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Villains are Nabbed!

Yes, the villains have been nabbed! Well, named at least. Thanks to my Blog Buddies With Benefits for choosing dastardly names fitting my most evil characters in "Salem Switch." More on that in a minute...

First I wish to thank you for attending the video podcast on the first of each month at 7PM. November's was epic with a flash fiction story, a poem, and a personal essay, PLUS an invitation to earn free prizes! You can see the replay on my Jessica Lucci Facebook page.

PRIZES! Everyone who is joined up with my Blog Buddies With Benefits automatically gets a FREE story every month, as well as never-before-seen behind the scene snapshots and members-only contests and prizes. This month's contest is over, and prize winners have been chosen!

I needed and asked you wonderful readers for input into my malignant characters' names. This is for my Work In Progress, "Salem Switch." This project is a steampunk fantasy adventure is set in 1690 Salem, MA. A famous inventor finds herself embroiled in a tyrannical Puritanical town's despicable religiously driven politics. Her life, and the lives of her clones, are in danger of being murdered in the Salem witch trials. She meets a new ally who is much more than she appears to be. Even with the aide of the local Native Americans, her future is disconcerting. How can she prove that her innovations are science, not magic? My main themes of powerful women working together, teamwork, and cultural respect are prominent, as are time travel, magic, and some witchy sci-fi action!

My main antagonist was unnamed. She is a woman from 1690 Salem, MA, who befriends the brilliant but lost time traveller. Romance ensues, and the couple find bliss within chaos. Yet something dark lurks behind her green eyes. Something more than mysterious, more than friendly, more than simplicity. Her secret is revealed through wicked betrayal. I set out the call for a name, and you readers listened! I wound up choosing the name Hazel as her first name, after a doll I had as a child who I realized looked like her. Plus the name Hazel refers to her foraging capacities. I still needed a last name for this main character. Thanks to Douglas Yeager for inspiring Hazel's last name, "Feathergill." Originally from the name "Fothergill," which Douglas says comes from the British comic strip and movie, "Modesty Blaise," Mrs. Fothergill is a wicked villain who "enjoys killing her opponents with her bare hands." This was a perfect tie-in to my Hazel, and I changed the last name from "Fothergill" to "Feathergill" in order to show the duality of her personality, from feather to fin, and her two faced actions that inevitably doom the time traveller to the gallows. Douglas will be names in the acknowledgements of "Salem Switch" when it comes out this spring.

Congratulations also go out to Ashley Grant who helped inspire the Puritan reverend's name. Jeremiah was a popular Biblical name towards the end of the 1690s in Salem when this book takes place. It was also the first name of the judge during the Salem witch trials, Jeremiah Hawthorne. He wound up grandfathering Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of "The Scarlet Letter." A main character in that classic is the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. I combined the two last names from fact and fiction and came up with Thorndale. I think this speaks to my reverend character's prickly nature and, like Feathergill, his duality in leading and misleading the people of Salem. Thanks to Ashley for brainstorming names with me, my characters are complete. Ashley will have a special message in my acknowledgements for "Salem Switch."

Without you, dear reader, the magic of writing could not persevere through these uncertain times. Whether you are purchasing my books form my Etsy and Amazon stores, reviewing my books on Goodreads and Amazon, buying me "cups of coffee," attending my online events, or offering moral support through social media, you are making a difference. I am lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for hanging in there with me.

I hope to visit with you soon online! See me at Jewelry City Steampunk Festival and on our monthly video podcast on December 1 at 7PM.

Til then,

May your clocks always chime.

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