In ACTING UP my heroine Addison Covington is a television’s reigning Ice Queen. The star of a Dynasty-type show called House of Fashion. (Think Alexis Carrington for those of you who are old enough to remember.) When her husband (who is the producer of the show) has an affair with Addison’s on-screen daughter, she ends losing her marriage and then her career after she punches the other woman during a live taping. To get away from the bad press she escapes to tiny Covington Falls, Georgia. She has a history with the town. She lived there with her great aunt for two years after her father’s death. Addison grew close to her aunt during that time, but once she took off for Hollywood she left her old life behind. She even adopted a new name, taking the name of the town as her own.
The shy, brown-haired, mousy Alice Faye Jones is snuffed out, replaced by a glamorous, blonde, sexy, Addison Covington. Addison is a bit of a diva, which is makes her fun, but she never becomes malicious or as cold as the character she once portrayed on TV. She’s fought hard to get where she is in her career, and she’s not ashamed to say it. She’s also bold and gutsy, something her alter ego (Alice Jones) never was. To her Alice was invisible, but Addison can never be overlooked. She’s snarky and sarcastic and boldly says whatever she feels.
There are many instances where the glamorous TV star faces the reality of living in a small town, such as having to get her hair colored at a salon located next to a hardware store. Addison’s platinum blonde, Grace Kelly-like style became a signature look so letting anyone touch her hair is a big deal for her. Addison is also not above using her skills as an actress to shamelessly manipulate people. She’s not evil about it (and frankly some of the people need to be manipulated). She always uses her special skills in a way that makes you laugh, so you don’t care.
For you readers…what are some of your favorite divas from TV or the movies? Do you think they get a bad rap?
Covington Falls Chronicles
Acting Up is a contemporary inspirational romance set in the fictional Southern town of Covington Falls.
Addison Covington is the reigning Ice Queen of television. Until her producer husband falls in love with her on-screen daughter and a well-placed punch on national television casts her as the wicked ex-wife. Fired and disgraced, she escapes to Covington Falls to try and figure out how to save her career. Before Addison can say “Casting Call” she’s drafted to direct the high school musical.
Life is constantly on the brink of chaos for widower and single father Ethan Thomas. As a high school principal he also has to deal with hundreds of students. Now, he’s short one drama teacher and if he doesn’t find someone to direct the spring musical he’s going to have a riot on his hands. His childhood neighbor, Addison Covington, could be an answer to prayer. Or one more complication he can’t afford.
Soon Addison dealing with some off-key caterwauling, a bitter stepson showing up, and the sexiest high school principal she’s ever met. One thing Addison and Ethan agree on is that there’s no room in their lives for romance. He’s got too much at stake, and she needs to reclaim her former glory in Hollywood. In the end, these two lost souls will choreograph a happy ending with the help of Grace, Love and a Curtain Call.
Dear Diary… I died today.
Deliberately plowed down in the middle of the street by the proverbial black, unmarked car. My funeral will be mobbed by the movers and shakers of the fashion world on three continents. The inquiry into my death will bring about a national manhunt for my killer and spark at least a half a season’s worth of who-dunnit episodes.
The list of suspects will be a mile long. My faithless husband? My nemesis and rival in romance and in business? My drug-addicted son? My angelic daughter? Wronged business partners? Wronged business adversaries? Pretty much anyone who ever had the misfortune to cross Corrine Barrett. Or get in my way.
“We got it.”
“Let’s set up for the next scene.”
Shouts went up as the director called out instructions to the crewmembers. With a deep sigh, Addison Covington opened her eyes. Rolling onto her hip, she performed an inventory of the various parts of her body. After being jerked back by the harness attached to her waist and landing on an air mattress in the middle of the street, she’d expected to feel like the roadkill Corrine had become. Her back would be protesting the abuse tomorrow, but for now she was only a little sore.
One of the grips approached her landing pad and helped her stand up. “You all right, Addison?”
“Never better, Charlie.”
Yeah, she wasn’t really dead. It just felt that way.
Corrine Barrett-Channing, ice queen and ruler over the Barrett Empire in the hit drama House of Fashion, was toast. But Addison Covington, her portrayer, was sadly still of this earth.
She slipped off the jacket of her white Armani suit so Charlie could remove the harness and fought back a wince. Perhaps she’d been wrong about only being a little sore.
Charlie scowled. “I told you to let your stunt double handle the fall.”
“I’ll be fine.”
Even as he unhooked the contraption, other crewmembers removed her landing pad, setting up the scene to reveal Corrine’s body lying in the street. At least Addison would be spared the humiliation of having to play dead. That job would go to her stand in.
Addison’s job here was finished. Literally.
“Stubborn woman,” Charlie said with a gruff affection as he took off the harness.
“Thank you, Charlie,” she said, kissing his cheek. “You’ve always been a prince.”
He shuffled his feet and then leaned in closer. “You deserve better, Addison.”
“Not according to the gossip rags. They all think I should be burned at the stake.”
From behind her, a familiar feminine voice rang out. “You punched America’s sweetheart in the nose. What did you expect?”
Addison glanced around to see her on-screen nemesis and off-screen best friend, Sydney James, approaching. “I expect it should be acceptable to rearrange someone’s face after she’s stolen your husband, but then I’m old-fashioned that way.”
Sydney laughed, and they both stood on the sidewalk watching the organized chaos unfolding. For several moments neither of them spoke.
Then Sydney bit her lip. “I hate this,” she said, fury and desolation etched in every word. “I hate what’s happened to you. I hate that you won’t be here with me anymore, and I hate that he gets away with everything.”
“Look on the bright side,” Addison said, digging her nails into her palm, hoping the pain would stave off the urge to curl up in a fetal position and wail. “You’ll probably never have to film a fight scene in a mud-bath again. Who knows, maybe Merrick will change his mind, and I’ll be back as my evil twin someday.”
A gurgle of laughter mixed with a sob escaped. “I think Corrine Barrett is the evil twin,” Sydney said, tears swimming in her green eyes.
“The good twin then. It would certainly be a stretch for me to play, right?”
Sydney took Addison’s arm. “Come on, there’s nothing more to see here.” They headed to the dressing trailers down the block. “You’ll need a hot bath tonight. Otherwise you won’t be able to move tomorrow.”
“What I need is my job and my husband.”
You can find Acting Up at:
About Kristin Wallace
Growing up Kristin devoured books like bags of Dove Dark Chocolate. Her first Golden Book led to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, C.S. Lewis and the Sweet Valley High series. Later, she discovered romance novels and fell in love all over again. She writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction filled with love, laughter and a leap of faith. When she’s not writing her next novel, Kristin works as an advertising copywriter. She also enjoys singing in her church choir and worship team and playing flute in a community orchestra. Kristin is a member of Romance Writers of America and serves as President of the local affiliate chapter, Florida Romance Writers. This is the second book in the Covington Falls Chronicles. Be sure to check out the first book in the series, Marry Me.
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