Marcia’s Romantically Yours
Issue # 38
marcia king-gamble

Dear Romance Writer,

I’m a Caribbean woman through and through, and I’ve taken ballroom dancing lessons. I’ve also had an exciting career in the cruise industry. Naturally I was thrilled to be asked to write The Way He Moves

It’s the twelfth in the Mediterranean Nights Series. If you like intrigue, Caribbean cruises, and ballroom dancing, this one’s for you.

Many of you have said reading the series is like taking a mini vacation to exotic ports of call. The first eight books are set in the Mediterranean and the last four in the Caribbean, but all twelve stories center around the luxurious cruise ship, Alexandra’s Dream, dedicated to the owner's wife.


On an entirely different note, if you’re in the West Palm area on May 16th and can join me at the Susan B. Komen charity event, I’d love to see you. I’ll be signing books with Best Selling author Karen Kendall. The event is at the PGA Marriott Hotel from 5.00 p.m. - 11.00 p.m. It’s billed “the ultimate woman’s night out,” and there’s even a firefighters auction. How hot is that?

I’m auctioning an hour of ballroom dancing lessons with world renown, professional ballroom dancer, Michael Neil. Karen and I are also auctioning the 12 books in the Med Series. And Michael just happens to be this month’s hot interview. If you’ve ever fantasized about being Ginger Rogers to someone’s Fred Astaire, a brand new dancing world may open for you.

We’re talking a Susan B. Komen event, folks. Help a woman in need by logging onto Click on the pink window in the middle and give a sister a free mammogram.

This May it’s all about dance.

Marcia King-Gamble
Editor -- Romantically Yours

Tools of the Trade

The requests have been overwhelming and I have decided to take your advice. This month I am using the newsletter to showcase the talent of a budding author. The story below was written by Thomas Q Downey, a life time endurance athlete, and three time All American Age Group Triathlete. Tom works in the world of construction supervision. I thought you might enjoy a man’s point of view on love.

By Thomas Q Downey

Guard stood by the door of the house. He watched as the cars and people passed by through the trees. It was a Sunday. Love sat relaxed on the sofa reading a sports magazine, listening to reggae music on the radio and drinking beer from a glass. It was as other Sundays until Love was startled by something at the window. At first he was not sure, something he’d not seen in almost half of his life. He moved quickly from the couch to look. Yes it was! He saw her clearly, a soul free and beautiful. She backed away only slightly. Though she had been by the window many times, he had not seen her before. She knew his face but now as he came closer she could see into his eyes and she knew his heart. A wonderful power filled her. It frightened her but held her transfixed.

Love was confused but the same power that filled her, filled him and moved him to the door. He must come closer. The door would not budge. Guard had seen her first. His large strong body leaned heavily against the door. He appeared nonchalant, though in fact he was holding the door with all his strength. She saw him standing there so large but so kindly. Guard’s intent was not clear. Love knocked at the door. He called out to Guard. Guard spoke back but his words were soft and muffled. No one could hear him.

Love ran back to the window. He called to her. She thought she could hear his voice. She was unsure. She could not hear his words. She moved away just a bit. What she’d felt in his eyes-could she have been wrong? She must be right. She was sure of the heart she had seen. She would wait. She was certain he would soon emerge from the house.

Love paced. He returned to the window. He called out again. He called to Guard. He pushed at the door. Love was in no way weak but Guard was massively strong. The day was beginning to pass away. Love returned to the window to watch as she began to walk away toward the afternoon sun. She could not stay forever. There was a hollow ache now deep within her. How could she have been mistaken?

Love became frantic as the minutes passed. His strength grew greater than that of any single man. He burst against the door. Guard was knocked hard to the ground as Love ran past. He ran with all his might.

She had placed a great distance between them but Love gained steadily, a power, the goodness of all humanity was as a warm breeze at his back. As he drew up close behind her he could see her so clearly, even more beautiful than he could have imagined. He was so close, almost able to touch her. He called out. The words,” I love you” startled her, stopped her, turned her and filled her before there was a moment to think. They stood before each other, Love afraid of nothing as Guard sat recovering from his fall. For just an instant she started toward him to receive that which they had both searched for and hoped for all their lives. But she became frightened or maybe just unsure of something else inside herself. NO! She had been by his window too many times before. The sun was getting lower in the sky. She must go. She turned and as she did, Love’s strength nearly left him completely. She ran now. Love followed close behind. He thought he heard her begin to cry and say, “Please, please no.” Was it pain, anger, confusion or all of these that she felt? He had hoped beyond hope and suffered too as he’d run. Now stopped in his tracks by her pain and her crying, he suffered even more.

His strength nearly gone, he was barely able to make it back to the house. But Love worried about Guard. Both had been wounded in different ways. They were happy to see each other. Guard stood up from resting against the house and offered his friend a beer.

Love asked him, “Are you alright? I’m sorry if I hurt you.”

The voice from the big body said, “You haven’t hurt me. You’ve changed me. When I tried to stop you, was I wrong? She did love you but could she have said always? Isn’t that what this has been about?”

Love said what he now knew, “Yes, it’s about always. I on this day I’ll never know, on another day though she will most certainly have the strength of always.

Love felt wise. He’d never felt wisdom before and then he said,” There are so many things which we can never know, the knowledge of what could have been.”

Guard offered his apology to his friend, “I’m sorry if I made you suffer. Was it bad?”

“Yes, very bad.” But then Love laughed, “I’ll mend and it wasn’t you who caused my pain, it was my want.”

“Have your beer my friend and rest. You look tired.” And then Guard said, “I promise I’ll never block your way again. Besides I think you’re both smarter and stronger than I am now. She and her friends pass by here often. I’ll watch for you while you rest.

Love rolled his magazine and tucked it under his head. He lay down outside in the shade of the porch. Then before he fell off asleep, he turned to Guard, “Thank you, When I wake up, you rest and I’ll watch for you too.”

The friends were as one. They had been allies forever, growing together. When the next day came they saw beautiful legs and beautiful faces and many pretty things between them. All of these they enjoyed. But with x-ray eyes they watched for the hearts. They watched for the hearts the same as the one they now shared, hearts with the strength of always.


    Cleveland Rocks Romance
    Sponsor: North East Ohio RWA
    Location: Holiday Inn, Stringsville, Ohio
    Fee: $65.00- $75.00
    Date: May 16-17, 2008
    Speaker: Stephanie Bond

    Write Touch 2008- Love is in the Cards
    Sponsor: Wisconsin RWA
    Location: Radisson Hotel, Green Bay, WI
    Fee: $110- $175.00
    Date: May 16-18, 2008
    Speakers: Lori Foster, Susan Kearney

    Murder in the Grove
    Sponsor: Coeur du Bois Chapter/Popular Fiction Association of Idaho Inc.
    Location: Centre on the Grove, Boise ID
    Fee: $95-$195
    Date: June 6-7, 2008

    Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference
    Sponsor: RWA
    Location: San Francisco Marriott, CA
    Fee: $425-$550
    Date: July 30- August 02, 208



Interview with
Professional Ballroom Dancer Michael Neil

Michael Neil is a professional award winning ballroom dancer and instructor. He and his partner Danielle Wilson have been billed as one of the most beautiful competitive couples.

RY: When did you know you wanted to be a ballroom dancer? Who was an inspiration?

Michael N.: I started In the Hustle Era. The synchronized movement and the music of the time inspired me.

RY: Are you surprised by the popularity of shows like Dancing with the Stars?

Michael N.: No not at all. I think the public is drawn to the excitement and beauty of the ballroom world.

RY: Most people associate ballroom dancing with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Which couple in today’s world would you say are most like these icons?

Michael N.: I don`t know I guess it would be the dancers from dancing with the stars.

RY: What would your recommendation be to someone just starting out? Someone who doesn’t necessarily aspire to competition?

Michael N.: Find a comfortable studio with social functions. And have a good time.

RY: How would someone who has never danced before get involved in competitive ballroom dancing?

Michael N.: Set a goal and find a studio that can teach more than just social dancing and get started. Just enjoy the process.

RY: How do you determine what style a student should pursue? What makes them good at Rhythm, Smooth, Latin?

Michael N.: Good question. I feel people need to learn a little of both. To really find their true potential. However sometimes certain people are just drawn to certain styles. You should follow your heart on this.

RY: What was your proudest moment in the ballroom dancing world?

Michael N.: It’s hard to pick one. I truly enjoy the game. Just recently we won the theatrical division at the Heritage that seemed special.

RY: How did you go about choosing a competitive partner?

Michael N.: I feel size and compatibility are it. You have to look good together. And you have to stay together to succeed.

RY: The ballroom dancing world seems in many ways like the romance writers’ world. Both are bigger than life and both can require elaborate costumes and props. What are your thoughts?

Michael N.: Very true. The ballroom world is totally melodramatic and larger than life. It is sometimes very hard to keep it in balance.

RY: Is ballroom dancing a lucrative market?

Michael N.: Yes. It can be. It depends on your aspirations and the time you are willing to devote.

RY: What’s next for Michael Neil? What are your aspirations?

Michael N.: To continue dancing. I love the feeling I get from it. And then I would like to become more involved in shaping the future of dancing by coaching and judging. I believe it’s up to us the dancers to keep it real.

RY: If you had to do your career over again what would you do differently?

Michael N.: I guess I would have liked to have been as motivated early in my career as I have become later. And I wish I would have found my Perfect partner sooner. But I feel blessed to have found her.

Who’s Acquiring

    Check back next month when I’ll feature publishing houses willing to look at unagented submissions.

    Did You Know?

    According to the US Census Bureau book sales were up 6.3% in February 2008 over the same time last year.


    Romantically Yours is a FREE monthly newsletter. I would love to hear from you. Please send comments, news, research, or story ideas directly to Marcia King-Gamble at