Everyone is defined by their past to one extent or another. For Ellie Moor the question is what really happened? When your father is a rock star and your mother becomes a religious fanatic just as you are beginning high school, you are bound to end up a little confused. For fifteen years Ellie has been running from her past, but now she is asking questions and looking for answers. What she discovers is that sometimes you have to stand back and look beyond the cracks in order to see the full story
Targeted Age Group:: 16-60
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When I was a teenager I had a friend who hooked up with a guy in a band for a one night stand. The problem was that she was only fifteen at the time and when her parents found out the took the guy to court. He was from the Netherlands and swiftly deported, cutting his promising career short. I always wondered what happened to him.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters just pop into my head. Although this book was inspired by a real event all of the characters are fictional and truly nothing like anyone I knew or know now.
Sitting in the large, serene backyard of my sister’s beautiful home, it is hard not to believe in a higher power. I am surrounded by lush lawns, colorful flowers, and the tranquil sound of the waterfall cascading into the nearly Olympic sized swimming pool. Surely this is nirvana. The fact that I have climbed the high security fence and nearly killed myself in order to get in here, and then spent the night passed out on this chaise lounge rather than dialing the gate code I have purposefully not been given, would suggest otherwise. I love my sister and my sister loves me, but we don’t always see eye to eye.
Emily, like my brother Ethan, has a tendency to be hyper critical of the choices I make in my everyday life. Emily in particular feels I need to repair my relationship with God, and does not generally appreciate my sarcasm when discussing our shattered union. I maintain that her almighty God has a real mean streak, much like her first husband, Grant. Her second husband, Matt, although incredibly pleasant to look at, and occasionally charming, I suspect has a similar disposition. After all, I’m pretty sure he is the one who has told her not to give anyone, including, and possibly especially our family, the security code.
I am about to be discovered by Matt’s seven year old son, Milo. I love Milo even though we don’t really know each other all that well. Emily and Matt eloped about six months ago, and therefore we have only met over the Christmas holidays. We all shared what proved to be a somewhat tense, but also at times pleasant, family vacation in Lake Tahoe. It was Milo who taught me to snowboard. I was floored to discover that he is fearless when it comes to racing down the side of a snow covered mountain.
He rounds the corner dressed in shorts and a tee shirt, his thick dark hair curling against his collar. He has a year round tan, living in Los Angeles as he does, and the sleepy eyes of a rock star. He gets those from his father. Every other feature belongs to his mother, the supermodel, Christianna. Like her, he is beautiful. I could look at either one of them for hours on end. Not that I have ever actually seen his mother in anything but a magazine, or on a tabloid show. She and Matt have an icy relationship, or so the media has told me. All I really know is that Matt has full custody of Milo. Why that is, has never been explained to me.
Milo stops abruptly upon seeing me, obviously surprised.
“Hey,” I smile, finger combing my blonde hair, hoping I don’t look frighteningly disheveled.
“What are you doing here?” he asks.
“Can I be brutally honest with you? I’m not really sure. Last night this seemed the most logical place to come to, but this morning I have to wonder why.”
“Did you sleep outside?” he inquires.
“I did. I should probably leave and this should be our little secret. I don’t think Emily or your dad would be too happy to know I jumped the fence.”
“You jumped the fence?” he asks, clearly impressed.
“Wow, that’s a really big fence,” he says.
“So I discovered. I’m just going to go,” I say, starting to get up.
“Wait, you don’t want to say hello to your sister?”
“I need the bathroom, but I don’t want to get into a fight, and like I said, they won’t like that I jumped the fence.”
“But Ellie, why didn’t you just call the house and get them to let you in?” he asks, looking understandably confused.
“Kid, if I knew the answer to that, this would be a whole lot easier, wouldn’t it?”
He wrinkles his nose at me and shrugs his shoulders, before telling me that I could use the bathroom in the pool house. He also informs me it’s never locked and that I could have slept on the couch in there instead of outside.
“Well now you tell me,” I tease.
“Are you hungry?” he asks.
“Starving,” I admit, as my stomach growls just to emphasize the point.
“I could go sneak you some food,” he offers.
“I don’t want you to get into trouble.”
“I won’t. Emily and my dad are still sleeping.”
“So who is watching you?”
“Me,” he smiles. “I’m not a baby,” he proudly assures me.
“I really have to pee,” I say, heading for the pool house.
“Wait for me in there and I’ll bring you something,” he says, happily running off.
The pool house is tiny but cute. It consists of a small changing area with the aforementioned couch, and a bathroom that has a shower. A shower which is calling to me. There is a tall pile of plush white towels next to the sink, and I wonder if I could squeeze in a quick rinse off without getting caught. The water heater at my apartment building leaves a lot to be desired. Heat for example.
Milo returns with a plate of two cinnamon rolls, three big strawberries, and a glass of orange juice.
“I didn’t know if you eat sweets or just fruit,” he tells me.
“I love sweets, ” I say, all but inhaling the first cinnamon roll. “Are they still sleeping? Do you think I could sneak a quick shower?”
“Sure, I could be your look out,” he tells me.
I am madly in love with this child, and think to myself that Emily is an idiot to be sleeping and ignoring him. I pay him with the second cinnamon roll to stand guard while I take what turns out to be the most amazing shower I have had in years. Not only is the water pressure impressive, but it adjusts easily to the perfect temperature. I could stay in here all day, but not wanting to get caught, I force myself to cut it short, vowing to be back another time.
I thank Milo for his hospitality, and then hoist myself back over the fence, agreeing with Milo that this will remain our little secret. Two blocks away, I pass the house of the asshole I ran away from the night before. Michael Broman is a music producer who has worked with a variety of hip hop artists, and who had invited my friend, (I barely know her) Jessica, and me back to his place to continue the party we had started at Chow’s nightclub, the latest “it” club in LA. It was all fun and games when we were dancing and drinking, but when he literally threw me on the floor and suggested we get freaky, I knew I was out of my league, and liable to get hurt.
Trying to remain calm, I told him I wanted nothing more, excused myself to use the bathroom, and then beat it out of there, running for my life, not only from him, but from the two nasty Doberman Pinschers he has patrolling his grounds. Fortunately for me, I had some stale cookies in my pocket that I threw back at the dogs, momentarily distracting them. It’s amazing how much adrenalin can course through even an alcohol soaked body like mine, when you feel your life may truly be in danger.
The dogs bark and growl in a menacing manor as I pass by, but I flip them off and call them failures, continuing on down the hill towards civilization.
I feel a little guilty for having deserted Jessica the night before, but then for all I know, she could have deserted me first. Although there were several people still drinking, smoking, and laughing way to loud at the time Big Mike decided we should get freaky, I didn’t actually see her around.
Finally reaching Ventura Blvd, exhausted, and with aching feet, I swear to myself that my partying days are behind me. I may still get carded everywhere I go, but despite my youthful appearance, I am not all that young anymore. It’s time I listen to my family and grow up. Before committing to that fully however, I call my most recent ex-boyfriend, Jeremy, and ask him to come pick me up from the McDonalds next to Trader Joe’s.
Jeremy is a studio engineer whom I met two years ago in Nashville when Emily was recording her fourth Christian CD. She’d asked me to come in and sing back up on Love From Heaven, along with our Dad, the rock star. Our dad is Alexander Moor, of the Alexander Moor band. He’s been a musician his entire life, and although his band has never had the tremendous success they’d hoped for here in the United States, they have sold out concerts, and topped the charts throughout Europe and Asia since before I was born. Jeremy was, and still is I’m sure, a big fan of my father’s band. We hit it off when I first accused him of being star struck. He said I couldn’t blame him and I said I might.
He is cute in that boyish way of his. His sandy light brown hair has a tendency to fall across his forehead despite his constantly pushing it back, and his casual demeanor puts people at ease. We began flirting right away, went out a couple of times, and then hooked up again last year when he moved out to LA. There for a while I thought he might be “the one”, but he says I’m a lot of work, and although that’s probably true, his declaring it, soured me on him. We broke up six weeks ago because he’s always working, never wants to go anywhere when he’s not, and isn’t interested in a relationship that requires so much work. He thinks if we were truly meant for each other, things would be easier.
Fortunately for me, on this particular morning, that has of course turned to afternoon, he is not working, and agrees to give me a ride home. As soon as I get into his car however, he gives me a knowing and somewhat dismissive look. He shakes his head as he pulls into traffic and says he’s not even going to ask.
“Good, because it’s none of your business,” I mutter.
“Except it is, because you have called me and dragged me into it,” he sighs.
“I’ve asked for a ride home, and you’ve agreed to give it to me. That’s all,” I insist.
“Sure, okay, whatever.”
I am currently renting a small (and by small, I mean the size of a tiny closet) one bedroom apartment in Silver Lake, which is not nearly as trendy as people make it out to be. In fact, at times I find it to be downright scary. Take today for example, when Jeremy stops the car across the street from my apartment. It’s housed in a tired old building, on a tired old street, with tenants who tend to look tired and old. When Jeremy and I were living there together, it felt far less skuzzy, but in the six weeks that he has been gone, I think it’s gone steadily downhill.
“Ellie,” he says, turning to face me, “be careful, will you?”
“Has this building always been shit?” I ask.
“No, well,” he considers, “maybe a little, but that’s not what I mean. I mean I don’t want to hear that something bad has happened to you.”
“That makes two of us,” I say, slouching down in my seat, not wanting to get out of the car.
Suddenly last night feels as scary as it should have felt at the time. That prick was not nice, and I know without a doubt that I am lucky to have gotten out of there unharmed.
“What is wrong with me?” I ask, starting to cry.
“I wish I knew. You have to stop partying and take responsibility for your life. You are a beautiful, talented girl who is wasting the life God has given you.”
“I know,” I sob.
“Figure out what you want to do, and who you want to be, before it’s too late, Elle,” he advises.
“You loved me for a while anyway, right?” I sniffle.
“Shit ,” he says, pulling me into his arms. “Of course I did. I do. I’m always going to love you Babe, I just can’t live with you. Why do you think I don’t want anything to happen to you?”
“I know I have to get it together, but I don’t even know where to begin,” I confess.
“So go inside and figure it out.”
I’m not sure when he says inside, if he just wants me to get out of his car, or if he wants me to dig deep, but either way I dry my eyes, thank him for the ride, and go across the street to my apartment. Jeremy drives away as I’m still standing on the sidewalk, staring up at this 1970’s building I have come to hate. I can’t stand to go inside, and wind up calling my dad, and crying to him that my life is in ruins… again!
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