Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cover Clichés: The Regal Royal Ruffle (Closed Collar)

Sometimes, while browsing the virtual shelves on Amazon and Goodreads, I see an image that gives me an oddly disconcerting sense of deja vu. I could swear I've never read the book, but I know I've seen the jacket image somewhere before.

This phenomenon is what inspired Cover Clichés. Images are often recycled because cover artists are often forced to work from a limited pool of stock images and copyright free material. That said, I find comparing their finished designs quite interesting.  

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Archbishop Franz Schiller Windsor wasn't actually archbishop yet and may never be. His father still held onto that title. He also wasn't German, at least not by birth, probably not by blood either. His mother had had a penchant for foreign names, as Franz's elder brother, Vladmimir, and younger sister, Julieta, evidenced. And, despite the layers of foppish adornment and the amount of authority he held in the house, he was merely sixteen. An age at which most young “men” around him were already getting married, whilst he was still getting over his “zooks, girls are a bother” years. But, like so many other noble fathers of sons his age, he was being found a wife. And, as he had not inherited, as he put it, “my brother's unfortunate countenance”, he was on his way to being the more successful son, possibly upgraded to the heir. This is an adult, graphic erotic romance short story containing explicit content only suitable for adults.




It’s midwinter in 1539, and former nun, Catherine Havens Overton, has just given birth to her second child, a daughter. The convent in which she was raised is now part of her husband's lands, lands that once belonged to Catherine's family. With a son, Robert, and her new daughter, Veronica, her life as the mistress of a great household should be complete. But Henry VIII’s England has not been kind to many of the evicted members of religious houses. And in order to protect her old companions from the hostilities, Catherine has gathered about her a group of former nuns in hopes of providing them a chance to serve in the village of Havenston, her City of Ladies. Catherine’s past haunts her. Her husband begins to suspect that Robert is not his child. Then the women of Overton House begin to disappear and one of them is found brutally murdered nearby. Seizing the moment, under the pretense of ensuring her safety, William forces Catherine to enter service at Hatfield House where the young Elizabeth Tudor lives. Reluctantly, Catherine obeys, only to find herself serving not only the Protestant Elizabeth but also the shamed Catholic Mary Tudor. As the murders in Yorkshire continue to mount and her loyalty to the Tudor sisters grows more complicated, Catherine must uncover the secret of the killer and save her City of Ladies.




She was taught to obey. Now she has learned to rebel. 12 year old Isabella, a French princess marries the King of England - only to discover he has a terrible secret. Ten long years later she is in utter despair - does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death - or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself? Isabella is just twelve years old when she marries Edward II of England. For the young princess it is love at first sight - but Edward has a terrible secret that threatens to tear their marriage - and England apart. Who is Piers Gaveston - and why is his presence in the king’s court about to plunge England into civil war? The young queen believes in the love songs of the troubadours and her own exalted destiny - but she finds reality very different. As she grows to a woman in the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court, she must decide between her husband, her children, even her life - and one breath-taking gamble that will change the course of history. This is the story of Isabella, the only woman ever to invade England - and win. In the tradition of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick, ISABELLA is thoroughly researched and fast paced, the little known story of the one invasion the English never talk about.






The enduring mystery of what happened to the first English colony in the New World... In 1587, a group of would-be colonists set sail from England and later landed on Roanoke Island, now part of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Their ship returned to England and the settlers were never heard from again. This is the story, based on legendary and historical information, of what might have happened to them. Jocelyn White, a newlywed married to Thomas Coleman, is reluctant to leave her home in England for the wild shores of the New World. The journey is fraught with danger, but her dependence on God and God's providence carry her safely through.





Diamonds, doublets and double-crosses; stately dances; religious intrigue; one deflowered maiden and a Virgin Queen--LADY IN WAITING has it all.

Commanded by her grandfather to snare a wealthy husband, Anne Blanchemain enters the lavish court of Queen Elizabeth. But the beautiful, headstrong Anne is a lamb among wolves, easy prey to treachery and an aging queen's jealousy. She never suspects that handsome courtier Chirstopher Hollier has been sent to ruin her.

Christopher Hollier is the only man in Elizabeth's court uninterested in making a rich marriage--for himself. All that matters to Christopher is reclaiming the title Lord Graistan for his brother. If doing that requires him to destroy Anne, so be it... even if her destruction costs him his life.

But a tide of betrayal sweeps Anne and Christopher into a dangerous dance of plots to defy crown and country that could ultimately cost them their lives, and their love.




She was the only surviving daughter of Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII…

Born to a king desperate for a son, Mary is forced to watch as her father sets his quest for a male heir in motion. Queen after queen will come and go. Paths will collide, lives will be gambled and the great game for the throne played, lost and won.

It was her destiny to rule…

Branded a bastard and plagued by ill health, Mary clings to her Faith until the untimely death of her young brother, Edward VI, propels her to Queenship. But for her, wearing the crown will prove to be the deadliest task of all…

Told from varying perspectives, Tudor Queen, Tudor Crown, is the tale of Mary I, her times and her tribulations. This title is for mature audiences. Contains adult themes and violence.






Marguerite de Valois, the most beautiful woman in the French Court, is the subject of great intrigue. She loves Henri of Guise, but is married off to Henry of Navarre, which – her mother hopes – will bring peace to the realm. But, within days, the streets of Paris are awash with blood, and Marguerite and her new husband are held hostage by her own family. Can they ever hope to escape alive? In a court rife with murder, jealousy and the hunger for power, it will not be an easy task.






Widow Ursula Blanchard is urged to remarry for the sake of Queen and Country in this latest enthralling historical adventure

January, 1576. After three husbands, widow Ursula Blanchard has no desire to marry again. However, she is not in a position to refuse when Sir Francis Walsingham decides she must wed Count Gilbert Renard, the illegitimate son of King Henri II, in order to build a strategic alliance with the French.

When the Count arrives at her country home to pay court, Ursula’s misgivings grow stronger. Then one of her household staff is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. An accident – or something more sinister?

The disturbing chain of events that follows sees Ursula heading on a perilous journey in a race against time to prevent a national catastrophe. En route she will encounter danger, hardship, conspiracy – and murder.





Is Queen Elizabeth I too wily or too afraid to marry? Or is there a spoiler -- Lettice Devereaux -- in the royal romances? The marriage between this beautiful and tempestuous widow and Elizabeth's longtime favorite, the Earl of Leicester, can't have endeared Lettice to the queen.

Some years later, on Leicester's death, another courtier wins the queen's heart -- only to break it by secretly marrying someone else and then by plotting against the Crown. This soldier-poet, the Earl of Essex, is the son of Lettice and her first husband, Walter Devereaux.




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Which cover strikes your fancy and why? What colors draw your eye? Do you think the image appropriate next to the jacket description? Leave your comments below!

Have you seen this image elsewhere? Shoot me an email or leave a comment and let me know. 


3 comments:

Olga Godim said...

A fantastic selection. So much variety. I wonder: are all of them done by the same cover artist?

Erin Davies said...

You know I'm not sure. Most books don't include too much on the cover artists and it's hard to tell who actually put together the design.

Courtney J. Hall said...

The stock photo of the woman is actually available on Shutterstock. I'm using it for my next historical novel, except I'm using just her face, and only half of it.

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