2016 ~ February New and Notable Book Covers

Every month I select a few covers that captured my attention while searching for the best and worst covers for 2016.  They may not be the best covers produced this year nor even nominated but they did their job standing out from all of the “trend” driven covers.  Speaking of  trends, the contest committee wishes long, long dresses, men with semi-exposed chests, and lovely ladies losing their dresses to gravity would fade away.  Don’t even get me started on the chopped male torso covers that dominate the Contemporary scene.  Sigh….imagination has taken a back seat to “copy the other guy” because it sells.  Sorry, rant over for this month.  Let’s see what I found in February that was creative.

Her Scandalous Wish

Blue Rose Romance – February, 2016

The first cover, Her Scandalous Wish by Collette Cameron is romantic and pretty.  Yes, it’s a cover created with  stock photos but I love the couple’s appropriate attire, especially his ruffled shirt and her satin gloves.  Plus, who doesn’t love stardust scattered across their romance covers?


DAW – February, 2016
Illustration – Larry Rostant

My second choice, Winterwood by Jacey Bedford has an interesting heroine named Ross.  She is an unregistered witch and a cross-dressing, swashbuckling privateer.  It’s an intriguing concept and I love the gun at her waist and the doubloons in her left hand.  I wonder about the white wolf or is it a dog in the background?  I am interested in this book and learning more about unregistered witches.


Harlequin Special Edition – February, 2016

My last choice for February is a charming wedding contemporary from Harlequin, I Do…Take Two! by Merline Lovelace.  I love the natural expressions on the couple’s faces, the minimalist background, and the uniform signaling a military romance is inside.  I don’t even mind the pesky little marketing blurb they put off to the side.  There has to be a romantic wedding cover to complete my post because I love romance and it is February, the month of love.  What’s your verdict on this month’s choices?

2016 – January New and Notable Book Covers

It’s a new year and we’re off on Cover Cafe’s annual quest of finding the best covers.  Each month, I post a few covers that captured my attention.  They might not be my favorites for the year but they are new and notable.  What did I find in January for our kick-off post?


Zondervan Blink – January, 2016
Cover Design: Kirk DouPonce

My first cover this month is a dystopian tale, Curio by Evangeline Denmark.  The details I noticed first were the skeleton key, the ironwork mixed in with the title,  and that pretty green bottle. I also love the heroine’s red gown and her facial expression is one of wonder but she also appears concerned about something.  The colors are rich and mysterious, too.  I would definitely investigate the story inside this cover.

Marriage Made in Rebellion

Harlequin Historical – January, 2016

My second cover selection, Marriage Made in Rebellion by Sophia James, won me over with both the handsome blonde hero in uniform and the heroine’s pretty blue gown.  The scene of the couple leaving the church wedding ceremony is interesting and stairs are always popular.  Since the title claims the marriage was made in rebellion, the expressions on the couple’s faces are perfect.  They do not have the “lovesick puppy” expression most just married couples have after their wedding.  The cover makes me wonder what the rebellion is all about and researching the details would be the next step.  The series is titled, The Penniless Lords so you know this hero is not wealthy.

Tor - January, 2016

Tor – January, 2016

My third choice, The Drowning Eyes novella by Emily Foster, is stunning and truly a work of art that should be hanging in an art gallery.   The illustrator used a combination of various silver and gold tones and the cover designer used gold for the title creating a luminous finished cover. The turbulent waves dashing over the sides of the ship, the anchor at the heroine’s feet, and the gold compass in her hand signals her bravery and skill for riding out a storm at sea. She could also be standing on the beach watching the ship in the distance fight the waves.  It’s difficult to discern all of the  details because of the waves but the illustration’s chaos gives us a glimpse of riding out a wild storm.

Farrar Straus and Giroux - January, 2016 Cover Design: Elizabeth H. Clark

Farrar Straus and Giroux – January, 2016
Cover Design: Elizabeth H. Clark

My final choice this month, The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth, is a YA fantasy cover and it’s all about whimsy and the play of light and dark.  If I were laying down and several large butterflies were landing in my hair, I’m not sure I would be as calm as the young woman on this cover but then this is a fantasy cover.   I love the red font used for the title and the gold and black tones. It really stands out in thumbnail size.

Is your verdict a thumbs up or thumbs down for my January selections?

2015 – December New and Notable Book Covers

Everyone is busy with holiday decorating, shopping, and planning but there are some new and notable book covers worth noting this month.  You might find something great for a last minute gift.

Sunday was the first night of Hanukkah/Chanukah and I wish everyone celebrating the holiday the very merriest this year.  Every year, I search for terrific romance covers celebrating the holiday for our annual Holiday Favorites contest but there are very few published and I am always disappointed.

However, our first December cover is one of the few Hanukkah/Chanukah romances released this year, Burning Bright.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t published until December 1st and I discovered it too late to include it in this year’s competition.  It is a very basic design but it is a new and notable cover just because it was published.  Thank you Avon Impulse!


Avon Impulse – December, 2015

My second choice for December is The Conqueror’s Wife.  GFP (giant floating people) are not my favorite style but I love this Historical cover so much I’ve nominated it in our Avant Garde category.  The cover is a blend of two images. The designer used a ghost overlay of the heroine and  superimposed the image over the hero riding towards his next conquest.  Is he thinking of her waiting for his return, is he on a quest to free her or even more exciting, acquire her?   Both images are exquisite and I love the gown and veil.

NAL - December, 2015

NAL – December, 2015

My third choice this month is the self-published eBook cover for the 2009 Gothic, Seduced by a Stranger.  I love everything about this cover.  First, there is the horse and carriage driving off into the moonlit woods, then there is the gorgeous gown on a very anxious heroine.  Plus, I love the excellent use of  shadows and light,  the dark, ominous tree branches in the foreground and yes, I even love the leather strapped suitcases.  They all work together and create a gorgeous, mysterious cover.

Self-Published - December, 2015

Self-Published – December, 2015

My fourth choice is I’ll Be There.  I love seeing romantic couples on contemporary covers and this couple appears relaxed, natural, and loving.  They are having a perfect romantic moment.  The pastel colors and diffused background ensures the focus is on the couple and not on the water or the trees.

Sourcebooks Casablanca - December, 2015

Sourcebooks Casablanca – December, 2015

That’s it for this month and for 2015.  January will begin a new year and we’ll be looking at 2016 covers.  Nominations are open for 2015 covers until January 15, 2016.  If you see a great 2015 cover, be sure and fill out a nomination form before the deadline.


And finally, have you voted in this year’s Holiday Favorites Contest? Voting is open until December 20th! Choose your favorite cover from our ten 2015 finalists and then share the link.  Vote here:  2015 Holiday Favorites Ballot

Do you agree with my new and notable choices this month? Let me know in the comments below and have an enjoyable holiday season.

2015 – November New and Notable Book Covers

I’m a dedicated reader but I enjoy book covers just as much as I love the words inside.  I’m always intrigued by the small cover details that trigger an emotional response and touch our souls.   The books featured in my new and notable posts are covers that reach out and grab my attention every month.  They may not be the best of the best covers produced during the month but they capture this reader’s attention and that’s the ultimate goal of a cover.

Zondervan - November, 2015

Zondervan – November, 2015

The first cover caught my eye because of the charming little candle, the books, and the unusual pose of our heroine and hero.  This Inspirational romance is part of The Chicago World’s Fair Mystery Series and the heroine is a librarian involved in a murder mystery.   Even though the tops of their heads were chopped off, the candlelight illuminating the couple’s features adds to the mystery of the cover.  I forgive the cover designer but I will never understand what partial head chopping accomplishes.

Self Published - November, 2015

Self Published – November, 2015

This cover made me laugh and since it is a cozy murder mystery filled with humor – it’s perfect.  I love the vivid colors and those black and white striped tights had me at “hello”.  The Wicked Witches of the Midwest series mixes witches, mystery, and humor and Life’s A Witch is a fun cover.

Free Spirit Press - November, 2015

Free Spirit Press – November, 2015

There is nothing more romantic than a passionate embrace on an isolated beach.  Couples facing separation during WWII were driven by that one last embrace and the cover of  Where or When captures the moment with a simple and stark background. The cloudy sky, the war planes overhead, and the sunlight breaking through clouds signal both danger and hope at the same time.  This is a lovely cover.

Harlequin Historical - November, 2015

Harlequin Historical – November, 2015

One of the major challenges for cover designers is creating an authentic cover that doesn’t scream “strike a pose”.  I noticed the cover for Morrow Creek Marshal because the hero is doing something authentic. He’s dressed in rumpled clothing he may have slept in the night before and preparing for a morning shave.  Standing at the water pump with his razor, he notices something off in the distance.  Perhaps the heroine has just arrived and he’s mesmerized.  Yes, I am a romantic at heart.  This cover raises all sorts of questions in my mind.

Montlake Romance - November, 2015

Montlake Romance – November, 2015

My final cover for November is how I imagine a perfect summer afternoon. I’m sitting on the dock with someone special and enjoying the beautiful lake with mountains in the distance.  It’s pure heaven and all I would need is a book and my favorite beverage.   Since we had 12 inches of snow on the ground in my suburb this weekend, I am really wishing for this scene in my real life.   What’s your verdict on my November choices?


2015 – October New and Notable Book Covers

We can’t let the month fly by without pointing out some new and notable book covers from the October releases.  First up is a headless cover that won me over. Will surprises never cease?

I am not a fan of chopped torso covers with missing heads, arms, and legs but occasionally a cover designer adds interesting details. When that happens, I accept the missing body parts as an exception to my pet peeve. The cover for Against The Ropes is one of my pet peeve exceptions. You can tell this man is in top condition and he works at his craft. The neutral greys and whites are great against the cement wall and the pop of vivid blue tape on his hands gives a great contrast to the subtle color scheme. The ropes, weights, shoes, and those silky shorts immediately signal this is a sexy sports romance. Win, win take one!

Berkley Sensation - October, 2015 Cover Design: Rita Frangie Photo: Allesandro Guerriero

Berkley Sensation – October, 2015
Cover Design: Rita Frangie
Photo: Allesandro Guerriero

My second cover is Chance The Winds Of Fortune.  I love the white, ruffled shirt on this hero and he has all of his body parts!  Alan Ayers is one of my favorite illustrators and he captures the tumultuous feel of the sea with his background. The hero looks like he belongs on the sea fighting the elements and either the good guys or the bad guys with his trusty sword. This is a classic romance book cover and yet it is public viewing friendly. Win, win take two!

Sourcebooks - October, 2015 Illustration:  Alan Ayers

Sourcebooks – October, 2015
Illustration: Alan Ayers

My third choice is When Somebody Loves You. Who doesn’t love a cover that captures the romantic, playful joy a loving couple feels when they spend time together?  Cover Designer, George Long produced a cover with natural, happy expressions on the couple’s faces.  Hats off to the models!  Cover Illustrator, Jim Griffin added a lovely porch background showing readers an everyday moment between the couple. I love how she is sitting on the railing with him nestled between her legs. Their hand holding adds to the romance and I’m sold on this cover. The only negative is the marketing blurbs that clutter the cover. In spite of that factor, this cover is a win, win take three!

Berkley Sensation - October, 2015 Cover Illustration: Jim Griffin Cover Design: George Long

Berkley Sensation – October, 2015
Cover Illustration: Jim Griffin
Cover Design: George Long

My final entry for October New and Notable covers is a classic historical romance cover, One Wild Winter’s Eve. It has the traditional beautiful gown viewed from the back and the model is standing by a window which is another classic trend. The entire cover is drenched in beautiful blue and white tones from the drapes to the village scene outside the window. The pop of color comes from a single deep pink rose she holds in her hand. Who sent the rose or who will receive the rose on one wild winter’s eve?  Inquiring minds want to know. Win, win take four!

Forever - October, 2015

Forever – October, 2015

What do you think of my October choices? Thumbs up or do you give me a mixed bag of up and down?

Until next time,

2015 – September New And Notable Book Covers

I can’t believe that September is here and the leaves will soon begin to turn and then…dreaded winter arrives.  Dreading winter is the natural response of someone who lives in the Chicago suburbs where winter can be brutal.  I love the changing seasons and look forward to each of them but after the December holidays, I do not want any snow or ice.  When my thoughts turn to autumn, my preferences in covers turns towards fall colors and cozy things.  Here are my new and notable book cover choices for September. (Right click on the images for a larger size.)

This first cover is a perfect example of a western cover.  The male model even resembles a typical cowboy.   Plus, having his jeans and shirt be worn and rumpled adds authenticity.  The background signals the southwest and the muted autumn tones fits my September mood.  The font used for the author and the title work nicely with the layout and even the blurb adds rather than detracts from the mood.  Our cowboy is a drifter who runs across a maiden in distress.  You know what happens next…he can’t resist helping her and becomes involved in her problems and her life.

Sourcebooks - September, 2015

Sourcebooks – September, 2015

I love our second cover because of  the lighting, the simplicity, and the model’s thoughtful pose which pulls you in and makes you wonder about her situation.  She  seems so trusting and innocent.  The story inside deals with her dreams of opening a restaurant in the Amish community and her desire to protect her Amish heritage but a secret in her family could rock her world.   This cover is elegant and simple and one of my favorites this month.

WaterBrook Press - September, 2015

WaterBrook Press – September, 2015

I was charmed, charmed, charmed by this cartoon holiday cover.  I love the pastels used for the background buildings, the adorable Scottish terrier complete with red bow, the heroine’s red hat and gloves which pop against the evergreen branches. And of course, there are those great red shoes!  The story inside is about a woman fresh out of rehab facing the possibility of life alone without her family.  Her journey is all about enjoying the holiday even if it’s only for one.  I’m hoping there is a happy or at least satisfying ending because the cover is so endearing.

MIRA - September, 2015

MIRA – September, 2015

This  next cover caught my eye because I am a coffee addict and the cozy couple enjoying my favorite brew was too good to ignore. The browns and neutral tones used on this cover enhance the coffee theme and their close embrace signals warmth & couple chemistry.   It reminds me of the times I’ve spent with my husband enjoying a cup of coffee together.  I remember how good those times were for our relationship.  The story inside features a woman who owns an espresso coffee bar and in walks a man from her high school days.  He’s returned home years later looking for a fresh beginning.  Could they be each other’s favorite thing?

Montlake - September, 2015

Montlake – September, 2015

My last cover has several of my historical favorite trends featured.  They are the lovely red dress (which is an appropriate length), the pristine white gloves, her dark cascading curls, and the all important staircase and veranda.  Plus, the look on the heroine’s face shows spirit and determination and I’m curious about her story.  The romance takes place in New Orleans and features two people from different social spheres falling in love.  I’m a huge fan of anything set in New Orleans.

Kensington - September, 2015

Kensington – September, 2015

That’s it for my September new and notables.   Did any of them intrigue you or are they destined to be only my new and notable covers?  Let me know what you think of them in the comment section.  Until next time…

2015 – August New and Notable Book Covers

Late summer is a wonderful time to kick back and relax with a good book.  I also love a great cover when I kick back and relax.  In fact, I have been known to avoid purchasing a book because of a less than stellar cover and my TBR has several books from genres I don’t enjoy but I purchased because of the cover.  Shallow?  Yes, but the book covers have always been a huge part of my fascination and enjoyment of books.  I love discovering captivating covers and it’s a double win if the story inside is great and from one of my favorite genres.   Below are my captivating cover choices from the July and August releases.

My first find is Circling The Sun and I’ve added it to our Avant Garde nominations.  The heroine reminds me of a young Katherine Hepburn who was unique, always independent, and ahead of her time.  I love the soft golden tones of the African background scene, her casual pose, the glass of whiskey on the table, (whiskey is an assumption on my part) her masculine clothing, and that gorgeous hair style.  This cover gives us several clues about the story inside. The heroine inside is Beryl Markham, an unconventional woman raised in Kenya by her father in the 1920’s.  She eventually becomes an aviator and is described as a woman ahead of her time and unconventional.  This cover captures her essence 100%.

Circling The Sun

Ballantine Books – July, 28, 2015

My second find is another Avant Garde cover nomination, Mechanica.  This is a young adult release with a Cinderella theme and two twists.  The first is the addition of the heroine’s steampunk talent for inventing things in a discovered workshop.  This talent earns her the nickname of Mechanica which she embraces.  The second twist is this version of Cinderella doesn’t have the typical marry the prince and live happily ever after ending.  The heroine finds her happiness isn’t tied up with marriage but with her talent and her future.  The non-HEA ending  makes this cover perfect for our Avant Garde category .   I love the lavender and dark grey tones used on the cover, the moonlight illuminating the scene, the heroine holding the quintessential glass slipper hinting that it has a Cinderella theme, and the mechanical wheels signal a steampunk aspect to the story.  This is a enchanting cover and yes, I was captivated.


Clarion Books – August 25, 2015

My third find is a Contemporary romantic suspense that immediately caught my attention online.   This is a poignant cover because there is such sorrow reflected in the hero’s face and pose.  You know his problems and betrayal are catastrophic without any further description.  I want to know the who, what, why, and where immediately.  The broken mirror shards add an extra dimension to the mystery.  Something in this man’s life has been shattered.   Forsaken is a stunning cover and this romantic suspense is on my TBR wish list.


Gallery Books – August 18, 2015

My final cover this month is from What To Do With A Duke, the first book in the Spinster House Series.   This historical romance features Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting, a lovely woman who is not interested in a husband.  Cat crosses paths with Marcus, Duke of Hart,  a royal dealing with a family curse and owner of the Spinster House.  He believes the curse is real and that fact prevents him from pursuing marriage.  Will they fall in love? Yes, because it’s a romance and that means a HEA is guaranteed.   I love the English garden, the couple’s appropriate attire (especially his jacket) and their tender embrace.  The interested feline in the background adds a touch of whimsy and makes me smile.   I wonder if the cat is a major story element or just a background prop?

What To Do With A Duke

Kensington – August 25, 2015

That’s it for this month.  What do you think of my choices?  Do you give them a thumbs up or thumbs down?

2015 ~ June New and Notable Book Covers

It may not look like it, but the contest results are being prepared and will be online next week.  While we wait for them, there are some new and notable book covers to celebrate.  May I have a drum roll please…

June is the month of weddings and what better way to begin than with a wedding cover?  Instead of the traditional  bride in a gorgeous gown, the cover’s focus is on a bridesmaid and her significant other or maybe he’s someone she’s just met and there was instant chemistry? This cover inspires all types of questions.   Having the guy stand on a bench and bend down for a kiss is 100% adorable.  I wonder if this scene happens in the book?  I love this fun & romantic cover and the flowering trees in the background are gorgeous!

Falling For The Bridesmaid

Harlequin Romance ~ June, 2015

There is so much right with this next Contemporary cover, I don’t know where to begin.   I’ll start by saying that  having Big Ben in the background is a winning detail but then the entire background setting is gorgeous. The colors, the pensive heroine, and the title placement all work together for a beautiful cover.   Plus, having the heroine turned from the camera leaves the mystery for those who prefer not seeing faces on covers.  It also keeps the heroine’s upper body in tact for those of us who hate the “chopped of heads” technique.  Love her haircut, too!

London Tides

David C. Cook ~ June, 2015

This next notable cover is a fresh take on a much used Historical trend, the heroine draped across a chaise lounge.    I love her expression, the lovely gold gown, and her pose is a natural one.  I can image the heroine sitting comfortably in this position.  Thank you, thank you because her legs being exposed doesn’t look contrived.  Her expression is “come hither” or is it “come and get me”?  Either one fits the title (which has an elegant script font) and I really love the marketing blurb being down the right side and not ruining the view.  Plus, the blurb’s blue background stands out from the neutral tones of the cover.  This is a beautiful historical cover!

Charmed and Dangerous

Sourcebooks ~ June, 2015

My final choice is an Avant Garde cover for a Dystopian debut novel.  I am intrigued by the layout.  The large and imposing title is used as a divider between the pretty heroine standing against a pastel city skyline and the vivid red reflection of the same photo on the lower half.  The contrast must symbolize the difference between one’s life if chosen and one’s life if not chosen.  The cover makes me wonder what this choosing is all about and how it affects the heroine.  She looks worried about her future.


Tyndale ~ May, 2015

This completes my choices for new and notable this month.  I can’t wait to see what July will bring.

2015 ~ April New and Notable Book Covers

I’ve been busy working on our annual cover contest but I still had time to pick out a few new and notable book covers releasing in April. The first cover is just breathtaking with the soft colors and the wistful heroine watching the bridge in the distance. The cover designer was Dawn Adams and the illustrator was Ilina Simeonova. I love the flowers in her hair and the scarf wrap blowing gently in the breeze and of course, the hint of the red dress. The torn edges and black border add depth and create a wonderful frame for the illustration. I love, love, love this cover!

A Desperate Fortune

A Desperate Fortune

Sourcebooks Landmark ~ April 7, 2015

My second cover made me smile because of the playful smirk on the hero’s face. This romance is a playful take on the Cinderella fairy tale but in this case, Cinderella doesn’t want to be found. The cover was designed by Anna Kmet.  Anna gave us a hero dressed in a white ruffled shirt and sexy black trousers with just a glimpse of his sexy abs. I give her extra points because she didn’t use the “naked torso” trend.

The heroine carries a beautiful mask hinting that there is a fancy ball involved. She is wearing a gorgeous white gown because everyone knows a Cinderella needs a gorgeous gown. The expression on the heroine’s face is playful but determined. The heroine isn’t wearing obvious modern makeup and Anna muted the background elements, making the couple the primary focus. Their expressions are priceless.  This is a cute cover and it signals a fun romance inside.

The Lady Meets Her Match

The Lady Meets Her Match

Sourcebooks Casablanca ~ April 7, 2015

My third choice is The Other Side of Midnight featuring one of my favorite background items – a train. The Art Director, Anthony Ramondo not only used my favorite train, he also featured a mysterious heroine. She is carrying a suitcase and walking alone down the station platform.  The train station has a beautiful archway adding background interest. The heroine is dressed for travel and wearing an adorable hat. (Hats are a current hot trend on covers.)  The moody blue cover scheme grabs and holds my attention and the perspective Anthony used on this cover draws me into the mystery theme. This cover screams intrigue!

The Other Side of Midnight

The Other Side of Midnight

NAL – April 7, 2015

Last but not least, is the Mass Market cover for Dark Skye. The cover was designed by Lisa Litwick and the illustrator was Larry Rostant.  I love the color scheme.  Lisa combined Larry’s vivid blue background with the pastel green and white of the author’s name and title. It’s a winning combination. Larry’s illustration features lightning strikes symbolizing the hero’s wings and I was mesmerized the first time I saw it online. This is one beautiful and sexy cover.

Dark Skye

Dark Skye

Pocket Books – April 21, 2015


What is your opinion of this month’s New and Notable covers? I hope you find one or two interesting books and add them to your TBR list. I also hope my selections inspire you. Take a moment and appreciate the cover artistry on the books you choose and then enjoy the read.

2015 ~ March New and Notable Book Covers

It’s time for another look at my favorite cover discoveries released in March, 2015.  First up is an adorable Tween cover (Grades 5-8) for Flunked by Jen Calonita.    It has an irresistible theme about a reform school with former fairy tale villains as instructors.  Think about Cinderella’s stepmother as an example and smile at the possibilities.  I was charmed the minute I saw this cover and I’m tempted to buy it and read about those instructors.  The only negative is the missing head of the heroine but my imagination can create an image from the author’s description.  Still, I would love to have seen the face of the heroine.


Sourcebooks Jabberwocky – March 3, 2015


The next cover,  A Hope Remembered by Stacie Henrie, has a simple design and a delicate beauty that instantly captures your attention.  This thoughtful heroine intrigues and I want to know who she is and what is happening in her life.  The partial view of the hat and beautiful flower at the top corner adds to the ambiance and I love the braided red hair.  This is a charming cover.

A Hope Remembered

Grand Central Publishing – March 31, 2015


I love western romances, mysteries, and second chance love stories and the next cover graces a story containing all three of my favorite topics.   The story inside, The Outlaw Takes A Bride by Susan Page Davis,  has an unsolved murder, an assumed identity, an escaped convict, and a mail-order bride.  The cover is simple and yet it sends a powerful image of someone looking for love and a second chance but there is a great distance between the desire and reaching the goal.  This Inspirational title is on my list for a future read.

The Outlaw Takes a Bride

Shiloh Run Press – March 1, 2015


I saw the front cover of, The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M. J. Rose, on Pinterest and then discovered the back cover also featured a larger version of the Eiffel Tower image (one of my favorite things).  I love, love, love this cover and entered it in the Two Image category for next year’s contest.  One word  description….GORGEOUS!

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

Atria Books – March 17, 2015


Until next time, happy reading and remember to always notice the covers.  Someone put time and effort in to their creation and great covers add to the joy of reading.