Cover Reveal, Craig A. Hart, S.J. Varengo


It’s been so long since we’ve written anything here that I almost feel like I need to introduce myself all over again. Assuming I introduced myself previously, which is not a sure thing, as I’m painfully shy. In fact, do you see the brick wall behind the “hello” sign? I’m hiding behind it right now. But anyway, the therapist said, “It’s best to jump right in and get it over with.” We were standing on the culdera of a volcano at the time, but I’m sure he meant it as an encouragement. Pretty sure. In any case, hi, I’m Scott, a writer from Upstate New York. Pleased to meet you.

My writing partner Craig lives over there, (points to Iowa).

I told you we write, but I haven’t told you what! You know those little cartoon instructions that come in a box containing 3,485 parts, leaving you scratching your head and inventing new swear words? Yeah, that’s not us. We write books.

Now you probably want to know what kind of books we write. You know those paperbacks with the glossy covers that always have a dude with great abs, which are clearly visible because he either doesn’t own a shirt or, if he does, it has been reduced to little more than a napkin on his left shoulder? Yeah, that’s not us either. We write pulse-pounding espionage, thrillers, and adventures.

But more about that later. First, let’s talk about those shirtless dudes!

OMG, is he going to do a RANT?

Yes. Yes, he is.

But my conclusion may surprise you.

In general the books with these covers, you know the topless man with abs so well developed he can flex any portion thereof on demand? Yeah, those. The generic term for these is “romance.” Okay. Whatever. And there are tons of subgenres, some of which get pretty bizarre, but they all have one thing in common. NONE OF THESE MEN WEAR SHIRTS! And they’re often walking around outdoors.

Now, there are a lot of places on this planet I have yet to visit, (and as such they both exist and don’t exist, but let’s save that topic for a day when the smart people are writing), but there’s one place I have been many times, and that’s outdoors. And often when I’ve visiting this strange, wonderful land, I see other people. Some of them are men. And it’s the strangest thing…

All of them were wearing shirts!

Every last one.

But here’s where I’m throwing you the curveball. Well, it’s more like a curveball followed by a sick cutter that you couldn’t hit even if I shouted, “I’m throwing the cut fastball!”

  1. Ol’ Uncle Charlie: Just because there’s a half-naked man on the cover it doesn’t guarantee the book will stink. It might be a wonderful story masterfully told. Often in this case it’s just a savvy marketing move to stick Fabio and, now, his great-grandchildren, on the cover. I pretended to call an advertising agency that I decided to name “Foreskin and Associates,” (because I’m 9 years old), and was told that 93% of all women experienced muscle spasms which caused whichever arm was closest to the bookshelf to reach out and grab anything with one of these guys on the cover. Science and Art combine in an unholy marriage. Unholy, but brilliant.
  2. Here comes the cutter: These guys? The dudes on the cover? They’re making a living, man. What the hell? You’re going to begrudge this guy his income because he has a six-pack, and you’ve been drinking six-packs non-stop every day of every year since high school? It’s a job, man! Jesus!

Okay. Rant over.

Let’s see. What else is going on?

Oh, I know. Here’s the cover of the next Hart & Varengo collaboration:

Cool AF, right?

Cool AF, right?

Cool AF, right?

[Ed. Note: Scott is not having a stroke. He just really likes this stunning cover created by our good friend, a brilliant writer as well as one of the premiere cover artists in the game David Berens. Read his books too. These guys won’t mind. TTFN!]

[Ed. Note: The previous so-called Ed. Note was in fact written by Scott himself. Aside from the use of “Tah-tah for now,” a phrase we would never use, we agree with him, however. Hmm. We think this may be the first time we’ve ever done that. I’m calling our doctor.]

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