All The World's A Stage -- but What If The Play Doesn't Go As Planned?
Four talented girls from vastly different pasts share a dream of stardom: Cinnamon, the edgy actress; Ice, the phenomenal vocalist; Rose, the beautiful dancer; and Honey, the first-rate violinist. The four meet at the prestigious Senetsky School of the Performing Arts -- housed in an ornate New York City mansion -- and become instant friends as they take off on a dazzling whirlwind of intense classes, theater outings, and celebrity-studded parties. And together they bend the strict house rules of Madame Senetsky, a famous actress who guarantees success for students under her tutelage.
But they soon realize this is no ordinary school. Madame Senetsky pushes the girls' studies beyond reason. She controls their social lives. And they get the strange feeling someone is watching them.
But who...and why?
Cinnamon, Ice, Rose, and Honey set out to untangle a shadowy web of Senetsky family secrets. As they explore dark corners and hidden rooms, every creak and moan of the old mansion tells a story too frightening to repeat. A devastating story that can destroy their dreams...
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November 30, 2001
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Excerpt from Falling Stars by V.C. Andrews
How numb and panicky I felt the day Daddy, Mommy, and I set out for New York City in Daddy's new black Lincoln Town Car. It had luxurious black leather seats that still smelled as fresh as the day they were made. The dashboard resembled an airplane console with its sound system, its climate controls and GPS locator screen, and its ground positioning system.
Daddy had bought the car soon after my Grandad Forman had died. There was a great deal more money than any of us had imagined in the legacy, money buried away in interest-bearing accounts Daddy was unaware existed until the will was read. My grandad was a frugal man who believed it was a sin to spend money on anything other than what he deemed absolutely necessary.
A big, beautiful, luxurious car was certainly not absolutely necessary, but Daddy had always wanted one, and Grandad had always discouraged it. I should really say, forbidden it. Grandad Forman had been more than just the head of our household. He had ruled our lives with a stern, fundamentalist religious eye, seeing potential evil everywhere -- even, I was to learn, in his own face every time he looked in the mirror. As terrible as it was to think it, when he died, it was truly as if a heavy weight had been lifted from our shoulders. We could breathe, enjoy the fruits of our hard labor and not be afraid to laugh, listen to music, and appreciate beautiful things for themselves and not only their practical uses.
Nowhere was this more evident than in Daddy's face every time he gazed appreciatively at his new automobile. He had an expression similar to the one on his face whenever he gazed out at a field of fresh, healthy corn and knew we were going to enjoy another successful year. His heart was full. He was proud of himself. I could see it in his eyes. He was fulfilling promises I was sure he had made to himself, and maybe even to Mommy, years ago.
Daddy had also fulfilled a promise to my Uncle Simon, and built him his greenhouse right behind the cow barn. Uncle Simon, Daddy's older half-brother, was a giant of a man who, despite his size and strength, was the gentlest man I knew. Grandad had treated Uncle Simon poorly all his life, forcing him to leave school at a young age and do hard labor on the farm. He even moved him out of the main house and into a makeshift apartment above the cow barn.
Despite his great strength and size, Uncle Simon accepted his lot in life, but put all his best efforts and love into his flowers. He nurtured them as parents nurtured children, fingered the petals as someone would handle very valuable jewels, and even talked to them. They were almost always vibrant, healthy, and very beautiful. Soon his flowers became very famous. People stopped by to see them often, and then started to offer him money for them. Eventually, with Mommy's help, he had turned his hobby into a successful little business.