In Others’ Words: Behind the Title & Spine Poetry Challenge Contest

c51a3b1f950c2eff502699c44e59d426 I often have the title of my novel  before I write the opening line of chapter one, scene one. With just a few words, titles capture the essence of a novel. By the time I begin writing, I know enough of my story to encaspulate it in a title — even if that title before the book goes to press.

For my destination wedding series, I decided to research song titles for potential book titles, thanks to the advice of one of my wise mentors best-selling author Susan May Warren. There are approximately a gazillion song titles to research — yes, I counted — but even with so many choices, it wasn’t easy to find just the right song title for my upcoming novel.

Things I consider when choosing a book title:

  1. Main characters – In Crazy Little Thing Called Love, my hero and heroine met in high school. Eloped during spring break during senior year. Divorced. And meet up again eight years later.
  2. Genre – I write contemporary romances, so I browsed love songs. I Googled  lists like “top 100 love songs” and “classic love songs” and “movie long songs.”
  3. Overall plot – It’s crazy for two teens to elope. It’s crazy to run into your first love when you’re planning your destination wedding for your second marriage. It’s crazy to deal with a hurricane at the same time you’re dealing with mixed up emotions.

Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love — the title of the first novel in my destination wedding series. It works. And it doesn’t hurt that when people hear Spine Poetry Challenge the title they also hear the song in their heads too. I like the Michael Bublé version.


*Spine Poetry Challenge*

The task:


Grab your favorite books and create a “poem” or loose “limerick” from the titles. Something as simple as:

  • All your favorite authors in one stack
  • Similar titles
  • Similar spine colors for a lovely mosaic
  • Titles that when placed in a stack tell a simple story or rhyme
  • All of one author’s books in one stack

IMPORTANT: Be sure to post a link to your spine poetry in the PromoSimple form for your entry to be counted!

Ready for step two?

Take a picture and post it on social media, tagging one or all of our authors: @PepperBasham, @KCambronAuthor, @CarlaLaureano, @BethVogt, @CathWest

Want extra credit?

Visit each of the blogs (listed here: ) Pepper Basham, Kristy Cambron, Carla Laureano, and Catherine West and build a spine poetry entry for each author. You can enter as many times as you’d like!

The prizes:

You didn’t want to do this just for the fun of it? Well, okay then. :- ))

Each spine poem is entered to win a prize basket with a copy of each of our author’s books:

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham

A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron

London Tides by Carla Laureano

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

Bridge of Faith by Catherine West

If you create a Spine Poem with any of our authors in one collection, you’ll be entered to win this mother lode:

Hand-crafted journal

Hand-crafted Swarovski crystal bracelet

Pride & Prejudice DVD

Signed copy of The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West

Signed copy of Somebody Like You by Beth Vogt

Downton Abbey inspired tea spoon and tea



[Tweet “Join the #‎SpinePoetry challenge & win books, prizes & giftcards from your favorite authors! #‎bookgiveaway”]

[Tweet “In Others’ Words: Behind the Title & #SpinePoetry Challenge Contest #giveaway #chrisfic”]

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Casey Herringshaw

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  1. May 4, 2015, 6:38 am   /  Reply

    I love the process that works so well for you and especially the ingredients of your newest book. Can’t wait to read it and so appreciate the gift working in you (and all the hard work that goes along with it).

    • May 4, 2015, 10:36 pm   /  Reply

      As and author, you understand the how the gifting and the work blend together — and how God blesses both.

  2. May 4, 2015, 8:24 pm   /  Reply

    Titles are something I dread. I used to paint, and finding a meaningful title was something I truly loathed.

    Same for books. My current WIP has the working title “Fixin’ To Die: How To Live With A Dying Spouse.”


    It’ll probably be renamed “When The One You Love Is Dying”, thus making it more acceptably Hallmark-ish.

    My absolute favourite painting title is “Sunrise With Sea-Monsters”, a seascape – with sea-monsters – by JMW Turner.

    • May 4, 2015, 10:35 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew: I shouldn’t be surprised that even in the midst of such heart-wrenching honesty, you made me smile … and want to go find the image of the seascape with sea-monsters. Oh, how you expand my view of life, my friend.

  3. May 4, 2015, 8:28 pm   /  Reply

    What fun! This is one of the first spine poetry contests I’ve done, and I must say it’s really fun. Two of my earlier influencer books worked really well for one. And of course you’ll be smiling at my other one. Thanks for such a great contest, Beth!


    • May 4, 2015, 10:38 pm   /  Reply

      I find spine poetry rather addicting. My only problem is that I just gave quite a few of my new books away during our recent ACFWCS Write in the Springs conference — used them as door prizes. The book shelves are bare! Of course, since I am supposed to be “DARK,” i.e. on deadline, this is a good thing, right?

  4. May 5, 2015, 4:01 pm   /  Reply

    Love your ‘title’ creating process, Beth…and your books! Now, I’m off to try and make another Spine Poem…these are new to me and I’m still trying to figure them out 🙂

    • May 5, 2015, 6:30 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, Pepper, you’re so creative that I know you’ll be a natural! And let your kiddos try too. I would love to see what they come up with!

  5. May 7, 2015, 2:55 am   /  Reply

    I never gave much thought to titles or how an author might come up with one until I stared blogging. I struggle just thinking up one for a simple blog post. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to title a book! No creativity lurking here in that department. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to creating my Spine Poetry today. Gotta get it done before the grands arrive on Friday or it won’t happen.

  6. Deanna Stevens
    May 12, 2015, 12:08 pm   /  Reply

    This poetry is something I had not heard off.. I like it! My poetry for you… (Love Inspired)
    Hometown Dad
    Engaged to the single Mom.
    The single Dad finds a Wife..
    A Mother for his Children.
    Yuletide Baby??

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