Cover Makeover – An Unexpected Gift

Most of my stories wind up with a mock or temporary cover as I write them, it helps me think about the theme of the story and the plot. Often, I’ll think up whole scenes whilst fluffing about with covers.


An Unexpected Gift
The first incarnation.

When it came to An Unexpected Gift’s cover, I wanted simple. I see the novella as a fluff piece, a snippet of the characters’ lives after the main story of In Pain and Blood. Things aren’t so hectic, they’ve settled, it’s a little cute, they’re a little dorky and just celebrating being in love. Oh, and birthdays! It’s Dylan’s thirtieth. He gets pancakes, there’s veil-dancing and later he’ll be tied to the bed…



As cute as I see it, it’s also a rather saucy. It’s a story that could be said to have fully ventured into erotic romance. The theme for most of those covers are mostly-naked torsos of men and women. I don’t actually like that trend.

I prefer the more symbolic covers there, so I went that route, skipping across multiple failed attempts… The first was a base and something to toy with in terms of font, but it’s pretty bland on its own.

An Unexpected Gift2

Next came the addition of a smoking heart (which was symbolic of the gift in the title). I still quite like this, but inquiring of how it spoke to people had me leave it behind. Too much romance, not saucy enough to be erotica. Which, yeah, I see.

An Unexpected Gift3

I whipped this one up somewhere between 2:00am and 2:30am, so I wasn’t totally serious about it. But I had a grand time doing it. Quite like the way I managed to get the hands to look like they’re holding the “GIFT”. And how the bow wraps around his wrists. It’s still a little too cute, though. Even if that does sort of reflect the story in a way… Erotic fluff, that’s what it is!

AUG choices1

Went a little further into the theme with silhouettes. I saw quite a number of these on my perusal through torso-land erotica and thought I give it a try. However, I wasn’t 100% happy with either of these particular versions. The tongue on #1 was amusing (and totally something Tracker would do), but it worked better as a concept when there wasn’t a blindfold. It was so darn hard to erase, too. (By the way, all of these were done with stock photos taken from Dreamstime). The spacing of both the title and the people on #2 seemed a little too distant as well…

An Unexpected Gift6

Finally, we’re the most recent version. As you can probably tell, I tweaked the #2 from the last set. I like it. For the moment, at least. Realistically, the top outline would be nothing but coils of hair, but we’ll pretend there’s enough to tie back.


So, what do you think?

2 thoughts on “Cover Makeover – An Unexpected Gift

  1. On first glance, I see the purple before I register there’s two faces there. It’s like the “do you see a candlestick or two faces” thing. Not sure how to fix that, though. Otherwise, it certainly conveys kink. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I can see that (it’s worse when the colours are flipped). Tried various ways to break the illusion, but it just disrupts the whole image. But let me see if I can get a little of Tracker’s hair to fall right. Might break the illusion a bit.
      I did wonder if the blindfold was enough to show a little kink… mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever considered being blindfolded as kinky. Although, I may have officially read too much weird stuff to judge.


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