Thursday, July 11, 2013

Taglines that'll hook your readers

Tag lines vs Log Lines

A link to an article in the Weekend Edition a while back gave me an idea for a fun writing exercise for Seekerville that will help us all pitch our books.

We’ve talked about 30 word pitches or one sentence pitches—this article called them ‘loglines’.

Your book boiled down to one or two sentences.

But we’ve never talked much about ‘taglines’. This is less of a pitch than a really short  hook.

A tagline is more about emotion than real description. It is going after a visceral reaction.

The idea is to sum up the tone…to brand it. And do it well enough that people will remember.

Some classic movie taglines:

In space, no one can hear you scream. Aliens

One ring to rule them all. Lord of the Rings

To boldly go where no man has gone before. Star Trek

If you’ve got a taste for terror, take Carrie to the prom. Carrie

Don’t go in the water. Jaws

The list is life. Schindler’s List

Not every gift is a blessing. The Sixth Sense

Collide with destiny. Titanic

The last man on earth is not alone.  I Am Legend

There can be only one. Highlander

An adventure 65 million years in the making. Jurassic Park

Protecting the earth from the scum of the universe. Men in Black

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hurl. Wayne’s World

I started playing around with taglines for my books.

Swept Away ~ The thin line between revenge and justice (except that captures none of the romance and none of the comedy)

Swept Away ~ Love and laughter in the old west (except that describes every book I’ve ever written…plus I stole it from Margaret Brownley.)

Swept Away ~ He's heading for the fight of his life and he's bringing a date. (okay that’s just stupid)

Swept Away ~ Can a band of brothers survive when a sassy cowgirl wants to join their fight?

Now I'm showing you the one Bethany House used on my bookmarks. He rescued her from nearly drowning but now this handsome cowboy might be the one who needs saving.

I found some great taglines on the books on my shelves.

A Harvey Girl waits on love…from A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California by Erica Vetsch

A daring rescue. A difficult choice…from The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

Her heart is tied to a youthful vow…but can true love set it free?...from A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

When romance calls will she choose to answer?...from When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

Seth Kincaid remembers almost everything…except getting married…from Over the Edge by Mary Connealy

Outlaws and in-laws face off on the Texas frontier…from Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy

The log lines or 30 word pitches are more straightforward and not as much fun.

Here are a few to compare.

TITANIC Logline…A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic.

Tagline… Collide with destiny

I am Legend logline…A terrible virus has spread across the planet and turned the human race into bloodthirsty monsters. Mankind's only hope for survival is scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith), the one person left unaffected by the epidemic. When he's not fighting for his life against the hordes of the infected, Neville searches for a cure to reverse the virus's effects -- all the while battling his own doubt and despair as he spends every day alone.

Tagline …The last man on earth is not alone.

Jurassic Park – Logline…Two scientists visit a theme park with dinosaurs until the power fails and the dinosaurs get out and wreak havoc.

Tagline… An adventure 65 million years in the making.  

So now, today, let’s try out some taglines for our own work. And if we want to revise and play with each others, punch up the tagline of other commenters, let's have at it and see if we can come up with lots of great taglines.

I’m giving away a signed copy of my latest release A Bride for All Seasons…tagline…It all started with an ad in a Mail Order Bride Catalogue. Buy it HERE

Any comments gets your name in drawing. A comment containing a tagline will get you entered twice. Being brave doubles your chances to win.


Clari Dees said...

Okay. I'll be brave. Or maybe just sleep-deprived. (But don't put me in the drawing, I already have the Kindle version. :-)

He always gets his man...but this time it's a woman.

Helen Gray said...

Clari, I like that.

Now I'll be brave.

A gunman is after her—and there’s no refuge but God.

Okay, the coffee pot's ready.

Nite, nite.


Amber Perry said...

Hey Mary! I love this post. I didn't know the difference between tagline and logline....I love learning new stuff like this!

Oh sheesh, I am SO bad at this!!!! So, if any of you want to help, that's fine with me!

(OK, fast forward ten minutes...)

I still can't think of anything. Its official, I have failed miserably. LOL I'll keep thinking about it.....any tips on how to put one together?

I'd love to be entered into the drawing! Thank you so much!


Tina Radcliffe said...

No worries, Amber. I totally stink at this.

Christina Rich said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE taglines! If only I could come up with good ones.

She robbed a train....he stole her outlaw heart.

Amber Perry said...

Tina! So glad to know I'm not alone! ;)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Now,Mary, would you say this is the same thing as the hook on the cover of books or is that shorter?

I checked my bookshelf:

Kay Hooper, Whisper of Evil: "If you hear it, it's already too late."

Sparkle Abbey, Desperate Housedogs: "In posh Laguna Beach, murder has gone to the dogs."

Susan Mallery, Almost Perfect: "Could a secret romance really lead to a perfect love?"

Rogenna Brewer, One Night in Reno" "Life is full of unexpected turns."

Virginia Carmichael, Leaving Liberty: "She vowed never to come home again. He vowed never to leave. Never say never in Liberty."

Actually, these are pure genius. Must go practice!

Amber Perry said...

OK, that's too fun. I'm gonna check the books on my shelf.

But I just thought of, here it goes.

Here's the one from the book I'm reading tonight:

Coleen Coble, Safe in His Arms: Sometimes it takes a stranger to see you as you really are.

Amber Perry said...

Uh....somehow my line didn't show up. Let's try again:

Will the truth set her free, or imprison her forever.

Melissa Jagears said...

This was the tagline I put on my one sheet a loooooooong time ago for the novel about to come out:

She works hard to deserve a place under his roof when all he wants for her is to find a place in his arms.

And today, I was informed I was featured in NetGalley's Romance Roundup! and read some marketing person's logline for my book:

After three failed attempts, Everett Cline is not happy when another--uninvited--mail-order bride steps off the train. But is she the wife he's been waiting for?

A lot less wordy than mine was, for sure. :)

Melissa Jagears said...

And Amber, if I hadn't already written that tagline, I'd have had no luck trying to come up with one in a few hours. Taglines seem to just come to me out of nowhere as I ponder my book.....doesn't mean my taglines are any good, just that I can't purposely create them, they have to just "appear" for me to get anywhere with them.

Whoever's job it is to write taglines for publishers--they gotta be seriously awesome is all I'm saying.

Amber Perry said...

HAHA! I totally agree with you, Melissa. Those people have talent! I'm hoping that if I ever get published I won't be asked to come up with one...that could be disastrous.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Great post. I almost woke Man O laughing at your near misses.

Okay, I will be brave too. Working it out as I type.

A heart to heal. A heart to protect.

Too general?

A healer in need of healing. A protector in need of protecting.

Too redundant? Shh, don't tell Grammar Queen.

Fighting love on the homefront

Too murky though it hints at WWII?

Ugh, I need sleep and coffee.

I am in for the drawing.

Peace, Julie

Amber Stokes said...

Fun stuff! :) Thanks for the post, Mary!

Here's my tagline for Bleeding Heart, releasing next month:

Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.

And here's the super special tagline Vince came up for me as an author when he participated in my cover reveal:

Amber Stokes the fires of inspiration!

Pretty epic. ;) Thanks, Vince!!


P.S. Sorry for the deleted comment! I had a wrong link and then I decided to bold my tagline instead of italicizing, since that's what everyone else is doing. :)

karenk said...

I love all these taglines....

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

FIRST: I am loving A Bride for all Seasons!!!! What a great collection, Mare!!!!!

If you haven't bought this book yet... DO IT. I'm not kidding, it's just a wonderful treat, I love it!

Okay, taglines.

Oh. Ouch.

Let's see:

Two races: One school. One team. One dream. "Remember the Titans" (A Ruthy favorite)

When death inspires life: "Winter's End" Ruth Logan Herne (that's me, btw)

Oh, this is hard.

Oh, grr... I might need more coffee.

My family would disagree and say I'm caffeine-tanked enough. What do they know????? :)

Hey, the Cinnamon-crust Cheesecake is here again... And I've put the recipe on Yankee Belle Cafe

Oh my stars, not carb-friendly but so stinkin' good! Dig in!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

JHS!!!! I was editing today and removed a REDUNDANCY because of GQ's visit!!!!!

I came.

I saw.

I conquered!!!! DELETE!!!!!!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Amber, I love Vince's line! That rocks!

And this is a lot harder than it should be.


Jackie said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing today Mary.

I'll try to stop by with a tagline when my caffeine kicks in.

I love all of your taglines.

Congrats, Melissa!

kaybee said...

Good morning Seeks!
Good post Mary...presentation is so important. We only have one chance to make a good impression.
Here's one I did for "Lost and Found," which is now out at LIH:
Tagline: Violet O'Connell found everything she needed among people who had nothing.
Logline: In working with New York's indigent population, Violet O'Connell, a "daughter of privilege," finds love, her Lord and herself. She knows God wants her to be with Karl Lenski, the director of the settlement house where she works as a nurse. But can Karl trust God enough to let Violet share the risks and perils of his work?
More to come...
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

OK, I'm back, light day at the day job. I'm still struggling with taglines and pitches for "Trail," my Oregon Trail epic opus. I have one that's more comprehensive, including all the main characters and a hint of their struggles. "For four young people in the Westward migration, the secrets they carry are heavier than the baggage in their Conestoga wagons." But I've also been thinking of marketing it with just the main story, which is Michael's and Caroline's. I was playing around with these this morning:
Tagline: The Oregon Trail has hidden dangers -- for the heart.
Logline: Michael had betrayed Caroline's trust, in the worst possible way. Could she trust him to get her to Oregon Country, and could she trust herself to forgive him?
Whatever, it's still early.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

MARY! Enjoyed your article in the ACFW journal. It inspired me to make another attempt at social media (don't ask). I cleaned up my Web site and made it more focused on writing. The social media piece is challenging for a number of reasons, but I'm in there trying.
Love to be entered in drawing, have heard a lot about this book!
Kathy Bailey

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hey, I recognize that tag line, Tina :)

This is fun. I picked up one of my Superromances wondering why they don't have tag lines, except they do on the back just above the book description...

Operation Marriage has to be a go... from one of mine Marry Me, Marine

Something evil has come to Amish country. Danger in Plain Sight by Marta Perry

A second Chance at love--on the run. A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis by Jillian Stone

And for a cover I just designed...

1 shy accountant + 1 outgoing veterinarian + 2 meddling friends = 1 decided marriage of inconvenience. Blind Date Bride by Arlene Hittle

Mary Hicks said...

MaryC, this is a fun post!
I love taglines and I'd love to win a copy of your book.

Here's mine:

'He asked for directions... she detoured his heart.'

She looked into his eyes and knew destiny... his.

She believed in fate... as she planned his.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Audra Harders said...

I kinda like this's so Connealy : )

Swept Away ~ He's heading for the fight of his life and he's bringing a date. (okay that’s just stupid)

Mary Connealy said...

Good Morning, Seekerville!!!!
I had a DREADFUL night's sleep and will no doubt make ZERO sense for a while.
Love sitting here reading all of someone ELSE'S hard work.

Mary Connealy said...

Swept Away
The fight of his life == The girl of his dreams

How's that?

ellenparkerwrites said...

I'll give this a try.

A widow...a veteran...a secret... explode a village's illusions.


Mary Connealy said...

A Bride for all Seasons

He's dying...over her dead body.

A dying man's last request is too stupid for her to consider.

David's got himself dead and buried but she's dragging him back into life.

Mary Connealy said...

Ellen, I like it.

Mary Connealy said...

A Bride for all Seasons...Winter Wedding Bells (my contribution to the anthology)
A lively woman, a dying man, someone's got to give.

A lively woman, a dying man, someone's got to give--and it ain't gonna be her.

Mary Connealy said...

Christina what if yours was just...

He stole her outlaw heart

Mary Hicks said...

Thank you, Ruth... I love playing with words, and by the way, I work 'cheep'. :-D

Mary Connealy said...

Clari and Helen I can't really improve on what you've got (even though it's JOB to do it!)


Mary Connealy said...

AMBER sorry about making you think for ten minutes at 1:30 am.

Mary Connealy said...

Tina I think this is EXACTLY the hook on a bookcover, don't you?

I think that's what a tagline is for?

Mary Connealy said...

MELISSA I like that line. And, ps, I love your book.

I keep thinking they need to be crazy short, but there aren't any hard and fast rules.

Mary Connealy said...

KAYBEE the Oregon Trail book, how about......
Secrets could kill them ... the Oregon Trail could too.

christykennard said...

How fun! I am learning a ton and never even noticed the tag lines on books. After digging through here were a couple of my favorites.

"To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot story..." The Chase by Diann Mills

"A fresh start or a double-cross?" The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry here is me trying to be brave. One for my current project.

She seeks escape but what she finds is refuge.

Geez. That is much harder than I thought. I will keep thinking and see if I can come up with something better.

Jan Drexler said...

This is so much fun! You are all so creative :)

Here are a couple I've been working on (two different stories):

Betrayed, forsaken...can she open her heart again?

His world, or her faith?

Don't put me in for the drawing - I have the book and loved it!

Jeanne T said...

Oh, Mary, you got my brain working on this. It's definitely not one of my strengths. But I'll give it a shot for my story.

Sometimes second chances come in twos.

Sometimes second chances come dressed as twins.

Jeanne T said...

Oops, pressed Publish too soon. :) I love all the taglines here. Maybe one day I'll be as good as some you here. Melissa, I loved yours. :)

JULIE HS, your third one appealed to me. :)

Okay, I'm off and running, getting the littles to swim lessons. I'm looking forward to stopping in later. And, if anyone has suggestions for improving my attempts, I'm all ears!

kaybee said...

MARY, I like that, tks.

Melanie Dickerson said...

I love the Over the Edge one: Seth Kincaid remembers almost everything ... except getting married. So funny! And so perfect for the story!

I like the one a friend helped me think of for The Healer's Apprentice: When destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love's kiss. I still love that one! Zondervan even put it on my bookmarks. :-)

Right now I'm trying to add to my WIP's plot, which seems too simple and needs more complications. :P But taglines are always a fun distraction. :-) My Cinderella meets Ivanhoe story needs a tagline. Here's one: She rescues the knight's horse--and steals his heart. :-) Kind of cheesy, but that's all I can think of at the moment.

kaybee said...

Mary, I still like it.
This is one of the trickiest parts of writing -- to sum up what you've got in as few words as possible, whether it's the tag line, the elevator pitch, the back-cover copy, what ever. When I did Pitchapalooza last year, I got cut off -- went over my 30 seconds (that's write, 30 seconds). It's hard when you've got a complex piece, but I guess that's the point.
Kathy Bailey
Economical with words in New Hampshire

Laurie Tomlinson said...

Okay, I'm going to be brave because I think I'm terrible at this...

Being single and unemployed can seem like the end of the world. But sometimes it’s actually the beginning…

Just FYI, one author I think is genius at hooks/taglines is Jenny B. Jones!

Marianne Barkman said...

I have read and am reviewing this book, just want to stop and say how much fun it was to read the tag lines!

Mary Connealy said...

She seeks escape but what she finds is refuge.

I like that.
How about:
She seeks escape and finds is refuge.

Mary Connealy said...

Being single and unemployed can seem like the end of the world. But sometimes it’s actually the beginning…

At the end of the world, she begins
At the end of the world, she finds a place to begin

Tina Radcliffe said...

Gosh, I love that your post is bringing all our lurkers out today.

I vote we give away another copy of A Bride For All Seasons. I volunteer to give it away.


Janet Dean said...

Fun post, Mary! I love taglines. You gave great examples.

Love Inspired always puts a tagline on the cover. My debut Courting Miss Adelaide's tagline fit the story perfectly: Some things are worth waiting for...

The tagline from my April release, The Bride Wore Spurs has generated some comments: Married by Necessity.


Melissa Jagears said...

Ha Mary, "Crazy short" is NOT something I'm good at. :)

And thanks for loving my book, it even says you do on the front page. :) And I'm ALL DONE with it, makes me love it even more. :)

I should work on my current WIP's tagline, since I cheated with my first being it was already done. I'll have to ponder and see if I can come up with anything.

Melanie Pike said...

I don't think I'm brave enough to try... ;-)

Mary, I love your examples for SWEPT AWAY, especially "Swept Away ~ He's heading for the fight of his life and he's bringing a date". Made me smile because I enjoyed that book soooo much!

Okay, here is my extremely lame attempt:

She's afraid to love again...and he's in love for the first time.

As I said, LAME. Especially compared to the ones everyone else has posted. Makes me want to read them ALL!

Would love to win the book, so please toss my name into the Stetson.


Dianna Shuford said...

Hi Mary! Issuing challenges today, huh? Okay, I'll play.

Here are my taglines from three different stories in various stages of development. You'll probably be able to tell which story I've spent the least amount of time on, but I'm sure you'll be kind so I'm throwing it out here anyway.

My Taglines:

A dangerous plan or a fatal mistake? --Charmed Deception (R-S)

Not all calls to the prayer line are safe. –Hidden Deception (R-S)

Will real-estate renovations lead to love or war? --Renovated Dreams (Cont)

Now, I can say I braved the wild and wacky Seekerville waters! LOL

Julie Lessman said...

MARY!!! I'm with Christina ... "I LOVE LOVE LOVE taglines!"

SOOOOO fun and furious!! And, AMBER PERRY, I promise you before the day is through, you will come up with some good ones, my friend, so hang in there!!

JULIE H.S. -- Oh, man, I'm lovin' everybody's taglines and like you, I chuckled over Mary's near misses too!! But then I love everything Mary comes up with!!

RUTHY ... LOVE the cinnamon crust cheesecake AND the tag line for Winter's End!! Only you can make death enjoyable ...

AMBER ... that Vince is a genius, isn't he, though???


Melissa Jagears said...

Here's the logline: When his partner’s retail-savvy mail-order bride arrives while the groom is away, a struggling mercantile owner falls in love while thieves threaten to put him out of business.

Possible Tagline:

Is giving up on love for a dream worth the cost?

Julie Lessman said...

MARY HICKS ... I'm with Ruthy ... you got a knack, girl!!

AUDRA ... I'm with you on my favorite of Mary's too. It's just SO Mary!! :)

MARY -- The fight of his life == The girl of his dreams. PRETTY DARN GOOD for someone who didn't sleep last night ...

CHRISTINA ... I really like Mary's suggestion for yours: He stole her outlaw heart. VERY CUTE!!


Julie Lessman said...

Mary, you are SUCH a natural at this, but I have to admit that I love tag lines too. My very favorite of the ones I've written is from A Hope Undaunted:

What happens when the boy she loved to hate ... becomes the man she hates to love?

Other favorites from my books are:

No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought. (A Passion Redeemed)

The ring on her hand belongs to one man … but her heart belongs to another. (A Heart Revealed)

Fooled by a pretty boy once, shame on him. Fooled by a pretty boy twice, shame on me. (Love at Any Cost)

Soooooooooo fun!!! What a GREAT topic!!


Elaine Manders said...

I love these taglines. I'm on vacation, but had to chime in on this great topic.

For my unpublished but almost ready to go western, Pursed.

"He would never find love without first being pursued."

Sorry, don't know how to do bold and no time to find out. If someone catches me with this laptop, I'm going to be ducked in the gulf.

---but that sounds like fun.

Don't put me in the drawing. Already won.

Dianna Shuford said...

For Laurie (Not that I'm an expert or anything)- How about...

At the end of hope, her life begins.
When hope disappears, her life is renewed.

(Figuratively speaking, it's not the end of her world, but the end of her hope, right?)

Susan Anne Mason said...

What fun today! I'm lousy at this too, but here goes...

Tagline: Boldness starts with the first step.

Logline: In 1911 Long Island, two sisters searching for independence and love must risk alienating their controlling father.

You see how I need help! LOL.

AMBER PERRY, I thought your attempt was great! But as you can see, I'm not an expert.

Love seeing the brilliant minds at work.

Have a good one. And please throw my name in the hat.

sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Mary Connealy said...

Melissa how about:
Third time...not so charming

Mary Connealy said...



Mary Connealy said...

You all know my book Out of Control is currently free as an ebook, right? Right?
Race over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or WHERE EVER YOU BUY EBOOKS and snag a copy.

All I ask is please, please, please, don't write me and tell me (when you're finished) it wasn't worth the price. That stings

Mary Connealy said...


Her second chance to love is his first chance at a broken heart.

They risks their heart as they risk their lives.


Sherri Shackelford said...

These are great! I wish I had the gift of taglines :)

Mary Connealy said...

I think it's okay to just catch a mood, you don't have to say it exactly.

I was mulling over the Titanic tagline

What that made me think was how much SHORTHAND can go into a tagline if everyone already knows your story, right?

I mean COLLISION WITH DESTINY is fantastic and yet if you didn't know the fact that the Titanic is going to collide with an ice berg those three words wouldn't mean much.

Mary Connealy said...

I love that some of these taglines become so classic.

Don't go in the water

Who doesn't know what that's about?

One Ring to Rule them all....

To boldly go where no man has gone before

Mary Connealy said...

I've been reading spy novels.

How about this (you understand there's no book, right?)

A journey of 1000 miles begins when assassins kick in your door.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yeah, nothing like a reviewer who gets a free book and then gives you a one star becauseGee! It's an INSPIRATIONAL!!!!

Melissa Jagears said...

Aw! I thought that was perfect, Mary ...until I remembered it's actually the fourth time.

Mary Connealy said...

Calico Canyon (making these up)

Only an avalanche can keep this marriage together

The Husband Tree She's burying them as fast as she can

or maybe: She buries a husband and another pops up.

Mary Connealy said...

Over the Edge

Crazy can be fun

Mary Connealy said...

Or maybe Over the Edge

She's crazy about him. He's just crazy

Vince said...

Hi Seeker Fans:

I whipped up a little Seeker Quiz this morning. I’ll give a logline and if it is any good, you should know which book it is about. If the author does not even know, then I fail. : (

But first a little warm up:

“Then there was the romance writing lifeguard who threw her drowning victim a tagline instead of a lifeline and hooked an editor into a three book deal.”

Loglines for Seeker Books

1. “Where Charity begins by stealing her sister’s beau.”

2. “Should a young widower and his adorable children risk their hearts by welcoming another breast cancer victim into their lives?”

3. “God may have given the atonement husband a second chance but will his wife allow him the opportunity to heal her damaged heart?”

4. “A good girl has to choose between two notorious bad boys with the future of many lives at stake.”

5. “The place where a girl always gets a chance to bury her mistakes.”

6. “Will competing for the same job land two hearts in Paradise?”

7. “Can happiness be found when you sell your dreams to make your love one’s dreams come true?”

8. “Can a hard bitten cowboy find happiness with a wily widow and her four daughters – when all can out shoot, out think and out rope him?”

9. “A youngster learns that a dog’s life is nothing to bark about.”

10. “Will the love that God has brought together be driven apart by His own plans.”

You get 10 points for each right answer. If an author is listed above more than once, it does not mean I like her more. It just means her books tickle my creative fancy.

Now for my own WIPs. (I do write, you know?)

“A Cosmic black moment knocks all the characters out of their romance novels and into a world where no one can prove if they are real or fictional. Should you risk your heart on loved one who may be fictional?” “Characters in a Romance” (120,000 words)

“Will being stranded in a cabin with a virgin, ex-nun, romance writer subject Special Forces Captain Eric Hanson to more conflict than he can stand?”
“Stranded in a Cabin with a Romance Writer” (55,000 words).

“The vampire detective discovers that the woman he loves can only be kept alive by being bitten by a vampire which always results in the vampire’s death.” “Three of our Vampires are Missing” (45,000 words). Parts of the manuscript are lost. : (

Now in closing I’d like to quote what the pantser said about her new book:

“If you don’t like the ending, don’t blame me. I didn’t see it coming either.”


P.S. Doesn't Mary always write the most fun posts? Brava!

Vince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Connealy said...

Fired Up, book #2 in the Trouble in Texas Series, coming in September (sometimes they ship early!)

His smoldering heart. Her smoldering roast beef

She found the way to his heart, despite what she did to his stomach.

He can cook, and it's a darned good thing

The fire in the kitchen doesn't reach her heart

Billowing black smoke may cloud their chance at love

Someone's trying to kill him, and that's not counting her bad cooking

Mary Connealy said...

VINCE I recognize mine. I recognize most of them.

I won't say my guesses though, wouldn't want to ruin the fun. LOL

Did you really write a vampire novel? I love the tagline for it.

They're all good. I'd buy them right now!!

Special Forces and an ex-nun?

People step out of a romance novel?
These are so creative and GREAT!

Mary Connealy said...

MELISSA...will the fourth time be the charm?

The fourth time is the charm

The fourth time is the charm, if she can't stand to try a fourth time

Sherida Stewart said...

Faithfully following the trails of two promises becomes one path of glittering love.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I really like number 7, Vince. Well done!!!!!

Kav said...

Crazed would-be author grapples tagline writer's block...and loses.

That's my personal tagline and I'm sticking to it! I've given up on figuring out one for what I'm writing now. So there!

Though I will admit to being amazed at the way y'all have pulled ones together. This is so not a good exercise for a word rambler.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great post MARY. Too much work for me at the moment. LOL I have a hard enough time thinking of taglines when I have to. To do it for fun?????

VINCE did a great one for LOVE'S MIRACLES.

When Lives are Shattered by War
Love Needs to Work Its Miracles
Just As Love Provided
Healing in the Past
Love is Still Doing it Today!


Mary Hicks said...

This is soooo much fun! I do a little work, run back here to read the latest, do a little more work and run back here... This is going to be a long day!

Can I call it my work-out and skip the gym??

Thanks, Julie for your comment.:-)

Kav said...

Vince - my garden hates you! I couldn't let this one alone but you still stumped me. Hints please.

1. A Passion Most Pure and or A Passion Redeemed.

2. The Lawman's Second Chance by Ruth Logan Herne

3. The Bossy Bridegroom by Mary Connealy.

4. I'm thinking this is Faith O'Connor in ...but the future lives at stake has me a bit confused.

5. “The place where a girl always gets a chance to bury her mistakes.”

6. Mending the Doctor's Heart by Tina Radcliffe

7. Small-Town Hearts by Ruth Logan Herne

8. The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy

9. “A youngster learns that a dog’s life is nothing to bark about.”

Ack -- can't figure this one out. Who has a dog as a main character in her story? Give me a hint.

10. “Will the love that God has brought together be driven apart by His own plans.”

This one could fit a multitude in my humble opinion.

Kav said...

Oh wait -- # 5 could be The Husband Tree too! LOL

Mary Connealy said...

KAV great guesses. I know one that you're wrong on but the rest look good!

Vince-the-Quizmaster is stumping us all!!!


Chill N said...

Okay ... posting before I read all the wonderful taglines in the comments and decide not to post. Here we go with some astoundingly ambiguous efforts for different stories. Any suggestions appreciated.

Nancy C

If one of them wins, will they both lose?

They stole the stage, the town's library, and all the coffee ... and then they really made a mistake.

All he wanted was an answer ... he thought.

If it's not one thing, it's three.

Maybe shooting from a horse wasn't such a good idea after all.

Vince said...

Hi Kav:

Excellent effort. I’ll give you two hints:

#10 has God’s plans as the major conflict in the story. These are not plans in the generic sense often found in inspirational romances.

#9 This should be the easiest one. How many Seekers have animals as the major characters?

Think about it while you’re gardening. I just came back from watering all my plants and that’s a big job. I accidentally got my ‘don’t let that dressing get wet’ all wet because the hose squirted out the side of the nozzle. I'll soon go to the emergency room to have the doctor look at it and I don’t know what bad thing happens if it gets wet. Maybe Tina knows?


Courtney Faith said...

I love the tag line for Over The Edge lol! That was a hilarious story!


Tina Radcliffe said...

What is the dressing covering, Vince? Why aren't you going to Urgent Care. Much cheaper.

Vince said...

Hi Mary:

One of my first full length efforts was a vampire novel that has many scenes in Venice. The hero is a vampire who is so old he can’t remember a time when he didn’t exist. These vampires don’t even know if they are from the planet earth. They have lived all through the cave man period. The hero Victor is a philosopher who throughout time has found the best minds and gave them hints that led them to make their breakthroughs. It’s like a whole history of western intellectual thought woven in the story as a subplot. This is why it would have to be an Indie publication.

So yes, I did write a vampire romance and even a very serious time travel novel. When I learn how to write fiction well, I am going to go back and rewrite and polish all these first drafts. Like many here have said: “You can’t edit nothing.” : )


Vince said...

Hi Tina

Actually I am going to urgent care. I just didn’t know if they had them all over the country or if everyone would know what that is. It’s like emergency room care because the waits are so long.

The dressing covers a cauterization that was chemically created to seal off blood vessles after it was too late to use stitches. I should have went immediately like my wife wanted me too. However, then there would be no conflict and no story. Now I get to worry about a shattered bone and infection.

The finger is covered with a splint that has gauze covering. They wanted it covered, dry and able to get air. I’d use a hair dryer to dry it if I had one but I can’t let you know who know about this. : )


Tina Radcliffe said...

Well Vince. I am no longer a nurse. Nor do I play one on TV but I can tell you that moisture breeds infection. Get the dressing changed.

Also kudos to you for using Urgent Care. Using Urgent Care instead of the ER keeps insurance costs down and saves the ER for ...emergencies.

Teri Dawn Smith said...

Here's one of mine: She vowed to find the biological parents of a child. Now she wishes she hadn’t.

Missy Tippens said...

Clari, I love that one! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Tina, I LOVE that Kay Hooper one! :)

DebH said...

LOVING the tagline subject. Must go home from work before I can contribute a tagline of my own (need the drive time to think).

Mary you're a hoot! sleep deprived or otherwise.

Vincethe tagline of your second manuscript reads like the beginning of a bad joke, you know like "a virgin, ex-nun, and romance novelist walk into a Special Forces bar..."

Chill N said...

What fun to read all these taglines! I'll definitely check back later.

MARY - "His smoldering heart. Her smoldering roast beef" made me laugh out loud. I can see it on all kinds of promotional items like potholders ... non-stick cooking spray ... smoke alarms ... fire extinguishers.

Nancy C

Missy Tippens said...

I just checked the back of my books:

A House Full of Hope: From black sheet to father of four. (I loved this one that LI came up with!)

Georgia Sweethearts: A Pattern for Love (it was about knitting)

Missy Tippens said...

Vince (and Tina), that #7 of Vince's could be The Gift of the Magi. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, I hope you can get your finger taken care of! And that you heal up quickly!

Connie Queen said...

She promises he'll never be rid of her. Never.

This is for my ms, Husbands May Run but They Can't Hide.

Doesn't sound that catchy after reading everyone else's. I've never thought that much about tags. Great post Mary. And the one you for Swept Away you said was stupid. I liked!!! LOL.

Clari Dees said...

"The Husband Tree She's burying them as fast as she can.
or maybe: She buries a husband and another pops up."

LOL! I love these, Mary. They showcase your humor so perfectly.

Kav said...

Grrr. I tried to have a nap but the ones I didn't get are haunting me. So, are we talking Seekers as in THE Seekers who run the show or seekers as in everyone who hops in for a visit? If it's lowercase seekers then I'm thinking #9 is May the K9 Spy. Take care of your sore paw, Vince!

Mary Connealy said...

TERI DAWN SMITH your tagline made me gasp!
Great one!

Mary Connealy said...


Mary Connealy said...

CONNIE QUEEN Husbands can run but they can't hide is FUNNY! Excellent, very memorable.

Mary Connealy said...

Also, Connie, now reading them later I kinda like the Swept Away one too, about bringing a date.

Mary Connealy said...

Montana Rose
He insists she defy him but she's too obedient.

Her sweet obedience is going to destroy his ranch

A submissive widow, a frustrated preacher, a stalker who hates their happiness.

Mary Connealy said...

Ten Plagues:

The Devil is in the details

The lady cop and the mission pastor are bedeviled

Mary Connealy said...

Her killer instinct may get them both killed
Sharpshooter in Petticoats

Courtney Faith said...

A Great Catch by Lorna Seilstad--"She wants to change the world. He wants to change her mind."

Short-straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer--"Four brothers. Four straws. One bride."


Mary Hicks said...

Chill N, I liked them all—but especially the third one and the last one!

'Maybe not a good idea to shoot from the horse'

I'd like to know what the circumstance was for that observation!! LOL!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Apollo 13: Houston we have a problem

Mary Connealy said...

Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters

Mary Connealy said...

NANCY C...I love these.
My favorite (maybe)
He wanted answers...he thought.

All of them are great

Connie Queen said...

I still say,
"Who you gonna call?"
"Houston, we have a problem."

Mary, Over the Edge's is my favorite.

Chill N said...

MARY C and MARY HICKS -- Thank you!

About the tag line "Maybe shooting from a horse wasn't such a good idea after all." The entire story came to me when I saw a cartoon of two cowboys. It went something along the lines of one asking, "What kind of horse can you shoot from?" and the other answering, "You can shoot from any horse ONCE." :-)

Thanks for such an enjoyable day, MARY C.

Nancy C

DebH said...

May I be in the drawing even if I can seem to come up with a tagline?

I can't believe no one mentioned The Princess Bride - but then I couldn't come up with anything decent. ie. Pirates. Revenge. Swordplay. Sicilians. True Love. What's not to like?

Cheated and found this online: She gets kinapped. He gets killed. But it all ends up okay.

Well that's my two bits worth. Today was a fun read of post and comments.

Christina Rich said...

Mary, I like what you did. It's short,simple and sweet. ;)

Christina Rich said...

Forgot to say, thank you!

Jenny Blake said...

I enjoyed the post. The other tag line for Star trek is Space the unknown frontier.

We had an add here for yellow pages (business telephone directory) The tag line is "not happy Jan" Now if something doesn't happen (someone forgot to do something like put the add in) you will hear people say "Not happy Jan".

Mary Connealy said...

JENNY!!! NO it's Space the FINAL Frontier. I'd forgotten that but it's so familiar when you mention it.

Mary Connealy said...

DebH! You're in!!!

Vince said...

Hi DebH:

You wrote:

“Vince the tagline of your second manuscript reads like the beginning of a bad joke, you know like "a virgin, ex-nun, and romance novelist walk into a Special Forces bar..."

I admit that this is a problem in the tagline but it is true. The heroine wanted to be a nun right out of high school. Her parents insisted that she go to college first. She went to Marymount in California, graduated, became a nun who taught 5th grade for ten years. She would wake up screaming at night thinking she was in labor. This disturbed the convent so much that the Mother Superior told her God wanted her to be a wife and mother and to leave the order. Since she secretly read romances while in the convent, she tried her hand at romance writing.

At the point of the story opens she has written five romances, has missed her last three deadlines, is burned out and ready to quit writing. This cabin stay is her last chance to save her career and find herself.

So the virgin, ex-nun, situation has a strong foundation but I agree it is very odd or joke sounding.

The hero edits his RITA winning sister’s military romances and is by now a romance genre expert. He saves the heroine’s career, introduces her to true love, and marries her in the end.

It is very funny but it is also serious.


Vince said...

Hi Missy:

After three hours of waiting, it took the doctor ten minutes to tell me the finger is macerated but not broken. I have to keep it bandaged and dry and hope it gets better and not worse. This was about as good as the news could be. I am thankful to all who expressed concern.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I want a tagline for a book.

A lovely book, about a rich man trying to win his wife back.

She's rich too. And TICKED OFF AT HIM.

But time has passed and guilt keeps him hard at work in NYC while she buries her sadness and anger in Princeton.

Two upscale people who thought they had everything but realized how wrong they were when cancer claimed their beautiful little boy.

But time has passed. They need to get along for their daughter's wedding. And they need to do it FAST.

The name of the book is "Try, Try Again" but we can change that...

Here's what I had but I'm not in love with it:

“He had everything money could buy, but all he really wanted was one more chance to be the husband he should have been the first time around. If at first you don’t succeed?

“Try, Try Again”

All help appreciated and where's that Mary Hicks girl??????

Pam Hillman said...

What fun. Bad weather has had my internet off and on all day.

I just had bookmarks made. Whoo-hoo!!

He came to claim her land...and claimed her heart instead.Claiming Mariah

Dianna Shuford said...

Ruthy- Here's my lame attempt at help. :)

She wants to forget, but he wants a second chance. Will either get the desire of their heart?

Pam Hillman said...

Oh, and my original tagline back when the working title was Marrying Mariah and then later Vengeance Rider was Love turns a quest for revenge into redemption.

Pam Hillman said...

Melissa... How about She's one mail order bride too many. Or is she? :)

Pam Hillman said...

KAYBEE the Oregon Trail book, how about......
Secrets could kill them ... the Oregon Trail could too.


The Oregon Trail could kill them...if their secrets didn't first.

Pam Hillman said...

Oh, and speaking of these taglines, the work so much better and make more sense when they're paired with the cover and the title. At least mine did. :)

Jenny Blake said...

thats so right I know it was space and frontier.
see im tired I the ashes started and its keeping me awake even when I go to bed I have to keep turning the radio on! (its being played in england so they play when I should sleep!).

Vince said...

Here are the Answers to the
Logline Seeker Book Quiz:

1. “Where Charity begins by stealing her sister’s beau.”

“A Passion Redeemed” Julie Lessman. This is Book 2, Charity’s story. Julie might object to this. I’m not sure if Charity took the hero Faith wanted or not. It looked like Charity was after both men!

2. “Should a young widower and his adorable children risk their hearts by welcoming another breast cancer victim into their lives?”
“The Lawman’s Second Chance”, Ruth Logan Herne (My favorite romance since I read “The Sisterhood of the Dropped Stitches” some years ago.)

3. “God may have given the atonement husband a second chance but will his wife allow him the opportunity to heal her damaged heart?”
“The Bossy Bridegroom.” Mary Connealy
(This was a very risky book like was “The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers. I always think of these two books together.)

4. “A good girl has to choose between two notorious bad boys with the future of many lives at stake.”
“A Light in the Window” Book ‘Seven’ – Marcy and Patrick’s story. Julie Lessman (Reading this book brought back all the pleasures of reading the first six books. It’s a gift to her fans.)

5. “The place where a girl always gets a chance to bury her mistakes.”
“The Husband Tree”, Mary Connealy

6. “Will competing for the same job land two hearts in Paradise?”
“Mending the Doctor's Heart”, Tina Radcliffe. (Tina can do medical romance! May there be many more!)

7. “Can happiness be found when you sell your dreams to make your love one’s dreams come true?”
“The Sweetest Gift” Mary Connealy and “The Gift of the Magi” O. Henry (Mary has a great twist on O. Henry – an nobody else does that to O. Henry.)

8. “Can a hard bitten cowboy find happiness with a wily widow and her four daughters – when all can out shoot, out think and out rope him?”
“Petticoat Ranch”, Mary Connealy (This book is just perfect – It’s my favorite historical cowboy story.).

9. “A youngster learns that a dog’s life is nothing to bark about.”
“Cody the Coyote” Sandra Wardman. (These illustrated books are now on I-Tunes. These are children’s books that adults can fully enjoy.)

10. “Will the love that God has brought together be driven apart by His own plans.” “Georgia Sweethearts” Missy Tippens. (The hero is on a mission from God to start new churches and then move on to the next founding. The heroine is on an incompatible quest. How do we know when we got God’s mission right?)

I know there are many more excellent Seeker books but I wrote this quiz in just 30 minutes. With more time I would have had a twenty book quiz. But that’s for some other day and some other time.

I hope you all did well.


P.S. And thanks to Amber and Sandra for your nice comments on my additions to your cover reveal copy. I’m glad you liked them.

Pam Hillman said...

Just read through all the comments and they are all wonderful!

Loved this.

Vince, so glad you got checked out and are back home!

Vince said...


When two hearts collide the pain sends them spiraling far into the future until a common need pulls them back for one last encounter. Will it fuse their love or shatter their dreams forever?

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, I thought that last one might me mine. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Gosh, Vince, macerated sounds worse to me! :)

I'm praying it won't get infected and will heal quickly.

Playground Monitor said...

My first book's logline: She wants to made a withdrawal from a sperm bank, but he'd rather make a direct deposit.

And the tagline: Online banking now has a whole new meaning.

I'm not good at this. And it's late. And I moved 5 shelves of legal files today. Who needs kettle bells when you have big fat files to move up to a higher shelf???


P.S. Remember to vote! A couple more days and I'll stop bugging you. LOL!

Mary Connealy said...

How about instead of online banking you say:
Personal banking now has a whole new meaning.

Mary Connealy said...

When two hearts collide the pain sends them spiraling far into the future until a common need pulls them back for one last encounter. Will it fuse their love or shatter their dreams forever?

How about : A love so painful it stretches across time

Mary Connealy said...

I looked up macerated

It's not as naughty as it sounds!

Mary Connealy said...

Their priceless love just bounced like a bad check

Everything money can buy and nothing it can't

They were happy when they were poor

Mary Connealy said...

Vince I'm so sorry you hurt your finger. Fingers just are involved with EVERYTHING while means you need them and hurt them all the time.

God bless you.

Playground Monitor said...

Personal banking... I *LIKE* that! Thanks!


DebH said...

I forgot to tell you. I "bought" Out of Control & loved it so much, I immediately bought the other two Kincaid books and read them post-haste.

I think I like Seth best.

Your books are like Lays potato chips - you can't stop at just one... you gotta read em by the ton.*heh*

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, weird.

I just saw myself there on Tina's 'shelf'.


I love taglines or loglines or whatever these are. I love the teasers everybody put up.

I think the funnest part of reading a book, sometimes, is getting that teaser taste an thinking, 'OOOO, I have to read that'!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

VINCE- I put a Keira picture on your timeline to cheer you up.

This whole comment thread was making me laugh...

Walt Mussell said...

Travelling and finally getting to this. I love the explanation of the difference between the two, though I'm trying to think how I would represent any of these for my manscripts.

Mary Hicks said...

Okay, Ruthy.

"They'd had it all, love, money, family... he let it slip away, but the pain in his heart hammered his head to try again to be the light in her eyes, as he'd once been...

This one needs some thought... :-)

Mary Hicks said...

And by the way, Ruthy, I don't think the one you've written is bad at all. I would find that intriguing on a book.
Here's one:

Money could no longer buy what he wanted, she wasn't for sale. Was he too late to prove he was the husband she wanted and needed?

Mary Preston said...

These are all fantastic. I just pulled a random book off the bookshelf. It happens to be SKIPPING CHRISTMAS by John Grisham. The tagline is:

Imagine a year without Christmas.

Tina Radcliffe said...

You nailed it, Mary Preston. That Mary Connealy taught us a thing or two today.

Rachel Jones said...

Thanks for the great post. As a novice I'm struggling with many aspects of writing. I really like the tag line idea. It is hard for me to speak out but I'm feeling brave this morning. So:
log line - When trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong meets Jillian Russell, the beautiful owner of a ballet company he knows she's the woman for him. Will his past failures at lasting relationships and her commitment to living a solitary life keep them apart?
tag line - A broken ballerina...repaired by the love of a surgeon.

Mary Connealy said...

I love both the log line and tag line. This sounds like a terrific book.
Thanks for being brave!!! :)

Mary Connealy said...

I love this: Money could no longer buy what he wanted, she wasn't for sale.

But how about
He had all the money in the world but she wasn't for sale.

He had all the money in the world but her price was too high.

I'm not sure this is ruthy's book but it's a fun line. :)

Mary Hicks said...

For me, It's easier to find taglines when I know the whole story. :-)

Sometimes an insignificant phrase or word will pop a tagline. That's always fun! :-)

Carol Moncado said...

Insane day yesterday but the swim team my oldest two are on took 2nd place in the Southeest MO Championships!!! And my son started "swimming" in lessons last night!!

Okay - tag... It stinks but here we go. Mostly because I'd love to be in the drawing.

A single dad does what it takes to prove he's good enough for the crown princess who loves him.

Anna Labno said...

Never say never.

Anna Labno said...

I love this. Already, I added a few for my current project.

Mary Connealy said...

A single dad does what it takes to prove he's good enough for the crown princess who loves him.

How about
A single dad. A princess. Doing what it takes for love.

Or just
Doing what it takes to win a princess

or What it takes to win a princess.

Winning a princess and driving a car pool don't mix.

or Win the princess. Miss his daughter's swim team. A dad's gotta choose

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Anne

"Never say never"

See this is the kind of super short, pithy tag line that works.

Ginger Solomon said...

I'll try...

A baron's daughter discovers her only hope for lasting happiness is to see with the eyes of her heart.


Barbara Thompson said...

I love your post on taglines, but I am not a writer. I'm a reader and love your books. Thank you for sharing the opportunity to participate in the giveaway even though I don't have to write a tagline.
Barbara Thompson

Julie Lessman said...

“If you don’t like the ending, don’t blame me. I didn’t see it coming either.”

VINCE ... you are a blog all unto yourself, my friend!! LOVED the Seeker book quiz, especially this one:
5. “The place where a girl always gets a chance to bury her mistakes.”
“The Husband Tree”, Mary Connealy

You GOTTA be a fun guy to live with!! Your wife is a very lucky woman. :)


Carol Garvin said...

Oh, my! I think I need to read and re-read and keep reading here! I'm terrible at the tagline-logline-elevator pitch stuff! I write and change them multiple times and still end up tossing every effort out.

This is what I have so far:

"Nobody warned them showing purebred dogs was addictive and costly enough to reach bank loan proportions or that the stress of promoting a show dog can drive someone to murder.

Mary Connealy said...

CAROL Their purebred dogs may drive them to bankruptcy...or murder

Their dogs bankrupting them seemed serious until the dead body turned up.

Their life had gone to the dogs, on the way to the morgue

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my gosh, this was so much fun! I'm playing with ideas, but this whole back and forth got my brain turning...

And that's a good thing! I hate being STUCK!

Cynthia Ruchti said...

A couple of mine:

She'd leave her husband...if she could find him. (They Almost Always Come Home)

Three eras. Three women desperate for hope. Three reasons to believe it won't come in time. (When the Morning Glory Blooms)

Finding a place to belong isn't easy when your father's a headliner for all the wrong reasons. (All My Belongings)--this tagline's tentative; still chewing on it

Got me thinking, Mary. And everyone else.

Jaime Wright said...

Taglines are the bane of my existence. But I'll try:



yeah I got nothin'

Jan Christiansen said...

I liked this tagline for Swept Away, "Can a band of brothers survive when a sassy cowgirl wants to join their fight?" Maybe even better than the one your publisher picked out.

At least now I understand the difference between a tagline and a logline. Thanks!

Yes, please put me in the drawing for A Bride For All Seasons.