Cover Reveal: Heart of Stone, by Ben Galley

Ben Galley was a contestant in last year’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, and I really enjoyed the novel he submitted. That’s why I’m pleased to be part of the cover reveal for his upcoming novel, Heart of Stone!

heartofstonebengalley

Heart of Stone is scheduled for release in spring 2017, and you can pre-order your copies or read a free sample on Galley’s website.

Ben Galley is the is the author of the epic Emaneska Series and a new western fantasy series, the Scarlet Star Trilogy. When he’s not dreaming up lies to tell his readers, Ben works as a self-publishing consultant, helping fellow authors to self-publish and sell their books. Ben can be found being loquacious and attempting to be witty on Twitter (@BenGalley), Facebook (/BenGalleyAuthor) or at his website www.bengalley.com.

heartofstonebengalley3dMercenary. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.

Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.

Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm, Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a general bent on victory.

Beneath it all he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of warfare.

Every fighter faces his final fight. Even one made of stone.

COVER REVEAL: Hidden Huntress, by Danielle L Jensen

Last year, Danielle L Jensen’s Stolen Songbird impressed me with its take on troll myths, and I found myself pretty quickly looking forward to the sequel. Lucky for me, the end of my waiting is now in sight, and I’m pleased and privileged to be able to present to you the cover art for the anticipated Hidden Huntress!

hiddenhuntress Hidden Huntress, by Danielle L Jensen
(Description taken from GoodReads)

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

 

Hidden Huntress has an anticipated release of late spring 2015, coming from Angry Robot, and I’m very excited to be able to read it soon so that I can continue my exploration of an interesting YA series!

Cover spotlight: Django Wexler’s “John Golden”

Looks like Django Wexler, He of the Awesome Name and author of The Thousand Names, has joined Ragnarok Publications with a new series of novellas to look out for.

djangospotlightSee the full press release on Ragnarok Publications. See Django’s own blog post about the book here.

Speculative fiction with a generous dash of humour? Computer programmers keeping faeries out of corporate systems? Yes please!

The first book in the John Golden series is due for release in the Kindle store on February 3. Drop by here on February 10 for a guest post by Django Wexler himself!

Cover Art: The Pirate’s Wish, by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The cover art for Cassandra Rose Clarke’s The Assassin’s Curse was one that really caught my eye, with the flowing design and cool colour tones that really looked enticing.

Now the design is out for the sequel, The Pirate’s Wish. We’ve got a sneak peak at the wraparound image for the cover art here.

I like it, though not as much as I liked the cover for the first book. I definitely like the black patterned border, which fits very well with the setting of the novel. But the central image of what looks like a manticore (or similar creature), in its stark black and standing out from the background where the pirate ship of the first cover blended in smoothly because of the choice of colour scheme, I’m not so fond of. It fits the theme, but it doesn’t flow quite as well as the first one did, I think.

And oddly, I kind of hope that what looks like a water stain on the back portion of the cover is intentional and not an error. It lends it the feel of an old piece of work, an artifact from the world contained within the book itself, and I like that effect.

Still, some wonderful art that fits very well either the world and the art from the previous novel. Overall, I like it!

(Now let’s hope that nobody decides this all needs a makeover and does some photoshoot of a Middle Eastern girl and a black-clad assassin gazing at each other across the cover.)

Cover art reveal! The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, by Cassandra Rose Clarke

  There’s never been anyone – or anything – quite like Finn.

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is to tutor Cat.

When the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

Due to be published by Angry Robot books in February of 2013, this book is one that came to the publisher through their Open Door month, and apparently had editor Lee Harris unable to leave the train station until he had finished reading it.  Even if it hadn’t been for that endorsement, the synopsis alone would have had me interested. Stories about robots are nothing new, but stories about robots coming to grips with their own sense of being? Now that’s something I can sink my teeth into!

The cover art has a really interesting feel to it, too. The mostly greyscale and muted colours make for a really stark and lonely image, even without the symbolism of a figure walking down an empty road.

Keep your eyes out for this one early next year. I know I will be!

Judging a Book: Adam Slater’s "Hunted"

Welcome to Judging a Book, a new feature I want to make a regular one on this blog. Now, normally I don’t go in for posting about the difference between cover art in different areas or different editions, but one has really been sitting on my mind lately, and so I felt that taking a look at both editions was worth the time. The cover art difference for Adam Slater’s The Shadowing: Hunted.

First we have the cover from the Kindle edition. The image fairly accurately shows what the major enemy of the book looks like, as it’s described as a person without a face, just slick muscles and veins showing where there should be skin. However, it’s fairly crude, and puts me in the mind of old Goosebumps books, with a sort of childish shock value to it that doesn’t really do the story much justice.

Then we’ve got the cover art from the hardcover version of the book. A hazy dark figure in the mist, indistinct, very atmospheric. However, it doesn’t give you much of an idea about anything in the story at all. This could be a story about a ghost, or a coming-of-age tale about a man trying to discover himself in mysterious times. It definitely has artistic value, but is more vague about conveying what’s in the book.

Ultimately, even though it’s not perfect, I find myself preferring the hardcover art far more than the Kindle art. I can’t get over the crude shock value of the Kindle image. One of the reasons it took me so long to read the book was because although the story sounded interesting, but the Kindle art just kept putting me off, making me wonder repeatedly if I’d made a mistake in requesting a copy in the first place. I was glad that I finally did read it, because it was indeed an interesting story, but it just proved a point very well. While we’re advised not to judge a book by its cover, sometimes the art really does make all the difference in drawing in the right audience, giving the right first impression, making somebody want to look at the inside based on what’s on the outside. Very often, it doesn’t make too much difference, and the differences between editions are so superficial that I pretty much don’t care what’s on the cover.

But here’s a case where I found it made all the difference, if not in getting me to read the book, then certainly in delaying my reading of it.

What do you think? Which cover to you prefer?