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The Gift Bag Chronicles: A Novel

by Hilary De Vries

On generating the perfect party in Hollywood: If celebrities don't walk your red carpet, you don't exist. If you don't make Page Six, you don't exist. To get ten celebrities to show up, invite four hundred. And send a car. Publicity is the only job you can do perfectly and still fail. And the gift bag totally matters. As the newly promoted head of event planning for one of L. A. 's top publicity firms, Alex Davidson spends her days making decisions of utmost importance: Grey Goose or Belvedere? MAC or Stila? Queen Latifah or Chloë Sevigny? And though her boyfriend, agency president Charles Evers, lives on the other coast, she could be doing worse. But leave it to her mother to point out the obvious: After one failed, childless marriage, Alex is the "career divorcée" and the antithesis of her sister, the perfect stay-at-home mom. And there's no spin in the world that can cover up the growing rift between Alex and Charles. From dealing with outrageously self-important clients and holier-than-thou C-listers to trying to make sense of her growing attraction to a man who is not her boyfriend but her best friend, Alex feels as if she's about one Red Bull shy of a meltdown. With her professional future hanging in the balance, she has the biggest party of the season to pull off. And the real question is: Will the gift bags measure up? From the Trade Paperback edition.

So 5 Minutes Ago

by Hilary De Vries

Being a celebrity publicist at a Los Angeles PR firm isn't the glamour job Alex Davidson thought it would be. Her love life is zilch, her newest client--an actor fresh out of rehab--keeps hitting on her, and all she has in her refrigerator is a half-empty bottle of Pinot Grigio. But her wisecracking gay assistant and her spark plug of a best friend give her reasons for crawling out of bed in the morning (well, most of the time). Everything changes the day her firm is bought out by a rival agency and Alex finds her once secure job of wanly ministering to a roster of B-list celebrities suddenly at stake. It looks like Suzanne, Alex's old boss and mentor, is being shown the door. And G, her new boss, wants bigger clients and more exposure. But certain things just don't add up: Why did G refuse to help Suzanne when a big client--a hot Latina singer/actress hell-bent on world domination--decided to bolt from the firm? And why is he being so nice to Alex all of a sudden? Knowing that in Hollywood there are always strings attached, Alex does a little digging and uncovers a dirty scheme that, if brought to light, will rock the entertainment industry. Will the temptation to betray Suzanne and accept a lucrative offer from G be too powerful for Alex to ignore? Or can she save her job, keep her soul, and score a victory for women in Hollywood? So 5 Minutes Ago is a laugh-out-loud novel about one young woman's attempt to make it in the shark- infested waters of Hollywood. Set in the sun-drenched L.A. of celebrity-magazine photo shoots, velvet-roped VIP parties, and red-carpet events, Hilary de Vries's debut novel takes us on a wildly entertaining romp with enough juicy behind-the-scenes action to satisfy even the most insatiable celebraholic.

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