May, 2015 ~ US vs UK Historical Cover Showdown

Harlequin Historical US vs Mills & Boon UK

Harlequin Historical US vs Mills & Boon UK

When I was checking my files for new and notable May covers, I ran across two covers from Harlequin Historical  and Mills & Boon that used different versions of the same illustration on the US and UK covers.  The story takes place in Alaska during the gold rush days and I have a definite favorite.  Clink on the poll thumbnails for a larger size.

Which cover won your vote?  My favorite items are the mink stole and the gloves which are featured on both covers.  However, I also love the background in the US version with the misty sun-kissed mountains in the distance.  The close cropped UK image loses the sense of place the background brings to the cover. Since the story takes place in Alaska,  I chose the US version.

2014 Honorable Mentions – Annual Cover Contest

Welcome to Cover Cafe’s 2014  Honorable Mentions!  We’re celebrating favorite 2014 nominations that didn’t make the finals but impressed the committee chairs.  This past year, the contest committee voted on a grand total of  537 covers for our 2014 Holiday Favorites Contest and our 2014 Annual Cover Contest.

As a reward for the work they do all year,  the  committee chairs determine the last finalists on their slates.  There are always several nominated covers deserving the last positions but the chair can only select one lucky or unlucky cover.  Dear Publisher’s Honorable Mentions post salutes  a  few more deserving covers that didn’t make the final slates.

Our first category is the Avant Garde category.   I chair this category created for covers from books that do not have enough romance to meet the guidelines in our Contemporary or Historical categories, or they have an Avant Garde approach to cover design, or they feature a fresh take on current trends.  Think outside the traditional romance box and remain open minded for this category.

Linnae’s first choice –  The Hidden Princess is exquisite!  The illustrator decided to show the wings drawn in and flowing down the back of the heroine instead of fully extended.  I loved this unique approach and the misty background and heroine’s red hair added a pop of color & mystery to the cover.”

The Hidden Princess

Walker Books Ltd – June, 2014

Linnae’s second choice - “The Entwined Realms cover is an eye popping buffet of  the unusual.  The first things that attracted me were the vivid colors and the rose petal hat. Next, I noticed the eyeballs peering out from beneath the petal skirt.  Then I noticed the mysterious red melted substance swirling on the ground.  The cover took on an other world personality in seconds.  It is definitely outside the romance box and Avant Garde.”

Entwined Realms

Romantic Geek Publishing – Oct. 2014

Next is our Contemporary Romance Category – This category includes Category Series,  Contemporary Romance, and Contemporary Alternate Reality Romance covers.

Lee’s first choice  -Single by Saturday’s cover has an intriguing premise — is she getting married or not — because the title sort of implies something is just not right.  And if a cover catches my eye — I want to find out what happens.”

Single by Saturday

Montlake Romance – Jan. 2014

Lee’s second choice - “Kristan Higgins is known for having a dog or cat on her covers and on In Her Dreams, it’s a puppy!  Awwww!  But I also like the couple’s happy embrace and the winter setting.”

In Your Dreams

Harlequin – September, 2014

Lee’s third choice -A Love to Call Her Own invites me to sit on the porch swing and enjoy the lovely day, the flowers and maybe later take the dog for a walk.  So of course I want to read the book.”

A Love to Call Her Own

Forever – August, 2014

Linnae’s choice - “I became a fan of the Possessed By A Warrior cover the first time I saw it online.  The image’s unusual slanted perspective is what I love the most. It gives a surreal quality to the cover and adds mystery.   I love the cover’s teals, blues, and the smokey grey of her elegant gown and shoes.   Their tender embrace and the passionate expressions on their faces looks natural instead of the strike a pose expressions featured on so many covers.

Possessed By A Warrior

Harlequin Nocturne – May, 2014

Our Historical Romance Category is one of the all time favorites in our contest. It includes Historical Category Series, Historical Romance, and Historical Alternate Reality Romance covers.

Jenny’s  first choice – Bitter Spirits: I really like this “roaring twenties” cover with the magic swirling over the entwined couple.”

Bitter Spirits

Berkley – Jan. 2014

Jenny’s second choice – “What can I say, the shoes on this cover did it for me. Love, love, love them! :D”

The Midnight Witch

St. Martin’s Griffin – March, 2014

Jenny’s third choice –  “There’s just something about the cover of The Fever Tree that intrigues me – the yellow and turquoise colors, the sandy dunes, and I’m wondering what the woman is looking for.”

The Fever Tree

Berkley – February, 2014

Our Two-Image Cover Category is one of our most popular and the most difficult because stepback covers are seldom included online with the front cover.   The chairs have to play detectives and search out the second image. We love when the publishers provide the stepback and/or back images online. Here are the 2014 Honorable Mentions for  TIC.

Lee’s choice – “I’ll go with The Countess Confessions by Jillian Hunter because I love the red dress, the flowers and the curtains framing the window.  The stepback is different from most others (no shirt/dress falling off a man or a woman) and eloquently simple.”

The Countess Confessions

Signet – February, 2014

Kat’s choice - “I prefer Two Image Covers that provide additional information on the characters and plot.  This cover beautifully showcases the two identities of heroine.  The front shows a strong confident woman and the inside cover shows a more proper and softer woman.  I liked the attention to detail and the juxtaposition of the two sides of her personality.  The details on the front cover highlighted the heroine wearing pants, positioned in a powerful stance, and wearing her hair down.  The inside cover shows the heroine wearing a long dress, sitting with her legs off to the side, and wearing her hair up.  While I normally love looking at the beautiful dresses on the covers of historical romance novels, I found the front cover of the heroine wearing pants to be refreshing and intriguing.  Great Cover!”

Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover

Avon – November, 2014

Last but not least, is our infamous Worst Category. I have the  somber duty of selecting  an unlucky cover for Dishonorable Mention.

Linnae’s choice - “I hate, hate the ugly yellow strip covering the h/h like a band-aid on The Lemon Grove hardcover jacket.  Plus, two sets of bare legs laying on boring flat sand do not entice me to pick up the book or investigate what’s inside.  The yellow strip also covers up the title and author’s name.  This hardcover jacket from a major publisher left me cold and shaking my head. What Were They Thinking?  Someone must have agreed with me because the 2015 eBook and paperback releases have a different cover.  Vindication!”

Doubleday, Hardcover - June, 2014

Doubleday, Hardcover – June, 2014

That’s it for the 2014 Honorable Mentions!  Leave a comment below about the above Honorable Mentions.