We once again interrupt our regularly scheduled programming with a request for assistance. (I will get to the marriage of Princess Mary next week—promise!) You see, I am absolutely delighted to report that Love Inspired Historical will be publishing three more books from me! My editor loves the characters and stories as much as I do, and she’s so excited she hopes to get all three books out in 2012, which means I have three books to write in about 11 months. And I need titles yesterday.
I did not inherit the title gene. Either titles come to me, or they don’t. So far, these don’t. But you all have been so helpful with Marissa’s and my books, offering outstanding suggestions, that I asked my editor if I could appeal to you yet again. She is eagerly awaiting your thoughts.
So, here’s the situation: The books are a miniseries tentatively tagged with the phrase “The Everard Legacy.” They are set in 1805 in England, which technically is the Georgian period, but they still have the feel of the Regency. Three roguish cousins learn that their scandalous late uncle left a secret daughter, a feisty teenager ready to embark on her first London Season, and they may only claim their much anticipated inheritances if they bring her out properly. In the first book, the hero Jerome Everard is certain the girl must be a fraud. (Picture Matthew Bomer with that charming smile.) Used to protecting the estates from his mercurial uncle, he is determined to protect them now from a cozening female. But his new cousin Samantha is not the scheming girl he expected, and neither is her lovely governess, Adele Walcott. Jerome must choose between protecting his inheritance and protecting the women he is coming to love.
In the second book, the hero Richard Everard is a world-weary widower, a former sea captain. (Picture a Jonathan Frakes in the early days of Star Trek: The Next Generation only with redder hair and beard.) Despite his best efforts, Samantha has wiggled her way into his heart, and he wants to help her, so he appeals to the widow of a man who was in his debt to act as sponsor for Samantha’s Season. Lady Claire Winthrop has also given up on love, but accepting Richard’s offer will help her keep her standing in Society. Richard must learn to open his heart even further and take a chance on love.
In the third book, the hero Vaughn Everard is a poet, as fast with his wit as he is with his sword. (Picture Orlando Bloom looking like Legolas but with a more devilish character.) Vaughn is fiercely loyal to Samantha, so when her future is threatened by someone who knows the secret of her birth, he sets out to protect her, even if that means wooing her rival, Lady Imogene Devary. Vaughn must choose between vengeance and mercy.
Here’s where it gets a little trickier. We want the three titles to be of similar construction (so if the first was something like Marrying the Marquis, then the second could be Eloping with the Earl and the third might be Kissing the Count, though of course none of my gentleman are titled—Samantha is). The titles also need to focus on the men—their goals, their characteristics, their archetypes. In addition, I have been asked to stay away from the term “rogue” (although that certainly describes them!) because upcoming titles from Love Inspired Historical will be using it. And the titles can’t be generic (I tried His to Claim, His to Court, and His to Love—no dice). Finally, they need to have “hook,” and if you can figure out what that term means and apply it well, you have a great career ahead of you in publishing.
You can make a suggestion for one book, or all three. Post suggestions in the comments section until midnight this Sunday, April 17. I will collect them and send them to my editor. If she picks one of yours, I will send you an advance signed copy of The Irresistible Earl as soon as I get my author copies (expected in early May). If, as she did last time, she doesn’t pick any of them, I’ll put your names in a hat and draw a winner for the advance copy.
Looking forward to seeing what you make of all this! And thank you so much!