Books by Ralph Cissne
And Other Stories by Ralph Cissne
“I went to the gynecologist last week, which isn’t all that unusual except I’m a man. Prudence insisted I go.” So begins the title story of this collection exploring the matrix of modern American relationships.
From Farewell True Love to Prudence in Hollywood, Lover Boy to Laughing Stock, Claim to Fame and Alpha Girl, we follow a quirky cast of characters pursuing love with surprising and often humorous consequences: a long-term romance ends; the love junkie meets his match; an Elvis impersonator crashes his class reunion; a stand-up comedian faces her fears; Hollywood personal training clients realize their dreams; a blended family heals emotional wounds.
Advance Praise for Prudence in Hollywood:
“…funny, poignant, and perfectly wistful about the search for love. Like your favorite song, their musical language resonates long after you’ve done reading.” – Diana Wagman, author of Life #6
“I adore these stories, a rare glimpse into Hollywood at the end of the twentieth century––before Instagram and the Kardashians––a time of innocence and true love and longing. They made me feel glad to be alive and hopeful for our future.” – Jamie Cat Callan, author of Parisian Charm School
“The genius of the author’s plots is the twists and turns that precipitously balance over the line between melancholy and inspirational. The finesse employed in setting the romantic and sexual scenes is a credit to any author, and his stage settings are as carefully arranged as if drawn by an artist.” – US Review of Books
A couple meet in a stand-up comedy workshop. What more can possibly go wrong?
Driven by a haunting childhood memory, loner David Bishop moves to Los Angeles in search of a fresh start and meaningful employment. The ensuing 1987 Black Monday economic crash forces David into a conflicted part-time job as a host for singles networking parties. “There’s no middle ground,” comedian Rocco Manelli warns. “Here it’s either old money, new money or no money.”
Motivated by his attraction to enigmatic singer Sarah Fleming and mounting financial pressure, David negotiates the humorous challenges of standup comedy, a poetic Bohemian subculture, and the forbidding backstreets of Hollywood. Angel City Singles is filled with suspense, passion and humor as David struggles with the transcendent possibilities for love and understanding.
A Story of New Hollywood
Everyone holds the secret desire to be famous, right? In Hollywood your body is your business, your ticket to fame, but you have to want it. Personal trainer to the stars Sid Sherwood is passionate about helping people reach their goals.
The aspirations of two quirky new clients, the fresh-faced starlet Jules Marlow and fallen star Clay Harmon, challenge Sid’s disciplined approach. “If you make a living selling yourself in Hollywood,” Sid confesses. “You’ve earned the right to be eccentric.”
As the story unfolds, the generation gap between new and old Hollywood converges to blur the lines of Sid’s professional boundaries in amusing and surprising ways.
*Available only on Kindle