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About Paranormal, Alternate Reality on the 2000 ballot

Touch Of The Wolf's first place finish came as no surprise since readers had begun sending me this cover for more than six months prior to the book's release. At every stage of the proceedings, this cover beat the competition with a sizable margin.

Here are some of the comments we received about Touch of the Wolf, and since we focused on illustrator Franco in a previous column, his work was singled out by many of our voters:

  • Liz simply "loves Franco's stuff."
  • Blair echoed Liz, and told us, "Franco is amazing. This cover is not only beautiful, but conveys what the story is about."
  • A Regency Romance author found this cover to be "way cool."
  • Isabel wrote, "I love the colors on this cover as well as the glimpse of what the main characters look like towards the top."
  • According to Jennifer, "This one wins hands down! One glance gives a sense of the tone and tells the reader it is a love story and it most likely has paranormal elements."
  • And, from Colleen, "I love the hero on the cover. (The artist) gets the paranormal and romance aspects across."


Touch of the Wolf
Bantam,
Franco Accornero



Heart of the Dove's second place finish was also no surprise. Heart of the Dove had the same effect as Touch of the Wolf on the readers, just in fewer numbers. These two grabbed their positions early in the contest and never let them go.


Heart of the Dove
Pocket,
Lisa Litwack
Here is a sampling of the comments we received on the cover for Heart of the Dove:
  • A new Regency Romance author found this cover "enchanting," and wanted to "dive right into that scene."
  • Both Shelley and Rebecca found it ethereal. Rebecca also found it elegant.
  • Rita too found this to be an elegant cover. She wrote, "(I) love the elegance and spirituality, love the border, so the viewer is looking into the scene. Lyrical!"
  • Kate found the cover "simple yet love, and the shadow of the ghost lets the buyer know that it's a paranormal."
  • And, from Linda, "this one was too pretty to resist."



The big surprise is that the much more modernistic Biting the Sun came in third. Romance readers are usually not very responsive to more modern art styles but the sheer beauty of this cover must have overcome that mindset. As such, this is an enormously positive showing for this cover. I put this cover in from my own collection when a ninth position opened up at the 11th hour.

Among those comments we received on Biting the Sun are these:
  • Elena found "the subject matter was cohesive and went together well." She also enjoyed the "surreal, well thought out collage."
  • Anne has some advise for romance publishers: "Start taking pointers from the SF/Fantasy publishers. This cover blows the romance covers out of the water."


Biting the Sun
Bantam,
Kinuko Craft



Eternity in fourth place is more of a return to the traditional albeit with a unique twist. The cameo effect of a good witch sitting on the sliver of the moon makes that old image new, and the gray background and scattered border flowers were lovely. The similar cover of the sequel didn't make it through committee because of the pink hue, instead of the gray, used throughout.


Eternity
Jove/Berkley,
Griesbach&Martucci,
dba One By Two
Melissa chose the cover of Eternity as her favorite "because of its whimsy." For Vicki, it was simply "the most interesting of the bunch." She found the other covers too "mystical," and with "no feeling of science fiction or futuristic stories"




The Veiled Web
Bantam,
Cliff Nielson;
Jamie Warren-Youll

Midnight Enchantment
Imajinn,
Patricia Lazarus

Veiled Web, in fifth place, repeats what we see in Contemporary where an extreme close-up, Love Potion, took sixth place. Both covers had hands in them as well, this one more so than on the cover of Love Potion. This background is also a little more complex with computer circuitry. Is it a coincidence that two extreme close-ups placed just about the same, with voters looking closely at facial features and expressive hands? I don't think so.I think we're looking at a possible new trend. If you doubt me, the voters put Midnight Enchantment in sixth place, while commenting on its extreme close-up of the vampire's eyes and the tree as "doing it" for them. Jaycee told us that, "for this paranormal lover, a perfect cover of a dark, fantasy vampire book. That it also perfectly reflects the story is a big plus." And, from Joan, we heard that, "The haunting eyes and spooky tree get your heartbeat going."




The Stone and the Maiden
Avon,
Tim & Greg Hildebrand,
Amy Halperin

Biting the Sun
Bantam,
Kinuko Craft

The Stone And The Maiden took seventh place with voters being turned on by the bright purple, the gold foil bird and the old-fashioned fairy tale hero and heroine with the castle. Not everyone could handle the purple and the gold bird but those who could, loved it. The Silver Metal Lover, done by the same artist as Biting The Sun, filled eighth place. This is even more modernistic and chiefly artists and SF/Fantasy romance aficionados voted for it.



Love Potion #9 came in ninth place and also had its fans. It wasn't disliked but it didn't seem to grab the number of voters that the others did. The cover's dominant color is orange - perhaps some of our voters reacted negatively to that? We did, however, hear from some readers who loved it. Mary Alice, for one, wrote, "This cover is light and whimsical and entices the reader to pick it up and find out what's inside."


Love Potion #9
Jove,
Judy York

My vote is for the eighth place, Silver Metal Lover, and I have a confession to make. This is my favorite cover in the entire competition and anyone who tried to nudge it out of this contest ran into a severe uphill battle: me. I love this cover so much that I haven't let myself read the underlying novel because I'm afraid that it will ruin the cover for me, even though the novel is considered a classic albeit with a brand-new cover. Sorry, Vicki, but I have to disagree with your assessment that "The Silver Metal Lover looks like the Tin Man gone hippie."

What did I buy? Oh, what woe my credit card shows, because I bought all of them except for three. I could not find Midnight Enchantment and The Stone And The Maiden in my local bookstores otherwise I'm sure I would have "fallen". I did not like the story line of Heart Of The Dove but I constantly was picking the book up in the bookstores due to the cover. Katarina solved the problem for me by sending me the cover flat from Sweden!

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