When I decided I wanted new covers for the three books that make up the "Promises to Keep" series, I spent quite some time trawling through old photographs, looking for an illustration that felt right for my books' setting. I finally found it much closer to home.
This is a small patch of our own native forest. The fronds on the left are from a nikau, New Zealand's only native palm species. The distinctive, spiky-leaved tree with its head just to the right of "Marriage" is a tī kōuka or "cabbage tree". Despite the name, it's a woody plant rather than a true tree, somewhat related to lilies.
The tallest trees in the photograph are mostly rimu and totara, species that were felled for timber before they became too scarce to harvest.
The forest around Amy's home would have looked quite similar to this.