Cover Snark (73): The One with People on Almost Every Cover


Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Shiny and New:

1. These Gentle Wounds – Helene Dunbar
These Gentle Wounds - Helene Dunbar
Thoughts: Looks like Losing Hope with all of the lens flare in the world. It’s like male models who don’t get to take their shirts off are all mopey because they think they’re not hot enough. Those gentle wounds on his psyche, inflicted one ugly sweater at a time.

2. What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick
What I Thought Was True - Huntley Fitzpatrick
Thoughts: He thought they were going on a date to the arcade. False. On the plus side, he gets to eye her in her bikini, but now he’s stuck in the water in pants. So awkward and over-dressed.

3. Bad Idea – Damon Suede
Bad Idea by Damon Suede
Thoughts: I’m actually really entertained by this one. Like, I usually hate smirky face dudes, but the lightbulb! I enjoy covers that poke fun at themselves.

4. The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) – Kim Harrison
The Undead Pool - Kim Harrison
Thoughts: So there are blue shiny lights emanating from that ball she’s squeezing (metaphor for his?) and blue shiny lights coming from behind her. What’s up with that? Also, I feel like a leather corset would result in lots of gross boob sweat. Do not want.

5. Dangerous Depths (The Sea Monster Memoirs #2) – Karen Amanda Hooper
Dangerous Depths - Karen Amanda Hooper
Thoughts: Shininess fail. And I love shiny things. The degree to which this looks real is simply shocking, like that lightning on the rocks, which, if they could, would be flipping us off because they hate their life.

6. Restore My Heart (Daddy’s Girls #1) – Chelsea Cameron
Restore My Heart - Chelsea Cameron
Thoughts: This goes out to all the IT Crowd fans out there, a slight rephrasing: “No, that’s not my heart…”

7. Royally Lost – Angie Stanton
Royally Lost - Angie Stanton
Thoughts: That’s pretty adorable. And they’re wearing normal clothes! Clothes travelers might wear. Shocking. This makes me want that European really vacation really badly.

8. Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett #2) – Christian Schoon
Under Nameless Stars (Zenn Scarlett #2) - Christian Schoon
Thoughts: Love the stars and the space ship and the font. Not a fan of her weird dominatrix spacesuit. She totally looks like early years of Alias Jennifer Garner, right?

9. The Truth About Alice – Jennifer Mathieu
The Truth About Alice - Jennifer Mathieu
Thoughts: Oooh, I love the photo treatment. Makes it much more original than just black and white. Took me forever to figure out the font in the background spells out SLUT. Not sure that I like that.

10. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Thoughts: Ooooh, pretty. This is the sort of cover that I love and many people find boring. I also like the title, though it’s a bitch to type.

11. Idols (Icons #2) – Margaret Stohl
Idols (Icons #2) - Margaret Stohl
Thoughts: Too much brown and a cover either looks delicious, like a chocolate bar, or like shit, literally. I know what I think about this one. What say you?

12. Circle of Blood (Witch Hunt #) – Debbie Viguié
Circle of Blood A Witch Hunt Novel by Debbie Viguié
Thoughts: Green and orange. What an inspired color combination! Even better, lets stick the cover model on here in black and white, like a reverse Pleasantville.

13. Shadowbound – Dianne Sylvan
Shadowbound by Dianne Sylvan
Thoughts: She’s meant to look like a badass, but she’s definitely looking more crazy than anything else. I mean, full body pleather is not a look a sane person generally goes for. She also apparently has a bat army. Which might live in her gravity-defying hair.

14. Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell #4) – Jenn Bennett
Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell #4) - Jenn Bennett
Thoughts: Sometimes illustrated heroines really works, but not here. Also, that tagline sounds like some sort of weird kink, and just no.

15. Stone Cold (Broken Magic #2) – Devon Monk
Stone Cold (Broken Magic #2) - Devon Monk
Thoughts: Obviously he was morally obligated to blue steel.

16. Prince’s Fire (Hearts and Thrones #3) by Amy Raby
Prince's Fire (Hearts and Thrones #3) by Amy Raby
Thoughts: Yellow isn’t my best color, but I would be willing to try if someone would give me that dress. Even if it is the color of a highlighter. Don’t care. What I DO care about is how lame that tagline is, especially paired with the volcano explosion. SUBTLE.

17. Wild – Alex Mallory
Wild - Alex Mallory
Thoughts: Okay, I so love the title treatment, but otherwise nope. And since when are “the woods” not part of the world.

18. Phoenix Island – John Dixon
Phoenix Island - John Dixon
Thoughts: Rambo 222: Electric Boogaloo.

19.Remember Love – Riley Rhea
Remember Love - Riley Rhea
Thoughts: The full jacket of this cover is hilarious (unlike the cover which is a snoozefest). He’s totally counting down the steps until he can look up her skirt.

20. Wild Child (The Wild Ones #1.5) – M. Leighton
Wild Child - M. Leighton
Thoughts: Something revolutionary and original for M. Leighton! Half-naked people. I wonder if she has a tongue ring, because her tongue looks oddly shiny.

21. One & Only – Viv Daniels
One & Only - Viv Daniels
Thoughts: The cover’s not interesting, but the fact that it’s by Diana Peterfreund is. Did not call her for someone to jump on the new adult bandwagon. I’m a little concerned about how the title/tagline suggest it plays into the myth that you should remain virginal until you meet “the one” but maybe the plot’s different. >_>

22. Starbreak (Starglass #2) – Phoebe North
Starbreak (Starglass #2) - Phoebe North
Thoughts: Definitely prefer this one to the Starglass cover, though she really doesn’t look dressed for hiking to me. Then again, hiking might not really be a popular activity on a spaceship.

23. Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Thoughts: It’s not often that I prefer the novella cover to the actual book’s cover, but…no. I just do not see the appeal of the clothes on a blacked out person. Also, white shoes, which is interesting.

Cover Battles:

1. Rootless (Rootless #1) – Chris Howard

Rootless US
Rootless - Mexican
Rootless - Hungarian
Der Eiserne Wald - Chris Howard

US vs. Mexican vs. Hungarian vs. German: Chris Howard is a lucky guy. All of his covers are so interesting, though the US is losing by a long shot imo. The German cover is such a stereotype of Germany that I am dying.

2. Secret (Elemental #4) – Brigid Kemmerer

Secret - Brigid Kemmerer

US vs. Australian: Do I have a “none of the above” option? If not, US. I’m sorry Australia, but her hair and his neck are forming a whirlpool, and I really don’t know what to do with that. Also, tagline, if “nowhere is safe,” it’s redundant to specify that other locations are unsafe; that’s been covered already.

3. The King of Threadneedle Street – Moriah Densley

The King of Threadneedle Street - Moriah Densley
The King of Threadneedle Street

Original vs. Redesign: Could any street sound less kingly than Threadneedle Street? Does he rule over tailors or something? At any rate, it appears that the only thing Money can’t buy Lord Preston is a good cover, though not for want of trying.

WTF of the Week:

WTF of the Week began as a special category for one cover I saw, but was so popular it became a recurring feature. Here, I highlight covers, both new and old, that I’ve found, which, upon viewing, made me either snort or say something along the lines of “Dear God, what is that thing?” If you would like to be part of the fun and have spotted a truly hilarious or horrifying cover, submit it and your snark to and you might be included, though I will filter through submissions and limit the number of entries per week.

1. Finding Faith (Blow Hole Boys #2) – Tabatha Vargo
Finding Faith (Blow Hole Boys #2) - Tabatha Vargo
Thoughts: Any sexy this cover has is lost the moment you start contemplating which part of a guy is the “blow hole.”

2. Experimenting with Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid – Shaun Gallagher
Experimenting with Babies -Shaun Gallagher
Thoughts: I get that this is tongue in cheek, but it definitely results in as many laughs those dead baby jokes did.

3. Can’t Go Home – Angelisa Stone
Can't Go Home - Angelisa Stone
Thoughts: Abducted by a serial rapist and trapped on a neverending carousel ride. Or, at least, that’s what I’m getting from the cover.

4. After the Kiss (Blood and Snow Season 2 #1) – RaShelle Workman
After the Kiss (Blood and Snow 2) - RaShelle Workman
Thoughts: #AwkwardFamilyPhotos

5. Playful Punishments – John Satisfy
Playful Punishments - John Satisfy
Thoughts: Nothing says “playful” like fireworks set off all over your body. Erotica author names crack me up by the way, though I totally would have gone for Shirley Satisfy, rather than John.

Outstanding Cover of the Week:

Starbreak by Phoebe North

The Outstanding Cover of the Week is chosen by a Cover Snark reader. They are free to pick any of the week’s covers, whether they’re to my personal tastes or not. If you’d like to choose the cover for a week, either email or tweet me. You will need to be available Wednesday evening to consult.

Starbreak (Starglass #2) - Phoebe North

Today, Welcome Shae (Shae Has Left the Room), who has selected Starbreak by Phoebe North. Here’s why:

“To be honest, it was close between this one and DOROTHY MUST DIE, but DMD lost points for the EW watermark. That said, oh my gosh, this cover. I love that it’s more sophisticated that the original, but the girl is still clearly the same. I also love the colors but the win for me is the clear promise of exoplanetary exploration with those Tatooine-esque moons. (Yes, I know Tatooine had multiple suns, not multiple moons.)”

To learn more or purchase: Goodreads|Amazon|TBD

35 responses to “Cover Snark (73): The One with People on Almost Every Cover”

  1. Alessandra says:

    My favourite cover of the week is the Ava Lavender one.

    Regarding Viv Daniels – I stumbled on the cover reveal for her new book and I saw Diana Peterfreund’s picture and I was like, Huh? Why is this lady stealing DP’s photo? Then i thought maybe it was a pen-name, but the bio said Now and Never is her debut book which confused me.
    Alessandra recently posted…Cover Reveal: Isaura by Ruth SilverMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Isn’t that one adorable?

      They do weird stuff like that with pen names. It’s Viv Daniels’ debut novel, but not Diana Peterfreund’s. It’s not even like she’s being secretive about it like Gennifer Albin initially was with her new adult title.

  2. KT Grant says:

    Who thought it was a good idea to name their series, “Blow Hole”? I have visions of man ho whale slut Moby Dick seducing girl whales.

    • Christina Franke says:

      I HAVE NO IDEA. My first though on blow hole is definitely whales. I’m sure a Moby Dick series will be forthcoming soon. *insert George Takei saying OH MY here*

  3. Kayla Beck says:

    2. I thought only Jesus walked on water.

    3. He reminds me of Billy Zane, and I approve.

    4. I don’t like these new Rachel Morgan covers. Maybe that’s why I stopped reading the books? (Nah, no time.)

    8. This reminds me of the new Starglass cover.

    10. I like it, and I actually want to read this one.

    11. Time to flush.

    13. She’s a ginger, so she has no soul. I’m pretty sure she’s badass.

    14. She has strange proportions.

    16. I’ll confess – I’ve been buying this series for the pretty dresses on the covers. *hangs head*

    20. At least she’s not just wearing jeans, which is to be expected on these covers anymore.

    22. I don’t like the colors, and it’s a little boring. The extra two moons makes the cover mediocre, where it would’ve been forgettable before.

    23. I like it.

    CB1. I love the Mexican cover! Did Guillermo del Toro design it. (I’m putting money down that someone associated with him did that.)

    WTF4. The baby is a demon spawn like mine!

    WTF5. At least one isn’t coming out of her ass.
    Kayla Beck recently posted…Blog Tour (Review): Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia YuMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      2. Bahaha, I assumed they were on a sandbar or something, but that is hilarious.

      3. Oooh, i see it. You’re on fire today.

      4. Oh, this is THAT series. She used to be super gingery. Weird.

      8. Sure is similar. Which I would have remarked on if I had scrolled lower on the Starbreak reveal. OOPS. It was similar enough I didn’t realize it was a redesign.

      10. That one showed up at my house yesterday. Weeeee.

      11. :-p

      14. Her shoulders are definitely the largest part of her body. And women don’t usually walk like they’re about to do a linebacker charge into someone.

      16. You may have the worst book buying problem in the book blogging community.

      20. The bra is a surprise.

      1. I have no idea, and I don’t speak Spanish, so I don’t think I could find out. It’s my favorite one as well.

      5. I expected that as well.

      • Kayla Beck says:

        2. This book is aimed at the Christian community, yes?

        3. I think I may have to watch Titanic or Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight very soon. I just think he’s so delicious.

        4. I can’t even remember if it’s this series or another that magic folks are gingers. *ponders*

        8. I actually don’t hate the redesign, but DAMNIT I HAVE THE OLD HARDBACK!

        10. You are so lucky. I should be a better blogger about such things so I get physical ARCs once in a while.

        16. I’m actually doing a lot better. I’ve bought less than five this month. Mister has been raising his eyebrows because our new place is pretty small. I’ll start back up again once we get the house. I’m sure that my lack of self-control being curbed will probably show up as a loss this quarter for the book world.

        20. Indeed.

        1. I read it well enough that I can find out. Maybe if they keep pissing me off at work today I’ll spend my time researching Mexican cover artists.

        5. I’m honestly a little disappointed. They could’ve made it a cult hit.
        Kayla Beck recently posted…Blog Tour (Excerpt): DeMarco’s Café by Julie Tetel AndresenMy Profile

  4. You little comments crack me up, thanks for the giggles, and cover whore fix while enjoying my first cup of coffee this morning!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…The Sapphire Storm by Amy LignorMy Profile

  5. Meg says:

    The Strange and Beautiful Sorrow of Ava Lavender is amazing. I love typography covers and feathers, so really this is a win all around for me.

    Also, the BLOW HOLE BOYS?! Seriously? Who thought that was a good idea? And for real, which part is the blow hole? Inquiring minds demand to know.
    Meg recently posted…Review: Shadows by Robin McKinleyMy Profile

  6. Katie says:

    The WTF covers this week are priceless. I totally LOL’ed. Also, I’m loving that ROYALLY LOST cover. How cute! Also, I am in need of that book. It sounds awesome!
    Katie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Best SequelsMy Profile

  7. Gillian says:

    2. On the plus side, they are clearly Jesus’ children. “KIDS! HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU NOT TO WALK ON WATER WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON!”


    4. Blue balls



    15. HAHA! He’s totally Steeling some Blue.

    17. I really HATE this cover. I’m not interested in it at all.

    19. “Come on, let’s get some wind… Just a tiny breeze… one small blustery moment… keep coming…”

    22. OOH! I Liiiike!

    23. I like this. Not as much as the awesome novella cover, which is AWESOME, but still.

    CB1. I’d go with “Mexica” (My people are weeping over this typo :D)


    WTF1. Also, what exactly is this “faith” he is searching for? EWWW

    WTF2. WTF.
    Gillian recently posted…Keep Romance in Oven Until Fully Baked: Or, Why I Love Slow Burn RomanceMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      2. WE ONLY WALK ON WATER NAKED IN THIS FAMILY. That could make an eye-rending awkward family photo.

      6. Every value I’ve ever held is being questioned, and I’m loving it.

      23. I really don’t care for this one, but I seem to be alone in that.

      1. DAMN IT. *fixes* TYPO, WHAT TYPO? How dare you accuse me of such false things. *harrumphs*

      1. I’m guessing Faith resides in Victoria’s secret blow hole.

  8. 1. He looks less wounded and more like he’s on an acid trip. “Duuuuuuude… I’m just, like, in a box and all these people are looking at me. That’s life.”

    3. I want to put that lightbulb in my lamp, please. Where can I buy a few?

    7. Agreed! It’s so adorable and I would totally be interested in that book.

    8. Agreed on all points! I do wonder why she’s in that outfit, though.

    11. I will dislike this cover unless the promo materials for it include chocolate bars. If they want to make it look like chocolate, chocolate will happen! Also, I hate the stupid sticker about Beautiful Creatures.

    16. That dress looks so good on her! I wish it would on me, but I’m too short and curvy (other curvy; I have plenty of boob curvy). DAMN YOU, GENETICS.

    22. Agreed! I really like it and the redesign.

    23. This is kind of like the Snap Decision covers. Blaaaah.

    WTF4. This cover design is so terrible I think I might have died a little inside. I could have done better Photoshop than that and I haven’t fiddled with the program in two years!
    Ashleigh Paige recently posted…Blog Tour Stop! Review, Top 5, and Giveaway: No Angel by Helen KeebleMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      1. Oh, yeah, I can see that. Whoaaaaa, far out light maaaaan.

      3. It’s so adorable and evil.

      8. That outfit is so awful. And to put a teen in. I’m just not sure how I feel about that.

      11. I would like any book better that came with chocolate, but that only happened once, and I haven’t read the book yet. But The Peculiar may get a bonus .5 when I do finally read it.

      16. Whereas I really don’t have large enough boobs for it. At first I just wrote “enough boobs” but then I realized that made it sound like I had less than two. X_X

      23. HAHAHAHAHA, maybe that’s why I don’t like it.

      4. You tell ’em.

  9. Jenni says:

    The Strange and blah blah blah the really long title one with the feather is so pretty! ME WANT! What I took from this post is that I really need to get around to reading that first Huntley Fitzpatrick book, I have had it on my Kindle forever! Also, love the way the snark banner looks on the new blog!
    Jenni recently posted…Fault Line ReviewMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I just got that one yesterday. Yay for unsolicited pretty books.

      I need to read the Fitzpatrick book too. I even have it now. It’s in Sadie Hawkins, but I need to choose it! You love the way everything looks on WP.

  10. Kathy L. says:

    1. What is up with his hair? I have never seen a guy walking around with hair like that! Is it supposed to be hot or something?
    4. Boob sweat. Hahahahahaaaaaa
    11. I really like what they did with the font.
    13. I can’t get over how uncomfortable those pants must be!
    14. That caduceus symbol on the road is weird.
    19. Is she not wearing shoes? Who walks through a field barefoot? There could be snakes and all kinds of bugs in that grass!
    21. Diana Peterfreund!!! But it says Viv Daniels?!?!
    23. I actually really like this.
    CB1. I love the Hungarian one.
    CB2. I would go with the Australian one cause the US people look so photo shopped.
    WTFs Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *dies of laughter*

    • Christina Franke says:

      1. It is very “my mom styled my hair for church”

      13. This is all I think when I see leather pants. Well, that and the Friends episode.

      19. I’ve walked through grass barefoot, but not random fields. Maybe she and the field are well-acquainted.

      21. Pseudonym, bc you can’t have your new adult bandwagon book under your actual fancy author name.

      • Kathy L. says:

        1. Is that why he’s laying on the floor looking sad? His mom used spit as hair gel in front of his friends and he can’t face them.
        13. PASTE PANTS! Lol I would say that’s the funniest episode but every episode was the funniest.
        21. I will never get the Pseudonym thing.

  11. 1. I’m not always opposed to lens flare, but this does not work for me at all.

    2. Not nearly as cute as My Life Next Door, but I like that the font looks the same.

    3. This would be a billion times better without the person in it.

    5. Is this about an electric mermaid, the electric eel’s cousin?

    7. Super cute! Also it looks like it would be tons of fun to read this.

    10. I do find this boring and I wouldn’t even give this a second glance as I walked by.

    12. Loved Pleasantville.

    14. Totally thought that was the health or doctor or hospital thingamabob. You know what I’m talking about right?

    21. This is by Diana P? She was at a signing I went to up in DC and she had some definite opinions about NA so I’m definitely curious about this! She had already written a few books in a series I think that takes place at a college back before NA was NA.

    WTF 1. Can’t. Stop. Laughing.

    WTF 4. This would make a fabulous Christmas card photo!
    Kimberly @ On The Wings of Books recently posted…Review * Through the Ever Night by Veronica RossiMy Profile

  12. 1. Really? You think the sweater is ugly? It looks like the type of sweater I’d love to wear: the wool, super comfortable type.

    2. I don’t really understand this cover. Why she’s holding shoes and he’s not; why she’s wearing some kind of flowing thing over her bikini and he’s still in his clothes; why it’s like they’re walking on water like Jesus. But I do really love the title font.

    3. I’m surprised that you like this one! (Although, okay, does his eye look kind of strange to you?)

    5. I agree: it looks really realistic, but the background doesn’t :/ and the title. I love the elements individually but together not as much.

    7. ME TOO. ME TOO.

    8. Yeah, the dominatrix space suit seems to be something they always do for science fiction novels. But I really love this one. I am also a tad freaked out by the dome looking like an eye.

    9. I didn’t notice SLUT until now. Really don’t like that. The photo treatment was really nice though o.O.

    11. I love the dramatic font of these new covers. It’s different from the usual science fiction, though I do agree with you about the brown…

    16. Dress twinsies. WHO CARES ABOUT THE HIGHLIGHTER YELLOW. We’ll rock it! The volcano explosion reminds me of a tweet of yours I favorited that said something about their vaginas constantly being like Old Faithful lol.

    21. WHAT. This is by Diana Peterfruend???? Woah. Did not think she would join NA either o.O. But I didn’t predict that of Veronica Rossi either, and hey.

    22. I LOVE THIS. I admit to not always liking S&S covers, but this one is GORGEOUS.

    23. The shoes don’t match the dress in terms of size o.O.

    WTF2: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA omg but that’s also so adorable.

    Seriously, could you tell me where you find these covers? I generally think I’ve got a good grasp on cover reveals until I come to CS o.O.
    Christina @ Christina Reads YA recently posted…Christina Makes the Bookish Rounds 14My Profile

  13. Oh my god. I am DYING. And I’m at work…uh oh. This feature is hilarious. You are totally my new favorite blogger.

  14. I’m really loving the WTF’s of the week. This weeks it’s Blow Hole Boys and John (Shirley) Satisfy. Cracks me up every time. Also, After the Kiss cover made me think of Twilight. I can just imagine Bella and Edward’s first family christmas pictures 🙂

    TheSirenicCodex recently posted…Review: Crown of MidnightMy Profile

  15. 7. Love this cover!! I love covers that have a travel aspect to them. Complete win!

    10. Agree that this one is fab too. I looked it up to request but I didn’t think I would like it. BOO.

    11. Looks like Angkor Wat again.

    19. So right! Bahahaha!

    23. I am wary. I want to read this so bad but I am pretty much a Oz fangirl.

    WTF4: Awww holy shit that is creepy!
    Kara @ Great Imaginations recently posted…Book Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn AndersonMy Profile

  16. Lyn Kaye says:

    Man, this one was a hard one, because (and this is going to sound so elitist of me) I just strongly dislike book covers that look like a photograph of real people. I have no idea why i am turned off of this style of book cover (such as #4 and #13), but I openly dodge those books.

    I am digging the new Zeen Scarlett cover – I didn’t even catch the style of the suit until you pointed it out! I was too busy going nuts over the spaceship scenery!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #60My Profile

  17. Hi there!

    To answer the question of “jumping on the new adult bandwagon” I have to admit I’m a little surprised by that characterization. My first four books are all set in college. I have been publishing “new adult” novels since 2006, long before I ever wrote YA. In fact, the only reason I stopped is the same reason NA was an entirely self-published phenomenon: publishers wouldn’t publish books set in college.

    I got letters a couple times a month for YEARS from frustrated writers who were getting “your book is great but we won’t publish books set in college” rejections from publishers wanting to know “how I did it.” All while my editor kept turning down proposals for more books set in college, so, you know, I felt their pain. I would also get tons of letters from fans of my series who wanted to know if there were any other books out there like mine, and the only thing I could ever point them to was E Lockhart’s Frankie book, which fulfilled all the fun secret society prank part of my series, but none of the college shenanigans.

    I’m *thrilled* that people are finally reading books set in college again, and I can return to that setting I love so much.

    As to the second question, about my pen name. I talk about this on my website (both Viv Daniels and Diana Peterfreund). The reason I chose a pen name for this series is because they are romance novels and romance novel readers expect a particular kind of story, and a name that indicates that story (some romance novelists have to take one name for Victorian set romance novels and one for Scottish medieval historical romance novels). The name is a brand.

    I didn’t want romance novel readers when reading my other books, that are NOT romance novels, *expecting* them to be romance novels. As I know from my decade-plus of involvement with RWA and the romance industry, its readership is overwhelmingly made up of folks who ONLY read romance novels and have very VERY specific requirements from those reads (like one couple’s story per book and always an HEA for them by the end), and get very very angry when those requirements are not met.

    I know it sounds silly, but the fact is that you can’t expect readers to necessarily know all the information about a book or an author when you see a book (like sometimes she writes romance and sometimes she doesn’t, or, for example, sometimes she published 4 NA books before you ever heard of her). The readers who are most likely to get angry at the fact that my other books are not romances are also, conveniently, the readers who are most likely NOT to know my other name or be interested in reading those other books. So it all works out!

    I’d be happy to answer any other questions people may have. Thanks!
    Diana Peterfreund/Viv Daniels recently posted…Oh Yeah. New Killer Unicorn Story OutMy Profile

  18. Christina Franke says:

    I am actually aware of your first books, though I’ve not read them. However, I find it interesting that those were published under Diana Peterfreund where this new adult novel is under a pseudonym. I’m sure there’s a logic there for you, just as there must be in the JENNIFER ARMENTROUT (writing as J. Lynn) thing on her new adult covers, but it’s still mysterious.

    I’m curious whether you think that embargo against books set in college is not ending. My impression would be that it is coming to a close, particularly sense so many of these college-set romance novels have been huge hits. Though less overtly popular, Daria Snadowsky’s Anatomy of Boyfriend/Single Girl, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, and Gayle Forman’s Just One Day have all been set in college in a less romantic way, and quite effectively.

    I’m sorry if the comment offended. It certainly wasn’t my best snark, but it’s largely due to how repetitive the NA covers are, leaving me with little to observe, since you can only comment on white people kissing so many times. Were it not by you, an author whose books I’ve really enjoyed, I wouldn’t have put it in the post at all, but I wanted to help support you by getting the book out there to a few more readers, not that I’m sure you need my modest viewership. It’s funny that you comment now, because I almost took this cover out for reasons that aren’t so much to do with you.

    So far as the bandwagon goes, I honestly can’t know when an author gets an idea or what motivates them, but certain things are going to look a particular way to readers. It doesn’t mean you need to change what you’re doing. I’ve seen a slew of authors go from romance to YA, as that surged in popularity, and then announce a new adult title, as that became the new thing. Similarly, genre hopping from the current fad to the next. Sometimes it may be incidental, but some authors are following the money. I’m not saying you specifically have done this intentionally or even that anyone has, though I suspect many do. However, as a reader, we’re a bit distanced and can only make judgments off the information we have available. Could I have read your blog post about it? Sure, but I don’t read every blurb or author blog for every cover, because this feature takes long enough to put together as it is. Does that mean the posts are somewhat imperfect? Yeah. But this is my hobby, and, if I suck the fun out of it, I’ve defeated the purpose.

    Besides, much of what I say in here isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of my personal opinion. It’s an exaggeration for humorous effect.

    • Oh, Christina, I’m not offended! I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. I’m just here to offer clarification because it seemed as if some of your posters were a bit confused. I would not be surprised if you or they were not aware of my first four books because I regularly see comments from newer readers calling them “books about prep school girls” and I think the assumption, generally (partially because of those awful covers with the sweaters–seriously, snark away. I’ve begged them to change those monstrosities for years) is that I’m a YA author and so a book I wrote must be about high schoolers.

      You’re right, a reader cannot be expected to go down a rabbit hole with every book or author, which is why I wanted to offer my perspective and why, ironically, I chose the pen name to begin with. It makes it much easier to tell what this book is versus my other books. It was not a decision undertaken lightly; it was made after months-long conversations with romance writer friends of mine who are much more well-versed in the mores of that industry. There are many romance authors who use different names for different genres. Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant. There are many others (Sophie Jordan comes to mind) who do not. I weighed all the pros and cons (specifically, the con that I already had four new adult novels out) but could not overlook the fact that romance readers have an expectation that my other books do not fulfill.

      I appreciate your showing off my book cover and I hope your readers (skeptical of my pen name or not) check out the book. I know what you mean about them all looking the same but I think it’s that “at a glance” genre thing. Kind of like how almost all western wedding dresses are white poofs but inside that there’s a gazillion different variations. I wanted my own, personal white poof. 🙂
      Diana Peterfreund/Viv Daniels recently posted…Oh Yeah. New Killer Unicorn Story OutMy Profile

  19. As to: “is college coming back” I really hope so. Back when I was publishing SSG, there were a few college set YA books out (Serena Robar had one, as did Rosemary Clement Moore and Scott Westerfeld (PEEPS), but then they kind of vanished for a while.
    Diana Peterfreund/Viv Daniels recently posted…Oh Yeah. New Killer Unicorn Story OutMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      The covers for your first series are unfortunate. I looked at them on Amazon many times, contemplating a purchase, but then would get wooed by some other shiny cover. Probably should have purchased them instead of Divergent, which I ended up not liking. Oh well. I’m trying to be better about not buying/reading books that I wasn’t interested in solely because of the cover, but the shininess is so hard to resist. The Secret Society Girl covers remind me a good deal of Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, so I’m not surprised people get confused. Prep meets The Clique or something.

      Hmmm, I always forget Mira Grant is a pen name. That’s a puzzling one too. I understand pen names for the most part, but if they share genres with the author’s other work, like yours, or if the author’s other name is ON THE COVER like Armentrout’s, as a reader, it’s confusing. Romance certainly does have particular expectations. I was complaining to a friend about the final Little Lady Agency book, which while good, is hugely obnoxious for a romance, because the love interest from the first two books is suddenly a big asshole and the best friend, with whom she didn’t really have chemistry, is the love interest. If I’d read it without having read the first two, it would have been fine, but, having put that time in, she broke my expectations. In a YA contemporary, I would love to see more relationships changing like that, but it didn’t fit in the genre.

      Like The One. I would wear that white poof. At least the folks in your cover are wearing clothes. That’s slightly more rare. 😉

      It certainly would be nice to read more books in a college/post high school/immediately post-college setting. Part of why I love YA so much is that I identify more with those characters than I do with most of the leads in adult fiction, who tend to be married with kids, desperate to be married with kids, having an affair, or divorced. None of these are remotely like my life, which is still in the learning how to be a proper grown-up phase. There’s a reason Fangirl gave me more of an emotional response than any book this year. Just One Day was pretty powerful as well. Of course, they’re both brilliant authors, but they also tackled something that’s so much more what my life has been in such an honest way.

  20. I have to read Fangirl. I loved Eleanor and Park. I think the cover thing is a tough balance to strike. I like the second two better than the first two, but I would have preferred something more Frankie Landau-Banks-esque. Oh well. Maybe one day I’ll talk them into it.
    Diana Peterfreund/Viv Daniels recently posted…Oh Yeah. New Killer Unicorn Story OutMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I imagine if the “new adult” trend diversifies rather than burning out or getting subsumed back into romance, which has been doing this sort of thing for quite a while anyway, publishers will be looking for old books to repackage, and yours would be a good option for rebranding. Of course, my opinion is next to worthless, but here’s hoping.

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