Spoiler Free Summary: Living the Good Death by Scott Baron is about a young woman who truly believe she’s death. While the mental institution profiting off her “illness” wants to keep her around, she’s trying to get back to the spiritual world so she can get back to work. Then she meets a man. As her relationships in this world grow more powerful, she’s forced to decide if she really is crazy or not. Will she let go of her delusions to accept the life that’s opening up before her, or will she reject this world for a chance to return to the next.
Character: The main character was solid. She’s proactive. She’s sympathetic. She’s a clever character with the right amount of vulnerability and sass. But I had some issues with the male love interest. He’s a single father, and he takes up this toxic relationship with a woman who may (and certainly appears to be) suicidal and unhinged. He’s doing this just when he’s about to get his daughter back after his own break. Personally, I could never reconcile that character issue. It didn’t make the book horrible by any means, but I kept getting frustrated with his arc because I couldn’t believe a man in his position would seek a relationship. Especially with a woman whom he had to work so hard just to date.
Exposition: This was great. Most of the plot unfolded naturally, and I really enjoyed the use of the scene (more on that) and the nature of the characters. It let what’s already a shorter book go by that much faster.
Worldbuilding: This is probably my favorite part of this book. The clever part of this was how you saw enough of one world to make it believable without ruining the suspense of finding out if the main character was crazy or really Death.
Dialogue: This is where the sass of the main character really paid off. The dialogue was crisp and witty, just like I like it. The entertaining dialogue and comedy of the story sometimes clashed with the serious arc of the male love interest (see above).
Description: I was happy with the description here. It wasn’t as visceral as it could have been, but for a story of this sort, I thought it was appropriate. The most visual description is in the character, which is what I tend to want.
Overall: Even though some of the character decisions weren’t something I could swallow, this story has a lot of charm and humor. It’s a fast read with some pretty solid chuckle moments. If you want a quick read and you have a darker sense of humor, this might be right up your ally.
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 517 votes so far. That’s not a typo. That’s unfortunately the actual number of votes. To put this into perspective, last month’s winning book had more than that number of votes all by itself. We really need some help here. Please put the word out. Please vote. I know this is the last month, but we’re still going to do the Book Cover of the Year, and I truly would like it to support these authors. I’m praying you’ll help me get these designers the credit they deserve.
The Clock Strikes by Sean Cunningham is in first place.
Most Voted on so far: Cunningham has 54 total votes. But it’s honestly anyone’s game at this point. One book getting a solid burst of support gets it all the way to the Book Cover of the Year bracket.
Least Voted for: Deprecated by Michael Karr has 3 votes. My hope is someone will spread the word and let all of these authors know to put out the call for support.
There’s still a week left, and this month’s winner is in. Also, the runner up will get into the Wild Card round of the Book Cover of the Year bracket.
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’m a bit sad as this is the last Book Cover of the Month (at least for a year). It’s well timed as Brackify is being sold if it isn’t being shut down. It’s been fun, and I like the idea that I’ll bring it back once I get more of my life in order, but it doesn’t mean I won’t miss this part. We will still do the Wild Card Round and then the 2018 Book Cover of the Year, but that will be it for an undetermined amount of time.
For now, let’s send this contest off with a bang!
Unrelenting Tide by Alexa Dare and Into the Fire by K. Gorman join 30 brand new covers this month.
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.
The runner up from this month gets an automatic bid into the 2018 Wild Card Round. So even finishing in the top two helps you out.
It’s kind of cool to know I’ve been doing this for a year. We’ve picked out 12 amazing covers, and we still have some work to do (more on that below). For now, the November Book Cover of the Month bracket has just wrapped up. This month had a great surge of voters. Three particular authors came out in force and really got their following involved, and that’s wonderful to me.
We had 4,177 votes this month.
This was honestly one of my favorite months to watch. We had some wonderful matches, and one of those matches has me clicking refresh even as I type this announcement. The Sweet Sixteen match between Prey till the End by S.L. Eaves and Living the Good Death by Scott Baron was back and forth for nearly a week. I don’t remember that match being more than five votes apart, and they both had more than 30 people vote their covers all the way to the winners’ circle. It’s so close, I actually feel the need to type an announcement for each of those covers, and wait until the bracket closes to edit the winner in. I had to check back and fourth, but it was fun watching it.
The November Book Cover of the Month is…
Living the Good Death by Scott Baron! 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.
Baron received 268 total votes. He edged Eaves out of the sweet sixteen by two votes.
Here’s the part where people may upset. Though Eaves would have one had she beaten Baron, she didn’t. The runner up to this (the author who won her side of the bracket) was The Dragon Rider Vol. 1 by T.J. Weekes. I did a lot of thinking, but the fact is Weekes earned the right to try again by winning her bracket. Sure, the NCAA may loop Alabama into the playoffs, and I can’t even say I’ve never done it (though that was an extreme even beyond this) before, but the Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round only has one slot left, and Weekes earned it. You have to be the runner up. So Weekes will be the final entry into the aforementioned (and still to be discussed below) wild card round.
For Baron, 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.
Wearing nothing but psych ward pajamas and fluffy slippers, the odd girl wasn’t really dressed to kill. Being the Grim Reaper, however, she felt confident she could make it work.
Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind of day when things just don’t go your way. Like when your botched suicide attempt and claims of supernatural powers get you hauled to the emergency room, placed under observation, then transferred to a locked-down psych facility.
The girl who thought she was Death had failed miserably in her efforts to shed the troublesome human body in which she was trapped. The result? Finding herself surrounded by nutjobs, locked in a mental ward ruled by a humorless doctor with a Napoleon complex and a penchant for sleight of hand. Sure, she did technically bring it on herself, but how was she to know that trying to off herself in public and using her outside voice to proclaim she was Death incarnate would result in a psych ward lockdown?
With that problematic little blunder behind her, the concerns now vexing her were pressing. Escape, both from the mental hospital, as well as from this plane of existence, was vital, but equally so was addressing the other issue haunting her. The big one. The one that could end the world. The issue that with Death missing, people would rather inconveniently no longer die like they were supposed to. Eventually, things would hit critical mass. She just didn’t know when.
The situation was, well, grim, to say the very least. An irony not lost on the girl claiming to be the Death.
I’ll try to find out who did that cover. I’m frankly behind my interviews, but I’m hopeful my vacation can give me a chance to get caught up.
But wait! There’s more! Starting Dec. 18, my Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round begins. Weekes and seven other authors who came up just short of winning a monthly bracket will have five days to duke it out for one last, last chance to get into the Book Cover of the Year bracket. The way it will work is the top four winners (as determined by Brackify) will earn the four remaining slots into the Sweet Sixteen of 2017 (I like the ring of that).
V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows.
Michael J. Sullivan’s Age of Myth.
Kara Swanson’s The Girl Who Could See.
Joshua Robertson’s and J.C. Boyd’s Anaerfell (Which I’ve read and reviewed).
Amanda Jay’s The Other One.
Frank Dorrian’s To Brave the End.
And Neo Edmund’s Fate of the Big Bad Wolf.
When the bracket kicks off, I’ll post a summary of why each book made it into the Wild Card Round, but I felt it fair to announce who all eight were so, if they read this, they can start to summon their followers.
Now, that brings up some additional news. My first ever BOOK COVER OF THE YEAR tournament is coming. This will feature all 12 BCTOM winners and four “Wild Card” covers.
The Book Cover of the Year Bracket (for which I’m purchasing an actual trophy to send to the artist) will launch Jan. 1. It will be a two-week tournament. Then, I’ll launch the December Book Cover of the Month, which will start off a new year. Yes, that means I’ve decided to to this at least one more year. It’s exhausting, but matches like this one make it fun, and I’ll do it as long as it’s fun.
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 Facebookpage, you can see what covers will make the bracket.