Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.


Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blog Tour: The Starlet Series by Carla J. Hanna #StarletTour

Titles: Starlet's Man / Starlet's Web / Starlet's Run / Starlet's Light
Series: The Starlet Series #0.5–#3
Author: Carla J. Hanna
Publication Dates: 2012-2014 
Genre: Young Adult Romance

Series LinksGoodreads | Amazon

Synopsis–Starlet's Man
Lights, Cameras, and Lies. High school student athlete, Manny Biro, is caught between the boy he should be and the man he wants to become.

Everyone around him accepts the Hollywood life. He doesn't. Manny wants no part of acting. On the surface, his childhood best friends seem to have it all: money, power, success. Between the lines, they are all confused. Alan is a messed up want-to-be director focused on pushing scenes to their sexy potential. Beth is an athlete driven to escape from a dark past. Janet is Manny's kid sister caught up in fashion and trends. And Marie is a lonely actress exhausted by the culture that makes everyone's favorite stories.

What is the price of fame for all the characters? Conflicts and truths will unfold in this thought-provoking installment of Carla Hanna's young adult Starlet Series, Starlet's Man.

Starlet's Man Excerpt

Manny Biro flung his head backwards and exhaled loudly. He bit his lip and
closed his eyes, stifling his desire to flee. He remained in position on
the top step of the darkened stairwell. Construction paper and duct tape
covered the light fixture above him while set lamps softened the shadows.
Expensive film equipment encircled him in the narrow, cracked concrete
space. Manny’s tight fists, knuckles white in contrast with his bronze
skin, communicated his frustration with acting.
“Don’t pout, buddy!” Alan shouted at Manny from behind the camera. He
wiggled out of his director’s chair and headed towards his actors, his
scrawny body layered in a hip graphic tee and belted bling jeans that hung
below the waistband of his plaid boxers. He repositioned his Lakers
baseball cap while he patted Manny’s shoulder. “Just forget the lines.
Say, ‘No’ instead.”
Manny shrugged off Alan’s hand.
Alan rolled his eyes as he returned to his chair, uttering profanities as
if he was giving a speech, finishing with, “If you can manage that!”
Beth, the tall, voluptuous girl on the step below Manny, giggled as she
pulled at her barely-there mesh tee shirt. “You can’t really think I look
sexy.” She leaned to one side to get Alan’s acknowledgment. “Seriously,
Alan, how is anyone gonna have sympathy for a girl when she’s wearing
“Just shut up and act!” Alan flipped her off. “Damn amateurs!”
Beth smirked. “He thinks he’s so mature because he cusses out orders that
we all ignore.”
On the floor of the parking garage above them, it was a bright and warm
Friday afternoon in December in Santa Monica, California. Students were on
their way home anticipating the Santa Monica High School Vikings boys
varsity basketball game that would take place against their rival Beverly
Hills that night. At least fifteen other students were stuck on the
basement level awaiting instructions from Alan, high school senior,
director, and son of rich and powerful studio executive, Ira Goldberg,
about what they should do next in his ambitious anti-bullying film.
Trying his hardest to ignore Beth’s curves and unfamiliar made-up face,
Manny stared into her bored but gorgeous royal blue eyes. “I don’t want
to, like, assault you.”
Beth softly patted his cheek. “I hate acting, too. But we get some cash
and help all these guys with their project.” The low cut tee flashed her
cleavage. “Don’t worry about it.”
Manny sighed. “This crap isn’t worth the forty bucks.”
“Forty bucks? Per shoot?” Beth questioned. “I got twenty!” She
repositioned the itchy blonde wig she wore over her short brown hair,
reminding Manny that her sexiness was fake and temporary. He relaxed. She
said to Alan, “Why aren’t we paid the same?”
“Negotiation, Beth; girls are paid less than guys.” Alan said as he
adjusted a light. “Our project is in his little baby-boy’s hands and now
you’re complaining?”
“My fee just went up. You pay me the same as Manny.”
“Whatever. Just chill. Anything else, losers?”
Manny did not feel guilt. Only the students who worked on the film for
their senior project worked for free. Besides, Alan put the project on a
funding website and acquired contributors in exchange for some tee shirts
and production note emails. The deal was that Alan would pay his reluctant
actors for their work. Manny said, “You say you need me in this stupid
film and then make me be a Latino rapist. It’s stereotypical bullshit,
“Race has nothing to do with it. You’re the best built guy in school and
every girl, somehow, thinks you’re hot.” Alan asked his student crew, “A
show of hands: anyone see Manny as a person of color?”
The film crew members raised a hand or gave a nod, all accustomed to
seeing people of color and knowing they are equals. Blessed with striking
genes from his father, a former Latino boy-band heartthrob, and his
Irish-American mom with perfect skin, Manny had an athlete’s body with a
built-in tan. From his love for sports, he turned natural talent into
sculpted, bronze 6’1” perfection at just seventeen years old.
Alan flipped them all off, again, for disagreeing with him.
The video playback assistant said, “Don’t be such an idiot, Alan, and
let’s get to work. My grade is on the line, here, too. Stop pushing Manny
or we might lose him.”
Alan slammed his body into his director’s chair and pouted. Students
For a high school senior, Manny was unique. Everyone liked him. He spoke
English, Spanish and German fluently, which helped him connect with others
because he understood that meanings get lost in translation. His good
looks, wit, and disarming humility endeared him to people. He resisted
temptations most of the time and always told the truth if asked. He was
also a young man in a moral state of contradiction, a product of Hollywood
culture—a potpourri of ethnicities and beliefs.
“Of course you look Latino, like Zayn from 1D in a Hemsworth body.” Beth
whispered, exaggerating her Polish accent, “You should cover your yummy
brown eyes in sunglasses so you don’t tempt me.”
Manny shook his head, dissing her flirtation. “I thought I looked like
A-Rod, and isn’t Zayn half-Pakistani, not Latino?”
“A-Rod is off my list of hotties. He’s a cheater.”
“Actors could use steroids, too. They want to be competitive. Look at all
the plastic surgery on girls; I’m sure guys do what they need to do.”
She slid her hand along his bicep and smiled. “Glad you’d never cheat.”
He removed her hand. They had dated their sophomore year and were now
nothing more than friends. Until his recent breakup with Kate, they always
hung out together in their clique. She teased him relentlessly in fun.
Besides, she dated his friend, Mitch. He warned, “Don’t.”
She smiled. “What bugs me is that you think I’m hotter when I’m a blonde.
Look at you squirm.”
Manny stared at her. “That’s so lame.” He smiled. “But it’s not really
that. It’s how you’re packaged. You look like Alan’s mom.” Switching to
German, the language they used together when they did not want to share
their thoughts with others, Manny shared that Alan’s mom wore the same
shirt when she propositioned him.
Beth frowned and whispered, “So I look like a rich Hollywood sleaze.
Wusste er, dass sie mit dir geflirtet?”
Her question surprised him. She asked if Alan knew that his mom hit on
him. Forgetting to reply in German, Manny murmured, “He couldn’t have
known. He wasn’t home.”
Beth raised her voice, “Alan, did you get all these clothes from your mom?”
“Yeah. You’re wearing one of her wigs, too.”
“You made me look like her? Dude, you’ve got some serious baggage.”
Alan locked eyes with Manny and smirked, leaving Manny with a lingering
feeling that Alan knew, somehow.
A wave of guilt rushed through Manny even though he had rejected Alan’s mom.
Alan cussed at the other cameraman and shouted idle orders.
In German, Beth told Manny that she broke up with Mitch again.
Manny shook his head, answering in English. “You’ve got to stop that.
Someday he won’t come back.”
Alan asked Beth, “You single, finally?”
“Not for a guy who used to call me fat every day,” Beth answered. “You’re
far too shallow for me now that you think I’m hot. I’m the exact same
“Looks are everything for girls,” Alan stated. “Girls are, like, ‘dork’
when they see me and then, ‘wait, he’s rich?’. Guys are ‘Boobs or not?’.
Period.” He cussed needlessly again, demonstrating his belief that every
noun he uttered needed a profane adjective for emphasis. “It’s life, Beth.
People always judge.”
Manny disagreed, “For the first second, people judge beauty. Then they
judge intelligence and decide if you’re nice. The nice girl always looks
pretty to me if she’s funny. Looks don’t matter for more than that first
Alan shrugged. “No one cared about Beth until she slimmed down.”
“I did.” Manny grinned at Beth. “You’ve always been beautiful.”
Beth smiled. “We have an entire culture misguided on that first
superficial impression. Women spend millions for it when all they need to
do is tell a few good jokes to win Manny’s heart.”
Alan’s lighting guy finished and gave him the thumbs up. Alan looked
through the frame and then belittled him, making everyone feel the verbal
abuse seep inside.
Beth pursed her lips as she raised her eyebrows. She explained to Manny,
“Mitch is actually an awesome boyfriend. I just got so pissed that he’s
such a Republican.” Beth put her hands over her ears to shut out Alan. “Do
the scene, and we’re done.”
The dark stairwell reeked from fast-food decay and urine, which coated the
chipped paint on the empty basement floor. Manny did want to be done with
shooting, get his mom something for her birthday from the mall just a few
meters away, and get ready to play Samohi Viking ball. He was a guard—a
good ball handler but not the best. He asked, “So I push her, she says her
lines, I say, ‘No,’ and we cut?”
Alan spoke monotonously. “Yeah, but stay there so we can do the next scene.”
Synopsis–Starlet's Web
Love. Lies. Acting. A novel about celebrity influence & teens in Hollywood. What makes a star shine? Humility empowers the spirit. Sometimes.

Discover the Starlet Series for new adult & college readers and uncover the life of a talented actress caught in Hollywood's web of lies.

I'm actress Liana Marie Michael. I won an Oscar at 17 but whatever. Celebrity is what it is: marketing a product. I'm part of a tight-knit group. I keep to myself and don't complain about my life. I've been happy until lately.

Evan dumping me leveled me. Matthew shocked me. I knew he couldn't hurt me with my bodyguard so near, but his I have trust issues. Dating super-hot Byron didn't help clear the confusion either. I'm torn between going to church on Sunday and making a living from pop culture.

But experience builds perspective. My days of shutting up needed to end. First, I told Manuel. Then I told my mom. It turned out awesome until I learned the truth.

Now I'm screwed. Totally. Let's face it: Hollywood's web entangles everyone.

Starlet's Web Excerpt

Manuel said, “We all do stupid stuff. It’s just you kid actors who have to
act so mature. The ones who don’t protect themselves get messed up with
drugs and parties.”
He stroked my hair and then stopped. I loved the feeling and didn’t want
him to stop.
“That Byron is a complete ass. But I think he’s telling the truth that he
loves you. I told him to leave you alone. If you want to date him, I don’t
think you burned a bridge. Is it because he’s so good looking that you
have a hard time dissing him?”
“Yeah, but it’s not just that. Byron moves too fast for me. My mind can’t
keep up. He watches me and knows exactly what I’m thinking. Most people
say they don’t know what I’m thinking. He always knows. My mom knows. So
do you.”
He disagreed. “No, I don’t when we’re together. Evan can read you; I
can’t. Maybe that’s why Evan’s such a great guy, because he’s sensitive.
You should date him again.” He moved my hair off of my arm. “Since we
email and text most of the time, I have a pretty good idea of what you’re
thinking. But today, last night, I don’t know.”
Manuel morphed into a stone. He gently pushed my head off his chest and
got off the bed. I ignored my feelings of rejection. He urged, “I think
it’s probably time for you to eat breakfast. It’s after six. When I talked
to Byron, I saw that a lot of people are already up. He left your script.”
He went to the bathroom while I took my medicine and some painkillers for
my headache. I was finishing my water at the kitchen sink when he reached
around me to grab his shaving kit.  He smiled at me but blushed and went
back into the bathroom to brush his teeth and shave.
Manuel announced, “I figured I’d leave tonight or late tomorrow morning. I
can run with you before I go. I’m no five minute mile, like you, but can
run the distance easily. I need to be at work at 4 pm tomorrow.” He stood
by the trailer door and continued, “But you don’t need me. So maybe I
should drive home after we eat, ya know, when you go to makeup.”
I didn’t want Manuel to leave. I asked, “You’re tense. What’s up with you?”
“I’m thinking that you are thinking something that I know you’re not
thinking.” Manuel scrunched his face, shook his head, and grumbled,
“Forget about it. Let’s eat.”
“What do you think I’m saying?” I demanded.
An intensity, almost hostility, emanated from him. “It’s absurd and not
what you’re saying.” Manuel held his fists so tightly that he was
white-knuckled. He crossed his arms. “Stop playing games, Marie. Tell me
what you’re thinking.”
I stared at him, feeling his irritation from two feet away. I was
absolutely in love with my best friend. I wanted to push the subject so he
could leave the trailer in shock, get back into my car, and drive out of
my life. Franz was right. Manuel was the reason I couldn’t love any other
guy. I needed to tell him, get closure, and move on.
“I’ll lose you if I tell you. But obviously, my life will continue to be a
living hell until I tell you.” I stepped back from him and likewise folded
my arms across my chest, ready to see him gather his things and bolt out
of the door after I told him.
“I don’t see you as my brother and never have. I was insanely jealous when
you dated Kate and am disappointed that you’ve never asked me out.” I took
in a breath and decided to tell the truth. “I’m in love with you. I want
to marry you and live happily ever after.”

Synopsis–Starlet's Run
Love. Intentions. Acting. Life is more complicated than a Hollywood story.

Fictional actress Liana Marie Michael writes her second memoir, Starlet's Run, as she suffers through the Five Stages of Grief. But when Lia's scripts speak for her and drama becomes her life, can she find the strength to run her own lines and shape her new role?
~ - ~
I'm actress Liana Marie Michael. Hollywood's obsession with beauty made my actress-mother stay competitive. Athletes use steroids. Actors use plastic surgery and anti-aging drugs. So now I'm a physical mess inside, dealing with it, and starring in a major motion picture.

Of course I can't quit. I have brain surgery, feel alive at Grandma's Montana ranch, go back to Hollywood and act. My boyfriend, Manuel, and I want to get married. Everyone has an opinion. I ignore the millions of naysayers until consequences turn dire.

I believe that dwelling on pain is a waste of time. Indecision is exhausting. I want to write my own future. But I'm only eighteen years old.

In a world where an actress is a product and everyone is a critic, can our young love survive? Should it?
Starlet's Run Excerpt

“You. You’re so beautiful. Sometimes I forget to actually look at you.”
Manuel's face fell. “Lia, what are you doing with me? You could have
I watched him, bewildered. I didn’t know what to say and thought that he
was talking nonsense.
Before I could respond, he took my robe from the door hanger and wrapped
it around me, standing in front of me. His eyes were still on my breasts
as he covered me. He shuddered and then hugged me.
He admitted, “We need to talk about our insecurities. Let’s sit on the
Manuel started. “I’m just a normal guy. I don’t have any money. I’m not
that interesting. I’m smart but there are tons smarter. I’m only good at a
few sports, not outstanding. You love nature and I don’t care. I’m kind of
a geek. And I’m not that great of a person. But you, you’re a goddess.
Will I be able to hold your interest for the next fifty years?”
That was easy. I responded, “I love you. You’ve been my best friend, my
confidant, for my whole life. I can be myself with you. You’re
interesting, introspective, and wiser than any other guy I’ve met. You’re
patient, beyond honest, and I know exactly where I stand with you. You’re
sexy and turn me on. I feel beautiful when I’m with you. You calm me and
give me strength. You aren’t a cheater. You have… a pure soul… I trust
We still had unanswered questions. I continued. “I’m a confused mess. I
want to keep acting even though I know you don’t like it. I have more
money than I know what to do with, and you’re uncomfortable with it. I
know that I want to dump you for your own good but I keep up this charade
because I don’t have the strength to be without you. I think there is
absolutely no reason why you’d want to stay by my side through this when
we are not even married. The vows ‘in sickness’ are for after we’re
married, not before. I know I should let you go but you’re so wonderful
that I worry someone else will love you and you’ll love them in return. I
push you away because I should. I keep you close because I’m selfish. I’m
not that great a person. Why do you want me, already broken and damaged at
He let go of my hand and put his hand on my cheek, “Because you’re my soul
mate. You stun me.” He moved his hand from my cheek to my elbow and my
body tingled and glowed. “That kiss when we played spin the bottle moved
me. Every kiss with you does that to me. I kissed a lot of girls trying to
get that feeling. I’ve only had it with you. It’s electric and warm. But
also, this is going to sound corny but our souls are on the same wave
length. My parents’ are too, as are Tom’s and Celia’s and my
grandparents’. We’ve got that. Our two hearts are one.”

Synopsis: Starlet's Light
Love. Trust. Acting. Cancer survivor-actress gives up the fight until she sees the light. Liana Marie writes her third memoir as she struggles with trust and commitment and shapes the role she plays.

I'm actress Liana Marie Michael and am dying. In my last two memoirs, I show how I'm the ideal Hollywood product. In writing Starlet's Web and Starlet's Run, I realized that the drama in our stories affects the lies in our real lives. The thin, young ideal of beauty is as much of a lie as the plot twists and dialogue we create to hide our insecurities.

In this memoir, I make a mess of my love life while shooting a film in Great Britain. I dump Manuel for his own good. I love him with all my heart. So how could I not when he has a bright future? My dad visits and puts my past in perspective. I spend weekends in the hospital. I learn to rely on Franz, Evan and Amelie. Yes, I hook up with my Swiss billionaire-heir friend Pierre even though I miss Manuel every minute. But it all makes sense, especially since I am so done with acting.

We are all flies and spiders in a web of stories. If I live a more authentic life, can love prevail despite my many faults? Can truth alter Hollywood's web?
Starlet's Light Excerpt

Dad carried me inside the cottage even though I could have walked.
“Which room do you want as yours?” He asked as he put me down. “I chose
the brightest one with the most windows.”
There were two of the five bedrooms I liked. “There’s five, right?”
“Yes, but I’m not sure I’d call one a bedroom. It’s a nursery.”
“Dad, I really am sorry about... I wasn’t in a good state of mind.”
He came back over to me from where he dropped my purse and bag full of
medicines and embraced me, careful not to squeeze too tight. Without
saying anything, he picked me up and carried me to the bedroom he thought
would be best for me. He laid me gently on the bed and opened the package
of a fresh blanket for me and put it on me. He smiled and pulled up a
chair next to the bed.
“I’m a fool coyote. Celia is my fox. Do you know my story?” He expressed
who he was without being a man of words.
“Are you the coyote who kills the giant?” I questioned. The Salish legend
of the coyote that kills the giant was my tribe’s most popular coyote
legend. But we had many coyote legends.
“No. I’m the one who kills the grouse’s children.”
I didn’t remember the legend, shook my head, and waited to listen.

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Author Bio
Carla J. Hanna lived in Santa Monica, CA where her children played with the children of celebrities. She mingled with plenty of nannies and a few good celebrity moms. Her award winning books, The Starlet Series, include Starlet's Man, Starlet's Web, Starlet's Run, & Starlet's Light. Starlet's End is scheduled to release September 2015, subject to change from publisher interest.

Giveaway: There is a giveaway for this tour$25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble Gift Card or Book Depository Spree; One (1) Necklace. Ends 5/1. 

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