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Who is Caroline’s Roger in NEED ME?

Everyone has different ideas on the perfect hero in a book. The wonderful thing about fiction? You can literally make the person anyone you choose. For me, there isn’t a perfect “type” of look when it comes to the right character. There is, however, a perfect chemistry. That’s what makes the book work. The man can be wild and crazy, or sedate and methodical. It really doesn’t matter as long as his personality works with hers. The only key element to a story’s success is that he becomes the protective, caring, alpha type where she’s concerned.

In Need Me, my hero’s name is Roger. A nice, sedate name for a seemingly nice and sedate guy. He’s the complete opposite of Caroline and that’s what draws them together in the beginning. She is everything he hopes to be and he feels stronger and better around her.

Unfortunately, life steps in and tears them apart. He continues plodding along his sedate and reliable path while she goes off to conquer the world as a journalist.

While she’s gone, he evolves into a much more interesting man with all sorts of great attributes that compliment what she liked about him in the beginning.

What would a guy like that look like? I decided to poll the internet in search of my Roger and realized the search criteria wasn’t very helpful. How do you search for pictures of “hot but stable guy” or “decent, nice guy” and not get a bunch of crazy things? I decided to survey Hollywood. If Roger were depicted in a movie, who would play his part? Okay, I have to admit it’s a little easier to find that type of guy because actors are plastered all over the internet. In truth, my Roger wouldn’t really want his pictures “out there”. But I did find a few actors that would certainly fit the idea of Roger and almost be suitable for Caroline, my heroine.

Here are the actors that carry the physical traits that come to mind:

  1. Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson, like he looked here on this blog is great. http://www.popcrunch.com/did-the-oscars-snub-robert-pattinson/

Or here on the Dior ads: http://www.eonline.com/news/429782/robert-pattinson-s-dior-commercial-get-the-exclusive-details

But definitely NOT this Robert Pattinson: http://www.asos.com/women/fashion-news/2014_11_14-fri/robert-pattinson-reveals-major-new-hair-cut/

OR the one that’s ghostly pale and sparkling in the Twilight movies. No, Roger isn’t that, um, shiny?

  1. Then there’s Ryan Reynolds.

My daughter thinks he’s awesome and perfect in everything he does. This Ryan Reynolds is certainly charming and funny—like Roger: http://celebritybabies.people.com/2015/01/25/ryan-reynolds-daughter-breastfeeding-mississippi-grind-sundance-film-festival/

But this one is way too…perfect: http://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=491210

Caroline’s Roger is nice but he’s not perfect, unusual, or even concerned with his looks.

Wait….forget Robert Pattinson and Ryan Reynolds.

The man that could play Roger any day and every day? Definitely Ryan Gosling. Even on his worst day – he’s Caroline’s Roger. What do you think?

 

ryan gosling

 

Of course, Richard or Ryan would work too if this ever became a movie.

NEED ME Blurb

NeedMeAspiring journalist Caroline Sanders doesn’t have time for frat parties and college keggers—not even when the gorgeous Roger Freeman climbs into her car unexpectedly one night on campus. The two are inexplicably drawn together but when Caroline’s offered a prestigious internship that could lead to a job at The New York Times, she leaves Roger behind for more serious prospects. Six years later, back home and starting a new career as a florist, she’s shocked to run into Roger again. He’s never forgotten the girl who left him to find herself, though he’s certainly tried. As the two begin seeing each other and grow closer, he finds it impossible to resist falling for her once more. What he doesn’t know is that Caroline’s life over the last few years has been filled with tragedy, and the adventurous and exciting woman he remembers is all but gone. Is Roger ready to risk his heart again, and is Caroline ready to trust him with her story?

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Kobo

Author Bio

Shelley K. Wall was born near Kansas City, the middle daughter of three. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with additional post graduate work there and at the University of Wyoming extension in Casper. She also holds a length career in Information Technology.

Her first release, Numbers Never Lie, debuted in 2012 and was an Amazon Bestseller. Other titles include Bring It On(2012), The Designated Drivers’ Club(2012), Flood Flash and Pheromones(2013), Chloe’s Secret(2013), Text Me(2014), and her latest release Find Me.

Shelley enjoys writing characters that deal with drama in a humorous way, situations that are believable even if intense, heroes and heroines that aren’t perfect, and villains that may have an inkling of redemption hidden away.

Website: http://shelleykwall.com

Blog: http://shelleykwall.wordpress.com

Twitter: @skwallbooks

MIST OF MIDNIGHT Review

My thoughts….3.5 stars    Amazon    Visit Sandra

Returning to her family estate after twenty years in India and the loss of her missionary parents in The Mutiny, Rebecca Ravenshaw doesn’t expect to discover an imposter has not only preceded her but also passed away, leaving a mystery in her wake.Now Rebecca must prove her claim and adjust alone and friendless to what feels like a foreign land rather than home.

There are obvious differences in MIST OF MIDNIGHT and the Gothic’s I’ve read in the past. MIST OF MIDNIGHT doesn’t have the dark, oppressive, air of foreboding they all had in common. Rebecca’s movements are less restricted also. Rather than being confined to an isolated manor house or small village with few characters, MIST OF MIDNIGHT has Rebecca visiting the large village of Winchester to shop and see to errands, attending functions and balls, hosting picnics, being called on and making calls, and even venturing to London. In addition to these differences, there was no point where I believed Rebecca’s life was truly in peril; her well being and security perhaps but never her life. However, there is a lack of certainty regarding who is trustworthy. Who’s a friend and who’s a foe? I questioned each characters actions, honor, and possible motive(s).

The central mystery involves Rebecca’s impersonator and her death. Who was this woman? How did she manage to arrive and lay claim to Headbourne and Rebecca’s monies before Rebecca could even obtain safe passage from India after the Mutiny? What happened to the woman’s Indian maid? Was her death truly self murder or did someone remove her for their own self serving reasons?

There are whispers and obvious snubs surrounding Luke, Captain Whitfield, dating from the imposter’s death and burial. As a distant relative her death benefited him greatly. Is he what he appears or does his friendly, thoughtful exterior hide sinister motives? Is Miss Delia Dainley’s offer of friendship and assistance genuine or are there strings attached? What about Rebecca’s French ladies maid, Michelene, who also served the imposter? What secrets is she hiding? The servants are borderline insubordinate with Rebecca excluding Landreth. What’s behind their manner? A plethora of questions for inquiring minds.

The defined, realistic characterizations are enhanced by Ms. Byrd’s incorporation of India, its culture, languages, and history into MIST OF MIDNIGHT. Its inclusion adds depth and historical interest, rounding out the story nicely. As to the ending (not the epilogue) I’m still of two minds.

I’d classify MIST OF MIDNIGHT as light gothic with strong historical element and authentic (formalized) romance. Nice change of pace from recent reads so I’m definitely on board for the next book in the series.

DARK BECOMING Review

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Amazon      Visit J.D.

My thoughts…4 stars

Ema Marx is back for more in DARK BECOMING #3. Readers pick up precisely where Dark Liaison left off, a big A+ for continuity.

Every time Ema slams a door another one opens with the opportunities for success or failure carrying ever weightier consequences.

Ema’s world, her existence, is as convoluted as ever. Nothing is simple in a world peopled, loosely speaking, with vampires, vampyres, shifters, and other beings from myth and nightmare made flesh. Trust is a chronic issue. What motives hide behind those offers of assistance? Does everyone double-deal and double-cross. Is everyone self-serving or do some truly work for the better good?

Ema’s only constants are the Princes and their diagnostically opposed feelings regarding her.

The love between her and Jesu despite its potential to be detrimental to them and their cause. Could she let him go if it meant saving him?

Jalmari’s hatred and never ceasing efforts to rid the world of Ema. He’ll stop at nothing, including Jesu, to kill her.

DARK BECOMING is kicking; featuring machinations, double crosses, schemes, and action aplenty as Ema and her cohorts traverse the decaying glory of Venice and the wilds of South America in a contractual effort with the Aplan monarchy to destroy Apollyon before he brings hell on earth to life.

Will Ema and her motley force win the day? What damning secrets are revealed? Just when you think you have it pegged Ms. Brown throws a curve or two at readers keeping Ema fresh and unpredictable. Keeping me on my toes justifies the wait between books.  Yep, still on board with Ema and waiting for #4.

Q&A with Alan Hruska ~ PARDON THE RAVENS

alan hruska

1. New York of 1961: Wall Street to Park Avenue to Queens. From the first few sentences of Pardon the Ravens, the New York setting charges the novel with that “Mad Men”-style energy. Did you ever consider setting the novel in a different time or city or was it always New York?

It was always New York, and it was always that period. The trial scenes are based loosely on cases I tried in the city in the sixties. What I know of the Mafia of the time comes principally from my working then on the Life and Esquire magazine series regarding the mob, which actually put me in contact with mob figures. Compared with today, Manhattan of the sixties had materially different attitudes and values, different tones, colors, styles and sounds, and very different opportunities – and those elements are essential to this story. For example, it was then possible (even if unusual) for a young associate in a large firm to try a high-profile case – the sort featured daily on the front pages of the New York Times. (I know this, because I did it – specifically, the tetracycline price-fixing litigation, and the American Express salad oil case.) Today, no litigation of that importance would be entrusted to someone who was not a partner in the firm.

2. As a second-year associate, Alec gets the opportunity of a lifetime to try a huge fraud case making international headlines. You’ve worked with presidents of both parties, cabinet members, U.S. Senators and the heads of some of the country’s most important institutions, public and private. How did your experience with such high-profile matters inspire Alec’s experience in Pardon the Ravens?

I never take too literally the advice that one should write about only what one knows. However, in writing about the “big case” experience, it probably helps to have had some. And, no doubt, the story of this book occurred to me because I lived those experiences.

3. In the beginning of Pardon the Ravens, Alec’s vision of trials is influenced by the movies. He almost sees himself acting out a role. As a film director and screenwriter, do you see any of the scenes in Pardon the Ravens like a movie? Are there any particular scenes you would love to see on film?

I have seen some of them on film. About ten years ago I wrote a screenplay for a movie, called The Warrior Class, that premiered in 2006. I’d always felt, however, that there was more story to tell than could be fit into a 98-minute film. Hence the book, which I started about two years ago. The new title reflects that it’s a bigger story with more developed themes. Were I to re-shoot the movie, it would probably encompass at least some of the new material of the book.

4. The novel’s dialogue is fast-paced and grabs the reader’s undivided attention–much like a screenplay. Do you think your screenwriting experience influences your writing style? How does your writing process change from writing a screenplay to a novel?

I would guess most writers write the kind of books they like to read. I especially enjoy stories about relationships – romantic and otherwise, brief, long, and among people of all sorts – told mainly through what the characters have to say. Obviously, actions and descriptions are critically important, but how the characters express themselves – consistently or in conflict with their acts – seems to hold my interest even longer.

For that reason, the stories I write form themselves around the dialogue. The easiest rendition of such a tale is a screenplay. Even if I write the novel first, therefore, an unwritten screenplay will (in effect) be in my head as I write it. And apart from the relative ease of writing a screenplay, the process is essentially the same for play (screen or stage) and novel. If the characters are real, they will tell you the story. You may bring them together in a situation of your imagination, but they will take over, and the rest is like taking dictation from them.

5. The novel has so many different perspectives–Alec to Poole to Carrie to Vito. Some perspectives are a bit darker than others. Do you have a favorite perspective to write from?

Not really. Though Wrong Man Running was, necessarily, first person singular, I mostly like writing from different POVs.

6. Alec Brno is a kid from Queens with an unpronounceable last name who works his way through Yale Law. You’re a native New Yorker who also attended Yale Law before returning to the New York area to start your own successful law career. Did you draw on your own experience in crafting Alec’s character? What parts of yourself do you see in Alec?

I believe any character in any work of fiction has characteristics you will find in the author. Alec Brno may have more such characteristics than most – though autobiographical he most certainly is not. As for particular similarities to myself, I’d say Alec’s faults are doubtless mine, and his good qualities my aspirations.

save the ravensPardon the Ravens is a fast-paced legal thriller from the author of Wrong Man Running and the writer and director of films, Nola, The Warrior Class, Reunion, and The Man on Her Mind. Alan Hruska tells the gripping story of what happens when a man lets his heart get in the way of his business affairs – and the consequences of crossing the head of organized crime in New York City during the Mad Men era.

Gifted young lawyer Alec Brno is given the chance of a lifetime to try a huge fraud case making international headlines a case that might make him partner in his prestigious law firm. But he risks it all when he falls for an alluring young woman whose enraged husband is a sadistic Mafia don – and the criminal mastermind behind Alec’s case.

Suddenly, Alec finds himself caught between saving the woman he’s fallen for, pleasing the partners of his firm – and trying not to get killed in the process. This riveting ride blasts through Wall Street, the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods and worlds where sex, drugs and unsolved murders hide behind every façade. PARDON THE RAVENS will grab you and not let go until the last page.

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“Hruska really knows how to write- fan of legal-thriller stars like John Grisham, John Lescroart, William Lashner and especially Scott Turow will want to add this novel to their must-read lists.” —Booklist on Pardon the Ravens

Grisham is a name that always pops up when speaking about legal thrillers…And it is pleasing to say that Hruska has most definitely put himself in that arena…this former trial lawyer has continued to create excellent and intriguing reads.”

Suspense Magazine on Pardon the Ravens

Beautifully written and beautifully imagined, this dark, spiraling, Kafkaesque nightmare might be the best psychological suspense you’ll read this year or this decade.”
—Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels, on Wrong Man Running

Alan Hruska's PARDON THE RAVENS

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a Q&A session with Alan.

save the ravens

Pardon the Ravens is a fast-paced legal thriller from the author of Wrong Man Running and the writer and director of films, Nola, The Warrior Class, Reunion, and The Man on Her Mind. Alan Hruska tells the gripping story of what happens when a man lets his heart get in the way of his business affairs – and the consequences of crossing the head of organized crime in New York City during the Mad Men era.

Gifted young lawyer Alec Brno is given the chance of a lifetime to try a huge fraud case making international headlines  a case that might make him partner in his prestigious law firm. But he risks it all when he falls for an alluring young woman whose enraged husband is a sadistic Mafia don – and the criminal mastermind behind Alec’s case.

Suddenly, Alec finds himself caught between saving the woman he’s fallen for, pleasing the partners of his firm – and trying not to get killed in the process. This riveting ride blasts through Wall Street, the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods and worlds where sex, drugs and unsolved murders hide behind every façade. PARDON THE RAVENS will grab you and not let go until the last page.

Amazon  B&N   BAM

alan hruskaAlan Hruska writes and directs films and plays, and is a novelist and book publisher. Alan’s first film, Nola, released by Samuel Goldwyn in 2003, was chosen in a Best of Tribeca program for presentation to the troops in Kuwait and Qatar. His second film, The Warrior Class, premiered in the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2006 and is distributed by Echo Bridge.  Reunion, his third film, was released in New York in 2009. All three films ran on Showtime and are available for streaming on various Internet outlets.  His fourth film, The Man On Her Mind, was theatrically released in 2014 and will soon be available on Netflix and iTunes.

Alan was also Associate Executive Producer of the documentary, Trumbo, Co-Producer of the film, Handsome Harry, and Executive Producer of Tiger Lily Road.

Alan began his theatrical life in 2005 by directing an off-Broadway revival of Waiting for Godot, developed at the Actors Studio. The New York Times called Hruska’s Godot  “a pleasure,” and The New York Post, “an admirable production” having  “just the right mixture of pathos and comic bluster.” Alan’s own play, New House Under Construction, which he also directed, ran at the 59 E 59 Theaters in 2008-09.  The Man On Her Mind, a play he wrote, directed by Bruce Guthrie, was produced in 2012 at the Charing Cross Theatre in London.

In 1985, Doubleday published Alan’s first novel, Borrowed Time.  The following year, Alan co-founded the New York book publishing company, Soho Press, of which Alan is still Chairman.  In 2011, Alan’s second novel, Wrong Man Running, was published in the U.K. and the U.S.A. by the British publisher, Severn House, and worldwide by Thomas & Mercer.  His third novel, Pardon The Ravens, will be published in February 2015 by Prospect Park Books.

In an earlier life, Alan was a trial lawyer, representing many individuals and institutions, public and private.  He was also president of several professional organizations and a member of various commissions and community boards.  He is now a director of the Lark Play Development Center in New York and a member of the Actors Studio, Playwrights and Directors Unit.

*FILMS* *PLAYS*

The Man on Her Mind, 2014 (Writer & Director) The Man on Her Mind, 2012 (Writer)

Tiger Lily Road, 2013 (Executive Producer) New House Under Construction, 2008-2009 Reunion, 2009 (Writer & Director) (Writer & Director)

Handsome Harry, 2009 (Co-producer) Waiting for Godot, 2005 (Director)

Underground, 2007 (Executive Producer)

Trumbo, 2007 (Co-executive producer)

The Warrior Class, 2006 (Writer & Director)

Nola, 2004 (Writer & Director)

Happy Endings Are A Myth w/ Jude Knight

One of the criticisms I’ve heard of romance novels is that they have happy endings, and ‘happy endings are not realistic’.

The critics are, of course, quite right. Happy endings do not happen in reality. And neither do sad endings. In fact, endings of any kind are a totally artificial construct. My personal story didn’t begin with my conception; my conception was simply an event in the story of my parents, and my story is an integral part of that. Nor will it end at my death. What I’ve made (children, garden, quilts, books) will carry on after me.

Whenever we write and whatever we write, we impose an artificial structure on reality. We choose a point and call that the beginning. And we choose another point and call that the end.

In the continuing story that was the life of my fictional character Stephen Redepenning (the hero of Farewell to Kindness), I could have chosen a different place to start and to stop. I could, perhaps, have started with the intrepid young adventurer boarding a ship for Canada. I could have followed with the adventure of his life as he found a place in the wilderness, entered into a trade agreement with locals that he sealed by marrying one of their daughters, and built his own small fur trapping empire. I could have ended as he stood in the smoking ruins of his log cabin, looking at the graves of his wife and children and swearing vengeance on their murderers.

It might have been a good story. But it isn’t the part of his life that I chose to tell.

I like stories that end on an upward trajectory, not a downward trajectory. If I like the protagonists, I want them to have hope. I want to feel that they have a chance for a happy future. To me, the end of the story is more about the writer giving me food for what happens next. In my imagination, the story continues.

(And, if I don’t like the protagonists, I have no objection to someone else in the story having the happy ending. Hamlet’s tragedy turned out rather well for Fortinbras.)

The romance novel’s ‘happily ever after’ is not about perfect resolution of all problems; it’s about convincing the reader that the protagonists will support each other through whatever problems arise. Romeo and Juliet was always going to be a tragedy, not because the lovers died, but because of the type of character that Romeo was. If they’d lived, he would have been on to the next hot chick within a month or two.

But Bassanio and Portia, in the Merchant of Venice, face trials together and win through, and we’re confident that they’ll be able to continue to do so.

I met my PRH at a prayer meeting nearly 46 years ago. Our lives together have hit rough patches here and there, with internal and external trials. But facing them as a couple has made us stronger. Whatever happens in the years left to us, we’ll cope. Now that’s a happy ending. 

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For three years, Rede has been searching Canada for those who ordered the murders of his wife and children. 
Now back in England, he has inherited an Earldom from his cousin George, and is close to finding the investors who ordered the deaths in an attempt to destroy Rede’s fur trading enterprise. He travels to his country estate in Longford, West Gloucestershire, to be close to the investigation. 
He does not need the distraction of an overwhelming longing for the lovely widow who lives in one of the cottages he owns. A widow, moreover, with a small daughter whose distinctive eyes mark her as George’s child. 
For six years, since the night Anne blackmailed George at arrow-point for an income and a place to live, she has been in hiding with her sisters and daughter. 
She hides from the scandal of her daughter’s conception. More importantly, she hides from the Earl of Selby, who has sinister plans for the sisters. He no longer has legal rights as guardian to the older sisters, but the youngest sister is still only 18. He cannot be allowed to find her. 
The last thing Anne needs is an inconvenient attraction to the local Earl. Rede is everything she has learned not to trust: a man, a peer, a Redepenning. If he finds out who she is, she may lose everything. 
As their attraction builds against a backdrop of the village Whitsun Week festivities, several accidents make Rede believe his enemies have found him, and leads Anne to wonder whether Selby has found her.

Jude Knight started writing fiction when she was still at school, but went on to spend many years as a commercial writer. She returned to writing fiction when her mother died two years ago.

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Jude’s first novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair —published just before Christmas in 2014—hit several Amazon Jude Knightbestseller lists in both the US and the UK, at one point reaching the top 2 in the US and the very top in the UK. 2015 is the year of the novel. Jude will publish in April, September, and December. She is also part of a collaborative group of writers, the Bluestocking Belles, so watch for their boxed sets.

In Jude’s books, you’ll find strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, and villains you’ll love to loathe. The novel plots tend towards the gothic, with a leavening of humour.

Jude thinks her Mum would like them.

Farewell to Kindness (On prerelease, on sale from 1 April 2015)

Price: US99c to 8 April 2015; USD3.49 from 9 April 2015