Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Anna Willett and her new book, “Retribution Ridge”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post – except the Available at Amazon picture.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card! Also, come back daily to interact with Anna and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!
by Anna Willett
For Milly Birdsworth and Her sister Judith, a two day trip in an isolated area of the National Park seems like an ideal way to mend their tattered relationship. With Milly’s best friend Harper along for moral support and experienced hiker Lucas as their guide, it seems nothing can go wrong.
But when everyone has something to hide, it’s difficult to know who to trust. What starts out as an adventure to bring two sisters together quickly becomes a terrifying ordeal where old wounds are exposed and a deadly tragedy is brought to light. One thing is clear, someone is seeking retribution and won’t stop until the guilty are punished.
Milly reached for her hand under the sleeping bag. It felt icy. “Anything could be happening. We don’t know it was Harper screaming.” There was so much she wanted to say. So many things she needed to tell her, but now wasn’t the time.
“What’s that?” Judith jumped and squeezed her hand tight enough to cut off the circulation. “In the trees, I… I thought I heard something.”
Milly followed her sister’s gaze. Three metres beyond the fire lay only blackness. It was impossible to see anything, human or animal. Suddenly Milly wondered if the fire was a good idea. If there was someone out there, the light would make the two women clearly visible to anyone watching. They’d be easy targets. Targets for what? Her mind raced in a dozen half-formed directions, all of them ominous. She shuddered and leaned against her sister.
“I don’t hear anything,” Milly whispered. “Maybe it’s an animal. A kangaroo or something.”
By Any Other Name?
Names are important. As children, the first thing we learn to write is our name. Once mastered, a good deal of our self-image and self-esteem comes from being able to recognise our name in print and sign our school work. For writers, our name is our brand. If you’re good at what you do and manage to develop a readership, your name’s all that’s needed to sell books.
A name is never more important than when writing fiction. Part of creating a character is finding a name that works. It has to work in the context of the story and, in many ways add to the character. Memorable characters need memorable names. Names that are easy to pronounce and stick in the reader’s mind. That’s not to say an unforgettable name, one that rolls off the reader’s tongue and evokes a powerful image can take the place of a well-drawn believable character, but it’s a good start.
Great books of the past hundred years are peppered with some very memorable character names. Scarlett O’Hara the main protagonist in Margret Michelle’s 1936 classic Gone with the Wind, springs to mind as an iconic character with a name to match. Beautiful, intelligent, vain, spoiled and often shameless, the name Scarlett is a stroke of genius. Would Scarlett have been as iconic with any other name? Probably, but the perfect name sure didn’t hurt.
While a colourful name like Scarlett sits beautifully with the image of a strong-willed Southern Belle, an ordinary name like Harry Potter works as a playful contrast to the extraordinary boy wizard’s life. So which way to go? Plain or colourful? Ordinary or strange? Meaningful or bland? The choices are endless. Maybe that’s why writers get so hung up on names.
In my latest book, Retribution Ridge, the two main characters are sisters. I wanted names that sounded sisterly, if that makes sense and added something to the women’s back-story. I decided upon Judith and Millicent, names I chose for a number of reasons. First, I wanted old-fashioned names because their mother wrote historical romance novels and it made sense that she’d give her daughters classic names. Secondly, the sisters have a shared dislike for their names which gave them some common ground even in the midst of a terrifying situation where they’re not sure who to trust. Thirdly, both names can be shortened and therefore easier to write and read.
So once the decision’s made about the type of name, the question becomes where to find it? Writers use all types of devices to come up with names. With Google, there’s no shortage of options, but just by chance I discovered a new source of inspiration. While attending a funeral, I happened to notice some very old headstones and found myself captivated by the names.
As I walked around the manicured lawns reading stone after stone, I was struck by the magnitude of interesting and unusual names. Maybe it was because these names belong to real flesh and bone people, some stones even had faded black and white photos of the deceased. Whatever the reason, I found myself inspired. One name jumped out at me so violently, I knew I’d found a name I would use when creating a haunting character in my next book. Now I’m not suggesting that the cemetery is my new hunting ground (for names), but it’s something to keep in mind.
Here’s a list of my top five iconic fictional names. Do you agree with my choices?
Anna Willett is the author of Backwoods Ripper and Retribution Ridge. Raised in Western Australia Anna developed a love for fiction at an early age and began writing short stories in high school. Drawn to dark tales, Anna enjoys writing thrillers with strong female characters. When she’s not writing, Anna enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her husband and two children.
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Anna will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.