I’d like to introduce you to that British officer over there, but I don’t know his name…because you haven’t named him yet!
Most of the time, characters introduce themselves when they first whisper to me. Jesse Graham told me her name right off the bat, and little did I know it would be the source of Joe’s sweet nickname for her.
I lost a file when I updated computers from my husband’s PC to my Mac, and had to recreate the opening scene of Exposed (not yet published). I remembered my protagonist’s first name was Leila, but I couldn’t remember her last name. “Foster” came to me, and she became Leila Foster. Later, when I found the lost file, I discovered her name originally had been Forrester. Not far from Foster, was it? Bottom line, characters usually tell me their names.
But in my current WIP, Love’s Courage, the third in my historical romance series, there is one character who is playing a game with me. Like a kid playing hide and seek, his name keeps ducking behind trees and under porches. I can’t pin him down. So, I would like you to help me name him. The name with the most votes will become the name of this character.
He’s a loyal British officer in the army of King George III, and this is the scene where my protagonist, Jenny Sutton, first encounters him. (Please be kind. This is my first, unrevised, unedited draft. J)
One young man caught Jenny’s eye. His posture was more erect, more rigid, than any of the other soldier’s. His face was intent, brows drawn together, jaw set. Upon seeing her, though, he smiled, and touched the brim of his cocked hat. Shocked at his boldness, she turned away. Her mother tapped her knee.
“It would be best to be civil, if not kind, Daughter. There is much to lose by defying the King’s troops.”
“More than a father who lies near death because of a British sympathizer’s hatchet?”
“We do not want to draw anymore unfriendly attention to the Sutton family. Not if we are to escape danger.” Her mother nodded slightly toward the young man. Taking a deep breath, Jenny turned back to him and nodded. She was rewarded with a broad grin.
“Lieutenant _________, mind your path!” shouted the captain.
The officer turned to see where he was going just in time to avoid running into a cart full of vegetables. The angry farmer cursed and waved a fist at him. The lieutenant caught the man’s arm and shoved him to the ground, tipping the cart and spilling produce across the road. Sitting forward, Jenny balled her fists ready to call out to him, but her mother pulled her back. He glanced back at her, his face as scarlet as his coat, and nodded curtly.
Later, she encounters him again:
Lieutenant _________ stood at attention beside their carriage. His crimson coat cast a robust appearance to his face, his crisp white breeches accentuated long, muscled legs. Removing his hat, he bowed.
“I am your most humble servant, Madam.” Though he addressed Constance, his gaze never left Jenny. Pewter-gray eyes below his white powdered wig lent a coolness that reminded her of an icy January day.
“Good day, sir,” Constance said, her grip tightening on Jenny’s arm.
“Pray, good Madam, if I may be so bold to present myself. I am Lieutenant _______ _________ in service to His Majesty, King George III.”
Jenny wanted to blurt that he stated the obvious, but she bit her tongue.
“Good day, Lieutenant. How may we be of service to you?”
“By allowing me to help you into your carriage and escort you home.”
Jenny felt her mother shudder, but Constance’s smile never faltered.
“You are very kind, sir. We accept your offer of assistance, but we have our driver to see us home.”
He stepped forward, extending his arm to her.
“I insist.” He glanced at Jenny.
“You are very generous.” Constance said as he assisted her into the carriage.
He pivoted and held his arm out to Jenny. His gaze captured hers, as if daring her to look away. With one hand, he held her elbow as she climbed into the carriage, his other hand resting on the small of her back.
The spot burned.
Turning to him, she forced a smile. “Thank you, Lieutenant.”
He bowed, then clambered up beside the driver.
Constance whispered above the noise of the horse’s hoof beats. “We must play along, Jennifer. I am unsure of the lieutenant’s intentions. He seems quite taken with you, but it could be a ploy.”
“I will comply with his wishes, Mother. At least, as long as I am able. My blood boils within me at his closeness.”
“Keep that humor under control. Our lives might depend on it.”
So what is his name??? Help me out here, please. This poll ends on April 9. Choose the name you like best for this British officer:
Thanks for helping me! I’d love to hear why you chose the name you did.
Where can you find my books?
The Cavanaugh House and Buried Secrets ebook and audiobook editions are available at Amazon.
The ebook editions of Love’s Destiny and Love’s Spirit are being updated on the Simon & Schuster website, but will soon be available at all ebook retailers.
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