Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seekerville Welcomes Guest Blogger Ronie Kendig!

Pam here. I'm so excited to welcome Ronie to Seekerville today. I am completely blown away by her talent! Ronie isn't afraid to tackle current social issues within her novels. Wolfsbane is gritty, relevant, and intense. But more than that, you quickly begin to care about the characters, especially Canyon and Dani.

These two could be any soldier, the guy down the street who just got back from Afghanistan who can't sleep at night because his memories are too raw, or the girl on the night shift at your favorite restaurant who's working her way through college on a GI bill after spending a year in Iraq.

There are SO many things we could talk about, but I was enamored of Canyon's family in Wolfsbane, so for something a little different, I asked Ronie to tell us a bit about Canyon's family.

So, here's Ronie!!!

Coming up with the names of characters can be a journey that will haggle with me through the first ten pages of a manuscript. Sometimes, the names I like and assign to the characters, don’t resonate with the character as we get further into the story. For Canyon “Midas” Metcalfe, it was no different—but not for him. For his family. You see, Canyon is a tight-lipped guy, who doesn’t talk much, especially not about things that are private/personal.

So, when I stepped into the Metcalfe ranch home in Wolfsbane, I was intrigued. Right off the bat, I knew this was a tight-knit family. They’d do anything for each other and there was a very strong sense of family unity. They protect their own and would do anything for each other. And that included their names. Discovering that their parents were knee-deep in the hippie movement during their twenties, and knowing their mom was a graceful, peaceful person…I saw what was coming.

Nature-themed names.

Stone. Brooke. Canyon. Range. Willow. Leif.

I cringed, at first, thinking—how corny. But I turned the cliché on its ear. I had the family taunt each other about the names, and did my best to make it work for the story. Stone was awesome—he was the “rock” of the family, and does his best to fill the oh-so-large shoes of their late father. He’s a keen businessman and is intent on keeping his family intact.

Canyon, naturally, is a quiet guy. But like his name, his loyalty is deep and solid. He gets himself into trouble without trying and has a hard time finding his way out of it. Range is a little more than a year younger than Canyon, and the two brothers are as opposite as their names. Range is intensely personal but doesn’t have the drive to be hard-hitting the way Canyon does with his career. Range is a bit lost in finding himself and is still wandering the plain of life. I loved getting to know Willow, who I made like her name—tall, willowy, and graceful. But she has an intensity to her that makes her formidable. Not your average blond beauty. Leif is a remake of Canyon. The kid has potential and is unruffled by the hard time his family throws his way. A senior in high school, Leif was a change of life for his parents, who “turned a new leaf” in life, becoming Christians and dedicating their lives to God.

I had so much fun with this family, I have even put together a romantic suspense proposal called “The Elements,” and it’s about the Metcalfes. Someday…somehow…I hope to write that series.

Pam again.

[Shameless plug, ala Ruthy-style! Did you know that Stealing Jake is FREE on Amazon and B&N. #1 for three straight days running! Whoo-hoo! And have you signed up for my Kindle Giveaway? You should!]

Commercial over.

See? What did I tell you about Ronie right from the get-go? Now, isn't that explanation of how she pegged the Metcalfe siblings a perfect example of how dedicated she is to nailing her characters?

Canyon Metcalfe is the to-die-for hero in Ronie's latest, Wolfsbane, the 3rd in her Discarded Heroes series. If you like edge-of-your-seat international intrique, you'll love this book.

A female demolitions who unwittingly holds a lethal secret. . .
A former Green Beret grappling with terrifying memories of a mission gone bad. . .
And the jungle that threatens to swallow them whole.

In Venezuela, Danielle Roark and her Army Corps of Engineers team is captured. After six months of captivity, Dani escapes, only to end up charged with espionage and forced to return to the jungle to prove that a nuclear facility exists. On the mission, she is abandoned by God and country. Will she live long enough to make those responsible pay? Haunted by memories of a mission gone bad, former Green Beret Canyon Metcalfe wrestles with his developing feelings for the feisty senator’s daughter. Setting aside his misgivings, he and Nightshade take the mission to help Dani unravel her lethal secrets. Separated from the team leaves Dani and Canyon vulnerable—and captured. After he is rescued, Canyon discovers Dani has been left behind. Livid, he sacrifices everything—including his role with Nightshade—to find Dani. Can Dani and Canyon fight the nightmare armed with only forgiveness and raw courage? Or will they lose their lives, minds, and each other?

Ronie's giving away a copy of Wolfsbane to one lucky commenter today. Make sure you let us know if you want to be in the drawing, and leave an email address please.

Breakfast is biscuits, bacon, and eggs with a full array of jams and jellies! I happen to know that Dani is partial to strawberry jam so don't hog it all, Ruthy!

Canyon seems like a steak and potatoes kind of guy, so we'll have steaks sizzling on the grill, potatoes baking in hot coals, corn on the cob, and Texas toast ready for a feast at noon!

Ronie Kendig grew up an Army brat and married a veteran. Together, she and her husband have four children and three dogs. She has a BS in Psychology, speaks to various groups, volunteers with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and mentors new writers. Rapid-Fire Fiction, her brand, is exemplified through her novels Dead Reckoning, a spy thriller, and the military thriller series, The Discarded Heroes, which includes Nightshade (Retailer’s Choice Award Finalist), Digitalis, Wolfsbane, and Firethorn (January 2012). Ronie can be found at or


  1. I loved this post! Ronie Kending is one of my favorite authors and book after book, she keeps getting better. This one exceeded my expectations! I fell in love with Canyon's family in Wolfsbane and would love to see a series for them in the future (pleeeaase, Ronie!).

    No need to enter me in the contest, as I already have a copy of Wolfsbane. :)

  2. Canyon is my favorite and that's all I need to say my friends know what I mean LOLOLOL!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  3. What a beautiful cover! I don't know a thing about the military, or jungles, or demolitions (?) but the story sounds gooood! Fighting their way out of the jungle together? Yikes!

  4. Hi Ronie, so great to see you in Seekerville.
    I already own the series, autographed (We met at the Writer's On The Storm ACFW meeting earlier this month.)
    As soon as I get them back from my teen nephew who saw the covers and took them, literally, hehe, they're going into my TBR.
    Just wanted to say your website is fantastic and I love how it fits with your brand.

  5. That we do, Renee! And I always thought you were lurking around my blog for the great reviews - hahaha!

    I adore the Metcalfes and would love a series written about them ;-). One day, Ronie!

    Ronie's books really are must I have. Over and over :)

  6. I'll have to look for these - I usually don't do too well with 'edge of your seat' stuff but these sound interesting.


  7. So glad I was able to stop in at Seekerville today. I loved Digitalis and would like to be included in the giveaway! Blessings!

    reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  8. good morning...i love the names you that you gave to the metcalfe family, ronie...thanks for the chance to read more about them :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  9. Kids and dogs... Ronie, that just sounds like my kind of gal!

    This is fascinating. I love related names and you did a great job of pulling together a web... You can "web" names on the Internet and people do this all the time now to figure out what names 'go' with their first kid's name... or second, third, group, whatever.

    Your name web is strong, but I loved the reason for "Leif".


    Dagnabbit I don't even want some of your stupid ol' jelly now. I'll eat my food plain.

    So there.

    More for the rest o' youse. But the smell of those steaks sizzlin'...

    Oh, Canyon's my kind of guy!

  10. Loved this post and I love Ronie's books. They have everything. Action, romance, hot military men, who could ask for anything more. And as Pam mentioned, Ronie's characters are so real. Fantastic series.


  11. A military salute from this former Army to you!! Welcome to Seekerville.

    What an exciting series!!!

    So tell us what's up next for you!

  12. Welcome to Seekerville, Ronie! Boy, this story sounds INTENSE! What where the "seeds" that planted this particular story idea?

  13. Ronie, welcome to Seekerville this morning! What a way to start the day. Intense. Aware.

    And it's only Wednesday!

    Love the concept of your series. You've thought through the nucleus of the family, developed the origin of the idea and now allow the reader to embrace the purpose of each character.

    Talk about solid GMC!

    Wow. This is great!

    And the cover of the book ain't too shaby either!

    I can't wait to read this.

  14. Welcome to Seekerville, Ronie! Love the earth element names and how they fit the personality of the characters. Fun!

    Pam, thanks for bringing Ronie and the great food. And for sharing that Stealing Jake is free online. Congrats on #1!!!


  15. You guys are AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for welcoming me with open arms and tons of encouragement. :-D I am delighted y'all like the names. In writing that family, I had so much fun.

    Sara - You are a gem. Thank you!!! I am working on an idea for the series, so . . . we'll see.

    Renee - You are awesome. Thank you for stopping by!

    Virginia - Thank you. My publisher had a very particular feel they wanted for these books, and I'm very pleased with what they came up with. :-D

    Nancy - Oh, so great to "see" you again! Love that your nephew stole them. These books have been a hit with the teen male audience, a surprise to be sure.

    Rel - you've been so great to promote this series so much. Love you!

    Anon - this series isn't scary intense like a horror story, but intense with action and "compelling" incidents. :-D

    Renee - So glad you enjoyed Digitalis. THANK YOU!

    Karen - thanks so much.

    Ruth - I really liked Leif. He was a subtly strong character.

    Kristen - LOL Love it! Thank you so much. Glad you like the series--and the guys. ahem.

    Tina - Salute! :-D

    Glynna - a true story planted the seeds. A husband and wife torn apart by the husband's spec ops career and the anger that came as a result of numerous deadly missions. I knew after seeing that family fall crumble that I could never again write about our military without showing the toll their jobs take on them and their families.

  16. Hi Ronie, Welcome to Seekerville,

    Wow talk about waking up immediately with promises of intense action. Your stories are amazing and I love the names. I wrote a manuscript with hippy names too from parents who were hippies. So fun. I mean you can do a lot with that which you obviously have. Love it.

    Thanks for honoring our military. I too have seen the toll it takes.

    Pam, the biscuits are yummy and looking forward to the steaks later on. Great summer fare.

    And I'm bringing some extra jam so Ruthy you can have some. Strawberry, blueberry and blackberry.

  17. RONIE!!! Welcome to Seekerville, girl, and WOW, what a fun post!! I was totally intrigued by your selection of names and gosh, you have me thinking what I could do with the names in my new San Francisco series ... Cable, Bay, China ...

    Mmmm ... somehow it works for you, but not me, I think! :)

    And I know I've told you before, but your tagline for Wolfsbane is absolutely SENSATIONAL, and Ronie wrote it!! Listen to this:


    And if you want to see a hubba-hubba pic of the model Ronie pegged for Canyon, OMG, check it out here at Ronie's Character Spotlight on Relz Reviews ...

    Relz Reviews !!!!

    Can't WAIT to read this one, Ronie!!


  18. I love Roni's books - and so does my dad! After I read her books (well, all books) I loan them to my dad who is 85 and still sharp as a tack! We would both enjoy reading Wolfsbane!


  19. Ronie, thanks for being with us today! I love the idea of how you played with the names. Naming my characters is always so important to me. I've been known to spend a full day searching for just the right name with just the right meaning! :)

    Your story sounds amazing!

  20. Hi Ronie:

    I enjoyed your presentation here in Tulsa at the recent ACFW meeting. I also like your ‘elementary’ names. Did you listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons while you were writing these books?

    I have two conflicting images of Leif: a guy who goes with the flow wherever the wind blows him and Leif Ericson a brave explorer.

    Also, the names of your books: Nightshade, Digitalis, Wolfsbane, and Firethorn seem to be all nature type poisons. Is this to say that “The Discarded Heroes” are highly dangerous but can also be put to some good?

    I like the idea of ‘trying the names on for size and seeing if they work as you write’ approach. I’ve had writers tell me that the names in their books are not what they wanted but the characters insisted on them!


    Vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  21. Sara, I totally agree. Ronie's books are getting better, and better! Good for her and for Barbour.

    Same here, Renee!

    Isn't that cover riveting, Virginia! I loved it, and I love how all the covers in Ronie's Discarded Heroes work together.

    And, as an aside, just the IDEA of Ronie using all these washed-out former military guys in a Discarded Heroes series was BRILLIANT, and perfect timing with the military conflicts going on worldwide.

  22. Great post today! Thanks, Pam and Ronie (and your book sounds very intriguing, Ronie). Please enter me in the drawing, and thanks for visiting us in Seekerville! :)
    Blessings, Patti Jo


  23. Ronie...the book sounds awesome! I would love to have my name put in for the drawing. I liked the character names you chose. I'm drawn to names that have meaning. When we were choosing names for our kids, we prayed for just the right name that would suit them spiritually and beyond. It's amazing that the names we came up with reflect our children so well! Blessings~Stacey

  24. I should have come here for lunch instead of eating mini-tacos.

    I will pay for my mistake gastronomically.

  25. Welcome to Seekerville, Ronie! I love all the names you came up with--really creative and descriptive. Picking names is so much fun. I have friends who love to use the names of towns. Some are better than others!

  26. Ruthy, we'll share the strawberry jam. Just don't HOG it all, will ya.

    And be nice! We have guests today.

  27. Sorry, I went to Relz Reviews to check out Ronie's idea of Canyon and forgot to come back...

  28. Just started reading Wolfsbane last night. I had to grab a pdf file from NetGalley because I hadn't received my review copy yet and I was determined to read this one before posting. I absolutely loved Digitalis.

    I'm about 50 pages in where we first meet the entire Metcalfe clan. Immediately realized what was going on with their names. I love it!

    Ronie, by any chance, has your publisher signed you up to write the stories of all of the Nightshade members as well as their extended families, like the Metcalfes? This series could go on forever in my mind.

    A gal can hope...

  29. Hahaha Julie L. and Pam H. now you see why Canyon is my favorite! ;-)

    Oh and I forgot to say earlier don't enter me b/c I already have that AWESOME book!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  30. Love it, love it, love it!

    I love how you came up with their names and I love their names.

    I am an Army brat myself and a I would definiltely be in for the lunch you got goin'.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  31. There are huge Ronie Kendig fans in my family! HUGE! It was so great to hear from her. Please enter me.
    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

    Pam, your book looks great!

  32. Vince, so glad you mentioned Ronie's titles. Nightshade, Wolfsbane, etc.

    I hadn't thought of that, and wondered where the titles came from. Reading on to see what she says...

  33. Wow wow!!! You guys know how to make a girl feel good--and fed!nSorry for being a bit absent--had three crowns placed this morning. Ugh.

    Julie, love you Bay names. LOL Too funny!

    So glad y'all liked the model I used for Canyon. It was torture eyeing him as I wrote. But. Suffered for the sake of the story and my readers. Ahem.

    Thanks, Vince! The titles were borne out of my desire for names that were "deadly but powerful (in a good way). The titles are also the secret code names used only by Lambert in his official reports.

    I want to mention everyone, but the throbbing in my mouth is interfering. Faye -so glad you all are fans. What a treat for me!

    Edwina - LOVE that you and your dad read my books. That's so kewl!!!

    Patricia - so kewl that you were determined to read before posting. :-D Love your dedication. Sorry your review copy hasn't arrived yet.

    Cara, Mary, Missy, Patti, Tracy - Thank you for your comments and encouragement. I had a lot of fun with the Metcalfes, as you can tell.

  34. Sandra, I love you. Thanks for the jam, it's a great yummy bedtime (okay, maybe NOT bedtime yet) snack.

    Love it.

    But I do have a campfire going and s'mores makings here.

    We're good to go and....


    I have Van Houtte Chocolate Raspberry coffee to make iced Raspberry mochas... It's not decaf...


    Do not use that word around me, you guys know that....


    it's muy deliciosa as Dora the Explorer's backpack likes to say!

  35. Hey, gang! I've been out today. Looks like a slow day around here.

    Ronie, thanks for visiting today! I'll go tweet this now.

  36. Hi, Ronie!!! Hope you had a great day in Seekerville! I spent the day driving. Who knew it would take two hours longer to drive to Ohio than Mapquest said it would? Anyway, nice to see you her, Ronie. ;-)

  37. Thanks for this interesting analysis of character names.
    I'm always torn because many of the sweet romances/inspirationals have names such as Beth, Annie and Katie.

    Whenever I have written about a character whose name is unusual, I kind of feel obligated to explain the background.

    Your explanation of these characters makes total sense and I really enjoyed this.

    I'd love to win your book.

  38. Oh my, I was in a hurry on my last comment and forgot to correctly give my e-mail. If someone can erase it, please do. :)

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo. com

  39. Names of characters are always an interesting thing. But it really dies help set their personality. Names of real people define who they are two. When picking the name of our daughter, it wasn't until we saw her that we knew for sure what name fit her the best. Having the name of your character in your book is an important first choice you need to make.
    Please enter me in the book drawing.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink ( dot) net

  40. Ronie has been such a trooper to hang out with us today after going to the dentist!


    Thanks so much Ronie. We've had so much fun, and I'm sure more comments will trickle in later.

  41. Interesting concept to have the family tease each other about names! I know family's with theme names. On another front: We are a military family (Air Force) so I'm always glad to see supportive stories, esp. Christian, about them. Thanks for writing these.

  42. Oooh, I want to write like Ronie when I grow up!!!

    I loved Digitalis and the others are on my wish list.

    I love these plots because they are action packed. Romance is there, too. Both are my faves to have in a story.

    I'd love to be entered in the contest!
    christylashea at gmail dot com

  43. Don't enter me in this giveaway, as I already own Wolfsbane (which is TOTALLY awesome, by the way! ;-)

    Just wanted to stop by and comment about the names. I LOVED the theme yo used with Canyon's family, Ronie. It was SOO neat! I like nature names myself, so you didn't find me thinking it was corny or weird. Loved it!!

  44. Really Interesting. I am always curious as to how names are selected. Please enter me in the contest.