Tag Archives: heroes

Guy Day! Service with a Smile: An Authentic Male Voice

The Mermaids and a delightful young waiter named Noah have a great ‘cute meet’ story.  For those of you who may not have heard us gushing all over Facebook, personal websites, Twitter and the Internet in general, this past April was the Washington Romance Writers annual retreat.  A very special occasion in its own right, it was made even better when a handful of Mermaids were able to extend our stay for a few extra days of writing.  And what better way to celebrate than with a fine meal and impecable service!

Enter the eight of us to New York J& P Pizza restaurant.  Poor, poor guy is all I could think.  Here was this young man, with a table full of loud, laughing, story-telling, grown women depending on him for this good sevice and food.  At one point, he came by to check on us and I whispered to him that I was sorry.

Instead of shying away and murmuring a “Yes, ma’am” or “No problem, ma’am”, the kid asked, “Why are you sorry?”

Me:  “Oh, I was just feeling bad that we might be too much for you to handle, that’s all.”

Noah:  “Oh, I can handle it.”  And then he grinned.

And he did a superb job.  This kid had confidence on top of gumption and wouldn’t you know it, I’d been on a long, dreary search for a waiter with charisma to interview for our Guy Day segment.  But would cute, young Noah be up for the challenge?  My fellow mermaids beat me to the punch when they told him we were a bunch of romance writers, to which he said, “What’s that?”  I think it was then that the entire table cackled in delight and realized we’d hijacked the right restaurant and harpooned the right waiter.  Just to be sure the kid was legal, I asked his age.  “Yes ma’am.  I’m 22,” he said proudly.  Hallelujah, I was sold!

So, without further ado, I give you Noah–brave of soul, young at heart, bursting with charisma, ready to serve!


Me:  Hi Noah (waves), can you tell us a little about your profession?  How long have you worked as a waiter and what about this job keeps you coming back for more?

Noah:  I’ve worked as a waiter on and off for about 6 years now.  I always switch between cooking jobs and serving jobs because I enjoy working in restaurants.  I guess I find myself coming back for more because I love the busy atmosphere.  It’s a great way to meet people and personally it is a great place for networking.  I also work at Meriwether Post Pavilion which is a concert venue in Colombia, Maryland where I work as a cook and I got that job thanks to networking myself in restuarants.


Me: I imagine your job is very hard.  Do you think the reward is getting to meet people and know that you’ve helped make their nights?

Noah:  It’s not that the job is very hard, it’s just very fast paced.  Any serving job is the same.  It’s all about knowing the menu, putting in orders and taking food out.  The hardest part is how you walk into work that day.  I find that walking in with a smile and can-do attitude is the way to go because I am very personable and an easy talker so waiting on tables comes second naure to me since I love meeting and talking to peole.  I love making peoples’ nights because I’ve been the victim of a “bad time” in a restaurant and I love hearing people tell me that I’ve done a wonderful job or in your table’s case, to strike a “Blue Steel” look for a camera!

(He actually struck this pose for us and it was fabulous!)


Me:  What personal quality makes you great for this job?  Don’t be afraid to brag a little here.  And tell the truth, do waiters crank up the charm on purpose or does it just come naturally?

Noah:  The personal qualities that make me perfect for this job are that I am a very friendly person, I smile all the time, I am confident in myself to where I have no problem flirtng a little bit with my tables and my friends always tell me that the super power I possess is “Super Charisma”.  And to be honest, a good server does turn on the charm when you can tell it can be beneficial towards your evening but it really is a natural gift because if you’re naturally an angry prson, you won’t be a good server!


Me:  Do you have a really memorable experience with diners that you could share (besides waiting on a table of extremely exuberant and talented fiction writing ladies)?

Noah:  One actually happened a week after I waited on your table.  On this night, I waited on two older women and I was on my A game.  Long story short, I made these two ladies’ night just by being flirtatious and suggesting which meals they should get and a good place to go for dessert.  They ended up leaving me a $65 tip on a $40 bill!  So that was probably one of my better experiences.


Me:  Have you ever come close to losing your cool while at work?

Noah:  I do lose my cool at work every now and then but never in front of the customers because that would be unprofessional.  But I’ve definitely been brought to tears by bad tables before but mainly because I’m a pretty emotional person and I cry very easily.

(Awww, nobody better mess with our Noah!   The Mermaids have your back!)


Me:  Now let’s get to know you a bit outside of your job.  Afterall, a hero must be well-rounded.  What’s your favorite song and why?

Noah:  This is a hard choice because I enjoy a wide variety of music but if I had to choose one, I would pick……drum roll…..GET DOWN ON IT by Kool and the Gang!  This is my favorite song because I love to dance and this song makes me super happy every time I hear it.  When my best friend’s sister got married in the summertime, I requested this song and it started out with just me on the dance floor and after two minutes, I had nearly the whole reception dancing!! So needless to say, I bring it to Kool and the Gang.


Me:  Loved your answers, Noah!  You definitely brought it the night we sat at your table!  We’re almost done here.  So, as is traditon for my contributions to “Bring a guy to the pond” days, please read the scene below and tell me how you, as a real guy, would react:

Scenario:  Two guys are at a bar and grill.  One is currently finishing up his shift while the other,his buddy who has just been dumped unexpectedly by his girlfriend, is waiting for him to finish.  Let’s raise the stakes and say the poor dumped guy was just getting ready to ask her to meet his family when she kicked him out.  Now the first guy, the one on duty, knows this girlfriend pretty well and she’s generally a nice girl to his buddy so he has a clue that something might be wrong.

(I know what girls would do–we’d console each other, coming up with X,Y and Z to make our friend feel better.  But would two guys do that?  Yep, you guessed it.  We’re trying to get a crack at guys’ senstivities in a situation like this.)

Noah:  If I was the waiter on duty and my friend came in with this problem, I would tell him clearly she’s not seeing him for how awesome he is (depending on the friend) but no I would not put her down  because everybody has their reason as to why they do something in a relationship.  She couldn’t be held accountable.  If it wasn’t meant to be then it wasn’t meant to be.  When all is said and done, I would make him feel better because that is the kind of person I am.  Depending on how hard he took it, I would wing man with him and help him move on.  If he took it really hard, I would get off work and probalby talk him down from being upset and make him see that it was probably for the best.


There you have it folks–real guys do indeed possess a sensitive side and turns out can be quite understanding in a given situation!  Thank you so much, Noah!  You’re a real good sport and women everywhere appreciate the time you took to help us understand a true male perspective today!  I officially proclaim you Romance Novel Hero Worthy  😉



Happy Valentine’s Week – Day Three

Happy Valentine’s Week from the Waterworld Mermaids!!!

Here in our lovely mermaid lagoon, we are all abuzz with the holiday of love. And because we’re in such a happy mood, we wanted to share some stories and memories from mermaid-pasts. Best of all, we’re celebrating all week long! We hope you enjoy!

Ever notice how love can inspire music and music often has a hand in love? Whether the feelings are between significant others or family members, today’s stories mix these two beautiful things – love and music….


Songs in the Key of Love
Denny S. Bryce

He had a voice like smooth raw silk—deep and rich and soft and strong. When he sang, with his lips next to my ear, his breath was warm and cool, and always made me smile.

He loved to sing. He would burst into song anywhere, any time. When we sat in the car at the gas pump, or as we shopped for groceries, or walked across the football field after he’d coached a game.

It took a few months, but eventually, I joined in and sang the words I knew to whatever song he was singing. But my voice never sounded as good as his. So I mostly sat back and let him sing to me. He liked it best that way.

He wasn’t showing off. No, but sometimes talking didn’t do what he wanted it to do. His words weren’t as good as the lyrics on the radio. It was easier to say what he wanted to say with a song.

So he’d serenade me.

After a while, I stopped noticing when he sang, or that he wasn’t singing as much anymore.

Then one night we were in the car driving back from, or driving off to, somewhere, and a Stevie Wonder song came on the radio. It was from a 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life, one of my favorites from back in the day.

He pulled over to the side of the road, and started singing…


If you’re not familiar, here are some of the lyrics…

You know what I say is true
That I’ll be loving you always

(Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky)
(Until the ocean covers every mountain high)
(Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea)
(Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream)

Did you know that true love asks for nothing
No no her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee
To last through forever and another day

Well, let’s just say, I started listening again…and heard every word when he sang.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Song from the Heart
Masha Levinson

This thing I hold in my arms is more like a loaf of bread than a baby.  And not one of those pretty loaves either.  He’s all beat up looking.  Black and blue.  As if he’d been in a fight and is now sleeping off a horrid hangover.  Except unlike most drunks, this one isn’t staying quiet.  He’s screaming as if belting out a tune for the cheap seats at Lincoln Center.  And it’s 2:30 in the morning.  And I’m tired.  And cranky.  And I want to go to sleep.  And he won’t cooperate.  The spindles from the creaky rocking chair are digging into my back.  My arm, the one his lumpy head is resting on, has long ago fallen asleep. Why won’t this kid sleep?

It’s half an hour later when his eyelids begin to flutter up and down.  Small veins weave around his translucent skin.  His fragility amazes me.  Twenty minutes later, he’s finally asleep.  I exhale.  As if holding the rarest of gems, I will my body off the chair, cringing when the hinges squeal.  I hold my breath.  He doesn’t stir.  Step by step, I make it to the crib.  The side is up.  I can’t reach in there.  I look around the semi-lit room and see the stepstool.  I hold him in my arms and with one foot drag it toward his crib.  His eyes flutter open.  My breath hitches.  He closes them.  I place the stool in front of the bed and gingerly climb on it.  The crib is still too high for me.

Each time, before I lower him into the crib, no matter how tired, I lean over and kiss his satiny forehead.  Tonight is no different.  He sighs.  I smile.  I lean over and place him, as carefully as if he was the most fragile loaf of bread, onto the sheets.  I hold my breath and wait.  Sometimes he wakes and sometimes he doesn’t.  He continues sleeping. I exhale and creep out of the room.  I crawl into my bed.  My body begins to drift off as the last thought flutters through my mind.  I wonder if he’ll ever know what I did for him.

Fourteen years later I’m sitting in front of the school, waiting to pick him up from a homecoming dance.  It’s Saturday night.  Request night on the love station.  I’m tapping my finger on the steering wheel.  The music filters off and then I hear it.  “Our last dedication is to Masha from her brother and for everything she did for him.”

I stop tapping.  And breathing.  The intro to the song begins to fill the car.  A moment later the words come across my old radio loud and clear.  I am no longer left to wonder.

The song he chose is Hero.


We hoped you enjoyed our stories today. Come back tomorrow for more sweet stories that are sure to make you feel all gooey (in a good way)!



Job of Hotness

Can I get a Navy Seal over here to sweep me off my feet, while both protecting me and respecting my individuality as an independent woman? 

Where’s that totally ripped construction guy, who besides being able to swing heavy power tools, remains sensitive and in-touch with his emotions?

Let’s not forget about that super intellectual professor-turned-writer who happens to make geeky sweater vests seem uber-sexy.

I’ve been reading romance novels for awhile now and I think I’ve encountered just about every career path possible for the hero. Cowboy, prince, entrepreneur, teacher, chef, bounty hunter, landscape architect – they all have one thing in common: Hotness!

While I do have my favorites (FBI secret agent, veterinarian and just plain old, inexplicable super rich guy, to name a few), I have to admit that it might be more than just the profession. It’s the description. After all, you can have a bartender, or you can have a smokin’ hot Irish bartender with jet black hair and intense green eyes.

Oh yes, there’s a big difference between the guy who changes your tires and the insanely gorgeous yet wounded mechanic whose muscles are pulsating under his tight white work shirt while he gives you the once-over.

And I’ve never come across a lawyer in my real life who is anything like the toned and suave attorney who can both schmooze at the country club and take down the bad guy with his killer tai kwon do moves, all the while preserving his impeccably-fitted tuxedo.

So I ask all of you, what is your favorite romance hero career? And feel free to get descriptive!

#amwriting Word Metrics
Project: Contemporary romance
Deadline: August 31st (#amcrazyperson)
New Words Written: Not enough
Present Total Word Count: 37,552