“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.
The phones were ringing off the hook, and it was after three. And Amanda was tired.
She disposed of all the calls; she didn't think she could be bright and bubbling tonight. As she started to put down her headset, she realized she'd left one call on hold; the red light winked tantalizingly at her. She pushed the button, and was startled to hear a light, clear whistle delicately sounding one of her favorite old songs.
For a moment, she just listened. Then she started to hum along, filling in the words where she could remember them.
The whistling stopped, and the voice she'd come to recognize and dread pushed out at her. "So you know it."
"It's one of my favorites." She hummed a few more bars, hesitatingly. "I've known it for years."
"Remember the title?" It was a challenge.
"`Bursting Bubbles'." That was easy. She remembered the scratchy old record that Josie had broken years ago. Even now she felt a small pang at losing it. "From a show called The Life and Times."
"Well, well. I'm impressed. Two points for you."
"And for you, 704. Are you into trivia games?"
He chuckled. "So you know who I am. That makes you one up on me. I don't know who you are."
"Why do you want to know? Gonna complain to the boss?"
"I wanted to thank you. I don't often have a chocolate shake for breakfast, but it really hit the spot this morning. I never get service like this, not even at the Lorelei."
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.
Review: Stealing Fire
Author: Susan Sloate
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
American release date: July 5, 2013
Format/Genre/Length: Ebook/M/F May/December Romance/320 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
At one time, Beau Kellogg’s lyrics set the musical stage aflame, producing hit after hit after hit. But musicals have changed with time, it’s the 1980’s now, and at the age of sixty, Beau finds himself not exactly in demand, reduced to writing jingles for soft drinks and living in LA, when once he called New York home. But he does it because it’s the wish of his wife of many years, even though she no longer lights his fire.
Amanda Harary is a young wannabe singer who pays for her music lessons by working at the Lorelei Hotel in New York. In her mid-twenties, Amanda is an old soul in a young body. She knows all the old musicals by heart, and is especially fond of one that is long out of production, The Life and Times. With lyrics by Beau Kellogg.
Fate in the form of a soft drink jingle and an army buddy who owns a hotel bring these two together, and over the telephone they form a connection, and find themselves talking for hours at a time, never running out of things to say.
When they finally meet in person, there is an undeniable attraction between them. But is that enough when there is such a gap in age and experience? When Beau is married and not even available? Are there really such things as soul mates, and once we find that person, how hard should we cling in the face of incredible odds?
Reading Stealing Fire was like watching an old time musical unfold before me. In an old movie I watched once about screen writers, one of them, Jimmy Cagney, says there is a basic formula for romances: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. And that is so true here as you follow these two through the ups and downs of their relationships, on the edge of your seat and praying for their happiness.
Susan Sloate creates memorable characters in Beau and Amanda. The story is told primarily through their eyes. Beau is yearning for what he once had with his writing, although he’s given up on having true love... until he meets Amanda. Amanda works her fingers to the bone between her job at the hotel and working to fulfill her dreams of being a singer. These were people that I thought about even when my Kindle was closed, thinking ahead to what might happen next. I came to love them, and to wish only the best for them.
Supporting characters include Beau’s unfaithful wife, his current writing partner, Jules, and his past partner, Ben, who is dying and knows it, as well as Amanda’s boss and her friends. Amanda has a mother who can’t see her daughter for who she is, too caught up in her other daughter, who is a thoroughly unworthy object of her affection. It’s impossible not to like Beau and Amanda and root for them, even if the odds seem stacked against them.
Stealing Fire is about working for what you want, believing in yourself, and never giving up on your dreams, even if you have to rebuild them. I enjoyed reading this very much and would recommend it if you like good old-fashioned romance with heart.