For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.
    ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Most Eligible Bachelor Romance Collection

Here’s a romance collection that takes readers back to the gentler time of courtship and chivalry. Each of the nine story’s heroes has something special about him besides a handsome face—success, wealth, a beautiful home, a courageous heart, generosity, and more—but he doesn’t have the woman of his dreams. Still finding her is a challenge when all the local single ladies want to be with the most eligible bachelor in town, including gold diggers and charlatans. Readers will delight in following the journeys as each bachelor finds his bride through patience, prayer, and perfect timing.
Buy Today


The Archaeologist’s Find 
by Erica Vetsch

New York 1898 – 

Archaeologist James Kirkland’s finds in Egypt have made him a wealthy man—and a very eligible bachelor. Alicia Davidson would like nothing better than to spend every day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art sketching artifacts. Drawn to each other within the halls of the museum, will their friendship survive when society reveals their true identities?
The Archaeologist’s Find is set in Gilded Age New York City, primarily in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have always been fascinated with the opulent homes, the society rules, and the lifestyles of the Astors and Vanderbilts and Goulds during the Gilded Age. I’ve also long been intrigued by the history of America’s “Dollar Princesses,” the daughters of New York Society who were married off for political, material, and societal means with little say in the matter for themselves. Whether their fathers were trying to solidify a business deal, or their mothers were after a European title, the daughters were treated like bargaining chips. I love the idea of a socialite throwing over the traces for love.

My hero, James Maxwell Kirkland, is an Egyptologist who loves the life of an excavator and conservator, spending half his year in Egypt, the other half in scholarly pursuits. He’s made the discovery of a lifetime, but it comes with strings attached. He must curate an exhibit of his find at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My heroine, Alicia Davidson, is the only child and heir of the Davidson Department Store fortune and is expected to marry well. But in her heart, all she longs for is to become an artist…and to find real love. She escapes her mother’s machinations by going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art each day to draw and paint.

When Max and Ally meet, it’s as museum aficionados, not as two of New York’s most eligible catches, and while the pressure is on for them to find their perfect matches among New York’s elite, they think their paths might lie along similar lines. When the truth about who they are is revealed, one is elated and the other alarmed.


Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not immersed in fictional worlds, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How to Name a Fictional Character -- Part 2

On Monday we discussed What Not To Do when naming fictional characters. Today, let's talk What To Do.

1) Culturally Appropriate Names

Look for a culturally appropriate name that has significance for your character and the story. For example, Chinese females are given eloquent names that signify grace and beauty, where as boys are given plain names. Why? A plain name, according to the culture, will confuse evil spirits. In Greece, first-born sons are named after their paternal grandfather, first-born daughters after paternal grandmothers.

2) Put a Twist on a Common/Popular Name

Today we are constantly hearing about a couples "shipped" name. Bennifer. Brangelina. Captain Swan. What about doing that with popular names Jeffanie. Timberly. Kaylor. Maybe not for a historical, but that could easily work in a contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, or sci-fi. Or take a common name and remove a letter or two. Matthew becomes Athew. Melody becomes Elody or Melo.

3) The Meaning Behind the Name

Once you've figured out the cultural ancestry of your lead, look for names that fit that culture yet have a meaning that summarizes your lead's super-power, or maybe weakness.

4) Shorten for Familiarity

You can show familiarity or even tension by having one character use a shortened version of the lead's name.

5) Be Aware of Gender Norms

Most Americans consider Whitney a female name. So if your hero is named Whitney, quite fitting in a historical, your readers may be put off. That's not to say you can't have a female use a male name or vice versa. If it is a plot element, then go for it.

6) Search the Past for Real People

Census taken around the time of my story and in the locale (or close to it) are my favorite places to find names. You can also find cemetery records, birth or marriage certificates, or other historical documents. In my book MASTERPIECE MARRIAGE, my hero is named Zenus (rhymes with Venus) Dane. Usually I will mix up first and last names. With Zenus, I used the name of a man who wrote an article for Good Housekeeping magazine back in the 1880s.

Get creative with naming your leads!

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Name a Fictional Character - Part 1


"Why do YA heroines always have strange names, while everyone else has normal names?"  My 17-yr-old daughter  had a great point.

I recently had been judging a contest. One of my entries was a YA. Sure enough the heroine had a crazy name. Everyone else -- Bob, Sue, Tom. What made it worse was the heroine and her BFF had names so similar . . . I had to stop reading during their scenes together. Milly said this. Lilly said that. Ugh.

Character Naming Think-Twice-About-Doing

1) Unpronounceable Names

In this day and age, we can get away with odd names as long as the reader can figure out how to pronouce. Katniss, anyone? If one of your beta readers or critique partners questions a name choice, then you may want to change that name.

2) Similar Names

Ever seen that word test on Facebook where certain letters are removed yet you can still read the sentence? I have. The human brain is fascinating in how it can do this. Yet that ability causes may reader a problem when the brain sees J and immeditately thinks Jenny, your heroine's name. But name is Jenks, you villain.

That's not to say you can't have more than one character with a J-name. Be cautious about using one letter to carry too many names. Same goes with sound. Jenny, Bennie, Denney, or any variation of the "ee" sound at the end of the name can be confusing to the reader.

3) Time-Period Appropriate

I was re-reading a novel by one of my favorite historical authors. The name she'd chosen for the heroine didn't "sound" right for an English female in mid-1800s. I searched the book for an explanation of how she came about the name, but there wasn't one.

4) Popular Names

One year I judged a contest where three of my four entries had heroines named Cat/Kat. Obviously her name was shortened for Catherine or some derivative. Go to It will list the most popular names dating all the way back to 1880.

5) Nicknames

I swear if I pick up a book and the heroine is named Cat or Sam, I put the book back. The book could be amazing, but I refuse to read it. But if you do chose to call your lead(s) by a nickname, please be consistent and don't use more than one. All goes back to don't confuse your reader. If you're going to use a nickname predominantly for a character, then introduce the character by that name.

We first know him as Strider. Then we learn he is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. By the end of the third boook, he is King Elessar.