What I decided on the current one is that the elements worked, but the proportions could be improved to get more of the message I wanted. This book does have spice but not as much as that cover might indicate. So, it takes awhile for a cover to get changed, but the change is on its way.
There are a lot of very good cover designers and some are reasonable, probably no more than I pay for the images I end up using (although these two images were inexpensive by comparison to some). I do my own for two reasons-- it's a relaxing creative break from writing, and I like the freedom to easily change them. When they are all mine, I can look over them once in awhile and make a change-- minor or major. Sometimes what seemed perfect isn't so much after a few years-- or less.
A friend, who had recently read this book wrote to tell me how much she liked it and that was the inspiration for looking at it again. She wrote:
"I loved this book, one of my favorites and one I will be reading again. Well written to pull you into the book from the start. A strong hero and heroine adds so much to a book and this one has them. With her vivid descriptions of the hard work of running and working a ranch, through blizzards, freezing, struggling to get feed to the cattle, etc. I felt as if I were there. Add the romance, the wonderful secondary characters, and the nasty bad character, this is a book worth curling up with and losing oneself in."I don't think readers understand how much it means to writers when they hear from them... and it can even change something in a positive way. Earlier readers led me to keep on until I found a better cover. This reader inspired me to adjust it to better suit what I felt was the energy of the book.