Survive the adventure. Live to love.
Following a family emergency, snowboarder Tevyn Moore and financier Mallory Armstrong leave Donner Pass in a blizzard… and barely survive the helicopter crash that follows. Stranded with few supplies and no shelter, Tevyn and Mallory—and their injured pilot—are forced to rely on each other.
The mountain leaves no room for evasion, and Tevyn and Mal must confront the feelings that have been brewing between them for the past five years. Mallory has seen Tevyn through injury and victory. Can Tevyn see that Mallory’s love is real?
Mallory’s job is risk assessment. Tevyn’s job is full-on risk. But to stay alive, Mallory needs to take some gambles and Tevyn needs to have faith in someone besides himself. Can the bond they discover on the mountain see them to rescue and beyond?
So, part of the premise of Warm Heart is our heroes spend an uncomfortable chunk of days stranded in a storm caring for their injured pilot (who gets his own book next January!) And this was both a delight and a challenge as a writer.
Being stuck somewhere with people you care about and no outside distraction can lead to deeper understanding, bonding, true conversation, and moments of real meaning.
It can also lead to batshit boredom.
And our heroes weren’t just stranded together. They couldn’t make the conversation all about themselves. They had to entertain Damien, who was in a lot of pain and trying hard not to be afraid.
They were all trying not to be afraid.
It turns out Mallory is the guy who saves the day in this instance. I mean, they all take turns saving each other, whether it’s from the fire going out, boredom, or being too tired to go on. But in this instance, Mallory, who’s always had a sort of quietly devastating sense of humor, sings showtunes and old camp songs over the fire, and gets his two compatriots to play a guessing game involving mundane things in his personal history. And these silly things turn out to be the morale builders that our little team needs to keep going—and when the conversation got too intense, they gave our two heroes a way out, when they were literally trapped in the same place together in the snow.
Like with so many things, I got the idea from Mate and I.
Over the last thirty years Mate and I have seen a lot of movies. If we’ve really loved a movie together, we’ve probably seen it multiple times. We know these movies backwards and forwards, we’ve looked up their cast, their director, even their producers. We know the lines from the movies, and we know what the actors who uttered those lines went on to do.
So we’ve invented this movie game that is so insanely complicated and so completely dependent on the people playing being us that we only play it when the kids are done talking to us and there’s nothing else to do.
I’ll start: “Come up to the coast, we’ll have a few laughs!”
His reply would be: “Why a spoon, brother?”
I think for a moment: “Oh honey—we all deserve to wear white.”
And he’ll respond with: “I’m not going back to Texas.”
For those of you who wonder what we’re doing, that’s Die Hard to Robin Hood via Alan Rickman, Robin Hood to Bull Durham via Keven Costner, and Bull Durham to Thelma and Louise via Susan Sarandon.
And so on. We can play this game literally for hours, getting as obscure as using a director or a producer as the link to the next film we’re quoting. And the source material spans thirty years—but it’s our thirty years, so that’s okay.
That game is ours. It doesn’t mean anything to anyone else, and every movie line is everything from the times we’ve seen the movie together to why we loved it in the first place.
So when I stranded Mallory and Tevyn and Damien on the mountaintop, I had to give them a game that’s uniquely theirs. I succeeded, I hope, and hopefully the guys’ banter will keep you all entertained. But I did it with that deep conviction that all successful couples have their little games, their conversational gambits, their bantering sallies, that keep them interested in talking to each other.
Because sometimes, that conversation is the thread that keeps us bound together for life.
What a fun, interesting and exciting book. I have to admit I was a little worried that it would get boring with 3 guys stranded in a blizzard- one of them totally incapacitated. But it wasn’t at all. It moved along nicely and didn’t lag.
Tevyn and Mallory have been dancing around their feelings for each other for years. But I think both were kind of waiting for Tevyn to grow up a bit. But then when their helicopter crashes and they become stranded, the begin to acknowledge what they have been feeling.
It was refreshing to read a book where the two MC had to face their feelings head on. They literally couldn’t hide behind sex because they not only had a third person there, but they were outside in the elements during a blizzard.
Instead they talked and learned more and more about each other. Comically, with Tevyn trying to figure out Mallory’s middle name.
The story got serious at times, with the helicopter pilot in desperate need of medical attention and Tevyn’s grandmother on her death bed back home. But the author tried to keep the story light in spite of all of that. So while you got the excitement and seriousness of what was happening, it didn’t drag you down at all.
There is a HEA, don’t you worry. And there is perhaps a hint to the next book? I hope?
3.5 pieces of eye candy
Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passel of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. She’s been finaled in the RITA’S (TM) twice, has won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.