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Lucky Stars Hardcover – April 11, 2003


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Unveiled
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The third in the One Night trilogy: Livy finds herself caught between the rapture of an all-consuming passion—and a deadly obsession that could destroy the lovers. Read about author Jodi Ellen Malpas

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This frolic by Heller (Female Intelligence) may be the spiritual descendant of Freaky Friday, but she delivers her story in fresh language, with singular energy. Stacey Reiser comes to Hollywood to become an actress. It also doesn't hurt that L.A. is far both from her native Cleveland and from Helen Reiser, a feisty, 66-year-old know-it-all widow who's marvelous as a walk-on in your life but impossible as a mother. But Helen ups and moves to L.A., too, the better to nag 34-year-old Stacey about her split ends and unmarried state. Through a cascade of events that begins with a bone in a can of tuna and one of Helen's legendary complaint letters to the corporate office, Helen ends up where Stacey always wanted to be: the rich and famous star of a commercial and the darling of the talk-show circuit. She even has a dashing suitor, Victor Chellis, with a fully staffed estate in Beverly Hills. Naturally, Helen's whirlwind ascendancy takes place just as Stacey's career tanks. Reviewing her performance opposite Jim Carrey in Pet Peeve, almighty movie critic Jack Rawlins tells his TV audience that Stacey has the "subtlety of a sledgehammer." Stacey rapidly becomes the old Helen, nagging Mom about her wardrobe and the dubious Victor. Only Stacey's acting talent and a nail-biting car chase can restore mother and daughter to their proper roles. It's spirited, effortless entertainment with a winning premise and plenty of references to Hollywood stars and the latest TV shows.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Heller writes the kind of uncomplicated and popular novels that make it onto lists like "People's Beach Book of the Week." Here, in the former book publicist's tenth novel, we meet Stacey Reiser, a struggling Hollywood actress. Nearly 35 years old, Stacey is still plugging away waiting for her big break, in the meantime making do with commercials and part-time retail jobs. Her love life is sorely lacking, and on top of all that, her nosey, loud-mouthed, interfering mother, Helen, has just moved to Hollywood to be closer to her. Things only grow worse when Helen finds a bone in a can of tuna and writes a nasty letter to the tuna fish company. The company invites her to their cannery for a visit, and the abrasive and plainspoken Helen is soon offered a starring role in the company's new ad campaign. Meanwhile, Stacey's career continues to tank. What's more, Helen now has a boyfriend, while Stacey continues to have man troubles. This is light reading at its finest. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Heller, Jane
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (April 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312288484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312288488
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,848,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm so excited that all 13 of my novels of romantic comedy are out as e-books now. I really hope those who've never tried the books will download them and that those who've already enjoyed them will want to have these new editions too. And speaking of my novels, AN EX TO GRIND is in development for a feature film. Fingers crossed that it reaches the big screen. After 9 movie options for my books I'm so ready!

Also exciting for me is the publication of my latest nonfiction book: YOU'D BETTER NOT DIE OR I'LL KILL YOU: A Caregiver's Survival Guide to Keeping You in Good Health and Good Spirits. Published by Chronicle, it's what I affectionately called "Nora Ephron's I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK meets Heidi Murkoff's WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING" in that it's a combo of my personal, often humorous essays about caring for a spouse with a chronic illness, interviews with other caregivers (of children, spouses and elderly parents), and advice from a wide range of experts. With over 65 million caregivers in this country, I thought it was time for a book that will entertain caregivers even as it provides lots of ideas for self-care. Check it out for yourself or someone you care about.

And the most recent news is that I've just finished a new novel!

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on May 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Okay, those of you who know me know we're really going into uncharted territory here when I am reading a romantic mystery. My usual formula for evaluating a mystery or suspense novel is explosions X karate battles = Great Book. LUCKY STARS however is a romantic mystery, which is to say it's light on the mystery and heavy on the romance and life situations, though the touch on those topics is actually pretty light, too.
It's what I call a poolside (as opposed to beach) book. I have a friend who has a closetful of books like this, by authors of whom I've never heard; my friend has friends who have a closetful of these books as well and they trade them around and around. There's a heck of a fan base here and, while the writers who mine that base aren't exactly as well known as the Parkers and the Burkes and the Grishams, they have their serious fans. And after reading LUCKY STARS by Jane Heller, I can see why.
This isn't deep or tricky stuff. The heroine of the piece, Stacey Reiser, moves from Cleveland to Hollywood, seeking fame and hopefully fortune as an actress. It is not incidental that, in the process, she also leaves her mother Helen behind. Helen, however, decides to move to Hollywood to look after Stacey. Her meddlesome ways would be bad enough all by themselves. To make matters worse, though, Helen suddenly finds herself to be an overnight Hollywood sensation, with all of the trappings that go along with it, such as fame, fortune and romance --- all of the things that Stacey has been working for but that continue to elude her. Suddenly, their roles are reversed and, when Helen's boyfriend, who seems to be the perfect catch, arouses Stacey's suspicions, it's Helen who resents the meddling. Stacey's suspicions are well placed of course and it's subtly obvious she is right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Northrop on August 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm feeling kind of neutral about this JH book. On one hand, I enjoyed the humor and the bantering dialogue. I also liked the pace of the book. However, the lame "mystery" surrounding the mom's boyfriend dragged down the last third of the book and I couldn't wait to finish it. The farce at the end with Stacey disguised as an ex-wife of the mom's boyfriend was too over-the-top for my liking. Out of the three JH books I've read so far, including Female Intelligence and An Ex To Grind, I would recommend An Ex To Grind over the three. I like the author's voice overall so I will be trying one or two more of her novels and hopefully I won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ellen on April 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Jane Heller has a nack for always keeping her books new and fresh.
Stacy Rieser is a budding star and she is trying so hard to make it in Hollywood. She goes on some auditions and lands a really great part in a movie that a famous movie critic pans. He makes mention of her part and how terrible she was in the movie. While she is realing in her self pity - her mother who is a very possive and intrudes on all aspects of Stacy's life, moves from the midwest to Hollywood. She is a constant complainer, and whiner and she is making tuna for her daughter and she finds a bone. She complains to the company who invites her to the plant to look over the factory and she makes such a scene that they LOVE her and NEED her for their new advertising compaign. Stacy is now going crazy.
Stacy gets a job in a retail shop and she inadvertently meets the critic who gives her a rotten write up. She lets him know that she is annoyed and he feels bad that he eventually invites her out to dinner.
The Mother, Helen, is now a HUGE star ( just like the "wheres the beef lady) and she meets a man who wants to marry her. Stacy is now over protective of her mother and goes out to prove that the mother's boyfriend is a murderer.
I liked the book alot, I would recommend this book to anyone.
Ellen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read Hellers books before and have loved them so I was anxious to read this one as well. I really enjoyed the first half of the book dealing with the mother - daughter struggles but lost interest with the corny second half dealing with the mothers loser boyfriend. Not up to the same standards as her usual work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book written by Jane Heller is passably entertaining. It reminds me of a made for T.V. romantic comedy. All of the elements that make a major motion picture are there, but whatever it is that makes you want to watch (or this case read) something over and over again are missing. Don't get me wrong, there are moments of genuine character developement and humor in the book, but the moments are too few and far between to sustain the story. The plot and the main mystery in the story oddly seems to be in the background. It is predicable with no real plot twists. The first person narration used in the novel is supposed to establish a rappaport bewteen the narrator and the reader fails at times. I felt irrated with the narrator many times, not enchanted. All in all this book is fun to read, but utterly forgettable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lynne Rutenberg on September 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love ALL of Jane Heller's books! They're great fun, laugh-out-loud funny. I'll read anything by this author and well-written.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think that I have read all of author Jane Heller's novels. Some of them, I've liked a great deal and some of them...well, I didn't like a few of the others at all. Now, I safely can say that I enjoyed LUCKY STARS the best of her books.
What makes LUCKY STARS so good? For one thing, Heller's writing, but her prose always is lively and reliable. So there must be an additional element and, here, it's the story. The tale of aspiring actress Stacy Reiser rings true, and the turns that Stacy's life takes seems plausible, if unlikely. Yet that's the point of fiction, to take the unreal and make it real, and Heller makes this transformation beautifully here.
By a quirk of fate, I've followed Heller's path in a literal sense, living in a New York area suburb when she did, relocating part-time to the same area of South Florida at the exact time she moved there and moving, yet again, to Los Angeles at just about the same moment. Thus, it is with authority that I can say that no one captures the rhythms of a community better than Jane Heller does in her books, and LUCKY STARS is no exception.
After reading LUCKY STARS, one will have a true sense of what life is like in Los Angeles for those aspiring to their big breaks in the entertainment industry, the "company" for which this large city is little more than a company town.
As always, Heller's story is quick and endearing, her dialogue crackles and there's a laugh on every page. The supporting cast is wonderful, too, particularly Stacy's mother and best friend.
LUCKY STARS is a terrific and easy read.
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