Let #TeaserTuesday begin!! Today I am going to share the first chapter of my new adult contemporary romance novel, Player in Paradise. Please add it to your Goodreads list if you’re interested in reading more! The book is set to launch on March 1 and the cover reveal is set for this Friday!
PLAYER IN PARADISE
I follow my boss’s Louboutin-clad footsteps into her large corner office, clutching my notepad and pen.
“Welcome to the PWR Group,” she says, pronouncing PWR like power. “I’m Priscilla Wilhelmina Ray.”
Owner of the PWR group and famed celebrity publicist, Priscilla Ray basically runs the fame game in Los Angeles. Her public relations agency represents some of the biggest movie and television stars in the world, and it’s her job to keep them relevant.
When I accepted the position of Junior Publicist, I had no idea that I’d be reporting directly to her. Now I know I’ll need to be on point at all times, continuously proving my worth and competence in the world of PR.
I take a seat in the white leather chair on the opposite side of her glass desk, and she immediately runs off three rules that I, as a representative of the PWR Group, must always follow whether on or off the job.
Rule One: Never act like a fan.
“Asking for autographs or pictures on the red carpet will make it your last time on the red carpet.”
I nod, scribbling her words down in my notebook. That one should be easy. I interned at a radio station until college graduation a few months ago and ran into musicians in the hallways every so often. No big deal.
Priscilla swipes on a fresh coat of shiny pink lip gloss after taking a sip of coffee and spits out the next command.
Rule Two: Keep your secrets safe.
“Never tell a journalist something about your client that you wouldn’t want the whole world to know. Even non-juicy info will be up on the Internet ten seconds after it comes out of your mouth.”
“Got it,” I respond. I’m pretty sure I can keep my lips sealed around media. I’m not that much of a blabbermouth.
“And Olivia, this may seem obvious, but you don’t know how many times I’ve had to fire staff for this one…” She leans in close and looks me straight in the eye.
Rule Three: Keep it in your pants.
“I mean it; these celebrities know how to seduce young girls like you, and it never ends well. Trust me when I say mixing business with pleasure can get seriously messy.”
Awkward much? I try not to break eye contact with her as I reply. “Yes, of course.”
What movie star would want me anyway? I just moved to L.A. from a small town in rural Florida and I felt like an alien from the moment I stepped off the plane. I swear I was the only girl at the gate not wearing a velour tracksuit, toting a small dog in an oversized purse. And in what seemed like a sea of blondes, I was the lone brunette.
Thankfully, I quickly connected with my cube-mate Mandy, another East Coast transplant. She moved out from Boston a year ago and had been at the PWR Group for nearly the same amount of time. She warned me that the job didn’t quite live up to the description on the agency’s career page, and after a few weeks, I found that out for myself. Instead of jumping into the glamorous Hollywood scene, I spent most of my work days and nights stuck in a tiny cubicle, slaving away on my laptop.
Mandy pops her head over the cube wall we share. “Leaving soon?”
I peel my eyes away from the spreadsheet I’m working on and peek at the clock. It’s after five, as usual.
“Probably not. Cassidy Evans has a premiere tomorrow night and I’m still finalizing the guest list.”
Lately it seems like my life revolves around lists – guest lists, media lists, invite lists, VIP lists…
“That sucks, hope you finish soon.” She grabs her bag and heads for the door. “Call me if you need anything.”
“Thanks, have a good night.”
I stare back at my computer screen, but my eyes can’t focus. Stupid Cassidy Evans. I blame the pop-princess-turned-movie-actress for my lack of having a life. She’s my biggest client, but I’ve never actually met her. I know I need to work my way up the food chain, but I still wish Cassidy knew I existed, especially since I’m constantly busting my ass trying to keep her famous.
She’s certainly no Oscar winner, but she’s made a few fun teen-friendly flicks. Cassidy’s mostly in the tabloids nowadays though due to one major thing – her famous boyfriend, Austin Ford. Austin’s the hottest up-and-coming actor in Hollywood, as well as a notorious bad boy. There have been reports of him getting into fights with the paparazzi, public intoxication, and speeding tickets up the wazoo.
One perk to being behind the scenes in Cassidy’s life is that I’m privy to all the insider information on her and Austin’s relationship. The best, and probably biggest secret of all, is that the PWR group arranged for Cassidy and Austin to be together. From the timing and location of their first date, to everything they do and say in public with each other. I’m constantly calling every paparazzo in town to make sure they’re on hand to snap photos of them. In fact, everything is strategically planned to make it seem like they’re the perfect couple so that teens will pile into the theaters to see their movies and buy their products. I don’t particularly enjoy deceiving the public, but hey, it pays the bills.
Although, if I had to be in a sham relationship, I certainly wouldn’t mind pretending to date Austin Ford. He’s twenty-three, only two years older than me, and his sun-kissed skin and underwear model physique would draw any woman with an ounce of taste to do a double take. His wavy, light-brown hair and piercing blue eyes are just icing on the cake.
I’m suddenly shaken out of my Austin-filled daydream when the janitor approaches my cubicle to empty the trash for the night. I think that’s my cue to shut down and go home.