Another Part of the Job: Brainstorming a Book Title (Again)


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What the heck?

What is Mary working on now, and why isn’t she writing blog posts? Easy question. Easy answer: ;-) #AmWriting and #AmRevising says it all. It sounds easy, but it entails much more than just revising a book. It sounds easy on paper. Next step: Editing.

Before I could get back to revising, it was necessary to search for another book title.

Think… Check. Double Check. (Good Thing I Do This)

Here I was, only one heartbeat away from sending images, title, subtitle, and tagline to my cover designer. Excitement ran rampant through my veins. Soon I’d have a cover.


I did one final search for my title at major retailers, as I always do. That search brought up another book with this title. Ackk! No, I mean ACKKKK! (Life was good when my first search didn’t bring up that title on another book.)

Now what?

I admit: The title was a song title, but I didn’t care about the song title. Another book with the same title? Well…no, but I almost said *%&* it and use it anyway. I remembered how awful a friend felt when his title was used not long after he published his own book, so I couldn’t.

question-markOf course, I could use it because titles can’t be copyrighted, although they can be trademarked. This one wasn’t. I postponed my date with the cover designer while I brainstormed for a new title. This was not an easy feat, I tell you.

For months, I had my heart set on this title. It fit my book perfectly. This title sat proudly at the top of my manuscript. Each time I opened it, there it was, beaming back at me as it said, “You did it!” I had written a line in the book to go with the title. Imagine me with a frown on my face. :-(

Disappointment loomed in my soul

The only choice was to write different combinations of the title. An author friend brainstormed with me. Nothing else seemed to fit. Even my subtitle had been used as a title. Was I doomed? Not yet.

After I’d settle oFireworks with copyspace at the top..n what I thought could be a new title, I’d search retailers to see if it had been used. Most were already taken. Crimminy!

My heart was heavy. Insert four-letter word of your choice because I said a few. But…one search led to another and then it came to me.

Exploded into my psyche like fireworks was more like it. I had my new title!

Now, this new title sits at the top of my manuscript and says, “You did even better this time.” Truly, I came up with the perfect title for this book—even better than the first. It was meant to be. Guess what? The cover is finished and the title looks so fine with my cowboy. One day I’ll explain, not that it needs an explanation, but according to what my hero is, it falls into place.

Monster SmileyI’m confident with the perfect model to fit my hero and the right title to fit his character and the story.

Many aspects of this job are hard, but nonetheless, this job is FUN. One I hope to do for the rest of my life—one freaking title at a time.


By the way:

The History Channel is running a series about searching for the Lost Dutchman’s gold in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona called Legends of the Superstition Mountains.

I’m enjoying this show as I picture my characters from the series roaming through the Superstitions. The title for my Double Dutch Ranch Series isn’t a coincidence. Please don’t let the spooky accounts of past happenings in these mountains sway you about my series…

Remember, I write romance with happy endings. No spooky stuff here. :-)

Thanks for reading.




If you’re an author, have you ever changed your title because you didn’t want one someone else had?


Love Without Limits~ Our Furry Family Members

Mary J. McCoy-Dressel:

Because I love My Dog…Reblogging an earlier post.

Originally posted on Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel:

I’m updating this old blog post because of a recent incident with my dog. I woke in the February 2, 2015 2wee hour of the morning to her standing beside my bed, panting as if she had run a marathon. I let her out, thinking that’s what she wanted. It wasn’t.

I went back to sleep and again she woke me, still panting. This told me she must’ve been in pain. I called my son because she’s really his dog, and he came to check on her.

By then, my concern escalated to fear of her having a heart problem. She ended up going to an emergency vet center, which is what her vet suggested. The vet at the emergency center suspected pain as well. In the past she had injured her knee–a torn ligament.

Earlier snowfall 2015. Nothing compared to the East Coast. Earlier snowfall 2015. Nothing compared to the East Coast.

With the deep snow we’re experiencing, the vet said…

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Acquiring Book Covers…All Right!


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Many authors create their own book covers. This gives them complete control. I give these authors a lot of credit for having the ability to do their own. I don’t do my own, but feel lucky to have found a cover designer and artist who sees my vision.

Onward to the New: Branding

In December my newest book was published. The same designer did that book cover, too. See how it matches Cowboy Boss and his Destiny? Awesome, huh?

AvailableBonus Book #1.5 in the series


The first time a new cover draft pops up in my email, I’m ecstatic and a bit nervous. Something from my imagination is right there. This happens with each new draft I see for the first time. It takes a little while for it to sink in before I can comment to myself. Is it how I want it to look? Are the characters in the right place. The title?

Choosing my images for the cover beforehand helps the characters, setting, etc., to be real in my mind. My designer sometimes uses her images with mine to bring in her own creative design, and this is great because she also adds her vision—her creative expertise.

Watching it materialize throughout a couple more drafts is exciting. Even one item added, taken away, or moved can make such a difference. She also gives my series books a brand. Have your found it?

In the case of my cover for Heartbreak’s Reward, what you see now is the very first and only draft. It was perfect, and there was nothing to change or move. This cover was the easiest for me to decide on, but maybe the most difficult for her to create. I have been fussy at times. The couple on this cover is an exclusive image, meaning that particular image won’t appear on another book. Similar yes, exact, no. I paid dearly for that option with no regrets.

Upcoming Year:

2015 handwrittenMy first book cover to come out in 2015 will be a challenge for both of us. But, after all, she did win Best Artist of the year via Predators and Editors Poll.

This book is the fourth in the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight. Dane, the youngest brother at the ranch has a rocking story. I impressed myself with this one.


I say a challenge for both of us because I know what I have in my head for this upcoming book. Not to sound like a spoiled brat, but I want it to be this way. LOL. Okay, I do sound a bit like a spoiled brat. She already said, “I’ll try.” Well, that was months ago when we talked about it.

She’ll have the final word because I trust her judgement. Hmm, after talking to her last night, I can see this vision isn’t going to happen as I would like. This is where you have to trust the person in charge of a book cover that will be seen by who knows how many readers.

Stock Photos: Images=Vision

Often, I do ask her opinion of images well in advance to see if she can work with them before I fall in love with an image and purchase it. Some have been turned Tristan's Destinyaway. It takes hours to search for the right image, yet I know it’s the right one as soon as I see it. My redhead and little girl on Tristan’s Destiny was exactly what I had been looking for. To find a cowboy who hasn’t been used over and over is not an easy feat. The reason for the next section…

Special Request Shoot: Exclusivity

The new cover model coming up did a special request shoot, so you can see how important it is to me.

You might see images I have posted as my “Dane” on my book pages, Resizedbut that doesn’t mean he’s the same hero who did my special shoot. *Wink* I’m selfish with him and refuse to share right now. Don’t hold it against me.

*The muscles work on this guy, but he’s not the real Dane I’ll be using. I don’t mean to burst your bubble. I wouldn’t do you wrong. Trust me. <3 Who knows, I might use this guy for another book.

I want you...

I want you…

The guy above was going to be my Jase until I discovered the current cover model on Heartbreak’s Reward.

←  I made the right decision with this guy.

So, folks, this is some of the things I do to acquire my book covers. I’m sure it sounds a lot easier than it is…but you try pouring over stock photo sites hour after hour. Especially the sexy heroes and couples shots. ;-)

Thanks for reading.

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Yes, this is me before I added “McCoy” to my author name.

Mary’s Website:

*This image came from Romance Novel Covers.

…the LUV of this fabulous WURLD-wide diaspora of authors on the net…

Mary J. McCoy-Dressel:

Absolutely true, and a song to go with it from my author friend, Seumas Gallacher.

Originally posted on Seumas Gallacher:

…a universal truth, ‘no man is an island’… neither is any woman… and may I posit particularly, neither is any man or woman who quill-scrapes for a living… the image of the writer ensconced in the virtual candle-lit garret is not so distant from the day-to-day reality of trying to produce yer literary masterpiece babies from yer own head… but all is not lost… the Muse is available… and for this ol’ Jurassic that Muse more frequently now takes the form of relationships on the internet… the SOSYAL NETWURKIN can be a bane… it can be a distraction… it can be the best fuel for procrastination known to scribblers… fr’example, enter the maze a.k.a Facebook for ‘just a coupla minutes’ and hours later, yeez can still be trying to find yer way back out again… but with that beautiful balance that is the universe, it can also redeem itself…

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Reality and a Muse in San Francisco

Mary J. McCoy-Dressel:

Hi there. I’m reblogging a previous post. I modified this post a bit from the original. The main reason for this blog post in the past was to talk about an upcoming book. How I was writing it using something I was familiar with–to write what I knew about. That book is no longer on the agenda. Well, it is, but not until the distant future. :-) More images have been added as part of the reblog.

Originally posted on Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel:

I spent hours at this overlook photographing the bridge. (This is my oldest son’s photo.)

Do you have a favorite city? In my country, my favorite city is *San Francisco, California. So why should you care that my favorite city is San Fran? Here I go again, bringing up something for a reason. I do that often, you know. Remember the photographic equipment Thursday Thirteen Post? Yep, you know if you read it. Of course it was for another story. Check it out.

But, this post was supposed to be about a different novel to be published sometime in the distant future–Christmas in San Fran. <–Not the title. I say “distant future” because this book will be totally rewritten. Let’s say the whole theme will change, although the plot will remain the same, so I modified this post a little to Reblog it.

gg 3 None other than the famous…

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Hey, 2014~ Are You Really Calling It Quits?





Happy New Year to all of you.

Here we are on New Year’s Eve, 2014. Let me rephrase that: Here I am on New Year’s Eve… Maybe you aren’t visiting me on New Year’s Eve; therefore, I’m here alone at the moment. :-) Whatever it is you’re doing- Enjoy. Be safe.

I swear, I don’t know where the time has gone. They say as you get older, time goes quicker. It must be true. Spring and summer passed by so quickly, that I barely had time to realize half the year was over. Then it was winter. Brrr. Although I had a decent year, I’m not going to ramble on about what it meant to me, or how many goals I may have fulfilled, or not. Instead, I’ll leave you all with a quote I came across.

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

‘Tis It Your Season? Wishes For A Happy Holiday From Mary~


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“Tis the season!”

Happy Holidays from my house to yours.

My turn to come in with holiday wishes. No matter how you celebrate, I hope you get to spend some quality time with your family, friends, and/ or your dear pets during this holiday season. For me, I’ll spend some of Christmas Day with my youngest son and his girlfriend, then later talk to my oldest son on the phone. He lives in California so won’t be here for Christmas. Afterward, it’ll be me and the doggie—probably a cowboy with his feisty heroine—either writing or reading about them. You know I had to get that in, didn’t you? *Wink*

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Enjoy your holidays!

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with White Post Farms who did this video.

“Love Birds!” Book Hooks Wednesday~ A Weekly Meme ~ New Release, Tristan’s Destiny Excerpt


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Book Hooks

From MFRW Book Hooks Blog: Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog.

Please visit the other participants. Links are at the end of this post. Thank you.

Hi, Welcome to my blog and an excerpt from my new release Tristan’s Destiny, Bonus book #1.5.

Set-up: Our hero and heroine are returning from a trip. Tristan’s brother is picking them up from the airport. Tristan’s little girl is with his brother. While they were gone there was an issue with a horse…the reason for the “evil eye.”

“I had fun with Uncle Jase, Daddy. He gave me ice cream.”

“Of course he did,” said Tristan with a friendly chortle. He nudged his brother. “Let’s get the hell outta here.”

“Aw, Daddy, you cussed. I’m telling Grandma.”

Tristan held the door for Nora and she slid to the middle of the seat. “How about I just give you a dollar instead of putting it in the bank, Des?” He released her to the back where she hopped into her booster seat.

Destiny held out her hand for the money. “Alrighty.”

Tristan waited for her to buckle in, closed the door, and lifted their luggage into the bed of Jase’s truck. When he got inside he asked his brother, “How’s everything? The horses?” He turned back. Destiny got his evil eye. She held her teddy bear in front of her face, yet peeked around it with a smile. “We have to talk, little girl.”

Nora elbowed him in the ribs. “Be nice. You just got home.”

She got the look. “Hey, I’m back to being a cowboy, and I got work to do.”

“Like I said, it takes more than a cowboy hat to be a cowboy. I hate to tell you this but you’ve been one this whole time.”

“I’ll comment to that later, sweetheart.” Tristan pulled her into the crook of his arm. “Don’t make me kiss you like crazy right here, woman.”

Jase turned the volume up on the radio. He peeked around Nora. With a lowered voice, he said, “Do I have to tell you two to get a room? For cryin’ out loud! Save it till we get back to the Double Dutch, love birds.”

Destiny giggled in the back seat, repeating after her uncle. “Love birds!”

Thank you for reading the excerpt. So what’s this story about? Read on…but don’t forget to visit the other #BookHook participants below.

Bonus Book #1.5

Bonus Book #1.5


Author Note: This story takes place directly after Cowboy Boss and his Destiny ends. Contains spoilers regarding that book.

On the day they met in Cowboy Boss and his Destiny, rancher Tristan Carlson told Nora Trinity it was fate…

 He fell hard and fast…

In this follow-up, Tristan and his young daughter Destiny totally give their hearts away to the woman with ginger-red hair—the woman they both love. However, a dreadful memory comes back to haunt him when a near-tragic incident occurs, leaving him to believe he and his child will have to suffer all over again.

 She gave up trying to resist his sexy smile…

Nora’s chemistry mixes with his and that’s enough for her. The rancher and his little girl own her heart without even trying. Life with her new family is sweet. But due to an act of love, will the man she loves succumb to the forces of nature—at the time when she needs him the most?

 Together, all they see is a happy future filled with sunny days. Although their days and nights are happy, fun, and bursting with passion, every day isn’t filled with sunshine. As Tristan and Nora embark on a new path filled with love and romance, their bond still needs to be strong enough to overcome obstacles. In this story, a man and his family vow to love without limits—to prevail—even though circumstances beyond their control attempt to prove them wrong.

Amazon  |  Nook  | iBookstore  |  Kobo

books in the Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight

DD Ranch 3 booksOther books will follow in this series

Visit my website for information on all my books:

Gentlemen Cowboys (with a touch of bad) and Their Feisty Heroines. Sensual Contemporary Western romance.

Book Three coming in 2015

The youngest brother gets his own book. Army Ranger Dane Carlson left ranching years ago… But, now the time has come for him to return home…

Authors participating in this weeks #MFRWHooks Weekly Meme

 Thanks for visiting!

Venice in the 16th Century

Mary J. McCoy-Dressel:

Reblogging Venice in the 16th Century video trailer to celebrate Siobhan’s new book release. “In My Lady’s Shadow” by Siobhan Daiko.

Originally posted on Siobhan Daiko Author:

I had fun putting together this little video to show the Venice of In My Lady’s Shadow.

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