Cover art – “Little Dead Red and Other Stories” by Mercedes Murdock Yardley

littledead_fbwebMarcela Bolivar’s amazing artworks are popping more and more on book covers and it is only for the best, after all she is a tremendously talented artist and with imagination aplenty. Take only the last year or so and I can recall off the top of my head the covers of Eric Schaller’s “Meet Me in the Middle of the Air”, Sunny Moraine’s “Singing With All My Skin and Bone”, Kristi DeMeester’s “Beneath” or the May 2017 issue of Apex Magazine. There is another coming in the near future, this one for Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s collection of tales, “Little Dead Read and Other Stories”, brought in limited edition by Vault Books. Mercedes M. Yardley’s “Little Dead Red” is one of the best stories I’ve ever read, one of my all-time favorites. I had the chance to read the story when it was published in the “Grimm Mistresses” anthology and as I said at the time it really shook my ground.

Marie’s daughter, Aleta, goes to visit her grandmother at the hospital but on her way there she meets a terrifying end. Marie tries to exact revenge on the creature responsible for the terrible deed. “Little Dead Red” is a tremendous opener for this little anthology. Mercedes M. Yardley spins a dark story, the darker you can find, to bone chilling precision. All the set of emotions Marie experience are sent in an unsettling correspondence across to the reader, her suffering, desperation, loss, longing, and unrelenting determination to find vengeance are brought to palpable extent, whirled with great talent by Mercedes M. Yardley through haunting scenes. There is a lushness of language within this story, but its beauty has on the other side of its coin an oppressing atmosphere, an event that breathes so much dread. The terrible event at the core of the plot is not the only one contributing to the very dark setting of Mercedes M. Yardley’s story, because unlike the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, where this tale has its roots, here the wolf is not the only dangerous creature living in the forest and not as easily recognizable, hiding not among the trees of the forest but blending in the city landscape. “Little Dead Red” is a harrowing, deeply emotional story, one that shook my ground and chased away my sleep long into the night. It is also one of the very best I ever read.

And now I find Marcela Bolivar’s stunning artwork the perfect companion to Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s “Little Dead Red”. As a matter of fact, the artwork and the story are so well matched that I cannot shake their connection from my mind, they’ll always be linked together for me whenever I’ll set my eyes on one or the other. Of course, there is more to this collection published by Vault Books, more stories (two of them previously unpublished) and essays by Mercedes M. Yardley and additional interior illustrations by Marcela Bolivar that make this gorgeous book extremely tempting for me, although the financial effort has to be taken into consideration. But a potential strain on the budget is to be expected since Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s “Little Dead Red and Other Stories” is only released in two editions, the numbered edition, limited to up to 500 copies and with a price of 40$, and the lettered edition, limited to up to 52 copies and with a price of 125$. I’m not sure if this collection ends up on my bookshelves eventually, but for certain I would be very happy to see a copy of Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s “Little Dead Red and Other Stories”, beautifully adorned by Marcela Bolivar’s artwork, in my personal library.

You can find all the details regarding the 2 editions of the book, as well as a pre-order link, on Vault Books website.

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Cover art – “Godsgrave” by Jay Kristoff (UK/AUS edition)

godsgrave-uk1The wait is over! After two months ago I’ve admired the cover artwork for the US edition of Jay Kristoff’s “Godsgrave” now I am able to bask in the beauty of the UK/AUS one, due to be published by Harper Voyager. I already said that the amazing “Nevernight”, the first novel in Jay Kristoff’s series “The Nevernight Chronicles”, benefitted from two wonderful covers and, as it was expected, the same goes for the second novel, “Godsgrave”. Of course, again, I find myself hard pressed to choose between the two editions since my bookshelves are already overcrowded, but I am still thrilled to see this detailed and gorgeous new cover made by Kerby Rosanes. “Godsgrave” will be out on September.

A RUTHLESS YOUNG ASSASSIN CONTINUES HER JOURNEY FOR REVENGE IN THIS NEW EPIC FANTASY FROM NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR JAY KRISTOFF.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Cover art – “Godsgrave” by Jay Kristoff

godsgrave-jay-kristoffJay Kristoff’s “Nevernight”, the first novel of “The Nevernight Chronicles” fantasy series, benefited not from one very attractive cover, but from two. Both the US and UK editions of Jay Kristoff’s novel hold tempting invitations up front, so much so that I was hard pressed when the time came to chose which copy of “Nevernight” to purchase for myself. To make things better though, once I stepped through the gates of the beautiful cover on the common ground of both editions, I discovered two gorgeous maps made by Virginia Allyn and a mesmerizing story which delighted me greatly. Later this year the second novel of “The Nevernight Chronicles”, “Godsgrave”, will be published and we can already admire the cover art of the US edition, due to be released by St. Martin’s Press. And I’ll have to admit, the cover made by Jason Chan and featuring typography realized by Meg Morely, makes me shiver with anticipation (not that the first volume hasn’t done that already). Elements of the first cover can be seen here too, Mia Corvere taking central stage and the shadows playing an important part, as they should. But I am also seeing a more determined Mia Corvere, considering the change in attire and weaponry from the previous cover, a small glimpse of Godsgrave behind her, since the city (Godsgrave) and the world of “The Nevernight Chronicles” resemble Rome and the Roman Empire to a point I find this representation very interesting, and the three suns of Iterya, a key element of the entire setting. All in all, it’s a wonderful companion for the US edition’s cover of the first novel. Now, it is up to Harper Voyager, the UK publisher, to reveal its cover for Jay Kristoff’s “Godsgrave”, but I guess we don’t have too long to wait for that to happen.

Since we are here, if you head over to Jay Kristoff’s website the author runs a competition there until March 31st, opened internationally, related to this cover in which you can win a signed copy of “Nevernight” (with the cover of your choice, but like I’ve said, that didn’t come easy for me) along with a signed audiobook of “Illuminae” and “Gemina”. You can find the full details in this post.

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.