Tales of a Drama Queen

Tales of a Drama Queen

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by Lee Nichols

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APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENTName: Elle MedinaMarital Status: I'm separated from my fiancé.Occupation: He was a highly paid attorney.Employment History: You mean mine? Technically I haven't exactly worked before. But I'm motivated and I work well with others. Most others. Usually.Career Goals: I thought I was

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APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENTName: Elle MedinaMarital Status: I'm separated from my fiancé.Occupation: He was a highly paid attorney.Employment History: You mean mine? Technically I haven't exactly worked before. But I'm motivated and I work well with others. Most others. Usually.Career Goals: I thought I was happy with Louis, but now I'm not sure. Ever since he dumped me for some floozy, I've been thinking I should find out what I'm good at and pursue it in a formal job-type way.Salary Requirements: I need my own apartment (currently staying on friend's sofa) and a car. And I've always wanted a dog. Oh, and I definitely need a shopping trip.

Elle Medina must be qualified for something other than shopping and causing trouble, but when she moves to Santa Barbara after the end of her engagement, what she's suited for isn't clear. Bartender? Private eye? Phone psychic? It seems like everything she tries ends in humiliation or legal action—or both. Her best friend is getting sick of her, her new boyfriend's a con artist and her creditors are on her trail. So why is this the happiest Elle's been in years?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What's a pampered 20-something to do when her rich fianc goes on a business trip and comes back married to someone else? That's the dilemma facing Elle Medina in Nichols's delightfully silly, vivacious debut. True to type, the novel begins with a self-absorbed, ill-starred narrator with a case of logorrhea-yet it's actually funny. Clever lines tumble over one another as Elle quits D.C. for Santa Barbara, Calif., where she must find a job, a car, an apartment and a man. Getting the car isn't too hard, despite her gargantuan credit card debt, and the apartment is affordable, even if it's a converted trolley. Finding a job spotting shoplifters is easy, too. So it's too bad about the hottie who pretended he was stealing, sued and got her fired-and what about that architect who keeps catching Elle at her worst moments? Misadventures pile on misadventures, and Elle's haplessness begins to grate-that is, until she finds success as a phone psychic and starts growing up. Best friends, difficult parents, a bad boy and a good one-the necessary ingredients-are here, plus a clever plot, an over-the-top climax and a grab-a-hankie-even-though-it's-happy side-story about Elle's adoption of a mangy boxer named Scab. Agent, Nancy Coffey. (July) Forecast: This good-natured, irrepressible fairy tale is better than a box of bonbons; Shopaholic fans may have a new heroine. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Tales Of A Drama Queen

By Lee Nichols

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-25063-0

Chapter One


August 21, 2004

Re: Our Recent Luncheon

Ms. Eleanor Medina:

I regret to inform you that I was not released from the hospital until yesterday. The injuries were severe and, as you no doubt recall, I have never been a good healer.

Dr. Armitage offered the opinion that the sugar, at the time of impact, was heated to approximately 370° F. Mr. Maeseneer, Esq., was kind enough to suggest that I initiate legal proceedings against the restaurant, pastry chef and, of course, yourself. However, as you know, I would miss the Gratinee de Coquille St. Jacques. And, as I am well aware of the state of your finances, expecting remuneration would be more than foolhardy.

Elle, please understand that I do not regret the six long years we spent together. You are a very special person, with a great deal of vivacity, and as one chapter ends another is sure to begin. Although, if you will allow advice from a fond ex-fiance, you might learn to curb your temper.


Louis M. Ferris

Louis M. Ferris, Esquire

P.S. It has come to my attention that, during your somewhat disordered departure, you must have inadvertently removed my stamp collection with your belongings. Please return ASAP.

LMF: je

1665 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036 (202) 555-0221

I got the fancy cheese grater from Williams-Sonoma. I got the obscenely fat, three-wicked candle his sister gave us. I got the cut-out New Yorker cartoons, saved against a rainy day for eventual decipherment. I even got the instant ear thermometer (I never get sick, but I knew he would miss it).

All was taken in manner of the break-up scene in The Jerk, where a drunk Steve Martin stumbles out the door, pants around his ankles, grabbing whatever catches his eye. Was proud at the time that I shrieked like a harridan for his sister's handwritten instructions about burning the candle, then deeply disappointed to read simply: "Burn no longer than one hour. Enjoy!" Have been preoccupied on flight to Santa Barbara wondering what happens if I burn longer. Explosion? Toxic fumes?

For the first time, I drink real Bloody Marys on the plane, not virgins. Concern over Death Candle melts away in cloud of drunken amiability. I delight my neighbor, a genteel old lady wearing a Laura Ashley frock, with details of my breakup with Louis. Her eyebrows beetle when I call the Iowan floozy a scheming slut. Could she be from Iowa? I assure her I don't think all floozies from Iowa are scheming sluts.

Am pleasantly surprised when old lady says there are extra seats in back, smiles kindly, and leaves in a waft of grand-motherly perfume. I scoot to the window seat and lay my head against the cold plastic wall.

Start to cry as I fall asleep to thoughts of my big, expensive, perfect wedding. And my small, cheap, flawed future.

I wake when the plane touches ground. There's a scattering of applause, and for a euphoric moment I think it's for me.

I was dreaming about trying on clothes in an endless, utopian version of the Better Dresses department of my childhood department store. The dressing room is large and shell-pink, filled with Donna Karans, Armanis, Guccis, Diors and pre-Stella-McCartney-bail Chloes. Everything I put on makes my body look like Halle Berry's. When did I get such a perfect ass? I can't stop turning and admiring it in the mirror. Like an old Labrador lying down for a nap, I turn and admire, turn and admire, searching for the best of all possible views.

Reaching for the price tag on a Missoni sheath, I can't quite make out the numbers. I ask the manager (who, oddly, is my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Bott) to help me. He says, "You never were a good reader, Elle," presents me with a gold Neiman Marcus credit card (not Robinson's after all) and says, "Take it all, you gorgeous thing." The beautiful young salespeople applaud.

I open my eyes, smiling modestly, to find a middle-aged couple across the aisle clapping. Because the plane landed. As if a safe landing is more important than a perfect ass in a Missoni.

I straighten in my seat, a crick in my neck, cranky from my nap. Doesn't help that shopping orgasm was all a dream. And that my feet have swollen to the size of pineapples, and won't slip back into my boots, forcing me to leave them unzipped.

I peer out the mini-window at the Santa Barbara airport. Looks like a Spanish hacienda. I've only been home once since college and the hacienda makes me feel nostalgic and young again - can't wait to impress my friends and family with all the brilliant things I learned at Georgetown, plus tales of my fabulous attorney fiance and high-society Washington lifestyle. Cheered, I wander down the stairs toward the tarmac, half-expecting the whir and flash of paparazzi cameras.

It's all wrong. I'm blinded by runway lights, suffocated by fresh air, struck with sick-making vertigo. I clutch the stair-railing as I'm ambushed by the truth: I'm no longer twenty-one, all I recall from Georgetown is my relief at having graduated, my family doesn't live here anymore, my fabulous fiance dumped me for an Iowan floozy, I never had a lifestyle - and now I don't even have a life.

I start crying again, and the grandmotherly old lady lays a gentle hand on my arm and brushes past, muttering "move it, you feeble lush."

Resolve in future to keep my airborne Marys virginal.

I've lined up my seventh suitcase (of thirteen, but some are quite small) in the baggage claim tent, when Maya bounces up. She's as cute as she was in high school, with a short tousle of blond curls, huge green eyes and a petite teenage body that belies her twenty-six years. She's my opposite. I'm taller, with long dark corkscrew hair, and more curvy than petite.

She smiles at me, and I feel dirty, tangled, big and miserable. She sees my unzipped boots and unstable expression and opens her arms. I fall into them, weeping.

"Oh, Elle." She giggles. "You're just the same!"


Excerpted from Tales Of A Drama Queen by Lee Nichols Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Tales of a Drama Queen 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing_Grace More than 1 year ago
This story was wonderful. The author made the main character very relatable and refreshing. The story is very original and seems like she could be one of your friends. If you loved "Confessions of a Shopoholic" you will love this book also. Bravo to the Drama Queen and I can't wait to read the next novel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable. Elle may not be the most inspiring heroine ever written, but I found her foibles to be endearing and extremely amusing. The book is a hoot. It's laugh-out-loud funny at times. This isn't a brilliant or inspiring read, it's brain-candy, but it was well worth my time and money. The next time I need something light to read, I'll definitely look up anything by Lee Nichols. Some of the best chick-lit out there.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it had a familiarity to it. This book is absolutely enjoyable until you realize that it's just like the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. If you've read enough of that series you soon got tired of the wackiness and not smart ways of the characters. Thats how i soon felt about Elle Medina though it was a page turner. I was intrigued but could have done without the majority of crazy situations she found herself in. However if you want a dose of wackiness, this book is it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is laugh out loud funny! Elle finds herself in such a whirlwind of ridiculous predicaments that you cannot help but realize that your most embarrassing moments -- not so embarrassing. Honestly, if you want to get lost for a little while, I highly recommend Elle, her condoms, water balloons, malfunctioning toilet, and her ESP (extra sexual perception).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book!! The characters were great. Elle is so funny. I could idenitify with some of her antics. I also loved Maya, PB, & Merrick. I lived in Santa Barbara for several years & I could put myself in all the places that Lee Nichols described. Thank you for this book..it felt good to be back in Calif even if only in my dreams for now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The bright side is that there were scraps and bits here and there that made the book interesting. The not-so-bright side is that one cant end up being appalled by Elle and her lack of skills besides shopping. Its pathetic when the only thing a girl has going for her is the fact that she's picked a rich husband. But...I see why that psychic Cleo went down the tubes....
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I found this book is a slow starter, it picked up quickly as Elle began her search for her place in life. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. Lee Nichols is a good alternative to Sophie Kinsella and the Shopaholic books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The end of her relationship ends life as she knows it for Elle Medina. Pulling up stakes, she moves, searches for a new job, and maybe a new love. The problem is she is not capable of anything constructive, it seems. Her friends are sick of her, her new boyfriend is not much of an improvement on the old, and the only who really want to see her are the people she owes money to. ............................... Skewering reality with a painful accuracy, the novel misses the mark of being escapism, but lacks enough depth to stick in one's mind long enough for that to be a concern.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book within 24 hours. I couldn't put it down, I forgot to study though since I was so caught up into it. I am 20+ years old and thought this book was hysterical. You just have to laugh at her (the main character), she is so ditsy. I loved it thouhg. Definately read it. :-)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I laughed all the way through this book. I was happy to find that 'I' am not the only one who 'forgot to come of age the first time.' This is a 'must' read, for anyone who just wants to see life on the lighter side. Funny thing is, I think we can all relate to 'Elle' in one way or another.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For all of us who can relate to not knowing what you want to do yet and are still trying to get it together this is a great book. A must read!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of books by this publisher and this is one of my favorites. I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions. I read it in two nights. Easy read and funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book definitely falls into the 'fluff' category, but I found it to be an enjoyable, easy read. The main character's over-the-top situations were quite amusing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was delighted at the funny situations in Tales of a Drama Queen. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. Funny and fun! The author has done an exceptional job with her writing. It was a delight!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Personally being someone that is off into their own little world this book was one to relate. I couldnt put the book down. It was funny and uplifting at the same. I already gave it to one of my co-workers to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. It was a great book and not too cheasy! Definately an uplifting story for someone trying to get out of a rut.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This will be the first book I've ever thrown into the trash. I wanted some light summer beach reading and instead read about the least sympathetic character ever. She is 26 going on 12 and we as readers are supposed to find her poor decision making and complete lack of work ethic endearing. Reading about her trials and tribulations made me depressed.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After her boy friend of six years Louis Ferris ended their engagement once he left the hospital and healed from her latest overzealousness, Elle Medina decides to leave the DC area so she can start over. As she does with everything, the vivacious Elle does not just move an hour away to say Baltimore, but instead crosses the country to Santa Barbara.---- In Southern California, Elle seeks employment, but has no idea what she is qualified to perform having no employment history so as she has done all her life Elle dives in head first to test the waters. Of course, her requirement in a job is to allow her to move off the couch of her friend Maya and away from Perfect brad, Maya¿s boyfriend. She finds no trouble getting work, but keeping a job proves difficult, as things seem to happen when Elle is around. The only thing more complex then staying employed is the men in her life who seem more like sharks, even the underage one, but who will she choose.---- Elle seems like a modern day Louisa Costello. Readers will laugh at her slapstick employment history (Mr. Bush will be pleased he does not have to count her as unemployed) and her wacky love life will bring much amusement to readers. Though the plot lacks a serious center, Elle makes for quite a good time for chick lit fans as her zaniness take Santa Barbara by storm.---- Harriet Klausner