Thursday, May 1, 2008

Finding Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

It is May FIRST,
time for the FIRST Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The
FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest
book's FIRST chapter!

Today's feature author is:

and her book:

Hollywood Nobody

Navpress Publishing Group (February 15, 2008)


Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including
the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was
her first novel for teens

These days, she's working on Quaker Summer, volunteering at
Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive
of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright
awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one
thing, it's never dull around there.

Novels by Lisa:

Hollywood Nobody, Straight Up, Club Sandwich, Songbird, Tiger Lillie, The Church Ladies, Women's Intuition: A Novel, Songbird, The Living End

Visit her at her website.


Chapter One

Hollywood Nobody:
Sunday, June 4

Well, Nobodies, it's a wrap! Jeremy's latest film, yet another remake
of The Great Gatsby, now titled Green Light, has shipped out from
location and will be going into postproduction. Look for it next spring in
theaters. It may just be his most widely distributed film yet with
Annette Bening on board. Toledo Island will never be the same after that
wacky bunch filled in their shores.

Today's Hottie Watch: Seth Haas has moved to
Hollywood. An obscure film he did in college, Catching Regina's Heels
(a five-star film in my opinion), was mentioned on the Today show last
week. He was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air. Hmm. Could it be he'll
receive the widespread acclaim he deserves before the release of Green
Light? For his sake and the film's, I hope so.

Rehab Alert: I've never hidden the fact that
I don't care for bratty actress Karissa Bonano, but she just checked
into rehab for a cocaine addiction. Her maternal grandfather, Doug
Fairmore, famous in the forties for swashbuckling and digging up clues, made
a public statement declaring the Royal Family of Hollywood was "indeed
throwing all of our love, support, and prayers behind Karissa." The man
must be a thousand years old by now. This isn't Ms. Bonano's first
stint in rehab, but let's hope it's her last. Even I'm not too catty to
wish her well in this battle. But I'm as skeptical as the next person. In
Hollywood, rehab is mostly just a fad.

Today's Quote: "It's a scientific fact. For
every year a person lives in Hollywood, they lose two points of their
IQ." Truman Capote

Today's Rant: SWAG, or Party Favors. Folks,
do you ever wonder what's inside those SWAG bags the stars get? Items
which, if sold, could feed a third-world country for a week! And have you
noticed how the people who can afford to buy this stuff seem to get it
for free? I'm just sayin'. So here's my idea, stars: Refuse to take
these high-priced bags o' stuff and gently suggest the advertisers give
to a charitable organization on behalf of the movie, the stars, the
whoever. Like you need another cell phone.

Today's Kudo: Violette Dillinger will be
appearing on the MTV Video Music Awards in August. She told Hollywood
Nobody she's going to prove to this crowd you can be young, elegant, decent,
and still rock out. Go Violette!

Summer calls. Later!

Monday, September 15, 4:00 a.m.

Maybe I'm looking for the wrong thing in a parent.

I turn over in bed at the insistence of Charley's forefinger poking me
in the shoulder. "Please tell me you've MapQuested this jaunt,

She shakes her tousled head, silhouetted by the yellow light emanating
from the RV's bathroom. "You're kidding me right?" She slides off the
dinette seat. Charley's been overflowing with relief since she told me
the truth about our life: that she's not really my mother, but my
grandmother, that somebody's chasing us for way too good of a reason, that my
life isn't as boring as I thought. We're still being chased, but
Charley can at least breathe more freely in her home on the road now that I
know the truth.

Home in this case happens to be a brand-spanking-new Trailmaster RV, a
huge step forward from the ancient Travco we used to have, the ancient
Travco with a rainbow Charley spread in bright colors over its nose.

"Where to?" Having set my vintage cat glasses, love 'em, on my nose, I
scramble my hair into its signature ponytail: messy, curly, and
frightening. I can so picture myself in the Thriller video.

"Marshall, Texas."

"East Texas?"

"I guess."

"It is." I shake my head. Charley. I love her, I really do, but when it
comes to geography, despite the fact that we've traveled all over the
country going to her gigs ever since I can remember, she's about as
intelligent as a bottle of mustard. And boy do I know a lot about bottles
of mustard. But that was my last adventure.

"If you knew, then why did you ask?" She flips the left side of her
long, blonde hair, straighter than Russell Crowe, over her shoulder.
Charley's beautiful. Silvery blonde (she uses a cheap rinse to cover up the
gray), thin (she's vegan), and a little airy (she's frightened of a lot
and tries not to think about anything else that may scare her), she
wears all sorts of embroidered vests and large skirts and painted blue
jeans. And they're all the real deal, because Charley's an
environmentalist and wouldn't dream of buying something she didn't need when what
she's got is wearing perfectly well. She calls my penchant for vintage
clothing "recycling," and I don't disagree.

"Is this really a gig, Charley, or are we escaping again?"

She shakes her head. "No phone call. I really do have a job."

I feel the thrill of fear inside me, though there's no need right now.
Biker Guy almost got me back on Toledo Island. (Yeah, he looks like a
grizzled old biker.) To call the guy rough around the edges would be
like saying Pam Anderson has had "a little work done."

I've been looking over my shoulder ever since.

But more on that later. We need to get on the road. And I need to get
on with my life. I'm so sick of thinking about how things aren't nearly
what I'd like them to be.

I mean, do you ever get tired of hearing yourself complain?

I flip up my laptop, log on to the satellite Internet I installed (yes,
I am that geeky) and Google directions to Marshall, Texas, from where
we are in Theta, Tennessee—actually, on the farm of one of Charley's
old art-school friends who gave her some work in advertising for the
summer. Charley's a food stylist, which means she makes food look good for
the camera. Still cameras, motion picture cameras, video, it doesn't
matter. Charley can do it all.

"Oh, we've got plenty of time, Charley. Five hundred and fifty miles
and . . . we have to go through Memphis . . ."

My verbal drop-off is a dead giveaway.

"Oh, no, Scotty, we're not going to Graceland again."

The kitsch that is Graceland speaks to me. What can I say?

And you've got to admit, it's starting to look vintage. Now ten years
ago . . .

I cross my arms. "Do you have cooking to do on the way?"

Yes, highly illegal to cook in a rolling camper.

"Yeah, I do."

"And do you expect me, an unlicensed sixteen-year-old, to drive?"
Again, highly illegal, but Charley's a free spirit. However, she refuses to
copy CDs and DVDs, so in that regard, she's more moral than most
people. I guess it evens up in the end.


"Then I think I deserve a trip through the Jungle Room."

She rolls her eyes, reaches down to the floor, and throws me my robe.
"Oh, all right. Just don't take too long."

"I'll try. So." I look at the screen. "65 to route 40 west. Let's hit
it. And we'll have time to stop for breakfast."

Charley shakes her head and plops down on the tan dinette bench. The
interior of this whole RV is a nice sandy tan with botanical accents.
Tasteful and so much better than the old Travco that looked like a cross
between a genie's bottle and the Unabomber cabin. "You're going to eat
cheese. Aren't you?"

"I sure am."

And Charley can't say anything, because months ago she told me this was
a decision I could make on my own.


"I've rethought the cheese moratorium, baby. I know you're not going to
like this, but three months of cheese is enough. I can't imagine what
your arteries look like. I think it's time to stop."

"What?" Cheese is my life. "Charley! You can't do this to me."

"It's for your own good."

"Are you serious?"

"Yeah, I am."


"Because summer's over, baby, and we've got to get back to a better way
of life."

I could continue to argue, but it won't do any good. Charley acts all
hippie and egalitarian, but when push comes to shove, she's the boss.
However, I'm great at hiding my cheese . . . and . . . I'm going to
convince her eventually.

But still.

"This isn't right, Charley, and you know it. But it's too early to
argue. And might I add, you have no idea what it's like to have a teen with
real teen issues. You ought to be on your knees thanking God I'm not
drinking, smoking, pregnant, or"—I was going to say sneaking out at
night, but I've done that, just to get some space—"or writing suicidal
poetry on the Internet!"

We stare at each other, then burst into laughter.

"Just humor me this time, baby," she says. "We'll come back to it soon,
I promise."

I don't believe her, but I hop into the driver's seat, pull up the
brake, throw the TrailMama into drive, and we are off.

To read the rest of the first chapter go here:

My Review: This is a unique and captivating series. It is for mature teens and up (to me) because of the topics including drugs and premartial sex. Lisa Samson is known for writing books with unique twists. The plot and characters are great. I highly recommend the whole series. (It does help to read them in order.) I can't wait to read Romancing Hollywood Nobody coming in the fall.

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