Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words: Best Book Covers of September 2015



Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Best Book Covers of September 2015

That blank book cover above doesn’t look very appealing does it? Would you buy a book with a cover like that? A great book cover should draw your attention to it, make you want to pick it up (or buy it), tell you a little bit about the story or characters, be intriguing enough for the reader to want to explore more or just be plain gorgeous that we can’t resist.  In short, a book cover has a job to do.  Some book covers do ok, some fail, and some exceed beyond measure.

As some of you may be aware, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words loves its book covers. Here are Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words’ Best Book Covers, chosen from the books we read and reviewed during the month of September 2015.  Its a diverse group, with cover art represented by all types of art work and artists, including some of the authors themselves.

I’ve included the covers for you to see.   Each of our reviewers includes a comment on the book’s cover in their review at the end of their post.  Do you agree with them?  Disagree?  Which were your favorite covers this month?

Best Book Covers of September 2015:

ACID coverBeautiful Thunder coverBeyond the Surface coverButtermilk Ranch






ACID by Wulf Francu Godgluck & S. van Rooyen, Cover art by Wulf Francu Godgluck

Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons, Cover art by Maria Fanning

Beyond the Surface (The Breakfast Club #1) by Felice Stevens, cover art by Reese Dante

Buttermilk Ranch by Patricia Logan, Cover art by AJ Corza


Dangerous Sprits coverEmpty Nests coverFit To Be Tied coverLate Summer Early Spring cover







Dangerous Spirits (Spirits #2) by Jordan L. Hawk, Cover art by Jordan L. Hawk

Empty Nests (Nested Hearts #1) by Ada Maria Soto, Cover Art by  Paul Richmond

Fit to be Tied (Marshals #2) by Mary Calmes, Cover art by Reese Dante

Late Summer, Early Spring by Patricia Correll, Cover art by Anne Cain


Other Side of the Line coverRed Hot Coffin Nails Cover







Other Side of the Line by Marguerite Labbe, Cover art by Catt Ford

Red Hot Coffin Nails by KA Merikan, Cover art by Natasha Snow


Our Best Book Covers of April 2015


Dreams Dreams of Fire and Gods

So many wonderful covers to choose from this month.  Covers that pulled you into and made you want to read the story inside. Covers that intrigued, drew you in or were just plain adorable.  We all have our favorites…what were yours this month?  Write and let us know!

              Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Best Covers of April 2015

crossed olive branches

In no particular order…

ToTouchTheSkyBurn The Sky coverFire- Dreams of Fire and Gods coverSpiretown cover





  • To Touch The Sky (Leap of Faith #2) by M.A. Church, cover art by LC Chase
  • Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna. cover art by Chinchbug
  • Fire (Dreams of Fire and Gods #2) by James Erich, cover art by Paul Richmond (in fact all the covers in this series
  • Spiretown by Lia Black, cover design by the author

Fallout coverA Beginner's Guide to Wooing Your Mate coverSlasherazzi coverLost Along the Way cover






  • Fallout by Lisa Henry and M. Caspian,  cover art by Natasha Snow
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate (Being(s) in Love #3) by R. Cooper, cover art by Paul Richmond
  • Slasherazzi by Daniel A. Kaine, cover art by Wilde City Press art director
  • A Way Home by Keira Andrews, cover art?


SMCate-Ashwood-Thirty-Things-coverFood for Thought coverHoarfrost coverFamily of Lies cover





  • Thirty Things by Cate Ashwood, Cover art by Alexandria Corza
  • Food for Thought by Amy Lane (Tales of the Curious Cookbook), cover art by Reese Dante
  • Hoarfrost by Jordan L. Hawk, cover art by Jordan L. Hawk
  • Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent, cover art by Anne Cain

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]





February 2014 Summary of Reviews and Best Covers of the Month




February 2014 Review Summary

S series
C contemporary
SF-science fiction
YA-young adult

Rating Scale: 1 to 5, 5 stars is outstanding

5 Star Rating:

Be My Valentine, Bobby Bryson by Geoffrey Knight C, short story
Lying With Scorpions by Aleksandr Voinov, S, SF
Of Last Resort by Megan Derr, S, F

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

Battle of Will by Sasha L. Miller (4.5) F, S
Bloody Love Spats by Valentina Heart (4.25) S, SP
Ghosts of Bourbon Street by Rowen Speedwell (4) SP
Kept Tears by Jana Denardo (4), F
It’s All Geek To Me by J.L. Merrow (4.25) C
It’s Only Make Believe by Havan Fellows (4.25) C
Reviewing Life by Lara Brukz (4), S, C
Second Star to the Right by A.F. Henley (4.25) C
Strain by Amelia C. Gormley (4) S, SF
Succulent Dark by D. J. Manley (4.25), S, SP
The Experiment by Alicia Nordwell (4), S, SF
Where You Lead by Mary Calmes (4), C

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Cupcakes by Sean Michael (3.5) C
Jasper’s Mountain by John Inman (3.75), C
Pretty Poison by Kari Gregg (3.75) SP
The Prince and the Practitioner by Christian Baines,  (3) HR, SP

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

Nightfall by Jenna Byrnes (2.75) S, SP

1 to 1.75 Rating: None

Best Covers of February 2014

The Experiment coverWhere You Lead coverJasper's MountainKept Tears cover

ItsAllGeekToMe_600x900Pretty Poison coverBloody Love spats coverGhosts of Bourbon Street


Bloody Love Spats, Cover artist Maria Fanning
Ghosts of Bourbon Street, cover artist Jared Rackler
It’s All Geek To Me, cover art by LC Chase
Jasper’s Mountain, cover art by Reese Dante
Pretty Poison, cover art by Lou Harper
Kept Tears, cover by Paul Richmond
The Experiment, cover art by Christine Griffin
Where You Lead, cover art by Reese Dante

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best Covers of 2013



Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best Book Covers of 2013

What is a book without its cover? That’s a question that gets asked more frequently in this age of eBooks and ePublishing.  For myself and, I think, many others, book covers are still the marquee for an author’s story, the path to a book and the delights found inside. ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords loves, loves book covers and the artists that work so hard to bring the author’s stories to life. Whether it is through photography or illustration or any combination thereof, 2013 had outstanding covers in every genre.  There are series whose covers are always marvelous, rich in design and emotion.  There were stand alone novels whose covers drew you into the story and beyond.  Here are some of the covers in 2013 that made me gasp, made me laugh and made me wish I had a copy of it for my wall:

Outstanding Contemporary Novel Covers:

Fire Horse by Mickie B. Ashling, Cover by Anne Cain
Illuminations by Rowen Speedwell, Cover by LC Chase
Lost and Found by Z.A. Maxfield, Cover by LC Chase
Still by Mary Calmes, cover by Reese Dante
The Sky is Dead by Sue Brown, Cover by Christine Griffin
Venetian Mask by Kim Fielding, Cover by Shobana Appavu

Fire Horse coverIllumination cover


Still cover





The Sky Is Dead cover








Outstanding Historical Novel Covers:

On A Lee Shore by Elin Gregory, Cover by Mina Carter
Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane, Cover by John Kicksee

On A Lee Shore cover

Promises Made Under Fire







Outstanding Humorous Cover:

Shy by John Inman, Cover art by Paul Richmond.
Too Stupid Too Live by Anne Tenino, Cover by LC Chase
When Dachshunds Ruled The Serengeti by Michael Murphy, Cover by Paul Richmond

Shy coverWhen Wiener Dogs Rule coverToo Stupid To Live cover







Outstanding Fantasy Cover:

Faire Fugitive by Madeleine Ribbon, Cover by Fiona Jayde
Goblins by Melanie Tushmore, Cover by  Ria Chantler
Too Many Fairy Princes by Alex Beecroft, Cover by Lou Harper

Goblins, Book 1

Too Many Fairy Princes

Faire Fugitive






Outstanding Paranormal/Supernatural Covers:

Creature Feature by Mary Calmes, Poppy Dennison, Cover by Paul Richmond
Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune, Cover by Paul Richmond, Kyle Thompson
Josh of the Damned by Andrea Speed, Cover by LC Chase
Strange Angels by Andrea Speed, Cover by LC Chase

Creature Feature cover

Into This River I Drown

Josh of the Damned The Final Checkout

Strange Angels cover







Outstanding Horror Cover:

The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric Arvin, Cover by Amy Morrison
The Beast Without by Christian Baines, Cover by David P. Reiter

Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men coverThe Beast Without cover






Outstanding Science Fiction Cover:

Aria of the Eclipse by Vivien Dean, Cover by Trace Edward Zaber
Freedom by Jay Kirkpatrick, Cover by Anne Cain
Mindscape by  Tal Valante, Cover by LC Chase

Aria of the Eclipse cover

Freedom cover







YA Cover Series:

Vampirism and You by Missouri Dalton. Guidebook Series, Covers by LC Chase
Necromancy and You by Missouri Dalton

Vampirism and You cover

Necromancy and You cover






Consistently Outstanding Series Covers:

Leopard’s Spots by Bailey Bradford, Covers by Posh Gosh

Infected Series by Andrea Speed, Cover artist Anne Cain

TimothyNischal Leopards Spots 9

Infected Undertow coverInfected Shift cover

Review of Bear, Otter And The Kid by TJ Klune


With the sequel to BOATK out  from Dreamspinner Press, I thought we would take a look back to our first introduction to Bear, Otter and the Kid and some added thoughts from me on these beloved characters.

5 stars

Three years ago, Bear McKenna’s mother took off for parts unknown with her new boyfriend, leaving Bear to raise his six-year-old brother Tyson, aka the Kid. Somehow they’ve muddled through, but since he’s totally devoted to the Kid, Bear isn’t actually doing much living—with a few exceptions, he’s retreated from the world, and he’s mostly okay with that. Until Otter comes home.

Otter is Bear’s best friend’s older brother, and as they’ve done for their whole lives, Bear and Otter crash and collide in ways neither expect. This time, though, there’s nowhere to run from the depth of emotion between them. Bear still believes his place is as the Kid’s guardian, but he can’t help thinking there could be something more for him in the world… something or someone.

That was the publisher’s blurb for BOATK as it is affectionately called now.  But that description doesn’t start to describe the heartwarming, and at times heartrending story that is Bear, The Otter and The Kid.

It is a remarkable story of family and love told through the POV and unique voice of Derrick “Bear” McKinna made even more remarkable for BOATK being the first book written by TJ Klune.  The story is so well done that I found it difficult to separate myself from it and its characters at the end, so real does it feel.  Bear is a beautifully constructed, multilayered character whose voice and thought patterns are so unique that I can tell it is his character at a glance at the phrasing.  Bear has all the conflicted feelings, traumatized emotions and inner denial monster you would expect from a young boy whose mother has stolen the few funds he had saved, written him a crappy note and fled, leaving him the sole responsibility of a young brother with a brilliant mind inside the body of a five year old.  In other words, Bear is still dealing with his hormones, letting go his dream of college, and the constant turmoil and fear that their mother abandoning them has left behind. All through Bear’s actions and sometimes inability to cope, you may get frustrated with this character and want to throttle him, but  it is because everything about Bear seems authentic, including his control issues and need for stability.

The other star of this story is The Kid, also known as Tyson McKenna.  When this story first appeared, there were several reviews that remarked on the Kid’s high level of dialog and shear “smarts”, saying no 8 year old (as he was later in the story) sounded like that.  But I have worked with children for over 20 years and come across others with Tyson’s intellect and outlook.  It is to the author’s credit that I felt I knew the Kid intimately, laughing at his “bad” poetry and crying with him in the bathtub when the emotional hurricanes hit.  I love the Kid, vegetarian and eco terrorist in the making.  And his poetry?  Oh my…… Here’s a sample:

“Otter! Otter! Otter!

Don’t lead cows to slaughter!

I love you, and I know I should’ve told you soon-a

But you didn’t buy the dolphin-safe tuna!”

Half the time I am reading, I am also wheezing with laughter and wiping my eyes.  No really, you have to read this!  And there are other great characters orbiting the two McKenna boys, Creed Thompson, Bear’s best friend forever, Anna, Bear’s girlfriend, Mrs. Paquinn (next door neighbor and Tyson’s sitter), and finally Otter Thompson who is Creed’s older brother and the love of Bear’s life if only Bear can admit he is gay.

The author handles with skill the whole issue of Bear finally admitting he is gay and the pain and anguish that is his companion throughout the process. As Bear admits his sexuality, climbs out and away from the safety of the closet, your tears will flow and your nose is going to run. Just saying. And then you are going to think of every young gay boy out there dealing with his sexuality, the guts it takes to admit you are gay while facing the taunts and jeers of homophobes who may just be your family and neighbors,  and the tears will  start anew.  Keep that box of tissues handy.  You will need all of them. What TJ Klune has done with Bear is give other GLBT youths/young men someone they can identify with, a character  we desperately need to see more often in YA fiction and media.

The closer it gets to Bear’s high school graduation, the more problems seem to accumulate until  Bear is panic stricken and feeling out of control. As the story builds to its climax, you find yourself teetering on the edge of the precipice with Bear and the Kid.  Your heart is in your throat along with theirs, hoping their next step doesn’t see them toppling over the cliff. And you realize what an outstanding job TJ Klune has done to bring you there with the two boys.

I did have a few quibbles as to unanswered questions left at the end of the story and am happy to say they are all answered in Who We Are to be reviewed here tomorrow.  I am also happy to say that Bear, Otter and the Kid will live on.  That’s the word from Klune who has had quite the year, full of ups and downs.  I will let him tell you all about it in this post he wrote for his blog. I am sorry he had that year but quite honestly I think it has made him that much stronger as an author.  Bear, Otter, and The Kid as well as Who We Are have become comfort rereads for me and I think they will do the same for you.  Please give them a chance.  You won’t be sorry.

Cover:  Paul Richmond is the cover artist and I really like this cover with the Kid so prominently featured. The author has said he asked that Tyson be put in that position on the cover as that is his position in the story.  I like it, it makes me smile.  So does the Kid.

TJ Klune can be found here at A Fistful of Awesome.

Both BOATK books can be bought at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and ARe.