Sunday, July 16, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 219: Spinning Thorns, by Anna Sheehan

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!!

Spinning Thorns
Anna Sheehan
Trade Paperback, 354 pages
(Imprint of Orion Publishing Group)
December 10, 2015
   Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy,
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

I have once again fallen in love with another Gollancz cover! I don't know how this publisher does it, but they actually manage to get the BEST cover artists, and these very talented people produce totally memorable book covers!

The cover I'm featuring today is magical, mysterious, slightly creepy.....and it DEFINITELY has a very obvious Disney vibe. This last quality is what has me LOVING it!! I LOVE Disney art, and have been a fan since I was a child who dreamed of one day visiting Disneyland! (I got my wish, but Disneyland came to me -- in Orlanddo, Florida, and it is called Disneyworld, as everyone know.) And yes, I have been there, although it was quite a while back, and I want to return SO badly!!)

Of course, the very first thing that caught my attention was that most beautiful of all colors -- BLUE!! There just isn't any other color in the universe that can give me the visual delight that blue can! And I LOVE how it's used here! It's not only in the sky, which is also softly shaded in lilac, but on the steep mountain on top of which is perched that very mysterious castle. I also LOVE that the zigzagging road that leads to the castle is a lighter shade of this same blue. The cover has a very harmonious look, and it's because of those  different shades of blue.

The twisting, menacing thorns are what give this cover that sinister vibe. They form a barrier at the bottom of the cover, as if daring the reader to get through them. These thorns also climb up the sides of the cover, very effectively framing the castle, leading the eye right to it. Then there are more thorns, and gigantic ones, too, standing like sentinels to the left and right of the castle, which looks menacing, as well. 

That font is SO lovely! It is in stark contrast to the rest of the cover, too, and yet, it goes very well with it. I love the "tendrils" that trail off the letters in the word "thorns". This gives a feminine, delicate air to these letters. I also like the very pale yellow tone of the letters, which is also a contrast to the colors in the rest of the cover. Perhaps this is symbolic of the one ray of hope and sunshine in this story. It also helps to relieve the overall dark tones of the cover.

In short, this brilliant cover artist has definitely succeeded in creating a very atmospheric cover that pulls the reader right into the story! At least, it did so for THIS reader, although I'm sureI'm not the only potential reader ever to have felt attracted to this cover.

I was unable to get much information about the artist. For some strange reason, Gollancz doesn't give enough (or any) credit to its cover artists, despite being known as a publisher that consistently releases books with GORGEOUS covers. 

What I WAS able to find out about this artist was that her name is Laura B., she's an illustrator and book cover designer based in London, and is also a student at The Oatley Academy of Visual Storytelling. I don't know why her last name is not given, to be honest. Her cover for Spinning Thorns was nominated for The Ravenheart Award in 2016. This award is one of several established in memory of David Gemell, a British author of heroic fantasy whose best-known work is his debut novel, Legend. Gemell passed away in 2006.

The Ravenheart Award is given for Best Fantasy Cover Art in a given year. The award is named after one of Gemell's novels.

So Laura B., whose future DEFINITELY looks VERY promising, is yet another addition to my list of favorite cover artists!

Online Links

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 100: Eating & Drinking While Reading

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 is your go-to drink and/or 
snack while reading?

(Submitted  by Kristin @ 

My Answer

To be honest, I don't usually drink or snack on anything while I'm reading. I tend to do that more when I'm blogging. Why the difference? Well, blogging doesn't usually require me to get lost in whatever post I'm creating. If I'm writing comments, the same thing is true. Reading, though, is another matter entirely! When I'm having a GREAT reading "session", I'm SO totally into the book I'm reading that I really have no clue as to what's going on "in the real world". Lol. If I were to break my concentration in order to reach over to my drink or snack, then I wouldn't enjoy my time with a totally fascinating book. 

However, occasionally I will drink something while immersed in a book. But only VERY occasionally. When I do so, it will depend on the season. During the winter (if you can call our South Florida weather in December "winter".....) I do enjoy curling up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate, ESPECIALLY if I'm reading a Christmas-themed romance novel. Of course, I only do this when the temps fall into the 60s or, better yet, 50s. That's about as cold as it gets down here during the day! Lol. Sometimes we're lucky enough to get into the 40s, but only at night. Since I'm a TOTAL night owl, I LOVE to do my reading late at night. (And I mean LATE, folks! I frequently go to bed around 4:00 AM. And I get up around noon. YAAAAAAAY!!!!! ) So reading and sipping hot chocolate on a "cold" winter night is just PERFECT for me!

And there's eggnog, of course. That's a GREAT alternate to hot chocolate. (But only if it's spiked, and only during the Christmas season.)This an EXTREMELY rare thing for me to do, though, as eggnog is VERY fattening! Lol.

Another alternate to hot chocolate (especially when it's not THAT cold) is hot tea. I will drink mostly herb tea, but sometimes I drink either black tea (such as English Breakfast Tea), sweetened with honey and a little bit of Half and Half, or green tea, with the same treatment. Of course, at night I prefer herb tea, because black tea will make it too hard for me to get to sleep.

In the summer (which we actually have pretty much year-round, BOO-HOO!!) I will go with something cold, naturally. I NEVER drink iced tea, though. I just don't like tea except when it's hot.

Sometimes, especially when I want to feel like a sophisticated bon vivant, for example, I will indulge in a glass of Merlot, which is my favorite wine. But this is very rare, really. And I like it cold, too. When I get into "a wine mood", I LOVE to drink wine while reading late at night. It's just so....bohemian. It also makes me feel like I'm in Paris. Lol.

Do I ever eat anything while either reading or blogging? Well, sometimes I will eat peanuts (Cocktail Peanuts, by Planters, ONLY) in the middle of blogging. But I don't actually eat them with one hand, while pecking away with the other. No, instead, I stop whatever I'm doing on the blog, and take a little break to eat the peanuts. I just don't want to get the oily residue on the keys.

I NEVER eat any food while reading. AT ALL. I just don't want any crumbs or little pieces of peanut skin, or pieces of any type of food, falling onto my open book. Plus, any food that has a bit of oil in it (like the Planters peanuts) will get on my hands, and then God forbid I turn pages with those oily hands!! No. Absolutely NOT. When I do get hungry in the middle of reading, I will close the book (with a bookmark in it, of course, as I DO NOT fold pages over; that's a bookish SIN, for goodness' sake), get up, go into the kitchen, and get myself a little snack. 

Again, I tend to avoid snacking while reading for the reasons stated above. I don't like having to break my concentration if a book REALLY has me on a roll. (Pun intended.) I can't say I'm truly enjoying a book if I interrupt myself with food (drinks, though, are less disruptive than food). So snacking and books? Not my thing, actually. My brain just doesn't like that, lol.

Writing all of the above is making me VERY nostalgic for some 50-degree temps, with a Christmas romance novel and my cup of hot chocolate..... Sigh.....
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, July 12, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday "Another Beautiful Cover Giveaway" Winner!!

We have a winner in the Shelf Candy Saturday "Another Beautiful Cover

This giveaway started on
  June 10, 2017, and
ended at midnight on 
July 11, 2017!!

And the winner is......

Antonela @
Between Books and Feathers!!


She has already claimed her prize!!


I'd like to thank everyone who
entered this giveaway!!
Please stay tuned,
as I have giveaways going on
all the time, whether my own,
as part of a blog hop,
or as part of a blog tour!!

Be sure to enter my current 
giveaway, if you're a U.S. resident!!

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 25: Landscape with Invisible Hand, by M.T. Anderson

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!

 Landscape with Invisible Hand 
M.T. Anderson
Hardcover,  160 pages
Candlewick Press
September 12, 2017   
Humor, Science Fiction, 
Young Adult Fiction

National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson returns to future Earth in a sharply wrought satire of art and truth in the midst of colonization.

When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth — but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents’ jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine, Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, have to get creative to survive. And since the vuvv crave anything they deem classic Earth culture (doo-wop music, still life paintings of fruit, true love), recording 1950s-style dates for the vuvv to watch in a pay-per-minute format seems like a brilliant idea. But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to sell true love when they hate each other more with every passing episode. Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go — and what he’s willing to sacrifice — to give the vuvv what they want.

Why I can't wait for this one!

This cover, although it's in color, reminds me of the old 1950s SF movies, like "The Day the Earth Stood Still". I think it's a very nice retro cover! And the plot sounds totally HILARIOUS!! Of course I NEED to read this book!! I also think I'm going to LOOOVE these aliens!! LOL.

Matthew Tobin Anderson (M. T. Anderson), (1968- ) is an author, primarily of picture books for children and novels for young adults. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His picture books include Handel Who Knew What He Liked; Strange Mr. Satie; The Serpent Came to Gloucester; and Me, All Alone, at the End of the World. He has written such young adult books as Thirsty, Burger Wuss, Feed, The Game of Sunken Places, and Octavian Nothing. For middle grader readers, his novels include Whales on Stilts: M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales and its sequel, The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen.


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