November 1, 2016
Payback is a powerful thing...
Actor and bartender, Tyler West experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games. Determined to change his life, he enters the World Series of Poker. His life is suddenly turned upside down when the Russian mafia fronts him 1.5 million dollars to play at the tables. And then...he loses…
Now on the ride of his life, deceit and deception are his key to uncovering the truth. He must recoup the money, but will it come at a price? Can he stay alive long enough or will his time run out?
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/cc3b8xb7sl8
About the Author:
Stefanie Stolinsky, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and forensic psychologist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, California. She specializes in trauma, adults sexually, physically and emotionally abused as children, and PTSD. She is an international speaker and has taught training seminars in overcoming the aftereffects of child abuse. She has also taught licensing examinations to candidates for both marriage, family and child counseling and for the psychology licenses.
She began her career as an actress in motion pictures, television and stage and created a unique therapy combining acting exercises with psychodynamic psychotherapy to help survivors of all kinds of trauma overcome the aftereffects of abuse. The first edition of "ACT IT OUT" was a top seller for over nine years. A second edition of the popular book was launched in April of this year and is available on Praeclarus Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
She is also the author of several award-winning short stories including her newest short story anthology, DATE NIGHT, and numerous comedy mystery. Dr. Stolinsky lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
Where are you from? San Francisco, CA
Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is that my newest comedy/mystery, HOT SHOT, about degenerate gambler, Tyler West, a 33-year-old hunk, who is in hot water with the Russian mafia who hoped his gambling addiction to poker would help them launder 1.5 million dollars in Macao. Tyler loses and when he decides to pay the mob back by stealing the money he owes from their very own casino, the caper takes a wild and crazy turn. Tyler and his friends, and lover, Teresa, find themselves in the throes of an FBI investigation in which an Indian tribe, with a casino on federal land, helps the hapless guy get out from under what could have been a deadly situation. He learns that love trumps addiction, but goes through some winding plot twists to get there.
When and why did you begin writing?
I felt it was a gift that I could nurture and I enjoy telling stories. I love comedy and did some stand-up and improv back in the day. The immediate gratification of making people laugh kind of morphed into hoping they would sit down with one of my books, after a hard days’ work, and just enjoy the characters and the plot.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was 13-years-old the first time I was actually published, but I was always a Shahrazad according to my husband who ought to know.
What inspired you to write your first book?
John Grisham. I loved everything he wrote and I couldn’t put the books down. I realized he was writing about stories he knew and when I became a forensic psychologist, I realized I could do the same thing and began THE COUNTERFEIT LOTTERY, about a hapless would-be actress who solves crimes by creating a profile acting class style. She ends up exchanging fantasy for reality and beats the cops at what they do every time.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’d say my writing style is short, sweet, to the point and economic. I don’t like a lot of description---I prefer to leave that to the audience to create in their own minds. When I was an actress, one of my coaches said, you don’t have to cry, make the audience cry for you. I think that goes along with writing, too.
How did you come up with the title?
The guy HOT SHOT was created for always thought he was “hot.” He was God’s gift to all women. When he crashes and burns and loses fifty thousand dollars, his home, and ends up selling his cat to make a little more money to gamble with, that made me think he thought of himself as a hot shot.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want people to do and feel what my protagonist feels about problems that eventually will solve themselves---squish a Kleenex in your hands and throw it in the air and let it land where it may. That kind of “who cares” attitude can help a lot when people think things are overwhelming when they might not be so serious.
How much of the book is realistic?
Most of it is realistic, but not necessarily true.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As I mentioned, the book was based on one of my best friends who literally lost everything to a gambling addiction. He was always wishing to “pay them back” for what had happened to him and when he got therapy, he realized he was blaming everyone but himself for his predicament. I just loved that guy—he had a vulnerability that was so endearing.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Any and all of Robert Parker’s books. I adore Ray Chandler, Ross McDonald, Donald Westlake (and all his pseudonyms) sometimes Janet Evanovich, Dashiell Hammett, and especially Mickey Spillane and Max Allen Collins. Oh, and of course, John Grisham.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Robert Parker, big time.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a lot of James Patterson because the plots are simple, straightforward and give me an urge to write. But I’m also seriously into literary genre and have finished “Girl on a Train,” “The Goldfinch” and “All the Light We Cannot See.” I figure, if someone has won a Pulitzer, you kind of have to read them.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Connie di Marco, sometimes called Connie Archer writes cozies and I think she is extremely talented. I also like many of the authors at FierySeasPublishing and not just because they are my publishers. They seem to have a plethora of horror, suspense, romance and thrillers that are really unique.
What are your current projects?
Finishing the second book in the COUNTERFEIT series, and writing a blog for the Addiction Blog (http://addictionblog.org/).
What would you like my readers to know?
That I really appreciate their taking a chance on reading me, and giving me a chance to show what I can do, how I write, how my stories might impact their lives or allow them some respite from a hard days’ work. I want people to sit down, relax, get some wine or pop, or milk, and open one of my books and laugh and enjoy the story to the end.