Living the Dream #MFRWAuthors 52-Week Blog Challenge Week 16

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Today’s prompt for the #MFRWAuthors 52-Week Blog Challenge is My Biggest Dream in Life. Problem is I have had three big dreams in my life: travel, write books and live near the ocean.

SC beach

California beach

I got the travel bug honestly, from my father. He, too, had the wanderlust, though he was always content to take driving trips in the US. When I was a kid, we traveled from Pittsburgh down to Miami and back, then out to Nevada to visit my brother who had settled in Las Vegas. When i was 14, we moved to Southern California, and alternated duty trips back to Pittsburgh with road trips around California and other Western states like Arizona. My dad was a big Western fan and loved to search out ghost towns, like Columbia, California. As an adult, I expanded my travels to Mexico, Australia, Canada, the British Isles and Europe, but continued to travel with the USA.

Welcome To Alaska

Welcome To Alaska (I’m the one on the right)

The second big dream was to one day be an author and write books. It took a long time, but I finally published. I put my love of history into most of my books, starting with Rogue’s Hostage, set during the French and Indian War in Western Pennsylvania, my home state. Two other works, Lady Elinor’s Escape and How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, take place in London, and my last historical novel, Lily and the Gambler takes place in Northern California, an area I toured with my husband.

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My third big dream was to live near the ocean, which I now do. I’m not sure why the ocean fascinates me, but it did even before I’d seen one up close and personal. Maybe it has something to do with my wanderlust. I do enjoy cruises. My travel and writing dreams haven’t ended, though. There are still lots of places to see and books to write.

What are your big dreams?


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The Struggle to Choose a Book Title #MFRWauthor #blog Challenge

This topic of this week’s MFRW 52-week blog challenge is “How I Choose a Book Title.”

And there is no easy answer to the question.

Each book is different. I’ve found some that lend themselves easily to a title while others are harder to pin down. When Anne Farrell and I wrote a contemporary romance together we went through several titles. Out of Control was our original working title, but when we sold it to Zebra for the Precious Gems line, they wanted to call it Dear Heart. Could anything be more generic? We suggested several other titles, and we all agreed on Private Affair. When Anne and I reissued the book, we changed the title to Worth The Risk to reflect the hero’s occupation as a race car driver. I think we ended up with a very cool cover, thanks to cover designer Lex Valentine.

In choosing a title, you obviously want it to have some connection to the story. But what you don’t want is a title so popular that everyone else is using it. I usually go to Amazon and look up titles I’m considering to see how often they have been used and by whom. I wouldn’t want to duplicate, say, a Nora Roberts title. Everyone would think they’d already read it!

Readers, what do you look for in titles? Or is the cover design more important. We authors would like to know!


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