Blog Tour with Tens List and Giveaway: The Orphan and the Thief by M. L. Legette

orphan tour

The Orphan and the ThiefThe Orphan and the Thief
by M. L. Legette
Middle Grade Fantasy
January 2nd 2014                


An adventure that will keep you and your kids spellbound.

Toad thought it’d be easy to steal from Mr. Edward P. Owl. Unfortunately for Toad, he isn’t the best of thieves. Caught in the act, he’s in more trouble than ever before. Now to save his hide, Toad must track down five rare potion ingredients for Mr. Owl. Or else.All Melena Snead wants is her family back, but after the Miggens Street Fire, that isn’t very likely. Orphaned and miserable, forced to work in an apothecary, she’s determined to find Milo, her missing brother. No matter what.

When Melena finds Toad ransacking her apothecary, Toad gets a nasty shock: apothecaries don’t carry Mr. Owl’s ingredients. Luckily, Melena’s willing to help, for a price.

With Melena’s pet Spit-Fire dragon and Toad’s enchanted talking beer mug, they embark on a fantastical journey, traveling the country in search of the potion ingredients. But can they gather all of them in time, what with monsters, pirates, and axe-wielding thieves? And if they do, is there an even greater danger waiting for them at the end?

You can see my review here.


Tens List

I'd like to welcome M. L. Legette to my blog today!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog!

Before I share the ways I pick names for characters in my books, I just want to give you a little insight into how I think about naming characters.

Names are important. It’s my personal opinion that the most important part of a book is the development of its characters. If I don’t relate or care about the characters, I’m 10 times more likely to stop reading. Plot, style, grammar, etc. are all very important, too, but the CHARACTERS! They carry the story on their shoulders. Therefore, if I can’t pronounce a character’s name or her name clashes with my perception of the character, my interest fades and my believability fades and I end up glossing over the impossible-to-pronounce-name or making up a new one that fits better. Not good.

So when I go about putting names to my characters, I have a very particular taste. I want them to have unique names with an old world vibe, but nothing too far-fetched. The same goes with naming cities, towns, and whole countries.

Ten Ways to Find Quirky/Interesting/Unique Names
M.L. LeGette Style

1. The Brain. 

This is number one because 90% of the time that’s how a name comes to me, just popping into existence out of the blue. Toad, Hickory, Izzie Groot, Agatha, Hazel, Mr. Ogg, Melena, Bloodroot and Toadstools, York and Sons, and Wilson were some that came to me without any warning.

2. Friends and Family.

When I’m struggling to name a character or a species or a place, I’ll often turn to the help of friends. My mom is my number one go to. She’s helped me loads of times: Ol’ Joe, the Ramblers (my sister came up with that one), Slinkwing dragons (a friend), and Spit-Fire dragons (Mom again), to name a few.

3. Telephone Books.

So full of interesting last names! 

4. Maps.

Maps are great. Especially if you’ve got foreign ones. They’re great for changing things up a bit, especially if I’ve gotten into a naming rut where suddenly everyone and everything starts to rhyme. 

5. Traffic Signs.

Travel by itself sparks random bursts of creativity, so keep an eye on those traffic and street signs. 

6. Books.

I knew I’d need serious help with quirky ingredient names when I realized I wanted to make Orphan all about potions. So I grabbed a few botanical books to help with ideas. I also used plant and seed catalogues. That’s how I came up with the name of the country, Calendula. It’s actually a flower. A marigold, I believe.

7. TV.

Watch sports and if you don’t particularly like sports just pay attention to the jerseys. I got Snead by doing this. And it fit so well with Melena – I just love it!

8. Name Generators.

I don’t often use name generators, but the few times I have, good things have happened. I’m particularly excited about one I found this way for a future book. It’s so fabulous. I could pinch myself.

9. Keyboard.

There’s never a more frustrating moment when I’m clacking away and I suddenly need to mention a place or a character, and I draw a blank. There have been times early in my career when I literally picked a letter on the keyboard and started to make up random words. This did work for me. I named two characters in my first book this way: Leah Vindral and Lavena.

10. Be Open.

Inspiration for a name can come from anywhere at anytime. Words surround us – we can’t get away from them, so embrace them and let your surroundings help you. If a fun sounding name comes to you and there isn’t a character or story to match it yet, just jot it down and use it for latter. For example I just thought of a new name, right while typing this up: Fiddlefoot. Alfred Fiddlefoot.

That was super fun, Melissa! Thanks again for stopping by!!

About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMelissa Lee LeGette has been writing seriously since she was a teen. She loves an old world vibe with a magical twist, and she puts her full focus on creating believable characters–even if they happen to be a talking beer mug. Her books are targeted for children and teens, but have been enjoyed by adults of all ages.

She lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/27/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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