Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words ~ Best Covers of June 2015

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 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best Covers of June 2015

(with links to their reviews)

We love our book covers here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and think you do too!  They draw us in, tell us a little about the story and main characters inside…if they are doing the job they are supposed too.   Some are whimsical, some are sexy, others mysterious, dark and just plain out glorious.  Here are some of our  favorites this month.  What were yours?

And if you missed the stories behind the covers, I’ve included the links to the reviews for your information and enjoyment!

Happy Reading and Have a Safe and Joyous 4th!

Best Cover of June 2015

CounselorAmongWolves[A]FSCheeky HIpsters and Jocks coverDrama Queen CoverFireworks and Wild Cards cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]Spell Bound coverSultry Sunset coverKnight of Ocean Avenue cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retrograde Final

The Secret Casebook of Simon Fleximal coverEnglish 1 the summer house jpgWhen to Hold Them cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series Finale:

Forging the future coverRunning with the Wind coverIntoWindStealing the Wind cover

 

 

 

 

 

YA Stories:

Out of Order cover

Out of  Order by Casey Lawrence, cover art by Aaron Andersen

Scattered Thoughts Best Book Covers of 2012

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Once again its time to talk book covers and book cover design.  I have talked previously about my favorite covers from childhood and how the mere sight of a great cover in the window of a bookstore would draw me in like the scent of cheese to a mouse.  If the cover is the magnet the publisher and author uses to attract readers, there are certain principles of design that used to be taken into consideration to make that cover the one that grabs peoples attention, that yells look at me, that makes them want to know what that book is about.

For printed books, the designer has to look at several things such as book size, typographic palette (how blocks of text are located on a cover), book covers, book spines and fonts. With respect to eBooks, spines aren’t relevant, nor is book size, at least how it is normally used in the publisher world. It’s not the actual physical size that matters here with eBooks but that readers are often looking at a smaller graphic when choosing eBooks.  So now smaller has to make an even greater impact.  All the other design elements remain the same.  Book covers, whether for print or electronic books, must be compelling enough to make the reader to choose that book, to persuade the customer that what is inside is fascinating, marvelous stuff.

Another rule is that the book cover should match the book it is being designed for. Whether the design is simple or rich in detail, elegant or street tough, uses a cover model or an illustration, there should be no disconnect between the subject matter inside and out.  I can’t tell you how many times I thought nice cover but what does it have to do with the subject of the book? And it if is a book series, then all the covers should be similar enough to brand each book a part of a series, one glance tells you who the author is and what series you are reading (ex. Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series with a singular object on the cover). A great book cover makes you anticipate, endows you with a need to discover.

On every review I write I also mention the covers and the cover artists.  There are always some cover artists who continue to turn out one enticing cover after another, there are some artists you  can identify just by looking at the style of the design or paintings on the cover (Paul Richmond, Posh Gosh). And then this year saw a new artist or two whose cover reached out with it’s compelling designs and emotional overtones.  This  year also saw a trend towards retro illustrations and design which I loved and others whose richness in color and detail left me gasping in delight.  It was hard to narrow the covers down as there were so many worthy of mention, so I did break it down into a few categories.

So here they are, Scattered Thoughts Best Covers of 2012(with apologies in advance for the formatting problems):

Historical Novels:

On the Trail to Moonlight Gulch by Shelter Somerset/Artist Anne Cain

The Mystery of Ruby Lode by Scotty Cade / Artist Reese Dante

The Celestial by Barry Brennessel/ Artist Winterheart Designs

On the Trail to Moonlight Gulch2

The Mystery of Ruby Lode 2

The Celestial 2

]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contemporary Novels:

Acrobat by Mary Calmes/ Artist Anne Cain

Mine by Mary Calmes/Artist Anne Cain

Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane/Artist Paul Richmond

Sidecar by Amy Lane/Artist Shoshana Appavu

Time Gone By by Jan Suzukawa/Artist Anne Cain

Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane/Artist Catt Ford

Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C/Artist Reese Dante

Acrobat2

Mine 2

Mourning Heaven 2

 Sidecar2

Wake me up inside  2

Turkey in the Snow cover

Time Gone By cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy/Supernatural Novels:

The Ronin and The Fox by Cornelia Grey/Artist Nathie

A Token of Time by Ethan Day/Artist Winterheart Design

roninandthefox_2

A Token of Time 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Novels:

Burn by TJ Klune/Artist Catt Ford

Josh of the Damned, Triple Feature by Andrea Speed/Artist LC Chase

Riot Boy by Katey Hawthorne/Artist P.L. Nunn

Burn2

Riotboy2

Josh of the Damned TripleFeature2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series:

Infected Series by Andrea Speed/ Artist Anne Cain

Knitting series by Amy Lane/Artist Catt Ford

Leopard’s Spots series by Bailey Bradford/Artist Posh Gosh

Lost Gods by Megan Derr/Artist London Burdon

Gilbert 2

Stone Rose 2

Infected Lesser Evils 2

How to Raise An Honest Rabbit cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were so many others I wished to include and I know you have your favorites too.  Write and let me know who you feel should have been on that list (King Perry, Fallout to name a few that came close).  Check out the individual reviews to see the covers in greater detail and read about the books they so beautifully covered!

Play It Again Charlie cover

Review of Who We Are by TJ Klune

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Rating 5 stars (and 5 more for shear awesomeness as Bear would say)

Who We Are picks up right where last pages of Bear, Otter and The Kid left us.  Derrick “Bear” McKenna, Bear’s brother,Tyson aka the Kid and Bear’s boyfriend, Oliver “Otter” Thompson have overcome some but not all of the obstacles in their path to becoming a family. Bear and the Kid’s mother has vanished again as has Otter’s ex boyfriend.  The three of them are moving into their new house affectionately known as The Green Monstrosity. Bear is going back to school, Otter’s at the photography shop, and the Kid is about to skip ahead a grade at school.  The events of last summer still reverberate through their lives as they try and move forward.  With Otter’s help, Bear is trying for custody of the Kid, the Kid has to see a therapist and things are still cool between Bear and his best friend, Creed who just happens to be Otter’s younger brother. As  usual, the chaos is accompanied by the running dialog in Bear’s brain that threatens to overwhelm him in any given situation. But sometimes the best of families are formed by love and not blood.  With Mrs. Paquinn, Anna and more on their side, the family comes together as they all learn that family is “defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are”.

I am always a little hesitant when picking up a sequel to a beloved novel.  My mind is full of questions to go with the anticipation.  Will the characters I came to love retain the same layering, the same quirkiness that captured my heart to begin with? Can the author recreate the magic the first book so beautifully delivered? Will I be happy with the new journey the author takes our heros on?  And I am so happy to be able to tell you the answer to all those questions is a resounding “Hell, yes!”. With Who We Are , TJ Klune delivers a knockout punch of a novel that in many ways supersedes the one that went before. Here we still have all the elements that made Bear, Otter and The Kid so special.  Bear’s jumbled inner commentary still reigns supreme, erupting in nonsensical sentences to the amusement and bemusement of all. The Kid still produces bad poetry and sage pronouncements on the evils of eating meat and the wisdom of Anderson Cooper. Otter is trying to be the strength and glue for all of them even as their emotions and new trials shake the walls they are building around them.  Mrs Paquinn is still her loving eccentric self and her importance to Bear, Tyson and Otter has not diminished. Anna, Bear’s ex girlfriend along with Creed, his childhood best friend are all here.  Everyone is here but supersized.  It’s as though a patina of copper has been thrown over the characters who now shine more brightly, whose nuances and depth reflect out past the pages and into our hearts.  For those who said “Please sir, I want some more.” Here it is. There’s more more here. More emotion, more trials, more complications, more of the realities people face when they come together as a family. And of course, much more love of every type whether it be newly discovered, hard fought, long established, brotherly, and finally fully realized romantic love.  Love is here in its many permutations.

TJ Klune demonstrates with authority his gift with characterization as once more Bear, Otter, the Kid, and new characters roar to life within their story.  Bear is still Bear, insecure, brave, at once burdened and lifted up by stewardship of his little brother. But now that he has accepted his sexuality and Otter’s place within his heart, the character of Bear seems to expand and strengthen.  His inner dialog still runs amuck but wreaks less damage as he talks himself out of one self inflicted panic after another.   Tyson is still that most amazing of kids.  I have met children with the same frightening degree of intelligence so that has always rung true about his character.  But TJ Klune never forgets that Tyson is also a  young child with all the fragility of the young.  When the emotional earthquakes happen, the impact upon the Kid shake not only his family but the reader with its tremors. Otter has never seemed more human than he does within these pages.  Always the strong one, here Otter’s own insecurities and doubts come forward.  He must deal with his family’s reaction to his own coming out and his brother’s lack of communication with him before his goal of a family with Bear and Tyson can become a reality.  With Otter, a good character became great. Dominic is a new character that reaches out with his damaged background and dares the reader not to love him.  And love him you will along with all the denizens of Seafare, past and present. The author never takes the easy out with one dimensional characters or situations.  Instead we are given loving families presented with an upheaval of their status quo, and then shown how they overcome past tragedies and feelings to bring everyone back together.  These people breathe air and walk with large strides across the pages of this novel with certainty and determination.

In Who We Are, TJ Klune never forgets to maintain his story’s emotional balance as comedy is interwoven with equal amounts of heartbreaking angst.  I often found myself laughing and crying together with the characters, as so often both tears of pain and joy mingle as emotions collilde on the same page.  The story is also solidly constructed and those annoying questions left over from BOATK are happily resolved here to my complete satisfaction.  And that prologue was a thing of geeky beauty! As Bear finished with his tale and said goodbye, I was sad to get the end of Who We Are. Even with the wonderful epilogue, their voices spoke so clearly to me that I will miss them so.

You will find no quibbles here within this review.  I loved this book, no ifs ands or buts.This is a book I will come back to when I feel the need to see them all again, especially the Kid and his bad poetry. Here is a sample, trust me it grows on you!

“Bacon is bad! Beef is wrong!

Mad Cow Disease stays with you for a time that’s long!”

For the rest of it, you will just have to buy the book.  You will love it.

There is a wonderful short story Word of the Day, where in the Kid first meets Dominic.  You can find it here at T.J. Klune’s blog A Fistful of Awesome.

Cover:  The cover artist is Paul Richmond.  The cover art for both books always looks as though a young adult had crafted it.  It does give the books a unique look that immediately identifies them but it comes across as less than polished.  Perhaps that is the intent.  Hard to argue with the happy family on the front.

Available at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and ARe.