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Reviews

5-Star Review by Anne Halfpenny on Amazon.com

(May  2017)

FIVE STARS

“Beautiful but vulnerable Riley Rinaldi’s passionate love affair with deviant “Lothario” Keller Cross is a sizzling erotic story of love, intrigue and Hollywood scuttlebutt. I don’t think a white picket fence awaits them, but “The Life Of Riley” does. A book to enjoy!” Anne Halfpenny

5-Star Review by Stephanie Mcguire on Amazon.com

(September 2016)

FIVE STARS

“Wonderful book with great characters. Loved it from the first chapter!!!” Stephanie Mcguire

Review by Mark Morris on GoodReads.com

(August 2016)

Riley Rinaldi is a makeup artist working in Hollywood…

“Riley Rinaldi is a makeup artist working in Hollywood. She’s an intelligent woman, she’s attractive and she’s successful in her chosen career. She’s got it made. Right? Well, no…

Working side by side with the most charismatic and beautiful actors and actresses in the world seems like the perfect way to spend your life until you realize that the perfection you see on the screen disappears as soon as the cameras stop rolling. The stars of the screen soon lose their shine then and the tarnish goes all the way to their cores.

This is a well-observed novel written by someone who’s intimately familiar with the real-life stories that go on in the back lots and the mazes of buildings that rarely feature on the studio tours. The characters are often cruelly real and this is a captivating story that kept me thumbing the ‘next page’ button until the story ran out, leaving me satisfied but still wanting more. If you enjoy reading about the hidden Hollywood you’ll love this. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves to read about the grit behind the glamour.” Mark Morris

5-Star Review by Henry Coe on Amazon.com

(July 2016)

Looking for a book that doesn’t have the best it has to offer on the front and back cover?

“Ever read the front and back cover and figure it looks like an interesting book? By the time you’ve reached the third or fourth chapter and discover you still have no idea what the story is or will be about? Beautiful Monsters keeps you and your imagination fully engaged from page 1 to the last. The characters are followed throughout the story which flows from page to page. It’s a great read (story and characters) that keeps you fully engaged, bringing your imagination to life while you’re always anticipating the next paragraph. Cynthia Ogren is a magnificent writer and story teller and has written a fascinating book you can’t go wrong with.” Henry Coe

5-Star Review by Amazon Customer on Amazon.com

(June 2016)

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren.

Beautiful Monsters is a well-written story of two people who created a relationship with the familiar Hollywood scene and managed to overcome their demons and eccentric individual behaviors. Riley Rinaldi, an executive, makeup artist becomes involved in a heated and passionate relationship with the egocentric heartthrob, Keller Cross, who has more issues of his own to overcome. Their intense and emotional rollercoaster relationship takes us through their journey of realistic trials and tribulations that make this story so much more intense. Cynthia Ogren knows how to keep you captivated. Her writing manipulates your attention to be drawn into her characters’ volatile and beautiful journey to the end. I highly recommend this book, and I give her a 5 star.” Amazon Customer

5-Star Review by Hymsh on Amazon.com

(May 2016)

But a friend recommended Beautiful Monsters to me.

“I don’t usually buy books, but a friend recommended Beautiful Monsters to me. What a fun book to read! I really enjoyed the love story between the two main characters and the look into the lives of the rich and famous. I hope the author is working on a sequel!” Hymsh

5-Star Review by G.E. Hamlin on Amazon.com

(May 2016)

If you like Jackie Collins, you will enjoy Cynthia Ogren!

“My takeaway from this novel is that each of us are more alike than we are not alike. The author has created believable characters with hurts and emotional baggage that will speak to the brokenness in each of us. I didn’t know what to expect in reading this novel as I write Christian novels, but I was moved by the author’s characters. I rooted for them from beginning to end.” G.E. Hamlin. Author, Marriage Takes Three

5-Star Review by A.J. on Amazon.com

(January 2016)

Thought provoking read…

“This is a thought provoking book, written I believe, for a more intellectual woman. Sexy and steamy, but with a much deeper story than many I’ve read. Can’t wait for the next book.” A.J.

5-Star Review by Marina J. Neary on Amazon.com

(December 2015)

Cosmetic, synthetic, prosthetic – review of Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren!

A few months ago I had the honor of interviewing Cynthia Ogren, the author of Beautiful Monsters. As a reviewer I am supposed to view the novel independently from the person who wrote it, but I always like to know where the author is coming from. Ogren’s narrative is refreshingly raw and candid without being bitter or judgmental. As a former insider who has worked in the entertainment industry and survived, she does not have a vendetta against Hollywood as some authors would. I know that it can be very tempting to “expose” the underbelly of a very unforgiving industry that has scarred and discarded many. The underlying message is that some individuals want to be scarred, and they will continue sticking their fingers into proverbial outlets, because the side effect of pain is sick masochistic pleasure. Ogren’s female protagonist Riley Rinaldi, an executive makeup artist who also flirts with acting and choreography, is one of such individuals, or rather she has convinced herself of that. With a long list of disasters on her romantic resume, she half-jokingly refers to herself as Bloody Mary of Romance. That statement becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy as she embarks on what she believes to be her last romantic journey with tormented egocentric heartthrob Keller Cross. Both bring an impressive vintage collection of inner demons, and when those demons engage in a dance … buckle your seats!

Film is not just an escape for the moviegoers. It’s an escape for those who are involved in the production process, from the executives dubbed as Suits to the actors and the crew. If you feel hostage to your past, to your secrets and misdeeds, to an uncomfortable relationship, playing a role can indeed be an escape. But there is another side to it – that quest for liberation can lead you into an even deeper, darker trap. If you work on a set for 20 hours, the line between reality and fantasy starts to blur. You can longer tell where the actor ends and the character begins. Makeup and prosthetics become a part of your body. You have to have a really resilient psyche to be able to maintain your sense of reality and your place in that reality. It’s the price people pay for creating movies.

Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters is a credible, psychologically authentic depiction of an entertainment microcosm.” Marina J. Neary

5-Star Review by R & B Cunningham on Amazon.com

(October 2015)

You MUST get this book!

“This is a very hot and addicting read! I love everything about Cynthia’s work! The only challenge is to actually be able to put it down. Cynthia knows how keep the reader captivated.” R & B Cunningham

5-Star Review by Mickalia Peckon on Amazon.com

(September 2015)

Top 10 Reasons to Read Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren

“Ben & Kate’s Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of the book from the author / author’s representative which did not affect our honest opinion.

  1. Ah, a relationship set on the grounds of Hollywood. If a gossip column is anything to go by, we know these relationships aren’t easy and Beautiful Monsters takes this point all the way.
  2. Riley Rinaldi comes across as a competent person but yearns to fall in love with Mr. Right. When Keller Cross shows up, we are all convinced he is Mr. Wrong but she’s swept off her feet.
  3. Every bit of both the main characters are engaging.
  4. Putting aside the boy meets girl cliche, this book is a wild ride of emotions which most readers can connect with. Think of it as a lighter, fictional version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
  5. The writing was great, the author has a manipulative way of keeping the reader tuned in to all the drama.
  6. Keller does get on your nerves but then so does Riley which makes them all the more endearing.
  7. As Riley and Keller’s relationship progresses, you feel happy, then sad, then happy again. Who’s been in a relationship that is happy all the way?
  8. The title, “Beautiful Monsters” becomes to mean so much more than the title of the movie. The beauty of a person we see in public, and the monsters they become behind the scenes. Awesome, awesome author.
  9. Cool story with some impressive writing skills that will give you an emotional high.
  10. Romance fan or not, if you like books where both characters work at a relationship in the most flawed of ways, this will be a good bet.” Mickalia Peckons

5-Star Review by Amie Iams on Amazon.com

(September 2015)

A Fantastic Read!

“I don’t read many books in this genre so I wasn’t entirely sure whether I’d enjoy it. Well, I was drawn in from the first page and could not put the book down. I work a full time job and managed to finish this book in two work days. The relationship between the two main characters was an intense emotional roller coaster ride. It was so well written I really felt their love, anguish, desperation, ecstasy, longing… the list goes on. I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed” Amie Iams

5-Star Review by Lisa on GoodReads.com

(June 2015)

What a great book…

“What a great book! The ride that Riley and Kellar took me on was a wild one. The Hollywood life style, wild and fast. Can’t wait to read more of Cynthia Ogren books.” Lisa Smith

5-Star Review by Reader on Amazon.com

(May 2015)

It was brilliantly written and you definitely got an up close and
“I was skeptical at first about this book , cause I don’t normally read romance books. But I must say this one has definitely changed my mind. It was brilliantly written and you definitely got an up close and personal attachment to the characters. It’s definitely one you won’t want to put down it keeps you going till the end. I absolutely loved it hoping for a sequel.” Lisa

5-Star Review by Reader on ReadersFavorite.com

(May 2015)

I found Beautiful Monsters to be…

“I found Beautiful Monsters to be an intriguing read and my only complaint is that I have to wait for its sequel. Riley and Keller are standout and believable characters who meet in an exceptional town under exceptional circumstances, so this relationship had no hope of being anything but explosive from the outset. Riley has everything she needs in life except true love but finally feels she has found it in actor Keller Cross. The question that probably doesn’t need answering but keeps presenting itself at you through out their torrid affair is; is it love or lust she has discovered? What ever it is Cynthia Ogren has brought the characters alive with some very clever writing and if you can read this book without feeling the emotion and passion that jumps out at you from these very life like characters, then I suggest you check your own pulse.” Neal Davies

Review by Cathy Naser, Broker/Realtor San Antonio, TX

(May 2015)

I am enjoying reading Beautiful Monsters
“I am enjoying reading Beautiful Monsters with all its great character development. I have never read a book and known the author of it.  Noticing the slow exposition of the character Riley, I wondered about the process you go through to create a story like this. Do you plan out the characters and the plot in advance or do you write and let it reveal itself to you as you write? When you started the book, did you know where you wanted to go with it? As I read it, I am pulled forward wanting to know more about the characters and what is unfolding. It is so cleverly written that the invitation to keep reading is almost seductive in itself.  Because I know you, it makes me curious how someone creates something like this. I am only 7 chapters in but am enjoying it. Good job!” Cathy Naser

4.5-Star Review by Madiha on GoodReads.com

(May 2015)

Beautiful Monsters was an awesome read

Beautiful Monsters was an awesome read. The story was perfect. Very well-written. It was quite different from the stories we generally read. It’s not your common Erotica. It was too good to keep you gripped right from the first page till the end in your urge to know what happens next.Riley Rinaldi is very beautiful but she thinks that’s the only thing that makes men attracted towards her. She is a make-up artist. One day she crosses paths with an actor Keller Cross. They fall for each other but their relationship can’t go smoothly because Keller is already married.Riley and Keller both have their secrets, both have their past to face. Will they be able to forgo their past and unite? Will their relationship work?You need to read this book to find what happens in this amazingly sewn story!” Madih

5-Star Review by Reader on Amazon.com

(April 2015)

I decided to read Beautiful Monsters because…
“I decided to read BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS because I was intrigued by the title. I expected it to be a somewhat predictable story about the rich and famous, but I was in for more than a few surprises! I found myself very drawn to the main characters, Riley and Keller, both of whom struggle with their own inner demons – yet yearn for love and redemption. It is a sensitively written, complex and sensual love story that delves into the human characteristics that have the ability to unite us, or to destroy us. It certainly begs the question: Must we be fully accepting of those whom we love? If you haven’t read BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS, do it! You won’t be disappointed.” Mina J.

 

5-Star Review by Reader on ReadersFavorite.com

(February 2015)

Beautiful Monsters is…

Beautiful Monsters is an irreverent romp into the entitlement, complexities, and heartaches of the Hollywood elite. Riley Rinaldi, makeup artist for the stars, collides heart-on with sexual deviant movie star Keller Cross. Cynthia Ogren brings to life these two beautiful, yet broken, people, letting you crawl into their souls to experience their joys and heartaches first hand. The story is well-written, well-plotted, and emotionally satisfying, with light humor scattered amongst the darkness. I wholeheartedly recommend Riley’s and Keller’s story. When you turn the last page, you may look at love and forgiveness in a whole different way.” Maxine McCoy

5-Star Review By Reader on Amazon.com

(January 2015)

Not Your Mama’s Romance Novel

“It has been a few years since I’ve read anything in the romance/erotica genre. After a while, it seemed that each story followed a predictable pattern. Not so with this gem. Beautiful Monsters is truly unique – sweet but with just the right edginess to make it an excellent read. Authentic, three-dimensional characters set among Hollywood glitterati will have readers panting for a sequel!!” Andanver

5-Star Review By Pamela Stuard for Readers’ Favorite

(November 2014)

“A must read!!! Riley Rinaldi believes she is cursed. Her beautiful looks makes her feel has if that is the only reason why men want her. Until she meets actor Keller Cross. She and Keller become as one but their relationship is very difficult because Keller is still married. Riley and Keller both have a past, but can they both overcome their past and move forward? Does Kellers wife Claudia get Keller back and does she keep Keller and Riley apart for good? You’ll just have to read it.”

5-Star Review By Reader on Amazon.com

(December 2014)

Well written. I am only a few chapters into the story, but have enjoyed every minute thus far.” C.H.

5-Star Review By Reader on Amazon.com

(December 2014)

A fun book that I simply could not put down!

“What a fun book to read! I don’t normally read erotic books and this book surprised me as I enjoyed the book very much (and learned a few things along the way!). Could not put this book down as the author has a way of ending a chapter in that way that you just have to turn the page to find out what is going to happen next in the lives of these two very complex and interesting characters! Certainly hope Ms. Ogren is working in a sequel as I am very anxious to find out what happens to Riley and Keller in the next phase of their lives and it will not be the cut and dried “living in a house with children and a white picket fence”! This books also shows that money and beauty does not buy happiness although most of us in the general population would certainly like to give that life a try!” P.C.

5-Star Review By Ruth Renwick on Amazon.com

(November 2014)

Loved this little novel! Romantic Erotica?

“Being a retired teacher, I’m a bit of a prude but was laughing out loud reading erotic but hilarious passages. I was pleased with not an over abundance of characters and soon had not only Riley and Keller (Killer?) but the supporting cast clarified easily with apt descriptions, in an amusing introductory plot. In the beginning, embarrassed, successful, Riley, the lead character, a makeup artist in the movie set Beautiful Monsters, with her emotional baggage and her lust for Keller, the Hollywood star, is deeply confounded by this lust for this man who turns out to have a ton of his own psychological baggage, much of it stemming from his bisexual proclivities and strong drive. Their characters are gradually revealed through their sexual magnetism. Other characters provide interesting direction and support to the story as well in this tale of Hollywood with Beautiful People being Monsters underneath while the metaphorical vampire movie they are making involves Keller and Riley’s dance being center stage as it is behind the scenes. Layers upon layers of metaphor and innuendo leave the reader expecting the evil steamy side of this story to prevail. I was fanning my face when Riley as Dominatrix does her dirty on him. This old lady skimmed those pages and shut out the light early that night. Curiosity kept me turning the pages, however, as this book is a well honed piece of literature with some really unique twists in the plot around this ambivalent relationship. She doesn’t really want to do the dance but he does and can be very convincing. The vampire metaphor runs throughout leaving one feel drained at times when their love is completely sapped out, seemingly. Not only in the vampire art form but in their lives they dance a tragic dance of love. I was surprised as the pace quickened at a climatic turning point of brilliant writing. This changed everything and the dance around evil and good behaviors and actions left me wondering right up to the last chapter with a real connection to these two characters, now, what would become of them. A very satisfying ending. I hope Cynthia Ogren has started her second book!” R.W.

5-Star Review By Avid Reader on Amazon.com

(October 26, 2014)

Hollywood Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!

“I received this book for an honest review and liked it so much that I had to purchase an official copy. Before reading a word, I checked out reviews and noticed this book was being put into different genres. I wondered why, so I read the book and now have an answer. This book truly does have something for readers of every genre, over the age of 18.With that being said, this book is predominantly a Romance. It is full of drama, intrigue, plot twists, and steamy scenes. It also has something unexpected, vampires. Okay, they may not play a major role or in the way you’ve come to expect, but they are there.
The main characters, Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross would probably get my vote for favorite literary couple. Although they are among the Hollywood elite, they are nothing at all like the way most of us envision the Hollywood community. They are flawed and don’t go out of their way to hide that fact. For that reason, I found them highly likable and became involved in their story.The writing flowed beautifully. There wasn’t one incident where I thought the story lagged or went too fast. The editing and formatting was spot on as well.
In case you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book. I am now anxiously awaiting the next book by Cynthia Ogren, which I hear is a sequel to Beautiful Monsters. I can’t wait!” A.R.

4-Star Review By Rene Averett for Readers’ Favorite

(October 2014)

“I am not really a fan of the romance genre and seldom read romance novels although I do like suspense romance and some paranormal romance. So, while I did enjoy the read of Cynthia Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters, I wasn’t totally engrossed in it. As a romance novel, it was a bit more of deviant sex than I like to read about but for those who enjoy this type of novel, it does hit some kinks. Ms. Ogren writes very well and has built strong characters. If a racy, sexy novel is your cup of tea or bedtime reading, then give this book a read.”

5-Star Review By Author and Publisher on Amazon.com

(September 2014)

“As both a best-selling author and a publisher, I have gone into many literary worlds, into the throngs of numerous genres and I can truly say that Beautiful Monsters is one of the best summer sizzlers around. Erotic Romance is delightfully twisted and turned in this sexily created novel. Beautiful Monsters is not like other novels of this genre that I have read. This novel has a beautifully crafted foundation of plot, scenery and characters that is so exquisite and so precise that the very definition of being a page turner wouldn’t do it justice. I would highly recommend Beautiful Monsters to all readers everywhere. I am truly looking forward to a sequel!” E.E.

5-Star Review By Manta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

(August 2014)

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren revolves around makeup artist Riley Rinaldi. Riley Rinaldi is envied by many. She has it all – wealth, beauty and sex appeal. But underneath her shining personality is a lonely woman whom many don’t know. Her life is devoid of love and she feels very lonely. At this juncture, heartthrob Keller Cross comes to the set of Beautiful Monsters and Riley is attracted to him in a big way. What follows is an awakening of her dormant feelings and their wild passion and intense love spill onto the set of the movie. The passion of these two characters dominates the theme, along with the scenes where they fight their own demons while trying to create a future.

The author has portrayed Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross beautifully with all their flaws and shortcomings. The reader will definitely fall in love with these two broken people. The grandeur and fake world of Hollywood has been captured well here through the plot. The glamour, intrigue, wild passion, the flawed characters and the movie set give the much required pace to the story. Readers are swept away as they are pulled into a world of jealousy, love, hatred and greed.

The story is wonderfully executed, making it a compelling and satisfying read. There is a bit of humor that is laced throughout, which adds to the lighter moments in this otherwise intense plot. The setting in Hollywood and the steamy and erotic scenes make it a page turner. It has all the ingredients of an interesting and exciting romance making it a compelling read.”

5-Star Review from Random Reviews

(August 23, 2014)

Prepare to fall in love with Riley, Keller, and this book.
Prepare to fall in love with Riley, Keller and this book.Beautiful Monsters is an irreverent romp into the entitlement, complexities, and heartaches of the Hollywood elite. Riley Rinaldi, makeup artist for the stars, collides heart-on with sexual deviant movie star Keller Cross. Cynthia Ogren brings to life these two beautiful, yet broken, people, letting you crawl into their souls to experience their joys and heartaches first hand. The story is well-written, well-plotted, and emotionally satisfying, with light humor scattered amongst the darkness. I wholeheartedly recommend Riley’s and Keller’s story. When you turn the last page, you may look at love and forgiveness a whole different way.”

5-Star Review By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite

(August 2014)

“Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren takes us into the famous land of Tinsel Town, La La Land, Movie Capital of the World, Hollyweird, Gomorrah, Land of Broken Dreams, hell … also known as Hollywood. Once there, we meet the beautiful and talented Riley Rindaldi, envied by many for her life and her wealth. Sadly, her life is lonely and missing the one thing that everyone wants: love. Then the heartthrob of Hollywood, Keller Cross, swaggers onto the set of Beautiful Monsters and Riley finds herself unable to control herself. She and Keller come together in passion and right onto the stage of Hollywood fame and jealousy.

This book is wild and intense and brings a whole new level to the erotic romance game. Cynthia Ogren has created something that is well layered, intense, and hot and it will make you fall in love with the genre in a whole new way. I always wondered what it would be like to try to fall in love in Hollywood and, while this is fiction, it certainly gives us a look into what might befall a couple, from the attitudes to the egos and so much more. I have to say I enjoy Riley as a character; she is not perfect though she may seem to be on the outside. In truth, she is flawed like the rest of us and just trying to find someone who truly loves all of her. If you want to read what I feel is a new form of erotic romance, this is the book for you; it does not disappoint.”

5-Star Review By Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite

(August 2014)

“Riley’s love life had always been disastrous, to say the least. All her past relationships had ended up in one disaster after another and so she had sworn off relationships. While working as an executive makeup artist on the set of a movie, she found her relationship history repeating itself when she had a one-night stand with the star of the movie. The next day, she was the sole topic of gossip on the set, and as if that was not bad enough, her ex decided to join in the circus. But then she found herself working on the most handsome and charming man God has ever created, Keller – another star in the movie. It was clear from the start that Keller was interested in her and, much as she was interested, she told him that she did not date. But the chemistry between the two was so intense that they could not deny it so they decided to give it a try. But Keller had a soon to be ex-wife who did not want to let him go and a very dark secret that would scare even the most understanding of women. Riley’s emotional issues also did not help matters much.

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is a sad, dark and twisted but beautiful love story that touched the very bottom of my heart. What was most amazing is the way Cynthia Ogren brought out the emotions of the story in such a way that made me feel all the struggles of the characters, their desires, pains and the beautiful moments too. This enabled me to connect with them and understand their actions, whether right or wrong. I have never seen two people so wrong for each other and yet at the same time so right for each other, but the way Cynthia wrote the book made me see clearly why this was so. At times, I found myself rooting for them to make it and at other times fighting the need to scream at them to make up their minds already. And at some points I needed a tissue to wipe away the tears caused by the pain their love was bringing them. Beautiful Monsters is one hell of an emotional story and worthy of every single minute spent reading it.”

5-Star Review By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

(August 2014)

“Beautiful Monsters is a contemporary romance written by Cynthia Ogren. Riley Rinaldi is a makeup artist working in Hollywood. When we first meet her, she’s trying to sneak out of a lead actor’s trailer on the set. Stephen had a lovely accent and played a very sexy vampire, but Riley realized after the fact that she was attracted to the character he played, not the star. Riley’s had a hard time romantically. She chooses the wrong lovers and is still smarting over the last unhappy relationship which ended when an irate wife she hadn’t known about burst in on the scene. Ignoring the looks and good-natured ribbing from her friends and co-workers, Riley finds herself attracted once again to another, older actor named Keller Cross, who is quite irresistible and has assured her that his marriage is definitely over, but it’s so very hard for Riley to learn to trust someone again.

Cynthia Ogren’s contemporary romance, Beautiful Monsters, is a well-written and enjoyable story. While it does contain some scenes that could be considered steamy and mildly erotic, they are tastefully written, and I did not find them at all offensive. Riley and Keller are marvelous characters, both of whom are flawed and very human, even if they are both physically beautiful. They each have issues that work to make them fully defined in the reader’s eyes, and their struggles with trust and acceptance keep up the dramatic suspense. There’s also a wonderful supporting cast of characters in Keller’s and Riley’s friends, especially Bebe and Riley’s adopted mom, Carmen, the housekeeper. Beautiful Monsters is quite a good read. I found myself reluctant to put it down until I had finished the last page. It’s highly recommended.”

Comments by ARC Readers

(August 2014)

  • “Look out Hollywood! Your ears must be burning!!”
  • “This novel from Cynthia Ogren is absolutely amazing. It really gives you the sense of being the paparazzi as you read page by page, looking into these brilliantly crafted characters’ lives from the outside.”   G. Thomas
  • “Quick, get the top Hollywood movie producers in a room and let’s see them fight over this script!” J. Spidel
  • “I am an avid reader who enjoys a bit of scandal in the things that I read. Beautiful Monsters hooked me up to a transformer, slammed down the switch and poured on the juice! This work energized me and threw me into a world I never realized could be so intense.” S. Terranova
  • “I have been an author for twenty plus years and all I can say about Beautiful Monsters is wow! Why couldn’t I have written this one? Guaranteed to be a best seller!!”

Review of Cynthia Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters by Author Mathew Peters

(July 2014)

“If you’re like me and haven’t read a romance erotica book, take everything you think you know about the genre and set it to one side. Now, pick up a copy of Cynthia Ogren’s Beautiful Monsters and let the wild ride begin.

It would be easy to focus on the excellent pacing, the well-drawn characters, and the intriguing plot of this book, all of which will fully satisfy devotees of romance erotica. But I’d like to focus on other aspects of Beautiful Monsters, those that appealed to me and led me to read compulsively this wonderfully executed and beautifully told story.

Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross are likable, yet extraordinarily flawed characters. Their journey into and out of love has all the to-hell-and-back-again qualities associated with a glamorous Hollywood production. Oh wait…it IS a Hollywood production. But the fact that the setting is Tinseltown should not lead one to think the characters are shallow and two-dimensional, because all of Ogren’s characters come with fully rounded personalities, idiosyncrasies, and yes, lots of baggage.

What is less obvious is that the setting and the Hollywood production around which all of the action centers, the vampiric “Beautiful Monsters,” serves as a metaphor for Lala Land itself, and for the people which populate its palatial houses and its slapdash sets, its raunchy clubs and seedy tattoo parlors. Beautiful on the outside, monstrous on the inside, the town’s inhabitants are consumed by jealousy, love, anger and greed.

But what Ogren unfolds against the reprehensible backdrop is a lyrical tale of love addiction, one that is intoxicating and breathtaking. The story grabs the reader in a passionate embrace and will not let go until the story is spent. The reader emerges fully satisfied, caring about the main characters, and eager to be swept away in another story from the mind and heart of this truly wonderful new storyteller.”

–Matthew Peters, author of The Brothers’ Keepers (MuseItUp Publishing) and Conversations Among Ruins (forthcoming through All Things That Matter Press).

5-Star Review By Pamela Stuard on Goodreads.com

(November 2014)

A must read!!!

“Riley Rinaldi believes she is cursed. Her beautiful looks makes her feel has if that is the only reason why men want her. Until she meets actor Keller Cross. She and Keller become as one but their relationship is very difficult because Keller is still married. Riley and Keller both have a past, but can they both overcome their and move forward? Does Keller’s wife Claudia get Keller back and does she keep Keller and Riley apart for good? You’ll just have to read it.”  P.S.

5-Star Review By Patrick Loughrey on Goodreads.com

(October 2014)

True love never runs smoothly…L.O.L.

“Beautiful Monsters is the perfect example of that well-known phrase in life. Beautiful Monsters is an awesome read. The storyline is perfect, as its keeps you totally hooked from start to finished to find out what happens at the end. Cynthia has shown great imagination and is an awesome author. The book is funny, exciting, easy to read and fast moving, and it take you on a roller coaster ride, as the storyline unfolds. The characters in the book are awesome, strong, funny, with a great sense of humor. I love this book and I recommend it as a must buy and a must read. You will love it! My rating is 10 out of 10. More books please Cynthia Ogren. I can’t wait till her next one comes out; it will be awesome.”  P.L.

4-Star Review By Kayti Nika Raet for Readers’ Favorite

(August 2014)

“In Beautiful Monsters, an erotic romance by Cynthia Ogren, Riley Rinaldi is a Hollywood make-up artist who feels that she’s cursed in love even though she seems to attract the obsessive attention of every male she meets. So when Keller, an actor in Hollywood’s latest vampire flick, shows some interest, Riley is initially very standoffish even though there is an undeniable attraction between them. They are both very passionate people and when their romance begins it’s white-hot, almost burning out of control as they constantly fight and make up. There is also the specter of Keller’s soon to be ex-wife that is driving a wedge in his and Riley’s torrid, BDSM-filled romance. She doesn’t love Keller but she loves his money and is willing to do anything to keep it all to herself. A wild ride of a novel, Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is filled with surprising twists and turns for an unlikely couple crazy in love.

Beautiful Monsters by Cynthia Ogren is a quick read and, while it is a romance, it’s definitely no chick-lit with a navel-gazing heroine obsessing over shoes. Keller is quite the bad guy and the romance between them is very hot and volatile, so much so that I often found myself wondering if the two of them would survive until the end. Filled with an interesting cast of secondary characters, Beautiful Monsters is a very dark romance and might be the perfect choice for an adventurous reader looking for something a little extra in their romance novels.”

 

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September/October Blog: KyANA Book Signing

As some of you may have noticed, I’m running behind on my blog posts. With the move and unpacking, I’ve barely had time to breathe. I assure you the blog will be back in action soon. But it hasn’t been ALL work and no play!
I had a delightful time at the  KyANA (Kentucky Association of Nurse Anesthetists) Fall Meeting, held at the beautiful Griffin Gate Marriott Spa and Resort in Lexington, KY, the weekend of September 25-27. I’d like to thank KyANA board members Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists: Lara Barrow, CRNA and Donna Fiaschetti, CRNA , (picture below) for their warm welcome and support. Readers are simply the best people, aren’t they? I plied them with cookies, book chat, and jokes. And not only did I sign a lot of books, but I made some new friends. Check out these photos!❤️

 
[If you would like to learn more about Anesthesia and the tremendous care given by Nurse Anesthetists please check out the KyANA and the national organization the AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists)]
Cyn Lara Donna at KYANA
Cyn at KYANA
KYANA Book Sign Ad 1
KYANA Book Sign Ad 2

~Cynthia

JoinConversation Blog

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Quickie Interview by Chevoque

Author Quickie with…Cynthia Ogren

October 13, 2015

by

Chevoque

NOTE:

These are the most random Qs I could find and come up with, but it is to show readers how authors are just like them or maybe so different that they are their own species.  I have several awesome authors already on board, but don’t let it scare you to take part though.  I’ll be sharing with you all; the answers to the set questions and introduce you to some awesome people, and later, all of this will be used in a statistical type blog.  Hopefully, we can keep this going for as long as possible and gain as many author’s inputs to make this thing grow.

But it doesn’t stop there:

~If you are an author who is interested in taking part in this silly game of mine; message, email or find me on a social network.

~If you are a reader and wanna take part; do the same and become part of the fun.  (It’ll be really cool to have your stats as well.)

~If you are none of the above…ag, shame.  Anyway, if you are an artist, a doctor, a barista or just randomly ended up here; bring it on and we can have a little fun when the stats have grown.


 Cynthia Ogren

 

Morning person or night owl?

Hoot hoot! I’m well acquainted with the wee hours of the morning.

 

Coffee, tea or neither?

I love both. I’m powered by caffeine and imagination.

 

EBooks or printed books?

I’m partial to print books, but I’m also aware that Ebooks are the way of the future. I read both, but if I really LOVE a book in E-format, then I have to buy it in print.

 

Bookmark or dog-ear pages?

I do both, although I hate to mar the pages of a book.

 

Extrovert or Introvert?

I’m more an introvert than an extrovert. Writers are by nature introverted, usually, and we have to spend long hours alone at the computer. But I also like to interact and have fun with friends, readers, and people I meet in daily life. I guess that makes me an ambivert.

 

Secret talents?  If so, what are they?

Well, this is pretty boring, but I’m inordinately organized. I’m a big-picture person, which helps me coordinate scenes for my manuscript or manage the details of a large cocktail party. I also predict future trends in fashion or culture with alarming accuracy and have a good sense of artistic design.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Well, if I could choose a superpower, I would either like to be invisible or to be able to walk into a setting and make people instantly happy.

 

What is your biggest fear?

I’ve always been a Type A personality, trying desperately to be a Type B. I’ve made great strides to relax, but I’m prone to performance anxiety. I suppose my biggest fear would be that I couldn’t complete some important task on time. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? lol

 

You have three wishes, what are they?

  1. I’d like to be a successful enough writer that I could hire people to do all the PR and tedious tasks associated with writing.
  2. I’d love to leisurely travel the world. Bliss!
  3. I’d like to start small libraries or book huts around the world so ALL people would have access to books.

 

If you could forever break one habit, what would it be?

Diet Pepsis!!!

 

Your favorite:

 

Colour – Black

Animal – Dog

Mythical Creature – Dragon

Author – Oooh, hard one! Probably, Barbara Kingsolver.

Book – Little Altars Everywhere

Movie – Out of Africa

Music Genre – Everything! But I love Hip Hop.

TV Show – Downton Abbey or Sherlock

Place to Read – My big black leather rocking chair

Food – Great New York style pizza!

Beverage (Alcoholic and/or Non-Alcoholic) – Diet Pepsi or dirty martinis

Dessert – Chocolate cake with white buttercream icing

Word – “Coterie”

Season – Autumn

Procrastination method – Facebook, of course!

 

Turn on or turn off

 

Accents – Turn on!

Surprises – Turn on

Shyness – Turn off

Quiet Places – Turn on

Loud Places – Turn off

Dimples – Turn on

Glasses – Turn on

Scars – Turn on

Games – Turn on

Comic Books – Meh!

 

What is your motto?

If I had to choose one motto, it would be “Live your ART!”

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Interview by Marina Julia Neary

I was recently interviewed by the delightful author Marina Julia Neary for her Blog. Intelligent and humorous, Marina provided unique and provocative questions that piqued my interest and kept me on my toes. I’d like to thank Marina for the opportunity to appear on her blog. It was a lot of fun!

For an always interesting read, follow Marina’s Blog and check out her book Saved by the Bang: A Nuclear Comedy. Please see my interview below:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beautiful Monsters – Cynthia Ogren’s Hollywood-themed romance

Greetings, commies!

Say hello to the glamorous and witty CynthiaOgren, a pop culture devotee and author of an introspective and richly developed novel Beautiful Monsters set in Hollywood filled with all the drama you’d expect from a glamorous romance – with a few unexpected twists.

 

MJN: When people talk/write about Hollywood, it’s usually with a mixture of feelings that seem to contradict each other: admiration, envy, judgment and ridicule. In real life, the grotesque and the sublime goes hand in hand. In Hollywood, these elements are taken to a whole new level. As an author, you have to know enough about the industry to make your narration authentic. At the same time, your proverbial “beef” with the industry can’t be too raw. If you have too many horror stories that you’ve experienced first-hand as an actor or director, you will be too emotional to tie those stories into a coherent plot. So what is your personal experience with Hollywood – if any – and which one of the above-mentioned emotions is prevalent?

 

CO: First of all, thanks for inviting me to your blog interview, Marina. I’m delighted to be here, and I’m further delighted to reply to your interesting, well-conceived questions.

 

Hollywood: the land of contradictions! It’s the perfect setting for Beautiful Monsters because, just as it’s a brittle glass stage for actors, it’s also the perfect testing ground for my characters. I haven’t spent too much time in Hollywood or LA, but as an avid pop culture devotee, I’ve watched and read about it for years—everything from tabloid newspapers to reality television to biographies. Also, my sister was a working actress on stage, television, and film for many years. While she never became famous, she worked with many big-name stars, and she dished to me regularly about the gossip, the craft of acting, and the accompanying lifestyle.

 

You might be surprised to hear that I have no beef whatsoever with Hollywood. Hollywood is just a spotlighted microcosm of the same lifestyle that most of us share on a more mundane scale. Essentially, we all are beautiful monsters to some extent. While many people think that being a celebrity would vastly improve their lives, I wanted to show that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. There’s enormous pressure accompanying great beauty, riches, and fame—and numerous complications. And it’s extremely difficult to live a sane life under that constant microscope. Some manage it, others don’t.

 

MJN: We hear so many stories about Hollywood stars destroying their lives behind the scenes because they feel “ugly” and “empty” and “unloved” even though on the surface it seems like they have all the bragging rights in the world. There is a school of thought out there, perpetuated by authors like Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens who glorified the “little people” of the world, that true love is only accessible to those who are totally stripped of all material and social benefits. Only outcasts, the deformed and the destitute, can find true love and friendship that’s not tainted by vainglory. I don’t know if I personally buy into that theory. I think writers invent those theories to make the down-and-out people feel a little better and give them some hope. What do you think?

 

CO: Well, I’m not so quick to paint the common folk as white and the rich as black—or vice versa. In fact, I feel we all should be painted in gray tones. I do think it’s a wonderful to give hope and insight to the great masses of common folk, but in Beautiful Monsters, I try to break that stereotype. Most actors are not so full of bravado as they portray on camera or at award shows. In fact, actors are some of the most insecure people on the planet. They are at the mercy of gossip, age, studio whims, and the good will of their fans. It’s a bit of a cutthroat business, and there are always prettier, younger actors right behind them who would sell their souls for a chance for a role—any role. I do, however, agree with Hugo and Dickens that wealth, fame, and beauty do not make us happy. A wealthy aristocrat—or a film star— does not automatically draw the happy card. Rather, it’s the love of family, wonderful friendships, and our interests that make life fulfilling. And those are available to people across the socioeconomic spectrum.

 

MJN: I see you have a dual major in English and Psychology. I often see those career paths matched up. Was there any specific branch of psychology that you studied in depth that gives you a more three-dimensional perspective when you create your characters? Your book was described as having emotional depth and meaning, so I was wondering your interest in psychology had something to do with that.

 

CO: Yes, psychologists and writers have much in common. They both study people, so it’s a perfect marriage. I’ve always been a people watcher who is interested in the human psyche. I particularly find abnormal psychology interesting. People (and characters) are not one-dimensional prototypes. They all have a place on the abnormal behavior scale— with neuroses, quirks, and abnormalities. That’s what makes the world diverse and interesting. All my characters have distinct personalities with inherent quirks and flaws. I LOVE flawed characters, so Riley and Keller are imbued with all manner of idiosyncrasies. When I take these two damaged characters and put them on the glass stage of Hollywood AND throw obsessive love into the mix, we’re in for a wild ride! I’m very interested in the topic of love because it makes no practical sense. People do outrageous things in the throes of love. It’s said that the legal plea “not guilty by reason of temporary insanity” was developed because of this phenomenon.

 

MJN: Let’s talk about the structure of your novel. One of my favorite plot tools is having a movie within a movie, or a book within a book. In Beautiful Monsters, you have a production-within-a-novel structure. How does the storyline on screen complement the turbulent love story between Riley and Keller?

 

CO: I’m all about subtext. Readers are smart, and they are readily able to grasp the subtleties of a well-layered plot. Beautiful Monsters is three levels deep. It’s the title of the book, of course; it’s the title of the vampire film that’s the setting of the book (more subtext and analogy there); and it’s the theme of the book. The vampiric element of the story lends itself to the predatory nature of some of Riley and Keller’s friends and co-workers. And Riley and Keller have both monstrous and redeeming characteristics, which makes them beautiful monsters—just as we all are. The element of obsessive love with Hollywood as a setting allowed me to cut the dynamic open and explore it thoroughly. In fact, I’ll be examining it more in the sequel, which I’ve started. I’ve been humbled and delighted to have readers search me out and rave about the book, demanding a sequel. I think they relate to what Riley and Keller endure to be together.

 

MJN: Let’s talk about your female protagonist Riley Rinaldi and the role that makeup artists play. My birth father is a former opera singer. He says that getting into character and putting on a mask really messes you up. Sometimes you lose that fine line between the character and the performer. Sometimes the masks sticks to the face too tight and you cannot rip it off without taking some of the skin off with it. Makeup artists are the often unsung and neglected heroes who help create those characters. In a sense, they play that Frankenstein role of literally “creating a monster”. Do you believe there is a symbiotic bond between the makeup artist and the actor?

 

CO: Very interesting question! Yes, I do think there is a symbiotic relationship between the makeup artist and the actor. Just as an author gives birth to his books, the makeup artist must feel that same pride and concern for the characters he creates. And conversely, the actor is dependent upon the makeup artist to give him the “face” of the character he populates. On a side note, I had to chuckle when you mentioned method acting because it plays a vivid role in the sequel to Beautiful Monsters. The readers want more of Riley and Keller, so I’m going to dish it up in spades!
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Beautiful Monsters Buzz

  “Cynthia Ogren has raised the bar with Beautiful Monsters! As both a best-selling author and a publisher, I have gone into many literary worlds, into the throngs of numerous genres and I can truly say that Beautiful Monsters is one of the best summer sizzlers around. Erotic Romance is delightfully twisted and turned in this sexily created novel. Beautiful Monsters is not like other novels of this genre that I have read. This novel has a beautifully crafted foundation of plot, scenery and characters that is so exquisite and so precise that the very definition of being a page turner wouldn’t do it justice. I would highly recommend Beautiful Monsters to all readers everywhere. I am truly looking forward to a sequel!” E.K.

  “First, thank you for giving me the absolute pleasure of reading this beautiful, heart-felt, give-take piece of beautiful literature. Your words, simply made me feel like I was in the rooms with them! I loved it. Love, lust, complicated lives, and yes, I believe in love at first sight, and well worth the fight! I didn’t want it to end!” S.M.

  “I love this book so far…and that’s only the first chapter…really funny. Riley…lol…and that tongue thing…very cute….Where do I write a review?” R.W.

  “Absolute page turner, of Love, Lust, & Imagination. So well written, I couldn’t put it down! Loved It!!! Way to Go Cynthia!!!” S.M.

  “The characters in this book were so flawed but yet so likable. Cynthia did a wonderful job of drawing you into the lives of each character. Riley and Keller are the main characters in this book. They must each face their own demons and past while trying to pave a path for a future. I look forward to more from Cynthia in the future.” A.B.

  “Simply amazing book! I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I don’t normally read romance books, but this one is by far one of the best I’ve ever read. I would compare it to 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.” T.C.

  “Look out Hollywood! Your ears must be burning!!”

  “This novel from Cynthia Ogren is absolutely amazing. It really gives you the sense of being the paparazzi as you read page by page, looking into these brilliantly crafted characters’ lives from the outside.”   G.T.

  “Quick, get the top Hollywood movie producers in a room and let’s see them fight over this script!” J. S.

  “I am an avid reader who enjoys a bit of scandal in the things that I read. Beautiful Monsters hooked me up to a transformer, slammed down the switch and poured on the juice! This work energized me and threw me into a world I never realized could be so intense.” S. T.

  “I have been an author for twenty plus years and all I can say about Beautiful Monsters is wow! Why couldn’t I have written this one? Guaranteed to be a best seller!!”

  “A headlong plunge into a dark and sensual universe…” T.H.

  “Beautiful people, Hollywood, romantic, sexy…I loved it!” J.W.

  “Spicy good time! Sexy summer read!” H.O.

  “Great story! Easy to read. Fantastic sentence structure! Paced well. A good mix of characters! Great job of keeping the characters real and easy to empathize with and love from the get-go. Well done!…Pivotal scenes are clear and well executed. I loved the humor, and the placement of it. It’s perfect, and never inappropriate.…The development of the relationship, and pacing of it, are great. Excellent conflict, and the conflict resolution is timed very well.” Z.B.

  “I enjoyed the book very much. I literally couldn’t stop reading it until it was finished.” M.P.

 

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Contest … Beautiful Monsters Holiday Bonanza!

Santa Riley Ad

Santa Cyn and Elf Jaimie hosted a fabulous contest on my Facebook Author’s Page (Cynthia Ogren Books) to thank all my friends and readers for their support. The contest started Friday, November 28th (Black Friday) and ended Sunday, December 6th. The winners were drawn by Elf Jaimie on Monday, December 7th. And yes, I said “winners”! There were ten lucky winners and ten fabulous prizes.  It was open to U.S. AND international participants. Thank you to all who participated in this contest, and congratulations to the winners! Go to Cynthia Ogren Books on Facebook and please give me a “Like”!

 

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BlogTalkRadio Interview November 10th… You can listen to the whole interview any time!

BlogtalkBooks2

 

On Monday, November 10th I chatted with Jaimie Hope, host of Everyone Has a Story on BlogTalkRadio. We discussed my recent release, Beautiful Monsters, as well as a whole host of bookish things. I gave away a great gift package that included the following: $25.00 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Beautiful Monsters, and a matching bookmark and magnet. Congratulations to the winner… Pamela J. Stuard of Toledo, Ohio. It was a fun, interesting show, and we had a great time! Check it out here: BlogTalkRadio.

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Beautiful Monsters Debut—August 5th!

Beautiful Monsters hits the market on August 5th! I’m thrilled and humbled by the responses I’ve received from people who’ve already read the book—and by the number of people anxiously awaiting the release date. I hope you enjoy Beautiful Monsters as much as I loved writing it. It’s been a true labor of love for me. If you purchase a copy and would like a signed book plate (for the inside cover) and a Beautiful Monsters bookmark, please send me an email with your name and address, and I’ll send them right out. Also, if you take a picture of yourself holding a copy of Beautiful Monsters and email it to me, I’ll put you in my Gallery of Beautiful Monsters. Thank you and happy reading, fellow bookies!

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