VIP Lounge (Chloe Gamble Series)

( 5 )


Chloe Gamble is the hottest thing in Hollywood. But it's only pretty from the outside.

Travis was supposed to have Chloe's back. But the spotlight of fame is very seductive.

Nika's the secret behind Chloe's success. But she's got an agenda of her own.

Let the games begin.

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VIP Lounge

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Chloe Gamble is the hottest thing in Hollywood. But it's only pretty from the outside.

Travis was supposed to have Chloe's back. But the spotlight of fame is very seductive.

Nika's the secret behind Chloe's success. But she's got an agenda of her own.

Let the games begin.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
VIP Lounge is the second book in the Chloe Gamble trilogy that tells the story of a young girl's rise to fame in Hollywood. In VIP Lounge, Chloe Gamble has overcome her nearly career-ruining mistake of crashing a screen test and has landed the starring role in a television show. She and her twin brother, Travis, finally have enough money to live independently of their mother and she is poised to be the new "It" girl. It seems like everything is falling into place, but Chloe still is not satisfied. Told through Chloe's narrative, Travis's e-mails, and her agent, Nika's, journal, VIP Lounge is an exciting, interesting look at Hollywood from a behind-the-scenes perspective. Chloe is callous and selfish, but she is also fascinating and believable. It is hard to like her as she manipulates people around her for her own game, but it is even harder not to be engrossed in her story. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416954361
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 12/22/2009
  • Series: Chloe Gamble Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,059,214
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Decter is a producer, director, and writer. Along with his writing partner John J. Strauss, Ed wrote There's Something about Mary, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3 as well as many other screenplays. During his years in show business Ed has auditioned, hired, and fired thousands of actors and actresses just like Chloe Gamble. Ed lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Laura J. Burns has written more than thirty books for teens and kids, and hopes to write at least thirty more. She lives in California with her husband and kids.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Nika Mays's Manuscript Notes: Overnight Success

Hurricane Chloe. That's what I called Chloe Gamble in the weeks after she landed her first starring role. The girl wasn't even on the airwaves yet, but Hollywood knew her. And Hollywood wanted her. That's a heady thing for a sixteen-year-old girl. Hell, it was a heady thing for me, and I'd been out of Stanford for three years already.

Here's the thing about Hollywood: It can change your life in a single second. One day an actress is a waitress who owes two months on her rent. The next day she's a star, with four magazine covers scheduled and a shiny new BMW. One day a writer is an offi ce drone answering phones in some cubicle at a nameless corporation and the next day he's got a studio deal and a blurb on the front of Variety. One day a director is renting out pornos at a video store and the next day he's Quentin Tarantino.

It doesn't happen all the time. It doesn't even happen very often. But it happens. Maybe an actress has had four hundred awful meetings — meetings where she's told that she's too fat, too old, too green, too talentless, too washed-up, or just "not right." Four hundred meetings that led nowhere. And then, for no reason other than luck, the four-hundred-and-first meeting goes well. The actress meets the right casting director with the right project at the right time, and that's it. Before the actress gets to her car, her agents have been contacted. Negotiations begin. Other projects come pouring in, just because the formerly available actress is now completely unavailable. The gossip columns and the paparazzi hear about it and start making up stories. Boom! The actress is famous. Life changed.

All of my classmates from Palo Alto thought I was crazy for putting up with the sexist, low-paying, and old-school atmosphere at the Hal Turman Agency. But every time one of them asked me why I didn't leave Hollywood and get a normal job, I would tell them: Normal is the last thing I want. I want to wake up wondering if this could be the day. That's what keeps us all in show business.

It happened for me the day Chloe Gamble got cast on Cover Band. That morning, I was still a nobody, an assistant at a Ventura Boulevard child talent agency with one sixteen-year-old unproven client on my roster. Then I closed the deal: Chloe to star in the flagship show for the new Snap Network. One deal — a few phone calls back and forth, a little hardball negotiation, and done. Life changed.

By the time I arrived at the offi ce the next day, my world was transformed. The assistants at the agency had started answering my phone for me, even though I'd been one of them just a day before. Hal's top agent, Bonnie Uslan (who hated me), asked me to lunch. And I had twenty-three calls on my call sheet — not Hal Turman's call sheet, mine. Some of the calls were talent managers, wanting me to agent their clients. They'd heard I made a deal for Chloe Gamble. I'd somehow managed to resurrect her career after she made the apocalyptically bad decision to crash a network test at NBC. Now these talent managers who I had never met before wanted me to work my magic for their stable of young actors and actresses.

Chloe was the newest thing, and that meant everybody wanted a piece of her. A few were music managers, wanting to handle the recording side of Chloe's career, and there were one or two songwriters trying to send me demos that were "perfect" for Chloe. I spent the whole morning working the phone, feeling my way through the first flush of Hurricane Chloe.

"Nika! Do I have you to thank for this?" Hal Turman bellowed from his office. I figured that was his way of calling me in for a chat, so I grabbed my sweater from my cubicle and went into his offi ce. I'd learned long ago that Hal had a very specific reason for keeping his inner sanctum as cold as a meat locker. So I made sure to cover up so Hal could look me in the eye.

"I just got a call from some rag about my hipness quotient," Hal said. He stared at me, his bushy eyebrows drawn together in confusion. "Now what in the hell is a hipness quotient?"

"Who called?" I asked.

"Something called H Meter." Hal waved the pink message paper around. "Must be one of those new magazines."

"Hal, H Meter is a Hollywood blog," I told him, snatching the paper so I could read the message for myself. "They're saying that the agency's hipness rating just went up because of Chloe's new show."

"Honey, you can call it a quotient or a rating and I still don't know what it's supposed to mean," Hal said. "Don't try to tell me that there are Nielsen ratings on what's hip."

"Well, no." I smiled. "It's just a blog that tracks the Business and decides who has good buzz or bad buzz, who's getting more famous, who's in disgrace, you know..."

"What is this blog garbage?" Hal asked. "I hear them talking about it on CNN, for God's sake."

I thought about trying to teach him a little about the digital age and the Internet, but what would be the point? Hal still referred to the computer on his desk as the "word processor."

"Tell you what, I'll handle our New Media department," I said.

"You'll handle it?"

"I'll create it," I said. "For a twenty-five thousand dollar raise."

Hal's eyes narrowed. He'd been in the business a long time. He was a dinosaur, but he was a dinosaur who knew how to negotiate.

I might have overplayed my hand. Hal had given me a raise just the week before. But he looked at me now, his old eyes calculating. The long silence was a technique I had watched him use countless times. It was designed to make the other party feel "greedy" and cause them to lower their price. I knew that I had to stay quiet, no matter how uncomfortable I felt.

"This 'New Media' department, it'll help us keep our hip quotient?"

I nodded.

"Fine. You're Head of New Media. You earned your ten-thousand-dollar raise." Hal motioned me toward the door.

I knew I had asked for way too much money. I had expected Hal to lecture me or laugh at me, or both, but I had not expected him to give me a ten-thousand-dollar raise. That's when I knew how important Chloe was to the agency. Hal felt he was making a comeback. I hadn't overplayed my hand at all — I had underplayed it.

"I'll need an offi ce. And my own assistant," I said.

Hal narrowed his eyes again, but this time I could see angry lines forming on his brow.

"Have them clear out the break room; you can turn that into your offi ce," Hal said. "And you can share an assistant with Michael. And for your information, there was nothing wrong with the old media. It built this fucking building."

He turned away, and I walked out with a new title, new digs, and some more money. Life changed.

And it wasn't just me.

Travis Gamble had a new life too. About twenty minutes after Chloe landed Cover Band, word leaked out that Travis was her twin brother. Video grabs of his guest shot on the sitcom Shallow People, shirtless and hot, were up on YouTube almost instantly. Before, he was just a cute male model. Now, he was part of a hot acting family — a young, hot acting family. The tabloids love that. Look at Britney and Jamie Lynn, or Lindsay and Ali. Hell, even Paris and Nikki.

Travis wasn't even offi cially my client when Hurricane Chloe hit. But right away the calls started. I had serious bookers calling me about modeling jobs in New York and these weren't just for underwear catalog shoots. I had casting directors calling about TV and fi lm auditions. Travis had always struck me as a kid with his feet on the ground, but when McG's company wants you to read for a role, even the most sensible teenager in the world is going to jump at the chance. I rushed over agency papers right away. My client list had doubled!

The next thing I had to do was fi nd a reputable modeling agent for Travis, so that I could focus on his acting career. That's Hollywood — one week you're just a high school soccer star. The next week, you've got two agents and a dual career. Like I said, life changed.

Then there was Chloe Gamble herself. From the biggest screw-up the town had ever seen to the star of a shiny new TV show in record time. Chloe's life went from zero to sixty overnight. No more school, no more general meet and greets, no more lurid horror movies — she was past all that in the blink of an eye. As soon as she closed on Cover Band, Chloe's life became a whirlwind of photo shoots, magazine interviews, wardrobe and makeup tests, music rehearsals, and must-be-seen-at parties. The struggling girl who'd clawed her way out of Spurlock, Texas, was now Chloe Gamble, the star.

She was enjoying every moment of it. But she still kept a very keen eye on the bottom line.

"How much do I get paid?" Chloe asked me three days after she'd started work on the preproduction of Cover Band. "For all the extra stuff, I mean."

"What 'extra stuff'?" I asked.

"The photo shoots and the network promos and all those interviews with websites! I mean, it's a lot of fun, but how much do they pay me for that?"

I had to laugh. In some ways Chloe was the shrewdest person I'd ever met and in many ways she was still a sixteen-year-old kid.

"They don't pay you anything extra," I said. Chloe's eyes went wide with surprise.

"The Snap Network isn't paying you all that money just to act in the show. They're also paying you to sell the show. Your job — your only job — is to sell the product known as Cover Band. That means acting, but it also means promoting," I explained. "We have to get your face on every single blog, gossip site, magazine, and TV show that will have you, because that gives the show a chance to be successful. People will want to see more of you, so they'll watch the show, and the show will stay on the air. Good ratings equal survival in TV. Think of it as investing in yourself."

Chloe understood, but her mind was focused on only one thing. "But I need to pay the rent and the bills. And I have to buy a new outfit for every single party and interview. If I wanted to invest, I'd rather do it with somebody else's money."

"Well, I can help with the clothes," I said. "Head over to wardrobe at the studio and get Amanda to lend you an outfit whenever you need one."

"The producers agreed to hire Amanda?" Chloe's eyes brightened.

Chloe had asked me to help her friend Amanda Pierce get a job on the show. It wasn't difficult; Amanda was a fairly well-known costume designer who lived at the Oakwood Apartments where Chloe lived with Travis and their mother, Early. Amanda had taken a risk and hired the hard-drinking Early as a minimum wage seamstress and Chloe wanted to repay the favor by having Amanda be the costumer on Cover Band.

"Not only did she get hired, but she's already been out shopping for you. You'll have plenty to wear for all the interviews and promotional stuff."

"My agent rocks!"

"Remember that when the really big agencies come after you," I said as Chloe breezed out of my office (my own office — with a door and everything!). I knew I'd avoided a potential storm. When it came to money, Chloe was fierce. She saw each dollar she made as an insurance policy against ever having to go back to Spurlock, Texas, and her rat of a father. That's why I'd been avoiding telling her that she didn't even have a real contract yet. And without a contract, Chloe would have no paycheck. I was hoping to solve this problem before Hurricane Chloe had turned into F5 Tornado Chloe.

Chloe's Cover Band papers were on my desk, waiting for signatures. Hal thought I'd taken care of the whole thing already, but I was holding the contract back, waiting for my insanely handsome new lawyer friend to look it over. I had questions, and Sean Piper would have the answers. I hoped.

He was an associate at Webster and White, a huge entertainment law firm. He was doing me a favor by looking over these contracts and I hoped to return the favor by delivering him a new client who was the star of her own hit TV show. Maybe signing a hot new actress would give Sean an edge, bring him to the attention of the partners of his firm. Maybe it would change his life.

And maybe that would change mine.

It could all change in an instant. That's what I knew, and right then I thought it was a good thing. Of course, that was before the police got involved.


"I love playin' dress-up and all, but how come we have to go through all this?" I asked. For the last three hours I had been in and out of makeup and wardrobe trailers and had tried on about a dozen outfi ts (lots of short skirts and skinny jeans) and an equal number of hair styles and makeup choices.

"You the star, girl. If you look good, we all look good! Then we can all have us a nice long run and make us some money!" Keesha laughed as she applied coal-black liner to my eyes.

"Amen to that," I said, and laughed along with her. Keesha, who was listed as the "head of the makeup department" on the call sheet, was from Baton Rouge. Maybe that's why we got along so well; we were two Southern girls who said whatever the hell we were thinking.

It was a real luxury not having to do my own makeup. Back on the pageant circuit in Texas, I always had to do it by myself. I suppose my mama could have helped, but help is not something my mama gives, only receives. But now I had the head of the makeup department to do my face, the head of the hair department to do my hair, and the head of the wardrobe department to do my costumes.

I noticed the rest of the actors who had been cast on the show had assistants do their hair, makeup, and wardrobe. I had all the department heads. I also noticed everyone — the producers, the writers, the network executives, and the crew — treated me just a little bit better than they treated everyone else. When I was around they smiled more, laughed harder at my jokes, and ran to fi nd me Fiji water. Sure, it felt great to be treated like royalty, but it felt kind of odd, like everyone was acting phony.

Even my friend Amanda had changed. Amanda had been kind enough (or desperate enough) to hire my mama to sew when we really needed the money. So I owed her bigtime. But on her fi rst day of work she arrived with a box of T-shirts that had "Team Chloe" printed on the fronts — pink for women, blue for men. Everyone on the crew put one on. I know I should have enjoyed it more, but I felt sort of pressured, like everyone was depending on me to pay their bills or something.

"Do you like them, Clo?" Amanda had said.

"They rock. Th at was so sweet of you!" I said.

"Thank you for the job!" Amanda said and gave me a big hug.

How did this happen? How did I go from the NBC security "watch list" to someone who helped people get actual jobs? Truth was, I had no idea. But I knew for sure that I never wanted it to change. I had to make myself a success, especially now that so many people were depending on me.

"You seem a million miles away, girl," Keesha said. "Homesick?"

I laughed. "You've never been to Spurlock."

"But I been to Baton Rouge and I'm here to tell you, bigger ain't better."

"That's not what I've been told," a guy's voice said from the doorway of the makeup trailer. I swung the chair around to get a good look. He was thin, but broad-shouldered and ripped. His hair was thick and dark, his eyes were big and blue, and suddenly, I totally knew who he was.

"Junior Junior!" I said. For years, he'd played the oldest boy on The More the Merrier, a show about a family with five children and a dad named Junior.

"I'm praying this show makes people stop calling me that," he said. "I was Junior Junior from the time I was three. They had to keep telling me my real name was Jonas."

"Huh," I said. "Am I supposed to feel sorry for you now, Mr. TV Star? Because I totally don't."

His eyes widened in surprise, and then he laughed.

"Chloe Gamble," I said.

"How you doing, Ms. YouTube Star? Jonas Beck." He came over to shake hands. Up close, I could see that his skin was perfect. And he had the straightest, whitest teeth I had ever seen. I wondered if he used those Crest whitening strips like they advertised on TV. Hell, the guy had been on TV his whole life, even though he was only a year or two older than me. He could probably aff ord the kind you get at the dentist's offi ce. I couldn't believe I was sitting around in a makeup trailer shooting the shit with Jonas Beck! He was totally cool and really relaxed, I guess because he had so much experience and everything. All of a sudden a weird thought popped into my head — why was Jonas Beck in the Cover Band makeup trailer?

"You visiting someone on the lot?" I asked Jonas.

He looked stunned. "Didn't anyone tell you?"

"Tell me what?"

"I'm joining the cast of the show." Copyright © 2009 by Frontier Pictures, Inc. and Ed Decter

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    How far willl you go to get what you want?

    This book is all about making it big and realizing that its not, nor will ever be enough.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 19, 2010

    great book

    this book was so good
    travis and chloe were filledd with tension and totally unpredictable
    the same old characters had more of a important role in the story
    but i didnt see that much of kimber reeve

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

    Posted October 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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