07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

New Adult Romantic Comedy

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?

Rachel—like many New Adults, aka Millennials—is caught in a quarter-life crisis, a term I discovered in B.A. Binns’ September 2, 2017 post.

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.

Buy Caught on Camera on Amazon | iBooks | Kobo  

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.

About Madelle

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.

Follow Madelle on  TwitterFacebookGoodreadsPinterest, and Wattpad


Judith Ashley said...

My granddaughters are in the New Adult age range. Started working in fast food and my oldest was rapidly promoted to management. She's finding it hard to move to a career she wants because she'd have to start at the bottom. Youngest is out of fast food but still not doing what she really wants. Very different for them than it was for me at their age.

And the reality that Rachel learns that what she thought was her dream job really isn't, well that's always a good thing.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Great excerpt, Madelle! I have Millenials in my family too--it's hard to watch them try to pay off their student debt when the job market is so difficult. Kudos to your Rachel for finding her HEA! :-)

Sarah Raplee said...

Loved the excerpt, Madelle! You're stories are definitely New Adult, and fun.

Madelle Morgan said...

Thanks, Lynn and Sarah.

Judith, I want to add that the 20s are about self-discovery and growth in the "real" world, where they are tested in different ways from in high school and college. Managing a group of employees is a great learning & development experience at a young age, in the fast food sector or any other!

In my character Rachel's case, she has to decide whether to compromise her core values to attain her goal - a huge test.