The Name Game

When I finished writing and editing my soon-to-be-published novel, HEAVEN IN THE DARK, one of the hardest tasks still lay ahead of me: what to call the darn thing. I already had a working title, SWIFT (the hero’s last name), and I kind of liked it. But SWIFT, darn it, just didn’t sound like a romance. If the name didn’t evoke swoony possibilities for me, I knew it wouldn’t for anyone else, either. When I went back to the drawing board, I tried two time-tested author methods for finding a title: 1) Combing my manuscript line by line; and 2) Looking through my iTunes, in hopes that a talented songwriter had already come up with a great title for me.  And in the end, both methods resulted in the same title. Meant to be!

A rose by any other name...but what about a book?
A rose by any other name…but what about a book?

Late in the novel, the heroine, Allie, talks about how a very dark moment in her life inadvertently led her to the happiest time of her life…to a heaven of sorts. Meanwhile, over in my iTunes, I kept going back to a Neal Coty song titled “Heaven in the Dark.” Coty’s song, which is an autobiographical tune about his being given up for adoption, includes the lines: “I’m the firstborn son of a father I’ll never know/But I’ve got his eyes and that means he’s hiding somewhere deep inside my soul.” These words could just as easily be spoken by David, the hero of my novel. I knew right then that HEAVEN IN THE DARK must be the book’s title. Will it evoke lush, romantic feelings in others? I can only hope. But for me, there was no other choice.

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Heaven in the Dark

Late last August, I woke up one morning with two characters in my head. They were in a warehouse in Milan, and they were in danger. Strange, I thought at the time. I couldn’t shake the duo, a man and a woman; they would flit through my mind at bedtime, and reappear the next morning. Slow on the uptake, it took me about a month to realize that they had a story to tell. Finally, in early October 2014, I grabbed my laptop and started writing it down.

The end result is HEAVEN IN THE DARK, my first adult contemporary romance novel, which I am excited to announce will be published on October 20th. Without further ado, here is the cover copy:

Their meeting was chance.

Their love was fate.

Their future was…dangerous.

Orphaned at 14. Kidnapped at 20. American college student Allie Miller has known more than her share of heartache and terror. But when Italian industrialist David Swift inadvertently interrupts her captors, rescues her and whisks her off to his villa to recover, Allie’s future finally looks bright. She and David embark on a passionate love affair, but soon Allie must battle two new obstacles to her happily ever after: David’s past, including the mysterious American father he will not discuss; and one of her kidnappers, a sociopath with a vendetta against the couple and an affinity for abduction.

Now, the couple’s love…and their very lives…are on the line. Can Allie and David keep history from repeating itself? Can they stop a madman bent on revenge? Or will their pasts destroy any chance of a future?

I’ve never had a child, but this whole process feels a lot like giving birth. You wait for many months, and hope at the end that people think your baby is cute…or in this case, that it’s sexy and compelling. In any event, it feels good to have the due date on the calendar.