GRINDER’S CORNER by Ferris H. Craig and Charlene Keel *Review*

GENRE:   Romantic Comedy

On sale for 99¢ at Amazon

About the Book

Grinders Corner explores the world of taxi dance halls in the 1960s in all its raw hilarity.  Saucy, sassy and sexy, but not the least bit erotic, it follows the adventures of three young women trying to survive in the glitter palaces of Los Angeles.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, Uptown, a newly divorced English major with panic anxiety disorder and no job skills, Voluptua, an out of work actress, and Mouse, a former child star trying to make a comeback all struggle to make enough tickets to pay the bills. Things get complicated when Uptown falls in love with a customer who happens to be a priest.

In Grinders Corner it was a simpler time, long before gentlemen’s clubs and pole dancers, and it happened in a place where shy, lonely men could talk to women, even dance with them, with no fear of rejection—for about fifteen cents a minute.

Read an Excerpt

As time went on, I realized customers were asking me to dance less and less.  I was staying barely above the two-bucks-per-hour guarantee.  I asked one of the old timers about it.  A bit condescendingly, Lamour (that was her name—I’m not kidding) put me straight regarding the realities of life in Romanceland.

She said, with authority born of experience, my drop in popularity was due to the fact that the regulars had all danced with me and discovered I wasn’t a sexual opportunity.  So, she explained, I was going to have to go out with them after two a.m., when Romanceland closed.  If I didn’t, I’d go broke.  I said I’d starve first, and she said:

“Lissen, Baby, they’re not that bad.  Just a little good night kiss and they’re happy as a kid with a lollipop.  You gotta think devious to succeed in this business.  Just promise a lot and give as little as possible and you’ll get along okay.  You got good legs and a good personality, but you’re too naive.  Start thinkin’ devious.”

Lamour’s name didn’t match her personality; she was hard as nails.  I liked talking with her.  Not that I meant to take her advice.  It was just that I’d never known anyone like her.

“Baby, love is for the birds,” she’d say.  “It don’t exist.  What makes this world go round is bull.”

“What do you mean?” I wanted to know.

“Okay, like—I overheard you talkin’ to a customer who asked you what your hobby is and you said you take an English Lit course at night school.  Then he asked you what Lit is, and you told him.  Now I’m tellin’ you.  You never wanna tell a customer a thing like that unless he’s a professor or somethin’.  You got me?”

“Yes, but . . . well . . . why not?”

“Because you never want to be above them in any way.  You shoulda told him you read True Confessions and maybe he coulda grabbed onto that.  You got me?”

“I got you.”

My Review

I haven’t laughed this hard in ages! The authors have created a delightful story of three friends who support each other through the rough times and the fun times. As individual characters, all three women shine in their own way.

I grew up in a tenement apartment in Detroit, kitty corner from the Campus Ballroom, a dance hall just like Romanceland. This book brought back a lot of fond memories of Saturday nights perched on my window ledge listening to big band music and watching strange men and fancy ladies come and go. Grinder’s Corner has finally filled in the blanks my pre-adolescent mind didn’t understand at the time.

The romance, while not center stage in the story, was still interesting and handled beautifully. Kudos to Ferris Craig and Charlene Keel for a very entertaining story.

About the Authors

Ferris Craig is a professional dancer, choreographer, actor and writer. Her credits include The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Honeymooners, The Golden Girls and many TV commercials. In the 1970s she performed with The Hollywood Hoofers in Las Vegas, later establishing The Burbank Academy of Performing Arts where she taught dance and acting. More recently, she choreographed and performed for The Broadway Seniorettes, and with Recycled Teenagers (dancers over 50). Currently she lives in Southern California with her three delightful dogs. Connect with Ferris on Facebook.

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books. Shadow Train, the final installment of her YA supernatural trilogy, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award, and The Congressman’s Wife (for Red Sky Presents) is getting rave reviews. Her new blended-genre novel, Lost Treasures of the Heart, was released in November, 2016.

Keel has also worked as editor for international magazines, including Playgirl, For the Brideand Black Elegance.  She says the most fun she’s had as an editor (so far) was at Spice, a fanzine featuring rap, R&B, soul and gospel music. During her time there, she enjoyed going to parties for such notables as Puff Daddy, having lunch with Gloria Gaynor and attending a pasta dinner where Mariah Carey did the cooking.

Keel’s editorial assignments include The Health of Nations, a book on political philosophy, and That Nation Might Live, a moving tribute to Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s stepmother. Her TV credits include Fantasy Island and Days of Our Lives, and her book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera. She also produced (for Romantic Times) the first annual Mr. Romance Cover Model Pageant.

A Giveaway

The authors will be awarding two winners, a free copy of Grinders Corner (print or ebook). (U.S. only for print, International for ebook) to two randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week review tour. You are welcome to visit as many of the stops as you’d like for even more chances to win.

February 13: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! – promo
February 13: Long and Short Reviews
February 20: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
February 27: Beyond Romance
February 27: K.T. Castle
March 6: Jennifer Macaire, Tell me a Story
March 6: Bookaholic

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting this stop on the review tour for Grinder’s Corner. Please come back again tomorrow for another author, book and giveaway.

Nancy

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2 Responses to GRINDER’S CORNER by Ferris H. Craig and Charlene Keel *Review*

  1. We are thrilled with this terrific review, and so glad we made you laugh!
    Thanks,
    Charlene Keel
    Ferris Craig

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