I have a new title, and a map

The title for my third novel was finalized last month: Deadly Alliance. I like it. A lot. No, it wasn’t one of my suggestions, but I’m completely OK with that.

I have a fascination with titles that include the word dead or any of its derivatives (as long as it doesn’t sound like a novel about zombies). In 2012 I bought We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance, by David Howarth, because it was a kindle daily deal, it was about WWII, and die was in the title. It ended up being the best book I read that year. I think my interest in titles like this stems from reading too many Jack Higgins novels while growing up. His titles include: Angel of Death, Drink with the Devil, The Killing Ground, Touch the Devil, The Devil is Waiting, A Prayer for the Dying, A Fine Night for Dying, Death Run, The Graveyard Shift, Brought in Dead. He’s written dozens of other books too, but you get the picture.

So where does Deadly Alliance take place? Well, this past week I also got a map from the talented Briana Shawcroft. Here it is:

Italy and Yugoslavia, 1944, web version

The borders may look different that what you’re familiar with. Yugoslavia was divided up during WWII, and then the borders changed again when Italy switched sides in 1943 and when the war ended in 1945. Actually, the border around Trieste wasn’t finalized until 1954.

I also created a page for the new book, where you can read an un-finalized blurb. Deadly Alliance comes out in April.

So what type of titles to you like? Have you ever bought a book just because of the title?


    1. Thank you so much, Judy! I’m glad you enjoyed Sworn Enemy. I’ve enjoyed the posts on your blog that show little snippets of what life would have been like for people in the 1930s and 1940s. What a great tribute to your family!


  1. I love the blurb for this book. Sounds super exciting. Titles are intriguing. I don’t know whether I’m drawn to certain kinds or not, but enjoy a good one when it pops out at me. One of my favorites is the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I don’t know why that one cracks me up so much, but it does. A tongue twister.


    1. Thanks, Char! I agree on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society–good title, good book. A little longer than average, but it works well for story.


  2. I love Jack Higgins & have noticed a trend in his titles as well. Although when you consider he’s written more than 60 books since the 1960s & add his subject matter it isn’t too surprising.
    I tend to pick up any book the sounds like something to do with 20th cenutry warfare, but I’ve noticed I am particularly drawn to books with some term that means cold in the title, such as “A Frozen Hell” or “The Coldest War.”
    Also, love the title & love the map. I’m excited to read the final version.


    1. Have you read “The Longest Winter,” by Alex Kershaw? The title doesn’t have “cold” or “frozen” in it, but “winter” is close, right? I just discovered Kershaw about 18 months ago, but I’ve really enjoyed both the books I’ve read by him (I also read “The Liberator”). He wrote “Bedford Boys,” and for some reason I’m thinking you’ve already read that one.

      I’m excited to hear what you think about the final version of “Deadly Alliance.” I made a few changes from its test-reading stages, but I think (hope) you’ll like them.


    1. I’m really excited about this book! (I was excited for the others, too, but each book is different so I guess the excitement doesn’t go away.)
      It’s gone through the editor and the copyeditor and now a proofreader is looking at it. Then I get one more peek at the manuscript, and it’s off to the printer.


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