"In hindsight, DUH. Of course the art department would put a tattooed model on a cover of a book featuring a tattooed hero, especially given that this was a historical romance novel when such a thing is quite remarkable.
"This author simply presumed I would have a classic clinch cover, and I hoped the cover would feature a bare-chested hero (Fun fact: the heroes on my book covers get more and more naked. Just wait til you see the next one! Not a stitch on that man...).
"When my editor sent me the artwork for The Tattooed Duke, I gasped. It was stunning and shocking and dark and atmospheric. Je love.
"And then my editor and I had to talk about the title.
"Originally, the novel was titled Brave New Lord, which I loved. But it doesn’t exactly scream, 'Pick me up! Take me home!'
"Plus, I confess, I was worried that a reader might wonder what the devil was on that duke’s chest, as a Lady does not expect her bare-chested historical heroes to reveal tattoos. So I thought I might mention that in the title.
"I started to brainstorm on possible titles, and in the end, I came up with the obvious: The Tattooed Duke.
"Other delicious details: My writing girl-housemaid heroine has a rather fancy dress on the cover. It is also falling off, which is a frequent problem of romance heroines.
"The cover appears to be set in a garden. There are no scenes set in a garden.
"I would wager money that the male model on The Tattooed Duke has appeared on my other covers. Check out my books and let me know what you think.
"Last but not least, it is believed that this is the very first instance of a tattoo appearing on the cover of a historical romance novel!"
Thanks Maya! I love that fun fact. Romance covers are a real art form, and so fun to hear about.
What do you guys think?
Melissa Walker is the author of six Young Adult novels, including the newly released Unbreak My Heart (pictured). Her author blog, where Cover Stories originated, is melissacwalker.com. Follow her on Twitter @melissacwalker.