When the celebrity spotlight burns too hot to handle, Hollywood’s elite Pampered Princesses battle for the ultimate crown. But once their secrets are exposed, who will be the last teen diva standing?
She’s finally free of her overbearing mother and too much heartbreak. Now supermodel London Phillips is going to get back her billionaire ex—on her own terms. But settling old scores and destroying her former bestie, Rich Montgomery, could wreck her best shot at happiness . . .
After all the high-maintenance stunts she’s pulled, Rich will do even worse to hang onto her thug in shining armor. But obsessive jealousy and an unexpected shocker will detonate mega-drama—and spiral her life way out of control . . .
Dirty little secrets deployed for maximum damage are Spencer Ellington’s specialty. But when she digs up her family’s skeletons it could blow up in her pretty face—and destroy more than she imagined . . .
Still reeling from betrayal and a crash-and-burn comeback, Heather Cummings has nada to lose. And if her reckless moves to become the ultimate queen-B lays total waste to the Pampered Princesses, may the most ruthless diva win . . .
About the Author
Amir Abrams is a regular dude with a dream. Born in Brooklyn, Amir has a thing for fresh kicks, fly whips, and all things Polo. For Amir, writing teen fiction was never something he imagined himself doing until he started working with Ni-Ni Simone on the Hollywood High series. In addition to the Hollywood High series, he is also the author of Crazy Love, The Girl of His Dreams, Caught Up, Diva Rules, and Chasing Butterflies. You can hit him up at email@example.com, on Facebook at itsyaboyamir, or follow him on Twitter @ItsyaboyAmir.
Read an Excerpt
Is trashy-ratchet the new chic? Well, my little daaaahlings ... ask Heather Cummings. The sixteen-soon-to-be-seventeen-year-old reality-TV star was spotted coming out of Thug Hitz, a recording studio on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (known for giving birth to some of hip-hop's grimiest beats) last night, showcasing her porn-star body in an extremely daring low-cut cheetah-print bodysuit. Boobs and booty spilled out of the skimpy outfit. Can we say... camel toe and yeast?
The teen star, most remembered for her role as Wu-Wu on the now-defunct television series The Wu-Wu Tanner Show, paired the risqué ensemble with a pair of mink-fur thigh-high boots and had what appeared to be a blunt — or one very long, very fat cigar — dangling from her purple-painted lips, which appeared heavily shellacked with loads of gloss. Heather's sidekick, Co-Co Ming, known for his flamboyant fashion sense and over-the-top theatrics, wore a cheetah-print thong with a bolero-type jacket and a pair of animal print mules. The two cohorts gave onlookers and passersby an impromptu show filled with raunchy hip shaking, rhythmic foot stomping, pelvis thrusting, and lots of booty clapping in the middle of the street, stopping traffic and causing what police in the Baldwin Village section of Los Angeles County labeled a mini-riot.
When Heather and her entourage were asked to disperse from the streets, the reality-TV star gave police her middle fingers then turned her back to the cameras and brazenly bent over and slapped her voluptuous derriere and yelled, "Kiss what my ex-friend paid for."
A source closest to the teen confirmed that said ex-friend was none other than teen socialite Spencer Ellington, the daughter of famed TV producer and host of the internationally popular talk show Dish the Dirt, who'd generously donated ten grand to sponsor Heather's comeback from flat-back to Baby Got Back...
"Why that little tramp!" I heard Kitty hiss as I sauntered into the kitchen, where I found her — uh, my so-called mother — sitting at the table sipping a cup of coffee as she slung a magazine across the room. Lawdgawdjeezus. It was simply too early in the morning to have to share air space with her, but I was willing to pardon her antics — this time. God, she was such a ... a ... a dang joy kill.
But being the loving and kind daughter that I was, I rolled my eyes and snidely asked, "What tramp trampled on your little peanut patch now, Mother?"
I tilted my head and stared her down.
There was a long pause.
She eyed me, nostrils flaring like a wild bear ready to eat its prey alive. Ooh, I loved it when Kitty had that rabid look in her eyes, snarling and gnashing her teeth. It made me want to dial 9-1-1 and Animal Control, then sit back and watch them tranquilize her before dragging her into a cage, and then taking her out into the desert and letting her out into the wild, where she belonged.
Oh, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty ...
It was no secret around these parts that she and I had a very ugly and tumultuous relationship. She didn't know how to be gracious and kind. Nor did she know how to be — or ever had want to be — a mother. So her role as one was nonexistent. And, clearly, I'd been her meal ticket right after she'd married Daddy, Dr. Ellington, nearly seventeen years ago. She reeled him in with all of her cunning seduction and bedroom trickery, then sank her fangs into his loins. Mmmph. Kitty was nothing but a laundry bag of soiled panty-sets. Yet I had to give it to the conniving hag. She was wealthy, powerful, and — almost — beautiful if she wasn't so dang ugly inside. But I wasn't one to be messy. Heeheehee. So I wasn't going to slay her for the dragon she was. No, no, no. I was going to stay loving and kind.
Anyway, from what I've sorted through from all of Daddy's muddled rumblings (these days his mind is getting muddier and muddier with delusions, thanks to that nasty Alzheimer's disease snatching his brain cells and stripping him of his sanity) over the last several weeks, Kitty had been nothing but a broke-down nobody before he'd rescued her from her meager beginnings, somewhere deep in the swamps. Kitty never liked talking about her past, so I was doing my own family tree, raking up leaves and digging up roots. So far, I'd come up with nothing! Zilch! Nada! It was like the woman never existed. But that was another dirty, laborious story.
Ooh. I had to remember to lay a few good coins across the collection plate the next time I drove by Pastor Too Fly's house of worship. Ooh, he was some kind of fine, hunky man-wolf. He liked them young, hot, and tender. He even had my ex-bestie, Rich Montgomery, penned up in his confession booth a few times. She walked in a saint but wobbled out a sinner.
Kitty kept her gaze locked on mine. And I'd had enough. I had to get to school, before Rich started her red-carpet ritual of holding court — a press conference she had every morning in front of Hollywood High, where she droned on and on about (yawn) nothing or no one except herself in front of anyone who'd be bored enough to listen. And right about now, I'd rather be there with my ears bleeding out than standing here.
I stamped my foot, then slammed my manicured hands up on my fabulous hips. "Well, goshdangit! Are you going to answer me or not? Or are we going to play the stare-down game this morning? You know looking at you for any extended period of time wears my retinas out and makes my eyeballs ache."
Kitty sneered at me. "Shut it, Spencer. I'm not in the mood for your craziness this morning. That damn Heather is back at it again. Every time I turn around, that demon child is somewhere turning up with her goddamn trickery."
I narrowed my eyes. "And whose fault is that? I told you not to give that junkyard junkie a television show, but nooooooo! Kitty thinks she's the cat's meeeeeeooow and does what she wants to do. Now look at you. All tore up because your little trash project is doing what she does best. Be trashy. She's nothing but a hapless buffoon. And you, Kitty, are nothing but the court jester."
Kitty rolled her eyes. "Spencer, darling, isn't it your feeding time?" She put a hand up. "Oh, wait, dear. Sssh. Do you hear it?" She cupped her ear with a hand. "Wait for it. Hear it? It's the sound of a belt buckle hitting the ground somewhere across the border." Her diamond bangles clinked as she clapped her hands. "Yes, my darling, yes. It's your feeding time. And there's some horny boy wearing a sombrero and cowboy boots under some stairwell waiting to —"
"You wait one flimflam flucking moment, Kitty. Don't you dare disrespect me! I don't feed until after two p.m., so get it right! And I don't do it under —"
She slammed her coffee mug down on the table. "You little twit," she snapped. "Don't start. For once in your spoiled, self-absorbed life, can you show your mother a little compassion? Can I get a moment of solitude so I can think? I've been nothing but good to you and that damn pill-popping trick, Heather. And time after time, all you do is disrespect me and test me. Both of you have done nothing but try to ruin my good name."
Now it was my turn to do the eye roll. "Oh, Kitty, lick mothballs." I smacked my Chanel-glossed lips together. "What has that junkie whore done this time?" I asked, feigning ignorance. But unaware I was not. I was Spencer Ellington, for heaven's sake! Mmmph. As if the universe didn't already know. It was my life's mission to know everything good and dirty about tramps like Heather.
As usual, Little Miss Train Wreck was all things foul and foolish. Just hungry for attention any way she could get it. Her self-esteem was just a-floating around in the toilet. Poor thing. It'd been bad enough she pulled that desperate stunt at Rich's sweet seventeen (although there was nothing sweet about that troll) birthday bash several weeks ago. Mmmph. Up on stage rapping about Richard Montgomery being her father. Ha! Lies! Rich's dad was an old, nasty horndog, spreading his loin juice all across the seven continents.
Heather Suzanne Cummings and Rich Fat Girl Montgomery sisters?
Bwahahahaha. What a mismatch if I ever saw one. One was light bright like a knockoff Rainbow Brite doll. And the other was ... well, she was ... well, uh, she was an oversized Barbie with wide hips and a kangaroo pouch. Cute though. Real cute, like one of those cuddly little koala bears.
But I wasn't the one to spill any good tea, so I was going to leave that brew right in the kettle and let it steep. Still, the highlight of that night was seeing Rich's ole fluffy butt cheeks hit the floor in dramatic, over-the-top fashion. That trick would do anything for a photo op. Even fake a faint.
God, she was so shameless!
Mmmph. All I needed that night was a box of lightly buttered popcorn, a bag of Twizzlers, some gummy bears, and a Sprite and my sugar and butter rush would have been on fleek. I'd already had the front-row seat. People oohing and aahing and pointing. Cameras clicking. Lights flashing. The paparazzi rushing toward the stage for close-ups. Logan Montgomery, Rich's ratchet mother, snatching Heather by her long, booty-sweeping ponytail and slinging her to the floor, with one red-bottomed heel pressed down on Heather's neck, her arm extended back, hand in a closed fist — ready to punch ole Miss Heather's eyeballs in.
Ooh wee, yass! It was pandemonium at its best. I loved it. You should have seen the caption in the next day's news:
FIRST LADY OF HIP-HOP, WIFE OF HIP-HOP MOGUL RICHARD MONTGOMERY, AKA THE LEGENDARY M.C. WICKEDNESS, READY TO KNUCKLE UP IN A BIRTHDAY BRAWL WITH TEEN REALITY-TV STAR AT DAUGHTER'S 17 BIRTHDAY BASH!
Ooooh, yassss, yasss! The scene that unfolded before everyone's eyes that night was a delicious sight. I couldn't wait to get home so I could sit back and light up one of my cherry-flavored hookah pens and sip a chocolate martini while I watched the videos that had been splattered all over social media. Rich's mom's — with her ole roguish self — had gone viral. And the slow-motion versions of Rich hitting the floor with sound effects were ridiculously hilarious.
Kitty huffed. "Are you that dense, Spencer?" she asked, yanking me from my reverie. "Have you not been following her? It's all over the blogs."
I shrugged. "I don't care enough to want to know," I lied. "Heather and I aren't friends anymore. She turned her back on me. Gave me — the one who'd been the most loving and kind to her — her precious booty cheeks to kiss, the ones I paid for."
Kitty sighed. "Oh, Spencer, get over it. Be thankful you were able to give back to the flat-assed and less fortunate. It was a charitable act, a tax write- off. So woman up! Stop quivering over a few measly coins and count your blessings, darling. You gave that wretched girl hope. A new lease on life, a reason to carry on.
"See," Kitty continued, picking up her cell phone and punching in her password, "that's what happens when drunkards spawn children. They give birth to a generation of churlish, unruly demons. And Heather Cummings is just that — a wild, heathenish, attention-whore; just like her mother, Camille, had been all those many years ago, when the world cared enough about her once-glorious movie career. Now look at her. A woman who spends her days and nights wearing sheer nightgowns and six-inch mules with a bottle in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and an Oscar covered in dust and cobwebs on the mantelpiece. She's an old, dusty relic, Spencer dear. So don't harbor ill will toward her daughter. Heather is who she is thanks to her drunken mammy and her invisible daddy. The poor girl is broken. And you should never kick a wounded bird in the neck when it's already down."
She dialed Heather's number. The phone rang three times, then went straight to voice mail. Kitty called again and got the same thing. She called a third time, left a scathing voice message. Then called again.
"This stinking troll," she hissed. "I know the little tramp is ducking my calls, but I will drag her by her edges and roast her on an open pit the moment I lay eyes on her. I. Am. Not. The. One. I will destroy what little career the junkie twit might think she has."
I rolled my eyes.
Kitty could be real stalkerish, almost cuckoo-crazy with intent when she sank her teeth into something she wanted. The media mogul hadn't become a worldwide brand by putting up with shenanigans. No. She'd gotten to the proverbial top by slicing throats and chopping off heads. And sleeping with a few dirty old men — but I'm not messy and I don't gossip, so moving along. Heeheehee. But, anyway... I wanted to be the one to hand her the hatchet and watch her hacksaw Heather's scalp clean off her head.
But wait ...
"Camille, Kitty here," I heard her say as I poured myself a glass of orange juice. I took a sip, then plucked two large strawberries from a ceramic bowl on the table in the breakfast nook. I bit into the delicious fruit, then swiped my tongue over my lips to catch its sweet juices. My body shook. And I felt —
"I don't know what kind of games that tricked-out daughter of yours is pulling," Kitty continued, "but she's not answering her phone. And now neither are you. It's about seven-oh-one in the morning. I do hope you're not somewhere drunk and drooling. But, anyway, I need you and Heather at my office today. This afternoon. Three p.m., sharp! Not three-oh-one, not three-oh-two. Three p.m. Got it? Now get up. Wring out your liver. Fluff your hair. Powder your pasty cheeks. And get yourself in gear! I've already invested too much of my time and my goddamn coins on Heather. And, my darling Camille, know this: I will not keep sponsoring some slutty wild child. I already have one of my own."
What the —
Oh, how dare she!
I plucked another strawberry and popped it in my mouth, then sashayed over toward Kitty and tossed my orange juice in her face.
Fine, fly, and forever fabulous ...
That was the mantra I'd lived by for most of my life. I'd lived and breathed it. And in my mind's eye, that was what I used to be. Or at least what I thought I was. Because I'd been told that I had to be. That it was expected of me. So I embraced the lie.
And yet no matter how many times I repeated those words, no matter how many times they spun around in my head, until I finally thought I believed every word, it was still never enough. I'd still feel like there was something missing. And then the lights came on, and I began to see my life clearly for the very first time. Everything I thought I was, everything I pretended to be ... it was all make-believe. I'd been pretending to be something I didn't feel and didn't believe.
And still I walked European runways and through the marbled halls of my elite school with my head held high, back straight, pelvis thrust, one foot in front of the other, poised and ready. Always ready.
My mother, Jade Phillips — yeah, that Jade Phillips. Renowned supermodel. Yeah, her. Anyway, she'd drill into my head from when I was a little girl that a girl had to always stay ready. Be ready to snatch the moment. The spotlight. The click of the camera. And she'd taught me, very well, how to live the illusion, how to be the illusion.
Fine, fly, and forever fabulous ...
At that moment, my phone rang.
I stared at the screen for a second, then pressed IGNORE. It was Spencer. Why on earth would Spencer Ellington be calling me? That girl loathed me. And I wasn't any fan of hers either. She was as cunning and sly as she was crazy. And someone I would never, ever, trust.
From the moment I stepped foot into Hollywood High, Spencer and I hadn't seen eye to eye. She was too obsessed with Rich and hated the fact that Rich and I had been close friends — for a very short while. Until that meddling bish, Spencer, ruined it.
I'd had Rich wrapped around my manicured fingers, and Spencer couldn't stand it. She'd be somewhere lurking, always in Rich's ear, filling her pumpkin head up with lies and speculations. Okay, well, maybe not all lies. Well, okay, okay. There'd been no lies told. But I hadn't been all that forthright with Rich either.
But heck — neither had she.
This was Hollywood, for Christ's sakes. Everyone was dishonest and disloyal to a fault. Tinseltown was wrapped in the glitter of lies and deceit and illusions of happily-ever-after.
A minute later, my phone beeped. A message. I sighed, rolling my eyes. But decided to replay it anyway.
Spencer's voice blared through my speakers, nearly piercing my eardrums. "Lonnnnnndon. Ohhh, Lonnnnnndon. I know you saw me calling you. Is that your hearse in front of me, driving like three- point-five miles a minute? Where are you off to now, the cemetery? Do you have another playdate with the grim reaper?"
I held my breath.
Excerpted from "Divas Don't Cry"
Copyright © 2018 Ni-Ni Simone and Amir Abrams.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 - Spencer,
2 - London,
3 - Rich,
4 - London,
5 - Heather,
6 - Spencer,
7 - Heather,
8 - Spencer,
9 - Rich,
10 - London,
11 - Heather,
12 - London,
13 - Spencer,
14 - Heather,
15 - Rich,
16 - Spencer,
17 - Heather,
18 - London,
19 - Spencer,
20 - London,
21 - Heather,
22 - Rich,
23 - London,
24 - Spencer,
25 - London,
26 - Rich,
27 - Spencer,
28 - London,
29 - Spencer,
30 - London,
31 - Spencer,
32 - Rich,
33 - London,
34 - Rich,
35 - Heather,
36 - London,
37 - Spencer,
38 - Heather,
39 - London,
40 - Rich,
41 - Spencer,
42 - London,
43 - Spencer,
44 - Spencer,
45 - Rich,
46 - Heather,
47 - Heather,
48 - Rich,
49 - London,
50 - Rich,
51 - Spencer,
52 - London,
53 - Rich,
54 - Heather,
EPILOGUE - Spencer,