Welcome Guest Blogger Kathryn Shay!!!

It’s Monday and lucky for us we have Author Kathryn Shay joining us. Sit back and enjoy this blog from Kathryn and comment away I hear she is giving book away today. 


Hello, Romance Junkies.


I love the name of this site! I, too, am a romance junkie and proud of it! 

First, a bit about me.  I’m Kathryn Shay and I write for Harlequin SuperRomance and The Berkley Publishing Group. I have twenty-books out for Super and ten for Berkley.  I’ve been a writer all my life, though my chosen profession was teaching high school English. Now, I’m a full time author.  I have a wonderful hero of a husband, two terrific kids and some very good friends.


I’m here today to talk about my current release, TAKING THE HEAT.  The book is about widower Liam O’Neil who lost his wife three years ago to cancer and is ready to date again. He meets Sophie Tyler, rough and tumble female firefighter from New York City, and is attracted to her. But his sons are still suffering over the loss of their mother and Liam feels he can’t risk getting involved with someone in a dangerous profession.  Too bad, though, because they can’t help themselves and sparks fly, emotionally, physically and on the line.


Two questions that the book deals with might be of interest to you. First, can people from totally different worlds find common ground and build a life together?  This is one of the themes of the book. Liam is a staid, salt-of-the-earth cook at his family’s pub. He’s just an ordinary guy trying to make his way after the death of his wife three years ago and the subsequent difficulties with his boys, primarily the younger one, little Mikey.  But Liam’s ready to date again; he just didn’t think it would be with an FDNY firefighter. But when Sophie joins her station house group at the pub most mornings for breakfast, she’s attracted to Liam.  Their entire orientation is different, their jobs couldn’t be further apart and even their world view is at odds.  So how are they going to get together? Since this is a romance, you know they do. But, boy, is it a rocky road, and the times they are apart are excruciating for the characters, for me as a writer, and I’ll bet for you as a reader.  For me personally, an opposites-attract relationship has been an issue. My husband and I are very different, and have been since we married over thirty years ago.  He likes different things, has different views on raising the kids, and sometimes simply doesn’t understand me! But we’ve managed to work it out, compromising and giving in to each other when necessary.  And you know what? I love that he’s different. He’s really interesting to me after all these years.  Do you all think opposites can make it work? Any personal experiences to share?


The second question the book raises is how much responsibility does a parent have to his kids when it means giving up something very important in his life?  Seven-year-old Mikey is depressed and fearful, even three years after his mother died. So is teenager Cleary, though he hides it behind adolescent bravado.  When Sophie comes into their world, Mike is afraid of what she does for a living and worries about her all the time. Cleary is irritable about her relationship with his father.  (By the way, some of the best scenes of the book are with these guys. Oh, other than the hot sex between Liam and Sophie. J)  Liam himself is tortured about what to do: should he accept a woman into their lives who routinely walks into burning buildings?  Again, this is an issue I’ve struggled with raising two kids. How do you balance your own needs and desires with theirs?  I do believe in sacrificing for my children, and have done it, but I’m not sure a person should give up his dreams for them. What do you think?


I’ll be back to check to see what you’re all thinking about these questions and my work. And I’ll be giving away a book, too.


Till then,

Kathy Shay

14 Responses to Welcome Guest Blogger Kathryn Shay!!!

  1. kathrynshay

    Thanks for the great discussion, ladies.

    I randomly picked a number and Cheryl McInnis wins a copy of TAKING THE HEAT. Please email me at kshayweb@rochester.rr.com with address information. Feel free, anyone else, to email me and let me know how you like my books when you get a chance to read them.

    Romance Junkies rock!

  2. Cindi Myers

    Great questions!
    I’m fascinated by the idea of opposites attracting. I certainly know couples who are very different who’ve made it work.

    Of course, if you think about it, men and women are pretty different anyway!

    That said, my husband and I are so much alike it’s scary. But we probably wouldn’t make a very good romance novel — not enough conflict.

    I’m looking forward to reading how you make this work — as I have no doubt you will!


  3. Ranurgis

    I can see why we struggle more with responsibilities concerning our children. After all, we adults are responsible for them in a way that we are not for another adult, even our spouses. I believe that child-raising is a truly awesome task. I think that is why setting a good example is so important. “Show me” is more powerful than “tell me.” I know that as an adult I remember better what my parents, and other role models did, than what they actually told me, though that often went hand in hand.

  4. kathrynshay

    Wow! Romance Junkies are really thoughtful and have a lot to say. I truly appreciate all the insights into differing significant others and responsibility to our children. I struggle with the latter more than the former. Thanks for sharing all you experiences and beliefs. This is a great discussion.

    If anyone has other questions for me, go ahead and ask. I’ll post a winner for TAKING THE HEAT from all who post in the two days at the end of the day, May13th.


  5. Ranurgis

    I think opposites do attract because we instinctively look for people who have some of the qualities that we do not. But I think the fact that we are attracted to a certain person means that there is also some sort of common ground between us, otherwise there would be no attraction. Whether we can make any sort of relationship work depends on how much we are willing to work at it and to make compromises. I think that one reason for divorce is that a lot of people can’t be bothered to make any such effort.

    Dealing with children is certainly more difficult in the loss of one parent that the children are old enough to have known. There definitely has to be an extra sensitivity on the part of the adult entering the family unit. After any recent death of a parent, such children are especially vulnerable and also especially afraid of losing the other parent in any way.

    Knowing how well you have treated other sensitive issues in previous books, I’m sure you’re doing the same in this book.

    Best to you always.

  6. Tameka Green

    I love the cover of the book and good luck on all future books. this books sounds interesting because you kind of switch the general sroy plot. Usually it’s the man in a dangerous job and the woman is vunerable and doesn’t want to take the chance to fall in love, they fight the attraction from the start. I like this keep up the good work

  7. Lisa

    Hi Kathy,
    Great question but not sure as I’m one to give up a lot for my kid. But reach down deep in yourself to see what will make you happy. Sometime it is not always best to spoiled the kids. Hope this is of help to you.

  8. anne

    Having been married for 38 years this May 24, I believe that people who are opposites have to work at their marriage, compromise, be more understanding and aware of the other individual. Luckily I married someone who is very similar in outlook, values, principles and interests. It has worked out well and we have no problems choosing what to do or where to go. As far as raising children we did sacrifice a great deal for this endeavor and brought up productive and wonderful children whose work ethic and integrity is unknown in today’s world. As a parent I see such horrendous children today and I lay the blame solely on the parent and their lack of skills and discipline.

  9. Nancy Bristow

    I believe it’s possible for opposites to celebrate their differences. I think the more important consideration is the “like,” love and respect each has for the other as a person and not whether both like exactly the same things.

    I don’t have kids so I can only comment from the POV of having been one and observing others. I agree that part of the responsibility of being parents is to make whatever life style ajustments may be necessary in order to provide basic comforts for the family but I think it’s short sighted to sell their own needs short. When the parent relationship isn’t nurtured what does that teach the kids?! I imagine that every parent alive believes that their offspring will grow up and reproduce but that’s not a fact of life and kids need to know and respect the fact that there can also be a loving, strong relationship between a man and a women (or other gender arrangements) that doesn’t necessary include kids. Parents who present as a strong loving unit teach by the best example.

  10. Cheryl McInnis

    Great Questions!
    First of all, I do think that two people from opposite worlds can build a life together, but it would require a lot of love and understanding. My husband and I are pretty different when it comes to things like taste in food, movies, books, pet preferences and where to go vacation, LOL. However we are very much in sync when it comes to things like raising our girls, discipline, religious beliefs, and how much we let our in-laws interfere, * grins*. These similarities make our lives so much easier but our differences do give our kids a nice balance; so I celebrate those differences, even when it means watching “Hockey Night in Canada” all winter long……
    Secondly, I agree with making sacrifices for your kids. That is what being a parent means! But you do have to be careful not to lose yourself in the role of parent too, sometimes we have to let our kids get hurt a little so they can learn to deal with pain or loss or frustration. The trick to being a parent is knowing how to balance that fine line, and how to not beat yourself up when you mess it up a little, which we all do at least once or twicw, LOL.

  11. Little Lamb Lost

    My hubby and I are extremely different and my children seem to benefit from that. My eldest once said that it gave balance to our family. I know a large part of that is because we respect and value each other so treat each other accordingly.

    It is very common for parents to sacrifice all sorts of things (dreams, opportunities, physical items) but generally speaking, that also requires balance. If the sacrifice is too great and would affect the parent(s) too badly, then it is not worthwhile. One parents best when one is relatively happy. It means that we can’t neglect what we need, too.

  12. Lindy

    I don’t have a good answer for your 2nd question (I’d do absolutely anything for my son), but I wanted to share something a friend once told me that’s somewhat related to your first question. She said, “You don’t necessarily have to look for perfect compatibility when looking for a mate; just look for someone who shares your neuroses.” I thought that was pretty funny, and probably pretty good advice.

    About opposites — my husband and I initially thought we were very different. I’ve always said he was the yin to my yang. Growing up, he was the “bad boy” and I was the “good girl”. He has since corrupted me and I’ve mellowed him, but as we got to know each other better over the past 14 years, we’ve discovered that we’re a lot more alike than we thought. :>]


  13. Deidre Durance

    My life doesn’t seem very balanced most of the time. With three kids and a husband, it just seems like I’m always doing for someone other than myself. That’s just the way it is, I guess.

    We are very different though. He doesn’t even read!


  14. tina brunelle

    I believe that oposites can make it work. Since my hubby and I are polar opposites and been married happily for 18 years now. He is shy, i am out going, he is a home body I am outdoorsy. I think we balance eachother out. we help the other one see differnt things. It is a great thing, I would not want to be married to someone just like me would be boring!

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