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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

Please Welcome guest blogger award-winning author, Tracy Cooper-Posey.

I have a thing about names. 

I suspect most romance authors do, but I’m not sure if all authors get quite as obsessive about the naming as I do.  It’s not just the sound of the name I get stressed about, you see.  It’s the meaning and the history and the etymology of the name I get all worked up about, too.

Names have histories and meaning, and I’m a history nut.  And when you start working out how a character might have come by their name, then you start figuring out really neat things about that person and suddenly they’ve got a history and a background and their personality comes together.

Take Berengaria Brown, for instance.  Pretend I don’t know anything about her.  I’m going to slip over to one of my most useful and used sites ever, BehindTheName.com (http://bit.ly/UL2XP) and look up “Berengaria”, and I find that:

“Latinized feminine form of BERENGAR. This name was borne by a 13th-century queen of Castile.”

The name is listed as USAGE: Ancient Germanic (Latinized). 

So, just from Berengaria’s first name alone, I can bestow upon her some Anglo-Saxon heritage.  This is reinforced by her last name, Brown.  If I flip over to the BehindTheNames site for surnames, (http://bit.ly/prfPK) and look up Brown, I find that:

SOURCE: Nickname

USAGE: English


Meaning & History:  Originally a nickname for a person who had brown hair or skin.

This further confirms Berengaria’s Anglo-Saxon roots.  The brown hair amongst the flaxen-haired Saxons would have been unusual.   

I could start to fill in a history for her based upon these few clues – a strong, proud family lineage that descends from Saxon royalty (from where her name has been passed down through the generations), that migrated to the Americas some time in the 19th century to start again…

All that from a name I was already handed.

It gets way more interesting and fun when you start building a name and a character from scratch. 

Adrian Romanus Xerus, one of the heroes in Blood Stone, is a Byzantine born in 15th Century Constantinople.  “Xerus” is a name that was in use in 15th Century Constantinople.  “Romanus” is a name that I plucked straight out of ancient Rome.  I wanted his family to pride themselves on their Roman roots, which many of the Byzantine families prior to the fall of Constantinople to the Turks did.  “Adrian” is another cosmopolitan name that was recorded as being used in Constantinople in the 15th century, although it is not Byzantine  - it’s Germanic.  His family would tend to identify him by the less “foreign” sounding name, the one that added lustre to the family roots:  Roman.  And so Roman’s character was rooted and began to grow.

Calum Micheil Garrett, the other hero, has a name that becomes meaningful within the story itself.  This is the other way  I use names and their meanings.  You can read an excerpt on my site’s book page where Garrett’s name comes into play – for the first time. (Here: http://bit.ly/OgehEe - just scroll or click down to the excerpt).  Later on in the story the heroine, Kate, gets to decide which of Garrett’s two names is the one she is going to use for herself.  I won’t spoil her decision, but Garrett makes an observation that rounds out his character a little more:

“There isn’t anyone I know who calls me anything but Garrett these days.”

She wrapped her arm around his neck, twisting to do it. “No friends? No lovers?”

“My friends all call me Garrett. I gave up on love years ago. My heart couldn’t take it anymore.”

Nearly all of my character’s names have meanings, either within the story, or that have impact upon their character or their personal history.  Sometimes that meaning comes out in the story or sometimes I just leave the name to sit there for etymology fans to figure out for themselves.  Winter Manon Kennedy, for instance, was born on the winter solstice, in Serbia, and was christianed “Morana”, which is Croatian for the Goddess of Death and Winter.  Even the “death” portion of her name comes into play in the story.

Nial (pronounced n-eye-al) is the hero from Blood Knot, the first book in the series.  His full name is Nathanial Aquila Valerius Aurelius, which is as fully ancient Roman as you can get.  As you find out in the books, Nial is over 1,500 years old, and from Italy.  He is as Roman as you can get.  His full name has all the traditional parts:  Agnomen, Praenomen, Nomen, Cognomen.   

…and then sometimes I pick names just because they sound cool.  Cyneric Pæga, the Assassin…   I did want a very old Anglo-Saxon name, and Cyneric leapt out at me going “Pick me! Pick me!” when I saw it, because the sound of it (“sin-er-rick”) is just way to close to his character.  I took it with a cry of joy.

Blood Stone is my 44th title and my ninth indie book.

Nial orders Calum Garrett to get close to Hollywood producer Kate Lindenstream.  Garrett reluctantly complies for he has held himself apart from humans for centuries.  Kate doesn’t fall into Garrett’s arms, either.  She already has someone for that.  Roman Xerus -- whom Kate knows as Adrian -- and Garrett go way back to the sixteenth century Scottish highlands, but they parted bitterly two hundred years ago.

With Roman’s support, Kate battles Garrett in wills and business as he methodically forces himself into her life. However, on the closed-in movie set in the Californian desert, Garrett’s calm, orderly world crumbles for Garrett is drawn to Kate.  He has begins to experience real, human feelings.  

Kate doesn’t cooperate in the chess game Nial orchestrates, despite being unaware of the strategies swirling around her film set.  Demanding and expecting only the best for her movie, Kate’s agenda forces Roman and Garrett to work together to protect her and keep the humans around her ignorant of the Pro Libertatus, the anonymous and all-powerful vampire group who nearly killed Nial, Sebastian and Winter, and shield Kate from the excesses of the League for Humanity.  But could Roman really be with the Pro Libertatus?

There’s hidden intentions everywhere, and centuries of repressed feelings, along with at least two different groups that mean them harm.  Then there’s the rumours that Kate has found the mythical Blood Stone, the key to unlocking vampire history and lifting their curse.   Who is Kate, really?  Because once Garrett begins to notice, things about Kate don’t quite add up, either...


An Excerpt From: BLOOD STONE
Copyright © TRACY COOPER-POSEY, 2012
All Rights Reserved.


“Is that a Ben & Jerries just down there?” Garrett asked, tapping on the frame next to the driver.

“I believe so, sir,” the driver replied.

“Pull over, will you? I’ve got a sudden craving for some Dublin Mudslide.”

MacDonald snorted. “We’ll be late for the Sumitomo Mitsui meeting. And when did you sell out to the Irish?”

“The Irish are as Celtic as a good Scot, I’ll have you know,” Garrett said, as the limousine veered over to the sidewalk. He glanced at his watch. “And they know nearly as much about a fine drop of whiskey as the Scots do.”

Nearly,” MacDonald qualified. “Well, it’s your meeting you’re putting in jeopardy for the sake of ice-cream.”

“That’s right,” Garrett agreed, and pushed the door open. Immediately, a blast of arid heat beat about his face, radiating up from the sidewalk and fanning into the car from the motion of the opening door. He drew in a breath of surprise. “I’ll make this fast,” he told MacDonald over his shoulder as he shut the door.

He hurried into the ice-cream store and ordered the double scoop of Dublin Mudslide, plus a spoon, and headed over to the chrome stools and high counter at the back of the store, where the air-conditioning was blasting. The stools ran along both sides of the wide counter, and a line of toppings and napkin holders marched down the middle.

Garrett settled onto one of the stools and pushed the tub of Mudslide across the counter to the man with sea green eyes who sat on the other side. “Did it have to be Irish crap, Sebastian? I had to justifying selling out my Scots ancestors to my lawyer.”

Sebastian grinned as he picked up the spoon and tucked into the ice-cream. “You could have told him you were getting Chunky Monkey or something.” He swallowed a spoonful with obvious relish.

Garrett watched, fascinated. “Is it as good as it looks?” he asked, curiously.

“Better,” Sebastian replied, licking the spoon. “‘tis no wonder they have high cholesterol and weight issues, these days. Food is nothing like it was in our times. It’s addictive.”

Garrett shook his head as Sebastian took another enormous mouthful, and looked at the man sitting to Sebastian’s left. Nathanial’s appearance had changed since Garrett had met up with him in Poland, just over a year ago. The long hair was now short and business-like. There were streaks of very pale blond through it that might be mistaken for grey in the right light. He wore glasses that seemed to go along with the short hair and the very sincere-looking business suit he had on. But the glasses did nothing to hide Nathanial’s eyes, which had always drawn one’s gaze. Now, with his hair cut short and the glasses drawing attention to them, Nial’s eyes seemed to blaze with light and brightness. They were the blue of the Pacific ocean, and as deep.

With a shock, Garrett realized that they were almost the same colouring as Roman’s eyes, except that the shaping was different and Roman had the olive skin of his Greco Roman heritage to go with it.

Was that part of the reason Garrett had given his fealty so easily, last year?

“You should have done something about your eyes while you were changing identities,” Garrett murmured.

Nial’s mouth lifted at the corner. “I wasn’t allowed to.”

Sebastian snorted, and took another spoonful of ice-cream. “Neither was I,” he said around his mouthful.

Garrett suppressed his first reaction. That either of them would let a human dictate how they arrange something as basic, as important, as their current identities, seemed outrageous.

Nial shrugged. “I intend to make it unnecessary for any of us to have to worry about this sort of trivia in the future, Garrett. If my wife wants me to keep my eyes the same, it is a small matter, now. It is not the life or death thing it once was.”

Garrett drew in a deep breath. Then another. “Yes,” he said slowly. “Yes, I keep forgetting.” He felt the tension leave him, and smiled. “Old habits,” he confessed.

Nial nodded. “How did the meeting go?”

“About how I predicted,” Garrett replied. “She’s as defensive as a shield wall. And now she has me pegged as a star-struck sycophant. I don’t think a direct assault is going to work.”

“We don’t have time for anything sneaky,” Nial said flatly. “And you’re supposed to be visible, anyway.”

“Well, I’m certainly that,” Garrett said dryly.

“It’s interesting you should call her a shield wall,” Sebastian said, chasing the last of his ice-cream around the bottom of the tub with his spoon. He licked the spoon and glanced at Garrett. “Constantinople had a shield wall that withstood frontal assault for nearly ten centuries. The only thing that broke the wall, in the end, was the invention of gunpowder. They had to blow the wall up to breach it.”

Garrett could feel his gut tightening, his heart racing. His heart hadn’t squeezed like that for years. He fought hard to keep his face and body still and unrevealing. “Why do you speak of Constantinople?” he demanded. “What do you know?”

Sebastian put down the empty tub, his eyes narrowing. “Is there something I should know?” he asked quietly.

Damn. Garrett gritted his teeth. He had made the mistake with Sebastian that he always did. He had underestimated his intuitive logic. His ability to read even vampires, and leap to correct guesses. Sebastian was young, but far from stupid.

“What do you have to tell us, Garrett?” Nial asked.

Garrett grimaced. “Roman Xerus is with Kate.”

Nial straightened up slowly, and Garrett could see by the inward focus of his gaze that Nial’s mind was racing. “How is he with her?” he asked.

“I don’t know the precise relationship. It’s personal, though.”

Nial’s gaze refocused on Garrett. Then it slid sideways to take in Sebastian, then came back to settle on Garrett again. “That...complicates matters, doesn’t it?” he said mildly.


BLOOD STONE is the second book in the Blood Stone series

BLOOD STONE is the sequel to BLOOD KNOT.

It is a Plus-sized Novel.

WARNING:  This book contains two hot, sexy alpha heroes, frequent, explicit and frank sex scenes and sexual language.
It includes heart-stopping sexual scenes between the aforementioned sexy heroes, menage scenes, anal sex and the use of sex toys.  Don't proceed beyond this point if hot love scenes offend you.
No vampires were harmed in the making of this novel.

Blood Stone is the second book in my best selling vampire romance series.  It will be on sale on September 14, if not a bit before then. 

The good news?  The first book in the series, Blood Knot, is my #1 best seller, was the Winner of the Coffee Time Reviewer’s Recommended Award, was listed as one of Goodread’s “Most Drool-worthy Covers", nominated for Erotic Vampire Book of the Year by The Romance Reviews, and received a CAPA Nomination for Best Paranormal Book of the Year by The Romance Studio, December, 2011, among many glowing and rave reviews.  If you’re curious about Blood Knot, you can read more here:  http://bit.ly/g9pSw5. 

The really good news?  On the 14th, when Blood Stone is released, Blood Knot drops down to $0.00 for three days of free downloading at Amazon.

Bookmark Blood Knot on Amazon now:  http://amzn.to/hcrCCf

And bookmark Blood Stone on my website, so you can jump to the Amazon link the day it goes live:  http://bit.ly/TrCuWv

If you want a reminder on the 14th to go get your free book, sign up to my blog’s RSS feed, or to the email feed, or to my newsletter.

Tracy Cooper-Posey writes romantic suspense, hot erotic paranormal and urban fantasy romances. She has published over 40 novels since 1999, been nominated for 5 CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award. 

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated three times for Book Of The Year.   She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at Grant MacEwan University. 

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together.  In her spare time she enjoys sewing, history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.  

You can find her site at http://www.TracyCooperPosey.com .



  1. That is so interesting how you build your characters that way. What made you turn to Indie Publishing?

  2. Hi Kissa:

    Thank you! It's not the *only* way I build characters, but the name is an important part of their character building. It really helps me get a grip on a character. It's not just a tag. I really don't understand writers who can blanket tag characters "hero1" throughout the book until later, when they figure something out, or just call all their heroines "Jill" until they have the name. I know my own name is such a part of me....

    Indie publishing...very long story. But I think I can sum it up by saying I'm a total control freak. And Indie Publishing gives me total control over everything -- the publishing schedule, the interior of the book, the cover, the content, and even the success and the sales. All of it. If the book fails, that's 100% my problem, too. :) I know that sounds freaky to some people, but it's incredibly liberating, and I wish I had turned to indie publishing about ten or twelve books before I had. But...you can't turn back the clock, alas!



  3. Hi Berengaria, Queen of the Menages!

    Thanks so much for letting me guest here today.

    I wonder, is everyone here aware that Berengaria (the first Berengaria) was Queen to Richard the Lionheart and that *this* Berengaria was literally named after that fabulously courageous queen?

    I'll let Berengaria tell you about the real Queen. She was quite something.



  4. Hi Kissa, Thank you so much for coming by.
    Hi Tracy, Awesome post! Yes, my father loved history and named me for Berengaria of Navarre. She was a woman very much ahead of her time who believed in caring for women and children and even giving women rights (a shocking thought in those days!)