My Research Travels Take Me to Montana and a Giveaway!


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My very next novel will be pre-set in Marietta, Montana.  That sounds like a real place, doesn’t it?  Yet, it’s not located on any map that we know of.  What I mean by pre-set, is that this town already exists in many other author-related books, so in a sense it’s real.  There are café’s and schools, a chocolate shop, and a sheriff’s office all in the small town of Marietta.  Characters live there, either in town, or near Copper Mountain or in Paradise Valley, doing what normal folk ordinarily do, ranching, banking, baking, dining and romancing!

For my new adventure, I’ll be one of four authors writing a romance about when the Rodeo comes to Marietta. My bronc-riding hero (who has no name yet—would love for you to name him) returns to his roots and meets up with his deceased brother’s widow—the very same girl he dumped for the excitement of the rodeo.  Said heroine, wants nothing to do with him, until he reminds her of the unrequited passion they’d once shared.

So my research begins learning about Montana.  I’ve never been, and usually I set my stories in places I’ve traveled, so this will be a bit of a challenge.   Here’s some fun facts about Montana:


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The State flag is stunning: Rocky Mountains, cliffs and rivers under the big sky.

Montana’s Motto:  Oro y Plata  (Spanish-Gold and Silver)

Montana is the Spanish word for “mountainous”.

The state nicknames are:  Big Sky Country and Treasure State

Montana became a state in 1889

It’s the 4th biggest state in the US

But 44th most populated with just over 1 million people


So now I ask you to help me come up with my hero and heroine’s names?  I’m really at a loss, usually I have a clear vision of their names, but right now I’m coming up blank. Both are Montana born and bred and have worked on ranches.   Give me your suggestions and you’ll be in a random drawing for a really cool 2 in 1 book.  The Cowboy’s Pride by Charlene Sands/The Paternity Proposition by Merline Lovelace


Also available for PRE-ORDER is my newest Desire  (releases on July 1st)  Isn’t it pretty?

The Billionaire's Daddy Test



Charlene Sands
Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling Author of 35 novels, writing both western and contemporary romance. She's a lover of all things romantic, especially her bold, rugged, heartstopping "real good men" heroes! She's the recepient of the National Readers' Choice Award, the Bookseller's Best Award and the Cataromance Reviwer's Choice Award. When not writing, she spends time with her "hero" husband, enjoying Pacific Beaches and drinking iced mocha cappucinos!

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Updated: May 14, 2015 — 2:44 pm


  1. I’ve never been good at picking out names. But I’m just going to through something out there. I would go with Carrie and Luke. For some reason when you mention Montana, I think of cowboys and country music.

    1. Hi Janine,
      Ah for Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood! Cute.
      Thanks for the suggestions!!

      1. You’re welcome. I know it’s not very original. But that’s what popped in my head at the time. Plus, I like traditional names.

  2. Cody & Samantha. Sorry coming up blank on anymore right now.

    1. Hi Kim
      Oh thanks for those. I think I’ve used Cody once and he was called Code. And I’ve used Samantha too. That’s part of my problem, after so many stories, I’ve used up lots of the best names! Thanks! Obviously, I love those names.

  3. Kate and Josh?
    Jenn and Adam?

    1. HI Cheryl C – wonderful names. I love Josh and Adam, but I just used Adam. And Kate and Jenn, all good!

  4. Ella and Luke

    Rick and Anne

    Adam and Amanda

    1. Hi Connie J – Love those names. I love Ella, wanted my daughter to name her child, Ella, but we got Everley, equally as pretty. Thanks!!

  5. HI Charlene! I love thinking up names, but I usually change them several times before they feel right and stick in a story.

    I love the name Garrett (Garrett Hedlund the actor of course!) And I also love Caleb.

    Then for a girl — Olivia (which isn’t that western-sounding — I just like it) or perhaps Laney or Zoey.

    Isn’t it fun picking out names? Unlike when I had children and had to worry about relative’s opinions and of course my DH and other children…as an author it is all yours! Fun, fun, fun!

    Don’t put me in the drawing! Just wanted to chime in here!

    1. Hi Kathryn,

      Great names. Thanks for the suggestions! It’s fun to dream up names and character traits for our H/h.

  6. How about Gemma and Lane…

  7. my suggestion is Emily and Cal

  8. Hi Anon 1001

    Oh, Emily is also a great heroine name. Thanks for the suggestions. Cal is short for Caleb or ??

  9. how interesting ,lot of information that i didnt know,ive never been to Montana but would love too some day,you make it sound really awesome i like the Names Victoria,( Tory) for short for the woman and Dane for the man,my fathers name was Dane and he was big and strong ,named my daughter after him her name is Dana

    1. Those are fun, Vickie. Like I said on FB, I love Tory. That’s a possibility I haven’t used before. And Dane is a great hero name. Have to see if he fits my character as I think him through.

  10. Here is my list of male heto names. Jacob, Jake, whyatt, Holt, Connor, Ty, Bubba, Ryan.

    Female heroines- Taryn, Summer, Charlotte,
    Megan, Wynonna. Oh and of course I’m going to thtow my name in there as well. Kaylee

    1. Wow, those are wonderful hero names. I haven’t used Wyatt or Holt yet. Ryan is good too.

      Females – I like Megan and Taryn. Charlotte is close to me and Summer was my other pseudonym! Isn’t that funny!

  11. Hi Charlene, oh my oh my, a rodeo cowboy. Sigh. I think he should be Jagger and she, Francie (christened Frances. It’s classic yet modernized.) I can’t wait for this one! Hugs and best wishes. xoxox

  12. How about Krista, Daisy, Lynn, Ellie, Cord, Trenton, Tripp, Wes….

  13. Ohhh, I love Cord. And Trent and Tripp. All great, Colleen! This is fun!

  14. I like the names Judd and Sara. Living in South Dakota and rodeo country those are the names common around here.

  15. I love Matt and Katie.

  16. I’ve read some books of Montana and I always wanted to visit but I hate to travel. So I visit through the books. I’m looking for to this multi author series. A couple of names at the top of my head. Hero – Len (for Leonard) and heroine- Mae


  17. Carter, Brett, Jared, Tate, Rand (Randall) Cooper, Reese, Grant

    Brooke,Stacie,Molly,Amber, Heather, Haley, Leah, Alyssa, Lana, Ava, Autumn

  18. Colt & Calli
    Nick & Sophie
    would enjoy reading this 🙂

  19. Howdy, ma’am.

    Stoney Burke and Jennifer Sands

    How fun to be asked to help name characters in a book. This one sounds quite good.

  20. Just thought of another female name mae don’t know if you used it or not

  21. How about Cody or Jake for the hero and Gwen or LaceyAnn for the Heroine?

  22. I’ve read many books set it Marietta MT, so I’ll look forward to visiting the “town” through your next book.

    Go through the index of Montana towns and pick names for your hero and heroine from them.

  23. Charlene- I have read your books for years & still enjoy all of them, they keep your interest & takes you to the place you are writing about. How about Derrick and Lois for your hero & heroine.

  24. I like Jericho and Sue Ann.

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