By Michele Kwasniewski
Today I am pleased to show you an extract/excerpt from Rising Star, thanks to Random TTours Rand-Smith Books and Michele Kwasniewski for providing the passage.
I will also say that Rising Star is an interesting sounding book that looks at the price of fame and fortune, which is a highly fitting for today’s society of young adults. Find out about the author, the book and then discover an extract from it to get your reading eyes going.
Readers… meet Dani Truhart
About the Author
The author, Michele Kwasniewski, is an entertainment industry insider who has seen what the Hollywood machine can do to people – having worked for many years in film and television production on such films and TV shows as Primal Fear, Independence Day, Evita, Face/Off, Big Brother, and many TCL, HGTV, and Discovery series including: Meet the Pandas, Adoption Story, Wedding Story, and Extra Yardage.
With her book, she shares the glamour and excitement of fame as well as the hard work it takes to achieve success and the price of living life in the public eye. Everyone wants to be famous, but most people have no idea what that really means. Michele has seen it firsthand. She is an active member of the Producers Guild of America.
What’s the Price of Fame?
In the first book in THE RISE AND FALL OF DANI TRUEHART series, RISING STAR, fifteen-year-old Dani Truehart is living a life that is not quite her own. Driven by her mother’s desire for fame and fortune, she has spent her childhood dutifully training for a career as a pop star. On the brink of discovery, doubts begin to creep into Dani’s mind as she questions her own desire for fame, and she wonders whether she can trust the motivations of the adults who are driving her forward.
Following a brilliant audition arranged by her vocal/dance coach and former ’80s pop icon Martin Fox, Dani is thrown full-force into the music industry. She leaves her friends, family and scheming mother behind to move with Martin, who has become her legal guardian, into the Malibu compound of her new manager, Jenner Redman. Jenner, the former swindling manager of Martin’s boy band, leverages what’s left of his depleted fortune to launch Dani’s career.
Isolated from her life at home and trying to stay apace with her demanding schedule, Dani struggles to keep in touch with those she loves, connect to her withholding mother and find her voice as an artist. With Martin and Jenner at odds over their rocky past and finding herself unprepared to handle the pressures of her future singing career, Dani’s debut album and future stardom are at risk of falling apart.
Sean, the lights, and the gym quickly dissolve into my shrieking
alarm clock and my equally grating mother yelling my name. I roll over groaning and blindly striking out for the clock, knocking odds and ends off the nightstand. A final violent swipe turns off the alarm. I pry open my eyes. It’s 5:12 a.m.
“Danilynn Marie Truehart, get up this instant! Don’t make me walk up those stairs and get you, girl.”
I pause for a second, wondering what evil I’ve done in my past life to deserve such torment in this one. Jodi Truehart is her own special brand of torture. Some days it’s all I can do not to either burst into tears or erupt in a tirade of swear words. My mother never stops. She is unrelenting, unforgiving, and utterly determined to make me into a star.
Sighing as I haul my bones out of bed, I remind myself that if I’m really that miserable, I could make the endless lessons and rehearsals stop. My mother is all about the bottom line. If there’s any chance she won’t receive a big payoff after all these years of pushing and spending, she’ll cut her losses and turn her maniacal stage-mother- ing skills to some other money-making prospect. She’d probably just have another baby. I chuckle to myself…third time’s a charm, right?
Grabbing the stack of workout wear on the dresser, I stumble down the hall to the bathroom. My father is shambling up the stairs from the kitchen, a steaming mug of coffee in hand.
“Sorry about all the noise, Dad. Guess I overslept.”
He shakes his head. “No worries, Marie. I had an early meeting any- way.” He blows me a kiss and continues down the hall to the master bedroom.
My dad is the only one who calls me Marie. I’m named after his mother, who used to visit us a lot when we were younger. We used to hang out at her house all the time, and she used to bake the best cakes ever. But there was some sort of falling out between her and my mom, and we stopped going to see her. No one ever mentions it, and I’m too scared to ask what happened. Though I haven’t seen her in years, I always think of her when he calls me “Marie.”
“Where’s my apology, superstar?” Geena appears in the doorway of her darkened room, arms folded across her t-shirt, her blonde hair tousled. She smirks and gives me a playful slap on the butt as I pass. “Better get in that shower.” Geena puts her hands on her hips and wags her finger at me in a perfect imitation of our mother’s Texas twang, “Don’t make her walk up those steps and get you, girl.”
I groan. “God, you’re lucky you’re the smart one! If you’d been able to sing, maybe they’d have stopped at one kid, and I’d be blissfully unaware up in the stars somewhere.”
“You make your own luck, sis, believe me.” Geena winks at me and disappears into her room.