by Mary Jo
Once upon a time, in that distant day before the internet and .jpg files and indie ebook publishing, receiving your cover from your publisher was a very big deal. You opened the envelope breathlessly, then studied the cover flat with joy, horror, or something in between. You flashed your cover proudly at conferences if you liked it, or moaned and asked for commiseration if you didn't.
The original cover of Uncommon Vows is not a favorite of mine. It was fairly eye catching, I like the colors, and it fulfilled the basic requirement of getting hair colors right: he's a very fair Norman blond, she has dark hair like the half Welsh heroine.
BUT–he looks like a 17 year old California surfer dude with a pompadour. A convincing and deadly knight? Not so much. Plus, in the first version they sent, you could see the angled raglan seams on the shoulders of his sweatshirt. I howled about that (raglan sleeves????) and they changed it, but still. Not to mention that with those slashes in his shirt, why no blood?
The heroine has dark hair, but instead of being a slim, fey forest sprite, she looks like a busty barmaid who has been around the track a few too many times. And with the falcon on her unprotected arm, again there should be blood! There's a reason why falcon handlers have leather arm protectors. <G>