Naturally, men will be men and commented on the cover. They found it humorous that the fireman pictured on the cover was muscular and well developed. Their question to me, was who in the fire station was the cover model based on because none of them had seen a body like that in years. I had to explain the difference between fiction, reality, and fantasy: In reality we know what we're like. In fiction, we can pretend and stretch the actual reality of what we're like, and in fantasy, every man to a woman fantasizing about a hero, will be that perfect man pictured on the cover of a book.
Being a female in the company of all that testosterone had me blushing when one of the firemen decided to flip through the book and began to read the very intense steamy scene he came across. I wrote the book, so I'm aware of what was going on between the hero and his heroine; I didn't need to have it read to me, out loud, and in a group of men. Mindless to say, I blushed and was ready to leave as they started making comments. Nothing they said was lewd, but they got a kick out of being portrayed as superheros that were sexually masculine and irresistible to women.
I will be going back to the fire station with my tape recorders and laptop to begin taking their stories for a non-fiction novel based on their lives. These guys have very interesting stories to share and stories the common person that does not know a fireman personally would ever hear. I took it all in when they were telling stories about what they see during their calls. I want to bring those stories to readers so they can get a glimpse of what these everyday family men do once they step inside the fire house, and become the heroes that many children look up too.
All I have is respect for these men and I believe they appreciate me for wanting to give them the platform to tell their true-life adventures. They are already preparing the table for my return and I can't wait to get to it.
The cover of Smoke & Fire A Firefighter's Love Story