Cover Snark: Chocolate in the Desert?

Happy Cover Snark Monday!

The Chocolate Works by Robin Knight. A man in a white chef's jacket holds a platter of chocolate and brownies while he smiles. Behind him is a desert with two large mesas.

Amanda: Sir that is going to be a melty mess in under an hour.

Elyse: Imagine you’re already lost in the desert, thirsty as fuck, and some dude comes up to you with a chocolate sampler platter.

Carrie: I mean… not even an iced mocha? I didn’t know you could go wrong with chocolate but here we are.

Tara: I’d tuck a couple of brownies in my bag for later and keep walking.

Sarah: I have some suspicions about what kind of brownies those are and in case my suspicions are correct I’ll take 6.

Oh Great! I Was Reincarnated as a Farmer by Benjamin Kerei. A young man in overalls, holding a pitchfork looks sad as he stands in front of a burning farmhouse. Next to him is a smiling ghost of a woman. She has on an apron and her hair is in a bun. She's offering him a spectral plate of yummy breakfast food.

Amanda: Not necessarily a snark because the cover makes me want to know more, but the title made me laugh.

Sarah: I love how HAPPY the ghost on the left is.

Amanda: I wonder if it’s a series, where this guy keeps getting reincarnated into professions he hates.

Hockey with Benefits by Tijan. Just the shoulders up of a white man with a strong jaw and flopping brown hair. A small hockey stick originates from the right side of the cover and is pasted across his throat.

From PamG: So I saw this and thought for a moment that it was kind of aesthetically pleasing. Color scheme, pretty guy, no egregious cover fails. . . . I mean, who says decapitation ain’t sexy, amirite?

Sarah: I think that’s a penalty, either high sticking or hooking or attempted murder.

Susan: With the world’s tiniest hockey stick as well!

Amanda: What is this? Hockey for ants?!

Dragon's Instinct by Elva Birch. The subtitle is a daycare for shifters. A man in an unbuttoned flannel flexes his abs in front of a mountain range. In the bottom half of the cover, a squirrel is breathing fire.

From PamG: I’m backkkk. Again, this didn’t seem bad at first glance. A little squirrelly, but. . . you get the picture. When I blew it up for details, though, so many little things were just full of nope. From his very creepy eyes coupled with the aw shucks pose, to the fire puking squirrel who appears to have set their own tail on fire. Also, is it just me, or is the musculature just a tad off? Worst of all, is something “weeping” below the belt–er, title.

Sarah: I remain curious about the lack of childcare in these worlds. I would have thought that supportive services and networks would have been a foundational element to shifter and/or alien societies.

Fire breathing squirrels, though. That’s new.

Lara: Maybe I’ve listened to too many true crime podcasts but the proximity of smouldering man to children’s toys gives me the ick. But then it’s the day care for the squirrel? Like that woman on TikTok who has a daycare for raccoons?

Susan: …Okay, that squirrel IS breathing fire.

I was genuinely worried I was making that up.

Sneezy: Did it light their own tail on fire too?

Susan: There’s probably a joke to be made about how this isn’t why squirrels are red, but I’m just not getting there.

Comments are Closed

  1. Evelyn Alexie says:

    Is his hand on the back of his neck because otherwise his head would fall off?

    While I’m all for a hot guy with a six back, this man looks like he has four breasts.

    Now I’m wondering if the squirrel is the one who shifts into a dragon. That would be kinda cool, except that squirrels are jerks for the most part.

  2. cat_blue says:

    Ahh, a bountiful harvest of WTFery! Thank you all for your service.

    On the one hand, I get what they were going for in the first one–“this is a chef/chocolatier romance hero and the setting is the desert”–on the other, yeah, about the only time chocolate is unappealing to me is when it’s blistering hot and what I need is water…waaaater… Ironically, I think this one might’ve benefited from a cartoony cover; it’d feel less literal.

    I wish they’d gotten a “reincarnation”/”tarnation” pun in the second one. When Stardew Valley goes wrong…

    Please do not whack anyone in the throat with a hockey stick, I believe that’s a penalty.

    That last one…that’s, uh, that’s a lot. Hallucinatory mountain range. Fire breathing flaming squirrel vomit. Shifter dragon? Dragon squirrel hybrid? Shifter daycare? What’s worse, a daycare run by dragons or a daycare run by squirrels? Will his giant head pop off his slightly too-small body?! What species is implied by glowing zombie eyes?!?! Are there five total fonts, or six???

    …Anyway, flawless, no notes.

  3. LisaM says:

    @cat_blue I am counting the blocks as a separate font. Despite the blocks though I read it as “Dragon’s Instinct for Shifters,” which makes them sound like prey.

  4. JenM says:

    The cover for Dragon’s Instinct is a bit much, but it’s an actually an adorable, low angst romance, perfect to counteract the sh*t storm going on in the world right now. It features a harried dragon shifter single dad whose ex is a squirrel shifter. Their toddler daughter is both a squirrel shifter AND breathes fire and the poor dad is neglecting his work because he’s constantly chasing after her and pulling her out of trees and other high places. The romance is with his new neighbor, a human woman, who stumbles across his secret when the kid runs into her yard in squirrel form and her cat chases after her. Bonkers I know but really fun!

    As for the second one, Oh Great, I Was Reincarnated…., I couldn’t resist looking it up and apparently it’s a very highly rated LitRPG novel with over 6,000 reviews. The description sounded bonkers in a very good way and since it’s in KU it jumped right onto my never ending TBR mountain.

  5. EC Spurlock says:

    The guy with the chocolate looks like Satan trying to tempt you into dehydrating yourself faster so he doesn’t have to wait around to collect your soul.

    @ cat_blue, the term is REINTARNATION. Actually this reminds me a bit of the webtoon The Goddess’ Guide to Farming, if it was written by T Kingfisher.

    Hockey guy’s head is far too big to be mistaken for a puck, so I can only infer they are hooking him offstage because his act was getting too emo. And dragon guy’s head definitely does not belong to that body. His right arm may not either. And I could have used that squirrel to light my grill this afternoon.

  6. kweeks says:

    Is there a ghost hand at the dragon shifters waste??

  7. Sandra says:

    Ya know, I read the title of the post as “Chocolate in the Dessert”, and my first thought, was — of course, where else would it be? And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t take candy from that guy…

  8. denise says:

    Is it a day care for the shifters or their offspring?

  9. Maite says:


    I wishlisted Dragon Instinct thanks to your rec.

  10. BookFrog says:

    Does that one stack of chocolate brownies have eyes? On the right hand side the one with two white round things? Are these living brownies?

    Also, is that hockey guy trying to stop his wig from flying off? There is something weird happening with his hair.

  11. Kareni says:

    It could be eyes, @BookFrog, or perhaps an owl.

  12. MegCat says:

    I take it that the first title is supposed to be “The Chocolate Works”? Being a user of UK-style English, I misread it as “The Chocolate Wanks”…

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