Opinions, Please

By Joe Moore

Last week, my publisher sent over the final cover design for my new thriller THE PHOENIX APOSTLES (written with Lynn Sholes) which is scheduled for release in June, 2011. TPA-blogThe title—the first one our publisher accepted with no change—refers to a group of followers of a religions cult that believes the only way to save the world from the predicted end of mankind is to appease the gods using the same technique as the Aztecs: human sacrifice. Or more specific, the ripping out of a human heart while the victim is still alive. Those are the “apostles” referred to in the title. The phoenix portion comes from the name of the group itself: The Phoenix Ministry, of which their logo is the mythical phoenix bird rising from its own ashes.

The cover consists of two main elements: the phoenix bird aflame shooting out of an Aztec pyramid, both of which go along with the plot of the story.

Although the back cover text has not been finalized, here’s the gist of the what it will say.

THE PHOENIX APOSTLES (coming June, 2011)

At a dig site in Mexico City, magazine journalist Seneca Hunt is reporting on the opening of Montezuma’s tomb when it’s discovered that the remains of the Aztec emperor are missing. Before she can investigate further, what appears to be a terrorist attack kills the dig team including her fiancé. Seneca barely escapes the carnage not knowing that a passing glimpse of an out-of-place object in the tomb may have sealed her fate. She soon learns that someone is stealing the burial remains of the most infamous mass murderers in history. Seeing a story in the making, her research uncovers a plot to slaughter millions in the name of an ancient cult. Seneca teams up with a bestselling novelist to prove the threat really exists while staying one step ahead of those who want her dead. As time is running out, she must follow a 2000-year-old trail leading back to the death of Jesus Christ.

Some of my fellow thriller authors were kind and generous enough to take the time to read THE PHOENIX APOSTLES and send me a blurb. Here are four:

"Bold, taut, and masterfully told."
— James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of THE DOOMSDAY KEY

"A fascinating, compelling page-turner."
— Carla Neggers, New York Times bestselling author of COLD DAWN

"A knockout apocalyptic thriller!"
— Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of IMPACT and THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE

"A rollicking thrill ride!"
— Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of ICE COLD

You can read their complete quotes by clicking here.

So now that you’ve seen the cover and know a little bit about the story, would it grab your attention if you saw it in your favorite bookstore? Would it make you want to read the book? Please be honest and share your opinion. Thanks.

18 thoughts on “Opinions, Please

  1. Yep, I’d grab it to look, just from the cover and after reading the back I’d definitely give it a try. Now, I’m going to have to mark it down on my calendar… darn you Joe.

  2. Thanks, Chaco Kid. Of course, while you’re waiting to fill this newly-created void in your life, you can always go grab one of our previous 4 thrillers. 🙂

    Thanks, Jane, for commenting. I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy TPA.

  3. it would depend on the detail of the ‘ripping heart while still beating’ thing. if graphic detail…probably not going to pick up. but the cover is really an eye catcher.

  4. Kathy, what a “heartless” comment. 🙂 Just kidding. Actually, with one exception, it’s the threat, not the real act of human sacrifice that keeps the story compelling. Hope you get a chance to read it.

  5. The book sounds intriguing and I like the cover. The black background makes the phoenix flame really stand out and I like that boldness. On further inspection, I do have a few suggestions:

    (1) I think the subtitle should really be below the word Apostles rather than above it. It has that out of order feel like those ubiquitous Automatic-CAUTION-Door signs. I suggest keeping the typeface and style but add an outline so the lettering doesn’t get lost in the flame.

    (2) Part of me really questions including the Aztec temple. The other elements all fit together. It must be because the phoenix is not part of Aztec mythology. (Thank you wikipedia!) That makes the cover image disconcerting to me, like mixing apples and grapefruit in the same barrel. May I suggest you try the cover without it? I think it might look better and be less confusing to the casual prospective reader by having only the phoenix flame. That or perhaps substitute a more obvious image suggestive of human sacrifice. An alter or something. Perhaps a zoomed-in view of just the top of the pyramid. Or a beating human heart… (Thanks Kathy)

    The cover aside, put some time into designing the spine too. It’s the first thing that most people will see.

  6. The cover and title would guarantee I’d pick it up. And the blurb is definitely intriguing. I’d probably start reading in the store and decide then if I wanted to buy it.

  7. Thanks, Travener. Glad you like it. I do, too.

    Hey Daniel, appreciate your critique. As I mentioned, this is the final cover art produced by the publisher so it’s out of my hands. In reality, most writers have little or no input on cover art, anyway. Watch for this one in a bookstore near you in June. Satisfaction guaranteed. 🙂

    Hi Sheila, thanks for your comments.

  8. JM –
    Like the cover and love the impressive line-up of ‘blurbers’ and their comments. Those with any inclination will be positively influenced. Will make it tough for them to leave without book in hand.
    Congrats –

  9. Thanks Mark and TJC. Looks like we have a mostly positive reaction to the cover. I hope you all get a chance to read TPA. If you do, let me know what you think.

Comments are closed.