Monday, October 1, 2012

Guest blog by historical romance author Theresa Romain

SEASON FOR SURRENDER Blog Tour: What’s In a Name?

Thank you, RomFan Reviews, for hosting me today! I’m glad to join you as part of the blog tour for my new historical romance, SEASON FOR SURRENDER.

This book tells the story of a naughty house party, set during the Christmas season, during which:
*a rake admits that he is secretly a bluestocking;
*a bluestocking discovers that she is fond of being rakish; and
*they both puzzle out an encoded book, collect mistletoe, face their greatest fears…and, of course, find love.

Today I’ll tell you a few behind-the-scenes secrets about how I picked the character names in this book, starting with the hero. Alexander, Lord Xavier, played a minor (villainous!) role in my romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION. I came up with his title first and liked pairing it with another name that contained an X. Don’t you think of him as sort of sharp and haughty, with all those X’s in his name? And so everyone thinks he is. But are they right about that? Not really, as the heroine soon learns.

Louisa Oliver, the heroine, owes her first name to Jane Austen. It comes from the Great Jane’s early novel Northanger Abbey. In this fun scene, the heroine and hero are talking about their love of novels:

“I really thought before, young men despised novels amazingly.”
“It is amazingly; it may well suggest amazement if they do—for they read nearly as many as women. I myself have read hundreds and hundreds. Do not imagine that you can cope with me in a knowledge of Julias and Louisas. If we proceed to particulars, and engage in the never-ceasing inquiry of ‘Have you read this?’ and ‘Have you read that?’ I shall soon leave you as far behind me as—what shall I say?—I want an appropriate simile.”

Jane Austen uses “Julias and Louisas” as shorthand for “heroines of novels.” How could I resist calling a heroine Louisa? (And yes, the heroine of my romance debut was named Julia.) J

Jane Tindall, a distant cousin to Lord Xavier, attends the house party and befriends Louisa. Her last name honors Milo Tindle, the sneaky, smart character played by Michael Caine in the movie Sleuth. Jane shares those qualities, so she gets to share the name too.

As for Jane’s first name, I wanted to pick something plain and sensible to suit her character. It just now occurs to me that I owe Miss Austen another debt, since I borrowed her own first name for this!

Lord Lockwood, the book’s villain, and Lord Weatherwax, a friendly and constantly tipsy house party guest, both got their names from the crew credits of British-made movies. Inspiration can lurk anywhere, right?

Signora Frittarelli is an opera singer invited to be a scandalous party guest—but she turns out to be more helpful and kind than Xavier expects. I chose an Italian-sounding name that didn’t actually translate to anything, because this lady can’t quite be pigeonholed. But the sound of her name was inspired by the word “farfalla,” which means “butterfly.”

What are some of your favorite character names from books or movies? Leave a comment to let me know! I’m offering a signed copy of SEASON FOR SURRENDER to one commenter, open internationally.

Season for Surrender
by Theresa Romain
Genre: Historical romance
Tone: Humorous, lighthearted, romantic
Heat Level: Sensual: Love scenes with euphemisms.
Publisher: Kensington/Zebra
Publishing Date: October 2, 2012
Format: Digital and Print (mass market)
Words: 92,000

Back Cover Blurb:

Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—
for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful
forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred
sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend
his famously naughty Christmas house party—and
stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is
Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite
charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he
will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…

Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends
about daring…

Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble 

Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.
Connect with Theresa at:

Giveaway Details:
One randomly drawn commenter from each tour stop will win one autographed copy of SEASON
FOR SURRENDER. Contest is open internationally. Earn an extra point for ‘liking’ Theresa on Facebook and ‘following’ her on Twitter! Contest ends on October 5th.
Tour Stops:

Additional tour stops can be found at:
The more stops readers comment on, the greater their chance of winning.


  1. Thanks for hosting Theresa today! :)

  2. Ladies, thank you so much for hosting me! It's great to join you today.

    1. Thank you Theresa for being here. I actually have my Dad to thank for finding your books. He does our family tree and is always doing searches and he came across your name and he called me and asked if I had heard of you and maybe we are related. See my maiden name is Romain. So of course I went out and bought your first book but will admit it is on my TBR shelf and I am gradually working my way through the stack. I look forward to reading Season for Surrender.

    2. Annette, what a cool story! And very fitting for today, since my post is about names. :) Thanks to your dad for finding my work, and thank you for adding my book to your TBR shelf!

  3. Nice post. The book sounds good.


    1. I like Sebastian from The Devil in Winter.

    2. bn100, thanks for visiting. Sebastian is a great hero's name!

  4. Arya from Game of Thrones!

    I've been reading the reviews on this book and so far all of them are good.

    1. Hey, that's good news. :) Thanks, Alyn! Game of Thrones has some very cool character names, doesn't it?

  5. Ouch, tough question! I love so many characters from books and movies LOL Well, some of my favorites in books are Sebastian St. Vincent from Lisa Kleypas' Devil in Winter, Ian Thornton from Judith McNaught's Almost Heaven, Fitzwilliam Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. And my recent fave character from a TV series is Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey ^^

    ‘following’ Theresa on Twitter under @imsavedbymercy
    ‘liking’ Theresa on Facebook under Aline Tobing


    1. Aline, do you think it can be hard to separate the name from the character? I'm not sure if I'd love the name Fitzwilliam on its own, but when it belongs to Darcy? Yes indeed. :)

    2. LOL I'm so sorry Theresa, I don't pay attention to the 'names' part of the question, I thought the question is about fave characters not 'fave character's names' *silly me ;p

      Yes, Fitzwilliam is not a very common name and I myself don't really like it :D I prefer William but I tolerate it only because it belongs to Darcy ^^ *Thank God other names I chose are awesome LOL

  6. One of my most favorite characters name is Adrian or Simon. I absolutely love those names.
    Congrats on your newest release :)

    I'm following on Twitter as @BfaE_MelanieS
    and on Facebook as Melanie Schwarz
    booksforalleternity at gmail dot com

    1. Both excellent romance-hero names. :) Thanks, Melanie!

  7. I don't really have a specific favorite name from novels, but I do like different, unique, or rarely used ones. One of my favorites would be Bastian though.
    Follow on twitter: @juneannm and FB: June Manning

    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

    1. Ooh, nice one, June. Shana Galen wrote a great Bastien in THE ROGUE PIRATE'S BRIDE. Have you come across that book?

  8. Some of my favorite ladies names are Charlotte, Juliana, and Arabella and for men - Sebastian, Nicholas, and Lucien.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

    1. Barbara, thanks for sharing your favorites. Those would all fit beautifully in a historical romance!

  9. Oh I like the names you chose for your character and why you chose them.. I love Jane Austen. I don't have favorite names, but I like them to be appropriate for their character.
    Thank you for the giveaway :)


    1. Kristia, thanks for stopping by! I figure if Jane Austen used a name, then it's definitely ok for a Regency romance. Plus I like to honor her work--she's the writer who got me interested in the time period.

  10. Congrats on the new release. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great post.
    Some of my favorite names are Nicholas, Adrian, Ian, Rebecca, Nicole, and Allison.
    I follow on Twitter- @JoanneBalinski
    FB- Joanne Balinski


  11. Joanne, what classic names. Thanks for sharing them! Hope you enjoy SEASON FOR SURRENDER.

  12. Thank you for sharing with us! Some of my favorite character names...Devon, Madison, Meghan, Chase, Morgan, Sebastian & Tristan.
    Robin in NC
    RW620 AT aol DOT com