Monday, August 15, 2011

Rudy, Looking for Love by Phoebe Matthews

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Rudy, Looking for Love, Chicago 1880s trilogy Marshall Field's motto was "Give the Lady what she wants!" and God knows, Rudy tried. When the Columbia Exposition brought the glamourous Lillian Russell home to Chicago, Rudy Schillmann and thousands of other small boys fell madly in love. The rest of them grew up to find more suitable loves. Rudy grew up but he missed the next step.

From the author of My Deja Vu Lover, a romance moving from contemporary Seattle to Hollywood, 1925.

Phoebe Matthews currently writes the Mudflat urban fantasy series for BookStrand and the new Turning Vampire series for Dark Quest Books as well as the Sunspinners series and the Chicago 1890s trilogy. Her current books and backlist books are described on her website. Phoebe has been published by Avon, Dell, Holt, Putnam, Silhouette. Most of her books are set in the Pacific Northwest where she lives and where the constant rain and fog hide a lot of weirdness.


She was a candle flame in their center, her red-gold mass of curls tumbling beneath her high feathered hat, her bodice foaming with lace ruffles beneath her diamond collar and across the swell of her breasts. Her waist was so narrow he could imagine spanning his hands around it. Her skirt billowed in cloudlike draperies that hinted at the shape of her hips, the length of her legs, before swirling behind her and up into the layered bustle.
Above the street smells of horses and lanterns wafted a heavy sweetness of her perfume. Rudy pinned his hands more firmly in his pockets, but his feet moved without his permission, a step toward her, and his mouth went slack with the sight of her.
His mind screamed, "Caroline."
His mouth whispered it.
She turned, barely, her head moving above the diamond collar, her eyes swinging more rapidly.
Had she heard him? He thought he would die. Had he said her name aloud? Had he dared to? And if the gentlemen heard him, what would they do to him?
But the gentlemen moved forward, outbiding each other as they raised their hands to summon the carriage, to open the door, to sweep and gesture around her as though each owned her.
Over their shoulders her glance returned to Rudy, her lids lowered almost not at all, but her mouth moved in a secret smile and he knew that she had seen him.
She always saw him.
One of the men placed his hand at her waist to help her into the carriage and Rudy imagined the way that straight spine felt beneath the white silk.
Long after the carriage rattled away, he pressed himself against the dry bricks of the theatre's alley wall, still warm from the day's heat, and ran his damp palms down his trousers to dry them, and wondered what it would be like to touch her, the crisp hair, the silk skin, the soft mouth.
He knew that she was the Mrs. Leslie Carter of the trial of six years earlier, something that had happened when he was a boy and made her a famous name, but he didn't care and never asked anyone about her past. Today she was Mrs. Leslie Carter of the stage, a presence so blinding that when she swept toward the footlights, the audience and theatre and stage and other actors disappeared and all Rudy saw was Mrs. Leslie Carter.

Interview with Phoebe Matthews

What will readers like about this book?
It has received 5 star reviews which maybe answer this question better than I can. Two said:
5 stars
... I tend to think of Chicago as 1920s mobsters ... It's a delight to discover another era and quite another view of the city. Poor Rudy is a charmer too!
--R. Jones on Amazon

5 stars
...what really made this story a winner was the opportunity to be part of such a fabulous vignette of this time in history.
--Lee Reads on Amazon

Why did you self publish?
I didn't want to bend the stories to genre rules.

What is your writing process?
I spent years, literally, in the university's research room going through old copies of the Chicago Tribune to get the dates and incidents right. And then I made careful calendars and finally the whole trilogy became a detailed outline. And THEN I started writing.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
I don't set time lines. This story started in my head years ago, and I thought I would write it as one long novel. But then I realized it was actually a collection of stories, and so I broke it up into three parts,

What inspired you to write this particular story?
The stories were passed down in my family, and then I added fiction to tie them together. Some are true as they stand, some are exaggerated, and some are pure fiction and on pain of painful death at the hands of family members, I won't say which is which.


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