TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART by Steven Verrier: “…a chance to escape in a good story well-told.”


Our guest blogger today is Steven Verrier, author of the novel, Tough Love, Tender Heart.

You can visit his website at

I’m a partner in an international marriage, though I’ll admit my spouse and I never faced many of the problems Don and Ana do in Tough Love, Tender Heart. But I’ve talked to innocent people who’ve been mistreated, or at least misread, by the immigration bureaucracy here in the United States and abroad. There’s a certain arbitrary nature to immigration matters that I think ought to be addressed, and that’s one of the reasons I set out to write this book.

Having immigrated to Canada as a child, I’ve long been interested in matters concerning immigration. Living over the years in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, and New York and seeing firsthand how large-scale immigration can affect a community only enhanced my interest in the growing pains of immigration. Living in Texas now—San Antonio, to be precise—I see daily how long-time residents and recent immigrants sometimes struggle to build and maintain a sense of community.

No doubt 9/11 soured a lot of Americans on the advisability of opening America’s gates too widely. I’ve talked to immigrants to the US who’ve been hesitant to travel outside the United States since 9/11 for fear of being harassed upon their return by American immigration officials. There’s a perception among some that immigration officials at US airports and border posts don’t always apply the law fairly or evenly when it comes to foreign nationals trying to enter the United States. I can say from experience that some such officials don’t even know the law. To cite a personal example, I recall trying to explain to one know-it-all official on the American side of a US-Canada border crossing that I wasn’t violating any laws by holding both Canadian and American nationalities. And, believe me, I could cite other personal examples where immigration officials, standing on shaky legal ground, acted as if they knew it all and had better not be challenged.

Of course, I set out to write an entertaining novel as well, one that lives up to its back-cover billing, which says: “Tough Love, Tender Heart is a stirring, fast-flowing depiction of love trying to take root in an impossible situation, and a tale of unsurpassed relevance to our cross-cultural and post-9/11 age.” In other words, the primary inspiration when it came to writing this book was a desire to provide readers two things: a chance to escape in a good story well-told, and some food for thought.

TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART is available at,, and other sources. For more information about TOUGH LOVE, TENDER HEART or about Steven Verrier, visit, and drop the author a line telling him what you think about this book!

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