I've finally been able to reveal the cover for Risking Honesty, book 3 in the Ethra Born series!
This has been a few months in the making, on and off, and there's been a few different versions along the way. The first idea was to have an image of Hope and Harrison with his hand over her mouth but it looked too aggressive, too domineering and not actually representative of their dynamic. The second idea was to have Hope's head with multiple copies of her face fading into the background, representing the different roles she takes on during her adventure. Then I tried a close up of a person whispering into another person's ear and also a woman with her finger against her lips, shushing.
Finally, I painted a woman with her own hand over her mouth. It took a while to find the right reference image, where the person was neither surprised nor frightened. Hope is confident, curious. Her hand over her mouth cautions herself to speak carefully, to consider her words and the truth within them.
I wanted the cover image to fit with the title and the theme of the book. The title, too, has been through a number of different iterations. It's difficult to condense a whole novel down into just two representative words, just a few syllables which encompass the whole story. The working title for a long time was Seeking Truth but some research uncovered several other books with similar titles and they were about religion or government corruption, not what my story's about. So, a couple of pages of ideas later, I settled on Risking Honesty.
Risking Honesty is all about secrets and lies, truth and deceit. Hope and Harrison are arrested for a crime they didn't commit. Harrison isn't who he is pretending to be. Together, they have to uncover the true treachery which has infiltrated the King's Watch. They have to risk honesty to find the answers they so desperately need.