Monday, March 16, 2015

Humor and Romantic Suspense, the Strange Bedfellows

With: Patricia Gilbers writing as Isabella Willow

Giveaway Alert!

“I laugh in the face of danger, and then I hide until it goes away.”
The Lion King

Discovering humor in a romantic suspense novel may seem to be a juxtaposition, but humor reveals our inner character, how we cope, and how we see the world. In the Samantha Rose Romantic Series I have enjoyed creating characters who are a bit off, a little quirky, and sometimes absolutely certifiable.

The story of Samantha Rose begins with Unforgettable.

Ten years ago a state trooper stood at her door. She was seventeen and knew nothing except that, in that instant, she had grown up. Her parents were dead.

Within hours she became tough, within days she became stubborn, and within months she became clever.

Now, twenty eight, a physical therapist in St. Louis, she is attacked, raped and tortured by a monster of a man, Robert Walsh. He carves a pentagram into her belly, leaving her to die.
Walsh is convicted, but escapes during a prison riot. Sam runs, moving to Los Angeles. She believes it is far enough away, and that she can become invisible in such a huge metropolis. That is until the day when Detective Silverman knocked on her door.

Detective Silverman is always smiling, and brings his sense of humor into even the most dire of situations:

“He’s a big fan of yours, Princess. Yessir. We know that he has completed the home study Jack the Ripper course. ‘Did well, too, and we know that you are in extreme danger.”

Sam tries to survive on her own, getting home every night before dark, keeping a thread in her door to see if anyone has come in, placing knives around her apartment just in case. Sam’s parents watch over her, sprinkling heavenly dust on men they think will love and protect her. Because they’re new at this, they accidently bring three lovers into Sam’s life, Jack, his business manager, Fritz, and David, a successful movie producer. All three are rich, powerful, irresistible men who will stop at nothing to protect her. Again, humor is a great respite from the danger she is in.

Gabrielle floated, peeking over the edge of heaven. Her husband, Ted, drifted through the water in a golden inner tube, drinking a beer, wearing his Angels’ baseball cap.
"Should I say something?"
Ted laughed. “Like what?"
"I don’t know…Shazam!"
"If it makes you happy."

When Sam receives a referral for a mystery man with a fractured ankle she meets her future lover, Jack Nolan, Mr. Hollywood. He introduces himself and a friend:

Two suits of armor stood outside—one held a cigar, the other an empty condom packet.
It was clear, that in this rabbit hole, the rabbits were having a very good time.
“And of course, you know my dear comrade, Tonto, in the corner.” He pointed at a wooden, cigar store Indian, “You’ll have to forgive him, he’s a bit stiff.”

When she loses her job, however, all seems lost, and in desperation she turns to Jack for help. He offers her security and more. On a night when the shadows in her room are too much, she goes to him, and asks to sleep with him. “Clothes on, no sex” is her condition. She loves feeling him next to her, feeling the soft rise and fall of his chest, and the strong arm holding her. Despite the panic attacks that have plagued her when she attempts to be with a man, the possibility of Jack becoming her lover seems more and more real.

Later, when Sam goes with Jack and Fritz to the orthopedist’s office:

Fritz and Jack played with the equipment.
“Will you two stop it!”
“We’re bored,” Fritz smiled. “All right, we’ll be good, if you insist.” He threw tongue depressors at me just as the doctor walked in.
The doctor looked at the floor strewn with tongue depressors.
"Never can leave you two alone. Miss Rose, my sympathies.”

Sam, now accompanying Jack to the movie studio, is approached by a slimy movie director, John Black. He tells her that he wants to take her to Chicago for a “hot” weekend, and will meet “Jack’s price,” as if she is a prostitute. She is furious and decides she needs a drink, even though she’s never been in a bar at ten in the morning:

I felt like a rebel walking to the bar. Yeah, that was me, a wild woman.
The middle table held the only customer, a very tall man in overalls.
“Boiler maker,” I said. I figured that’s what wild women drank in the morning. Just to get warmed up.
The overalls man turned.
“Pardon me,” he stood and I thought he might bump his head on the ceiling. “Perhaps you’d allow me to buy you a drink.”
I nodded. Why not? That’s what wild women did. Probably.

Gabrielle smiled.
"Imagine our grandchildren, Ted, they’d be seven feet tall."
"Who the hell wants grandchildren seven feet tall? Where would she buy them shoes?"

Although initially furious she designs a plan to handle Black. She takes him to a private room and pretends that she will have sex with him. Instead…
“…over the years, I’ve developed this … sort of little black book for my men…and I measure them.”
I pulled out an eighteen inch ruler.
“Six and three quarters inches. Very impressive.”
“Wow. That’s cold. Seems to be stuck.”
“Probably the instant glue I put on it.”

Throughout the book Sam is faced with a relationship that is more off than on, the terror of a psychopath who wants to make her the mother of his devil children, but also excitement  and passion. Woven into the main story are underlying threads of deception and corruption which become deadly issues for her in following books.

FREE OFFER for the Unforgettable, Samantha Rose Romantic Suspense Series: the first ten entrants to email Isabella ( using ‘Just Romantic Suspense’ in the tag line) will receive a free, downloadable copy of Unforgettable.

Visit Isabella now at,  and sign up for her newsletter, keeping you informed of future publishing dates, contests, and fun freebies.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the chance to get a copy of Unforgettable.
    Happy March!


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