Friday, January 11, 2008

Vote for a Title

Note: Additional potential titles added 1/10, 1/11! Plus updates! See below.

Now that I've written a bit more about what Destined to Choose is about, I want to share what Book #2 is about.

I have an in-progress 25-words-or-less summary of Book #2, working title: As in Days of Old, which is:

"Minneapolis Rabbi David Cohen intervenes to help catch a violent stalker while David's wife decides to get more involved in his career."

22 words. Not a lot to play with there, but I'll keep trying.

Now for the longer version of what it's about:

It's almost Chanukah, and Rabbi Batya Zahav, a Reform rabbi, David's friend, and wife of Arik, an Israeli-born Minneapolis police sergeant, is being stalked. It begins with threatening letters but quickly escalates. No witnesses, few forensics, and no idea who the stalker is or why he's targeting Batya.

Frustrated by the lack of progress, Arik involves David in his own investigation, leading them through a chain of fundamentalism and hatred hidden beneath the city's facade of "Minnesota Nice."

Simultaneously, David's wife, Sara, decides she no longer wants to be on the sidelines of David's career, and initiates actions that could jeopardize his future as a rabbi. While balancing all of this, David is also hosting a friend from rabbinical school and his wife, who find themselves dragged into the middle of a crime scene instead of enjoying a vacation.

That's off the top of my head, so it will change (dramatically, I hope) before it gets to any sort of official print.

And here's where I can really, really, REALLY use your help. I need some feedback on potential titles. What do you like? What do you not like? Why? Do you have a better title? (Acknowledgement will be given for anyone who comes up with the published title!)

You can leave comments or email me, because I really want to hear from you!

Here's what I have:
  1. As in Days of Old (working title)
  2. Anger Avenged
  3. Broken Pact
  4. For the Miracles (modified)
  5. In Your Midst
  6. Payback
  7. Rededication
  8. Rewards of Vengeance
  9. Faith and Fear (new)
  10. Safety From Within (new)
  11. Strength to Strength (new) (also a common Jewish phrase)
  12. Strength to Stand (new)
  13. Strength to Prevail (new)

The published title might be one of these, or might be none of these. I'm too close to it and have been calling it one thing for too long. So knowing what you now know about the book (ask questions here if you need something more - except the ending, which I won't give away), what's your vote? (You may vote for more than one.)

Update: As of Thursday, 1/10, I've had quite a few responses both in the comments below and through email. THANK YOU! The general consensus is that title prospects 1-8 are likely not high in the running, but based on various suggestions, five more (9-13) have been added. I will note that I have a new favorite for lots of reasons, but I'd like to hear what you think first.

Update #2: Having just answered the comments I've received on the blog so far, I realized that I wrote something rather key:

"this book is less about choice than it is about standing up for what you believe in, especially when that belief is threatened."

While Judaism is certainly more than just a set of beliefs, the above statement really is the heart of the book.

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