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Naming Characters by Leia Shaw: Guest Post and $25 Amazon/B&N Giftcard and Ebook Giveaway!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

$25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Giftcard and Ebook to One INTERNATIONAL/USA/CAN Winner! Thank you all for stopping by, please leave a comment with your email.

Guest Post

Most of the time, writing a novel is hard work. It’s lonely and frustrating and you often need the patience of a saint. The best part is the brainstorming. I spend a lot of time thinking – while driving, while in the shower, while watching my kids at the park. I build worlds and form characters and invent romantic lines. But my favorite part, the most fun part, is picking character names!
I always put a lot of thought into a name. Especially since many of my characters are very old and come from different parts of the world. Their names need to reflect that, as well as fit who they are as a person. In my second book, Destiny United, Marcelo was an 800 year old vampire from Castile – modern day Spain. And the heroine is an Irish fae named Aila, which means “from a strong place.” In book three, Destiny Unchained, werewolf pack alpha Cristian, is from Romania. Cristian, with that spelling, was a common name in that area. Plus his mother was very religious so it fit his history.
In Destiny Bewitched, the hero’s name is Geo and the heroine is Samantha. Honestly, Geo just came to me and stuck, for no other reason than he just felt like a Geo. He’s a temporary demon that comes from a different realm so his ancestry didn’t matter so much. Normally I have a more complicated process. Samantha is a typical American girl. Her mother was human so I thought about names that were popular in the early 80’s. Samantha fit because it could be shortened to Sam and she’s a bit of a tomboy.
Even more fun to choose is the adorable pet names my heroes call their ladies. I love pet names. And each of my heroes calls their woman something a little different. In Destiny Bewitched, it’s “dove.”

He couldn’t understand why but he had to touch her then. Snatching her hand in his, he gave it a squeeze. “You’ll survive, dove. I won’t let anything hurt you.”
I also enjoy using the character’s native language from time to time when expressing something romantic to the heroine. Here’s an example from Destiny Bewitched.

A heart-breaking smile stretched across his face when he turned from the cauldron. “Samantha, sfagéa to̱n lýko̱n, me ti̱n omorfiá kai ti̱ fo̱tiá.” He held out the bowl full of soup and she snatched it from his hand before she could remember her manners.

“I don’t speak Greek,” she told him between mouthfuls of her meal. “What did you say?”

“Samantha, slayer of wolves, with beauty and fire.” His gaze fell on her hair.

Unruly orange curls had plagued her all her life. It was hardly beautiful, especially with the suffocating humidity of the Underworld. She probably looked like a poofy tabby cat that got stuck under a hand dryer. Still, heat spread to her cheeks at the compliment.
In Destiny Bewitched, we meet a dark fae prince named Aedan. The fae are from Ireland so I needed a name from there as well as something that fit his unique personality. For this laid-back, unapologetic prince banished to the Underworld, I asked my fans to help name him. I put several choices on a poll and people voted. Aedan came out the victor! They did a great job because it fits him perfectly. And he’ll have his own book next year.
Well I hope that was interesting enough to entice you to read my books. I can guarantee you’ll smile, sigh, maybe cry, definitely laugh, and fall in love with my characters. Thanks for having me!


Deemed “trailer trash” by humans and the daughter of the most disgraceful family of witches and warlocks since the Puritan age, Samantha is used to fighting her own battles. When her younger sister is taken to the Underworld, Sam doesn't hesitate to rescue her. To survive the harsh land, she makes a deal with a demon — the most dangerous of creatures in the realm. Even with those lustrous horns, Geo is as hot as the hell she's stuck in. Fighting nasty beasts in a supernatural version of the gladiator games is easy compared to falling in love with a man who has no future to offer.


Finally, the piece she’d been fiddling with on the tape player clicked into place. She pressed play and turned up the volume. When music flowed from the small but effective speakers, she gave Geo an I-told-you-so look.

His wide eyes told her he’d probably never heard music come from a machine before. She recognized the song. I Put a Spell on You by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Somebody in the Underworld liked 70’s rock. Go figure.

“I love this song.” She placed the tape player on the bed and stood up, feeling a little reckless, a little free. Must be the wine.

The lead singer’s throaty voice and the heavy beat fit the dim room. The song was gritty and raw just like the Underworld. She looked at Geo, laid back in the chair all big and bad, strong and silent. He’d never looked so sexy.

Definitely the wine.

“Dance with me,” she commanded.

His brows lifted.

“Come on.” She grabbed his hand and tugged.

With a smirk, he let her pull him to his feet.

“Just put your hands here and here.” She guided his hands to her hip and shoulder but he yanked out of her grip.

“I know how to dance, woman,” he growled. Then he plopped both hands on her low back, just above her backside, and yanked her up against his body.

Author Bio

I began my writing journey while I was stranded at the airport waiting for my delayed flight. I browsed the Border’s kiosk and grew frustrated that I couldn’t find the “it factor” — the perfect combination of alpha male-ness, ass-kickery, strong females, magic, and sex.

So I spent the next four hours on an airplane writing my first book on scraps of paper and an airsick bag (which thankfully I didn't need to use).

Now I spend too much time in my head, plotting evil villains and the hot men (and women) who ruthlessly kill them. I think far too much about fae politics, dragon power games, and how fast werewolves can change forms. But writing my paranormal romance series has given me a productive place to express those dark places in my mind.

I live in New England with my husband and two kids. Though I will go to my grave denying it, my husband insists I would be thrilled if he suddenly sprouted fangs.

Twitter: @LeiaShaw


  1. Unknown said...:

    I have this book on my amazon wishlist. Thanks for the giveaway!

    snhoveln At gmail Dot com

  1. Unknown said...:

    Thank you for the giveaway!


  1. Thank you for hosting Leia today.

  1. When I read DESTINY BEWITCHED. I'll think back to this post & the names. I had trouble naming my children, though it was fun too.

    I love DOVE as an endearment.


  1. Rebecca Hipworth said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  1. Susan W. said...:

    I love the pet names you choose to use. I'm always coming up with "pet" names for my dogs as we have not children for me to do this with! LOL! We have the dog's real name then I have a name I actually call them that's just mine.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Nedraw said...:

    Would love to read this one. I really enjoyed reading Leia's guest post.

  1. mil said...:

    thanks for the giveaway

  1. Alyssa Susanna said...:

    Oooo that's a cool excerpt!!! I thought it was cute. Thank you for the giveaway!!!

    Alyssa Susanna

  1. Leia Shaw said...:

    whoops! some formatting issues there. hopefully you get the gist of the post. thanks so much for having me!

  1. Shanna Roberson said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway! This book is on my TBR list. :)


  1. June M. said...:

    I would think that the basics of the book (character names, setting, descriptions of homes/etc, would be hard. And would be hard to keep up with. I know I always have difficulties with the name/suggest a name questions.
    Congrats on the release.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  1. Renee Waring said...:

    Great post! I had never really considered hiw authors come up with character names so this was really interesting to me. I will be paying a lot more attention to character names in the future.

  1. MomJane said...:

    I think it was awesome that you went to so much trouble to name your characters so correctly. I am definately impressed.

    Loved the excerpt.

  1. Unknown said...:

    I always wondered how authors come up with their character names. Some seem so normal while others are very unique.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Great article, exactly what I was looking for.
    my site: Weight Loss

  1. Melly said...:

    I think the way you come up with names is cool also like that u put thought into I hate when an author just picks a random name that don't fit bugs me. Thanks Melissa

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Rachel said...:

    I would love this book!!! Thank you for the giveaway!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Fun excerpt...I like Creedence, too. Thanks for the giveaway!


  1. Julianne said...:

    You'll have to let everyone know if your husband sprouts fangs!! I enjoyed reading the post today.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  1. Denise Z said...:

    Oh I think I am really going to like Samantha and look forward to Destiny Bewitched. I have Destiny Divided and Destiny Unchained and am really looking forward to the next installment in this world what a treat that would be. I would imagine naming your characters would be a lot like naming your child with the exception of having to make it logical for the time and place of the characters birth. What a gift. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with us today :)

  1. Lmbrunken said...:

    Drooling over the cover :)
    Ok now that I got my eyes past the cover, this boom sounds great! I gotta find a copy!

    Lmbrunken at gmail dot com

  1. Leia Shaw said...:

    Thanks for the awesome support everybody! Good luck with the contest and thanks for reading about my series! I hope you enjoy it :)

  1. Definately putting this book on my TBR list!!

    megnate at telus dot net

  1. wanda f said...:

    Thank you for sharing with us today Iam looking forward to picking up Destiny Bewitched it sounds like a great read.Have a wonderful dayand a fantastic Fourth Of July.

  1. Sound like a great the Excerpt it was nice.can't wait to read the hole book.
    sasluvbooks at

  1. Merry said...:

    I really enjoyed the guest post! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win!!

  1. andieleah said...:

    Oh no how did I miss this coming out! Love the Destiny books can't wait to read this one!

  1. Angie said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Your a new author to me. One of my friends fro GR recommended your books to me recently.

    riverinaromantic AT aol DOT com

  1. This looks looks like a must read! Thanks for the giveaway!

    volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

  1. Natasha said...:

    Sounds like a really good book! Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  1. Sindy Borg said...:

    This book seems like a really great read :)
    email: sweetsindy93 at gmail dot com

  1. Thanks for the giveaway !

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Jody said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. erin said...:

    Congrats on the newest release!! Thanks for a fun post and giveaway!

  1. Nancy said...:

    Interesting process, naming characters. I'm not sure I'd always notice one that's out of sync with the times but I guess they should fit the period. Thanks for the giveaway.

  1. Unknown said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Thanks for the giveaway.

  1. Kelly said...:

    Thanks for sharing your writing thoughts. Does that mean you always carry pen and paper with you wherever you go? Thanks
    delivery.RN at gmail dot com

  1. Joanne said...:

    Congrats on the new release. Thanks for the great post. I figure it must take a lot of research to name characters correctly, but I bet it can be fun.
    This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.


  1. ann said...:

    Really liked your article. And I like the last sentence about your husband sprouting fangs LOL . Thanks for the giveaway
    amhengst at verizon dot net

  1. Wow I Gotta Have This Book Its On My Wish List.

  1. PAC said...:

    so adding this book on my gotta read list! thank you for the entry!

  1. thanks for your review and giveaway

  1. Lili said...:

    Names are so hard to come up with! At the same time, they're so much fun to think of. I can't say I'm that original with names, so I'd probably never succeed in writing a book.

    Great review, guestpost, and giveaway!

    happy reading. (:

  1. Chrystina said...:

    Thanks for the great post & giveaway!

  1. Taherah said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway

  1. Definitely adding this book to my TBR list.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    info at

  1. Unknown said...:

    Awesome giveaway! Thanks so much!
    Lauren @ Mommabears Book Blog
    Lmackesy @

  1. Would love to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. I've always wondered how authors came up with the names. There is nothing worse than reading a book and a characters name just doesn't fit him. Thanks for the great post.


  1. Thanks for the great post and thanks for the amazing giveaway! I have added this to my TBR list, thanks to this post! :)


  1. Anonymous said...:

    I would love to enter your contest. Thanks!
    Maxie ( )

  1. pc said...:

    Thanks for the great excerpt!~ This is a definite must read!

  1. pc said...:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. sounds like an interesting read
    Jennifer Rote
    wildnmild4u at yahoo dot com

  1. Natalie said...:

    Vampire novels are my secret favorite. I read them when I am sick (which is often since I have a rare, chronic pituitary failure issue). My husband thinks it's funny, but I would love this book.

  1. Alysia said...:

    I love when characters in a book give each other pet names. It lets the reader really get intimate with the characters.
    littlepocketbooks at gmail dot com

  1. Thanks!
    holliister at gmail dot com

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!
    dmecortes39 at yahoo dot com

  1. donnas said...:

    Sounds good. Thanks for sharing!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  1. awesome

  1. Suz said...:

    I like it when an author chooses interesting names for their characters so am glad to read that Leia puts so much thought into it! Thanks for sharing!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

  1. Cyn said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Evelyn said...:

    Thank you for the contest!

  1. Christina K. said...:

    I love how she picks names! The excerpt is awesome!

    Thanks so much:)

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  1. What an intriguing book!


  1. Sounds really good :D
    thank you!


  1. Steph said...:

    This book sounds like a great read! Thanks for introducing it to me!


  1. Sena said...:

    Haha, you're funny! I believe sprouting fangs would hurt -- ouch!
    sena.sagani at gmail dot com

  1. The book sounds like it could be a good one. I like that the author really puts thought in the names of her characters. Where they were born, when they were born, the common and uncommon names in that era. It is incredibly annoying to read a book where the names are not appropriate to who the character is. I appreciate the fact that she loves story enough to pay attention to even the smallest of details.

  1. Carin said...:

    I love how much research and effort you put into naming your characters. And for the record Geo can come to my house anytime!
    Carin mawmom(at)gmail(dot)com

  1. Thanks for the giveaway! Stephanie T. Email:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. I'm not usually a fan of romance but supernatural romance is good from time to time. I really liked your summary and guest post. Very intrigueing!

    megnate at telus dot net

  1. Mihaela said...:

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  1. mnleona said...:

    Thanks for the give-away. Sounds like a very good read.
    mnleona (at) aol (dot) com

  1. Jeryl M. said...:

    Naming characters is one of my favorite things about writing.

  1. Picking character's name sounds like fun!! And I love pet names, they're so romantic! "Dove" aaw! =)

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I have read the other books in this series and can't wait to check out this in.

    Thanks for this giveaway!


    Ollie aka DarkBloodyVamp

  1. Kristen said...:

    Thanks for the awesome guest post and giveaway! I've now found a new series to look into! :))


  1. hs said...:

    Coming up with names is always really hard for me.

  1. Eden said...:

    Love how you described the "it" factor! Lmao!

    I learned in Creative Writing that the names are very important; I always thought they had to be fantastical but normal names with meaning are just as good :)

  1. Unknown said...:

    Oooo love the excerpt! So very cool! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  1. Dinda said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    The book sounds good.


  1. Anonymous said...:

    thanks for the giveaway!


  1. Anonymous said...:


  1. Sounds like a really interesting book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Megan said...:

    I really like the name Aila!


  1. thanks for the wonderful review and giveaway. Gale

  1. ♣ Terri said...:

    Thanks for the guest post!

    niteofblu at gmail dot com

  1. Anonymous said...:

    This book sounds like a great read.
    thank you for the giveaway.

  1. Unknown said...:

    Great post! And thank you for the amazing giveaway!


  1. Joie said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway! That excerpt definitely makes me want to read the book! :)

  1. Allie L said...:

    Thank you
    iheartmemorethanyou at yahoo dot com

  1. Great description of the "it" factor!
    Thanks for a fantabulous giveaway!

  1. Caroline said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Daniel M said...:

    thanks for having the giveaway! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  1. Cayce said...:

    I love stories about demons and the cover looks HOT! :)
    Thanks for the sexy excerpt!

    cayce006 at yahoo dot com

  1. I'd love to be entered in the giveaway.
    jennirv4967 at gmail dot com

  1. Thanks for the giveaway!

    bookfanatics at rocketmail dot com

  1. Emily M said...:

    Thanks SO MUCH for this giveaway!!


  1. katayoun said...:

    thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Can't wait to read more! Thanks for the giveaway

  1. slehan said...:

    I like your comments about the names you choose for your characters.
    Thanks for the contest.