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Winter is a time of blustery winds, warm blankets, and book friends to fill your heart.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jillian Chantal's Hot Pursuit

I am truly blessed with good friends. Today Jillian Chantal is dropping in for a spell. Her new book Hot Pursuit is being released on September 6th by Ellora's Cave. It is part of the Blush line. 

Jillian, I have the tea brewing in the pot, please entertain our guests while I remove the scones from the oven.

Many, many thanks to the lovely Liberty for inviting me over to chat a bit today. Now I know she likes to impart tidbits of wisdom on her blog, so I'm going to endeavor to give a little something to the writers who read this post. It may be a very little something, but anyway, here goes. Let's talk a bit about naming characters. I'm a huge fan of giving my characters names that mean something. I even have some baby name books and one super resource called Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Every once in a while, though, inspiration comes from elsewhere. In my novel, Hot Pursuit, for example, Cecil is the hero and Evangeline is the heroine. If I'd used my sourcebook, I probably wouldn't have chosen these two names. Cecil means blind and I guess it could fit this character as he seems blind to everything but his quest. Evangeline means bringer of good news and this doesn't fit her at all. I mean, really, she's a lawyer- what good news could she bring? - "Oh, yeah, hey, you've been sued." Yeah, right.

Anyway, let's get past all that and let me tell you another fun way to grab names for characters. I travel a lot. When I travel by car, I pay a lot of attention to the road. I also notice signs along the way as well as exits. Once when I was driving to Atlanta, I read an exit sign near Montgomery. It was for two towns. One called Cecil and one called Waugh. I jotted them down as they sounded cool. Later on the road on the same trip, I noticed an exit in Georgia that had Senoia and Griffin on it. Jotted those down, too.

About six months later, I was heading down I=75 from Atlanta to Tallahassee and saw an exit for two towns called Ocilla and Sycamore. Fast forward about a year and a half. I decided to write Evangeline's story and used Cecil Waugh as the hero's name, Senoia Griffin as the name of the heroine's client and you'll have to read the book to find out exactly who Ocilla Sycamore is.

As to Evangeline's name, I have a friend named Rita Van Fleet who suggested I write a story about an all-female law firm. I wasn't too sold on the idea at first but after I started it, I decided it was a pretty fabulous jumping off point. So, in honor of her and another friend of mine named Evangeline who goes by Van, I named the heroine Evangeline (Van) Fleet. So, you see, there's inspiration all around for great character names. Go out and find some!

As I read this over, I realized I over-used the word name, but what's a girl to do? What other name for name is there?

Van and Cecil's story is called Hot Pursuit and it truly is a chase across the globe.


Blush sensuality level: This is a sensual romance (may have explicit love scenes, but not erotic in frequency or type).

Racing across the globe to help a client isn’t part of corporate lawyer Evangeline Fleet’s normal legal services, but this is no ordinary client. She’s the beloved daughter of an old family friend. In her efforts to save the girl, Evangeline gets in over her head when sexy Interpol agent Cecil Waugh enters the picture in hot pursuit of her client. He follows the lawyer on an international chase from New York City to Rio de Janeiro where they forget their differences for a moment and fall into bed together. Before the sheets can even cool Evangeline makes a daring escape, leaving behind her lover.

Relentless in his quest to find Evangeline’s client, Cecil continues the chase across Europe. But it soon becomes unclear who his main target is—Evangeline’s charge, or the spitfire of a woman herself. Only time will tell how hot this pursuit will become.

Book video:


An Excerpt From: HOT PURSUIT
Copyright © JILLIAN CHANTAL, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Barbara buzzed Evangeline’s office. Van was on the floor on her ab cruncher, dressed in a pair of black leggings and a sports bra. “Hang on, I’m across the room,” she yelled in the direction of the speaker. She rose, walked to her desk and picked up the headset. “Yeah. What? It’d better be a Federal judge or something. You know it’s my workout time.” She tapped her toe, impatient to get back to her exercise.
“Not a judge but an Interpol agent. On the phone. He insisted I interrupt you.”
“Barb, who do you work for? Me or that guy?”
“Well, then. What’re you going to tell him?”
“That you can’t be interrupted?”
“See, that was easy, yeah?”
“Yeah, boss. Should I get his number?”
“Tell him I’ll call him back in thirty minutes. What’s his name?”
“Cecil Waugh.”
Van doubled over in laughter and held on to her stomach. “Oh God, what would a Cecil Waugh look like? A nerd in taped-up horn-rimmed glasses with his pants belted under his armpits and a pen protector in his shirt pocket?”
“You’re terrible.” Barbara snickered.
“And you love me for it.” Van laughed.
“Yeah, right. I’ll tell him you’ll call back.”
“Thanks.” Van hung up and finished her workout. She took a quick shower in her private bathroom. She dried her hair, curling under the ends of her pageboy cut and put on a red merino-wool pantsuit for the depositions she had scheduled for later in the morning. The suit was double breasted with three large buttons on an asymmetrical bodice. She slid on her red patent-leather stiletto pumps with the pointy toes, the ones she called her Wicked Witch of Manhattan shoes. She wanted to look especially tough since the lawyer on the other side was from Miami and had a reputation as a real asshole. She thought she might need to use the pointed toes on his butt. Kick some ass, as it were.
Van nodded at herself in the mirror. Yep, the red is the right choice. Makes me feel more powerful. And it doesn’t hurt that it looks good on me. She grinned over her vanity, pinned on a white topaz broach, flattened the collar of the suit jacket and walked to her desk, ready for the day’s challenges.
Before she could take her seat, her phone buzzed again and Barbara said, “That Waugh guy—”
Van yelled into the speaker, “What? The nerd with the pocket protector on the phone again? He sure is an impatient little nerd, isn’t he?”
“Er. Not exactly, boss—”
Van’s door burst open and banged backward on the jamb. A gorgeous man with dark hair hanging over his brow, dressed in khakis and a polo shirt that showed off his toned biceps, strode into her office. There was no sign of a pocket protector anywhere on the man. He said, “Cecil Waugh, Interpol.” He thrust his hand toward her as if to shake hers.
Ignoring his hand, furious that he’d come into her office uninvited, gorgeous or not, she said, “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Barging in here?”
He dropped his outstretched hand to his side. “You didn’t call me back like your secretary said you would. I have a witness on the lam and you know where she is. I’m not a patient man, so I came over here to get some answers. Nerd that I am.” His gaze raked over her body with a sneer and he added, “Your secretary said you were too busy to come to the phone when I rang up earlier. Was that a lie? To avoid my call so you could keep hiding your client? Is obstructing justice a hobby with you?”
“You rude son of a bitch. I’m not sure you have any authority in this country and you certainly have none here in my place of business. I have no obligation whatsoever to tell you anything. I definitely have no obligation to take or return your call. I suggest you leave before I call security.” She sat in her chair and reached toward the phone.
“Look, I’m sorry I barged in but there’s some urgency to the situation. I’m not trying to be rude but I need to speak to Senoia Griffin. Now.
She glared at him. Held his stare for a full twenty seconds. Then, not breaking eye contact, she picked up the phone, pushed a button and said, “Leo, I need you in my office right now. I have an intruder.”
Cecil said, “All right, all right, damn, I’ll go. Call off your security dog. But this isn’t over. Not by a long shot. I’ll be back with a warrant. Soon.” He turned to walk out, stopped and looked back. He looked her up and down for the second time then turned toward the door.
She gasped at the audacity of the sneer he’d had on his face as his gaze raked over her. “Lots of luck with that warrant, buster. You’re in New York now. I think you’ll find that people here have rights. Now get out of here, you jerk.”
He stalked out of her office, the door slammed behind him, so hard it rattled in the frame. Again.
She got up and walked out into the secretarial area. Barbara stood there looking at the suite door and Van said, “Not so much a nerd, huh?”
Barbara shook her head. “I know I’m wet. God, what a man.”

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  1. Thanks for letting me loose on your readers, Liberty.

    The scones are delicious - pass the clotted cream and strawberry jam, please.

    1. Jillian, I love having you to visit. I hope you will stop my again soon. It is almost time for pumpkin muffins.

  2. Oh you are making me hungry with the scones. I love the ideas for naming characters. And Cecil Waugh for the hunky hero, who knew?

  3. Yeah, scones are amazing, Suzanne. And thanks for liking my crazy process. I had to make Cecil quite hunky to counter-act his name. It comes up in the book about his name and nerdiness a few times. LOL

  4. Love your idea for names, Jillian; I sometimes take my surnames from streets I drive through; other times I'll see a name on a tv show ~ I love when I start a new story, because I get to pick new names for my characters ~ and somehow the names I choose always seem to fit ~ And btw, those scones are making my mouth water! Much success with Hot Pursuit ~ I'll have to check it out!

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Heather. I love that you grab names off street signs and TV shows. That's cool, too. And the adventure of picking names is fun. Twice I've had the wrong name for a heroine and man, the story did not flow at all until I changed her name- it's funny how that happens. They do make their own lives, don't they?

    Yep, we all need a scone fix, don't we?

    Thanks for the good wishes. This is one of my favorites that I've written.

  6. I so agree about the importance of names. So far I've only had a couple of times that I've needed to change a characters names after I started the story. Thank heavens for 'find/replace'. I use baby names sites for the first names and the telephone book for the last names. A few times I have made up names.

    Congratulations on the release of Hot Pursuit and I've said it before but one - more- time. I love the cover.

  7. Thanks Lavada. And indeed thank God for find/replace. Have had to use it myself as well.

    And I do love my cover, too. EC does a great job.

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