Contest: Name The Next Book

Several years ago, when I had written the first book in the 4-part Second Chances Series, I realized I’d failed to come up with a name for the series. I “crowd sourced” that job here on my blog. You, my wonderful readers, not only came up with the series name, but helped me name each book. (A first, having a name before the book was written. I’m notoriously bad with titles.) I’m grateful.

Series Books Thanks for these titles.

I’ve written approximately ¾ of the first draft of the currectn WIP and expect to finish it in the next two months. (A bit of a challenge given how busy this month is, See last week’s blog.:) )

I refer to it as the Red River Book because it’s set in Red River, NM. The base of the story is Fort Worth, but the story plays out in Red River. Don’t you think the “Red River Book” suggests a western? It is definitely not. Let me share a bit about the book and see if it inspires some ideas for names from y’all.

Blurb as it was originally written:

Beautiful socialite and philanthropist Elizabeth Hartman Richardson wants to
start a new life after divorcing her husband. Law enforcement officials want her to testify against her ex, but his partners in crime want to stop her from doing that.
Retired homicide detective and now Marshall of Red River, NM Matt Thornton wants to do his duty to keep his town safe and help other law enforcement officers, but the arrival of his old friend Elizabeth Hartman complicates his life. She reignites a long-standing attraction he had for her and brings with her danger from both law enforcement officers and those outside the law. Is there any way to keep her safe at the same time he does his duty to his town and his badge?

IMG_1688 Deer in Red River. So fun to see them.

As I wrote the book, mostly pantsing, which is different for me, the story didn’t spin out exactly the way the blurb was written. (I will have to rewrite this blurb!) Elizabeth is a philanthropist, but she’s primarily a successful fund raiser for charitable organizations. She doesn’t testify against her ex-husband because she didn’t know about his illegal activities (money laundering for a gambling syndicate). She’s taken back her maiden name in the divorce. While initially, the FBI suspected her, they ultimately realized she might’ve been naïve, even sticking her head in the ground, but she didn’t know what her husband was doing. The ultimate bad guy is her ex-husband who doesn’t accept that they are divorced and threatens her life from prison with the help of his shady lawyer. (Some of the changes evolved because I wanted approximately two years between the end of divorce and the introduction of a new love interest–I know I’m old fashioned. LOL) Matt Thornton and she were high school sweethearts, but their lives went different directions, and they haven’t seen each other in decades. Despite sparks flying, he initially also thinks she must’ve known what was going on.

IMG_1523 The mountains of Red River, NM

Elizabeth feels guilty and stupid for not realizing what her ex was doing. She loses her jobs as fund raiser for two Fort Worth non-profits that don’t want to be associated with someone who’s tainted by an association with a crook. Matt feels guilty about the loss of his partner who he thinks he should’ve been able to protect when he was a homicide detective in Dallas where he saw too much.

IMG_1763 Red River behind the condo we usually rent

This is a stand-alone book with no ties to any of my others. As usual, my characters are older: Heroine and Hero are both 50.

So, there we are, the nuts and bolts. Of course, there’s more, but hopefully, you’ll want to read the book to find out what that is. At some point, I’ll be asking for Beta Readers. 🙂

Besides finishing the story, I have massive rewrites, including scenes to insert. I’ve heard this is the downside of pantsing vs plotting. 😊 I hope you like the premise of this book. I’m really enjoying writing about these two people in one of my favorite locations. And I hope you have some thoughts you’re willing to share with me about a title.

Bonus: if I choose your title, I’ll work your name into this book. 😊 Love to hear from you.

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7 responses to “Contest: Name The Next Book

  1. Not sure how I enter this contest but reading the book blurb makes me want to read the already since it sounds so interesting, intriguin, mysterious and so much more.
    I think a good title name for the book that is set in Red River is: The Red River Murders That Almost Happened And A Second Chance At Love
    Hope I win the Name the next book contest..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Crystal. You just entered. Thanks for your ideas for titles. We’ll see what happens. If I use one of these or even a part of it, I’ll use your name in the book. So glad you like the premise. And thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Marsha, sorry I just got round to reading this. It’s been a manic week! I once went to a talk given by a literary agent and he said publishers and readers are like lemmings that follow a trend, and to choose book titles that fit in with everyone else’s in your genre. I looked at the Amazon bestsellers in romantic suspense
    A lot of them have one word titles. I saw the word ‘tainted’ in your description, and quite like it! How about ‘Tainted’ as the title?
    Choosing a title is a nightmare. Perhaps you could put a few on FB and have a poll. Wishing you best of luck with it!


    • Hey, Helena. Saw your FB post and came over to check this out. Love your idea. Yes, I’ve noticed the one word titles, too. And Tainted is a great title. The heroine and her daughter and son are tainted by her ex-husband and their father did. Will fly this by a few other people, but I like it. Appreciate you taking the time to do the research, too. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by. The beauty of blogs is they’re always there. 🙂


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