What do you think?

I just finished the third draft of Leora’s Early Years. Before I dive in for more sculpting, I’m thinking about the cover, and especially the title.

What do you think?

Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots
Leora’s Guthrie County Roots: Girlhood to 1920s
Leora’s Early Years: Girlhood to 1920s
Leora’s Early Years: Pioneer Stock to 1920s
Leora’s Guthrie County Roots: Girlhood to 1920s

Most of the stories are from all those Guthrie County years, where her ancestors pioneered. There are a couple of years in Nebraska, a couple in Minnesota, and half a dozen in Audubon County, but her father kept returning to their roots.


  1. Joy, I like the simpler, top subtitle. Leora’s Early Years: Guthrie County Roots. Love, cousin Bob

    • God handed it to me this morning! I did a little more playing with it, but I just placed at ad for the other two in a Guthrie County Tourism brochure, and connected with the curator of the Guthrie County Historical Village at Panora. It does feel like a good fit!

    • It sure doesn’t feel like it! But it was fun to “come up for air” and have this subtitle show up this morning. The manuscript needs more sculpting before going to an editor next month.

  2. I do like the photo as it helps set the time period for me. The problem I have with the title is that – I don’t know Leora and just the photo and the title doesn’t draw me in. Perhaps something that adds action or some hit of what Leora does other than ride around in a buggy. Something like, “Leora and the Building of Guthrie County – The Early Years,” or “Leora’s Early Years – From Pioneers to Farms,” or some such thing. Clearly she and her family have helped shape the county in someway (even if just living there as farmers, business people, etc). Give a hint of that in the title and subtitle. I want to know the time frame and hint of what happens.

    Clearly if you were family, from Guthrie County, or interested in history from that area, any of the titles you suggested would be fine, but as someone from another coast, I need a little more to motivate me to pick up the book and check it out.

    But whatever you title it, I’ll be buying a copy.

  3. Hi – Because its the third in the trilogy, we already know its Guthrie county so I am going for Pioneer stock to the 1920’s. Pioneer always grabs you – we want to know about the ‘pioneers’ who built this country 🙂

    • Thanks for your input, Sharon! This is the first set in Guthrie County, (the other two are in neighboring Dallas County), but it’s where the pioneers settled, and the Goffs just kept returning to Guthrie.

  4. I like the cover as shown. But a wider audience might be reached with Pioneer, the 1920s, and girlhood. Even if you just call it Joy’s Third Book, I’ll buy it.

    • Bless you! I think the readership will be drawn there by the WWII book. There’s something about Leora herself. I’ll also be weaving in Clabe’s early years even though I don’t know that much. But both of his parents died at Clarinda State Hospital. (Marlene will recognize the name.) Both Clabe and Leora are forged into the a steadfast couple, able to weather those devastating Depression and World War II years

  5. Congratulations on a very good early morning idea! 🙂 It is true what they say about a good night’s sleep and waking up to brand new revelations. I love the cover and the Early years as well!

    • Thank you, Linda! I was between drafts on this one, still “feeling around” for a subtitle. The day before I felt led to place an ad in a travel brochure for Guthrie County, which connected me to the “right people.” It’s a small county, population wise. I pray that Grandma Leora’s stories will lead people into the rolling hills of Guthrie County, especially after it becomes a “real book,” probably this summer!

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