Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cover Candy

Confession: I love book covers! That doesn't mean that a beautiful book cover makes up for a not-so-good story, or that a rather unattractive book cover can't house a great story. But covers can really catch the reader's eye, and it's nice to look at the bright colors or the lovely image as the book sits on a desk or on the shelf. Book covers are a part of the package deal, and as a reader I myself admit to being swayed by the appearance of covers. (I know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but there are people who do a great job at creating beautiful art to surround a story, and I think their work is valuable, too!)

All that to say, I have some great cover candy to share with you today! Perhaps you've already seen these - perhaps not. But let's take a moment to appreciate the lovely treats, and maybe in the process I can introduce you to the authors and their books!

Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (October 2012)

I loved Heartless and Veiled Rose, and I've already pre-ordered Moonblood, which releases in April! Not only are the covers gorgeous and intriguing, but Anne is a talented author who writes fascinating and powerful fantasy!

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang (July 2012)

I love how different this book sounds! An interesting premise, and such a sweet, inviting cover!

The Phantom Island Series
(Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing)

Windchaser and Windfall are already available, and Watercrossing is coming soon! These are YA books, and the covers look so fanciful with beautiful colors! (I'm a big fan of purple, and I love blue, too!) Be looking for my reviews of the first two books over at The Borrowed Book in the coming weeks!

Thoughts, anyone? Do these covers catch your eye? What others cover candy have you seen out there recently?


Bluerose said...

Wow! That is the first time I've saw the cover for Anne's new book. That has to be one of the most beautiful covers EVER! Of course, when I first saw the Bees in the Butterfly Garden cover, I felt the same way. ;)
I can't wait to see your thoughts on the Phantom Island Series. I hope you like them, because you already have me really excited to give them a try.

Kav said...

You've introduced me to two new authors, Amber. How exciting is that?!

I have to admit to being somewhat shallow when it comes to book covers. A good one really has the power to boost the book up to the top of my TBR pile. And, true confession, there's this one book that I think I'd really like, but the cover is awful so even though I've had it in my hand a number of times, I haven't bought the book! It's kind of too staged and the people on the cover (photographs) look frozen and hokey. It makes me feel like the story will end up being that way too, though I love the premise!

Christina B said...

Ooh, especially love the first two covers! I haven't read or heard of any of these books, so thanks for bringing them to my attention. I love a good recommendation-and a pretty piece of art goes a long way in my opinion also.

As you said, we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but first impressions do mean something. :) I think the outside appearance of a story does help a great deal when trying to make a reader notice it on the inside...

Krissi Dallas said...

Ooohh... That first one just makes me want to sit in that very spot and dip my toe in the water too! Gorgeous colors!
Thanks for featuring my books on here! Of course, they're a few of my favorites too. ;) So many covers are going the route of showing real people (especially women) on the cover-which I find appealing as a woman, but it's only a good idea when that's your target audience. I really wanted to avoid that on mine and opted (with the amazing collaboration of my cover designer) for something more symbolic and timeless. I wanted teen boys to not be afraid to pick my book off a shelf and then not be embarrassed to carry it in the school hallway. :) It's working well so far. Ha.
Thanks again - hope you enjoy reading! :)

Amber S. said...


Aren't Anne's covers so unique and stunning? This latest one is beautiful, and I'm sure the story inside will be, too! :) Excited for October!!

In general, covers just seem to be getting better and better each year!

As for the Phantom Island series, I'm definitely eager to read them myself - glad you're sharing in my excitement! ;D I'm pretty sure I'll want to dive in as soon as I get them, so hopefully you won't be waiting long for my reviews!


Amber S. said...


Definitely exciting!! If you like meaningful and engaging fantasy, I really think you should give Anne's books a try! And hopefully you should be learning my thoughts on Krissi's books soon! :)

As for your thoughts on book covers, I know what you mean! I really think covers, while certainly not the only factor, play a big role in attracting (or distracting?) readers... It kind of just is what it is, you know? I think publishers generally seem to "get" that, as there are some gorgeous book covers out there!


Amber S. said...


Glad I could share these with you and introduce you to some potential future reads! :)

I definitely agree about the first impressions! Like I said in my post, that doesn't necessarily mean that a book with an unattractive cover is going to be bad, but readers might not be as quick to pick it up if it doesn't have that initial appeal. There are just so many books to choose from nowadays that in order to get noticed by more people a book has to draw some attention to itself - whether from buzz or an irresistible premise or an already loyal following...or a great cover!

Fame isn't everything, but published books are meant to be read, right? :)


Amber S. said...


Agreed! I just love it - and her writing is really meaningful and intriguing! If you haven't read Heartless or Veiled Rose, I recommend them. :)

You make a great point about women on covers - probably not books that guys want to be seen reading! ;) I really like the route you and your designer went, and I'm glad it's working well for you!

It was my pleasure to feature your covers here, and I'm looking forward to reading the stories! :) Thank you!


Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

Thank you for the feature and the kind words, Amber! I am thrilled to see STARFLOWER getting promotion from true fans, and I am so excited to share the story with you! I really do love that cover . . . not a whole lot of menace in that image, but it is completely Fairy Tale, which I adore.

These others look lots of fun too (with more gorgeous images!) The Phantom Island series especially looks right up my reading ally. :)

I am a fool for a gorgeous-looking book. What really breaks my heart is a book I love that is printed in a lowsy, off-turning cover. It's so hard to convincingly recommend it to friends then!

Anne Elisabeth

Amber S. said...


My pleasure! :) I think the cover is quite lovely - can't wait to meet it in person! But first, I'll look forward to seeing and reading Moonblood. ;) Woohoo!

I just got Windchaser and Windfall in the mail today, so I'm excited to dive into them!

And I know what you mean about being a "fool" for a gorgeous cover! It certainly is sad to see books with less attractive covers - I imagine it would be hard for the author and family/friends alike. :(

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


Maureen Lang said...

Thanks so much for sharing the cover for Bees in the Butterfly Garden, Amber! When I saw it I was thrilled - because I'm with you about potentially being swept away by a cover. That's happened to me in the past and no doubt will again. Which is why I'm so thrilled to have a great cover designer at Tyndale. I have to tell you - the photographer she works with is about six feet tall and I was told he went chasing that butterfly all through a nearby arboretum just to use on this cover. I would've loved to see that, and I'm so grateful for his dedication!

Amber S. said...


You're welcome! :) I agree that you have a great cover designer, because Bees in the Butterfly Garden is beautiful!! And how awesome is that photographer?? I definitely would have loved to see that, too! :)

Thank you for stopping by!