A Hero with a Heart!

Guest Blog by Aimee Thurlo, author of Buy: Secrets of the Lynx (Copper Canyon)

David and I have been writing together for most of our married life, yet we’re not at all alike. He grew up on the Navajo Indian Nation on the high desert. I came to the U.S. from Cuba when I was eight years old and have lived in big cities almost all my life. We’re totally different from each other, in backgrounds, and in personality. Yet the ability to merge our unique qualities has become our greatest asset. It’s what enables us to bring readers emotionally charged stories filled with high adventure.

Like it is in our lives, the skills we bring to the table are complementary, but different. David can craft powerful action scenes, but I can do emotions far better than he can. Very right brain/left brain!

Our collaboration really comes together in a romantic suspense novel like Secrets of the Lynx. This is a story about destiny and reaching for a dream. It also delivers one heckuva high action adventure.

Hosteen (Mister) Silver, a Navajo medicine man, fostered Paul Greyhorse, the hero of our novel. It was through Hosteen Silver that Paul learned to respect things that can’t always be explained through logic.

Paul and each of his brothers received a very special gift when they turned sixteen – the fetish of an animal. According to tradition, a fetish is more than just a carving. It’s a symbol that is said to capture the essence of the animal and impart those qualities to its owner. Lynx knows what others try to keep secret, and sees what’s not readily apparent.

Yet the real magic of the story unfolds as the hero and heroine, two emotionally damaged people, come together and realize that they’re stronger together than they are apart – like it is with David and me.

I have to admit that I especially like Paul Grayhorse. He’s a hero among heroes. He doesn’t judge others, though they often judge him. For example, when he questions several streetwalkers, he treats them with great respect. He understands that somewhere in there is a woman who dreamed of bigger and better things – but took a detour. That a “Pretty Woman” (movie with Julia Roberts) is there, just beyond what the eye can readily see.

Romantic Times said, “Thurlo understands the mindset of The People and uses the beautiful legends and myths that define them to add depth to his action packed tale.”

I hope you’ll have a chance to pick it up!

For a signed bookmark please send one stamp to:

Aimée and David Thurlo
P.O. Box 2747
Corrales, NM 87048

We’ll take care of the rest!

Happy reading!

Aimée and David

BIO: David and Aimee Thurlo have been married for forty-two years. Aimee moved in next door to him and it was love at first sight. Three weeks later, they were married.

David was raised on the Navajo Indian Reservation and left Shiprock to complete his education at the University of New Mexico.

Aimee, born in Havana, Cuba, has lived in New Mexico for forty-two years. Their popular Ella Clah mystery series, featuring a Navajo woman police officer, won a New Mexico Book Award. Their Lee Nez vampire novels are currently under option to Red Nation Films in Hollywood. They also write romantic suspense novels for Harlequin and have sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Buy: Secrets of the Lynx (Copper Canyon)

Does Fate Play a Hand in Love?

perpetual light

Guest blog by Jordan K Rose, author of Perpetual Light

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thanks so much Love Romance Passion for having me on today.

I love Valentine’s Day. What romance writer doesn’t? I love to hear about how couples met. It makes me wonder about fate and soul mates and whether all that mushy stuff is really true.

How much can one person truly impact another’s fate? Can meeting that one person who sets butterflies to flutter in your stomach really change your destiny? These are questions I considered in writing Perpetual Light.

In the story my heroine, Lucia, is reincarnated over and over to find her husband, Vittorio, a man turned vampire in their first life together. Lucia’s soul will not rest until she finds him and sets his soul free from an eternity of damnation.

It’s an extreme case of soul mates. But it makes a girl wonder if there really is that one person whose soul calls to yours in an eternal bond.

Does fate play a hand in love?

I’m a romantic so I believe it does. And I’ll give a perfect example of what leads me to believe this.

I met my husband in 1995. He was a serviceman who came to fix my fire alarm. All the girls at work talked about him and how cute he was and, “Oh my God, wait until you see him.” The first serviceman who came was not cute. Not at all. He was truly one of the least attractive men I’d ever seen.

I had a talk with the girls about standards and the definition of “cute.” They responded with: “Not him.” It was like having a mob yell at me. At least I knew the girls had better taste than I originally thought.

Eventually, our alarm had a “trouble” so I had to call for help. And low and behold who shows up, but the cute guy. And he was cute, almost to the point of I-can’t-form-sentences-in-his-presence-cute.

He explained that the trouble was on the phone line, not the alarm and I needed to call the phone company, which I did. Over the course of the next week I had two servicemen at my office, both telling me it was the other guy’s problem, but only one offering to meet the phone guy to work on the problem. He also came by daily to “check on the situation.”

I had a full week of “trouble on the panel.” It was wonderful. (Sigh) Finally, I asked him out for coffee.  We went to a local creamery and had coffee and talked and exchanged numbers.

The “trouble” went away on it’s own the very next day. Done. Gone. Did it’s job and moved on to some other alarm where another manager waited for her serviceman.

So I completely believe destiny works her magic in love. You just have to pay attention to get the message.

You should know my husband and I have a slight disagreement about our first date. He doesn’t consider the coffee to be our first date.  He claims he was going to ask me out for dinner and that the dinner he took me on the following weekend is our first date. I, of course, say that if I hadn’t asked him to go for coffee, there wouldn’t have been a dinner date and that panel would still be in trouble.

You know I’m right. And so does he. He just doesn’t want to admit it.

Perpetual Light Blurb:

Fate is cruel. Especially when the one you’ve sworn to love for all eternity, the very soul who changed your destiny is the last person you should trust.

After more than three hundred years of running, Lucia Dicomano must make a choice.

Forced to take her place as a Pharo of Redemption, the divine slayer needs to master her forgotten powers. Lucia turns to Vittorio, the one vampire she’s failed to deliver from eternal damnation. But overcoming smoldering remnants of love, lust and anger aren’t their only obstacles.

Samuel, who may know Lucia better than she knows herself, hunts her with a fervor stoked by a thousand years of vengeful hatred. His plan—capture and enslave the weakened Pharo then take control of her elusive power.

Can Lucia trust Vittorio long enough to reclaim her powers? Or will she have no choice but to kill him and battle Samuel alone?

jordan rose

Author Bio: After trying her hand at many, many things- from crafting and art classes to cooking and sewing classes to running her own handbag business, Jordan finally figured out how to channel her creativity. With an active imagination and a little encouragement from her husband she sat down and began to write, each night clicking away at the keys with her black Labrador, Dino curled up under the desk.

A few short years later she’s entered the publishing arena with no plans to ever turn back.

Jordan’s a member of Rhode Island Romance Writers, as well as RWA National, and the New England (NEC), Connecticut, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FFnP) Chapters.

Her first book, Perpetual Light, releases in March of 2012 from Crescent Moon Press.

Kiss and Tell: Love at First Handshake with Celia Kyle

by Celia Kyle, guest blogger and author of Wicked Prey

I was young when I met my hubby, barely out of high school and trudging my way through community college. Ugh. Monday through Friday, seven until noon.

Of course, there was always a bright point in my days. Monday, Wednesday, Friday…seven in the morning and I’d be sitting outside my English 101 classroom, waiting for the professor to show. Funny thing, Craig would be there, too. Both of us were early birds and would arrive at least fifteen minutes early.

But it’s not like we actually talked to each other. Oh, no, that would have been too easy, right? Nope, we stared at each other out of the corner of our eyes when we didn’t think the other was looking. That went on, class after class, for at least two months. Pathetic, huh?

Don’t worry, it gets better. One of us “grows a pair”.

Um, it wasn’t me.

You see, Craig had to quit school and rather than lose me and miss out on what could be the greatest thing to ever happen to him… *snort* He looked me up in the phonebook and called me. Out of the blue and before that night, the most we’d said to each other was, “Hey, did we have homework last night?” <-Okay, that was me that asked. Dumb huh?

That first night? We talked for four hours straight. Not a breath or a gap or uncomfortable silence to be heard.

The next night, we went out on our first date. A late dinner at Applebees (go quesadillas!) and then he brought me home, walking me to my door like a true gentleman.

I stood there, nervous, keys jingling, smile beaming, and waited for our first kiss. Even if it was a peck, I was ready. Woo hoo!

Know what I got?

Yup, you guessed it. A handshake.

Jeez, I love that man.

It’s eleven years later and we’re still together, barely any time spent apart. Of course, we’ve progressed past handshakes by now. *wink*

Wicked Prey:

Arria moves through life, a fierce predator slithering amongst the prey. Or is she? Even the fiercest hunter can become the hunted. The pursued. The captured. The killed. But what if she wants to be snared?

This short story is one of contrasts, the differences between predator and prey, hints of domination & submission and want & need between lovers. There’s a certain glory in the differences in their colors, but their cultural contrasts relate to their animal counterparts and not those that may appear in a contemporary work, addressing current stereotypes.

Arria is a black mamba, one of the deadliest, yet vulnerable, snakes known to man, while Liv is a goshawk, a natural predator of snakes. They could–should–kill one another yet can’t fight the attraction, or the risk associated with becoming close. Their sex is primal, fierce, and loving, constantly changing with the ebb and flow of their control over each other. (6,990 words)

Buy: Wicked Prey

About Celia:
Celia Kyle would like to rule the world and become a ninja. As a fall-back, she’s working on her writing career and giving readers stories that touch their hearts and *ahem* other places.

Visit her at http://celiakyle.com or http://summerhousepublishing.com

Unexpected Cupid

by Janet Skeslien Charles, guest blogger and author of Moonlight in Odessa

When people ask how I met my husband, I usually tell them the short version: we on my first day in Paris when I came to teach English in France in 1998. It seems random and romantic.

The long version, a truer version, began a year earlier in Missoula, Montana, a city nestled in the Rocky Mountains, where a cranky, chain-smoking French teaching assistant played the role of cupid. Amélie was my officemate when we worked at the University of Montana. Every sentence she uttered began, “In France, we…” For example, when she saw how many individuals and businesses displayed the American flag, she scorned, “In France, we don’t need flags to remind us of who we are.”

Amélie was angry that store clerks would not accept her French passport as proof of identification so she couldn’t buy cigarettes. She was angry that a social security contribution was taken out of her paycheck. She had signed a long-term lease on a horrible flat. She was miserable. And I was miserable sharing an office with her.

After a trying school year, I accepted a job as an English teacher in Alsace in the autumn, but before leaving for France, I decided to host the next teaching assistant so that she would have a better start than Amélie. At the airport, I met the new French TA. All 6’2”, 250 pounds of him. Looking at Stephane, I realized that I’d invited a total stranger, a huge total stranger, to stay with me. I walked with him to the luggage carousel, berating myself for my stupidity. When Stephane bent down to pick up a suitcase large enough to stuff a cadaver inside, I saw he was wearing Mickey Mouse socks. Perhaps it would be all right.

It was – he was affable and interesting and funny. We found him a furnished apartment near campus and explained the paperwork. His transition was seamless. And this would have been the end of the story, except for one thing: Air France went on strike. My ticket to Alsace was canceled and rebooked to Paris. Stephane called his older brother and asked him to get a train ticket to Mulhouse.

“I’ll meet her at Charles de Gaulle and drive her there,” Eduard replied.

Eduard was at the airport, in a bright red shirt, as promised. We spent the day in Paris, where we made our way through parks and little flea markets and sat at a café near the Seine. As the French words spilled out of my mouth, I tasted each one – tart, sensual, new. Now that I have lived in Paris for ten years, I see (and hear) the traffic, the crazy prices (how can a coffee cost so much?), and people yakking on their cell phones and flooding the sidewalks. As the holidays approach, I am homesick and wonder if I was right to move so far away from my family. But that day was perfect: the man of my dreams in the city of light, at a moment in my life when all doors were still wide open and possibilities were endless. Perhaps this is the reason romance novels appeal; they remind us of these moments in our own lives, before the mortgage, brutal coworkers, the difficult in-laws, the kids having trouble in school, when life seems relatively easy and choices were simple. Writing my novel Moonlight in Odessa was a pleasure, but it was also a bit painful, to see the world through the eyes of Daria, a 23-year-old single woman. Each date and job and trip held so much potential, so much anticipation, much like my own trip to Alsace.

On that first day, Eduard and I were already a couple, and I knew that we would get married. So did he. This year we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. And it is thanks to our cranky cupid.

About the Author:

Janet Skeslien Charles is the author of Moonlight in Odessa and the first American recipient of the British award for comedy romance, the Melissa Nathan Award. She lives in Paris, where she is the Programs Manager at the American Library. Her debut novel has been translated into twelve languages. Please visit her at www.jskesliencharles.com.

Here is my favorite short review/ summary from Publishers Weekly:

“This darkly humorous debut explores the world of eastern European mail-order brides and the men who finance them. Daria, a savvy, warmhearted but standoffish secretary in Odessa, Ukraine, fears that her boss will fire her after she refuses his sexual advances. So to keep him busy (and to keep her job), she sets him up with her shallow friend, Olga, who promptly turns on Daria. Fearing imminent unemployment, Daria takes a second job at Soviet Unions, an Internet dating service that connects Western men with available Ukrainian women. As Daria, who is fluent in English, bridges the language gap between the women and foreign men, she wonders if she will ever find true love. The endearing and forthright Daria is the perfect guide through the trickery and sincerity of chaotic courtships and short-order love. Meanwhile, her own romantic life swirls between a sweet suitor in California, a Ukrainian gangster and her manic boss. The teetering dance between humor and heartbreak burns through this tale that takes place at the intersection of love and money, East and West, male and female.”

Buy: Moonlight in Odessa

Kiss and Tell: Wendy Wax on Her Hero

by Wendy Wax, guest blogger and author of The Accidental Bestseller.

Heroes-in-Training

I met my husband, John, completely by accident on the Carey Bus in New York, the first and only time either of us ever rode it.

Both of us were in New York on business and happened to take the airport transport from JFK to Grand Central Station. He was a six footer with blond hair and blue eyes—exactly ‘my type.’   When we started to chat, I noticed his great accent.

I don’t travel light, (not then and not now, even though before every trip my husband expresses his earnest hope that I will) and having never ridden the Carey Bus, I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that once we got to Grand Central, I was going to have to get myself and all my things to my cousin’s apartment.

John came to my rescue, hailing a cab and delivering me to her building. He then lugged all my things up way too many flights of stairs. (Did I mention I don’t travel light?) He was attractive and well mannered and he had that really great accent, but even though we exchanged business cards—he lived and worked in Houston while I did the same in Tampa—I never really expected to see him again.

That probably would have been the case, if he hadn’t called my office in Tampa and convinced them to give him my number in New York. This was way before cell phones were common, and it was only a fluke that I picked up his message from my cousin’s answering service before John left town. It felt as if fate had thrown us together and wanted to make sure we got to know each other. We went out to dinner—wrong restaurant, great evening. And after that first date in New York, we took turns visiting each others’ cities and made the most of our long distance relationship.

We’ve been married almost twenty-five years now, and we still joke that there we were, minding our own business on the Carey Bus, when romance struck and changed our lives.

The truth is our meeting was by far the most romantic part of our story together. My husband is a fabulous individual and a great husband and father. I have no doubt that he loves me as much as I love him, but he is pretty much oblivious to the kinds of things that a hero in a romance novel instinctively knows: like how to celebrate an occasion, or how to give flowers or gifts for no reason at all. He has never made a ‘grand gesture’ and doesn’t really get the concept.

To John, being honorable, loving, and dependable is a lot more important than planning a surprise party or booking an unexpected island getaway. He’s right, of course. I just kinda wish it weren’t an either/or thing.

Recently, I realized that the whole romance question isn’t just about the two of us anymore. Our oldest son just graduated from high school and leaves for college in the fall; our youngest is nearing dating age. Frankly, I’m a little worried about how harshly the future women in their lives may judge me. I mean, if I don’t clue my sons in to the importance of romance, who will?

So I’ve decided to spend the rest of the summer teaching my sons how to be romantic.

I’m planning to start with Frivolous Gestures 101 in which I will explain why men who buy their wives and girlfriends gifts at Tiffany’s have happier relationships and 85% more sex than those who shop at AutoZone.

This will be followed by a mini-course in Abject Apologizing, which I believe every male over the age of sixteen should be required to take—especially those who failed Frivolous Gestures 101.

If there’s time, we’ll run through a series of heartfelt-compliment flash cards for conveying things like, “I love a woman with a healthy appetite” and “Wow, you look fabulous! Have you lost weight?” (It doesn’t get more romantic than that!)

Then we’ll work on fast-thinking skills with real-life reenactments designed to prepare them for tricky questions like, ‘Do I look fat in this?” and “If you couldn’t go out with me, which one of my best friends would you most want to go out with?”

Compared to remembering to pick up their clothes or put down the toilet seat, this is really important stuff. A woman may forgive a messy bathroom, but a missed romantic moment can haunt a relationship forever.

It’s just a beginning, of course, and there’s a lot of ground to cover. But if we all start teaching our sons now, pretty soon the world will be a far more romantic place.

Wendy

PS:  While I’m working on my heroes in training, I hope you’ll check out my website at www.authorwendywax.com and read an excerpt of my latest releases, Magnolia Wednesdays and the mass market edition of The Accidental Bestseller. Then submit a picture of you reading The Accidental Bestseller on a beach—any beach. I’ll post it to my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/authorwendywax and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a beach bag full of great summer reads.

Kiss and Tell: Jill Shure on Her Hero

by Jill Shure, guest blogger and author of Night Jazz, Night Glitter, and Night Caps.

My idea of a hero is my husband. He isn’t a swashbuckling pirate, a swaggering cowboy, or a muscle-bound hero from a romance novel. He is better than all of these romantic ideals. He’s the kind of man who drops me off at the door then goes to park the car. He always offers to go with me to my doctors’ appointments. And he has held my hand through some dark hours, when my spirits sagged and I needed a great friend. Like when I was seriously ill or in the middle of a personal crisis. And he has put up with me when I’ve been impossibly disagreeable and having a gun in the house might’ve been risky, as he often jokes.

He has seen me change over our twenty-five years together, seen my waist thicken and lines form around my eyes. And he has stood by me through it all. He is the husband we all want but few of us find.

He helps with the house, our dogs and cats. He empties the dishwasher. And he is kind to my friends. He is there to help me fight endless battles with new technologies, and the challenges of being a writer. He is a hard worker who has managed to create a comfortable lifestyle for us.

He is never judgmental. And he demonstrates loyalty and integrity every day of his life. We are bound together by hundreds of experiences. And I suppose the strongest glue would be the laughs we’ve shared during our marriage. What can I say? He stands taller than any hero I could create on a computer. Because he tackles the small stuff without complaint. Because he abounds with personal traits that add up to an outstanding human being who impresses me every day.

***

Jill Shure is the award-winning author of Night Jazz, Night Glitter, and Night Caps. Night Glitter, her most recent release, follows modern-day heroine Jeri Devlin as she mysteriously travels back in time to the early 1930’s, finding love, lust, and adventure all the way. Find out more about the author and the books at http://www.jillshure.com.

NIGHT GLITTER is available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.

Buy Jill’s books on Amazon: Night Jazz, Night Glitter, Night Caps

Kiss and Tell: (Author Name) on Her Hero

katKiss and Tell is going to be the start of a new series of posts here at Love Romance Passion. The idea came to me last night when I was talking with my fellow romance novel reading friend about how heroes in romance despite having less wiggle room in appearance/wealth/status than their heroines, they are surprisingly unique across authors and within the writing of a particular author. We got to wondering if this was because the women writing them put pieces of their own real life hero into the fictional model. Did the author ever write a story basing a hero entirely on her own flesh and blood one? And perhaps he’s never consciously influenced the heroes in the stories, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a hero in his own right.

Authors Answer This: In the end what makes him, your husband (or boyfriend), your hero?

Male writers are welcome to tune in by answering what makes their wife or girlfriend their heroine. Similarly writers with same sex partners are invited to share as well. Just switch out any references below to the appropriate gender/status.

Why Participate?

You mean you might need other reasons than a chance to tell all how wonderful your partner is? I’ll link to your website and current book release. You can also include any links you want in the post itself.

How to Participate:

tellParticipation in this series is pretty basic and virtually painless (unless of course you insult your lover in some grievous fashion, then I’m sure it’ll be pretty painful. But as that is nearly impossible to do you should be fine. Grin.)

Post details: Include photo of husband to go alongside article. Photo could also be of you and your husband or one of the whole family. There is a 250 word minimum. No maximum as we’d love for you to share your courting anecdotes, happily ever after tales, gossip and dirt. Feel free to include any links to blogs and websites to feature alongside your submission.

Video details: Potentially less time spent on this than writing a post, and you can tell a lot in a very short period of time. Please make your video between 2 minutes and 5 minutes in length and under 100 MB. We’ll host you on YouTube at Love Romance Passion’s channel and share the video with blog readers. Embedding will not be disabled, so this video of yours can be shared in multiple places once it’s uploaded.

Photo Credits: 1, 2

Kiss and Tell: Elaine Lowe on Her Hero

katby Elaine Lowe, guest blogger

My husband is my own personal hero. On the inside of his wedding ring, I engraved, “My Hero”, and that was long before I was ever a romance writer.  He is the master of making me smile and blush, my sounding board, the fixer of all things tech, my inspiration, the Lord High Bug Squisher, and the only one who can make my brain stop whirring and appreciate just being. He’s also my research partner! As I write erotic romance, he really likes his job.

We met in high school, believe it or not. Though we didn’t start going out until college. He was a guy who was a friend of a friend, someone I knew and liked, but who just seemed a little bit odd, a little bit crazy and a little bit incomprehensible. He still is, and I love it. In college, we happened to be in the same dorm at a very big university, and since we knew each other already we got to talking. And talking, and more talking. Until I realized that every minute I wasn’t with him, I missed him terribly. That all the unrequited crushes I’d had in junior high and high school were nothing to the magnitude of the emotion I felt when I was with him.

heroAnd miracle of miracles, he felt the same. After one crazy all night session of talking and my first kiss, we’ve been together ever since. Sixteen years of knowing that I’m never alone, that somebody always has my back. We’ve taught each other everything, and we know each other inside and out.

We’ve faced joys and challenges together, including raising our beautiful, brilliant autistic son together with love and understanding. Always, my husband does his best to take of us, to share everything that he is. He’s patient and kind, playful and damned sexy. I love him, and a little piece of him, that core of goodness, is within every hero I write.

Visit Elaine Lowe’s website to learn more about her books and to keep up to date! You can also find Elaine on Twitter!

Learn how to participate in the Kiss & Tell feature here at LRP.