Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Characters Who Travel the Romantic Road - #5 Zsuzsa Szilard

 (At least those who appear in Romantic Road.  I’m sure there were many others.)

http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Romantic_Road.htmlWhile Romantic Road, at its heart, is the story of a blossoming love between Lacy Telchev and Max Petersen, the story behind the story, is of Lacy’s deceased husband, Igor Telchev, and the women he loved. The “Romantic Road” of the title, refers both to the actual road of that name in Germany and to Igor’s numerous past love affairs, the romantic road of his life. In the story, Lacy, Igor’s young widow, must follow the path of Igor’s romantic past to fulfil his last request of her.
In creating Igor’s character, I found myself often tangled up with dates. Finally I had to construct a time-line so that the path of Igor’s life would make sense in the context of the events of history and of the times and places in which he lived.
Igor was born in Russia in 1960, died in the U.S. in 2015, at the age of fifty-five. His adventurous life took him across Europe, into the bedrooms of numerous women, on his way to his marriage to Lacy, in New York in 2010.
Igor was a young man in Budapest in 1985 when he met Zsuzsa Szilard. Gorbachev was in power and the strangle-hold of Communism was loosening up. Cracks were beginning to show in the iron grip of the USSR on its satellite countries like Hungary. Travel was more accessible. In 1989 the Russian pull-out from Hungary began, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Naomi Judd as Zsuzsa
Let me begin with Igor Telchev’s first love.  Allow me to introduce you to Zsuzsa  Szilard:
Zsuzsa grew up in Hungary, a country under military occupation. She was born only three years after the 1956 uprising in which the Hungarians tried to oust the Russians from their country. She was the daughter of illiterate peasants who eked out a meagre living in the Pouszta. But under the Communists, children like Zsuzsa were not only required to go to school, if they excelled, they were pushed all the way, all expenses paid, including housing and a food allowance. She went to university in Budapest, and from there, on to medical school.  
Zsuzsa met Igor in 1985.  She was 25 and in medical school, he was attached to the Russian Embassy. Russians were not popular in the Budapest of these years. But Igor took Zsuzsa to underground clubs and sang along with the gypsies. He walked along the riverside with her. And he took her to bed. His charm and good looks and his ability to make her laugh won her over.
His inability to remain faithful ended their relationship. “I’m afraid he never loved me as much as I loved him. I grew up. I was afraid he never would.”  She refers to him as a “serial lover”.
Zsuzsa  is a practicing doctor when Lacy meets her. A strong, forceful woman of fifty-five. Her hair is still black, worn in a twist at the back, although it now has streaks of grey. She is dark eyed, with the remains of great beauty, although she is no longer slender.  Zsuzsa is settled and satisfied with her life. Her memories of Igor are perhaps the most realistic among his former lovers. 

 Click here to choose your purchase options for Romantic Road, my latest novel.

This romantic thriller is a mix of hair raising suspense, romance and a sprinkling of humor. 

Escape Rating A - Marlene Harris, EscapeReality.net

"Like her other books, the story in this one operates on more than one level.  The suspense is edge of the seat, while Lacy's inner journey makes her a sympathetic and fascinating character. If you enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense with a heart-pounding romance wrapped around a story that also makes you think, read Romantic Road, or any of Blair McDowell's marvelous stories.".....More

5 out of 5 Stars - Jack Magnus, ReadersFavorite.com
"Blair McDowell's romantic suspense novel, Romantic Road, is exciting and fast-paced. Lacy is a strong and appealing character whose fairy-tale marriage has abruptly ended, leaving unanswered questions and danger. The quest Igor sets for her leads her and the reader on a marvelous trip through Canada, Austria and Hungary, and the author's familiarity with each of these venues makes Lacy's adventures truly come alive.".....More

5 Stars out of 5 - Debbie Davenport, Librarian via NetGalley
"This is my kind of book: a fast-paced romantic suspense thriller with teeth! And the puzzles Igor left that Lacy must follow all over Europe... beautiful! The secrets will blow your socks off!"

5 out of 5 Stars - Celia Lewis, Pres., Romance Writers of America, Greater Vancouver Chapter
"A challenging love story, a deadly dangerous secret, a mysterious quest from New York through Europe, the latest story from Blair McDowell has it all!... I love romantic suspense, and this story was very fascinating to me, not least because of the unusual locales, adding an exotic flavour. I'm already wanting to read the next story by Blair McDowell!" 

To read more about Romantic Road, as well as my other novels, please visit my website:

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Blair McDowell