The Young and the Ruthless: Back in the Bubbles [NOOK Book]


New York Times bestselling author and beloved actress Victoria Rowell delivers another hilarious and shocking send-up of the soap opera world, featuring Calysta Jeffries, the unstoppable diva of daytime drama.

As we learned from Victoria Rowell’s smash hit Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, no one gets in the way of leading lady Calysta Jeffries. Now, after a brief stint in drug rehab, Calysta is back on the set and ready for action as she resumes ...
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The Young and the Ruthless: Back in the Bubbles

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New York Times bestselling author and beloved actress Victoria Rowell delivers another hilarious and shocking send-up of the soap opera world, featuring Calysta Jeffries, the unstoppable diva of daytime drama.

As we learned from Victoria Rowell’s smash hit Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, no one gets in the way of leading lady Calysta Jeffries. Now, after a brief stint in drug rehab, Calysta is back on the set and ready for action as she resumes her role as the star of The Rich and the Ruthless. But not everyone in the cast and crew is happy to have the diva back. As soon as she wraps her first return episode, some of her fellow colleagues and cast members are conspiring, once again, to sabotage her career. She’s already survived amnesia, an alien abduction, and death three times over—but all that and a real-life alcohol abuse problem couldn’t keep Calysta down. So her enemies come up with the nastiest plan ever devised. They invite Calysta’s beautiful daughter Ivy to audition for The Rich and the Ruthless and offer her a role alongside her very competitive mother, turning Calysta’s whole world upside down.

Ripped from the headlines of TMZ and packed with behind-the-scenes secrets, Victoria Rowell’s latest soap opera drama crackles with salacious details and over-the-top, hot and heavy hijinks. You won’t be able to put it down.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
You don’t have to be a fan of Rowell’s former star vehicle, the CBS sudser The Young and the Restless, to relish the actress-turned-writer’s giddy sequel to Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva. Dishing dirt on the shrinking landscape of daytime drama and its venal, back-stabbing, and drug-abusing stars, Rowell cheerfully gnaws the hand that once fed her in this soap opera within a soap opera. Gorgeous, talented African-American actress Calysta Jeffries returns to fictional soap The Rich and Ruthless after a stint in rehab to discover that she’ll be sharing the spotlight with her equally talented and beautiful 18-year-old daughter, Ivy. But Calysta is also dodging the dirty laundry that a felonious producer threatens to air, cast mates who want to sabotage her career, and the fallout from a torrid affair. The subplots and entanglements of characters both on the fictional soap and among its preening cast—including a clever cameo by soap fan Isabella Rossellini—keep all the players on edge as they teeter between doom and salvation. It’s a dizzying mess that soap devotees will gladly devour. But it’s the Mississippi family and friends whom Calysta left behind—and who keep her secrets—who emerge as the most compelling cast. Their “big reveal” and a shakeup on The Rich and Ruthless add up to a cliff-hanger that begs for a sequel. Stay tuned. Agent: Irene Webb, Irene Webb Literary. (Mar. 5)
“An impressive leap into fiction with her instantly likable heroine Calysta Jeffries.”
“A true must-read for anyone who has ever devoted any of their time to watching "the stories."
From the Publisher
“You don’t have to be a fan of Rowell’s former star vehicle, the CBS sudser The Young and the Restless to relish the actress-turned-writer’s giddy sequel to Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva . . . . Soap devotees will gladly devour.”

“An impressive leap into fiction with her instantly likable heroine Calysta Jeffries.”

"Juicy, gossipy, and entirely fit for the beach."

“A true must-read for anyone who has ever devoted any of their time to watching "the stories."

Library Journal
In former-soap-opera-star Rowell’s sequel to Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, actress Calysta Jeffries is reprising her role as Ruby Stargazer on the sudsy The Rich and the Ruthless. The troupe finds itself thrust into a reality show promotion at a circus and a reporter asks Calysta, “How’s it feel to be part of the circus?” Her tart reply cuts deep: “Just swappin’ one set of clowns for another.” The catty cast is paranoid about being written out of the script while thriving on stabbing each other in the back. Calysta’s problems are compounded when her 18-year-old daughter Ivy, who believes she’s grown and all that, joins the show as a camera-ready star. Um, Calysta, your jealousy is showing. Better cover it up. VERDICT This chatty romp mixes comedy and juicy sex while a truly dysfunctional cast tries its best to carry on despite slumping ratings. It’s a perfect sidetrack for folks addicted to their television stories and who want a behind-the-scenes peek at actors’ lives.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Rowell's sequel (Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, 2010) about a soap-opera diva and her cast mates parodies the real deal with cookie-cutter characters, bad subplots and cheesy dialogue. Calysta Jeffries, star of World Broadcast Company's The Rich and the Ruthless, is back on the set after a stint in rehab, but it appears she's more popular with the viewing audience than with some members of the cast and crew. Racist co-executive producer Stanley Mercury and Edith Norman, president of daytime television, really have it in for her. They engage in a plot to add a little spice to the show and make the actress' life uncomfortable by hiring Calysta's 18-year-old daughter, Ivy, to portray her long-lost daughter on the soap. Calysta doesn't self-destruct, but mother and daughter knock heads on a regular basis, and Ivy becomes a diva both on and off the set. Plenty more is happening with the countless other characters who are part of Calysta's life, and they pop in and out of the story so many times it's hard to keep them all straight: An associate producer who's married to one of the soap's stars becomes involved in art forgery; Max Gardner arrives on the set, and sparks fly between Calysta and her new assistant director; Calysta's grandmother, a stable influence in her life, falls ill; Shannen Lassiter, yet another soap star, becomes upset with a storyline that has Ivy stealing her Latin boyfriend, Javier, who's also her boyfriend in real life. A veteran of the soap scene, Rowell swoops back and forth between snippets of scripts, first-person observations and third-person narration with such dizzying abandon, it's hard not to suffer whiplash. But like the soap operas it lampoons, the book offers readers an escape from reality, at least for a short time--and anyone prepared to overlook the author's quirky style may enjoy it for that alone.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451643848
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 403,046
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Victoria Rowell
Victoria Rowell, best known as Drucilla Winters on The Young and the Restless, is the author of Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Women Who Raised Me, received The African American Literary Award and two NAACP Image Award nominations. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Read an Excerpt

The Young and the Ruthless

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Emmy Abernathy, my costar on the number one sudser The Rich and the Ruthless (Gina Chiccetelli), swung upside down overhead as I prepared to climb the ladder to the tiny trapeze platform above. Clad in a revealing gold glitter bikini and tutu ensemble, Emmy forced her legs into a split.

Nervous jitters tickled my tummy as noisy chatter from the audience filtered in and Karl L. King’s “Hosts of Freedom” blasted. I glanced around the madcap circus ring set full of bustling stagehands and other besequined bubblers who’d had the dubious distinction of being chosen to participate in the WBC’s prime-time reality hit Circus of the Soap Opera Stars. Dress rehearsal had not gone well.

“Disgusting,” my powder-puffed costar Phillip McQueen (Barrett Fink) had slurred due to a mild tranq paramedics fed him earlier. Firefighters rescued a hysterical Phillip, who had a fear of heights, from the trapeze bar where he’d dangled like a helpless infant. Swathed in a hideous rainbow-sequined unitard, nervously rubbing more rosin on his palms, the divo whined, “This whole fiasco has ruined my hands. They’re callused, cracking, and . . .”

A stagehand interrupted. “Climb, McQueen.”

I watched his unsteady progress until he made it to the staging platform, then followed. Had to admit it was exciting—the lights, music, and growing crowd adding to the energy. As the spotlight hit me, I naturally broke into a wide, crimson-lipped smile, outstretching my gloved arms like a natural showgirl. A true soap diva always steps up to the performance plate.

For my first public appearance since rejoining the soap, The Rich and the Ruthless’s interim executive producer, Veronica Barringer, had chosen me to be the featured star of the main trapeze act to help represent the show, overriding objections by the World Broadcast Company network, R&R executives, and certain viperous costars. While they’d been forced to don a civil façade since my return, blistering hatred and jealousy thrummed underneath.

I kept it movin’ and did the silly preshow interviews Cliffhanger Weekly conducted during dress rehearsal.

“I’m so excited to be on top of an elephant! They’re so wise and never forget,” my R&R costar and friend Shannen Lassiter (Dr. Justine Lashaway) gushed to reporter Mitch Morelli. Shannen looked radiant in the red, white, and blue striped bodysuit she’d been poured into.

“So I’ve heard. But, Shannen, why don’t we talk about what an opportunity this is for you to be seen on prime time? Many readers have asked why you haven’t made the leap to prime time or film—Broadway even. You’re so . . .”

“ . . . sexy. I already know. And that’s why. My job is to be a soap opera siren and as stimulating as possible, the fans count on it. But I’ve got to be honest, Mitch—being too beautiful can be a real handicap. I can’t tell you how many times casting directors have called my agent to say I nailed the audition but I was distractingly beautiful; if only they’d measure me by my work. I can’t help it if I’m hot without trying. I know it’s intimidating, but it’s a gift.”

“You’re so right, amada mía,” said fiery Latin costar and Shannen’s current offscreen lover, Javier Vásquez (Pepe), interrupting. Picked to get in the cage with the tigers—after Emmy was almost mauled, neglecting to report she was being visited by Aunt Flo—Javier wore only a leopard-print loincloth draped around his hips, every sculpted bronze muscle glistening with baby oil.

Mitch left Shannen and Javier doing some mauling of their own as Emmy darted in to grab a piece of the press.

“Hey, Mitch, like my tutu?” she said suggestively.

“It’s very gold.”

“Yeah, awesome, right? Back at my fighting weight and so ready to get up on that high wire and show the world what trapezing is all about, I could just wet myself. Did the baby food diet to prepare—lost ten pounds! What’s the problem, fatties? Even got a side gig pole-dancing at Club Goodhurt as part of my training; my body’s my temple and it’s never been bendier.”

“Pole-dancing? That’s an . . . interesting way to get in . . .”

“Don’t, Mitch, I hear the innuendo in your voice. Nothing skeevy about it, it’s incredibly artistic. I mean, I learned how to do the Caterpillar, the Bow and Arrow, the Brass Monkey . . . it was all so empowering. Who knows, I might be the next Dita Von Teese.”

“Sounds like it.”

Circus handler Blaze rushed over. “Emmy, darling, we’re going to have to ax the high-wire act.”

“What the hell?”

“I got Phillip back on board with the trapeze since he doesn’t have to let go of the bar, but he’s not gonna make it across that wire.”

“Are you kidding me? Big friggin’ baby . . . why can’t Toby do it?”

Notorious soap hottie Toby Gorman had recently returned to The Rich and the Ruthless as my on-screen daughter Jade’s amnesiac boyfriend, Axel.

Blaze bit his lip. “Toby had an . . . accident, stagehand just escorted him to the hospital for stitches. Anyway, the act is cut.”

“No way! Why can’t I do it solo on roller skates like we first talked about? Lisa Rinna did it back in the day.”

“I don’t think so. . . .”

“Calysta, honey, you’re working it,” said Mitch, cozying up, leaving Emmy and Blaze to their argument.

“Feel like a disco ball exploded on me,” I smirked, smoothing a manicured hand down the curve of my hip.

“How’s it feel to be a part of the circus?”

“Familiar. Just swappin’ one set of clowns for another.”

“What’s it like being back on a show you had such a public falling-out with?”

“See, that’s why I dig you, Mitch, you dive right on in.” I laughed. “Feels good to be back home. I’ve always been about the work. That hasn’t changed. With Augustus on the mend and Veronica behind the wheel, this show’s headin’ in the right direction.”

“Nicely put. Anyone sour about your return?”

Playing nice for Veronica, I said, “Why don’t you ask them?” indicating my costars on the set.

As Phillip swung out on his trapeze, eyes wide with fear, I peeled off one glove and tossed it, then the other, to the crowd’s roaring delight.

As I leapt from the safety of the platform, legs straight, toes perfectly pointed, arching my slender back, creating a perfect silhouette, I reached out to grab Phillip’s sticky, cracked hands and clung for dear life. My stomach free-falling, I swung down across the deep chasm, momentarily transported back to my childhood—a recurring dream of winging weightlessly on cables against the backdrop of an operatic prima donna—but Phillip’s loosening grip slammed me back to reality.

The crowd was a blur as I streaked by, Emmy’s calculating face coming into focus as I let go of Phillip’s wrists and reached for hers.

Our hands linked wrist to wrist perfectly, Emmy’s slicked with baby oil.

Though it must have been mere seconds, I plummeted for what felt like forever. My back hit the net, giving me an instant rope burn, launching me briefly back into the air. Above, Emmy had come up to a sitting position on the swing, her laughter obvious though unheard by the gasping crowd.

Remembering the protocol if I were to fall, I reached to give a thumbs-up to show I was okay.

An avalanche of applause erupted.

As I bounced gently in the net, I couldn’t help but think the whole thing—from the damn blinding lights to the soaring up, up, up and falling down, down, down—was a perfect metaphor for my life as a soap opera star.

HOLD ON TO YOUR CHAPEAUS, DARLINGS. Your diva has just received pearl-clutching news that Shelly Montenegro, the—and how do I say this—mature former star of WBC’s The Daring and the Damned, is doing a spread for Playboy! Said the bona fide cougar, “Can’t wait! I look mah-velous and never had any work done.” Well, we can’t argue with that. Seems Montenegro was a favorite of party boy Heff a million years ago. Guess an underappreciated soap legend’s gotta do what she’s gotta do, especially after walking off the D&D set last month following a contract dispute. . . .

The Diva

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Good book

    I really like this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    true soap opera

    This book is for the truly devoted soap opera fan only.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Very good read!

    Whether you are an avid soap fan or just like to read this is a fun book. If possible read the first book in this series, Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva. A fun summer read for your bookclub. I can't wait to see what's next for Calysta!

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