Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday's Film Adaption: The Hustler by Walter Tevis

When it was first published in 1959, The Hustler was the first—and the best—novel written about billiards in the 400-year history of the game. The book quickly won a respected readership and later an audience for the movie with the same name starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. The Hustler is about the victories and losses of one "Fast" Eddie Felson, a poolroom hustler who travels from town to town conning strangers into thinking they could beat him at the game when in fact, he is a skillful player who has never lost a game. Until he meets his match in Minnesota Fats, the true king of the poolroom, causing his life to change drastically. This is a classic tale of a man's struggle with his soul and his self-esteem.

"If Hemingway had the passion for pool that he had for bullfighting, his hero might have been Eddie Felson."—Time

"A wonderful hymn to the last true era when men of substance played pool with a vengeance."—Time Out

A pool shark falls into the clutches of a crooked gambler.

Release Date: September 25, 1961
Release Time: 134 minutes

Paul Newman as Eddie Felson
Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats
Piper Laurie as Sarah Packard
George C. Scott as Bert Gordon
Myron McCormick as Charlie
Murray Hamilton as Findley
Michael Constantine as Big John
Stefan Gierasch as Preacher
Clifford Pellow as Turk
Jake LaMotta as bartender
Gordon B. Clarke as cashier
Alexander Rose as scorekeeper
Carolyn Coates as waitress
Carl York Young as hustler
Vincent Gardenia as bartender
Gloria Curtis as girl with fur coat
Charles Dierkop, Donald Crabtree, Brendan Fay as poolroom hoods

1961 Academy Awards:
Best Actor - Paul Newman - Nominated
Best Actress - Piper Laurie - Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay - Sidney Carroll, Robert Rossen - Nominated
Best Black and White Art Direction - Harry Horner, Gene Callahan - Won
Best Black and White Cinematography - Eugen Schüfftan - Won
Best Director - Robert Rossen - Nominated
Best Picture - Robert Rossen - Nominated
Best Supporting Actor - Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott - Nominated

1961 BAFTAs:
Best Film - Any Source - Robert Rossen - Won
Best Foreign Actor - Paul Newman - Won

1961 Directors Guild of America:
Best Director - Robert Rossen - Nominated



Author Bio:
Walter Stone Tevis was an American novelist and short story writer. Three of his six novels were adapted into major films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth. His books have been translated into at least 18 languages.




Learning to Love by Felice Stevens

Title: Learning to Love
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: May 2, 2016

After ten years away from home, bad boy caterer Gideon Marks has a lot to prove. Getting the holiday catering job at his childhood synagogue is the first step in demonstrating to everyone he didn’t turn out to be the failure they predicted. What he doesn’t count on is Rabbi Jonah Fine, his high school nemesis and secret crush, stirring up old feelings Gideon thought long gone and secrets he’s buried deep for years.

An unexpectedly passionate encounter shocks Gideon, but he pushes Jonah away, convinced he isn’t good enough to be in a relationship and would never be accepted by Jonah’s father. But Jonah hangs tough—he won’t allow Gideon to hide or run away from life again. And when it comes to love, Gideon learns the most important lessons aren’t always taught in school.

Another great story by Felice Stevens!  There is connection, chemistry, history, love, food, and it is all wrapped up in a nice happily ever after package.  Some might say that knowing you are reading a happily ever after before going in is a major spoiler but for me, it is not always about where they end up but how they got there and that is what Miss Stevens brings you: the journey.  It takes talent to bring you a tale based on how and not just the endgame, so I highly recommend checking out this great little love story.  We've all had at least one unrequited crush in our school days but finding out it may not have been so unrequited and are given a second chance you can't ignore it.  If you have never read Felice Stevens before, this is a perfect place to start and if you have, well you know Learning to Love is worth checking out.


“How did you know where to find me?”

“I didn’t. But when I went to your apartment and discovered you weren’t home, I thought to myself, ‘Where would a chef be early on Saturday morning?’”

Pleased he’d thought so carefully about me, I bit my lip to keep from smiling, then muttered with my head down, “Lucky guess on your part.”

“I’d like to think so,” said Jonah, his voice as soft as the breeze. My eyes met his, the hurt from our last conversation shimmering bright in their depths, causing a throb within me of a longing I’d never known existed. “Or maybe it was fate.”

He smiled then plucked the paper bag of rugelach out of my clutches, rummaged through it until he found an apricot one, and bit off half.

“Well, if you’re that hungry, I guess you can come home with me, and I’ll make you an omelet,” I grumbled but couldn’t stop the small grin tugging at my lips. “But I planned on browsing a bit more through the market first.”

“I’d like that.” Jonah walked beside me, and we meandered past the stands piled high with colorful peppers and squash. We strolled in silence, but every few steps I’d sneak a glance at him, expecting Jonah to speak. Instead he remained irritatingly, cheerfully silent.

I sampled some hot mulled cider and licked my lips. Spending so much time with Jonah gave me new insight. I’d always thought him superior and judgmental; perhaps I had been wrong in my assessment. He captivated me with the humor in his speech, warmth in his smile, and that unmistakable flare of desire in his eyes. Goddamn it, I wanted him.

I extended the paper cup. “Do you want a sip?” Its heady cinnamon scent remained one of my most favorite things about the fall season. To my shock, instead of answering me, he bent down and kissed me on my lips, lapping at their sticky sweetness. He stepped back, but I put a restraining hand on his wrist.

“What’s going on? Why are you really here?”

The honesty in Jonah’s face took my breath away.

“Do you really have to ask, after the last time?”

My body refused to listen to the war inside my head, kindling a deep need I couldn’t understand. I took a step forward, but unlike me, Jonah didn’t retreat. He stood firm, and I stood close enough to almost touch. Close enough to smell him.

“I’m not who you want; can’t you see that?”

“You don’t have any idea what I see when I look at you, Gideon.”

I wanted to yell back at him, No, you have no idea who I am, but I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the moment. I had no clue who Jonah thought I was, but I wanted to be that man if only to be able to have him always look at me like this. Like I was special. Like I was his. The sun beat hot upon my shoulders, and I held his gaze while contentment poured over me like a warm summer rain.

Author Bio:
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. My character have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love. 

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be a little angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.



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The Z Tailgate by Clive Riddle

Title: The Z Tailgate
Author: Clive Riddle
Genre: Adult, Horror, Zombies
Release Date: March 12, 2016
Zombies go to a Raider tailgate and bleed silver and black. The Z Tailgate is the sequel to the Burning Z. In the Burning Z, Zombies went to Burning Man. The sequel begins back  in the Black Rock Desert before zombies invade a cruise ship and a tailgate party. In The Z Tailgate, the Burning Man site is now an internment camp for zombies and our heroes, Alan Gorman, Conner and Bruce, consult with the Department of Homeland Security, who oversee zombie affairs. Alan and Conner are sent to a cruise ship to investigate a possible new zombie outbreak. Bruce and Cassie – Conner’s girlfriend – are kidnapped along with a truckload of zombies by Chinese-backed henchmen intending to stow away some Zs to China. The zombie truck becomes the subject of a manhunt, ultimately hiding out in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, where a football game is about to take place. The zombies escape and invade the tailgate parties, leading to a climatic battle in the Coliseum parking lot.

Raymond, Cassie, and Tess passed by a group of costumed ladies in black nun outfits with skeleton masks, oblivious to the emerging panic and passing around a bottle of Jgermeister next to their two vehicles. Next to them was a muscular, handsome young man in his twenties with neatly groomed facial stubble and a singular small tattoo on his bicep, trying to catch the nun"s attention while passing the football back and forth with a buddy a dozen cars east, down the same row.

Cassie witnessed the man's buddy make a spectacular catch - saving the ball from careening into the cars - only to be sideswiped by a zombie that emerged from in between the vehicles, taking the buddy to the ground with the football.

Cassie kept a watchful eye out for law enforcement, hoping to attract their attention. Her heart raced as she saw a swath of sheriff's officers, decked in riot gear, two-deep, descending the BART ramp. Unfortunately, Raymond spotted them too. He cursed several F bombs, before pushing at Cassie's breast with his Glock and ordering her to veer right. He decided to try his luck reversing course to the RV section and see if they could sneak through any gaps in the fence in the far corner, south of the Baldwin gate, beyond the cargo truck.

The northern end of the RV section seemed removed from the madness. People were still partying. The first group they passed by were almost to a person clinging to ice-cold bottles of microbrews, pulled from metal troughs placed in front of two RVs. Everyone seemed to be immersed in deep conversation as Raymond, Cassie, and Tess passed through, including a silver-man group - painted up with great similarity to the Blue Man Group, including latex caps.

As they made their way down the RV row, the crowd seemed increasingly more uneasy. A frenzied group was loading their silver and black camper, a man in a full body football suit removed his Darth Vader helmet, barking orders at his son to hurry up.

Author Bio:
Clive Riddle is a life-long Californian, married and father of three. At age 26 Riddle became CEO of a regional HMO. After a decade, he went on to found MCOL, a leading health care business information company. Riddle has authored a variety of health care reference books and business articles. He is a noted speaker at national events regarding key health care business issues. Dorris Bridge was his first novel, The Burning Z was his second, and the Z Tailgate is his third.


The Z Tailgate #2

The Burning Z #1

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