Craig Faustus Buck
The novel is a mystery noir starring a bottom-feeding freelance crime writer (ex-cop) who looks into the 20-year-old murder of a rock star diva and unleashes secrets that result in the murder of her web-porn-star daughter. Very Elmore Leonardesque except it's all first-person. It takes readers on a dark romp through the worlds of aging rock-and-rollers, live Internet sex shows, abusive psychiatrists, Slavic mobsters, child molesters, emotional betrayal, deceit, arson, murder and estate planning. It is a character-driven page-turner that aspires to live in a neighborhood where Elmore Leonard might hoist a glass with Charlie Huston.
Our hero Nob Brown has a 6'1" frame, weighs 190, hazel eyes, dirty-blond hair. He has a hot, kinky friends-with-benefits relationship with LAPD Homicide Detective-Lieutenant Gloria Lopes (rhymes with hopes). She's Five-eight and lean with freckled brown eyes, dyed-red mane, her smile a coy, sexy curl at the outer edges of her lips. She wears lingerie under the business suit she wears to work. Here's how we meet her as the book begins:
I look through the spyhole. Gloria has a bottle of gin in her hand and a pair of cuffs hanging from her belt loop. A deadly combination.
I open the door. "Evening, Lieutenant. You got a warrant?"
"Here's your warrant." She grabs the back of my head and sticks her tongue down my throat. I'd like it better if she didn't taste like Cheetos.
The cuffs are hot pink, btw.
Here's the description of the 20-year-old murder and victim (36 years old when she was shot):
Lana Strain was my adolescent wet dream, that perfect goddess who stamped the mold for my ideal woman. In concert she was high-voltage all the time, a blues-rock Tesla coil. Her songs exploded out of her with dead-on pitch sanded rough by too much smoke and rye whiskey then torched with raw emotion. Her heart-wrenching delivery left me burning to rescue her from the demons in her life, to make it all better for her, to wrap her tight in my arms and comfort her, preferably naked.
Then, when I was seventeen, some douchebag saw fit to splatter the back of Lana Strain's head across her million-dollar Lichtenstein.
AND: Lana Strain's body sits dwarfed by the wall-height painting. Her brain has exploded across the canvas of the Dotted Babe, the perfect spacing of Lichtenstein's half-tone dots disarrayed by the spray-painted blood. I have to take a deep breath to keep my stomach at bay.
AND: Lana slumps against the bottom of the painting like a life-size rag doll, her Streamline Moderne body vacuum-packed in a black halter dress of dotted swiss. I've pictured her dying in jeans and a camisole top, in sweats, in leather, in tight T-shirts, in torn T-shirts, in wet T-shirts, in men's dress shirts, in shorts, in slit skirts, in bikinis, in teddies and, of course, in nothing. But fifties vintage never crossed my mind. Dotted swiss just doesn't feel right.
Lana looks drunk with her head twisted at an awkward angle, chin on chest just above that half-heart pendant. Her face is covered by an onyx wave of silky hair, falling slightly open at the part to reveal one eye, a startling mosaic of greens and golds. Her other eye is hidden beneath her hair but I doubt much of it survived the bullet's entry.
I always thought the body against the Lichtenstein would make a great cover image if it wasn't gory. Maybe in a '50s pulp style or neo-noir.
Need to be able to use it or excerpt a piece of it for a thumbnail.
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Who are your readers?
Lovers of hard-boiled, sexy mysteries. Readers of Elmore Leonard, Tana French or Charlie Huston.
What 3 things would you like to communicate to your readers with this design?
Murder, noir with subtle humor, hot sex
Style and Content
What colors do you want to see in your design?
Probably black and red, but I am wide open.
What colors do you NOT want to see in your design?
Describe the style(s) you like (traditional, modern, etc.)
noir, pulp or modern. Not too busy, not at all cutesy. The attached files: Red Cat is an example of a cover I love, but the style of this one does not have to conform to that. The other is a mockup I made myself for fun but I sort of liked it even though it doesn't really tell the story of the book. I don't own the picture.
What content must be included in your design?
Title, author, blurbs, the tagline "Sex, Thugs, Rock-n-Roll" (optional)
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