Of Book Titles & Viruses

Several weeks ago, I asked for your help naming my 8th book and the current WIP (work in progress) set in Red River, NM. I so appreciate you taking time to do that. Several people responded on the blog and to me directly with good possibilities. I lived with them for a while, but ultimately, I had to choose one.


Red River, New Mexico

Drum Roll Please: duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh

Helena Fairfax is the winner of the name the book contest. She suggested:


That word appeared in the short blub I included on the blog. And since then as I’ve gone back over what I’d already written, I found I’d used the word several times to explain the feeling the heroine and her adult children had because of her ex-husband and their father’s behavior. I’ve usually used at least a couple of words in my titles, but Helena had done some research and found that many romantic suspense novels have one word titles.

And….I’ve already written a scene with a character named Helena. The character is from Great Britain, and you pronounce the name with the accent on the first syllable.

So, thank you all for your participation. Now, all I have to do is finish TAINTED.

Which brings me to the other part of the title of this blog: Viruses. My grandson caught a cold a couple of weeks ago. He generously shared it with his sister who passed it to her mother, my daughter. And you guessed, she shared it with me.

This is not an unusual occurrence. Families share germs all the time. But I had marked my calendar for this week to work on the WIP. Because of all the other things I’m involved with, I have only specific times when I don’t have meetings to attend or agendas to plan. This was it.

How did I spend this past Monday? In the morning, I dragged myself to several errands including the mandatory weekly grocery store stop and then dragged myself home. The original idea being to spend all Monday afternoon writing.

Didn’t happen. I barely moved from my chair except to pop Vitamin Cs. I dozed and woke up, dozed and woke up. Finally, I realized I had to make my chicken veggie soup, which I swear by when I have a cold. I did and it’s wonderful. IMG_0279

Tuesday, I had a church women’s council meeting, which I went to but kept my distance from others (no sneezes or coughs, btw) and skipped going to lunch with everyone. Went home and managed a bowl of soup and climbed into my recliner with Charley and sacked out for the afternoon. IMG_2068

So, it’s Wednesday morning as I write this, and I’m thankful to be able to report I’m beginning to feel better. I will go pick up another granddaughter from school today and take her to her activity. And I will continue to rest, but of course, I had to write this post. 🙂

This has all taken place in the middle of all the scary reports about the Cornovirus. I gotta admit, that has made this experience a bit more intense. I am after all a writer, and my imagination can run away with me sometimes. All the “what ifs” have clamored to suck me in. I almost wish I wrote dystopian fiction. LOL

We’re re-assessing whether to go to Victoria in the fall. At the very least, I’ve put off reserving our housing . And I know others who are questioning whether to make their trip to Walt Disney World in May. The only saving grace about this virus is it seems to be leaving kids alone and for most adults who get it, their case is mild. Now that’s no comfort to those who’ve already lost loved ones to this virus. It’s criminal that our Federal government wasn’t ready to act as soon as word spread about the virus. Denying a reality doesn’t make it disappear.

Maybe I’ve had a giant allergy attack. It is that time of year, but proximity to the grands with a cold makes me think it’s more than that. Not the Cornovirus, but had it been, I’d have had no way to be tested. So yes, it’s a serious time, and we all need to take precautions:

Frequently washing our hands (20 seconds at least)
Not touching our faces.
Coughing or sneezing into our sleeves or tissue
Limiting touching hands with others. (We used the elbow bump in church Sunday morning for Passing the Peace.)

What’s your experience with contagious diseases? Have you done anything to change your behaviors since the Coronavirus has entered our experiences? Love to hear from you.

Thinking about and praying for the folks in Nashville and the families who lost loved ones.


When Kelly Lawson, New York TV actress returns home to Texas to choreograph and direct for her local theatre, she accuses a Glenview police officer of harassing two of their gay actors. Police Chief Josh Kincaid, the most recent man her mother has selected to be Kelly’s love interest, investigates causing upsets in town politics and falling under the actress’ spell. Incidents pile up, making it clear someone has it in, not only for the theatre, but for Kelly as well. Can Josh protect her and his heart?

Amazon http://amzn.to/2dUXHyh

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11 responses to “Of Book Titles & Viruses

  1. Hi Marsha, I’m really chuffed you’ve chosen Tainted as a title! And that’s so brilliant that you have a British character called Helena. I’m really excited about it!!
    And funny you should have a virus. That exact thing has happened to me this week. It would be so strange if it’s the same virus. I had so much planned for my editing and for my wip these past few days, but yesterday I fell asleep. Today I’m still drained. I cancelled a dentist’s appointment. Last thing I want to do is pass it on to all her patients.
    Good job we can work from home, at least. I hope you are now recovering from yours. And I look forward to release of your romantic suspense! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Helena. “Chuffed!” Love British speak. Must add that word in the manuscript. 🙂 Thanks so much for the title. Sometimes it takes someone not as close to a work to see titles or blurbs. Now, I’ll need to make sure I haven’t overused that word throughout the ms. It is odd we’ve both been down with a virus. I’m am so much better. Hope to get many words written today. Hope you improve quickly. Thanks for your FB post. Love it. And of course, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Marsha and Helena! It’s great to be in a book.

    I hope you feel much better soon, Marsha. Bill and I have been coughing since Christmas. Whatever virus we have is taking a long time to get rid of. We have been on antibiotics (when they thought it might be bacterial), had chest x-rays, and been to the doctor twice so we are being closely watched.

    Best wishes for your WIP. Yesterday I started the second revision on mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Susan. Thank you. I’m so sorry you and Bill have been ill for so long. I was down and out for about three days, but much improved today. I credit Vitamin Cs and lots of homemade chicken soup. When my daughters get sick, I make it for them. (Just with Veggies for one, but it still works.) Do you have a thought for when your next book will be released? You are so far ahead of me on this one. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂


    • Hey, Vicki. Thanks. I do, too. May start a whole series (single title, not real series) using one word titles. Thanks fort stopping by. 🙂


  3. Aww. I’m sorry to hear you have a virus and doubly sorry to hear you’re reconsidering your trip to Victoria this year. I totally understand though. I feel for people who have been in the middle of their dream vacation when this started. Of course it’s worse for those who have caught the virus or been through quarantines. And it’s heartbreaking for those who have lost their life or the life, lives of family or friends to it. I’m hoping this virus will be over by fall but I don’t think anyone knows right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Pat. I’m disappointed too. I’ll keep watching the place we’d chosen to stay that it’s still available. Hopefully, we’ll get through this virus faster than expected. I’m just glad I hadn’t already booked it. And you’re right even if we had and lost money on it, that’s nothing compared to the folks quarantined on a cruise ship with the virus. That must be agonizing or the poor folks who’ve lost loved ones. Hopefully, the CDC will get full funding returned, and they can get plans in place for the next time. Unfortunately, there will be another virus.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the one-word title! Tainted sounds like it could off in a number of directions. Looking forward to a beta-read! Hope you’re feeling much better 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Julie. I’ve started re-reading the book and have been amazed at how soon this word popped up in the narrative. Yes, excited about this. Will send to you after I’ve done another rewrite and another edit. Thanks so much and thanks for stopping by. 🙂


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