Here's the competition I promised you this morning.
Take a close look at all the 'jackets' for the e-single short stories I was talking about - you'll see them enlarged in the post below this one - then come back here and tell us which is your favourite and why.
You can tweet your entry if you'd prefer, so either use the hashtag #judgethejacket or mark it @Cornflowerbooks to be sure I see it, but whether you enter via a comment or a tweet, I'm looking for something short and sweet.
Now to the prizes, and Bloomsbury have very kindly offered a selection from which you can choose. The winner will get their choice of a hardback (or trade paperback) and a paperback from the following lists of books all out this month, and the runner-up will get a paperback.
For crime and thriller fans there's The Hanging by Lotte and Søren Hammer, the first in a new six part series featuring Danish detective Konrad Simonsen. "On a cold Monday morning before school begins, two children make a gruesome discovery. Hanging from the roof of the school gymnasium are the bodies of five naked and heavily disfigured men. Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen and his team from the Murder Squad in Copenhagen are called in to investigate this horrific case - the men hanging in a geometric pattern; the scene so closely resembling a public execution. When the identities of the five victims and the disturbing link between them is leaked to the press, the sinister motivation behind the killings quickly becomes apparent to the police. Up against a building internet campaign and even members of his own team, Simonsen finds that he must battle public opinion and vigilante groups in his mission to catch the killers."
A Girl Like You by Maureen Lindley begins in 1939 in rural California. Thirteen-year-old "Satomi Baker is used to being different, being half American, half Japanese. When war is declared, Satomi's father Aaron is one of the first to sign up and is sent to the base at Pearl Harbor. He never returns. The community which has tolerated its foreign residents for decades suddenly turns on them, and along with thousands of other Japanese-American citizens, Satomi and her mother are sent to a brutal labour camp in the wilderness ... At Manzanar, Satomi learns what it takes to survive, and what it means to be American. But it will be years before she will discover who she really is under the surface of her skin."
Kate Manning's My Notorious Life by Madame X has been described as a cross between Call the Midwife and The Crimson Petal and the White! "Axie Muldoon, the headstrong daughter of Irish immigrants, grows up to become the most successful – and controversial – midwife of her time. She rises from the gutter to the glitter of Fifth Avenue high society, and discovers that the right way is not always the way of the church or the law, and that you should never trust a man who says ‘trust me.’ But what if that man is an irresistible risk-taker with a poetical Irish soul? As Axie’s reputation grows she finds herself on a collision course with the crusading official who would be the righteous instrument of her downfall. It will take all of her power to outwit him and save both herself and those she loves from ruin."
Juliet Nicolson is well known as a social historian, but in Abdication she has turned to fiction, using her extensive knowledge of the period as background to a novel set in the mid-1930s. "After the recent death of George V, England has a new king, Edward VIII. But for all the confident pomp and ceremony of the accession, it is a turbulent time. When nineteen-year-old May Thomas arrives in Liverpool, her first job as secretary and chauffeuse to Sir Philip Blunt introduces her to the upper echelons of British society – and to Julian, a young man of conscience whom, despite all barriers of class, she cannot help but fall for. But hidden truths, unspoken sympathies and covert complicities are everywhere, and the threat of another world war becomes increasingly inevitable..."
Canada by Richard Ford has one of those 'no punches pulled' opening lines: 'First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.' "It was more bad instincts and bad luck that lead to Dell Parson’s parents robbing a bank. They weren’t reckless people, but in an instant, their actions alter fifteen-year-old Dell’s sense of normal life forever. In the days that follow, he is saved before the authorities think to arrive. Driving across Montana, his life hurtles towards the unknown; a hotel in a deserted town, the violent and enigmatic Arthur Remlinger, and towards Canada itself. But, as Dell discovers, in this new world of secrets and upheaval, he is not the only one whose past lies on the other side of the border."
Last but not least, Lance Weller's Wilderness: "Thirty years ago, Abel Truman found himself on the wrong side in the Battle of the Wilderness, one of the bloodiest clashes of the American Civil War. Its aftermath took him to the edge of the continent, the rugged coast of Washington State, where he has made his home in a driftwood shack with his beloved dog, waiting for the scars of war to heal. Now an old and ailing man, Abel must make one heroic final journey over the snowbound Olympic Mountains. But as Abel sets out, violence follows him in the shape of the memories of those he has lost, and the savagery he witnessed, as well as two men who are darkly tenacious in their pursuit. Hypatia is a freed slave who finds herself walking unwittingly into the hellish heart of the Wilderness. Ellen is a white woman, married to a black man at a time that is as dangerous as it is unforgiving. And Jane is a young Chinese girl, who is newly, cruelly orphaned, and clinging on to life. Abel's epic journey leads him to each of them as he encounters compassion amid brutality and tenderness within loss."
What a great range of books from which to choose your prize, so please get on and 'judge the jackets' - this is open to everyone, no matter where in the world you are, just comment or tweet, tell me your favourite e-single short story 'jacket' and why you particularly like it, and I'll pick the winners soon.