 at 9:43 am · Link

    I love all of the photos, thank you for sharing them! My favorite is the couple in the cafe. You can’t see their faces, but I don’t think that takes away from the erotic image. They are just about to get involved. You were so right about wanting to know the story of the photo the longer I looked at the picture!



  3. SLion
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    3
      · August 27th, 2011 at 9:45 am · Link

    The 2nd one definitely, with how suggestive it is but really only revealing enough o spur the imagination. Perfect :lol:



  4. Delilah
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    4
      · August 27th, 2011 at 10:01 am · Link

    I like the blindfolded guy. His head is very well-placed.



  5. Juniper Bell
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    5
      · August 27th, 2011 at 10:44 am · Link

    LOL Delilah! Yes, his head is in the perfect position — and it’s framed so well in the black space between her legs.

    Ilona – Thank you so much! And you picked my personal favorite too. That’s a photo I want to see the sequel too. ;-)

    Kathleen – I think you put your finger on why I love that photo too … they’re hovering right on the verge of something more intimate. It’s so well done!

    SLion – Exactly — it’s so erotic you don’t realize that not that much is actually revealed.

    Thanks everyone, and I can’t wait to see who else chimes in with their favorite!



  6. Julie
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    6
      · August 27th, 2011 at 11:21 am · Link

    The very first picture is my favorite: the position, the framing, the touching. Thanks for sharing with us!



  7. Lisa H.
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    7
      · August 27th, 2011 at 2:08 pm · Link

    I like the first picture. I think Go Deep sounds like a great read.

    Lisa



  8. June M.
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    8
      · August 27th, 2011 at 2:13 pm · Link

    It is hard to choose between the first 2 pictures. But if I had to pick only one, I would go with picture 2. There is just something about that picture, very intimate, showing her trust of him by allowing him to handcuff her, yet she is holding his hand to her body. Very nice picture. I would definitely read a story based on that one.



  9. tammy ramey
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    9
      · August 27th, 2011 at 2:46 pm · Link

    i like the last photo the best, i can make 2 stories from it. 1) they are are their way to something more intimate or 2) they have just finished. makes me wonder which it is and also are they partners or strangers? wish i knew! :-P



  10. Jane
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    10
      · August 27th, 2011 at 4:11 pm · Link

    I like the first one. It reminds me a little of the scene in 9 1/2 Weeks.



  11. Emily Tardy
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    11
      · August 27th, 2011 at 4:29 pm · Link

    My favorite picture is the first. I like the fact that the female is in charge and the male is blindfolded. My answer might have a little to do with my post from yesterday, though :)



  12. Sherry S.
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    12
      · August 27th, 2011 at 7:05 pm · Link

    I like all of them but my favorite one is the 1st one.



  13. Dawn
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    13
      · August 27th, 2011 at 8:00 pm · Link

    OMG you want me to choose one?? Yikes! I guess I would have to say the handcuffs one :D – got a thing for boys with cuffs. I love this cover Juniper and you know that I am a HUGE fan and so can’t wait to read this new book! xoxox



  14. Jen B.
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    14
      · August 27th, 2011 at 8:07 pm · Link

    I like the last one because it’s all nice and sweet and INNOCENT. But we all know what they do behind closed (or mostly closed doors). HAHA!
    jepebATverizonDOTnet



  15. elaing8
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    15
      · August 27th, 2011 at 8:55 pm · Link

    My favorite is the first one.
    Love the Go Deep cover



  16. Lisa Collins
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    16
      · August 27th, 2011 at 10:14 pm · Link

    My favorite is the last one. The couple are intensely centered on each other yet totally at ease.



  17. Chele Blades
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    17
      · August 29th, 2011 at 10:28 am · Link

    i think i have to go with number one…the naughty ideas i have and number two is a close second



  18. Juniper Bell
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    18
      · August 29th, 2011 at 2:53 pm · Link

    Thank you so much for chiming in with your picks for favorite photo … and your reasons why! Many of these comments made me look again at the photos and see new things in them. So … Random.org has chosen a winner and it is ….

    Lisa Collins!!

    Lisa, email me at juniperbell.author@gmail.com for your gift certificate. Congrats, and thanks again to everyone for commenting.



  19. Patti P
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    19
      · August 31st, 2011 at 12:18 am · Link

    I think my favorite is the last one. It is sexy and the feeling I get is the whole slowly leading into something way more intense. Thanks for the post I really enjoyed the pics.



  20. Lynn R
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    20
      · August 31st, 2011 at 7:20 am · Link

    I love the first picture. You see the guy’s head and he is blindfolded. All you see of the woman is her legs and her finger touching her lover’s lip. This picture leads the “viewer” to a lot of hot fantasies.