All in love story

My stories always have a happy ending. Why is that? Actually, they not only have a happy ending, but they always end, “and they lived happily ever after.” That is, there is no doubt that nothing will happen that will keep the two people in the romance from staying together the rest of their lives … and in love—no matter what!

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People often ask me why I write romance novels, rather than some other genre. Well, I didn’t plan it that way. But it seems that no matter what I set out to write about, it ends up a romance of one kind or another. By “romance,” I mean a love relationship between two persons—of whatever ages … or even of the same sex.

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  I’ve always liked “Runaway Bride” stories. It’s a genre unto itself. As my wife and I meandered down the winding, narrow canyon drive, I began to imagine a runaway bride, who was lost and running out of gas in one of the many rustic campsites along Oak Creek.

            In this genre—actually a sub-genre within romantic fiction—brides run away for all sorts of reasons. I imagined that the bride in my story was running away from an arranged marriage. I pictured her in a car she had stolen from the gentleman whom she was being forced by her family to marry. She was coming from Texas and going west to California. I saw her ending up in a campsite of a man who was coming from California and going east to Texas.

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Suffering from “shell shock,” as they called PTSD in World War I, Billy had gone to New Mexico and married into a Navajo Indian tribe. In 1947, when he died in an automobile accident, he left two Indian granddaughters, Alice and Harriet Landergin. What if Julia went to Gallup next to the Navajo Reservation and brought the two little girls home, to raise as her own?

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The novel is not a war story. It’s a love story and an adult romance. Nadya is a human being who doesn’t even know that she is also an angel. By falling in love with a suicidal veteran, she slowly brings him back home and restores his will to live. She keeps “Joe” from dying. So that now when I remember him, I remember going to his funeral, after “Joe” died an old man, surrounded by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

That’s why I wrote this Flying Tiger story.

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Now, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jack admiring her. She knew that all he could see was her profile, but apparently that was enough. Finally—it was already almost ten and he had been there since six—Jack got up, bent down, and gave Tayla a gentle kiss on her forehead, whispering, “Good night.” This was the only thing he had said in the last four hours! He then went strolling to his car, got in, started the motor and disappeared into the night.

Tayla couldn’t move for another hour, thinking about Jack.

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Her name was Tayla—Tayla Neel. In September of 1959, she lived in the Golden Spread Trailer Park, a refugee camp of next-to-homeless people at the far northeastern corner of Mackenzie, Texas. The snobby crowd at her high school laughingly called her “Trayla Trash.”

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