Judging a Book by Its Cover by Christine Amsden — Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or BN GC to one randomly selected winner via the Rafflecopter below. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Judging a Book by its Cover:
Reflections on the Cassie Scot Cover
Whether they should be or not, books are judged by their covers. Cover artwork is the first and most prominent representation of a book and as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. (It’s a cliché for a reason!) As an avid reader I understand the reality. As an author I confess that it feels weird to have my art (the story itself) judged by someone else’s art (a cover picture).

Let me start by saying that I don’t create my own covers. Most authors don’t. Most of us have little control over them, although I’m happy to say that my publisher gives me more input than usual.

The cover art for Cassie Scot was painted by Ural Akyuz. Wait, painted? Yes, that’s right. If this cover strikes you as a bit different from other urban fantasy novels then that’s probably because the popular trend these days is for photo manipulation. This style does create striking, vivid, even beautiful images, but I confess that I’ve got a soft spot for handcrafted art. Photographs are almost too perfect. Paintings leave me with a sense of the abstract. This seems particularly fitting since the title, with the “para” in “paranormal” struck through, is also abstract.

I really like the cover for this book. I didn’t care for the cover for my last book, The Immortality Virus, so this is something of a relief! It has also been something of a relief that the response to the cover artwork from the public has been generally positive. I’ve seen one naysayer (that doesn’t mean there aren’t more) who thought the cover looks dull compared to others in the same genre. Well, like I said, we didn’t do the photo manipulation for this project. If you’re in love with that style, this may seem a little dull. I prefer to think of it as different, but to each his own. 🙂

In case the picture isn’t giving you a thousand words, here are a few hundred more to help fill in the details for you:

The woman on the cover is Cassie, more or less as I envisioned her when I wrote her. I even provided the artist with a link to a picture of the outfit she is wearing, though he adjusted the color to better suit the background. She’s looking off into the distance, thinking of… well, any number of things. This series is written in the first person, and a lot of it takes place inside Cassie’s head. There is a mystery, some romance, and even a bit of action, but her own desire to be something more than she is drives the story. It will drive the entire series, actually, only resolving in the final volume.

There is a glow coming from the lake, one the crescent moon can’t fully account for. This is an abstract, a representation of a source of magic that Cassie can’t see and is therefore not looking at, though she knows it’s there somewhere. It is intentionally subtle, and I don’t expect readers to pick up on it. It’s enough that I know it’s there, and if you care to buy into it, then so do you.

Mostly though what I asked for, and what I got, was lovely cover art. There is some darkness in this story, but it is full of light, life, and hope. The leaves are green, the plants are in bloom, and Cassie has a snapdragon tucked behind her ear.

The body of water in the background is Table Rock Lake, a man-made lake that stretches for many miles through southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas. The story takes place in a fictionalized town called Eagle Rock, MO, a tourist town on Table Rock Lake in the Ozark Mountains.

There is a real Eagle Rock, by the way. An old friend of my grandfather’s used to live there years ago, and my family visited him when I was a child. He would take us out on the lake on his motor boat. I can’t remember exactly what made me think to use the town’s name and location for this story, but I assure you, it is fictionalized. The real Eagle Rock has a population of 1 or 2 dozen people, and if you blink driving through, you’ll miss it. It was a beautiful area, though, and going with the advice “write what you know,” I decided it would suit this story nicely.

Ural Akyutz should be available to do the artwork for the rest of the series, which will give the books a consistent look and feel. I was nervous while waiting for the cover artwork for this book – more anxious nervous than excited nervous because of the experience I’d had with The Immortality Virus. Now as I anticipate the cover artwork for Secrets and Lies, the second book in the Cassie Scot series, I am excited exited.

It still feels weird to have my story judged by Ural’s artwork, but I stand behind it. I’ve used the cover artwork on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and have it printed on the bookmarks I hand out to readers I meet in person.

Whether the cover is to your taste or not, I hope you’ll consider judging my book by its first couple of chapters. That is unapologetically mine – my voice, my style, my character. I have a prominent link to them on my web site or you can find them here: First Chapters.

About the Author:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAward-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.



Website: http://christineamsden.com/wordpress/

Blog: http://christineamsden.com/wordpress/?page_id=200

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristineAmsden

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-Amsden-Author-Page/127673027288664?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1030664.Christine_Amsden

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/117845642477854934607/posts

1_3 Cover_CassieScot1Book One
Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.



1_3 Cover_SecretsAndLiesBook Two
Secrets and Lies

Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Rita Wray says:

    The books sound great.

  3. would love the amazon card if available to spend in UK – I should be so lucky but you never know x

  4. I would like a gift card from amazon.CA if I ein pleasr – I can’t buy ebooks on amazon.com since my kindke lives in Canada with me!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing my books and posting this article. It’s one of my favorite guest blogs because it’s honest, and because I do hope people will look past my cover, whether they like it or not. 🙂

  6. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity! Can’t wait to check out this book, sounds awesome! ^_^ Loved reading the article too. I must say, I’m guilty of judging a book by it’s cover. I have been better about trying new books out, but the covers do still influence me just a tad. =P

    cloud.weaver.girl AT gmail DOT com

  7. Both books sounds really good.

  8. I would love to win the Amazon GC, Thank you!

  9. Love the post. I do look at cover art. It matters in the onset but it is the story that will keep me coming back for more.

    Thanks for the giveaway.



    Erzabetwrites at gmail dot com

  10. Amazon. Sorry…forgot to say. 🙂


  11. Christine Elaine Black says:

    Would love an amazon gift card. Congrats on the book tour!!
    Christine Elaine 🙂

  12. Loved the post. I always love hearing about cover art and background information about books that I have enjoyed. By the way, I’ve read book one and two and they are great!

    • Thanks! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them. I just (as in within the last hour) got a sneak preview of the cover art for Mind Games. It’s still not 100% done, but I’m excited to see it coming together. Artist says he just needs another week so…. finger crossed… we probably are looking at an April release!! 🙂

  13. Cindy J. Smith says:

    This is a great interview. The book sounds great! TY for the game also

  14. Tanya Conaway says:

    I am guilty of judging a book by its cover but both books sound really good and I will be reading them thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Having read both books it was interesting to learn that there is a real Eagle Rock, even if it is fictionalized in the book, and that the cover was painted!

  16. Love the cover’s of the book’s. I also really liked the interview. Thanks for sharing it with all of us..

  17. Tiffeny Moore says:

    the books look great if i win i am so getting your books :).

  18. Carol Bibb says:

    Who won? I love to look at covers on books. Great works of art are displayed.


  1. […] The Cover: Since I commented on the cover in my review of book 1 I want to do the same for book 2.  I like this cover better than the first one. It still seems a little too bright for this genre but I do like that it has more of an adult feel to it than book 1. I also read a guest post by the author that went into how the covers were made and it helped me to appreciate them a little more. You can read that post here on Long and Short Reviews Site. […]

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