Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 206: Beauty of the Beast, by Rachel L. Demeter

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!

Beauty of the Beast
 (Fairy Tale Retellings, Book 1)
Rachel L. Demeter 
Trade Paperback, 342  pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
February 19, 2017
   Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy,
Historical Romance

My Thoughts About This Cover

It was about time I featured a beautiful blue cover again! And this one is an absolutely STUNNING one! It's just such a powerful image -- with a bold, perfectly balanced composition, as well as one of the best, if not THE best, examples of a cover image perfectly matched to the book's title I've ever seen!

These two components of the cover above actually mirror each other -- the twisting, intertwining branches, or rather, gigantic stems of roses with huge thorns, are interlaced with the swirling letters of the title, especially the word "Beast". The graceful swirls of these letters form circular shapes that are paradoxically bold and aggressive. It's as if the letters of the word "Beast" were reinforcing the twisting shapes of the forest of thorns behind them. Some of the thorns overlap the letter swirls, as if trying to cage them in. The same thing is happening with the word "Beauty".

And then there's that glorious blue! It's a bit eerie, and yet, enchanting, with a hint of mystery.

To make this cover rock even more, there are three strategically placed roses -- one left of center, on the top branches of an overarching tree, another in the very middle of the cover, with the word "the" on top of it, and the last in the lower right-hand corner. These roses really stand out amidst the more somber colors of the overall image, even though they're dark themselves. They serve to lead the eye from the upper left of the cover to the lower right, and back again.

This cover gives me a mixture of feelings. While the huge, black stems spiked with thorns, and the roses dripping blood (some of which falls on a couple of the letters in the title) give this cover an ominous air, I also see hints of hope in the light breaking through the maze of thorns and tree branches. It's as if goodness were seeping through a maze of evil.

The black forest of thorns is a dramatic contrast to the beautiful, light-filled background. I see this as a metaphor for Beauty struggling to break through the Beast's apparent darkness. I say "apparent" because the Beast is actually not bad at all. It's his outward appearance that makes him seem monstrous.

The person responsible for all of this cover awesomeness is Sarah Hansen, a book cover designer who started her own company -- Okay Creations, several years ago. She studied Fine Arts in college, later spending 11 years designing Mylar balloons. After that, she went out on her own. 

Hansen's covers have graced books that have been on the bestselling lists of The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. You can see some of these covers at the NA Alley Interview below. Her company regularly creates covers for the big six publishers, and their portfolio has increased to over a thousand covers. They also create author and blog branding. 

This brilliant illustrator/designer has now been added to my growing list of great cover artists!

Online Links


What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


  1. Hi Maria - This is a fantastic cover.

    There is something about the combination of blue and red. Often black and white are considered opposites. But I think that blue and red, at least in the minds of many, of us is also an important contrast. Also, like black and white, the contrast between red and blue color, can paradoxically compliment each other.

    As you allude to, the contrast between the softer blue and the more ominous aspects of this picture also works very well.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Oh, ABSOLUTELY!!! And it sure helps that it's BLUE! You know how much I LOVE that color!! Lol.

      I think you have a point about the combination of blue and red. Well, the bet example is the American flag, plus the fact that, during a presidential election, the blue states represent the Democratic Party, while the red represent the Republican Party. I think this is SO interesting! I need to do some Google research to find out how this came to be. So yeah, there's something to the contrast between these two colors. I've never been very fond of red, BTW. And NOW, I totally HATE it, because of TRUMP! UGH.

      Yes, the contrast between the light shades of blue in the background of this cover form a marked contrast with the dark rose stems and trees. This is not only obvious in an aesthetic sense, but also in a metaphorical sense.

      Hope you have a great weekend, too!! Thanks for the wonderful comment!! <3 :)

  2. Wow, thank you SO much for featuring my book's cover! It really is beautiful, isn't it? Ominous and dark, with just the right amount of enchantment. Sarah truly nailed the heart of the story through her visuals. The color tones. The layering and illusion of depth. The curving lines and entwined text. I was floored when she sent me the mockup!!

    The way you analyze the cover like it's a piece of artwork is mesmerizing and very impressive! I just love how you deduced metaphorical symbols from the fine details (which were al spot-on, I must say!)

    Thank you thank you thank YOU for this unique and enthralling feature of my book!! <33

    1. Hi, Rachel!

      OMG, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this WONDERFUL comment!!!! I SO appreciate your sincere praise! <3 <3 <3

      ABSOLUTELY Sarah nailed "the heart of the story", as you so well put it! I certainly got the message of this tale perfectly well!

      Yes, I do consider all the beautiful covers I feature on "Shelf Candy Saturday" to be just that -- works of art. They are simply STUNNING. And, of course, they have the added dimension of metaphorically alluding to the story inside the book. This makes them even MORE of a work of art, and thus, I consider their creators to be BRILLIANT.

      You know, I don't think that book cover artists are given as much credit by publishers as they deserve. Often, for instance, I am unable to find them credited on a book's copyright page. Can you believe that?! That was the case with this cover, and so I had to contct you, which was GREAT, because then I got to meet a SUPER nice person!!! <3 :)

      Book cover artists are IMMENSELY important!! Without their beautifully created, striking covers, readers wouldn't pick up the books that writers work so hard on! So it's my GREAT pleasure to feature these covers, and give ample credit where ample credit is due!

      You are SO welcome for my feature of this book I know I'm going to really enjoy reading!! And THANK YOU for such a lovely, lovely, comment!!!! HUGS!!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  3. After reading your awesome description of the cover, I actually expected something more fairytale like, I have to admit. Is that weird??

    1. Hi, Veruskha!

      Thanks so much for the compliment!! :)

      Well, there's a castle in the plot, but you're right -- this novel is actually not as fairytale like as you would think. And I don't think this is a weird thing to say, either. You DO have a point! :)

      Thanks for the nice comment!! <3 :)

  4. This cover looks gorgeous! It's not a book I've heard of, but that cover sure makes it seem like an interesting read. Great feature, Maria.

    1. Hi, Rissi!

      I'm so glad you agree that this is a gorgeous cover!! It's great that the cover has gotten you interested in this book!

      Thanks for the compliment on my meme!! And thanks for the visit and the lovely comment!! <3 <3 :) :)

  5. Wow pretty snazzy cover! I like that one. Especially the blood dripping from the roses...

    1. Hi, Greg!

      Yes, this is indeed a great cover! Glad you agree! I must confess that the blood dripping from the roses is not my favorite aspect, though,

      Thanks for the nice comment!! :) :) :)

  6. oh, wow! My mom is currently reading this one!! We just love this cover; those colors are so gorgeous! I enjoyed reading your thoughts, as usual. I love the way you describe both the ominous and hopeful aspects; I hadn't noticed that before! Thank you so much for leaving such a sweet comment for me on my post! Wonderful pick and awesome feature!! *big hugs* :-)


    1. Hi, Mckenzie!

      Yeah, your mom was the one who recommended this book to me! I will be starting on it soon!!

      These colors are definitely gorgeous!! The cover got me interested in the book right away!!

      Thank you so much for the compliment on my cover analysis!! <3 <3 I really enjoy doing these cover analyses, as I'm a very visual person. I also think that cover illustrators are not appreciated as much as they should be, in the book industry. Sometimes they're not even credited on a book's copyright page!

      You're very welcome for my comment on your "Macbeth" review, Mckenzie!! I just thought it was very well done!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice, lovely comment!! BIG HUGS BACK!!!!! <3 <3 :) :)


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