Friday 11 December 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Center Stage! by Caitlyn Duffy

Center Stage!
(Center Stage!, #1)

Author: Caitlyn Duffy
Publication date: September 14th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Book Description:
Allison Burch’s wildest dream is to become a famous singer. She can hardly believe her own good luck when she auditions for the reality television singing competition, Center Stage!, and is chosen as a contestant. She finally has a legitimate shot at fame, fortune, and a chance to go on tour as the opening act for her favorite boy band on their world tour.

However, Allison wasn’t counting on one of the celebrity coaches being Chase Atwood, the famous rock star father of her former best friend. Allison’s terrified that Chase is going to find out that she and his daughter have been in a fight for months, and it’ll ruin her shot at the grand prize. Making matters worse, Allison’s own coach, Country Western star Nelly Fulsom, intends to groom her into a Nashville superstar.

As Allison struggles to decide if she really wants to win on the show if it’s by resorting to dirty tricks and assuming the image that Nelly wants to create for her, she find herself falling hard for her biggest competition on the show: a brooding songwriter named Elliott Mercer. She’s not sure if Elliott’s interest in her is genuine, or if he’s just playing along with the producers’ strategy.

It’s up to Allison to decide: how much is she willing to lose in order to win?

Fans of Caitlyn Duffy’s The Rock Star’s Daughter will enjoy this tale about Taylor’s friend Allison and her journey to fame.

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It was a Wednesday afternoon, and I had crept out the back door of Pacific Valley School before the start of sixth period (Calculus—seriously, who can do advanced math right after lunch?) to catch the stinky public bus bound for Hollywood. The local Center Stage! auditions were being held that day. My parents had no idea that I would dare to cut classes. I hadn’t told anyone that I’d submitted an audition video of myself singing my favorite song from Phantom of the Opera into my mobile phone’s camera. It wasn’t as if I had anyone to tell, anyway. My parents were the most anti-show biz parents in all of Los Angeles, and Taylor and I had stopped speaking after an argument over the summer. Nicole would have told everyone at school that I was trying to get onto Center Stage! and that would have been mortifying. No one at my high school knew that I sang; even my involvement in our musical theater program was minimal.

So I had submitted my audition video in total secrecy, never expecting to receive an e-mail from the show’s producers inviting me to continue the audition process in person. It was such a shock to find that e-mail in my inbox; I hadn’t even decided to attend the audition until that very morning before school started. Sending in a video for consideration had been like dipping a toe in a cold pool, but showing up for the real audition with actual celebrity coaches judging the performances was like doing a nosedive. There would be no stepping back onto the diving board after I jumped, which was terrifying. It was possible that my audition would be viciously torn apart by the coaches in front of an entire television crew—not to mention the entire country—if the producers included it in the season premiere’s outtakes.

That was how I came to be standing in a hotel conference room adjoined to the Dolby Theater, surrounded by other hopeful singers, most of them a few years older than me. I had banned myself from watching the monitor too closely in an attempt to not get psyched out by other contestants. I hadn’t even wanted to know who the coaches were because if any of them were personal idols of mine, that would have been simply too much pressure. With any luck at all, the stage lights would be too bright for me to distinguish the faces of those who sat at the table with microphones and score cards, listening. Judging. The mere fact that celebrities strode across that stage in the Dolby Theater every year for the Oscar ceremonies was enough to give me goosebumps.

“Are you ready?” a crew member wearing a black t-shirt and a headset asked me gently. He motioned for me to follow him through a set of green double doors and down a long, carpeted hallway. At the end of the hallway, he held open another door, and all I could see through its frame was the darkness of the backstage area. The acoustics on the other side of that door were completely different than the muted quiet within the carpeted hallway. The Center Stage! theme music blasted over the sound system, and a series of middle-aged crew guys with big bellies poking through their t-shirts directed me toward the edge of the stage. Everyone was mumbling in low voices on their headsets about where cameras were moving and when lighting needed to shift. Nothing felt real. It seemed as if I was dreaming, and my teeth were chattering.

About the Author
Caitlyn Duffy is a private boarding school survivor and the author of The Treadwell Academy Novels, a series about privileged girls in an elite boarding school setting and the challenges they face. The series addresses issues common to teen readers including eating disorders, divorce, grief, heartbreak, first love, drug addiction and disagreements with parents. It was Caitlyn’s dream to create a series that mixed glamour and celebrity with the real-life problems that kids endure that could be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Her writing experience includes freelance editing for publishing houses and copywriting in the advertising industry.

When she’s not writing about the girls of Treadwell, she’s walking her semi-famous dog Maxim around Park Slope, Brooklyn and drinking too much coffee.

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