|The Movie Star's Son|
Cheryl Rhodes, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, The Movie Star's Son.
Genre: Sweet Romance
Length: 55,000 words
Heat rating: 2
Tagline: Girls dream of growing up and marrying a movie star, but how many have their sights set on his son?
When Chris Stewart rescues actor Ben Jenkins from the ocean, she doesn't know his son Dave is the nasty lifeguard who busted in her truck window. When they meet up again, Dave knows he's found the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with and convinces Chris to leave
and join him in Los Angeles.
Dave is everything Chris has been looking for in a man, and the
Los Angeles life
is perfect – beaches, surfing, movie stars, sunshine, palm trees, and falling in
love. When their pasts catch up to tear them apart and cut their story tale romance
short, Chris decides to start a new life on California's central coast. She didn't count
on Dave's determination to keep searching for her and bring her home.
A lost dog and a surfing accident bring Chris and Dave back together, but can they put the past behind them for a
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Chris Stewart is 28 years old, a former
Seattle lifeguard who now works as a receptionist.
Dave Jenkins is 32 years old, a
Los Angeles lifeguard captain, and the son of
actor Ben Jenkins.
Squinting her eyes against the glare of the strong
Southern California sun reflecting
off the ocean, Chris saw an older man flailing his arms, bobbing helplessly as two
to three foot waves washed over him, sucking him under and then spitting him back
to the surface. Tossing her shoes onto the sand, Chris yelled at her dog to stay,
and ran into the surf. Seeing as how she used to be a lifeguard for the City of
Seattle, her old
instincts kicked in and she knew she had to do everything in her power to get this
man to safety. Breakers crashed over her and she lost sight of the man. Just when
she was beginning to question her sanity and wondering if he had made it safely
back to shore, Chris rode the crest of a wave, and spotted him struggling in the
"Hold on! I'm coming!" She hoped he heard her over the thundering surf.
He turned to her and their eyes locked, his full of fear and hers bulging wide with adrenaline.
"Help!" he cried.
Within moments Chris reached him. "Are you hurt?"
"No." He gasped for breath. "I'm tired. The ocean's stronger than usual and I can't get back to shore."
"Is anyone else with you?" Chris fervently hoped she wouldn't have to do a double rescue.
"Okay, roll on your back and I'll tow you in to shore." There was something familiar about this man. She wrapped her right arm across his chest and kicked for shore. "My name's Chris. What's yours?"
She stared more closely at him. Ben? Not the TV and movie star Ben Jenkins! She'd been watching him in movies and on television since she was a little kid. Wow! Who would ever believe this? To keep him distracted while swimming back to shore, Chris asked him questions about his family. In-between uneven gasps of air he told her about his wife, his son who co-starred with him on a popular TV drama, another son, one daughter, and several grandchildren.
The current was strong. The waves tried to suck them back out to sea. Chris became tired and disillusionment washed over her. It seemed she was not making any progress and after a couple of moments of silence Ben spoke.
"This is useless. I'm in your way. Let go of me and save yourself. Swim back to shore."
Right, Chris said to herself. I really want to be known as the person who let Ben Jenkins drown. Even though she was tiring, there was no doubt in her mind that she would get both of them safely back to shore.
"Nope, we're going to do this together. You help me by kicking."
The little extra help on Ben's part or perhaps a sudden lull in the waves did the trick. The ocean momentarily seized its grip on them, and encouraged that the safety of the beach was close, they found a renewed energy. It was a short-lived reprieve. One strong wave reared and pounded them into the unforgiving Pacific. They were sucked underwater, caught in a tumbling spiral. Chris held on tight to Ben, and just when it seemed she couldn't hold her breath much longer, the ocean spat them out.
How did you get your start in the industry?
The very first thing I had published was in a local horse magazine that was more like a tabloid newspaper and it was about my two ex-racehorses, Standardbreds who were now enjoying a second career as pleasure riding horses. That was encouraging enough to have me sporadically submit to magazines over the years. In the early 90's I attended a workshop led by a Harlequin Romance author. I've read so many of their books that I thought maybe it's time to recover some of my investment! Getting published is a long, hard journey. Writing the book is probably the easiest part. Convincing an acquisitions editor or an agent to read it is when the real hard work begins. The first romance novel accepted by a publisher was the third one I'd written.
What websites do you visit daily?
I'm a member of the Freelance Writer's Den so I usually stop by at least once a day to check out comments or resources on the forum. I visit Standardbred
to keep up on what's going on in the racing industry. I like to check out the Cruise
Critic forums a few times a week and a few blogs like The Suitcase Scholar.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
If I could change something about my first published book, Ringer, it would be to change the names of the hero and heroine. It took a long time for that book to be accepted by a publisher and I liked their names so much (Holly and Matt) I decided those would be the names of the married couple in my Horse Sense Mysteries series. When Ringer was contracted I changed the names in my series to DeeDee and Grant. Darn it! Liked those names too much!
What do you enjoy most about writing?
That would be escaping into a fantasy world of bringing stories to life and sometimes creating lifestyles that I would love to be living myself.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Unfortunately my work ethic discipline is right out the window. Most of my writing is for consumer and trade magazines and businesses. I get distracted easily and sometimes switch back to writing fiction when I know darned well I should be taking care of my other writing.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Stress as an author is no problem. I take frequent breaks to walk my dogs or check on my horses. It's the stress that comes from the rest of the things that happen in life that's not so easy.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Things that happen in any author's life, conversations they've heard or people they've observed, creep into their novels on some level. In my Horse Sense Mystery series the murder victim often takes on characteristics of one of my ex-boyfriends, or at least my perception of his characteristics! I've killed him off for the third time now and this third novel (work in progress) is actually the closest I get to my ex (same job, same locale, etc). I still haven't decided who the murderer is. In the first two novels the murderer could have been successfully defended by a lawyer as self-defense or accidental death. This time it's no accident. Someone's going down. And then I think I'll finally be done killing my ex!
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I think I've held just about every dead end job out there. A few years ago I discovered a series called The Dead End Jobs Mysteries and I thought to myself – darn, why didn't I think of that? I've worked at a few fast food restaurants, a cashier, a horse groom, an exercise rider, a truck driver, travel reservationist, data entry, reception, a senior's companion, and handyman assistant.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I like romantic suspense/mystery and romantic comedy. I've made a natural transition to become a cozy mystery fan because those novels are a little bit of everything I like: romance, humor, and mystery.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween. I love the costumes and I especially love the candy. Some of the houses near where I live go all out decorating their homes with graveyards, zombies, pumpkins, and scary music.
What good book have you read recently?
Too hard to nail down! I've read several good books this year. I recently read Color My Horse by Bev Pettersen, a romantic mystery that takes place mainly in the backstretch of the
I'd recommend it to readers who like horse-themed romances. Due to this novel being
very technical on horseracing details it might not hold the interest of readers
who have never spent time at the racetrack and no interest in horses and racing.
The romance kind of squeezed in between those horses.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
At the fairgrounds near the house where I was living at the time. They were having a millennium party with all kinds of events including horse racing. Sounded like a good idea but it was raining that night and the event had a much lower attendance than they expected.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Go out and see my horses and go for a ride if the weather's good. I also like walking my dogs. I take them all over town. Both of these activities give me time to think and to come up with new scenes for my novels.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
What is your favorite place that you've traveled to?
Now that's a toughie! I'm a traveler and an adventurer and I have so many experiences to choose from. One destination was a trip of a lifetime for me to celebrate a milestone birthday. That was a cruise from
Fort Lauderdale repositioning back to Vancouver
via the Panama Canal. We had wonderful weather
and fun and interesting ports of call. The highlight of the cruise – the Panama Canal was amazing. Seeing the operation of one of the
world's greatest engineering feats was incredible, and of course there's really
no other way to see the Panama Canal except transiting
it on water. I hopped into the ship's swimming pool for a few laps so figuratively
at least I can say that I swam in the Panama Canal!
One of the ports was , somewhere
I'd never given much thought about traveling to, but now I had to research what
to do once we arrived there. We booked an excursion to the Totumo Mud Bath Volcano
and it's about the most fun I've ever head on a ship's excursion. You can read about
my adventure at bc living: http://www.bcliving.ca/travel/taking-volcano-mud-bath-in-totumo-colombia Cartagena,
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, I'd like to mention that The Movie Star's Son is a .99¢ Kindle read. The first couple of chapters can be read on Amazon's sneak peek: http://www.amazon.com/The-Movie-Stars-Son-ebook/dp/B00EYME894/ref=la_B006TG3Q6O_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381080622&sr=1-4
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with lots of vegetables and feta cheese.
I'm always ready for a road trip.
When I'm alone, I like to read.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm crazy about chocolate.
If I had a halo it would be purple.
If I could fly I'd head south.
I can never jump out of an airplane because I'm afraid the parachute won't open.
Tubbed to Death
Books Coming Soon
Stuck in Cloverdale (2014)
Sure! How about a copy of my ebook of The Movie Star's Son, available on MOBI (Kindle) epub (iBooks for iPad) or PDF. Just leave a comment saying hi or anything else that's on your mind. Make sure I have some way to contact you either through your profile or in your comment. A winner will randomly be chosen on October 21, 2013 and announced back here on the comments. Good luck!
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