I am so excited to welcome Sara here today!
Evolution of a Title
by Sara Rosett
When I wrote the synopsis for the eighth Ellie Avery mystery, I knew my publisher would want to keep to the same format that we’d been using for a while: M________, M_________, and Murder. The first two words in the pattern have been related to the setting (the South) and to mystery.
The title pattern is part of the branding of the books and hopefully makes the books memorable.
The problem was that I had gone through a lot of “m” words:
- Magnolias, Mint Juleps, Mimosas, and Mistletoe (didn’t fit the Southern pattern, but it was a Christmas book, so it was okay)
- Moonlight, Mischief, Mayhem, and Merriment (again, Merriment got the exception because it was the Christmas book)
Sooo…after several days of thinking, I was drawing a blank on more Southern and/or mysterious “m” words for the title.
I finally gave up and settled on Spanish Moss, Malice, and Murder. I didn’t think it was an amazing title, but it would do. I figured it might change.
It did. I got an email after a few months that the working title was now Milkshakes, Mud Pies, and Murder. I’d already turned in the manuscript, but I could work in some milkshakes and a few mud pies when I got the copy edits back. The story took place on a beach, after all.
But then I got another email that the title had changed again. Now it was called Milkshakes, Mermaids, and Murder. My editor suggested that Livvy (the main character’s daughter) might be interested in mermaids, which I thought was a great way to work them into the story—especially since I don’t write anything close to magical/fantasy/science fiction.
So that’s how the title evolved. Readers are often surprised that the title choice is more of a committee decision, but I have had books that were published with title I originally gave them. That happened with my first book, Moving Is Murder . I think it must have been the multiple “m” words that made that title a keeper!
What are your favorite titles? Have you ever read a book because of the title alone?
About The Author
A native Texan, Sara is the author of the Ellie Avery mystery series and the On The Run suspense series. As a military spouse, Sara has moved around the country (frequently!) and traveled internationally, which inspired her latest suspense novels. Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.”
Sara loves all things bookish, considers dark chocolate a daily requirement, and is on a quest for the best bruschetta. Connect with Sara at www.SaraRosett.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.
Milkshakes, Mermaids, and Murder (Ellie Avey Mystery Series)
8th in the Series
Kensington Books (October 1, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
E-Book File Size: 844 KB
Ellie Avery planned a perfect family getaway: fun in the sun on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with a side visit to the eBay vendor who’d mistakenly sent her the wrong handbag. But what should have been a simple exchange turns into a fatal transaction when Ellie discovers Angela495 floating face-down in her pool.
With some savvy snooping, Ellie learns that Angela’s dangerous double life included blackmail, compromising photos, and a scandalous secret that threatens a local celeb. When a kidnapping shatters her family’s safety, Ellie leaves the white sands behind to face down a killer whose warm Southern charm masks a cold, cold heart.
I was late to the Ellie Avery party, this being just the 2nd book in the series I have read but I have definite plans to read all of them. I have fallen hard for this Air Force wife and organizer extraordinaire. She lands herself in the most unexpected circumstances. She also has a man by her side that trusts her through thick and thin and even tags along as she tries to catch the killer.
These are solid well plotted mysteries that engage the reader from the first word until the last. The characters feel like neighbors that could live down the street with the exception of the murder here and there. Mitch and Ellie are great parents and family comes first. In this installment the kids were with Aunt Summer and Ellie’s brother Ben was her trusty sidekick until Mitch arrived for what he thought was going to be a few days of rest and relaxation. When he found out his kids could be in danger he was right beside Ben and Ellie putting a plan together.
This book is able to be read as a stand alone easily but I want to go back to the beginning to see Livvy and Nathan grow and the family adapt to Air Force life.
I so enjoyed the computer organization tips from learning to back things up properly to the Social Media Organization Tool Hoot Suite. I signed up for the Free level and am loving it!
If you love cozies you will love the Averys! Start with this one or start at the beginning, you will not be disappointed!!
Sara is giving away 2 copies!!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Sara for 5 Bonus Entries!!
What are your favorite titles? Have you ever read a book because of the title alone?
If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End November 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Sara Rosett (Giveaway too!)”
Many titles have caught my eye. Hobbies, puns, professions,etc.
I often find that titles catch my eye but I have to like the writing style too.
The title is one of the first things I look at. It always helps me decide along with the cover if I want to open the book. Thanks again for the great giveaway.
Thanks for having me here! As a reader, I like a fun title, too, but I also have to be interested in the story. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book on title alone.
Love your books.
Thanks, CmgrenCheryl! 🙂
I don’t remember reading any book just because of the title. But the title is often what catches my eye, then if the blurb on back interests me, I’ll read the book. I don’t know if I have a favorite title either, but I do think title ‘series names’ are helpful – i.e. the Alphabet Series by Sue Grafton.
Hope you are enjoying the military lifestyle, Sara. I was an Air Force spouse – hubby retired after 27 yrs (enlisted) – and for the most part, it was great. We didn’t move as often as some, but did get to spend 8 out of 11 years in Europe.
Yes, the Alphabet mystery series by Grafton is some of the cleverest book marketing ever!
That’s great that you got to see so much of Europe, Donna. We’re just back from a visit to Germany. Being a military spouse has certainly taken me to so many great places. The ones in the US, I write about in the Ellie books, and the ones in Europe, I write about in the On the Run series. I’m putting all that moving around and traveling to good use! 🙂
Yes, I have gotten library books based on the title alone. They usually had punny titles which catch my eye. I would not buy a book just on the title though, before I parted with my hard earned cash, I’d need to at least read a blurb.
I hear you on needing the blurb, Anne. I’m that way too. I love the pun titles, but can never come up with them for my books. I think my favorite pun title is Grime and Punishment.
Winning a copy of this book is the only way I’m going to get to finish reading it. I had an ARC of M,M & M sent by the publishers, I’d gotten 50 pages in when I put it down on my TBR pile and it was never seen again. I’ve cleaned that room 3x looking for it.
Either one of my kids “borrowed” it, or somehow my cleaning person might have tossed it away. This is the first time I’ve ever lost a book. Heck, I have over 2000 books in the house and can lay hands on any title without thinking about it.
Oh no! I’ve had books vanish into thin air, too!
titles doe catch my eye, I will check the book out if I like the title.
The title catches my attention but It is the description of the book that will determine whether or not I will buy the book. I’m more inclined to buy by the author’s name.
Yes, if the title catches my eye I will check the book out.
A title is important and then the storyline. Best wishes.
thanks for this feature. I peruse the blurb and the title as well.
I like titles that have rhythm. When words all start with the same sound it intrigues me. Also like titles with food or crafting references.
I am a huge mystery fan.
Oftentimes a title will catch my eye and I will pick up a book because of an imaginative title. Sometimes it will pay off and sometimes I’ve been disappointed. I do love the titles of the Ellie Avery series and have loved all the books so far.
Thanks, Ellie W. Glad you’re enjoying the books!
Got to watch out for that Florida west coast. It’s a tricky place.
Very true, Libby! Very true. 🙂
Titles don’t catch my eye as much as a review, a blog, or a favorite author. Dee
Part of why I read cozies would be the titles. I have indeed chosen books to read just because of a catchy title. My favorites are the titles in Dixie Cash’s Domestic Equalizer series, starting with SINCE YOU’RE LEAVING ANYWAY, TAKE OUT THE TRASH. The main character’s mom writes country songs so the titles are based on the main one being written in that book, as well as the issues going on. Super fun series.
I look forward to trying Ellie Avery series. I am retired Air Force and was at one time stationed along the Gulf Coast in Fort Walton Beach. This book looks good.
The Dixie Cash titles are terrific…very catchy. Thanks for checking out my books, Vickie.
I may not buy it because of the title, but a catchy title will make me pick it up and read the description.
I like titles that scream COZY. One I can remember is Murder for the Halibut—love that title.
Titles very seldom catch my eye and I don’t have a favorite title. Usually it’s the type of book, the cover and then I read the description of the book. I may or may not look at the reviews. Once I’ve decided I will read the book, I will think how catchy the title is.
I don’t have a favorite title. Titles can catch my eye – but then there are those with the “ick” factor that I would never consider.
Sometimes titles do catch your eye. I think that sometimes a connection to something you like may attract you to a book as”There’s an Owl in My Shower” did for me as I collect Owls.
sometimes titles catch my eye but usually its the front cover and then reading the back cover to see if its an interesting story
There have been several titles I’ve liked, and some are eyecatching, but I’ve never read a novel based entirely on the title. I always need to know what the book is about. I do remember the funniest titles were written by Lewis Grizzard. I loved his books (I read them when I was very young), Creepy titles for horror books certainly get my attention. Thank you for the giveaway.
Sounds like the majority of us like catchy titles, but there has to be more than just a great title to really pull us in. Here’s a few others that I like: Elizabeth Peter’s Night Train to Memphis (there’s a twist there because of the setting) and I really like the Flavia de Luce titles because they are so unusual: Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Red Herring without Mustard.
Fun to hear about how a title is chosen. I love the titles of cozies, so creative!
A title AND cover will catch my eye enough to at least read what the book is about. I love cozies!
I think the title and picture are wonderful. I see something like this and I know I would love to read it!
Love this series~~
cute & punny titles always give me the giggles!!! i love them!!!
i judge books more by their covers than their titles…….
thank you for the giveaway!!
I am often drawn to a book solely because of its’ title. From the early days of From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, I was hooked! Thanks!
I am a major cozy fan and good reviews and/or the reading of some good random pages within the book will get me to obtain a copy!
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