• We've been blogging since May of 2006, making us one of the longest-running group author blogs on the internet.

Sign up for Blog notifications

  • Please enter your email below to sign up for notifications when we publish a new blog post.

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

The Wenches

  • Mary Jo Putney

  • Patricia Rice

  • Susan Fraser King

  • Anne Gracie

  • Nicola Cornick

  • Andrea Penrose

  • Christina Courtenay

In Memoriam

  • Jo Beverley
    Word Wench 2006-2016

  • Edith Layton
    Word Wench 2006-2009

Word Wenches Staff

Wench Staff Emeritae

Contact Us


  • Want to read ALL the posts by a specific Wench? Just scroll down to the bottom of her post and click on her name!

June 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  

Wenches Statistics

  • Years published: 164

    Novels published: 231

    Novellas published: 74

    Range of story dates: nine centuries (1026-present)

    Awards Won:

    • RWA RITA

    • RWA Honor Roll

    • RWA Top 10 Favorite

    • RT Lifetime Achievement

    • RT Living Legend

    • RT Reviewers Choice

    • Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews

    • Golden Leaf

    • Barclay Gold

    • ABA Notable Book

    • Historical Novels Review Editors Choice

    • AAR Best Romance

    • Smart Bitches Top 10

    Kirkus Reviews Top 21

    Library Journal Top 5

    Publishers Weekly Top 5

    Booklist Top 10

    • Booktopia Top 10

    • Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement

    Bestseller Lists:

    NY Times

    • Wall Street Journal

    • USA Today

    • Waldenbooks Mass Market

    • Barnes & Noble

    • Amazon.com

    Chicago Tribune

    • Rocky Mountain News

    • Publishers Weekly


« On the move, Part 2 | Main | Conferences: The Crazies Continue »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Names only bother me in a (historical)story if they use a popular modern name. In other words, when the name doesn't fit with the time period or the setting of the book. The only exception is when they have a reasonable & believable explanation why a Scottish lass has an Italian or Spanish or Chinese name.

(just to let you/SK know that I cherish my copies of AK & LM)

Cynthia Owens

I have to confess that my favorite character name is Siobhan, the heroine of my first novel, "In Sunshine or in Shadow." It's always been my favorite name. In fact, the first time I heard it (when I was 15) I vowed then and there that I would one day write a book with a heroine named Siobhan. Of course, I had to add a line about how to pronounce this lovely Irish name, but that was easily enough done.

I agree that using modern names in a historical novel is a bit jarring, but another pet peeve of mine is finding several books with the same name, for a hero, especially. A few years ago, I read three books with a hero named Morgan. When I'm naming a character, I try to come up with something unusual, so it will (hopefully) stick with the reader.


Suzy, thank you- it's great to know that AK and LM are keepers for you!

Cynthia - Siobhan is a beautiful name indeed. I had that very name on the short list for one of my kids, but he turned out to be a Sean. Much easier to spell and no need to explain how to say it!


Jeanne Miro

Susan -

I love when one of the characters in a book is named Hastings. It is a family name and my parents gave it to me as a middle name.

My husband is a history book and after we got married he did a lot of research on my name and was amazed not only the number of famous people he found but also learned a lot about the Battle of Hastings that he had never read before. It makes me have a more personal experience with a character when they appear in a story.

My sister has the middle name of Sheldon but I've never seen it in a book as a last name but I have read several where it's been a character's first name.

If you know of a book where it's been a characers last name it would be a great book to get for my sister for her birthday or Christmas.


I like when men have a family surname for a given name like Fitzwilliam Darcy. I admit that names not period correct throw me off in a historical. I enjoyed how Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series had all the main characters names chosen alphabetically according to their birth order.


I LOVE period correct names and I especially love it when an unusual name crops up. I think Diane Gaston had a hero named Cyprian in one of her books and his father gave him the name for less than flattering reasons.


You appear to be aware of my pet hates concenring character names! I cannot read a book if two characters have names which begin with the same letter - I read very quickly and (I have now realised) see just the capital letter and identify the character. If more than one character has the same initial letter it throws me out of the book as I have to stop and work out which character is being named. I suspect that this common for fast readers.
My other dislike is more idiosyncratic - I don't like names I can't pronounce, and that prejudices me against that character!

Isobel Carr

So funny. My sibs are Niall and Siobhan! Poor Siobhan. Her kindergarten teacher forced her to RELEARN how to spell is as "Chevron". My mom came unglued.

Christina Courtenay

My favourite name for a heroine is Winter (from M.M. Kaye's "Shadow of the Moon") - I just love that!

I find there are just certain names that don't sound right for a hero or heroine, but everyone's taste is different so I try not to let it "peeve" me if I come across them. I totally agree with everything you said about naming characters!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Social Media

Word Wench Newsletter

  • Word Wench Newsletter
    By signing up, you are agreeing to receive the Word Wenches monthly newsletter. We will never spam you or share your info. You can easily unsubscribe from the mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the emails.