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Contemporary Romance/American Drama
About the Book: Angela's audition for the nationally televised showcase, Overnight Sensation, is her chance to finally rise above her abusive childhood and gain the elusive dream of musical stardom. With all she's suffered, the opportunity of a lifetime is within her grasp.
Nolan Fitzgerald is the owner of the most recognized recording company in the United States and the producer for Overnight Sensation. He's immediately drawn to Angela and her talent, and knows with his help she'll be an overnight sensation. But he has a secret of his own that may just push Angela past her fragile limits of trust.
Can two shattered hearts find love in the explosive music industry, and will it be enough to overcome the past insecurities of pain and deception?
This book and all contents within are copyrighted by the US Copyright Office ©2013
Standing under the steaming stream of hot water, Angela attempted to rinse away the smell of alcohol and stale cigarette smoke from her body. Even though she wasn't a drinker herself, all the drinks spilled on her last night had probably sunk into her pores, she thought with a shudder. Picking up a loofah and pouring a glob of her favorite scented body wash on it liberally, she scrubbed, knowing that no matter how well she cleansed herself, she'd still feel dirty.
She hated the waitress job, even though the tips were fantastic and her coworkers were the closest thing to a family she'd ever known. The groping hands of male customers, and even females some nights, filled her with disgust and made her self-loathing even more prominent than what it already was. Reminding herself that it was either this job, or working at a fast food restaurant, she managed to suck it up and be thankful that at least she had employment that afforded this ratty apartment she shared with her best friend.
Rinsing off quickly before turning off the shower and stepping out of the run down stall, she grabbed a towel that had seen better days, and began drying off vigorously. She was lucky there was a place to lay her head; most women in her situation were living in the local homeless shelter or out on the streets. There was always a positive somewhere; she'd learned that lesson the hard way after spending two weeks out on the street herself when she first moved here.
If it hadn't been for Rachel, she would have probably been killed or become like those other young girls she met, hooked on drugs or even worse caught up in prostitution. Rachel had literally saved her life, pulling her away from two men who'd attempted to pull her off into a car the last night she spent sleeping on a park bench. She wasn't sure that her soul could have survived being abused that way again, and owed her best friend her life.
At seventeen years old then, she'd come to the big city trying to escape her past, having no idea that life here could be even worse than what she'd been running from in the first place. When she left home, she thought there could be nothing worse than the abuse she was suffering; it was shocking how naive a person could be until they were faced with the reality of life.
Rachel had taken her in, moved her out of New York and into New Jersey, helped her get a job with one of the local hamburger joints, and changed her life in more positive ways than she'd ever be able to thank her for. The day she turned twenty-one, she'd talked Robert into giving her the waitress job at the bar and upped her low income wage to one that was actually able to give her more than just the basics. It wasn't a perfect life by any means, but for a girl who'd never finished high school, it was the best she could hope for.
It wasn't that she didn't have a brilliant mind, but when you're running away from your past, it's a little hard to finish school, she told herself. Two years after she'd first moved here, thanks again to Rachel, she finally finished her GED, which at least made her feel some sense of accomplishment.
"I put a present on your bed Angela," Rachel's eager voice called out, penetrating through the thin bathroom wall.
Shaking her head with a smile, she called back out. "What did you do?" Rachel was the big sister she never had, and the love she felt for her surpassed every other relationship in her life. She was the only one that knew the reason she had run away from home, and since her life had shared a similar past, they were inseparable. Walking out into the shabby bedroom, tears filled her eyes as she noticed the gift.
"I thought you could impress the judges wearing that today." Rachel face filled with a grin at the surprise on her best friend's face. She'd seen her eyeing the outfit at the mall and knew she'd never take money out of her hard-earned paycheck to buy the dress.
"Rachel you shouldn't have," she laughed, picking up the silky fabric, holding it against her cool skin. This dress was obviously not in their budget, and she'd never have the chance to wear something this fancy again, but it was gorgeous. Putting down the dress carefully, she walked over and embraced Rachel, squeezing tightly. "Thank you," tears filled her eyes at how fortunate she was to have someone like her in her life.
Pulling back and noticing her tears, she felt her own eyes fill. "None of that now, you're going to pay me back by showing those judges how incredible you are and becoming a big star." She was so proud of Angela for doing this audition, and wanted her to look like the diva she already was in her eyes for them.
"I'll give it my best Rachel, but you know as well as I do that the chances of even making it through this first round will be a miracle," she knew she could sing, but her awkwardness around people would always be a stumbling block for any chance of a life as a singer. It took everything she had to get on stage during open mic night at the club they worked at.
"Bullshit, Angela," Rachel said firmly, "you go out there and open up your soul and they'll be as overwhelmed as I was the first time you sang for me." She hated what Angela's family, if it could be called that, had done to her friend. There was a light that filled that girl that she'd never seen, but people flocked to her whenever she opened her mouth. Of course, Rachel knew that Angela couldn't see that, all she could see was the past and what that asshole of a stepfather had done to her in the mirror.
"Okay, okay," she knew better than to argue with Rachel about her lack of abilities. After years of living together, the last thing her best friend would allow her was any negativity. Rachel had pounded it into her mentality time and time again that even though you'd been dealt a shitty hand in life, it didn't mean you had to become a shitty person. She'd pulled her out of the gutter and gave her a chance at a normal life, who was she to argue with her logic?
"Good, we're straight on that," Rachel laughed, "now let's make you look like the superstar you were meant to be." The next hour was spent with Rachel trying to primp her into an image that might impress the judges of a show that could easily change her life forever.
Standing back and looking at the girl in the mirror, Angela almost couldn't believe it was her. Rachel had artfully done her hair, leaving it in loose blond ringlets hanging almost to her waist. She kept her makeup to a minimum, while accentuating her blue eyes, and giving a soft glow to her already flawless peaches and cream complexion. She looked like she actually belonged on center stage, as she noted the way the silky dress hugged her slender figure, showing off curves she'd hidden for a long time.
"Holy shit, Angela, if I was a man I'd fall in love with you," Rachel grinned, looking over her work.
"Thank god you're not," Angela laughed uneasily, the thought of any man touching her still made her nauseated, and she made a disgusted face.
"Crap Ang, sorry," Rachel felt like she'd just stuck her foot in her mouth, "I just meant you look incredible." She knew better than to talk about that, and kicked herself mentally for her lapse.
Laughing softly at her best friend's expression, she turned and hugged her. "I know what you meant Rach, and seriously thank you, I could have never pulled this off without you." It was unfortunate enough that her stomach was tied in knots over this audition, but knowing she at least looked the part helped more than she could ever express.
"Well let's get down to the auditorium," this was going to be an all day event, but if they didn't make the check in they wouldn't even be allowed to wait around for the rest of the day. They'd both been researching the auditions and had heard some days it was ten hours before you ever got to try out.
Grabbing Rachel's hand, she gave it a quick squeeze. "Thank you for making me do this," she knew without her best friend, she would have never had the balls to consider trying out for the show. It was a one in a million shot that she'd be chosen at all, but for the first time in more years than she could remember, she was truly excited about something.
"Are you kidding me?" Rachel winked and squeezed her hand back gently. "I'm expecting life in a huge mansion when you make it big girly and nonstop parties with all your new Hollywood friends." The truth was even if Angela never made it past the first audition, she would have at least tried, and that was enough for her. But she knew that once the judges saw her, there would be no turning back, her friend definitely had a huge gift.
Laughing, she let go of Rachel's hand and grabbed her over-sized purse, "I'd settle for not worrying about having to pay rent again." She knew that this was all a pipe dream, but auditioning couldn't hurt, and maybe she'd gain a little confidence after standing on stage in front of some of the most influential people in the business.
They locked the front door as they walked out, and made their way down to the bus stop. It was a two hour trip by bus and neither of them had been to sleep since leaving the club at four this morning. Angela hoped she could catch a nap on the way there, but was so excited that she doubted she'd be able to sleep at all. As they climbed onto the public transportation, she took a deep breath hoping beyond hope, that fate would shine down on her today and change her life.