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Today's guest is avid reader, blogger, and wondrous LinkMistress Chris of the blog Stumbling Over Chaos.
*prods you* Subscribe NOW to find out what's going on in the world of fiction and fun! And she also offers regular contests for FREE new fiction downloads :).

Ever run your gaze over a line of book covers and done a double take? Ever wondered why that guy in the hero's arms looks so darned familiar? Chris runs an amusing series called Adventures in Stock Photography where she exposes (unintentional pun, despite the torso covers) the most popular, most accommodating, most flexible (!), most used-n-abused stock photo models.

Once upon a time...

I had a cover I adored (well, I still do LOL). This man is Maen of Branded to the life - the strong muscular body and superb pecs; the determined gaze that reflects his personal courage, honour and integrity; the hint of protectiveness towards his younger lover Dax and the shade in his eyes of his innate, yet carefully controlled sensitivity... Oh, and *extra delight*, the simple gold earring, the badge of his rank as a perfect and loyal Gold Warrior.

*sighs happily*

And then ... Chris started to post some other covers. With amusing commentary, fond admiration and a good dose of tongue-in-cheek. And with that same, rather-too-accommodating model! What's that all about, I thought, pouting? But then I had to laugh. And have gone on laughing, as she's featured several popular models the same way. I know I have over 25 examples so far of "Maen's" path through book-cover-land, and I suspect Chris has many, MANY more :).

Sit back and enjoy a fun taste of that journey! :)


I used to internet date. Now I read blogs instead. Knitting, reading, bicycling, and cat parenting. It's a wild life.

Welcome to another edition of the Misadventures in Stock Photography! I’m sure we all remember Wind-in-Hair Guy (WiHG), right? Wait, what?! You haven't heard of the Misadventures in Stock Photography, much less Wind-in-Hair Guy?!

Um. Well. That's rather embarrassing, isn't it?

I started the Misadventures in Stock Photography over a year ago and it's since become a regular Monday feature on my blog. Initially, I would just post examples (usually ebook covers) of cover models being used over and over and over. At some point, I started writing strange little narratives using the book titles. You can hover your mouse over each image to see the title as I used it in my narrative.

Shall we begin? Keep an eye out for Photoshop misuse - you'll see a hairstyle change and a complete body change!

, once famed as

, had become ensnared in a

while taking a break to read

. As a result, he was


when he admitted, "


The end.

If you'd like to see more of WiHG, he's been in two previous (and longer) Misadventures.



Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Take the prompt "A NEW RESOLUTION" and write something for the visitors this month. It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.

Depending on how many (if any!) contributions we get, I'll post them during the month or all in the last week. Just send them in to me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and we'll go from there :).


Follow this month with Clare - and the goodies so far:

JAN 08: A great new novel and sequel from mickieashling.
JAN 09: Fiction and beautiful illustrations from essayel.
JAN 10: New menage release from lc_chase.
JAN 11: Fabulous mix of SF and erotic romance from Sloane Taylor and Robert Appleton.

JAN 01: A FREE short from me, revisiting Nic and Aidan from Sparks Fly.
JAN 01: Delicious m/m icons from luscious_words.
JAN 02: Why I want to be a Bond villain! by chrissymunder.
JAN 03: The world of inspiration between 'historical' and 'contemporary' with stevie_carroll.
JAN 04: Some fascinating Swedish proverbs from 1more_sickpuppy.
JAN 05: A round-up of a great year just gone from angelasstone.
JAN 06: The countryside and history that inspires author sandra_lindsey.
JAN 07: The challenge of trying to balance edits, with diannefox and anahcrow.


Check up on the original post and the Guest Schedule for January HERE.

Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.



( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 12th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
He needs to keep his hair long.

Sometimes a cover guy and a character will totally stick for me and I find it annoying when I see him elsewhere. Others are just random guys. My example is CandyCandGuy on the cover of Diving in Deep by KA Mitchell. He will ALWAYS be Noah to me. Sigh. And he should quite whoring around. :-P
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
Candy Cane Guy is everywhere, isn't he?! *pats Tam sympathetically*
Jan. 12th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
I never realized how often stock photos were used until I started enjoying Chris' Monday posts. I was under the illusion that once used they would have to be retired, lol! Now I'm constantly looking for the same faces on covers. It's become a game:)

Thanks for this fun post!
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed, Mickie! :)
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
I'd totally missed that the model on The Nobelman and the Spy is WiHG. It's amazing what can be done with a haircut and necktie :).

Well done with the narrative today, Chris, I bow down to your awesome skills at creating a stoy out of book title.
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
or Nobleman, even :).
(no subject) - egret17 - Jan. 12th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC)
They had me fooled on the Nobleman and the Spy. Usually the Photoshop hair is a big shagggy wig.

I wish you didn't have to share him, Clare, but at least with this guy being as handsome as he is (and with that wonderful, direct gaze), one can see WHY he keeps showing up all over the place. Unlike some of the others in Misadventures!
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
I did a double take when I saw the Nobleman and the Spy and realized they'd removed hair instead of adding more.

And Gladiator's Revenge... I burst out laughing. Head/body match FAIL.
Jan. 12th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
Oh brilliant! I hadn't heard of your blog before, but I'll definitely be tuning in in future. How do you find the TIME to seek out this stuff - although I'm glad you do.

I am shuddering at what they did with his body in the Roman one... that's just WRONG. And I have to say, he looks better with this clothes on...
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hi, Erastes! Fortunately, it doesn't take quite as much time as people might guess - my pattern-matching brain is busy in the background while I'm browsing or shopping for ebooks.

Yeah, the gladiator cover... Eeep!
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 12th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 12th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
Yay! Chris. But, where's Chaos and Mayhem? Will they have their own blog post for Clare's B-day month? (yes, Clare - I'm all about the furries... erh, wait a sec. that sounds a bit odd)

As amusing as MISP is, the links on your blog are truly a treasure. I come away alternately amused, informed, and sometimes, vaguely disturbed. Well done.
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks, Chrissy! *beams*

Um. Yeah. That statement to Clare does sound a bit odd...... O.O
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 12th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chrissymunder - Jan. 12th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clarelondon - Jan. 12th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 12th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
You are the rocker and knitter of my socks. :) You are also the rocker of all rockity things.

Jan. 12th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks, Jase!!!
Jan. 12th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
Misadventures on the road! Love it!

I'm enjoying the Nobleman picture because it's so easy to imagine him undressed.
Jan. 12th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
And I bet what you're imagining is NOT the gladiator cover...
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 12th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 12th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
Those stories are fabulous, and it's amazing how often the same stock photo turns up.
Jan. 12th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks, Stevie! It really is amazing - and I just focus on stock photos of guys, because that seems what my pattern matching brain does best at.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 12th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Alex! Hmm. Bad news for cover artists, but good news for the Misadventures.... :)
Jan. 13th, 2011 12:24 am (UTC)
Do all these models know that they might find themselves in all kind of different predicaments, shapes, colors, clothes (and without) and haircuts on all kinds covers for all kinds of books? :)

Great post! Thanks! :)
Jan. 13th, 2011 01:22 am (UTC)
That's a very good question, mammarella! Glad you enjoyed the post. :)
Jan. 13th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
I love Misadventures - it's one of only good things about Mondays! :D
Jan. 13th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! :)
Jan. 13th, 2011 10:40 am (UTC)
Oh, that's brilliant. He gets around a bit, doesn't he? Got a bike, I assume...
Jan. 13th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Charlie! Yeah, he does get around.... He must have something. ;)
Jan. 14th, 2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
I guess these are examples of the 'ubiquitous male torso' in action. I like your stories rather more than the covers. The stories made me lol.
Jan. 15th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed them, essayel! :)
Jan. 16th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
Chris rocks!

Hey WIHG lost his hair at one point there! Cool travels tho. :D

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