I take pride in many things I have accomplished to date; a college degree, a happy marriage, two grown sons, a decent home in a nice town, several published novels, and much more. One of the things along the way that helped me write some of those novels was my volunteer work.
Ever since high school, in Huntington, NY, I have been interested in the medical field. I loved to watch EMERGENCY and RESCUE 9-1-1 on television. I volunteered as a Candy Striper at the local hospital for three years. When newly married, and living in Rumney, NH, I became president of the Ladies Hospital Auxiliary at the small hospital where my sons were born. When the kids were old enough to be home alone, I signed up with the local rescue squad as an Emergency Medical Technician (or EMT). Later, I joined the fire department as an ‘on-call’ firefighter.
Every one of these volunteer positions, with their constant training, weekly meetings, and equipment fundraisers did more for me than give me a feeling of ‘paying it forward’. I grew up with the good sense to ‘give unto others’ and the experiences gave me both a sense of pride and fodder for the stories that I began to write back in the fall of 2006. One of those stories became LOVE TO THE RESCUE, which Red Rose Publishing released last month.
As any new writer should do, I used personal knowledge of medical emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, house fires, forest fires, and more to come up with grueling scenes in my latest novel. I was reminded of some of these ‘calls’ when reading the annual town report, which lists every fire and medical call in our small town (pop. Approximately 2000) Other research is easy for anyone to find. Gather newspaper clippings of anything strange or out of the ordinary. Clippings I collected sometimes came in handy when I needed an interesting plot scene.
I did not go into helping others with the purpose of monetary gain, but the memories I put to good use were the icing on the cake. I sleep well at night knowing I made a difference, while I use my memories to write my novels. I was also able to use the training I received as a volunteer EMT and firefighter to score a position as a 9-1-1 operator for the State of New Hampshire. It was there, at work on the phones, when I learned about the attack on 9/11 ten years ago. Someday, I might write about that day, but the pain is still to raw. God bless.
The clashing relationship between tomboy Josie Miller and fellow paramedic-firefighter, Pete Thayer, escalates after he realizes Joe is not just one-of-the-boys. Pete has a sketchy history and has earned a reputation for one-night stands in the small town of Parmenter, New Hampshire nestled between the Mercy River, the mountains, and the state college. Since he arrived a year ago, Josie suspects he is hiding something. Something too horrible to share, even with her. Working side by side, Joe loves her job, and Pete.
They respond to accident calls, medical emergencies, and fast-moving forest fires amid sparks of another kind. Joe’s clumsiness and baggy uniform work against her when she yearns to be the kind of woman Pete wants like the pretty blonde they must rescue after her car hits a moose.
Outside influences come to play when the sister of Pete’s alleged victim shows up and accuses him of something even worse…her sister’s recent death. Once on track to be a doctor, the sister’s betrayal and lies caused Pete to run far away and keep women at a distance unless they agreed to share his bed…and nothing more.
Pete plans to skip town while Josie worries she has given her heart to a monster. His boss and the local police back off and he professes his innocence to Joe. After kissing her senseless, she lets him into her bed until her bothers intervene. Both keep an eye on Pete. A suicide note, some well-landed fists, stolen moments of love, and a desire to listen to their hearts lead these two heroes toward a climax filled with tension, pain, bloodshed, and atonement.
Pete chuckled, low and deep.
He knows I react to his touch!
Horrified, she turned her head away. Destiny danced nearby and obvious concern filled her friend’s face. Did she worry Pete might take advantage of her?
“Ah, Derek should be back shortly,” she hoped.
“Sorry, Joe. Your boyfriend is over there. Dancing with a pretty blonde.”
“Oh, I see.” Josie replied. What did he say? “He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Fine. Your lover is otherwise occupied.”
Bristling at his crude words, she gritted her teeth. Let him think what he wants. One dance shouldn’t hurt. Right? She focused on his chin, hoping to escape his heated stare. His skin rippled as if he clenched his teeth. He must be angry at something. Had she done anything to warrant his anger? He saw me with Derek.
She laid her head against his broad shoulder. The coarse grain of his suit scratched her cheek, but an urge to hide her face swept through her gut. Until she breathed him in, again. His scent comforted her, chasing away the butterflies in her stomach. People stared. Probably thinking he’s sweet to take pity on plain little Josie Miller.
Several young women glanced their way. Some smiled, some raised a fluted wine glass.
“Do all the girls try to get your attention?”
“Each woman,” he corrected her, “is hoping for one night of pleasure. They are mistaken if they expect me to acknowledge them. I’m not into one–night stands.”
She desperately wanted to look him in the eye and ask him if he’d really changed. Could she believe his words? Here, finally relaxing in his arms, she found heaven. Enjoy these few moments.
Tomorrow, when things go back to normal, he’ll see me as one of the boys.
As they danced, he led her across the crowded dance floor and out to the deck. Several couples danced under the stars amid twinkling party lights and a sky that had darkened to a deep blue. Evening shadows lengthened and the guests’ chatter became a distant blur. Josie barely heard the music over her thumping heart.
“Why are we outside?”
Josie pushed herself back a little. He appeared older and more dignified in a suit and tie. He’d cut his hair. She smelled fresh mountain air, soap, and male. In heels, she stood at his eye level and she lost herself in his gaze. He stared back at her and she shivered. Time stood still.
“I can’t look away,” she whispered.
“Good,” he said. Pete moved closer. His lips parted.
He’s going to kiss me.
Her heart thumped louder. Sweat trickled down her back. Her entire being, simmering close to the boiling point, waited for the crush of his mouth. Then his lips feathered across her mouth, side to side. She groaned, grabbed his lapels, and pressed her lips to his.
Then, all hell broke loose.
Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island then earned a degree at a small state college amid the mountains of New Hampshire. She and her husband settled in a tiny rural town nearby, where she served as an EMT and volunteer firefighter while raising two sons, and worked many years as a 9-1-1 emergency medical dispatcher. She and her husband now live in North Carolina where she writes full-time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime. She volunteers as Vice President of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, and travels to New Hampshire each fall to volunteer at the NH Highland Scottish Games.
Title: LOVE TO THE RESCUE
Author: Nancy Lennea
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-02-2