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Showing posts from October, 2014

Prelude for a Lord - names part 4 Lady Arkright

This is continuing my series explaining how I came up with the weird (and not so weird) names of my characters in Prelude for a Lord . Lady Arkright Lady Arkright was a childless Italian widow of a local gentleman with a farm neighboring Alethea’s father’s lands. She befriended Alethea and taught her to play the violin, which is a socially unacceptable instrument for women in England at the time. Lady Arkright learned to play the instrument, among many others, in her childhood in Italy. She loved Alethea like her own child and bequeathed her violin to her, unaware of its amazing history. Lady Arkright has died by the time Prelude for a Lord opens. For a woman who didn’t have any page time in this book, I spent a lot of time building her backstory and trying to come up with her name. She was actually one of the most fun characters to write because she is the character who could have been. The composer Vivaldi had been employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740 at the O

Prelude for a Lord - names part 3 Aunt Ebena

This is continuing my series explaining how I came up with the weird (and not so weird) names of my characters in Prelude for a Lord . Alethea’s aunt, Mrs. Ebena Garen Ebena was originally going to be the nastiest miser I could come up with, but somehow when I started plotting the book, she just became different. So her first name doesn’t quite match how I had originally envisioned her—a miser like Ebenezer Scrooge. Get it? Ebenezer … Ebena … Um, yeah. I mentioned I was really bad at coming up with names, right? And I did check in British censor records and there were a few women named Ebena in my time period. So it wasn’t completely out of left field. Aunt Ebena’s father had essentially sold her in marriage to Mr. Garen, a man twenty years her senior. He was a contemporary of Lord Ravenhurst’s father—Mr. Garen and the previous Lord Ravenhurst were only about five years apart in age. When coming up with Ebena’s husband’s name, I did a Google search for “character” “sold

Prelude for a Lord - names part 2 Alethea

This is continuing my series explaining how I came up with the weird (and not so weird) names of my characters in Prelude for a Lord . My heroine, Lady Alethea Sutherton The name “Alethea” means truth , which I deliberately did in contrast to Bayard’s “blindness” (see my previous post to understand what was up with that). But ironically, Alethea herself is blinded to the fact that she is not alone, that God is with her. As with Bayard, I again looked up the name Alethea in British census records to make sure there were women named Alethea during my book’s time period in the early 1800s. I admit, I stole Alethea’s surname, Sutherton, from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (I had to have something of Jane’s in there somewhere). Since I didn’t want to be rude and name Alethea after a real-life peer (especially since her father and brother were such nasty fellows) I checked with the Surname index of the Peerage of Britain and tweaked Jane’s “Sotherton” (who might have been a knight

Prelude for a Lord - names part 1 Bayard

Recently a reader commented on my hero’s name, Bayard Dommick, and it occurred to me that people might be interested in how I picked the names of my characters in Prelude for a Lord , especially since many of you know how absolutely abominable I am at choosing character names. I am proud to say that while it was difficult to come up with character names in this book, each name has a sort of meaning behind them, a “story behind the name.” Real-life nobility One thing I absolutely did not want to do was name any characters after real-life nobility, especially if the peer was still alive. I think it would be a little rude to do that since these families are very proud of their family names and titles. So I had to check all my surnames and titles against a Surname index of the Peerage of Britain . I managed to miff the spelling of some names so they wouldn’t match real-life people. My hero, Bayard Terralton, Lord Dommick: I had already settled on the name of Bayard’s title, Lord

Review: The Gentleman Rogue

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is my first book from this author, who has become a new favorite for me. The writing was immediately engaging and compelling from the first chapter. The hero is eminently swoon worthy. In fact, I kind of pictured him as a bit like a younger Daniel Craig, including the tortured look behind his eyes. Great backstory and a strong, gritty, noble character. The heroine is also incredibly likable, a gentlewoman whose family has lost everything, strong and practical enough to get a job as a barmaid in Whitechapel despite her exalted background. The writing was incredibly emotional and elegant, making for complex characters and dynamic relationships. The setting was almost like another character. Note: This isn't a "sweet" Regency, there is a bit of sex in it, although it didn't bother me. But this is just a note in case a reader wants to know. The sensuality level was