Roll the Dice by Wayne Avrashow

Blog Tour November 28 - December 28

roll the dice

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What happens when one of America’s biggest rock stars leaves the Las Vegas stage to run for the United State Senate?

The ultimate celebrity candidate, Tyler Sloan is no stranger to politics – his estranged father was a California governor who narrowly lost a Presidential campaign. He runs as a political independent, refuses campaign contributions, and dismisses special interests and lobbyists.

Sloan is caught in a political campaign fraught with; sexual scandal, corruption and conflicting loyalties.  Will he be able to navigate through political turbulence and his own past to win the race?

GUEST POST


THE SWEET SPOT IN FILM ADAPTATIONS OF BOOKS

            There have been countless fiction and non-fiction books adapted to the screen. My list of great films that were derived from books includes the classics; The Godfather, Schindler’s List, Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz. Our entertainment world is richer because of both the books and the films.

            What elements are necessary for a movie to be a great adaptation? What is the ultimate goal? What is the sweet spot?

            First, the disclaimer—in art there are no hard and fast guidelines. It’s art.

            A successful adaptation will have a film that completes the story, creates a universal, visual image to the protagonist, edits out the background details and has a quicker pace for a two-hour film.

            The sweet spot is when a movie is true to the novel’s characters, pacing and plot; but conveys unique qualities that result in a movie as memorable as the book. The movie needs to enhance the most memorable moments of a book. Ideally, a film maker respects the novel, but trims what needs to be trimmed and focuses on what needs to be focused on. Ideally, the director has a new “take” on the novel.

            There are numerous reasons why a book is a natural starting point for a movie—the novel has the story, characters and plot. A screenwriter does not begin with a blank page. The latest adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a classic story with numerous television and film adaptations. A screenwriter can read the novel and place the characters in numerous locales and scenarios.

            A novelist focuses on characters, plot and pacing. The novel has the time to complete the characters, fills in the blanks of their thinking and motivations. The novelist does not have the worries that plague filmmakers of actual filming; lighting, sound, inclement weather, temperaments of actors and directors or logistics that exist in films.

            A great film immerses the viewer with sight and sound. The visual images and expansive sound transport you when sitting in a dark theater or living room. This is where the director’s imagination comes to life. One of the most enjoyable aspects of any adaptation is to hear the dialogue spoken by a great actor or actress.

            The purpose of adapting a novel is to illustrate and create visual depth to the author’s work. Books are far more detailed and offer their own rich, compelling experience. A good read is: thought-provoking, escapism, illuminating, and ideally, makes the reader pause to think about the meaning or characters of what they just read. When I close the book of a good novel, I yearn to read the next chapter. A good read is a long and satisfying meal. A novel’s pace is always slower than the film. I savor a good novel far longer than a two-hour film.

            Let’s look at four book-to-movie adaptations. Critics of the film The Hunger Games claim the film was too similar to the novel, it was too faithful. I loved both the novel and film, The Godfather. The audience was hooked in the film’s opening scene with Marlon Brando’s memorable half-speak, half-mumbles. One wave of the great actor’s hand spoke volumes.

            The Great Gatsby is a classic American novel. Yet both film adaptations fell short, despite great actors; Robert Redford in the 1970s and Leonardo DiCaprio in 2013. The novel’s characters and dialogue possessed emotional insight, but the 2013 film appeared chaotic with its visual explosions of color and decor.

            J.K. Rawling’s Harry Potter has a unique place in the pantheon. My wife and I read the novels to our young sons until they could read for themselves. The novel forces its readers to employ their imagination with the characters. Reading the book and visualizing the Hogwarts School was a supremely enjoyable exercise. The movie also delivered. The special effects were outstanding and seeing Alan Rickman portray the life of anguish of Severus Snape was uniquely fulfilling.

            There have been many stories of authors being thrilled or betrayed by the film adaptation. I hope I have that opportunity with my novel Roll the Dice.

BUY LINKS


Amazon | Kobo |iBooks | Barnes and Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


wayneWayne Avrashow was the campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and a Deputy/Chief of Staff to those two elected City Council members. He served as a senior advisor for a successful city-wide referendum in the City of Los Angeles, co-authored ballot arguments on Los Angeles County-wide measures, served as Chairman for a Los Angeles County ballot measure, and was a Los Angeles government Commissioner for nearly twenty years. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Yaroslavsky Institute, a public policy institute founded by long time Southern California elected official, and now UCLA professor, Zev Yaroslavsky.

His background in politics, government, business, and law provides unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.

Wayne is a practicing attorney who specializes in government advocacy, real estate, and business law. Formerly, he was an officer in two real estate development firms.  As a lawyer-lobbyist, he has represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at his law school and taught at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He has also authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers, legal, business, and real estate publications.  In addition, he is the author of a self-published book for the legal community, Success at Mediation—10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.

Website: https://www.wayneavrashow.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wayneavrashowauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WayneAvrashow

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Triple Cross Killer by Rosemarie Aquilina

Blog Tour Triple Cross Killer

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Have you ever wondered what really happens to Santa Claus letters?  In Detroit and Sarasota some children’s letters are diverted and reviewed by Nick Archer, a religiously obsessed, narcissist. Nick responds, leaving a trail of devastation in the two cities.

In Detroit, co-ed partners and wise-cracking lovers, detectives Jaq McSween and David Maxwell, team up with Sarasota detectives Abel Mendoza and his partner, Rabbit, to find this daunting killer.

When Jaq’s friend, the lovely nurse, Rita Rose, takes a chance on love again, she gets caught in Nick’s web. Working with the ME, she joins in, adding her perspective when events take a sinister turn.

Can this diverse team of characters pool their insights, barbs, and taste for bad food to save Rita when she discovers the final clues or will she become the next victim?

GUEST POST


Abel and his Coney Hot Dog’s

Each of the four detectives in Triple Cross Killer have their quirks, but none as pronounced as Sarasota Detective Abel Mendoza with his chronic hunger for Detroit’s American Coney hot dogs. Abel’s appetite for dogs results in a constant detour to sit at the American Coney Island or order take-out. When American Coney is out of range, you will find Abel alternatively eating A&W Coney dogs.

Sarasota Detective Abel Mendoza takes his Coney Island hot dogs seriously. Abel, often to the consternation of his Sarasota partner, Detective Ronald Randall—also known as Rabbit, and Detroit Detectives Jaq McSween and David Maxwell will neither address nor change his eating habits nor his hot-dog-shaped physique. Whenever the detectives are within smelling distance to the American Coney Island Hot Dog establishment on Lafayette in Detroit you will find them seated at a table where the center of it is filled with Coney Dogs. No one gets between Abel and his hot dogs. And, Abel is aptly pirouetting a happy hot dog dance because 2017 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the Detroit’s American Coney Island.

Abel’s love for Coney dogs began in-utero when during his mother’s pregnancy she lived and worked in Detroit for a brief time after which his father had American Coney Island hot dogs with all the trimmings shipped to her until he was born. For his fifth birthday his mother ordered him a surprise Take Home Coney Kit shipped from Detroit, Michigan to his Sarasota, Florida birthday party. Abel fell in hunger-lust with the specially-seasoned, natural-skin-casing hot dog from Dearborn Sausage and the Keros family secret recipe American Coney Island Chili Sauce developed decades before Abel was born. To this day, Abel piles on the fine mustard and sweet chopped onions that add to the distinctive taste of the American Coney Island Hot Dog. Rabbit carries along chewing gum and mints and air freshener because he knows interfering with a dog and Abel is futile.

****

Excerpt

Jaq covered the bed table with Coney dogs, fries, and drinks. “You have to share ’cause we’re starved.” Abel grinned and helped distribute the food from the bag.

Rita grabbed a fry. “Did you leave anything for any other Detroiters at American Coney Island?”

“Look little lady, I plan on eating my share till we’re on the plane.” Abel stuffed a Coney dog in his mouth, then licked his fingers and grinned.

****

Excerpt

Shortly after nine thirty, Abel clomped in and called out to Rabbit as he approached. “I’ve got the ticket. Si. But it’s on a really long reel.” He set an A&W bag on the corner stack of papers on Rabbit’s desk.

“Spending time at the American movies again?” Rabbit stuck a straw in the soda lid. “Explains your bearing gifts of soda and chili dogs this early. Americans prefer donuts, bagels, and eggs for breakfast.”

“Si. I’m not married to two women for a reason. You’re beginning to sound like my other wife. I’ll wait till we go to counseling to answer?” Abel’s face contorted like it did when he’d emptied the dog bag. He pushed the bag at Rabbit to take the first helping.

Rabbit reached into the A&W bag. “You’re forgiven, my stomach thinks it’s lunchtime. Try thinking about the phrase: you are what you eat.” He took a long drink. “This additional Mountain Dew will replace my lost hours of sleep.”

Abel lowered his voice. “My wife put me on a diet. She makes green food. This is my only real food.”

****

So if you want to hang out with these fun-loving wise-cracking detectives, look for them at your local Coney hot dog vendor. Abel is sure to be causing a Coney hot dog shortage in an area they travel in.

See you between the pages. And, by the way, I love Coney dogs, too!

BUY LINKS


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBook

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


RosemarieRosemarie Aquilina is the mother of five children. Elected as a 30th Circuit Court Judge serving in the General Trial Division, after having served as a 55th District Court Judge in Mason, Michigan, she takes pride in public serve.

In 1986, Judge Aquilina became the first female JAG Officer in the history of the Michigan Army National Guard, she retired in 2006 with twenty years Honorable Service.  She is an adjunct law professor at both Western Michigan University—Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law and has earned teaching awards at both institutions. Judge Aquilina is the former owner of Aquilina Law Firm, PLC, and former host of a syndicated radio talk show called Ask the Family Lawyer.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosemarie.aquilina.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AquiRosemarie

Interview with Jessika Fleck!

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The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous.

Renowned for its infamous corn maze… and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing.

Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home.

INTERVIEW


First off, thanks so much for having me here at The Royal Polar Bear Reads! I’m super excited to be a part of the Debut Author Dash and love that we were paired up!

  1. How did The Castaways turn into a novel? What was your inspiration? What made you write this book? Who are the people who pushed you to write The Castaways?

The Castaways began as two separate ideas that came together during a walk through a corn maze. The first part was about a friend of mine who was struggling with her daughter being cruelly bullied. They had been on my mind quite a bit. The other part had to do with portals and alternative dimensions, unsolved mysteries like the Bermuda Triangle. Right around that time we took our daughters to the pumpkin patch, and, as we always do, raced through the corn maze. During that walk (I was with our youngest who was more interested in roaming than winning), my mind reeled. Somehow, in this brain of mine, the idea for The Castaways was born.

My daughters are always a significant source of inspiration. It’s important to me for them to see me work for what I want and to follow my passions. I’m also equally pushed to write by my characters and their stories. Wherever they come from–whether completely fabricated or based in some truth–their stories become very real and important to tell.

  1. What was the hardest part of writing The Castaways?

The most challenging part of writing The Castaways was definitely finding a smooth transition between Olive’s contemporary world and her fantasy world (I’m pretty sure my editor would agree ;). Jumping genres midway through a book is a risk and we worked really hard to get it right.

  1. What was the lesson you want to impart to your readers when they read The Castaways?

I try not to be too heavy-handed with lessons and themes, though this book definitely had some pretty obvious ones. The value of working together, friendship and family, of choosing to be kind, and of being true to yourself and accepting and loving that self-care certainly has woven throughout.

  1. What challenges did you have to overcome when writing this novel?

Writing two groups of very different characters (many with their own arcs) was highly challenging and took several rewrites.

  1. Given the chance to date someone, dead or alive, fictional or not, who would it be and what will you do on your date?

Oh, my goodness… This is definitely a hard one, but if I HAD to choose, hands down, it would be the character ‘Death’ (one of my faves of all time) from The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak and we’d simply walk along streets of Venice (one of my favorite places ever) and talk all night long.  

  1. If you are going to give your 10-year-old self advice today, what would it be?

I’d assure her that she’s extremely smart and tell her not to let anyone convince her otherwise. Also, that one day she’ll look back at how she’s styling her bangs and do a major face-palm. (It was the late eighties)

  1. Was it your dream to become a writer? If you are not a writer today, what will be your career path?

Not at all. I stumbled upon writing in an attempt to tap back into my creativity after having children. If I wasn’t an author today, I’d probably be an advocate for new mothers and breastfeeding in public (something near and dear to me) or, I don’t know, possibly go back to working in social services (my college degree) or go back to school for a librarian degree because books. ❤

  1. Totally Random: Thoughts about depression?

As someone who has struggled with a traumatic brain injury and the resulting anxiety and depression, I have LOTS of thoughts. I believe it can be just as hard and taxing and stressful as having a physical chronic illness. I hate that it’s so stigmatized by our society–we need to have a serious wake-up call to mental illness in regard to perception and shaming and health care in our country. Mostly, we need education, from a young age, that depression and mental illness isn’t something that people choose or don’t choose and that there is help in many forms and that access, while often hard to come by and expensive (again, we need health care reform in this regard), *is* available.

  1. What made you decide to write in the fantasy genre?

Honestly, I can’t imagine writing anything else–at least not with near as much passion. Our world needs all the magic it can get right now and I’m happy to provide a little through my books.

  1. What is your favorite quote in your book and why?

Olive’s, “Just be.” Because, such great words to live by.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


15452326Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, THE OFFERING (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) is due out in the fall, 2018. More at www.jessikafleck.com.

YA Readers America: The Castaways by Jessika Fleck

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The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous.

Renowned for its infamous corn maze… and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing.

Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home.

EXCERPT


But everything’s clear. I do know where to go. “I’m going to find that boulder—” I suck in shallow breath. “The…hhh…maze.”

“It’s no use. We’ve tried everything. It doesn’t work! Wait!”

But I’m not listening because it has to work. It’s the only way. If it got me in, it’ll get me back out.

I run until my body, my mind, and, mostly, my lungs give up. Because, problem is, Will’s right. I don’t know how to find it.

I stop.

Will stops.

Bent at the waist, hands on my knees, I cough and spew, trying to catch my breath. The hyperventilation has passed, but my insistence on sprinting like I’m a track star when my

lungs and legs have no business running, has taken its toll.

I look up.

Will isn’t fazed. At some point he took off his shirt and now stands with his hands on his hips, chest rising and falling, barely winded. His abs flex with each effortless breath. “Get

it out of your system?”

It’s when my stomach springs that I realize I’m staring at his body. I quickly glance away and completely ignore his question. “Take me there.”

“I told you. It’s no use.”

“Please,” I whimper. Tears race down my face.

Tucking his T-shirt into the back of his pants, Will walks in another direction.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m taking you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

With Will now leading the way, I watch his suntanned back, the sweat beading at his shoulders and slowly, one by one, how the beads roll down the center crease. I’m in a daze

or a haze or a trance because all I see is his back, his muscles contracting and tightening with each step, and, like magic, we’re there.

The mossy boulder stands before us and, I swear, it mocks me in all its ordinary, commonplace glory.

BUY LINKS


Amazon  Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo  Amazon UK Amazon CA Entangled

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


15452326Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, THE OFFERING (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) is due out in the fall, 2018. More at www.jessikafleck.com.

Interview with Brittany Pate!

 

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Embyr tends her tavern while keeping her dangerous parentage a secret, until she’s attacked by a hellhound and saved by one of the most feared men in history.

For the last eight hundred years, Ryder McLennon, the infamous leader of Death’s Horsemen, has used his army to hunt the vampire who killed his wife. He’s earned a reputation as a murderous madman. But in Embyr, he discovers something that could turn the tide of battle in his favor. Her control over fire can reduce an enemy to ash and her flippant disregard of him heats his blood in ways no one else ever has. She’s beautiful, powerful and completely different from her violence-loving brethren.

Embyr finds herself thrust into a war she wants no part of, targeted by a vicious vampire because of her cooperation with Ryder. As she learns to wield her demonic powers without letting the madness of her race overcome her, she also has to fight her attraction to a killer bent on her seduction.

INTERVIEW


  1. What sparked the inspiration for Fire’s Kiss?

I think I’ve always been a little bit of a pyromaniac. I love sitting in front of a fireplace, love the warmth and watching the way the flames twist and dance. I started to imagine what it would be like to harness that element, what destructive consequences it could have and the benefits from it. It wasn’t a great leap from there to begin imagining a character in a fantasy world with those kinds of powers and the problems she might face. Essentially, Embyr herself was the inspiration for Fire’s Kiss.

  1. If there is one thing that you had a hard time writing Fire’s Kiss, what would it be?

For me, there were many hard scenes. I don’t want to venture too far into spoiler territory, but circumstances force a particular character to make a very difficult decision. I can still remember writing that part with tears rolling down my cheeks because I hated the pain everyone suffered from that decision, but it was a necessary part of the story.

  1. Any songs that inspired Fire’s Kiss or any songs that you were listening to while you wrote this novel?

Oh, definitely. Music is a large part of my writing process. For Fire’s Kiss, there were two songs that really stuck with me throughout the entire story. The first one was Apocalyptica – S.O.S. (Anything but Love) ft. Christina Scabbia. To me, that song really embodied the early relationship between Embyr and Ryder. The second one was Snow Patrol – Set Fire to the Third Bar. While the first song, to me, represented their early relationship, Set Fire to the Third Bar reminded me of them overall.

  1. What was it like to know that your book is going to be published?

To be honest, it still hasn’t really hit me yet. It’s getting a little more real every day, but it still kind of feels like I’m walking in a dream. When it finally does hit me, there will probably be many, many happy tears.

  1. Given the opportunity to travel back in time regardless of what will happen in the present and the future, where will you go, what will you do and why did you choose this certain point in the past?

Oh, this is a hard one! Presented with the moral dilemma of whether I do something for the good of mankind or if I pop back in time and give myself winning lottery numbers? I think I’d have to go with something for the good of mankind. Probably something huge, like preventing one of the World Wars.

  1. Describe Fire’s Kiss in 10 words!

Fire demon meets sexy warlord and discovers she’s a badass.

  1. Just thought of this! Summarize Fire’s Kiss in emoji!

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  1. If you are going to give an advice to your 10-year-old self, what advice would you give to yourself?

Don’t ever give up. You’re going to face hardships in your life, you’re going to think you aren’t good enough, but you are. You are unique and that is something to be proud of.

  1. Top 5 pick of fantasy reads!

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

Dark Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole.

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson.

Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland.

  1. What is your favorite quote in Fire’s Kiss and why did you choose this certain quote?

“Right now, your skin is hot enough to burn human flesh. Do you see my skin burning?”
“No.”
“All your worries, all your fears, mean nothing when you are with me.” He flipped her hand over and kissed the inside of her wrist. Her skin tingled. “You can lose control without fear of hurting me. You will never have to fear my death. And you need never fear for your life when you are with me because I protect what is mine. I will take that kiss now.”

For me, this particular passage marked a turning point for both characters. A whole new world opened up for Embyr, taking away several of the excuses she used to keep herself apart from other people. For Ryder, well… He gets a kiss that rocks his solitary world.

BUY LINKS


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo |iTunes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Brittany PBrittany Pate lives in Texas with her husband and son. She is a longtime lover of all things fantasy and romance. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys narrating audio books and drinking entirely too much coffee.