What’s in a (Character) Name? Sharon Booth @Sharon_Booth1 #Guestpost #Uplifting Women’s Fiction #IARTG

Sharon Booth tells Samantha Henthorn how she chooses her character names.

Way back when I started reaching out and networking as an independent author, I saw a post on a reputable social media group asking if any authors wanted to appear on a blog called ‘Five Photos’. Before responding, I thought wow, this author writes uplifting women’s fiction. That sounds right up my street!

This author was none other than super talented SHARON BOOTH I have read every single one of her books – the first one being Kearton Bay my husband came home from work and saw me reading in the garden. ‘Why are you crying?’ he said. ‘Because this book is so touching… and SO cute!’ 

Thank you so much Sharon for joining me!

Sharon Booth

What’s in a Character Name?

Names are very important to me. I can’t just pick a character’s name out of thin air; I have to search for just the right one. First of all, it has to suit the character, obviously, but it also has to mean something to me or to the story.

With the first series of books I wrote it was easy. I’d spent a few years researching my family tree and I wanted to pay tribute to those people I’d been learning about, and who’d come to mean so much to me. The surnames of most of the characters in Kearton Bay are the surnames of my ancestors: Hollingsworth, Bone, Boden and Kean (hyphenated as one name for the story), MacLean, Crook, Hope … even Kearton Bay itself was named after my paternal grandmother, whose maiden name was Kearton. Rhiannon, who has Wiccan beliefs, is named after a Celtic goddess. In mythology, her son was Pryderi, so I named her son in the book Derry. Rose’s name was a given. She’s crazy about the colour pink, so she and her daughters all had to have pink names. Her daughters are called Fuchsia and Cerise. Gabriel Bailey, on the other hand, got his first name because I needed an angel’s name for the story to work. His surname was inspired by my favourite film, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is a real hero to me, and I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather name my own hero after.

With the Skimmerdale books, it was the place names that took some working out. I wanted to be as authentic as possible, and spent ages looking at old Norse words, as so many places in the Yorkshire Dales have old Norse names. Skimmerdale itself is explained in This Other Eden. “Skimmer” was an old Norse word meaning “to shine brightly, to sparkle”. I had the image in my mind of sunlight glinting on the river as a Viking chief looked down upon it, inspiring him to give the area that name. The farm’s name, Fleetsthorpe, is derived from Fleets, meaning “stream or beck”, and Thorpe, meaning “the outlying farmstead”.

Bramblewick was a tribute to the novels of Leo Walmsley, who called his fictional version of Robin Hood’s Bay by that name. I borrowed it for a brief mention in A Kiss from a Rose, little realising that I would be revisiting the village and naming an entire series of books after it!

Fresh Starts at Folly Farm (Bramblewick Book 3) Kindle Edition

With my Moorland Heroes series, Saving Mr Scrooge made every use of the Charles Dickens’ classic on which it was loosely based. Jacob Marley became Marley Jacobs, and instead of Ebenezer Scrooge (which wouldn’t have sat well with modern readers) I named the hero Christopher Carroll, as Chris Carroll was the closest I could get to the original title. He was nicknamed Kit to be a bit more up-to-date – and because I was going through a Game of Thrones period at the time!

With Resisting Mr Rochester, the surname of the hero was fixed in stone, but I had fun playing around with the other important names. His first name became Ethan, which means strong and safe. Cara Truelove was inspired by two things: Cara means dear one, beloved (aw!) and seemed appropriate. Most people assume Truelove was just to emphasise how romantic she was, but in fact, it’s taken from an old legend connected with the surname Eyre. It tells how a companion of William the Conqueror, named Truelove, saved the life of the king, and was renamed Eyre in gratitude for giving William the air that he breathed. There’s no real historical evidence for this but it’s a lovely legend, and as I was looking for a connection to Jane Eyre I thought it was perfect. You can read more about it here. Although the book is obviously a tribute to the Charlotte Bronte novel, it was also inspired by Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Cara does share some characteristics with Catherine Morland in that novel, so I named Ethan Rochester’s home Moreland Hall in tribute.

For my current series, The Witches of Castle Clair, I did a lot of research into names with magical or mythical connections. The river was an important part of the town and its mythology, and the word Hrafn is old Norse for raven, so very appropriate for my stories. I found lots of names connected with the sky in some way for my St Clair family: Sirius, Star, Celeste, Sky, Iliana (ray of light), Raiden (god of thunder and lightning), Zephyr (west wind) and Aurora all have celestial meanings.

 

It does take time to research names, but I always feel more comfortable when I know I’ve chosen appropriate ones that fit the characters. I like to have them all in place before I start writing the book. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through and realising I don’t like the name, or it doesn’t fit, and having to change it. It’s worth making the effort right at the beginning. After all, these people are going to be my best friends for several months. The least I can do is get their names right!

Sharon Booth

 

 

Author Bio

Sharon Booth is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and an Authorpreneur member of The Alliance of Independent Authors. She writes uplifting women’s fiction – “love, laughter, and happy ever after”. Although a happy ending for her main characters is guaranteed, she makes them work for it!

Sharon grew up in the East Yorkshire town of Hessle, and now lives in Kingston-upon-Hull with her husband and their gentle, and thoroughly gorgeous, German Shepherd dog.

Since giving up her admin job at a medical practice, she spends a lot of time assuring her family of five children, assorted in-laws and hordes of grandchildren – not to mention a sceptical mother and a contrary hairdresser – that writing full-time is a proper job and she hasn’t taken early retirement.

She has a love/hate relationship with sugar (she loves it, it hates her), adores Doctor Who and Cary Grant movies, and admits to being shamefully prone to all-consuming crushes on fictional heroes.

Find out more about Sharon at linktr.ee/sharonboothwriter

 

Sharon’s latest novel, To Catch a Witch, is the third in the romcom series The Witches of Castle Clair. It will be published on April 28th and is available for pre-order here.

TO CATCH A WITCH_FRONT_RGB_150dpi

 

To Catch a Witch

Return to Castle Clair for the final chapter of the St Clair story.
It’s three hundred and fifty years since the famous witch’s leap happened in the North Yorkshire town. Riverside Walk is swarming with eager tourists, wanting to pay tribute to the legendary Blaise St Clair. It’s also Christmas Eve, and the family has gathered to celebrate an eventful year, and to look forward to even better times ahead.
But a shock event changes everything, bringing a whole lot of trouble to the door of Castle Lodge.
For something big is happening in Castle Clair. Strangers are arriving, a prophecy is unfolding, a mystery is deepening, a reckoning is coming … and someone’s getting rather too fond of Mrs Greenwood’s baking.
The past is colliding with the present, and the future is in jeopardy. No wonder the High Council of Witches is a bit miffed.
Will the St Clairs have enough strength, courage ~ and chocolate fudge cake ~ to see them through?

Or is this the end of the world as they know it?

Thank you so much Sharon! I cannot wait for To Catch A Witch to be published!

Join me next time, happy reading, Samantha xx

 

#BookReview The Witches of Helcombe by Harry Bradford #IARTG

Hello! I am still part of this fantastic BookFunnel Promotion so if you are a fan of literature written with a historical flair then please click the link in pink above to see if you fancy any of the titles. All the books are on special offer, I have read three of them now, recently finishing this one: The Witches of Helcombe by Harry Bradford

The Witches of Helcombe.: Book 1 of The Devon Witches Series (The Devon Witches Series.) by [Bradford, Harry]

The Blurb: It’s November 1609 in Devon, south-west England where in a remote village, an elderly witch cures a sick child and having no daughter of her own, passes her powers to the infant.
Years later, Cromwell’s parliamentary forces pursue a pregnant Queen of England across Devon, determined to stop her escape to safety in France and to hold her for ransom. Worse still, the unborn child’s life is in danger in the womb.
Can the Queen save her child? And, in danger of cleansing by fire, will the witch agree to help?
And how will the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emissary react to the presence of witchcraft in the village when he comes to take over as Reverend at the church?

Come with me to the 17th century where witchcraft is rife in the villages and the Devil lurks around familiars and in ancient graveyards.

Harry BradfordHarry Bradford:

Harry Bradford was born in Maidstone, Kent.

He spent just over 20 years as a policeman in that County, retiring and moving to Manotick, a small town near Ottawa, Canada, some twenty-six years later.
He and his wife, Linda, two dogs and an irascible cat, finally settled yet another twenty years later, on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, where they now live in a rambling bungalow, half way up Mount Maxwell.

A voracious but undisciplined reader, he was motivated to write this first novel, Nexus, as he simply couldn’t believe there were any more ways for people to kill or maim each other, (he hates murder/mysteries and gratuitous violence), or for the earth to suffer armageddon!

A failed retiree, he’s now working on the sequel to Nexus, (amongst a dozen other, unrelated, activities), which he hopes to have ready for publication soon.

 

My Review:

A powerful start to this novel, Isabel is saved by a witch who shares her powers and provides her with a mirror so that she can ask for help. The novel is written in a similar style to original fairy tales – soon I was mesmerised into the story. We then follow Isabel’s life, she marries – will her husband accept her powers? She has a child of her own – will this daughter (Mary) inherit witchcraft? Charles I is the current monarch, and his wife Henrietta needs help with her pregnancy. Isabel acts as a midwife here – but is judged as a witch – interesting because the Queen’s male physicians had been cast out. Due to that period in history – Henrietta must flee from Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads. Extra characters are introduced here, that normalise the use of witchcraft. An enjoyable take on the English Civil War – the witches were not the enemy here.

 

opened book
Photo by Joy Marino on Pexels.com

Join me next week when I review Intrusion by Rosalind Minett, also available on the BookFunnel Promotion (make sure you click the link because you won’t be able to find all 28 books together on special offer after the 19th of March 2020)

Intrusion (A Relative Invasion Book 1) by [Minett, Rosalind]

#BookReview #WizardRing by Clare Blanchard @CBcrime @BookFunnel A Touch of History #IARTG

WELL! Hello everyone, I have just finished reading yet another book that I could not put down Wizard Ring: From darkness into light (Wizards Series Book 1)

Wizard Ring by Clare Blanchard

 

I told you all the other day that my book 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire) has been lucky enough to take part in a BookFunnel promotion called ‘A Touch of History’ this promotion includes some great looking books (I have read two of them now) and runs until the 19th of March 2020. The books are all on special offer and there is a great selection. If you like books written with historical flair, then this sales promo should be right up your street! Including an interesting mix of fiction styles and themes, all with a strong historical element. Click this link to see if you fancy reading any of the titles.

 

Wizard Ring: From darkness into light (Wizards Series Book 1) by [Blanchard, Clare]

BOOK BLURB:

I knew nothing about the alchemist John Dee until one winter’s night in Prague when I met the ghost of a barber.
My name is Sylvia. I was just a burnt-out teacher with a subversive sense of humour. Then my mother gave me a magic ring made in the Prague workshop of John Dee.
I’ve never been the same since.

Image result for John Dee

John Dee, alchemist to Queen Elizabeth I

MY REVIEW: 5/5

Brilliant! Part contemporary, part history. Sylvia is a world-weary teacher, she lives with her mother Svetlana (originally from Prague) and son Rusty. The three make for interesting characters and in-depth family dynamics. The internal politics of the school open up a great storyline – sorcery is all around Sylvia (most of it personality-driven!) Clare Blanchard has provided a clever observation of school on both sides of the desk, the stressful impact of working in any public sector environment, and the notion that the supernatural could save you from this stress. Sylvia’s mother has given her a ring, made in Prague by the alchemist John Dee – history books report he was in Queen Elizabeth I inner trusted circle and sent to Czechoslovakia by the Queen sometime in the 16th century as a spy. This is where the intrigue lies for the history lover, Tudor Royal courts were reportedly ruled by jealous paranoia – completely believable that a sorcerer would manufacture an energy-giving ring capable of influencing those around. Will Sylvia manage this power? A well-observed, interesting and lighthearted glimpse of history influencing today.

 

Clare Blanchard

Clare Blanchard is a British author who lives in the wine-growing country of Czechia near Lower Austria in Central Europe. She writes crime mysteries and urban fantasy novels with a strong historical flavour.
Her debut novel was the crime mystery The Tainted Vintage, published by Fahrenheit Press in July 2018. Set in a small town in Czechia, the novel opens a series featuring the somewhat ill-matched but oddly effective detective duo, Dvorska and Dambersky. It is to be followed soon by the second book in the series, The Russian Dolls, which deals with the world of international art theft, as well as a classic murder mystery.
A fan of Nordic noir, Clare Blanchard likes to treat the locations and historical eras in her books as if they were actual characters in the book. This goes not only for her crime fiction, but also for her new Wizards series, which takes the reader into the realm of historical urban fantasy on the murky borders between magic and science. Wizard Ring is the first of a planned series dealing with the dark arts in modern life that are hidden in plain sight.

silver colored pendant with green gemstone
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

 

I am going to see how many books I can read during the promotion, next on the list for me is The Witches of Helcolmbe by Harry Bradford.

 

The Witches of Helcombe.: Book 1 of The Devon Witches Series (The Devon Witches Series.) by [Bradford, Harry]

Thank you for reading, and please join me next time I post about this historical fiction book promotion

Happy reading, Samantha x

What’s in a (Character) Name? Ahava Trivedi @Ahava_Tee #GuestPost #IARTG #Preorder

Ahava Trivedi tells Samantha Henthorn how she chose the name for her latest character.

Hello and thank you for joining me in my now bi-monthly writerly post. Now, earlier this year I met Ahava Trivedi on a BookFunnel comedy promotion. Since then we have become great friends, there is no end to her writing talent – and she has now even switched genres! Please welcome the newly appointed YA Fantasy Novelist Ahava Trivedi talking about her new character’s name (which after seeing today I am totally thinking of changing my own name to!):

 

Katrina Snow Quartz

Katrina Snow Quartz is a Crystal Witch. While she was growing up, she was shuffled from foster homes in Europe, all the way to those in Canada where her adoptive parents, Lorna and Babette Quartz adopted her from. Lorna and Babette weren’t just any other couple. They were powerful High Priestesses of their coven. They were Crystal Witches that possessed a rare and potent form of magic and they adopted Katrina because they felt the same magical line in her. The only two things that were known at the time about Katrina’s heritage, was her first name and birthday. Neither of the witches had the heart to change Katrina’s first name as it was one of the only symbols of her largely unknown heritage.

The name ‘Snow’ came about because Lorna thought she was funny and chose it given that Katrina was a white witch coming to live with them down south in Louisiana from the Great White North. She thought it was genius while Katrina has always found it lame.

Katrina belongs to the coven named ‘Circle of Quartz’ and that’s where she gets her surname. Each witch carries the surname that the coven is defined by. Once initiated, every witch in the coven carries the name of the coven as her surname in the supernatural world and would only ever change it if she started a coven of her own.

Magic Within: A Young Adult Urban Fantasy Novel (Bloodline Academy Book 1) by [Trivedi, Ahava]

Releasing January 2020 PRE-ORDER HERE (Samantha Henthorn has)

Ahava Trivedi

Ahava Trivedi grew up in the south of England and almost on a whim one day, decided to up and move to Toronto, Canada with her sister. She is mostly a fiction author who, similar to her hasty move across the pond, likes to explore different genres that interest her by diving headlong into them first and figuring out her story as she goes along.

Ahava is currently writing some humorous reads that have taken shape as The Hopeless Husband Series. The first book in the series, ‘The Anniversary’, is out now and the next ones will be available very soon!

If you’d like to get an email whenever Ahava releases a new title or decides to give books away for free (she does this from time to time!), sign up for exclusive updates at http://www.ahavatrivedi.com

If you’d like to contact Ahava, she’d love to hear from you! Here are some ways to get in touch:

The Twitter-verse: @Ahava_Tee

The Facebook Page: Ahava Trivedi Author

Telepathy: Hey, why not? Give it a try – you can do it if you believe you can!

 

Thank you so much, Ahava! I have really been looking forward to hearing what this new name was! And it was well worth the wait. I would recommend signing up to Ahava’s page and reading her books!

Happy reading! Samantha xx

PS join me next month when we hear from a poet from the very same town as me!