You Get What You Give
Author: Karen Grey
Publisher: Home Cooked Books
Release Date: June 29, 2022
Series: Carolina Classics #1
Genre: retro romantic comedy
The carved wooden sign over Violet’s office door features a rod, reel and fishing line arcing over wooden letters proclaiming “Casting Carolina.” The words set off warning bells. I mean, it seems pretty odd that a fishing supply store would be located on the periphery of a film and TV production facility. But what do I know? There is a lot of water around here. The county jail’s just down the street, with a bail bond and pawn shop nearby. I suppose it’s possible hers is just another in a ragtag collection of businesses that ended up on this stretch of road outside of town.
It does rattle me that the woman I was so happily naked with just hours ago is right next door. I’d literally been wondering if and how I’d find her again when I saw her striding up the sidewalk, but something tells me that the coincidence is too good to be true.
At the moment, however, work beckons. Violet’s phones aren’t the only ones ringing off the hook. When I step inside —still a bit discombobulated—the answering machine is taking a message, so I hustle to unpack my briefcase and get started.
The previous tenant left behind a few things, but I need more than desks, chairs, and bookcases to get a casting office outfitted. After flying in on Friday, I spent Saturday driving around picking up basics. The good thing about Wallington, I learned, is that its small size means that anything and everything is only a fifteen-minute drive away. The bad thing is that anything and everything is missing a few essentials.
I’ll have to wait on delivery of the computers I ordered, but the file cabinets I picked up are ready to be filled with actor headshots and résumés, and the fax machine is spitting out what looks like a script.
Tossing keys and briefcase on the desk and ripping the plastic off a stack of legal pads, I perk up when the current caller announces herself as the California production coordinator for Lawson’s Reach. Picking up before she finishes with her message, I say, “Carolina Casting. Nathaniel speaking.”
“This is Carolina Casting?” she asks, emphasizing each word.
Didn’t I just say that? Maybe I’m more out of it than I thought. “It is.”
“Sorry, it’s early here, and I… just want to be sure I’ve got the right place.”
“I’ll admit I didn’t expect the California office to be calling at 6:00 a.m.”
“You and me both, dude.”
“Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve got a rewrite. We could fly an actor in from here to fill the role, but it’s only a couple of lines—”
Overly eager to prove my worth, I jump in. “Whatever you need, we’ll find it.” Of course, the “we” is just me at the moment. But she doesn’t need to know that.
After she gives me the details and I hang up, I realize that since I don’t have a computer and printer, I can’t type up a submission to fax to Breakdown Services. And even if I could, the information wouldn’t get to agents fast enough. I need to get actors in here and auditions recorded tomorrow so I can overnight them to LA for approval.
I suppose now is as good a time as any to introduce myself to the local talent agents. One of our assistants back at Fowler Stern pulled together a list for me, and there are only a handful in the entire state, so at least it won’t take long.
I dial the number that has the Wallington area code first. After I introduce myself and tell her what I’m looking for, she asks, “What did you say the name of the show was?”
“It’s called Lawson’s Reach. It’s on the BW? The new Brothers Werner subsidiary? The pilot was shot here and—”
“Okay, right. I know. Can I put you on hold for a sec?”
As inane hold music blares, I regret not stopping somewhere on the way to work to get a cup of coffee. The thin brew I made back at the hotel room is not going to get me through the day. As I write “Buy coffee maker” on my growing to-do list, I remember that Violet was carrying a to-go cup. Asking her for a recommendation might be a good excuse for a visit next door. We could take a coffee break together.
“Hey,” the agent says, breaking into my thoughts, “I’m sorry, did you say Casting Carolina?”
“No, Carolina Casting.”
“Well, call me confused. Four of my young women are reading for that show this afternoon. At Casting Carolina,” she repeats, emphasizing the word order. “Did y’all change the name since last week?”
The roar inside my head—louder than the surf at its roughest—is so deafening that it takes a moment for her words to break through.
“Hello? Are you still there?”
“I’m here,” I answer, suddenly exhausted.
“What should I tell these actresses?”
“Uh. Yeah—I mean, not—no. I—I’ll get back to you.”
The dial tone echoes in my ears as I resign myself to the very real possibility that my family—aka my father—has stirred up a hornet’s nest here without warning me about it. It’d serve him right if I just packed it all up and left.
About the Book:
Fans of 1990’s shows like Dawson’s Creek and Friends will love this throwback rom-com!
From insta-lover to insta-enemy. All that, and a bag of chips.
In a sleepy southern coastal town crowned the Hollywood of the East, worlds collide, and sparks fly when fate has two TV casting directors acting as accidental rivals.
It’s not just that the town isn’t quite big enough for the two of them. Violet Davenport brings deep roots, local allies, and old-fashioned Southern charm to the table. Nate Fowler’s got deep pockets, tech knowhow, and a family that’s been in the biz since the silent film days.
For their businesses—and their hearts—to survive, they’ll have to overcome both a bitter hostility and a sweet insta-temptation.
In this enemies-to-lovers, new-in-town, one-night-stand unlikely love story, a girl boss and a Hollywood bad boy find that you only get as good as you give.
Content guidance for this book can be found at https://www.karengrey.com/contentguidance
About the Author:
KAREN GREY is the pen name for award-winning audiobook narrator Karen White. A stage, screen and radio drama actor in Boston, New York and Los Angeles in the late 20th century, she balanced child-rearing and career for most of the 2000’s. Now, she’s not only emptied her nest of children, she’s taken it and her pets on the road, so she can spend more time with her nomadic TV sound mixer husband. Delighted to occupy her brain with happy-ending stories, she spends the rest of her time baking, and then doing her best to work off the calories. To learn more, come visit at https://karengrey.com/