Caught on Camera
(Hollywood in Muskoka, #1)
Publication date: September 9th 2016
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
To achieve her dream of working on Hollywood film sets, star struck chambermaid Rachel Lehmann needs $35,000 for film school tuition by the end of the summer. When she’s asked to fill in for a missing bridesmaid at a movie star’s wedding, it’s her big chance to take candid photos of celebrities and sell them to the entertainment media. Then groomsman Mickey McNichol, agent to the stars, sweeps her off her feet.
Mickey’s bitter experience is that everyone in show business fakes emotions. When he falls for the stand-in bridesmaid, he thinks he’s finally met a beautiful woman he can trust. But if Rachel betrays his friends’ privacy, Mickey will ensure she never works in Hollywood.
Madelle completed four novels before Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc. contracted to publish her debut romantic suspense, Diamond Lust—republished as Diamond Hunter—and a sexy, short free read, The Next Big Thing, in 2010.
When Madelle realized her author voice is more suited to light, humorous contemporary romance, she went waaaay back to her teen years for the Hollywood in Muskoka series setting. Madelle, her sisters, and assorted pets enjoyed idyllic summers at a lake in the District of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, named by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their top 20 Best of the World Must-see Places.
The Muskoka lakes’ forested shorelines are dotted with palatial properties owned by wealthy families and Hollywood celebrities. At sixteen, being neither rich nor famous, Madelle worked briefly as a chambermaid at the now-closed Delawana Inn, a local resort.
Madelle is retired from an engineering career in the federal public service and lives in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, with her husband. She tries to keep fit with cycling, Pilates, and yoga, and dreams of owning a waterfront cottage. Or at least a pool.
She tweets and posts on Facebook and Goodreads about Hollywood, filmmaking, Muskoka, and, of course, writing. She blogs the second Tuesday of the month at romancingthegenres.blogspot.com and occasionally on her own website.
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~ Excerpt ~
A few minutes later, outside the hotel at last, Mopette yipped and tugged on the leash in the direction of the golf course.
“Ooooh, no. One bath today was plenty.” Rachel marched awkwardly in Candy’s ill-fitting spike heels across the parking lot, aiming for the manicured lawn in the blurry distance. The ornery little dog resisted the leash, her short nails scraping the pavement. “Hold on, Mopette. A little further and you can do your business on the cushy grass.”
Mickey suddenly grabbed her forearm. “Stop for a sec.”
“Mopette is desperate to pee. Tell me later.” Wrenching her arm loose, Rachel continued onward, intent on keeping her balance on the asphalt surface. The sooner the dog finished her toilette, the sooner Mickey’d return to the party and leave her alone. His presence, compounded by nerves, discombobulated her insides. Walking on tiptoes in heels forced her hips to sway and set the camera pendant swinging. She cupped it to still the motion. The edge of the lawn swam into view only a few feet away.
Mopette erupted in a frenzy of yips. Rachel dragged her onward. “Relax, you spoiled baby. We’re almost there.”
A horrifying throaty growl rolled through the air like thunder. Rachel halted abruptly. Mopette squealed, pirouetted into a one-eighty, and scrambled in the opposite direction until yanked up off front legs by the leash. Rachel wobbled. Her free arm flailed in the air. Over Mopette’s frantic yips, she heard Mickey say, “I tried to warn you!”
“That German shepherd.”
Ear-splitting ferocious barks swallowed Mopette’s terrified protests. The little dog shot into the air on stubby legs like coiled springs. Rachel lunged to grab the animal before she crashed onto the hard pavement.
“It’s attacking us!” Rachel tumbled into Mickey’s arms, Mopette clutched in a football hold. “Save us, Mickey.”
“Titan, quiet.” Mercifully the beast obeyed an authoritative female voice and shut up. “Sorry to scare your cat, but you did approach us.”
Rachel pulled her face off Mickey’s white shirt, regained her balance, and wrapped both arms protectively around the quivering pet. “She’s a Maltese dog. Who are you?”
“Catrina Turner, ma’am. Titan and I are on security patrol.”
A dark-haired woman in a trim short-sleeved navy uniform emerged from the blurry background and closed the distance between them. A whine drifted on the evening air from a massive creature at her heels. Mickey sputtered, coughed, and cleared his throat.
Rachel glared at him over Mopette’s soft fur pressed against her cheek. “How can you laugh? The poor thing is terrorized by that…that Cujo!” To the woman, she asserted, “This hotel doesn’t have dog patrols.”
Mickey placed a reassuring palm on Rachel’s midback. “This weekend it does. Halden hired private security to keep out the paparazzi.”
“Oh,” Rachel said in a small voice. Then a sensation of warmth suffused her abdomen, and it wasn’t a Mickey-triggered sexy flush. A dark stain spread from Mopette’s butt down to the hem of Candy’s sapphire silk dress. “Can this day get worse?” she wailed.