Z Is For… Zac Bennett!

ZWelcome to the last day of the A-Z Challenge! We made it all the way to Z. Phew!

Today, I want to give you a sneak peak at an upcoming Noon & Wilder book called SEALED BY MAGIC, the sequel to SEALED BY FIRE.  We had a lot of fun writing Magic because we explored more of the lamia culture and how it relates to the witches in Seattle.  I love worldbuilding, so this one was a lot of fun to write.

Here’s the blurb:

Will a brewing shifter war tear apart two young men, brought together by magic and a fate stronger than one life?

Seattle has been at peace since before it was founded on the banks of the Puget Sound. The war between the witches and the snake shifters ended and they now live separate lives. Generations of distrust have kept them separated, until Ari Fitzgerald meets Zachary Bennett, a young witch from the Queen City Coven.

Ari is the son of the lamia king. He needs to find the source of the black market trading in lamia venom before any other snake shifters are hurt, or worse. The young ones are most at risk, because their venom is more potent. Ari discovers the source is a witch and suspicion falls on Zac and his coven.

Zac works for his brother-in-law, a powerful bear shifter who doesn’t care about shifter politics. When three coyote shifters come to town, looking for black-market lamia venom and a witch to kidnap, Zac gets caught in the middle between his brother-in-law’s shifters and the power-hungry coyotes.

Together, Ari and Zac must find the source of the venom before the city erupts into a dangerous and costly shifter war.

I Is For… Ivan – or, Russian Naming Conventions

The main character in Sealed by Fire is Ivan Demidov, but he goes by Vanya.  I love using Russian naming conventions because they’re so different than the ones that I grew up with in my culture of origin.

In the old days, in Russia, one would have three names.  The first is the public, formal name.  It was the first name, what’s called a “patronymic,” and the family name, or what we call in the States the “last name.”  So, Ivan Mikhailovich Demidov.  The “ov” or “ev” at the end of the family name generally means “of,” and the rest of the name refers to something – perhaps an ancestor, or a river, or something else.

The patronymic refers to the father:  “patro” for father, “nymic” for name.  It’s literally the father’s name.  Boys take the suffix “ich” and girls “ovna,” so Vanya is Mikhailovich and his sisters are Mikhailovna.

And finally, we come to Ivan:  it is “John,” in Russian, and the use-name, or short-name, or nickname, is Vanya.  In the old days, no one would call him by that name except family and very intimate friends.  There are suffixes to indicate endearments; yuchka to indicate beloved, which would be used by a wife or close, older, family members; and yuckenka, which means “little beloved one,” which would be used by much older relatives like grandparents.  So, Vanyuchka or Vanyushka, and then Vanyuchenka.

Clear as mud, eh?

What about you, Dear Reader?
Did you, or do you now, go by a nickname?