Lila Montgomery, thirty-two-year-old Hollywood assistant extraordinaire, has a secret. On the outside, she’s a hard-working dedicated employee, a good friend, and a loving daughter. But above all else she’s been raised to be a lady, which of course is why she’s determined to conceal her secret life as a trashy romance author. With her fifteenth high school class reunion on the horizon, Lila finds herself at a crossroads. More than anything she wants to go home and see her childhood friends but is embarrassed that she hasn’t accomplished the things she feels she should have by this time in her life; mainly marriage and children. After another brutal run-in with Melinda Forrester, Oscar nominated actress and client of her boss, Josh Furber, Lila decides that fleeing Hollywood for a month is the best thing for her. Lila packs her bags for her childhood home of Bentley Hills, sure that her friends and family will be the touchstone of normalcy that she so desperately needs. But Lila discovers that her home is nothing like she remembers.
Lila dreamt that she was trapped in the marsh wearing a ball gown. She was on her knees trying to drag herself out, but no matter how much ground she covered, she never reached the bank. Then the hands came. Dozens of them reaching for her, grabbing at her arms and legs, trying to pull her down. As she was about to give in and let them drag her under the surface, she saw Melinda striding down the road stark naked in a majorette’s hat, twirling a baton. She was leading a marching band that was playing a very familiar tune. Just as Lila was about to start singing along with the music, she woke up and realized that her cell phone was ringing.
Blindly, she reached for the nightstand and answered, “Hello?”
Cynthia demanded, “Lila, what in the heck is going on in that crazy town of yours?”
Groggily Lila answered, “Hey Cyn, what are you talking about? What time is it?”
Her friend answered, “Its nine o’clock in the morning your time and what I’m talking about is ‘The Countrywide Inquisitor.’ You made this morning’s cover.”
Cyn’s words slowly seeped into Lila’s foggy brain and she bolted upright. “What?! How could I be on the cover of that rag?” Even as she asked, the pieces of the puzzle started to drop into place; Creigh’s pool, a naked Melinda at her feet. Whispering her next words, she inquired, “Am I on the cover alone?”
“No you’re not. And may I say, I didn’t realize you and Melinda had become so chummy.”
Lila gasped. “Oh God, Cyn. Let me call you back.”
Reluctantly, Lila left the security of her bed and went down to the kitchen to break the news to her parents. She found them drinking coffee and reading a fresh copy of “The Countrywide Inquisitor.” Bitsy saw her daughter and immediately tried to hide the paper under the table.
Lila announced, “Don’t worry Mom, I already know. But how did you find out?”
Bitsy grimaced and answered, “Viola Bergman, from the garden club, was doing her grocery shopping at seven this morning. She dropped a copy off for us on her way home.”
Lila reached her hand out and Bitsy handed it over. Lila couldn’t imagine it getting any worse, but of course it did. The two inside pages were a time lapsed photographic essay of what occurred at Creigh’s pool the day before. The first photo was Melinda walking nude across the lawn toward Creigh, the second was of her lying down on a chaise next to him, the third of her rubbing her magnificent rack across his back, the fourth was of Creigh running across the lawn at Lila, the fifth was the cover, and finally, the sixth was of Melinda leaping at the photographer. In the last picture she looked like some woodland nymph captured in mid- flight. Unfortunately, even though most of the obvious parts of her anatomy were blurred out, there was no denying the fact that she was entirely al fresco.
While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband. When she wasn’t modeling, she was in the kitchen, baking delights to share with friends. Soon, her friends began asking her to send baskets of her wonderful candies and cookies to business associates, agents and production studios. Word spread like wildfire, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whitney’s sensational creations are still in great demand by her loyal celebrity clientele (Whitneys Goodies). During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor. In addition to her love of chick lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for girls. The first of which, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory, will be out the summer of 2014. Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have recently relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens, and organic vegetables. For more information, please visit her website.