Heartbroken and humiliated, teen supermodel London Phillips is done with her pity party and ready to move on. But between the mean-spirited media, a shocking realization about her billionaire ex, and a vengeful obsession, London's discovering that while confessions are good for the soul, deception is so much sweeter...
When it comes to juggling her cuties, Rich Montgomery is the queen. But now she's fallen for a bad boy who comes with more drama than she ever did-and her fairytale love affair soon turns into a nightmare. Will she find a way out, or will pride get the best of her?
Spencer Ellington could teach an advanced class in revenge. So when she's shunned by her frenemy, Heather Cummings, again, backstabbed by her bestie, Rich, and sucked into her parents' sordid antics, she's ready to roll up her designer sleeves and pull out all the stops. After all, frenemies fight. Divas wage war...
"The girls and the secondary characters of Hollywood High are never shy of drama."
-APOOO Book Club
About the Author
Ni-Ni Simone is a Jersey girl with an obsession for reality TV and celebrity gossip. She never intended to write teen fiction, but her editor and the literary gods had other plans. She whipped up her first novel, Shortie Like Mine, in two weeks, and has been in love with writing ever since. Shortie was the first of Ni-Ni’s books to be selected by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and it’s also a Virginia Readers’ Choice Selection. When she’s not writing, Ni-Ni is soaking up inspiration from music, TV, and most of all, the teens out there hanging tough no matter what comes their way. Ni-Ni lives in North Jersey with her husband and their children. Visit her online at ninisimone.com, on Facebook @ NiNiSimoneOfficialFanPage, and follow her on Twitter @ IamNiNiSimone.
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
Heels, Heartache & Headlines Hollywood HIGH
By NI-NI SIMONE, AMIR ABRAMS
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2017 Ni-Ni Simone and Amir Abrams
All rights reserved.
"Spencer, darling ..."
Lawdgawd, sweetbabyjeezus ... hang me upside down and have your way with me, right now. I beg you, lawdgawd, do me until my eyes cross ...
Oooh, I wished I could click my heels three times and blink this trick-momma out of my life. Kitty knew I hated seeing her face on an empty stomach or be. Fore. Noon. She knew this the way I knew my way around a boy's man parts. But there she stood, face lightly brushed with whore paint, hand on hip, ringlets of light brown hair cascading over her shoulders, her signature scent — Freak Nasty — wafting around the room, trying to bore holes through me with her piercing, long-lashed hazel eyes.
This two-dollar stamp tramp!
This, this, snot-licking skank!
I couldn't stand her.
Kitty Ellington. Media mogul. Billion-dollar pain in my juicy ...
"Spencer! Do you hear me talking to you?"
I batted my lashes. Batted them again. "No, lady. I'm ignoring you." I slid my diamond hoops into my ears, fastening them closed. Then fastened my diamond choker around my neck.
"Not today, Spencer, darling. Not. To. Day." She sashayed her ole stank, hooker-looking self over toward me. "I need you to play nice, for once. Do you think you can do that for me, dear? That nutty London Phillips is due back at school this morning, and from what I'm hearing, she's looking more fabulous than ever, but I can only imagine how long that'll last before she's collapsing on bathroom floors and sliding down runways, ready to end it over some boy, again. I want an exclusive on that dizzy little trick before she throws herself over ..."
I fastened the clasp to my diamond tennis bracelet. Not. Saying. One. Word. Kitty knew I despised London. I hated her more than I did cheap heels and knockoff handbags. London was low money. Ole tight drawers. Upper East Side trash! She was a sneaky, two-faced liar. She was a schemer. And I wanted to destroy her. Annihilate her. Chase her back to the gutters of New York, where she belonged with the rest of the sewer rats. I wanted to air her filthy Guia La Bruna panties for all to see!
But I was happy she'd gotten her mind right and her life together and stopped dancing with the grim reaper. That horrible suicide attempt of hers made my heart ache. That selfish slore almost robbed me of the chance to do her in. Oh, how the thought of not being able to drag her through the gutters had me depressed for almost two hours, thirty-eight minutes, and forty-three seconds.
But — me being my kind, loving self — I marched right over to her little cottage of a home, barged my way into the makeshift grave site she called a bedroom suite, and nursed her weary soul back to health.
I sure did.
Every. Torturous. Day. I went to her bearing gifts and cards and the latest gossip rags that had her miserable-looking self plastered all over the front pages. I sat with her. Read her nursery rhymes. And filled her muddy little mind with sweet promises on how I was going to ruin her.
But, first, I needed her well. I needed her off of that IV drip — that, that juice in a bag. And I needed her out of those filthy nightgowns. Oh, how I wish you could have seen her sprawled out on her imaginary deathbed — face sunken in, hair all matted, wallowing in her pathetic-ness, starving herself to death, waiting for the grim reaper to snatch her last breath.
Ha! The joke was on her!
The grim reaper was clowning her. He wasn't coming for her. No, hon. Death didn't want her. And the pearly gates to heaven were sealed shut. I told her so. Told her she might as well accept her fate here on earth. I let her know she was an epic fail for trying to hurt herself like that! And I told her I would never step on her neck and crush her windpipe while she was down. Oh no. That wasn't how I did mine. I told Miss Lonely I was there to see her through whatever she was going through. That I didn't ever break bones or throw stones at hookers who were already stretched out on their backs. No. I built them up, then tore them down.
I sure did. And in London's time of need, I was the only one there for her. And I'd let it be known that I needed her to fight. I needed her to find her will to live. I needed her donned in her good heels and good jewels. I needed her back at Hollywood High so I could finally slap her in the face with her tombstone. And drop her dead!
And today was the big day. The welcoming, if you will. I was going to greet London back to school with a smile, then pull her into my loving arms and whisper sweet and low in her big, floppy ear, "Buckle up, bish. It's on now."
But I didn't need Kitty standing here telling me to play nice. I knew how to play. Getting down and dirty was my favorite game.
"I tell you," Kitty continued, snatching me out of my reverie. "They don't make women like they used to. You little thots aren't built like we were back in my day. We knew how to steal a man from his woman, love him down, then take a good heartbreak ..."
I rolled my eyes, then tilted my head as I brushed my hair and stared at her through my mirror. "Um, excuse you, ma'am. But ... who are you?"
She huffed. "Oh, for the love of god, you rotten little demon child. Have you not heard a word I've said?"
"Actually not, lady," I said calmly. "I told you. I'm ignoring you."
She sucked in a breath. "Must we go through this production of crazy every day? I swear, Spencer, sometimes I think you were abducted by aliens, then sent back here just to torment me and get on my damn nerves with your dimwit shenanigans. God, I should have you spayed before you start laying eggs. Spawning another you would be a travesty."
I craned my neck and shot her an icy glare. "Oh, blow it out of your crusty dust pipes, you ole sea horse. Now good day. See yourself out."
Instead of spinning on her heels, she stood there and laughed. "Oh, Spencer, darling. Just once can't you pretend you have more than air pockets in that pretty little head of yours? Oh, wait." She snapped her fingers. "You were dropped on your head as an infant. Remind me to sue the hospital and file a malpractice suit against that incompetent Doctor Hodgkins for not performing that lobotomy on you, as I requested. I knew someday this would happen."
I sighed. I was really trying to be loving and kind, but this lady was trying to wreck my vibe and snatch me from my happy place.
Kitty and I were like dirty oil and hot butter. One was delicious on a stack of buttermilk pancakes or slathered across a sweet roll. And the other was sludge at the bottom of a murky river. No, no. Sewage, that's what she was.
Kitty and I just weren't a good mix.
She was rancid! A toxic fume!
I was warm, sweet, and buttery.
I forced a smile, but inside my guts clutched and churned. Kitty was more rotten than a skunk bear. Uh, a wolverine for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about. Geesh! Must I spell out everything I say?
Annnyway. Kitty and I were due for another cat brawl. She knew it. And I knew it. And I was itching to pounce on her and give it to her good. Real good. Push it real good!
Oh, how Kitty and I were tearing each other up, like the good ole days when we used to roll around on the floor, kicking, clawing, smacking, and biting each other up when I was eight and nine years old. But Daddy robbed us of that good, old-fashioned beat-down we'd had a few weeks back when he came barging into the kitchen in a pair of overalls and pointy-toed, lizard cowboy boots with a cigar dangling from his lips, shooting up the ceiling with a shotgun.
Hmmph. Kitty and I stood there with plaster raining down on our heads as he started talking crazy out of his mind, calling Kitty some Cleola Mae. Poor thing. Bless his heart. Daddy suffers from that old, nasty mind disease Alzheimer's. So he sometimes gets people, places, and things confused.
But for some reason, the look in Daddy's eye that day — when he said Kitty ... my mother ... was some dang Cleola Mae from Leflore County, Mississippi. Wanted for murder. Made me think his little cluttered mind might not be so jumbled after all. And that perhaps his foolish accusations needed further investigation.
Although Kitty laughed it off, claiming Daddy's alzy-palzy had him delirious, I wasn't completely buying it. Something wasn't right. There was something more going on there. And I was going to get to the bottom of it. Oh yes. Kitty was about to become my next target practice. Real soon.
But for now, I was going to play nice. And toy with her, like I did with all of my prey. Yes, hon. Kitty had it coming, but not yet.
She opened her mouth to speak, but I threw a hand up. "Save it. I'm not in the mood for any of your motherly lies or slutty monologues. So. Don't. Do. Me. Not today, hon."
"Why, you little ungrateful nitwit! Will you for once just shut your flytrap and listen to me. Or would you rather I have you committed? I keep warning you, Spencer. This kind of talk will land you in a padded room strapped to a gurney. Now shut your frothy piehole. I need you —"
I slammed my hairbrush down on my marble vanity, ready to give her the business. "And I need you to disappear, lady. I'm here minding my own business, trying to beautify myself for school, and all you want to do is block my dang shine. I swear I don't wanna lay hands on you this morning, Kitty" — I cracked my knuckles, then cracked my neck — "but I will open up the Church of Smack Down and bless you." I raised a hand in the air and waved it. "I will open the gates of hell and slap the fire out of you, you heathen. Then drown you in a bottle of that good communion wine they use to wash away one's sins. Goshdiggitydangit. Now try me. I will slam your casket shut!"
I paused, glaring at her. Then took another deep breath, trying to get my Zen together. "Oooh, you're lucky I'm in a good mood this morning; otherwise I'd do you a favor and give you a face-lift. You know I don't like your negative energy anywhere in my space, you inconsiderate sea gnome. How rude."
She clapped her manicured hands together. "Bravo, my darling. Now do me a favor and save the drama for those little troll dolls you call friends."
I glared at her through the mirror. This dumbo! Lawdgawd, help me make it to school without clawing her eyes out. Amen! "I don't have friends, hon. I have frenemies. Get it right. Now, how may I help you, ma'am?"
"You insolent little snot," she sneered. "You can help me by shutting your mouth. Well, dear, that's if you can stay up off your knees long enough to do one thing for me. I know burying your face in some boy's lap is your life's work."
I blinked. Blinked again.
"I swear," she huffed, shaking her head. "You and your whorish ways are an embarrassment. Haven't you learned anything from me? Always be a classy lady in the streets and a dirty whore in the sheets, behind closed doors. Not some trampazoid on display in YouTube videos and on Snapchat. As pretty as you are, Spencer darling, you're even more despicable. You're a messy little whore."
Did the queen of sleazy call moi a whore?
Yes, she did!
Oh, no! Screech! Spin the wheel! Kitty had gone too dang far. Yes, I liked to give a little sloppy toppy — you know, drop down and lick 'em low — in the pool house, on a private jet, and in the girls' lounge at school from time to time. And then there was that one time atop the Swiss Alps when I had the headmaster's son at Le Rosey, the exclusive private school I'd attended — before I got expelled — clawing the rocks and howling like a wolf.
Yessss, honey. It was no secret. I liked a boy with a lot of mayonnaise in his meat basket. There was nothing like the sound of a belt buckle hitting the floor. It was like music to my ears. But Spencer and the word whore didn't belong in the same sentence. Ever. Oh no, oh no! That title was reserved for my future ex-bestie.
Ugh. God, I loved that girl like I loved panda bears and unicorns. But, once again, she was up to her old tricklicious ways, shacking with some slum dog.
I glanced over at the crystal clock on my stand: 6:38 a.m. Right now she was probably somewhere rolled up in the sheets like some piggy in a corn wrap, slopping up her latest man toy.
Mmmph. Rich. Don't even get me started on that rotted peach. I'm a changed woman. And I don't like being cruel to hookers, hoes, and strays on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So with that being said, I wasn't about to go into any of her deviant trysts. But that poor hyena in a G-string and ballerina flats was allergic to latex. Heeheehee. Trampazoid! Trick!
Rich Montgomery was sly as a fox, but as dirty as a hen. But because she was still my bestie — for now, that was — I wasn't going to pluck her feathers or snap her beak. Or say an unkind word about her behind her back. No. Not today. And definitely not while I had a two-legged dragon to slay.
Well, two dragons, that is. London and Heather. Yes, Heather Cummings. I had a few arrows and poisoned-tipped darts with her name on them also. That Skid Row skeezer. After all I'd done for her — cutting her a check for three million dollars when she was down and out and living in some roach trap; buying her a Lamborghini; and sponsoring her trip to Brazil to get that luscious ten-thousand-dollar booty she now sported in all them skimpy little hooker getups — and she'd, once again, turned on me. She practically peeled off her slut-suit and tossed her stained panty liner in my face. Then told me to kiss her fatty. The one I financed. So, yes, Heather had it coming too.
But, first, I'd play nice. Like I always did.
I blinked Kitty back into view, then glanced over at the clock: 6:52. I was late. Kitty had taken up enough of my precious morning time.
I hopped up from my vanity, quickly slid my feet into a pair of Stuart Weitzmans Guild stilettos, then snatched up my Hermès bag, knocking Kitty out of my way as I raced out of my suite, then down the hall toward the winding staircase.
I had hoes to take down.
I had to get to Hollywood High.CHAPTER 2
Now what was it my therapist said I should be working on?
No, that wasn't it. I'd been doing that very well. Transferring my emotional reactions toward everyone else onto my therapist. My anger. My rage. My resentments. All tossed into her lap, every session, every chance I got.
Forgiveness? I thought, reaching for a bottle of Kona Ni-gari Water from the fully stocked marble wet bar as I sat in the backseat of my chauffeur-driven limousine en route to the ultra-exclusive private school I attended.
Hollywood High Academy.
The devil's dirty little playground, where reputation and image was everything. Who you knew and what you owned and where you lived all defined you. And being on top didn't mean a damn thing unless you knew how to stay there.
And right about now, I felt like I'd been tossed into its bottomless pit, standing knee-deep in hellfire, trying to claw my way up from out of the flames. My reputation of being fine, fly, and eternally fabulous was forlornly being burned to ashes, thanks to the recent filth the gossip rags and those trashy bloggers were spewing about me in the headlines.
LONDON PHILLIPS FALLING DOWN. TEEN MODEL SLICES HER WAY INTO A STRAITJACKET ...
LONDON PHILLIPS FLIES OVER THE PROVERBIAL CUCKOO'S NEST ...
LONDON PHILLIPS CRACKS FACE; FALLS FROM GRACE ...
LONDON PHILLIPS GOES NUTZ ... !
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP FLOP: LONDON PHILLIPS ...
I opened the four-hundred-and-two-dollar bottle of desalinated seawater, collected thousands of feet below the ocean's surface off the island of Hawaii, and took a slow, deliberate sip.
Lord God, give me strength ...
In a teary-eyed haze, I glared at the front page of the latest edition of Glamdalous, the magazine for the glamorous and scandalous — staring at the headline burning into my retinas: LOUNGE SINGER AND HEARTTHROB SENSATION JB WOOS HIP-HOP ROYALTY'S DARLING PRINCESS.
Darling princess my —!
I took another sip of water, then pulled my cell from out of my handbag and sent my therapist, Dr. Ashmina Kickaloo, a quick text. I NEED 2 C U!!! The closer my driver got to campus, the more anxious I was starting to feel.
Yes. Forgiveness. That was it. That's what my two-hundred-and-fifty-dollar-an-hour shrink said I should be working on. To forgive those who'd effed me over — my words, not hers.
Still, the message was clear: Turn the other cheek while the enemy ran off with my fairy tale and lived out my happily-ever-after.
I took a deep breath. Then another. Concentrated on breathing through my nose, taking slow, steady breaths, before I had a full-blown panic attack.
I mean, really. Forgiveness? Mmph. That ole powder-puff quack, with her overplucked, painted-in eyebrows, that my parents paid good money for me to see expected me to forgive those who'd trespassed against me.
Excerpted from Heels, Heartache & Headlines Hollywood HIGH by NI-NI SIMONE, AMIR ABRAMS. Copyright © 2017 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 - Rich,
7 - Spencer,
8 - Heather,
9 - Rich,
10 - Rich,
11 - Spencer,
12 - London,
13 - Rich,
14 - London,
15 - Heather,
16 - Spencer,
17 - Rich,
18 - Heather,
19 - London,
20 - Heather,
21 - Spencer,
22 - Rich,
23 - London,
24 - London,
25 - Heather,
26 - Spencer,
27 - Spencer,
28 - Rich,
29 - London,
30 - Spencer,
31 - Heather,
32 - London,
33 - Spencer,
34 - London,
35 - Rich,