What Do You Love in Historical Covers?
I just got my cover for AWAKENING HIS LADY, my upcoming release (December 1, 2009) with Harlequin Historical UNDONE eBooks. The story is set in 13th century England--another medieval! This line has a high level of sensuality and the stories are emotionally intense---all that conflict and heat packed into a shorter word count (10-15,000 words). I have to admit, as a writer, the short steamy historicals are challenge (but so fun to do---you have to grab your muse and keep her/him right there with you).
I love the cover of AHL---there's enough of the heroine's gown to say "historical" and the stone wall in the background subtly says "castle." The handsome hero and the lovely heroine look exactly like the characters in the book. Yeah, Harlequin cover artists!
I love historical covers in general. Booksellers tell me that beautiful dresses (think of Susan Wigg's new historical releases. FABULOUS cover gowns) and headless historical men sell well---the hero can be in a kilt, breaches, or leggings---those elements get the historical reader's attention. As a loyal fan of the medieval genre, I certainly look for castles, swords, and armor, too. Throw in a knight on a horse and ya got me!
What do you look for in a historical cover? What kind of cover art tells you it's a historical romance? What kind of historical cover art makes you shudder?