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First ever humanitarian aid harlequin-style novel

 
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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: First ever humanitarian aid harlequin-style novel Reply with quote

A friend and ex-colleague of mine, knowing that I read romances, sent this to me. It's an extremely tongue-in-cheek harlequin style novel written by a couple of aid workers in their downtime and set in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake:
http://disastrouspassion.wordpress.com/about-2/

It's currently at Chapter 22 and is ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. I've only read up to chapter 6 during my lunch hour but had to stop as I was getting very odd looks from my colleagues. One of the authors has a great blog here if you're interested in the rather more serious stuff around the aid industry:
http://talesfromethehood.com/).


Blurb is as follows:
Quote:
“They sacrificed everything for the poor… but was there enough left for their love?”

Mary-Anne and Jean-Philippe come from different worlds. She’s a simple girl from America’s conservative deep south, trying to break free of the societal bonds that hold her back. He’s a hardened, cynical man of the world haunted by a dark past. Both are thrown together in the chaos of a disaster response after a massive earthquake in Haiti.

Can Mary-Anne ever love a man like him? Can Jean-Philippe ever find a soul-mate in a woman like her? Will stress and the danger of a disaster zone ultimately keep them apart? Or will their love smolder into a white-hot flame of passion?

Disastrous Passion is the first ever humanitarian aid harlequin-style novel. And it’s available to you, my friend, today only for a very special price: totally free.

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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 946

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CD - I am really enjoying this! I know it's got some funny aspects but some passages in here are actually tremendously well written. The setting in particular is well-developed. I am not terribly invested in the characters but I want to read more because I'm just fascinated by the descriptions of their lives in Haiti.

This part in particular I thought was extremely vivid, and much better than many published things I've read:

Quote:
The dark nights outside were also noisy. In addition to the howling of the dogs and screech of the cats just outside the team house, the voodoo drums started around midnight, followed by the Pentecostal church singing around 3:00 a.m. By 4:30 people were already beginnig to be up, vehicles were being started, and team breakfast was but a short hour and a half away.

Last night one of her roommates had suddenly shouted, “Would everyone shut the hell up and go to sleep!!” before starting to sob into her pillow. Outbreaks of cursing were against the rules, but no one said anything.


Anyway, thanks for sharing.
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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I only finished reading through the chapters last night and I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well-written it was. OK, the “romancy” bits were clearly over the top and the main two characters are walking stereotypes and about as thin as virtual paper, but hey – they were really the comic relief. My favourite bit was the description of Jean-Phillippe’s stubble which made me spill tea all over myself Wink:

Quote:
It had been two days since he’d shaved, and by now he knew that this degree of “shadow” was his optimal rugged-French-aid-worker look. Any less and he’d look like a German who’d lost his luggage. And by tomorrow afternoon he’d look like an American tourist. Two more days and he’d be able to pass for Australian…


FYI, it’s pretty accurate about what it was like in Haiti during the emergency phase after the earthquake apart from the fact that working for MSF (or any established NGO for that matter), Jean-Phillippe would never have been driving his own car, particularly not in Cite Soleil, and would probably have been fired for having such open sexual relations with a national member of staff. But hey, creative license! Unfortunately, I’ve heard a few stories of clueless and inexperienced NGOs who completed screwed up on their distributions, so that part of the story is all too real.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1145
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CD wrote:
Well, I only finished reading through the chapters last night and I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well-written it was. OK, the “romancy” bits were clearly over the top and the main two characters are walking stereotypes and about as thin as virtual paper, but hey – they were really the comic relief. My favourite bit was the description of Jean-Phillippe’s stubble which made me spill tea all over myself Wink:

Quote:
It had been two days since he’d shaved, and by now he knew that this degree of “shadow” was his optimal rugged-French-aid-worker look. Any less and he’d look like a German who’d lost his luggage. And by tomorrow afternoon he’d look like an American tourist. Two more days and he’d be able to pass for Australian…


FYI, it’s pretty accurate about what it was like in Haiti during the emergency phase after the earthquake apart from the fact that working for MSF (or any established NGO for that matter), Jean-Phillippe would never have been driving his own car, particularly not in Cite Soleil, and would probably have been fired for having such open sexual relations with a national member of staff. But hey, creative license! Unfortunately, I’ve heard a few stories of clueless and inexperienced NGOs who completed screwed up on their distributions, so that part of the story is all too real.

Ah, to be able to pass for an Australian - a worthy goal indeed! Very Happy For some reason all that stuff with the beard reminded me of the Very Secret Diaries fan fic entries that came out around the time of the Lord of the Rings movies. Aragorn was obsessed with the state of his manly stubble (and with making a move on Frodo, which he ended up deciding against, fearing that Sam would kill him).

Anyway - since you're familiar with both international aid work and actual romance novels, I vote for you to write something even better. I know you can do it.

Please? Wink
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JMM



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 504

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It had been two days since he’d shaved, and by now he knew that this degree of “shadow” was his optimal rugged-French-aid-worker look. Any less and he’d look like a German who’d lost his luggage. And by tomorrow afternoon he’d look like an American tourist. Two more days and he’d be able to pass for Australian…



*Glurk*
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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
Ah, to be able to pass for an Australian - a worthy goal indeed! Very Happy For some reason all that stuff with the beard reminded me of the Very Secret Diaries fan fic entries that came out around the time of the Lord of the Rings movies. Aragorn was obsessed with the state of his manly stubble (and with making a move on Frodo, which he ended up deciding against, fearing that Sam would kill him).

Anyway - since you're familiar with both international aid work and actual romance novels, I vote for you to write something even better. I know you can do it.

Please? Wink



Personally, I'm a Frodo/Sam shipper. Those intense looks and grabbing of hands. Is it me or is it getting hot in here?

Well, not sure I could really top DISASTROUS PASSION to be honest - it's the original and the best - it's Laura Kinsale/Judith Ivory combined. I am not worthy [sniff sniff]. And if I wrote it, MSF would be the villains - especially ops/field coordinators who bore you silly on R&R talking about the Humanitarian Imperative and the bullshit political neutrality of aid. And they're just so French, you know...

If you're interested, this is what one of the writers had to say about the writing of DISASTROUS PASSION:

Quote:
A co-writing project between myself and select colleagues. This one is more experimental – who’s to say where it will go? To fully appreciate it, you need to picture a group of dusty, totally jaded (and partially PTSD) aid workers on a team house veranda sipping rum, chain-smoking and wetting themselves laughing while taking turns reading a harlequin romance novel aloud. One begins to insert the names of colleagues in place of characters in the book. Another adjusts the setting to a relief zone… and voila! The concept for Disastrous Passion: the book is born.

This is meant as satire and humor (really, the MSF ops director hooking up with the Sam’s Purse program officer? already hilarious…), so don’t take it toooo seriously. Oh, and before you get all righteously indignant, note that every character in Disastrous Passion is based on a real person, or composite of real persons… Who knows? Maybe you’ll recognize yourself in there

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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those of you who were anxiously awaiting the resolution to Mary-Anne and Jean Phillippe road to HEA in the aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake of 2010, the book has just been published on Lulu (as epub) for a very reasonable price:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/j/disastrous-passion-a-humanitarian-romance-novel/ebook/product-20310330.html

For those of you who prefer Kindle or PDF and prefer not to convert, the author has the following option:
http://disastrouspassion.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/disastrous-passion-for-kindle/

I for one can't wait to find out what happens next...
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LynnS/AAR



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, this looks hilarious! I missed this thread the first time around because I was immersed in a hellish case at work. I did refugee relief work in the Balkans briefly, so aid worker/NGO characters catch my eye. And this book sounds like it would be very funny.
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