Chore Whore: Adventures of a Celebrity Personal Assistant

( 13 )

Overview

I have been used, abused, lied to, and cheated on, blamed, shamed, screamed at, and ridiculed. I've been scammed and damned, had my ass kissed, my reputation dissed, and my face spat on. All in the name of working as a celebrity personal assistant . . . a CHORE WHORE!

After twenty years of working thanklessly for a dozen high-powered Hollywood hotshots, Corki Brown has had enough. She's sick to death of handling elaborate extortion deals, washing groupies' dirty underwear, and...

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Chore Whore: Adventures of a Celebrity Personal Assistant

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Overview

I have been used, abused, lied to, and cheated on, blamed, shamed, screamed at, and ridiculed. I've been scammed and damned, had my ass kissed, my reputation dissed, and my face spat on. All in the name of working as a celebrity personal assistant . . . a CHORE WHORE!

After twenty years of working thanklessly for a dozen high-powered Hollywood hotshots, Corki Brown has had enough. She's sick to death of handling elaborate extortion deals, washing groupies' dirty underwear, and having to whip up intimate dinners on no notice for spoiled stars, each with his or her own bizarre dietary demands. And now her ten-year-old son is starting to exhibit some disturbing signs of Tinseltown weirdness. It's time to get out, but escape won't be easy. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hen lit meets The Devil Wears Prada in this rambling peek into the world of spoiled, demanding celebrities by a former personal assistant to the stars. Forty-something Corki Brown is juggling single motherhood and a job as a personal assistant/24-7 concierge/ Jane-of-all-trades to a stable of Hollywood movers and shakers, all seemingly incapable of tying their own shoelaces. Thirty different clients need unique gifts for Steven Spielberg's birthday? Done. An actress needs an intimate dinner for 10 whipped up in a matter of hours-each guest with their own personalized diet? No problem. Used condoms need to be scooped off the floor because even the maid won't do it? Corki's got it covered. Cleaning lady, gofer, psychologist, she plays dozens of roles; not one of them, unfortunately, as a mother with time enough for her 10-year-old son, Blaise. But when sweet, airheaded star Lucy Bennett shows up for lunch with a black eye (courtesy of her new cowboy husband), and gruff actor Jock Straupman finds himself being blackmailed for his dalliances with teenage girls and wants Corki to make the money drop-one Tinseltown assistant has had enough. Readers might find it hard to care, though; Corki's clients are caricatures, and the plot meanders aimlessly from pouting celebrity to unreasonable request and back again, with neither enough humor nor glitter. Agent, Martin Groothius. (Apr. 12) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Zippy tell-all follows the misadventures of Corki Brown, professional coddler to the stars. Corki Brown has spent almost 20 years taking care of Hollywood celebrities-cooking their meals, picking up their dry cleaning, and using her garage to store their incriminating goods (gifts from an ex-boyfriend, unlicensed guns, etc.). She's thoroughly disenchanted with her career, but as a single mom with a ten-year-old son to support, she can't quit now. Our story opens on an annual ritual: purchasing memorable gifts for Steven Spielberg on behalf of her clients on the occasion of his birthday. She's also planning to cater a dinner for Academy Award-winner Lucy Bennett, and drop off the laundry of the latest conquest of aging star Jock Straupman. The author's strongest suit is in presenting these hectic, absurd mundanities of assistant work; she herself spent 20 years doing tasks that ostensibly resemble the ones her heroine faces, and her accounts of highway shortcuts and the bakshish system ring true. But for those hoping to get in on real-life, titillating scuttlebutt, the rest of her work is more obscure; although she's presumably dishing dirt on various baddies, it isn't clear exactly who's who. Howard's celebrity protagonists-Lucy, Jock, and others-seem to be composites; understandably, as presumably few Hollywood star would tolerate being presented as maintaining an underground arsenal or recruiting underage sex partners. (Jennifer Aniston, however, is mentioned by name as the rare celeb who treats her employees humanely.) The story gets wilder by the minute, as Corki's clients charge her with planning a last-minute wedding in Greece, and exchanging $100,000 for damning home videos; thewhole is then wrapped up in an improbably neat twist, but the plot is hardly the point here. Fast-moving fluff, with hours of fun for anyone determined to figure out who the bad guys really are.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060723927
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/21/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 459,069
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Heather H. Howard's experience as a personal assistant to some of the biggest names in Hollywood for more than two decades inspired this wickedly funny fictional exposé of her clients' egotistical follies. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with her ten-year-old son, Cayman.

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First Chapter

Chore Whore
Adventures of a Celebrity Personal Assistant

Chapter One

Today is December 18, Steven Spielberg's birthday. Although not formally declared a national holiday, in Hollywood, California, and its environs, it is celebrated as one. A wicked form of paralysis cripples the movie industry. Celebrities, producers, directors and musicians -- in fact, anyone who is or wants to be indebted to Steven -- is at wits' end. Fingernails are being chewed, hair is being torn out and smokers who have quit, resume.

I prepare all year for this day, taking notes every time a brilliant gift idea presents itself. However, with so many requests from my clients, I still get caught short.

The week leading up to his birthday I can't sleep due to the spinning wheels in my brain working overtime.

The stars who employ me typically procrastinate, waiting until the morning of December 18 to call, desperate for ideas on what present to give Steven that will make them stand out amongst all his other gift-givers. What do you get someone who has everything?

Call me practical, but I always first suggest that they donate to his favorite charity, the Shoah Foundation, which his former assistant, Bonnie, who has since climbed the rungs of Amblin Entertainment's ladder to procure a loftier title, personally told me he prefers.

"Fuck that!" my clients say. They want theirs to be exceptional, not just another donation. Forget that Shoah documents the stories of surviving Holocaust victims and all that dribble, they want to give him something he'll never forget ... a present of such extreme uniqueness that it will stick in his mind when he's casting his next big feature, something guaranteed to set them apart from the crowd.

Combine the usual holiday madness with Steven's birthday and December becomes a time worthy of heart attacks and drug overdoses. Every one of my clients has a long Christmas gift list of what to get other celebrities, agents, publicists, household staff and assistants, not to mention families and friends. They know their yearly limit of creativity will be spent on Spielberg's birthday present, so they allow themselves to fall into the "rut" of giving charity donations to all the other folks on their holiday gift list.

Giving to charities makes the stars feel good once a year, it's a tax deduction (so everyone gets into the act), it benefits the downtrodden and it's a cure-all for what to give the person who has everything.

It just won't do for Steven.

To avoid additional pressure and stress in December, I descend upon my stationer in October and have the Christmas/Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa cards done early. I also start calling everyone in my clients' Rolodexes to confirm addresses, names, spelling, babies born, birthdays, etc. This time of the year, it is not uncommon for me to come home to messages from Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Johnson, Garry Shandling and Pamela Anderson —all confirming or giving a change of address. By mid-October the cards are printed in raised gold lettering with envelopes lined in silk. By Thanksgiving, several thousand envelopes have been carefully addressed. I hit the post office on December 1, hauling boxes of cards to be mailed out to addresses across the globe.

A typical preprinted gift card reads: "The [insert almost any last name in Hollywood] family is celebrating this holiday season [not "joyous season" because one wouldn't want to offend Hollywood's depressed] by donating a financial gift to [pick your charity—preferably one dealing with disease, children or the Democratic Party, if it's an election year] in your name [never specify whose]. We wish you bliss and peace in the upcoming year. All our love, [insert celebrity name].

The recipient of the card feels warm and fuzzy for three seconds, never suspecting the giver has donated $500 total to the charity, spent $2,200 on the preprinted gilded cards and has sent them to 1,000 people, donating exactly 50 cents per person. Now, that's a gift!

Eight days before Christmas, the busiest time of the year for me, and Lucy Bennett, a two-time Academy Award–winning actress, called last night wondering if I might be "available" to whip up a meal for a small, intimate dinner party she plans on having ... tonight.

The small, intimate part doesn't bother me. The cooking on such short notice bugs me only slightly. It blends in with all the other anxiety I'm feeling right now. The guest list is the intimidating part. Cooking is a job requirement. All my clients know I love to cook, so over the years it has been incorporated as an aspect of my personal assistant job, just like taking their dog to the vet, answering their fan mail or doing their grocery shopping.

I've been Lucy's personal assistant for twenty years -- way before her first Academy Award score and way before she had most of the friends she's now inviting over for dinner.

To celebrate Christmas and the upcoming Academy Award nominations, she wants to entertain ten of her closest pals -- John Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston; Melissa Etheridge; Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette; Meg Ryan; Laura Dern and her rock star honey, Ben Harper; director David Lynch and his woman, Mary.

To complicate the dinner and my life, Lucy has given me a list of what her friends will eat, won't eat, can eat and what they would prefer to eat. Meg doesn't like salmon and she's on a diet that dictates food according to her blood type. John and Kelly lead a preservative-free life. Laura's no vegetarian but she doesn't do red meat or dairy, and Ben likes chocolate. No, scratch that, loves chocolate, especially chocolate cake. Melissa is giving the Atkins Diet a try, Mary's on the Zone, and both Davids are sold on the South Beach. Courteney doesn't eat anything that "pumps, thinks, filters or scavenges" -- in other words, no hearts, brains, liver, kidneys or crab ...

Chore Whore
Adventures of a Celebrity Personal Assistant
. Copyright © by Heather Howard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Dissapointing

    It's hard to feel sorry for the main character, she covers up for illegal activites & is actually enabling to the point of being an accomplice. She ignores her sons welfare by allowing celebraties to rip her off again &again. Duh!
    The story line, police helping catch the guy, come on!
    The ending was dumb & improbable. The character is a looser, how could she run a luxury reastaurant!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Reviewer #2

    If you are not a reader, why did you buy a Nook?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    The boy

    Smiles politely back.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    NO ONE WANTS TO BE WITH YOU!!!!!!

    GO TO HE<_>LL, SL<_>UT!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Brent

    "No, no it's fine." He says, shaking his head

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Toni

    "Hello," a hansome, muscular man appears. He walks in wearing a Peral Jam tee with a white jacket over. His jeans are slightly worn and van shoes

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Acacia

    She smiles politely at the boy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Confessions of a name dropper

    I picked this up in the bargain section-the cover was adorable and sounded like it might be a very funny and whimsical diversion.
    The author plows through the first 100 pages at a frenzied pace-dropping celebrity names (first name only, cause we know who's shes' referring to right), leaving me wondering every few pages what is the point of this book?? Where is the plot? I know it's loosely based on life, and is fiction, but I still got a sense of being annoyed with her references.
    Had this been story driven, vs how many celebrity names she can drop on a page, I might have given this a better review.
    It's not a total loss though-it does pick up toward the end-good for a quick plane ride or for easy commuter reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am not an avid reader at all, in fact I hardly read. I bought this book and finished it within 3 days. I have now passed it to a friend who also doesn't enjoy reading just a day ago and she is half way through the book already. i absolutely recommend this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2006

    Entertaining light reading

    Very good, easy to read. A great read for the beach or anywhere else!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2005

    Fun

    A fun beach read. I began to think what great stories personal assistants to the stars could tell. I will make a spot for this book in my personal library.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2005

    Who really cares....

    if you're going to write a book like this--do it right. this is watered down pseudo-hollywood fiction at its worst. she should have kept her day job. your money would be better spent on a star map. look for it used!-or not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

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