NEW RELEASE and GIVEAWAY
by Allison Rushby
Being Hartley is Allison Rushby's latest release. This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours.
Fifteen-year-old Thea Wallis was born to entertain. Her mother, Oscar winning actress Cassie Hartley, thinks differently and has kept her daughter out of the spotlight since day one. Coming from showbiz royalty, it hasn't been easy to go unnoticed, but mismatched surnames, a family home in Tasmania and a low-key scriptwriter father has made this possible.
Just like her cousin Rory on the hugely popular TV show Saturday Morning Dance, Thea loves to dance. She learns the show's routines off by heart each week, despite her mother's attempts to convince her that dentistry would be a far more fulfilling career choice.
However, when Rory goes off the rails in LA, Thea's mother is suddenly left with no choice at all – Rory needs them and to LA they must go. Within forty-eight hours, Thea finds herself a long way from Tasmania and living her dream – on the road to Las Vegas with the Saturday Morning Dance team.
It doesn't take long before Thea's talents are discovered and she's offered everything she's ever wanted on a plate, including the dance partner she's had a crush on forever.
But, as her mother has always told her, Hollywood dreams come at a price. Thea soon realizes she will have to work out just how much she's willing to pay. And, ultimately, discover her own way to be Hartley.
Unlike Miley, I hop off the plane at LAX, not with a dream, or a cardigan, but with a hoodie and a mother who's dragging her feet, lagging way behind her peeps (aka Deb and Anna and me).
As we make our way down the long corridor toward immigration, my mom texts Dad to tell him we've arrived, then pulls a Hermes scarf out of her purse and ties it around her head, leaving only a few trademark blonde curls peeking out the front.
I walk backward for a few steps, other first class passengers passing by and taking in her airport outfit modification. "You know they never let you keep it on," I tell her, shaking my head. Honestly, I don't know why she bothers. She used to get away with it years ago, but immigration is way stricter now. She hasn't been allowed to keep a scarf on since I don't know when. I've told her—if she really wants to fly under the radar, she'd be better off borrowing one of my hoodies, flying coach, and ditching her fancy luggage, her in-flight pashmina, SK-II beauty regimen, Hermes passport holder, her staff, all that stuff.
In front of the immigration officer, it all goes exactly the way we both knew it would. "Remove your scarf, please, ma'am," the guy says, and Mom complies. He looks down at her passport, then up again with a slight frown. Then down again, then up again with a wide smile. "Lovely to see you home, Ms. Hartley."
Next to me, I feel my mom tense. "Well…" is her reply as she reties her scarf, angling to get moving again. Thankfully, she doesn't stop to point out that "home" is now in Tasmania. She finishes off with a jaunty knot and a "Thank you." My mom prides herself on being one of those stars who values her privacy, but who also signs autographs when asked and who doesn't actually throw things at the paparazzi. (But to be fair, she did once beat one half to death with a rolled-up magazine when his camera flash woke me up from my toddler nap in my stroller and he snapped one of those three photos I mentioned, but everyone thought that was totally justified and he dropped the charges because his mom made him.)
Of course, by the time the rest of us have been processed, with our luggage collected from the conveyer belt and our group passed through customs, the fact that Cassie Hartley is in the terminal is practically old news. By this point, there's an airport security guy assigned to us, and as we head out of arrivals, there are already about thirty paparazzi waiting for us.
"The car's waiting." Deb nods at Mom, cell to her ear. "We can go now." She turns to the security guy. "It's a black Mercedes SUV. Right out front."
"We're waiting on security at the other end," the guy says, but then he gets a call on his radio. After he answers it, he points forward. "He's there, so we're good to go. Straight through. I'll lead the way. I'm sure you know the drill by now, Ms. Hartley."
Mom turns to Deb, Anna, and me. "Like I told you. No stopping. Not for anything. And try to keep Thea between you two."
"Mom," I groan. "I'm not a baby anymore."
"And no arguments!" she snaps at me. We've only just landed in LA and she's already had enough.
"All right already!" I say.
We walk quickly—the security guy first, then Deb with a luggage cart, then Mom, me and Anna bringing up the rear with another cart. The flashes start almost instantly, bright and blinding, the voices yelling over the top of each other to get Mom's attention. I'd been feeling okay before, but now, with all the confusion, I'm suddenly a bit woozy from the long flight.
"Cassie! Over here! Here! Cassie!" they call out, and Mom's hand grips mine tighter, pulling me toward her. "Cassie! Hey! Oh my god, I can't believe it! It's my lucky day—it's her daughter!" I hear as we keep walking. "Cleo! Over here!" someone else calls out. "It's not Cleo, it's Tia. No, Thea, that's it! Lose the hood, kid! Hey, Thea! Show us the hair!"
When she hears my name, Mom pulls my hand again, and I jerk forward, losing the hood on my head that she made me pull up seconds before we hit arrivals.
And there it is, in all its glory. The Hartley hair. The paparazzi go absolutely wild. The yelling gets louder and the flashes flash faster.
"Thea! Thea! Hey, kid! Over here!"
But it's too late. In a second we're outside, and I'm being shoved unceremoniously into the back of the SUV.
As my mom sits down beside me and buckles up, she glances at my unhooded head and doesn't look one bit impressed. "Not. My. Fault." I point one finger at her. "You pulled me forward and it fell down."
She leans back into the tan leather seat with a sigh and stares out the window, not even putting up a fight or pointing out that after my hood fell down, I didn't exactly rush to pull it back up again. "Ugh, I hate LA," she says, petulantly. "That Erik…"
As for me? Well, as my mom is dealing with the fact that my hair and I are about to be seen by millions of people, I look out the window trying to hide my grin, because how my mom feels about LA? I have to admit I feel exactly the opposite way.
Being Hartley will have you hooked from the beginning. The plot has everything to keep readers interest from adventure and romance to life lessons. It is easy to get captivated in Thea's story as she follows her dreams and realizes that her mother may have been right all along. There is much more to the entertainment business than what is seen by audiences. This is an excellent and well written book. Especially would recommend to young readers!
About the Author
Allison Rushby is the Australian author of a whole lot of books. She is crazy about Mini Coopers, Devon Rex cats, Downton Abbey and corn chips. You can often find her procrastinating on Twitter or on Facebook. That is, when she’s not on eBay, or Etsy, or any other place she can shop in secret while looking like she’s writing …
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