Spoiler Free Summary: Night Stalker by TR.L. Weeks was my 2017 September Book Cover of the Month. Casey is a young woman who’s husband died. She’s haunted by reoccurring nightmares in which a stranger inflicts great pain upon her. One day, she rediscovers that not only is the man of her nightmares real, but he’s working against her supernaturally resurrected dead husband, who now only seeks pleasure in the suffering of mortals.
Character: Casey is actually pretty proactive, but that’s what bothers me. She’s too quick to swoon and too quick to accept things for my taste. She also seems incredibly naive, and while that would be okay if that was her character arch in which she grew more discerning, but that’s not the plot. Rather than let the conflict of her clashing worlds drive the story in interesting directions, the character is forced along, which makes her feel hard to believe.
Exposition: I was probably affected by the first person narrative here, but it felt like every conversation in the story was just another info-dump session on the history and world building of this world. This results in getting told a lot, and not much quality seeing.
World building: I got the feeling this is where the author put the bulk of her energy. The world is as thought out as I’d ask any world to be. The lore seems deep. The society of the creatures was a bit cliche, but it was well-developed.
Dialogue: I touched on this above. I’m of the opinion that every conversation in this story (ok, most of them) consisted of convincing Casey to more or less come to the dark side or explain to Casey this world the author spent ages fleshing out. When the conversation wasn’t about those things, it was the less that subtle Twilightesque love story.
Description: This was well done. I got the imagery I needed without bogging the story down. It had a decent mix of detail and room for imagination.
Overall: First, I have to note that I listened to this book on Audible, and it simply wasn’t well produced. There were lines read multiple times. Some lines were cut off. You could hear the narrator taking breaths. I swear I even once heard a dog barking in the background. The narrator read at this tone that seemed at a constant near-tears whine that got old fast. If I’m being honest, the lack of quality audio engineering probably ruined what fairness I could offer the actual story. I was giving the story a try until I felt like I was reading something that felt too much like Twilight, which I’ve never read, but I hated the movie and don’t particularly want to read a story that feels too much like, “let me love this monster to life.” When it works, it’s amazing, but this story leaves without much resolved, and the main character’s unrealistic reactions just didn’t work for me. That said, if you like melodramatic love stories (and a great many people do) this story is right up your alley, only I strongly recommend you avoid the Audible version.
I don’t typically give reviews like this. Most stories always have something that I can cling to and study. I don’t ever want to bash, and I hope I stopped before I got to “bashing status.” This last section is simply me explaining that even this story deserves a chance if you’re in the writers’ audience. Please don’t let my own biases affect your willingness to give a story a try. No, I didn’t enjoy this story much, but yo might, and I’d like to hear why.
It was a great year filled with a lot of great covers, great authors, and some amazing books. Thanks to this idea, I got to read my favorite fiction book of the year. I got to make some amazing connections, but this is really all about the covers.
We had 3,023 votes for this bracket. That’s not as many as last year, but it’s still pretty great considering the size of this bracket. In the monthly brackets, we started with 32, and that ads 16 more votes per voter. These numbers mean we had at least 755 unique voters, and that’s awesome if you ask me. The winner of this contest can say more than 700 people looked at all 16 covers, and thought his or hers was best. (I have to TRY and keep some drama don’t I?)
There were three different leaders at different points of the contest. It was a close fight between the last two (came within ten voters, which would be less than one percent for those math people out there). However, I’m proud to say we have an undisputed champion.
Let’s look at the stats! The closest fight was between Potter and Asunder by L. Steinworth. These two traded off the lead, battling for their metaphorical lives in the Final Four. Steinworth took the lead on the last day, but then Potter surged ahead by a mere eight votes, and that turned out to be the difference maker. None of the covers on the other side of the bracket provided much of a fight, but that semifinal round was worth watching!
Since Metal and Stone: The Awakening was a wild card winner, that means it never won a monthly competition, so let’s show the book blurb so readers can see if they might be interested.
They exist, but have been in a state of hibernation for millennia. Will mankind survive their violent awakening?
Dauria was young and idealistic when she helped create the pact to force all dragons to withdraw from the world of Man in Earth’s distant past.
When she awakens unexpectedly after a millennia-long slumber, she finds those carefully laid plans unraveling. Someone is plotting a new war against humanity, and this time words may not be enough to stop it.
In her desperation to reunite with old allies, she finds herself separated from her draconic nature. If she can’t get it back, the nightmarish horrors of the past could return worse than ever…
Potter received 474 total votes. It’s sort of cool because he came into the tournament ranked twelfth (the wild card round lead vote earner). .
That means the Weech goes to Potter’s cover designer, which means I need him to tell me who that designer is so I can engrave The Weech and send it over to him.
I hope you all had fun this year. I really am pleased with how things turned out. That concludes the year, and, as I’ve discussed, the bracket is officially over at least for a year. With the marriage and release schedule I’m trying to maintain, it’s honestly a challenge to look at covers every day and provide the deep feedback I think it deserves. If I start again next year, I hope the authors and artists who were involved spread the word so other authors and artists can get exposure. That’s the whole point of the tournament.
For now, I’m honored to have the chance to give all these covers some attention. I will still read all the winners (including Potter’s) and review them. I’ll also find another way to give authors some purchases and reviews. For now, I hope you’ll continue stopping by my blog.
With just three days left in the 2018 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year bracket, it’s time to update you all on how things have been progressing.
As I type this, we have 1,512 votes so far. That’s a bit slow, but still not terrible considering the size of the bracket and the amount of time there is to vote.
Metal and Stone by Kevin Potter is in first place.
Most Voted on so far: Potter has 245 total votes, but it’s pretty close in a couple of ways. I also think if we make sure these authors and their fan bases are aware of it, the 37 votes Potter has isn’t that steep a margin.
So, how close is it? Well, Asunder by L. Steinworth is only 20 votes behind Potter in the Final Four.
There are still a few days left, so let’s see about spreading word and helping these authors and artists out. It would make me sad to hear an artist or author didn’t have an opportunity to participate.
A brief not on Brackify. As I’ve mentioned, it’s shutting down. Some of you may be getting a warning. I’d appreciate any comments if you are. That said, if you do get that screen, just know the IP is running down because of the site’s shutdown. I consider it a safe site, so you can click through to vote without too much concern in my opinion.
A quick reminder of how the tournament works. The easiest way to win is to have the most people vote for you in every round. The trick is you have to have the most people vote you through in each round, all the way to the final. As an example, 100 people could vote someone through to the finals, but that doesn’t do a cover any good if he doesn’t win the first round. It’s not total votes. It’s not simple championship votes. The winning cover has to have the most votes in each round of the competition.
This will be the only update for this type of bracket. I hope the record does get broken and that I see voters lining up to support their authors by voting, liking, and sharing the bracket with as many people as possible. You can vote at this address!
I had auditions open for about a week-and-a-half, and Kenzie’s, Jennifer Wooster, audition blew me away. Her voice was perfect for Kaitlyn at this stage in her life. Kenzie’s listening to Caught right now to get some context for the characters, and we hope things wrap up by the end of January. I still have some free audible codes for both Caught and The Power of Words if you want a free audiobook and want to give my work a try. Just shoot me an email. Speaking of which, I have a 5-Star Review on Audible for The Power of Words.
I’m thrilled to have been releasing products at the pace I have been. I’ve started writing Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log, and I think things will go well once I get a few days of writing under my belt.
I just wanted to update everyone on the good news. As always, I’m so appreciative of all that you do to support this dream of mine.
I’ve been building to this for quite some time, and I’m so excited to kick things off. This is it! Twelve Book Covers of the Month join four Wild Card Book Covers to comprise a sixteen-book tournament to determine which one will rule them all!
365 book covers. 53,047 votes. All leading to this tournament! The covers were ranked 1-16 by the number of total votes each received. That means the cover that received the most votes (Until Nothing Remains) is going up against the Wild Card that received the fewest votes. (Age of War), and so on and so forth.
You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.
As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.
If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.
Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.
A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.
It’s been fun! I’d like to end this tournament on a high note. I’m trying to get 10,000 total votes. Please, tell everyone. Get people to vote. I want this trophy to mean something, and it’ll frankly mean more as more people vote.
I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.
I decided to break this into a few posts so each one got the equal amount of credit. Also, those who want to vote in this round might not have wanted to slog through all of the November information just to get to the link.
THE 2018 BOOK COVER OF THE YEAR BRACKET HAS BEGUN!
Here’s how this round works:
Since I did a bracket every month, I have 12 covers, but the smallest bracket I can run here has 16 slots. That means I need four more covers. Hence this round of the tournament. This bracket has eight entries. Winning is nice, but you only need to land in the top four of this bracket to get into the final Book Cover of the Year bracket.
6th Seed: Blackwoods: The Beginning by Teressa J. Martin and Adaline McMillan (I can’t find a webpage for them). As the November runner up, this cover was automatically in, but with 155 total votes, it got in on it’s own merit as well.
These covers all got in because they were received the highest number of votes in their respective runners up categories. They’ll be matched up the highest vs the lowest. Again, you don’t have to win to get in (though that’s nice). You just have to get into the top four.
Because of what’s going on at Brackify, we’re on a tight schedule. This contest will go from right now until midnight on Dec. 18. That gives the 2018 Book Cover of the Year Bracket the two weeks it deserves.
I wish these books and authors all the luck in the world.