Courtesy of my paperback publisher, I have two beautiful cover flats of the upcoming mass market edition of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (coming out October 5th!).

So here’s the question:

Of all the book covers (in any genre and by any author) that you’ve seen recently, which most caught your eye and why?

Two people will be chosen at random to receive signed cover flats of the new mass market edition of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. The contest ends Sunday, May 30th. Winners will be announced Monday, May 31st.


  1. Lia on May 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I can’t think of a specific book cover that has caught my eye recently. But, in general what usually catches my eye are simple book covers. It seems like books are trying to get so fancy and eye-catching, when really it’s nice to be able to read the title clearly! I also don’t like it when the author’s name is more prominent than the book title. Even though it’s true that a lot of people read books for the author and not the book,the title should still be more visible!

  2. Nikki on May 25, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I really liked the cover of Norris Church Mailer’s book “Ticket to the Circus”. The old photo cut-out looks just like one my grandmother-in-law has of my mother-in-law and I really love old pictures like that.

  3. Christine on May 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I was just in a bookstore last week and I saw one book jumped up from the table at me: Jenna Blum’s Those Who Save Us. It’s from 2005, but the innocent little girl in the red coat really caught my eye. The red really stood out against the neutral backdrop, which I think is shelves of bread.

    I also LOVE the UK cover for Emerald Ring. That green dress just pops and looks so amazingly classy.

  4. Abby Stevens on May 25, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Maggie Stiefvater’s YA novel SHIVER has a gorgeous, haunting cover. The blue leaves and branches are so elegant and mysterious, and the blood dotting the ‘i’ in ‘shiver’ lets you know there’s something nefarious afoot. One of the best covers I’ve ever seen of any genre.

  5. Megan Hirst on May 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    The deluxe cover of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” definitely caught my eye. The old fashioned style of the book paired with the cameo of the zombie = fantastic.

  6. Devan on May 25, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Matched by Ally Condie. It hasn’t come out yet, but the cover has started a lot of hype for the book. The synopsis sounds really interesting and the cover seems to embody the idea of the book really well. I can’t wait to read it!

  7. Carli on May 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    To be honest, your books in their paperback form caught my eye, which lead me to pick it up. I really liked the portraits on the front and I also like the fact that as a series they looked so similar, but each portrait was different, as if the book would tell their story.

  8. Veronica on May 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Well, most recently, the book cover that caught my eye was “Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady” by Samuel Richardson. I love the delicate painting on the front which is framed by black. I thought it captured the mindset of the novel.

  9. Celia on May 25, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    The Crimson Rooms by Katharine McMahon caught my eye because of the quote from Kate Mosse on it.

  10. Maddie on May 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    The book that caught my eye recently was “And Only to Deceive” by Tasha Alexander. I was looking for a new historical fiction novel and I passed by it in the book store. Well it was mostly that the title intrigued me, since anything involving deception is usually very exciting 🙂 Haha but the red clothing that the girl on teh front cover is wearing caused me to stop and look at the book more closely. Red always seems to stop me in my tracks 🙂

  11. Joanne on May 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Sourcebooks has been producing some beautiful covers recently…I adore the covers of the new releases of Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek and My Cousin Rachel. The black and white photo is stunning and the graphics are very elegant; it sets the tone for the gothic stories. I also adore the Sourcebook editions of all the Georgette Heyer titles…charming Regency era paintings that invite the reader to enjoy her enchanting writing.

  12. Tami on May 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Recently read Roses by Leila Meacham… noticed its absolutely stunning cover immediately from amongst a pictoral list of “new releases” on my public library’s site, and simply had to read it. That cover was just too good to waste, it will remain with me for a very long time.

  13. Diya on May 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Going Bovine by Libba Bray…its just plain black and has a cow carrying a garden gnome! enough said 🙂

  14. Teje on May 25, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I would have to say Ciji Ware’s re-issue of The Island of the Swans. Book covers are something I confess to really enjoying, and they often determine if I buy a book or not when I’m on the fence about one. I think so many of them are actually art to be displayed, and feel sad when they are covered up in bookcases.

  15. AnneK on May 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Spot-On Joanne. The Heyer covers with the regency paintings are great and seem to jump right off the book shelves.

    I loved the first two covers of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Gray series. (The covers changed starting with the third book.) The misty, Victorian landscapes with the gilt boarder and March family crest ooses mystery.

    Also, I love cover of Critique of Criminal Reason (Michael Gregorio). The antique-esque typeface, cameo, and sepia tone used in the background illustration are captivating.

  16. Katelin on May 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    The book cover that most recently caught my eye was The Scent of Rain and lightning by Nancy Pickard. There was just something hauntingly beautiful about it. It reminded me of a watercolor painting.

  17. Sonia on May 26, 2010 at 5:42 am

    The cover that has really captivated me as from a book called “Dragon Lady” by Sterling Seagrave. The cover is an oil painting of last reigning Dowager Empress of China, Cixi, when she was seventy. Her personal history notwithstanding, that western portrait of the empress was so different from the later photographs taken of her. You look into the eyes of the portrait and you see a trapped woman who still has the energy to fight for her freedom–a stark contrast to the more well known later photographs where she looks absolutely exhausted and ready to give up. There are very few good portraits of strong Chinese women (most women in those photographs look submissive) so it was great to see one of a strong Chinese lady.

  18. Debra Callaway on May 26, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I was in Target looking for something else and passing the book aisles, I was caught and reeled in by the paperback cover of “The Heretic Queen” the 2nd book in the Nefertiti series by Michelle Moran. It just reached out from the endcap and said HEY THERE, read this!

  19. Debra Callaway on May 26, 2010 at 9:46 am

    What IS this trend in book covers that has us looking at a woman in a dress from the back????? It’s absolutely rampant across several genres. I was looking at a bookstor’s website and just noticed that there are a LOT of books with that kind of cover (like the new pink pb).

  20. Alexis on May 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

    The cover of Fallen by Lauren Kate really grabbed my attention. It wad dark and beautiful and I love the blue. The book was fantastic too, btw.

    Love the cover for Emerald Ring and Blood Lily. Absolutely stunning!

  21. Caroline on May 26, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I am not so sure they would be considered recent but the Twilight Series by Steaphanie Meyers (the original covers not the movie covers).

    The images were very clean and crisp set off by a stark black that made them pop even more. I could not take my eyes off of them. It also made the books stand out when placed next to busier or less dramatically colored books.

    Okay now I am off to read an equally lovely book…I have less than 100 pages left in Emerald!

  22. Kelsay Renae on May 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I don’t have one particular cover I like, but I like the simple ones that have one main thing that just pops when you look at it. It makes you want to look at it more, especially if you just see it out of the corner of your eye.

  23. Theresa on May 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. The covers are so fantastical, whimsical and ethereal that you just can’t help trace your fingers along the different images. Of course, it also helps that on two of the books there are two pretty hot guys on the cover;)

  24. Carole on May 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Mmmm, that is a hard one. I generally tend to judge a book by it’s cover (bad me), but the one that caught my attention right away was The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien. I had seen the movies, but I didn’t bother to read the series until I was 14 when I seen it on the shelf. I gave the cover one look and I knew I had to read and own the series. Also, the Pink Carnation series caught my eyes too.

  25. J on May 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I really liked the cover of Wild Ride by Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer. The cover looks like a movie poster and perfectly caputres the tone and feel of the book. And it’s colors catch the eye.

  26. Renee on May 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Roses by Leila Meecham was an interesting cover, recently. Normally, my eye goes straight to the covers with the pretty dresses, but this one caught my eye since it was so different. And still so pretty. Pink roses, rather than red, were a good choice.

    Two other, the trade paper cover of A Reliable Wife (Robert Goolrick) is great and the cover of Lunch in Paris (Elizabeth Bard) was enough to make me buy it!

  27. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on May 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Most recently, “We Hear the Dead”, the new fictionialization of the Fox sisters, still got to go get it!

  28. Marissa on May 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    The hardcover versions of the Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire Series) books – I love how there is always a section of the image that sparkles and draws one’s eye.

    And I agree with previous comments about how neat the images on the Mortal Instruments Trilogy are too!

  29. Cindy Manesis on May 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    The first thing that catches my eye is color. After that it’s the quality of the artwork that gives me an idea of what the book will be like. I definately judge a book by it’s cover. If I’m looking at the spine of the book, I like it to be easy to read.

  30. Ashley on May 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – trade paperback cover caught my eye because it was colorful but had some darker colors mixed in giving it a mysterious almost eerie feel. It clearly put itself out there as a historical fiction book but one with a secret. Once I picked it up, I could not put it down.

  31. Diana on May 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I really like the cover of Blood Lily. The colors are so vibrant that the eye is automatically drawn to it. That being said I also picked up Puff the Magic Dragon for my daughter (you did say any genre, right?) by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton due to the simplicity of the drawings.

  32. Brianna on May 30, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Juliet Marillier’s Cybele’s Secret! its beautiful

  33. Amanda on May 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve always loved the Kinuko Craft artwork for Patricia McKillip’s book covers, particularly The Tower at Stony Wood and Song for the Basilisk. The amazing details and quietly beautiful images are what first drew me to McKillip’s books.

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