21 Jul

Help Me Choose the Title

I am excited to be finalizing my manuscript for publication. But I can’t decide on the final title. Would you be willing to help? I have listed four of the finalists below. I would be so grateful for your help.

Book Titles, Bev Scott

Which title do you like best?

Let me know which title is most likely to attract your attention if you were looking for a book to read. You might have other ideas or combinations, which is fine, too.  Let me know your choices and your thoughts in the Comments section of the blog.  Thank you!

Here is the synopsis to give you context for the title.


The story is told from the perspective of the two key protagonists, Will and Sarah.

In 1878, Will is on the run after killing a man in a bar room gunfight. He escapes the Texas Rangers by joining a cattle drive headed to Dodge City, as the cook. He struggles with the dilemma of saving his life or attempting to return to his pregnant wife and five children. Just when he thinks he might be able to return home, he is confronted by a bounty hunter who captures him and plans to return him to Forth Worth, Texas to be hanged. Will is freed by his trail boss and a buddy from the cattle drive. He finds himself “riding the owl hoot trail” in Kansas as a wanted man.

Will finds refuge on an isolated homestead with Peggy, a widow and her daughter, Margaret Ann. He helps her with the livestock, building a corral and a “real” house while he hides out from the law. He struggles with his responsibility to return to his wife and family and his increasing attraction to Peggy. When Will learns that his wife and children may have perished in a tornado, he gives in to his desire for Peggy, only to find that he is too afraid to take on the responsibility Peggy asks. He abruptly abandons Peggy and finds himself on the dodge from the law again when he meets an itinerant preacher named John who saves his life. John recognizes Will’s guilt and challenges him to grow up and be a man. When Will struggles with his culpability in abandoning the women in his life, he turns to John who guides him to find redemption. Will decides to homestead in Wyoming ready to settle down with a good woman.

In 1911, Sarah, a widow with five children struggles to find the inner strength to overcome betrayal, loneliness, fears, and self-doubt. Her husband, Sam, thirty years her senior, died with a curious and defiant declaration, “I won’t answer!” Despite poverty and a crippling illness, she is determined to keep her family together, leave New Mexico, and return to Nebraska to be near her parents and siblings.

Horses, great PlainsDuring the perilous journey home, Sarah must face her fears as a woman traveling without the protective company of a man, confront her son’s sometimes reckless attempts to be the man of the house, and cope with real dangers which threaten their lives. Still grieving from the loss of her husband, she ventures into unknown territory desperate to find help for her sick infant daughter and then learns of the death of her beloved father.

When Sarah returns to Nebraska, she receives staggering news which complicates her efforts to support her children. She is shocked, angry and emotionally devastated. Since she is attempting to establish herself in the community as a teacher, she believes she must keep her husband’s betrayal a secret even from her own family.

Title Choices for You!

Again, here are the titles I’m considering for the book. Let me know what you think in the Comments below. Which of the following seems to fit the story line best? Do you have any other thoughts, ideas or critiques of the title choices that could help me? Or do you have an completely different title you might want to suggest?

I’m all ears!

A. Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness: A Western Tale

B. A Family Secret: Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness

C. “I Won’t Answer!” A Secret from the American West

D. Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness: She Kept the Secret



  • I am drawn first to D and then to B

  • Bev, of the four, “A” is the best, but it feels like it’s almost there but not exactly what you need. Wish I could be more help. I’m having trouble titling my new novel, so I find your approach of getting opinions very intriguing. Hope it works for you.

  • I prefer C. And I’d like it even better if it was shortened to “She kept the secret.” The full title tells too much of what’s to come.

    • I like Gillian’s idea: “She kept the secret” Really minimal and draws you in. I want to know more when I hear that.

      • I agree with Teresa. Short and Intriguing…

  • Trust, Betrayal, Foregiveness: A Tale From the American West

  • Bev
    I like this one: A Family Secret: Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness. Great idea to get input!!

  • Agree with previous comment – perhaps something like: Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness: A Western Family’s Secret Tale might be considered.

  • I’m not drawn to “trust, betrayal, nor forgiveness” These words do not draw me — too common these days. I do like: FAMILY SECRETS FROM THE AMERICAN WEST. The Secrets part is compelling and intriguing. The American West is nostalgic and full of mystery.

  • I was considering ‘B’, but the word “Forgiveness”in the title gives me the impression that there will be forgiveness at the end.

    So I thought of something like this:

    A Family Secret: Is There Room for Forgiveness?

  • I like B. A Family Secret: Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness best!

    A Family Secret: A Courageous Trail of Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness
    An Open Door To Forgiveness: A Western With A Point
    Courageous Concealments: A Tale of Trust, Betrayal and Forgiveness

  • Wow! Thank you so much for your responses! This is fabulous! I will be pondering about all of this over the next week while I am on vacation.

  • I don’t like C. The others are all OK, but what I keep wanting to do is to flip B into Trust, Betrayal Forgiveness: A Family Secret

    • Same here.

  • “A” is what caught my attention. How exciting is the stage you are at, Bev!

  • Maybe. The Secret She Kept, a western tale
    Gillian’ suggestion

So, what do you think?

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