Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 97: Fantasy (Part 8)

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design. This feature is inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

Some of my favourite covers this week include Kingdom Of The Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao, Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto, Rule by Ellen Goodlett, The Antidote by Shelley Sackier, The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck, The Tiger At Midnight by Swati Teerdhala, Beware The Night by Jessika Fleck, The Fever King by Victoria Lee, We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal, Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst, The Girl King by Mimi Yu and Descendant Of The Crane by Joan He.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the beautiful covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer responsible for any of these book covers, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

01. Kingdom Of The Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao
02. Shatter The Suns by Caitlin Sangster

03. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto (Cover design by Sarah Creech, Cover art by Kekai Kotaki)
04. Evermore by Sara Holland

05. Rule by Ellen Goodlett (Cover design by Marcie Lawrence)
06. The Antidote by Shelley Sackier (Cover art by Lisa Perrin)

07. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
08. The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

09. The Tiger At Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (Cover design by David Curtis, Cover art by Michael Marsicano)
10. Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

11. The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
12. Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope

13. European Travel For The Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss (Cover art by Kate Forrester)
14. Amnesty by Lara Elena Donnelly

15. Beware The Night by Jessika Fleck (Cover art by Elen Winata)
16. The Cerulean by Amy Ewing

17. The Fever King by Victoria Lee (Cover design by David Curtis)
18. We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal (Cover typography by Erin Fitzsimmons)

19. The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
20. Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst (Cover design by Michelle Taormina, Cover art by Jacob Eisinger)

21. The Girl King by Mimi Yu (Cover art by Tommy Arnold)
22. Descendant Of The Crane by Joan He (Cover art by Feifei Ruan)

23. The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson
24. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Fantasy covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

The Writing’s On The Wall: Every Leaf Speaks Bliss To Me

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

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I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to CattySays, Antler & Twine and The Routine Creative whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Top Fifteen Books On My Fall 2018 To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I count down my top ten choices on a particular theme. This weekly event is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Top Fifteen Books On My Fall 2018 To-Be-Read List.

The promise of knee-high boots, cozy, oversized sweaters, and the crunch of crisp leaves beneath my feet are all right around the corner, and I for one couldn’t be happier. Autumn is my absolute favourite time of the year, and I’m so excited to leave behind the uncharacteristically oppressive heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing here all summer long that has made me wilt like a very limp (and very whiny) flower. Best of all, the dawn of fall means means it’s finally time to plan my to-be-read list for the upcoming season! While I haven’t always had the best luck sticking strictly to the to-be-read lists I’ve made in the past, there’s something about the structure and organization they provide that I find particularly comforting. This season’s list is a fun mixture of advance reader copies I’m most looking forward to reading, and the eerie, atmospheric mysteries, thrillers, and horror stories that I can never get enough of on a cool autumn night.

Today’s selection of books have been listed in no particular order.

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Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.

History is filled with stories of women accused of witchcraft, of fearsome girls with arcane knowledge. Toil & Trouble features fifteen stories of girls embracing their power, reclaiming their destinies and using their magic to create, to curse, to cure — and to kill.

A young witch uses social media to connect with her astrology clients—and with a NASA-loving girl as cute as she is skeptical. A priestess of death investigates a ritualized murder. A bruja who cures lovesickness might need the remedy herself when she falls in love with an altar boy. A theater production is turned upside down by a visiting churel. In Reconstruction-era Texas, a water witch uses her magic to survive the soldiers who have invaded her desert oasis. And in the near future, a group of girls accused of witchcraft must find their collective power in order to destroy their captors.

This collection reveals a universal truth: there’s nothing more powerful than a teenage girl who believes in herself.




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It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, and she’s still adjusting to her new life. And still haunted by her past in Hawaii.

Then, one by one, the students of her small town high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, Makani will be forced to confront her own dark secrets.




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Poppy Miller swears she will get payback for Jack Sabers’s cruel prank that humiliated her in front of all her friends.

Then her classmates start turning up dead.

All eyes are on Poppy. Is Poppy being framed? Or did the kids of Shadyside High mess with the wrong girl?




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The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries — and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?




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Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

Or did she?

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell ― of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.




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The rules are simple.

But the game is not.

At eleven years old, Morgan Sheppard solved the murder of a teacher when everyone else believed it to be a suicide. The publicity surrounding the case laid the foundation for his reputation as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. He parlayed that fame into a gig as TV’s “resident detective,” solving the more typical tawdry daytime talk show mysteries like “Who is the father?” and “Is he cheating?”

Until, that is, Sheppard wakes up handcuffed to a bed in an unfamiliar hotel room. Around him, five strangers are slowly waking up, as well. Soon they discover a corpse in the bathtub and Sheppard is challenged to put his deductive skills to the test. One of the people in the room is the killer. He has three hours to solve the murder. If he doesn’t find the killer, they all will die.




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Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl. It’s no challenge – her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy — no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late.




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Secrets have a way of getting out…

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure…but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.




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The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.




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It’s 1871, and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson.

Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze.




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It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago — no matter how monstrous.




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The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: When the king dies, his son the prince must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon or what horrors she faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome young man, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny of sitting on a throne beside him. It’s all like a dream, like something from a fairy tale.

As Ama follows Emory to the kingdom of Harding, however, she discovers that not all is as it seems. There is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows, and the greatest threats may not be behind her, but around her, now, and closing in.




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Six years ago, sisters Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. But ever since they returned to their lives in post-WWII England, they have struggled to adjust.

Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, and Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.




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Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them…?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

What if it’s us?




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Only three students had access to a teacher’s racy photos before they went viral. There’s Mouse, a brainy overachiever so desperate to escape his father and go to MIT that he would do almost anything, legal or not. Then there’s Drew, the star athlete who can get any girl’s number — and private photos — with his charm but has a history of passing those photos around. And finally there’s Jenna, a good girl turned rebel after her own shocking photos made the rounds at school last year, who is still waiting for justice. All three deny leaking the photos, but someone has to take the fall. This edgy whodunit tackles hot-button issues of sexting and gossip and will have readers tearing through the pages to reach the final reveal.




Now it’s YOUR turn! Which books are on your fall to-be-read list? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 96: Middle Grade (Part 27)

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design. This feature is inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

Some of my favourite covers this week include Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang, Emily Out Of Focus by Miriam Spitzer Franklin, Smoke and Mirrors by K.D. Halbrook, Kat Wolfe Investigates by Lauren St. John, What Goes Up by Wen Baragrey, Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu, The Unicorn Quest: Secret in the Stone by Kamilla Benko and The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the beautiful covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer responsible for any of these book covers, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

01. Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour by Kat Shepherd (Cover illustrated by Rayanne Vieira)
02. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts by Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang (Cover designed by Nathan Reed)

03. Emily Out Of Focus by Miriam Spitzer Franklin
04. The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage

05. The Secrets of Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
06. Smoke and Mirrors by K.D. Halbrook (Cover illustrated by Karl James Mountford)

07. Kat Wolfe Investigates by Lauren St. John
08. Royal Crush by Meg Cabot

09. Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt (Cover illustrated by James Lancett)
10. Lizzy and The Good Luck Girl by Susan Lubner (Cover illustrated by Pascal Campion)

11. The Endsister by Penni Russon (Cover illustrated by Sandra Eterovic)
12. What Goes Up by Wen Baragrey

13. Battle of the Beetles by M.G. Leonard
14. Charlie and Frog by Karen Kane (Cover illustrated by Jose Sabitini, Cover designed by Marci Senders)

15. The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo (Cover designed by Karin Paprocki)
16. Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu (Cover illustrated by Jane Newland)

17. The Unicorn Quest: Secret in the Stone by Kamilla Benko (Cover illustrated by Vivienne To)
18. Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens (Cover illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley)

19. The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel (Cover illustrated by Hannah Peck)
20. Family of Spies by Jodi Carmichael (Cover designed by Relish New Brand)

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Middle Grade covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

The Writing’s On The Wall: I’m So Glad I Live In A World Where There Are Octobers

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

Title Anne Of Green Gables
Author Lucy Maud Montgomery
Pages 384 Pages
Target Audience Young Adult
Publication Date September 9th 2014 by Tundra Books (Originally published June 1908)
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When Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew, decide to adopt a child from a distant orphanage, they don’t get quite what they bargained for. The child who awaits them at the tiny Bright River train station is not the strapping young boy they’d imagined – someone to help Matthew work the fields of their small farm – but rather a freckle-faced, redheaded girl named Anne (with an e, if you please).

Matthew and Marilla may not be sure about Anne, but Anne takes one look at Prince Edward Island’s red clay roads and the Cuthberts’ snug white farmhouse with its distinctive green gables and decides that she’s home at last. But will she be able to convince Marilla and Matthew to let her stay?

Armed with only a battered carpetbag and a boundless imagination, Anne charms her way into the Cuthberts’ hearts – and into the hearts of readers as well. She truly is, in the words of Mark Twain, “the dearest and most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice.”

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I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Alexander Baidin, Jen Wagner Co. and Connary Fagen Type Design whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!