Monday, 19 February 2018

Photos, illos, naked torsos? What's Your Favourite Cover? Tell Me & Win A Prize!

I attended an authors' conference recently where a design expert informed us all that, globally, different nationalities have very different preferences when it comes to what book covers they like and which ones make them run, gagging. 

According to the expert:

  • American readers adore illustrated covers while the Aussies won't have a bar of them
  • Don't even think about splashing a naked torso on a British cover but if you're selling in Europe, go hell for leather!
  • And you may have won every award in the book, but readers just don't give a toss

What do you think about all of that?

I have always known that tastes vary from place to place. Really, it's just common sense, and the reason many products have completely different branding (names, packaging…) in different countries. But I never knew the differences were that stark, and I certainly didn't expect it was a nationality thing.

I thought it was simply a matter of personal preference and would make little difference to sales.

That's why I've decided to run a bit of an experiment with my Ghostwriter Mystery Series. This month I've gone back to the future—to my very first covers which were designed with illustrations (below) and later updated with photographs (see further below). You can check out the original and updated covers here or see the full set of illustrated covers now available exclusively at Amazon.


Which ones do you prefer? When I posed the question to some of my fellow cozy author/reader friends recently, I was surprised to find that the majority prefered the illustrated covers—even though they are all Australians. When I asked them why, many couldn't really articulate the reasons although some felt it was more about genre than nationality—cozies usually have illustrated covers, after all—while another told me photographs were too life-like and she wanted to create her own images in her head.

That makes sense to me. How about you?

I'd love to hear your thoughts—and give you a chance to win a prize!

QUESTION: Where are you from and which covers do you prefer?
WIN: The full e-book set of my Ghostwriter Mystery Series

Please drop me a line or send me an email and let me know what type of cover you prefer—the illustrated version (above) or the ones with photographs (below)? I'll be placing all the respondents' names into a hat and selecting one winner who will receive a full e-book copy of all six of my GHOSTWRITER MYSTERY series.

Respond to this message or email me now at:
This offer closes at the end of the month, so don't hesitate to get in touch!

Happy (well covered) reading everyone...
xo Christina 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Celebrate the Hollywood Film with a 99c Mystery

A Hollywood Flick, A Floppy Moustache, a Discount Mystery…

Image result for branagh murder on the orient expressBy now most of you will have had the chance to watch Kenneth Branagh's version of the great Agatha Christie classic Murder on the Orient Express. Released at the end of last year, it stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Branagh himself in the lead role.

That was his first mistake.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the flick (hell, I'll take Brad Pitt in the lead role if it means more Agatha Christie stories brought to life on the big screen) but I kept thinking Kenneth had forgotten who he was playing and morphed into Sherlock Holmes. 

It all came down to that moustache. What was that about?! Perhaps Branagh's hair and make-up people hadn't read any of the books, or perhaps he was bringing his own interpretation to the part, but that was no Poirot mo!

Everybody knows Poirot's mo is… well… slick and neat! As Captain Hastings says, himself, in his very first description of his friend: "His moustache was very stiff and military." 

Image result for David Suchet murder on the orient expressAs Agatha Christie writes in the original Murder on the Orient Express: "…a small man muffled up to the ears of whom nothing was visible but a pink-tipped nose and the two points of an upward-curled moustache."

In contrast, Branagh's was wild and bushy and left him looking more like an Austrian beer maker than everybody's favourite, finicky Belgian detective.

But I forgive him. Really I do. While the mo is a pivotal part of the original character (and David Suchet pulls it off best, IMHO), I honestly don't mind that someone is bringing a fresh interpretation to an old character because, er, that's kinda what I do, isn't it?

My own special twist…

My Agatha Christie Book Club series is all about adding a fresh and modern perspective to an old classic. While I'm not actually rewriting any of Dame Agatha's stories (blimey, I wouldn't dare!), I do look at them afresh and celebrate the (sleuthing) wisdom within. And in my second Agatha Christie Book Club, Murder on the Orient (SS), I do just that, adding whispers of the original mystery in this very modern account of a series of murders that take place on a replica steamship called the SS Orient (a real-life ship, by the way).

With that in mind, I want to stop my griping and celebrate the movie by offering you a discount ebook! Yep, that's right, I'm dropping the price of my second Agatha Christie Book Club cozy mystery to just 99c! You can grab your copy here:
* Amazon kindle
* Apple iBooks
* Barnes & Noble nook
* kobo
* Smashwords and elsewhere

And if you haven't seen the movie, please don't let me put you off. Suspect styling aside, it really is a cinematic delight. How can it not be? It's based on an Agatha Christie plot.

Happy (discount) reading everyone.
xo Christina

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Did You Win One of My E-books? Plus: 12 Cozies for just 99c

Hello and happy 2018 everyone. 

As a special thank you to my readers and subscribers for all your support over the past 12 months, I'm giving three of you a free ecopy of my latest Agatha Christie Book Club: Evil Under The Stars
The following subscribers have been chosen at random from my full subscriber list. In the interest of privacy I have used just a few words of your email address but will be in touch with you shortly to confirm your win.
AND THE WINNERS ARE… (drum roll please) 
CONGRATULATIONS! I'll email you soon to arrange for delivery of my book. 
Don't despair. Some good friends and fellow authors are doing an extraordinary discount ebook bundle deal that I'd like to share with you (below). 
Happy reading and here's to a bookish 2018 full of mystery, magic and adventure. Enjoy!
xo Christina

Curl up with a mug of cocoa, a warm fire, and a dozen murder mysteries!
12 cozy mystery novels from best-selling authors to get your blood racing on a cold winter's eve. There's nothing chilling about this chance to explore a dozen of cozies. Curl up for a cocoa, a cookie and a killing!
Get your copy here

* Stacey Alabaster * Anna Celeste Burke * Kathi Daley * Nell Goddin * Alison Golden * Dianne Harman * CeeCee James * Summer Prescott * BR Snow * Shannon VanBergen * Amy Vansant * JA Whiting

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Kobo | Nook | Google Play | iBooks

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Book Launch: Agatha Christie Book Club 3 JUST OUT!

In their most complex puzzle yet, the Agatha Christie Book Club unite to watch Evil Under The Sun at a moonlit cinema and end up face-to-face with evil under a star-lit sky.
It's the unlikeliest of crimes—a woman strangled in a public park, with scores of witnesses and not a single suspect in sight. 
How did no one hear her scream? And how could the club have been lounging just metres away and missed the whole event?!
The third in the best-selling Agatha Christie Book Club series is now available online. Get your copy here!
"What a delightful ride this was! I slid past the clever clues and fell right on top the red herrings. I did not figure it out at all. C.A. Larmer has such a skilled way of developing characters, even the minor characters, and sure can write a whodunit." - D.A. Sarac
To find out more about the author, the series, or to catch up on earlier stories, check out my website
Happy reading, everyone!
xo Christina

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Guess Which Agatha Christie Novel My Book Club Are Exploring Next? (Sneak Peek)

Ever since my Agatha Christie devotees formed their own book club, I have had such fun selecting which of Dame Agatha's novels to focus on next. And you can imagine my dilemma...

Outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, Ms Christie wrote 66 detective novels, numerous short story collections, romances and plays. But there's always been one book that really surprised me.
Evil Under The Sun is one of Christie's best and, I'd go so far as to claim, one of THE greatest murder mysteries of all time with an extraordinary twist that left my brain spinning. Somehow she had created the perfect murder where everything is turned on its head.

This is my very humble homage.

Evil Under The Stars is the third in my Agatha Christie Book Club series, and it's a classic whodunnit with a super-modern twist.
In my story, instead of Hercule Poirot encountering a dead body lying in the sun on a secluded cove in Devon, my book club friends come across a young woman who's been murdered while lying on a blanket at a moonlit cinema in Sydney. It's a very public event, one they all attended, and yet no one spotted a thing!
My biggest mystery yet, it's due out at Christmas.
Stay tuned for more details, folks, and, if you need to catch up on the story, get your e-copy of the second in the series, Murder On The Orient (SS), at any good e-book retailer now:

And while you're at it, let me know what you think of my new-look cover for the second book (above). I've gone bright and enchanting—just in time for the Aussie summer—and would love to hear your views!
Until then, happy reading everyone.
xo Christina

Monday, 20 November 2017

A Macabre Murder, Cocktail-Sipping Suspects, 99c Mystery

The time is nigh! For those of you who scooped up a free copy of the first Ghostwriter Mystery KILLER TWIST, now you can grab the second in the series for just 99c.
A PLOT TO DIE FOR follows gutsy Ghostwriter Roxy Parker as she heads to an exotic resort to write the life story of an eccentric hotelier. Instead, she finds her client dead, buried in the sand, her head protruding ghoulishly for the crabs to devour, and an ensemble cast of cocktail-sipping characters who are all hiding something behind their Gucci sunglasses.
Thanks to BookBub in the UK, Canada, India and Australia, I'm discounting the book for one week only: 99c.
My US readers can also clinch copy for 99c at Amazon USA now.*
Happy reading and don't hesitate to let me know what you think of my fast-talking, fabulously fashionable, butt-kicking  'Ghostie'.
 xo Christina
*APOLOGIES: Amazon US is no longer offering the ebook for free. But, hey, 99c… you can barely get a decent bag of lollies for that :-) Enjoy!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A Big Thanks, A Free E-Book, An Upcoming Sale...

I recently discounted my first Agatha Christie Book Club mystery e-book and, thanks to you guys and BookBub, it soared to the #1 Best Seller spot at Amazon in the UK, Canada and Australia! And reached the Top 21 in the US. I'm feeling pretty chuffed about that!
To Celebrate...
I'm doing another discount e-book, this time the second in my GHOSTWRITER MYSTERY series starring a merlot-swilling, fast-talking, fun and fashionable amateur detective called Roxy Parker.
In A Plot to Die For  Roxy heads to a luxury boutique hotel on a secluded island where a mysterious murder leaves some guests looking a little too relieved.
My ode to Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun, this cozy adventure will be priced at just 99c from Nov 20 so pop it in your diaries, folks.
Get the 1st book Free!
Until then, fall in love with Roxy in her first Ghostwriter Mystery: Killer Twist which is now available FREE at all online ebook stores.
Or click on the links below:
Happy reading everyone!
xo CA Larmer