Title Me!

What do you do when you finish a book (finished except for the last chapter which still needs more work) and the sales department doesn’t like the title and wants you to come up with a new one?  Fast?  Again?

You do what I’m doing.  You beg for help and dangle some fun incentives to reward your readers and friends for brainstorming ideas with me.

My July ’09 book about Tiana Tomlinson, the entertainment host of America Tonight, needs a great pithy title.  Everyone at my publishing house still gushes over the title, Flirting with Forty.  In their minds, its the perfect title and they’d name all my books Flirting with Forty except we’ve used it already and can’t use it again.  So what we need is a great, punchy, catchy, commercial, fun, title for Tiana’s book and we need it soon.

To thank you for your help brainstorming, everyone who makes a suggestion gets entered to win the Title Me! prize of a plush tropical Pottery Barn beach towel, a signed copy of The Frog Prince, a $15 Starbucks drink card and my JP summer water bottle.

If my publishers actually pick your suggestion as the new title for my book, that contributor would win a signed copy of Mrs. Perfect, a handblown blue glass ornament from Murano, Venice, and a $50 B&N gift card, and a sneak peek at the book before it’s released.

So there’s two ways to win something fun, and most importantly, you’d have my eternal gratitude.

A little more on Tiana’s story which is set in Los Angeles:  She’s a 38 year old beauty who has hosted America Tonight for seven years and has been single since being widowed as a newlywed.  She’s dating a hot young actor in the beginning of the book but behind the tabloid pictures things aren’t going so well.  Her show ratings are down and she’s losing her younger viewers.  Management wants to overhaul her show and bring in a younger female anchor to co-host.  Her agent is pressuring her into getting her face done.  Her hot sexy boyfriend is behaving strangely.  And things unravel from there.

So, ideas?  Suggestions?  I’m hoping to put together a brainstorm list for my editor and send to her on Monday.   Email me with you ideas or put them here in the comment section.  I appreciate all your help as always.  You guys rock.


  1. Here’s a some..

    “Enticing Youth”
    “Chasing Youth”
    “Sinking in the Fountain of Youth”
    “The Aging and the Restless”
    “Youthful Takeover”
    “Sinking Youth”
    “The Young Takedown”

  2. Facial Expressions

    It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be


    Youthful Age

    Ageless Youth

    The Young and the Rested (I know, weak!)

    This is fun and will be on my mind for a while so if I think of anymore, I’ll let you know.

    OH, and my neighbor said you mailed her something else and she was thrilled! Thanks for keeping her on your mailing list! : )

  3. Some suggestions:

    Turning Back Time
    Turning Back The Clock
    Growing Down
    Cheating Time
    Underneath It All
    Facing It
    Skin Deep
    In This Skin
    My Façade
    My Façade Life
    Beauty Mark
    Looks Are Everything
    Fending Off Forty
    Battling Beauty
    The Beauty Battle
    Yearning For Youth

  4. By the way, my suggestion of “My Facade Life” was supposed to have Facade crossed out, but the strike through feature didn’t translate when the blog comment posted. 🙂

  5. Here are a few. This is a very fun idea. Whatever the title is I cannot wait to find out what happens to Tiana.

    Testing Tiana
    Troubling Tiana
    Tianas Triumphs
    Better with Age

  6. A couple of suggestions from me:

    “Behind The Scenes Of America Tonight”


    “Unraveling America Tonight”

    Good luck with your book.

  7. What fun!
    Hope you find something perfect!

    How about
    Figuring it out fast- Again!

    Your own words from your blog made me chuckle : )

  8. Hmm… Sounds like Tiana’s going to have lots of
    confrontations with her boyfriend, agent, and
    the show’s producers, as well as her own insecurities, maybe?

    She’s also facing (gulp) aging in a youth-oriented
    business. So starting with your original “More Than A Pretty Face”, and the confrontation issues, I came around to “FACE-OFF”

    I ran “FACE-OFF” past thesaurus.com and got this:

    Main Entry: confrontation
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: A face-to-face, usually hostile meeting.
    Synonyms: encounter

    Seems to hit all the points you gave us. Whatcha think?

  9. Hi Jane! I happen to like your original title and think it works well but I guess I don’t know as much as the pubs do 😉

    Anyway, here goes:

    The Age of Grace
    Tempting Tiana
    Don’t Judge A Book…
    Tossing Pennies in the Fountain of Youth
    Young Again
    Laugh Lines

    I’ll try to think of some more. Good luck!!

  10. Jane,

    I’m someone who happens to love the original title – you can tell your publishers that!

    However, that being said, what about …














    Okay, Jane, here are some suggestions (my husband helped). If you like any, they’re mine. If you don’t, they came from him.

    -Kathleen Irene Paterka

  11. ok here’s a few titles I was thinking about:):)

    *Tiana Tomlinson’s Troubled Thirties

    *Where do I go from here?

    *Don’t Make Me A Has been

    *Once A Beauty Queen, Always A Beauty Queen

    *It’s not too late at thirty-eight (or 38 whatever you prefer)

    that’ll do….:):) good luck love Jenn:):)

  12. Tiana triumphs
    Tiana’s Dilemma
    Tiana’s Promise
    Heart and Soul
    Star Queen
    Facets of Beauty
    Starting Over

  13. Hi Jane! here’s some ideas…

    About Face
    Skin Deep
    Something to Talk About
    Botox Battles
    Talk is Cheap
    Forty Winks

  14. Ah, gee, I’m terrible at titles!

    America’s Sweetheart- or- Hollywood Sweetheart
    The Trouble With Tiana
    38 Special
    This Side Of Thirty
    Forty Becomes Her

    Good Luck! I’m sure you’ll find a fabulous title with everyone’s help!

  15. Ooh… titles are so hard!! What about a TV-themed title?

    In Full Color
    Close Up
    [or does Tiana have a signature saying on her show that could be used for a title?]
    Camera Shy
    Tuning In
    Tuning Out

    That’s all my brain can come up with now!

  16. Wow, there are some really good titles listed above…
    here are my thoughts

    * Fade to Forty
    * Time and Beauty Pass
    * The Superficial Blues
    * Passing Beauty

    Good luck Jane!

  17. Well here are a few of my thoughts for the title:

    – “Facing Reality”
    – “Not so hot, tonight”
    – “Fearing Fourty”

    Thats all I can think of.

    Take care Jane.

  18. These are really not as good as some listed above but here are few thoughts:
    Fading Gracefully
    Fading into Forty (since they like Flirting With Forty)
    Losing Her Luster

  19. a couple off the top of my head

    Who said 40 is the new 20?

    Surviving Hollywood (when youre past your prime)

    Fade out

    The used to be IT girl

    38 and holding

    Almost forty and still fabulous

    When fashion meets forty

    Anyway, good luck!


  20. Okay heres a couple off the top of my head.

    negative image

    okay there a bit dark, but it sounds like she’ll be thrown for a loop.
    good luck

  21. Almost Forty Finally Fine

    Pushing Forty Feeling Fine

    Figuring it Out Before Forty

    Alright at Almost Forty

    Lost (Youth) and Found (Happiness)

    Tiana Gets Tough Enough

  22. ~ Disappointed Passions ~

    ~ Defining Moments ~

    ~ Passions of Despair ~

    ~ Living the Dream ~
    passion and despair

    ~ Moment of Truth ~

    Thanks Jane!! You’re the BEST!!

  23. Hi Jane!

    The camera never lies

    Beauty and the (can’t think of a word to substitute for Beast)

    Facing the Camera
    Right Side to Camera
    Cracking Forty
    Cracks Starting to Show
    Cracks Beneath the Surface
    More > Skin Deep
    Beauty in the Spotlight
    Laughter Lines
    Papering over the Cracks
    Beauty under Pressure
    Wrong Side of Thirty
    Beauty spots (some kind of play on spotlight)
    Knocked off the Pedestal
    Thirty the new forty
    Frozen at Forty
    Beneath the Surface
    Beauty unanchored
    Holding back time
    Wrong Side to Camera
    Caught on Camera


  24. I’m supposed to be ironing, but:

    Facing Forward
    Best Face Forward
    Camouflaged on Camera
    Flirting with a FaceLift

    Ok, definitely going now.


  25. I also loved the original title…so boo to the publishers who thought it wouldn’t work!!

    More Beautiful With Age

    Ageless Beauty

    Fear of Aging

    What Matters Most

    Finding the Fountain of Youth

    Wow! This is hard! Hope you get some good feedback and find a great title 🙂

    Really looking forward to reading the new book 🙂

    Have an awesome weekend!!

  26. I have one more idea- you could use a title that is one of the tabloid headlines, something really outrageous and eye catching like- “Tiana Tomlinson has Sex on the Beach!” or, whatever fits with the story :o)

  27. Hi Jane,
    I received my groovy hot pink bag, beach towel,book, and fun stuff! Thanks so much.

    As the happy winner of the last contest, here are my suggestions:

    It’s a Wrap
    Leaving Thirty Eight(or whatever number you like in the thirties)
    Script Change
    Beyond the Camera

  28. Suggested titles:

    Flavor of the Month
    Flirty, Fabulous and . . . Almost Forty?
    Show Stopper
    Prime Time
    Passing Prime Time
    Hanging On
    Prime Time Panic
    Media Darlings
    What Have You Done for Me Lately?

  29. Don’t know if you can use this because of the “b-” word, but it sounds like Tiana has a lot to “b” about! —

    The Seven Year Bitch(fest)

  30. Hi Jane,

    Okay, I’m thinking, too!

    Taking Off The Tiara
    More Than A Pretty Face
    The Next Half

    This is harder than I thought !


  31. Titles are so hard when you haven’t read the book, but if the character really embraces the changes/growth she goes through by book’s end, I think an apt title would be:

    Aging Gratefully

  32. Hi Jane,

    I agree – I love the title Flirting with Forty!

    My suggestions & good luck finding the right title.

    Yesterday’s News
    Almost a Has Been
    Ready For Her Close-up
    Close-up and Personal
    Loose Lips

    Again, good luck

  33. Okay, Jane, I’ll give you one if you give me one for my latest. LOL. The title has to start with the word ALL.

    As for you . . .


    In reading through your site, I see lots of changes in your life!

    Stef Ann

  34. “Skin Deep”
    “like a find wine..”
    “underneath it all”
    “turning the page”
    “single, sassy and senile?”
    “over the hill? NOT!!!”

  35. Back again 🙂

    Unreeling the Anchorwoman
    Anchorwoman Unreeled
    Reeling from the News
    Breaking News
    Reeling in the Limelight
    Entertaining 40
    Miss America Tonight – Unreeled
    Reeling from Reality
    Reality Check


  36. Jane,

    Congrats on having this kind of problem! My humble suggestions:

    Tiana Tonight and Tomorrow
    Tiana Tonight…but Tomorrow?
    An Irreplaceable Face (with the “Ir” crossed out)
    An Unforgetable Face (with the “Un” crossed out)
    Facing 38

    BTW: I thought your first title fit fine. It’s so inspiring to read about your books and your career, as one chick lit writer who “made it.”

  37. Show Host vs Co-Host
    Life Beyond America Tonight
    TV Hostess Shares Duties
    Bring On The Show!!
    Beauty Vs Brains
    Age Versus Beauty
    Age Versus Youth
    One For the Money, Two for the Show
    Lights, Camera, Action(I think there is a book titled this)
    Tiana’s Spotlight
    Going, Going….Here to Stay
    Tiana’s Comeback

    * I read all the entries, honestly, and hope I never suggested some of them.

  38. Jane, I find one of the hardest parts of writing is coming up with titles. Hope these help:

    Once Upon a Star

    Shooting Star

    To Catch a Falling Star

    To Catch a Fallen Star

    Once Upon a Kiss

    Kiss & Tell

    Sitting Pretty

    Pretty Baby

  39. Hi Jane:
    Here are my suggestions.

    America’s Beauty
    Not Just Another Pretty Face
    Coming Attraction
    Beauty Mark

    and…just for fun
    (sounds like a porno..ha)
    Good luck!

  40. Hi Jane, this is my first post how about

    Hollywood has been
    Mrs. Hollywood
    Helpless in Hollywood
    Saving Face
    Hollywood Hotshot
    Simply Hollywood
    Hollywood Hottie

  41. My first idea is:

    Thirtyish and Thriving

    But then I looked up stuff on film slang, and this is what I came up with:

    1) Second Banana (cute)

    2) Overexposed (Tiana is obviously this!!)

    3) Above the Line (usually refers to that part of a film’s budget that covers the costs associated with MAJOR creative talent–is Tiana “above the line”? or “below the line”?)

    4) Redlighted (refers to a film project that was in production, but lost its financial backing – resulting in a premature abandonment by the studio–sounds like Tiana to me!)

    5) One Woman Show

    6) Fading In (from complete black to full exposure; a ‘fade in’ is often at the beginning of a sequence, and a ‘fade out’ at the end of a sequence–so it’s an optimistic title–Tiana’s life is being re-created–ironically “fading in” at the end of the book??).

    7) Flash in the Pan (very cute)

    8) Bit Part (maybe too negative to be cute)

    9) Magic Hour (the optimum time for filming romantic or magical scenes due to ‘warm’ and ‘soft’ lighting conditions–perfect for aging” actresses!!!! But the phrase also has such hopeful overtones. Tiana is entering “the magic hour” of her life)

    10) Cross-over–(something that appeals to more than one genre, which is what you sometimes have to do to survive in the entertainment business! Maybe Tiana gets a new audience by the end of the book, thanks to her resourcefulness. But Tiana is also “crossing over” that divide from young woman to mature woman–cool concept)

  42. Sounds like a book I’d love to read.

    Younger, skinnier, me

    Aging Audrey Hepburn

    My life behind the camera

    Ageless beauty

    Avoiding the fall

    Replacing Tiana

    Age does matter

    This is hard work! Lynn

  43. Putting on a Brave Face

    Goodnight from Ms America Tonight? (bit confusing)

    Two Faces of Tianna
    Tianna’s Two Faces
    Two-faced Tianna (I just think the artwork could be fun with this with Tianna holding up a mask or something)

    Face Of(Or Off with the second ‘f’ struck through) Forty

    Sue… fast running out of ideas

  44. Jane,
    How about:
    Chasing Fame
    Goodnight, America
    Fame and Forty

    Does she have a tag line that she ends her show with? That may work.


    So many titles! So of course I’ve got to add some!

    How about . . .
    Blame it on High Def
    Camera, Ready, Fake!
    Botox or Bust
    Camera, Action, Plastic Smile
    Perpetual Smile
    Pretty Face
    Pretty Is
    Faking Out
    The Big Fake
    The Big Reveal
    Plastic Lies
    Love or Bust
    Flirting with Disaster
    Flirting with Botox
    Courting Plastic
    Courting America
    Courtship with America

    Have Fun!

  46. Make Me Over
    Making Tiana Over
    Don’t Make Me Over
    No Makeover Required
    Making Myself Over
    Stop the Makeover
    Perfectly Perfect
    Practically Perfect
    Imperfectly Perfect
    Perfectly Flawed
    Under Pressure
    Chasing Ratings
    Tiana’s New Show

    Getting worse as I go,

  47. Purrfect Thirty
    Being in YOur Prime is Not a Crime
    Delicious Innocence
    Tiana in Training
    Looking for Me
    Living on the Edge
    Tiana’s Treasure
    Tiana’s Little Secret
    Bright Lights, Big Lis
    My Time to Live
    From here to Maturity

  48. Hi Jane!
    There are some fantastic suggestions here. So many, in fact I hesitate to add mine to the pile. But, nothing ventured nothing gained, so her goes.

    * Just Below the Surface
    * A Moments Passing
    * Prime Example
    * Just Don’t Ask “What’s Next?”

    Best of luck, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect pattern of words to form the title for Tiana’s story.


  49. Hey everyone, these are all so good! I love ’em and am compiling a huge list to send to my editor in the morning. I’ll keep you posted on results. Thank you to all!!


  50. Hi Jane, you have some great suggestions on here already. I’m been thinking about this for a few days, in fact I had to get up the other night to right down my thoughts LOL!

    Here are a few thoughts:

    The Struggling Cougar
    The Cougar Lossing Her Edge
    Cougar No More
    Thirty, Flirty and Thriving
    The Cutting Edge
    Falling of the Edge
    Falling From The Top
    Cuts Like a Knife
    The Botox Babe
    Hollywood Hottie
    Beauty and Brains in LA
    Little Miss Can’t Do Wrong
    Little Miss Can’t Do Right

    Good luck and I’ll keep thinking!

  51. Dethroning a Primetime Princess
    Fading Spotlights
    The Prime Time Coup
    Past Her Prime Time
    Wishing on a TV Star
    Limelight Lessons
    A Change of Scenery

  52. This is REALLY hard! Here are some ideas to run with…..or not 🙂

    Take 38

    Generation Tinsel

    Tinsel Tinted Lip Gloss

    The Tinsel Age

    Dancing in Tinsel High Heels

    Tinsel Colored Glasses

    The Woman Behind the Tinsel

    Tinsel Dreams

    Show Me The Tinsel!

    Tinsel Sparkle

  53. Hi Jane!!
    How about America’s Sweetheart? or
    I Am Not Dead Yet?

    P.S. it was great seeing you tonight.

  54. Title Me!
    1.Face This: I will survive, just Watch & See.
    2.So Tell Me What You Really Think about Me? 3 Decades of excellence.
    3. Beauty;Only Face Deep, So What!
    4.Survival; One Day In The Life of a Talk Show Host.
    5. Face First& @ My Prime
    6. You have Got To Be Kidding Me!30 Something is Poppin!

  55. Jane,
    I am a huge fan & thank you for forwading your care packeages w your up & coming latest arrivals.Currently Odd Mom Out, love it.But as my neighbor Stepahnie Elliott shared w/you my all time favorite is Flirty With Forty. I have lent it out 4times.I had to go to Maui & Surf this summer. Lucky for me it was an awards trip.It was a must! “Kai” was all I could think about, I was deranged.However I was w my husband & 3 Children. My instructor’s were pretty good looking, my husband kept asking me if I saw the Bulldog Tatoo,like Kai’s? Joking of course. “Kai” was our standing joke.Where do you come up w these stories? I have a many. Especially w/in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Some jucy ones too. Any how take care & keep those can’t put down books coming! It makes my day & I love to laugh when I read, thank your inspiration.

  56. Hello Jane,
    Whatever you title your book…I’ll read! it:)
    Coming in at #101…

    Station Break
    Changing Channels
    Remote Control
    Late Night Channel Surfing

    Wishing you only the best…
    Mary J.

  57. Hi Jane, Here are a few title ideas:







  58. Love your books Jane! I too like your original title. I know I’m a little late but thought I’d throw this out there.

    “More Than You Know”

  59. Hey Jane –

    Great idea and I hope I am not too late…

    “Hollywood Hangups”
    “Flirting with Fame”
    “Reality Check”
    “Flirting with Temptations”
    “Struggling with Perfection”
    “Struggling with Secrets”
    “The Hidden Truth”

    Okay there are a few off the top of my head! Good luck~


  60. Hi Jane,

    I finally found where I am suppose to post the suggestion, Yeah. I suck at the internet.

    Well here it is:

    Oh So Pretty!

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