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!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 95: Disposing of (Shudders!) Unwanted Books

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

What do you do with books you
no longer want? Do you donate them?
Do you take them to a half-price
bookstore? Does a friend or
family member benefit?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth  @ 

My Answer

GREAT question, Elizabeth!  And it's being answered by a longtime certified book hoarder! Lol. 

Quite honestly, it's really hard for me to say that I "no longer want a book". Lol. However, there have indeed been books now and then that I have REALLY wanted to get rid of. One such book is Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. I used to own a couple of copies of it, but then asked myself WHY I had them, since I totally LOATHE this novel. So I donated them to a local Goodwill store.

Sadly, I was forced to donate a VERY large part of my collection when my husband and I moved into a smaller apartment, back in March of 2015. We had to sacrifice size in favor of location; we moved to a much nicer part of the city, with better security. Plus, we were no longer renting, but buying. So....with a very heavy heart, I found myself having to donate boxes and boxes of books to Goodwill. I was surprised at the titles I had accumulated over the years, too! Some of them were even easy to part with, incredibly enough. Others were not so I have them on one of my Amazon wish lists, for later acquisition. Where I'll put them, though, I have NO idea! Lol.

In spite of all of these donations, there were some books that I just could NOT bear to part with. So they're in public storage, and I'm paying a monthly fee for them. This might seem like a waste of money to most people, but what can I do? 

So, when the rare occasion arises that I really DO want to get rid of a book, I will usually donate it, either to a Goodwill store, or to my local library. Of course, when I donate to a library, I check out the books other people have already donated to them! Haha! So it actually turns into a trade type of situation. (Although one library I visit from time to time asks for a monetary donation when you pick up donated books from them.)

Another book I actually COULDN'T WAIT to get rid of was The Gift by Cecelia Ahern. OMG, I TOTALLY loathe that book, too!! If any of you reading this post have read and liked it, I hope I haven't offended you. But then, everyone has their own reading tastes. 

When I began reading that novel, I really liked it, but a certain plot twist had me wanting to throw the book against the wall! Honestly. Rather than do that, I quickly added it to my "To Be Donated" pile. Needless to say, I never finished the book. (I did peek ahead to the ending, and THAT was what made me see RED. Good thing I found out right away, though, so I didn't waste any more time. Lol.)

I don't give away books to any friends or family, sad to say..... My parents used to read years ago, but in recent years they've pretty much stopped. Besides, their taste in books is nowhere similar to mine, lol. They are very conservative folks, tending towards classics and nonfiction -- especially Catholic books. Me, I'm VERY eclectic and will also read stuff considered "non-kosher" by my family. Lol. I like classics, literary fiction, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, historical romance, urban fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and nonfiction. In nonfiction, my tastes run mostly to art, psychology, and spirituality (Christian and some New Age). As for my sisters, they are not into books at all. So, no, I wouldn't give any of my unwanted books to my family.

As for friends.....woe is me....I don't really have that many real-life friends. There are a couple of fellow teachers at work I'm friendly with, but I really wouldn't call them friends, since we don't hang out outside of work. I actually spend most of my time with my husband, especially the weekends.

One of these teachers, whom I have dinner with in the teachers' lounge every evening (Monday to Thursday) does like to read. She especially enjoys reading Ken Follett. She actually gave me a rather dog-eared paperback copy of World Without End, which I've been meaning to read. Even though I don't like to own books in that condition, I will go ahead and read this one. If I really like it, then I'll buy my own pristine copy. If not, then I'll take it over to Goodwill, and not buy a new copy for myself. Lol.

Of course, I do have friends in the book blogging world, but alas, they all live far, far away from me..... I wouldn't be shipping any of my unwanted books to them, as this could get VERY expensive, even if I didn't do it that often.

In the past, I've also gotten rid of books through my own blog giveaways. This is how I got rid of my Fallen books. This is a series written by a YA author named Lauren Kate. I mentioned these books in last week's post. Well, I held my own giveaway, and was able to get them off my shelves that way! Of course, this was not an international giveaway. It was only for U.S. residents. There's no way I would be able to afford postage for an international winner!

I'm currently thinking of holding a giveaway for a book I didn't quite like -- A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas. I know that a LOT of people have raved about this novel, but there are some objectionable elements in it, in my opinion. Again, this was a book I started out liking, but the author really ruined it for me in the end. Maybe someone who would like to read it will be happy to win it in a giveaway on this blog. 

If any of you reading this have some unwanted books (and you probably do, even if you're a diehard hoarder like me), consider holding a giveaway with these books as prizes. What you don't like might be just the thing another book lover would! If, however, this doesn't appeal to you -- especially if you're not a fan of Rafflecopter giveaways -- then I think donating your books to a Goodwill store, or a library, would be your best bet. 

I would NOT recommend trying to get rid of your unwanted books on Amazon or eBay, in case you've thought of THAT option. Selling on either of these two sites can be a HUGE headache! I know, because I tried selling some books on eBay once. No fun at all!

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment!
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 17: Amid Stars and Darkness, by Chani Lynn Feener

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!
This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and inspired by "Waiting On Wednesday", which used to be hosted by
 Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

For more information, please click HERE.

As in the previous meme, this one showcases future releases  we book  bloggers 
are eagerly anticipating!!
There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 Amid Stars and Darkness
(The Xenith Trilogy, Book 1)
Chani Lynn Feener
Hardcover,  368 pages
Swoon Reads
July 18, 2017 
Romance, Science Fiction
Young Adult Fiction

Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Get lost Amid Stars and Darkness, in this YA sci-fi romance from debut author Chani Lynn Feener.

Why I'm waiting on this one!

What first grabbed me was the AWESOME cover!! It TOTALLY ROCKS!! Then I read the plot and that clinched it -- I KNEW I had to get this book!! This looks like the start to a truly riveting new series!!

Chani's first traditionally published book will be with Swoon Reads, and comes out summer 2017!

She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging on TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is also the author of the teen paranormal series, The Underworld Saga, originally written under the pen name Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on


What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!