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Potential Cover for Book 4 – Hitched and Tied

I promised a cover reveal for book 4 of the Morelville Mysteries series, ‘Hitched and Tied’ a couple of days ago. I have two covers in for review now but I’ve pretty much ruled one out as not a good fit. It’s very stylistic but not representative of anything. Comments on my covers so far have been about how they always have something to do with the story and how people really like that. I’ve gotten a few comments about the cover for the second book, ‘Busy Bees’ regarding how it seems to give away the villain until people realize the story is more about the chase.

This is the cover I’m still considering:

Hitched and Tied Cover

I like it and I don’t. The pros:

  1. It’s very representative of the story
  2. It doesn’t give the mystery of the story away
  3. The artist did include the signature Morel mushroom on the cover

The Cons:

  1. My name hangs in a white part at the bottom that doesn’t even look like it’s part of the cover (this needs a border or the cover needs extended to include my name in the main part).
  2. The title is small. It doesn’t show up as very readable in thumbnail size.
  3. It does give away a potential part of the story line but then, the title does that too and it’s an expected development for anyone that’s been following the series.

There’s one thing that’s both pro and con about this cover: The artist chose to render the lead rope (or, at least, chose a photograph for the lead rope) as a rainbow colored rope. My books are unabashedly lesbian themed and they’re categorized that way. The covers for the  first three books didn’t speak to that at all. Some of my straight readers appreciated that but my readers are mostly lesbian/LGBT. This rendering, I think, makes this book more instantly appealing to lesbian mystery fans but I have to wonder about backlash from homophobic readers. Anyone with experience in that department is welcome to  comment.

With modifications, I’ll probably go with this cover as I really do like it. Your thoughts and opinions, as always, are greatly appreciated.