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Monday, September 30, 2013

Beyond the Book: BlogFest 13 Winners

Welcome to Beyond the Book. I am the Princess Morgane, daughter of King Maccus and wife to Prince Alan, heir to the throne of his father King Bowdyn.  Madame Cantrell has given me the honor of announcing the BlogFest 13 winners. She wishes everyone could win, but her small grandson drew these three names out of a hat: Tina, Laura, and Sue.  Madame Cantrell will be in touch with you in the next day or so to get your book to you.

Since we are all gathered together, why not have a brief excerpt from The Enchanted?  In this excerpt, Prince Alan sees me for the first time.

The sound of a trumpet interrupted Alan. Meryn entered the

room behind the trumpeters and called in a ringing voice, "His

majesty, King Maccus, and his daughter, the Princess Morgane,

wife of Prince Alan, heir to the throne of his father, King Bowdyn."

Everyone at the table rose to their feet and bowed as Maccus

and Morgane paused at the door. Alan could not stop staring at the

princess. He had not expected her to be so beautiful. Her red-gold

hair cascaded across her shoulders in swirling waves he ached to

touch. Even from this distance he could see that her eyes were the

color of the sea on a cloudy, stormy day. Her white, beribboned

gown made their unique color stand out. She had a willowy, lithe


buy link:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Welcome to BlogFest 2013!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to BlogFest 2013. I'm so glad you stopped by!  Cinnamon Brown our organizer has done a super job of bringing together some of the finest authors and bloggers on the 'net, so plan on visiting as many of them as you can.  The link to your tracking site can be found here

I'd like to share a short excerpt from The Enchanted, my latest release. In this excerpt, my heroine saves her true love but at a terrible price. 

Alan ran across the room and cradled her in his arms. In seconds he was coated with blood. "We must stop the bleeding!" he cried. "Where are the healers?"

"I will find one." Renweard left the room at a run with King Bowdyn right behind him.

Morgane's eyes fluttered open. "Your arms around me. No heaven can compare."

Alan pressed a kiss to her hair. "I love you, my brave Morgane.ʺ

Morgane sighed. "I could not let you face this battle alone."

A streak of blood from the cut on her face rolled toward her eyes. Alan wiped it away with his hand. "You saved me and my father. If not for you, we would have perished."

"I am glad." Her eyes felt so heavy. She struggled against the need to close them. "You must… you must…"
Alan's arms tightened around her. "I must what, my love?"
"You must help your father…" That was not exactly what she had intended to say, but it was a struggle to think.

"Where is that healer?"Alan muttered, a look of incredible anguish on his face.

Morgane's eyes blinked. So. She was dying. She raised her bloody hand and squeezed Alan's shoulder. Her hand fell. A wet drop hit her face. He was crying! Her brave, wonderful warrior, her
prince was crying.

Curious? I hope so! I'm giving away three electronic copies of The Enchanted. To win, become a blog follower and leave me a comment letting me know that you did. If you already follow, leave a comment and tell me that too. DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN.

Okay, you're done. Follow the links below for more great prizes and fun.

Good Choice Reading

Novel Reflections

Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks

A Dragon's Love

Roof Beam Reader

Murder Most Foul

Fashionista Friday follows the book blast so read a nice excerpt and then go look at some fashion.
BLURB: When two dismembered torsos wash up on the banks of the local river in the small industrial town of Pleasant Valley, residents are horrified. Between contradicting statements, police ineptitude, lust, lies, manipulation, incest, the motorcycle gang The Devil’s Disciples, crooked cops, and a botched crime scene, everyone becomes a suspect.
The young beautiful Jackie Reeves, a registered nurse, believes the killer is a man from her past. She contacts the dangerously handsome FBI Agent Walker Harmon. An arrest is made, but Harmon and Jackie believe an innocent man is being railroaded by local cops. Determined to find the truth, before anymore killings, Agent Harmon and Jackie are forced to run a gauntlet of deep trouble and turmoil, which marks them for death.

EXCERPT: Undaunted and short on patience, the agent stared at the fat jerk sitting before him gleefully puffing on a cigar, most likely homegrown in Detroit, Michigan, not Cuba. “I attend the Kingdom Hall on occasion,” he said.
“Well most of us like Malloy. He's helped rid this town of criminals. He was a volunteer firefighter, and his wife cooks for the annual policeman's ball. Hell, Malloy even coached volleyball for the kids when he wuz younger. Now a person who does that ain't all bad,” the chief declared.
Barstow's sudden burst of energy to safeguard his fishy friend, picqued Harmon's interest. What had Malloy done? He decided he wasn't leaving until he had the full, sordid story.
“So you and Malloy are pals, and he did something he couldn't get out of, and you tried to salvage his job, but the big shots said, ‘No!' Is that how it went?” Harmon asked.
“Yeah, Malloy did somethin’ real stupid.”
“I'm listening,” Harmon replied.
“The rumors of Malloy allowin' his friends and family members to snoop through the cornfield, and photograph the area after the victims were removed, was true. Everyone is curious about this crime. Nothin' this big ever happened in this town before, and the pictures were for souvenirs, you know. Then after the limbs were removed, he brought in a back hoe, and tore up the whole damned crime scene, involving Thomas.” The chief growled in disgust.
“Yeah, that was stupid,” Harmon said. “So Malloy's unethical conduct was the reason the disciplinary board was in session?”
“Yep, they made their decision this mornin',” the chief said. “He's out. There was nothin' I could do for him.”
“You'd think a cop with over twenty years’ experience would demonstrate better reasoning then destroy evidence. Unless he's covering his own tracks,” Harmon said realizing what he was implying. “Do you believe Malloy committed the murders?”
“Now, I didn't say that. A lot of officers were on this case, so a lot of mistakes happened. We never dealt with this type crime before. Many might have made the same mistakes Malloy did.”
Dismissing the chief's excuses for Malloy's incompetence, Harmon demanded an answer. He was tired of being duped by the local cops and wanted the truth, and wanted it now. Standing and placing both palms on the chief's shiny desk, the agent looked the chief square in his squinty brown eyes and said, “Cough it up, Chief! There's more to it then that. If there were numerous mistakes made by officers other then Malloy, why was he the only one kicked off the force? Now spit it out! What the hell did Malloy do?”
“All right, all right!” the chief whined, “Malloy screwed the dead girl three weeks before she was killed–and got caught!”
The Agent was speechless. Walking to the window overlooking Main Street, he stared vacantly. Hadn't one of our witnesses suggested something like that? But–with the crisp wind howling, the citizens dining in the local cafés, others window shopping for Christmas or starting their shift at the town's businesses–this seems unreal. How can such a seemingly sweet country town be so full of bad apples, savage murders, police misconduct and corruption, evidence tampering? This town is certainly no Mayberry, thought Harmon.
No matter what difficulties get in your way, never give up on what you love. Whether that be writing, paintings, or sewing, never give up on your art. It will never let you down. I believe in family values and following your dreams.


“Murder Most Foul,” available now at:
Here is the link to buy it directly from LULU:
My original canvass paintings, can be found at Books and Paintings by JoAnne or

Respectfully Yours,

JoAnne Myers-Author of Murder Most Foul,- Wicked Intentions,- Loves', Myths', and Monsters',- The Crime of the Century,- Twisted Love,- Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between, and Flagitious.

My website:

My website Blog:
Buy Link to Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fashionista Friday

2013 Emmy Awards Red Carpet Style: Peaches & Pinks

The Matrix And The Alice Books

Welcome! You've arrived just in time for Voice Simandan's interview.  Get comfortable, and let's see what our guest has to say.

1. How do you feel about self-publishing?

My very first book, The Spirit of Medieval Japan, appeared under the publishing wing of an NGO while dozens of my non-fiction articles and short stories were published in various academic journals and anthologies. Apart from public exposure, there was no monetary benefit. Among the books I have chosen to self-publish, The Matrix and the Alice Books has been the most successful financially. As a writer, to be paid for your writing is a huge reward. Now that one can read an e-book on an increasing score of gadgets, I think self-publishing is a positive way for writers to make their work available to a very large section of the public. And if the writer did their job properly, then they might even see a return on their investment.


2. Which genre appeals least to you?  Why?

I have various intellectual interests, from history to anthropology to linguistics, so I tend to evenly balance the number of non-fiction and fiction books that I read. Recently, I have started reading more and more science fiction, delving into the works of the classics that have established this genre. However, I also read literary fiction, fast paced mysteries, and books of fiction written by expats living in Thailand – which I then review for a Bangkok-based monthly magazine.


3. What does your family think about having an author in the family?

As a young boy, I used to see and hear my father writing fast and furious on his noisy typewriter on a daily basis. I published a very short news item in a local newspaper in 1995, at the of 17, and ever since then I have published hundreds of articles and about two dozen short stories in newspapers, magazines, anthologies and websites around the world, using both English and Romanian text. For me, writing seems to be a family legacy.


My Thai wife comes from a Chinese background and she thus has an acute entrepreneurial spirit and an entrenched desire to succeed in her on-going business(es) for which she uses most of the hours of a day for her work. That leaves me with plenty of quiet time to pen my next international bestseller, which will obviously become the inspiration of a future Hollywood blockbuster! Of course, from time to time, she reminds me that while there are high chances she will become a millionaire in a few years time, I have very slim chances of affording to quit my day job and become a full-time writer.


4. What is your favorite book? That you wrote, I mean…

The book that I’m virtually touring now. It is an intertextual study of the film The Matrix and the books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. The initial research for the book was done as part of my two-year master’s degree studies in Bangkok. I have probably seen The Matrix trilogy over one hundred times and having the book in my hands has brought my longtime obsession with The Matrix and the Alice Books to a satisfactory conclusion. Now it’s time for the world to read it and dive down the rabbit hole and explore a world where the boundary between dreams and reality is blurred by some of the most remarkable and memorable fictional characters ever to appear on the pages of a book and on the screen of a TV.


5. Did any other authors inspire you? If so, who?

It is very difficult to name just one single author but I do have favourites within the literature written by one country or another. Thus, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his The Great Gatsby – the first unabridged book that I had ever read in English – would be my choice from the many other American writers I enjoy reading. Natsume Soseki’s and Yukio Mishima’s body of works, with Kokoro and, respectively, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion – which I have recently visited during my trip to Japan – are two Japanese writers and two novels I could reread over and over again and still find new meanings and things I have missed in my previous readings. William Golding’s view on the nature of mankind, brilliantly depicted in Lord of the Flies, makes him my favourite British author while the short stories of Mircea Eliade, a Romanian philosopher mostly known for his seminal books on the history of religion, have had the most visible influence on my fiction writing.

Thank you so much for answering my questions. Readers, it's time for a blurb and excerpt.

The Matrix and the Alice Books

by Voicu Mihnea Simandan





The Matrix and the Alice Books presents aspects of intertextuality in three primary sources: the script of the motion picture The Matrix written by directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, and the books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.


Intertextuality is a set of relations with other texts, which can include direct quotations, allusions, literary conventions, imitation, parody and unconscious sources amongst others. In The Matrix there are few explicit references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.


This book by Voicu Mihnea Simandan presents both the explicit references and the less direct ones, giving evidence from primary and secondary sources. In doing so, it makes use of a literary construction developed from Gérard Genette’s structuralist theory of transtextuality as a framework to present how a web of intertextual relationships is clearly formed between the Alice books and The Matrix.





“In The Matrix, Neo comes from the Oracle a bit disappointed with what he had just found out, but Morpheus tries to show him the way: “Neo, sooner or later, you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path... and walking the path...” Alice wakes up only when she is ready to face the real world, just as Neo has to understand that, in order to defeat the agents and end the war, he has to face his demons and take control of his own life. […]


In The Matrix, Cypher confesses his regrets to Neo over getting unplugged. “You know, I know what you’re thinking, because right now I’m thinking the same thing. Actually, I’ve been thinking it ever since I got here... Why, oh why, didn’t I take... the blue pill?” The repeated phrase shows hesitation and the intensity of Cypher’s emotions. Neither Alice nor Cypher understand the new world they have entered, and both have second thoughts about remaining there. But, while Alice tries to unlock the secret of wonderland and eventually is able to control it, just as Neo does in the end, Cypher betrays his crew members in a desperate move to be reinserted into the Matrix.


Despite an ever-changing environment and logic, both Alice and Neo continue to deal with the challenges that beset them. No prior experience in wonderland or the Matrix can teach them about what to expect in their next undertaking; nevertheless they manage to get through each encounter, ready to face new situations.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
 Voicu Mihnea Simandan is a Romanian writer and freelance journalist who was born in 1978 in Arad, a small city in Transylvania. He has published short stories, non-fiction, and books for children. He has been calling Thailand home since 2002 and he has been a member of the Bangkok Writers' Guild since 2009 and a member of AP Writers since 2012. He is now teaching Language Arts and Social Studies at an international school in Bangkok. His upcoming debut novel, The Buddha Head, a suspense thriller set in Thailand, is scheduled for publication in late 2013. He loves archery, martial arts and travelling.
Author links:
Buy links:
Kindle US:
Readers, follow this tour and comment often for your chance to win an electronic copy of Mr. Cheng's Coffeepot. Voicu is giving one away at every stop. He's also giving away a grand prize of a $10 gift certificate. You can find his tour schedule at


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weak at the Knees

Please help me welcome my guest, Jo Kessel. Jo wrote an article for me about negative criticism, so Jo, take it away. I'm eager to hear what you have to say. 

This is an interesting question and every author (or indeed anyone putting their work in the public domain to be judged) will deal with this in a different way. One very successful novelist friend of mine says she doesn’t read her reviews, because she’d rather not know. I personally couldn’t operate this way - I need to know how readers have reacted to my work and what they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy. Inevitably you can’t always please everyone and my husband is very philosophical on this point. “It’s a wonderful thing,” he insists. “Everyone’s going to have a different opinion and aren’t we lucky to live in such a meritocracy.” The few instances that someone hasn’t enjoyed my books I try to remember all the positive feedback I’ve had. There is nothing better than someone stopping you in the street (yes, that has happened to me!) to tell me how much they enjoyed my book. Nothing beats this feeling and so, for every negative review I remember the readers who have been touched by my writing. When I set out to write I told myself that even if ONE person read and enjoyed my work then it would have been worth it - to a degree that is still true. Besides, negative criticism doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Plenty of authors have had bad reviews but have nonetheless gone on to become bestsellers. And if ever I’m feeling blue, I look at the reviews for 50 Shades. For every 5 stars review there’s a 2 star one to match it because again, in my husband’s words, everyone has their own opinion. And look how well E. L James has done! And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, one has to remember that it’s so often the case that it’s the readers who don’t enjoy your book who tend to leave a review, rather than the ones who have loved it.



Jo Kessel




“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”


Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.


The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.


Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.


Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.


But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?


Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story about love, loss and relationships, set between London and the heart of the French Alps.



Olivier sits next to me on the piano stool. We’re even closer than that day up the mountain and it’s even more intoxicating. His body is so close to mine that the slightest adjustment would have us touching. I can feel his heat, an electrical charge which makes the side of my leg that’s almost brushing his tingle all the way down. He pulls up his woolly, navy sleeves. “Shall we?” I note the gold wedding band on his dark, manly hands as his fingers hover above the keyboard. I nod, not trusting myself to speak, thinking the sooner he starts playing piano the better, to distract me from this powerful attraction. He crashes both hands down with flair and starts playing his version of the Boogie Woogie. It’s slightly jazzier and more sophisticated than mine. I let him play by himself for a while, enjoying watching him, surprised by how good he is.

The rhythm gets to me, my upper torso unconsciously pulsing forward, toes tapping in my shoes. I put my mug down on top of the piano and start trying to improvise a Gerswhin-esque melody line, fluttering my right hand up and down the keyboard in syncopation to Olivier’s beat. For about ten minutes we thump away, cheesy grins on our faces, occasionally catching each others’ eye. We play whatever comes into our heads, changing the mood and key from time to time. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a discordant mess, but it doesn’t matter. By the time Olivier eventually tires and crashes a final chord, our bodies are touching all the way from our shoulders to our knees. I don’t want to move, which is exactly why I do. I stand up, to recover my senses and my drink.

When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children where she works as a TV and print journalist. She tells life stories and can often be found travelling the globe researching the next big holiday hotspots for readers to enjoy. Since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tear-jerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.
 P.S Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.          
Jo is giving away a $50 B&N or Amazon gift to on lucky reader. To enter to win go to  Good luck!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Blast Set to Love

Beyond the Book follows the Book Blast Set to Love, a volleyball romance by Jennifer Rae Gravely. Please scroll down for a message from Prince Alan.

The championship is her dearest desire, not love. Recently appointed girls’ volleyball coach at Keowee High School, Randi Sly spends the night with rival coach Blake Steele after getting sick from drinking too much wine. Rumors swirl as the two battle for the State crown.

I’m having a Facebook party on Monday, September 30th to celebrate the release of Set to Love. Stop in to say hello, eat virtual cake, and win some great prizes.

Born in Ohio but raised in Pickens, SC, I graduated from Converse College with a triple major in history, politics, and English before earning my master’s degree in education. Returning to my high school alma mater to teach English and to coach volleyball, my teams won four state championships and six upper state titles in ten years. I live with my husband, daughter, seven beagles, and one cat. Set to Love is the second romance published by Astraea Press featuring the fictional Southern town of Keowee.

Twitter: @JenniferRaeGrav

Tip One

Be confident: The game of volleyball is not only physical but also psychological.


Directly in his path, he spotted Randi Sly fumbling in her purse, not paying attention to the curb in front of her. “Randi,” he called. “Watch out!” He lunged forward, catching her as she stumbled. For a brief moment as she filled his arms, he thought of Jenna.

“What are you doing?” she squealed, pulling away. “If you hadn’t called my name, I wouldn’t have tripped.” Randi narrowed her eyes as she ran her hands down her thighs, straightening the clingy cloth that outlined the shapeliness of her long legs.

“No, if I hadn’t called your name and caught you, you would’ve broken your ankle. Some thanks for a noble deed done.”

“I’m not a damsel you have to save.” She brushed her long, shiny brown hair from her shoulders. Even in high heels, she had to look up at him. Blake liked tall woman best and appreciated an athletic but shapely build. Randi obviously worked out on a regular basis, and she was every bit as tall as Jenna.

Blake laughed aloud as he mentally pushed the thought of Jenna out of his head. He needed to quit comparing everyone to her. “You’re one of those.”

“What does that mean?” She squared her shoulders, showing with her body language a complete dislike of him. No doubt she didn’t care for him calling her team out at the meeting. Her eyes blazed like a blue flame in the growing darkness of the night.

“Independent female, the kind that’s a bit self-righteous.” Blake liked a feisty girl. That’s what drew him to Jenna last year when she moved to the area.

Randi huffed, as he knew she would. He liked to play the game, but this one he suspected was pretty good at her job or else she wouldn’t have landed such a prestigious position. Keowee was a county and region rival of his school Saluda, the two volleyball powerhouses splitting the last decade’s state championships. He needed to gain an edge.

“Don’t underestimate me, Blake.”

He inclined his head in her direction. “Wouldn’t dream of it.” With that, he continued to his car thinking how he definitely needed to keep his eye on Randi Sly.




Monday, September 23, 2013

Beyond the Book: Review Day

Greetings, friends. My name is Prince Alan.  I am Madame Cantrell's hero in The Enchanted. It is a fearful day in the kingdom. We are waiting for Madame Cantrell's wonderful book to be reviewed at Emeraldfire's Bookmark.  My father the king has threatened dire consequences if the review is not as good as we expect. Perhaps you will go to the site and see the review for yourself.  If it is good, please send word to my father lest he take drastic action against the reviewer.   Here is the link:

Stealing Fire By Bestselling Author Susan Sloate

Please help me welcome author Susan Sloate author of Stealing Fire to the blog. Susan agreed to do a guest post for me, so, Susan, take it away.

     Hello, and thanks, Elaine, for inviting me to visit your blog today!

     As you know, my latest novel, STEALING FIRE, takes place in the world of 1980’s New York and L.A., most particularly the world of Broadway musical theater in the 1980’s. And while I could go on and on about the ‘80s (big hair, lots of formal occasions and great clothes, terrific music and some classic films), I think I’d like to zero in on what was happening to the  Broadway musical at that time.

     If you’re not a fan of musicals—or you just don’t remember the ‘80s (and it can happen to the best of us!)—the ‘80s ushered in a whole new era in musical theater, and its name was… Andrew Lloyd Webber.

     Lloyd Webber is a classically-trained musician and composer who came from a serious musical family. He was the one who broke out into more popular forms, including the musical. Among other shows, he wrote the music for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA, CATS, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, STARLIGHT EXPRESS, SUNSET BOULEVARD and more.

     He was very powerful in the ‘80s, with many of his shows debuting in London and then coming to Broadway. And the one thing they all had in common was that they were high-tech, glitzy and very expensive productions (PHANTOM had a fifty-piece orchestra). Naturally that meant that ticket prices gradually began to rise (I remember paying $25 for a ticket to EVITA in 1980), and the quality of the shows was dramatically worse than much less expensive productions just a few years before.

     But Lloyd Webber was a phenomenon—audiences loved the special effects and the brass-heavy musical arrangements, and though STARLIGHT EXPRESS was nothing but a re-telling of THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD, it was done by actors on roller skates whizzing along custom-built ramps full of odd lighting and special lights.

     The hero of my novel, STEALING FIRE, is a Broadway librettist/lyricist who can’t stand Andrew Lloyd Webber. Because of Lloyd Webber, Beau feels out of place in the musical theater, which he has been part of all his adult life. He’d had hits and flops, but his work was strong on story and drama, while Lloyd Webber shows are ninety percent spectacle. With Lloyd Webber now dominating Broadway, Beau feels that though he wants desperately to come back, he may no longer be able to.

     Through a lucky accident, he does get the chance. And that chance comes about primarily because in the story, he meets the woman of his dreams, an unlikely soul mate he first gets to know over the phone lines of a hotel switchboard. And gradually, conversation and shared interests lead to passion.

     Fortunately, finding your soul mate was not solely (no pun intended) an ‘80s phenomenon. It’s still very possible today, and while the big hair and great music of the ‘80s no longer preoccupy us every day, having that one special person walk into your life is something that, if it hasn’t already happened to you, I hope you’re at least dreaming of. Because dreaming of that person is the first step to finding them.

     Good luck!
 Book Blurb:
“How do you recognize your soulmate?
 In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.
 Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.
When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache ... until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.
STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.”
 STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
Oh, God, it was him, the bastard who had upset the switchboard operators and bellowed through the lobby loudly enough to alert all five boroughs. At three o'clock in the morning, asking for room service. Unbelievable.
 Amanda leaned back in her chair. Her stomach was tightening inexplicably. "I'm sorry," she said finally, when she could control her voice. "Room Service closes at midnight."
 There was a pause. "Oh. What time is it now?"
 She looked at her watch. "Ten after three."
 "Then whom am I speaking to?"
 "I'm the night operator.  This is the main switchboard."
"Well, main switchboard, you must all sound alike down there. I could swear I talked to you earlier tonight."
 Well, how about that. "You've got a good ear, 704. I was on duty earlier."
 "Good Lord. How long are the shifts around here?"
 "Eight hours for everybody else. I’m working a double today."
 "Maybe I just love it here."
 "I guess you do. But I hope you're well compensated."
 Trust a man to think of money first. "That’s not my major concern."
 "Glad to hear it."
 Okay, enough's enough.  It's been a long day, made even longer by him. No reason to shoot the breeze with this guy. "Excuse me, I have other callers. Sorry I couldn’t help you."
 "Well, better luck with them."
 "Look, if you'd called earlier—"
 "Absolutely. My fault entirely, for falling asleep after a cross-country flight, a time change and a screw-up in hotel administration. Forget I even mentioned it." The phone clicked in her ear.
    She sat for some moments before she noticed she was trembling. This was the second time he'd undermined her—and it bothered her.
Susan Sloate is the author of 20 published books, including FORWARD TO CAMELOT (with Kevin Finn), an alternative history of the JFK assassination, STEALING FIRE, an autobiographical love story, and REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre – the self-help novel.  FORWARD TO CAMELOT was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film production by a Hollywood company. STEALING FIRE was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including RAY CHARLES: FIND ANOTHER WAY!, which won a silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards, AMELIA EARHART: CHALLENGING THE SKIES, a perennial Amazon bestseller, and MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: THE SECRETS OF ALCATRAZ, which led to her appearance on a special for The History Channel in 2009, as well as books for five girls’ fiction series. As a screenwriter, she has written an informational film for McGraw-Hill Films and optioned two scripts to Hollywood production companies. As a sportswriter, she’s covered the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets. She’s also managed two recent political campaigns, founded the East Cooper Authors Festival (which put 18 professional authors in 17 area schools in one day) and serves on the Culture, Arts and Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant.
Susan is giving away a notebook that's perfect for journaling, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at: