AP reporter, Guild activist Tamara Lush writes romance novel

When Associated Press journalist Tamara Lush first pitched her romance novel about two reporters who meet while covering a plane crash in Florida, one editor was dubious about the reality of such a story line.

She wasn’t put off by the circumstances surrounding how 22-year-old Skylar Shaw and Luca Rossi met or even that Rossi is in hiding because he wrote an anonymous expose on the Mafia in Italy. Nope, she was fine with all of that.

The editor raised her eyebrows at the idea of a journalist as a hero. “He’s going to be laid off in a couple of years,” she said.

Fortunately, another editor had more faith in the future of journalism and bought “Hot Shade,” published Sept. 30 by Boroughs Publishing. In a bit of serendipity, the owner of Boroughs Publishing, Michelle Klayman, previously was a union lawyer in Florida.

To order “Hot Shade” by Tamara Lush, click here

Lush says she’s been a fan of the romance genre for years, but it took a string of decidedly different stories in the summer of 2014 to convince her to seriously try to write a novel herself. She covered a trial about a woman who shot her two teenagers; a story about a man who killed his family by shooting them, lighting fireworks inside the family’s mansion, then burning it down; and finally, a story about a man who shot his six grandkids, his daughter and himself.

“Something in me snapped and I just wanted to write a story that turned out well for everyone,” she says.

“Hot Shade” tells the tale of Shaw, who’s working at her first job at a small newspaper on a Florida island. She writes articles, blogs, takes photos and shoots video. (Sound familiar?). She meets Rossi, a sexy Italian guy, while covering a plane crash.

“There’s instant attraction between them, but she’s exactly the wrong woman for him because he’s also a journalist — one that is hiding because he wrote an anonymous expose on the Mafia in Italy,” Lush says. “Sexy times ensue. Then they’re pursued by people who want to kill them.”

Rossi is loosely based on real-life Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, who wrote the nonfiction book “Gomorrah” and is on the run from the Mafia.

Lush is working on her second romance novel, this one about a publisher who inherited her family’s dying newspaper — and who is forced to call her ex-boyfriend, a sexy Cuban-American private equity fund manager, for help.