Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Characters Who Travel the Romantic Road - #5 Zsuzsa Szilard



IGOR'S WOMEN
 (At least those who appear in Romantic Road.  I’m sure there were many others.)

http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Romantic_Road.htmlWhile Romantic Road, at its heart, is the story of a blossoming love between Lacy Telchev and Max Petersen, the story behind the story, is of Lacy’s deceased husband, Igor Telchev, and the women he loved. The “Romantic Road” of the title, refers both to the actual road of that name in Germany and to Igor’s numerous past love affairs, the romantic road of his life. In the story, Lacy, Igor’s young widow, must follow the path of Igor’s romantic past to fulfil his last request of her.
In creating Igor’s character, I found myself often tangled up with dates. Finally I had to construct a time-line so that the path of Igor’s life would make sense in the context of the events of history and of the times and places in which he lived.
Igor was born in Russia in 1960, died in the U.S. in 2015, at the age of fifty-five. His adventurous life took him across Europe, into the bedrooms of numerous women, on his way to his marriage to Lacy, in New York in 2010.
Igor was a young man in Budapest in 1985 when he met Zsuzsa Szilard. Gorbachev was in power and the strangle-hold of Communism was loosening up. Cracks were beginning to show in the iron grip of the USSR on its satellite countries like Hungary. Travel was more accessible. In 1989 the Russian pull-out from Hungary began, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Naomi Judd as Zsuzsa
Let me begin with Igor Telchev’s first love.  Allow me to introduce you to Zsuzsa  Szilard:
Zsuzsa grew up in Hungary, a country under military occupation. She was born only three years after the 1956 uprising in which the Hungarians tried to oust the Russians from their country. She was the daughter of illiterate peasants who eked out a meagre living in the Pouszta. But under the Communists, children like Zsuzsa were not only required to go to school, if they excelled, they were pushed all the way, all expenses paid, including housing and a food allowance. She went to university in Budapest, and from there, on to medical school.  
 
Zsuzsa met Igor in 1985.  She was 25 and in medical school, he was attached to the Russian Embassy. Russians were not popular in the Budapest of these years. But Igor took Zsuzsa to underground clubs and sang along with the gypsies. He walked along the riverside with her. And he took her to bed. His charm and good looks and his ability to make her laugh won her over.
His inability to remain faithful ended their relationship. “I’m afraid he never loved me as much as I loved him. I grew up. I was afraid he never would.”  She refers to him as a “serial lover”.
Zsuzsa  is a practicing doctor when Lacy meets her. A strong, forceful woman of fifty-five. Her hair is still black, worn in a twist at the back, although it now has streaks of grey. She is dark eyed, with the remains of great beauty, although she is no longer slender.  Zsuzsa is settled and satisfied with her life. Her memories of Igor are perhaps the most realistic among his former lovers. 
............................................................................................................

 Click here to choose your purchase options for Romantic Road, my latest novel.

This romantic thriller is a mix of hair raising suspense, romance and a sprinkling of humor. 
http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Romantic_Road.html


Escape Rating A - Marlene Harris, EscapeReality.net

"Like her other books, the story in this one operates on more than one level.  The suspense is edge of the seat, while Lacy's inner journey makes her a sympathetic and fascinating character. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense with a heart-pounding romance wrapped around a story that also makes you think, read Romantic Road, or any of Blair McDowell's marvelous stories.".....More


5 out of 5 Stars - Jack Magnus, ReadersFavorite.com
"Blair McDowell's romantic suspense novel, Romantic Road, is exciting and fast-paced. Lacy is a strong and appealing character whose fairy-tale marriage has abruptly ended, leaving unanswered questions and danger. The quest Igor sets for her leads her and the reader on a marvelous trip through Canada, Austria and Hungary, and the author's familiarity with each of these venues makes Lacy's adventures truly come alive.".....More


5 Stars out of 5 - Debbie Davenport, Librarian via NetGalley
"This is my kind of book: a fast-paced romantic suspense thriller with teeth! And the puzzles Igor left that Lacy must follow all over Europe... beautiful! The secrets will blow your socks off!"

5 out of 5 Stars - Celia Lewis, Pres., Romance Writers of America, Greater Vancouver Chapter
"A challenging love story, a deadly dangerous secret, a mysterious quest from New York through Europe, the latest story from Blair McDowell has it all!... I love romantic suspense, and this story was very fascinating to me, not least because of the unusual locales, adding an exotic flavour. I'm already wanting to read the next story by Blair McDowell!" 

To read more about Romantic Road, as well as my other novels, please visit my website:


Monday, 16 February 2015

The Characters Who Travel the Romantic Road - #4 Richard Delancy



 Romantic Road  has, not one, but three leading male characters. There is Igor Telchev, who is dead when the story begins, but whose spirit hovers over everything that follows, then there is the handsome and totally unpredictable Max Petersen. Is he what he appears to be? Simply a casual acquaintance offering assistance? And then there is Richard Delancy.
 
Allow me to introduce you to Richard Delancy:

Pierce Brosnan as Richard
Richard is Igor’s lawyer. A New Yorker born and bred, he has a national and international reputation and clientele. He is indisputably handsome. At forty he has just a touch of grey in his hair, enough to make him look distinguished. His expression is one of constant amusement, as if at some inner joke. He is tall, well built. He keeps in shape through regular trips to the gym.
  
He wears Brooks Brothers suits and carries a leather brief case. Money and image both matter to him.


He is in love with Lacy and has been since he first met her at her wedding to Igor. Now that Lacy is a widow, he is determined to have her and, to this end, he courts her in New York, and pursues her across Europe.
 ..................................................................................................
My latest romantic thriller, Romantic Road, is available for sale.   
 Click here for your purchase options.

This romantic thriller is a mix of hair raising suspense, romance and a sprinkling of humor. 
http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Romantic_Road.html


Escape Rating A - Marlene Harris, EscapeReality.net

"Like her other books, the story in this one operates on more than one level.  The suspense is edge of the seat, while Lacy's inner journey makes her a sympathetic and fascinating character. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense with a heart-pounding romance wrapped around a story that also makes you think, read Romantic Road, or any of Blair McDowell's marvelous stories.".....More


5 out of 5 Stars - Jack Magnus, ReadersFavorite.com
"Blair McDowell's romantic suspense novel, Romantic Road, is exciting and fast-paced. Lacy is a strong and appealing character whose fairy-tale marriage has abruptly ended, leaving unanswered questions and danger. The quest Igor sets for her leads her and the reader on a marvelous trip through Canada, Austria and Hungary, and the author's familiarity with each of these venues makes Lacy's adventures truly come alive.".....More


5 Stars out of 5 - Debbie Davenport, Librarian via NetGalley
"This is my kind of book: a fast-paced romantic suspense thriller with teeth! And the puzzles Igor left that Lacy must follow all over Europe... beautiful! The secrets will blow your socks off!"

5 out of 5 Stars - Celia Lewis, Pres., Romance Writers of America, Greater Vancouver Chapter
"A challenging love story, a deadly dangerous secret, a mysterious quest from New York through Europe, the latest story from Blair McDowell has it all!... I love romantic suspense, and this story was very fascinating to me, not least because of the unusual locales, adding an exotic flavour. I'm already wanting to read the next story by Blair McDowell!" 

To read more about Romantic Road, as well as my other novels, please visit my website:


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Characters Who Travel the Romantic Road - #3 Max Petersen



I sometimes think of film actors when I’m in the midst of creating my characters. From the moment the character of Max Petersen came to life in Romantic Road, I saw him as the British actor Rufus Sewell. His voice resonated in my ears when Max spoke.   
Allow me to introduce you to Max Petersen:
 
Romantic Road, a romantic suspense novel
Rufus Sewell as Max
Tall, dark, broad shouldered, with a gorgeous physique, Max has deep brown eyes to drown in and a funny lopsided smile. His hair is dark brown, and he wears it a bit longer than is fashionable.
He’s totally unconscious of how good looking he is. He wears blue jeans when he’s not wearing khaki pants and hiking boots, or motorcycle leathers. In the right setting he’s been known to don traditional Tyrolean loden. After all, he grew up in the lake country east of Salzburg, in Sound of Music country.
He is quirky, with a wild and outrageous sense of humor. He delights in teasing Lacy.  
But Max is a bit of an idealist. He sometimes has trouble coming to grips with things as they are. He must face the conflict between his job as an “ask no questions” agent, and a man in love, who can see more than one side to an issue.
In the following scene, Max helps Lacy recover from too much mulled wine at lunch:

Her head was pounding. Aspirin. Surely she must have some aspirin in her purse. She rummaged through it to no avail. Maybe Max had some.

When she opened her room door, he was leaning against the wall. In one hand he had a small glass filled with a clear liquid. He handed it to her. “Drink,” he said. “Think of it as medicine.”

She looked from Max to shot glass, back to Max.

“You have a headache?” he asked.

Numbly Lacy nodded, the very action hurting.

“Drink.”

She took the proffered glass and swallowed the fiery alcohol in one gulp that left her gasping for breath.

When she stopped sputtering she asked, “What on earth was that?”

“Schnapps. Just sit down for a moment and let it do its work.” He led her to an ancient carved wooden bench placed along the wall of the large center room. “You had quite a bit to drink at lunch time.”

 As she revived, it began to come back. Lunch. Apple fritters and mulled wine. And after lunch…

“What happened after lunch?” she asked, afraid of the answer.

“You mean you don’t remember?” He sounded hurt, as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “How could you not remember?” He leaned into her and kissed her insinuatingly.

Lacy pushed him away and put her head in her hands. “No. Oh, no.”

Max took her hands away from her face and looked into her eyes, dead serious. “Nothing happened between us after lunch, Lacy. There are rules about that sort of thing. I promise you when…that is…if we make love, it will not be when you’ve had too much to drink.”

 “You beast.” Lacy pummelled him with her fists. “You let me think …”

“Feeling better now?” he asked, laughing, catching her hands in his and holding them.

Lacy realized indeed she did feel better. She felt fine.

 ..................................................................................................
My latest romantic thriller, Romantic Road, is available for sale.   
 Click here for your purchase options.

This romantic thriller is a mix of hair raising suspense, romance and a sprinkling of humor. 
http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Romantic_Road.html


Escape Rating A - Marlene Harris, EscapeReality.net

"Like her other books, the story in this one operates on more than one level.  The suspense is edge of the seat, while Lacy's inner journey makes her a sympathetic and fascinating character. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense with a heart-pounding romance wrapped around a story that also makes you think, read Romantic Road, or any of Blair McDowell's marvelous stories.".....More


5 out of 5 Stars - Jack Magnus, ReadersFavorite.com
"Blair McDowell's romantic suspense novel, Romantic Road, is exciting and fast-paced. Lacy is a strong and appealing character whose fairy-tale marriage has abruptly ended, leaving unanswered questions and danger. The quest Igor sets for her leads her and the reader on a marvelous trip through Canada, Austria and Hungary, and the author's familiarity with each of these venues makes Lacy's adventures truly come alive.".....More


5 Stars out of 5 - Debbie Davenport, Librarian via NetGalley
"This is my kind of book: a fast-paced romantic suspense thriller with teeth! And the puzzles Igor left that Lacy must follow all over Europe... beautiful! The secrets will blow your socks off!"

5 out of 5 Stars - Celia Lewis, Pres., Romance Writers of America, Greater Vancouver Chapter
"A challenging love story, a deadly dangerous secret, a mysterious quest from New York through Europe, the latest story from Blair McDowell has it all!... I love romantic suspense, and this story was very fascinating to me, not least because of the unusual locales, adding an exotic flavour. I'm already wanting to read the next story by Blair McDowell!" 

To read more about Romantic Road, as well as my other novels, please visit my website: