MORGAN KANE 1975 – 1997

KISS HOLLYWOOD GOOD-BY – Anita Loos, Ballantine 24447, 1975. For anyone not familiar with Morgan’s long career, there was suddenly a dynamic cover artist skyrocketing across bookstore racks in 1975 & 1976. Morgan returned to painted covers with an eye-catching technique that garnered a lot of attention. For some of us it started with this cover and its sister, A GIRL LIKE I.

NADINE – Geoffrey Bocca, Ballantine 24578, 1975.

A GIRL LIKE I – Anita Loos, Ballantine 24653, 1975.

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HEFNER – Frank Brady, Ballantine 24662, 1975. Morgan Kane’s comical cover for a biography of Hugh Hefner was, appropriately, a foldout.

THE KUNG FU EXERCISE BOOK – Michael Minick, Bantam X8558, 1975. Photo cover. An experiment in conveying motion using still photography.

THE FRONT RUNNER – Patricia Nell Warren, Bantam X8712, 1975. Reprinted as 10802. Also used on UK Corgi 10286.

THE FEMALE MAN – Joanna Russ, Bantam Q8765, 1975. Trying to imagine any other artist giving us all five of these last five covers.

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NATURAL BEAUTY SECRETS – Deborah Rutledge, Berkley Z2762, 1975.

THE GREEK – Pierre Rey, Berkley T2771, 1975. Pastiche.

THE PROSECUTOR – P.R. van Zyl, Berkley Z2775, 1975.

McQUAID – Shepard Rifkin, Berkley Z2841, 1975. Photo cover.

THE SENSUOUS SUMMER – William Bostock, Berkley D2897, 1975. A beautiful cover for an unreadable piece of tripe.

THE GIRLS OF NEVADA – Gabriel R. Vogliotti, Fawcett Crest C2595, 1975. Not found in Kane’s proof files, but Jeff Kane has confirmed these props from his father’s studio. (There’s that WAITING FOR WINTER statue.)

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HOT TO TROT – John Lahr, Fawcett Crest Q2654, 1975. Kane’s homage to Gustav Klimt for the 1970s.

NO NIGHT WITHOUT STARS – Andre Norton, Fawcett Crest 2-3264, 1975.

IN THE HOUR BEFORE MIDNIGHT – Jack Higgins, Fawcett Gold Medal P3355, 1975. Reprinted as 1-3954.

AN AFFAIR OF STRANGERS – John Crosby, Warner 59-910, 1975. Kane painted two covers for this book and Warner used both of them. The second printing, with his other cover, appeared just one year later. (See Warner 89-280, 1976.)

MIAMI GOLDEN BOY – Herbert Kastle, Avon 29397, 1976. There is a better-known cover for this book, Avon W253, by Robert McGinnis. This Morgan Kane wraparound photo cover is fairly obscure.

 

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NIGHT OF TEARS – John Kimbro,

Ballantine 24814, 1976. Photo cover.

THE SWING – Edmund Schiddel, Bantam Y2224, 1976. Photo cover.

THE DEALER – Max Collins, Berkley D3259, 1976. Photo cover. Later reprinted by Hard Case Crime as QUARRY’S DEAL by Max Allan Collins.

TWO MUCH – Donald E. Westlake, Fawcett Crest X2750, 1976. Morgan Kane painted the twins in the nude, then the pink fuzz bikinis were applied to each cover. Somebody asked me if I thought this was sleaze or art. I think it is art, and I think Botticelli and Courbet would have understood the artist’s success.

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TWO MUCH is Westlake’s comic romp about a man who meets two beautiful blonde twins and falls in love with both of them. Unable to choose one over the other, he invents a second personality and pretends to be his own twin brother. Each brother can then romance one of the blondes. That is, if he can just keep everything straight and make sure both brothers are never supposed to be in the same room at the same time. We don’t see the word “zany” on a book cover too often, but it fits TWO MUCH well.

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AMERICAN MADE – Shylah Boyd, Fawcett Crest C2861, 1976. Photo cover.

BROTHERS KEEPERS – Donald E. Westlake, Fawcett Crest 2-2962, 1976. Cut-out cover. Both the front and interior cover are shown here.

Brother Benedict leaves his Manhattan monastery and travels to Puerto Rico, where all sorts of un-brotherly things keep happening.

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THIN ICE – Gary Cartwright, Fawcett Gold Medal X3441, 1976. Morgan Kane’s first painting for THIN ICE, shown here courtesy of Jeff Kane, was changed for the published book, probably at the request of the art director. The hockey player remains, but the woman is now almost nude.

BLOW-DRY – Nathan Butler, Fawcett Gold Medal Q3513, 1976. A swirling confection of surrealistic hair with a phallic hair dryer, BLOW-DRY shows Morgan Kane at the top of his game.

Even if he had only created these past five covers, he would be legendary.

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THE BEDROOM SET – David Rogers, Fawcett Gold Medal Q3528, 1976. Photo cover. In the swinging seventies, DEEP THROAT was a hit movie and mainstream publishers like Gold Medal showed threesomes in bed on the covers of their paperbacks.

THE BEST SELLERS – Stephen Lewis, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3538, 1976. The cut-out cover opens to a two-sided mixed media collage with photos and paintings all by the same artist. The pensive doctor is a self-portrait.

Both the front and two-page interior covers are shown here.

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VERY FRIENDLY SKIES (Warner 78-915) and DOING WHAT WE DO BEST (Warner 78-916) – Jan Kendrick, 1976. Fly The Trans-Globe Girls #1 and #2 of 2.

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PEOPLE READING – Dr. Ernst G. Beier & Evans G. Valens, Warner 89-082, 1976. Front and inside covers shown.

“Cover design by Gene Light. Cover art by Morgan Kane.” This stepback was later replaced by Warner 93-642, which had a different cover.

AN AFFAIR OF STRANGERS – John Crosby, Warner 89-280, 1976. Reprints Warner 59-910 with new cover by the same artist. The cover art from the first edition appears on the back cover of this second edition.

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AFTER THE DREAM –Charles Kaufman, Avon 01105, 1977.

MERCY – Joyce Maciver, Avon 31096, 1977. Photo.

HOLLYWOOD IS A FOUR-LETTER TOWN – James Bacon, Avon 33399, 1977. Photo.

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A JEST OF GOD – Margaret Laurence, Bantam 10400-4, 1977.

As it says on the cover, this book was the basis of the Joanne Woodward movie RACHEL RACHEL.

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HOSTAGE TO THE DEVIL – Malachi Martin, Bantam 10408-X, 1977. The inside cover (not shown) gives us the title and author.

MORTAL STAKES – Robert B. Parker, Berkley 03311, 1977. Photo cover.

A KILLING FOR CHARITY – Arthur Kaplan, Berkley 03357, 1977. Photo cover.

LOVE-MAKING – Carole Altman, Berkley 03383, 1977. Photo.  Compare to THE SHORT YEAR, 1968 Signet.

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THE STATUETTE – Jane Wald & Kathleen Wakefield, Condor 6, 1977.

Cover proof shows front and back photos.

THE LAZY MAN’S GUIDE TO PHYSICAL FITNESS – Kenneth D. Rose MD with Jack Dies Martin, Condor 12, 1977. Photo cover. Condor was a short-lived company and Morgan Kane did only these two covers for them.

THE DANCE OF LOVE – Daniel B. Dodson, Fawcett Crest 2-3110, 1977.

MARSANNE – Virginia Coffman, Fawcett Crest 2-3373, 1977.

WRAITHS OF TIME – Andre Norton, Fawcett Crest 2-3532, 1977.

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I HAD WILD JACK FOR A LOVER – Meredith Marsh, Fawcett Crest 2-3822, 1977. Photo.

THE MARAUDERS – Gordon D. Shirreffs, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3723, 1977.

THE FLORIAN SIGNET – Harriet Esmond, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3743, 1977. 

MAMELLE, THE GODDESS - Nathan Butler, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3773, 1977. Pseudonym of Jerry Sohl.

DISCOTHEQUE – Steven Gaines, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3813, 1977. Photo cover. Scarce.

LEGEND OF THE DAMNED - Gordon D. Shirreffs, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3846, 1977.

THE TEXAN WOMEN – Corinne Johnston, Jove B4395, 1977.

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LOVE SONG – Adam Kennedy, Signet E7535, 1977.

TELL ME EVERYTHING – Marie Brenner, Signet J7685, 1977.

SAVING THE QUEEN – William F. Buckley, Jr, Warner 89-164, 1977.

Cut-out with interior cover shown.

NIGHTFALL – John Crosby, Warner 89-354, 1977.

JADE – Lynn Devon, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3941, 1978. Wow.

THE WOMAN WHO DARED – Richard Erdoes, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-3975, 1978.

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CAPTAIN CUTLASS – Gordon D. Shirreffs, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-4001, 1978.

DREAMS TO COME – Melanie Ward, Jove B4474, 1978.

Morgan Kane’s painting for DREAMS TO COME is shown above, courtesy of Jeff Kane. And here is how much of it they used for the published book. About 1/8 of the available cover space was used for the cover art. The placement of the small image confirms it must have been designed for a planned stepback that was not used.

MISTRESS OF THE STREETS – Richard Sumner, Jove Y4487, 1978.

First volume of the Nell Gwynne trilogy. Cover artist for the other two volumes unknown. The top painting was offered at auction in 2014 and so can now be seen on many internet art sites as “Two Cavaliers with Harlot”.

Jove 04703, see 1979.

THE HUNTERS – Clark Howard, Jove Y4710, 1978. Photo cover.

SEASON IN PURGATORY – Thomas Keneally, Jove Y4721, 1978. Australian Keneally is the author of SCHINDLER’S LIST.

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LONGARM #1 – Tabor Evans, Jove A4750, Oct 1978.  Kane’s signature is on the back cover. All Kane’s Longarm covers are wraparounds. I’ve tried to note the re-uses of cover art when known to me but this becomes near impossible with the Longarms, many of which were reprinted with new book numbers and prices.  Tabor Evans was a house name, used here first by Lou Cameron.

LONGARM #2: LONGARM ON THE BORDER – Tabor Evans, Jove A4795, Nov 1978. Marshal “Longarm” Long in Texas. House name used here by Melvin Marshall.

LONGARM #3: LONGARM AND THE AVENGING ANGELS – Evans, Jove A4791, Dec 1978. William C. Knott.

THE LADY SERENA – Jeanne Duval, Signet E8163, 1978. This is Morgan’s cover proof of SERENA, shown here courtesy of Jeff Kane. Sometime between the printing of this proof and the publication of the book, the title was corrected to THE LADY SERENA.

KRAMER VERSUS KRAMER – Avery Corman, Signet E8282, 1978. There are countless copies of this book out there, almost all of them movie tie-ins. But there was also a pre-movie first paperback edition with a gold cover, shown here. And inside was a stepback cover painting signed M. Kane.

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SALON – J.F. Farber, Signet J8346, 1978.

I, VICTORIA – Sam Dodson, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-4152, 1979. Photo.

GOSSIP – Marc Olden, Fawcett Gold Medal 1-4260, 1979. Four photos.

RED SNOW – Oliver Lange, Jove 04703, 1979.

LONGARM #4: LONGARM AND THE WENDIGO – Tabor Evans, Jove A4751, Jan 1979.

LONGARM #5: LONGARM IN THE INDIAN NATION – Evans, Jove M4796, Feb 1979. Wraparound shows Morgan’s signature on back.

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LONGARM #6: LONGARM AND THE LOGGERS – Evans, Jove M4792, Mar 1979.

#7: LONGARM AND THE HIGHGRADERS – Evans, Jove M4752, Apr 1979.

#8: LONGARM AND THE NESTERS – Evans, Jove M4797, May 1979.

#9: LONGARM AND THE HATCHET MEN – Evans, Jove M4793, Jun 1979.

#10: LONGARM AND THE MOLLY MAGUIRES – Evans, Jove M4753, Jul 1979.  At first, Lou Cameron wrote every third Longarm. So he wrote #1, 4, 7 and 10.

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LONGARM #11: LONGARM AND THE TEXAS RANGERS – Evans, Jove M4798, Aug 1979.

#12: LONGARM IN LINCOLN COUNTY – Evans, Jove M4794, Sep 1979. William C. Knott wrote #3, 6, 9 and 12. Later books in the series were written by James Reasoner, Harry Whittington and others. And Lou Cameron continued writing them for at least 25 years.

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THE DANCER – Leland Cooley, Signet E8651, 1979.

NORTH DALLAS FORTY – Peter Gent, Signet E8906, 1979. Movie tie-in uses the Morgan Kane poster art.

STUDIO – Thomas Maremaa, Playboy 16528, 1980. Photo.

Hiatus

Morgan Kane took some time off to care for his dying wife. Except for a single 1982 Berkley, his name did not appear on any book covers until 1983. Most of the work he did during this period was for movie posters.

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DESIGNS – Richard Horn, Berkley 05234, 1982. An interesting variation on the mirror-image cover.

ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH – Jacqueline Susann, Bantam T4933, Feb 1983. ($1.50). Re-used on Y8000 ($1.95). Morgan Kane’s cover statue for the 1973 hardcover was re-used for this paperback. It was used again on a 1997 Grove Press paperback (not shown).

THOUGH HEARTS RESIST – Meg Hudson, Harlequin 70064, 1983. Super Romance 64.

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SARINA – Francine Rivers, Jove 07366, 1983.

Jove chose to use only a small part of Morgan Kane’s painting (not shown).

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BITTERLEAF – Lisa Gregory, Jove 06333, 1983. The always-adapting Mr. Kane became a premiere romance cover artist in the 1980s.

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HIGH ROAD TO CHINA – Jon Cleary, Warner 31178, 1983. Morgan Kane’s movie poster art was used for the movie tie-in paperback cover.

THE BEST OF FRIENDS – Nomi Berger, Charter 05488, 1984.

FALCON CREST – Patrick Mann, Dell 12437, 1984. TV tie-in.

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THE MAGNIFICENT DREAM – Day Taylor, Dell 15424, 1984. Front and back covers shown.

THE RAINBOW SEASON – Lisa Gregory, Jove 07923, 1984.

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Morgan Kane’s painting for THE POINT TEAM (image courtesy of Jeff Kane).

THE POINT TEAM – J.B. Hadley, Warner 30930, 1984. Cover designer Gene Light used only a piece of Morgan Kane’s painting (shown here). Army helmets were then added to two of the soldiers.

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SANDS OF GOLD – Day Taylor, Dell 17585, 1985. Showing here the front half of a wraparound.

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TO BURN AGAIN BRIGHTLY – Joyce Verrette, Dell 58669, 1985. Re-used on UK Troubadour Futura in 1986 (not shown). Wraparound.

THE ROOTS OF LOVE was a five-volume set of young adult books written by Stuart Buchan. Although related, each novel also stands as a separate story. Morgan Kane created wraparound covers for all five books.

#1: TENDER BEGINNINGS – Stuart Buchan, Dell 98602, 1985.

#2. RESTLESS NIGHTS - Buchan, Dell 97414, 1985.

#3. FORBIDDEN LONGINGS - Buchan, Dell 92675, 1985.

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THE ROOTS OF LOVE #4: BITTER PROMISES – Stuart Buchan, Dell 90621, 1985. Although not signed like other volumes in the set, Jeff Kane has the original art. The house and fence are out on Long Island and appear in other Morgan Kane paintings and photos.

For THE ROOTS OF LOVE #5 see 1986.

LIGHT AND SHADOW – Lisa Gregory, Jove 08182, 1985. On 1960s & 70s covers, the women were often nude. But the 80s introduced a new legion of book buyers, and it was now the man who was stark naked on covers like this.

THE GOLDEN CHANCE – Jayne Ann Krentz, Pocket 67623, 1985.

VIPER SQUAD: POINT TEAM #2 – J.B. Hadley, Warner 32329, 1985.

THE GODCHILDREN – Sharon Pape, Charter 29450, 1986. Photo.

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THE ROSE AND THE SWORD – Sandra Paretti, Dell 57710, 1986.

THE ROOTS OF LOVE #5: FLAMES FROM THE ASHES – Stuart Buchan, Dell 92602, 1986.

HEARTLINES:

#3: STOLEN KISSES – Barbara Jacobs, Dell 97734. 1986. Photo.

#4: FRIENDS AND RIVALS – Mary Hooper, Dell 92660, 1986. Photo.

#5. ISLAND ENCOUNTER – Ann de Gale, Dell 94026, 1986. Photo.

#6: FOLLOW THAT DREAM – Mary Hooper, Dell 92644, 1986. Photo.

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HEARTLINES #8: DANNY’S GIRL – Pam Lyons, Dell 91830, 1986. Photo.

LAURALEE – Linda Lael Miller, Pocket 60049, 1986. The first of Kane’s seven Linda Lael Miller covers for Pocket.

Two variants seen: first printing above. Later printings like the 4th shown here use part of the art with a new border and credit: “Cover illustration copyright 1986 by Morgan Kane. Cover border copyright 1990 by Marlene Moore.” This version was reprinted in 2010, so a then-94-year-old Morgan Kane could have gone into his local bookstore and found his cover art still on the shelves.

THE IRISH BRIDE – Mary Mayer Holmes, Popular Library 20171, 1986.

Copyright page credit: “Cover painting by Morgan Kane”.

Sometimes seen listed as Warner 20171, because Warner Books, which had previously purchased Paperback Library, also bought Popular Library in 1982.

Morgan Kane’s art for COBRA STRIKE, courtesy of Jeff Kane.

COBRA STRIKE: POINT TEAM #3 – J.B. Hadley, Warner 32783, 1986.

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THE TIGER’S WOMAN –Celeste De Blasis, Dell 11820, 1987.

PASSION’S FOLLY – Lori Copeland, Dell 16818, 1987. Candlelight Ecstasy Romance #497.

HEARTLINES #9: A BOY CALLED SIMON – Pam Lyons, Dell 91094, 1987. Photo.

THE ILLYRIAN ADVENTURE – Lloyd Alexander, Dell Laurel Leaf 94018, 1987.

This is such a perfect cover for the first entry in a series of young adult books about Vesper Holly, described as a female Indiana Jones. I just can’t understand why they did not continue to use Morgan Kane for the other books in the series. With its classic composition, shadowy sailors and brilliant colors, it looks like somebody discovered a lost N.C. Wyeth illustration in 1987.

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HEARTLINES #10: LOVE AROUND THE CORNER – Pam Lyons, Dell 94726, 1987. Photo.

Morgan Kane’s late 80s covers seem to be a mix of then-popular, now-dated teen photo covers and incandescent, still breathtaking, standard-lifting painted romance covers for authors like Linda Lael Miller and Julie Garwood.

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A PERFECT GEM – Lynn Erickson, Harlequin Superromance 276, 1987. Front and back cover.

GRAVEN IMAGE – Ann Paris, Pocket 62191, 1987.

WANTON ANGEL – Linda Lael Miller, Pocket 62197, 1987. Reprinted as 70633 in 1990 with part of the art in new border format (both covers shown here). The border is supplied by a different artist. Interesting to compare this truncated cover art to the tempestuous original painting, shown below it.

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DEAD ON TARGET: THE HARDY BOYS CASEFILES #1 – Franklin W. Dixon, Pocket 62558, 1987. House name.

EVIL, INC.: THE HARDY BOYS CASEFILES #2 – Franklin W. Dixon, Pocket 62559, 1987.

OBSIDIAN – Dianne Day, Pocket 63990, 1987.

FIREFLY – Linda Hilton, Pageant 00723, 1988.

MOONFIRE Linda Lael Miller, Pocket 62198, 1988. Reprinted as Pocket 70636 with border design (not shown).

SOMETHING WONDERFUL – Judith McNaught, Pocket 63779, 1988. Stepback.

ARROWHEART – Ann Paris, Pocket 63838, 1988.

BLACK BRIDGE TO CHINA – Nancy Martin, Pocket 63841, 1988.

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THE LION’S LADY – Julie Garwood, Pocket 64360, 1988. The secret of this amazing look: actual fabric applied to the painting.

AMAZON LILY – Theresa Weir, Pocket 64906, 1988. A lusty adventure story with a lusty, adventurous cover.

DOUBLE CROSSING: NANCY DREW & HARDY BOYS SUPER MYSTERY #1 – Carolyn Keene, Pocket 64917, 1988. House name.

THE WHITE RAVEN – Mary Mayer Holmes, Popular Library 20660, 1988.

DIAMOND FIRE - Helen Mittermeyer, Dell 20260, 1989. The artist’s technique to convey the passion of his couples: the man’s lips touching her skin.

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WAYFARING STRANGER – Jackie Black, Dell 20335, 1989.

SIREN SONG – Kathryn Kramer, Dell 20391, 1989.

SILKEN BONDAGE – Nan Ryan, Dell 20464, 1989. Front cover and inside cover shown. The front was “stepped back” to let buyers know there was more sensuous cover art waiting for them just under that cover. The hardcover book club edition, shown next, revealed even more of the painting. There are foreign editions of this art shown on the internet.

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A KINGDOM OF DREAMS – Judith McNaught, Pocket 63780, 1989. The cover says “Historical Romance”. Morgan Kane would quickly excel at providing stepback covers, the inside cover art paintings, often two pages across, that were sometimes too racy for the front cover. This one has a photo front cover by someone else, others just had text. NOTE: None of those covers will be shown on this list unless Morgan Kane art was also used on the front. Morgan Kane’s stepback for A KINGDOM OF DREAMS:

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A TOKEN OF JEWELS – Diane Cory, Pocket 64365, 1989.

ANGELFIRE – Linda Lael Miller, Pocket 65263, 1989. Wraparound art.  Later a small portion was used for a reprint with borders. Both of those covers are shown here, along with Morgan Kane’s painting for the wraparound art.

Shadows and light, flowers and neck nuzzling in the hay. Words from the cover: hottest, heat, powerful emotions, fire, passion, possessed, satisfied. He captured them all.

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ANY DAY NOW – Elizabeth Quinn, Pocket 65893, 1989.

THE BRIDE – Julie Garwood, Pocket 67005, 1989. Kane achieved this effect by combing lace, jewels and oil paint to create something new and spellbinding.

SAVAGE TIDES – Mary Mayer Holmes, Popular Library 20884, 1989.

FOOL ME ONCE – Lori Copeland, Dell 20564, 1990. Stepback.

SUN GOD – Nan Ryan – Dell 20603, 1990. Stepback. I think they have done a better job integrating the UPC code and ISBN on this one. The dark hole is for the cut-out on the front, shown below.

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SUN GOD – front cover. The stepback art was also used on a book club hardcover (not shown).

IN THE CARDS – Julie Meyers, Harlequin Superromance 396, 1990.  Cover proof courtesy of Jeff Kane.

MY DARLING MELISSA – Linda Lael Miller, Pocket 65264, 1990. Reprinted as Pocket 71771, the reprint is the edition shown here.

GUARDIAN ANGEL – Julie Garwood, Pocket 67006, 1990.

WILLOW - Linda Lael Miller, Pocket 70631, 1990.

FLETCHER’S WOMAN – Linda Lael Miller, Pocket 70632, 1990. Reprints the Tapestry first edition, which had different cover art by Harry Bennett.

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HONOR’S SPLENDOR – Julie Garwood, Pocket 73782, 1990.

 

A LASTING FIRE – Beverly Byrne – Bantam Fanfare 28815, 1991. Stepback.

 

HEAVEN SENT – Pamela Morsi, Bantam 28944, 1991. When reprinted as Bantam 76192 in 1998, the art was reduced. Both covers are shown here. M. Kane signature is very faint above the man’s shoulder.

 

 

 

WIND DANCER – Iris Johansen Bantam 28855, 1991. Stepback. The publisher used only the top part of Morgan’s painting.

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STORM WINDS – Iris Johansen, Bantam 29032, 1991. Stepback.

 

ANGEL IN MARBLE – Elaine Coffman, Dell 20530, 1991. Stepback.

 

THE LEGEND OF LOVE – Nan Ryan, Dell 20604, 1991. Cover cameo and stepback. Also used for book club hardcover (not shown).

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SWEET HANNAH ROSE – Lori Copeland, Dell 20842, 1991. Stepback.

THE BLACK ROSE – Christina Skye, Dell 20923, 1991. Many of the Dell romances of this period had companion hardcover book club editions. The jacket for THE BLACK ROSE is shown here.

THROUGH A DARK MIST – Marsha Canham, Dell 20611, 1991. Stepback.

Historical romance readers preferred their men naked right down to their dimples. Morgan Kane understood the rules of the game: look for a thrusting phallic symbol on most of his steamy stepbacks.

Dell’s numbering is deceptive, it looks kind of orderly and then it isn’t. So 20611, which should have come before the last two books numerically, was published after them in Nov 1991. 20612 is dated 1992 and 20613 came out in 1994. Since this is a chronological list, we are ignoring the numbers and showing each book in the order of publication instead.

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MOON DREAMS – Patricia Rice, Onyx 40232, 1991.

Detail of back cover art. This is a wraparound cover, and with the naked man and thrusting sword it looks like it was originally intended to be a stepback.

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THE GIFT – Julie Garwood – Pocket 70250, 1991. Julie Garwood and Morgan Kane made a formidable team. This was the final Pocket Book pairing this bestselling author with this great artist. He did a lot of fine covers, but his paintings for Julie Garwood’s books, the others combining fabric and paint and this one designed by Pocket’s art department like a gift, were all truly extraordinary. This art was also used on the Pocket hardcover book club edition.

MORE THAN JUST A NIGHT – Connie Rinehold, Dell 21195, 1992. Wraparound not shown here.

FOREVER ASHLEY – Lori Copeland, Dell 20807, 1992. Stepback.

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UNDER THE DESERT MOON – Marsha Canham, Dell 20612, 1992.

Stepback.

NOBODY’S ANGEL – Karen Robards, Dell 20829, 1992. NOBODY’S ANGEL has two stepback paintings under the front cover, both by Morgan Kane. The same flowers link both paintings.

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Above: the second stepback for NOBODY’S ANGEL.

In the 1960s Morgan Kane had been a master of the photo cover. In the 1970s he created memorable images of sexy women. And in the 1980s and 90s he became a leading romance cover artist.

SANTANA ROSE – Olga Bicos, Dell 21152, 1992.

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WRITTEN IN THE STARS – Nan Ryan, Dell 21072, 1992. Cover cameo and stepback.

Sometimes a cut-out on the front cover would reveal the stepback art below. On other covers, like this one, there is instead an “imitation cut-out”, a small image previewing the larger painting within.

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A LIFETIME OF HEAVEN – Nan Ryan, Dell 21075, 1993. Stepback.

On many of these books, like this one, the faces of the two lovers are repeated on a small cameo on the spine. (not shown)

Dell got double duty out of many stepback paintings by using them also for the dust jackets of book club editions of their romances. This is how the art was adapted for the Dell hardcover.

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LETTERS FROM A STRANGER – Connie Rinehold, Dell 21402, 1993.

Bas-relief cover design.

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TAPESTRY – Maura Seger, Harper 08018, 1993.

Morgan Kane had experimented with using swaths of actual fabric to give his colorful covers the illusion of texture. He used that technique on several memorable Julie Garwood Pockets like GUARDIAN ANGEL and THE LION’S LADY. But he reached some kind of zenith with TAPESTRY for Harper Monogram, wrapping fabric across his canvas and combining it with paint to create four pages of art: back cover, front cover, and the two-page stepback as shown here.

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This painting on Morgan Kane’s website was captioned “not used”. I think it was an early draft for TAPESTRY – the lovers are in nearly the same position, she has flowers in her hair, and a rich fabric has been applied to the canvas. 

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All four panels of TAPESTRY in one image.

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ENTWINED – Lynda La Plante, William Morrow hardcover in dust jacket, 1993. Hardcover only.

Most of the hardcovers with Morgan Kane art had paperback versions. This is an exception.

This painting was shown on his website as “Tiger & Twins”.

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THE MOON RIDER – Virginia Lynn, Bantam Fanfare 29693, 1994.

Oil and fabric attached to the canvas. Constantly exploring new ideas, continually pushing the envelope of standard book cover art, Morgan Kane surpassed all others with his incredible fabric designs for books like THE MOON RIDER.

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RELENTLESS – Patricia Potter, Bantam 56226, 1994. Stepback.

A man, a woman… and a mouse?

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From Morgan Kane’s website – his painting for IN THE SHADOW OF MIDNIGHT (1994).

IN THE SHADOW OF MIDNIGHT – Marsha Canham, Dell 20613, 1994. Stepback. The complete painting above offers a clearer look at his thrusting sword.

In the Shadow of Midnight by Marsha Canham -  stepback:

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CAPRICE – Laura Parker, Dell 21238, 1994.

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HEARTSTRINGS – Rebecca Paisley, Dell 21650, 1994.

UNSPOKEN VOWS – Connie Rinehold, Dell 21358, Jan 1995. Now 78 years old, Morgan Kane was creating new paintings just as bright and beautiful as any of his contemporary romance artists of any age.

UNSPOKEN VOWS is a great cover. But on his website, Morgan later showed the whole wraparound painting that Dell managed to cover almost all of in the busy wraparound shown above.

THE INHERITANCE – Joan Johnston, Dell 21759, 1995. Stepback.

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IMPETUOUS – Laura Parker, Dell 21527, 1995.

STRAIGHT FOR THE HEART – Marsha Canham, Dell 21786, 1995. Stepback. One of Marsha Canham’s dedications in this book is “to my brilliant illustrator, Morgan Kane.”  This was Kane’s fourth stepback for Marsha Canham.

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THE PRINCE OF CUPS – Gayle Feyrer, Dell 21777, 1995. Cover and stepback.

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RUNAWAY – Heather Graham, Dell 21688, 1995. Stepback.

RUNAWAY is unique among Kane’s stepbacks because while most of them have simple designs on their covers, RUNAWAY has a wraparound painting signed by a different artist, Vincent McIndoe. That cover painting (not shown here) is better seen on the hardcover edition from Delacorte. M. Kane has signed the stepback art. I believe this was his final stepback.

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McMASTERS – Lee Morgan, Jove 11632, 1995. Somebody at Jove must have remembered Morgan Kane designed the first art for their LONGARM series, because they brought him back in 1995 to do cover art for their new Western series McMASTERS (“From the Creators of LONGARM!”). Lee Morgan was a house name used by several writers. Giles Tippette wrote the first book.

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McMASTERS #2: SILVER CREEK SHOWDOWN – Lee Morgan, Jove 11682, 1995. The second book in the set is my favorite, and the reason is easily explained. The house name Lee Morgan was used here by one of the all-time greats in the world of Western series fiction, James Reasoner. As Thomas McNulty wrote on his informative McMASTERS blog, “James Reasoner always delivers.” You can count on it.

McMASTERS #3: PLUNDER VALLEY – Morgan, Jove 11731, 1995.

McMASTERS #4: BIG .70 – Morgan, Jove 11765, 1995.

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FOREVER AND A DAY – Connie Rinehold, Dell 21359, 1996. On the dedication page, Connie Rinehold wrote: “To Morgan Kane – for painting so well what I see in my imagination. I love my covers, every one!” Morgan painted all four of her Dell covers.

McMASTERS #5: MEXICAN STANDOFF – Lee Morgan, Jove 11808, 1996. Signed above a bare back.

McMASTERS #6: VIOLENT SUNDAY – Morgan, Jove 11842, 1996.

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NOT BEFORE MARRIAGE! – Sandra Steffen, Silhouette 1061, 1996. One of his most humorous covers.

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ALMOST TO THE ALTAR – Neesa Hart, Silhouette 1080, 1996. This does not look like a Morgan Kane male to me, but his signature is found on the cover proof. All of these Silhouettes were reprinted numerous times: in the UK, as Harlequin Treasury editions, and for Kindle.

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CITY GIRLS NEED NOT APPLY – Rita Rainville, Silhouette 1056, 1997.

Jeff Kane: “My dad had closed his studio and apartment at 500 E. 77th St. in NYC and moved to North Carolina after my mom died and he spent most of the 80's and 90's down there near where my sister was living. After she passed away in 1997 he moved up to Morristown, NJ to be near where I worked. I know he was doing some work after that, but he wanted to do some fine art and he concentrated much of his time doing that and researching galleries in NYC to display his work.”

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VALENTINE’S CHILD – Natalie Bishop, Silhouette 1086, 1997.

Jeff Kane remembers:

“He was very picky with what galleries he was interested in and was quite frustrated because the galleries were displaying work he called "crap". What they displayed was little more than paint splashed on a canvas. I think a lot of the paperback publishers were then using a lot of type, or covers put together using computer software, so there wasn't a lot of work to be had by the artists. My dad had a website at that time and was able to sell some of his fine art through that.”

THE READY-MADE FAMILY – Laurie Paige, Silhouette 1114, 1997. Ending his long career as an illustrator on a high note.

Jeff Kane :

“My dad grew up in a relatively poor family. When he became successful the people he knew back then told him he was lucky.  His reply was always, "Yes, and the harder I work the luckier I get."”

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You have an opportunity to contribute to this site if you are aware of any Morgan Kane book covers not shown here. And if you can name the book that any of the following images was used for.

“Unknown Soldier” On his website, Morgan Kane noted that he sold this book cover illustration to Simon & Schuster, the parent company of Pocket Books. But we can’t find a Pocket with this cover. Yet.

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“Boy & Raccoons” On his website, Morgan noted that he sold this painting to Ballantine Books. Have you seen this book?

Morgan Kane’s files include some color slides of his work. This next one looks like one of his magazine illustrations. But he wrote “Signet” on the slide.

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ILLUSTRATION FAMILY: KAY KANE

Kay Kane was, like her husband, Cleveland Institute of Art Class of 1942. This is a first checklist of her covers, including a sample of the paperback cover art she painted for publishers like Bantam, Jove, Dell and Fawcett.

THE TRYST – Grace Livingston Hill,

Bantam N8155, 1975. Multiple printings, later reprinted as Bantam 20189 in 1982. >

THE GAMBLING MAN - Catherine Cookson, Bantam 02749, 1975.

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FARO’S DAUGHTER – Georgette Heyer, Bantam F2210 (02210), 1976.

FANNY McBRIDE – Catherine Cookson, Bantam 02686, 1976.

YOUNG PIONEERS – Rose Wilder Lane, McGraw-Hill hardcover, 1976.

YOUNG PIONEERS – Lane, Bantam 02792, 1976. Cover re-used from the 1976 McGraw-Hill hardcover. >

Reprinted as Bantam 20173 in 1981.

THE DEVIL AND MARY ANN – Catherine Cookson, Bantam 02899, 1977.

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^DANGEROUS CLIMATE – Diana Gaines, Bantam 10760, 1977. This cover was published in multiple color choices – blue and red have also been seen. The small cover reproduction does not do justice to Kay Kane’s original painting, shown here courtesy of Jeff Kane.

THEODORA – Caroline Arnett, Fawcett Crest 2-3347, 1977.

<GLENDOWER COUNTRY – Martha Rofheart, Bantam 08854, 1978.

PASSION’S PAWN – Annabella, Dell 06937, 1978.

LOVE’S DEFIANT PRISONER – Patricia Phillips, Jove Y4375, 1978.>

LOVE’S SWEET ILLUSION – Suzanne Roberts, Dell 14638, 1979. Candlelight Romance 525.

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THE WAR ON VILLA STREET – Harry Mazer, Dell 99062, 1979.>

Dell Laurel Leaf had some colorful painted covers on their Young Adult novels.

THE GAMESTER – Elizabeth Chater, Fawcett Coventry 50047, 1980.

Coventry Romance 43.

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<MIRANDA – Leonora Blythe, Fawcett Coventry 50048, 1980.

Coventry Romance 44.

THE NOMAD HARP – Elizabeth Neff Walker, Fawcett Coventry 50070, 1980. Coventry Romance 52.

LETTY BARLOW – Joan Mellow, Fawcett Coventry 50082, 1980.

Coventry Romance 61.

DEBT OF LOVE – Rachelle Edwards, Fawcett Coventry 50108, 1980.

Coventry Romance 71.

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<THE WANTON FIRES – Meriol Trevor, Fawcett Coventry 50195, 1981. Coventry Romance 94.

TWIST OF CHANCE – Elisabeth Carey, Fawcett Coventry 50169, 1981. Coventry Romance 102.

JEFF KANE

In the late 70s, with painting in his blood from both parents, Jeff Kane also did a few paperback covers. Jeff is the first to admit he was “not in the same league with my dad”, but very few artists were. This is THE LADY ROTHSCHILD – Samantha Lester, Dell 15495, 1978.

Candlelight Regency Special 255.

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THE BAD BARON’S DAUGHTER – Laura London, Dell 10735, 1978.

Candlelight Regency Special 255.

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