Tuesday, October 22, 2013

*Tour & Giveaway*
"Stealing Fire" by Susan Sloate!

~Published: July 15th, 2013 

~Length: 320 Pages 

~Genres: Adult Fiction, Chick-Lit, Romance


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.

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.

~ Connect with Susan Online ~

Q. If ‘Stealing Fire’ was made into a movie and you could cast anyone you wanted, who would you pick?

A. Wow - what a great question! Well, really, the only two important roles are Beau, my lyricist, and Amanda, my aspiring singer.  While I have pictures in my mind of the other characters, they’re not as important to me and I’d be willing to trust a casting director for those roles :)

I’ve thought that because the story really is so intimate, it may not lend itself to a screen adaptation, but I also think actors might well be interested in the parts, because I think they’re juicy!

For Beau, it would be great to get James Woods or possibly Bill Murray. Woods is one of my favorite actors; he’s so smart and so passionate, you’d believe him as a lyricist aching for a last hit on Broadway. Bill Murray is actually sort of a neighbor of mine; his sons and mine have played in the same local baseball leagues for years. I think he’s amazing, and being funny is the least of it; he’s just BELIEVABLE in everything he does, which I think is crucial for this role. 

For Amanda, the crucial quality is being an old soul. It’s not just about maturity; it’s about understanding a truly vanished world and not being that invested in today’s culture. To make matters more complicated, the story takes place in the early 80’s, so we’d need an actress who’s able to make you believe she’s not at home in that era, either. Basically, a very old-fashioned girl who’s quite young. I’m not sure I can think of an actress who’s the right age and has that quality. But I’m open to suggestions!

Actually, I’m one of those writers who doesn’t listen to music while writing. (I keep thinking of Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone, typing madly away on her romance novel while listening to the soundtrack of How The West Was Won, but that’s never been me.) I always concentrate better in a quiet place, and truthfully, I love certain music so much that if I tried to ‘get in the mood’ by listening to it, I’d end up too distracted to write at all! That’s happened to me before, and it became very clear after awhile that I wasn’t going to produce a lot of pages if I had music playing. So I stopped even trying it.

But since Stealing Fire is in part about the musical theater, I WAS thinking about certain music while writing it. There are a lot of show scores mentioned, including West Side Story, CATS, Leave It To Jane and many others. Some are very well known, others less so. I wrote in a guest blog post recently that I could sing over 100 show scores, and after writing it I wondered if it was accurate, so I sat down with paper and pencil. Twenty minutes later, I had a list of 76 shows for which I could sing virtually every song. Another 20 or so, I know at least one or two songs in the score. Scary, huh?

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!

~Materials & images provided by Girls *Heart* Books Tours.


  1. Thanks for hosting me today - it's great to be here!

  2. Your very welcome Susan! Your book seems very interesting! :)


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