Location: Somewhere in a near magical forest in northern Alabama.

Julie Particka: Who Doesn’t Love Movie Stars?

Who Doesn’t Love Movie Stars?

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It was around 1984 when I had my first celebrity crush. I’d recently seen The Outsiders and fell hard for Ponyboy Curtis. Of course, in my head, I’d fallen not for the character, but the guy who portrayed him, C Thomas Howell.
I’d seen him before, in E.T. the Extraterrestrial, but he didn’t hit my radar until Ponyboy, and then I was done for. For the next several (really it was only few, but I was young and a year felt like forever back then) years, I saw every movie I could find him in. I started buying TeenBeat magazine and plastering my walls with posters of him. When there weren’t enough of him, I added guys who had been in movies with him. (Degrees of separation, yo.)


There was no specific thing that I can pinpoint that made me move on from him. Maybe he started making movies I wasn’t allowed to see. Maybe someone else just took his place in my heart. Whatever it was, the last thing I remember going to see because he was in it was Soulman.


Of course, he wasn’t the only one over the years. I went through numerous celebrity crush phases. Oddly enough, though I’d seen Patrick Swayze in the very same movie that introduced me to Tom Howell, the Swayze phase didn’t hit until Dirty Dancing. And then there were the Michael J Fox years, and the time of the Coreys (Feldman and Haim, if it wasn’t obvious).


Yes, I was totally that girl who fell madly in “love” with movie stars. Feel free to mock me at your will.


Really want to laugh?


I still do it.
Now granted, it’s a little different these days. I don’t have poster-covered walls. (Hello, Pinterest and Tumblr!) And I don’t believe they are the characters they portray on the screen. (Though I will admit some actors get so typecast that it’s jarring to see them in interviews and have them totally blow that image out of the water.) But I still see an actor in something and drop into hard-core infatuation. I want to see everything they’re in. (We won’t discuss the number of movies I’ve watched for the sole reason that _______ was in it. So many that I hated, though I will admit to finding a couple favorites that way too.)


So needless to say, my own life is one reason the old romance trope of having a movie star fall for the normal woman is a favorite. (What did Matt Damon refer to his wife as? A civilian?) The funny thing is when the plot of Tempting Her Fake Fiance started coming together, I didn’t go for any of my current Hollywood heartthrobs as a model for the male lead. (Believe me, a couple of my girlfriends could name the most likely contenders at the time, and I never considered any of them.)


I’m not sure why I went outside of the men I already had reams of pictures for, but I think part of me wanted to “fall in love” with the character as the heroine did. So, I picked an actor I found really attractive, that I’d seen in several things over the years, but that I’d never glommed on to. One of the first interviews I saw with him after choosing him as the character model for Evan, I realized while the guy played (essentially) “dumb jock” very well, there was a lot more to him. I made a point while drafting the book not to read any more interviews. I feared inadvertently making the character too much like the real actor, but recognizing that one point—that he was so very different in reality than he was on the screen was integral to my heroine falling in love with the hero.


After all was said and done, I fell in love with the hero too.


Yes, and the actor, damn it. (Mock away, I have a Pinterest board to finish.)

Tempting Her Fake Fiancé THFF

Author:  Julie Particka



Blurb:  A proposition leads to compromising positions…  


Journalist Stasia Grant needs a hero. Specifically one who will help her humiliate her ex-husband after he publicly left her for another woman. In Vegas for the biggest interview of her career, Stasia is grappling with a broken heart, her cheating ex (and the other woman), and a serious need for revenge. Her salvation comes from the most unlikely place― charming and sexy-as-all-get-out action star Evan Stone.


After spending his life playing a superhero, Evan has a plan for delicious satisfaction: a fake, week-long engagement. He’ll not only show Stasia’s ex what he’s missing but gain some sympathetic publicity to turn around his image as a player. It’s win-win for them both. But neither expected the sizzling chemistry that erupts whenever they’re together. Stepping out for the paparazzi, Stasia and Evan are about to pull off the performance of a lifetime…but will they fall for their own con?


Good reads:  Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo


Author Bio:

Julie Particka was told to get serious about her future in Junior High. Several years after getting a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she realized being serious was over-rated and went back to her first love–writing. Now rather than spending her days in the drudgery of the lab or teaching science to high school students, she disappears into worlds of her own creation where monsters sometimes roam, but true love still conquers all.

She can most often be located in the Detroit area with her favorite minions (the ones who know her as Mom) where she is currently hatching a plot for world domination. It involves cookies for everyone, so she’s pretty sure there’s no way it can fail…except the minions keep eating the cookies.
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