Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cover Cliché: The Gatekeeper

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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Although her home state of Maryland hasn’t sworn allegiance to either Union or Confederacy, twenty-two-year-old Elizabeth Archer’s life is shattered. Her father has fled North, abandoning the household. The man she loved—and who married her sister instead— is killed in battle. Elizabeth’s life of parties and societal obligations dwindles down to isolation and too many empty hours; hours to mourn the man who gave her up to chase an inheritance.

She meets Confederate general Jeb Stuart by chance and, in an instant, she’s the center of his attention.

As commander of the Army of Northern Virginia’s cavalry division, General Stuart doesn’t ask, he orders. The attraction seems mutual and, flattered by his affection, Elizabeth agrees to spy for the Confederacy. She’s Stuart’s La Belle Rebelle, the Beautiful Rebel; the siren of the south. She’s notorious in the Union and lauded in the Confederacy. And she’s falling in love with him.

Notoriety, however, is a spy’s worst enemy. Now pursued by a Federal officer tasked to stop her at any cost, Elizabeth faces the sentence of hanging if she’s convicted of treason against the Union. Devoted to a cause she doesn’t believe in and with Federal blood on her hands, Elizabeth must save herself—or die a traitor.

Time is running out. And no one, not even La Belle Rebelle, can outrun the war.







Penelope Fairweather from rural Finnshire arrives in London with a hopeful heart. The dowager invites her for a season to catch a husband. Unfortunately Penelope's rustic finesse is as delicate as a fat bear ripping apart a honeycomb infested with buzzing bees. Fake mustaches, highwaymen, pickpockets, and a devilishly handsome duke follow.







It's 1836, and nineteen-year-old Fanny Appleton, a privileged daughter of a wealthy, upper-class Boston industrialist, is touring Europe with her family. Like many girls of her day, she enjoys the fine clothes, food, and company of the elite social circles. But unlike her peers, Fanny is also drawn to education, literature, and more intellectual pursuits.

Published author and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is also touring Europe, but under much different circumstances. Widowed while on tour, he has stayed in order to gather credentials that he hopes will secure his professorship at Harvard College. When Henry meets Fanny, he sees in her a kindred spirit, a lover of language and literature and high ideals. He is in love. Fanny, however, is uncertain. He is ten years older than she is, and from a much lower social class. How could such a relationship ever thrive

Could a book of Henry’s poetry, personally delivered, persuade Fanny to believe in a love that lasts forever and forever?




London 1868 – The newspapers call him The Surgeon, a killer targeting pauper children in Limehouse district leaving their bodies discarded in death as they were in life. Discouraged by the lack of physical clues Dr. Peter Ainsley joins Scotland Yard's Inspector Simms as he scours the city to learn where the children came from and how they fell into the clutches of one of London's worst criminal minds.

When clues emerge connecting the children to a foundling school, the matron's son, Elliot Holliwell falls under suspicion but without enough evidence Simms and Ainsley are forced to monitor him from a distance.

Frustration mounting, Ainsley throws himself into his work apprenticing an orphaned boy in the trade of morgue porter but when the adolescent fails to report to work one day Ainsley can no longer hold back and decides to approach his number one suspect with or without Scotland Yard's blessing. Nothing during his medical training could have prepared him for what he finds and when Ainsley finally catches up with the child killer neither of them will ever be the same.






Kit finds himself on a hunt for a beautiful kidnapped young lady...and it takes him into the jaws of hell. He'll rescue her, or die trying. The legendary Christopher ""Kit"" Carson, a skilled marksman, trapper, and hunter, finds himself involved in a manhunt when the beautiful daughter of a Missouri colonel is kidnapped, and he becomes determined to find her at any cost. Don't miss this great action adventure by America's finest, Douglas Hirt.






Set during the American Civil War, BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD combines a sweet old-fashioned love story with a compassionate look at the people affected by the struggle for equality. Hannah Carter never expected to find love, especially during a time of war. By the spring of 1864, the conflict between North and South has raged on for years and still shows no sign of resolution. On her small farm in West Virginia, the young widow and her household have managed to remain untouched until a mysterious green-eyed soldier shows up, wounded and in desperate need of medical attention. Never able to turn away someone in need, Hannah risks everything to take in the stranger and tend to his injuries. Beau develops tender feelings toward Hannah, and she is equally smitten, but circumstances conspire to hinder their happiness. Beau is a Confederate soldier wanted for the murder of one of his own, and Hannah's farm is a rest stop for fugitive slaves en route to freedom in the North. Will justice catch up with Beau and force him to pay for his crimes? Will he discover Hannah's secret humanitarian efforts and betray her to the authorities? Or will they find a way to overcome their differences-to make peace, to live, and to love?




Ella Wainsworth has been in love with her neighbor, Calvert Newlin, ever since she was old enough to understand what the word meant, maybe before. She’s already suffered the heart ache of watching him marry another and learned to be her friend despite the pain. Now she is watching Calvert bury his wife and struggle to raise his daughter alone. Ella thought she had set aside the crush but finds it has returned full force as she watches him attempt to pick up the pieces. She’s too young for him, she knows that, but that doesn’t stop her heart from longing. When he begins to show interest in her vain, shallow sister it is almost more than she can take. After her outburst and harsh words at a neighborhood bar-be-cue and his abrupt departure from town, Ella too flees off to finishing school certain she has ruined her friendship with the only man she can ever imagine loving. When she returns nearly three years later it isn’t as a young girl anymore but as a woman who still has strong feelings for Calvert. With his arrival back in town nearly on her heels, does she finally have a chance after all?




Betrayed by those she trusted, penniless and alone, Darcie Finch is forced to accept a position that no one else dares, as assistant to dangerously attractive Dr. Damien Cole. Ignoring the whispered warnings and rumours that he's a man to fear, she takes her position at his eerie estate, where she quickly discovers that nothing is at it seems, least of all her handsome and brooding employer. As Darcie struggles with her fierce attraction to Damien, she must also deal with the blood, the disappearances ... and the murders.

With her options dwindling and time running out, Darcie must rely on her instincts as she confronts the man she falling in love with. Is he an innocent and misunderstood man ... or a remorseless killer who prowls the East End streets?




Just follow your heart, and everything will turn out the way it is supposed to…

This is the way Jane Addison has always lived her life, but it doesn’t seem like anything ever turns out according to what her heart truly desires. This is especially true when her husband is gunned down by Confederate soldiers on their eighth wedding anniversary.

Then, when she meets and falls in love with her late husband’s married best friend, things really get confusing for the young widow.

Will she and Cole follow their hearts and give up their homes, their lives, and everything they believe in? Or will they deny their feelings to protect their families? Which will they choose at the SUN’S PARTING RAY?




October, 1866

Mary Catherine is devastated when her family emigrates from Georgia to Brazil because her father and maternal uncle refuse to accept the terms of Reconstruction following the Confederacy’s defeat. Shortly after arrival in their new country, she is orphaned, leaving her in Uncle Nathan’s care. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his sister’s death. She despises him because she believes Nathan murdered her father. When Mary Catherine discovers Nathan’s plan to be rid of her as well, she flees into the mountain wilderness filled with jaguars and equally dangerous men.

Finding refuge among kind peasants, she grows into a beauty, ultimately marrying the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. Happiness and security seem assured until civil unrest brings armed marauders who have an inexplicable connection to Mary Catherine. Recreating herself has protected Mary Catherine in the past, but this new crisis will demand all of the courage, intelligence, and creativity she possesses simply to survive.




The sequel to Surrender at Orchard Rest.

After finding herself amidst scandal in Century Grove, Alabama, Somerset Forrest moves into her mother's former home, Somerset Manor. The Civil War has been over for three years, but Somerset finds the war within her family is ongoing. Her father hires her ex-fiancé, Sawyer Russell, as overseer, and as Somerset struggles with having Sawyer in her home, a mysterious stranger arrives, claiming to be family.

At Orchard Rest, Joseph Forrest is battling his inner demons and trying to run the plantation. Just as he and Ivy begin to adjust to their new life together, their marriage is tested in such a way that their love may not endure.

Filled with beloved characters and surprises, this second book in the Orchard Rest series was written especially for all the readers who asked for "more about Somerset".




Desperate to save her family’s land and the only home she’s ever known, Stella Strom convinces herself she can brave the strict confines of social politics and etiquette of the Royal Court long enough to find a wealthy husband.

Raised strong and independent by her widowed father, offering herself to any man of wealth and influence to pay off their overdue taxes goes against every belief she values.

A chance meeting on her journey to the castle changes everything. A moment of passion, a single kiss divides her heart. Forced to choose, can she sacrifice a blossoming love for her family’s survival?


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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. 


2 comments:

Rita @ View From My Books said...

Oh, this is just too funny! Thanks for a chuckle :)

That being said, I appreciate the blurb accompanying each book. Maybe I'll wind up reading one of them because I enjoy HF and that's the genre these fall into.

Erin Davies said...

I'm glad you found something that caught your eye!