Not long ago I discovered a really
(this is not it...but you get the idea.)
RUDE Valentine poem. I know I have it, but I can't remember where I put it...and short of spending the next fifteen or so hours tearing my apartment apart, I won't find it...(The mind is just not what it used to be, though come to think on it, I can't remember a time when my brain WAS that gifted.) So you are stuck with TRUSTING me that I have a really RUDE valentine lamentation somewhere.
In my world I have a few people I am close enough to to wish a NON-rude Valentine's Soliloquy. Y'all know who you are...and I promise to remind you elsewhere...(If I name all of you we'll be here until next v-day.)
But this is also my Valentine's Day Parade of exquisite Muse It Up Covers. Now I know beauty and/or exquisiteness is in the
eye of the beholder...Luckily for all of us I am the one beholding...and in that role I will look at the covers created since the Christmas Parade and explain why I
love them...However I have a problem...limited space and a whole boatload of new covers that deserve being here...limited space has to keep me from running rampant with praise for all who deserve it. Therefore I have to be brutal in choosing the covers that make this parade.
So let's get started...These are in no special order, unless you consider my viewing schedules special...
1.) TWIN FLAMES by Alix Richards cover by Winterheart Design. I love the layering here. I've seen layering that is so obvious you know it's not one picture. The layering here is so well blended the entire cover flows. I'm especially intrigued by the action going on in the clouds. What is that? To find out, I'm going to have to buy this book when it comes out...And THAT is what makes for a good cover. Does it make me want to buy the book? If the answer is yes, as it is here, then we got an excellent cover on our hands.Well Done Winterheart and Alix.
2.) GREEN FIRE by Joy Smith...and OMG, OMG, OMG...we have a NEW cover artist. Welcome Karen Phillips. I am not usually a fan of green. I don't know why, just not...but here it boldly says "YOU GOTTA LOVE GREEN!" I'm drawn to the seeming pathos on the face of the woman at the top of the cover, and the seriousness in the eyes of the man. I'm also intrigued by the single lily rising form the green...does that mean the green is NOT fire or is the lily the renewed promise of Nature recovering from the brutal lash of fire's tongue? Great Debut for Karen...and congrats to Joy for being Karen's first. I have a feeling Karen will make my future parades quite frequently.
3.) NIGHTMARES by Donna Jean McDunn cover by Marion Sipe. Okay I admit it...if cover artists had groupies I would be front and center for Marion. I love this cover because it's scary without being gory. It make you shiver and yet you're not sure why. There's nothing obvious about this cover, but the brilliant bathing of monochromatic browns makes you want to run for the nearest safe hidey-hole and pull the opening in behind you. MOST enjoyable ladies. Congrats Marion and Donna Jean.
4.) BAKING LOVE by Lauren Boyd cover by Marion Sipe. Okay...after the previous cover with its so dark and ominous tones Marion gives us this lighthearted cover that makes you want to smile...but it also makes you wonder why the curly design on the chin of the woman? So lightheartedness with a touch of intrigue...SENSATIONAL Marion and Lauren.
5.) DECEPTION AL DENTE by Heather Fraser Brainered and David Fraser, cover by Marion Sipe. I will admit these eyes are not as sharp as they used to be...car accident with lots of flying glass took care of that...so I may be seeing things when I look at whatever it is beside the woman's face and above the candle's wick. As I mentioned in my first choice when a cover intrigues me enough to make me curious, it is a top notch cover. Marion gives us that with every one of the covers I am showcasing of hers here...but none moreso than this one. Awesome Job one and all.
6.) THE MASTER'S BOOK by Philip Coleman, cover by C.K. Volnek. I happen to know C.K. is not JUST a CA...she's also one of our gifted authors...so where she finds the time and energy to create such striking covers boggles my mind. Here we have "mysterious" and "ominous". The colors C.K. chose give this cover a richness and depth that is both pleasing and a bit scary. A most exotic cover C.K. and Philip.
7.) THE LOCKED DOOR by Troy H. Gardner, cover by C.K. Volnek...What I said in number six, multiply that here...although I'm not sure anything is going on. The cover is so dark it's hard to tell but that makes it all the more intriguing and mystifying....it's almost Kafkaesque. Incredible job C.K. and Troy.
8.) THE ERLKIN'S LAIR by H.M. Provost, cover by C.K. Volnek. I was wondering how I was going to choose anything to follow number seven, and I admit I was about ready to admit I couldn't find anything powerful enough to take the place immediately after number seven...until I came across this cover...then I knew I'd found the right follow-up. Look at it. The female's expression is enough to tell you this is not going to be a "Good Ship Lollipop" kind of story. There's going to be conflict, intent conflict. The kind that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I'm enthralled and that is a good thing for a cover to make you be. Thanks H.M. and C.K. I will be watching for the release of this book.
9.) DEADLY DECEPTION by Carlene Rae Dater, cover by C.K. Volnek. Boy Howdy is C.K. on a roll. This is a cover that makes you ask..."what's that girl doing with her head at that angle clutching a bunch of flowers? Is she dead? If she is dead, she hasn't been dead too long. There's still warm color to her cheeks...But if she's not dead why is she lying there in that pose?" And the more questions that come to mind, the more fascinated
I am about the book spawning such a cover. First rate C.K. and Carlene.
10.) DEMATHIA RISING by SB Knight, cover by Delilah K. Stephans. You may have already noticed I like cover that "speak" to me, and this one does that. I will admit the title is curious. I don't know what "demathia" means, but the cover tells me it has something to do with the mask of tragedy, and in this case, golden tragedy and silvery tragedy. The swirling lines wafting in the background and in some instances, the foreground make me wonder if there is some significance...such as are they some form of language. Extremely well done Delilah and Sir Brian of the Muse Table.
11.) BURN IN HELL by Marian Lanouette, cover by Winterheart Design. What can I say...I am in love with this cover. I love seeing the breathtaking images of fire. I have the greatest respect for fire, but cannot deny the majesty of fire. Fire gives off such power you don't have to get too close to feel the extent of its power and this cover shows that. Magnificent job Marian and Winterheart.
12.) ROSES ARE RED DIAMONDS ARE BLUE by Donna Alice Patton, cover by Marion Sipe. There is so much happening here, my head is spinning. I'm just going to share what I see. It looks like the shadowed man is about to enter the womb of Mother Earth. The diaphanous rose he's stepping towards is the doorway to that womb and he is in need of the rebirthing only Mother Nature can bring to him. Love it Marion and Donna Alice.
13.) REFLECTION by Kim Cresswell, cover by Marion Sipe. This is not a cover for a fluffy feel-good story. You won't walk away knowing you just read a "JACK AND JILL GO UP THE HILL TO SNATCH A LOT OF PASSION." You can "feel" the extreme caverns and causeways of conflict this cover expresses so splendidly. I'm impressed Kim and Marion.
14.) IN MY OWN SHADOW by Susan A. Royal, cover by Marion Sipe. I can't tell you why I like this cover. It's a mystery, even to me. I THINK I see things, but they're so ethereal to my old eyes I'm not certain I really am seeing what I think I'm seeing. Is the girl with the intense eyes looking out at an endless desert as the bottom of the cover suggests, or is she looking at an old sailing craft as I think I see in the middle portion? It is such a mysterious blending of concepts and textures I'm just not sure what I'm seeing...and THAT is as intriguing as the cover above that seems almost totally dark. A FINE job Susan and Marion.
15.) THREE WRONGS by Chuck Bowie; cover by Mike Zambrano. I love the stark beauty of Mike's covers. They leave me wanting more...more images? No...his covers have just the right amount of images...so what is it about Mike Zambrano's covers the make me love them? I don't know. I do think he should have used a different font. But everything else sings to me. Nice, Mike and Chuck.
16.) UNDER THE HUNTRESS MOON by Kat Holmes, cover by Karen Philips.
Oh WOW! This new CA is lighting up the Muse It Up pages with incredible images of excellence. This cover is so powerful I can't stop myself from staring at it in awe.
Well done, Ladies.
17.) CHILDREN OF THE DUST by Bil and Bon Franks, cover by Marion Sipe...I LOVE this cover but then I love covers that suggest mystical lights . Marion Sipe leaves me breathless with her ability to interpret the bones of info authors give them on the forms the artists must create their magic from. Marion excels at this consistently.
18.) WILD VENGEANCE by M.G. Thomas, cover by Delilah K. Stephans. Stark, eerie, and powerful. This cover is a definite winner in its simplicity and resonating reddish glow.
Well Done M.G. and Delilah.
And there you have it...Congrats to the CA's who make the author's visions come to visual life with power, dedication, and talent I wish I could emulate.
I do not know when the next parade will be. Due to health issues I am spending less and less time able to do the work needed to put these parades together...BUT if I CAN still do this, the next holiday coming up is EASTER...The one after that is MEMORIAL DAY...followed by INDEPENDENCE DAY. All I can say is I will be back as soon as I can. In the meantime it is so great to have so MUCH talent creating for Muse It Up Publication, Inc.
And on that note...may I take one last moment and say...From the bottom of my heart: