A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Guest Contributor

A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – This Week’s Pick – “Stung” by K.A. Merikan – Cover Art by Nikos Vasilakis and Book Cover Master Class

K.A. Merikan is a daring soul.

She actually sent me a cover and asked me to review it! That’s right folks, me, the queen of confusion, the mistress of mumble, and the dastardly diva of disorientation. (I kinda like that last one) And what do I say to that? YAY!!!!!!!!! And you’re sure you sent it to the right person correct?!

She has very good cause to want to have this cover reviewed because this cover is BEEautiful. (Shut up, I’m beeing clever here!)

My first impression of this cover was wow, WOW, stunning, intriguing, creepily elegant and seriously makes me want to offer the model a wet nap cause that’s gonna be a pain to clean up later. Then again, who amongst us can’t say that we haven’t had sticky substances on our face from time to time that needed a little extra help?

Uh huh…..I see you over there, raise your hand!

Anyhow back to the cover. This is actually a photograph done by the wonderful photographer Nikos Vasilakis (with a little PS work thrown in by Joanna of Book Cover Master Class) whose art focuses on mainly erotic shots of women. He has some other shots of mouths that are just as pretty as this one but I have to agree with K.A., this particular shot is just striking. It’s so raw almost. I’m guessing, for me at least, it’s due to the purity of the white makeup that somehow looks soft and yet gives you a feel of inevitability. Someday, may not be today or tomorrow, but someday soon, that makeup will crack and peel and show the true color beneath. The whole story if you will. The tongue, so human, and oddly vulnerable peeking out. It’s color lush and succulent like the honey that coats it. You long to kiss those lips and sup from the sticky sweet but yet, something holds you back, something seems not quite right here.

Erotic, to be sure, but ominous also. Does the tongue remind anyone else of a flower petal?

The honeycombs on the outer edges as well as the lovely font for Stung were both done by Joanna of Book Cover Master Class.

By now you’re probably wondering what the hell the book is about, correct? You all know I don’t read the books, I can recite all the terms applying to cognitive dissonance and how they apply to persuasion, but read a book for fun lately? Well if I did, the cover on this story, much like the cover of The Adorned that I reviewed two weeks prior (you can find that here if you’re so inclined), would definitely make me stop and pick up the book. Again, like The Adorned, I say, who cares what the story is about…look at the pretty!!!

Of course, I know myself all too well and I’d read the premise (which I actually did after the author sent it to me) and it sounds like a wickedly interesting story that in the authors’ words is “a homoerotic novel, but it’s also a thriller and a story of zombies and gore.”

EROTIC, ZOMBIES, AND GORE!!!!!!! Did you see that? *does a happy dance* Horror with sex! What could be better, I ask you? *points at random person clutching their Fifty Shades of Grey* No comments from the peanuts. *grins and winks*

Oh all right, I’ll attest that horror doesn’t do it for a lot of people, but for those of us that it does do it for, this sounds like a good one. It’s about a soft man that’s never seen a day of hard labor suddenly thrust onto a “safe” haven run by the mob called Honeyhill, and expected to do his share of back breaking labor in order to survive. He understands that he is not going to survive the labor aspect of said haven and instead, aligns himself with a guard named Crunch. No not Captain Crunch, just Crunch, who is working undercover for the good guys and trying to liberate Honeyhill.

Did I mention that it’s 20 years into a zombie apocalypse and that it’s a dystopian society? No? Well, it is! I love dystopian books. And movies, and shows, and and and. Yep, I might be persuaded to read this one. Hopefully, maybe….*sighs*

And see? I did it again wandered off the subject. Cover, Alex, focus on the cover! *thunks head on desk*

The font is perfect for this cover. It’s sharp like a bee’s stinger and doesn’t overpower the strength of the image. Which K.A. let me know that she and Joanna discussed at length before finally settling on this very cool type. Sharp edges with intriguing curves and a lovely overlay of the honeycomb pattern reflecting the outer edges of the cover all work together wonderfully to pull the whole thing into one cohesive work of art.

Seriously, I think this is one of my faves so far. This is what a lot of cover artists wish they could achieve with stock photos. So what do you have to do for a visually appealing one shot like this, if you don’t get lucky like K.A. did? TAKE NOTE ARTISTS: 1) You need to join or set up an account or at the very least set up light boxes on a stock site and start stuffing any and all beautiful, stunning, shocking, interesting pieces of photography in there that you can find.

I have over a thousand pictures in my account on Fotolia, and it’s mostly just neat stuff that I’ve found that look high quality, aren’t run of the mill, and can perhaps in the future be Frankensteined to do my bidding. Oh and also, purchasing an actual membership generally gives you set prices for all the photos. So if you find a picture you LOVE but can’t afford ‘cause they want an outrageous sum for the photo, with a membership it shifts the price into the same price range as all the rest. At least on Fotolia, I have mine set up to buy a certain amount of pics a month and my prices are the same for all the photos, same sizes (extra large), and they are useable on covers. I actually called and asked for my own peace of mind. It’s saved me a ton of money also. Just a little FYI for you manippers out there. It’s different from site to site but well worth the time and energy looking into it if you’re going to go into any sort of Photoshop based work.

Well…I think that’s all for me this week, folks. I hope you enjoyed my nattering and please remember, if you have a cover you made or perhaps one you love, feel free to send it to me in an email to review. I love hearing from others.

Also feel free to follow me on Facebook

Have a great day and may the good books be with you!


All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.


One thought on “A.J. Corza’s Got You Covered – This Week’s Pick – “Stung” by K.A. Merikan – Cover Art by Nikos Vasilakis and Book Cover Master Class

  1. I’m so glad you elected to review this cover today, Alex! I love it, but now can pick up on things you’ve pointed out that I hadn’t noticed before, i.e., the stingers on the font and the flower petal tongue.

    The scene in the book that corresponds to the cover is very sensual, which makes that juicy tongue and the honied temptation even more provocative than it already is.

    Great review!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s