Monday, October 19, 2015

Guest blog by Suzie T. Roos

Hi, Lady Techie!
I am so honored to be back. Thank you so much for having me.
There are many things I could talk about, but technology and I should not be in the same room!
I’d like to use this opportunity to continue with the family dynamics theme we spoke about with my first release, Girl Spoken For, and continue now with Girl Divided Two.
Specifically, let’s talk about Zach Bertano’s family dynamics!
Based on the feedback I’m getting, a lot of readers love Zach.
To be honest, that’s a pleasant surprise to me. Why? Because in my opinion, he has some pretty big issues and baggage. 
In this second novel, Girl Divided Two, I’ve added Zach’s POV. I would love to hear what readers think about being in his head.
Anyhow, in the Bertano family there are very defined roles -- roles that I will continue to establish as the Spoken For series continues.  But Zach’s generation of the Bertanos wants a different, safer, healthier lifestyle, not the mob lifestyle.
Then you have Gramps, the Don. Could you imagine being under his control? No, thank you. Zach doesn’t like it either. But he respects his family, especially his parents. His parents, Nicola & Catalina, equally respect him.
Writing a close-knit family like Zach’s was great fun.  I absolutely love writing them.  
To me, Nicola and Catalina are the parents everyone would dream of. Not that I had horrible parents…no, that is not what I’m saying. (Dear lord…now I’ll get hate mail!)  But Nicola and Catalina are more than understanding and available for their son’s needs. As I mentioned in the post for Girl Spoken For, many parents wear the “birthing blinders.”  Zach’s parents do not. They’re realistic and most definitely they are not delusional.
In Girl Divided Two, when Gramps (The Don) gives Zach an ultimatum, Nicola and Catalina do what they can to help their son.  But no one dares go against Gramps, or else.
Nicola and Catalina’s generation really is stuck in the middle. They know no other lifestyle, but they also understand the desire of Zach’s generation to leave the mob lifestyle behind forever. In an ideal world, they too would prefer that.
What would you do if you were Nicola or Catalina?
Both of them are “Leads” in the Bertano clan.  Their son Zach is on the bottom of the Bertano totem pole. That means grunt work for Zach.
With the Bertanos, rank is established by order of birth and the first born is superior – it’s that simple.  That is, until you break one of Gramps’ rules. For example, Sergio should be the real “Lead” because he was first born. As the series progresses you will discover why he was demoted. So, when Sergio lost Lead it went to the second in line, Nicola. That automatically made Nicola’s spouse, Catalina, the Lead Woman. I loved making my own mob rules up!
The unfortunate rule I created was that, when one family member screws up, they all suffer.  In all honesty, it never dawned on me until right now…when I was growing up, my dad would “try” to pull off the same “when one of you are in trouble, you’re all in trouble” peer pressure trick.   Oh I hated that with a passion. Thank God my mom didn’t let that fly. To this day, I have no clue why my sweet dad would attempt to punish us all. But I see Gramps doing that.
In Girl Divided Two, Nicola does something he doesn’t want to -- all so the Bertanos could escape legal issues. This is their reality. One screws up…
Later in the series you find out Catalina was forced to do something she didn’t want to -- all because someone broke a rule and went against Gramps.
This is why in Girl Divided Two, Zach knows not to screw-up and go against Gramps.
No matter how much they truly respect each other, Fear Is Power.

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