Book Cover Trends: Part Two (Paranormal, Fantasy & Horror)

Hi! Welcome back to Book Cover Trends!

If you thought there was nothing left for our Book Cover Trends show and tell, then you´re  wrong. Oh, so wrong.

The book world doesn´t just live off of young love novels and cheesy romances. There´s more. Much more. As much as I´d like to continue discussing headless men with pumped abs I do feel the need to dive further into the book cover world.

Werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, vampires, assassins, faeries and serial killers deserve book covers, too. It´s the darker book cover side.

Let´s see what´s hot and what´s not in the make-believe world.

Ready?

 

Someone Needs To Wear The Crown  ( Dystopian, Fantasy )

I´ll admit that these covers are really cool. I like crowns. Wish I wore one myself. As far as book covers for Dystopian / Fantasy go, this is all I see lately. A crown here, a crown there. So many crowns.

crowns

There´s just alot you can do with crown images.

I predict a LONG reign for these types of book covers.

 

 

The Crow ( Paranormal, Fantasy )

The crow. Probably THE MOST used animal for book covers. I get it. They´re black. They´re mysterious. They´re always attached to the paranormal world. The world has over 8.7 million species. It´s believed that 1-2 million of those species are animals. You cannot tell me that the crow is the only mysterious animal. It´s certainly not the only black one.

I guess the black bear, a black bat, the black widow, a black bunny were already taken?

crows

I see this trend going nowhere. Crows are here to stay. As long as no one is willing to break this stereotype then I guess we´ll be seeing many more crows.

 

Let´s move on to bad ass women….

I´m Going To Save The World With My Awesomeness ( YA, Dystopian, Fantasy)

These covers definitely say “I´m the chosen one!” A reader knows the story is about a dysfunctional world and someone, a chosen individual ( there´s a 90% chance that someone is a poor human living in some type of slums), will right the wrongs and bring justice to a corrupted world.

These are my least favorite book cover images. I just think they´re…ugly. There´s no other way to express my feelings towards these covers. But still…..

bad ass

… readers love this cover image. In my opinion, you have to be a huge fan of the fantasy genre to accept the badassness these covers have. Or you just don´t give a hoot. I do, though. There are other ways to attract a reader´s attention. How about using a crown?

 

 

Me? I´m The Chosen One That Has To Save The World? ( Dystopian, YA, Fantasy)

Sometimes the badass female lead develops her backbone much later in a story. She has to grow into her role as the chosen one. But before she swaps her pitch fork for a glowing faerie sword she has to change her clothes. One cannot win battles in Versace´s Dystopian Autumn collection.

not badass

These ladies want to make a difference. I can´t say which I prefer. The assassins or the princesses.

Speaking of ladies…. up next is a girl who needs our pity….

 

 

Emo Girl  ( YA, Fantasy )

emo girl

Okay. I love this story. It´s Twilight with Angels only better. The Fallen by Lauren Kate is one of my favorite reads. But…. the girl on the cover ( which I assume is supposed to be Lucy, MC, is far from being an emo child) does not represent the Heroine. Having 2 hot angels chasing your booty ain´t a good enough reason to cry.

 

Let´s get away from tough cookie Heroine´s and sobbing messes.

 

Artistic ( fantasy, Children, YA )

artsy

Because it doesn´t always have to be an image of some sexy beast. Okay… Both books are intended for children´s minds so the cover has to match. I totally understand that. And I think it´s okay to use an illustrated cover image. Spot on in these cases.

 

Doors & Windows  ( Mystery, Thriller, Horror )

doors1

Definitely creepy. Normally, doors do nothing for me except keep me safe inside my house. But on a book cover? An absolute 9 on the creep scale. Also, these won´t ever go out of style. A trend that´ll stay!

 

A Rose IS A Rose, Is A Rose, Is A Rose….  ( All genre´s )

Yupp. Roses are DA SHIT!

rose

Seriously, roses are perfect. Old as time but perfect for any genre. You´ve written a romance? Just use an image of a rose. You´ve written a suspense with a psycho? *snorts* Just use a rose that´s leaking blood. Is your book about having din-din with a sexy vampire? I recommend a black rose, because…well, you know. The black crow isn´t THAT fitting. Wanna write a fantasy? Ooh, you can´t use a red rose then. Use a white one. Werewolves? Oh, please *wave off* Werewolves are known to be rose experts. They have gardens filled with long-stemmed roses. High quality you´ll only find in a McWolfy garden.

Funny enough, roses can be used for all genre´s. It´s only a matter of how an author / publisher pimps it to match the theme of the story. What´s even funnier? Most of those books don´t have a single rose in their stories. But the covers are often quite stunning.

 

 

Okay, people… That´s it for today. Stay tuned for Book Cover Trends: Part Three…. Coming soon!

 

Hope you enjoyed the lists so far! If you have any ideas you´d like to add or see in the future then feel free to hit me up! Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

xoxo

 

Review- Thicker Than Blood (#1) by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley

Book Description

A true friendship never dies. 

Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything…

Even an apocalypse.

Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize.

Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss.
Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity.

Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together.

But in such a savage world, is there room for love?

In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death.

There are friends…

And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.

My Thoughts

It´s super dangerous for my wallet when I visit a book signing. Once I´m in a room packed with awesome authors then there´s no stopping me ( Don´t judge. It´s an illness ). Within an hour I´m broke, yet, at the same time I´m richer than anyone I know.

That´s how I came upon this little treasure. The RARE ´17 Berlin book signing was my undoing.

`Thicker Than Blood` by authors Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley belonged to the many books I purchased that day. I walked up to the author´s table and asked what she would recommend and VOILA!Thicker than blood

I´m always looking for something new in the book universe. Something a topic that hasn´t been told to death over the last 5 years. I want something that will grab my attention. I need a story that´ll do all kinds of things to my emotional household. I need excitement. I need something that´ll blow my mind.

And right now I need to give these authors a high five for writing such an amazing story.

I was hooked the moment I began reading and I felt like someone hit me with a frying pan when I finished the story.

Perfect! That´s exactly what I´m looking for in a book!

So, what are we dealing with in `Thicker Than Blood` ?

  • a zombie apocalypse

  • a friendship like no other

  • survival

And with that we automatically deal with the whole pallet of emotions. And boy, did I go through some nasty up´s and down´s.

The authors created a new world in such a brilliant way and made me suffer along with their characters until the very last page.

The author´s created a world that felt oddly real.

I´ve watched zombie movies / shows and I´ve read my fair share of zombie books before. They´re amusing and entertaining but they hardly feel realistic. Yet, I never ended up sitting on my sofa, thinking about the „what if´s“ like I did after reading this book. There came a point where I had to remind myself that this was just a work of fiction. A brilliantly written, thought-up piece of madness that stunned me.

And the fact that this isn´t a full blown sappy romance just fills my heart with joy. Of course, there´s a bit of lovey-dovey throughout the story…. but nothing you´d imagine. This is a horror / apocalyptic novel with a focus on friendship and survival and a pinch of romance. And the best part- You cannot relate to the characters because no one knows how they´d react in the same situation.

Would I recommend this book?

I most certainly would. Over and over again.

Would I re-read this book?

You can bet your ass I would. But, first, I´m going to read `Beneath Blood and Bone`(#2) before I do anything else. 

The Cover – 5 stars ( The image, the lighting, the blood…. I like it alot. Something I can look at all night long. A total catchy book cover.)

The Story – 5 stars ( When authors create worlds and are good at it then it´s already a winner.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Eve and Leisel aren´t the best characters ever but their friendship is truly something special. )

My emotional state after finishing this read Pooped beyond means. Mentally and physically preparing for a possible zombie apocalypse and. I might even text my bestie so she can get ready as well.

stars15

I´m giving `Thicker Than Blood` by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley 4 out of 5 stars.

This book can be purchased over at Amazon.com 

Instagram: Morgana´s Book Box Feature

https://www.instagram.com/p/BV-9XlfBhzc/?hl=en

Book Covers- What Happened?

Book Covers

Book covers / cover images are the first thing we see when we look for books. Whether it´s while we´re scrolling through an online shop or simply combing the bookshelves in a bookstore- It´s always the cover that grabs our attention before anything else does. 

Let´s get one thing out of the way before I begin:

Book covers / images are a matter of taste. Everyone has a different idea on what is great or what´s eye catching.

Personally, I like book covers that hardly give away anything from the story. I believe a cover image should grab someones attention, not give the story away. A book cover has to make me stop dead in my tracks. I mean- it’s the first thing a reader sees, right? And if a reader doesn’t like the cover, how fat are chances the reader will buy the book unless they´ve been forced by a friend/family member to read the book? ( The power of recommendations. “It has a hideous cover but awesome story!” )

All this means- I judge a book by it´s cover. I know I shouldn´t. No one should, yet we all do it.

I love to see covers with lots of color / color clashes, unique symbols or anything that stands out ( eye catching, remember? ) Contrasts are also brilliant.

 I’m Amazon’s Costumer Of The Year. Alot of my hard earned money goes for books. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this devastating condition. But if you asked me about book covers then I’d have to say that maybe half of the books I own have decent covers and half from that half have AWESOME images.In other words- I find alot of book covers / images boring and sometimes questionable. 

While reading books from the Romance, New Adult, Young Adult, Erotica and even Horror genre, I’ve come to learn that each genre has their preferred book covers or colors.

Young Adult usually has some teenagers holding hands in a meadow ( colors are usually light ), New Adult covers are a bit more mature ( colors are more bold ), mostly showing some skin or a headless figure… you get the picture, right? We don´t really need to mention Horror covers because many of those covers are just down right brilliant. Creepy but cool.

Also, one has to see the difference between traditional published and self-published book covers. It most cases, self-published book covers / images aren´t done well. But then again- alot of traditional published books have horrible, tacky covers. I can’t really speak for trad-published authors because most of them don’t have a say in the matter. The publisher calls the shots and authors have no power over what cover will be used for their story. That all depends on the publisher and how tight the contract is. Some published authors are lucky and get to chose a cover image themselves. Very few have covers that are able to knock me out of my socks.

There are 2 types of book covers that do not grab my attention at all.  

  1. shaded, oiled torsos with tribal tattoos
  2. covers that look like every other cover

I can’t begin to tell you how many books I have that have black covers with some tiny animal, a key, a keyhole, pearls, diamonds or has some shadowed body parts on it. It’s a nightmare that will not end. 

It´s a trend, I get it. Still… It´s annoying. And when I see certain covers I immediately say to myself ” Uugh. Not again.”.

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( Those are only a few taken from my private bookshelf from only God knows how many )

Many would argue with me on the fact that black book covers aren´t an issue. They´re practical because they look good on a bookshelf, etc.  It truly isn´t an issue. It´s just nothing spectacular.

Then there are those covers with half naked, totally muscular, tribal tattooed, well oiled and well tanned, headless guys. In short- eye candy in it’s tackiest form. I stopped counting those covers because they’re endless. I know I know…sex sells and all that stuff…..but can’t someone stop this nonsense? Tribal tattoos went out of style a while back. Plus, I like guys who have a head. Hands can be sexy, too. Also-  I’m also not a huge fan of character covers, which is when the cover has a face on it. That ruins alot for me and I will ignore the book, risking the chance to read a fantabulous story. Why? Because a character image ruins my own personal image I like to create myself of a character. 

Another thing that brings my blood to boil is when there’s too much going on on a book cover. 

I once saw a cover that was in full color and had an oiled naked, tattooed bod, except- the lucky headless guy had arms and hands ( yay!) and those hands were holding a suit which hung from a coathanger ( I have never in my life seen a suit hanging from a hanger on a book cover before…NEVER) in the background stood the Eiffel Tower. The title- Caged. Can you imagine how confused I was? After taking all the images in I knew what the story was about. But the real question was- Was I interested in the story although I knew there was some godly guy in it, who was probably going to wear a suit at some point, paying the Eiffel Tower a visit? No, I wasn´t. Not even the coathanger was able to convice me.

My point- There´s no need to overload a book cover with dozens of images. That´s only confusing. 

Copying. It´s not a secret that many self-published authors like to copy. Which is fine. I´m the last person to point a finger at anyone in particular. Whatever works best for an author, right? Right. No wait- that´s wrong. Copying is wrong and often doesn´t work out well for an author who wants to make money. What worked for author A doesn´t necessarily have to work for author B. Many writers seem to forget that. 

What happened to self-published authors wanting to be original, standing out and making their book cover better than others? Any, if not all, want to make a living ( eventually ) off of writing, right?

I understand that cover designers are costy. And, yes. I´m aware of how prices are sky high. But they´re worth it. If an author finds a good, professional designer, and both communicate then nothing can go wrong. No one in the history of writing said it would be easy, or cheap. Unless writers don´t value quality and focus their attention more on their story. Then I´d say ” Whatever floats their boat.”.

Still, many don´t or are financially unable to take that path and invest in a cover designer. And if an author doesn´t have a clue what they´re doing when creating their own cover I´m 100% positive it will affect sales. Because, let´s face it- If I notice bad quality / a copied image then other readers will too.  There could be a chance people will ignore a not so great cover and read the story OR they´ll skip the book because of the cover. Who knows. I´m not an expert. But I´ve been watching this business for the last 10 years and can say that covers mean alot. 

I´m not out to ruin self-published authors. I´m not even out to diss traditional publishing houses for their often lack of taste in cover images. Just remember this before the next book hits the market:

1. Sex doesn´t always sell. ( Keep them well oiled studs in the late 90´s where they belong.)

2. Less is ALWAYS more. ( Be tasteful. Be creative. Be original. )

It may not be up to me to decide what cover image is acceptable for a book cover or not. After all- Cover images are a matter of taste.  But since I spend the majority of my money on books I can skip a cover that´s not original or won´t grab my attention.

My wish for the future? For writers to be more creative when deciding on a cover image. Or, invest in a designer. Although, I have seen a small inprovement in the past year ( see Colleen Hoover´s cover image for `Too Late`, for example. What a color explosion! ) so my hopes haven´t died completely.

( NOTE: A cover image alone won´t influence sales. Titles and excerpts play an important role as well. The cover is just what we see first.)

 

 

And the Meek Shall Walk – Shaun Allan ( Wattpad )

 

Book Description

Princess Aren is determined to make the human who killed her mother and exiled her people to the bottom of the ocean pay. To do so, she must go to extremes of pain and heartache in her search for justice.

Aren, however, is no sweet, happy mermaid. To kill is to ignite a fire of passion in her heart which only the savage letting of blood can satiate. She will go to any lengths to find the man responsible, including cutting off her own tail and sewing, in its place, a pair of human legs – legs she tore from one of the many humans she had murdered.

With the unwilling help of the sea witch, Princess Aren must go ashore and hunt for her mother’s killer. But, in doing so, the worlds above and below the ocean will clash in ways neither thought possible!

** Wattpad Featured **

My Thoughts

Picking out a story to read on Wattpad comes pretty close to window shopping. You spend so many hours on the hunt for that special somthing to wear / read until you actually find what you´re looking for. Only books are a bit like russian roulette.

It wasn´t the cover that grabbed my attention- It was the title.And the Meek Shall Walk“ by Shaun Allan… what a brilliant read. 100% unpredictable, 100% captivating and oh-so off the charts cool. In all honestly- how often does one read about a mermaid who collects body parts from humans?

ariel

The story is basically a retell of the classic „The Little Mermaid“ written by Hans Christian Andersen ( Don´t even attempt to think about the Disney version ) … only Shaun Allan´s version is a little vicious and more shocking with lots of surprises.

Stories that have the ability to surprise a reader are the best! And with „And the Meek Shall Walk“ it felt like I was exploring a whole new territory filled with loads of awesomeness. A beautiful darkness I wished would never end.

Now- the end was something that completely threw me off. I wasn´t expecting what happened. Even the epilogue felt like a loved one was stabbing me in the heart with a smile in their face. Quite bittersweet but still amazing.

mermaids

A fully recommendable story for anyone who loves themselves some great writing, great characters, and an end that will leave a reader stunned.

The Cover – 5 stars ( I´m a huge fan of simplicity. The cover image is perfect. A total eye catcher)

The Story – 5 stars ( a little horror here, a tad romance there, the element of surprise, twist of events…. An absolute fabulous story )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Although all were wonderful in their own way I have to say Aren was my favorite. The transformation her character went through was fantastic. At first vicious, then kind, then life happened…. * sigh * )

My emotional state after finishing this readcompletely satisfied. A true fairytale that will stick with me for a while.

I´m giving `And the Meek Shall Walk` by Shaun Allan 5 out of 5 stars

To read `And the Meek Shall Walk` all you need to do is click here and enjoy!

Don´t forget to show Shaun Allan some love over at WattpadTwitterInstagram and Facebook

and-the-meek-shall-walk

 

 

 

The Lost ( Whitechapel Chronicles #2) by Lindsey Clarke ( Wattpad )

Book Dscription

‘Whitechapel. The East End of London. Streets of tawdry degradation and grisly dark crimes of unlimited horror…..’

From the comforts of London’s middle class suburbia, to taking refuge in an old abandoned asylum in Whitechapel, Megan’s life has changed immeasurably since meeting the vampire, Harper Cain. Now living with Harper, his blood brother Garrick and Garrick’s gang of mercenaries,

Megan finds herself at the centre of an age-old war between the vampires and their enemies, the lycan-esque Varúlfur. Still struggling to cope with the turn her life has taken, Megan discovers that not only is she unable to escape the ghosts of her past, but she is going to have to contend with some very dark revelations about her future.

A vampire with the history of Whitechapel running through her veins she might be, but Megan will soon learn that there are far worse things to be frightened of than ghosts.

*** Spoiler free Review ***

 

My Thoughts

`The Lost` is the second installment in The Whitechapel Chronicles. And since author Lindsey Clarke has not once disappointed me I just knew the second part of the dark vampire tale was going to blow my mind. And I was right. I thought `Playing Dead` ( book #1 ) was genius….

I won´t waste anyone´s time giving my own description of the story because I completely lack that skill ( in other words- I suck at it ). I will, however, say one thing- Lindsey Clarke is AMAZEBALLS. `The Lost` is flipping brilliant!

The story:

Megan, Harper and Brandon´s story continues and the path they take is unexpected and far from easy ( emotionally and physically ).

lost-quote

After the events in `Playing Dead` I never thought Megan could be confronted with anything worse. I mean- turning into a vampire and finding out your husbands fury secret is tough, but not as tough as what happens in this part of the story.

New characters are introduced, challenging Megan and Harper and the entire vampire race. The obstacles become more and more challenging. The characters thread into more unknown territories.
A lot is at stake. Are the characters up for saving the world as it´s known? Will Megan find the answers to her questions? Will she ever see the light in the never ending dark tunnel?

I cannot being to tell you how extremely nail-bite-worthy `The Lost` is ( in fact- I´d probably end up writing a full novel explaining every awesome detail about this story, so best I don´t start.).

What´s extremely noticable is how much Megan´s character has grown. The Megan from the beginning is long gone and is replaced by a curious, head strong woman who knows what she wants and won´t stop for anything to get what she needs… even if that means going against Harper.

lost-quote2

With `The Lost` being the second book in the series, one would think that this is a bridge to the grande final. It isn´t. `The Lost ` feels like a warm up story, getting ready to blow a reader´s mind.

My mind has been blown away already and there´s still `Savage Wings` ( book #3 ).

If it were up to me, this story would never end.

The Cover- 5 stars ( It fits perfectly with the first cover. The coloring is fab and catchy. ❤ )

The Story – 5 stars ( I´m not sure my heart can handle more. But it has to, damn it! Extremely well thought through story. LOVE IT! )

The Characters – 5 stars ( The author has an evil side. She creates characters you want to take home with you and then does the unthinkable to them. I guarantee- you will want a Harper Cain, a Brandon and even a Garrick. You´ll want a Josiah, a Fenton… all at your beck and call.)

My emotional state after finishing `The Lost`– Drained in the best possible way ever. Totally satisfied but afraid to continue at the same time.

I´m giving `The Lost` ( The Whitechapel Chronicles #2 ) by author Lindsey Clarke 5 out of 5 stars

`The Lost`, along with `Playing Dead ( book #1) can be read for free on Wattpad. All you need to do is click here and begin to read. Don´t forget to leave a comment for the author and a vote.

If you´re not a member of the Wattpad society then don´t worry. Sign up. It doesn´t hurt and only takes a few seconds. Trust me- if lazy old me can do it…so can you!

See you on the flip side!

the-lost