Writing What I Know: The Backstage World of a Working Actor by Kathryn Leigh Scott (Giveaway & Guest Post)

Writing What I Know: The Backstage World of a Working Actor by Kathryn Leigh Scott (Giveaway & Guest Post)

Kathryn Leigh Scott, author, publisher and actress is probably best known for her star turn as Josette Du Pres, ingénue bride of reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins in the TV cult classic “Dark Shadows.” Her third novel, Jinxed (a Jinx Fogarty Mystery) (Februrary 2015), is a stand alone sequel to the successful Down and Out in Beverly Heels (Montlake Romance, 2013). While continuing her acting career, Kathryn launched Pomegranate Press to publish books about the entertainment industry, “Dark Shadows” fan books, and other nonfiction and fiction titles. She continues her acting career playing George Segal’s girlfriend Miriam in “The Goldbergs and will appear in the 2015 mid-season launch of  “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Read Love Romance Passion’s review of Down and Out in Beverly Heels.

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The old adage “write what you know” certainly applies to me, with my twin careers as a writer and an actor. My mystery romance series is set in Hollywood and features a veteran actress, Meg Barnes, who once starred in a popular TV series playing amateur sleuth, Jinx Fogarty. I began my career as an actress playing Josette DuPres in the classic Gothic daytime series “Dark Shadows,” which has a cult following to this day. I completely relate to Meg Barnes, who knows that no matter what other roles she plays in her career, she will always be known as Jinx Fogarty. Thanks to my role playing the fiancé of vampire Barnabas Collins, I will always be remembered as Josette.

I wrote my first romance novel, Dark Passages, with a wink and a nod to “Dark Shadows,” but made the ingénue actress a real vampire struggling to live a normal life among mortals. Of course she fell in love with her leading man, a handsome Brit actor not at all happy to find himself cast as a vampire in a television series! Yes, I had a lot of fun drawing on what was so familiar to me from “Dark Shadows,” but even though I drew on my experiences as a young actress doing a live television soap in the 1960s, the story I created is entirely fictional. Nothing in the plot of Dark Passages ever happened in the real behind-the-scenes world of “Dark Shadows”—and I certainly wasn’t a vampire! But how delicious to set my imagination free and explore “what if” I was a vampire and fell in love with a mortal. I already have the plotline for the sequel—and yes, despite the complications, she and her leading man are finding true love together.

I draw on everything I’ve experienced in my career as an actress working in theater, film and television to write the mystery romance series featuring Meg Barnes as Jinx Fogarty. Meg is a beloved actress who has enjoyed considerable success, winning an Emmy for her portrayal of Jinx Fogarty, and lives an enviable life until she falls for the wrong man. Her second husband turns out to be a conman and she loses everything, including friends, career, home and reputation, and ends up living on the streets of Beverly Hills in her “Ritz-Volvo.” She uses everything she’s ever learned playing an amateur sleuth to track down her fugitive husband and find redemption—and love with the right man, a handsome FBI agent, who at first suspects her of being an accomplice in her husband’s fraud.

I know the behind-the-scenes world Hollywood well, and the sound stages where I continue to work in such popular television series as “The Goldbergs” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” In my newly-released novel Jinxed, the sequel to Down and Out in Beverly Heels, Meg finds herself on the comeback trail with a new series—and facing an old adversary, who jeopardizes her life and a chance at redeeming all that she’s lost. I know how precarious the career of a working actor can be and I pour all of what I’ve personally experienced, from the bitter disappointments to the heights of exhilaration, into the fictional world of Meg Barnes.

Links

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Facebook

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Buy: Jinxed (A Jinx Fogarty Mystery)

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Kathryn is giving away two Jinx Fogarty Mystery packages – each has a copy of Jinxed and Down and Out in Beverly Heels! US/CAN winner gets print (signed) or digital copies; winners from other countries receive digital copies only.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter Form below to enter!

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Review: Killer Heels by Tracy Tegan

Review: Killer Heels by Tracy Tegan

killer heelsReviewed by Cara Lynn

This was a short book compared to some.

Devlin Manning is a Hollywood actor. He has more girls throw themselves at him than he cares to think about.

And then he meets a girl that draws his attention who waits on him in a local coffee shop — and she disappears. All efforts to find her, to see her again, are in vain.

Then he sees her at the party of one of Hollywood’s most influential producers. Unfortunately Ray is connected to the mafia, and when Devlin returns later that night for his cell phone, he is mercilessly beaten. And how does it all connect with the woman who disappears again?

Later her friend tells Devlin that she has said (on a burner phone) that he is the only one that can find her. She is as enamored of him as he is with her, but she needs to be safe. So he begins the search in earnest.

I would call this romantic suspense, but there is really no sex in the book. If it’s going to be a gentle, almost unrequited love story, I was put off by him calling his member a c&*k. It didn’t seem like it fit.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Killer Heels

Audio Review: A Passionate Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

passionate affairSummary: Charley Lambert wants the perfect life and thinks she has the perfect career. Which is great for her because she is a workaholic who lusts for her boss. He’s hot, they click, and he’s a damn good flirt. But it’s been seven years! So when she breaks her leg, finds out her boss is getting married, and must take time off from perfect job – Charley searches for something to fill the void. Her friends guide her to the perfect hobby – providing online dating help to the luckless women out on the web. She does their flirting for them and they get to meet the guys they think are great. Charley’s friend and roommate, Sam is an actor wannabe who loves women and junk food. They’ve friend-zoned each other long before the story starts. He helps her with her get her business started. It’s fun and smooth-sailing until Charley falls for a guy she’s helping another woman snag.

Review (with spoilers): So it was clear to me from the start of the sequence for the online-dating that Sam was going to be perfect for Charley. They both just didn’t know it. I never liked Charley’s boss (what kind of guy claims to like a woman for seven years and never ask her out and what kind of woman waits seven years to be asked out?) – and his behavior and general smarmy attitude just didn’t work for me. Sam was very immature at the start and grows into a better guy through a series of events in the novel. My favorite sequence was Charley falling in love with Sam and Sam with Charley but both thinking they were falling for a stranger on the internet and ghost-writing for a client. Loved it.

Narrator: Cathleen McCarron’s voice is very distinct and so is the Scottish accent. On one hand she was a great narrator lending Charley some maturity when needed and levity when needed. On the other hand Cathleen was sometimes difficult to listen to as it seemed like she read slower in certain parts.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger

Review: Sonora Sundown (Americana, Book 3) by Janet Dailey

sonora sundownHero: Jim Corbett is a famous movie star. His specialty is Westerns and he plays a fine cowboy on and off the silver screen. While filming he retreats to his ranch and on this particular night decided to camp out under the stars. Imagine his surprise and frustration when a young woman enters his camp. She must be a groupie or a reporter. However as it turns out the girl doesn’t seem to recognize him and that alone intrigues him and takes him out of his cynical circular thought.

Heroine: Lost in the desert, without her horse, Brandy stumbles upon a dangerous looking man. He might be a cattle rustler, but he’s her only hope of getting through the ordeal in one piece. She knows her parents will be worried, she just hopes she makes it back before the search parties are sent. Her witless behavior catches the eye of the cattle rustler (who is actually not what he appears) much to her surprise. Of course she finds him gorgeous, but how does one talk to someone famous?

Review: Sonora Sundown is a classic Harlequin setup with a May/December pairing. He’s famous(ly cynical); she’s the naïve ingénue. There were signs of jealousy as the costar LaRaine tried to break up the happy couple. It was a little slow and I never quite warmed up to the characters. I felt the heroine was a little unbalanced – she was an odd mix of independence and codependence. The hero was determined to give nothing away until his final (first) declaration of love, which again is a classic Harlequin element.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Sonora Sundown (Arizona) (Americana)

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Dirty Laundry and the Movie Star’s Wife

movie star's wifeGuest Blog by Liz Newman, author of The Movie Star’s Wife

Thank you so much, Keira, for having me as a guest at Love Romance Passion. Gentle Readers, thank you for stopping by. I’m really excited about this new romantic novella. It has been described by Amazon Vine Reviewer Geri Ahearn as “Sizzling, Compelling, Intriguing!” I am also hosting a giveaway. Simply leave a comment below and you will be eligible to win a $10 Amazon gift card, a free copy of The Movie Star’s Wife, or a box of delicious Helen Grace Mint Chocolate Truffles.

Juliet James, aka Julie Streets, is a former starlet married to one of the biggest action stars in history. He’s handsome, sexy, and her best friend. There’s only one thing keeping them from falling in love. Enter a world of glamour and riches where all of the indulgences of heaven are there for the taking, but the trappings of a marriage of convenience have made life a living hell. A chance meeting prompts Juliet to change her situation when she comes across a romantic interest she just can’t stay away from.

The genesis of this story was a discussion with girlfriends on how difficult it is to keep our private lives from the public sector, even when that public sector is only made up of acquaintances we must see every day, such as business associates, clients, even the parents of our children’s friends at elementary school. Every family and circle of friends has their secrets, and every family has traditions and values that encompass loyalty, secrecy, and simply the need to not air out a family’s “dirty laundry.” Really, these secrets are terribly minimal but mean something to the person or people who are keeping them. It is highly likely that, when exposed, one would have to deal with some semblance of ridicule from bigots, for secrets of activities that don’t hurt anyone should be perfectly fine out in the open but unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Imagine that angst of the public eye magnified hundreds of times over in the psyche of a major movie star. That is where this story begins.

Here is an excerpt:

“This doc covers everything, from maid service to housekeepers to even just close friends. He can’t imagine exactly what this can cover as well,” I lied. “I mean, what transpires between you and I.” Tiny droplets of sweat formed at my hairline. “You and I work together. We’ve formed a friendship. He’ll think it pertains to whatever happens or is said on set. The entire crew will have to sign one as well if the pilot becomes a series.”

Gavin placed the document on a teak side table. Lifting up my chin gently, he caressed my cheek with his hand. “This doesn’t work for me, Juliet.”

I stared off into the moonlit seascape, watching the waves lap upon the shore. The ocean held as many tears as were prepared to fall from my eyes. I closed them as I breathed deeply, listening to the sound of the waves pounding, and the crickets chirping at the sight of the moon. The nearness of him, combined with the romantic setting, seemed to be a stage set for a joke, a parody of forever unrequited love. I felt the weight of his body upon mine, as his lips pressed against mine, opening them in a passionate kiss that ignited my very soul from where his lips touched me in a secret place that had been treated as an affliction for far too long.

“I have a suggestion of my own, that I want to run by you.” Slipping off the hammock, he disappeared down the stairs, coming back up with one hand behind his back. “Juliet. I know you are another man’s wife, and under any other circumstances I would have nothing to do with you. I can’t stay away. I won’t. Unless you ask me to.” He waited as he searched my eyes. He bent down on one knee and brought a box from behind his back. “Perhaps this is not as extraordinary as the one you already own. If you don’t like it, I can find you a different one more suited to your taste. Juliet James, will you marry me?”

“Yes!” I blurted. Then just as quickly, “No! I mean… I have to ask Steven.”

“Why?”

“I can’t explain. I’ll try. When you live with someone for so long, you owe them an explanation.”

“Do you want to marry me, Juliet?”

liz newman

Please view the book trailer on my website at www.lizrnewman.net.

The book is available at Amazon, as well as All Romance, Books On Board, and Bookstrand.

Buy: The Movie Star’s Wife

Review: Dreaming of Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is book 2 of the “Jane Austen/Mr. Darcy” series.

Kay Ashton is helping to take care of a very sick woman. They also have something in common – they have a love of Jane Austen. We see that her favorite romantic hero is Mr. Wentworth or to be more specific the actor Oli Wade Owen. If you had one romantic hero you could dream about, who would it be? We also see that Kay is a book illustrator. She quits her job to follow her dream.

Adam Craig is a screenwriter and film producer who lives near Lyme Regis. Kay doesn’t know it yet but they have a connection. But Victoria surprises us by making him painfully shy. Will he get over his shyness to let Kay know how he feels?

Kay has opened a Bed & Breakfast and her first guests are a group of actors doing a film based on one of Jane Austen’s works. We see that Kay has a very easy going personality which works well for her new line of work. She appears to be one of those people who likes everyone. And with a house full of celebrities she’s just a little awe struck.

One of Victoria’s characters sticks out. Her name is Gemma. She’s one of the actresses staying at Kay’s B & B. She’s quiet, a daughter of an actress, and one who hopes she won’t turn out be just like her mother. She doesn’t appear to be your typical ingénue.

For those readers of romance that don’t know much about Jane Austen, Victoria sneaks in little bits and pieces about her into the story – a miniature history lesson if you will. She may make you a fan before the book is finished.

In Kay’s interactions with the film group, she makes certain observations. Be we have to question how on point her observations are. Kay has a crush on the “pretty boy” actor Oli Wade Owen. Is she just star struck because of all his attention? Is she misinterpreting that attention? Will she miss her true soul mate because of her walking around with her head in the clouds?

Victoria helps to fuel the romance bug. You’ll become a fan of hers and she may change your mind about going back and reading some of Jane Austen’s work. She will also get you hooked on the surroundings – she’s our travel guide as she takes us through the English countryside.

This story is definitely like a film. Victoria puts in so many twists and turns you have to keep reading to see who ends up with whom. But if you expect to read sex in this story, you will be disappointed. If you expect a cut and dry romance between main characters, you will also be disappointed. If you love a romance that takes its time and comes out to be a surprise, this book will be for you. You may also want to go back and read the first book and then wait for the Spring when her third book comes out.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Dreaming of Mr. Darcy

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Review: Ridden Hard by Elizabeth Coldwell

by Sharon S., guest reviewer

This story is told from the POV of Jamie. I really like this character. He is a young actor living in London. If you like hot fast erotic m/m sex, this one will please you from the get go! <G>. Jamie has gotten a choice role in a film and he celebrates with his friend and casual sex partner Finn, but for the first time, Jamie feels like he is missing something in his life and a friend with benefits isn’t going to fill that void.

On the first day of filming, Jamie realizes that lying about being able to ride a horse to land the role, might have been a mistake. Then he sees the set horse handler, Andrej Berger. It was lust at first sight for Jamie and when Ajdrej offers private lessons for Jamie, I think I was just as excited as he was <G>. Meeting someone smexy in the stables at night? I knew where this was going and there was no way I was going to miss it.

You realize quickly Andrej is a Dom by the way he speaks to Jamie. And Jamie finds him self wanting to take the role of his submissive. Now this is where the whole Dom/Sub thing fails me. I have realized that I like a romantic version of dominant and submissive relationship. Making the sub lick his, you know what, off of the Dom’s shoes isn’t very sexy, but that is just me.

Much to my surprise this story turned out to be a very romantic love story. There is more to it than just the great sex (and there was some of that!). The story is about Jamie and how he handles life in general.

I really like Coldwell’s story telling. It moves quickly and smoothly and I loved being in Jamie’s head. The ending made me squeee with joy, and I even plan on reading it again! Yes, the ending is that good ;)

Rating: ★★★★★ wonderful stars!

Buy: Ridden Hard, Ridden Hard (UK)

Review: A Night of Scandal by Sarah Morgan

Another winning story by Sarah Morgan!

The Hero: Nathaniel Wolfe is Hollywood’s golden bad boy, a contradiction on the surface, yes, but one that makes sense as you read. He’s acted all his life and has turned his job into a mask to hide behind. Who is the real Nathaniel Wolfe? Is he the suave celebrity icon or the man afraid to confront the demons of his past?

The Heroine: Drab gray/brown Katie Field has a multi-step ladder she’s looking to climb to make it in the world of costume design. When Nathaniel cancels the play she was working on opening night her ladder extends by a few feet. On set, he’s only ever referred to her as Wardrobe, which fits her low-key profile (how’s she ever to compare to her model sister?) That’s why she’s confused when he picks her to get him out of the theater and away from the press.

Review: The pacing of this story was perfect; no part of the action or conflict dragged or was cut off except the side conflict with the sister model. It didn’t go far enough in terms of explanation but it’s a minor hiccup. I love plots where one character can see through the mask of another to the real person beneath and both hero and heroine were able to do that. My favorite scenes include Nathaniel teaching another troubled boy to act, and the almost nookie that occurs when he sees her for the first time in very few clothes. Hot.

Sarah Morgan is an author you can rely on to deliver. She writes beautifully condensed categories that leave you with a smile.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: A Night of Scandal (Harlequin Presents), A Night of Scandal (UK)

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