by Madelle Morgan
Can Rachel, a chambermaid at a luxury resort, raise the tuition for film school by September?
Or will she be stuck in a service job for life?
This is the stage of life when New Adults are trying to break into careers for which they studied and trained. However, their timing sucks. Their 21st century reality is contract work, unpaid internships, downsizing, and limited job opportunities. They’re frustrated at every turn.
Some start their own businesses. Some go on to grad school. Some settle in jobs they hate but need in order to pay off student loans.
As the parent of a millennial, I celebrated when my son with two degrees finally snagged a contract in his field that paid more than minimum wage. It’s tough in the real world, but there’s hope.
Rather than focus on New Adults' angst and frustration, I wrote a fun, light story about a twenty-something’s journey to a career that’s perfect for her. And it turns out that it’s not the career she originally wanted.
Caught on Camera Blurb
To achieve her dream of working as a camera operator on Hollywood film sets, star struck chambermaid Rachel Lehmann needs $35,000 for film school tuition by the end of the summer.
When she’s asked to fill in for a missing bridesmaid at a movie star’s wedding and pretend to be the bride's cousin, it’s her big chance to secretly take photos of celebrities and sell them to the entertainment media! Then Mickey, one of the groomsmen, sweeps her off her feet.
Mickey McNichol, talent agent to the stars, believes everyone in show business is out for what they can get. When he falls for the bride’s "cousin", he thinks he’s finally met a beautiful woman he can trust. But if Rachel betrays the wedding party, Mickey will ensure she never works in Hollywood.
Excerpt: Rachel is seated with the groomsmen and other bridesmaids at the wedding rehearsal dinner.
Mickey lay down his fork, having made his salad disappear in four bites. Rachel ruefully inspected her own small but artistically presented endive, pear, and Roquefort salad sprinkled with walnut crumbs.
In a normal day, she consumed carb-loaded meals to replace thousands of calories burned in a long, labor-intensive shift. That afternoon’s light spa lunch and a shrimp on a skewer left her faint with hunger. She swiftly polished off the delicious salad, then squinted greedily at Tiffany’s untouched plate.
“I admire a woman who enjoys food and doesn’t mind showing it,” Mickey murmured for her ears alone. “So many women at parties appear to survive on champagne and caviar.”
Asta snagged one of the fresh-baked multigrain rolls from a silver basket and slathered it with a ball of iced butter.
“Except Asta, of course,” Mickey continued. “And now you.” Cool fingers lightly tapped her bare thigh under the tablecloth.
At the delicious contact, Rachel’s brain emptied of all coherent thought. She blurted the truth. “We’re working women. I’d fade away to nothing if I ate like this every day.” She indicated her empty plate.
Mickey angled to face her. “What is it that you do, exactly?”
Oh my gods. She’d blithely set herself up for that question. She slunk low in her chair, quavered, “Do?”
“Yeah,” Wade said to the table at large. “What does Candy’s cousin do in Toronto?”
The men’s attention fastened on Rachel. Tiffany’s green-eyed glare spit daggers.
Asta leaned forward, chin cupped in one palm. “Candy never mentioned you before today. But then Candy has been notoriously closemouthed about her own sister. Tell us about yourself.”
Desperately stalling, Rachel licked a crumb of strong Roquefort blue cheese off her upper lip. That spring she’d completed a two-year community college Creative Photography program with top grades that garnered early acceptance into Toronto’s prestigious, private film school for the fall semester.
She’d supported herself while attending college with a part time minimum wage job as an evening room attendant in a three-star downtown hotel, and with summer jobs in the Muskoka resorts. Candy’d be furious if she revealed how she earned her living.
Nervy, Rachel twisted the cord holding her camera pendant and opted for the truth. “I’ve been accepted into Toronto Film School to study cinematography, starting in September. Wade, what do you do?”
Wade chuckled, apparently amused by her transparent attempt to deflect prying questions. Good natured, he played along.
“I’m an entertainment attorney. Producers hire me to secure rights to a book or screenplay, negotiate equity financing deals, and vet distribution licenses for film projects. I have the satisfaction of helping independent films I believe in get green-lighted. No money, no movie.”
“Do any Academy Awards decorate your mantle?”
He shook his head in exaggerated dismay. “Sadly, no. Producers get the screen credit.” He threw out his hands, palms up. “I merely bask in the reflected glory.”
Rachel decided she liked Wade’s wry humor. She shifted her attention to Garth, ready to inquire about his profession, but Asta broke in.
“Rachel, you didn’t answer Wade’s question. What do you do now?”
Rachel stiffened. Her lips parted and resealed a couple of times—a fish out of water. She had nothing.
Subscribe to Madelle’s blog to be alerted to the release of Seduced by the Screenwriter, Hollywood in Muskoka series, Book 2, in December, 2017.
Madelle Morgan is a Canadian author who writes romance with heat, heart and humor. Her 2016 release, Caught on Camera, is a Hollywood wedding romance set in Muskoka, Canada—summer playground of the rich and famous.