Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Kind of Hero: Doesn’t Think He Is by Gemma Brocato #Romance @GemmaBrocato #Giveaway

Confession time: I went about this all wrong. When I first started writing this post, I thought I would concentrate on what kind of hero I like to write about. A man who isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind, who can take criticism like...well, like a man. An alpha male who embraces his sensitive side, enjoys being around kids and loves his mother. And hey, if he looks like Karl Urban or Chris Pine, it never hurts (Oops - did I just out myself as a Trekkie?)

So I fixed a pot of coffee, flexed my fingers and prepared to write the best blog post ever. Then I looked at the calendar.

I’m writing this on September 11. That’s when I knew I couldn't write about the typical brand of hero. Because the hero I most admire and respect is the person who doesn’t believe he or she is a hero. It’s the individual who sees an opportunity to help and doesn’t hesitate to rush in with assistance and then will deny all recognition of their everyday heroism.

 September 11 was a defining moment in my life (and I know I’m not alone in this). It was truly the first time that I’d ever considered anyone other than my husband or my father as heroes. Oh, sure. I love reading about a great hero in books, but I never truly made the leap from the page to real life when it comes to the risk-taking, romantic adventurers I love to read about. Imagine my shock when this new truth revealed itself to me. I’m a woman of many words, but on September 11, in the face of terror, destruction and devastation, and the subsequent tales of heroism, I lost the ability to communicate.

I was away on a business trip, along with two of my co-workers. While we sat in the breakfast room of the hotel, reviewing the details for our presentation, the drama began to unfold. There was a television in the corner of the room, our link to New York and Washington, D.C., a small field in Pennsylvania and the reactions on the larger global stage. The other travelers in the room with us sat watching the events in stunned silence.

Then the reports came in: firefighters and police officers rushing into the buildings with no thoughts of their own peril. Reporters stopping office workers as they emerged, capturing tales of people helping others down the steps of the first tower. Shopkeepers opened their doors to the tower refugees. Total strangers stopped their mad-long dash to escape to assist fellow evacuees who had fallen in the street. The citizens who dropped everything they were doing to step forward to provide help at aid stations. The passengers of the jet who refused to allow their plane become a weapon.

These were stories of true heroism. I doubt a single person who provided assistance did so thinking here’s my chance to be a hero. These people just did what they knew to be the right thing.

I finally understood that a true hero harbors a desire to help where they can. They’ll never seek recognition for their acts. It isn’t necessary. He, or she, is the person who will rush into a doomed building in the hopes of saving one life. Or stop by the side of the road to help a stranded motorist fix a flat tire. It’s the person who stops their busy, chaotic life to help a mother juggling kids and a grocery cart in the parking lot.

To all the every day heroes who have preceded us, and to those still walking among us, you all have my undying respect.

Gemma is giving away an ebook copy of Hearts in Harmony to one lucky commenter to be chosen by Please leave a comment and your email addy!

Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Kensington Books/Lyrical Press, Inc
 Date of Publication: May 5, 2014
 ISBN-13: 9781616507497
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: appox. 80,000
 Cover Artist: Renee Rocco

Sometimes life’s most simple melodies become songs of love.

Pippa Sanders’ life is filled with songs of leaving, longing and loneliness. Since the death of her husband, her children have been her world. She’ll do anything to protect them, including encasing her heart in ice until they’re college age. She’s made a practice of shying away from any relationship that could break her heart when it ends. And it’s worked so far. 

Clay Mathers has made a temporary move to Granite Pointe, Massachusetts to help with his mother’s Christmas tree farm while she recovers from a stroke. Although his long-range plans don’t include staying in the small town, a little female companionship during his short residency would be welcome. While on duty as sentry against protestors at a military funeral, he finds Pippa visiting her husband’s grave, and begins a campaign to make her into a friend–with benefits.

What starts as a simple affair evolves to something more, something that changes the soundtracks of both their lives…the beating of two hearts in harmony.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong language, hot sex and a spicy hero.

A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

Pippa opened her mouth to retort, when the irony of his words hit her. Yes, he did have a right to speak his mind. It was a privilege her husband had fought and died for. She just wished he wasn’t so crude about it.
Clay eyed her and crossed muscular arms over his chest, daring her to respond, waiting for a chance to chastise her again for her stupidity.
She swallowed the words she’d intended to use to put him in his place. “You’re right. Thank you for helping me.”
Shock and confusion rippled across his strong face, and laughter tickled the back of her throat. She’d managed to shut him up. The same way she might have with one of her kids when they needed to listen to reason. It was a little fun to take the wind out of his sails this way. She’d done it all her life with her brothers and had seen the same look of consternation floating on their faces.
But she’d never wanted her brothers to keep arguing with her. If this green-eyed hunk wanted to go another round with her, she’d relish it—welcome it. There was something about him…

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About the Author:
Gemma's favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a 'round tuit,' and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she'd write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to 'Dear Author' were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.
Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.

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  1. Gemma, Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful post! It's a great reminder in kindness. :-)

  2. Good morning, Melissa. Thanks so much for having me over today. I've really enjoyed this series.

  3. what a wonderful post. I totally agree w/ Gemma!!! I remember going into a college class that morning and coming out and the commons area was cleared. That was eery enough and then to go into a room and see hundreds of people clustered around the TV... Congrats on the new release and it looks and sounds awesome!

    1. Thanks so much, Erin. That's one of the things I remember vividly - the silence. No one had words that day.