Thursday, May 28, 2015

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away by Simon Wood is a contemporary mystery/crime thriller, and a good one at that.  Zoë and Holli are grad students at UC Davis who went to Las Vegas to let their hair down and de-stress, but on the drive back, something terrible happens.  Zoë wakes up to find herself naked and bound in a dirty toolshed, and she can hear someone screaming - it's Holli.  They had stopped for food and gas in a small town, but everything is fuzzy and Zoë can't remember what got them into this situation.  All she can think about is getting out of it.

Fifteen months later, the events of that night have changed Zoë completely.  Her life is on a much different track and she's a different person now.  She hasn't gotten over what happened - not even close - but she's coping in her own way.  That is, until something happens that sends her right back into the path of the man who abducted her and Holli.  The media has nicknamed him the "Tally Man," and it seems he has a score to settle with Zoë.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Her Dear & Loving Husband

Her Dear & Loving Husband, by Meredith Allard, is the first in her Loving Husband trilogy.  After a recent divorce, Sarah Alexander has moved to Salem, Massachusetts.  If she thought the quaint seaside town with all its historic charm would quiet her recurring dreams and night terrors, however, she was very much mistaken - moving to Salem seems to have had the opposite effect, in fact.  

Through a colleague at the library, Sarah meets James Wentworth, a professor at the college, and her resemblance to his late wife causes him to feel drawn to her.  James is hiding a secret which keeps him disconnected from engaging in any kind of a real social life and has kept him from being settled in any one place for very long.  His attachment to Sarah is powerful enough to potentially disrupt the quiet life he's built for himself, but there are questions which need to be answered:  is James attracted to Sarah, or is it her resemblance to his beloved wife which attracts him to her?  And if it IS Sarah he is attracted to, will his secret threaten any romance between them?

With a meddling reporter buzzing around asking questions about James, his secret might come out whether he's ready for Sarah to know it or not - but if exposed to the whole world, James fears a new mass hysteria and hunt will ensue.

Monday, May 11, 2015


Audition, by Michael Shurtleff, is a book written for actors to provide information and tips about auditioning.  Working as a casting director for several years, Shurtleff observed many different actors making many of the same mistakes, and this book is meant to help the actor to go into auditions better prepared.

References and language that Shurtleff used in this book are now out-dated (it was published in 1978), but the information he provides is timeless.  Most of the chapters go over general information of interest to actors regarding auditioning in general, and although it seems to be mainly focused on acting for the stage, I imagine only minor adaptations would need to be made when preparing for a film or voice-over role, as the fundamentals of the craft are essentially the same.

The real meat of Audition is the second chapter, in which Shurtleff has outlined his 12 Guideposts.  In fact, for the acting class I took, the guideposts were the reason this book was assigned.  These are 12 aspects to any character and scene which are recommended for an actor to consider, as thinking about and answering the relevant questions will have you as prepared as it is perhaps possible to be for any audition - not to mention that having already explored the guideposts for the audition will mean you aren't beginning from scratch with your character if you end up being cast.  Shurtleff's guideposts are: