Sunday, May 21, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 212: Girl In The Shadows, by Gwenda Bond

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!

Girl In The Shadows
(Cirque Americain, Book 2)
Gwenda Bond
Trade Paperback, 380  pages
July 5, 2016
   Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

From time to time, I enjoy featuring covers in which the typography is the main focus of the design. I find it very interesting that, in recent years, these types of covers have become more prevalent. This particular sample is one of the very best typographical covers I've ever come across!

The type of font used here harks back to very similar ones used in 19th-century advertising. It's just perfect here, as it recalls circus posters of the era, and this is right in line with the plot of this novel.

I LOVE the contrast with the way the letters were 'decorated' on the inside, for the title, while they were given a solid tone for the author's name. However, this tone is not the same all over the letters, but is softly gradated from darker at the bottom of each letter, to lighter toward the top. And this tone skillfully blends in with the mostly reds and oranges throughout the rest of the cover. 

I love the ornamentation around the title and author's name, too. It frames the typography very nicely, and it's just as bold as the letters. Besides, it, too, evokes that 19th-century poster style. All of those flourishes complement the typography, as well; they never overpower it. The overall effect is very striking, indeed!

Adding to this cover's charm and appeal are the small pictures placed at strategic points throughout the image. The poker cards at the top allude to the fact that the book's heroine has something to do with a circus or carnival, or perhaps a gambling casino. I'm really not sure whether this is a historical novel, but still, there's a feeling of some sort of show put on for the public.

The mask in the center of the cover, as well as the two knives flanking it, are related to the carnival or circus theme, as well. The heroine's father is a stage magician. Perhaps his daughter is also his assistant, and participates in an act in which he throws knives at her.

As for the heart at the bottom of the cover....this could be a reference to romance. I love that it matches the gradating tone of the letters in the author's name, too.

The whole image has a feeling of a gypsy type of scene, as well. And all that ornamentation seems to glow, like a carnival marquee.

The person responsible for this STUNNING cover is M.S. Corley, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer who specializes in book covers. It looks like he's self-taught, as his bio does not mention any type of art instruction, whether with a private teacher, or at an art school. If he's self-taught, then his work is all the more impressive!

While looking through Corley's portfolio, I noticed that he seems to have a thing for covers in which typography is the star. 

Mr. Corley lives in central Oregon with his wife, son, and cat. He has created covers for such well-known publishers as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon Schuster, Henry Holt Mcmillan, and Penguin Random House. Other clients include Microsoft, Thomas & Mercer, Dark Horse Comics, Crossing, Skyscape, 47North, and Valancourt Books.

Online Links

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


  1. Another great cover Maria.

    The 19th Century advertising/Circus them is so well reproduced.

    That heart is interesting. I seems like it includes some biological details. I wonder if it is in reference to some sort of sensationalistic circus type show involving a heart outside of a body or something like that.

    Have great Sunday Maria!

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Yeah, this is truly a GREAT cover! Glad you agree!! :)

      I find the heart very interesting, too. I wonder about the need to make it look so anatomically real.... Maybe, as you say, this has to do with some dramatic event of the type you've mentioned. Oh, that would SO creepy and horrifying!! I'm hoping that, instead, this heart picture has something to do with romance. Of course I would want that instead, being the hopeless romantic that I am! Lol.

      Thanks for the nice comment!! Hope you're having a WONDERFUL Sunday!! <3 <3 :) :)

  2. I love that the style of the cover ties in with the plot of the story! That is so creative! And I like the sound of this story a lot. Thank you for putting this on my radar, Maria, as I had never heard of this series until now. You find the most interesting books to feature, and I always enjoy reading your thoughts and analysis of the great covers! Hope you are having an incredible week, my friend. Love and ginormous tackle hugs to you! xoxoxo


    1. Hi, Michele!

      Yeah!! The style definitely ties in with the plot, and in such an AWESOME way, too!

      I LOVE the plot as well!! You're very welcome for my putting this book on your radar! And thanks to YOU for appreciating my hard work on finding interesting books to feature! Thanks as well for your compliment on my analysis of each of these great covers!! You know, it's people like you and Mckenzie who make blogging such a FUN, rewarding effort for me!!

      Thanks for such a LOVELY, heartfelt comment!!! <3 <3 <3

      Hope you're both having an incredible week, too!! Love and GINORMOUS tackle HUGS right back at ya!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX!!!!!!!

  3. Beautiful cover! Covers are one of my favorite things about a book. Is that weird?

    I love the colors the artist used. I also adore the typography! Great choice!

    1. Hi, Dena!

      I'm SO glad you love it, too!! Yes, this is truly a STUNNING COVER!

      Hey, it's NOT weird at all to be into book covers! I will even go as far as to buy an edition of a book with the most beautiful cover, even if there's a cheaper edition available with an ugly cover! Lol.

      Yea, the colors are truly AWESOME!! And the typography, OUTSTANDING!! SO glad you love my choice, too!!

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment!! <3 <3 :) :)


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