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Kristal Baird Asks the Burning Question: What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name?

Even Shakespeare wondered:Kristal Baird PI HoneytrapMaster Isolated Images

“… that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”

But exactly how much thought do writers give to the naming of characters?

Random selections? Personal encounters? Or are they chosen for being rich and meaningful?

Charles Dickens & Henry James, by all accounts, couldn’t even begin to write without establishing a character through naming. They claim their true character only came into focus when gifted the correct name. Both compiled lists of possibilities against future use, gathered from diverse sources such as commercial vehicles, newspapers – and, no doubt, the odd gravestone!

  • Schoolmaster, ‘Wackford Squeers’, beats, starves and terrorises as an alternative to teaching.
  • ‘Gradgrind’, a lacklustre utilitarian imposes his daily tedium of uninspiring education.
  • Jolly, wet-nurse, ‘Polly Toodle’ a “plump, rosy-cheeked, wholesome, apple-faced young woman”.
  • ‘Mr Wopsle’, the church clerk (a frustrated actor) delivers his opinion with such exaggerated dramatics that no-one ever takes him seriously.
  • ‘Mr Bumble’, the power-hungry, status-loving, minor official.
  • ‘Luke Honeythunder’  could be none other than a loud-voiced philanthropist.

Kristal Baird P I Honeytrap imageThese two writers were not alone in their quest.

Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene created the joyless ‘Sansjoy’; Milton  Paradise Lost ensured ‘Lucifer’ became ‘Satan’ only after his fall from grace and James Joyce Finnegan’s Wake and his satirical efforts would be a whole other post.

Film characters’ names are fascinating too. Picture these apt variations:

  • Arnie Schwarzenegger – Trench,Tasker, Matrix, Conan, Muscleman
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme –  Frenchy, Phillipe Sauvage, Edward Garotte, Chance Boudreaux
  • Steven Seagal – Kane, Steele, Cold, Hunter, Glass and Storm!

Who doesn’t feel they understand a little about characters from well chosen names alone?  Gollum, Luke Skywalker, Sam Spade, Boo Radley, Breathless Mahoney, Cruella De Vil, Holly Golightly, Ratso Rizzo, Gordon Gekko, Plenty O’Toole or Forrest Gump anyone?

A well-chosen name can open the door to a deeper understanding of character and intention; a fact a writer might ignore at their peril. However, it doesn’t do some any harm:   “God, I’m such a lazy writer. I can’t even think up new names.”  Dennis Potter

What do you think?

Just for Fun: Did you know…?

  • Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, whilst Ken’s is Kenneth Carson.
  • Would you care to refer to The Wizard of Oz as Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel  Ambroise Diggs? He stuck to OZ as he considered his other initials to be “a reflection on my intelligence” [PINHEAD]
  • Peppermint Pattie [Peanuts] bears the name Patricia Reichardt.
  • Shaggy [Scoobie Doo] is less well known as Norville Rogers


Think what fun writers & readers can have with names (& take a closer look at mine…)

Kristal Baird x

PI Honeytrap Review Details


An erotic novel by Kristal Baird



Hayley doesn’t trust men. She thinks most of them are only good for one thing. And she gets plenty of that honey-trapping cheating husbands or satisfying her own needs with local gym owner, Reuben.

And woe-betide him if he even tries to get emotionally close to her. Because tough girl Hayley is running. From her past. From herself.

Will Reuben ever understand this girl? Will Hayley ever accept exactly who she is and what she needs from a man? Will she learn to trust again?

Kristal Baird PI HOneytrapExcerpt

[Hayley interviews a potential client who thinks her husband is cheating on her, but she’s daydreaming about last night…]

‘Go on.’ Hayley settled back in her chair. She could listen and drift away at the same time.

She drifted straight back to the gym where she’d retreated late last night, to pound a little tension out of her body. Her private arrangement with the owner allowed her to use the place long after his other customers had gone home …

‘Still running, Hayley?’

Hayley knew that Reuben had been standing behind her in the doorway between his office and the main gym hall watching her for some time. She was observant about things like that. And about his choice of words. Perhaps it was time to cancel the arrangement?

‘Still running, Reuben. Are you wanting to lock up or something?’ She kept pounding the treadmill. The angle was at full elevation and it was hard work to keep going at that speed. She didn’t want to break her stride.

‘I did that an hour since. It’s just you and me.’

She knew that tone. He moved closer but the stare was the same. It meant only one thing, and Hayley didn’t mind how she pounded the tension out of her tonight. Particularly with Reuben.

‘I’m kind of busy right now.’ Hayley liked to tease him; to keep things light between them.

He walked over to her machine. ‘Then let me help you with your workload.’ Reuben punched the controls and the incline began to slowly reduce.

Hayley adjusted her body’s forward drive and stared at him as he started to ease the pace she was running too. She’d been on the machine for nearly an hour. That was the reason she suddenly noticed her pulse rate was so high, her heart pounding. The only reason. Sweat dripped off her skin, which glowed with heat. Even between her thighs.

‘I’m a bit of a mess,’ she claimed. She was jogging steadily now, coming down gradually from her peak.

‘I like my women hot, sweaty, and out of breath.’ The tight lift at one side of his mouth told Hayley he liked his own jokes and he was hot too. For her.

She checked out the bulge in his sweats and cocked an eyebrow. Ready to rumble. ‘You’re a lucky guy, then. You’ve got a machine that does most of the work for you, getting them in that condition.’

‘Look around you. I’ve got quite a few.’ Reuben’s eyes were fixed solidly on hers. ‘Machines. Not women.’

Hayley didn’t need to look around to know what was there. Since she’d opened her private investigation office two doors down from Reuben’s Gym, she’d worked out on most of the equipment – with and without Reuben. With was a different kind of workout. And, whatever he said, there were women too. She’d seen their eyes follow Reuben about. But she wasn’t intending to make that her business. This was strictly casual.

‘Machinery? Kind of makes your job a bit too easy. What’s left for you to do?’ Hayley was off the machine and twisting the top off the bottle of water that Reuben had handed her. She tipped her head back and downed the lot in one go, needing the rehydration if she was to keep working out. Making out. And she’d already made up her mind that, tonight, she would be.

Hayley wondered if she liked coming here more for the machine workout or for the other kind of exercise she got at Reuben’s place, and if Reuben wondered too.

He stepped in closer. His body was all muscle. He didn’t just own a gym, he used it on a regular basis. In her line of work, Hayley really appreciated a fit guy. She honeytrapped plenty for her clients, and most were creeps. But Reuben wasn’t work. He was all playtime.

‘I step in for the rub-down.’ He took the empty bottle from her and flipped it across to the bin.

‘Good shot.’

Reuben’s grin told her he wanted to show her another kind of slam dunk. ‘My talents are many.’

They sure were. God, he looked sexy when he smiled. Hot body with all the defined tendons and sinews of an athlete. Great features. The complete package. It was Hayley’s turn for her mouth to twist up into a smile of appreciation. Looking sexy in a white vest and sweatpants was only the start of Reuben’s endowments.

He placed his hands on her forearms and ran them up to her shoulders. She was hot before, but now she began the slow rise to combustion as his firm fingers kneaded the tight muscles at her shoulders and ran up the length of her neck into her hairline.

Hayley reached back and pulled out the elastic that was holding her dark hair back into a tight ponytail. Reuben pushed his fingers through its length, curving around the shape of her skull beneath. She moaned softly.

‘You like that?’

She nodded, eyes half closed.

‘I can do better,’ he promised. He gathered the fabric at the hem of her T-shirt, having given her the expression that she recognised as asking her consent, and peeled it off her damp body. She let him.

The air-conditioning hit her hot, sticky skin and sent shivers dancing across it. Reuben grasped her wrist and towed her behind him towards the massage room. There was an urgency about his movements that told her he’d waited long enough; that he wanted to get her to a place where she would let him fuck her as soon as possible. The guy was hurting.

That’s why she came back to Reuben’s. He worked hard to turn things his way, but it was always her choice in the end. With the hard, muscular size of him, no matter how fit she was he could have her pinned beneath him in seconds flat. But she always knew a simple no would end matters there and then. The guy had self-control.

Unlike some of the jerks she worked with. She’d been involved in some pretty nasty encounters to get the evidence her clients needed. To prove their husbands and boyfriends were cheating, lying scum who would chase any pretty woman who looked their way, irrespective of the fact they were supposedly committed.

She could feel her tension mounting again. Reuben could probably feel it too. He threw a warm, fluffy towel on the massage bench and pressed Hayley face down towards it. She twisted her hair again into a loose knot and fixed it on top of her head.

‘I’m going to unhook your sports bra, Hayley. Is that OK?’

‘Mmm.’ It was only the beginning. The tingle in her nipples told her that tonight she was going all the way. But it wouldn’t hurt to let him wonder.

Reuben unclipped the garment with a practised hand that made Hayley smile. They had an understanding. No ties. Just a little R and R whenever they wanted it; needed it. She liked it that way.

She liked what Reuben was doing to her now too. Her nose told her he had poured warm coconut oil into the palms of his hands, which he slicked across the entire surface of her back. He started palm-circling in small movements, slowly up to her neck on one side of her spine and down to the top of her sweatpants. She could feel the tightness in her muscles soften as he worked.

Time disappeared. Perhaps she drifted off to sleep beneath Reuben’s expert hands as he went through his magic routine; lifting, knuckling, twisting. It was those sexy little thumb strokes that eventually brought her back to consciousness.

Or his gravelly voice.

‘I want to give you a full-body massage, Hayley.’ The gruff tone told her the massage was doing as much for him as it was for her. God, she liked this guy.

He was asking her permission again, to take it up a notch. No point pretending. ‘I want that too.’

They both knew he had been given approval for more than just a rubdown.

Reuben’s fingertips hooked in her waistband and he tugged her sweatpants down over her hips. She heard him moan softly as she raised her hips off the bench to accommodate him. She smiled at the silence as he discovered she wasn’t wearing panties. What was the point under sweatpants? At the gym. With Reuben.

A little more oil swirled between his hands and Reuben’s strong fingers flowed from the arch of her spine, over the rise of her lower back to the firm mounds of her buttocks and down her thighs, not stopping until they reached her lower calves. Without ceasing, they returned on their journey to her bottom again.

Her legs felt long, strong, and lean under his actions. Reuben always made her feel good about herself. So good. She parted her legs minutely.

His fingers hooked softly beneath her hip bone and he alternately pulled and pushed the heel of his hand across the muscle of her buttock, working the tight flesh loose and warm. He walked around to the other side, drawing his hand across her body, keeping contact as he went, and repeated the firm movements on the other side.

Despite the relaxing slide of his hand across her oily flesh, Hayley sensed a moment when the contact between them changed. She grew taut and tense. She felt Reuben harden too, somehow. This was it. His hand lay over the cleft of her bottom. His oily fingers dipping lower and lower between her legs. She relaxed them further apart to ease his way.


Thank you for reading. I really hope you enjoyed it. It’s a full-length novel, so there’s plenty more PI HONEYTRAP






Contact Kristal Here:









Kristal Baird on Her Novella, PA Expose

The Story Behind The Story

It’s my pleasure to welcome the fabulous Kristal Baird to my site today. This is Kristal’s first time on A Hopeful Romantic. She’s here to tell us the story behind her hot new novella, PA Exposé.

Hello there, Kd. I’m so thrilled that you’ve invited me over to share the origins of my full-length novel, PA Exposé, with your wonderful readers. It’s truly lovely to get a chance to connect with so many interesting people.

There wasn’t one particular thing that sparked off the plot. Rather, it was several current events that led to the creation of individual characters. Once they existed, I had to get these people interacting. My whirlwind of a mind started gathering storm clouds until hopefully I got a tornado of a story (what did I say about current events?).

I will explain how the three main characters came to life:

One long-running real-life drama going on, has criticised newspaper media. Management and reporters of a global news organisation were allegedly engaged in illegal and immoral practices, such as phone hacking, to get news stories. This got me thinking about the type of newspaper magnates that might condone or resort to underhand activities, and so my heroine’s newspaper boss – Joe Mathers – was born. He is a rogue who has taken a fancy to his young intern, Cally Hammond. Of course, she wants nothing to do with him. Joe is rotten enough to hire my hero, Jake Stone, to train her into submission.

Now Jake is a bit of an enigma. His character developed after reading about Special Forces operatives, working recently in dangerous war zones. I always wondered what most of these guys do with their “transferable skills” after leaving the forces. Some have gone on to become successful writers and media presenters in their own right: Chris Ryan, Andy McNab and Bear Grylls, to name but a few. But the rest?

Well ex-Special Forces, Jake Stone, is a tough, determined, dominant male who uses his training to provide a different sort of specialist service – training submissives!! As a tribute to this year’s Olympics [London 2012] – I made him a bit athletic too…

What Jake doesn’t realise is that he needs a good woman permanently in his life.

Enter Cally (stage left).

Part of her existence arose from my personal knowledge of a young woman who has just spent a year doing an internship for a magazine publisher. I was amazed at all the things this woman was expected to do, for no payment whatsoever, simply to get the experience she required, to enable her to get a paid job eventually. Opportunity? Exploitation?

Cally is equally dedicated to her future career and goes undercover to expose businessman Jake Stone (unaware it is a ruse, concocted by her boss). She is as determined as Jake to get what she wants.

Cue: fireworks!

Of course, the novel has clear submission themes and this is where my blogging buddies have helped me out. Many people live the BDSM lifestyle and they are all very unique. Their shared experiences have helped me to develop Jake’s and Cally’s own Dominant/Submissive sides. They were meant to be together.  However, their equal resolve to get their own job done, gets in the way of this happening.

So, you see, the story really started with the characters. They all want something from each other. It’s not what they think, though! Now I believe it’s high time you patient people got a peek at what they all got up to.

Blurb – PA Exposé

Aspiring journalist, Cally Hammond, believes she is undercover to expose dominating company executive, Jake Stone. However, she has been duped by her real boss, into undergoing training to become sexually submissive.

Jake is an enthusiastic master who exposes Cally to bondage, correction, and submission to his will. The shocking experience re-awakens a dormant side of Cally’s personality which Jake can’t help reacting to.

But both have a mission to fulfil. Will they succeed, and what secrets will be exposed in the process?


Available from:





Excerpt – PA Exposé – this is where Cally arrives for her ‘job interview’ with Jake:

Cally pushed through the double glass doors which whooshed briskly closed behind her and passed an unmanned reception desk. Jake Stone’s name was clearly outlined on a plaque on his door – he loved his gold plaques – so she knocked sharply and entered.

Sitting across the room, behind a huge mahogany desk, was a man. Not an older man, like Mathers. About mid-30s. Not an ugly man either. Rather gorgeous, actually. Her heart skipped a beat. And she was still only looking at the top of his head. Thick, dark hair, short, well groomed. He hadn’t even looked up yet.

She cleared her throat. ‘I did knock,’ she explained.

He failed to acknowledge her. Cally began to feel a little uncomfortable. She wanted to fill the silence that grew around her while he continued to read the papers in a folder on his desk. ‘Shall I wait outside?’

Her left her standing there feeling more and more awkward.

Cally tried to make the decision for him. ‘I can see you’re busy.’ Geez, the least he could do was say something. Anything. ‘I’ll wait outside.’

She got to the door. Just as she opened it to leave, he spoke. ‘Shut the door.’

She presumed he meant behind her and tried to slip through the opening.

‘How dare you enter my office without permission?’ His tone was cool, modulated. Dangerous. Sexy as hell.

‘I’m sorry –’

‘I have not given you permission to speak.’

Cally was startled. She had never been addressed that way in her life. Even by Mathers. She wanted to tell him to drop dead, but the words hung on her lips.

He had the sexiest pair of deep brown eyes she had ever seen in her life, and they were looking straight through her. And she wanted the job. The other one. She knew what she had to do to get it.

‘Sorry,’ she repeated. Her heart pounded.

‘Let’s get the first lesson out of the way, Miss Hammond,’ he said, rising. ‘You speak when I say you can and not until then. Are we clear?’

She was just about to affirm verbally when his raised eyebrows, stopped her. She closed her open mouth.

‘Good.’ He rose and paced slowly toward her. ‘Learn to please me quickly. I expect no less from my personal assistant than that she pleases me.’

Cally swallowed down the lump that was building nervously in her throat, choking off her breathing, as he towered over her. The way he said pleases left her in no doubt as to what he was alluding. Sex. Everything about Jake Stone screamed sex. Hot, hard, and his way. No wonder his PAs didn’t last too long.

‘In everything,’ he added, cranking up the tension. Hers.

The tone of his last remark, no less than the remark itself, had Cally wishing she could bolt for the door. But he had circled around her like a seasoned predator and was standing between her and her only means of escape. She stepped into the room a little more to widen the gap between them.

‘Stand still!’ he commanded. ‘I have not given you permission to move.’

The sound reverberated in her ears, over and over. He left the remark hanging for at least a minute, in which Cally’s heart started to thump seriously now in her chest. Slow and heavy and deadly.

‘Lesson two,’ he announced. ‘You don’t speak without my permission and you will stand in one place all day, unless I give you my permission to move.’

Cally was as still as a bronze sculpture.

‘Is that clear?’ Each word was ground out, easy, his mouth so close to her ear she could feel his hot breath waft the long, blonde hairs at her temple and shiver over her skin.

What was she to do? Answer him? Say nothing? Her head began to spin with the complexity of it. This wasn’t what she was expecting at all.

He waited, standing behind her, which increased her anxiety, as she wasn’t allowed to turn around to watch what he was doing. She could feel his eyes roaming all over her figure as if they were his hands and found herself warming in anticipation of the latter.

Gradually the silence, the unspoken control he wielded, ratcheted up the pressure in the room. Her lips were desert dry and she put out her tongue to lick them.

Suddenly he was standing before her. He was large. He loomed over her. She felt fragile, delicately feminine in a way she had never felt before around a man.

He rubbed a thumb roughly over her moistened lips, making her start. ‘You moved,’ he told her quietly. ‘And now you have made me angry.’

He didn’t seem to Cally to be any angrier than before, but she wasn’t taking any chances. She froze again.

‘I will be the one who decides if your lips are to be moistened,’ he continued.

A wild throbbing began between her thighs, with a pulsing that matched the steady, deep beat of her heart, in unexpected excitement at this game of control. Who knew?

‘Perhaps I might permit you to lick your lips. Or perhaps I would choose to lick them myself.’ Jake Stone leant in, without touching her anywhere else, and ran his tongue slowly over her swollen, sensitised skin.

Cally found herself shudder with the shock. He had invaded her personal space. He had touched her. Licked her. She was stunned by experiencing a feeling of growing need. A need to press her tingling lips tightly back to his. A need to put her hands between her thighs, to relieve the tension building there.

‘If you are to be acceptable as my PA, then you must learn that your body belongs to me. You don’t touch it unless I instruct you to.’

It was as if he could read her mind. Knew the cravings that were building inside her. Or perhaps he could see the minute little twitching movements she could not prevent her hips from making, in order to ease the sexual demands of her own body.

‘Take off your pantyhose,’ he whispered softly, making her flinch. ‘I do not permit my PA to wear such unattractive garments. If I employ you as my PA, you will wear stockings or keep your legs bare. I will tell you when each is required.’

Cally’s eyes widened. Was she going to do as he demanded? She would not be able to remove them without pulling her tight skirt up to her waist. She hesitated.

‘Not good enough,’ he informed her. His hands reached round her waist and briskly snapped open the button, drawing the zip downwards. He yanked her skirt down and let it drop in a pool around her feet. ‘When I tell you to do something,’ he ground out, ‘I don’t mean think about it, I mean do it. Straight away. Do you think you have a choice in the matter?’

Already she knew she wasn’t expected to answer him. He had yet to give her permission to speak. She felt foolish standing before him in a blouse, panties, pantyhose. And stilettos. And it wasn’t those that had her all off-balance.

Jake had stepped back, settling his hip on the desk as if to get a better view, while she complied. His body language told her he expected no refusal. Yet she could refuse, she told herself. She didn’t need his stinking job. She could go back and tell her real boss that Jake Stone was a jerk, impossible to work for. She would have to prove herself capable of being a good reporter, some other way. With Mathers.

Cally took a steadying breath. He couldn’t berate her for breathing. She wasn’t prepared to throw in the towel quite so soon. She was made of sterner stuff than that. In fact, she didn’t want to have to go skulking back, to tell Mathers she wasn’t quite up to the rigours of investigative journalism and have him say “I told you so”, while he stroked her bottom sympathetically. She shuddered at the thought.

Her fingers were already in the waistband of her pantyhose. She eased them off her hips and down, revealing skimpy, white, lacy underwear. She wished she’d put on less revealing lingerie that morning.


About Kristal Baird

Kristal has lived in a few different countries as far apart as Australia and Scotland (I wanted a Z really but haven’t lived in one, yet – any suggestions?) with several more places in between. She loves books and started writing her own a few years ago. She has a big dog who wants to walk far more often than she does (but he keeps her healthy) and a sleepy cat, who she is very jealous of (especially first thing in the morning when the cat wakes Kristal up an hour or two before the alarm clock goes off, to feed it and then goes back to sleep again, leaving a sleepy Kristal to get up alone!!).

She’s had some pretty interesting jobs including driving a four ton truck for a touring theatre company (and crashed it!) and working as an au pair for an alpine ski-ing instructor…

Kristal is quite laid-back about life and one of her fave things is to laugh. A lot! She reckons she could have made Genghis Khan not quite such an old meanie… One of Kristal’s (many) ambitions is to walk the entire El Camino de Santiago. Anybody want to come with her? She loves meeting lots of different people and is quite friendly really.

Come on over and say Hi:





Well, that’s it, for now, you’ll be happy to hear. I’ve had a fabulous time creating this for you all. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for asking me over, Kd. Mwah x

Kristal x