Romance & Relationships in Desert Skies, Rebel Souls by M.P. Tonnesen
“She sensed his tall frame suddenly behind her without him even touching her, the heat emanating from his powerful body. She felt aroused and safe; protected and enticed; strangely familiar with his presence, despite having just exchanged a few sentences. She turned around to face him. Neither of them said a word. Their eyes did all the talking.”
Desert Skies, Rebel Souls, by M.P. Tonnesen, Copyright 2017
Olivia Margaux-Alexander is breaking free from the confinements of her safe, predictable upper-class life in the wealthy suburbs of Copenhagen. Everyone expects her to use her top grades and grafting nature to follow in the footsteps of her successful lawyer parents. She longs to explore the world, though, and travels to a small kibbutz in rural Israel where she meets Chaim. He is like no guy she has met before – intense, strong and passionate.
When Olivia encounters Chaim, he is an eighteen-year-old kibbutznik who is killing time, waiting to start his army duties like his peers. He has grown up in the semi-socialist, rural community of a kibbutz in Israel – in stark contrast to Olivia’s upbringing in an upper class, urban environment in Denmark.
Their mutual attraction is instant and intense despite all the obstacles to their potential relationship. They fall deeply in love, but their romance is soon challenged by geography and the gore of war. Their love story is a nerve-racking ride through the beauties and dangers of the Middle East.
Through her relationship with Chaim, as well as her backpack travels through Israel, Jordan and Egypt, Olivia expands her mental horizon; questions the concepts of hatred, fate, war and peace; and deconstructs both her perception of the world and her identity. Her moral beliefs are challenged, pushed through circumstances to take actions unlike her. She rebels against her parents and the confines of expectations and establishment. She grows through grief, adversity and becoming more experienced with the world outside her protected bubble.
Chaim opens his mind to Olivia’s family, culture and values. He learns to balance his strong will and ambitions with those of his beloved. His deployment to the Special Forces of the Israeli Army puts him to the ultimate test, mentally and physically. When disaster strikes they are challenged both as individuals and as a couple. Will their love survive in the end?
I grew up in a multicultural family and studied intercultural communication, so for me it was a delightful challenge to depict how love can transcend cultural and geographical barriers. It was a joy to follow Olivia and Chaim as their relationship evolved and their personalities grew through ecstatic highs and calamitous lows. I particularly enjoyed creating the chemistry between the two young lovers in a way that jumps off the page.
I hope my readers think I have succeeded in writing a unique and memorable story and that they will enjoy the exotic adventures of Olivia and Chaim.
What To Do When the Love of Your Life Doesn’t Know You Exist?
My new novel is called Fugue, The Amnesia Love Story That Will Make You Forget About Every Other Amnesia Love Story. There’s a romance at the center of the story. It’s about two young adults just finishing college who get into a fight and end their marriage before it even starts.
Getting married young can work for some people, but it wasn’t going to work for the people in my story. I know it wouldn’t have worked for me. I didn’t reach emotional maturity until almost 20 years after college. You can ask my wife.
For the bride and groom in my story, neither one of them had great examples of how romance should work. For the bride, her parents divorced when she was very young. And no part of it was amicable. Guns were involved.
For the groom, his parents had a loveless marriage. That’s pretty common. At least where I grew up it seemed pretty common, and people would stick it out no matter what.
A lot of the novel is about healing the wounds you suffered when you were a kid, and figuring out how to move forward. Then, once you’re better, do you give that person who broke your heart another chance?
One of the questions I explore in the story is: ‘What if the girl next door really was the perfect match for you, but you let her get away?’ It’s a long shot that you can make any relationship work, what with all the distractions in the world. But if she’s your soul mate, shouldn’t you try?
How do you ignore the distractions long enough to connect with that soulmate when everybody else tells you they are not the right person for you?
And when everything seems to be going wrong, when is it time to move on?
I have worked on this story for over six years, writing, rewriting, and changing the angle of attack. I really became interested in the characters, and I like who they are. That’s why I stuck with the story for so long.
The hard part was to give them a happy ending they deserved.
But they are both a long way from perfect. And they are both changed by the end of story.