Tanzie Richards, and Roxie Russo. Brought together by Hollywood,
almost torn apart by Hollywood. Four completely different talents, four completely different personalities, four completely different stories. One
Dream: mega stardom. How far will they go to get there without stepping on each other's heads? Where will they draw the line, before they lose themselves forever? Join me to find out the answers in my first novel,
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)|
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By TOBI GBILE
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Tobi Gbile
All right reserved.
Chapter OneRoxie Russo
Date: January 5th, 2011
Time: 8:15 AM
Location: Beverly Hills High School (BHHS)
Outfit: Dark jeggings (PacSun), 2 year old chestnut UGGS, hot pink rubber watch (Stein Mart), bright yellow racer back tank top (Forever 21), black rhinestone zip up hoodie (PINK), and bright yellow headband.
"Name?" asked the office secretary curtly.
"Roxie Russo." I tapped my UGG boots on the ground impatiently. I was late enough as it was, and it didn't help that it took her thirty seconds longer than it should have to type my name on the sleek, white keyboard.
"What is your reason for being tardy?"
"Uh ... busy student parking lot." My face burned from the lie.
The secretary raised an eyebrow quizzically and I shook my head, defeated. Why did I have to be such a terrible liar?
"Actually, my alarm clock did not ring until 7:35 AM and I had to at least try and look a little decent for my student body."
The secretary did not reply as she filled out a threatening bright yellow tardy slip, tore it off the stack and handed it to me across the counter.
"Hey look, it matches my outfit!" I joked, trying to lighten the mood. She glared at me over the rim of her cat eye reading glasses and I took that as my signal to get the heck out of the office.
"Have a great day!" I stumbled on my feet by the door, and my forehead rammed into the glass door, leaving a sweaty mark. My forehead throbbed and I could feel a major bruise coming on.
Not only had I woken up late, but after a two minute shower, my hair straightener was not working, so I had to blow dry my hair upside down (it dried faster that way) which made my hair ultra-teased, as if it was not big enough with its huge, lazy, platinum waves. So, at promptly 7:50 AM, I ran out of my house shoving a granola bar down my throat (my mother says it is mandatory for me to eat breakfast before leaving my house), and hopped into my 2010 gray Toyota Camry.
Half way to my school, BHHS, Cams (my car) was about to give out on me because its tank was empty, so I pulled into the nearest gas station to grab some gas, which took a good ten minutes of my time due to the suit clad business people rushing to get their tanks filled so they could make it to their important jobs in Palm Springs or East Hollywood. So of course, by the time I got to the infamous Beverly Hills High, all the parking spaces were occupied, and all the parking lot safety cops were gone so there was no one to direct me anywhere. I ended up parking on the football field. Hey, the season was over!
I slowly opened the door to my homeroom, Room 201 with Mr. Hanks, and crept to the back of the room to sit by some of my friends. Mr. Hanks had his back to the class and he was typing away, probably emailing his mother, who regularly interrupted our study halls with her noisy phone calls. I shushed the forty pairs of eyes on me and slid into my seat, barely making a sound, my face hot from all the attention.
"Nice of you to join us Roxie Russo, please bring your tardy slip up to my desk so that I can deduct your points," he said loudly. His voice practically bounced off the poster covered glass walls that allowed you to see what was going on in the hallway and the classrooms around you.
Chanel, my cheerleading diva of a friend snickered and I shot her a scathing glance. "Sure thing Mr. H," I said, masking my exhaustion and moodiness with an enthusiastic voice. I trudged up to the desk, careful not to trip on the backpacks in my path.
"This should be a lesson to all of you; nothing gets by the Hank-master!" His greasy black hair and sarcastic smirk made my skin crawl. He signed my tardy slip and quickly took points out of my account in the grade book. People laughed at his not-at-all humorous joke and I quickly hopped back into my seat. What a great way to start off my morning!
"Trust you to be late on the first day back from winter break. So, how was 90210 over winter break?" asked my best guy friend, Wes Crawford. Wes though just a sophomore was one of the stars of the BHHS varsity basketball team and stood at the top of the invisible, yet, very apparent social ladder of the entire student body. Any word out of his mouth could make any girl break out in cold sweat. And who could blame them, what with his boyish light brown hair (with natural blond highlights), dimples, and wide 6'3" frame; he was irresistible.
"Awesome! and you would already know that if you had not been completely all over Marchetta Vern at Kim Young's party on New Year's Eve," I snapped.
"More like Marchetta Vern could not keep her hands off me on New Year's Eve. Hey, you can't blame her." he said with a wink. I rolled my eyes and pretended not to see the two girls from the swim team smiling goofily and giggling like mad in Wes' direction.
"Wes Crawford, you are officially the vainest guy I know." I stood up and hoisted my huge backpack over my shoulders as the ringing bell boomed over the intercom.
"I know, but you've got to love me anyways Roxie." I told him I would text him later and rushed out of the classroom before Mr. Hanks could give me anymore crap about being late on the first day back to school in 2011.
Our ten minute passing period usually felt like eternity to me on normal days, but the first day back from break meant lots of meeting and greeting after two and a half weeks of being away from everybody.
"Roxie, oh my gosh, I missed you so much! You should totally come to our dance competition next weekend. Text me babe," Trina Yale enthused, air kissing my cheeks before strutting off in her hot pink kitty heels. I don't really like Trina that much, but if she likes me, then heck! The more friends, the better, and my mom, Nina Russo is always reminding me that, I was voted 'Most Likeable' for three consecutive years. That's got to mean something right?
"Bro, Russo, whaddup," slurred Ned 'Party Boy'Evans. "Missed you over break, hit me up." He nearly hit a teacher passing by with the football in his hands.
"Sure thing Ned," I said as I scurried off to the bathroom before someone else could try and stop me. As usual, it was crowded (even with fourteen stalls and mirrors) and I barely had room to apply a simple coat of cherry flavored Chapstick. Right as I was about to go in for mirror space, Tanzie Richards sidestepped me swiftly and took up the entire mirror with her huge, flaming red hair.
"Uh ... excuse me," I said politely, plastering a fake smile on my chapping lips.
"Can I help you?" Asked Tanzie as she whipped her head around an eyebrow raised as if to challenge me.
"Well actually I was about to ..."
"'Didn't think so. So if you can just wait a little, you can get this mirror back. Sound good?"
"Yeah, sure thing!" How was it that I was always the one getting pushed around? And of course Tanzie would not recognize me, even though she sat two seats in front of me in Honors Chemistry. No wonder she didn't have many friends. Two minutes later, she left the crowded bathroom and I could finally attempt to fix my appearance. My waves were in serious need of straightening but I quickly mussed them with my fingers and took off.
Chanel and Brianne were waiting for me by my locker as usual so we could walk to Sports Medicine class together.
"Aww, Roxie I missed you and your cute little 'I'm so late so I'm clashing' outfits," said Brianne, giving me a quick hug.
"Hey, I tried my best! And what's not matching about this outfit? I got it over winter break and I thought it looked fine!" I did a once-over of Brianne's outfit which of course was perfect and not surprising, considering her mom was a fashion designer and fashion was practically in her blood and oozing out of her pores. Her white ruffled mid-sleeve top, gray L.A.M.B sequined blazer, sheer leggings, and chunky black boots totally coordinated with her dark, Megan Fox like hair. "OK, so enough about my outfit girls, I've had something on my mind lately."
"Oh great, here we go," joked Chanel.
"Promise not to make fun of me and think I am a total loser?"
"Promise," they answered in unison. We walked into the huge Sports Medicine training room and sat in our lab chairs towards the back.
"What would you guys say makes me ... special?" Chanel looked like she was about to crack up laughing. Brianne and I slapped her black midriff clad arms simultaneously.
"Sorry, you sounded like something off of Veggie Tales," she giggled.
"Go on," Brianne instructed, her full attention on me.
"It's just that, I am sick of being the 'Plain Jane' of my family. Everyone in my family is über talented at something, and I want to have something that I can be talented at too. I am already fifteen, and I'm not getting any younger! If I don't find out what it is now ..."
"It will be too late?" asked Chanel.
"I get where you are coming from Roxie, but you are not a loser at all. Everybody loves you! Weren't you voted like—" Brianne started.
"Most Likeable three years in a row? Yup, that's me. But being likable is not a talent, it is a characteristic. All I am asking for is one thing ... one thing that makes me stand out from the others." Unbeknownst to me, that one thing I was looking for would show up a couple of hours later.
Chapter TwoTalon Finely
Date: January 5th, 2011
Time: 8:15 AM
Location: Beverly Hills High School Outfit: BHHS Cheerleading Uniform #3, black skirt with orange and white lining the bottom, black midriff, white, orange, and black shell top with "Normans" across the chest. Hair curly and down, with black bow tied around head as a headband. White NIKE cheer shoes with red NIKE swoosh. No show black socks.
I smoothly applied another layer of Bubble Yum lip gloss for an extra shine on camera and mussed my perfectly (yet some believe, effortlessly) big, naturally white blonde curls. I straightened a barely visible wrinkle out of my black cheerleading skirt and looked in the mirror one more time, just for assurance.
"It's show time," I said to myself, just like I did every morning as part of my "daily school ritual". I then crossed my heart and blew a kiss up to God, another one of my superstitious antics. Although most of my peers might not have known this, rituals were what kept me sane from day to day. I stepped out of my personal bathroom that the school principals let me use on days that I presented the school's news, ready to tackle the morning's challenges.
As a sophomore, I called most of the shots around BHHS. I didn't know exactly how it happened, but it just felt like the administration piled on me all the stuff that they did not feel like doing themselves. Some people were just meant for leadership, as my mom often reminded me. The day I walked into the halls of BHHS freshman year, I felt like labels were pasted on my forehead permanently reading: "warning: annoyingly peppy blonde cheerleader", "mean, rich, know-it-all", and the worst of all, "queen bitch." I had absolutely no idea of what I had done to earn those labels, considering that I had practically been best friends with everyone all through grade school and middle school. High school had changed things, and people, but I was determined not to let it change me. Under no circumstances was I going to live up to those labels, but it was exhausting trying daily to be the opposite of those labels.
"Hey Talon, you're on in five," Veronica Lays (my best friend) reminded me as she passed by looking busier than the president, as usual.
"Thanks Ver." I took a seat in my black reclining chair on the set of "BHHS Daily". "Good Morning Mark, how is your morning going?"
"Talon, I've got some bad news for you," said Mark Bean. He was a senior and the director of the school news program.
No matter how hard I tried to ignore his annoying comments and try to be nice, he still always managed to bring out the worst in me. "Mark, no news is bad news; there is just news and good news!" Mark's pale face turned bright pink just like it usually did whenever I proved him wrong.
"OK, thank you for that completely useless fact; the problem is we are having some technical difficulties with the teleprompter that cannot be fixed at the moment, so you are going to have to wing it." He said fighting a smile.
A tiny freshman placed my Starbucks frappuccino on my counter and buzzed by. The commotion of students hurrying to get the cameras ready for our daily broadcast was making me feel dizzy. "Mark, as much as you would like to see me fail, today is not the day. Knowing your ethic, you probably just fished that story out of your butt to try and get me to freak out. I am going to wing it, and all you have to do is hope for the best. Is that really too much to ask of you?"
"Why do you always have to be so contrary? The show is practically ruined, why aren't you angry?"
I shook my head and sighed. "Mark, why don't you sit in your director's chair, the show's about to start?" Mark shuffled to his chair in disbelief of my cheeriness.
One of the cameramen gave me a signal and I started. "Good morning Beverly Hills High School and thank you for tuning in to 'Talk of the Talon', with yours truly, Talon Finely!" I smiled one of my megawatt smiles and waited for the electronic applause to stop, like I did every morning. "Thank you. The quote for the day is: "Uniqueness is a gift, don't be afraid to share it." The lunch menus for our cafeteria Café Delicious will be posted shortly. Don't forget to come and support our BHHS varsity boys' basketball team at 7:00 PM when they take on the Harvard-Westlake Wolverines. Go Normans! Also, don't forget to come and support our Norman Cheerleading Squad at the West LA Regional's next Saturday!" My mother handed a bright blue poster to one of the stagehands who slid it onto my table. "Do you want to be a big star?" I read, giggling on the inside from the cheesy choice of words. "Do you have what it takes to be the reigning queen of Teen Hollywood? Then join the Hollywood Teen Talent Search, beginning this afternoon! For more information, contact the school office of any participating California high school."
I quickly checked my iPhone on my lap and scrolled down on my Facebook news feed. Out of my over one-thousand friends, eight had pictures of themselves with their newly enhanced ... assets. Wow, that was two up from last week. Perfect.
I glanced up from my phone and saw my mother standing off to the side in one of her classic white button downs and black pencil skirts, her tousled blonde waves falling perfectly on her upright shoulders. Oh boy! She is about to get an earful.
"I have breaking news that is crucial to the teenage girl population of Cali," I announced, my voice urgent and my eyes piercing into the camera. Mark raised his eyebrows and his face turned bright pink. He shot me a warning glance and I avoided eye contact. "The teenage plastic surgery rate is rising to a treacherous peak as we speak, and plastic surgeons are on the verge of madness, not knowing what to do about it!" I am always amazed at how comfortable I was at telling other people's business on camera, I must have acquired that from my mother, who lied to people's faces daily; an attribute that went with being one of the top talent agents on the West Coast. "But I have a friendly word of advice for all you girls who think plastic boobs are your ticket to success in the tri-state area. Remember ladies, not everyone is supposed to have a Nicki Minaj booty or Dolly Parton melons. Be happy with the way you are because there's no one that can do 'you' like you can! Once again, I am Talon Finely signing off of 'Talk of the Talon'. Have a wonderful Thursday BHHS!" I smiled cheerily and gave my signature air kiss.
"And we are off!" exclaimed the lead cameraman. I pushed in my chair, adjusted my hair and my skirt, and stepped down from the stage just as Mark charged towards me like a wiener dog on crack. "What the heck do you think you were doing Talon Finely? Have you completely lost your mind? Mr. Hence will fire me for letting you put on that broadcast," Mark said as he placed his sweaty hands on my shoulders and shook me. I gently pushed them off with grace, annoyed that he did not even appreciate how well I had done, considering the odds.
"I don't see why he would, that was one of the best broadcasts I have seen you do in a while Talon Sweetheart," said Mom.
I beamed, the compliment my perfect mother gave me going straight to my heart. She patted my head like she usually did when I did something to please her, which made me feel like a little Golden Retriever. "Really mom? You didn't think it was too harsh?"
"Too harsh? It was no such thing! It could have been harsher. It had the right amount of humor, and just the right amount of class. But you were almost too sweet. You looked like a little angel giving her class president speech. Don't smile as much, and if you do, do it with your mouth closed, it makes you look more mature."
Excerpted from THE STUNNERZ by TOBI GBILE Copyright © 2012 by Tobi Gbile. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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