Young Hollywood: Episode 9 – The Reveal

In Young Hollywood, Episode 9 – The Reveal, Robin finds out what really happened the night of his daughter’s accident. Haze and Adrian (aka Uncle Scary) have a not so pleasant run-in.

The Recap

In Young Hollywood, Episode 3 – Doctor Uncle, Adrian and Kevin hides the truth about Adriana’s accident from everyone. Also, in Episode 5 – The Artist,, Haze tries to move on after Adriana’s accident, but Adrian’s behavior arouses Haze’s suspicion and causes concern.

The Reveal icon

As Adrian drove through the massive wrought iron gates of Banovic Manor, nostalgia crowded his thoughts. He hadn’t been back to the home where he grew up since college. Despite the evident restoration project, the house and land surrounding it was still beautiful and impressive. When his father bought the property back in the ‘70s, it wasn’t worth much, but over the years as the Hollywood elite started settling in, the property value escalated. Viktor Banovic left the family winery to his children, Robin, Adrian and Roxanne, but he left the house solely to Robin and his family.

A smile curled Adrian’s lips when he saw that his mother’s rose garden was blooming again. After her death, the whole property felt like life had left it. As Adrian got out of the car the crisp smell of the nearby spruce trees tickled his nose. To him it smelled like home. Walking through his mother’s rose garden, he remembered the name of every rose bush as clearly as the day she taught them to him. He caressed the soft velvety petal of Miss Flippins between two fingers. For a moment, he felt like he was holding the hand of his mother, tears threatened to fall and Adrian quickly walked out of the garden.

At the front of the house was an impressive empty fountain that had seen better days, but as he got closer he noticed the beautiful unfinished mural on the floor inside the fountain. Adrian was drawn to the beautiful vibrant colors, the softness of the brush strokes and the delicate details that was sure to be a stunning masterpiece when completed. He figured it must be costing his brother a pretty penny to commission such beauty. Continue reading

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Young Hollywood: Episode 8 – Carys and Haze

In Young Hollywood, Episode 8 – Carys & Haze, Carys finally gets to spend the night with Haze. It is everything she’d imagine it to be. Except she can’t help but wonder where his loyalty lies.

The History

When you are a smoking hot piece of man meat like Haze Lyndon, women are bound to throw themselves at you. Haze and Carys met his first night in Los Angeles at a downtown club. She fell hard and fast for him. The next day he met Adriana who also fell for him, and in true Adriana style, she orchestrated events to put herself in front of him as much as possible.

By the time Carys crosses path with him again, it was too late. He was already in Adriana’s clutches. Too bad Carys, you snooze, you lose. There is plenty more to read about this red-hot threesome in Changes (FPS 1) the digital download is free on Amazon and most places where e-books are sold. Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 7 – Twisted Mind

In Young Hollywood, Episode 7 – Twisted Mind, Adriana is spooked by the man outside her door, causing Zax to confront his ruthless uncle. Meanwhile, Frankie approaches Adrian with a business proposal.

The Recap

In Episode 4 – Young Hollywood, teen heartthrob, and Young Hollywood’s raising star, Warren Voss uses Adriana’s sudden bolt to fame to advance his own career.

In Episode 5 – The Artist, against his better judgement, Haze goes to see Adriana. He notices there is a man guarding her door and confronts Adrian who gives him no explanation.

Twisted Mind icon

Adriana’s suspicion rose when Haze didn’t return. When the door to her room opened, her heart pounded, the aide brought in her breakfast and before the door closed she glimpsed outside and saw the man again.

What did he do to Haze?

An hour later when the breakfast tray was removed, the man was in his usual position and still no sign of Haze. Adriana knew she needed to protect herself, if someone was trying to hurt her, she was not going to make it easy for them. She looked around the room for something that she could use as a weapon. She swung her legs to the ground and held on to her drip stand for balance, her head spun and the bile in her stomach rose. She wheeled the drip stand into the bathroom and frantically checked around for something, anything to make her feel safe. She froze when she heard the door to her room open.

Oh, my God, fear gripped hold of her as the footsteps got closer.

Then came a knock on the door that sounded like an amplified bass drum in her head. She hurried towards the back of the room and crouched down close to the toilet. Her heart raced and she could feel it vibrating throughout her entire body.

“Adriana? Are you okay?” It was Suiden, the candy striper.

“I’ll be right out.” Adriana’s voice trembled.

“I have your wheelchair, I thought we’d go up to the roof today. What do you think?”

Adriana wondered why the roof. What if Suiden was the one who came to cause harm? Suiden had always been nice to her, she’d have no reason to want to harm her, Adriana reasoned with herself. She breathed deeply, and as she was about to open the door a thought crossed her mind; what if someone hired Suiden to bring her to the roof and that someone was the one who wanted to harm her.

“Adriana?” Suiden’s gentle voice filtered through the door.

Adriana opened the door, her face pale and her body tired, Suiden rushed to help her to the wheelchair.

“There you go, you just need sunlight and fresh air.” She attached the drip to the chair and wheeled Adriana out of the room.

The man outside her room was gone. When Suiden stopped at the nurses’ station to attend to paperwork, Adriana swiped a pen from the counter and slipped it under her clothes. Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 6 – Crotch Rocket

In Young Hollywood, Episode 6 – Crotch Rocket, Kristin is jealous of Leighann and Zax. She tries to play on Joel’s insecurity to get him on her side. Meanwhile, Frankie gets a flashy new toy. Be aware folks, the shine you see on the surface could be a distraction for what’s hiding in plain sight.

The Recap

In Episode 1 – The Tennis Champ, we saw cracks in Kristin and Zax’s seemingly perfect relationship. She and Frankie fell back into old habits as she continues to live a life of lies.

Young Hollywood episode 6

Westwood Academy of Higher Learning catered the off-springs of Hollywood royalty, academic overachievers and the uber-privileged. Joel O’Leary fell into none of those categories; his grandmother, a former porn star, made sure that her grand-children got the best education before she died.

Joel stood a safe distance away and observed Zax Banovic and Leighann DaCosta as they chatted and shared a laugh. It was like the world around them didn’t exist. Pangs of jealousy threatened to creep into his heart as he watched the girl he loved so wrapped up in his best friend.

Joel knew that they were in the middle of a tutoring session, but he wondered if she still had feelings for Zax. He loved her with all his heart and never dreamed that a girl like her would pay attention to a boy like him. Zax was smart and handsome and could breathe in any direction and get any girl he wanted. Leighann was beautiful but didn’t know it, and that made him love her even more. She had the right pedigree, and even though she was a sophomore at Westwood Academy and he was a senior, he concluded that she belonged there more than he did.

“They seem cozy.” Kristin Newman appeared beside him, startling him.

“They’re just studying.” He defended, in response to the suspicious tone of her voice.

“They’ve been spending a lot of extra-curricular time together lately.”

“So? She lost her best friend, and he lost his sister. That’s a bond I’m fine with. You have a problem with that, I suggest you speak to your boyfriend.”

“His brother is dating her sister, I’m sure they’re one big happy family.” Kristin’s voice oozed of envious sarcasm. “BTW, I’m not worried about my boyfriend; you should be worried about your girlfriend. First crushes die hard, a few months ago, she was tripping all over herself to get his attention, and now look.”

“Are you over your first crush, Kristin?” Joel walked away without waiting for an answer.

In the distance, a menacing rumble caused car alarms to go off and the ground to vibrate. Everyone in the vicinity looked toward the sound; a brand-new devil-red Ducati Multistrada 1200S, pulled into a parking space. The driver gave the engine an extra rev as on-lookers whispered among their peers. Curiosity heightened, and one could feel the excitement in the air as teenage girls held their breaths and waited for the identity of Westwood Academy’s latest male-meat to be revealed. The boys however, waited to size up their latest competition. Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 5, The Artist

In Young Hollywood, Episode 5 – The Artist, Haze tries to move on after Adriana’s accident, but Adrian’s behavior arouses Haze’s suspicion and causes concern.

The History

From the moment Adriana Banovic kissed Haze Lyndon, he knew that she was someone he could never forget. Unaware that she was still in high school, their relationship progressed, and he fell in love … hard.

Previously…. (in FPS 5: Bad Uncle)

Haze discovers that Adriana had been lying to him about her age. Their breakup is an emotionally charged hot mess. Heartbroken and desperate to get over her, he turns to Carys, who seizes the opportunity to make her feelings for him known.

The Artist Family Portrait 6

Haze sat on the sand at Huntington Beach and sketched Adriana as she surfed. Her body and the board beneath her feet moved in time with the waves. She reminded him of a violinist, at one with her instrument as she coerced harmonizing tunes from it. Adriana was a natural, she’d learn to surf before she could walk and as much as she tried to teach him, he was hopeless. Instead, he was content to watch her, to study her, his muse … the love of his life.

About an hour later, she walked towards him, her long dark hair plastered to her head, surfboard under her arm and a big grin on her face.

“What a rush!” She stuck the board in the sand and plopped down next to him. “Whatcha doin’?” she asked playfully and tried to sneak a peek at his sketchpad but he pulled it away in time.

“You’ll see when it’s ready.” He hid the sketchpad behind his back knowing that she would not let him get off that easily.

“I wanna see,” she tackled him and they rolled around playfully on the sand.

“You wanna see? You wanna see? See this.” He tickled her sending her into a fit of giggles and playful screams. He pinned her hands above her head and gazed lovingly into her eyes. Their eyes locked, he brought his lips down gently towards hers and tasted the salt on her lips. The softness of her tongue against his turned his insides to water.

“I love you, Blue. I’ll love you forever.” He whispered against her lips.

“Diddo, my love.” She whispered and slipped her hands under his tee shirt to caress his back.

Her touch was the touch of heaven and he groaned as their kisses deepened. He flipped her on top of him as he rolled over on his back, and just like clockwork, she rested her head in her special spot on his chest; her ear to his defective heart.

Haze was born with a heart defect and he knew her greatest fear was that his heart would quit on him, so she always placed her head where she could hear it beating away; alive and filled with love for her…

Haze wanted the moment to last forever, but the dawn betrayed him and when the light streamed through the curtain, the empty hole he felt in his heart resurfaced. His insides burned with emotional anguish and even-though he was dreaming, when his eyes opened he could still feel the warmth of her head on his chest.

He looked to his right and saw Carys Wilson, sound asleep next to him. The covers slipped down enough to reveal her delicate, bare shoulder as she laid on her side with her back facing him. Their spontaneous first date turned into a night of pizza with friends, a couple rounds of pool and dancing. It was the first time since Adriana’s accident that Haze laughed, and it felt good.

After their date, he walked her back to her apartment. Carys took the lead and kissed him, one kiss lead to another and before long they gave in to passion. He had no regrets, Zax was right, he had to move on, but the bitter pill of guilt was still tough to swallow.

Haze slowly crept out of bed, careful not to wake Carys, he gathered his clothes off the floor.

“This is a nice way to wake up, a gorgeous, naked man in my bedroom.” Carys purred and stretched. Continue reading

Young Hollywood – Episode 4

In Episode 4 – Young Hollywood, teen heartthrob, Warren Voss visits his long time crush, Adriana at the hospital. His motives run deep and somebody is about to get hurt.

The Recap

We jump back in time a little in this episode. In Episode 2 – Dear Friend, Zax is peeved by his encounter with Warren at the hospital. He confides in Leighann.

In Episode 3 – Doctor Uncle, Adrian learns that Warren has been talking to the tabloids. Here’s how it all went down. Enjoy!

Young Hollywood Episode 4

Seventeen-year-old Warren Voss, was voted one of Young Hollywood’s, 25 hottest stars under 25. On the fast-track to Hollywood’s ‘It’ list, his days on the number one daytime soap opera, My Whole Life was a distant memory. While the show opened a lot of doors for him, he was mostly proud of his silver screen accolades. Still, My Whole Life was where he had met and fell hard for Adriana Kelly Banovic. Thanks to their roles as teenage sweethearts, their first kiss was immortalized on camera and replayed on late night reruns courtesy SoapNet.

To fuel their storyline on the show, someone started a rumor that the young lovers took their romance off set, the press went wild and he and Adriana played along.

Warren was on location in South Carolina when he heard about Adriana’s accident on the news. He immediately called their agent to find out how she was doing. During his three-day downtime, he was finally able to head back to Los Angeles to see her. Even though they remained good friends, he still harbored feelings for her.

Warren was thrilled when he found out that he was one out of the two people she remembered. The icing on the cake was that she thought that they were dating. If her warped memory would allow, he planned to exploit the situation to the full extent. Back in their soap-opera days, Adriana had crushed him when she told him that she wasn’t into him, and that she was just doing her part to boost the show’s ratings. Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 3, Doctor Uncle

In Young Hollywood, Episode 3: Doctor Uncle, revenge takes a backseat when a tragic accident, puts gifted surgeon, Adrian Banovic at a crossroad. His goal is to protect his niece’s reputation at any cost.

The History

Six years ago, Adrian Banovic disappeared, leaving his family to fear the worst. Upon the death of their father, his brother, Robin Banovic discovered that their father had hired a detective to find Adrian. One month later, the detective turns up dead.

Robin, decides to hire his own detective, who suffered the same fate. Before the trail of dead bodies could lead Robin to Adrian, the trail gets cold.

Kevin, Robin’s eldest son, is the only person who knows Adrian’s whereabouts, but he isn’t talking.

Previously… (in FPS 5: Bad Uncle)

When Kevin’s lifestyle puts innocent L’Wren in danger, his retaliation brings his ruthless uncle, Adrian out from the shadows and into a world of trouble.

Doctor Uncle Episode 3

“You got any kids?” Adriana asked.

“No, why? Look up.” Adrian Banovic shined his pen-light into her eyes.

“How come you’re so nice to me and mean to everyone else?”

“Look down. I like you, you remind me of my niece.”

“What’s she like?” Adriana’s eyes lit up with curiosity.

“Follow my pen without turning your head.” He held the pen in front of her face and slowly moved it from right to left. “She’s your age. Feisty as hell, don’t take shit from anybody. If she wants something she goes after it and nothing can stop her,” pride filled his voice.

“You must really love her.”

“There’s nothing I won’t do for her.”

There was a brief pause between them and Adriana picked up on his sadness.

“What’s her name?”

“Monkey.” He said quickly, “Got any headaches?”

Adriana laughed. “That’s not a name. Just a little.”

“I used to call her that. How’s your vision, blurry? Clear?”

“Clear. Why’d you call her that?”

“When she was a little girl, she used to climb up my arm like a monkey.” He searched her face to see if the memory of their time together registered. It did not.

“Where is she now?”

“She’s um, she’s out there, somewhere.”

“Why don’t you find her?”

“You ask too many questions. Get some rest, I’ll check on you in the morning.”

“Is my dad coming tonight?”

“Yeah, he’ll be here soon.”

“I want to wait up for him.”

“Okay, but keep your eyes closed, they’re very sensitive.”

Adrian turned down the lights in her room and paused to look at her. He longed to kiss his niece on her head the way he did when she was little. To her, he was just her ill-mannered doctor. A role he was willing to accept if it meant that she would be spared the pain of remembering the horrible night that brought her to this place, or that he left without saying goodbye so many years ago. Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 2, Dear Friend

Young Hollywood Family Portrait Book 6In Young Hollywood, Episode 2: Dear Friend, we explore Zax and Leighann’s friendship.

Their History

In earlier books, Zax was Leighann’s best friend’s older brother, math tutor, first non date-date, and her first crush. Oblivious to her feelings, Zax pairs her with his best friend, Joel, and so began the birth of J-Leigh.

Previously…

In Episode 1, The Tennis Champ. Kristin, Zax’s girlfriend tries to seduce him but his mind is on his family drama. When Zax rejects her, she kicks him out.

In Dear Friend

Zax leans heavily on Leighann to help him deal with his family drama. The bond between them is strong. Is it more or are they both just vulnerable?

Episode 2 Dear Friend

Zax hated the way he left things with Kristin but knew that leaving was the right thing to do. He knew that it was only a matter of time before Kristin got tired of him, and as much as he tried to hold it together for the sake of their relationship, part of him felt exhausted and consumed by his own life.

He stood outside the DaCosta mansion, hesitant as to whether he should ring the doorbell. As he turned to walk away, as if sensing him, Stefan DaCosta opened the door.

“Zax?” The handsome man in his mid-fifties stopped him in his tracks.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be here.” Zax said quickly.

“Don’t be silly, you are always welcome here. Come in.” Stefan opened the door wide and took a step to the side. “How have you been holding up?”

“I’m good,” Zax lied.

Stefan led him to the sunken living room.

“Is there anything I do anything for you or your family?” Stefan signaled him to sit.

“We’re good, thanks.” Zax avoided eye contact.

“You know, I went to Westwood Academy with your dad, I graduated the year before him.”

“Everybody in my family attended Westwood Academy … at some point.”

“That’s right, your uncle, Adrian, and your aunt, the gymnast, Roxanne?”

Zax nodded. “My mom went there too.”

“You have quite a lineage at Westwood Academy, your grandfather built the science wing after it was torched in the 90’s. I heard about his passing, I’m sorry.”

“Thank you.”

“You know, Zax…” Stefan leaned toward him. “You don’t need to sneak in to see my daughter. I know you and Leighann are close. I know she misses your sister, and it’s okay for you to lean on each other.”

“I’ll never disrespect her.” This time Zax made eye contact. Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 1 – The Tennis Champ

Young Hollywood Family Portrait Book 6

This episode contains adult language and situations.

Episode 1 – The Tennis Champ

Young Hollywood Tennis Champ

Kristin Newman, was ranked number 1 in the USTA under-21 players in Southern California. Her powerful serves and aggressive backhand stroke struck fear into her opponents even before they set foot on the tennis court.

Kristin was poised to becoming a world class tennis champion like her father/coach Josh Newman. Not since Josh Newman played his last game at Westwood Academy, before moving on to the pros, had so much attention and excitement been brought to the game. Kristin was the next generation. When she walked out onto the court, she owned it, and the crowd loved her. People came from all over the country to see her play. Girls wanted to be like her, and boys wanted to sleep with her. She was a marketers’ dream and it wasn’t long before sponsors started courting her, throwing in all sorts of extra perks like private plane rides to the destination of her choice, yacht parties, premium seats for any concert or event she wanted; anything to secure her endorsement.

Kristin Newman was no longer Westwood Academy’s star player, she belonged to the tennis enthusiasts of Southern California. Her entire career was already mapped out for her; she’d become the next Serena Williams.

Kristin was in her senior year at Westwood Academy, yet for most of her years there she felt like an alien. Her strict training regime, speaking engagements and public events made her social life non-existent, that is, until she convinced her father that she could balance training, socializing and keep up her grades.

Kristin wasn’t exactly sad when she rolled her ankle and had to miss several games. As good as she was at tennis, it wasn’t exactly her first love. When the doctor had suggested she sit out this season to give her body time to heal, attendance at the games dropped, and Kristin’s influence was clearly felt.

The downtime gave Kristin plenty of time to leverage her potential endorsement deals and most importantly, spend time with her boyfriend, Westwood Academy’s star basketball player, Zax Banovic.

When her twenty-minute attempt to arouse him failed miserably, she rolled off him and onto the bed.

“I’m sorry,” Zax whispered. “It’s not you.”

“Are you seriously giving me the ‘It’s not you, it’s me speech?’” Kristin didn’t bother to hide her frustration. She got out of bed, picked her clothes off the floor and started to get dress.

“It’s just this thing with my family … there’s this huge space between my mom and dad … they think I don’t notice it. They never talk or laugh anymore, it’s like they can’t be in the same room. Kevin’s not around, so there is nothing … just emptiness.”

Zax’s family had been in turmoil since his sister, Adriana, got into an accident and lost her memory. While Kristin sympathized with him, she hated that his problems affected their sex life.

“Welcome to my world, Zax. My dad’s only around to coach me, and the only time I see my mother, is in one of her stupid movies, and recently they’ve all been box-office flops mind you.” Kristin pulled her tee-shirt over her head.

“I’m sorry, Kristin.”

She sat next to him on the bed. “You can’t let what’s going on with your family affect what we have. It’s not fair.”

“I know… My family means everything to me.”

Kristin took his face in her hands. “Are you still attracted to me, Zax?”

“Of course.” He replied.

“Then, show me.” She straddled him and lightly teased his ear with her tongue. Her hand slid down his bare chest, slowly tracing the ripples of his chiseled chest. She rotated her hips on his pelvis hoping to get a raise out of him.

“Can we not do this right now?” Zax bit his lip.

Kristin groaned loudly with frustration, climbed off him and headed to the bathroom.

“You can show yourself out.” She snapped. Continue reading

The Changing Faces of Family Portrait

Changes, the first novel in the Family Portrait series was born on August 12, 2013. As I tried to find my brand, the covers have gone through a lot of changes so to speak. Here they are.

Changes Family Portrait covers

All covers are the copyright of Gillian Felix.

 

The first one I felt was too dark, that cover was released for less than a month. It was supposed to be a shattered picture frame which represents the lives of the characters. Hence the name Changes.

The 2nd was a mock I had done for the designer. I wanted to focus on Adriana finding the picture of Haze, which is a key storyline in the series. Haze was her mystery man that he was hell bent on finding.

The 3rd was the finished product of the 2nd. The designer did such a great job, he added a wooden background because the Banovics inherited a winery and the wood represented the wine barrels.

The 4th one I designed myself. I had changed the synopsis with the 3rd design to feature Adriana and Leighann storylines. As the books grew in popularity, I started thinking about branding and felt that the cover no longer represented the synopsis. People seemed to relate more to the new synopsis. I wanted a clean design, I love the use of silhouettes because the characters themselves are a mystery. Read more about the newest cover design here.

The Banovic Siblings, 2nd in the series also underwent some changes. The first cover was released with the book on December 3, 2013.

The Banovic Siblings cover

Copyright of Gillian Felix

My sister came up with the design for the first cover.  I loved it! The idea was to have a few classic lines of the book on the cover. The book is known for that cover.

With the 2nd cover I wanted to feature the siblings, the stance of the silhouettes shows the personality of each sibling.

I liked the 2nd one but with the 3rd I was thinking about branding, so I took the images from the 2nd design and incorporated it into the style of the newest Changes cover.

Bastard’s Brew, released on April 12. Had the least amount of changes. All the branded covers were designed together, so going forth, all the covers under the Family Portrait brand will be much easier to design, because the template is in place.

Bastard's Brew face change

Copyright Gillian Felix

The first cover picture of the clouds in the back I took while I was hiking with my dumb phone. I don’t really know what made me take that photo and I had no intention of using it for anything except to say “OMG like at the weather coming my way”. Because Bastard’s Brew was so dark, the darkest of all the novels in the series so far, it felt it fitting to use the clouds that was brewing up some bad weather. Of course the 2nd cover matched all those in the series. To read more about how I came about the first cover for Bastard’s Brew click on the link.

There you have it. The many faces of Family Portrait.

Cheers!

Gillian