When is a Love Story Not a Love Story?

When I write one?

No, seriously, romance novel love stories are generally person meets person, angst ensues, person loses person, more angst, persons come back together, and they live happily ever after. I tried writing a romance novel once. Once. It was ghastly.

Yes, my books have “a hint of romance.” The two main characters are married, and they like each other–most of the time–so, there is romance. But I don’t do the HEA thing a lot of the time, because that’s the way the espionage world works.

So, why am I promoting my upcoming novel as a love story? Because it is. It’s simply not what you expected.

Sibling Love

Love Death is about two cousins who are more like brothers, to the point where one would give his life for the other, perhaps literally.

I had one blood sibling, seven years younger than me, and spoiled kid that I was, I got tired of him pretty quick. I was the older and a girl; he was a baby and a boy. All of a sudden he got everyone’s attention. As he and I grew older, I was the icon of good grades and good behavior (so my parents thought) he was compared to, and he resented the hell out of it.

When we were both in our twenties, we got along much better and developed a great relationship. At one point in his life, his kidneys were on the verge of failing because of complications from Type 1 Diabetes. Without being asked, I told him one of my kidneys was his. No question. No equivocation. He was my baby brother.

He died of systemic organ failure associated with T1D when he was forty-four. Believe me, I’ve regretted the contentious nature of our relationship when I was in my teens. We only had twenty or so years of a true sibling relationship, but it was a good two decades.

My sophomore year in college I was placed with five other girls in a dormitory suite, all of us strangers, but three of us gravitated to each other, though one was a junior and one a senior. By the end of that college year we were sisters and not in the sorority sense. We were simply sisters.

We’re approaching the fiftieth anniversary of that meetup, and we’ve seen each other through the birth of children, divorces, and the death of spouses. We would still do anything in the world for each other, including, perhaps risking our own lives if the other were in trouble. Like blood siblings, we can go weeks or months without seeing each other then when we do, it’s like no time has passed.

For someone who lost her only brother, having my two sisters is a blessing.

Love Death

This sibling love is the love two characters in Love Death have for each other, two young men, cousins born three months apart and who spent summers together until a fateful day in 1958 when they were recruited for a scheme that was critical politically but could cost one or both their lives. They trained for two different roles in the scheme, but they both knew one of them might have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Neither of them wavered.

When it comes down to it, could one sacrifice his life for the other? If so, how could the other live with that knowledge?

The tale will unfold on 2/14/2021, the launch day for Love Death. You still have time to preorder it HERE.