Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Blitz via Chick Lit Plus: Starstruck by Ruby Preston




With her Broadway opening night a few weeks away savvy young producer, Scarlett Savoy, is finally ready for her brand new musical to take center stage. Only two major things stand in her way - the beautiful but mercurial Hollywood diva she's cast in the lead and a handsome familiar face from her past who flies back into her life. From high stakes rehearsal rooms, to paparazzi fueled scandals, to the star-studded red carpet of opening night, Starstruck is a page-turning journey behind the scenes of Broadway, all set against the glittering back drop of Manhattan. Will Scarlett make it to opening night before the curtain falls on her dreams?


SCENE ONE

Scarlett blinked as a camera flash made her momentarily lose her train of thought. She paused to collect herself. Her heart raced as if urging her feet to follow suit. She could feel all eyes on her as sweat pricked her brow. She prayed that her panic at having the lens of every major theater news outlet aimed in her direction didn’t show.

She pasted her most professional smile on her face and continued, “As I was saying, thank you all for joining us today as we kick off rehearsals for Broadway’s newest original musical, Swan Song. It is my great pleasure to introduce you to a familiar Broadway face, our director, Kyle Jared.”

She gestured to Kyle with a “please save me” glance as he stepped blithely in front of the gaggle of reporters and photographers in the crowded rehearsal studio. Scarlett sagged against the wall amid the cast members at the side of the room, waiting for her pulse to slow. She knew she was being ridiculous. Of all the challenges she had faced so far while producing her first Broadway show, talking to the press shouldn’t have felt like such an ordeal.

Scarlett had attended the traditional Broadway “Media Day” meet and greets many times, back when she was a Broadway assistant. This time was different and her stage fright had caught her off guard. Introducing Swan Song to Broadway somehow brought home the fact that she was “all in” on this show.

“You did good, kid,” Lawrence whispered in her ear. “You sounded like a pro.” Lawrence was the show’s major investor and often her guardian angel. She reached out and squeezed his hand. In a tailored suit with not a single silver hair out of place, he looked every bit a Broadway moneyman.

“I’m a producer — I thought that meant I could avoid the spotlight,” Scarlett whispered back.

“Well, you’d better get used to the attention. A beautiful, young Broadway producer with a hot show. Sounds like front page news to me.” Lawrence leaned down and kissed her cheek quickly.

Scarlett shot a proud smile up at Lawrence, just in time to catch Bliss Hadley, Swan Song’s leading lady and Hollywood darling, glaring in their direction. Lawrence caught Bliss’s look as well.

“That’s my cue,” Lawrence said, winking at Scarlett.

“Don’t go,” Scarlett pleaded in a whisper. “I need you here.”

“You’ll be fine. You’ve got this. I’ll just…” He glanced at Bliss, who was still glaring. “I’d just be in the way. Break a leg!” And with that, he took his leave. Scarlett sighed. First rehearsal and the backstage drama was already in full force.

Bliss’s “casual” rehearsal clothes perfectly complemented her designer figure. Her platinum hair, à la Marilyn Monroe, was immaculate. Stylist: Check!

When it came to press, Bliss, at twenty-six, was already a master. Did they teach classes to movie stars on the art of not blinking? Even as Scarlett laughed to herself at the absurdity of that, she realized she probably wasn’t that far off. Scarlett eyed the cameras again warily. In a few minutes she’d have to face the media again. This time in a receiving line set-up: three-minute interviews, one by one, with every theater website, newspaper, and blogger with a press pass.

She suddenly wished she’d asked the show’s publicist, Karen, for more tips on how to survive these press onslaughts. Thinking of her conversation with Karen just moments before the event got her mind racing again.

“My assistant got a call from Bliss’s personal press agent. You’ll need to jump on that. Hollywood stars and their people are a necessary evil these days.” Karen had told her, sounding disgusted at the mention of her Hollywood counterparts. “I can’t have some Hollywood know-it-all thinking they know how Broadway press works, which they never do, and getting in the way. I need you to run a little interference. Get a sense from Bliss’s publicist of any issues that Bliss may have, any special needs or landmines.”

“Landmines?” Scarlett had asked, wondering where this new task was going to fit into her already overwhelming to-do list.

“Secret drug problems, anger management, sex scandal cover-ups, you know, anything that could come to light and be a distraction for us along the way. See what you can get out of him. Here’s his number.” She reached into the pocket of her crisp navy blazer and handed Scarlett a phone message slip.

Scarlett glanced down at the name scrawled on the paper and the LA phone number.

Her heart skipped a beat.

BIO:
Ruby Preston is a young Broadway producer currently working on several new musicals on the Great White Way. She couldn't be more thrilled to be living her dreams in the Times Square trenches of Manhattan. Starstruck is her third novel and includes many of the characters introduced in her previous books, Showbiz and Staged.

@BroadwayRuby


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