Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Hollywood Underworld by Lindy S. Hudis @Lindyscribe @XpressoTours

Hollywood Underworld
Lindy S. Hudis
(A Hollywood Series)
Publication date: August 8th 2021
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Nick Savage was supposed to be the next sexy Hollywood heartthrob, until he turned up dead!

His personal manager, Dani Foxx, is a seductive former actress with spunk, guts and a take-no-prisoners attitude. She lives in the Woodland Hills section of the San Fernando Valley with her teenage daughter. They must survive and protect each other in the world’s most glamorous and sin-filled city. Then an unidentified body discovered under the Santa Monica pier is found to belong to the up and coming young actor.

Dani’s partner, the dashing and charismatic A.J. Tarentella, is the son of a mob boss, raised in a ruthless crime family. He now is the proud owner of the Tarantella Agency, a Private Investigation Company located in the heart of Beverly Hills. He used his father’s work ethic, connections and family ties to build his powerful business empire, and now he is always there to help those in need.

When another gorgeous nubile actress on the brink of getting her breakout role mysteriously vanishes as the body of a beautiful young girl is discovered in Runyon Canyon park in the Hollywood Hills, Dani realizes this is no coincidence. Who is targeting young Hollywood stars? And more importantly, how can Dani stop them before the next body surfaces?

Together, A..J. and Dani find themselves tangled in a web of organized crime, Hollywood secrets, and a vengeful faded movie star with a lethal vendetta.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Chapter Two

Chicago O’Hare airport was chaotic, crowded, and bursting with activity. However, Mark Jackson didn’t mind. He was used to dealing with crazy environments and a bustling airport was easy for him to maneuver around in. Having grown up in Chicago’s notorious Cabrini-Green housing project, he was hard and tough enough to handle anything.

“Good morning.” A very attractive blonde woman in a flight attendant’s uniform smiled at Mark as he strode confidently past. He had that effect on the female sex. Mark was twenty-six years old, tall and an incredibly handsome African American man. He was so good-looking that people were known to stop and stare. His male model good looks were what gave him the assertiveness to walk with his head held high and his shoulders back. His mother taught him to be proud of himself and to keep a positive attitude. It was what kept him sane while growing up in such a dangerous and crime-ridden neighborhood.

“Hello there.” A slinky brunette in a yellow sundress gave him a sly wink as he walked into the small gift shop. He nodded in acknowledgement but kept to himself. Mark was incredibly ambitious, and his dreams of getting out of the projects and becoming a movie star were what kept him alive and gave him the will to survive his difficult childhood. Today was an auspicious day for Mark, it was a day he has been daydreaming about and hoping for all of his life. Today, he was going to board a west-bound airplane heading towards Los Angeles, and his dreams of fame and fortune were going to come true.

Mark purchased some candy, a pack of gum, and some movie magazines. They were the same magazines he kept hidden under his bed growing up, as his mother forbade him to read such publications.

“Trash!” His mother used to say as she tossed the offending rags into the garbage chute. “You don’t need to be reading that junk.”

“But Mom, I’m just as hot as these actors, even more so.” Mark would protest, as he envisioned himself on the cover of one someday.

“Yes, you are a very good-looking boy, but you stay humble. Remember your beginnings.” His mom would stroke his hair and kiss his forehead. He didn’t have much in the way of material possessions growing up, but what he did have was his mother’s love, and for that he was thankful, for it gave him the very foundation that he needed to thrive in life.

“Of course, Mom.” Mark would reply. He did stay humble, but over the years his drive and determination to escape the projects and become somebody grew. It was a feeling and a conviction that burned deep inside of him, piercing him in the very depths of his soul. He knew he had to get out of the dreary existence he found himself trapped in, but how?

Mark took odd jobs in and around the tough and dangerous neighborhoods of Chicago. When legitimate work was scarce, he turned to illegal activities for survival and to feed himself and his mother. He worked as a drug runner, delivering to addicts and crackheads. The work was perilous, frightening and harrowing, but it kept him and his mother alive. The Chicago projects were a cesspool of drugs, gangs and illicit activity, and he maneuvered through the treacherous world with diligence and determination. He managed to subsist and keep his head low. He and his mother were eating and had clothes on their backs, and that was all that mattered. He wanted them to escape that life, but it was very difficult and hopeless. The walls of the well became more slippery with each drug deal.

Then one day, as fate would have it, a low-budget horror movie was being shot in the area. Several of the local residents were offered odd jobs on the production, and Mark was one of them. His duties consisted of cleaning up the set when the crew had left for the day and to assist any of the location managers who were unfamiliar with the area. The residents were apprehensive and curious about the film crew that seemed to invade the neighborhood, but Mark saw this as an opportunity. He never missed a day of work, even when it continued into the early hours of the following morning. His mother was glad to have the extra cash and Mark started introducing himself to anybody who would speak with him.

“Excuse me.” A good-looking and kindly man approached Mark one day and he immediately recognized him as one of the actors. “Is there a nice bar around here? I’ve had a long day and I could use a drink.”

“You don’t want to go to any bars around here.” Mark warned, shaking his head. “Trust me, you want to go back to your hotel before it gets too dark.”

“I’ll do that. Thanks for your advice.”

“You’re welcome.” Mark smiled and was flattered that his recommendation would be asked.

“I’m Nick Savage, by the way.” The handsome man extended his hand in a congenial manner. Mark was quick to shake it with a grin.

“I’m Mark Jackson.”

“You live around here?”

“Unfortunately.”

“Tough break. Come on, let’s go. I’ll buy you a drink.” Nick plopped an amicable arm around the young man’s shoulder. With that, the two of them grabbed a taxicab to Nick’s hotel and sauntered into the bar area. They ordered a pitcher of Coors Light and became fast friends. “Have you ever thought about leaving? Getting out of this hell-hole and making a break for it?” Nick asked him.

“Everyday. I think about it every day.” Mark shook his head dejectedly. He knew he had his sickly mother to take care of and he also had limited funds. He told Nick about his big dreams, of leaving the tough, mean streets of Chicago and heading out to California to become an actor.

“L.A. is the place to be. A guy with your looks would have no problem in that town. Trust me.”

“Thanks, but I got no connections.” Mark shrugged, taking a sip of his drink.

“Ya got me.” Nick told him with a warm smile, swallowing the last of his beer.

“How do I do it? I can’t get up and leave my momma. She’s sick.” Mark responded. Although the temptation was certainly there, he had family responsibilities. Since he was an only child, he was the sole caretaker of his ill mother.

“Let’s keep in touch. If you ever want to make the trip out to L.A., give me a call. I can show you the ropes, introduce you to some of my buddies, and even help you find an apartment.”

“Thanks, man. I’ll do it.” Mark was glad to have made even one contact in Hollywood.

When the film wrapped, Nick went back to Los Angeles and Mark did his best to communicate with his new West Coast friend. Since Mark had no computer or Internet access, he would venture to the public library to e-mail Nick. He even set up a Google and G-Mail account for himself. So, through the years, the two of them developed a long-distance friendship. Nick told him all about headshots, unions, agents and managers. Mark was enthralled and was even more strong-minded in his determination to make his way to Hollywood.

Then, sadly, Mark’s mother finally succumbed to the painful and debilitating cervical cancer she had fought with. On her death bed, she whispered to her only child to move on with his life.

“Do what makes you happy, Mark. Go after your dreams.” She told him in a barely audible whisper, and then she quietly passed.

“I will, Momma. With you watching over me, I can’t lose.” Mark bent down and gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead, as she had done to him so many times.

Mark collected a modest life insurance settlement and purchased some new clothes, a smart phone and iMac. With that, he packed up his few belongings and informed the Chicago Housing Authority that his apartment was going to be available. Then, he took a deep breath and headed west.

As Mark sat in the airport bar, slowly sipping a cocktail, he pulled out his new smart phone and dialed Nick’s number, getting his voice mail.

“Hey Nick, I should be in L.A. in about five hours. I’ll give you a call when I get there. I’m at the airport now. I can’t wait to see you, man. Hope all is good.” Letting out a loud but satisfied exhale, Mark took a sip of his beverage and people watched. He felt as if he belonged for the first time. No more dangerous life in the projects, no more waking up in the night to the sound of gunshots, and no more cruel and freezing Chicago winters. He was venturing out on his own for the first time after years of taking care of his mother. The thought both frightened and excited him. There was nothing for him in Chicago and he knew that. Mark was ready to start the next chapter in his life, and he had no intention of ever looking back.

The people scurrying by amused Mark, and the serious and often sour expressions on their faces frequently baffled him. If they only knew where I came from! Mark had kept his dreams alive and beaten the odds by always remaining confident and optimistic. He attributed this to his mother and her strength through adversity. She had told him many times about how being confident can affect your mood and even change your life. Even though they lived in poverty and vulnerability, his mother remained a good role model for him and taught him to have a positive attitude no matter what.

“Flight 261 Non-Stop to Los Angeles is now boarding at gate 36.” The booming announcement roused Mark back to reality, and he gulped down the last of his drink. He hot footed it over to gate 36. He didn’t intend to be late.


Author Bio:

Lindy S. Hudis is an award winning filmmaker, author and actress. Lindy is a graduate of New York University, where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts. She also performed in a number of Off-Off Broadway theater productions while living in New York City.

She is the author of several titles, including her romance suspense novel, Weekends, her “Hollywood” story City of Toys, and her crime novel, Crashers. Her latest release, “Hollywood Underworld – A Hollywood Series” is the first installment of a crime, mystery series.

In addition, she has written several erotic short stories, including “The S&M Club”, “The Backstage Pass”, “Guitar God”, “The Guitarist”, and “The Mile High Club”.

Her short film “The Lesson”, which she wrote, produced and directed, has won numerous awards, including ‘Best Short Film’ at the Paris International Film Festival, The Beverly Hills Arthouse Film Festival and the San Fransisco International Film Festival.

She is also an actress, having appeared in the indie film Expressionism, the television daytime drama “Sunset Beach”, also “Married with Children” , “Beverly Hills 90210” and the feature film “Indecent Proposal” . She and her husband, Hollywood stuntman Stephen Hudis, have formed their own production company called Impact Motion Pictures, and have several projects and screenplays in development. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter


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2 comments:

Sherry said...

Looking forward to this book.

Giselle said...

Thanks for being on the tour! :)

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