The Challenge of Finding 7777 Comp Titles

8:00 AM

Ow boy, does my brain hurt.

It took me weeks to finally get this tag mashup together! But I finally muddled through, and am rather glad to get if off my little plate.

For this Taggy Tuesday post, I'm doing two challenges that were handed to me....a few months ago. Both of which were absolute fun and I can't wait to show them to you!

First I present to you the....

7777 Challenge

The second half of my Alpha Squad, Mary Katherine, tagged me for this really cool elongated snippet reveal revenge of the fact that I never revealed ALL of The White Rose snippets to her yet. For a sneak peek at her own awesome work, 12 Golden Windows, click here!!

The Rules Directions:

Go to the 7th page of your WIP
Go down to the 7th line
Copy the next 7 paragraphs
Tag 7 people.

Okay, story time! To give you some context on what is going on in this scene, a married sister of Janina's has just arrived at Castle Sigurdnir, before the Karala Games begin.

“How is your husband?” Queen Carina asked when she released her daughter.
“Erik is well, thank you. He’s with Father and Tobias. Once I realized the hour, I knew where to find you, so I separated from him and went to you straightaway.”
Queen Carina laughed. “It is most appreciated, dearest daughter. How long will you stay?”
“Till the week before Harvest Feast, then we must go back.”
“So long??”
“Do not worry, mother, all my local arrangements are in the care of trusted stewards. I have no worries.” As she spoke, she picked up Rebekka, who fussed a little as her mother wiped her face. As she turned again to her mother, her eyes lit upon the bright purple fabric. “Oooh! Who is sewing the beautiful purple gown there?”
Queen Carina smiled. “Janina. She didn’t have a formal Maiden’s gown.”
Orla’s eyes widened. “She’s now…2 years past her Moon Reckoning?”
Queen Carina had the grace to look rather sheepish. “Almost 3. I must admit, Orla, I was not as diligent as I should have been in keeping up with Janina’s dress. She also has had the grace of not telling me of her deficiencies either.” All laughed at this true sentiment, except for Magda. Orla looked over the gown with a careful eye, and declared it absolutely beautiful. She especially approved of the silver dragon taking shape on the bodice.   
“Be careful, butterfly,” Orla gently teased Magda, who maintained her stony silence. “Or she will steal the men’s hearts before you even have a chance!”
Magda laughed with the rest, a bitter soft laugh. Her eyes betrayed a storm of emotion, unnoticed by everyone in the room, except for Alvilda.

Orla was not a character that I had really planned on when I first framed the story. I had only intended her to have a brief and very background presence, figuring that she would concentrate more on her little children. And then she burst into the work with a bang and I saw sooo much character development potential through her.

I tag:

All my fellow collaborators in the 5-Part Writing Special back in March! I wanna see snippets from everybody's wonderful WIPs that they featured in the Special!
(If you've been previously tagged, then you are excused.)

And now, for my next act, I present to you the....

Comp Title Challenge

Okay, I saw this go around the blogosphere, and thought "This is super awesome, I love it!". Not to mention an excellent exercise for us budding authors when it comes to query letters!  

I didn't expect it, but True @ A True Author tagged me for this one! True is a really awesome blogger who is a really deep writer and a great inspiration. You can view her post HERE! 

So...I'm going to create comp titles for all of my WIPs that I have listed in the WIPs page here on The Rebelling Muse, with the exception of Laboure, Ancora Spei (my utopia story). All the book/movie/song images will be linked to their respective Goodreads/IMDB/YouTube pages.

It's a Matter of Faith, My Girl

Katherine Morgan is an ordinary Amish girl, about to commit to being baptized into the Amish church. When she meets the Catholic boy that is working her neighbor's farm, she thinks nothing of first. 

I know, such a wimpy little blurb....

For those who are unfamiliar with this one (which may be all of you) this is a really really old WIP that I've had sitting around since I was in high school. Instead of being relegated to the dustbin, like most of my high school writing, this one has stuck around.


Because I took the trouble to creating a very detailed chapter map, lots of story instances, and even drafted several scenes. This one is sticking around, since I put so much effort into creating and researching this story. Of course, it needs plot restructuring, as does every single one of these darn WIPs.

The best comp title I can come up with is:

The Englisher (Annie's People, #2)         The Choice (Lancaster County Secrets #1) 

The Englisher (Beverly Lewis) meets The Choice (Suzanne Fisher) 

Now, I've never read The Englisher. But I have read The Choice, and it was a good book source of inspiration for this WIP. 

From what I can gather from Goodreads, The Englisher has a mysterious English guy working in proximity to the Amish, which is what John Stamford is to the Morgan family. The Choice, if I remember correctly, had a love triangle and a struggle with the Amish church. And an unconventional Amish girl. 

Fair Winds: Sassy Devil and Fallen Angel

Sassy Devil:

Ciara Arlen is left alone with her sister Grace when her father and mother are lost in a storm. Ciara receives a letter from her uncle with instructions to go to Dover where they will meet his ship, The Maiden of Valor. When a mix-up results in a kidnapping, Ciara must use her wits to escape...even if it means allying herself with strangers.

Fallen Angel: 

Ciara Arlen has run from the safety of the British Navy and has struck out on her own. Her dingy runs aground onto a little island in the Carolinas, where several pirates are hiding out. She makes them into a band, but their first marauding adventure turns horribly: The ship breaks on the reef and the survivors are captured by a tribe of natives! With her wits stretched again, how will Ciara ever find her place in the world? 

Dear me, do my blurb writing skills need work....

Just to clarify, this is not two books. This is one book in 2 volumes (a common occurrence back in the era of the classics but unusual today. Wonder why?)

This one was also a really hard one to peg down in terms of a comp title. Ciara's struggle is to find out what it means to be a woman, since the example that she had is almost non-existent. A very unusual quest for a piratical novel....

So after some scouring on Goodreads, I came up with the following:

The Redemption (Legacy of the King's Pirates, #1)   +  Treasure Island  + Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret

The Redemption (MaryLu Tyndall) meets Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson) meets Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (Judy Blume)

I've not read The Redemption, but there are a lot of similar themes: Pirates that have a moral side to them, the missing-parent syndrome, some battles and captures and trust issues. I picked Treasure Island because of the fact that Jim and his comrades are practically kidnapped into Long John Silver's ship and must defeat the pirates in order to legitimately gain the pirate treasure. I've been told by a critique group that my writing has an old-fashioned ring to it too. And the last book? Well, it is the only book that I could find that was remotely close to the "finding womanhood" theme that I have.

Shattered Chandelier

Jessamine and Kestrel are two struggling actresses that end up at the West Side Theater with a small theater trope playing Phantom of the Opera. Jessamine ends up with the lead part and gets to play opposite of the two best actors - Eric Gerard and William Coulter. What happens when the love triangles start moving off-stage? 

Well, that's somewhat better...

This one was much easier to create a comp title for, since I based it off of one of my favorite books and a "favorite" musical of mine. I say "favorite" because in reality, I really don't like the plot or most of the music lyrics because of the heavily veiled emotional abuse. It is excellent if it can be portrayed as a cautionary tale, though, and I love to pick it apart and argue about it.

Stars Collide (Backstage Pass, #1) +  The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall Poster

Stars Collide (Janice Thompson) meets Phantom of the Opera (Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Stars Collide is a really fun contemporary book in which two co-stars of a popular TV show wind up in an off-camera romance. I assure you, my dear readers, this is one of the sweetest romance books that I've come across - it's romance of the best kind.

The Phantom of the Opera is a huge love triangle based around a budding leading lady in an opera house - between her sweet (or should I say rather sappy) childhood friend and her very mysterious music tutor....who apparently thinks it's fun to terrorize people. Notice I used the musical version and not the book version. I did that on purpose - the musical (besides being much cleaner and less cringy) being a rather integral part of the piece, it stands to reason that it should be part of the comp title.

So just so you guys know...this WIP was born because of a gripe speech that I delivered about the Phantom of the Opera. One day, I shall publish it for all of you to see :).

Rose of Culmore

John Callahan has lost his crops and his family to the Irish Potato Famine. Desperate to escape the pain, he moves north with a friend to find work in Derry, Ireland. He ends up in Culmore, where he meets a bonny lass by the name of Rose O'Neill. But...Rose is bound for America and wants nothing to do with John. Can he change her mind?

Ah yes, the infamous Irish song retelling....the one that was hyped and put down. *cringes and facepalms*

For those who don't know of that saga, I'll spare you the gruesome details. Basically what happened is that the draft trainwrecked because Rose O'Neill was not very forthcoming on what her beef was with John. At the time, I was also in the middle of a huge life change (graduating college).


As of several weeks ago, I made a major breakthrough!

Would you believe it - I was flipping through some recommended tracks on Spotify and found a really sad waltz-y song that immediately thrust me into her head. Her life story literally flashed through my mind like a slow movie. I LIVE for those kinds of songs...they are my muse's dream come true. Who knew my muse was locked by music...and all I needed was the right key??

This is probably the most off the wall comp title ever, but it's literally the only thing that I can come up with. Song retellings don't seem to be all that popular yet...I've only found one so far.

But here goes....

Image result for the maid of culmore   Darby O'Gill and the Little People Poster

"The Maid of Culmore" (Anonymous) meets "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" (Disney Movie)

Yep. My story is closest to a song and a movie. This is a problem....

You can guess that "The Maid of Culmore" has a major part in it, and how/why. Darby O'Gill is going to take a little more explaining.

For those of you who have seen the movie, do you remember the romance between Katie O'Gill (Darby's daughter) and Michael McBride, the new caretaker that supposed to take over for her father?
Well, Rose O'Neill has some startling resemblances to Katie O'Gill's character - except that she is a lot colder. I want to mirror Katie and Michael's "romance" in this story, but again with a much colder note. An unhappy note. Because, as we all know from the song, the guy doesn't get the girl.

Seeds of an Orchard Invisible

Eirwen’s core is slowly rotting…..
From infancy, she has only desired to be a good and kind queen to her people of Glywysing. But a scandalous marriage by her widowed father sows seeds of anger in her heart. An anger that, in a kingdom about to rebel and a castle full of scarred hearts, could be advantageous or disastrous.
When a hunting party trip turns deadly, Eirwen is forced to flee into a decaying orchard. But she doesn’t leave those invisible seeds behind….Will Eirwen cut through the undergrowth of her heart or will an invisible orchard hem her in?  

Hmmm. Another infamous trainwreck. Why do I have such a track record for these??

This work was the one that was supposed to go to Rooglewood this winter as my Welsh retelling of Snow White. Again, I shall spare you the tragic details of that failure. Suffice it to say that I suffered a six-month case of burnout and frustration before I put it down.

This comp title's concept was super easy...getting books was not so easy.

But I'm very proud of this one:

Snow White   +  The Mabinogion  +   Here be Dragons (Welsh Princes, #1)

Snow White (Brothers Grimm) meets The Mabinogion (Anonymous) meets Here Be Dragons (Sharon Kay Penman)

So both the latter titles are very Welsh-oriented. The first one, The Mabinogion is a collection of Welsh legends and fairy tales. I used this work heavily when trying to give that Welsh culture. Here Be Dragons is (another) book that I haven't read, but I probably should consult one of these days. From what I can glean from the description on Goodreads, it is set during one of the great periods of Welsh uprising...and deals with a famous historical marriage between an illegitimate princess and a king. Both elements are also strong in this work, and from what I can gather from reviews, even the prose might be a similar writing style to mine....

From the Cave

Gail is an ordinary teenage techie junkie. When her parents insist on her taking a camping vacation, she is not at all pleased. But when a storm breaks and she is forced into a cave for shelter, her phone is whisked away to Aistaraina...wherever that is.

When the portal suddenly closed, with her on the inside of course, Gail is forced to adapt to her new surroundings. As she becomes accustomed to Aistaraina's way of life, she becomes aware of several races of creatures. Creatures that seem harmless but Gail suspects of having dark motives. 

When the children of Aistaraina start showing signs of mysterious disease, Gail is determined to find the cause. What she doesn't know is that she has been lured to Aistaraina...and her tempter is coming for her....   

Oh my gosh. What do you know. A decent blurb!! (There is hope yet....)

This my baby. It's my favorite of all my little stories...and the one that I hope to debut with in the publishing world. Once I write it that is. Which will, God willing, be in November for my first EVER official NaNoWriMo novel!

This comp title was probably my easiest in the entire I already had 3 works that I knew it was similar to!

The Restorer (The Sword of Lyric, #1)   +  The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3)  +  Waterfall (River of Time, #1)

The Restorer (Sharon Hinck) meets Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkein) meets The Waterfall (Lisa T. Bergen)

My current WIP (featured below) is the prequel to this WIP. Being the chronological person that I am, I am pulling a stunt I did with Fair Winds and writing what came first...first. I'm weird like that. It's a fairly standard fantasy - there is a huge quest, involving a female with a portal into a very complex fantasy world. There are shield-maidens, weird creatures, a strong-and-silent prince, a complex language system, allegories, and adventures galore!

And it's going to be so much fun to write!

The White Rose

Princess Janina Sigurdnir never expected to be the Blue Star of Duventoliel quite as soon as she did...but her older sister Magda's expulsion from the marriage market leaves her no choice. She still has much to learn...after all, what does a 15 year old know about the duties of state, of her royal status, or even about marriage???

During the tournament for her hand, she finds herself attracted to the noble-hearted, charitable, manly and still-single King Ealdread of Aistaraina...who is nearly a score of years older than she....

Themes: character development, maturity and love has no age requirement

You all know about this one! It's not like I haven't been talking about it non-stop since....Februrary. (At least I'm actually staying on one WIP for once....LOL).

Marcia Schuyler (Miranda Trilogy #1)   +  Pippa of Lauramore (Eldentimber, #1)  +  The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

Marcia Schulyer (Grace Livingston Hill) meets Pippa of Lauramore (Shari L. Tapscott) meets The Simarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien).

When I first read Marcia Schulyer, I didn't see any ties to this story whatsoever. And then I found the notes sheet that I had made years ago for this WIP, and suddenly saw the parallels between Marcia and Janina. Both were really young brides that ended up taking the place of an older sister. To be honest, I've always wanted to retell Marcia Schulyer, but I expected to do it in a contemporary setting, not a fantasy. But I'll take it anyway!

Pippa of Lauramore...oh my gosh. This book was a major inspiration for fleshing out that original plot bunny. I stole shamefully from this book, I must admit. The Karala Games were largely inspired by the huge tournament of Pippa's. The idea of having a purity ring, I stole that too (and took it to a completely different level).

And because it's set in the same world that From the Cave is based in (but in a different country), The Simarillion is also placed in here as a major inspiration, even though there is nothing really "history-like" about this book (even though there is a fair bit of history and legend discussed in conversation). Also, the Elves in this story bear a lot of similarities to Tolkien Elves....

And there is the last of them!

So, several things I need to work on:

a. my blurb writing.
b. Don't look at just theme but also writing style. Though I guess it would help to know which authors are, um, similar to mine. (can anyone help me out in that respect?).
c. Look to see if movies and songs and stuff are allowed into comp titles in real query letters...

And the curtain drops....

Come sit down and chat! Any ideas on whose writing style I'm similar? For those who have read some of my works, do these comp titles seem accurate? How do you like Orla? 

Scribbingly yours, 


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  1. So fun to read more of the White Rose!!!

    But I'm also still really intrigued by the Shattered Chandelier as well because I am a big Phantom fan. :) (Btw, I have to know: did you purposefully pick Eric Gerard for the one actor's name?)

    1. Ok, I thought so, but never know. :) Some people absolutely avoid the movie.

      I do like Gerard Butler as the Phantom. He did well. However, my favorite Phantom might be Ramin Karimloo. He was really fantastic!

    2. Sappiest little fool". I am dying. That is too funny!!

  2. They all sound so awesome!!

    Anything that meets or is a spin off of The Phantom of the Opera is going to be EPIC.

  3. These sound amazing, Catherine!!!!!!!!!
    Also; I need to read some of your works! Do you publish them anywhere? :-D

  4. im really looking forward to "the white rose" i also want to see how you write about the big age difference, because those are kind of weird to me. the world its in sound awesome!

  5. Yaaaay Phantom one!!! Also Fair Winds. My feels still haven't recovered. Also I don't recall hearing about the White Rose???


  6. Comp titles are so difficult....I think you did a great job! Still trying to get mine together...XD

  7. Loved to snippet!! Can't wait to read more.... :DD

  8. Ugh. Comp titles. I'm starting to gain some ground in that area since I'm getting a feel for my writing niche, but I still have a ways to go...

  9. Ahhh, this was great! I was so excited to see the comp titles that you posted, and I think out of all of those, Shattered Chandelier is my favorite. (*cough*theater*cough*musicals*cough*) But you did such a great job with the comp titles, and I loved how you used musicals and songs in them! And I absolutely adored the snippet that you posted - it really intrigued me! Orla seems like such a neat character, and I want to know about Magda, too. Great post!



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