Category Archives: Contest/Survey

Red Heads Rule in Annual Romance Cover Contest!

Yes the infamous Romance Cover Contest is back, and you can vote once a day from February 1 through 28!  The theme for the year is sizzling red heads, or demure red heads, or….well take a look at the contestants.

The contest is easy enough.  Just consider our stellar examples of outrageous romance covers, and pick your favorite.  We don’t define favorite, you have to do that!  Toss your vote in the bucket at the store or enter with an email or comment on the website or Facebook page.  We do tally the votes to see how the tastes of the Owens Valley amaze us, but a winner is drawn randomly from all of the votes.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE READ THE BOOK, OR EVER READ THE BOOK.  We are just light heartedly judging these books by their covers!  Of course if you want to read the book, we will save it for you in March!

Grand prize is a $25 gift certificate, good throughout the store!

Here are the contestants:

  #1  Capture the Sun by Shirl Henke
This novel features a “flame-haired beauty” suffering a forced marriage in the Montana wilderness, with a few fringe benefits and a forbidden love.  Published in 1988, it interestingly uses pink watercolors to capture the searing Western sky…

  #2  Valor’s Reward by Jean R. Ewing
A Regency Romance (notice the high waisted dress?)  has the requisite Lord in conflict with our red haired heroine, at least for a while.  Their conflict went to an extreme with shots fired and injury inflicted, how romantic is that?  Despite the historic subject, this choice was published in 1996.

#3  Ready, Aim….I Do! by Debra Webb

Intrigue for this red head, a  CIA Special Agent appropriately named Ginger,  is a sham marriage to another special agent who is in mortal danger.  Not a typical honeymoon, apparently!  This one is recent, published in 2013.

#4   A Warrior’s Passion  by Margaret Moore
Wales is the romantic location choice for this fully clothed option.  Misty hills, castles, and flowing red locks on the heroine is romantic perfection!  This is a 1998 publication

#5  Shadow Dance  by Anne Stuart

His are the flowing locks on this classic cover, and red curls are demurely tucked away.  Despite his name, Valerian, a sedative herb, and some confusing cross dressing, the inside teaser  on this one is plenty steamy.  I don’t think anyone stays demure too long in this 1993 classic.

#6  Misery by Stephen King

What?!  Stephen King?  Well look inside my friends!  Not only is it a red headed heroine, but the male looks suspiciously like Mr. King himself!  If you don’t remember the story line in Misery, the main character is an author, Paul Sheldon, and his book is featured inside.  

So take a minute and cast your vote with an email or comment!  Or come in and take a closer look.  We love to hear your opinions and observations!

We have a Winner! 2017’s “Best” Romance Cover

2017 Romance Cover Winner!

Well the Old West equals romance once  again!  At least that was the opinion of most Range & River customers in February 2017 AND 2016!  Winning the Widow’s Heart won by a 2 to 1 margin – really – despite the whole laundry aspect that I found just a little disturbing.  A man lovingly cradling the baby though, that tugs the heartstrings!  Many voters did really appreciate the Bodie view, so maybe it had nothing to do with laundry on or off the models.

Last year’s winner had a fully clothed Western theme too.


2016 Romance Cover Winner
2016 Romance Cover Winner






The Runner Up award goes to the notoriously muscular Highlander on To Marry A Scottish Laird.  It has a nice color scheme.

2017 Romance Cover Runner-Up
2017 Romance Cover Runner-Up


Our friend Elan chose the lucky gift certificate winners.  The team of Mackenzie and Camilla, as well as artist Ken Hooper  (who knows a good action cover when he sees one),  won $25 gift certificates for books or music of whatever genre they love most.

You can bet we will include a Western cover next year, to see if this trend continues.  Thanks for playing everyone!








Romance Cover Contest – 2017!

So excited to present the Romance Cover Contestants for the year!  We’ve gone with a romantic Bride theme because… well because there are some great ones! It may also be an “Awkward Pose” theme, but that is for you to decide.  To participate in this titillating contest, all you have to do is select your favorite cover and cast your vote (daily if you want)  here in comments, in person in the store, or by email.

We don’t judge, or make any rules about what constitutes a favorite cover.  These doozies get picked for their eye roll quality, beauty, actual romantic quality, silliness…you get the idea. Interestingly, four of the five are from the 2010’s, proving that bodice rippers endure.

We will tally the votes at the end of the month to declare the official People’s Choice winner, and then draw some winners from the voters to receive RRB Gift Certificates.  Don’t you wish national elections were this much fun?

Here are the 2017 Contestants:

#1  To Marry a Scottish Laird by Lynsay Sands  (2014)


Highlanders like pirates are a favorite for covers, I guess it is the kilts?  Or Swords?  This swooning princess has found herself a Laird who is going to catch pneumonia in the chilly Highlands.






#2  The Earl Claims His Wife  by Cathy Maxwell (2010)


Well isn’t this blue dress pretty?  What more needs to be said?







#3  Winning the Widow’s Heart by Sherri Shackelford  (2012)


Is it holding the baby, or watching her do laundry in Bodie that will capture this poor woman’s lonely heart?  Read on to find out! He is clearly a very sweet man, taking time out from playing poker to hold this cherub.

(This is a fully clothed option for all of you that turn shades of pink looking at the others.)




#4  Wyoming Bride  by Joan Johnston (2013)

IMG_7838 Author Joan Johnston has been in the line up before with her spicy Cowboy covers.  I think this is also a contender for “most awkward pose”.  I’m also amazed that he wore his gun belt for the wedding, clearly he had a lot of protecting to do, and hoping he loses it before things go any further….just dangerous.





#5  Mountain Rose  by Norah Hess  (1993)

IMG_7839Not yet a bride in this cover art, but the hero Chase Donlin’s niece…wait, what?  Hmmm,  clearly there is more to this story .  This couple is in the mountains on a trapping expedition that appears to get steamy.  An early voter already declared this the most “expressive” contestant.  I just hope it is not his niece.

Story Book Tree Contest Winners for 2016

The Story Book Tree ready for contestants.
The Story Book Tree ready for contestants.

Thank you all for participating in our Story Time Tree Contest!  Gift Certificate winners were drawn today, and we are happy to announce that Priscilla and Ashley each won $25 gift certificates for their own stack of stories.

This serious helper pulled the winning entries from the hat.
This serious helper pulled the winning entries from the hat.

Adults (presumably) offered some of the more creative story suggestions this year.  Some of our favorites included Origin of the Species, The Golden Compass, The Hobbit, The Slow Snail, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Velveteen Rabbit (finally someone saw this!)  Madeline (another one I’ve been waiting for!) Wild Swans (yay HCA!) , Yeats Collected Works (umm, not sure which ornament), Watership Down, and Voyage of the Beagle.  A younger participant found Sinbad, which is new, Leprechauns at Late Winter, which I haven’t seen, and Polar Bears Past Bedtime.  Nice work Jimmy!

New Instagram Contest for the Holidays!

We have set up a sweet little photo booth chair for your Instagram photos #RRBcheer.  Snap a photo, post and use this hashtag to enter!  Why would you do this?  Because we will have a great give away on December 23 for all of the people who post!  How about a holiday gift for yourself?

Katie is the first to use our Christmas corner!  Plus she helped put it together. #rangeandriver #rrbcheer #nottoearlyforchristmas #thanksdaughterofmine
Katie is the first to use our Christmas corner! Plus she helped put it together. #rangeandriver #rrbcheer #nottoearlyforchristmas #thanksdaughterofmine

2016 Romance Cover Winner – The Ranchiest Takes the Prize!

The Annual Romance Cover Contest is always fun – we thoroughly enjoy the comments from customers, and in the case of the Adkins’ family, the “conversation bubbles” inspired by these spectacular and (I think) funny covers.  I can still be surprised by the voting, and I crom cvr1ertainly was this year with my “pink dress” themed choices!  The top choice was Stubborn as A Mule from the Back to the Ranch series.  I was focused on the horsey looking “mule”, clearly Harlequin did not have a great batch of stock mule photos to use for inspiration, but others liked the title, the intense look on the heroine’s face, the scenery, the “local angle, and more than anything else, the fact that both were clothed!  Geez!

Crimson Obsession was the runner up, certainly a more traditional bodice ripper, or in this case zipper ripper I guess.  One of the drawing winners was pleased to accept this volume as part of their prize too!  The 1950’s scandalous covered classic, Tess of the D’Urbervilles was the third place winner.  My favorite, the sword wielding heroine in Seduced by a Spy, sadly, came in last.  Oh well.

rom cvr7A classic but not like you've seen before!rom cvr3rom cvr5

The gift certificate drawing winners were Julie Nellis and Ken Hooper.  Thanks for playing everyone!  I have some great Sci Fi covers just waiting in the wings ready for another contest…..


Announcing the 2016 Romance Cover Contestants!

We have some doozies to choose from this year!

Our annual Romance Cover Contest is here.  All you have to do is pick your “favorite” cover from the five selections we’ve set aside for the year.  We’ll tally the results at the end of February so everyone can appreciate the twisted tastes of your neighbors, plus we’ll draw a lucky entry to win a $25 gift certificate! You can enter online with an email or comment below too!  One vote per day is the only stipulation.

It is always hard to select five from the many entertaining cover art examples, so this year we opted for the pink dress choices.  Well four pink dresses and one pink plaid shirt.  Here they are…

rom cvr5


#1:     Seduced By A Spy ( Andrea Pickens, 2008)  Her pink dress is clearly about to hit the floor, so it won’t be hiding that big sword any more!  The heroine needs to eliminate the wicked Russian assassin/spy, but I guess we can assume that doesn’t happen…


rom cvr8


#2:     Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy, 1952 Cardinal edition)  Now here is a literary classic with an extra lurid, 1950’s cover, including the pink dress notice.  Plus bare feet.  “the classic novel of a woman’s unwilling fall from virtue.”



rom cvr3#3     Ripe for Seduction (Isobel Carr, 2012)  This is one of a “Ripe for…” Trilogy, so yes, I did pick this for the title, and the pink dress.  Poor Lady Olivia has to deal with an indecent offer from the incorrigible Roland Devere, and you can see where that led.  This may be the steamiest book of the batch, (judging by the back cover), but of course you don’t have to read the book!



rom cvr1#4     Stubborn as a Mule (Roz Denny, 1993)  First let me say, that I’m glad to hear that stubborn is considered romantic!  Second, check out that crazy looking mule!  Or Mulho, as one customer already suggested!  This tale takes place in the Sierra town, Jessup, California, and yes the young woman is the mule rancher – maybe it is a local story after all.



rom cvr7#5     Crimson Obsession (Deana James, 1988)  Admire please, this young heroine’s pink hair matches her pink dress, and will hopefully stay on longer!  These 80’s covers with the bright color and holograms were just over the top!  And what is going on with his mask?  You know you want to find out!



The Viking Conquers Again! Romance Cover Winner of 2015


Our dark haired Fabioesque,  Santa-booted Viking (that IS what the back cover says!) was the runaway winner in our 2015 Romance Cover Contest!  Yes it was my personal favorite from these rather outlandish choices, but I promise I did not sway the voting too much….  The winning title is Surrender My Love by the prolific romance author Johanna Lindsey, and this soon to be classic was published in 1994.  I would have guessed that was ’80’s hair, but I guess it lasted a little longer than that!

photoEvery year I have to include a “minimal skin choice”, and this year’s candidate was The Piratical Miss Ravenhurst.  Cleavage may have been modest, but clearly Miss Ravenhurst was not!  Maybe it was the look of adoration that made this cover a fan favorite. This choice narrowly won the second place honor, edging out the desperate Bianca on the vintage cover of The Golden Hawk by Frank Yerby.  Go figure.  photo

The buxom lass and her pirate featured on Captive Embraces  by Fern Michaels surprised me by coming in last place.  This winner was published in 1979, which shows a few things – 1) that Fern Michaels has been writing a long time, her current titles have much less flamboyant covers ,  2) That pirates just don’t go out of romantic favor despite some obvious olfactory flaws with that theory, and 3) If your romantic heroine is going to entice a pirate, she photoshould definitely be named Sirena like this heroine!

We had good help to pick the gift certificate winners thank you girls! The winners are Laura and Mary, each received $25 gift certificates.

This is always a fun contest, thank you all for playing along!




Time for a Steamy Romance Cover Contest!

    The Romance Cover Contest of the Year is another tradition from East Side Books we would not dream of leaving behind.  For the past six years, you all have helped pick some sensational, steamy, colorful, humorous, sweet, and occasionally romantic, covers to win this coveted title.  Customer’s ask all the time what  exactly we mean by the “best” cover, and those qualities can all play a role,  plus a heavy dose of that intangible “Oh my goodness” factor.    Your vote can reflect whatever cover, from our little pile of choices for the year, just makes you shake your head and smile.  Blushing is optional.

Contest Fine Print – You may vote every time you come in the store or once pphotoer day on-line by leaving a comment below.   Winners of a $25 gift certificate will be randomly drawn from all entries at the end of February and notified by phone or email.  You are only “judging” the cover, you do NOT have to have read the book, and we won’t make you read the book, but of course you may after the contest ends and the book goes back on sale!  All votes are tallied to determine the winning cover – which is not necessarily the one chosen by the Gift Certificate winner.  The winning book gets nothing but the notoriety.  The rest of us get plenty of smiles.

Your choices for 2015 reflect a captivity theme.  Apparently, based on the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey and the number of related romance novels, captivity is romantic.  Pirates are romantic, despite a little reality check that says pirates would undoubtedly smell awful.   Well how would I know?  In any case, these choices will surely make you shake your head, and you will also appreciate the decade spanning appeal of a good pirate story, and um, oh yes, a Viking.

Here are the 2015 contenders:


#1 The Golden Hawk by Frank Yerby is not a typical romance novel, more of a historical fiction work. But who could deny this cover fits our theme for the year?








#3 uses a false front cover to hide this steamy picture of the Viking who was the captive in this story….well it does offer a twist. Please, please, note those Viking boots! Surrender My Love by Johanna Lindsey
#4 is so very sweet, but apparently Miss Ravenhurst is not all she appears! The Piratical Miss Ravenhurst by Louise Allen
#5 Fern Michaels’ earlier style was, well, wow! Captive Embraces.
#2 is by the perennial entry Stephanie Laurens. Captain Jack’s Woman, enough said.

Tree Prize Winners for 2014

We have so much to be grateful for in 2014,  especially our supportive customers. So to show our appreciation and to honor the season and source of all this paper, we have been offering tickets  since early December for a lovely Blue Spruce tree.  With help from two kind young men (also excited readers)

These two excellent readers helped pick the winning tickets for both tree contests this year.  Thanks boys!
These two excellent readers helped pick the winning tickets for both tree contests this year. Thanks boys!

we drew a winning ticket on the last day of the year.  Congratulations to Suzanne Pfeil!  Hopefully her yard will be graced for years to come with this beautiful tree.  If you did not win this year, stop by Chalfant Big Trees where this one came from for a great selection.  I have a couple spots in my yard to fill….

We also have two winners for our favorite Storybook Tree Contest.  Each year we ask customers to come up with a list of children’s books that relate to our tree ornaments, and it is just the most fun watching families work on this together and reading what titles people come up with to go with our ornaments!  Tara and Tulie are the lucky winners of $25 gift certificates, which should keep them stocked in more kids books and maybe a little ice cream!

Thank you all for playing along!  Happy New Year.