Pub Rants

The Title Saga

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STATUS: Busy, busy. It was a big day as I had imagined. Lots of good news that I’ll eventually be able to share.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? IT’S CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME) by U2

Run away, run away!

Well, it’s still continuing. We came up with a bunch of verb Titles and the publisher just isn’t loving them. I can understand. Titling is hard and they are pretty wed to the title they originally envisioned.

I’m sending it out to you folks in blog world. I need a title for a very sexy, dark paranormal romance. There has to be verb in the title.

Don’t include the word dark but I’m open to seeing anything else you can give me. We’ve tried lots of variations with the word fire, passion, and desire so hit me with something different if you can.

General premise: a witch is on the run from the man she has always trusted when she discovers what he is really doing. After she escapes, she runs smack dab into the hero who has made it his life goal to kill this man and his witch. Trouble ensues (which is rather an understatement).

No werewolves or vampires in sight.

Only serious suggestions accepted!

160 Responses

  1. Anonymous said:

    ‘Witch way to turn?’

    or ‘Mis-Spelled’

    I can’t seem to be serious enough or grown-up enough, sorry (probably because I write junior fiction)

    Minty Fresh

  2. M said:

    Stalking Trouble
    Genteel Killings
    Betraying The Betrayer

    god…I’m really bad at this. Usually I just pick a random combination of words.

  3. Kelly Swails said:

    The first thing that popped into my head was “Every Witch Way But Loose,” but I don’t think that’s terribly clever. Plus, no verb. Forget I said anything.

    My husband’s suggestion: “Running from the Shadows” Or “Hiding from the Shadows.”

    Verb titles are hard.

  4. Alea said:

    I tend to search key terms in Bartlett’s Quotations (online at and sometimes I’ll find a good quote that inspires something.

    I tried a quick search for trust, and came up with a quote that might fit the book (based on the rough blurb):

    from Frances Anne Kemble:
    Better trust all, and be deceived,
    And weep that trust and that deceiving,
    Than doubt one heart, that if believed
    Had blessed one’s life with true believing.

    Working from this, how about something along the lines of
    Trust a Witch’s Heart
    Doubt Not A Witch

  5. McGirl said:

    Revenge on the Run
    Revenge the Night
    Betray the Night
    Betray Me at Twilight
    Shadow My Hero
    Flee the Night
    Race the Twilight
    Race Through Twilight

  6. Deb said:

    Night Running (with a bow to Laura Moore)

    The Twilight Hour (no verb, but it’s getting late here)

    No Time for Witches (ditto)


    Racing Betrayal

    The Witching Files

    Betrayal’s Flight

    That’s it for me.

  7. Karen Duvall said:

    Carnal Cauldron

    Liar’s Laire

    No verbs, I know, but I think verb titles are trite. Just imo.

    Run from the Wicked

    Spelling Lessons

    Teach the Traitor

    Death and Deception




    Double-Cross the Doubter

    I love thinking up titles. I could do this all day! But I guess I should be writing instead. Sigh.

    Thanks for the fun game, Kristin.

  8. Anonymous said:

    The Witch Can Run
    Loving and Longing a Witch’s Heart
    Arousing the Witch
    To Arouse the Witch
    To Provoke a Witch
    To Kiss a Witch
    Flirting with a Witch
    Something Naughty Running in the Night

    Good luck! 🙂

  9. karen wester newton said:

    Hmm. This isn’t so much as grizzly bear as herd of bears! Too many ideas! But witches know magic, right? How about:

    Flying from Magic

    By Magic Deceived

    Caught Between the Magic and the Man

    Bewitched and Betrayed
    (that’s 2 verbs!)

    Bewitched, Bedeviled, Betrayed
    (3 verbs)

    Out of a Frying Pan, Into Hell’s Fire

    Obviously it’s getting too late for me, but best of luck to your client, Kristin

  10. kelljones @ lj said:

    Spell Me Lies (via my shelf of J. Crusie)
    Casting Lies
    Cast Her Down
    Witches Burn
    Spell Bind
    Bind Her Here
    Boiling Trouble (a la Bubble, Bubble etc)

    Good luck!

  11. WriterMom said:

    Okay, I’ll throw a few into the ring:

    “No Rest for the Wicked”

    “Love is Darkest Before Dawn”

    “Chasing Magic”

    “Scream if you Love me”

    “Cursed To Love”

    “Cursed With A Kiss”

    “A Devil of a Time”

    — fun assignment — thanks Kristin!

  12. Disco Mermaids said:

    I’m coming up with words like ‘rapture’ and ‘enchantress’

    But I can’t seem to put them together with a strong verb.

    Titles are a killer!! Good luck!


  13. Anonymous said:

    This is hard because the book description is so short. It makes it difficult to customize to the theme, or uniqueness of the novel. Good Luck

    Crumble in the Overcast

    Embers’ Scars

    Smokey Velvet

    Dwindling Touch

    Portrait Burning

  14. Anonymous said:

    Vexed, Hexed, and Sexed

    Vexing Her Inner Witch

    Bewitched or Betrothed?

    Coffee-Filled Cauldrons

    Sexy Spells and Vexed Vixens

    Enchanting Hex Mix

    Passion’s Enchantment

    Yeah. I’m tired. But fun game 🙂

  15. Brenda said:

    Unmasking the Rogue

    Silken Shadows

    Unlocking the Shadows

    Deceit and Desire

    Unmasking the Night

    good luck, Kristin.

  16. David R. Slayton said:

    Getaway Witch

    Witch Way to Run?

    Witch Cast Out

    My best shots off the top of my head:

    Running Straight to Hex

    Hex in a Handbasket

    Cast into the Fire

    Hex and Run

    Into the Fire: Toil and Trouble

    Burning Passion: a Dash of Magic

    Dark Flame Running

    Sorry, those all seem really weak to me.

  17. Isis said:

    Vengence Comes Swiftly
    Silence the Passenger
    Prey upon Midnight
    Not with a Bang
    Vow like Yesterday
    Janus Flight
    Runing Beneath the Thirteen Moons
    Stand above the Shadow
    Nightmares are for those who Sleep
    Don’t Ask the Wind

    Any sentences from the book itself that stick out? Phrases? Anything?

    Good luck!

  18. jjdebenedictis said:

    (Pardon the horrible pun in the first one.)

    Rune, Rune Away
    Scrying Seduction
    Witchfire Rising
    Witchfire Burning
    Kindle the Witchfire
    Beguile the Witch
    Lure the Witchhunter
    Stalking Seduction
    Black Cat Slinking
    Black Cat Sizzle
    (no verb)
    Jinxing Betrayal
    Waxing Moonstone
    Prowl the Indigo Sky

  19. Maprilynne said:

    Casting Darkness?

    I really like Casting as a verb. A couple of other people had good ones. I particularly liked “Casting Malice.”

    Maybe Casting Desire.

  20. Phoenix said:

    Cast a Dark Shadow
    Curse the Night
    Cursed Away
    Embracing the Moon
    To Spell Desire
    Spelling Trouble
    Stay a Spell
    Outruning Death
    Can’t Enchant Love

  21. Anonymous said:

    Just tossing out a few verbs that carry sexual undertones:
    (although those are all in the passive form)

  22. Anonymous said:

    I can’t come up with my own titles so I certainly wouldn’t be much help here. I’d like to say though, that I’d read a book called Escape into Embers. Buried among all the titles in this thread, this title caught my attention.

  23. Tanaquil said:

    Oohh, I rather like both of these: Racing Betrayal, Bewitched and Betrayed

    Wish I had some ideas of my own to leave here.

  24. tahariel said:

    Friendly Spellfire (or some variant on Friendly Fire)

    All Hexed Out

    No Spell to Cast

    Broken Spell

    Helplessly Hexed

    Thinking of titles for a book I haven’t read is hard!

  25. Caitlin said:

    Something with the word ‘flight’ or ‘fly’ or ‘flying’ since that is something that witches do but it also means to run away from something.

  26. soula said:

    Half Shadow (not verby, I know)
    Kindle the Night
    Caught on the Threshold
    Adversary Bound
    Lay The Shade
    Need The Night
    Breathing Moonlight
    Drink Down The Night
    Which for a Witch (silly)
    Dance His Shadow
    Eclipse The Moon
    Shadow Working
    Scatter the Stars

  27. Anonymous said:

    Rather than try to pull a title from thin air, why not look to the manuscript and find a clever or beautiful turn of phrase that sums up the main theme?

  28. Chro said:

    Casting the Die
    Die to the Cast
    In the Arms of my Slayer
    Is That a Stake in Your Pocket or are You Just Happy to See Me?
    Purified by Lies
    Saved at the Stake
    Slayer’s Embrace
    Sworn to Me
    Unraveling Oaths

  29. Lisa said:

    Hex Me Not

    To Hex and to Hold

    Hexing Her Heart

    How to Spell Trouble

    Ride the Night

    Spelling Your Secrets

    Simmer Me

    Chasing Embers

  30. Beth said:

    Do we get to vote? 🙂

    So far, I like Bewitched and Beguiled. Also White Magic, Black Heart. Or maybe some variation on that.

    Though I second the suggestion to find some evocative phrase in the book itself and use that.

  31. Anonymous said:

    Trust the Shadows
    Trust the Night
    Trust the Fire
    Trust the Avenger
    Burning Trust
    Betrayal Burns
    Embrace the Witchfinder
    Awakened by the Witchfinder
    Burning the Witchfinder
    Witching the Hunter
    My Heart is an Assassin

    (For “witchfinder”, substitute “cool in-universe term for what the hero does” if you prefer.)

  32. Kristin G said:

    I read through most of the comments, but hope I don’t repeat. Here’s some of mine:

    Conjure the Night
    Cast a Wicked Spell
    Pursue the Shadows (shortened version of someone else’s)

  33. Jael said:

    If she’s on the run, it’s a chase… hm, let’s play with that.

    Chasing Midnight
    Chasing Sunrise
    Chased By Danger
    Hunted By Desire
    Cast Into Shadow

  34. Janny said:

    Entranced, Ensnared, Enchanted

    I also vote for finding an evocative book passage. I, for one, love those kinds of titles.

  35. Jael said:

    I love titling, so I can’t resist putting out a few more (though Cast In Shadow is still my fave).

    Flight to the Hunter
    Escape to the Hunter
    Snared By Shadows
    Snared By Secrets
    Trapped In Shadow

  36. Anonymous said:

    I would definitely pick up a book titled, Do You Think I’m Hexy? That one made me laugh out loud.

  37. ~Nancy said:

    No doubt these all suck (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed the title on my current WIP, so I’m no expert). Hopefully you, the author, and the publisher can come to some agreement.

    Running in the Dark

    Mistrust in the Dark

    Running Into the Dark (or Darkness)

    Running Among the Shadows

    Love Among the Shadows

    Evading Love

    Evading Love and Death

    Darkness Running

    Shadows Running

    Running From Shadows

    Running From Darkness

    A Run in the Dark

    Running in the Dark

    Running Into Trouble

    The Trouble With Witches

    Escape to Trouble

    Escape the Shadows

    Escaping Death

    Escaping the Dark

  38. RyanBruner said:

    Bewitched: Bothered and Bewildered – The song as sung by Ella Fitzgerald came to mind. If you read the lyrics, they seem to fit, for the most part.

  39. ~Nancy said:


    Cast in Shadow has already been used (I thought it sounded familiar) by Michelle Sagara.

    I also think that finding an evocative book passage will work. I forget what Margaret Mitchell originally called her book, but I don’t think it was Gone With the Wind. That phrase was lifted from (I think) something Scarlett said; or maybe it was in the narration somewhere (it’s been a number of years since I last read it).

  40. 2readornot said:

    Harness the Run
    Escape Burns

    I did find it very amusing to read all the titles with no verb (as a former grammar teacher, I suppose) — a verb isn’t the word itself, it’s how it’s used in the phrase. (Oh, no, lesson time here: ie — Witch on the Run has no verb, The Running Witch also has no verb. The Witch Runs, now there’s a verb :D)

  41. Anonymous said:

    Chasing the Love-Ghost

    Twisting Spells

    this is hard! Have you searched through the book for a particular metaphor? or phrase? That can help sometimes.

    – Gabrielle

  42. Anonymous said:

    Here are a couple if you’re still looking…

    “Cauldron’s Calling”
    “Spell the Witch, my Soul to Take”
    “So Mote it be”
    “Witches Brew”
    “Cauldron Connections”


  43. soula said:

    It’s fascinating how tempting fire-associated words are, I suppose partially because of the ‘witch’ thing, and partially because of the situation (‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’). And of course, because it’s a romance.

    Trying to understand the situation, I assume ‘darkness’ is the word the writer dislikes. The VERB demand is because the editor wants something they can end a blurb with: ‘Wlll she end up VERBING THE NOUN?’ ‘What can go wrong when you’re VERBING NOUN?’

    Or maybe just that focus groups have declared that active titles sell better and ‘Dark’ is overdone (it seems to be, scanning Amazon).

    I do personally prefer non-verb titles, I think. ‘The Opposite of Enemy’

    Anyhow, forgive me
    VERB THE PARTICIPLE NOUN (eg Cast A Falling Star)


    My problem with active verbs is that in what you’ve given us, all the active verbs we can apply to the heroine are either a.) witchy b.) very generically darkish c.) seem weak even if they’re active, because all we really know is that she flees from somebody and stumbles into somebody else. So, not a lot of room for more interesting verbs like ‘Seeking’, and more about the running, fleeing, flying avoidance. And that kind of title only works, I think, if what she’s avoiding is what she has to face (and is somehow encompassed in the hero).

    ‘Avoid the Light’… but that lacks the zing of ‘Caught In Twilight’

    I dunno. I wish I knew something more about something cool the heroine did. I think if she, for example, has to stand up to chaos monsters bent on murdering celebrity chefs, that gives a better starting point (even if it ends up cloaked in opposite-speak) than referring to her weak opening position.

    ‘Speaking To The Dawn’.

  44. Jael said:

    ~nancy — bummer! Thanks for looking it up. soula, “RUNNING INTO MY HUNTER (OH GOD NOT HIM)” made me laugh out loud.

    So much creativity looking for a home here! Makes me want to sit down and try out new titles for my WIP.

  45. Charlotte said:

    Suffer Not
    Curse and Conjure
    Witch Hunt
    Conjuring with the Enemy
    Out of the Caldron
    Into the Fire
    When the Hurly-Burly’s Done (Shakespeare)
    Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble (Shakespeare)
    Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair (Shakespeare)
    To a Tiger’s Cauldron (Shakespeare)

  46. Ann Asher said:

    I threw some random ideas together which might be useful, or might be hilarious, who knows? At least, maybe they’ll inspire you or others. Here goes:

    Twisted Witch
    Wanton Witch
    Stolen Promise
    Stolen Soul
    Clever Traps
    Misfortune’s Mistress
    Rampant Seduction
    Ravish Me, Traitor
    Tempest Fugue
    Hexed and Hoaxed
    Played On and Preyed On
    Friend or Fiend?
    Captured Lovely

  47. Vicki said:

    With so little known about the book this was harder than I thought it would be.

    Here’s what I came up with:

    Scorching Darkness

    Spells of the Night

    Dark Seduction

    Dark Desires

    Alluring Heat

    Charmed Secrets

    Captive Heat

  48. Anonymous said:

    I came up with ‘

    Chasing Magic

    also, and then saw someone else already posted it. I like the double entendre, and I think it’s succint, and also plays to both ends of the story. (Him chasing her, to kill her; and also them chasing that elusive magic, love).

  49. Julie Rowe said:

    Thinking out loud…

    Enchanting My/the Enemy
    Embracing My/the Enemy
    Enemy Mine
    Kneeling Before Her Nemesis
    Enemy Surrender
    Rescuing Enemy
    Eternal Enchantment

    I don’t envy you this task!

    Cheers, Julie

  50. Merry Jelinek said:

    I like one from up in the massive list:

    Cast into the Fire – I love the double meaning, evoking both casting a spell and thrown (as in the character thrown into trouble)

    The best I could come up with was

    Burning Times and other Wiccan Love Stories

  51. Taaudoloran said:

    “Charming on the Run”

    Why? Puns double meanings of the word Charming (charming as in witches and charming as in the man she meets?)


    “Chasing Enchantment”

  52. LitWitch said:

    Without knowing more, these are just stabs in the dark (sorry, no pun intended):

    [witch’s name here]’s Burning
    Burning Witches
    Catch Me, I’m Burning
    Flying By Night
    Burned and Drowning
    Drowning and Burned
    Betraying Hot Shadows
    Hexed & Sexed

    Belladonna & Betrayal
    Forbidden Incantation
    Toil and Trouble*
    (*Fire Burn/And Cauldron Bubble!)
    Pointy Little Hat, Pointy Little Heart

    …and, forgive me:
    Raising Hackles & Cackles

  53. Mags said:

    Journey just came on in the cafe I am sitting in. Oh dear.

    Don’t Stop Deceiving
    Who’s Burning Now?
    When the Witch Goes Down in the City
    Fooled in Love
    Open Charms (um, the verb is silent)

    Let’s hope they don’t follow up with some REO. This could be bad…

  54. Jess said:

    Huh! I submit a comment this morning and it is not here?

    My suggestions were

    Fleeing Seduction
    Hunting Seduction
    Kiss the Shadows

    (and what’s with blogger losing the “other” option? that sucks)

  55. Vinnie Sorce said:

    Here’s my shot.

    Witch way to run in the shadows?
    Witch way to run in the dark?
    Chasing magic after dark
    Chasing magic into the shadows
    Magic dies in the shadows
    Magic dies in the dark
    Trust betrayed in the shadows
    Trust betrayed in the dark
    Witch shadow do you trust?

  56. Jeannie Ruesch said:

    Embraced the Hunter
    Uncovering Betrayal’s Passion
    The Hunter’s Desire
    Betrayal’s Liaison
    Hunt for Passion
    Hunt for the Witch
    Charm the Hunter
    Enchanted by the Witch
    Seeking the Witch
    Pursuing Betrayal’s Fire
    Discover the Enchanted
    The Hunter’s Quarry
    Finding the Hunted’s Embrace
    Unmasking the Enchantress
    Surrendering to the Hunter
    Defy the Hunter’s Embrace
    Brave the Hunter’s Heat
    Face the Hunter’s Fire
    Devoured by Passion’s Embrace
    Ignite the Hunter’s Flame
    Cast a Witch’s Spell
    Obey Passion’s Call
    Ignite Love’s Surrender
    Defy the Hunter’s Desire
    Defy the Night’s Embrace
    Surrender to the Shadows
    Craving the Hunter’s Embrace
    Surrender to Passion’s Adversary
    The Witch’s Adversary
    Dare the Hunter’s Embrace
    Caught in the Hunter’s Embrace
    Wage Passion’s War
    Beguile the Hunter
    Strike the Hunter’s Heart
    Resisting the Night Fire
    Risk the Enchanter’s Spell
    Plunge into Betrayal’s Fire
    Enchanting Thy Enemy
    Loving Thy Enemy

    Hope any of those help spark some ideas!

  57. Anonymous said:

    If it’s not chick-lit, out of all of these, I thought “Cast into the Fire” was best. If it is chick-lit, you have to go with “Do You Think I’m Hexy?”

  58. BLK said:

    The very first thing that came to mind was


    athough there is no verb there.

    I tried adding a verb, but it only seems to take away the punch of that one.

  59. Anonymous said:

    Wrenbird said:
    Something Wicked This Way Runs

    That’s the best one I’ve seen in this lot.

  60. SanRemoAve said:

    Midnight Run
    Witch Way to Run
    Magic On the Run
    Hiding the Magic
    Men Spell Disaster
    Men Spell Trouble
    Charming the Madmen
    Hiding Her Charms
    Casting Trouble
    Conjure Trouble
    To Conjure a Hero
    Running with Spells
    Running with Magic
    Witch Way to Trouble
    Any Witch Way to Trouble
    Any Witch Way You Conjure
    Any Witch Way to Run

    … I’m tapped out now. Best wishes!

  61. krw3b said:

    I was trying to have a nap, but kept thinking about this. (Thanks! LOL.)
    Here are my contributions:

    Settle into Fire

    Fly at the Flame


  62. Pat said:

    This challenge wouldn’t leave me alone so I had to offer my first comment to your wonderful and so very helpful blog.
    How about
    Run Witch My Love
    Run the Witch Away

    Thanks for such a helpful resource.

  63. musemother said:

    I’m sorry these are pretty bad titles!
    Shadowing Midnight
    Surrender to Midnight
    Moonlight Casts no Shadow
    Trouble Under the Moon
    The Curse of Love
    (cursive, get it?)
    best of luck

  64. Anonymous said:

    To Taste Lust, Shun Murder

    Run ‘n Sense Desire

    Lust Night Run

    Shun Murder ‘n Taste Lust

  65. Dr K said:

    The Hunter’s Spell
    Hunter and The Hex
    Cauldron of the Heart
    Can You Spell Hunter?
    Spell or Burn

    — Gregory Kennedy