Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stealing Fire by Susan Sloate (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Stealing Fire by author Susan Sloate!

Author Guest Post

Out of the Ether
By: Susan Sloate

There’s a phenomenon a lot of writers don’t talk about, because none of us can explain it, and it’s not something we can make happen at will: it just does. But I’ve taken a poll among my writer friends, and they say it’s happened to them too, and to other writers they know. It’s happened in one very famous example to a nineteenth-century writer. So I’m not alone here.

So I’m going to take the bull by the horns and reveal it here. Readers deserve to know it. But don’t tell anyone, okay? William Goldman famously said, “All writers are crazy. Even the normal ones are weird.” Well, this isn’t something I’d consider normal.

We all know that it’s hard to explain creativity. We don’t know where it comes from, we don’t know how it works, and except for sitting down and inviting the muse in, we don’t know how to make it happen. But sometimes we’re creative in a way that defies any kind of sense. Because once in awhile…and it doesn’t happen often… a writer can find himself writing something that will then actually happen. And what happens is far beyond our control.

In 1898 a novelist named Morgan Robertson wrote a novella called FUTILITY, about the world’s greatest luxury ocean liner called the Titan setting off on a voyage in the North Atlantic in the month of April. The Titan is supposed to be unsinkable, so it carries an insufficient number of lifeboats. The ship hits an iceberg and sinks, and many of its passengers die.

Sound familiar? Of course. It’s the story of the Titanic, right?

Yes—except the novella was published in 1898. And the Titanic didn’t set off on its maiden voyage until April 1912. It wasn’t even built till the year before. And Robertson had nothing to do with the White Star Line, the company that commissioned it. It’s one of the strangest parts of Titanic folklore.

Even more strangely, Robertson also wrote a short story in 1914 called “Beyond the Spectrum”, which described a future war between Japan and the US in which the Japanese did not declare war but started by launching sneak attacks in the area of the Philippines and Hawaii in the month of December (the site—and month—of the infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor). They then used a weapon invented by the Americans which caused a brilliant light and flash and terrible burns, which some have compared to the atomic bomb.

Robertson died in 1915, long before World War II.

How could he know?

The same thing happened to me. As a teenager, my first long finished project was a three-act play whose main characters were based on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The play begins with their last appearance together, onstage at a famous New York nightclub, and ends years later with their eventual reunion onstage live at one character’s long-running telethon.

I finished the play in July 1976. Six weeks later, on the Labor Day Telethon, Dean Martin made a surprise appearance (it’s famous; look it up on YouTube) and was reunited with Jerry Lewis.

I had no way of knowing. I also had no way of knowing at the time that their last appearance together actually was at a famous New York nightclub (the Copacabana). I just picked the idea out of the ether; it seemed to work dramatically, so I used it.

That’s where, I think, you’ll find a lot of our inspiration as writers. It’s out there in the ether, and we can’t explain it. A thought here, a second thought there, and something connects them; and there’s the beginning of a story. What seems logical, or is some kind of wish fulfillment, is what we follow. And it ends up turning out that way in real life.

I have never claimed any kind of psychic powers, but the act of writing is mystical and filled with marvelous and unexplained things. Maybe being a writer just means picking the right combination, out there in the ether, and putting them together. I’ve written other work that seems to have come true as well. I don’t talk about it much.

But when you’re reading a writer’s work, some of those magical connections may just be there. You never know.

So keep reading. What you find may be something marvelous and unexplainable.

About The Author

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.

Stealing Fire by Susan Sloate ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Goddess Fish Promotions

Book Review

Stealing Fire by Susan Sloate
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 320 pages / Kindle - 653 KB / Nook - 372 KB
ISBN: 1935970127
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Stealing Fire

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

“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.

Book 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."


"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.

My Book Review:

Stealing Fire by author Susan Sloate is a poignant May-December love story of soul mates meeting that transcends time. This emotional tale follows the journey of Amanda Harary, a young actress/singer who works in a NY hotel and dreams of starring on Broadway, whose path crosses with sixty year old Beau Kellogg, a former Broadway composer/lyricist turned writer of advertising jingles. A late-night phone conversation between them over the hotel's switchboard leads to the beginning of an unlikely love affair that will leave the reader believing in soul mates, magic, and love at first sight.

Set in the 1980s with a broadway theme that transports the reader between NY and LA, author Susan Sloate captivates the reader's attention with this beautiful love story that tugs at the heartstrings. This is a bittersweet tale of a young woman who aspires to star on Broadway, and an aging former Broadway composer who yearns for one more Broadway hit to rejuvenate his disappointing life. Their journey brings a mixture of joy, love, success, and heartbreak ... but their connection lasts a lifetime. Stealing Fire is reminiscent of Somewhere In Time and Autumn In New York, both which I loved, so it was not surprising that this story would capture my heart and keep me eagerly turning the pages as Amanda and Beau's love story unfolds.

Stealing Fire is a love story that will appeal to all romantics at heart. It takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride as these two unlikely lovers deal with life's trials and tribulations. You can't help but feel for both Amanda and Beau, the emotional pull between them is breathtaking, while the agony of their life choices is haunting. Author Susan Sloate weaves a wonderful tale of true love that will have you feeling the full gamut of emotions, it will make your pulse race, and leave a lump in your throat with its bittersweet yet satisfying conclusion.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A Journal Notebook

Author Susan Sloate will be awarding a notebook perfect for journaling to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here:


  1. Kathleen -- Thanks so much for hosting me today, and for the BEAUTIFUL review! I'm so happy you enjoyed the book!

    1. Hi Susan! Stealing Fire was a breathtaking love story, that kept me captivated. It's not often that I give 5 star reviews, but this story deserved it, there isn't enough words to say how beautiful a story it is. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)

    2. Kathleen -- Thank you so much! Comments like this mean the world to an author! I will be touring with Goddess Fish again in November, for FORWARD TO CAMELOT: 50th Anniversary Edition (signups are starting now). Would LOVE to have you host again, if you're so inclined, and review that novel as well - it's a time-travel thriller that has gotten GREAT response from readers, and though very different from STEALING FIRE, I think you would enjoy it. Also, my third novel, REALIZING YOU, will also be on tour in November (I think) with my partner, Ron Doades. Would love you to host that as well (that one is a self-help novel, a whole new genre). In any case, thank you again for your lovely review; I hope we'll be seeing each other again soon!

    3. I am going to have to check out the sign -up link, I have a pretty full Nov virtual book tour schedule, but I'll check the available dates. :)

    4. Thank you, that would be wonderful! Because it's about the JFK assassination and because next month is the 50th anniversary of the event, we want all the exposure we can get!

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, Bobbye Hope! Glad you enjoyed it!

    2. Thank you Bobbye for visiting with Susan. :)