Thursday, August 11, 2016

WHAT’S IN A SCOTTISH NAME? Spark by Nancy Lee Badger

Nancy’s boys wearing Clan names.
Gunn is a Scottish clan name and
Clan McCrew is what the New Hampshire Highland Games
calls their volunteers. All proudly worn!

One facet of creating a novel is naming the characters. From the all-important lead characters, to their friends, the villains, family members, and their pets, we need interesting names in order to make our novels come to life. Sometime, when I start a book, I have a hard time naming characters, especially when they scream at me in Gaelic. At times, all I can do is shove them back, and figure out their names. When a name comes to me, or when I start searching for a name, I keep a record, what writers call a story Bible. I have read stories that have confused me because three characters have similar sounding names, or they all start with the same letter. The story Bibles remind me that I used this name or that already, and a name starting with ‘E’ or ‘V’ might work.

Since I write Scottish historical romance, I want names with Celtic meanings. So, I head over to a website called The name of my hero, Evan, means young warrior. Since he is the youngest of three dragons, it fit. Vika, my heroine, means from the creek. She works in a horse stall near a creek, so I got the idea there (and I had not used a name starting with a ‘V’ as of yet). My villain is Toal. Even though the other characters refer to him behind his back as Toal the Toad, his name means people’s ruler, and that is exactly what he tries to do.

Surnames are also important because I am writing historical fiction. For Spark, the first book of my Clan of Dragons series, I use Clan MacKinnon, which is associated with the islands of Mull and Skye. While searching for a Celtic, Gaelic, or Scottish name, I looked up my name, which means full of grace. Have you looked up your own name? It’s a hoot, but I want readers to understand this aspect of writing, and hope they will enjoy the characters I bring to life in Spark. By the way, Smoke, the second book in the series, is available for pre-order.

PG Excerpt from Spark, Clan of Dragons, Book #1

Evan raised his gaze to her pretty face. Sun-kissed skin, high cheekbones, and emerald-green eyes stared back. She smiled at him, and her berry-red lips parted. The tiny tip of her tongue swept over her upper lip, and Evan’s four knees locked. Awestruck by her beauty, and the simple pleasure in knowing he’d made her smile, he lifted his head and nuzzled her neck. She smelled of horses, smoke, and something else. Flowers? Meadow grass? Whatever the scent, it pleased his new nose.

Her hand came up and smoothed the fur along his jaw line. When she scratched him behind his left ear, his left hip shook.


Evan took a deeper breath, and smelled sunshine and rainwater, as if she’d taken a recent bath in the creek he’d seen meandering through the forest. A softer scent escaped the red wisps of her hair, and he wondered if she had recently washed her hair with crushed lavender buds.

“You be a fine looking animal, sir. I do not believe we have met.”

Evan was speechless. He could not say his name, nor could he return the favor by scratching behind her ears. He snorted in frustration, and a spark tainted the air.

“Where did that come from?” she said, waving her hand in the air. “Hmm, I think I will name you Spark.”

Clan of Dragons
Book One
Nancy Lee Badger

Genre: Scottish Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Nancy Lee Badger

Date of Publication: August 4, 2016


Number of pages: 207
Word Count: 64,500

Cover Artist: Nancy Lee Badger

Book Description:

Nancy Lee Badger brings you another story filled with Scottish dragons and shape-shifters. Set on the Scottish Island of Skye, she again fills her paranormal fantasy with romance and danger, and with characters you will remember. Some will tug at your heart. Others will make you wish for their demise. SPARK is the first book in a brand new series, Clan of Dragons.

What can a young dragon do to prove to his older brothers that he is their clan’s best chance to save their species? In the Black Cuillin Hills, Evan heads to the village of Morhban to find a way to interact with humans. To learn their language and customs, and to get close enough to a red-haired beauty to mate with her, the brown-winged purple dragon shifts into a copper-colored horse. When his new hooves protect her from Lord Toal MacMorgan’s inappropriate demands with a well-placed kick, she thanks Evan by brushing his silky coat. Things are looking up.

When an unfamiliar horse kicks Toal into the creek, releasing Vika from his roaming hands, her appreciation turns to horror. A sputtering Toal demands that the animal die. Anger makes Vika agree to a wager. A three day hunt will determine the fate of the horse she names Spark. Failure will mean his death, and the loss of her freedom. Pirates, wolves, a wild boar, and a handsome stranger lead her on a wild ride. She discovers her heart is in as much danger as her life.

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About the Author:

Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time.

Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Association of Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games surrounded by…kilts!

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Nancy Lee Badger said...

Thank you for hosting me as I celebrate the release of Spark, my dragon shifter who happens to like running on four legs as a horse.

Cynthia P said...

I read your books. I plan to read more when I have some free time.

Nancy Lee Badger said...

Thanks, Cynthia. I keep writing!

Karen M. said...

I don't think I've read any of your books but this looks good.

Nancy Lee Badger said...

Thank you for all the kind words, and congratulations to Renee G, the winner of my Scottish prize package!