Blog Tour: Stealing Fire by Susan Sloate, review, book soundtrack, characters bio...

 Stealing Fire By-Susan Sloate  Publication Date- July 12013 Blurb How do you recognize your soulmate? In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau ...


 Stealing Fire
By-Susan Sloate
 Publication Date- July 12013

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 2012 quarter-finalist in the amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.

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Excerpt


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."
     “Why?"
     "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.

Character Bio



AMANDA HARARY is my heroine. She’s 25 (this is 1982) but she’s not your typical twenty-something, not at all. She was raised with her mother’s thwarted dreams of singing on Broadway, and she’s carrying on her mother’s dreams. She loves old show music and really yearns for the kind of courtship and romance that existed years before - or at least, that her mother told her existed. She’s the assistant manager at a small New York hotel--that’s her day job, while she’s working on her singing career--and she’s very efficient and even-tempered on the job. Among her co-workers is a girl named Cherry, who’s about Amanda’s age, but they’re as different as night and day: Cherry is clearly a child of the ‘80s, while Amanda is a girl out of the ‘50’s. She’s the kind of young woman you can depend on--she’s honest, very hard-working and responsible, and terrific with the hotel guests. So it’s no surprise that she attracts Beau, who is high-strung, sensitive and has had a mostly unhappy life.



BEAU KELLOGG is my hero. He’s spent many years as a brilliant lyricist and librettist in the musical theater. (A librettist is the person who writes the story and script for a musical show.) So Beau is not just a poet who sets words to music, he also understands building story and characters and how to fit songs and story together to build an integrated whole. Beau has been in the theater since his 20’s, during the Golden Age of musicals, but he intended to retire years before, when it became clear his kind of musical was dying out. Unfortunately, his investments were lost in a stock-market crash, so he had to go back to work--and now he’s writing advertising jingles for L.A. ad agencies. He’s been successful at it, though he hates it, and when the story opens he’s being asked to meet with an agency in New York. A lyricist friend of his, also a Broadway show writer, got sick and dropped out of a big job, and recommended Beau for it. So Beau is coming to New York for meetings about a job he doesn’t want but knows he has to take, because the money is too good to turn down. His marriage is unhappy but inexorable; he can’t bear the thought of walking out on his wife, though his life with her is miserable. He’s a romantic as well, though it’s been many years since he’s allowed himself to think about that side of his life. He doesn’t know it, but he’s been waiting all his life to meet someone like Amanda.

My Review

When Beau meets Amanda...in B flat!

4 Tony-like Stars...

Hotness factor: Delicious...Delectable...Classy...De-lovely

Okay, before I start my usual sassy rant, I've got to put this out there. I read the blurb! I signed up to this tour because of the blurb. I love musicals, I grew up watching them Singin' In The Rain is my favorite movie, West Side Story and The Band Wagon, Viva Las Vegas, Top Hat...
Then I forgot what it was about and I didn't read it again until I realized that Beau and Amanda would be the couple. Don't judge me, I loved Up Close & Personal, who didn't? And Mr Redford was sixty when the movie came out...

This was the longest book I've read in quite a while but I really wanted to know how it ends.The story is set in 1983 in L.A. and New York but the heroes don't meet right away. The author made a point develop their backstories first. 
We learn a lot about Beau before he meets Amanda, he's married, he's a lyricist and he used to co-write successful musicals, he doesn't like Andrew Lloyd Webber (the horror!), he's sixty...he's not happy...HE'S MARRIED! Then you have Amanda, very young, living in New York, good at her job, dreaming of a singing career. It's not an usual courtship, the phone calls angle was very interesting as women (sorry for men reading this) we know that emotional relationship is the hardest. And when they finally meet meet...MAGIC!
I really enjoyed the chemistry between Amanda and Beau. their scenes together were so much fun to read. They're so well written I almost feel bad for disliking Beau Kellogg, the man. And this is a compliment to the author because she created this amazing character. Beau Kellogg became very real to me this past week. I found him a very immature for a sixty year old man and quite in denial sometimes. A bit of a diva... I don't like to put any spoiler in my reviews so I would only say this. Toward the end of the book I really wanted to physically hurt him!  Susan Sloate thank you for the rush! LOL 
I don't have a lot to say about Amanda, for me Beau was the star of the show. The plots, twists and turns were more about him than her...like I said a real diva :) She's young and naive but only twenty-five so had a good excuse. Also if a Robert-Redford-like man (yes I'm sticking to this one) comes your way with swagger and talent are you going to turn him down? I think NOT!
I leave you with this food for thoughts. If Amanda was his age or God forbid if he was hers, would they have connected the way they did? Him as a twenty-five year old ambitious... Things happen for a reason Beau!Okay go get your copy and let me know what you think about Mr Kellogg. 
I highly recommend the read. 
**** I received an ARC for an honest review **** 

Book Soundtrack


It would be lots of old romantic songs (think movie soundtracks, like BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S) and plenty of Broadway show music! 

Since the novel is set in the 1982-83, the soundtrack would only have music that was available at that time. (This would eliminate a lot of music that we associate with the ‘80s, like the soundtracks from TOP GUN and FLASHDANCE, which weren’t released till years later.) We might JUST be able to use Marian’s Theme from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, since it came out in 1981. But I’m really finicky about historical details and not sticking anachronisms into my work, so if it wasn’t publicly available in 1982, I wouldn’t use it.

There’s one song, though, that I’d throw in just for sentimental reasons. STEALING FIRE is based on an incident from my life, and while it was occurring, I had just heard the song “Back on the Chain Gang” on the radio. I got it and played it again and again, and to this day, when I hear that song I think of that time in my life. Needless to say, I’ve always loved it. 

Also, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer who wrote CATS and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, among many other shows, is mentioned several times in the story, because his shows and their big production values made it almost impossible for Beau, my hero, to return to Broadway writing the kind of shows he used to. Consequently, Beau hates him, and so does my heroine, Amanda (not just because of Beau but because she doesn’t like glitzy productions either - she’s all about the music and lyrics). So though his music certainly fits into the era, we would have NO Andrew Lloyd Webber songs on this soundtrack!


About the Author




Susan Sloate is the author or co-author of more than 20 books, including Realizing You(with Ronald Doades), a recent self-help novel, and the 2003 #6 Amazon bestseller, Forward to Camelot (with Kevin Finn), which took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned by a Hollywood company for film production.
She has written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including the children’s biography Ray Charles: Find Another Way!, which was honored in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards. Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz led to her 2009 appearance on the TV series MysteryQuest on The History Channel. Amelia Earhart: Challenging the Skies is a perennial young-adult Amazon bestseller. She has also been a sportswriter and screenwriter, managed two recent political campaigns, and founded an author’s festival in her hometown outside Charleston, SC.
Stealing Fire was a Quarter-Finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and combines autobiographical experience with her lifelong love of the musical theater. She is proud to be distantly related to Broadway legend Fred Ebb, the lyricist for Cabaret,Chicago, All That Jazz and New York, New York.

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Post a Comment

  1. Danielle-Claude, thanks for hosting me today - and for the lovely review! You're not the first to hate Beau (!), but I'm glad you found him so real. (And yes, he actually was - I didn't have to make up a lot for this novel!) And I'm right there with you about the musicals - in my next life I'm coming back as Cyd Charisse!

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    Replies
    1. I'll come back as Gene Kelly's anything his pet, door, chair, wife, wife... LOL I love flawed characters, they are fun to write and fun to read.

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    2. Totally agree - to me he was the sexiest man alive forever!! Wow! BTW, your review is so fantastic, would you consider posting it on Amazon and Goodreads so others can see it? I would really, really appreciate it!

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    3. I always do :) it's on GR and amazon UK but I can also put on on amazon US if you like

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    4. Oh, yes, please! Amazon UK doesn't have nearly the reach that Amazon US does - by all means, post it there - and thanks!

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  2. STEALING FIRE is a wonderful read. The romance between Amanda and Beau is defiantly a love story for the ages, we don't get to read many like this. It was hard to put this book down. A real page turner and tear jerkier.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary Lou! Making my readers happy is a definite high for me; so glad you enjoyed it!

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