Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blurb or Excerpt?

I recently received a fantastic review for my first Malone mystery, Mixed Messages. The reviewer, Martha A. Cheves, author of several cookbooks including Stir, Laugh, Repeat, quoted a passage from the book at the beginning of her review. And, it got me thinking. Maybe that would be a better way to promote my books.
Traditionally, in the interest of keeping my post short when I’ve been a guest on another author’s blog, I’ve included the blurb from the back of the book but it never occurred to me to use an excerpt instead. So, I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment. Below, I’ve listed both the blurb and an excerpt from Mixed Messages and I would appreciate your opinion as to which of them is the most likely to entice you to read the book. Blurb or Excerpt?
It’s estimated that there are at least twenty to thirty active serial killers in the United States at any given time. There’s one on the loose on the west side of Cincinnati.

It’s the week of Halloween and Ann Kern struggles with several issues. Her primary concern is her marriage which, like her west side neighborhood, is in jeopardy. Her husband is drinking heavily and his behavior toward her is erratic. One minute, he’s the kind, loving man she married and, the next minute, he’s cold and cruel.

Ann dismisses a psychic’s warning that she is in danger. But, when she receives a series of ominous biblical quotes, she grows nervous and suspicious of everyone, including her own husband.

As the bizarre and frightening events unfold, Ann discovers a handmade tombstone marked with her name, pushing her close to the edge. Will she be the Westwood Strangler’s next victim?

“Ann went directly to her grandmother's grave and stooped down to clear away the debris that covered the inscription on the tombstone. She heard a noise behind her that sounded like light footsteps making their way through the dried leaves and twigs... But there was no one there.
It's probably your imagination, she said out loud but, when the sun went behind a cloud, she shivered. Then, she heard the noise again... All of a sudden, a black cat sprang from the woods... 
As she turned back toward her grandmother's grave, she noticed a mound of freshly dug earth a few feet away. Curious, she went over and looked down. Her eyes opened wide and her hands flew to her mouth to stifle a scream. There, printed in bold black paint on a large rock were the words, "FUTURE HOME OF ANN KERN."