Yes, I know it’s Friday.
At least now I do.
I’ll blame it on the holidays throwing me off. All day yesterday I thought it was still Wednesday and so I neglected to get this post ready and up. But here it is, a day late and hopefully NOT a dollar short.
Readers have commented on how unusual the name of the heroine in my most recent story is (A Shot at Love in The Christmas Heirloom still $2.99 for the digital version). So where did I get the name Fleeta?
Meet Fleta Hickman. A real West Virginian.
No, my character isn’t based on this lovely lady posing next to my grandfather, Rex Loudin, but she is the inspiration for the name. Although I added an extra “e” so readers would know how to pronounce it.
I don’t know much about the real Fleta or how she got HER name. And my Fleeta didn’t know where her name came from, either. But then, she’s less sentimental than I am.
Here’s a snippet from the story so you get the feel for MY Fleeta’s personality. She may fall for Hank eventually, but the first thing she falls in love with is his . . . rifle.
Fleeta noticed a second man catching up to Judd. He was shorter and thicker—though not heavy by any means. His hair was sandy—almost blond, but not quite. More the color of honeycomb. Fleeta thought he looked pleasant enough and started to smile. Then she froze as she got a good look at the rifle slung over his shoulder. It was a Woodmaster—a Remington seven-forty, thirty-ought-six, and if she wasn’t mistaken it was brand new. Her breath caught in her throat and she forgot to blink. It was the finest rifle she’d ever seen. And a semi-automatic at that. She wanted to reach out and touch it so bad she could almost feel the silk of the wood and the ice of the steel.
Someone elbowed Fleeta in the ribs. “I said, this here’s Fleeta Brady. Fleeta, you know Judd dontcha?”
Fleeta choked on the spit she’d forgotten to swallow. “I do, but it’s been years since I last saw him.”
Judd looked at her with serious eyes that let her know he wished her to be at her ease. She gentled under his look and shifted her focus back to the second man. Apparently, she’d already been introduced, but she had no idea what his name was.
“It’s short for Henry,” he said with an easy smile. “Folks started calling me Hank before I could talk, so I didn’t get to have any say in the matter. Fleeta, though, that’s unusual. Is it a family name?”
Fleeta blinked. “I have no idea. My parents died when I was a baby. Is that a Remington seven-forty?”
Hank blinked back. Twice. “It sure is. Just acquired it over the summer and thought I’d bring it to West Virginia and see how good it is at getting me a deer.”
“The gun won’t have any trouble. Only thing that could get in its way is the one firing it.”
Judd made a sound that might have been laughter, but Fleeta ignored him, her eyes riveted to the most beautiful rifle she’d ever seen.