...for readers who love animals, and animal lovers who read!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Shepherd's Crook Cover Reveal!

I'll be writing about the making of this lovely cover for Animals in Focus Mystery #4 on June 28, but in the meantime, here 'tis! What do you think?

And in the meantime, check out the making of the Catwalk cover


Animal photographer Janet MacPhail has just arrived at a sheep-herding competition with her Australian Shepherd, Jay, when she learns that two dozen sheep have disappeared. Police think the animals have wandered off in search of greener grass, but Janet sees and hears things that convince her the sheep's owners are right—the animals have been stolen.
Janet knows she should leave the snooping to the police while she attends to her own problems—new living arrangements, her mom's wedding plans, puppy and kitten antics, and extremists bent on keeping people from having pets. But when a livestock handler turns up dead and the sheep's owner disappears, the police and a pair of thugs pay Janet way more attention than she likes. She sets out to find answers, putting herself and those she loves in the killer's crosshairs.
“A woolly tale sure to delight both animal lovers and mystery fans. Shepherd’s Crook knits together a unique setting, likable characters, and a mystery that will keep you guessing.”—SPARKLE ABBEY, AUTHOR OF THE PAMPERED PET MYSTERIES

Sheila Webster Boneham is the author of the Animals in Focus Mystery series. Drop Dead on Recall, the first in the series, won the Dog Writers Association of America Award in Fiction, Mystery, or Humor. She is also the author of 17 nonfiction books, six of which have won major awards from the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers Association. For the past two decades Boneham has been showing her Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers in various canine sports. She has also bred top-winning Aussies, and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs. Boneham holds a doctorate in folklore from Indiana University and resides in Wilmington, N.C. For more information, go to SheilaBoneham.com.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Diane! The artist and designer at Midnight Ink do a great job of translating my ideas and reference photos into cover art.

  2. Great dog. And the cover will get attention!

  3. Love the sheepherding border collie, of course, but where's her frontal cortex? The head looks a little bit like a skunk : (

    1. That's actually a Sheltie, Cherie.

    2. Sorry, my mistake. Shelties have a prominent forehead as well, yes? We've raised both, and my mother always joked that collies had no frontal cortex ; )

    3. Cherie, the frontal cortex is part of the brain, so not visible. Your mother may have been making a joke about the narrow foreskull of Collies, which supposedly makes them less intelligent than some other dogs. Shelties have a slight but definite stop ( the place between the eyes where the muzzle meets the rest of the skull), but no, they should not have a prominent forehead.

      The AKC breed standard reads:
      "Top of skull should be flat, showing no prominence at nuchal crest (the top of the occiput). Cheeks should be flat and should merge smoothly into a well-rounded muzzle. Skull and muzzle should be of equal length, balance point being inner corner of eye. In profile the top line of skull should parallel the top line of muzzle, but on a higher plane due to the presence of a slight but definite stop...."
      "Faults-- Two-angled head. Too prominent stop, or no stop. Overfill below, between, or above eyes. Prominent nuchal crest. Domed skull...."

      I think what you are seeing in the illustration is that the planes of the muzzle and top skull are not exactly parallel. Please remember, this is an artist's rendering intended to suggest the story, not to illustrate the breed standard. Like most people, this artist is not educated in the specifics of conformation.

  4. I love it. The realism makes them impressive.

  5. Love the life-in-motion feel that each your covers brings. It was the cover of Drop Dead on Recall that first brought you to my attention. I would have found you through Tracy Weber but not as quickly. Saving my pennies for the release! :) Thanks for the wonderful stories you bring to life.

    1. Thanks so much for all of that, Billie!