One of the most enjoyable things I do when I start writing a novel is to choose names for my characters. I say “choose” although sometimes I have no choice—the characters name themselves despite the identities I try to give them. (I’m sure most authors understand what I mean. Our characters tend to develop lives of their own and take us down paths we never saw coming.)
In the case of my Alliance of the Amazon series, the names of my women warriors were given much more consideration than whether I liked the name. I decided to make their names truly mean something, and I wanted that “something” to be a part of that Amazon’s role.
The heroine in book 1, The Reluctant Amazon, is Rebecca Massee. She’s the Earth Amazon, so I decided to find a name to truly fit her and her powers. One origin of “Rebecca” is the Hebrew culture, and the name means “to tie.” Earth has the power to send vines hurtling from the ground to tie up her enemies. In addition, the Rebecca who appears in the Bible was considered kind and beautiful, qualities I wanted for my Rebecca. Her last name—Massee—is a variation on “earth” or “land” in several different languages.
Her hero is Artair MacKay. Since Rhiannon is also known as the Lady of the Lake from the legend of King Arthur, I chose “Artair” as a Gaelic version of Arthur and also because it translates as “rock.” That gives him a tie to Earth.
(I chose the rest of the heroes names to be significant as well, but should I explain them now, I’d be giving away some of the twist and turns of the Alliance of the Amazons. So you’ll simply have to be patient to find out about these special men for my special ladies as their books release.)
Megan Feurer is the Fire Amazon. I chose “Megan” because it means “child of light” in Greek. What better name for a character whose essence is fire? Her surname is German for “fire.” You can read Megan’s story when The Impetuous Amazon releases on January 13th.
The Air Amazon is Gina Himmel. Gina comes from several cultures, most of the time referring to royalty or being well-born. At the time I wrote the first book in the series, I had plans for a twist in her book that involved her being a princess. Alas, I am a pantser—an author who writes by the seat of her pants. I might have plans for a book, but oftentimes the characters lead me down another path as Gina did when I wrote her story—The Brazen Amazon. “Himmel” translates as “the heavens.” A good fit since the sky is her domain. You can read Gina’s story in May of 2013.
I racked my brain for the proper name for my Indian Water Amazon. I turned to a former student (thanks, Deepika!) for some help in both naming Water and in developing her character. I wanted her to properly reflect her culture. After a few of my student’s suggestions, I settled on Sarita Neeraj. “Sarita” means “river,” which is perfect since Sarita’s patron goddess is Ganga (as in the Ganges River). “Neeraj” is a Hindi name that means “born in water.” What better name for a Water Amazon? Sarita’s book—The Volatile Amazon—will be the finale of the Alliance of the Amazons and will be published in September of 2013.
The Reluctant Amazon is on sale now!
The last thing Rebecca Massee expects on her wedding day is to go from jilted kindergarten teacher to Amazonian Earth warrior. But when she causes an earthquake after her groom says I don’t, she discovers that not only does she possess incredible powers, she is one of four lost chosen sisters who must fight to keep humanity safe from rogue gods and demons. Luckily she has help: ruggedly handsome Scottish warrior Artair MacKay, her protector and teacher.
An immortal, Artair has trained countless warriors for more than four hundred years. He understands Rebecca’s confusion at the new world she’s been thrust into and worries she is too emotionally vulnerable, but that doesn’t stop his growing feelings for the beautiful and fearless woman.
When an evil force threatens to destroy the Amazons, Rebecca must claim her full powers–but they come at a cost. Can she sacrifice the man she loves if it means saving the world?
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Sandy James lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband of thirty years. She’s a high school social studies teacher who especially loves psychology and United States history. Since she and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses, they often spend time together at the two Indiana racetracks.