Lover boy is back

Papi, not-my-dog who vanished in the pursuit of love, eventually came back. He was beaten up, scarred and limping – presumably he’d been doing battle with younger, stronger dogs for the favours of whatever luscious girls they’d found in the village.

But he was home, he was alive, and has since recovered. Here he is, lounging in the sun at the end of this winter. Looking tiny besides Laica!

IMG_6771 - Version 2Now, in fact, he has his very own wife. Now adult, Laica has been on a chain for two years since she was only a few months old. She was released over Christmas, when I got the chance to tame this vicious biter (wouldn’t you be angry and ready to bite if you’d been on a chain 24/7 since your childhood?) with a couple of dog chews and some gentleness. She is a sweet dog, full of energy and enthusiasm, always hungry, always longing for love. And now, very pregnant… Papi is about to become a father. Watch this space…

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Even the snowman has stayed in bed

Still snowing. The Queen’s birthday, 21st April, and the weather is insisting that it’s only January. The wind has changed direction, about 180 degrees, and has strengthened a lot. So my gates are blocked and would need digging out, plus a path from the gates to the house. Where the wind has blown the snow off the trees, I can see colour of leaves, and some whiteness of blossom. I can’t believe the blossom will survive to become fruit, but I hope hope hope. Also hope the poor young bees and other pollinators have found somewhere warm to shelter.

Time to light the fire again. It’s 3 degrees outside, so there must be a thaw in progress, but it’s going to take a while…

Do you judge a book by its cover?

book cover selection

Most of us do, for sure. The art and science of cover design is getting ever more sophisticated and there are some brilliant designers and illustrators working in the market. Each genre is building its own visual vocabulary, so that someone looking for a fantasy novel would never pick up a crime novel or a romance by mistake. Book buyers unconsciously learn the visual shorthand and all the clues which point to the kind of book they enjoy. At least in the UK – if you live elsewhere, is this true for your local publishing world ?

I’d love to know what you think of these covers on my Pinterest board (click for more covers at larger size). They are all covers I like, sometimes adore.

• Which are your favourites – and can you say why?

• Do you like the modern ones, or prefer the earlier design periods – 1960s, 1950s?

• Do the styles of particular geographic regions appeal, eg East European or Scandinavian?

• Are there covers here that put you off?

•Which do you dislike, and are there any you hate?

• Which covers make you want to go to a bookstore and buy the book?

Look forward to your thoughts.