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

The Week Ahead and a Tourtiere with a Twist!

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The last week was wonderful and with today’s most excellent weather, this week is starting out the same.  Yesterday some of my GR m/m fiction group came over for drinks, book recs and conversation.  We had a great time and the weather was perfect.  Of course, one topic of conversation was the “best book” for each of us lately.  My book of choice was Scrap Metal by Harper Fox and my review will be posted here this week.  Also  right there with it was Burning Bright by Megan Derr.  I am so in love with this series and can’t wait for the next one. You all are going to love this book!

First, the reviews for this week:

Monday:                           Burning Bright (Lost Gods#2) by Megan Derr,  the 2nd book in a  stunning  fantasy series!

Tuesday:                           Sebastian’s Wolves by Valentina Heart

Wednesday:                     Hope by William Neale (his last book, published after his death)

Thursday:                         Time Gone By by Jan Suzukawa

Friday:                               I’m Not Sexy And I Know It by Vic Winter

Saturday:                          Scrap Metal by Harper Fox

My favorite dish of the last week was a first time recipe for me.  And it wowed me.  I will use this one often.  A tourtiere is basically a meat pastry or pie that originated in Quebec and is traditionally eaten around Christmas time.  But the one I am using is light enough and baked in a loaf form that can be eaten any time of the year.  The meat filling is usually pork with other meat added to it.  Here I am using ground round but in Canada, wild game such as rabbit or venison would have been used as well.  Absolutely not greasy in any way, the savory flavors and buttery taste of the pastry come together to melt in your mouth and make you smile with delight!

Ingredients for Tourtiere with a Twist:

PASTRY DOUGH:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups cold butter, grated or chopped into small bits
2 eggs, lightly beaten
MEAT FILLING:
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons summer savory, more to taste (Summer Savory spice is easily found in any grocery store)
Pinch ground cloves, optional (really add it, if you just have whole cloves, take 2 and smash them, works great)
4 to 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs (start with 4 and add until it is to your liking – I added all 6)
3 tablespoons milk, for brushing

Directions:

For the pastry dough: Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the grated butter. Pinch quickly to combine with the fingers to create a coarse, crumbly mixture. Make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon ice-cold water. Quickly mix into the flour, just until the mixture holds together. Do not over mix. Divide into 2 balls and flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.

For the meat filling: Put 1/2 cup water in a saute pan and quickly bring to a boil. Combine the ground pork, ground veal, onion, garlic, some salt and pepper and summer savory together in a bowl. Stir into the water. Cover, and cook until the meat is done, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the breadcrumbs and continue cooking uncovered until the liquid has evaporated. Check the seasonings, and cool.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Roll a disk of pastry dough into a rectangle. Spoon a generous stripe of meat filling down the middle of it. Fold the short ends, up over the meat making sure to trim any excess pastry dough, otherwise it will be too thick. Then fold over the long ends so that they overlap to seal. Again, trim any excess pastry dough so it will bake evenly. Turn the log onto a baking sheet, seam-side down. Make a few slits in the top to let steam escape. Brush the top with milk for a golden crust. Bake until crisp and nicely colored, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you have some left over, it tastes just as great the next day, perhaps even better!  You can’t go wrong here.  You will make this again and  again.