Saturday, January 4, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #99: Shadow Hand, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This weekly feature
showcases beautiful book covers,
and provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

 Here's my choice for this week!

Shadow Hand
(Tales of Goldstone Wood)
Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Bethany House Publishers
March 4, 2014
Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Why do I love this cover?

This is a lusciously beautiful image!  The setting is idyllic, and there's an obvious Tolkien influence in this lovely scene, although there are neither elves nor hobbits here.  Still, the atmosphere of Middle-Earth is present, or perhaps it's just that this is so obviously a fantasy land, where strange, magical perils lurk behind every tree and bush....

The young woman's dress is faery-like, diaphanous, and she herself is mysterious.  She gazes back at the viewer warily, almost as if daring that viewer to cross over into that magical land....

Her flaming red hair, which is touched by the early morning sun, flows down her back.  I'm surprised that she wears no crown, for she has a regal air about her.

A bluebird hovers near her head, making me wonder whether it's bringing her a message, or whether it's an enchanted bird that will momentarily turn into her prince, or perhaps a villain.

Every aspect of this scene is meticulously painted, also reminding me of the work of some Old Masters.  The realism is breathtaking, without losing that magical quality.

The font chosen for the title and author's name is nice, but I would have wished something a bit more ornate, in keeping with the fantasy theme.  On the other hand, maybe that would have distracted the viewer from this stunning image.  

This wonderful cover is the work of the very talented illustrator, William Graf, a very versatile freelance artist/digital photographer who is skillful in several categories.  He has worked for Bethany House Publishers, Harlequin, and Empire Scientific.  Although I wasn't able to find much information about him, I did discover a link for his portfolio.

William Graf

Online Links

What do you think of my 
choice this week?
Leave me a comment and 
let me know!



  1. Another great cover Maria. I love the way that the blues and greens are used and the way in that the melt together.

    I find that the woodland in the background is so very idyllic. I think a hint of danger is introduced by the thorns in the foreground.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      Thank you! I agree about the colors -- they are handled so well! And definitely this setting is very idyllic, but you're so right about the hint of danger being presented through the depiction of thorns in the foreground. Gee, I really should have said something about that! It's so obvious, too. Guess I was concentrating on everything else. Lol.

      I greatly appreciate your comment!! I'll be going to your blog soon, too. I know I need to comment back, and I'm sorry I haven't done so recently. As you know, I've been very busy with the Last Minute Read-A-Thon. But I'll be there, I promise!! : )

  2. No problem about the commenting. Though I really love your comments, they really are thought out and insightful, such comments really do take work and time. I know how busy you are. Working so much can be physically and psychology exhausted. So please do not feel pressured to visit until you have time.

    I genuinely like to read your posts even when they cover books that I would not normally read myself and I like to comment upon them. I too wish that I had more time and energy!

    1. Hi again, Brian!!

      Awww.....gee, you're such a nice person!! I hereby nominate you for "The Nicest Blogger Award"!!!! I really appreciate your understanding. Yes, I'm indeed very might have noticed that I do most of my posting on the weekends. Then I schedule them for later on in the week. As you know, I used to participate in "Waiting On Wednesday", a meme I really enjoy. That's because, since if goes up on Wednesdays, I don't have the time to comment on as many of the participating blogs as I would like to. And then I feel bad if someone comments on my post, and I don't comment back right away, because I simply can't -- I'm at work. Oh, and by the way, this week I go back to a full schedule. I was off from night school for two weeks, but we start again tomorrow. I was also off from my day job all of Christmas week, too. But now I will have BOTH jobs going again.....AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!! If only I could win a lottery or something.......

      I am very appreciative of the fact that you like to read my posts even though they're about books you wouldn't normally read yourself. And you comment on them, too! If that's not the epitome of niceness, I don't know what is!!

      So thank you once again for all your wonderful comments, which I often find very thought-provoking, as well. After all, commenting on other bloggers' blogs is half the fun of blogging, the other half being the writing of interesting, fun posts!!

      Sure hope your new year got off to a wonderful start for you, your wife, and the rest of your family!! : )


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