Guest Post – Author Naima Simone
Today I have author Naima Simone visiting my blog! Naima is on a book tour thru October 4, 2013 and has stopped by to do a guest post and introduce us to one of her novels, Secrets and Sins: Malachim.
Naima is also doing a giveaway (a gift card, books, etc), but first let’s find out what’s in a name. Take it away, Naima!
What’s in a Name
By: Naima Simone
Grace St. John. Niall Robertson or Black Niall. Rhage. Mary Luce. Pia Giovanni. Dragos Cuelebre.
If these names were thrown at me in the middle of a conversation about gardening and stamp collecting, I would instantly know, ooh!! Son of the Morning by Linda Howard! Oh snap! Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward! Oh heck yeah! Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison! I love those books!!
No, no, it’s not a photographic memory. Or a weird, selective form of Tourette’s Syndrome. I know these characters because they—their names—represent the essence of the books. Grace St. John: Simple, stalwart, and a God-given mercy and salvation. Black Niall or Niall Robertson: strong, dark, mysterious, regal. Rhage: powerful, an inward, simmering anger, emotional. Mary Luce: innocent, hidden by powerful strength, worthy. Pia Giovanni: reverent, pure, sexy, independent. Dragos Cuelebre: mysterious, dangerous, serpent.
A name is everything! When I’m starting a book, one of the very first things I spend a bunch of time with is the names of my hero and heroine. To me this is one of the most important elements of the story because. not only should their monikers embody the hero and heroine’s personalities, but they should be memorable. Just like I remember the characters above, I want a reader of my book to be able to call out my hero’s name and follow it up with, oh I loooove hiiimm!! And yes, draw it out just like that!
I write down my characters’ appearances, personalities, quirks and origins. And then I hit the baby name websites. And then Wikipedia. And follow that up with cultural websites that contain information on religion, traditions, etc. So much more goes into the selection than “unh-unh-that-will-so-not-sound-cute-when-she-calls-his-name-out-while-orgasming. Uh, not saying that’s not one of my criteria though. “Oh God, Oswald!” Nope, just not working for me… But there’s more to consider. If my hero is of Irish descent, why does he have a Persian name? I either need to change it or have a good reason why—which could lead to a colorful tidbit in his history or backstory. A beautiful, appropriate name—no matter how simple, exotic or colorful—is the beginning of a beautiful character and an even more wonderful book!
In my romantic suspense series, Secrets and Sins, with Entangled Publishing’s Ignite line, the four men the books revolve around are all named after angels: Gabriel, Malachim, Raphael, and Chayot. Their mothers, all from different socio and economic backgrounds, met during a high-risk prenatal class. They became fast friends and named the sons they considered gifts from God after angels. Of course the four of them are more like fallen angels. The heroine of the second book in the series, Malachim, is Danielle Warren. Danielle has secrets. She’s had to make some very tough decisions, some of them not lawful or what some would consider “right”. But those choices are about survival, freedom, and so no one can judge her. Only God. Which by the way is what her name means—judged by God. And God willing, she prays that judgment will be a long time in coming. To find out what those decisions are you’ll have to read Secrets and Sins: Malachim!
On that note, I did a little investigating and scoped out some of the freakin’ weirdest baby celebrity names…All’s I’m sayin’ is they have nooo consideration what these kids are going to endure when they go to school…And that’s all’s I’m saying’…
1. Kal-El *Nicolas Cage’s son, named after Superman’s Krypton name…but then again he changed his last name to Cage in honor of Luke Cage, soooo…
2. Fifi Trixibelle *Daughter of Irish singer and songwriter, Bob Geldof. I don’t know who he is, but do I really need to go into why this is a bad idea?
3. Apple *Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter. Applehead. Applebottom. Appaloosa. Kids are cruel and you just handed them ammo…
4. Destry *Daughter of Steven Spielberg. Now, I honestly don’t think this one is too bad considering it makes me automatically think of “Destro” from G.I. Joe, one of my favorite childhood cartoons! But other people may not make that connection…
And the winner is…
Again, don’t nobody email me because everyone is fair game! My name is Naima for godsakes! I love it, but not many first graders know that Naima is a cool John Coltrane song! That said….
5. Prince Michael II/Blanket *Michael Jackson’s son. What? Did Mike run out of ideas? Did he just say, uh…how ‘bout George? Nah. What about Ralph? Naw. F*** it! Prince Michael II! And what is he wrapped in? A blanket? There you go, that’s what we’ll call him so we don’t confuse him with Prince Michael the First. Anyway, that’s what it sounded like to me…
Okay, I’m finished! How important do you think a name is? What is your favorite character name? Or do you want to add to my list? Go for it!
P.S. – The Zappa kids are disqualified because…well, just because…
What’s the weirdest name you’ve ever heard—real or fiction? Come share with me, and don’t forget, September 23rd through October 4th, you have a chance to enter a giveaway for a $20 Amazon Gift Card, a World Traveler Boston cuff bracelet, and the 4 September Ignite releases! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below!
Thanks so much, Sharon, for letting me blog with you today! And for giving me a place to ramble!
My pleasure, Naima!
Below, is the blurb and an excerpt from Naima’s novel – Secrets and Sins: Malachim as well as the giveaway information.
When Danielle Warren shows up on Boston attorney Malachim Jerrod’s doorstep looking for a job, his first thought is trouble. Well, actually his first thought is how does a woman with the face of a saint have the voice of a sex phone operator? But sexy trouble or not, he’s desperate for a paralegal to help keep his struggling law office afloat. Can the boss keep his distance from the silk of his employee’s skin, the siren lure of her body…or ignore the haunting vulnerability in her eyes.
Danielle can’t remember her own name, because it belongs to someone else. The new identity has afforded a fresh start and a new job. She’s taking control, making her own decisions, and refuses to allow anything to distract her—even her unwanted desire for her boss. Because distraction is dangerous and letting her guard down is not an option. Especially with a shadowy figure stalking her every move.
Danger is on the hunt, threatening the boss she’s falling in love with. Should she fight for the future of her dreams or flee to save Malachim’s life? Danielle must make a decision. Because her lies are unraveling. And some secrets can kill…
Silence reigned in the cab. Malachim wedged his body into the corner of the backseat, sprawling his legs as far as the cramped space would allow. In the close quarters, he studied her exotic profile. The high brow; thin, aristocratic nose just a shade too long by conventional beauty standards; the wide mouth with its full bottom lip; and the small, stubborn chin. His gaze dropped to the elegant, tightly clenched hands on her lap. Even in the shadows, he noted the paler skin stretched over her knuckles. Did she fear him? God, the thought caused the alcohol in his gut to roil and pitch.
“Danielle.” He’d deliberately softened his voice, yet she flinched as if he’d roared her name.
“Yes,” she said, keeping her head averted, continuing to stare out the side window.
“Look at me.” He paused. “Please.”
Her shoulders stiffened, and her fingers were clenched so hard, he feared they wouldn’t easily straighten. After several seconds, when her head turned in his direction, his lungs relaxed.
God, he longed to touch her.
Yes, he would be a eunuch and a flaming liar if he denied he wanted her beneath him, straining against his body as he thrust deep into soft, hot flesh he knew would squeeze his cock in the sweetest, tightest embrace. He craved it. Woke up in cold sweats from dreaming about it. But this… This need swelling within his chest now was gentler but no less hungry. No less desperate.
He yearned to rub his thumb over the hard line her mouth had become, coaxing the sensual fullness to appear once again. More than the next critical beat of his heart, he desired to brush his lips over her brow, ease the panic and pain in her eyes, and replace them with pleasure. With wonder. With joy.
What would Danielle look like carefree, laughing…unburdened?
Jesus, he wanted to know.
He straightened from his slouch, at the same time shifting closer to her. Carefully, unhurriedly, determined not to spook her. Not to threaten her.
In the darkness, her eyes widened, and her breath quickened. At any other time, he would’ve backed off. But not tonight. As much as he needed to have her sun-kissed skin under his fingers, she needed to understand—believe—he would take a blade to his own hand before harming her.
Gently, he cupped the nape of her neck. Pressed a thumb into the side of her throat and circled. She went rigid beneath his hand and loosed a tiny whimper.
“Shh,” he crooned. “No, look at me,” he tenderly ordered when her lashes fluttered. He had to see her eyes, had to be able to detect if his caress became too much for her to bear. Even more, he had to see the moment the fear bled from her beautiful dark gaze and trust entered.
“Thank you,” he murmured, staring into the brown depths. Yes, panic still lingered, but so did another emotion…an emotion that set his heart racing for his throat. “I would never hurt you,” he said. “Not that way. I may be an asshole sometimes and kick the hell out of your feelings, but I’ll never hurt you in the way that makes you shake under my hand.” He slid his hand into her hair, loosening the bun and cradling her head. And had to bite back his groan at the sensuous glide of her heavy hair over his hand and wrist. “You’re safe with me. I promise,” he said hoarsely.
Get your copy today!
About the giveaway!
Prizes: $20 Amazon gift card, World Traveler Boston Map Cuff Bracelet, The ebook set of Entangled Ignite September Releases
How to Enter: Rafflecopter
Visit Naima on the web:
About the Author:
Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair.