books · romance · romance novels · writing

Have your romance novel title in print…and win a lovely prize!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that over the past year I published two romantic suspense novellas – Palace of Deception and The Scottish Diamond. I’m planning to combine these two novellas into one full-length print edition (and into a boxed set for the ebook version), along with a short story that will bring the whole romance to a close…but I need one single title that will combine all three elements.

The two novellas feature the same characters: Léon Bressac, a bodyguard from the fictional country of Montverrier, and Lizzie Smith, an actress from Edinburgh. The novellas combine to tell the romantic story of how the two lovely people get to know each other and fall in love – despite the mystery and danger that surround them.

Although they feature the same characters, the novellas are very different in feel – so here is my problem, and where I’d like some help! What title can I give to the combined edition?

romantic suspense, helena fairfaxPalace of Deception, is set in the fictional country of Montverrier – a beautifully hot, bright, sunny country by the Mediterranean sea.

Here is the blurb:

When a Mediterranean princess disappears on the eve of her coronation, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting role of her life as her stand-in. But the Royal Palace of Montverrier is full of mystery and whispers of danger. Why does the sinister housekeeper insist Lizzie remains in her rooms? And what has become of the princess?
As Lizzie learns her role, her only confidant is her quiet bodyguard. Lizzie begins to fall for Léon…but what secrets is he keeping from her?

(And by the way, you can download a FREE copy of Palace of Deception by signing up to my newsletter with this link.)

The Scottish Diamond is set in Edinburgh, Scotland – an equally beautiful place, but now it’s getting on for autumn and the weather (and feel of the novel) is much colder and darker and full of evenings by the fire.

Here is the blurb:

helena fairfax, the scottish diamond, romatic suspenseFair is foul, and foul is fair…”

What do you do when it seems you can’t trust anyone…even the man you love?
When Lizzie Smith begins rehearsals for Macbeth, she’s convinced the witches’ spells are the cause of a run of terrible luck. Lizzie’s bodyguard boyfriend, Léon, is mysteriously turned down for every job he applies for, until he’s finally offered the job of guarding “The Scottish Diamond,” a fabulous jewel from the country of Montverrier.
But the diamond’s previous guard has disappeared in mysterious circumstances. The Scottish Diamond has a history of intrigue and bloody murder, and Lizzie is plagued by nightmares in which Macbeth’s witches are warning her of danger.
Then Lizzie discovers she’s being followed through the streets of Edinburgh, and it seems her worst fears are about to be realised…

My final SHORT STORY, to tie both these novellas together, is set in Edinburgh at Hogmanay (New Year) in the freezing cold and has my trademark romantic ending :)

So, here’s where I need some help. What title could I give the combined print edition / boxed set? Léon and Lizzie? The Bodyguard Mysteries? The Year of My Romance?  Hmm. I’m not sure if these work.

So, I’ve decided to run a competition to ask for suggestions for a title. Can you help me think of a title that will tie these two novellas and short story together? If so, please let me know your suggestion here in the comments, or on Twitter, or by leaving a comment on my Facebook page. And you could win a prize!

The WINNER of the Dream up a Title for Helena competition will win the following:

  1. Their TITLE on the cover of the print edition / boxed set
  2. An ACKNOWLEDGEMENT inside the novel
  3. A SIGNED COPY of the finished print version
  4. This beautiful bracelet :)


Of course I also need to dream up a cover that combines the two…but luckily I have the talented Charlotte Volnek to help. Watch this space!

* * *

I’ll keep the competition running until 22nd October 2016…so please put your thinking caps on and let me know your suggestion, and you could win this lovely bracelet and a signed copy of a book bearing your title.

I hope you like my idea for a competition. If you have any comments at all, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!


32 thoughts on “Have your romance novel title in print…and win a lovely prize!

  1. Great idea to combine the novellas and the competition for a title is inspired thinking! I’ll scribble some ideas down and get back to you…best of luck with your project! 😀😀


      1. Thank you, Annika. I love how people have given this so much thought. It’s not easy thinking of a title! I’m going to mull over the suggestions. If you hit on anything yourself, Annika, please let me know!


  2. What a lovely idea. Because you mention the hot and cold climates of the different settings (as a Scot, so I can only nod in agreement with your weather assessment!), and because ice can be used to denote diamonds, my immediate thought was Fire and Ice, or something along those lines…. I hope you get a fantastic title.


  3. Hi Helena. Just thought I would drop in and say hello. I like the title: “The Bodyguard Tales: A Lizzie Smith Mystery” That way, you could always tie it in to future Lizzie Smith Mysteries as a series. It reminds me of a few other suspense series that were really fun to read. Then you could have future short story series such as “The Tale of The Missing Slipper: A Lizzie Smith Mystery” or “The Scottish Prince Tales: A Lizzie Smith Mystery” for example. I hope you are doing well. Lynn


    1. Hello Lynn, great to hear from you. Thanks so much for your suggestions. I love the idea of “The Bodyguard Tales”. Bodyguard stories are very popular – it would be good to have that in the title somewhere. I really love the idea of carrying on and adding further mysteries. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I hope you’re doing well. I’ll be in touch. Best wishes x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What about something which weds the French and Scottish protagonists? Something like Amour Ecosse or Croque Ecosse or the French Haggis. Rubbish suggestions, I know, but what about the idea?


    1. The idea of mingling the two is great – a French-Scottish fusion. It’s hard to think of something that will sum that up and that readers will “get” straightaway. I’ll put my mind to it. If you think of anything in the meantime, please let me know. Thanks for dropping in, and for giving it some thought!


    1. I’d love to have the name “Montverrier” in the title, Kathleen. That’s the one element that ties the two stories together. But then I wondered if putting it in the title might put some readers off, as it’s not a recognisable place, and they might skip over my title and go onto something else? But after your comment, now I’ll give it some more thought! Thank you so much for your suggestion, and for giving it so much thought!


    1. I’m so glad you like the idea, Susan. I thought a full-length book might appeal to some people, rather than two separate novellas. Thanks for giving my title dilemma some thought. If you are hit by any ideas, please do let me know!


  5. What a fabulous contest idea and just think of all the inspiring titles you’ll obtain as well as the one that fits best. :-)
    I’m immediately struck by three things pertaining to the series…a bodyguard, what appears to be a seasonal tone – Palace of Deception takes place in sunshine and brightness while The Scottish Diamond has more the overcast perpetual autumnal feel of Scotland about it then the third takes place at New Year’s hence your thought of Year of My Romance – and finally, Lizzie is an actress and each story seems to center around her current role.
    I will probably come up with others, but right now these come to mind –

    Good luck Helena!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy, wow, I love your list of titles! I can see all of these really appealing to readers. And you’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head that these stories take place over a year, and the seasons change from summer to winter. I really like all your titles. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. It’s given me lots to ponder on!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, and with Montverrier…



    Well, probably not…

    And as he’s a bodyguard!


    Perhaps not.


    Too long…







    Perhaps I’d really better stop now, but maybe you can bake something together from these less than lustrous dog ends.

    Oh, now I think of it:




    1. I love all the alliteration, James :) I had thought of Mystery in Montverrier – but would readers just wonder what this Montverrier place is? Lizzie is quite lustrous – but since the story is in the first person it wouldn’t do for her to boast!
      Thanks for putting your mind to it!


  7. How about something simple like PALACES.

    For the cover, have your heroine in the center, with the palace from both books, one on each side of her. Of if Leon is her lover, have them in a clinch in the same position between the two palaces


    1. Hi Kemberlee, I love the idea of keeping the title simple. And regarding the cover – my designer is at work on it at the moment. Her idea is along similar lines, but with a twist I love. I’ll be doing a cover reveal this weekend. Thanks very much for giving this some thought. I appreciate it!


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