Spotlight on Ruth Kaufman and ‘My Life as an Extra’

mlaae rkBOOK BLURB: Chicagoan Marla Goldberg must rebuild her life at forty-one after an unexpected divorce. While adjusting to singlehood, trying to improve conditions at the radio station where she’s an account executive and fit in with her successful family, she dips her toes into the daunting dating pool.

Marla yearns to fulfill her dream of being a working actor, yet can’t quite believe, “Leap and the net will appear.” Working as an extra teaches her meaningful lessons, but she must learn what for her is the hardest lesson of all: how to feel special when you’re not the star.

BUY LINKS: Amazon /

EXCERPT:

My heart starts to race. A famous, award-winning director has noticed me. Will he pluck me from obscurity? Will I be upgraded to a slightly better role and higher pay, or will he even give me a line, a boon bestowed on rare occasion?

“I don’t like the way her scarf is blowing.” The director walks down the row of extras and borrows a dark green, fringed wool one from some guy. For a second the guy’s face perks up. I know he thinks he’s going to be moved to a better place in the shot, my place, but Adam, if I may be so bold, just wants his scarf. I put it on and a wardrobe person safety pins it to my coat.

“Rolling….” a voice calls.

“Rolling!” several people echo.

“Picture’s up.”

“Background action!”

Leaning over the wind machines as the train rolls by, I and the others brave icy blasts. My hair and the borrowed scarf blow straight up. The cold has pierced my coat and layers, so I’m shivering harder. I know my nose is bright red. The woman beside me jumps up and down.

We endure a few more takes.

Adam comes toward me again. My heart starts pounding again. Why an intelligent person such as myself gets nervous because a famous movie director approaches is beyond me, but I can’t seem to help it. I hope I’ll get to do something good and fear I did something wrong at the same time.

“Will you step out of the shot, please?” he asks.

My stomach drops. I do fear I’ve done something wrong. That even as a train-platform-standing-in-the-freezing-cold extra, I’m not good enough. I move to the side and watch forlornly as they do more takes, all these people crammed into such a narrow space doing their best for Superhero IX. Except me.

A few minutes later, Adam comes over. I can’t help it, I perk up just like scarf guy. The director of a major motion picture actually left his chair to find me.

“You can come back now,” he says. “It wasn’t the same without you.”

A wave of joyous warmth washes over me. How nice is that. My day is made.

Later, we’re working on a different shot on the other side of the platform. Adam comes over yet another time. I suck in a breath. My icy hands get icier.

“Great reaction.”

My face is probably so red from the cold he can’t tell I’m blushing. It’s the wind making my eyes tear up.

The Adam Markham probably won’t remember me or those shots, for him just two of many in one movie of many, but I’ll never forget how nice he was. The way he knew how to make an extra feel like an actor. Feel talented and special.

On the drafty train platform, inspiration hits me hard as a wind machine gust. If Adam Markham thinks I do a good job on camera, maybe others will, too.

The once-familiar urge to perform, to entertain and move an audience, unfurls in my chest in a fiery burst like a phoenix spreading its wings. My first lines in a Kindergarten play made the crowd laugh and inspired me to be an actress…someday. But everyone knows acting is a risky, unreliable career. Would I be good enough? Find the elusive mix of right place, right time, right roles?

Today made me realize how much I’ve missed acting. I’d repressed the bug, but it still bit. I’d lost two dreams: a successful, loving marriage and gorgeous house. I would find a way to make this dream come true.

Someday is now.

rkAUTHOR BIO: Ruth Kaufman is a Chicago author, on-camera and voiceover talent and freelance editor and speaker with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV.

The second book in her Wars of the Roses Brides series, FOLLOW YOUR HEART,  releases April 14. Writing accolades include Romance Writers of America® 2011 Golden Heart® winner and runner up in RT Book Reviews’ national American Title II contest. Her true, short story, “The Scrinch” is in the St. Martin’s Press anthology The Spirit of Christmas, foreword by Debbie Macomber.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Blog Gainfully Unemployed / Facebook  or Ruth Kaufman Author & Actress / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page

Spotlight on Ruth Kaufman and ‘ My Once & Future Love’!

myafl

Hope you’ll be able to stop by for a few minutes to celebrate the release of my 4th book,

MY ONCE & FUTURE LOVE,

tomorrow, 4-7PM CDT. Prizes include a $25 Amazon gift card.

“A fantastic blend or romance and Arthrualn legend,” says RT Book Reviews!

Facebook Celebration

moafl rkBOOK BLURB: When a lady on the run aids an immortal knight in peril, can love flourish?

Annora of Amberton flees her castle to seek proof that she’s not a lunatic as her uncle declared when claiming wardship over her and her lands.

Morgan ap Myrddin must rescue his father, Merlin, from imprisonment. But enemies have wounded him, draining his powers.

He stumbles upon her cottage and enlists her aid. As he helps her in return, undeniable desire sparks. But he won’t succumb to the lure of a mortal woman as his father did. She’s wary of caring for a man who refuses to discuss his past. When he finally tells her he’s a Knight of the Round Table, she fears he’s the lunatic as danger, secrets and destiny thwart the power of love.

BUY LINKS: Amazon

rkaufmanAUTHOR BIO: Ruth Kaufman is a Chicago author, on-camera and voiceover talent and freelance editor and speaker with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV.

The second book in her Wars of the Roses Brides series, FOLLOW YOUR HEART,  releases April 14. Writing accolades include Romance Writers of America® 2011 Golden Heart® winner and runner up in RT Book Reviews’ national American Title II contest. Her true, short story, “The Scrinch” is in the St. Martin’s Press anthology The Spirit of Christmas, foreword by Debbie Macomber.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Blog Gainfully Unemployed / Facebook  or Ruth Kaufman Author & Actress / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page

Fan2Author Interview with Ruth Kaufman!

I’m so happy to introduce you to a “new author to me” 😉 

There are so many ways to meet authors these days, and I met Ruth through another author I admire greatly, Delilah Marvelle. I also discovered that both Ruth and I live in the Chicago area, so I hope to see her in person one of these days!

I read her début book and I loved it. You can read my review in a separate post of the day. Alright, here we go, Ruth, welcome to b2b and since I’m not so familiar with you and your work, how about you introduce yourself first, okay?

Thank you for having me today!

ahc rkWhen I started reading romance novels in high school, I thought I could write as well as some authors, but not as well as others. I first put pen to paper (literally) in the late 80s. I joined RWA in 1996, after I’d completed my first manuscript, which eventually became AT HIS COMMAND. I realized that the story would also work well as an inspirational, what I’d heard was a growing market, while medieval historicals wasn’t. So I created an inspirational version, which won RWA’s Golden Heart award. When getting ready to self-publish, I thought, “Why not release both?” Doing so cost more and took more time and effort, but author after author told me what a great idea she thought it was. And no one on my advisory team had heard of anyone else who’d done it.
 
I left corporate America at the end of 2005 to pursue acting and writing full time, whenahc2 rk my 3rd manuscript (FOLLOW YOUR HEART, releasing 4/14) was a finalist in RT Bookreviews’ national American Title II contest. After 5 rounds of online voting, it was runner-up. Only the winner got a contract.
 
In addition to wearing the myriad hats of self-publishing, I do voiceovers (commercials, e-learning, web explainer videos and soon my first video game), on-camera work (I have a national commercial running, and act in indie films, etc.), and give workshops on a variety of subjects. I’m looking forward to giving Taming the octopus: how to tackle self-publishing without getting squeezed for a s-p Meetup and my local RWA chapter. 

awit mleWhat was your favorite book as a child?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I identified with Meg.

Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It’s a classic Alpha male medieval. I’ve given it to several friends who don’t readkw romance as an introduction to the genre. I came across this list.

Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’ve never read?

Actually, I missed some of the classics because I chose other courses in high school (Shakespeare and literature of the absurd) and college (Greek and Roman great books. Thucydides, anyone?). I’ve never read Catcher in the Rye, but I’d like to. I’m going to add it to my Goodreads bnw ahlist!  I came across this list while answering this question, to get a better idea of what books are considered classics: chosen by “the board” and readers. Of the top 25, my favorite is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?

I have a huge TBR shelf and a Kindle full of books, but I haven’t been reading as much recently….

What’s a movie adaptation of a book/series that you loved or that you wish it is osmade?

I’d be watching Outlander if I had Starz…. While most adaptations I’ve seen haven’t lived up to the way I envisioned the characters and/or change key elements of the book, seeing books come to life with costumes and settings is great.

Which book we might be surprised to learn that you loved?

I’m a huge Philip Glass (one of the great living American composers, if you haven’t heard of him), and Leonard Bernstein fan (need I say more?), so I loved Music by Philip Glass and The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein.

If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Historical romance.

What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

See above, I’m not reading as much right now so I don’t remember.

During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

I’d stay inside. Preferably with a good book and/or a good man.

Flannels or Silk?

Flannels. Silk is lovely, but too cold and slippery. (It’s also less forgiving, should the wearer not have the flattest stomach.)

Sports car or SUV?

Neither! I’m too short to see over the steering wheel. When I worked at a radio station, I had to drive a red Corvette, pick up a client and take the client to lunch. I was petrified because the seat was so low. When shopping for my current car, a Toyota Corolla, salesmen would try to boast about this or that, I was more interested in whether I could see or not.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs. We had a wonderful West Highland Terrier (Frosty) growing up, and I’ve also had a smart Norwegian Elkhound (Voltaire. His name revealed who was culturally literate BTW…people who stopped to pet him either smiled and said something like, “Great name,” or frowned and asked “Voltar?” as if he were a sci-fi character).

Champagne or Beer?

Definitely Champagne. My favorite sparkling wine isn’t Champagne but is more affordable: Trader Joe’s Prosecco in a green bottle.

Movies or TV?

This is tough. As an actor and viewer, I’d have to say both. If you binge watch a series, such as House of Cards, isn’t that a bit like watching a very long movie? Especially these days, when most movies are around 90 minutes.

What’s your favorite TV show or a movie?

I’m on a reality show kick. I wish I was brave enough to be on The Amazing Race. And I love Shark Tank and America’s Got Talent because they really do make dreams come true. (I auditioned for AGT and made it to the live judges round with an audience of around 3,000.) I wish there was a show like that for authors! My favorite movies are Gone with the Wind and Excalibur. I watched that so many times when it was on HBO years ago I memorized most of it. “He has given, now you must,” says Merlin to Arthur….

Marry, kiss and kill: Heroes from any books you’ve read.

Well, if he’s a hero, would I want to kill him? I’d marry Royce from Judith McNaught’s Kingdom of Dreams (Is it a coincidence that he’s known as “The Wolf?”). All of the heroes in my keeper shelf books are kiss-worthy.

Ruth, thanks so much for stopping by to play!

‘At His Command’ 

ahc rkBOOK BLURB: Could she defy her king for love?

England 1453: King Henry VI sends Sir Nicholas Gray to protect the recently widowed Lady Amice Winfield from undesirable suitors. Though Nicholas intrigues her, she yearns to run Castle Rising without a man’s control.

Nicholas has no interest in marriage, but can’t deny he’s attracted to Amice. He’s surprised to finally find in Castle Rising a place he feels at home. A kiss sparks desire neither can ignore, yet serving opposing factions seeking to govern England threatens to pull them apart.

At court, the king and queen reject Amice’s pleas and choose a new husband for her, a highly-ranked lord who’ll provide connections and coin for the king’s depleted coffers that Nicholas cannot. How can she follow the king’s command when she’s a scribe for his rival? How can she marry another man when she’s falling in love with Nicholas?

BUY LINKS: Amazon – Historical Romance Version: here.

Inspirational Version: here.

‘Follow Your Heart’ [releasing 4/14]

fyh rkBOOK BLURB: Unforeseen passion draws them together…will his secrets tear them apart?

England 1460: Joanna Peyntor has two uses for a man: to pose for a stained glass window design or to commission her skills. But when her brother conspires to ruin her reputation, she concedes to a third: a husband to help save her glass-painting workshop.

On a quest to redeem his family name and lands, Sir Adrian Bedford must marry without delay. But what woman he’d accept would wed an impoverished former nobleman who insists on an unusual stricture in their marriage contract? Joanna, a woman striving to succeed in a man’s world. She agrees that discussions of a personal nature are prohibited.

When irresistible attraction makes their marriage of convenience inconvenient, will his dangerous secrets keep them from following their hearts?

Pre Order here.

rkAUTHOR BIO: Ruth Kaufman is a Chicago author, on-camera and voiceover talent and freelance editor and speaker with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV.

The second book in her Wars of the Roses Brides series, FOLLOW YOUR HEART,  releases April 14. Writing accolades include Romance Writers of America® 2011 Golden Heart® winner and runner up in RT Book Reviews’ national American Title II contest. Her true, short story, “The Scrinch” is in the St. Martin’s Press anthology The Spirit of Christmas, foreword by Debbie Macomber.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Blog Gainfully Unemployed / Facebook  or Ruth Kaufman Author & Actress / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page

‘At His Command: Historical Romance Version’ by Ruth Kaufman

ahc rkSTORY: Could she defy her king for love? England 1453: King Henry VI sends Sir Nicholas Gray to protect the recently widowed Lady Amice Winfield from undesirable suitors. Though Nicholas intrigues her, she yearns to run Castle Rising without a man’s control.
Nicholas has no interest in marriage, but can’t deny he’s attracted to Amice. He’s surprised to finally find in Castle Rising a place he feels at home.

A kiss sparks desire neither can ignore, yet serving opposing factions seeking to govern England threatens to pull them apart. At court, the king and queen reject Amice’s pleas and choose a new husband for her, a highly-ranked lord who’ll provide connections and coin for the king’s depleted coffers that Nicholas cannot.

How can she follow the king’s command when she’s a scribe for his rival? How can she marry another man when she’s falling in love with Nicholas?

ahc2 rkREVIEW: Medievals are not my usual fare, as you know. I’m more of a Regency/Victorian era chick. However, this book’s blurb intrigued almost as much as the fact that the author is offering her readers two versions of it, one with and the other without sexual content. I opted to read the one with 😉

I must admit that after I was done reading it, I wondered why I am not reading this particular genre more often. There’s something mystical in a good medieval romance. I credit the authors prose and wonderful descriptions of knights and court life, which have drawn me into another time and place. What an awesome way to learn History! One of the great things about this book was the way it showed the intrigue of the court of Henry VI.

Reading this book was like watching a movie. All the historical details enhanced the intriguing plot, while the relationship between our hero and heroine kept the story moving at a fast pace. While the story is very detailed, it never detracts from the storyline, but rather adds to it and makes it more real.

This is Ruth Kaufman’s debut novel and a wonderful start to a series. She gave us two complex and intriguing characters as well as an interesting and entertaining plot, and mixed with some historical figures of that era, this was a fascinating read.

And if a book lingers in my mind for more than two weeks, then I say the author has certainly deserved to be put on my keeper shelf.

Melanie for b2b