by S. B. Redstone
Lance Forrester is a dreamer. After a celebrated career as an astronaut and engineer, he and a friend build a secret spacecraft to seek their destinies in the stars. But his friend dies and Lance is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Desperate not to succumb to his fate, he convinces an acquaintance, ailing actress Sage Saint Claire, whom he hasn’t seen since high school, to join him on his quest to reach an advanced alien civilization which can heal them both.
Unfortunately, true life is not a Hollywood movie, as much as Sage might want it to be, and problems abound. Mistakes in the past have turned Sage into a bitter old woman, and she turns out to be a less-than-perfect traveling companion which no amount of optimism, youth, or good health can cure. Can these two intrepid octogenarians-turned-immortals overcome the emotional scars of their pasts and achieve true happiness, or are they doomed to suffer for their mistakes, no matter how far from Earth they go?
Lance visits Sage in Hospice Care. He is dying at well. Inspire her! “Your sympathy is appreciated, but I have no immediate plans of kicking the bucket here on Earth.” Hear goes. “On New Year’s Day, I’m traveling into the galaxy in my private spacecraft with the hope of reaching an advanced alien civilization that will extend my life. I would be honored if you would join me.”
First, Sage gave me a look as if she’d just bitten into the foulest tasting food, then a burst of anxious laughter erupted from her unenthusiastic face. “That’s your hope?” She tried to hold back her mocking smirk, but couldn’t. Her defiant nature hardened to ice. “Now, why would I want to do that?”
Lance and Sage awaken on an alien world. “Hi, Sage,” I said calmly. “It’s safe. You can come out. No monsters. Just friends. He doesn’t bite.”
Despite my attempt to relieve her mounting worries, she was still wary and stepped cautiously out on the patio, her head nervously jerking about. She was wearing blue jeans and a pink blouse. “We’re on Earth—right? We’re back home?”
My laugh was kind. “No Sage. We’re on the friendly planet of Pirodinos, some eight thousand light years from Earth.”
“Bullshit! I know Earth when I see it,” she said nastily, apparently thinking I was deceiving her.
“Then, you better take a good look. Look at the tree bark. The sky. I don’t believe the last time you were on Earth that it had more than one moon.”
Steven Rosenstein, penname S. B. Redstone, had a career as a school psychologist and private practice Licensed Clinical Social Worker on Long Island. Always seeking the truths of human nature, he wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, published by New Horizon Press Books. He has written articles on human nature and relationships, given lectures, and appeared on radio shows. Always having a vivid imagination, he first became a successful writer of short stories. His mystery thriller, A Sinister Obsession, was published by Black Opal Books. As an expert in the field of human psychology, he has an exceptional ability to develop realistic and exciting characters in his novels. Many of my characters have been taken from his clinical experiences. Stardust Dreams is his first romance novel, although romantic relationships stand out in his other works. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Org and Romance Writers of America. He resides with his wife in New York and Florida.
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Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I am from New York, more specifically, Long island, even more specifically, Plainview, by its name, the most boring town on the planet, No town center. You don’t know when you’ve entered it or left. It’s known for nothing. I write under the name S. B. Redstone. My first careers put bread on my table. I was a School Psychologist and Clinical Social Worker. Always striving to improve my understanding of human nature, I researched and then wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, which offers remarkable insights into behavior, societal institutions, and relationships. I am a Jack Of All Trades: artist, writer, home renovator, and any other project that tickles my fancy. Although I play tennis, bowl, fish, golf is number one since early adolescence.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Although I love to write horror and mystery thrillers, I got hooked on the romantic sub-genres in those novels. People will say write what you know. And what I know is life as a senior citizen, making me keenly aware of what I care about and what my peers care about, which is immortality, good health, and eternal happiness. As a therapist I am keenly aware of what people generally care about. Once I made that decision to write a romance, my unconscious took control and a number of captivating stories came into consciousness. One caught and held my attention. Lance Forrester: astronaut, scientist, and dreamer seeks to find his destiny in the stars. Stardust Dreams was born. It is about two elderly people who seek immortality and adventure in the wondrous universe. There are surprises with every turn of the page. Science fiction and fantasy are its wonderful sub-genres. It’s a novel for all generations.
How do you create your characters?
I don’t create my characters. No Jest. They arrive through my unconscious mind. They are always surprise me. I may believe I have control when I first develop them, but they prove me wrong. Once they come alive, I allow them to create their intriguing identities. I don’t like to interfere. How I first envisioned the villain in A Sinister Obsession wasn’t remotely the same by the end of the last chapter. All characters want to leap off the pages and thrill my readers. The paranormal female detective turned out to be a bitch, I wasn’t arguing with her. In Stardust Dreams, Lance Forrester thought he knew his future he was wrong. Sage Saint Charles thought she had no future, she was wrong.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
I had a vivid imagination as a child, but I had no encouragement to earn a living through my creativity. In high school I had creative friends and envy pushed me to develop my artistic skills and then writing skills. An equal love was helping others and while attaining two masters degrees, a post-graduate degree in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and working as a school psychologist during the day and a psychotherapist in the evenings and Saturday morning, and with a growing family, I had limited free time. It was years later that I finally did soul searching and realized writing was my true love. I haven’t stopped since.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
Not to make those who have had to endure the coldest, nastiest weather in the northern states envious, but I live in south Florida most of the time. I can’t write at a desk, staring at a lifeless wall. I can’t work messy, so I clean up my cookies and candy wrappers and coffee cup as soon as I am done with them. While in Florida, with my laptop, I am looking out at a lovely pond with white egrets, cranes, herons, and ducks. I prefer quiet classical music when I write. While in my New York apartment, I sit on the couch, but I only have a blue sky to enjoy. In the evenings, I still sit in the same seats, but no view!
How do you get your ideas for writing?
As I said, I am a socially minded person. As I social worker I think about human nature and its profound impact on relationships and societies. With that in mind, somehow a story plot pops into my head. I don’t know how it happens, it just happens. Most I reject. Some I archive. But, when one begins to excite me, usually when I’m lying in bed, just before falling asleep. I think about the story for months. Characters pop into my mind. More themes develop. Recently, I realized a major theme has been not to give up on one’s dream. Of course, that applies to me and most of the world. Dickens wrote about victims in society. I have that theme in my head as well. I won’t write boring because I won’t read boring. I intentionally want my stories to be different, unusual, psychologically accurate, and emotionally intense—like a punch in the chest. My first novel, unpublished is about revenge and hypocrisy. A Sinister Obsession is about love and betrayal. Stardust Dreams is about having a second chance to seek your happiness. Another chance for human survival.
What do you like to read?
I like to read great books. They can be fiction or non-fiction. Genre isn’t important. The story has to grab me. I read books about history, astronomy, biographies, and science. Just because a book is a bestseller doesn’t inspire me to read it. I don’t read authors who are now just interested in the money.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Create a great story in your head first. Beginning to end. Create all the characters. Don’t rush to the word processor. Writer’s block occurs when you haven’t imagined the full story and then you get stuck. The plot fails. No emotional impact. Characters are lifeless. Anxieties increase. Mind constricts. When a movie is designed by its writers it has a complete storyboard. Then, learn to write. Do a chapter or two. Let others read it. Get a critique. Me? I did it the hard way. I had great stories and the worst use of language and grammar. Big mistake. Learning to write well took me a long time. Last word, take a book marketing course so your readers can find you!
Anything else you’d like to share?
For those of you interested in reading my novels, all my works entails emotional impact. Graphic scenes. Continual mysteries. Madness. Uniqueness of the story. Uniqueness of its characters. Never a dull moment. Characters to relate to. Characters to love. Characters to hate. Characters to feel sorry for. And characters that are so real and dynamic most readers have asked for a sequel. I love to create contentious and loving interactions between the characters. Like a fine witch’s brew, I mix together unlikely genres and put a spell on the book. In A Sinister Obsession, I intended the readers to become sleuths as well and test their abilities against detectives Aubrey McKenzie and Joshua Diamond.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
S. B. Redstone will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.