Sunday, April 2, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 207: Toward A Secret Sky, by Heather Maclean

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

*Late Edition*
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!

Toward A Secret Sky
Heather Maclean 
Hardcover, 368  pages
April 4, 2017
   Christian Fiction, Fantasy,
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This is a truly powerful, bold cover, and yet it's also a lovely one. I would say it has a very well-balanced combination of power and flowing peace. Not an easy thing to achieve in a cover, I think!

The strange flower right in the middle of this cover is what first catches the eye. It's not a realistically depicted flower. At least, I've never seen one like this. While at first glance it appears to be a rose, the middle of the flower is like nothing I've ever seen before. This flower is completely symmetrical and not quite solid. It also gives me a slightly sinister feel....

On the other hand, this flower could be a symbol of wholeness, of the attainment of spiritual perfection. Red is the color of passion, however, which points to a connection with the heart. For some reason, I'm reminded of Dante's Divine Comedy here.

Beneath the flower, the sky is a combination of beautiful colors -- the clouds are tinted in brilliant shades of orange, pink, and purple as they lie over the gently-rolling hills, only to turn dark and threatening as the eye moves further up the cover. If you start from the top, as I think most people would, because of the flower, then the threatening clouds turn into serene ones, colored by either the sunset or sunrise -- I'm not sure exactly which.

The font is a classic one, but it has three unusual features: the letter "t" in the word "toward" is in the shape of a cross, and two of the letters in the rest of the title are reversed. These things immediately catch one's attention, making one wonder as to the possible meaning.... The cross points to Christian elements, while the reversed letters could symbolize opposition, as well as a mystery that must be solved.

I also love the elegant flourishes around the letters of the title, which are the third unusual feature. These all come from the center dot of the letter "o", and spread to the rest of the title, giving it a gently feminine feel.

To sum up, this is a totally striking image that beckons the reader to enter what promises to be a totally intriguing world. This is borne out by the synopsis. Of course, this book is already on my Goodreads shelves! And it will be released this Tuesday, so I might get it right away!

When I checked out the Amazon preview to find out who the brilliant cover artist is, all I could find was the following name: Brand Navigation. Puzzled by this, I did a Google search, and came across their website. This is obviously a company that specializes in design. I found the following slogan on their site's home page: "We define, design and align brand stories." That sounds like they do mostly PR work

When I checked out their Bio page, I finally saw a name: Bill Chiaravalle. He is the Principal, as well as Creative Director. However, nothing seems to indicate that he was actually the creator of the cover I'm featuring today. The bio states that he wrote the book, Branding For Dummies, and has more than 20 years of experience "....specializing in branding for a broad range of global, national and regional companies in an extensive range of industries." 

I think that, most likely, an artist working for Chiaravalle's company created this cover. If so, that person has not received proper credit for their work. On the other hand, Chiaravalle could very well have been the creator, and simply prefers to credit his company instead of himself directly.

The Amazon preview also states that the interior design was done by an artist named Denise Froehlich. Since I don't own this book (yet!) I have no idea what this looks like. However, if she had also designed the cover, I'm sure she would have been credited for it. At least, I would hope so!

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 remarkable cover for all the reasons that you mentioned.

    That font is so interesting.

    The font does make me think about something. It seems that over he years, a lot of horror films have used similar themes such as crosses, backwards letter, etc. in their titles or even incorporated into the plots. I think that this has created a feeling of ominousness for many of us when we see fonts like this.

    I know that you do not like horror so I am am not sure if you have observed this as much as I have.

    Have a great week!

    1. Hi, Brian!

      It sure is!! Glad you like it, too!!

      Yeah, the font is indeed very interesting! And you're right -- the types of things done with it are commonly seen in horror movie titles. Well, I do feel that this cover has a bit of an ominous feel to it. I see it mostly in the flower. Yes, I have observed it.

      I don't know whether I would be willing to read this book, given that I agree with you about that ominous feeling. I definitely do NOT like the horror genre at all! Still, this book is listed as Christian fiction, so maybe I will pick it up. On the other hand, I need to read some reviews of it first.

      Thanks for the interesting comment!! Hope you have a great week, too!! :) :) :)

  2. Amazing pick! I was definitely drawn to the cover when I first saw it. It's very pretty :D Lovely post!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Hi, Brittany!

      Glad you like this cover, too! It's very striking, isn't it?

      As I told Brian in my reply above, I'm not sure I will pick up this book, in spite of liking the cover. That's because it does give me a rather ominous feeling. I guess I'll check the reviews first.

      Thanks for the sweet comment!! <3 :)

  3. This cover is absolutely stunning! As always, I love your thoughts on this one. I definitely agree about the ominous feel but that it's still so beautiful. I also love how you always make an effort to find and credit the designers for these covers; I really appreciate that. I'm very intrigued by this one; I may have to check it out! Wonderful post, Maria! *big big hugs* <3 <3 <3


    1. Hi, Mckenzie!

      Oh, it SURE is!! Glad you love it, too!!

      Thanks for complimenting my analysis of this cover! HUGS!!!! I greatly enjoy looking at all the cover elements, thinking about them, and then posting my conclusions. And yes, this particular cover does have an ominous feel, but is still beautiful in spite of it. I think that's very interesting and yet, paradoxical.

      Yeah, I always make an effort to get information about these cover artists. That was what made this cover meme so very special to me, back when Steph @ Five Alarm Book Reviews was hosting it. You see, this was originally her meme, and she passed it on to me when she decided to stop blogging. I really miss her blog, too! Oh, well.... But I certainly do enjoy creating these posts, even though I sometimes publish them on Sundays instead of Saturdays, lol.

      I sure do hope you check this book out! It's just been released, too!

      Thanks for all of your lovely, sweet comments, Mckenzie!! HUGE HUGS!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  4. Now that is a striking cover! And the line Trust Not Your Eyes makes me wonder if there's something else to this cover too... hmmmm

  5. Hi, Verushka!

    OM, I totally forgot about that line when I was writing my analysis! Lol. That line just makes this cover even MORE enigmatic, which only adds to the fascination it exerts.

    Thanks for the interesting comment!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


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