Strength to Blog

Posted on January 15, 2008

With thanks, Haveil Havalim #149 is up at Life in Israel. Many, many thanks are also due to SoccerDad, who started HH and is handing over the reins to Jack.

Now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s get to the real reason I’m here.

I need more feedback, people!

Those who’ve written, thank you! Your opinions are quite valuable since I am, after all, writing for an audience. (The books, that is. Well, the blog is for an audience, too, but I’m not selling the blog. Who would want it anyway?)

With the help of those who have commented and emailed, I’ve been able to narrow down the choices. Here’s what didn’t make the cut, and why:

  1. Anger Avenged – nice alliteration, but negative overall; closely related to the plot but not clearly so
  2. Broken Pact – not as related to the story as other titles; too close to Jodi Picoult’s The Pact
  3. For the Miracles – taken from the Chanukah liturgy and known to many Jews, it’s an unclear title for non-Jewish readers and has more to do with the timing of the plot, not the story itself
  4. In Your Midst – taken from the beginning of the Haftarah portion read on the first Shabbat of Chanukah, it’s actually very much related to the plot as well. However, not quite intriguing enough
  5. Payback – a great title, which explains why there are at least 20 other books out there with the same title. I’m sure I can be a little more original than that.
  6. Rededication – related to the meaning of Chanukah (and its definition), it’s too ho-hum (as opposed to ho-ho-ho, which would be a book titled “Christmas”)
  7. Rewards of Vengeance – again, negative sounding and perhaps not quite the value readers would go for
  8. Faith and Fear – too similar to other titles, sounds like “Tales from the Inquisition,” still negative
  9. Chosen by Faith – suggested by Steve (thank you Steve!). I like the thematic connection and choice is something we all face every day. When it came down to it, though, I had to rule it out because Judaism is far more about action than faith. Plus, I don’t want Barnes & Noble to shelve it in the Christian Fiction section like they did with Destined!

Now the short(er) list:

  1. As in Days of Old – taken from part of the Shabbat liturgy, it originally had a great deal to do with the plot, but, as often happens when a book is being written, the characters take over and go in other directions. Such is the case here and I’m not sure it targets the plot well enough; also kind of ho-hum
  2. Safety From Within – taken from the book text, it is both descriptive and ironic, but I’m not sure how well it really captures “suspense”
  3. Strength to Strength – a common Jewish phrase, a wishing of wellness, can’t say it isn’t “strong” but is it descriptive enough?
  4. Strength to Stand – also taken from the book text, it has everything to do with Chanukah, the plot, and gives an image (to me anyway) of a battled hero finding a way to continue on; probably one of the finalists
  5. Strength to Prevail – similar to Strength to Stand, but less alliterative, suggests the ability to win the war, not just the battle, definitely conjures up a struggle (good)

Meanwhile, as I’m being all self-absorbed with getting this book ready to launch and doing my other wifely and motherly duties and fighting off a bad case of bronchitis, many of those around me are probably not happy with my timing. A whole bunch – and I mean a really… lot of people… are having major life cycle events lately. B’nai mitzvah, births, deaths, moving, changing schools.

I’d planned this for a relatively quiet time of year (no one wants to beta-read a novel a week before Passover, for instance), and now lots of folks have lots going on. Well, lots of people have lots going on a lot of the time. I have a lot of things going on a lot of the time, which is why I’m having to make some hard choices about going to the lots of things that lots of others have going on.

So that’s the update. Keep your feedback coming!


  1. Shira Salamone

    Personally, I like "Safety from Within," just because it sounds unique.

  2. Shira Salamone

    Personally, I prefer "Safety from Within," just because it sounds different.

  3. Jack Steiner

    How about: Vengeance Rededicated or Strength To Act.

    Ok, not helpful, but I am typing with one hand.

  4. Anonymous

    I did appreciate steve’s comment about using a common theme, and I liked his title. Still, I think it speaks more about David… and this book is about more than ‘just’ his struggles. It is also about Sara, and the fact that friends are in danger because of David and his quest. So… if I were to choose at his point, it would be Strength to Stand, which I believe addresses everyone involved and the strength they will need to see this thru…
    I am so very proud of you.

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