Saturday, December 5, 2015

Shelf Candy Saturday #165: The Coal Elf, by Maria De Vivo

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, if available,
on their very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

The Coal Elf
Maria De Vivo
Trade Paperback, 210 pages
Paladin Timeless Books
November 15, 2012
Christmas Fiction, Fantasy, 
Paranormal Fiction,Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

The holiday season -- and, specifically, the Christmas season -- is officially underway, so I thought it would be nice to feature a Christmas-themed cover. Only this isn't your typical Christmas cover. Instead, it's a rather unusual, as well as funny, one.

The young woman on the cover is "a coal elf". She works in the mines at the North Pole, gathering coal for Santa's Christmas Eve rounds. The coal, of course, will be dropped into the stockings of every naughty boy and girl. And our elf, Ember Skye, is pretty unhappy about her job!

Her grouchy expression lends a humorous touch to this cover, which has been created with such an obvious love for realistic detail. I love that grouchy expression! It's just perfect! And Ember's clothes and attitude make me think of a disgruntled Valkyrie. She has the braids, plus that wicked-looking ax would be just right for a Valkyrie.

It's great that her elf ears peek beneath the miner's hat. From that look on her face, and the way she's looking over her shoulder,I think she's planning to go AWOL, because she's really had it.

Anyway, I have just discovered this book while browsing Goodreads for beautiful covers, and have also added it to my Goodreads shelves. It sure looks like it will be a lot of fun to read! And it was the cover that pulled me in.

I also love the stark, classical font used with this image. It's done in a gold tone, too, which I think is a funny reference to the fact that Ember is not mining for gold.

I just love everything about this cover -- the humor in it, the composition, the meticulous attention to detail, the lighting.....everything! 

When I checked the Amazon preview reader, I discovered that the amazingly talented artist responsible for this cover is Ural Akyuz, a Turkish artist, born in 1969, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2003. He was drawn to art as a child, and published his first professional illustration at the age of 14. You can access that illustration HERE. I think you will agree that it's a highly polished piece of work, for a 14-year-old artist!

Mr. Akyuz is well-versed in various aspects of artistic work, such as illustration, painting, 3D design, graphic design, comics, animation, and more! I've added him to my list of favorite book cover artists!      

Online Links

What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Would it entice you to buy
this book and read it?


  1. This is a great and unique choice for Shelf Candy Saturday.

    This cover is so different. It kind of breaks the paradigm for both Christmas themed books as well as pictures containing elves.

    I also really like the background. It gives the cover a lot of atmosphere.

  2. Hey, Brian!

    Yes, this cover is certainly different, and that was part of the reason I picked it. And that elf is just TOO funny! I think the artist captured her personality perfectly! This book will be a lot of fun to read, when I get it!

    The background is perfect, too. As you say, it does give the cover a lot of atmosphere. The viewer really does get the feeling that the elf is in a mine.

    Thanks for the great comment!! : )


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