Chapter 1-Take a Peek! Lacey&Randolph

3D_book_BHere is a little sneak peak of Chapter 1-Book 4:

Pretty Lives Ugly Truths

(Lacey & Randolph)

Release Date: April 28th

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 So without further ado… Pretty Lives Ugly Truths – (Lacey&Randolph) Ch.1

 

“You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously.”

~J. Donald Walters

Chapter 1

Lacey snuck a glance of her flawless reflection in the twenty-four-inch monitor that sat just a few feet away from her as she waited for her interview to begin. She was just moments away from her appearance on the popular morning show with Rachel Winters. Lacey was excited and nervous all at once, although she couldn’t have been more ready for her very fist national television interview since coming off of her very first tour. The last four months had been a whirlwind, and even though Lacey was glad her tour was over, she missed the adrenaline that it brought: screaming fans, unknown admires and all the perks she could ever imagine that came with being a pop diva. Lacey knew going back to being just normal wasn’t remotely on her agenda. Not today, not tomorrow, not in the future – near or far. Nope. In Lacey’s mind she was a star, the kind that shined brighter than most. The kind that everyone wanted to be and hated that they weren’t.  Lacey knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was a mega diva on the rise, a force to be reckoned with, an idol to be idolized, and everyone needed to bow down and get with the program.

“Ms. Monroe, we’re going live in fifteen seconds.” Lacey looked up to see the stage director standing in front or her with a small headset strapped on her head that made an indentation in her long blond hair. In that moment, Lacey wondered if she liked wearing that head gear since it was clearly messing with the flow of her layered cut. Either way it was not a good look.

“Okay great,” Lacey said with a smile as she stole one last glance of her perfectly beat bronze face and smoky eyes before she fluffed her naturally curly wig once again. Lacey loved the luxury, versatility and convenience of her many  wigs while on tour. This newfound discovery had also curbed her fear of ever losing her hair in her golden years. Now she could always throw on a ready-made wig and within minutes be oh-so-fabulosa. Lacey adjusted herself in her seat as her eyes wondered around the sound stage. She connected with Jana who gave her a thumbs up, then over to Reagan who had her 50mm Cannon lens in hand ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. Reagan gave Lacey a soft smile as Lacey acknowledged it with a nod. It was definitely weird having Reagan, her ex-lover, working for her, but it was also kind of cool to have her around.

“Okay, in five, four, three, two…” The stage director’s voice pulled Lacey’s attention back to her and the start of the show. She threw up one finger then pointed to the host of The Morning Show, Rachel Winters, an average but well made up woman in her 40’s. Rachel Winters was your all American kind of girl with a made up New York flare. Rachel sat erect next to Lacey. A red light began to blink and Rachel threw on her camera-perfect smile; it was obvious she was a pro at what she did.

“And we are back with singer and songwriter Lacey Monroe. Who is looking exceptionally beautiful this morning by the way.” Rachel sang Lacey’s praises as she crossed her right leg over the left in the gold high-backed chair that was a trademark of her show.

Lacey smiled from ear to ear upon hearing her introduction. “Well thank you, Rachel,” Lacey said as she brushed the side of her wig, throwing on a star-studded smile for the camera. “Although I don’t know how you do it, looking fabulous is one thing, but at five in the morning, you go girl,” Lacey said. She was being extra but knew it was worth it for the cameras and her admiring fans, old and new, around the world.

“Oh hon,” Rachel threw back, “I woke up like this.” Rachel joked in her Beyoncé voice as the audience laughed in unison. Lacey just smirked not liking the attention off of her for a second. Lacey was well aware this was Rachel’s show but it was HER moment.

“So Lacey, how are you my darling? And thank you, thank you for taking the time to come onto the show. I know how busy you have been since your tour, but the success of it has been amazing. You are like the IT girl.”

A confused smile cascaded across Lacey’s face, “Like?” Lacey threw back correcting Rachel’s Freudian slip.

“Sorry, I mean, you are the IT girl.”

Lacey smiled with satisfaction, “Well you know what they say, cream can’t help but to rise to the top,” Lacey said as she let out a fake laugh. The audience laughed along with her as Lacey slowly climbed to cloud nine along side of her cream. “But seriously Rachel, it’s my pleasure. I’m just elated to be here,” Lacey said as she shot a look towards the camera then back at Rachel.

“So before we get started I have to ask you kind of a pressing question,” Rachel prepped.

“Okay,” Lacey threw back.

“How is the very first granddaughter of legendary Langston Monroe doing?” Rachel asked as the audience began to clap.

“Excuse me?”

“Lance’s daughter, I hear she is just A-dorable,” Rachel continued as she smiled from ear to ear, anticipating Lacey’s answer.

“Well…” Lacey who was slightly put off by Rachel’s first question, gave a fake smile, “… as far as I know… she is great. I just came off my five-city tour, as you mentioned Rachel, so I haven’t really had time yet to catch up with my brother Lance or his daughter.”

“Of course, of course. So speaking of Lance and Sylvia, do you think they will finally tie that knot again?” Rachel continued. “I think all of America is rooting for them, I know I am. Especially after how that woman tried to come after his name and family fortune, ugh.”  Rachel waved her hand in disgust as she let out a small sigh of discouragement. “He deserved better, don’t you all agree?” Rachel threw the question out to the audience. The audience quickly followed with applause of agreement. Lacey discreetly rolled her eyes, and then quickly covered it with a smile.

“Right. Well again, just coming off of tour and I haven’t had a chance to connect with them so—“

“Well when you do, please give them my best. Lance was on my show a few years ago when he was a guest host. Talk about charisma,” Rachel said as she leaned back in her chair fanning herself with her hand. If he wasn’t with Sylvia. Let me tell ya?” Rachel said with another hand fan to the face.

The audience laughed again.

Lacey cocked her head to the side. Is this bitch serious? She’s like fifty. Lacey smiled another fake smile as she reached over and took a sip of her water that had been placed in front of her, “I will give him your… regards.” Lacey cleared her throat. “So Rachel, now that I’m done with my tour, I’m excited to take a little break, but what I wanted to–”

“Oh good for you. I’m sure your down time will allow you to catch up with the family?” Rachel said, cutting Lacey off.

“Yes… that’s definitely on my agenda, the other thing—.” Lacey tried to keep Rachel on track but she was clearly no match for the talk show powerhouse interviewer.

“Speaking of catching up and I know this is a sensitive subject,” Rachel said as she gently placed her hand on top of Lacey’s, “how is Malcolm doing?” She said in an overly dramatic way as her eyebrows creased together accompanied by a grave look of concern that danced across her face.

“Malcolm?” Lacey said as her head involuntarily jerked back.

“Yes. Malcolm, your brother. I know he fell onto some hard times but we are all pulling for him over here. Right audience?” Rachel announced as she shot the audience a sympathetic look. They applauded on cue.

Lacey couldn’t believe what was happening. Was this HER interview or a find out what is going on with her family interview? Jesus Christ.

Lacey took a deep breath as she worked very hard not to snap totally off. She liked Rachel but she was not only crossing the line but working her last nerve with all these side hip questions. She came on this show to talk about herself, not Lance, not his baby, and especially not Malcolm. Lacey took a deep breath to calm herself down. She threw on a calm smile and counted to five.

“Well I will definitely make sure Malcolm gets that message from you… and America. So back to me. Oh this just in,” Lacey added an upbeat tone to her voice, “I’ve been asked to open up for Jill Scott next month on her upcoming 15-city tour, so that’s something I am excited about,” Lacey finally got out only to hear the audience sigh out in unison.

“Oh my goodness,” Rachel belted out.

Lacey wasn’t sure their response lined up to what she had just said, but she would take anything at this moment. Then Lacey quickly noticed that Rachel’s comment was directed at something behind her. Lacey slowly turned around to see that the producers of the show had displayed a picture of Lance, Sylva and their baby girl, Skylar, on the fifty inch screen behind her head.

Lacey felt the words, “What the hell,” tumble from her frustrated thoughts and out of her mouth and into existence.

“What an adorable family and that baby?” Rachel cooed out. “She is beyond delicious.”

Lacey’s head snapped back to face Rachel as she just stared in disbelief. Was this shit really happening? Truly? Seriously? Lacey readjusted herself in her chair. Not on my fucking watch.

“Lacey she is just precious! How could you not eat her up?” Rachel’s voice sang in a high-pitched tone that raked Lacey’s nerves even more.

“How old is she now?”

Lacey didn’t answer Rachel but continued to stare at her. The rage had a way of wrapping itself around her vocal cords, impeding her from talking.

Rachel waited on Lacey’s response but Lacey just continued to give her a death stare.

Rachel raised an eyebrow and smiled into the camera, then back at Lacey.

“Lacey? Are you okay?” Rachel finally asked.

“You wanna know how old she is, why don’t you fucking ask them,” Lacey said as she saw Rachel’s body lurch back as she placed her hand on her chest in pure shock.

“Excuse me?” Rachel said with disbelief in her tone.

“I think you heard me. I am done with this interview. I am done with your dumb ass questions. I am done with you asking me about everyone in my family when clearly this interview is about me,” Lacey said as she snatched the clipped mike off her chest, dropped it on the table. She swiveled her chair around and jumped to her feet. “This is some bullshit. If you brought me on this show to talk about my family then you got me mixed up lady.” Lacey dropped her mic to the ground.

The stage manager yelled, “Take it to commercial. Take it to commercial.”

Lacey headed across the stage as she heard mumbling coming from the audience, which didn’t slow her row as she continued to the back stage. Lacey turned a few corners in an attempt to find her way back to her dressing room when she heard a voice behind her.

“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Lacey turned to see Jana. Her eyes were enormous and she had a perplexed look that seemed as if it were painted on her face.

“Not now Jana. I am not in the mood.”

“Oh now is definitely the time and this mood is unacceptable,” Jana continued.

Lacey, clearly ignoring Jana’s last statement, turned and headed down a short hallway towards her dressing room. Jana, not one to blow it off, was two steps behind her. Lacey opened the door to her dressing room. Jana was still very close, damn near on her heels. She closed the door firmly behind her.

“This is not over, I need to know why you snapped off on Rachel Winters out there?”

Lacey was taken aback by Jana’s comment, “Are you serious right now? How about that was not an interview for me, but a fact finding interview for my damn family.”

“So what?” Jana exclaimed.

Lacey’s head bounced back then forward, “So what?” Lacey said repeating Jana’s ridiculous response. “Jana, I came on the show to talk about me, Lacey Monroe, not give the world a portal into the private lives of my dysfunctional-ass family. This interview was supposed to be about my career, about me.”

“See that’s your problem, it’s not all about you. Never has been, never will be. Until you get that straight you have got a lot to learn.” Jana’s voice was a level higher than before.

“Excuse me?”

“Lacey, when are you going to figure out that you are not an only child. That you come from a famous family. Okay, you just came off a small, semi successful tour, but in reality, that doesn’t trump the first grandchild of the legendary Langston Monroe. I know in your mind you may think it does, but in this reality, not so much.”

Lacey shook her head, “So you just expect me to go on these interviews and talk about everyone else but me? Because that’s not going to happen.” Lacey could feel her rage surfacing once again. At this point she would rather not do interviews if they were going to be like this. What’s the damn point?

Lacey slowly sat down as Jana followed suit. She knew Jana was not done, just collecting her thoughts.

“Listen Lacey, I know this isn’t something you want to hear, and please take this as your manager wanting the best for you and your career.”

“Really?” Lacey threw out in her sarcastic tone.

“Yes, really. What happened out there is nothing new and you need to suck it up. This is the age we are in. People live to be in everyone’s business, it’s called social media, and you just have to expect these questions. You don’t get flustered and tell off the host who graciously agreed to have you on her show, you answer the questions and keep it moving. Eventually the subject will swing back to you.”

“Eventually?”

“Yes, eventually,” Jana repeated

Lacey was quiet; she slowly brushed the hair that had fallen in her face to the side and looked back up at Jana, “Well, eventually isn’t in my vocabulary.”

Jana shook her head and stood. “Well then you may need to try to incorporate this into your limited vocabulary, because either you answer the questions or you don’t do press, it’s that simple”

Lacey sat back and crossed her arms over her chest. Shrugged her shoulders, “then maybe I won’t do press.”

Jana sighed loudly, “Fine. Then maybe you don’t want a career.”

Jana looked at her watch, “I have to go handle something. Why don’t you think about what just happened. Maybe after you calm down you will be able to think more clearly because the only thing that’s clear right now is your self-sabotaging your career.”

Jana headed to the door and as she opened it, Reagan was standing there.

“Maybe you can talk some sense into her, clearly I can’t,” Jana said as she walked past Reagan and disappeared out of Lacey’s sight. Reagan entered Lacey’s dressing room and slowly shut the door behind her. There were a few silent beats, a bit of an awkward moment before Reagan broke the silence.

“Jana means well, she really does.” Reagan spoke softly as she slowly sat in the spot Jana just vacated.

Lacey laughed as she stood, walked over to the desk and cracked open a new bottle of Evian water. “Please don’t tell me you are here to defend your girlfriend because that would just be the fucking cherry on my three layer, disastrous cake today,” Lacey said with sarcasm laced in her tone.

“No, I came to see how you are holding up. You seemed pretty flustered out there.”

“Good observation, but I’m not paying you to observe, I am paying you to take pictures.”

Reagan was quiet. Lacey looked away and then back at Reagan. She felt bad about her comment the moment it left her mouth. Her frustration was making her strike out at anyone in range. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be taking this out on you. This whole thing is just… so annoying,” Lacey said softly.

“I know and I’m sorry. I hate seeing you so stressed.”

“Believe me, I hate being so damn stressed. I wish I had a cigarette,” Lacey said as she walked back over to her couch and sat down.

“I thought you quit?”

“Eh, more like on hiatus,” Lacey said as she shrugged her shoulders and let out a small smile.

Reagan returned the smile as they both had a small laugh.

Lacey laid her head back as she crossed her right leg over her left. “I miss you, Reag.”

Reagan stayed quiet, then, “Come on Lacey, you know I’m with Jana now.”

Lacey took a quick sip from her water, “Right. How’s that going for you? She seems like such a charmer.”

Lacey felt a ting of jealously cascade through her body before she shook it off. She needed to stay focused. Lacey closed her eyes for a second before hearing.

“I should probably go,” Reagan added.

Lacey’s eyes opened, “Yeah. Well thanks a million for checking up on me…” Lacey’s voice trailed off.

“Lacey listen—“

“Reagan… just go… please,” Lacey said as they held an intense stare before Reagan broke the silence.

“Okay,” Reagan said softly as she turned and headed out of Lacey’s dressing room. As the door closed, Lacey turned her body to lie across the entire white leather sofa, and the quietness of the room engulfed. She let out a long, drawn-out sigh.

“All I wanted to do was talk about my damn tour.”

*****

PRETTY LIVES UGLY TRUTHS: Lacey & Randolph

COMING April 28th

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