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Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Nature on the Cover

Bonjour tout la monde, today’s Top Ten Tuesday choice of topic from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl is Books with Nature on the Cover—as in flowers, trees, or landscapes. So, as someone who reads quite a bit of speculative fiction, I think I might have to mine my crime fiction reading or, literary titles to find anything for this week’s challenge. Or, even, the odd children’s or YA book. Nature and flowers make me think non-fiction mostly.

But, here goes anything, right?

  • THE LOST APOTHECARY by Sarah Penner did, at least, have some exotic looking purple flowers on the cover. A cover, which, I might add, was what drew me to reading this book to begin with.
  • SALVATION STATION by Kathryn Schleich has a sad looking doll lying amid a ground cover of weeds, on the cover. At least, I think it’s weeds. Does that count? Can I cheat?
  • LOST HILLS by Lee Goldberg and DIAL A FOR AUNTIES by Jesse Q Sutanto both have palm trees on their covers … does that count? Or am I cheating again? I think I’m cheating, aren’t I?
  • THE GRAVE’S A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE by Alan Bradley features a willow tree reaching out across a river … and while that’s another stretch, the book itself was a really fun read.
  • RESURRECTION BAY by Emma Viskic features a beach scene with grasses on the edition I bought. So yes, nature and landscape. The same with the follow up, AND FIRE CAME DOWN, that features a very vivid forest-scene ablaze with fire. Both excellent reads, by the way.
  • FORCE OF NATURE by Jane Harper features a sweeping dark and foreboding looking jungle scene on the cover of my copy of the book.
  • A KILLING IN THE HILLS by Julia Keller is another cover which features a dramatic forested landscape.
  • THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING by Alexis Henderson has one of the creepiest black and white, ghost-like covers featuring woods which, quite frankly, you wouldn’t get me in.

And you? What book covers, if any, did you come up with to share?

We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson

Author: Devin Madson
Publisher: Orbit
Series: The Reborn Empire #1
Genre: Fantasy

Back Cover Blurb

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

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Movie Review: Mary Queen of Scots


Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary Stuart defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. However, Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I. Each young Queen beholds her sister in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence.

Director: Josie Rourke
Writers: Beau Willimon, John Guy
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

What I loved about Mary Queen of Scots, is that it comes across as ‘authentic’. And that’s because the director Josie Rourke, and her team, have gone all out. The attention to not just the period details as in setting, dress, dialogue, but also the tone has all been thought about, and, to my eye at least, done with care.

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First Contact or, Alien Invasion?

First Contact can come in many guises. And, if such a thing every happens, what would the reality of Aliens arriving be like for us here, on planet Earth? Would First Contact be benign or, an all out alien invasion?

Well, there’s been enough written by various SF authors over the decades about who, what, how and even why aliens might come to Earth. From invading forces sent to conquer us, through to subtle ‘Overlords’ quietly subverting us with ‘gifts’ that, in the end, alter our DNA, changing us from within only to be absorbed into the ‘Overmind’. Right through to alien flora landing on Earth via a meteorite shower, and colonising Africa from the roots up!

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