Friday, February 03, 2017

Guest Blog - Ancient Ties by Marie Johnston

For many writers, naming characters can be one of our favorite parts of the process. I use the “whatever pops in my head and feels right” system, with the backup of “google it.” For some parents, there’s also the chance to use the name our partner wouldn’t agree on, or the other gender name we had picked. I l-o-v-e-d the boy’s name we chose for our fourth and final child. We had a girl. But Rhys Walker was too good not to use! (Walker would’ve been the middle name.) Rhys became the name of the leader of the West Creek Guardians in my paranormal world. Walker is the last name of the family of five cousins I’m writing a contemporary romance series about and releasing at the end of the year. Hmmm…Rhys Walker might have to be another cousin… 

The heroine in Ancient Ties, Kaitlyn, shows up in the first book of my first series and her name just came to me. I didn’t know what her role would be at the time, but her feminine name fit her model-like looks. Throughout the series, she’d pop up and I often wondered if her name fit her. Kaitlyn’s a lovely name—and very human. However, the character discovered she was not, in fact, human.

In Ancient Ties, I got to know Kaitlyn beyond her shopping habit, competence in the field, and fierce loyalty to her BFF. Her name fits her perfectly. She retains so much of her humanity. She’s fierce, courageous, and loves to buy stuff for her friends. Her hair might always be in a braid, but she doesn’t need clothing or hair styles to feel like a natural woman—who happens to change into wolf.

As for Chayton, his was googled. He first appears in Birthright and I knew he was Kaitlyn’s mate. I knew he was Native American. I knew he was a proud male and had high expectations of everyone around him. But I didn’t know his name. I narrowed down his heritage to Sioux and looked up names. Chayton stood out right away and means eagle, which also seemed fitting for his last name. And more importantly, Chayton Eagle felt right.

Funny how a character’s name clicks and it’s their name. I couldn’t imagine renaming any of my characters. Main characters that is. Secondary characters or ones with bit parts aren’t as set in stone. If their name hits me and I think, dang, that’s a good naming, then it’s a clue for me that they’re a future main character.

Ancient Ties
Pale Moonlight
Book Two
Marie Johnston

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: 1/27/17

ISBN: 9781370775347

Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 59000

Cover Artist: P and N Graphics

Book Description:

Born to be Guardians…

Chayton Eagle comes from a strong line of wolf shifters, his father an ancient in their pack. Chayton proudly acts as a Guardian, defending the colonies from danger—both from outsiders and from threats inside the pack. The one thing he doesn’t need is a human-raised female on his team—especially not one who passes out each time she shifts! Never mind that she was trained by elite Guardians, Chayton doesn’t need the distraction of a tall, sexy-as-hell redhead when he’s working. He has to focus. And he has to remember he’s scheduled to take the blood oath with a female, a long-ago pairing arranged by her parents. It doesn’t matter he and Kaitlyn are fated mates.

She can’t be his. Not now. Not ever.

Destined to be Mates.

Kaitlyn Savoy knows Chayton is supposed to be her mate. Too bad he’s such an ass about her human upbringing making her weak. Too bad she’s been assigned as his partner to take down the feral shifters threatening one of the colonies. Too bad she’s so damn attracted to him. As the mission continues, Chayton is captured by the ferals, and Kaitlyn proves her worth as a Guardian. During the rescue, she uncovers the secrets of her past, secrets that will affect her future. Despite his best efforts, Chayton’s opinion of her begins to change, his respect growing—along with feelings he can’t deny. She’s become part of his life, part of his heart. A fact his soon-to-be inlaws notice—and they intend to put an end to the temptation Kaitlyn poses to Chayton.

No matter what.

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Chayton stormed to his cabin.
A four hour drive. With Kaitlyn.
Spending the night. With Kaitlyn.
Roaming the woods. With Kaitlyn.
His heart pounded, his nostrils flared, and he huffed like a bear after a marathon. Slamming his front door open, he charged through and kicked it shut behind him.
Only then did he double over, hands on his knees, sagging to catch his breath.
Kaitlyn Savoy.
The sexiest thing he’d ever laid eyes on.
The shifter he was never supposed to meet. His mate.
And she was oblivious to it.
He stomped through his cabin. Her lack of mating insight was for the best. If he had his pick of shifters, she’d be the last on the list. Besides, he was promised to another. Kaitlyn was young yet, and based on her blasé to distasteful reaction to him, she’d have no trouble moving on. Or not. Her sanity may last longer than most who don’t anchor their souls with a mate. But if she needed to bond, she wouldn’t have a problem finding someone. Like that bartender at Pale Moonlight.
His fangs bared and a growl escaped before he stopped himself. He’d never caught her with him, but stories had it the bartender helped her assuage the physical needs shifters of their caliber experienced. She hadn’t been with the guy since Chayton had been around. That decision had increased the bartender’s life expectancy considerably.
No. No. It shouldn’t matter. She needed to move on and he had no say with who. Chayton straightened and wiped his brow, which had dotted with sweat. It was always an effort to contain his reaction around that female.
Why her?
Ancient blood—pure, undiluted shifter blood—ran through his veins, thanks to his father. His Sioux mother would roll over in her grave. Chayton’s bloodlines were rich with history and honor.
The female he’d sworn himself to, Tika, would make a lovely mate instead. Soft brown eyes, feminine curves, and ancestry as strong as his. In fact, she was coming of age soon. For him, that was twenty-five. Her parents had pushed for their union when she turned eighteen, but that had seemed too pervy for him. At two-hundred and twenty-nine, he wasn’t about to jump a girl the second she was legal. If it was up to him, he’d wait even longer, but even Tika had pushed for their binding.
His stomach rumbled, alerting him that he’d missed dinner. Not that he’d eat at the main lodge anyway; it was a tactic he used to avoid Kaitlyn.

About the Author:

Marie Johnston lives in the upper-Midwest with her husband, four kids, and an old cat. Deciding to trade in her lab coat for a laptop, she’s writing down all the tales she’s been making up in her head for years. An avid reader of paranormal romance, these are the stories hanging out and waiting to be told, between the demands of work, home, and the endless chauffeuring that comes with children.

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Marie Johnston said...

Thanks for featuring Ancient Ties today!