Guest Author: Kalayna Price

Kalayna PriceToday, I am excited to welcome back Kalayna Price as she prepares to celebrate the release of her new urban fantasy novel, Grave Witch.

Grave witch Alex Craft can speak to the dead, but that doesn’t mean she likes what they have to say…

As a private investigator and consultant for the police, Alex Craft has seen a lot of dark magic. But even though she’s on good terms with Death himself—who happens to look fantastic in a pair of jeans—nothing has prepared her for her latest case. Alex is investigating a high profile murder when she’s attacked by the ‘shade’ she’s raising, which should be impossible. To top off her day, someone makes a serious attempt on her life, but Death saves her. Guess he likes having her around . . .

To solve this case Alex will have to team up with tough homicide detective Falin Andrews. Falin seems to be hiding something—though it’s certainly not his dislike of Alex—but Alex knows she needs his help to navigate the tangled webs of mortal and paranormal politics, and to track down a killer wielding a magic so malevolent, it may cost Alex her life . . . and her soul.

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a $10 Amazon gift-card to a lucky reader (who could possibly get Grave Witch with it?).

On the Grave Witch cover

Everyone says you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, a cover is the very first thing anyone sees. It is typically the thing that compels a reader to pull it off the shelf (or click on a link) and read more about the book. A cover is powerful. Ironically, it is also one of the things a writer has the least amount of control over. With that in mind, it probably isn’t surprising a common saying among writers is that the ‘cover gods’ favored them when they end up with a particularly good cover.

Well, in my opinion, the cover gods definitely favored me with the cover of my upcoming release, Grave Witch.

Grave WitchIn reality, I owe my thanks to my amazing editor, the team at Roc, and the stunning artwork of Aleta Rafton. Here is a quick breakdown of the events on my side leading up to the cover’s big reveal.

At the beginning of the year my editor let me know that the book would be discussed at the next cover conference with the art department at Ace/Roc. She asked me to give her a detailed description of Alex—both her physical attributes as well as clothes, weapons, or any charms etc. she might be carrying. She also asked if there were any scenes in the book I thought would lend themselves well to the cover image. I supplied that information and then all I had left to do was wait as my editor took that information to the cover conference, an artist was commissioned, and a layout was designed.

A few months later my editor sent me an image of the cover and I was absolutely blown away. The artist, Aleta, had really captured not only Alex (the main character) but the feel of the book. I loved it, my agent loved it, and my editor loved. So I was given permission to post it and share it with the world. The response was wonderful. I couldn’t yet release anything else about the book (like an excerpt) but people loved the cover.

Since then, the position of some of the text has changed and quotes have been added, but the cover is basically the same as that initial image. And I still love it, mostly because if it weren’t my book, I would totally zero in on it on the shelf. Blessed by the cover gods indeed–I hope the same team and artist work on the rest of the books in the series.

So, with covers in mind, I have a couple questions for you today: How influential is cover art when you are browsing books? What draws you to cover? What are some of your favorite covers?

Thanks everyone, and thank you so much for having me here today, Jackie!


Kalayna Price is the author of the Alex Craft Novels, a new dark urban fantasy series from Roc, and the author of the Novels of Haven from Bell Bridge Books. She draws her ideas from the world around her, her studies into ancient mythologies, and her
obsession with classic folklore. Her stories contain not only the mystical elements of fantasy, but also a dash of romance, a bit of gritty horror, some humor, and a large serving of mystery. She is a member of SFWA and RWA, and an avid hula-hoop dancer who has been known light her hoop on fire. To find out more, please visit her at


once bittenWant to purchase Kalayna’s novels?


  1. Once Bitten at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. Twice Dead at Amazon or the Book Depository

Alex Craft

  1. Grave Witch at Amazon or the Book Depository


Thank you Kalayna for visiting Literary Escapism again.

Contest Time! Kalayna has graciously offered to give away a $10 Amazon giftcard to a lucky reader.  All you have to do is answer this one question: How influential is cover art when you are browsing books? What draws you to cover? What are some of your favorite covers?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of Kalayna’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until October 5th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. Cover art doesn’t really influence me whether i pick up a book or not. What really matter is the synopsis, if it sounds good than i will buy it. As for favorite covers, the only thing that currently comes to mind is Rachel Vincent’s shifter series. I loveeee the latest/last book in the series, ALPHA.

    +1 LE facebook fan/ twitter follower.
    +1 commented on your review of Sins of the Flesh.

    great giveaway. I’m currently reading ONCE BITTEN, looking forward to reading Twice Dead and Grave Witch!

  2. Because I mainly shop online, covers don’t influence me much. I do like to admire them when they are pretty, but they don’t cause me to buy (or not buy). I have to say, this cover is really nice and seems to match pretty closely with the story.

    +1 commented on Twelve
    +1 commented on Venom

  3. When I am browsing for something new to read cover art plays a big part. If a cover looks great it draws my attention and I will take the time to read what it is about. I don’t know what exactly draws me to a cover though.

    +1 follow on twitter @throuthehaze

  4. covers are very important, it will make me pick up a book and read the blurb. I like UF with a kick-ass female lead and a sexy alpha-male that she goes head to head with. So I look for those elements on a cover. The cover of Hush, Hush was so dramatic it made me want to read it knowing nothing about it .
    I like Kim Harrisons’ covers. I am attracted to the pale cover with a color highlighted like the cover of Grave Witch. Even if I hadn’t read the reviews (which have been great) I would pick up your book and buy it.
    2 points for me!

  5. I’m definitely guilty of judging books by their covers (and I love the cover for Grave Witch by the way!) I’ve had a bazillion favorite covers, but some of my favorites recently have been Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, Rob Thurman’s Trickster books, and Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares covers.
    tweeted-!/bcardoo79/status/25889663838 +1
    shared on fb-!/profile.php?id=1625972197&v=wall&story_fbid=131800013535598 +1
    follow LE on twitter and fb +1

  6. Cover art is incredibly important to me! Something unique always draws me to the cover. My favorite cover right now is Fallen by Lauren Kate.

    +1 I’m a FB fan~ Jennifer L.

  7. oh I can’t wait for your book Kalayna!
    covers influence me all the time – it’s the first impression I get from the book and often I decides if I read the blurb or not… and honestly, I’ve bought books just because of the cover – sometimes I was lucky and I loved the book too, otherwhile I wasn’t as lucky, but I still have a fantastic cover *g* some of my favorite covers are those of Gena Showalters Lords of the Underworld series with their butterfly tattoos…
    wish you all the best, Melanie S.

  8. I always admire the covers of books, but it really does not influence me to buy the book as I always read the summaries before I buy. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the cover because if I’m not interested, I won’t buy it.

    I’m looking forward to reading your book Kalayna!

  9. Hi Van! Oh, I agree, I love the Alpha cover–actually, I love all the Shifters series covers. Absolutely gorgeous and they look great together on the shelf. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the books!

    Hi PamK. I’m the same way. With a series I already know about, I’m going to be looking for it and not worry too much about the cover. It’s a new series where the cover is so important because unless someone recommends the book to me, I’m never going to pick it up and flip it over if the cover doesn’t catch my eye. Thanks for stopping by!

    Thanks so much, JenM! So when shopping online, what is typically the element of a book that makes you click on it to read more? Recommendations? Blogs like this one? I’d love to know (mainly to make sure I’m not missing some way for the books find readers). Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Hi Throuthehaze! It just works for you or it doesn’t, huh? I totally understand that–art is always subjective. Thanks for commenting!

    Thanks so much, Sharon! Oh, yeah, marketing departments have us well trained on which elements to look for in a cover. It is really funny to watch the progression of Urban Fantasy covers over the last decade or so. I haven’t read Hush, Hush yet, but I’ve been hearing awesome things about it. I need to add it to my TBR. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Thanks Bethany! Oh, I agree, all of those authors have great covers. Thanks for commenting!

    Hi Ladytink! I haven’t read Fallen yet, but I absolutely love the cover (and the blurb). I think I’ll have to add that one to my TBR. Thanks for stopping by!

    Thanks so much Melanie! (I’m also getting to the anxious stage–five more days!) I don’t know that I’ve ever purchased on just the cover art before, but it definitely influences me on whether or not I flip the cover open and read the first page. Thanks for commenting!

    Thanks Stephanie! I agree–the cover might make me pick it up, but it won’t make me buy the book. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Cover art can play a big part when I buy a book. Like this cover, I forgot how I cam across it, but the cover immediately grab my attention and I read the cover back and immediately began wanting to read it. Of course, still waiting since I read the cover back on Kalayna’s website! But covers can really grab your attention when browsing the shelves. Although there have been covers I didn’t like, but they were from authors I already liked and read so it didn’t bother me. But when it comes to new authors, a cover can really just grab at you, it makes you want to read the back.

  12. How influential is cover art when you are browsing books? At the bookstore or online, a good cover will make me turn the book over to read the synopsis on the back. This is beneficial if I’ve not heard of the book before.
    What draws you to cover? Artistry in the drawing and what it is meant to infer to the reader.
    What are some of your favorite covers? I love Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series covers. They are so completely different and quirky compared to other book covers.

    Kalayna: I have had GRAVE WITCH on the Wanton Wantin’ Book List (WWBL) for the longest time, probably since I first saw a synopsis (and the cover). I look forward to reading it.

  13. Covers are important if I’m just randomly wandering through the bookstore killing time. An attractive cover will definitely influence me to pick up the book and read the blurb on the back (and if that sounds good too then there goes the book budget!). If it’s an author I already know and love then I’ll buy the book regardless of the cover. My tastes tend to change in what I’m looking for in a cover. Lately, I’ve been loving tattoos. Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson books have some great cover art!

  14. I do have to say that cover does look amazing! I like the candles and fog in the grave yard. Nice touch.

    I try not to let covers be the only reason I pick up a book, or to turn me away from a book. But, I do agree that the cover is part in the first thing to get a reader pick the book off the shelf. So, I guess, yes, the cover is part in what helps me pick books. But I am attracted to different types of covers, and it seems I go through spurts on which ones attract me. For a short while I was picking up reads with people/men in hooded cloaks. But I also like artwork on covers too, not always having to have people on the cover.

    But, what I really like to do is study the cover and try to think what it relays of the book. Then when I am reading and even after I finish the book I look back at the cover and see if it really relates to the book. To me I think the cover should be part of the book in a way. To relate even through one scene, or in the essence of the book.

    Oh, I think I have babbled on long enough here. :) Thank you!

    +1 for following on Twitter, @MelLHay
    +1 for on my side bar –

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