California Girl Chronicles is now available in eBook, including Kindle, Nook and iBook. If you enjoy this excerpt and would like a copy, go to Amazon and download the eBook or you can buy the printed copy. Below is an excerpt from Brea and the City of Plastic. Our heroine is demoralized and forced to work in a bikini shop ...
I had pounded the pavement for a professional job at a magazine or newspaper, but with the recession I knew I would have to take a temporary job. I had to make ends meet and get out of the apartment with Lance. This led to an interview with a bikini boutique in Santa Monica, called Teenie’s Bikinis. I used GPS and found myself walking into the door of a store no wider than a hallway with multi- and bright-colored bikinis loaded up and down all the walls clear up to the ceiling. The register was in the very back of the store. I spotted a girl with orange hair, red-framed glasses that clashed with her orange hair, and a mouthful of blue bubblegum. She smiled so brightly at me with this cheerfulness that seemed nearly phony but it wasn’t at all fake.
She stepped forward and extended her hand. “I’m Letty, Letty Spaghetti – my stage name,” she grinned guilelessly unaware of how ridiculous that name sounded. “You know, Leticia Johnson wasn’t half as interesting. You must be Brea Harper. Good to meet you,” she paused. “You in the business too?”
“Sort of,” I admitted with a shrug. “I’m a screenwriter, well, one day but no professional jobs yet.”
“Good God sweetie,” she groaned. “Everyone in this town either acts or has a script.”
She wasn’t rude about it – just matter of fact, which I figured was just the way it was around LA. A bunch of actors, directors, and writers all wanting into this exclusive “club” that I already knew had its challenges. Letty seemed unfazed by this stark reality. She handed me an application.
“You can fill that out over there,” she pointed to a little chair and table in a room right behind her. It was filled with stacks of boxes shoved right up against the table that also had a computer, an old-fashioned calculator and some paper on it.
“All right,” I replied and slipped into the back with my application in hand.
I filled it out. The usual stuff: name, address, and previous jobs. I finished and looked at my overqualified answers for a simple job as a cashier in a bikini shop. I sighed, got up, and handed it back to Letty. She didn’t really look at it. She grinned at me with this wide-eyed look and sweet sparkle. She popped her gum and said, “You’re real pretty,” and with that statement she reached back, grabbed something, and threw it at me.
I unexpectedly caught a tiny pink bikini and looked at it. Letty, who immediately popped her gum and grinned, said, “Try it on.” I was taken aback. Was this part of the interview? I had a “banging” body so whatever. I slid into the tiny closet of a dressing room and moments later slid out.
Letty cackled in delight. “You’re hired,” she cried with pure glee and blew a blue bubble that popped, and then she slid her gum seamlessly back into her mouth. “Be here noon, Monday through Friday and half days on Saturday, all right?”
I liked the schedule. I could work on my screenplay in the mornings or find another job. “Sure,” I replied.
Letty eagerly nodded and said, “And don’t forget your ‘soc’ card, cause we only hire legals.”
I quizzically looked at her. “Do I look illegal?”
“Nope, not unless you’re from Sweden,” she laughed. “Are you?” she asked suddenly quite serious.
“Um no!” I replied.
“Oh, good! Then see you tomorrow at noon. Oh, and dress skimpy!”