Friday, February 28, 2014

THE TRUE ART OF PLAYING WITH YOUR WORDS

When I was a 

kid my mother made me sit for over an hour..probably longer...it seemed like FOREVER...staring at the peas growing ever colder and more disgusting before me. (I hated peas back then.) I was so hoping she'd look away long enough I could swirl the fork I was poking and flip them to my beloved dog waiting, valiantly at my feet...but all I got was mom snapping at me to stop playing with my food.

If I wanted to get my butt out of that chair I was going to have to do one of two things...either eat those disgusting peas...or leave home. Which do you think I did?

Luckily I'm now in the position of PRAISING those who play with words and create some really fantastic titles here at Muse It Up Publishing. 

You all know how...uh-m-m-m-m...unusual my sense of humor is...anyone who's read either of my 
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Suc-U books or my most recent release, DIAMONDS FROM THE ROUGHAGE can attest to...

So without further ado...Welcome to my PLAY ON WORDS TITLE tribute...(there are so many for me to pay homage to, this is going to have to be a WORK IN PROGRESS tribute...let's start in some rocky territory:
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ROCK OF REALM by our amazing leading lady here at Muse It Up Publishing, Lea Schizas.

When I was a young mother I heard people talking about rock gardens...since I have a horrendous black thumb I thought...great how hard can it be to grow a rock garden? Obviously there's more to it than meets the eye. I planted those pebbles, watered them, shoveled fertilizer, over, under, and all around them, gave them sun and when I worried they might be getting too much sun, plunked parasols over them...but they never grew.
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The ROCK OF REALM Lea Schizas writes about is far more successful than my sad, sad, sad garden.

Written for a young adult audience, it has enough action and adventure for the young and the young at heart. First it's got one stellar cover done by Kaytalin Platt...and then on the back cover we get some nitty-gritty:


Back Cover:
A lifelong sanctuary of home bliss suddenly comes to a halt when Alexandra Stone discovers her parents lied and kept secrets about their family heritage. The discovery comes after a silly chant transports Alex and her best friend Sarah, along with her two pets, to the outskirts of Rock Kingdom.
Now faced with the dangerous elements of Dread’s Forest, Alex is determined to fight the man responsible for their predicament – her uncle.
But is he responsible?
She will risk her safety and trust her instincts when thrust alongside him to battle the Braks, skeletal creatures that project thorn-infested slime encasing their victim before plunging them deep within the caverns of the earth.
Readers will discover  that ‘‘things are not always as they appear to be’.
The Rock of Realm will shatter the concept of ‘villain

I don't know about you, but if I'm gonna play with rocks, I'd rather play with Lea Schizas' delightful 
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Rocking round the Muse It Up Tree...(so it isn't Christmas...the tune works for the next playing with rock title.)
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ROCK CRAZY by Rochelle Weber.

Okay the rock in this story is out there...somewhere in space...and not the roundness of the belly. (I swear she did NOT swallow a rock...although she may have gulped down a scoop or three of rocky road ice cream.)

Rochelle wrote a story about a pregnant woman abandoned on a rock out there...I love the play on words, don't you?

Here's what the back cover has to say:

Back Cover:
Katie McGowan is bi-polar, and she’s run the gamut of medications, but nothing works anymore.  Everyone says her she should have a microchip implanted in her brain that can regulate her mood swings.  But Katie doesn’t want to be a robot.  In a tough love move, her husband, Scott takes her to the Moon—and dumps her. Katie’s stuck on that God-forsaken “rock” and thinks she’s space sick. But she’s wrong; she’s pregnant. Now the surgery’s too dangerous and she has to go off her meds until the baby’s born.
Scott’s elated that he’s going to be a father and assumes Katie will take him back.  He has no clue how badly he’s hurt her, how thoroughly he’s broken her trust—or that he may not get her back at all.
I must admit there have been many times when I knew without a shadow of a doubt I was rock crazy...especially when I failed with my garden...but 
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ROCK CRAZY by Rochelle Weber is crazy good.

When Elvis hit the scene he rocked and shimmied around the country...and then around the world...can't keep a good rock down...the same can be said for our THIRD play on rock word titles. I give you...
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COUNTRY AND THE ROCK by S. Willett...remember my talking about the rock above being OUT there...well this rock is FROM out there, but it's not a meteor or chunk off some shedding asteroid. Confusing isn't it? 

Maybe the stuff from the back cover will help...and oh, speaking of covers, this is another Kaytalin Platt work of art.


Back Cover:
Twelve-year-old Sean West, also known as Country, sees an explosion of light and finds clues that lead him to Clicker, a young alien, who wants to know what it’s like to be a boy from Earth.
Country and his friends show Clicker all kinds of Earth-boy fun and Clicker teaches them about planet, Sory, in the Whirlpool Galaxy.
They discover keeping Clicker a secret from others isn’t so easy. Not only are the boys thwarted by Country’s sister but by the local sheriff, the FBI, and some thieves from another planet, Venatici.
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COUNTRY AND THE ROCK by S. Willett

We have a quarry of rocky plays on words titles...

So hang on a sec while I check and see if there are any more rocks to turn over...

Doesn't seem to be...they're still lifting those picks, jumping on those jack-hammers, so lets move on to titles that play with...weird or magical creatures. 

I know this first one is going to have many of you crossing your eyes and having trouble dotting your t's...it did for me, but hey, weird creatures exist in some of the most unusual places...why not here? Where's here? 
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TRIXIE'S HOT BOX by R.L. Courtright. Now I KNOW what you're expecting...I was expecting it too...but you never know how playing with words will shape up. We're talking weird here, remember?


Back Cover:
Kate knew nothing about witches, ancient symbionts, or Trixie’s Hot Box Bar and Grill until a voice called her to St. Louis. Surprise! She is a witch, but witches aren’t what everyone thinks. Now, besides inheriting Trixie’s, she is a suspect in the murder of a drug-dealing hoodlum witch. One of St. Louis’s newest detectives wants to investigate Kate.
So I ask, does this qualify or not for weird Play On Words Title?
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That's Trixie's Hot Box by R.L. Courtright.

Symbionts...isn't that almost like vampires, werewolves, dragons and other magical type creatures? See how you can play on words and create memorable titles?
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BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY WOLF by Kay Dee Royal.

I have loved this title since the first time I saw it. We all remember the little boy who cried wolf...everybody and their mother's have issued a threat, a cartoon, a mini-movie, or in some way tugged on this theme, but Kay Dee Royal's done it better than most. In fact she did it so well, I want to cry wolf some more with her.

I couldn't find a back cover snippet, but I DID find a blurb:


Blurb: 
After the tragic loss of her twin sister, Brea works hard to prove herself worthy of her adoptive parent’s extra attention. She focuses on the success of the rustic resort her parents deeded to her.
Priorities change when sexy twin wolves in human form walk into Brea’s life.
A dangerous rogue abducts her, but whom, if anyone comes to her rescue?
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Big Girl's Don't Cry Wolf...but we sure can HOWL, and I'm howling for more.

What do wolves do?
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BETTER TO BITE by Conda V. Douglas.
Personally I'd rather bite into a juicy hamburger, but that may be because I've never met a wolf who didn't smell like he hadn't bathed in...a century or two? Although those golden eyes...great cover by Karen Phillips...

But I'm sure, given the cover's power and the play on words title there must be some good biting into something you can't get at the local grocery store between the covers...even if it is still a bit hairy? (Nair anyone?)

Let's see what the Back Cover has to say...

Back Cover

All Wicca wants is to go to the senior prom. Instead she finds herself embroiled in her home town mystery. Someone is breaking into the homes of the elderly. Is it her nerd friend with the unibrow? Or the cool guy who's just asked her to the prom? And is Wicca's beloved Gamma next on the list?
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Better To Bite by Conda V. Douglas...excellent way to play with your words.

Let's shake things up a bit. Two wolfies now how about a dragony?

Cauldrons here? Nope...just your average run-of-the-mill-we-should-all-have-one, dragon mate. Think about what you could do to your enemies with a dragon at your side. It has to be the coolest...okay maybe not...it has to be the HOTTEST!

Back Cover
A lot of guys claim to have hot girlfriends. David Fraser has one who actually breathes fire.
Rose Drake is a Dragoness in Human form, come to Earth for three years to soak up the local energy and increase her chances of having happy, healthy, baby hatchlings when she goes home. In exchange for his time and energy, David’s body and love life both undergo extreme makeovers. It sounds like the deal of a lifetime.
Fate doesn’t let David and Rose off so easily. A friend of theirs is murdered, their homeowner’s association starts harassing them, and they have to complete a quest for an Elven sage in order to stop a genocidal Unicorn from turning Earth into a radioactive wasteland.
After all, when you’re dating a Dragon, you’re already a hero. It says so in the fine print.
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Life With A Fire-Breathing Dragon by Bryan Fields, a scrumptious play with words title.

I'm a fan of dragons...as lizards go, can you tell? I think they're highly under-appreciated in the over-all scheme of things...but not with our Muse authors and their playful version of Wheel of Fortune...instead of buying a vowel, you're playing with titles...What could be better for the long misunderstood dragons of the world than to play with dragon titles?
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THE GIRL AND THE DRAGON by Alice M. Roelke. I fell in love with this book lo-o-o-n-n-n-g-g-g before I read it because of the phenomenal cover Charlotte Volnek did for it, but then I read it, and fell in love with Alice's affection for dragons. Gotta love a good dragon.

Back Cover:
Adella, a slave, can hear the thoughts of animals.
Her life is only worth living when she gets to spend time with her dearest friend, a dragon—very large and frightening to most people but not to Adella.
When Dragon does the unthinkable to protect her, the two must flee for their lives. Adella struggles with the guilt she harbors and her frightened feelings about God and punishment.
Disguising herself as a boy, she seeks work—and the pair get caught up in a battle. They survive and become heroes. Then, horrible news: the nation’s beloved king, to whom Adella feels strangely drawn, has been infected by the Green Death. If he dies, anarchy will spread through the kingdom and create war.
Adella and Dragon set off on a quest to find the plague’s forgotten cure. Danger and adventure await—along with trolls, shape shifters and secrets beyond her wildest dreams. But time is growing short. If they don’t find the cure, the king will die
A good shifting dragon...may I have one of my own please? 

The Girl and the Dragon by Alice M. Roelke...you play very well with your words Alice.

Okay...recap...we've played with rocks...my poor garden...we've played with weird,furry, and scaly things...now let's play with ashen things. (Yep, I just played with my words...vampires always look ashen to me!)
SEEKER by Kat Holmes...breathtaking cover by Suzi Safi...here's a great play on words in Book 2 of Kat's Hekate's Web Series. 
Seeker...that's one word...He's a vampire...she's not...so could Seeker be a fast way of saying SEEK HER? Ahhh the magic of playing with words...or could it mean something else?
Back Cover
Atu is an ancient warrior and vampire long in the service of his king. He has no desire for home or family. But when the Goddess Hekate tasks him with finding an ancient artefact before his enemies do, he is forced to enlist the aid of a woman who drives him crazy.
Edeline Comstock has the sight and has been cursed and reviled for it by her family. When she finds herself under attack from a monster, a dark and dangerous man is her only salvation, or he might be her destruction.
Forced to aid Atu, time is running out to uncover the secrets of the past. But a far greater danger stalks Edeline, one from which there may be no return.
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Seeker by Kat Holmes...can almost make me want to start SEEKING a studly pair of fangs of my own.

Hmmm, Vampires are so hard to find...even in word-play worlds. I think it's got something to do with the sun...like coming out in the daytime they're vulnerable to being turned into crispy critters...vampire on a stick...oops...I think that's supposed to be vampire's on a stake! The only other vampire play on words titles I could find is book one in this same series...
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also by Kat Holmes. Gorgeous ashen broad doesn't look like she's hiding to me...but playing with those words, let's see what the back cover has to say

Back Cover:
Lilith never expected when she attended her brother’s wedding that the night would end in her own death at the hands of a vicious vampire. Nor was she prepared when the Goddess Hekate took a personal interest in her plight. For decades she’s been hidden away from the rest of the world and her fellow vampires. But with one act of violence, her undead life changes forever.
War is raging in the vampire world between two factions. Female vampires are scarce, so when Benjamin Fortescu comes across an unknown female, he’s not only intrigued but drawn to the secretive creature.
But she bears news that shocks him to his core. And before everything is over, she will be betray him to the enemy. Can love overcome both betrayal and insanity?

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Hidden, by Kat Holmes...vampires, fangs, goddesses, it has it all...AND it even has a RenFaire.

Three Rocks...kinda like 
Third Rock From the Sun! I'm so-o-o-o clever...or I would be if I'd known when I set out to do this I was going to come up with that as a comparison...okay, okay...

Nudge, my annoying little inner voice is blasting at me to give credit where it's due.

The truth of the matter is my personal muse, NUDGE is really the gifted mind and voice here. 
Okay Nudge...may I continue now?

Three rocks, two living breathing cabin carpets in the making, and a weird box, two dragons, two flour faced persons in need of a good a 
periodontist...which brings us to only ten so far?

I promised myself fifteen books for this installment of the ongoing saga of PLAYING WITH YOUR WORDS, MUSE IT UP STYLE. There's always witches, right, and we got plenty of witcheries to choose from him.

Here's a good one, and it's an absolute GREAT play on words title...
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MAGIC IS FASTER THAN LIGHT by James Hartley. Because this is such a brilliant play on words, every time I write about it I want to add three playful words and make it Magic Is Faster Than THE SPEED OF Light..if nothing else, that urge certainly makes me remember this book and Jim Hartley's ability to toss word blocks around and give a happy squeal when they land his way. (Trust me, we have MORE James Hartley Play on Words Titles in future installments...the man is a veritable dictionary gamer.)
Blurb:
Megan Bradley and the rest of the witches were rounded up by a religious crusade and forced onto a spaceship for a 190-year multi-generation trip to another star. They soon discovered the ship had problems and would run out of air long before they reached their destination. They were forced to use magic to get to their destination faster, before they suffocated.
But then, of course, they had a whole new world to cope with
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Magic Is Faster Than Light, by James Hartley...A1 word player.

I'm a former teacher, so guess where my mind went when I first saw the next title?
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BAD SPELLING by Marva Dasef. Seriously from the play Marva gave to this title how was I supposed to know it's a witch tome? Okay Kaytalin Platt's cover sorta gives it away...but I wasn't looking at the cover the first time I heard the title. And this is just the first play on words titles for this series. The woman, Marva, like our previous master, James Hartley, is a Play on Words Title GENIUS!
No Back cover...but what-a-blurb.
Blurb:

If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home.
Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo.  A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.
The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way.

Bad Spelling is not your expected recitation Bee you'll see.

How about some wishful thinking play on words titles? 
MORE THAN A STUD by Jerry Race. He's a model and OMG...guess what else he is?
Blurb:
Will stakes and fangs keep Shane and Jamie from being a couple before their relationship begins?
Shane Richards, 24, male model, has a few problems. His rival threatens to discredit him if he participated in the upcoming America’s Top Male Model contest. Near his twenty-fifth birthday, the dormant vampire abilities within him begin to surface and he starts having nightmares about meeting his so-called father whom he’s never met. As if that isn’t enough one of his male friends who has the hots for him is determined to make him his lover. On his twenty-fifth birthday his nightmares come true and he winds up risking his life in a battle with his father over a pendant with supernatural powers.
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More Than A Stud...fangs for the memories Jerry Race.
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PERFECT TEN by Karina L. Fabian. Does HE look perfect to you? Oddly, I've never wanted to date a coyote. Have you?
Blurb:
When an insurance actuary lands a date with Coyote the Trickster, she discovers not every “Ten” is perfect
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Perfect Ten, by Karina L. Fabian

Last, but not least...this one is just plain fun word play...
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BE GOOD TO YOUR ELF by Elizabeth Coldwell. Okay ELF? I've heard them say...Be Good To Yourself...but ELF? Pointed ears, curly toed slippers, and incredibly SHORTuhm legs? Not in Elizabeth's concept of the Elf-World...(eat your heart out Tolkein)
Blurb:
ADULT CONTENT: Maddie’s Christmas plans are ruined when her divorced mother goes cruising, so she takes a job in Santa’s Grotto. She has to dress as an elf, but the job has compensations. She finds herself working alongside Tyler, a hot divorced father who’s also spending the holiday alone. Can she pluck up the courage to tell him how she feels about him and make the Christmas magic begin?
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Be Good To Your Elf by Elizabeth Coldwell

I'm done...till next time. For now I'm gonna go grab my cat and remind her how much she kneads me.
Happy Playing.

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