Author Kelsey Keating came to me through a referral from longtime client Katie Cross, and I know if Katie sends someone my way, I'm in for a design treat. Kelsey was absolutely no exception, and from the minute she submitted her artwork form I knew exactly what I wanted this cover to be. Her story is one of adventure, magic and a little romance, all woven together to form a YA Fantasy package that's a bit more on the fun side than the overly serious side.
I knew from the beginning that this book was the start of a series, so I made sure to take that into account when putting the layout together. I wanted to create something sweet and whimsical with just a hint of danger, but also something that left me with plenty of flexibility to adapt for future books.
One of the main story elements Kelsey mentioned was Fangralee Forest, a forest so dense that little to no light filters through, and once I read that description I knew instantly I wanted a design full of ominous trees that would both hint at danger as well as create a nice contrast to a cute fairy-tale feeling castle and type treatment.
I started with the type treatment since I wanted it to be a strong focal point, and then built the trees and castle around the title illustration. After a few rounds of color revisions, Kelsey and I found ourselves with a finished cover!
A stolen kiss.
An unstable curse.
One big mess in the making.
Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria's curse keeps her from accepting a prince's proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn't dare refuse.
With the help of a lady's maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends--all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won't be easy, but the true danger peril in the truths they've fought for years to keep hidden.
A Stolen Kiss is the first in the Stolen Royals Series--an adventure with magical creatures, dangerous lies, and being true to the power within.
You can check out more of my cover design work at Seedlings Design Studio!