posted on March 18, 2020 by Valerie J. Clarizio

What’s in a name?

Have you ever read a book where you couldn’t help but wonder why the author chose the names they did for their characters? Did finding an answer to this question gnaw at you far after you finished the book? Rest assured, you are not alone.

In terms of my new release, Time WARped (A Preserver & Protector Novel), I can answer the first question for you and those of like mind. The names of my main characters and some secondary characters were picked by design. The meanings of names were important to me. I wanted names that not only fit the personalities of my characters but also held significant meanings to suit their roles.

We’ll start with the hero, Blake Cornelis.  Blake is the Veteran Service Officer for the county and he is a widower. He’s also a time travel ‘Preserver.’  As a ‘Preserver,’ his duty is to travel back in time to preserve history as he wards off his evil cousin who is trying to change history by making his ancestors the heroes of war, rather than Blake’s. In my research, I found that the name Blake had a contradictory meaning. One version is of a man with a darker complexion and dark hair, while in the other version the man is pegged as fair with light hair. Since I wanted this character to have a refined, quiet life at home, and a dynamic one when he traveled, I thought a dual-meaning name was appropriate. But, don’t worry, that well-mannered persona Blake displays in his every-day life doesn’t match the tough, resilient man beneath the surface and the persona that springs to life when he time travels.

When it came to the heroine, Ariel Jonas, I looked for a name that suited both her looks and personality. Ariel is a personal trainer, divorcee, and a time travel ‘Protector.’ Her job is to protect Blake as he fights to preserve his family’s history. She is relentless and will stop at nothing to fulfill her duty. Ariel has blond hair, sapphire eyes, and porcelain skin.  When I think of the name Ariel I picture a tiny-framed, delicate woman, but in my research I found the name to mean ‘Lion of God.’ The second I read that I knew Ariel was the perfect name for my loyal, indestructible heroine. Plus, Blake views her as his guardian angel. What better name for an angel, than Ariel?

Blake has an adult daughter, Eva, who will someday assume Blake’s role as a time travel ‘Preserver.’  Ariel has an adult son, Wyatt, who will eventually assume Ariel’s role as a time travel ‘Protector.’ Eva and Wyatt’s importance does not end there. These two will have a child who is destine for great things. That child’s name is Nathaniel. I’m going to stop here with the storyline as I’ve probably already given away too much, but I will finish with the meanings of all those names.

Eva – Giver of Life

Wyatt – Protector

Nathaniel – Gift of God (Remember, Nathaniel is going to do something spectacular.)

With the details I gave you about those character’s roles the names make sense for them, don’t they?

As an author, I probably spend too much time researching and choosing names for my characters, but the names are important to me. Even though it is likely, nobody else realizes the significance of my character’s names, I do and it’s worth the effort for meJ

In closing, let me tell you a bit more about Time WARped (A Preserver & Protector Novel).  This is my first time travel romance. I generally write romantic suspense and contemporary romance. Maybe I’m having a mid-life crisis or something but I took a chance and dipped my toe in the spectacular world of time travel.  The book released on March 17th.



Romancing destiny one moment at a time.

When Veteran Blake Cornelis visits his great grandfather’s Civil War grave, he is whisked back in time to Gettysburg, where his ancestor was a hero. His mission—to preserve his family’s decorated military record, because his cousin, Evan, is determined to steal the Cornelis heroism for his own family’s ancestry. Fighting Evan is demanding and requires unremitting vigilance. Fortunately, the gods have sent Blake an exquisite guardian angel to help him.

Ariel, a time travel Protector, is tasked on this journey with safeguarding Blake, and she vows to do that—at any cost. But the attractive hero from Wisconsin is unlike others she’s been assigned to protect. The intense attraction between them casts them into deadly peril on the battlefield.

Blake and Ariel are sent into other wartimes, and as secrets unfold they realize they must sacrifice all to conquer his evil cousin, for the Cornelis honor is not all that is at stake. The fate of the American people lies in their hands. But Evan is a formidable foe, determined to achieve his mission, and since he has nothing to lose, he’ll do whatever it takes to succeed—no matter the cost.

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Valerie J. Clarizio

Valerie J. Clarizio

Valerie Clarizio is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and extremely spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She's lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?”

  1. flchen1 says:

    Happy new release, Valerie! Thanks for the peek at your characters! Love how much thought and planning go into even their names!

    1. Thank you! Glad you stopped by.

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