Tuesday, August 7, 2012

#BookChat What's In A Name by Terry Odell

Running for the wrong reason can still get you killed.
Kelli Carpenter has changed her name, her appearance—her life—to avoid being connected to a crime she committed in self defense years ago. But just when she thinks she has nothing to fear, handsome stranger Blake Windsor shows up.

He claims to be the handyman her boss sent to help complete the project she’s working on—Camp Getaway—a place where inner city kids will get respite from concrete and drive-bys. Being a loner has kept her alive, and Kelli’s instincts tell her to leave. But without Blake’s help, the refuge for inner city children won’t be completed on time. Against her instincts, she accepts his help.

Blake Windsor, a corporate executive, accepted his boss’s request to find out if Kelli Carpenter is really a woman his boss thinks he knew years before. He begrudgingly returns to the blue-collar construction lifestyle he vowed to leave behind, hoping doing this favor will advance his career. The woman he meets bears little resemblance to the woman he’s supposed to find, but something about her mystifies him, and he decides to continue with his deception to learn more about her.

When someone makes an attempt on Kelli’s life, she runs—but she takes Blake with her. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer is her philosophy. And Kelli is convinced Blake knows something that will link her to her former lover’s death, ending her life as she knows it.

From the Author
What's in a Name has its roots in a series of short stories I wrote back when I was writing Highlander Fan Fiction. Although there's nothing left of that universe, Blake Windsor, the hero, bears a strong physical resemblance to Duncan McLeod. The short story concept was that Duncan met a woman who was working on a camp where inner city kids could get away from gangbangs and drive-bys for a while. That concept stayed, although "Camp Getaway" was downplayed in the novel, and instead of Blake being a Duncan McLeod style hero, for What's in a Name? my heroine was the experienced character.

What Readers are Saying
What's in a Name? was a Daphne du Maurier finalist, as well as a Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and Heart of Denver finalist when it was first published by Cerridwen Press. I regained the rights and re-published it as an indie title, after some updating and re-editing. Reader comments include:

"loved this page turner from Ms. Odell! No one is who you think they are and every character has a secret agenda. Hot love story and a cross country adventure kept me on the edge of my seat."

"This book starts strong and just keeps getting better. Lots of great tension between the characters, unexpected plot twists, heart-wrenching love affair and a suspense that kept me guessing. Highly recommended!"

"I judge a book by whether I want to put it down or not, and I definitely did not want to put this one down. Fast paced suspense and steamy romance combined for a compelling read. Definitely recommend!"

Behind the Scenes with Terry
I write because I like to create characters. Until I know what makes them tick, the plot hangs in the background. Although Blake's physical attributes are very much Duncan McLeod, he's not the immortal Highlander. For Blake, the click moment was listening to Dan Fogelberg’s “Leader of the Band.” I knew I had to write about a character whose life was controlled by the line, “And Papa, I don’t think I said I love you near enough.”

Buylinks can be found here:  http://terryodell.com/blog1/whats-in-a-name/


  1. Great post, Terry! I've never seen the Highlander films, but sure have seen Adrian Paul styled as Duncan MacLeod often enough. You also made me smile with the mention of Fogelberg. I love his music. Shades of the 70s/80s! Good times. I'm going to have to read this book. :)

  2. Thanks, Sue-Ellen. One thing I regret was not telling Dan Fogelberg how much his song influenced the book. When I finally got around to doing it, he'd already passed away from cancer.