Posted in Writing

Say Your Name!

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself? ~ The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt

I was named after my two maternal great-grandmothers, Mary Ophelia and Virginia Grace. Up until around middle school, I went by my full name. For a very short time after that, I wanted to go by the nickname Maggie, which I considered to be a combination of Mary and Grace. But that didn’t last long, and soon I just wanted to go by Mary.

When I create characters for my stories, this is a part of the history that I try to think of. But I also want to look up the meanings of the names I’m interested in to see if they fit the character I’m trying to create. (And I’ve started to notice that I favor names that start with J – Jessica, Jemima, Jo, Jack, Joel, Joseph, etc.)

How do you come up with names for your characters? Do you decide on the name first and then create the character around the name? Or create the character and then pick a name? Or something else altogether?

Posted in Book Review, Friday Reads

Friday Reads: “Unspoken” and “Danger in the Shadows

This edition of “Friday Reads” may contain spoilers of the books I’ve read this week.

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A couple of weeks ago, I borrowed Dee Henderson’s novel Unspoken on my Kindle from my local library. I had read the description and thought it would be an intriguing read. Wednesday night, I started reading.

I found myself disappointed.

The male main character is Bryce Bishop, the owner of Bishop Chicago, an antique coin shop. His female counterpart is Charlotte Graham, a mysterious woman who has inherited her grandfather’s great wealth, a trucking/storage business, and millions of dollars’ worth of antique coins that she wants to sell. She was also a kidnapping victim when she was a teen, and refuses to talk about it.

Part of what disappointed me was during the conversations between Bryce and Charlotte about the coins. Each conversation, as part one went on, felt more and more like massive info dumps of coin collecting knowledge with little/poor/no explanation for the non-coin-collecting reader.

Then, when Bryce asks a mutual friend about Charlotte’s past, there’s very little hesitation before the friend reveals the truth. I would have figured the friend would have encouraged him to wait a little longer before asking Charlotte instead. The religious conversation that took place near the end of part one bothered me, too, though I’m not really sure why. Maybe the way Bryce put everything is not how I would have done it.

For what may be only the second time in my life, that I can remember, I had no desire to see how a book ended. I couldn’t finish it, and returned it to the library’s eBook catalog the next day.

Danger in the Shadows
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Instead, I picked up an old favorite, another by Dee Henderson: Dangers in the Shadows. My aunt first introduced me to this book, the prequel to the O’Malley series, in 2005, and I was hooked from page 1. It’s a nice blend of suspense, budding romance, and Christian discussions. I’m still in the the first chapter – Sara and Adam are about to meet – so I’ll save more of this for next time. Actually, I plan to read this one slower than I normally do. I want to make notes as I read. I’m interested in writing a Christian romantic suspense novel, and I find this whole series to be a good example of what I want.