Fiorella confesses that she has far too good a time naming the characters in her stories. Thus, in Where the Heart Leads, she gave the great-grandfather of the hero the name of one of her favorite college teachers, Gilbert McAllister. And the hero's mother was named after an old friend of Fio's, Enid Hallock. And the pianist's daughters, Carmen and Micaela, were named after the female leads of Bizet's opera. And the reason the hero's sister-in-law was nicknamed "Rocky" is because her birth name was Marcy Ann--think about it.
Knowing no shame, Fio borrowed the names of kids she went to elementary school with for the Bosque Bend police captain (Mervin) and the local drive-in burger joint (Hardy Joe). And a crazy whitish horse was named Bella in memory of a crazy whitish cocker spaniel mix that Fio's family once owned. To top it off, Fio named the kinfolk the hero ran into at a Halloween carnival after her own cousins.
There's more, but that's enough to give you the idea. Manipulating reality can be a lot of fun.