Wednesday, May 20, 2015

REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: ShutterGirl by C.D. Reiss

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Are you ready for a different kind of love story?  
Meet Michael & Laine in this Hollywood themed second chance romance by CD Reiss!


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ShutterGirl Book Trailer:



ONE movie star on the cusp of greatness
ONE broken girl who touched him
TEN years to forget her
A MILLION stories in Hollywood

I am not hurt.

I don’t need a second chance with him, or a life I thought I had.

While he was out forgetting me to become a movie star, I was building a career out of nothing. A career as a paparazzi, but a career. For a foster kid who bounced around every home in Los Angeles, that wasn’t easy.

This camera is all I have.

He’s nothing to me. Every time I take his picture and sell it, I remind myself that I did it all without him or his approval, his cinnamon smell or his clear green eyes. He lights up the screen like a celestial body, but he’s nothing but a paycheck to me.

He can throw my camera off a balcony, and nothing has to change. We can stay king and queen of the same city, and different worlds.

Except this is Hollywood, and here, anything can happen.

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Having read most,if not all, of C.D. Reiss' released works, I thought I had an idea of what I was getting into. I think many of her loyal fans will go into it with the same's a little taste of a text between us:
S: Have you started ShutterGirl yet?
C: Of course not, I am though, or are you telling me you would like to not do that?! 
(Court's asking because I tend to warn her off of things that aren't worth her time)
S: I'm about 1/2 way thru it. It's different, but I think I like it.
(Let me stop to explain that since I *thought* I knew what I was getting when I started reading and it wasn't what I thought, it took me some adjustment to settle into it. I was so used to her novellas and the swiftness of her building in plot/character/motivation that I had to recalibrate and let the novel tell its story at its own pace. So, at this point, the plot was starting to pick up and I was liking it. Let me also say that for me, the beginning read as a series of transitory impressions and I wasn't always connecting the dots so it was a little uneven at the beginning.)
C: Yeah? Okay! I plan to start tonight. 
C: [Is it] good as her other stuff or different like...(fill in a conversation about a book we didn't particularly like which surprised us because we'd liked this writer's work before).
S: Good.
The next day work....
S: I finished it (which means very little work, at work, being done) and I really liked it.
C: Hahaha. Unfortunately my attempt to read and work was thwarted which is probably good because I have hella lot of work to do!
S: Dude. Once you get into it, I bet you'll have a hard time putting it down.
C: I am sure! I love her. Definitely wouldn't have went through 10 novellas and the stress of Jonathan almost dying if not. God. Still gives me anxiety! you can see, I hit that point in the novel where all of the pieces and parts came together and any adjustments to the style or my expectations were easily overcome. I became absorbed by the story of Michael and Laine; I love that C.D. Reiss gave me something completely new-- I don't think I'd ever even considered the idea of what would happen if a Hollywood A-lister and a paparazzi queen somehow became involved. I loved the idea of it; I loved being presented with all of the complications and realizing..ohmygod...this would be an impossible relationship.

I also loved that C.D. Reiss made these characters really thoughtful and good. Was there angsty times? Yes. But they were reasonable and understandable and I hurt for both Laine and Michael when I hit those parts in the book.

Would the problem that was a PROBLEM for Laine + Michael be resolved as easily as it was in the novel? Probably not...but I don't think that was her (C.D.'s) point. This novel wasn't really about that. It was about these two characters discovering who they were and who they weren't and who they were when they were together and apart and if who they were could work.

While I'm talking about things I are a few more:

This felt a little like a love note to LA and as someone who loves NOLA, I appreciate when others write so lovingly about their homes and spaces. It felt like the city was a character and I loved it.

Having characters really face some things about themselves that are unpleasant and own those things? Work through them? Make something with them and not make things worse? I liked that too.There was no victimizing and no blame game. There was some sadness and some starting over and I liked that --it felt honest.

The sweetness with the grimy underbelly--I'd seen glances of this in some of Reiss' other works, but I really felt it full force here. I think it's probably one of her sweetest works yet and that was an unexpected and really nice surprise.

Also loved the nod to the Drazens.

And, of course, Reiss knows here way around a sex scene and the tension and connection between these two is simultaneously sweet and hot.

As I said before --the beginning felt a little uneven and sometimes I felt like some of the secondary characters kind of disappeared and reappeared and I sometimes wanted more from those, but overall those were minor issues and ones I can't help but hope we'll know more about in subsequent books. I know this is a stand alone but I can't help but want to know more and see more of these characters and this world.

Thank you, C.D. Reiss, for giving me something unexpected.
I stroked his hair, waist deep in peace, all worry gone for the moment, and floating in no more than an ocean of gratitude. I must have been more vulnerable than I realized, or he’d reopened some wound with his kindness, because though my sweet reverie stayed, as the minutes passed, a layer of need fitted itself on top of it.
I needed to tell him, if not the details, the outlines of who I was.
“I want you to know,” I whispered, starting somewhere small, then everything I didn’t want to say spilled out. “I have stuff. I’ve never been to jail, but you know, it’s stuff, and it’s ugly, and it scares me. Because, I mean, you’re so perfect, and I’m… I’m just a mess. I’m not whole. I’m a bunch of pieces of a person I cobbled together.” My eyes got wet when I thought of the comparisons between us and that picture in my silverware drawer. “So if you have to move on when you realize that, I’ll understand. You have an image, and if anyone understands protecting a career, it’s me. I mean, I’ll be mad, don’t get that wrong, but also.” I swallowed and blinked, shifting my head so he wouldn’t feel the tear on his forehead. “I won’t blame you.”
I waited for an answer. Anything. A change in position or a word on any subject. The weather. Sports. Something. But all he did was breathe.
I smiled so wide, tears fell into my mouth. He was sleeping.

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CD Reiss
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CD Reiss is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well, hauling buckets.

Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere, but it did embed TV story structure in her head well enough for her to take a big risk on a TV series structured erotic series called Songs of Submission. It’s about a kinky billionaire hung up on his ex-wife, an ingenue singer with a wisecracking mouth; art, music and sin in the city of Los Angeles.

Critics have dubbed the books “poetic,” “literary,” and “hauntingly atmospheric,” which is flattering enough for her to put it in a bio, but embarrassing enough for her not to tell her husband, or he might think she’s some sort of braggart who’s too good to give the toilets a once-over every couple of weeks or chop a cord of wood.

If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

Stalk Her: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

  • I am so happy with the response to Shuttergirl, and I cannot wait to send Michael and Laine out into the world, because who doesn’t swoon over a second chance at love?
  • It’s a new genre for me, and I’m exploding with excitement, so I’ve dropped some fantastic reasons for readers to get the book right away.
  • $500 Spa Gift Card
  • If you could get an hour, or ten away from the daily grind of paparazzi and interviews (or the job and kids), what would you do?
  • Get a foot rub/slash/pedicure? A massage? Maybe something called a Sleep Treatment that right now sounds better than sex?
  • Maybe you’d bring a friend or two, or maybe you’d just get a manipedi when you wanted one. Because the life of a megastar ain’t for the weak-willed or lazy, and running from paparazzi can really wear down a girl’s nails.
  • Woodhouse Spas are no joke. They’re all over the country and they’re….sigh. Fabulous. But if you don’t live near one, we can do Burke Williams, Halcyon Days or Red Door.
  • The link to the quiz is in the back of the book, and yes, that’s the ONLY place to find it! There are bonus questions relating to Jonathan and Antonio for extra prizes. You have until June 3rd to enter! That gives you a solid two weeks to read the book and get your chance at a $500 movie star spa treatment!
  • If you are a paperback reader, email me and we’ll work it out .

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