Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cover Clichés: The Penitent Hero

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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In the world of Terit’re, where the gods and magic exist, a secretive band of warriors known only as Knight Protectors, are tasked with defending the people of the world against the evil of the dark gods. A new evil arises; the rules have changed. One by one, the warriors are assassinated. Faeder, ruler of the New Gods, learns of a future where they are all wiped from existence by this new dark force – and so his race for Terit’re and all of their futures begins. Forbidden to influence events directly, he reaches out to two warriors to fight his cause. But can they be trusted? One is a former Knight Protector who now hates the organisation that created him. The other is a soldier who fights for this new evil.





Ranulf Ombrier’s fame throughout England for his skill at swordplay is rivaled only by his notoriety as King Edward I’s favorite killer. Ranulf's actions have gained him lands, title, and a lasting reputation as a hired butcher. But after years of doing his king's bidding, he begins to fear for his mortal soul and follows his conscience away from Edward, all the way to the wilds of Wales. Gwenllian of Ruardean, Welsh daughter of a powerful Marcher lord, has every reason to leave Ranulf for dead when one of her men nearly kills him. As a girl she was married by proxy to a man Ranulf murdered, only to become a widow before she ever met her groom. In the years since, she has shunned the life of a lady, instead studying warfare and combat at her mother’s behest. But she has also studied healing and this, with her sense of duty to knightly virtues, leads her to tend to Ranulf’s wounds. Saving her enemy’s life comes with consequences, and Gwenllian and Ranulf are soon caught up in dangerous intrigue. Forced together by political machinations, they discover a kinship of spirit and a surprising, intense desire. But even hard-won love cannot thrive when loyalties are divided and the winds of rebellion sweep the land.




Lady Juliana Verault gladly left England—and its men—far behind in her quest to live as a Beguine. But the Christian community ceases to provide a safe haven when she’s called to travel to Palermo, Italy, where she’s entrusted with a letter from the pope that could radically change the church’s stance on women. Juliana holds the key to upending the power structure throughout Europe, but only if she can dodge her cousin, King Edward I of England, and his plans to marry her off as political leverage. Edward sets Sir Robert Clarwyn, a knight errant and loyal hunter of criminals and traitors, on Juliana’s trail to retrieve her. Robert has never failed to bring home his target before… but then, he has never encountered a quarry like Lady Juliana, who can befuddle and bemuse him with just a smile. If he can’t find a way to compel her to return to England, he’ll lose any chance of regaining his family lands and redeeming his heritage. Yet Juliana must complete her mission or risk endangering her gender’s future in the faith. With danger and intrigue mounting, Robert and Juliana must rely on each other and be willing to risk everything… including their hearts.





Every story has a beginning often driven by Fate. With The McKinnon Legends that beginning starts with Nic McKinnon and his unconventional bride, Morgan Pembridge, Seventh Duchess of Seabridge. Not your typical Knight in Shining Armor - Damsel In Distress story, The Beginning starts the reader on a journey of deep love, treachery, and mystery of the way time and space collide with characters that are believable. Staged initially in the late fifteenth century this love affair sets the foundation for an amazingly strong and solid family legacy spanning centuries in an eight volume series. Join them on their journey of growth and change to ultimately evolve into the McKinnon Legends.





A Mediaeval tale of pride and strife, of coming of age in a world where chivalry is a luxury seldom afforded, especially by men of power. An awkward misfit, loathed by his powerful and autocratic grandmother, nine-year-old Fulke FitzWarin leaves his family to be fostered in the household of Joscelin de Dinan, Lord of Ludlow. Here Fulke will learn knightly arts, but before he can succeed, he must overcome the deep-seated doubts that hold him back. Hawise FitzWarin is Joscelin's youngest daughter and she befriends Fulke. As they grow up, an implacable enemy threatens Ludlow and as the pressure mounts, their friendship changes until one fateful day they find themselves staring at each other across a divide. Not only does Fulke have to overcome the shadows of his childhood, he faces a Welsh threat to his family's lands, and the way he feels about Hawise endangers all his hard won confidence. As the menace to Ludlow intensifies, he must either confront the future head on, or fail on all counts, not knowing if Hawise stands with or against him.





Lady Alice knows she is not the type to entice a man. She's too voluptuous, too intelligent, too strong minded. Why, she even reads! But then Jonathan, Earl of Fairley, arrives at court. Tall, dark and handsome, the knight is any woman's dream. And he has just been ordered by the king to find a bride… and Alice is to help him! Jonathan has been evading his mother's matchmaking schemes for years, so why does she insist that Lady Alice isn't for him? Alice is only to aid in his search for a bride, yet Jonathan can't help but be distracted by her glorious hair—the color of a sunset—and a figure that is like a lush berry about to burst to full ripeness… Has Jonathan fallen prey to love?





Carnegie Medal finalist and winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize: Beware of shaking hands with a Sterkarm . . .

The sixteenth-century Sterkarms are tough, determined, and brave. They are also vicious, violent, and dirty, and spend most of their time warring with neighbors and stealing livestock. But what they lack in charm, they make up for in pristine land.

Scotland in the sixteenth century is teeming with natural resources and fossil fuels that the twenty-first century lacks. FUP, a modern-day corporation, intends to make billions by mining the past with an industrial secret: a time machine. To facilitate their plunder, they send Andrea Mitchell, an anthropologist with a knack for languages, through the Time Tube to the sixteenth century to study the community. There, she meets Per Sterkarm, a handsome young warrior, and despite their differences, the two fall in love. When Per learns of FUP’s intentions, he vows to protect his land and destroy the invaders. In the bloody battle that follows, Andrea will have to choose not only to which side she belongs, but also which century . . .

Perfect for fans of Outlander, The Sterkarm Handshake is a rich historical portrait about the clashing of cultures, finding home, and falling in love.


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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:

Medieval Girl said...

Oh yes, that image is used a lot. The Ranay James and Elizabeth Chadwick ones I don't mind- but I guess copyright free images are bound to be used a lot. I've also seen various castles used numerous times. For one I can understand, its pretty stunning on a misty morning.

I want to know, how do you create that beautuful little line and flourish under your paragraphs/sections on posts?

Erin Davies said...

Lol. It's text art. You can copy/paste it.