I recently looked in the back of a book published in 1993 and in the list of titles on offer found Flame on the Horizon, Colours of Love, Of Rascals and Rainbows, Lost Love, A Handful of Shells, The Faberge Cat. They are so different from today’s titles that in an attempt to catch the reader’s eye can be positively mendacious. The couple in my title Wedded in a Whirlwind spent eight chapters of the book trapped in the dark by an earthquake. In the old days it might have been called “Dark Encounter” – remember all those “Dark” titles? — but a recent experiment with less “hooky” titles failed miserably as I know to my cost. Readers, like everyone else, have less time these days and with dozens to booksto choose from they want to see at a glance what’s on offer. Royal, revenge, marriage of convenience, office romance.

“Wedded in a Whirlwind” (and Strictly Come Dancing cover) was a wits-end compromise by an editor faced with a book without a conventional hook and running out of time. I have to admit that I wasn’t much help. While I occasionally put my foot down and veto a title that makes my teeth curl, the last one of mine that stuck was The Ordinary Princess in 2003. And before that it was The Bachelor’s Baby in 2001. Both titles that were no-brainers; they did what it said on the tin and if a title seems right, I’ll suggest it, but I know better than to get attached.

I did suggest The Bachelor’s Baby Proposal for Grace and Josh’s story. It seemed to me to sum up the main constituents of the story which involved both a baby and the marriage of convenience that my editor had her heart set on – I love a challenge! The baby isn’t actually a secret. Grace has offered to be a surrogate mother for her infertile older sister who has finally accepted that she’ll never be able to carry a baby of her own. But a fatal road accident uncovers secrets and lies that threaten to shatter Grace’s life all over again.

I got Secret Baby, Surprise Parents. I have to believe that Marketing knows best. Or do they? What kind of title makes you reach for a cover? Or has you moving swiftly on? And do you get mad when the title/cover doesn’t match what’s between the pages ? (It actually does with SB,SP!) Or will you forgive the packaging if the story does the job and you think it’s worth every cent you’ve paid for it?


Two questions.

Name one of the books that’s won either a RITA or the RNA Romance Prize.

Tell me how long Josh has been dreaming about holding Grace in his arms?

Signed copy of the book, a bar of Grace’s myrtle and lemon soap, a Liz Fielding sewing kit

For a free eBook copy of The Bride’s Baby, go to http://www.harlequincelebrates.com – also available for the Kindle at Amazon.

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