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 A sunny sandy beach and blue sea and sky.

Out June 1st 2023!

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Please enjoy the following excerpt of Her Secret Fortune, copyright 2023, Jo Rees

Scooter Black couldn’t help her foot tapping with nervous energy as she glanced again at the door of the studio from where she was sitting in the reception area, flicking again through the pages of Vanity Fair and stopping on the article about ‘Sahara chic’. She couldn’t concentrate on the new trend for African- print dresses.

     Her whole body felt as if it was sparking with nervous tension, like her aura was crackling with blue electricity. Although Megs, the healer – the one all the celebrities were using here in New York – had assured Scooter that there was absolutely nothing amiss with her aura these days. It was a steady yellow. Peaceful. That’s what she’d said. Peaceful . . . yet enlightened.

     But she would say that, Scooter now thought, because she’d been to see Megs after her past-life healing course, her self- hypnotherapy session and her second session of training to become a reiki master. It sure had been a long and expensive road of self-enlightenment to get to steady, optimistic yellow.

     She didn’t feel so peaceful or grounded right now.

     Why were they taking so long?

     As she tossed the magazine on the low table in front of her, Scooter stole another look at the receptionist. She was the usual for these types of film offices. Scooter had seen countless receptionists like her before. The kind who thought that since they were here answering phones, they were practically an exec producer. The kind who thought that they could make eyes at the bigwigs and be noticed for a movie role. The kind who didn’t tip waitresses like Scooter. The kind who exuded smug.

     This receptionist – young, blonde, wrinkle-free – had hungry, judgmental eyes. She glanced up and caught Scooter’s gaze, her fingers pausing above her keyboard. She pulled a face and cocked her head to one side. Still waiting? her look said. You know what that means, right?

     But Scooter refused to believe what her look implied. The producer and director were keeping her waiting because Lindy Laine, who’d cut in at the last moment, had flounced into Scooter’s spot for a screen test, claiming she had to dash off to a commercial. She’d already been in there for half an hour, and as the minutes continued to tick by, Scooter started to get more worried. What was she doing? Giving them all head?

     I mean, they couldn’t possibly want Lindy, could they? Everyone knew who she was – ex Australian series star turned singer turned actress – but she had so much brand baggage and she couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag.

Breathe, Scooter told herself. Keep calm. This is your moment.

     She tried to remember the Sanskrit mantra her yoga teacher had taught her, but her mind couldn’t relax.

How could she when Miranda, her agent – uber-agent – from YMC had assured Scooter that this was a shoo-in. A shoo-in. That the director, none other than Magnus Miles – another YMC client – love-love-loved Scooter’s cameo in the indie Sundance winner she’d been in last year and had assured

     Miranda that Scooter was his number-one choice and would put a word in with Brody Myers, the producer. This was Magnus’s project. Brody would do whatever he told him.

     Better late than never, Miranda had joked, as if Scooter must have been despairing for all this time.

She hadn’t. She’d never given up hope, never given up the belief that stardom would be hers. That was why she’d spent all this time on self-discovery. To put her wish out there in the universe. To connect with her future on a tangential level.

     OK, it was a bit of that and a bit of distraction to get over what Dean, her boyfriend of eight years, had done and the dark days that had followed his brutal departure from her life and severance of the future together she’d thought would be theirs. But Scooter was prepared to enlist the help of any higher form to guide her on her journey to a new future and to make her dream come true. And for it to happen.

It.

     That thing that Scooter had seen so many times but had yet to happen to her. That illusive, intangible moment when it was possible to go from being a nobody to being a shooting star. To go from unknown to A-list, almost overnight. And ‘it’ was about to happen to her.

(end of excerpt)

 A sunny sandy beach and blue sea and sky.

Out June 1st 2023!

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