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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Names in a Series by Michele Zurlo #RB4U #newrelease #romanticsuspense

Naming books in a series can be a tricky deal. The first time I tried to go with a theme, I ended up with Letting Go and Hanging On. For the third book, I couldn't think of a name that started with a participle, and so the pattern was abandoned. Did I feel like a failure? No. I felt a little silly for trying to go with a pattern like that in the first place. But I chalked it up to inexperience--they were my first and second books--and moved on.

Fast forward a couple of years, and I wrote Re/Bound. I liked the title because it addressed the hero's predilection for bondage and the fact that the heroine was dealing with heartbreak from a relationship that ended with the death of her Master. The next summer (I'm a teacher, so most of my writing happens in the summer months) I wrote Re/Paired. At the time, I hadn't envisioned anything else in that series, so I felt safe with the title. It also was a play on the fact that the hero was emotionally scarred and the heroine was making a play for her brother's best friend.

That was the end--for a while. After I got my rights to Re/Bound back, I started writing the series again. So now I was stuck with having to find titles that worked in this pattern. I spent days brainstorming an appropriate title, but it finally came to me (as well as a list of lots of other titles and possible plots.) Then came Re/Claimed (the heroine reclaimed her love of submission/the hero finally claimed the heroine he's loved for years,) Re/Defined (the heroine learns something significant about herself/the hero helps her define exactly what that means,) and now, Re/Leased (the hero mistakenly releases his submissive during a fight/the heroine initially works as a Domme-for-hire/the heroine realizes that she's leasing pieces of life instead of living her own.)

It's not easy to keep up the pattern, but it's working for now!

Re/Leased is the fifth book in the fan favorite Doms of the FBI series. If you haven’t stumbled upon this series yet, this book stands alone, though characters from previous books do appear in it. I chose to release it today, June 26, because it's my birthday, and this is how I'm celebrating.

Blurb: Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

Blitz Tour Excerpt 1:

David regarded Autumn regretfully. “I didn’t bring ropes. Maybe next time.”

“Here.” Jordan appeared out of nowhere. He handed a coil to David. “You can use mine. Amy’s not one for public play. Yet.”

Autumn fingered the rope. The silk caressed her back. “I’m game if you are.” David didn’t respond, so she lifted her arms. “It’s okay if this is your first time. Everybody’s a virgin once.”

“It’s been a while.” David untied the knot holding the coil together. “You’re going to need to be patient.”

She encouraged with a smile. “I’ve got all evening.”

Jordan took a few steps back to give them privacy. David worked quietly and with methodical meticulousness.

Autumn mostly watched his face, but her gaze was repeatedly drawn to the way his shoulders and arms moved. Muscles bunched and elongated, and the deeper he concentrated, the more he sucked the corner of his upper lip. Autumn was tempted to offer to suck it for him. Instead she chose to say something innocuous. “You’re cute when you’re concentrating.”

He glanced up, surprised, and his knot-weaving fingers stuttered.

She raised her eyebrows. “Let me guess—nobody’s ever told you that you were cute before?”

“You’re not at all what I expected.”

“You wanted a leggy blonde with huge fake boobs?”

He exhaled a laugh. “No.”

“Botox lips and cherry red lipstick?”

“Hell, no. I just didn’t think you’d be so forward.”

“Ahh.” She sighed knowingly. “I’m not demure, and that’s a turn off.”

“Not at all. It’s refreshing. I like that you’re lighthearted and that you feel free to tease and flirt. I’m having fun, and I didn’t think I would.” He went back to looping rope.

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Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Hi, Michele. Happy birthday! Congratulations on all your titles. You certainly found success with the Re/... series. For myself, I loved Blade's Ghost. ;-) More ghosts soon?

Tina Donahue said...

Love your cover, Michele. I've had the same problem with series titles. Some work great, others are just so-so.

Cara Marsi said...

Good points about series titles. I love your RE titles. Very creative.

Melissa Keir said...

Very pretty cover. Sounds like a wonderful series. I know that feeling! I've struggled with the issue of titles in a series.

Michele Zurlo said...

Jane, I'm in the planning stages for a paranormal series, but I hadn't settled on the type of paranormal-ness yet. Ghosts are not off the table!

Tina, I'm not planning to have a title theme for my next series, so that'll be easier. For me, titles and blurbs are the hardest parts of writing.

Cara and Melissa, Thanks! My cover artist and I were having lunch last fall, and she rolled out about fifteen title ideas. On the plus side, it meant she had cover ideas as well.

jean hart stewart said...

Titles can be hellish, but fun when the books practically name themselves. For me, I hate, hate, hate writing blurbs......

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