Welcome Guest Author Morgan Wyatt – The Power of a Name

Morgan WyattIt’s my pleasure to welcome Morgan Wyatt today. Morgan’s the author of sexy romances with alpha heroes and strong, independent heroines. Help Morgan name her new hero for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks or Amazon gift card…suggest your choice in the comments below. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, June 10.

Welcome, Morgan!

Never underestimate the power of a name. Back a few years ago when I was dating I met men who often didn’t use their given name. They weren’t married or in the witness protection program, either. Instead, they were attempting to project an image with one word.  We usually decide on how we will interact with someone in less than ten seconds.  Depending on the person, you decide if they will be a friend, an enemy, a lover, or unimportant in your future.

Think about this the next time you go somewhere. Often you make eye contact with other people, but immediately look away because the people do not hold any significance for you.  Before we meet people, we often hear their name and form an impression.  Your co-worker or friend wants to fix you up with her cousin. How would you react if his name were Lawrence?

Immediately you might think the name sounds stuffy or old. You might picture a man with muttonchops sideburns smoking a pipe. Worse yet, he’d insist that you call him Larry. You end up saying that you will be out of town that weekend.

The same friend ever anxious to promote your love life, informs you that her husband’s brother  Hannibal is single. You murmur your apologies as you try to control your shudders. Unfortunately, movies have tainted names like Jason and Damien too.

Other names just have low energy. It is hard to get excited about someone named Eugene, Wilbur, Elmer or Harold.  It brings to mind an earnest young man trapped in the fifties.

Ambiguous gender names are sometimes confusing too.  It is hard to consider a fellow named  Sydney, Robyn or Cary as very hetero when they  share the same name as your girlfriends.

Therefore, I am back to the men who pick a name for their dating profile to attract women. Different names attract different women. Alexander may want to be perceived as a more social animal and goes with Alex. Daniel opts for Dan, which he thinks sounds more rugged.

Women can carry off exotic names, while most men can’t. A  survey that polled sexy male names listed relative common names including David, Michael, Sean, Clint and Brandon.

Never underestimate the power of a name. I wanted to like a character name Pea in a novel I read, but it was difficult. It wasn’t her real name, but an insulting nickname. Her refusal to use a decent name made her a weak character.

Naming our villains take more subtlety. Disney got away with naming one of its villainess, Malevolence, which is a very cool name. It would be the equivalent of naming one of our mean girl characters, extraordinarily bad girl.  Accept that there are things Disney can do that we can’t.

Time matters too when naming your character. I decided my hero Dr. Brad Korman in GONE sounded too old for his age. I renamed him Ryan in honor of Ryan Gosling. Just a name change made his appearance change too in my novel. He was always a good guy, but now he went up a few degrees on the hotness scale.

Next time, you think names  don’t matter. Remember all the men trying to find dates who transformed Carl into Adam or Norman into Edward. My husband’s name is Scott, which definitely influenced me when deciding if to date him. Scott is a strong, authoritative name, while retaining some playfulness.

As for me, I am always on the search for the perfect hero and heroine names. My newest WIP in the paranormal series features a college student named Nora who finds her destiny a hundred years in the past. What do you think a good name for her romantic interest should be? ( I am not totally stuck with the name, Nora,  either.) Winner wins a $10 Starbucks or Amazon gift card (winner’s choice.)

A taste of Dangerous Curves:Dangerous Curves Cover

Wolfe Jackson is hot on the trail of a domestic terroristic who has been causing havoc and panic by blowing up factories. The trail, although sketchy, has led to a convention in the Midwest. Is it a false trail? Wolfe is unsure, but he knows that a certain blonde named Krista bears investigating.

Krista Harlow finds her life as a principal dull. So bland in fact, she thinks attending the annual principal conference might enliven it. She even harbors secret romantic aspirations. As a principal, she must keep everything strait laced and buttoned down, but that was before she was mistaken for a corporate saboteur and possible murderer.

Wolfe initially approaches the suspect by pretending he knows her. Krista plays along, proving she’s either devilishly clever or she’s really interested in him as a man. The road to restore his credibility is full of dangerous curves.

An excerpt:

“Rachel, didn’t you hear me calling?” He stepped closer and put one hand on her arm, sending an arc of electricity through her body.

This is where it got difficult. How well did Rachel know him? If they’d been lovers, she would know him very, very well—definitely well enough to remember his name.

“So sorry, handsome,” Krista purred. “I was thinking about the dress I didn’t buy.”

“Sounds like you. Have you had dinner yet?” He watched her with one expressive eyebrow lifted.

“Um…no.” Krista had doubts about how far she should go with the Rachel thing, but she needed to eat sometime. Why not have dinner with him? Oh sure, it would be a hardship to have dinner with Mr. Stud Muffin.

He cupped her elbow and guided her in the direction of the steak house where the aroma of mesquite-flavored beef enticed shoppers. There was a significant wait so they moved to the bar. A few people called out greetings as they entered. She listened closely in effort to catch his name. Krista was sure his name wasn’t buddy or friend—no help there. He ordered oversized margaritas for both of them. Krista was about to tell him iced tea when she remembered Rachel might love margaritas.

“Wolfe, Wolfe Jackson. You don’t remember me, do you?”

His grin was devastating against his tanned skin. He reminded Krista of a pirate, the swashbuckling type as opposed to the peg-legged ones. She was lost. Perhaps someone would scrape her up as she melted at his feet. Krista shook her head since talking was more than she could handle at that moment.

“We met at my cousin’s wedding, Samuel Levinson. I believe he married your friend Ruth, or is she your cousin?” Wolfe placed his hand over hers on the bar.

Krista nodded eagerly at the verbal lifeline he’d thrown her while she tried to ignore the heat radiating from his hand. “She was, um, is, my friend. I don’t see her much since I moved.” He might wonder if she never talked to her cousin. Krista gulped the margarita in an attempt to alleviate the sudden heat streaking through her body, but the alcohol raised her body temperature instead. Not one of her better ideas. The liquor singed her empty stomach like three-alarm chili, while giving her an air of flirtatiousness she normally lacked. She remembered why she didn’t drink—she couldn’t hold her liquor.

The bartender lingered nearby and asked if they needed anything. Krista looked Wolfe up and down boldly and knew she had everything she needed. Wolfe’s wink caught her unawares, and she almost slipped off the stool. In a flash, he was beside her, wrapping an arm around her waist. For an instant, she leaned into him, inhaling the smell of sandalwood, soap, and a hint of gasoline. Then she remembered she was supposed to be sitting on a stool not oozing all over him like a melted ice cream bar and jerked upright. What kind of girl was Rachel? Krista was secretly hoping Rachel was a touch fast. Fast sounded superb.

A little about Morgan:

Morgan K Wyatt, raised on a steady diet of superheroes, believed she could fly at a very young age. After using trees, barn lofts, sliding boards, and even a second story window as launch pads, she found her flying skills were limited to fast and downward. By the age of nine, her dreams to be a superhero needed some modifications, which caused her to turn to writing and horseback riding as alternatives to flying.

At the age of twenty, she had another chance at superhero greatness as being one of the few female soldiers trained for combat. The fact that women will be able to serve in combat soon indicates that all the witnesses to the grenade incident have retired. The grenade incident didn’t prevent her two sons or daughter-in-law from enlisting in the service. Having different last names probably helped.

Morgan recently retired from teaching special needs students to write fulltime, instead of in the wee hours of the night. With the help of her helpful husband and loyal hound, she creates characters who often grab plot lines and run with them. As for flying, she prefers the airlines now.

Welcome Guest Author Lynn Cahoon

It’s my pleasure to welcome Lynn Cahoon today. Lynn’s the author of contemporary romances with alpha heroes and strong, independent heroines. Welcome, Lynn!

Here’s Lynn:Final Marriage Not Included copy Lynn Cahoon

A little help from my friends.

Once upon a time, I was a writer wannabe.

I stalked blogs, commenting and talking about writing.  Then one day, I won a prize and instead of mailing the book to me, a local author invited me to lunch.  When we talked about writing that day, she gave me one piece of advice – finish a book.  I had four started, and discarded. We meet monthly, set page goals, then time goals, until finally, I had a book ready (I thought) to send off to a publisher.

When I got back my rejection, my new writer friend gave me another piece of advice.  Actually two. She said, write another book and find a writer community.

So I joined the local RWA chapter. I signed up for everything, including monthly critique sessions.  I’ve attended two national conventions and coordinated the chapter contest.  And I’ve written more books.

And found more friends who write what I write and want to share in the journey.

A few years ago, a writer, frustrated with not finalling in the Golden Heart, put out a call on the PRO loop for RWA – looking for people willing to commit to critiquing and supporting each other with the sole purpose of finalling in next year’s contest.

The Lala’s were born and I bless Valerie Bowman (the creative force and Queen of the lala’s) for  letting me join and play with the group.  The first year, we had two finalists.  Both in the historic division and both who sold their manuscripts.  The next year we had three.  The next, three again.  This year, the group didn’t have a finalist, but many (including me), have gone on to sell which limits the number of members eligible to play.

I’m also a member of a goal setting group through GIAM (Amy Atwell’s brain child). And through the weekly reporting with my group, I’ve gained new friends.  With new  perspectives and shared opportunities and ideas about the state of this crazy business we call writing.

You would think, with all these groups and on-line and in-person writing friends that I’d be the extroverted type.  Not so. My first RWA chapter meeting  I drove an hour to attend (on a Saturday) then sat in my car debating just driving back home and forgetting the whole thing.

I was scared.

But I went anyway.  And now I’m glad I did.

As of today, I’ve signed contracts for nine books.  Sometimes I still feel like a writer wanna bee, but then I realize I’m moving in the right direction.  With a little help from my friends.

So are you part of a community, writing or otherwise?  Are you thinking about joining?

Marriage Not Included – Blurb

Lauren is headed back to school, this time not as a fun loving coed but to achieve her dream of turning the family farm into Idaho’s first Heritage Seed Center. Selling organic produce at the local farmers market, she meets Miles. After an unexpected act of kindness toward her daughter, Lauren agrees to one date.

As a VP and heir apparent to HN Seeds, the family business, Miles unknowingly holds the future of Lauren’s farm in his hands. Lauren’s looking for anything but a romance. She’s got too much on her plate to risk the distraction. But he plays the one card Lauren can’t resist, family. Miles needs Lauren and her daughter to feel at home. And Lauren needs Miles and his large extended family more than she knows. But can she forgive the one betrayal that would ruin all of her plans for the future?

Links –

Goodreads –http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5857424.Lynn_Cahoon

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon

Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor

website – http://lynncahoon.wordpress.com/

e -Book –

print -NA

Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Soul Mate website – http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/

BIO – Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters, modern cowboys, or hot doctors, sexy in scrubs. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want.  She blogs at her website www.lynncahoon.wordpress.com

Welcome Guest Author Abigail Sharpe

Abigail SharpeIt’s my pleasure to host author Abigail Sharpe on the blog today. Abigail’s going to give a free e-book of Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy to one lucky commenter (Restrictions apply – please see note at the end of this post). Welcome, Abigail. Please tell us a little about your story:

In the bestselling tradition of Lori Wilde…

SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMEONE NEW . . . Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy cover

There’s nothing florist Ainsley Fairfax won’t do to help her sister get the love of her life-even if it means taking her place on a bachelorette weekend at a Wyoming ranch so Cecelia can sail off with the man of her dreams. Ainsley is determined to spend the time keeping her head down and her heart safely tucked away-until an encounter with the ranch’s hunky owner gets her heart-and steamy desires-to bloom . . .

Riley Pommer doesn’t want to be lassoed into any relationship. But with the family ranch in dire straits, Riley knows his sisters’ crazy plan to turn the ranch into the setting for a dating competition-and using Riley as the bait-is the only thing standing between them and foreclosure. But the rules of the game change the instant Riley lays eyes on the spirited Ainsley. Now, as others try to stampede over their love, can Riley prove to Ainsley that true love is a prize worth fighting for?

Available now from Forever Yours.

Now, a little more from Abigail:

If you could bring a fictional hero to life, which one would it be? Heathcliff? Mr. Darcy? Mr. Rochester? Tarzan? Captain Mal? One of your own heroes?

Okay, not Heathcliff because I wouldn’t be able to understand him.  Wuthering Heights was required reading in high school and I would have rather done the dishes than read that book.  I could NOT get through that dialect!  Ugh!  Not Mr. Rochester, because he was a selfish bigamist.  (How popular is THAT opinion?)

Bring on Captain Mal or Castle.  Or just Nathan Fillion , even.  But only if he’ll massage my feet.

I’d go with Captain Mal, too…Nathan Fillion would do just fine, too!

Abigail, What’s your favorite quotation?

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

You’ve landed in Oz…Which would you rather possess: flying monkeys or Toto?

A dog that I can drop kick* or monkeys to do my every bidding and can take me places?  Yes, please. *I’m not saying I would.  I’m just saying the dog would probably rather eat my socks than help me travel.

What’s your all-time favorite movie? Why?

Too many to mention, but I’ll pick the more unusual ones (as in, not Princess Bride):  Philadelphia Story and Noises Off.

Philadelphia Story is a fabulous classic with Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart.  There’s one scene where Jimmy is drunk and I giggle every time.

Noises Off was originally a play.  The movie is about a group of actors performing a play and what goes on backstage.  Again, there is much laughter when I watch this movie.  When you’re backstage at a show you have to remain quiet, so some of the movie is just some good ol’ physical comedy.  It has a stellar cast, including Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeves, and John Ritter.  Sardines!

I adore the Philadelphia Story…I love old Katharine Hepburn movies, and Cary Grant had some awesome performances. I’ve neer seen Noises Off, but it sounds terrific. I’ll have to check it out.

Do you follow sports? Favorite teams?

I was a HUGE fan of the Celtics in the 80s, the era of Larry Bird (though my favorite player was Danny Ainge).  The talent on that team was amazing.  I love watching Sox games when the fans start chanting “Beat LA!”  Now I follow the Florida Gators (Orange!  Blue!) and Jacksonville Jaguars.  I have high hopes for the next year!  Don’t taunt me.

Okay, I won’t mention I’m a black and gold gal…

If you could wake up stranded on a desert island with one celebrity hunk (actor, athlete, musician, etc.), who would it be? Why?

Let’s go with Ty Pennington.  Because he can build us a boat to take us off the island!  I know I’m a transplanted Floridian, but instead of the beach, I’d rather be in a deserted cabin in the woods (though not the one from the movie) with a river nearby and mountains in the distance.  Thank heavens you’re not interested in THE Cabin in the Woods…too scary!

How can readers find you on the web?


Twitter: @abigailsharpe

Facebook:   Facebook.com/AbigailSharpeBooks

Thank you for having me here today, Tara!  I’ve enjoyed these non-standard interview questions.

Thanks for being my guest today. You can tell I’m a little warped from these questions…by the way, I’m a “flying monkeys” gal, too!

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a free e-copy of Abigail’s new book, Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy. The winner will be announced on Monday, May 20.  *Restrictions: This book may only be gifted to residents in the United States (it’s a “rights” thing) and your comment must be posted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 to be eligible for the drawing.

Welcome Author Angela Quarles

Angela QuarlesI’m so pleased to welcome author Angela Quarles today. Angela writes romantic comedy with a hint of the paranormal and witty steampunk. Like me, she’s a Browncoat (Firefly fan…love, love, love Nathan Fillion!) and the fact she mentions Star Trek and Monty Python in her blurb makes me like her even more! Welcome, Angela!

Please tell us a little about your story:

Sure thing! It’s BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, an erotic geek romantic comedy with a touch of the paranormal by way of a wish-granting djinn. (Can I get one?) It’s a novelette, so if you’re looking for a quick but fun read, this might be just for you. Here’s the blurb:

Beer and Groping in Las Vegas CoverCan a djinn and a magic slot machine bring two geeks together?

Riley McGregor is a geek trapped in a Good Ole Boy body and as owner of a microbrewery, smart chicks never look at him twice.

Rejected by a geek who wanted to “trade up,” Mirjam Linna would rather immerse herself in work than be the girlfriend-of-the-moment. Stranded in a Vegas hotel, she makes a wish—a night of hot sex with the man of her dreams. It’s granted. She agrees to dinner, but afterward, she’ll say thanks, but no thanks, and see what’s on the SyFy channel. But when they meet, they’re surprised to find they had a shared connection in their past. Sparks fly as these two learn to be in the moment, be themselves and find love.

Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Monty Python, Firefly and Marvin the Martian will enjoy this romantic comedy.

Tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?

I’m in the research/brainstorming phase for a sequel to MUST LOVE BREECHES, my time travel romance, and all I can say right now is that it will be another time travel set in the past. How’s that for vague? LOL. I don’t want to say more as my agent and I are still working that out and I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep. Meanwhile, I’m revising my NaNo draft from November, which is a meta fiction romance called NOT ANOTHER DARCY, which is about an indie bookstore owner who helps train literary manifestations that come to life in her store.

What makes a book a keeper?

Hmm, this is a multi-pronged answer for me. I’m assuming one you mean what I’d like to read over and over again, but I also just keep books because I love books and love having them around me, so pretty much any book I buy is going to be ‘kept’. But in the spirit of the question, I’ll pick up a book again if the characters have become like old friends and I want to relive the time with them. Also if I know I can learn/see more on subsequent readings. I’ve also reread some to better learn some techniques I’m working on.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Besides books? I’d probably say computer games. The guilt comes from the amount the game costs plus the hours and hours spent playing. I have an addictive personality and so I have now learned to “schedule” this time for when I can afford it time-wise. The last time I indulged was just after I signed with my agent—I felt like I deserved the break—and I spent a very fun week or so playing the dystopian steampunk game Dishonored. But back in the early days it wasn’t unusual for me to turn down social events and hole myself up for a weekend and just living and breathing a game to where the next thing I knew, the birds were chirping outside and a pallid light was infusing my room as the sun’s come up. But doing it occasionally I have justified in my mind, since it’s only about once or twice a year and it’s a great mechanism for me to wipe my mind clean.

If a movie was made based on your story, who would you cast as the hero and heroine?

For Riley McGregor in Beer and Groping in Las Vegas? Hmmm. Maybe a short-haired Joe Mangeniello.

For Mirjam, I’d pick my cousin, Lauren Benz Phillips currently with a small part on NBC’s Go On 🙂 In fact, a friend of mine thought the model on the cover looked like Lauren!

Where can readers find you on the web?

They can find me here: website | blog | twitter | facebook | goodreads | pinterest

Book can be found here: Amazon | B&N | ARe | BookStrand | trailer | goodreads | shelfari

Angela works at an independent bookstore and lives in an historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL, with her two matched gray cats, Darcy and Bingley. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls and creating the occasional knitted scarf. She’s had a varied career, including website programming and directing a small local history museum.
She’s an admitted geek and is proud to be among the few but mighty Browncoats who watched Firefly the first night it aired. She was introduced to the wonderful world of science fiction by her father, by way of watching reruns of the original Star Trek in her tweens and later giving her a copy of Walter M. Miller Jr’s A Canticle for Leibowitz as a teenager. She hasn’t looked back since.
She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She was an exchange student to Finland in high school and studied abroad in Vienna one summer in college. She recently found representation with Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon, Assoc.