Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Death of a Bachelorette"

Laura Levine is a former sitcom writer whose credits include The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, The Jeffersons, The Love Boat, Three’s Company, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. As an advertising copywriter, she created Count Chocula and Frankenberry cereals for General Mills. Her work has been published in The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

In her latest (and favorite) incarnation as a mystery novelist, she has been an IMBA paperback bestseller and winner of the RT Book Reviews award for Most Humorous Mystery.

Levine applied the Page 69 Test to Death of a Bachelorette, her newest Jaine Austen Mystery, and reported the following:
First, full disclosure; I cheated. This is page 70 of Death of a Bachelorette, not page 69. It just seemed a lot livelier.

Now for the set up: My heroine, Jaine Austen, has taken a gig writing for a cheesy Bachelor show rip off being shot on a South Pacific island. The show, called Some Day My Prince Will Come, features a bevvy of bloodthirsty bachelorettes vying for the hand of a dimwitted British nobleman. Jaine has been hired to write dialogue for the dimwitted Brit. But she’s having trouble concentrating. It turns out she’s met a royal bachelor of her own she wants to pursue: a hunky native honey—and an island prince—named Tai.

Also, making cameo appearances on the page are Manny Kaminsky, the show’s cheapskate producer, and Justin, a newbie director just out of film school.

From page 70:
And I have to confess I was having a hard time concentrating. Instead my mind kept wandering back to my hunkalicious suitor, Prince Tai. Or, as I had come to think of him, “My Tai.”

What if the two of us hit it off and fell in love under the tropical stars? What if I wounded up an actual princess, like Grace Kelly or Queen Noor?

True, Paratito Island wasn’t exactly the cosmopolitan center of the universe, but who cared? I was sick of big city living, anyway. All the traffic in LA was enough to give the Dalai Lama ulcers.

How lovely it would be to live in a charming cottage by the sea, with a wraparound verandah, and banana trees in the yard. At last I’d get to dine on fresh fish and island fruits and drop twenty pounds in no time.

Before long I’d be frolicking along the beach in my string bikini, holding hands with My Tai, taking time out to toss off a novel or two while my bronzed god of a hubby did whatever Paratitan princes did. (Hopefully, topless.)

I was just settling into a particularly yummy fantasy of me and Tai lying side by side on the sand, the sea lapping at our feet, the sun warming our bodies, caressed by cool ocean breezes. Tai was running his finger along my washboard flat tummy and up to my chin, turning my face to his for a whopper of a kiss, when suddenly I was yanked back to reality.

Oh, crud. It was Mount Manny, erupting again.

“Are you crazy?” I heard him shout. “No way are you leaving this show.”

He and Justin had joined us poolside, Manny in a terry robe and flipflops, his face flushed with anger.

“I give you your first big break in show biz, hire you on the basis of that crummy little student film—”

“Crummy?” Justin cried, indignant. “Casserole of Broken Dreams just happened to win first prize at the West Covina Film Festival!”
Visit Laura Levine's website.

The Page 69 Test: Killing Cupid.

My Book, The Movie: Death by Tiara.

--Marshal Zeringue