Free Advice

FreeAdviceNot free advice for you. Free advice for me!

We’ve had some fun in the past trying to figure out a book cover or title. Let’s do it again.

In my Two Sisters and a Journalist series, all of the titles begin with the word Murder. The book I’m currently writing will have a lottery theme running throughout as Mama goes overboard buying scratch-off tickets. A murder will be connected to the lottery as well. There won’t be any jackpot drawings; everything revolves around scratch-off tickets. I prefer to keep the word Lottery out of the title.

So far, I’ve come up with these titles:

Murder Is A Numbers Game (However, I don’t really want another title that begins with “Murder Is.”)
Murder Unlucky
Murder Wins the Game
Murder Scratches the Game
Murder by Chance
Murder by Scratch

I’m leaning toward Murder Wins the Game or Murder Scratches the Game. Scratch is a term also used to cancel, eliminate, dismiss, etc., so I think it works physically and figuratively … but I’m not 100% sold on it. Which do you prefer? Or did you think of something else?

As for the cover … There are no people on the covers in this series. The backgrounds are less vibrant colors. I’m leaning toward a dusky green on this one simply because of the money/greed aspect of the story. (You can see all the covers for the series in the right sidebar of my home page.)

I’ve ruled out lottery balls with numbers. Mama has a lucky scratcher with a four-leaf clover in it, so I tried several four-leaf clovers on the lottery_ticket_bloodcover with a lottery ticket that has blood dripping from the top. Even with the blood, it’s cheesy enough to impart a “lighter mystery” feel, which is what I want. We all know I love cheesy!

However, I think I like the idea of a vault in the morgue, with the body pulled out feet first, and a lottery ticket hanging as the toe tag.

It’s hard to know what works until you see it. If you have any ideas, please share!

My standard disclaimer is to ask that you not be offended if I don’t use your idea(s), and please don’t expect anything other than a free book if I do use your idea(s).

Thanks for brainstorming with me!

P.S. – For all the friendly wisenheimers out there, whom I’ve come to know and love, Hunter will not be part of the title. Nor will any body parts. Thank you very much.


49 thoughts on “Free Advice

  1. I like both of your preferred options – not much help am I 😉

    also – Murder Prize ; or Murder by Numbers

    I’m not creative when it comes to cover pictures – I like the sound of the ticket dangling from the toe but I need to see options and then flag one if you get what I mean xx

    • Your titles have been added to the list, Annie. I like Murder by Numbers.

      I have three mock-ups I did for my cover artist. I almost posted them here, but they are pretty rough and look way beyond cheesy. If I get some better looking ideas, I’ll share. 🙂

  2. I like the morgue idea with a scratch off as the toe tag, cheesy for you, but it’s in the details.
    As for a title. Hm, Murder Takes The Win, or, Murder, A Scratch Away (a play on your titles), or,
    Murder Gets Lucky.

  3. So glad you’re back Maddie!

    Four leaf murder
    Murder ticket
    Murder stub
    Murder by luck/scratch/draw/chance
    Murder win, lose or dead
    Murder gets lucky
    murder wins
    Murder wins big
    Murder for the win
    Murder jackpot
    Murder uncovered/revealed/


  4. Well, hi!!! Good to see you! I like the lottery ticket hanging from the toe. That’s good. As for title…this is just off the top of my head…Luck of the Scratch…instead of Luck of the Draw. Ok, that’s pretty cheesy. Hmm..I think Murder by Number is already overused too much. I think of The Police song. 🙂 I like Jackie’s idea…A Scratch Away. Sorry, I’m probably not much help!

  5. I thought of Murder from Scratch, because it brings in another meaning of scratch, as in cooking. It sounds like an original murder plot was cooked up from raw ingredients.
    I really really liked my idea until I read funnyblogguy’s comment about a “feminine scratch”. Now I’m like, eww.

  6. From your list, I like Murder Unlucky … short & sweet for a cover. Then again, when is murder ever lucky? From the comments, I like Jackie’s Murder Gets Lucky. Good luck!

  7. I think “A Ticket To The Morgue” would work well with your toe-tag cover idea.

    Another cover idea: close-up of a scratch ticket with maybe 4 out of 6 boxes scratched off, each of the 4 revealing the black outline of a dead body (cliche “broken doll” shape one often sees in chalk outlines in a TV murder scene). You could have a coin near the ticket, and the upturned palm of a hand with a thin stream of blood running under it. Clear implication: a murder victim who was in the act of scratching off a ticket when he was dispatched.

    Good luck, dear Maddie!! : )

    • If I wasn’t starting every book with the word Murder, Ticket to the Morgue would be perfect! I shall send your idea of the scratched ticket with the coin to my cover artist. If we don’t go with the toe tag idea, this is definitely an idea to consider. Thank you, Mark! Give my regards to Busker!

  8. How about “Murder’s the Ticket” ? Especially if you do the ticket as toe tag cover art.

    P.S. So excited to get back online and find out there are more books of yours out for me to read!! Your hard work = a lovely afternoon reading for me 🙂

    • Oh, that’s good! Murder’s -or- Murder Is the Ticket would work well. I’ll add it to the list! Thank you. 🙂

      You are so sweet to read my books. I truly appreciate your support. I’m rebuilding my follow list. A ton of it disappeared while I was on hiatus. I just popped over to follow you again!

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