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In Development

Written by: Rachel Spangler
Narrated by: Ann Etter
Length: 11 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 31.27
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Publisher's Summary

From a young age, Cobie Galloway made a career of playing the girl-next-door on the silver screen. Only, she's not a teenager anymore. Ready to challenge herself artistically and earn the part she's always dreamed of, she's forced to face the realization that in order to win the roles afforded to edgier actresses, she might first have to audition by playing someone edgier in her day-to-day life.

Pop star Lila Wilder built a multimedia empire by always having her finger on the pulse of what's hot. However, as she struggles to produce her next smash hit record, she's finding it hard to keep her name in the public eye, and a string of tumultuous relationships with Hollywood boy toys no longer captivates anyone's attention.

Both women tentatively agree to a headline-grabbing fauxmance, with two simple rules: Always stick to the script, and never forget that on the stage of public perception, nothing is real. Can two women find love in a world of carefully crafted illusions, or will a successful charade mean the potential for something more gets left on the cutting-room floor?

©2018 Rachel Spangler (P)2019 Rachel L. Spangler

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DRoberts
  • 2019-02-08

A Crackling Drama about Love and Social Media

Highly recommended. The wonderful narration by Ms. Etter keeps the action moving.

The premise is droll - two women entertainers accept their scheming managers plan to have them stage a wild public relations campaign: the two will live together VERY publicly while attracting as much media attention as possible. The (straight) cynical pop music star is creating her latest album; the (lesbian) actress wants to crash her teen ingenue image to fight for a dramatic role she feels only she can bring to life.

The opening sequence with the managers is high-level farce, but the story opens up as the two women examine how this live-action drama fits self-interest and self-awareness. Two women who barely know each other discover even a penthouse can provide insufficient personal space. And both carry baggage from previous, less public, relationships.

Along the way there are warm moments and huge arguments, a lot of female-empowerment and a few side trips regarding celebrity and its coverage in new media, ageism, heterosexism, the horror of conversion therapy and one ringing soliloquy about the value of books. Hear hear!

A very good story. It would make a terrific movie, but I won't hold my breath. DR. .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sab
  • 2019-04-25

Loved this book

Just like her other books this one is well written, great story line, great well developed characters
the narration was excellent most of the times I just didn’t like the babyish voice Ann Etter gave to one of the two main characters, other than that, loved it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Shirley
  • 2019-04-15

Gah, narration!

Lila’s one of the main characters, has a lot of dialogue. The voice Ann Etter chose for that character was unbearable. The other parts were okay but it was work to get past such irritating narration

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jargon
  • 2019-04-12

I was predisposed to hating one character

I often enjoy the alt celebrity romance, especially because it usually involves people needing to overcome their own need for vanity in order to gain happyness
I also, however, have a certain prejudice against people like the pop star. I get that she has a past, but so does everyone. I get that her intense drive to be a celebrity instead of an artist is rooted in a need to protect herself but it still gets to me. nothing good came from clinging to vanity and pride.
Even with all that, I did end up really enjoying the story. I think that's mostly to do with the actress who is who I secretly wish my celebrity crushes are in real life. Just in the industry to be an artist and down to earth.
The narrator did fine for the most part. But her voice for the singer was just annoying, high pitched, like Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory but constant.

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  • J.B.
  • 2019-03-03

Celebrity Fauxmance

A great celebrity fauxmance between a pop singer and actress. Great secondary characters who will definitely make you laugh put loud.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-27

wonderful

completely wonderful book! very powerful and uplifting in its theme of strong women! A must read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan K. Gilbertson
  • 2019-02-27

Best Rachel Spangler yet!

I’ve enjoyed all of Rachel Spangler’s books that I’ve had the pleasure to read &/or listen to. But this one, I think, is the best! Between the character development; at a great pace, not too much at once but also not leaving you asking ‘what is she talking about?’ To the plot development; again keeping me on the edge of my seat wanting to know where this is going, but enjoying where I’m at right now in the storyline. The little surprises along the way to the great ending add to why I’m restarting the book as soon as I finish this review. Thank you Rachel for doing what you do!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura G.
  • 2019-02-18

Another new favorite

Rachel Spangler did a wonderful job developing the characters of In Development. I fell a bit in love with Cobie and got frustrated with Lila. But in the end a wonderful love story that touched on so many current topics - the #metoo movement, conversion therapy and women’s empowerment. So many hard subjects to talk about but that need to be addressed. Thank you Rachel - you gave me a lot to think about! Keep writing and sharing your stories!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Laura Straub
  • 2019-02-18

Narrater's choice of voice for Lila ruins it

I actually think this book is pretty good however the mini mouse voice the narrator choose for Lila's character ruins the entire experience. It robs the character of all depth and any likability. I think I might just go buy the book on Amazon and finish reading it on my own.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • christin
  • 2019-02-13

Nicely done.

First book in a long time that I enjoyed. Wished she told her sister the same thing her
sister told her.