Saturday, March 2, 2013

Shelf Candy Saturday #58: The Blessed, by Tonya Hurley

Welcome to
Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This weekly meme/blog hop, hosted here,
features beautiful book covers!

If you'd like to participate, just grab my button (or create your own), write your own post, and link up in the Linky widget at the bottom of this post. (You have to click on "Read more" so that the entire post will open up.)

As a bonus, you can include information on the artist, designer, and/or photographer, but it's not required. You can simply feature a cover and explain why you love it!

Here's my choice for this week!

(The Blessed #1)
(UK edition)
Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Hodder Children's Books
August 2, 2012
Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy,
Young Adult Fiction

Why do I love this cover?

I must admit that I have surprised myself by choosing this cover, since tattoos, to me, are simply not the classiest thing for someone to have on their body.  I certainly would never get one!  Besides, they hurt like....a lot.  So why would I pick a cover featuring a tattoo?  Well, I think that's pretty obvious.  This cover is simply...stunning.

Perhaps the fact that I love roses (what girl doesn't?) is what attracted me to this cover when I saw it for the first time.  Those roses are so very beautiful!  They are lovingly detailed, and follow the curves of the model's back  so perfectly, so gracefully!  I also like the fact that they seem to have a definite Art Nouveau influence. 

The model herself has a back I'd give my eyeteeth for!  What kind of diet does she follow, I wonder?  Her figure is svelte, even athletic.  She looks very stylish, very cool, with that sleek haircut and slinky black dress.   She does look like a femme fatale, though.  I just know she's wearing stiletto heels (those are dangerous in more ways than one), and probably has a sharp knife strapped to her thigh, underneath that dress... 

The color red is obviously the dominant one on the cover,  although it takes up less surface area than the gray and the black.  I feel there's a reference to blood, and that sounds sinister.  (Funny I should make such an observation, since I do like vampires.  Ah, but I like the romantic kind -- the Edward Cullen variety.)  Indeed, this cover has a distinctly dark feel about it.  So, even though the girl with the rose tattoo does, I think, make a very striking statement, as well as a fashionable one, this cover is still a bit creepy....

Adding to the creepiness is that title.  I don't know how to explain it, but there's an ominous air about it, even while it's admittedly gorgeous.  I do like the way the color of the letters fades in and out, from left to right.  I also like the ornate designs flanking the title.

In short, I have mixed feelings about this cover, but I still love it!  I really like images that make a bold statement, and this one certainly qualifies! 

This is the UK cover of the book.  I ordered this novel from a UK seller who sells on eBay, and will be receiving it soon.

The cover below is the one for the US edition.  What an incredible difference!  Needless to say, I much, much prefer the UK cover, in spite of 'the creep factor'.  In fact, I really have nothing to say about the US cover, except that I find it absolutely uninspiring!  I'm not at all interested in finding out who the cover artist is, either.

(The Blessed #1)
(US edition)
Tonya Hurley
Hardcover, 405 pages
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
September 25, 2012
Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy,
Young Adult Fiction

I was able to get the name
of the fabulously talented artist
who created the UK cover:
Odessa Sawyer!!

You can see a slightly different image
of  Sawyer's cover, as well
as the inside illustrations,
(You'll notice that the letters
of the title are a very vibrant
tone of red-orange,
and also seem to pop out
of the cover.)

Artist's Bio
(from her website)

Odessa Sawyer is an illustrator and dollmaker
from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
She works mainly in digital mixed media,
utilizing digital painting,
photography, and traditional pen and ink.
Odessa's work has graced the covers
of many top publishing houses,
and she has also done work for various
films & projects, posters,
and album covers.
All of her dolls are one of a kind and
made from recycled fabrics.

Odessa Sawyer Online

What do you think of my choice?
What beautiful cover(s)
are you featuring this week?


  1. The cover reinforces the organic flowing design of the tatto beautifully and the black and red work so effectivly together. What is with the different covers for different markets, the Uk is so effective why didn't they go with that one?
    Nice cover choice!

  2. I also am not a tattoo person but this is a striking cover. I agree about the ominous feel to the title, which as you point out is caused by the red as well as the font. I do not know much about the history of lettering or fonts, but those little extra marks on the "T"s give the words an occult like feel.

    Though I also like the UK cover better I think the US one also effectively exhibits creepiness. Kind of like it is so white and over the top solemn - innocent that there is really is something terribly wrong.

  3. Hi, Arabella!

    You've made a great point! This cover does have a wonderfully harmonious composition. And I totally agree with you regarding the different covers. If they already have one really stunning cover, why don't they stick with that one, no matter where the book is published? Maybe it's a matter of patriotism -- could it be that they want readers to know what country each book has been published in?

    Thanks for the wonderful comment!! :)

  4. Hey, Brian!

    Tattoos are very popular nowadays, regrettably. I've never liked them, but, darn it, I do have to admit that some of them can be quite beautiful. It's too bad that people choose to put them on their bodies, though, instead of simply buying the artwork to hang on a wall.

    As for the letters in the title, I think it's the word "blessed" that looks ominous. To me, the two capital "e's" give the title this ominous feel. I can't really put my finger on this, though.

    You've made an excellent observation regarding the US cover. It, too, is creepy, in a different sort of way. The girl on the cover doesn't look normal at all. She seems to be hypnotized. Something is VERY definitely wrong! It's like she's being forced to hold that rosary, and hold her hands in prayer in just that way. So unsettling...

    Thank you for another of your wonderfully perceptive comments!! :)

  5. Thanks for the link to the actual artist, Maria! I really enjoy finding out about new cover artists. The Blessed is more striking in reality than in that image, the letters really pop!You should check Nekro's art. He creates absolutely breathtaking covers. Here is his blog:

  6. Hey, Kara!

    You're very welcome! I'm glad you like this cover, too! The picture of the cover at the link I provided does show the letters popping out. I should be receiving the book soon, so I'll see the effect on the actual book.

    I have seen Nekro's art before -- he did all the covers for the House of Comarré series, which I think are just AWESOME. There is something creepy about his art, but I have to admit that he creates masterpieces!

    Thanks for the fabulous comment!! :)

  7. I too love the book cover for the UK version. It is funny how different the two covers are but my fave is definitely the UK version of The Blessed. Very nice. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day!!!

  8. WOW! This is a totally gorgeous cover!! I so love it! The colors are perfect and love the tattoo!! And this book sounds really good!! I'm definitely going to read this one!!

  9. Great choice! The cover is Wicked Awesome!


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