2006 Golden Crown Literary Award!
high-stakes romance among the jet-set crowd of actresses, producers,
and world-famous entrepreneurs.
Black – an actress driven by her ambition, desperately wants the
starring role in an upcoming film based on a series of famous novels.
With a reputation for being willing to do anything to get a part,
the actress sets out to impress the woman behind the project.
Annelie Peterson – the wealthy publisher with a mysterious past
– owns the film rights and will decide who wins the much-coveted
role. When Annelie meets Carolyn, the woman she has idolized for
years, sparks fly. How far is Carolyn prepared to go for the dream
part of a lifetime? And just how far will Annelie bend her
principles in the name of desire?
READ EXCERPT!!! Chapter 1-3 of Course of Action
Paced, wonderful romance
Gun Brooke’s international debut
of the romance Course of Action is a winner. I could not put
this book down once I began reading the first page. It is
tension-filled and fast paced with easy to follow dialog. It is
a wonderful romance from a first time published author.
Annelie Peterson owns Key Line Publishing and decides to produce
a trio of movies of the best selling Diana Maddox books. The
character of Diana Maddox is a lesbian criminal investigator.
Diva actress Carolyn Black is the very popular voice in the
audio version, but she is not the front runner for the starring
role. At forty-five, the marketing experts want a more bankable
younger star. So the Diva pursues this role and Annelie as well,
with dogged determination. She even states to her agent that she
will do just about anything to secure this role. In the course
of this pursuit Carolyn, who is straight, becomes attracted to
Annelie. But is it all for show just to land this prime role or
is it for real?
Brooke develops her characters through great dialogue that is to
the point and flows smoothly which makes for fast reading. She
doesn’t get bogged down in details that do not advance the
plot. The author creates tension not only with words, but with
descriptions of subtle inadvertent touching and physical
closeness. Brooke illustrates the struggle and complexities of
not only a gay-straight relationship, but one that crosses
professional boundaries as well. Both Annelie and Carolyn begin
to go down one path only to find as they get to know one
another, the path changes. Annelie and Carolyn have to make
personal and professional choices, and the author demonstrates
that the choices each makes may not be what are best for their
budding relationship. As the story progresses, Carolyn’s
single-mindedness to get the role of a lifetime and Annelie’s
stubborn refusal to give her the part because it may jeopardize
her company, slowly melts away as the characters are fleshed out
even more. Brooke’s words capture the intensity of their
growing relationship. Her prose throughout the book is
breathtaking and heart-stopping. The following quotes illustrate
“She lifted from the box a white gold bracelet, a simple chain
with three charms attached to it-a heart, a cross, and an
anchor…”( pg 186)
“The sound of Carolyn’s throaty voice was reassuring. It
wrapped around Annelie’s heart like armor, and for a moment,
she instinctively knew as long as Carolyn was there to love her,
nothing could really pierce it.”(pg 209)
Where have you been hiding, Gun Brooke? I, for one, would like
to see more romances from this author.
one desperately determined middle-aged diva from Tinseltown and add one
mysterious, megabucks publisher and philanthropist from Miami. Stir in
personality clashes, ethical conflicts, and a slowly simmering discovery
of desire and romantic awakening. What results is Gun Brooke's
refreshing novel, Course of Action. Carolyn Black wants the role of a
lifetime, transforming the popular lesbian criminal investigator Diana
Maddox from the pages of the popular novel series to the big screen.
Annelie Peterson owns the film rights and wants to interview and
audition several actresses for the role. However, at the same time,
Annelie possesses a secret or two when it comes to Carolyn Black,
secrets better left undisclosed for the moment. These two likable career
women have indeed found a worthy and challenging adversary in each
other. Carolyn and Annelie are vibrant and charismatic women, but they
are far from the carefully crafted public persona each willingly reveals
to the world. Corporate machinations, Hollywood hype, family crises, and
intriguing secondary characters all intersect to create varied
conflicts, some of which appear to have no easy resolutions. Yet,
beneath all the clever maneuverings and seemingly shady shenanigans, a
relationship is being forged, but whether or not it is genuine, Carolyn
and Annelie must discover for themselves.
Brooke has created an appealing set of circumstances. Finding the right
actress to play the role of Diana Maddox so as not to disappoint the
many fans of the fictional detective is the main premise of the book.
The disparate characters each have a stake in seeing this project come
to fruition. It is the discord that arises from this quest that provides
the reader with a fast-paced reading experience. The plot flows
naturally and uncluttered from one scene to the next. The various
sub-plots are written in a contained yet expansive manner. The author
has an easy comfortable writing style, and chapters are often marked by
several scene breaks within the chapter. This device succeeds in rapidly
driving the plotline; the reader's interest is piqued with every new
A well-written novel has a strong and memorable opening, and Course of
Action delivers. "That role is mine! I am Diana Maddox" (page
11)! With the exclamation of those eight simple words, the reader meets
the whirlwind, Carolyn Black. Part of the pleasure in this book is
determining if she indeed is the larger-than-life diva she purports to
be. From the very outset the reader wonders if the reticent Annelie is
also what she seems to be. Therein lays the basic contention for the
reader to resolve along with these two women. The foreshadowing
presented here is fairly elementary, but at the same time, it is
intriguing for the reader to see if her expectations occur.
The setting created by Brooke is a glimpse into that fantasy world of
celebrity and high rollers, escapist to be sure, but witnessing the
relationship develop between Carolyn and Annelie is well worth the trip.
As the reader progresses, the trappings become secondary to the
characters' desire to reach goals both professional and personal.
Some may find the title a bit misleading, although there is a reference
to it, "I guess we'll have to agree on a course of action before
." (p. 291). However, it certainly doesn't detract from the overall
effect. This reader would have preferred a few loose ends be more
tightly wrapped up, but, then again, that is the usual basis for a
sequel, and Brooke has created a workable segue should she decide to
continue. Course of Action is a commendable effort in the romance genre.
The novel is populated with a host of captivating and amiable
characters. The glimpses into the lifestyles of the rich and beautiful
people are rather like guilty pleasures. The overall result makes for a
most satisfying and entertaining reading experience.
Customer reviews from Amazon:
Romance! Drama!, January 4, 2006
Annelie Peterson, the mysterious owner of a
publishing company, has something actress Carolyn
Black desperately wants. A prime role - the role of
a lifetime - in a movie based on a character Carolyn
previously played in a series of electronic books.
Convinced that no one else can play the character
like she would, Carolyn sets out to do whatever it
takes to get the part. One big obstacle stands in
Carolyn's way - Annelie isn't convinced Carolyn
would be the best choice.
When Carolyn and Annelie again meet at a charity
function, Annelie - for reasons she can't quite
explain - finds herself inviting Carolyn to her home.
Something she hasn't done with someone who's
virtually a complete stranger. Or is she? It's
strictly a nice gesture to let Carolyn use her pool
- isn't it? Slowly but surely, as they spend more
time around each other, the two women find
themselves becoming friends. Carolyn soon suspects
that there is more to Annelie than meets the eye. It
seems Annelie has secrets. Carolyn can't help but
wonder what they could be. And what they would have
to do with Annelie's reluctance to offer her the
part Carolyn is seeking.
Carolyn's determination and Annelie's hesitation
come to a head when, somewhere along the lines, both
women begin to notice their feelings for each other
are changing. The big question is - are they
changing for better or for worse? Annelie wonders if
Carolyn's feelings are true or another ploy in her
attempt to gain the coveted role. As for Carolyn,
she's never thought to question her sexuality so why
is she doing so now? To add another obstacles into
the mix, a crisis for one of the women threatens to
derail any chance of a new love forming. Could fate
be trying to tell
Gun Brooke presents the readers with a terrific
first book. Filled with drama, and suspense, with
just the right touch of romance, Course of Action is
a thoroughly intriguing and entertaining read - from
the emphatic first line to its heartfelt ending!
Tremendous story of life in movie business,
October 10, 2005
This is a terrific novel of the film industry.
The book is loaded with as much humor as it is
romance, and the drama is first rate. Rather
than portraying the lives of the beautiful
people we are treated to the people who lead
exciting lives yet have the same insecurities
and needs as everyone. This novel is a true
delight to read. It is an in-depth look at
people's daily lives and the secrets we all have
and decisions we all make. This novel is a
keeper that you will want to read again. Don't
lend this out as you will not get it back!
This from the publisher's web page - A
high-stakes romance among the jet-set crowd of
actresses, producers, and world-famous
Carolyn Black - an actress driven by her
ambition, desperately wants the starring role in
an upcoming film based on a series of famous
novels. With a reputation for being willing to
do anything to get a part, the actress sets out
to impress the woman behind the project. Annelie
Peterson - the wealthy publisher with a
mysterious past - owns the film rights and will
decide who wins the much-coveted role. When
Annelie meets Carolyn, the woman she has
idolized for years, sparks fly. How far is
Carolyn prepared to go for the dream part of a
lifetime? And just how far will Annelie bend her
principles in the name of desire?
Lesbian beautiful people in a fluffy romance,
September 30, 2005
Portia H (Lexington KY)
This is the
first romance by this author and it's very
entertaining. Carolyn is an arrogant, beautiful
actress who discovers she's a lesbian in her
mid-forties when she falls for the woman whose
movie she wants to star in. Annelie is also one
of the lesbian beautiful people, having
reinvented herself after winning a huge lottery.
Carolyn wants what Annelie won't let her have,
so there are sparks between these two divas when
they first meet. The story keeps you turning
pages and it's fluff - after a hard day at the
office, that's okay! I recently discovered the
existance of lesbian romances so I have a lot of
catching up to do. This one was better than some
of the others I've been reading and I would
recommend it to anyone looking for a
lighthearted story with a glitzy setting and
tasteful love-making scenes.
Course of Action - ISBN 1-933110-22-8
is now available from Bold Strokes Books.
Order from www.starcrossedproduction.com,
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