Announcing the January Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the January Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

December started us off on the right foot, and January doubled down on the fun. We had a tremendous turnout, and it’s in no small part thanks to this month’s winner.

We had 5,716 votes this month.

I’ve never seen an author come out and summon his supporters like this author. It was honestly impressive watching all the people he called on respond. I wish I had a loyal following like that.

The January Book Cover of the Month is…






Blunt Force Magic by Lawrence Davis! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

Cull received 578 total votes.
Because February only has twenty-eight days, The four runners up get a second chance next month. They are:

Trial of Chains by Sohan Amad, Gravitas by Ben Mason, Symphony of Fates by JC Kang, and Burn the Ashes by Heather Shahan.


For Davis, he doesn’t have to stress over another “tryout” bracket. He’s in the main Book Cover of the Year Bracket.  Let’s look at the summary for his book.




“A modern fantasy with a touch of noir, a dash of detective thriller, and a sprinkling of humor throughout. A really fun debut novel.”–Steve Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of MONSTER

Janzen Robinson is a man torn between two worlds. Five years removed from a life as an apprentice to a group of do-gooding heroes who championed the fight against supernatural evils, the once-promising student is now a package courier going through the daily grind, passing time at a hole-in-the-wall bar and living in a tiny, run-down apartment on the south side of Cleveland, Ohio.

Then fate (or a case of bad timing) brings him face to face with a door that’s got his old life written all over it. From the ancient recesses of unyielding darkness known as the Abyss, a creature has been summoned: a Stalker, a predator whose real name is forbidden to be spoken aloud. It’s a bastardization of the natural order, a formidable blend of dark magic and primal tenacity. Its single-minded mission? Ending the life of a fiery, emerging young witch.

Thrust into the role of protector, a role once reserved for those he’d lost years ago, the out-of-practice “Artificer” not only has to return to a life he’d left behind, but must relive that painful past while facing down the greatest threat to come to our world in a century. Janzen will have to journey through the magical underbelly of the city and not only stay one step ahead of an unstoppable monster hellbent on destruction but try and figure out why it’s been brought to our world in the first place. Past wounds are reopened as Janzen looks to old friends, a quiet stranger, and his own questionable wits to see them all to the other side of this nightmare that may cost him his life and, quite possibly, the world itself.


I’ve added Blunt Force Magic to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I buy all the winning covers. I’ve already bought December’s book.

 Davis’s Facebook page. Give it a like if you’re curious about him and his work.

I’ll try to find out who did that cover. I’m still  behind my interviews, but I’m hopeful my vacation can give me a chance to get caught up.

The February Book Cover of the Month is all set, and that contest will launch March 1. Things are finally going to get back to normal after the end of the year.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket.

Thanks for reading


A January Book Cover of the Month Update

A January Book Cover of the Month Update

With just seven days left in this month’s bracket, it’s time to update you all on how things have been progressing.

As I type this, we have 4,735 votes so far. That’s almost 2,000 votes more than we had at this point last month.

51WBNePLngLBlunt Force Magic
 by Lawrence Davis is on a mission! He’s been working Facebook like a crazy person, and his followers and supporters are passing it on. If anyone is going to challenge him, they’ll need to really call on their fans to get in the hunt.

Most Voted on so far: BlunnBlunt Force Magic is running away with it at the moment. He has 473 votes so far. I haven’t checked yet, but I THINK that’s a record already.

Least Voted for:  Echoes of Esharam  by Robert Davies. This cover has 38 votes. It’s a well designed cover I think deserves a bit more support.

Lawrence Davis has a commanding lead in every round. The only cover even remotely threatening is The Promised One by Morgan G. Farris, which would need 45 voters to push it all the way through the finals to help it win.  Frankly, Davis is high-stepping to victory. But that’s in the Sweet Sixteen. The runner up for the month is currently The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson.  That means Johnson gets the second shot if he can’t make up the 60-voter lead Davis has.

51hndehUYlLA 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. It’s been an amazing tournament to watch thus far, and I hope readers continue to support their authors by voting, liking, and sharing the bracket with as many people as possible.  You can vote at this address!

I’ll announce the winner is just seven days!

Thanks for reading,


The January Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

The January Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

Jan_Cover_CollageHappy first everyone! As is now officially tradition here on my blog, it’s time to start a new book cover of the month competition.

The Saint’s Rise by Michael John Grist, last month’s runner up, joins thirty other fantastic covers.

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.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,


Book Review: Loveless by Marissa Howard

Book Review: Loveless by Marissa Howard
Images taken from the author’s website for review purposes under fair use doctrine.

Spoiler Free Summary:  Loveless by Marissa Howard was the January Book Cover of the Month. I’ve already reviewed the December Book Cover of the Month, which you can find here. Laney is a young woman raised in a underground community that has put a ban on love in order to keep the hate and violence that destroyed the world from returning.  She’s ordinary until someone convinces her to petition for the right to journey back to the surface to find love and bring it back. She and six other teens strike out to find out what’s become of the world since it’s destruction 74 years ago.

Character:  Laney is a nice character. Her motivations and actions are honest, genuine. Given her circumstances and the setting, I found her the most compelling aspect of the book. Her observations and journey are what drive this story.

Exposition: Since this book was told in first person, exposition is a bit more expected, but I’d say this book gets a tad carried away. The first ten or 15 pages felt (it was a while since I read it, and I may  not be remembering clearly) like a narrated backstory and info dump as to how the story got to this point. Once the plot gets moving, this problem clears up.

Worldbuilding:  I’ll admit (once more) my dislike for YA books in general. Anyone reading a review from me regarding a YA book should make sure to take what I say with a grain of salt (or a pound). That said, my biggest issue with this novel was how unable I was to suspend disbelief.  This world and story are built on a premise that I simply can’t call feasible, at least not without some sort of chemical assistance (of which there is none in this plot). The characters are solid. The plot is well thought, but I felt like I was reading a bad premise that was well executed. I don’t want to reveal more than I already have about the plot. Otherwise, I’d got into more detail. Still, what I feel most needs to be said is that the test of this book is deciding whether or not you can believe in the world and history of this story. If you can, you’ll probably be okay with it.  If not, I ask you to at least look at the characters, who are compelling.

14225512_173915503017569_3485861154066238470_nDialogue:  The dialogue was effective. It wasn’t stilted, nor was it particularly special (for reference, I think Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz is the standard for charming, snappy dialogue).  This book had believable dialogue that didn’t drag the story down.

Description:  This was one of the stronger qualities of the book, especially once the characters go topside. Howard has a knack for providing the right sensory information in the right spots.

Overall:  Like I said, the test is, “can you believe a world or society like this would actually exist?” I couldn’t, and that frustrated me. But even I’ll acknowledge that if a reader can “go with it” and read the story for what it is, they’ll enjoy it.

Thanks for reading