Friday, 21 February 2014

Choosing Perfect Character Names by Tina Leonard author of Hotter Than Texas - $50 Amazon GC Giveaway

I’m happy to hand my blog over to Tina Leonard who is sharing about choosing the right name for our beloved characters. Make sure to leave a comment because she will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

I love choosing names for characters!  That’s one of my favorite parts of writing.  Sometimes you read a book or watch a movie, and the characters have such perfect, memorable names that they stick in your mind forever!  I think of Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games—there was just something about her name that people responded to—it was cool, different and memorable.  Who can forget Scarlett O’Hara or Rhett Butler?

So one of my favorite challenges is to choose names that really fit the story and the characters.  Even the town or city needs to have a name that readers can remember and somehow relate to.  I spend a lot of time looking up names, their meanings, fitting them with other characters to see how they blend.  Would a nickname suit the story’s character better, illuminating the story more?  I think of Deanie in Splendor in the Grass—maybe we never remember her full name, but the name Deanie sticks because it suited the character so well. 

I also keep a catalog of all the names I use, and I try not to repeat, as every name usually fits a certain story’s character perfectly.  A catalog is also helpful because it keeps me from using names in a story that are too similar, or which start with the same letters so that it confuses the readers.  Naming the characters and places is important enough to really spend some time searching for the perfect combinations—who knows?  You could be writing the next Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice!


Perfection takes time, but desire waits for no man. Or woman…

Pecan Creek, Book 1

With more than one skeleton rattling in her closet, Sugar Cassavechia hopes “The Most Honest Town in Texas” will be the perfect place to start an online business. As soon as her mother remembers the family recipe that’ll get off the ground.

In the meantime, no way is Sugar letting their new landlord get away with renting them a run-down house that’s decorated like a rich widow’s orgasm. Even if he’s the biggest hunk of hot she’s ever laid eyes on.

Jake Bentley would love to do nothing but sit back and be amused as the Cassavechia women unwittingly stir up trouble in his uptight town. But something about them thaws out his frozen rescue complex. Especially Sugar’s long, chestnut hair and sassy mouth.

Right about the time Sugar figures one steamy night in Jake’s bed won’t hurt, another skeleton joins the party in the form of a dead body in the “Belle Watling” room. And Sugar must decide if her family’s reputation—and her own heart—are safe with Jake.

Product Warnings

No sex in this book. Nope. None. Nada. Honest. Now, if you believe that, the author has an iceberg in Texas to sell you. Better hurry before there’s none left to cool the fevered dreams generated by this book.


Twenty minutes later, Jake had driven by his house, grabbed a six pack of beer and a bag of chocolate chip cookies—comfort food—and headed down the road to the creek. He had to think, and the only place he could think in peace and quiet without Kel’s issues or his mother’s fixation with the Hot Nuts, or Averie wanting to relive their relationship, was his private hideaway.

He passed Sugar and Paris walking down the road, looking like she might be heading into town. “Don’t do this,” he told himself and backed up his truck.

“Hey,” he said, and she smiled at him.“Hi.”Just her smile made his muscles relax. He hadn’t realized how tense he was until he breathed out at the sight of her. “Where are you two ladies off to?”

“We’re heading into town. We’re going to get a new dog bowl and a bag of dog treats.”He looked at Paris, the world’s most spoiled dog now, and her beautiful red-haired mother. Paris had on an autumn-leaf-themed kerchief around her neck. Sugar wore capri jeans and a green top that showed just a bit of her waist, and he wanted to sit and stare at her all afternoon.

“Where are you going?” Sugar asked.

“Just going to head off for a bit.”

“Oh.” Sugar smiled. “Have fun.” She started walking again, and he watched her fanny move from side to side in the tight jeans, and groaned.

She was dynamite in his world, capable of blowing his heart to bits. He knew that now, but he wasn’t entirely sure it mattered.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Tina Leonard has sold over 2.6 million copies of her titles. She has made the USA Today Bestseller, Waldenbooks, Bookscan, and Ingrambook lists, and has written and contracted seventy-one books and special projects. Her work has been published by Harlequin, Samhain Publishing, Robinson Scarlet, and most recently Random House Loveswept contracted for a single title trilogy project, Hell’s Outlaws. Leonard was chosen to be among the first authors published for Robinson’s Scarlet line, writing four single title novels for that imprint. Not long after, she sold on proposal to Harlequin American, where she has since written several popular series, most notably the Cowboys By The Dozen, Morgan Men, and Callahan Cowboys series. Her newest single title project, HOTTER THAN TEXAS, was published in March 2013. Leonard is known for her fun sense of humor, endearing communities, snappy dialogue, and memorable characters.

Join Tina at

Remember to follow the tour and leave a comment on each blog. The more you comment, the greater your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


  1. Names need to fit the characters. I love different, but not outlandish.


  2. Watching an old film was how I discovered the name I eventually used for my daughter when she was born a few months later. Inspiration is everywhere! What do you find harder to do: developing a character background, history, etc or finding the correct name for said character?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  3. Katniss Everdeen has to be one of the best character names I've ever heard. I'm not even a fan of Hunger Games but that name still caught my attention from the get-go. Naming characters can be such fun.

    Great post and good luck with Hotter than Texas - a great name for a book! :D

  4. I would love to pick the name for the characters. Sounds like fun.


  5. Naming characters has always been tough for me. You make it sound so easy. How fun to host a contest inviting blog friends to help you!

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches

  6. Hi, Tina Leonard here! *waves to everyone* Thank you so much for having me to your lovely blog--and thank you to everyone who has stopped by to comment. Good luck to all! :)

  7. I really enjoyed reading about the way you choose names for your characters. It really is important to give them the correct name.

  8. Some good advice on choosing names for our characters. I know it makes a huge difference, but the process is never easy for me.

  9. I think choosing names would be one of my biggest names as a writer (if I were one lol). Thanks for the giveaway! sammyjoeyk at aol dot com

  10. Wow, Tina's a big star. I don't have to wish her success on her new book because it's obvious she's doing great! I agree with her about names. Naming is fun and every name carries half the *feel* of the character in it. Great post! :)

  11. Looks like as much thought goes into naming characters as it does children lol. Great post, thanks for sharing.


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