Friday, September 12, 2014

Guest Blog and Giveaway: Promise of Magic by Melinda VanLone

People often ask me where I come up with the names for my characters. To be honest, it often takes me a long time to name them because I have to get to know them first. It’s like naming a real baby…the need to pick that perfect title that tells who they are and hints at their story is quite daunting. Any major character in any story I write has a name that means something, both to me and to them in their story world.
Among  the major players, Calliope is the only one who didn’t hide from me.  She named herself one day as I was doing a meet and greet for Stronger Than Magic. When she told me her name, it fit. She’s the embodiment of youth, mixed with wisdom. She’s a muse for Tarian, always providing that voice of logic and reason, while at the same time she’s also the joy and music of a carousel.  I believe her mother, Marielle, felt that way about her, which is why she chose the name. Calliope was the child Marielle wasn’t forced to have, and always had a special place because of that. Tarian was her duty, one she accepted whole heartedly, but Calliope was her passion.
Speaking of Marielle, her name is based in French and means mistress or lady of the sea. It can also mean “bitter”, which doesn’t apply to Marielle at all but did apply to her mother. Some women in the Xannon line accepted their role as leader and heir provider quite gracefully. Marielle’s mother was not one of them, hence the name. She chose it because it had dual meaning, and only she knew the bitterness and resentment she held toward a world that forced her into motherhood far too young. Marielle, however, raced into it, eager and excited. She took the duty as a challenge and a privilege, and tried to instill that sentiment in her daughter.
Tarian’s name took forever to figure out. She was incredibly secretive about it and for the longest time growled at me anytime I tried anything remotely modern. Her family is steeped in tradition and ancient lore, and her name needed to reflect that. It also needed to reflect her. Not just a name, it’s everything she is rolled up into vowels and consonants. Tarian is of Welsh origin, and means shield. When I landed on that name, I heard a satisfied sigh from Tarian and I knew I’d found the one name that embodied her. She believes herself to be the protector of her family and her people, and will shield them from any danger, with no thought to the consequences.  She’s fiercely loyal and protective, independent, stubborn and not likely to follow rules.
In Promise of Magic, Tarian faces the daunting task of not only entering motherhood while being hunted by creatures determined to kill her unborn child, but if she’s successful she faces something even more difficult: naming her own child.


Promise of Magic
House of Xannon
Book 3
Melinda VanLone

Genre: urban fantasy

ISBN: 978-0-9887455-4-4

Word Count: 65k

Cover Artist:

Book Description:

On instinct, Tarian bowed her head in return, shocked. “Dulra. Welcome.” She breathed the words, awed by the presence of creatures she’d only known through legends. What is the Balance Court doing here?

“Tarian A’marie Maitea Xannon, of the House of Xannon, Keeper of the Water Artifact, you are summoned to the Balance Court.”

 She’d been summoned, and every particle of her being cried out to answer it.
Despite the advanced stage of her pregnancy, Tarian has some explaining to do. Fulfilling her Agreement with the Carraig was an issue of honor—but it led to complications. The Keeper of the House of Xannon is called to account, and Tarian must embark on a dangerous mission which could cost her the life of her unborn daughter, end in disaster for all planes of existence—or save the world.

Some promises are deadly to keep. Will the promise of magic be one of them?

About the Author:

Melinda VanLone writes fantasy and science fiction, freelances as a graphic designer, and dabbles in photography. She currently lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband and furbabies. When she's not playing with her imaginary friends you can find her playing World of Warcraft, wandering aimlessly through the streets taking photos, or nursing coffee in Starbucks.

twitter: @melindavan

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1 comment:

Melinda said...

Thank you so much for having me over today!