Grace A. Johnson
Name of the Week: Chloe (Plus a Special Surprise!)
I just mentioned a few days ago a bit of good news concerning my latest release, The Gift of Her Heart (which I have affectionately titled Kit & Chloe), a Christmas novella NOW available in paperback and eBook on Amazon. So it's pretty much obvious that I'd take the time this week to share with y'all the story behind the name Chloe.
Lady Chloe Elisabeth Wellington is the half-sister of Held Captive's hero, Xavier Bennet. I won't explain how in this post, because that's a long, drawn-out story no one comprehends...but, needless to say, yes. They're related.
She is first introduce in HC, when Rina is sitting beside her at a ball.
"Obviously, my opinion was strictly my own, for Lady Chloe Wellington couldn’t stop chattering on about how much fun the activity was from where she sat beside me. If only Mother had warned me beforehand, then I could’ve had someone teach me how. Unless, of course, everyone wanted their toes stepped on. In that case, I would happily comply.
Rubbing the back of my neck, I stabbed my itsy bitsy fork into an apple slice and attempted to take a bite of the tart flesh when the fruit fell from my fork and landed on the tablecloth. A dollop of white cream followed, and I quickly grabbed my napkin to clean up the mess. I was placing the apple in its rightful spot in my mouth when my gaze caught sight of Lady Chloe’s dark black eyes glistening with arrogant amusement. Something in her gaze, in those thin blond eyebrows that arched upward, looked oddly familiar.
It wasn’t until I turned my attention to Xavier that I realized it. The similarity in their features, from the midnight eyes to the mouth turned up in an amused smile, made me wonder if perhaps they were siblings. It was always possible, but Xavier had not once mentioned siblings outside of David and Jonathan.
Then again, there were quite a bit of things that he had neglected to mention."
It was already quite obvious to me that she would be a fabulous character, and within moments her love story with Kit Arlington (Xavier's step-cousin...again, long story) was contrived.
Kit goes on to describe her in The Gift of Her Heart as "murderous."
"The woman was murderous. Her tongue could pierce the devil’s soul—assuming he had one, and if not, it would still pierce something. Her gaze, so dark it was almost black, so like her brother’s, yet without the warmth of light, could extinguish a flame—such as one of desire, for example. Her rejection could sting even the one who had known for years he would feel it over and over again.
Kit Arlington released a growl from the tight confines of his throat, stalking after the vixen in question, who sashayed with no small amount of ceremony through his house as though she owned the place. Her head was tilted up, pert nose high in the air, as long waves of brown topaz and golden yellow cascaded from beneath her bonnet down her back, swinging like a pendulum in time to the oscillation of her lacy ruffled skirt. The aristocratic arrogance, inherited and honed to perfection, was back in full force, dousing what remained of her stammering hesitation, her wild eyes and frantic pulse, her devilish demeanor.
She was Lady Chloe again. Poised. Elegant. Dismissing him with a look of disgust. Not even taking time out of her precious schedule to ridicule him, let alone converse with him as though he were an actual human being. Or kiss him as though he were a warm-blooded male who was hopelessly attracted to her."
I love Chloe. She has a wicked wit and a grace none of my pirate heroines possess. She's also hilarious.
Anyway...it was all by chance that she would come about. When I invented Xavier's backstory (which is the subject of Capturing Her Heart, the prequel novel to Held Captive, which has yet to be written), his siblings Charles and Chloe Wellington were born. Charles W. was named for his father, Charles Francis Wellington I, and Chloe...well, Chloe just so happened to be a haughty, arrogant name that begins with ch. So... It fit. All too well.
But Chloe has some interesting origins.
It's Greek, in fact, a word that means "green shoot." That refers to, particularly, new plant growth in the springs. And speaking of referral, Paul mentions a Chloe in the New Testament. (I'm sure there's a story there, if anyone's interested.) A lot of us don't realize that Chloe goes so far back, and even then, it was very common after the Protestant Reformation. So imagining her ladyship as a Chloe isn't too far fetched--it's not just a 20th century name and certainly not confined to Greece.
It really fits her, you know?
Anyway...ha ha...I guess I shared more excerpts than I did etymology. I do have one more announcement before I sign off. For y'all reviewers out there, Held Captive is now available on Booksprout for reviews. Feel free to log in and snag one of twenty e-copies to review! Here's the link! It's limited time and quantity, so get 'em while they're hot! Those who review HC will be the first to know when the ARC for Bound and Determined is out!
Excerpts from Held Captive: Copyright © 2019 Grace Ann Johnson
Excerpts from The Gift of Her Heart: Copyright © 2020 Grace Ann Johnson