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THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING by Nic Starr

The Proof is in the Pudding

The Australian bush. A Christmas with friends. A chance to mend a broken heart.

Steve Hayes is spending Christmas break away with a group of friends. He’s determined to put his two-timing ex-boyfriend in the past and enjoy his week away. Steve is equally terrified and happily surprised to find that Corey Oh, the guy he’s been admiring from afar, has been invited along too. But Steve knows there’s no way someone as wonderful as Corey, who could have any man he wanted, would be interested in him.

Can a misadventure with a Christmas pudding help Steve’s dreams come true?

Note: This is a re-release. The original story has been re-edited and expanded by the addition of a 5k word epilogue.

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BUY LINKS

An Aussie Christmas romance… only 99c for a limited time or FREE with your KU subscription.

Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/theproofisinthepudding

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L3863SV

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07L3863SV

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07L3863SV

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07L3863SV

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07L3863SV

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“I absolutely LOVED this fantastic, sweet, poignant, engaging, charming, hilariously funny, sexy, a little naughty, and totally awesome story set in the Australian Outback. It had me hooked from beginning to end, and I would recommend one clicking this marvelous gem ASAP.” ~ Amazon Reviewer

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Author Bio

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told.

Nic loves to spend time with her family—an understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a cherished Cairn terrier. Nic is a foodie and wine lover who lives in the city but is a country girl at heart. When not writing or reading, she is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Author Social Media Links

Website & Blog: http://www.nicstarr.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nic-Starr/e/B00MAWRRQG/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nic-starr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicki.nicstar

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NicStarrAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nicstarr_author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nic_starr_author/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nicstarr_author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8139967.Nic_Starr

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PAY IT FORWARD by Nic Starr

Pay It Forward

(A Giving Back Story)

by Nic Starr

Available from Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited

BUY NOW

Blurb

Forced to leave home as soon as he finished high school, Bailey McCreedy’s focus has been on earning enough money to survive. All he needs is a roof over his head and to keep his small mobile lending library running. Books are Bailey’s escape, and he loves to share the joy of reading with those who don’t have access to them.

Tom Brooks’s upbringing is very different to Bailey’s, with a loving family, a good education, and a high-flying job—that is, until things came crashing down. Tom opens a coffee shop, struggling to build his business and reluctant to accept help, operating under the misguided belief that he must pay penance for his sins. Watching Bailey work with the street kids opens Tom’s eyes to the reality that accepting help is not a sign of weakness, and that he is so much more than his past mistakes.

But as Bailey falls for Tom, with his charming manner, obvious care for others, and group of successful friends, Bailey’s own sense of self-worth threatens to tear them apart. In the face of intensifying challenges, he’s reluctant to confide in Tom, afraid he’s not good enough.

A bright future will require Bailey to heed his own advice—people aren’t defined by their failures or inability to live up to the expectations of others. It’s time for Tom to pay it forward, and Bailey needs to accept the help and love that Tom offers.

Buy Links

Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/payitforward

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K8QVGCL

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K8QVGCL

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07K8QVGCL

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07K8QVGCL

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42670793-pay-it-forward

Pay It Forward by Nic Starr

Author Bio

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told.

Nic loves to spend time with her family—an understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a cherished Cairn terrier. Nic is a foodie and wine lover who lives in the city but is a country girl at heart. When not writing or reading, she is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Author Social Media Links

Website & Blog: http://www.nicstarr.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nic-Starr/e/B00MAWRRQG/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicki.nicstar

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NicStarrAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nicstarr_author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nic_starr_author/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nicstarr_author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8139967.Nic_Starr

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COVER REVEAL: Pay It Forward by Nic Starr

It gives much pleasure to reveal the cover for Pay It Forward, the upcoming release from Nic Starr.

The beautiful cover is by Jay Aheer and the book will be released on 14th November.

Pay It Forward by Nic Starr

BLURB:
 
Forced to leave home as soon as he finished high school, Bailey McCreedy’s focus has been on earning enough money to survive. All he needs is a roof over his head and to keep his small mobile lending library running. Books are Bailey’s escape, and he loves to share the joy of reading with those who don’t have access to them.
 
Tom Brooks’s upbringing is very different to Bailey’s, with a loving family, a good education, and a high-flying job—that is, until things came crashing down. Tom opens a coffee shop, struggling to build his business and reluctant to accept help, operating under the misguided belief that he must pay penance for his sins. Watching Bailey work with the street kids opens Tom’s eyes to the reality that accepting help is not a sign of weakness, and that he is so much more than his past mistakes.
 
But as Bailey falls for Tom, with his charming manner, obvious care for others, and group of successful friends, Bailey’s own sense of self-worth threatens to tear them apart. In the face of intensifying challenges, he’s reluctant to confide in Tom, afraid he’s not good enough.
 
A bright future will require Bailey to heed his own advice—people aren’t defined by their failures or inability to live up to the expectations of others. It’s time for Tom to pay it forward, and Bailey needs to accept the help and love that Tom offers.
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50% off Dreamspinner Press Daily Deal

One day only!

If you haven’t bought Charlie’s Hero or Andrew’s Promise, now is the time. They are the Dreamspinner Press featured Daily Deal for 1st August.
Grab them for 50% off!
 
Charlie’s Hero
Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

Andrew’s Promise

Young mechanic Andrew Campbell’s life couldn’t be better. He is about to restore a Ford Mustang with his dad before heading off on the ultimate cross-country road trip with his best friend, Tanner McKenzie.

But tragedy strikes, and Andrew’s life is shattered. Worried his family will be torn apart if he doesn’t step in, Andrew makes a tough choice between following his heart and doing what he needs to do to protect his little brother.

When Andrew pushes Tanner away, Tanner heads off on the planned trip alone. Once Tanner leaves town, his life takes a different path and it’s ten years before he returns. Now a firefighter, he’s never forgotten his first love, and no one has ever taken Andrew’s place in his heart. He’s determined to see if Andrew feels the same way. He just hopes Andrew’s excited to see him, hopes that he’s available—and finally out—after all this time.

They might not have been ready to deal with emerging feelings years ago, but now might be the time for their second chance at love.

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⭐⭐⭐Finding His Place by Nic Starr ONLY 99c⭐⭐⭐

Kindle Worlds may have closed but FINDING HIS PLACE is still available and only 99c for a limited time! Grab your copy now before it reverts to the regular price next month. It’s also available to read for free as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Click here to buy

Blurb

Sometimes finding your place in the world can lead to love. 

Kieran Walters is the illegitimate son of a successful businessman. Despite striving to win his father’s affection, a confrontation that has been years in the making leaves Kieran devastated to realize he will never be good enough. Jealous of the half brother he’s never met, and who most likely doesn’t know of his existence, Kieran vows to find out what makes his brother so special in their father’s eyes.

Darius Jensen manages a nightclub. He loves his job, but is reluctant to commit when given the opportunity to become a partner. His previous foray into business ownership with a boyfriend had disastrous results, and Darius is still paying the price, both financially and emotionally.

When Kieran starts working with Darius at Sparks, Darius shows him it’s not too late for Kieran to realize his dreams—the fulfilling career, a loving family, and someone who loves him for who he is. If only Kieran can convince Darius of the same thing. But before Kieran’s and Darius’s dreams can come true, Kieran needs to come clean with his brother and deal with the resulting fallout… which threatens his relationship with Darius.

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Behind The Scenes – STORY INSPIRATION

This month we’re talking story inspiration! I love finding out where the inspiration for my fav books and characters came from. Sometimes inspiration comes from the most amazing places 🙂

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

I find inspiration everywhere! It could be from a photo, listening to a song, or watching a clip on YouTube. I’ve been inspired by real-life newspaper articles: tales of love, and heroes, and heartbreak. One of my stories was inspired by a cover – I saw a pre-made cover for Rustic Melody and just knew I had to have it. That smiling face on the cover inspired the character of Adam and the story came from there. You can check out my Pinterest if you want to see some boards showcasing the inspiration behind my books ~ Nic

Like Nic, I find inspiration everywhere. I’ll be watching a movie and find myself wondering how the plot could be changed with the addition of a certain character, or if the whole story was moved to a different setting. Same with books. I often piece together ideas from different books to create my own version of a story. I’ve also been inspired by news articles and magazine articles. I have a folder full of clippings. I also really like to write from prompts–either a line of dialogue or a picture. I’ve probably written close to a hundred flash fiction pieces based on a single evocative image. ~ Kelly

I also find inspiration everywhere. Hearing about someone with an interesting career path and imagining what drew them in that direction. Reading about someone doing something heroic and creating a backstory for them. Seeing a movie and thinking about who some minor secondary character might meet that would rock their world and how they’d be changed by putting obstacles in their way. I keep clippings and snippets of dialogue and scenes in OneNote, and pull them up when I’m deciding what to write next. ~ Jenna

Everywhere. The world is a fascinating, colorful place. The key is paying attention. It might be from a snippet of conversation (many writers are good at eavesdropping).  A person with an interesting face might speak to me as a possible character too. If I pay attention and am aware of ideas, they will often find me.  I have endless lists and limited time to write, so the issue for me is often what to choose to focus on. ~ Skylar

What’s the most unusual thing to have inspired a book?

Perhaps the most unusual thing to inspire a book was heartbreak. You know that feeling when you hear or see something so sad and just want the person to have their happy ending? I’ve had stories that have come about because I’ve wanted, no needed, to write that happy ever after. ~ Nic

Cheez-Its. I was standing in my kitchen one day, shoving handfuls at my face, and I imagined someone walking through the door while I had a mouthful of cheesy goodness and cracker crumbs all over my chin and shirt. It’d be an awkward way to meet someone, right? After washing my hands, I ran upstairs and wrote exactly that, and the scene became the first chapter of Building Forever (Oct 2018), which was known as the ‘Cheez-It’ book for the whole time I was writing it. ~ Kelly

Handcuffs. I read a blog about a dating couple who agreed to hold hands for an entire day. They posted about how it helped them get to know each other even better but also created a level of intimacy that was uncomfortable at times. It made me wonder what would happen if two strangers had to do the same thing. That turned into Stuck with You, a story about two college students who are handcuffed together for a sociology experiment. ~ Jenna

Two stories had unusual inspirations. One was a silly thing and one was a real-life tragedy. The Holiday Hoax was inspired by a ridiculous conversation on the radio. A girl, gripping about her supercritical mother, joked about creating a fake boyfriend to keep the questions about her single status away. It was cute and I began to think about how much fun a romance for MM would be with a fake holiday boyfriend. A more tragic inspiration was when a friend was training for the Aids Bike-a-thon and was the victim of a hit and run. He survived but had a severe stroke, and this one bad moment changed the course of his life.  Although my story did not follow the plot of a hit and run or use my real friend’s actual details, I did explore the shock and pain of watching a friend unexpectedly suffer a tragedy…  Life can change so rapidly. And sometimes those changes are unfair and cruel.  How to find happiness and love after a horrible event occurs is something that I related to and hoped others would relate to as well. The book that this inspired was Here for You. ~ Skylar

What was the inspiration from your most recent story?

My most recent story – my upcoming release Lies & Deception (release 26th June) – is about an undercover police officer infiltrating a bikie gang. It was inspired by a sign I saw on a pub in Sydney. The sign was a notification that bikie gang colours were not permitted to be worn into the premises. This law is one of the anti-bikie laws introduced in New South Wales, aimed at reducing illegal bikie activity. It got me thinking about motorcycle clubs and the rest is history. Click here if you want to find out more about the book. ~ Nic

My upcoming release To See the Sun (Aug 13, 2018) was inspired by a book I read as a judge for the RITA Awards in 2016. The book I read couldn’t be more different–it was an inspirational historical romance about a woman who arrived in Montana as a mail-order bride, only to discover her intended had passed away. I really enjoyed the premise and immediately started thinking of mail-order groom plots. I decided to set my story in the future, in a galaxy that might or might not be our own, and to have my mail-order groom be a fugitive from justice. The rest just rolled on from there. I’m super excited about this book because it’s one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever written, and it also gave me a chance to write science fiction–something I always enjoy. ~ Kelly

My new release Heartbeats was inspired by an article about the options for LGBTQ couples looking to start a family. Between adoption, foster care, surrogacy, raising biological children from prior relationships, and so on, family comes in many forms. Heartbeats is about two men who hope to build their families via surrogacy, only to find that “their” premature twins were promised to both of them. The rest of the Connections series is about other definitions of family. ~ Jenna

My last release, Rim Shot, is NA friends-to-lovers story about two college roommates. One is a star athlete and the other is a poor academic. After talking with so many friends who got into debt over student loans, I wanted to have a character struggling with paying for college. The idea was it have a realistic feel for this student. At the same time, I read an article about athletes and doping. The article discussed the pros and cons of trusting these tests to determine guilt or innocence—Rim Shot was born! ~ Skylar

We’re going to be doing a lot more Behind The Scenes posts so if you have any questions you’d like answered, let us know in the comments and we’ll hopefully get to them in the near future.

Happy reading xx

 

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CIRCLE OF FRIENDS ~ May 2018 #gayromancenovels #mmromance

Gay romance novel recommendations

I feel like I’ve hardly read anything over the last month or two. I’ve had surgery on my neck and it’s amazing how difficult holding a book is when you’re wearing a hard collar neck brace! I also didn’t get to listen to much in the way of audio books, instead spending most of my time sleeping or staring mindlessly at the TV.

Finders Keepers by N.R. Walker

N.R. Walker writes some wonderful books. Finders Keepers was sweet and fun. It’s the perfect book if you’re looking for an easy to read, low angst story. I also have a soft spot because it’s set in Australia. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited if you subscribe. Click here to find out more.

The Sinner and the Saint by RJ Scott

This is the 8th book in the Ellery Mountain series. There’s something nice and comforting about reading series like this – when each book comes out it’s like visiting a familiar town and spending time with old friends. There’s something reassuring about knowing what to expect while spending time with new characters falling in love. Click here for more.

Love in Spades by Charlie Cochet

This book starts a new series, Four Kings Security. This was an action romance with the main characters finding love while fighting the bad guys – a bit of mystery, a touch of action and a lot of love. This is another KU book. Click here for more.

Alpha Heat by Leta Blake

Continuing my commitment to branch out from purely contemporary romance, I read this paranormal romance. This is the second book in the series (Heat of Love) so I recommend reading book 1 first. I like the world building and the fact this is a relationship that is forbidden. Click here.

If you’ve got an recommendations for books for me to check out, comment below. I’m always after new recommendations.

Happy reading,

Nic x

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Behind The Scenes – WRITING MY FIRST STORY

Writing My First Story
Writing My First Story – Clare London

It was – still is –  a beast of an epic, family saga, bodice-ripper! I call it Poldark meets Eastenders, and it still languishes on my hard drive, awaiting some 21st century editing :). And even in those days, before I’d read any m/m at all, it had gay relationships included. But if we’re talking m/m books, I started in fanfiction (a shout-out for Gundam Wing!), first reading, then loving, then writing it myself. It was truly empowering! and a great way to practice my craft and get online feedback. After a while, I got restless with writing the same characters (though I’ll always love them) and branched out into original fiction, posting online and entering contests galore. My first published novel was Branded, which I wrote during Nanowrimo, and plucked up the immense courage (!) needed to submit it to Dreamspinner Press. It’s been through a couple more edits, and cracking new cover(s), and remains one of my own favourites!

Writing My First Story – Jenna Kendrick

My writing career took an odd path with some unexpected twists and turns. I wrote my first romance novel on a legal pad while stuck in bed recovering from a medical issue. It got shoved into a drawer and gathered dust. After a couple other attempts, discovering my voice and learning more with each one, I got sidetracked by an opportunity to write tech books. My first published works were those huge tomes you find in the Computers section of the bookstore about things like Microsoft Office, the iPhone/iPad, and web design. After writing a baker’s dozen of those books and contributing to more than fifty others, I returned to my first love, fiction. My first published romance novel was an m/m novella entitled Make Me Believe. Writing about people and relationships is much more exciting than listing the steps required to print envelopes in Word, and I especially love writing about LGBTQIA+ characters finding their happily ever after.

Writing My First Story – Nic Starr

Sometimes I think that my writing career began on a dare. I attended an m/m conference, back in the days when I reviewed gay romance and read a ton of books. A couple of authors asked why I didn’t write, especially given my love of the genre. I hadn’t even entertained the thought of writing before – I was a process driven person, not a creative person. Or so I thought. But they encouraged me to give writing a go and the idea bubbled away. Finally I figured I had nothing to lose. I started with two novellas. One was a freebie story – Waiting, Hoping, Wishing. The second –  It’s Not Easy – I submitted to a publisher and was thrilled when Dreamspinner Press offered me a contract. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between me and writing, and goes to show that it’s never too late to follow your passions. ❤

Gay Romance Novel mm romance reading recommendations Image

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS ~ March 2018 #gayromancenovels #mmromance

Gay Romance Novel mm romance reading recommendations

Here’s what’s on our Kindles (and what we’re listening to) this month. So many great books!

Nic

I write on the sweeter side so every now and then I like to delve into something a little darker. And that’s exactly what I  found with Avril Ashton‘s latest, Kiss Your Scars (#3 in her Loose Ends series). It’s all about the underworld with twists and turns, violence and lots of sex. Click here to check it out.

Re-reading is not something I often do but this month I re-read of Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan. I love the voice of the characters and the emotional journey plus that wonderful kinky sex. Find out more here. Are there any books that are your favourite re-reads?

I couldn’t resist getting into some of that Winter Olympic spirit with The Winning Edge by Keira Andrews, a fabulous story about competing figure skaters. Click here to check it out.

RJ Scott also made my list with two of the books from her Sanctuary series. I think I’ve read most of RJ’s books and really enjoy all her series. Find out more about the series here.

I’ve queued up my next audio book. Splintered by SJD Peterson is the story of an FBI agent on a case to chase down someone murdering gay men so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into a good mystery/thriller. It is performed by Rusty Topsfield. You can find it on Audible.

Kelly

Allison Temple and I signed contracts for sweeter, small-town contemporary series on about the same day, so when her first novel, The Pick Up, was released, you can bet I wanted to check it out. It’s one of the cutest books I’ve read in a while and I’m really looking forward to continuing the series. Find out more here.

I’ve also just finished reading Mason Thomas‘ second novel, The Shadow Mark, and I liked it even better than his first book (which was pretty excellent). If you like fantasy with strong gay protagonists, you should check out his Lords of Davenia series. Click here to find out more.

Jenna

The hero of Color of You, Bowen Merlin, sees sound as color, known as sound-to-color synesthesia. Author CS Poe paints a picture with her words in this story about how Bowen finds love in a small town with amber-voiced Felix Hansen. This book was both sexy and tender, and it’s one of my favorites of recent memory. Click here to find out more.

Felice Stevens writes about New York City as if the city itself is a character. She makes you feel as if you’re walking down a cracked sidewalk in the rain, sitting in a small mom and pop restaurant, or schlepping out to Long Island on the train. In Perfect, Blake Myers thinks he has to be perfect to keep the attention of Jeremy Strauss, and when his life becomes anything but, he gets caught piling up one lie after another. Click here to find out more.

Nicky James is a new-to-me author. In Love Me Whole, she writes about a hero with dissociative identity disorder. Oryn Patterson shares his body with five alter personalities, each very distinct and not all of them happy to share. This was a slow build, very tender story of how Oryn opens his heart not only to Vaughn Sinclair but also to the alters. Click here to find out more.

Happy reading.

xx

Ben White

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Behind The Scenes – CHARACTER NAMES

This week, in honour of Celebrate Your Name Week, we are talking about names. No, not baby names, but character names. So read along to find out how the leading characters in some of your favourite gay romance novels got their names and some of the struggles we authors face when choosing the perfect moniker for our heroes.

How do you go about choosing the name of your characters?

I’m totally process oriented so I keep a list of names I like and mark them off when I’ve used them. I gather the names from various sources – names of friends and colleagues, names I hear in the media or stumble across in other books. I also google when necessary, particularly if I’m trying to find a name of a specific nationality. In terms of selecting the name, I choose a name I think most reflects my character. That’s probably influenced by my own experiences – I’m not going to name my sweet MC after the bully I knew at school. 🙂 ~ Nic

Like Nic, I keep a list of names. They’re favourite names, names that I collect here and there because I’d like to use them, names of people I like. My favourite cousins. It’s not particularly long, but the names on my list are precious. I use them sparingly because they’ll only get one life, then they’re retired. ~ Kelly

I’ll often look for inspiration in a poem or a popular saying. Or search lists of baby names of all ethnicities and sources, looking for the right sound and meaning. Much like the other authors here! For example, Maen in my fantasy novel Branded came from the Welsh word for “rock”, Niall in my suspense thriller 72 hours means “champion”, Red in my romance Flying Colors is a nickname for Richard, meaning “powerful leader”. I like to play with the names! ~ Clare

What are the most difficult things about choosing a name?

Coming up with a name I haven’t used before! Seriously, my brain seems to present me with the same list of names for every book I write.  Or I can only think of names starting with the same letter. I seem to lean towards using A names and J names. No idea why but that’s why I need to keep a list. 🙂 My most important priority is a name that matches my character’s personality and ethnicity. I also try to give my two main characters ‘opposite’ names. For example, if one name is sort, the other is long. Or if one starts with a consonant, I might give the other one a name beginning with a vowel. ~ Nic

Having a name that suits my character is really important to me. I’ve written a complete story with two names I really liked, only to have to switch them on my first revision round because although they were good names, they didn’t quite fit. They just didn’t sound right. It’s hard to describe, but they didn’t feel like a Fin and a Jared. I tried swapping their names. Fin became Jared, and Jared became Fin, and suddenly they fit. In my current WIP, I had a hard time finding a good name for my second hero. He eventually named himself, which happens often enough that I tend to go with it when it happens. ~ Kelly

I seem to land on A & J most often, too. So, apparently it’s not just me?! Someone pointed out recently I’d used Aiden in 4 books so far, albeit different spellings. A problem is that a lot of my books now are set in Britain and, to be honest, we don’t have quite the same whimsy in creating names as other nations do! I often revert to tried and true biblical names, like the apostles (not Nebuchadnezzar or Methuselah!). I also find I get bogged down with certain initials for certain characters e.g. the alpha character will be B / M / N / R, but that can be very restricting. And bizarre, really 🙂 ~ Clare

What is the most unusual name you’ve used in a book?

My next release (Lies & Deception, Dreamspinner Press, June/July) features outlaw motorcycle gangs. Naming the motorcycle clubs was difficult enough in itself but then I had to name the characters and give them all bikie nicknames. Thank goodness for MC blogs where members talk about the background to their names! Characters in my story includes Rabbit, Stack, Blue and Ginger. ~ Nic

In my upcoming release (To See the Sun, Riptide Publishing, August), one of the heroes is named Gael. It’s not a wholly unusual name, but it’s different and I think quite beautiful. When I’m writing sci-fi, I like to use names that are unusual but still easy to spell and say. As an avid reader of speculative fiction, I’ve puzzled out enough names full of consonants and apostrophes to never want to inflict them on my own readers. Another favourite is Steilang Skovgaard from Uncommon Ground. He’s an alien (of the Skov clan) and chose the closest human equivalent to his real name (unpronounceable, of course) upon his arrival. When I’m not writing sci-fi, I tend to pick simple, ordinary names. I kinda love them. ~ Kelly

Yes, I agree that you can use more imagination in SF or fantasy. Maybe the most exotic I ever used was Mori in my speculative story Threadbare. He was named after a silkworm!  ~ Clare

What are the names of the main characters in your next book?

My most recent release (Patrick’s Savior) stars Patrick – surprise! LOL – and Simon. My upcoming release, Lies & Deception, is the story of Mitch and Finn. ~ Nic

Coming in August, I have To See the Sun with Gael Sonnen and Abraham Bauer. I spent a lot of time picking these names and I love them. I love their story, too! Dillon and Lang (Steilang) return this summer as well in Purple Haze~ Kelly

My current book Freeman is a fab example of the working-name-that-stuck-for-good, for both the main narrator and the book title. The younger man he befriends is called Kit – and there’s a mystery to that name, too, but you’ll have to read the book to find out :). I’m working on my next Dreamspun Desire books at Dreamspinner Press called The Undercover Millionaire, where my billionaire Alexandre happily uses a shortened name Alex for his undercover role, until he meets Tate, a young man he really want to be honest with! ~ Clare

 

We’re going to be doing a lot more Behind The Scenes posts so if you have any questions you’d like answered, let us know in the comments and we’ll hopefully get to them in the near future.

Happy reading xx