The first book I ever wrote is finally seeing the light of day.
This story played around in my head for about fifteen years before I actually dared to start writing.
My first draft of Pure Hollywood is a typical first novel: long, episodic, and, to be honest, pretty terrible. Lucky for me, when I finished pouring my heart into that monstrosity of a first draft, I knew it needed to be rewritten. It was rubbish and, while I had learned a lot through the process, I still didn’t know how to write a book. I also realized that I was too close to it to give it the ruthless going-over it needed, so I decided to set it aside for a year, write another book, then get to work on the second draft. That’s exactly what I did.
Once it was finished, my agent shopped it around. And around and around. My little book stirred some interest, but there was one tiny problem. It’s a Young Adult novel and, at that time, all the publishers wanted in that genre were vampires, zombies, and magic. Even though people seemed to like my sweet little rom-com, it just couldn’t find a home.
I’ve waited for years for the YA market to turn to the lighter side, and I’m happy to say that’s finally happening. I decided not to wait any longer to give Pure Hollywood a red carpet debut.
Pure Hollywood, book 1 in my Shining Stars series, tells the story of Jeralyn Rose, a fifteen-year-old movie actress who’s navigating the dark waters of Hollywood. In her quest to stay true to her faith while remaining a hot Hollywood property, she decides she’s “on assignment” to find the one person God has for her to lead to faith. Not an easy job in a town where the Ten Commandments are more like the Ten Strong Suggestions.
Here’s a little excerpt:
Just then, a door on the other side of the room swung open. A big burly man in a grey suit burgeoned through, folded his substantial arms, and surveyed the room. Jeralyn elbowed Mickey and tipped her head in the man’s direction as he planted himself to the side of the doorway.
Right on cue, America’s Newest Heartthrob strutted through the door, wearing Prada and a perfect smile. Jeralyn heard a small gasp then bit her lip, realizing it had come from her. Nola was so right. This guy was hot. She let out a low whistle.
Mickey looked at her and chuckled. “I’ll say one thing for the guy.” He leaned toward her, his voice low. “He knows how to make an entrance.”
“Mmm….” Jeralyn tried to speak, but the signal from her brain to her mouth had somehow been scrambled.
Three other serious looking men and one who looked like a P.A.—personal assistant—took up the rear. Scanning the room, Ryan stopped suddenly as his eyes locked on hers. His whole face entered into a smile, revealing a deep dimple in each cheek. Her heart thumped. He said something to Big Burly Bodyguard, who nodded at Jeralyn with studied suspicion and moved toward her. Toward her! Ryan followed, hangers-on in tow.
Her face warmed as he neared with an outstretched hand, and she fumbled to set down her cocoa. Forgetting about her plate, she let it tip. A melon ball hit the floor and rolled with precision that would have done Tiger Woods proud. Ryan sidestepped it just in time to avoid turning it to melon mush. His bodyguard raised a hooded eye toward her and let out a low growl.
“I’m so psyched to meet you.” Ryan tactfully drew the group’s focus away from the wayward produce. “You’re the reason I took this movie.”
Her gaze sharpened on his face. Copper flecks almost the same shade as his hair shimmered in his jade eyes. She tried to force words around the tennis ball in her throat but wound up with just a feeble, “Oh.”
He smiled. “When I heard you’d be playing Viola, I knew this was going to be a great acting challenge.”
“Ch…challenge?” Her finally-found voice sounded strained.
“Yeah. You know how when you’re doing a scene with a really great actor, it raises the bar?”
The mental hold he had on her sent a tingle up her spine. Had he really just called her a “great actor”?
He smiled again, the glint in his eye indicating he was used to rendering girls dumb in both senses of the word.
If taking a backlot tour of the lighter side of show business sounds like fun, you can pick up your own copy of Pure Hollywood by clicking the image below. Enjoy!