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THE HUSTLE by Elizabeth Roderick
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Cover Designer: TOJ Publishing
✗ SYNOPSIS ✗
Liria is nineteen, homeless, and addicted to heroin…
She’s also determined to not end up dead—like her mother. But every time she tries to get clean, on her feet, and back on the employment train, everything falls apart. This time is
different. This time, she knows there are only two choices—addiction or death. Once she gets clean, though, her life ends up even rockier than before.
Desperate for help, Liria goes to the one person she can count on for a safe place to stay and regular meals—her father, Cyryl Czetski. However, she soon learns Cyryl isn’t her real
father, and he wants a very different kind of relationship. Liria ultimately rejects his advances and ends up on the streets yet again, this time working in an illegal strip club.
Finally taking control of her life, Liria lands a job in a Vegas nightclub, where she meets Arty—the woman of her dreams.
Arty is beautiful, funny, and rich. But when other nightclub employees turn up dead—including Liria’s best friend, Lee—Liria suspects the business might be a front for something
far more sinister.
When Arty reveals Liria’s life is also in danger, she promises to keep her safe. But Arty’s acting strangely, and seems to know too much about the mysterious deaths. Is she really
trying to save her, or is she holding her hostage, using her as a pawn in a game Liria doesn’t understand?
Liria thought she was used to always second guessing everyone’s intentions. That’s how life is. But if the drugs don’t ruin her, The Hustle will…
✗✗ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ✗✗
grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia,
Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to the (very, very) small town of Shandon, California: a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of the Central
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She went on to study
chemistry, physics, and higher mathematics, with the goal of becoming a research chemist, but was eventually forced to concede that graduate school would require too much time
away from her husband and daughter, and that–despite her good-enough grades –she was perhaps the wrong kind of nerd for such pursuits, being more the type that likes to dress in
cloaks and hauberks rather than lab coats and goggles.
She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands. She’s rocked pretty much every instrument, including some she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly
guitar, bass and keyboards. She has two albums of her own, which you can listen to at pimentointhehole.com. She writes fiction novels for young adults and adults, as well as short
stories, and keeps an active blog at pimentointhehole.com/blog.
Limitless Publishing: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/elizabeth-roderick/
Hey all! Longtime followers of my blog know that I use cooking as relaxation. A few months ago I signed up for the meal service Blue Apron, and each delivery gets better and better. Here’s the rundown of the recipe I made today, accompanied by some bad photography. I’m a lover, not a photographer.
This recipe is called Nepalese Chicken Tarkari (did you know there were chickens in Nepal? I imagine them as large, robust fowl, well suited to the high elevations and bitter cold. Maybe they wear fur coats.). Here’s what all the ingredients looked like straight from the box:
Here’s the recipe card they send me, so I knew what I was doing with all these bits and pieces:
I washed my veggies, seared my chicken, and made the rice and sauce. You can get the full recipe on Blue Apron.
And you know what? Overall, it was pretty good. The inclusion of fresh ginger root in the sauce reaffirms my belief that ginger is one of the more underutilized foods out there. My only gripe is that the rice involved wilting the spinach in a separate pan, then draining, cooling, chopping, and adding it to the rice. I feel like there were a few unnecessary steps in there, and if I make this again I’ll just chop the spinach and toss it in the rice from the get-go.
The star of this meal was the spice blend used on the chicken and in the sauce, a finely ground mix of curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Overall, this dish was easy to prepare (even with the multi-pan spinach rice), and I I can well imagine making this again. Another win for Blue Apron!
When I finally make it out of the ballroom and into the hotel lobby I do my best to compose myself, but to no avail. I’m definitely going to throw up.
I hurry into the ladies room and just make it to the toilet before I begin to dry heave. My stomach was so twisted with nerves I couldn’t eat anything all day so there’s nothing of any significance to come up.
Tears begin to stream down my face and within moments I’m a sobbing heap of hopelessness on the bathroom floor. I allow myself to release all of the tension I’ve been holding in and wail for several minutes. When I finally feel like I’ve cried the well dry I take in what I hope will be a deep, calming breath.
Will I ever be able to pitch without experiencing complete and utter terror? How will I ever make it in the business if I can’t?
You have to pull yourself together, Nellie.
A knock on the stall I’m occupying startles me.
Then I hear a female voice say, “Is everything okay in there?”
“Fuck off.” The harsh words pop out of my mouth before I have a chance to stop them. I don’t mean to be rude, but it seems to happen a lot.
I hear the sound of footsteps as whoever I just swore at scurries out of the bathroom.
As I pull myself up from the floor I hike up the white tights that have gathered at my knees. I do my best to smooth out the wrinkles in the black and white polka dot dress I’m wearing.
I slowly step out of the stall and glance around the bathroom just to make sure it’s empty.
I would glance at myself in the mirror, but I know it would just make me feel worse than I already do. Not only would I be a failure, I’d be a hideous looking one as well. I’d like to at least be able to function under the illusion that I’m not completely repulsive looking.
Unfortunately my body isn’t quick enough for my brain. I catch a glance at my reflection in the mirror as I pass by. It’s even worse than I imagined it would be. Calling me frightening looking would be a compliment.
I give my reflection the middle finger as I walk out of the bathroom.
I must still be in a post-anxiety-attack fog because I don’t even see the young producer I attempted to pitch to until I plow right into him.
“I’m so sorry.” I’m surprised when coherent words actually come out of my mouth this time.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“No,” I sputter as I hurry away before I embarrass myself even further.
I scan the large lobby. It’s packed with lines of screenwriters waiting to pitch to producers. There’s one dark corner on the opposite side of the crowded area that looks like a safe zone where I can hide and catch my breath.
I close my eyes for a moment and rub my temples. I’m probably ten minutes away from a major headache on top of everything else.
When I open my eyes I see a very tall guy headed in my direction. Of course I’m only five feet tall, so nearly everyone on the planet over the age of ten is taller than me, but this guy is like a giant. His hair and eyes are as dark as mine, but his are on a much more attractive package.
For some reason the guy is waving a pack of gum at me.
“Want a piece?” he asks.
In a room filled with hundreds of people why on Earth has he singled me out? And why would he think I want gum?
He waits for several moments and stares at me. When I don’t reply he says, “No gum I guess.”
“Please go somewhere that isn’t here.”
He frowns. “Like you own Pitchfestapalooza.”
“Find your own corner,” I hiss.
I wait for him to leave, but he doesn’t budge. He continues to stare at me, like he’s examining a specimen.
I shoot daggers at him hoping he’ll take the hint.
“Fine, I’ll go. Sorry for invading your personal space.”
When he takes off into the sea of emerging screenwriters I breathe a small sigh of relief.
Don’t you just love that term? Emerging screenwriter. It’s a nice way to say wannabe.
That’s what we are. Wannabes. Every person here is scrounging for that one break that will finally get him or her into the business.
I can’t waste my one shot at finally making my dream come true.
I remove my one-sheet from my handbag and stare at it. I’ve gone over my logline and story synopsis thousands of times. I’ve got every word on the page memorized. I have no idea why I can’t just say the words when I actually sit down to pitch.
I have to do this. I have to at least try again. I’d never be able to live with myself if I gave up so easily.
I shove my one-sheet back into my handbag as I make my way over to one of the lines of writers waiting for the opportunity to meet with an action film producer.
Pitchfestapalooza is run like a well-oiled machine. I have to give credit where credit is due. Screenwriters line up to meet with producers by genre and lines keep moving at a fairly brisk pace. It’s set up a little like speed dating, but we’re pitching producers for deals, not trying to score with the opposite sex.
Luckily the line I’ve selected isn’t that long. It’s about half as long as the lines for the screenwriters pitching horror scripts or comedy projects. I’m not surprised that I’m the only female in line. It’s pretty well known that there’s sexism in the film industry, but it seems to be even worse when it comes to action movies.
But I love the genre, and even though I have a vagina, I can’t see myself writing anything else.
I don’t realize until he turns around that I’m standing right behind the tall guy who offered me the gum.
He flashes me a charismatic smile. The type of grin you might see on a used car salesman or politician.
Why do I get the feeling this guy could sell dirt to a farmer?
“So what do you have against gum?” he asks.
“Then it’s me you don’t like.”
“I don’t even know you.”
“Then let’s remedy that situation right now.” He extends a hand for me to shake. “I’m Roscoe Rhodes.”
I’m sure he’s wondering why I’m not returning the gesture. I don’t like touching people I don’t know. It’s one of my numerous obsessions.
He waits for a long moment. When it’s obvious I’m not going to shake his hand he says, “You know, Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore.”
“My name’s not Dorothy.”
“At least I got you to say something.”
“Nellie Berg,” I tell him. “And how did you know I’m from Kansas?”
“I didn’t. You’re dressed like Dorothy Gale. What’s up with that outfit?”
I look down at my black patent leather shoes, white tights, black and white polka dot skirt. Then I glance around me. Everyone else is wearing dress jeans and button-down shirts with their sleeves rolled up to their elbows. Somehow I must have missed the screenwriters’ attire memo.
So in addition to being a bundle of nerves I look completely and totally out of place. Isn’t that just great for my self-esteem?
“You know this producer only makes action films,” Roscoe says.
I don’t even try to hide my scowl. “I know that.”
He points to another line directly across the lobby from us. “The line for romantic comedy is over there.”
“So?” I glare at him.
“Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable over there?”
“You mean somewhere where there isn’t a misogynistic jerk standing in front of me?”
He crosses his arms over his chest. “You’ve written a script for an action movie?”
As I shake my head defiantly I wonder why I’m even talking to this asshole.
“Then what are you doing in this line?” His condescending tone is really starting to piss me off.
“I’ve written scripts for thirty action movies.” Choke on that you prick.
“You don’t strike me as the type who would be interested in writing action scripts.”
“And why is that? Because I’m female? Have you bought into the sexist notion that women can’t write action scripts?”
I cross my arms over my chest and stare at him. As much as I’d like him to crawl into a hole somewhere he stares right back at me.
“Maybe it’s the pink polka dot purse you’re holding. That just screams action film. Or the outfit you’re wearing. If Shirley Temple and Dorothy Gale had a love child she would dress like you. Except you look more like a Munchkin with your little round face and tiny body.”
I can feel my face heat with embarrassment. This guy just says whatever he thinks, doesn’t he. “You know that’s really insulting.”
“Munchkin,” he repeats.
“Don’t call me that.”
“Whatever you say, Munch. You look like one of the dolls from the cabbage patch. I just want to put you on a shelf.”
“I consider that a micro-aggression.”
“Boo-hoo. What are you going to do? Call the PC police because I hurt your feelings?”
“You’re kind of a jerk.”
“Everyone says I’m charming.”
This guy is definitely no prince. “I guess everyone is wrong.”
A broken queen. A friendship mired in deceit. Can one man from the desert help hold the realm together?
Asherah, Queen of Parthalan and Lady of Tingu, has led her people through eight centuries of prosperity. That peace shatters when Mersgoth, the mordeth thought long dead, attacks Teg’urnan. In the aftermath a new warrior emerges: Aeolmar, a man as secretive as he is deadly.
Asherah and Aeolmar race across Parthalan in pursuit of Mersgoth, and track the beast to the High Desert. While they’re gone, Harek, now Prelate of Parthalan, conspires with the Dark Fae against the elves…Against Leran, the king of the elves and Asherah’s son in all but blood. Will Asherah see the truth of Harek before it’s too late, or will he bring down the fae once and for all?
The Virgin Queen – Book Two of the Chronicles of Parthalan
Get your copy here —> http://amzn.to/1MaUOEV