.An excerpt from my novel 'Cruise Quarters'

An excerpt from my novel 'Cruise Quarters'

When people sat down at Sarah Seldon’s blackjack game, they always wanted to talk about The Book. “Should I double down? Should I hit? Dealer, I know you’re a gambler; you could let me win if you wanted to. What does the book say?” She had never read this book, this mythical Bible for gamblers. The truth is there are 2256 books, each teaching its own foolproof winning system. But Sarah had been in the casino business long enough to think with a gambler’s mind. Gamblers knew they could follow all the rules of basic strategy, utilize money management and still lose if they weren’t dealt the right cards. The allure and curse of gambling was that there were no sure things. In the end it all came down to luck; gamblers prayed that Lady Luck would show up and that she would stick around for awhile.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


To continue my post about going to see top entertainment in the Los Angeles area without spending a dime. As I said in my last post, to go see a taping, the best site on the Internet for free tickers is www.audiencesunlimited.com but in all my trips to the website I had never seen tickets for Hot in Cleveland, so when I saw them offered I snatched them up. 

Hot in Cleveland is funny, silly and corny, just the humor I can relate to. My novel Cruise Quarters is all about dating and romance on a cruise ship so a show about four single women is right up my alley.
The list of actresses on this show is like a comedienne's hall of fame. Now I know my descriptions of these actresses will be redundant to most of you but I do have readers across the globe and they might have some catching up to do. These are the people we all grew up with. Jane Leeves, Niles crush on Frazier, sweet and pretty with that adorable British accent. Valerie Bertinelli, Americas darling from One Day At A Time, lived the rock star dream marrying and then divorcing Eddie Van Halen. Wendie Malick from Just Shoot Me, she gave narcissism a good name. She may not have married a rock star but Huey Lewis plays her on again off again lover on Hot in Cleveland. Then we have the spectacular Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore where she played the tasty cook show host, to the Golden Girls where she was the hapless Minnesotan. She gets more action on this show than the rest of the girls because she is the immortal Betty White.

We arrived at the studio a few hours early to scope the parking situation out. We were going to return later but a line had already formed. We talked to some people in line and they advised us not to leave. Even though you might have a ticket to Hot In Cleveland, if you weren't among the first to arrive you might not get in to see the show. Apparently, this was the hottest ticket in town, so we parked the car and chatted with a diverse group who spend all of their time catching the latest tapings. One of the girls next to me was a script writing student from UCLA. Her assignment was to watch a real taping of a show.

Well I am happy to report that two hours later we made it and took our spots as 'audience laughers'. The guests that night were a Jonas brother and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The Ladies did not let me down. They were beautiful, funny and sexy. They seemed to be having a great time, laughing at their flubbed lines the outtakes alone could have filled a blooper reel. But that is what makes a live taping so special. Ray and I couldn't decide who was funnier, Betty White or Wendie Malick, but lets fact it the narcissist delivers all the best lines.

Everything played out like our previous tapings. Before the show the warm up comic told jokes, the interns served sandwiches and we laughed until our jaws hurt. The show makes all women want to move to Cleveland, where there seems to be an endless supply of available handsome men, that sure would have improved my dating life. But if you can't make it to Cleveland you can visit the girls in Burbank.

About the author:
Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. Her novel is really a travelogue, a narrative, a romance, a self-help manual for gambling and cruising, and a real-life story all rolled into one funny, obsessive, and entertaining story of two people whose separate life journeys meet at a crossroads. Kindle Fire Dept. says, "This novel is a gem that is nothing short of a vacation in a book!"

Below is the links to Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships


  1. How long did the show taping last? Thanks!

  2. so when they say to be there by "5"...what time should we actually get there? We were thinking about 3, but now I'm not sure!