Susan Mallery is one of my favorite authors. She’s my go-to for romantic books filled with realistic, diverse women on the verge of making BIG changes in their lives. I’m thrilled to bring you an excerpt from Susan Mallery’s latest stand alone novel, California Girls. From the description, I can’t wait to dig in to read all about the three sisters’ journey and their interesting family dynamics.
Join us for an excerpt tour beginning mid-February, followed by a review tour starting on the day of release, February 26th!
Now on to the excerpt from California Girls:
“They’re frying bacon!”
Finola Corrado tried not to smile at the panic in her assistant’s eyes. “The cooking segment is potato salad five ways. Bacon is the cost of doing business.”
Rochelle’s horror morphed into indignation. “Yes, and right before that is the ‘What’s New in Sundresses’ segment. I’m very familiar with the schedule.” She set down her tablet, put her hands on her narrow hips and leaned forward, as if stressing the importance of her point. Her long, dark braids moved with her. “Finola, we have models in the building. Tall, skinny, hungry models. They’re starting to look feral and turn on each other. I’m convinced it’s the smell of bacon. Can’t they cook it somewhere else?”
And people assumed television was glamorous, Finola thought, still trying not to laugh.
“Move the models to the backup greenroom and tell them we have a humidity problem on set so they need to use extra hair spray. They won’t be able to smell the bacon after that. Tell the food prep person to clean up when the bacon is finished so there won’t be any more odor.”
“Oh, that will work.” Rochelle, a smart, ambitious communications graduate, relaxed. “I should have thought of that myself.”
“You will soon enough.”
Her dark-haired, dark-eyed twenty-five-year-old assistant would soon be capable of running the show, Finola thought as Rochelle left. In a few months, Rochelle would move on, taking a job that would give her more responsibility, and Finola would hire a new assistant, to begin the process again.
Getting your foot in the door in the TV business wasn’t easy. There were plenty of crap jobs, but not all of them gave the right kind of experience. Finola prided herself on hiring the best and the brightest. She was very clear with her demands—she expected a killer work ethic, absolute loyalty and 100 percent of their focus. In return, she would teach them about the business, introduce them to the right people and throw them a big party when they moved on to greener pastures.
Finola’s dressing room door opened again. One of the production assistants stuck her head in and whispered, “She’s here! She’s here. I can’t believe it. I’m so excited. Aren’t you excited?”
Before Finola could answer, the assistant was gone, no doubt to spread the joy to others.
Finola wanted to be cynical, but even she had to admit she was looking forward to meeting Treasure. AM SoCal was a successful show in a crowded media market. Being based in Los Angeles meant more access to celebrities than most shows like theirs, but even they didn’t expect to land a massive country-pop star like Treasure.
At twenty-three, Treasure was a music phenom. Her last single had a million downloads in the first six hours after release and her YouTube videos all had over a billion views. She was appearing on the show this morning for a ten-minute interview followed by a live performance of her new single “That Way.” The hungry models’ fashion show and the potato salad segments would follow.
Except for Treasure being such a big star, today’s rundown was pretty typical. Finola greeted her audience—both live and on television—with a bit of chitchat and a few jokes, then she invited her first guest onto the set. By eleven, the show was over and by noon, everyone on staff would be focused on doing it all again for the next show. Everyone but her, she thought with a smile. She was off next week.
“Hawaii, here we come,” she murmured to herself.
She and her husband needed the time away. They’d both been so busy lately, caught up in their respective careers. The week would give them time to focus on each other and their marriage. And maybe something just a little bit more.
She was ready, finally ready, to get pregnant. Nigel had been eager for them to start their family for a couple of years now. She’d been the one dragging her feet. But turning thirty-four, listening to her mother complain about having three grown daughters and no grandchild, not to mention the realization that there would never be a perfect time, had convinced her they should go for it now. In honor of the decision, she’d packed a present for Nigel to open when they checked into their suite in Maui. She had a feeling the gift of sex toys and baby booties would get the message across very clearly.
Nigel was nothing if not a man of action—they were going to have fun.
She heard a knock on her door, followed by a loud, “Thirty minutes.”
Thirty minutes until showtime, she thought, settling into her makeup chair and closing her eyes.
She was already dressed and made-up, she knew her topics, had listened to enough of Treasure’s music to qualify for fan club membership, and she’d skipped carbs at breakfast so she could taste-test potato salad to her heart’s content.
“Good show,” she whispered to herself as she slowed her breathing for her preshow relaxation ritual.
She had fifteen minutes of quiet. Fifteen minutes when no one would knock on her door or burst into her room. She would collect herself and then head to the set where she would be miked and given a final dusting of powder before starting her show.
About CALIFORNIA GIRLS
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: MIRA (February 26, 2019)
The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…
Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.
Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.
Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.
But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.
Find CALIFORNIA GIRLS
About Susan Mallery
#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.
Connect with Susan Mallery
Susan Mallery’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for CALIFORNIA GIRLS:
Monday, February 11th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, February 12th: Tar Heel Reader
Wednesday, February 13th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Thursday, February 14th: Books & Spoons
Friday, February 15th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, February 18th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, February 19th: Rad Babes Read
Wednesday, February 20th: Reading Reality
Thursday, February 21st: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Friday, February 22nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, February 25th: Reading Reality
Monday, February 25th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Monday, February 25th: @booknerdingout
Tuesday, February 26th: The Book Date
Wednesday, February 27th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Friday, March 1st: Books & Bindings
Friday, March 1st: Not in Jersey
Monday, March 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, March 4th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, March 6th: Bookchickdi
Thursday, March 7th: Running Through the Storms
Thursday, March 7th: Why Girls Are Weird
Friday, March 8th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, March 11th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, March 12th: Girl Who Reads
Wednesday, March 13th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, March 13th: Romantic Reads and Such
Thursday, March 14th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Thursday, March 14th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Friday, March 15th: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
Monday, March 18th: Jathan & Heather
Tuesday, March 19th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Wednesday, March 20th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, March 20th: A Splendid Messy Life
Thursday, March 21st: Broken Teepee
Monday, March 25th: Eliot’s Eats
Tuesday, March 26th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, March 27th: Into the Hall of Books
Thursday, March 28th: A Holland Reads
Friday, March 29th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, March 29th: What is That Book About