We are happy to welcome back E.M. Tippetts,who stops by today to tell you about her latest book, Nobody’s Damsel, which is the sequel to Somebody Else’s Fairytale. Emily stops by with an exclusive scene just for the readers of Book Lovers Inc. and you could even win a copy of the book by commenting. So Emily, take it away…
My main character, Chloe Winters is very down-to-earth and low-key. She doesn’t like to draw attention to herself and isn’t big on daydreams or fantasies, so when Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt, falls for her, she wasn’t sure what to think. As it turned out, he was a good match for her and they’ve since gotten married.
All through the Great Recession, Jason has stayed at the top of the box office, both by doing good work and by being impeccably professional about his job, until one of his oldest friends in the business begs him to help her out of a career rut. He stuck his neck out for her and in the process derailed a film project that one of the largest studios had been banking on. Oh, and that friend of his? She also happens to be his ex.
This is what happens when Jason goes to visit his agent, with Chloe in tow:
An extra scene, not in the book
I had never met Angie face to face, before, only heard Jason talking to her on the phone. She greeted me with a smile and said, “Chloe, I presume?” Her office was swank and corporate, located in Century City. The walls had wood paneling and the floor a plush carpet. The receptionist had a headset so high tech it looked wire thin and fragile. The receptionist himself nodded curtly at me and Jason, as if Hollywood A listers and their wives came by often, which they likely did. Angie was agent to a lot of high earning actors and actresses.
She, herself, was elfin with a short stature, slim body, and sharp, intelligent, hazel eyes. I got the impression those eyes didn’t miss much. Her hair was dark and she wore it in a slicked back ponytail that was trendier than I would have expected. Her personality seemed no nonsense, like the kind of person who’d wear her hair cropped short so that she didn’t have to fuss with it. (That’s what I did with my own hair, at least.)
To Jason, she didn’t even bother to say hello. Instead she greeted him with, “I’m not happy with you, you know.”
Now that did make the receptionist blink and look up.
Jason, nodded. “I know.”
“Okay, you listen to me. Nobody cares how good of an actor you are if you derail projects that other people have put their all into.”
Again Jason bobbed his head. Somehow, this didn’t seem absurd, seeing him with his bulging muscles, perfectly tanned skin, blue eyes, and immaculately styled hair bobbing his head reverently in response to a dressing down from this woman half his size.
“People devote their whole lives to get one movie in the can, sometimes, and one glamor fit like the one you pulled flushes all that work down the toilet.”
“Angie, I will pay to cover losses. They can recast that film. All is not lost.”
“Oh don’t worry, I already made a lot of promises on your behalf.”
“It… usually isn’t their whole lives…” said a soft voice. The receptionist. “It’s a lot of work, but…” Now that he’d drawn attention to himself again, I realized he was watching this scene in horror. His boss was chewing out their most famous client, the one who’d signed with Angie back when she was nobody.
Jason ignored him. “I get that you’re mad.”
“I have watched half a dozen clients go off the deep end and lose their careers, and it always begins with them losing touch with the logistics of the business. You need to remember that almost nobody else on set makes what you do. You can go a year or two or ten without work. They can’t.”
“I hear what you’re saying.”
“You storm off, you leave how many people out of work that they counted on having?”
“I’ve already said I’d help cover losses. And I’m happy to make the film, provided it’s made with a few changes. I think it’ll make a lot more money that way.”
“You do not make that call.”
“So your attitude is disrespectful, and I’m not going to tolerate it.”
He hung his head. “You’re right.”
“Okay, come on back. We’re going to get on the phone and start groveling.”
He followed her back, but I lingered behind to talk to the receptionist, who looked as if someone had just murdered and gutted a puppy right in front of him. “That’s why she’s his agent,” I explained. “He trusts her to say it like it is. He doesn’t want to be surrounded by people who say what he wants to hear.”
“Everyone says that,” said the receptionist.
“He means it.”
“You sure about that?”
Well, I thought, I had to be. I’d never chewed him out like Angie did, and I’d probably take him somewhere less public if I felt like I had to, but I was also one of those people who told Jason how it was. I had to believe he was okay with that if our marriage was going to work.
Nobody’s Damsel by E.M. Tippetts
Book #2 in the Someone Else’s Fairytale series
Chloe has finished her masters degree and taken a job as a forensic scientist back in her home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico, only the press will not leave her alone. They follow her to crime scenes and report on her every move, eager to show that her marriage to Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt, is on the brink of collapse. Millions of fans who dream of their own celebrity romance with him want this more than anything. This scrutiny comes at a particularly bad time as Chloe’s first case is a crime against a child roughly the same age that Chloe was when she survived a homicide attempt.
Now that she sees the case from an adult’s perspective, she realizes it’s much harder than she ever dreamed. It’s even worse for Jason, who is two steps removed from the crime. He must watch and try to support his wife as she battles with past demons and tries to keep up with a nameless suspect who evades identification and capture. Never has Jason been more frustrated with his job, its frivolities, and its lack of connection to the real world. When he storms off the set of his latest movie, the press goes wild with conjecture. Perhaps he never was anything more than a pretty face after all.
Together, Chloe and Jason must find their way past all the popping flashbulbs and through the dark maze of the criminal investigation to discover whether they can balance their professional goals with the demands of a celebrity marriage. The odds are entirely against them.
Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance under the name E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy under the name Emily Mah. Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. Before she was a published author, she was an attorney who specialized in real estate, contracts, and estate planning, especially literary estate planning.
Her most recent publications have been her science fiction and fantasy short stories in magazines like Black Gate, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and the anthology, The Dragon and the Stars.
Emily has generously offered a copy of Nobody’s Damsel by E.M. Tippetts to a lucky commenter!
All you have to do is answer Emily’s question: What is a childhood fear you hope you never have to face again?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on Saturday, 2 February 2013 and we will announce the winner on Sunday.