Flames of Prague Cover

Eye-catching (historical) romance novel cover, or is this going to get my Photoshop license revoked?

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5 comments on “Flames of Prague Cover

  1. Wallace says:

    I like the cover. It looks very Medieval, showing the woman dressed in Medieval clothes and the man in Medieval armor. Even the font you use looks to be based on a pseudo Hebrew alphabet, giving the hint that it might be about Jews.

    I only have two things I might comment on: first, I would change the color of the text. It is the same color, that is flames, as the surrounding border and in the same general color palate as the whole picture. At first glance this makes the title not look like a title but just part of the background of the picture. The eye is drawn to the green of the dress in a sea of orange and yellows, making the title almost invisible. You could change the title color or just give it a heavy outline in black to set it off from the background so that it stands out more and can be noticed more easily. Also the same with your name.

    The second thing I would do is indicate that the woman is a Jew, perhaps by giving her a necklace with a Star of David hanging from it. Or, maybe something more in period, such as a yellow pointy hat with a yellow ball on the top of it. It might ruin the effect if she were wearing it, so you might put it on the ground next to her where it had fallen off her head. I don’t think wearing a Star of David in yellow stitched into her clothes is proper for this time period, but if it is, you might try that.

    The reason I’d like to see her identified as a Jew is because it would set your story off from all the myriad stories of Christian Knights rescuing Christian maidens. If you show right on the cover that he is a Christian, pretty much a given for Knights of the period, and she is a Jew, right off you’ve set up a very non-traditional relationship.

    Of course, we’re assuming that the Knight winning in the background is there to rescue her and not the one who tied her to the tree to torture her. One never knows about such things, but in Romances, it’s usually the maiden being rescued that is on the cover, not her rescuer being killed by the villain.

    • Keri Peardon says:

      You have to remember I didn’t make this painting, and I’m definitely not qualified to airbrush things like necklaces–much less Jew’s hats (which only men wore, anyways)–into the picture; beyond my skill!

      The other thing to think about is the fact that this picture will be a thumbnail on Amazon and Smashwords, so something as small as a necklace won’t show up anyways. However, one of the benefits to selling online is that the picture and the description (i.e. the back cover) are usually side-by-side, so I don’t have to entice people to turn the book over. It’s already there.

      My “back cover” blurb, as it stands right now:

      Bohemia 1388

      Sir Jakub doesn’t like to admit it, but his hair is more gray than black, and his squires are already faster than he is; soon they’ll be able to best him—the ultimate humiliation for a man who has spent twenty-three of his forty years on campaign.

      But while out on a hunt, he stumbles across a lost young woman who rapidly captures his interest. Intelligent and beautiful, Alzbeta’s shy smiles become a balm which soothes his aching ego. He quickly decides it’s time to move on to the next stage of his life: begetting an heir.

      But when he escorts her home to Prague–intent on asking her father for her hand in marriage–he discovers why she has been reticent about herself: she’s a Jew. And as lovesick as Jakub is for Alzbeta, he can’t bridge the gap between their two worlds. He leaves her with her father and returns home… alone.

      But a few months later, news reaches Jakub that trouble is brewing in Prague for the city’s Jews. Accused of desecrating the Host, they are caught up in a firestorm of words which soon turn into real flames, and Jakub must quickly decide if he will give up his beautiful Jewess a second time.

      A part of me agrees that it might be a bit too much flame on the front cover, but then a part of me thinks it looks more dangerous and generates a sense of urgency. And by having the words in flames, I think there’s the allusion that she’s not just been tied to a tree, but tied to a stake to be burned.

      I think I’m going to have to let it sit for a while (I’m not publishing this book until next year, anyways) and see how it strikes me when it’s relatively fresh again. I just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t an total affront to the senses, and that I needed to scrap it and start over.

      • Wallace says:

        I see your point about photoshopping and airbrushing. I was thinking more about actual book sales than ebook sales, where the book cover would be, well, book cover size.

        I read your back cover blurb three times to see if there was anything wrong or I could offer suggestions to improve it. I couldn’t find any of either. An excellent blurb. Straight and to the point. It tells enough about the story so that you know what it’s about, but without giving too much away. It makes you want to read the story to see what he does. Except, of course, it’s a Romance, so we pretty much know what he’s going to try to do. The fun is seeing how he does it and if he succeeds, since even Romances can be Comedies or Tragedies.

  2. I like it! I wonder … what if you made your name in a different colour, like black or something, and moved it further down the page? I’m wondering if there’s too much fire going on — if there’s even such a thing as too much fire!

    • Keri Peardon says:

      After I looked at it a while last night, I went back and changed my name to a different font, and I think that looks better. The font is narrow, so it diminishes the fire effect to some degree, and it’s smaller, so I think it makes the title stand out more.

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