.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, August 30, 2012


I was listening to Katy Perry's song Not Like the Movies, when I started thinking about romantic movies and what makes the good ones work. A movie needs a good script, likeable stars and a believable premise. I love movies about ordinary people, who I can relate to. I have to feel like I could be the star in that movie. Those of you who have read my novel Cruise Quarters know that I am the hopeful romantic. So with that in mind I have given you my top ten romantic movie choices.

I hate to know too much about a movie before I see it. I like to be surprised; I only read movie reviews after I see the movie. So I will just give you a teaser about each of my picks, just enough to pique your interest. My movies span decades and continents. I have watched a lot of bad movies so that you won't have to. My top ten list is in alphabetical order. I couldn't pick a favorite.

Happy Viewing, from the Hopeful Romantic

1. 500 Days of Summer - starring Joseph Gordon - Levitt and Zooey Daschanel I saw this movie at a screening sponsored by the Palm Springs Film Society. The writer Scott Neustadter told us that this movie was based on his life story. The movie wanders through your consciousness like time does.

2. Ae Fond Kiss - starring Attat yaqubj and Eva Birthisttle Director Ken Loach This movie has a fond place in my heart because my husband is from Glasgow and lives in a neighborhood that is a mix of native Scots and Pakistanis. If you want to take the pulse of a culture this movie gets it right.

3. The Breakup - starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston How many times have you gone to see a movie and wondered, really why are these people together? A manic Vaughn plays a guys guy to the hilt, a very funny script.

4. Bull Durham starring Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon This movie is about a minor league baseball team in a small Southern town. It is about a time when summer seemed to last forever.

5. Chilly Scenes of Winter starring Mary Beth Hurt and John Heard This movie is based on a novel by Anne Beattie. It is about that time after college when you are trying to find a life for yourself. Anyone who has ever sat in a cubicle for eight hours a day will certainly relate to this movie.

6. Frankie and Johnnie at the Claire de Lune starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino These superstars play two ordinary people working at a diner in New York City.

7. Modern Romance starring Albert Brooks and Kathryn Harrold Albert Brooks plays a fickle guy who just can't commit. This movie feels like a replay of my dating life before I met my husband. This movie was the first romance I had ever seen that got it right.

8. Starting Over starring Burt Reynolds, Candice Bergen and Jill Clayburgh Watch this movie and you will know why Burt Reynolds was the biggest box office star for years. I spent most of my single years in Boston where the movie is set navigating through the crazy dating scene and by that I mean most of the men I met were crazy.

9. A Town Like Alice starring Bryan Brown and Helen Morse based on a novel by Nevil Shute This might be bit of a cheat because this is an Australian mini-series. It takes the romance through many years from a Malaysian prison camp to a town in the back of beyond in Australia. This movie captures the awkwardness of reconnection and starting over in a new land.

10. The Year Of Living Dangerously starring Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson See this movie and for a few hours Mel Gibson once again becomes the sexiest man alive. Set amidst a revolution in Indonesia the country provides a dramatic backdrop. The movie provides an unlikely matchmaker in Linda Hunt.  

If any one in Hollywood is listening I have a great story about two ordinary people who meet in a very big world. It would fit in quite nicely at number eleven. 

Cara Bertoia is the author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos and Cruise Ships. This novel about her experiences working on a luxury cruise ship is the top rated casino or cruise ship novel at Amazon. This 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!" It will be featured at E- Reader News Today on September 3, as bargain book of the day. You can read more of her blog at carabertoia.blogspot.com and please let share your own picks for top romantic movies.

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

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cara,

    I have never seen any of these movies! Such a handy list for date nights at home with the hubby. We love a good rom com. I'm most interested in Ae Fond Kiss for its cross cultural love:)