Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...
Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?
Not so much.
She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.
As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?
Unmasking Maya was such a fantastic read for me. It was a different read for me. I loved that Ms. Mercer created Maya and Derek and they both have issues and I would not have thought they would get together. But as they say opposites attract. I also love that I get inside the mind of an artist and see how a techy guy can be geeky but is not always a nerd. And hey some nerds ie Derek is a hottie! Maya and Derek do both have some past issues they need to deal with and I enjoyed seeing the layers of the past peeled away. One of my favorite scenes is when Maya is walking up a hill in S.F. in heels and Derek just picks her up and carries her up the hill. Another favorite is them rolling down the hill. I think it is great when people think out side the box and enjoy some of the simple things in life. I think Ms. Mercer adds that to her story and some of the unexpected. I know I will be looking to read more from Ms. Mercer as Unmasking Maya really stood out to me. It was fresh and original fun read. I would recommend this to anyone!
Just fyi~ Unmasking Maya contains two swear words and NO sex.
Source~ publisher for review
You can pick up the kindle book here
Tifferz, thank you so much for having me here today. I’m thrilled to be on the blog, and I’d like to talk titles today.
When I first came up with the idea for Unmasking Maya, I had my heart set on Harlequin, Mills & Boon’s Riva line as the publisher. I knew they had a marketing department that (more often than not) changed the author’s title to something else, so I wasn’t too worried about coming up with a great title. And since so many of HM&B’s titles are structured in this way: this & that, as in The Bridesmaid and the Billionaire or The Privileged and the Damned (love that one!) I chose Silk Chiffon and Silicon Valley as my working title.
However. By the time I finished the manuscript, I knew it wasn’t right for HM&B. I decided to self-publish the story, which meant I had to come up with a fabulously catchy title. And I hate coming up with titles.
I spent days attempting to pull something awesome out of my brain. Weeks, even. I researched, I free-associated, and I dug deep. Nothing. Some of my favorite titles are funky takes on well-known phrases and terms, such as: Misery Loves Cabarnet, The Kitchen Shrink and The Misfortune Cookie. So I spent a day Googling phrases and sayings. Still nothing. I then started looking up song titles. Must have read through thousands of them, but not a single one seemed right. Finally I busted out with my giant film encyclopedia to search titles. I actually came up with several great book titles by slightly altering film titles, but sadly, none of them would work with my current project.
After all that effort, I only had one possible title that I liked: But Robots Can’t Cuddle. I think it’s cute, catchy and intriguing, but it didn’t fit the story. It was too flippant. The situation seemed absolutely hopeless.
And suddenly the clouds parted! One of my online author pals, Dina Silver, offered to help me out. She used to work in advertising, so she knows her stuff. I emailed her the basics right away. Told her it was a romance/chick lit hybrid and included my free association words: art, fashion, in cognito, geek chic, love, unemotional, reinvention, tech and robotic, among others. Dina got back to me with a whopping 22 possibilities! I went over the list and narrowed it down, tweaked a few titles, posted the contenders on my blog and sent out a plea for opinions.
My online pals came through, big time. The title that got the most votes was Reinventing Maya, followed by Masquerading as Maya. I was a bit hesitant about calling it Reinventing Maya because it sounded so much like Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn. And then the lovely Martha Reynolds, another online author pal, posted her thoughts. She had already read an earlier version of the manuscript, and pointed out that Unmasking Maya might be more in keeping with the plot than Masquerading as Maya.
Eureka! Martha was right. Unmasking Maya beautifully captures one of the story’s key themes. And it still provides a bit of alliteration that the fans of Masquerading as Maya were fond of.
And there you have it. My story has a name and I can rest peacefully – until it comes time to title my next book, that is.
Here’s my author bio:
Born and raised in the Midwest, Libby Mercer’s adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she’s since lived in Boston, NYC and London. San Francisco is the city she currently calls home. For several years, Libby worked in fashion – first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper. She also dabbled in design for a while. Even through the crazy fashion years, Libby never let go of her dream of being a published author, and has since developed her signature writing style, crafting quirky chick lit/romance hybrids. Fashioning a Romance was her first published novel, and Unmasking Maya will be her second. Libby has a third novel, The Karmic Connection, scheduled for release in 2013.