How it happened: Book Cover-Badeaux Knights, Daze, Duo
I knew that I wanted three swords, which led me to the Three of Swords from tarot card decks. I found one(yes with the dragon) I liked and started deconstructing the thing. I didn't need anything but those swords. Anyone can draw a heart. Even me, in March of 2008, when the horrible heart on black started. Of course, I was also new to photoshop and photo manipulation in general and there is a major learning curve.
Thankfully, that first version didn't last long and I updated that to better typography and far better placement for my name. That's how it stayed for years. I didn't have a better concept and let's face it, this one is my baby. This was the first. Not only the cover but that book.
But babies grow up.
In this case I finished the second book in the series which was always a little twitch in the back of my mind. New book, new series, new covers.
Fine, I kept my concept. I went through a series of typical romance covers. Half naked people wielding shiny swords. I even liked the thought but nothing represented my favorite characters like the painful swords through the heart. Not all romances are about skin, muscle, and mayhem.
The second in the Badeaux series no longer has three fighting for their hearts, no we are down to one...and a returning heart to the mix. (this is hard without giving spoilers!)
The concept had to adjust and stay true to the first, continuing the series. I added a few small details to give extra clues as to what you find in book two. And of course a catchy title "Daze" to compliment "Knights". Which lead to replacing the straight black, which I love, to a sunset and sunrise gradient.
Then two books in one is always a good idea. What to do with the cover of that though? Split the difference.