I think I’ve explained in that past that I can’t do a final cover for a book until all revisions and proofing are done and the formatting for the paperback is done since the number of pages in the paperback affects the size of the cover. However, I’ve been playing around with images trying to find something I think will work for Without Words, and the cover below is what I’ve come up with so far.
As usual, there are surprises. Merging the two stock photos I decided on is harder than I expected—and the photo of the guy on the horse that looked like a silhouette with only traces of this and that to show it was actually a photo when I downloaded the small free version and looked at it on my desktop is very much a photo with details of the guy showing when seen in a larger size and better resolution on my laptop. I probably can darken the image before using it if I decide to, but for right now have left it.
So here is the draft cover:
Bounty hunter Bret Sterling kills Rufus Petty, thief and murderer, less than ten feet away from a frightened, half-starved woman. Rufus should have surrendered. The woman should have kin to help her. But Rufus went down shooting, and the woman has no one. Bret figures by the time he finds a safe place to leave Hassie Petty, he’ll earn the five hundred dollar reward several times over.
Hassie doesn’t mourn Rufus, but the loss of the ten dollars he promised her for supplies is a different matter. The bounty hunter gives her nothing, takes everything, ties the body on one horse and orders her on another. Afraid if she defies him, he’ll tie her down tighter than Rufus, Hassie mounts up and follows the icy-eyed killer.
Mismatched in every way, the sterling man and petty woman travel the West together, hunting thieves, deserters, and murderers. Wary traveling companions, friends and partners, lovers, Bret and Hassie must decide what they want, what they need, and the price they’re willing to pay for love.
The final draft is out to beta readers right now, so it will depend on what I get back from them and how extensive revisions are how soon everything can be done and the book published, but I’m getting close.