It's not easy being a star

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Enjoyed A French Girl in New York? Here's a sneak peek of the sequel!

Prologue

Maude Laurent had remained locked up in a basement in France for sixteen years and had been on lockdown in Manhattan for the last sixteen hours.

She pondered for some time on whether being locked up was all she was good for. On the fifteenth hour, she rested. And on the sixteenth hour she awoke, famished for edible forms of French sanity. French rolls, French somethings, French anythings.

Manhattan was madness, Maude was in Manhattan, Maude was in madness.

She threw an irate “humpf” at the celestial blue bar and at the crowd of paparazzi scrambling underneath. Teasing her misery by displaying a large, sunny grin, the sky refused to dissolve into misty tears to satisfy Maude’s stormy mood.

After having brushed her rebellious curls into a bun, the young girl let her reflection peer back at her through the oval mirror. Her chocolate brown skin glowed under the flirtatious ray of light dancing around the room, and her almond-shaped eyes glowered with defiance at her reflection.

“Today, I’m breaking free,” she stated, like many optimistic celebrities had done before her.

Easier said than done. But when she stared into the face of the gathered crowd, Maude had to drag her courage, tangled in seaweeds of cowardice, before she surfaced into light. Microphones. Cameras shoved in her face with unhinged eagerness. They’d waited hours on brownstone steps and now demanded answers to their questions.

Had Matt left Lindsey Linton for Maude?

Were Maude and Matt an item?

What was his relationship to Lindsey Linton?

Was Maude going out with Thomas Bradfield or Matt?

Was Matt coming on tour with her?

Teenage celebrities like Maude were supposed to revel in limelight anyway, even when that light glared down on splattered, juicy scandals.

Lips licking with anticipation. Fingers snapping. Cameras zooming. Beads of sweat falling off like shards of glass.

 A rivalry between two top female singers over the same guy? Such a contention would get ugly soon, and they would be there to film it.

Zoom in on her distraught face!

If they pushed Maude far enough, they might even get an angry outburst from her on camera . . .

Maude Laurent pushed through the paparazzi as futilely as a flower trying to escape a swarm of bees and elbowed her way to the dark sedan waiting for her in front of her house. She pushed back the sunglasses. They made her face small and vulnerable, and she wished they held an unknown propriety, a secret ability rendering her invisible from prying, journalistic eyes.

She shut the door firmly, leaned her head against the window, and rubbed her temples, wanting to ease her weariness with the simple gesture.

“Where to?” Rob, her driver asked.

Maude hesitated a second.

“Soulville Tower,” she answered.

 French somethings would have to wait.

Two days ago, her life had been perfect. After the joy of discovering she would never have to live with her foster family again, she’d celebrated her cousin’s twelfth birthday.  Two days ago, she’d been preparing to leave for her tour with Matt and James Baldwin, her uncle. Two days ago she’d had fun with her newfound family. Two days ago, Matt and her were planning their first official date. Two days ago, New York had been her home, her haven, her heaven.

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