The Scoop (Godmothers Series #1)

The Scoop (Godmothers Series #1)

by Fern Michaels


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496706164
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/23/2016
Series: Godmothers Series , #1
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 120,414
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

FERN MICHAELS is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood, Men of the Sisterhood, and Godmothers series, as well as dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over one-hundred ten million copies of her books in print. Fern Michaels has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and is a passionate animal lover who has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. She shares her home in South Carolina with her four dogs and a resident ghost named Mary Margaret. Visit her website at


Summerville, South Carolina

Place of Birth:

Hastings, Pennsylvania


High School

Read an Excerpt

The Scoop



Copyright © 2009 Fern Michaels
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0616-4


Charleston, South Carolina

It was an event, there was no doubt about it. Not that funerals were, as a rule, events, but when someone of Leland St. John's stature bit the dust, it became one. The seven-piece string band playing in the downpour, per one of Leland's last wishes, had turned it into an event regardless of what else was going on in the world.

Then there was the tail end of Hurricane Blanche, which was unleashing torrents of rain upon the mourners huddled under the dark blue tent and only added to the circuslike atmosphere.

"Will you just get on with it," Toots Loudenberry mumbled under her breath. She continued to mutter and mumble as the minister droned on and on. "No one is as good as you're making Leland sound. All you know is what I told you, and I sure as hell didn't tell you all that crap you're spouting. He was a selfish, rich, old man. End of story."

Toots's daughter leaned closer to her mother and tried to whisper through the thick veil covering her mother's head and ears. "Can't you hurry it along? It's not like this is the first time you've done this. Isn't this the seventh or eighth husband you've buried? I'm damn glad that preacher said his name, or I wouldn't even know who it is that's being planted. I gotta say, Mom, you outdid yourself with all these flowers."

Toots rose to the occasion and stepped forward, cutting the minister off in midsentence. "Thank you, Reverend." She wanted to say his check was in the mail, but she bit her tongue as she took a step forward and laid her wilted rose on top of the bronze coffin. She stepped aside so the other mourners could follow her out from under the temporary tent, which was open on all four sides. She stepped in water up to her ankles, cursed ripely, and sloshed her way to the waiting limousine, which would take her back home. "That's just like you, Leland. Why couldn't you have waited one more week, and the rainy season would have been over? Now my shoes are ruined. So is my hat, as well as my suit. Too bad you don't know how much this outfit cost. If you did, you would have waited another week to die. You always were selfish. See what all that selfishness got you. You're dead."

"What are you mumbling about, Mom?"

Toots slid into the limousine and kicked off her sodden shoes. Her black mourning hat followed. She looked over at her daughter, Abby, who looked like a drowned rat, and said, "Of all my husbands, I liked Leland the least. I resent having to attend his funeral under these conditions. He was my only mistake. But one out of eight, I suppose, isn't too bad."

Abby reached for a wad of paper napkins next to the champagne bottle that seemed to come with all limousines. "Why didn't you just crisp him up?"

Toots sighed. "I wanted to, but Leland said in his will that he wanted to be buried with that damn string band playing music. One has to honor a person's last wishes. What kind of person would I be if I didn't honor his, even if he was a jerk?"

"Don't you mean if you didn't honor those last wishes, what's-his-name's money would have gone to the polar bears in the Arctic?"

"That, too." Toots sighed.

The woman born Teresa Amelia Loudenberry, Toots to her friends, stared at her daughter. "How long are you staying, dear?"

"I have a four o'clock flight. I left Chester with a sitter, and Chester does not like sitters. There's just enough time for me to grab something to eat at your post feast, change into dry clothes, and get outta here. Can't you hear California calling my name? Don't look at me like that, Mom. I didn't even know that guy you married. I met him at your wedding, and that's the sum total of our relationship. If I remember correctly, you said he was a charmer. I expected a charmer. I did not get a charmer. I'm just saying."

"Maybe I should have said snake charmer," Toots said vaguely. "Leland was like this gorgeously wrapped present that when opened was quite ... tacky. I was stunned, but I did marry the man, so I had to make the best of it. He's gone now, so perhaps we shouldn't speak ill of him. I'll mourn for ten days for the sake of appearance, then get on with my life. I'm going to find a hobby to keep myself busy. I'm sick and tired of doing good deeds. Anyone can do good deeds. Anyone can garden and grow one-of-a-kind roses. I need to do something that will make a difference, something challenging. Something I can really sink my teeth into. That's another thing. Leland wore dentures. He kept them in a cup in the bathroom at night. I could never get used to that. He wasn't very good in bed, either."

"That's probably more than I need to know, Mom."

"I'm just saying, Abby. I don't want you to think your old mom is callous. You have to admit I did have seven happy marriages. I should have hung up my garter belt when Dolph died. Did I do that? No, I did not. I let Leland sweep me off my feet, dentures and all. Sometimes life is so unfair.

"That's enough of a pity party for me. Tell me how it's going out there in sunny California. How's the job going? What's the latest hot gossip, and who is doing what to whom in Hollywood?"

Abby Simpson, Toots's daughter by her first husband, John Simpson, the absolute love of Toots's life, was a reporter for a second-rate tabloid, The Informer, based in Los Angeles. She was a second-string runner, which meant she had to hit the pavement and find her own stories, then elaborate on them for the public's insatiable appetite for Hollywood gossip.

"Rodwell Archibald Godfrey, otherwise known as Rag to us underlings, called me into his office and told me he wants more product. I can't make it happen if it isn't out there. All the A-list papers seem to get the stories first. I think this is just another way of saying he is not happy with my work. I applied to the other tabloids, but they're full up and not taking on anyone new. I'm doing my best. I just manage to make my mortgage payment every month and have enough left over to buy dog food. No, you cannot help me, Mom. I'm going to make it on my own, so let's not go down that road. My break is coming, I can feel it. By the way, I brought a stack of future issues for you to read. I have stuff in all of them."

"I can't get used to the idea that you people make all that stuff up, then it happens. And you print weeks in advance of what's happening," Toots said.

Abby laughed. "It's not quite that way, but you're close. Well, we're home, and you have guests. You really know how to throw a funeral, Mom."

"Event, dear. Funeral is such a dreary word. It conjures up all kinds of dismal thinking."

Abby laughed as she climbed out of the limo and marched up the steps to the wide veranda of her mother's house.

Both women raced upstairs to change into dry clothing before they had to meet with the guests who would be coming by to pay their last respects.

Toots looked at herself in the long mirror in her room. Yes, she did look bedraggled, but wasn't a widow supposed to look a little bedraggled? "Black is not my best color," she muttered to herself as she tossed her mourning outfit into a heap on the floor in the bathroom. She donned another black dress, added a string of pearls, brushed out her hair, sprayed on some perfume, and felt refreshed enough to go downstairs and socialize for an hour or so.

Burying the dead was so time-consuming. Even the aftermath took an eternity. All she wanted to do was retire to her sitting room to read the pile of tabloids Abby had brought with her. Not for the world would Toots ever admit that she was addicted to tabloid gossip. But for now, she had a duty to perform, and perform it she would. She had all evening to read her treasured tabloids and guzzle a little wine while doing so. She'd drink to Leland, and that would be the end of this chapter in her life.

Time to move on. Something she was very good at.


The minute the last guest walked out the door with a go-bag of food, the bereaved Toots galloped up the stairs and headed for her three-hundred-square-foot bathroom, where she ran a bath. She made two trips to the huge Jacuzzi with the pile of tabloids, four scented candles, a fresh bottle of wine, and her favorite Baccarat wineglass. She paused a minute to decide which bath salts she wanted to use, finally settling on Confederate jasmine since the scent was more or less true to the flower. She was, when you got right down to it, a transplanted Southern belle.

Toots stripped down, and the clothes she was wearing went on top of the sodden outfit she'd discarded earlier. She'd never wear them again. Then again, since she was a stickler for protocol, maybe she'd tell her housekeeper, Bernice, to leave them until her ten days of mourning were up. That way she wouldn't be cheating. And to think she had to wear black, which really made her look washed out, for another ten days. Nine more if you counted today. Well, she was definitely counting today.

Toots sniffed at the delicious aroma emanating from the Jacuzzi. Wonderful! She lowered herself into the silky water and sighed happily. Toots leaned back and savored the first few moments of the exquisite bath before leaning forward to pour herself a glass of the bubbly that Leland had bought by the truckload for his wine cellar.

"To you, Leland," Toots said as she held her wineglass aloft. She turned up the glass and swallowed the contents in one long gulp. Now she could move on. She'd done her duty.

Toots refilled her glass, leaned back, and fired up a cigarette. Smoking was a truly horrible habit, but she didn't care. She was way too old to worry about what was good or bad for her. She was all about living and didn't give a thought to the fact that cigarettes would interfere with that. Besides, she had every vice there was. She loved vices because they made for such good conversations. She liked to drink, smoke, was a sugar addict, and a closet tabloid reader. She'd long ago convinced herself that being a vegan made up for all her bad habits. That shit, Leland, was forever giving her grief for her, as he put it, unsavory habits. "Screw you, Leland!"

Toots was on her third glass of wine and on page four of the issue she was reading before she realized she couldn't remember what she'd just read. What was wrong with her? Nothing ever interfered with reading her beloved tabloids. Until now. She closed her eyes and tried to figure out what it was that was interfering with her universe.

Something was lurking somewhere inside her. She'd already scratched Leland. Abby was okay, at least for the moment. Did she feel rudderless? Did she need a man in residence? Hell no, she didn't. Then what was bothering her? The nine days of mourning she allowed herself? She snorted. Any woman worth her salt could get through nine days of mourning by going out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Fit in a little shopping, and she'd be good to go.

By the fourth glass of wine, Toots decided she needed ... no, she didn't need, she wanted to stir up some trouble. She needed some excitement in her life. Her thoughts carried her back in time to when she was young and full of piss and vinegar with her friends. Friends she hadn't seen near enough throughout the past twenty years. They e-mailed, called, and sent Christmas cards, but life got in the way sometimes. Maybe it was time to call all of them and invite them for a visit. They were, after all, Abby's godmothers. Everyone thought it strange that her daughter had three godmothers. Especially that shithead, Leland. She didn't find it strange at all. Neither did her friends.

Toots peered into the wine bottle. Empty! She climbed out of the tub, dried off with a towel the size of a tent, powdered herself, slipped into a black nightgown — because she was in mourning — and tottered out to the minioffice in her bedroom. It wasn't really an office, just a little table where she sat to write notes to people she didn't give two shits about, pay a few bills that she didn't want her business manager to know about, and use her laptop to check out TMZ and Page Six several times a day.

Toots fired up her laptop and proceeded to type an e-mail to her friend Mavis, who lived in Maine in a little clapboard house near the ocean.

"I want you to come for a visit, Mavis. You were always the one with the ideas. How soon can you get here? By the way, I just buried Leland today, and I'm in a funk."

Five minutes later, the laptop pinged receipt of a return e-mail.

"Sorry, Toots, I can't afford a trip like that. I can't leave Coco, my dog. She's really my only friend these days. I'm sorry your dog Leland died. I didn't even know you had a dog. It's terrible when your beloved pet dies. Sorry, Toots, I'd love to see you, but my pension just won't cover a trip at this time."

Toots blinked. How weird that Mavis thought Leland was a dog. She wondered why she thought that, then it dawned on her what her old friend meant.

She hit the REPLY button.

"I'll send a first-class ticket for you and Coco. Leland was my husband."

The next response from Mavis was: "LOL, I forgot you married again. Too bad, too sad. You'll get over it, Toots, you always do. I'll be happy to accept your tickets and look forward to seeing you. It's been way too long. Are the others coming, too?"

Toots fired back, "I'm working on it now. More tomorrow."

Toots's next e-mail was to Sophie, who'd married a philanderer, now with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, according to Sophie's latest e-mail. It was a known fact among the foursome that Sophie hated her husband and was only sort of / more or less taking care of him because of the five-million-dollar insurance policy she'd taken out on him some years ago. "I'm sticking around long enough to collect, then I'm outta here," she'd said.

"Sophie, I'm e-mailing you to invite you for a visit. I'm willing to send you a ticket if you can clear your calendar. It's been way too long since we've seen each other. I have something in mind that I think you and the others will find interesting. It will be like old times."

Sophie's response came through so quickly that Toots was surprised. "I can't leave him here alone. This old bird is taking way too long to die. I didn't pay that mountain of premiums all these years to get aced out of the payoff. Besides, I want him to sweat every day and wonder if I'm going to give him his meds and feed him. Which, of course, I do. What kind of person would I be not to do that?"

Well, Toots decided, she could certainly relate to that. "Not to worry, Sophie. I'll get you a nurse twenty-four/seven for your husband. So you'll come, then? By the way, I buried Leland today."

Sophie shot back. "Okay, I'll clear my schedule that's not really a schedule. Just let me know when my departure date is. Who is Leland?"

Toots responded to her e-mail. "I'll get back to you on the date. Leland was my husband. I have to do that ten-day mourning thing. Nine days if you count today. I am definitely counting today. You can watch me and know what it's like, so you'll know how to behave when that dud you married bites the dust. Mourning is tricky. You have to do it just right, or people will talk about you."

"What number is Leland?" Sophie queried. "I think you've been married more times than Elizabeth Taylor."

Toots quickly replied, "Leland was number eight, and I am nevergetting married again. More tomorrow. I have to e-mail Ida now. She's going to be tough. Remember how we hated each other and pretended we didn't? I think she's still ticked off that I married the guy she wanted. She'd be a widow now if I hadn't. I tried to tell her he was a big nothing, but he did have all that money."

Toots didn't bother waiting for a response before she e-mailed Ida. She got right to the point. "Ida, it's Toots. I'm e-mailing you to invite you for a visit. Mavis and Sophie have agreed to come, and it will be like old times. I have this plan, Ida, and I want to involve all of us in it. I hope you aren't still holding a grudge against me. It's time for us to forget about all that old silly stuff. Believe it or not, I did you a favor by stealing whatever his name was. Even his money didn't make up for how boring he was. But he was gentle and considerate. So, what do you think? By the way, I buried Leland today. I'm in mourning, have nine days to go."

Ida's response was short and curt. "Count me in. Tell me when you want me to arrive. Oh, boo hoo about Leland."

Toots rubbed her hands together and closed her laptop. She was on a roll, she could feel it. Though what this big plan was, she hadn't a clue about just yet. She'd think of something. She always did.


Excerpted from The Scoop by FERN MICHAELS. Copyright © 2009 Fern Michaels. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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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Scoop (Godmothers Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 158 reviews.
bebopBC More than 1 year ago
I loved it . when is the next one due, how many in the series? I read all of sisterhood, and love them, can't wait for ''deadly deals''.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fern Micahael is a good writer. Anything she writes is great.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Charleston, South Carolina the four sexagenarian BFFs gather for the funeral of the millionaire husband of one of them Teresa Amelia "Toots" Loudenberry; this is her eighth spouse she has buried. She informs her buddies that the mourning period will be one week before they dash to Hollywood. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder centerfold Ida, overweight Mavis accompanied everywhere by Coco the Chihuahua and smoker Sophie agree to go with her to California. Toots plans to buy the near bankrupt tabloid the Informer where her daughter Abby Simpson works as a reporter. . However, the ten million dollar deal collapses when newspaper publisher Rodwell Archibald Godfrey III takes the money and runs to the Cayman Islands. V THE SCOOP is a zany over the top of the Hollywood Hills starring the Golden Girls who go after Godfrey. Each of the four musketeers is different, while the ringleader is Toots. The story line is amusing and irrelevant as even the opening funeral services affirm nothing is sacred in life when it comes to eternity. Fans will enjoy this madcap comedic tale as the escapades keep on coming when the four BFFs go after their man. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It keep me on my toes. I can't wait for next one. It was a book that you could not put down. You had to turn the next page to see what happens next. The godmothers were close bonded friends thru thick and thin they were always togather. I hope everyone reads this book and enjoy it like I did. I realy like Fern Michaels books they are always about great friends that come togather in any crises. For love of everyone they care about.
Suzanne50 More than 1 year ago
The Scoop is the best, the funniest read I've had in a very long time. As always Fern Michaels delivers and once again she hit the head on the nail with her latest, The Scoop, Book One in the new series The Godmother's. This quartet of silly seniors is nothing but laugh-out-loud fun, I couldn't put this book down until I turned the last page, then I wanted more. I can't wait for the second round of laughs! Keep up the good work Ms. Michaels!
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
Disappointing. After reading all those rave reviews, I found the main character completely unlikable. Toots is completely self centered - using her extreme wealth to make her friends and family do what she feels is best for them. Toots feels she knows what is best for everyone and they better do it her way. There are areas of good humor and that's the only reason I gave it 2 rather than 1 star. The story line kept repeating the most mundane conversations and actions. The ending was somewhat abrupt. Normally, Fern Michaels is so much better than this. Since I already purchased the entire series, I will read the next book. I hope it's better than the first.
DesignGirlDP More than 1 year ago
If you need help falling asleep at night, this is a good read. It was very easy to predict what was going to happen to the bland characters. The ending seemed rather abrupt, most likely the author's intention to get you to buy the next book in the series. No thanks.
JCraneJC More than 1 year ago
It was okay but didn't really hold my attention.  I won't be continuing the series.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to a funny, fast paced "who-done-it"/romance or at least entertaining novel. This book isn't that. I got so tired of Toot's self centeredness, her coarseness, and her constant smoking and drinking that I quit reading, and it takes a lot for me not to finish a book once I start. Really, Ms. Michaels? This is the best you could do.?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished the whole serie of the Godmothers. It was great, now I have to wait till September to get the next one. Fern Michaels books keep you interested so that you want to keep reading until you have gone through them all.
cab80 More than 1 year ago
Kept me entertained enough to buy the series
RJPG More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. I couldn't put it down!!
jennie325 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend this book and Fern Michaels as a great storyteller
DaisyLane50 More than 1 year ago
as always Fern pulls into the life of the book and you feel like you are there has the story pulls you along. Great one to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an empty nester and someone who has gone through many emotional issues found myself comfortable in relating to Toots emotions on almost every level. When it comes to Romance vs. our children and friends there is nothing we wouldn't do to protect those we cherish. More of an adult audience read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read for those who want to see women get revenge but in a non-lethal format. A great group of mature women who have been friends for a long time and still have that bond. They attempt to help their Goddaughter out of a tight situation without her knowing they are behind it. The only problem is that the book leaves you hanging and you don't know how the story ends. You have to wait until the next book in the series comes out. There were times when you couldn't help but chuckle about some of the events taking place in the storyline. Would defintely recommond this book to all my friends.
drbk655 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book. It gives the older generation a different outlook on life. After years of their own problems they have found something to look forward to. Not just sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch. A easy read to take your mine off of the world for a while. I enjoyed it very much and looking forward to the next one. I love to read all books written by Fern Michaels
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Mega bestseller Fern Michaels offers a mew series that's bound to zip to the top of lists - almost with just the title, The Godmothers. This is a quartet of formidable, fun, financially secure ladies "of a certain age." Don't you love that phrase? It brings to mind, fascination, intrigue. I've often wondered what that "certain age" was. Perhaps it differs in various cultures while maintaining its mystery. Whatever the case, our heroine in The Scoop is Teresa Amelia "Toots" Loudenberry, age 65, a can't-get-her-down-gal if there ever was one. To date she's lived life to the fullest and married more often than most - 8 times to be exact, and she's just laid No. 8 to his everlasting rest. Never one to let the parade pass her by, so to speak, she soon decides to get back into the swing of things. "Toots" recently learned that The Informer, the gossip mag where her daughter, Abby, puts in time, is about to be available. Seems the owner loved to gamble but had no luck. Now, there's little that "Toots" enjoys more than reading juicy tidbits, so owning this repository of "you don't say" items holds great appeal. Unfortunately, even though she certainly has the resources to make the purchase, the publisher is an avaricious scoundrel who takes off with the ten million payment. What to do? She doesn't want Abby to be out of work; she doesn't want Abby to know she paid for the magazine. "Toots" needs all the help she can get in a fix like this. Fortunately, she has three friends who are almost every bit as resourceful and kooky as she is. Readers will love them all. Native Texan Natalie Ross delivers a splendid reading of this masterpiece of mayhem, aptly voicing sugar coated Southern drawls. - Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny,relaxing, great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just delightful light read. BUT read them in chronological order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fern Micheals is by far my favorite author! The scoop is a great book and I'm excited to read more of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved this book am now on book 4 ad ready for 5. I just feel like I know all these characters .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As expected for F. Michaels, this book was fun and an easy read. F. Michaels fans choose this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read for vacation! Can't wait for the next story in the series!