It seemed an easy enough task:
"Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images."
Except it seems I'm not that kind of reader.
If the women on the covers of my books are holding anything, it tends to be a weapon, or two, or three.
Apparently, my heroines owe more to Kali than Lakshmi.
Here are five examples from books I've reviewed in the past four months:
"The Stepsister Scheme" by Jim C. Hines.
I mean, it's Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. You'd think at least one of them would carry a rose.
But no, Snow has throwing star in the shape of snowflakes, Cinders has a magically forged glass sword and Beauty (don't call her that or she'll make you suffer) has something that looks like it should be on a spinning wheel but which she can use to bludgeon or strangle.
There's Jane Yellowrock in "The Dark Queen", who gets less human and more lethal with every book.
She could rip her enemies apart without a weapon but here she's using a sword because that's how the European Vamps duel and wearing white fighting leathers because it shows off the blood spatter from her enemies so well.
This is a woman whose most treasured gift from her lover was a dagger and who never travels without her Benelli shotgun.
There's the inimitable Kate Daniels in "Magic Shifts", who kills more people/beings in a single fight scene than most characters do in a whole novel and does it all hand to hand.
In this cover she's carrying Sarrat, a sword that literally hungers for blood and eats the souls of the slain. No flowers for her, either
You'd think a character with an unaggressive name like Verity Price might be the flower carrying kind.
She works as a waitress, likes to dance the tango and spends her spare time as a cryptozoologist, tracking species with supernatural abilities.
She even has her own tribe of mice worshipping her in her apartment.
Yet here she is, on the cover of "Discount Armageddon" with a pistol in her hand.
Finally, there's Maggie Hoskie,"Trail Of Lightning". Set in a near-future post-apocalyptic world where most of America has been drowned by climate change, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn.
The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.
A supernaturally gifted killer, Maggie hunts the Dinétah monsters.
As an outcast and a warrior, it's not surprising that, instead of flowers, she carries a shotgun AND a machete on the cover of the first novel in this new series.