Ms Meyer has interpreted the 1st book's cover but has said that she had nothing to do w/ the subsequent covers so here's my theory (how I saw the purpose of the covers in relation to the books they represent):

New Moon-
In psych, they say that the tulip means violence-it being blood stained w/ the the drop of blood releasing reminds me of the the birthday party scene where a drop of blood led to the violent scene of Jasper trying to attack Bella & Edward injuring Bella trying to protect her-that one drop of blood from such a delicate flower (Bella) led to the violent (fierce) eruptions of events that followed which was the New Moon (symbol for Edward leaving & the dark period that follows)

It reminds me of the saying "..the ties that binds.."-ties that bind people (love, friendship, heartache, etc)
simply, the picture, meant to me, the breaking of ties that bind:
Bella breaking Jacobs heart
Knowledge of knowing that she was in love w/ Jacob-not the same love she felt for Edward but still this knowledge broke the ties of friendship because the friendship was so much more
The animosity/treaty that binded the wolves & the cullens-which became more like alliances
the book reveals various ties the change/break throughout the book til the very ending- the engagement a new tie to bind Bella & Edward but further break the bonds that tie Jacob & Bella

Breaking Dawn-
The moving of chess pieces requires strategy, as does life-lots of people use chess as an anology/metaphor for life & life experiences ( a great example of this is a movie called "The Last Castle" starring Redford, etc)
We all move along this board "..pawns & kings.." trying to figure out to win the game or simply figure out the right strategy or formula for life or whatever you desire in life, depending on your point-of-view

What are your theories?

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