A Contest! Guess the Cover Art Themes and Win a Free Book

A contest! Let’s have a contest!

Wonderful Reader N asked this question about my book The Race:

Can I ask a quick question about the book cover? Was the design meant to suggestion a flag because it’s about elections? I am a little obsessed about book covers–maybe because my design sense is stunted from birth–and I’m curious where yours came from.

Great question! And yes! A flag is definitely one of the tropes. This is a story about America and its flailing democracy. But that’s not all! Here’s a reminder of the cover in all its glory…


The flag is definitely a key – some versions had a capital building silhouette, some had a close-up of a smiling politician, and on and on and on. This is a former governor who’s now running for Congress, after all. Politics and flag waving. Speeches on the hustings. Apple pie. Kissing babies. Fourth of July. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But that’s not REALLY what the story’s about. Or rather, that’s not ALL it’s about.

There are two other elements of the story that are reflected in the cover. I’ll send a free copy of the book to whoever first guesses each of the themes.

For those who haven’t read the book, a set of clues from reviewer alinefromabook:

I found this book absolutely fascinating. There was no crime to investigate, no thrills, no action scenes, no romantic scenes just a compelling story that is a journey through what motivates a man to do what he does.

The story is told by a lawyer who is asked by a disgraced politician to help him organize his biography. Then the politician decides he wants to run for office again. He has no support from the media, no support from his party and especially no support from his family. Why? Because while serving as the governor of the state of Wisconsin he had an affair and disappeared for a few days to be with his mistress. Only in this story, his wife does not stand by her husband on stage or anywhere else and neither do his children. People turn away when he walks down the street. And yet he continues until the last moment to be optimistic that the voters will come through for him. Our storyteller is with the candidate through every step of his campaign because he has no manager and no staff.

I couldn’t help but feel that there is a lot of truth in the author’s portrayal of the candidate that confirms my personal opinion that some of them seem to live in a bit of a fantasy world. I also found the author’s writing style to be very approachable, like a friend relating a story. Bottom line, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to everyone. And since it’s a novella and doesn’t require a huge commitment of time, those of you that might not typically pick up a book in this genre should really give it a try. I hope to read more from Jacke Wilson in the near future.

Is that enough of a hint? Let’s see!


13 thoughts on “A Contest! Guess the Cover Art Themes and Win a Free Book

  1. I notice the one star, a “falling star” down below the title, and suppose this is our anti-hero, the politician. He’s fallen from grace–lost his family, his political party, his honor and respectability. He’s separated from the rest of these “stars”, and plummeting toward the dark, black, flat ground below. Feels like certain destruction.

    And how about this interpretation–because you’ve used stars to represent the protagonist and the other characters in the story, then there is the possibility for redemption hidden in that symbol. The chance to once again be “heavenly” (and I don’t mean in the religious sense, but rather, that the character has the hope of being greater than his base, “earthly” self that is full of selfishness, delusion, and greed).


    1. Wow, that is very interesting! I’m going to make announcements of results on the main page and I’d like to keep this open for more guesses for a while, but it’s hard to believe that this won’t be among the winners. 🙂 Actually I may have to expand the prizes to more people, because both you and Christopher have already come close to the main themes I was looking for.

      There are a couple more out-of-the box ideas that could still earn free books for other readers!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are nineteen stars above the title, and one star below. Nineteen, a prime number, has only two factors, itself and one. The single star, isolated from the others, is one of only two factors, but yet it is not the determinative factor. It is, in fact, both centrally important and arguably irrelevant to the (political) equation.

    But let’s see how deep this goes. All the stars have five points (another prime number), but the stars above the title are all oriented in the same way, with one of their points directed straight upward. The star below is in the reverse orientation, with a point directed straight downward. The lower star is off-kilter, or askew. Reubin Askew, one of the famous names of American politics, served two full terms as governor of Florida in the 1970s. But today, the best-known former governor of Florida is Jeb Bush, George W. Bush’s brother and George H.W. Bush’s son, who also served two terms. The Bush family, though, hails from Texas, the Lone Star State.

    Like a lone star, the candidate here is proud but isolated, far from the other stars. If the other stars wanted to reach him, they would have to call loudly, and probably would cry something like “Star!” Star in Latin is Stella, and is famously the cry loudly uttered by Marlon Brando (himself an isolated star) in his best-known role as Stanley Kowalski in the filmed version of A Streetcar Named Desire. A streetcar, of course, drives only a predetermined route which it repeats endlessly; the numberless parallels to desire, and also to the “machinery” of politics, are obvious and are left as an exercise to the reader.

    The book’s cover, then, symbolizes the isolation of the protagonist: a lone star, a political misfit who is forever askew, doomed never to be an important factor but trapped by his own desire to be a part of the system, and to follow a course not of his choosing and which he cannot change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Getting closer…

      (Just kidding! This is amazing! I think you’ve earned a free book AND a Today’s Comment of the Week. 🙂 And of course I had none of this in mind, although I’m a little sorry to admit it…)


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