The First Look at Michael Weatherly’s NCIS Goodbye Will Make You Cry

NCIS, Michael WeatherlyIt’s so haaaaaard/to say goodbyeeeeee/to Michael Weatherlyyyyyyyy. That’s how that song goes, right?
Michael Weatherly’s final two episodes of NCIS are rapidly approaching…

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Stars Say Goodbye To ‘Great Guy’ Ronnie Corbett

Four candles burned at the back of the altar as stars including Jimmy Tarbuck and David Walliams paid respects.
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Goodbye Fatness, Hello Gorgeous!

Goodbye Fatness, Hello Gorgeous!


As an overweight child, author Lori M. Sweeney was ridiculed and called a loser by children and even certain family members. Her weight increased over time and cruel treatment continued. She inherited new names, including the name, “Fatness.” A major car accident resulted in two knee surgeries and a broken heart. She could no longer keep up with her toddler or do simple things such as walk or climb stairs. She couldn’t find her size in a store and had to special order large, unflattering clothing. With all the courage she could muster, Sweeney persevered. Since diets of the past didn’t work, she carefully devised a reasonable plan and created lists of situations that caused overeating and paired them with solutions. As a former chemist, Sweeney had the gift of formulations which carried over into the kitchen where she was able to concoct culinary creations low in fat and calories. Her tips and tricks led to a 125-pound weight loss. In Goodbye Fatness, Hello Gorgeous! she tells her story and inspires others to get healthy and not suffer as she did at 272 pounds. This book is filled with tips, tricks, motivational techniques, and recipes. This collection helps you handle temptations, bad habits, and situations that lead to unhealthy eating.

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Goodbye Old Friends & Other Stories

Goodbye Old Friends & Other Stories


This is a collection of 14 absorbing short stories on a variety of interesting subjects. In Goodbye Old Friends, an elderly man is faced with losing his beloved team of mules. His health is failing and the care and companionship of his faithful friends of 15 years is his only reason to continue living. As he sits alone, during the night before the mules are to be taken by his son, he reflects on his long and adventurous life. The final goodbye to his old friends is a heart-wrenching scene. The other 13 stories cover a wide spectrum of subject matter.

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Can We Say So Long, but Not Goodbye, to Dave?

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While the show business community and the audience for David Letterman are in the process of saying thanks and goodbye, I’ve had a recurring thought: why must we say goodbye? Many of us are going to have a difficult withdrawal from our dose of Dave, especially the comedy community, and I’m just hoping his absence from our lives is a brief one.

I first met David Letterman back in 1977 when the late comedian George Miller introduced me to him. I was just a kid and a newcomer and I was starting to work as a comedian. One day Robin Williams invited me to open for him and David Letterman at the Bla Bla Cafe on Ventura Blvd. During my set the audience was so quiet I thought they were all deaf and needed sign language, until I finally got a good laugh on this joke: “I was at a dance club and I asked one of the girls to dance with me. She was, as they say in my country, extremely well fed. While slow dancing, she came in real close to me and whispered in my ear, ‘what do you use in your country for protection?’ I said, ‘a knife or a stick.'” I was so pleased to get any response that I said, “That’s my closer, good night” and bolted from the stage. Later that night during Robin’s set, he was feeling badly for me and brought me back onto the stage and started teaching me Shakespeare. That got a lot of laughs, the audience really enjoy it.

After the show, David gave me suggestions on how to fix some of my jokes. One joke he fixed, wound up getting laughs whenever I performed it afterwards. The way I told the joke was, “Everybody always gave me advice on how to pick up girls in America by spending a lot of money on them. So I met a girl and I said, ‘I would like to buy you a piano.'” David said I would get more laughs if I added a response from the girl. He said that she should reply “I would rather have an organ.” I did that joke Dave’s way, and always got lots of laughs. David was like that with everybody. He was very creative and giving, always offering other comedians help.

In 1979 when the comedians went on strike because we weren’t getting paid, David was already making money, but made it a point to help out. I remember one night we were on the picket line and David and Tom Dreesen showed up; I found out later that David guest hosted that night for Johnny Carson, but he showed up to help his fellow comics further their cause.

If it wasn’t for comics like David Letterman, Tom Dreesen, George Miller, Jay Leno – and many others – the comedians today would not be getting paid at the established clubs. I always remind the comedians that those individuals were the pioneers, who struck to get them their due. For those interested in that history, I recommend the excellent book written by Los Angeles Times editor Bill Knoedelseder, called I’m Dying up Here.

David never stopped helping comedians. Like his mentor Carson, Dave helped expose and promote stand-up comics on his show. In fact, he exposed more comedians on his TV show than any subsequent late night host. He never forgot his roots, and he never forgot those who performed with him on his rise. Tom Dreesen, Jeff Altman, Johnny Dark, Paul Mooney, George Wallace, Jimmie Walker, John Witherspoon, and so many others, were all on The Late Show many times, because Dave knew it was an important way to get them known.

David truly is a person filled with care and compassion. When David found out about George Miller’s diagnosis with leukemia, he arranged to secure a two bedroom apartment with a 24 hour nurse for him. David paid for everything. After a few years, Miller’s health deteriorated and near the end, Dave – even with his busy schedule – managed to fly in from New York to spend a few hours with his comic buddy. I joined Dave and Tom Dreesen and Gary Mule Deer at George’s apartment and watched Dave give him encouragement and positive reinforcement. A few months later, George died from a blood clot in his head and I had to pass on that tragic news to everybody including David. He was devastated.

David is a rare person, extremely funny, and extremely generous with a big heart. Not only does he help comedians, his charity work is unmatched and practically unknown. He has a foundation for underprivileged kids and nobody knows about it. I only found out about it from one of my Comedy Camp kids.

If I headed any network, I would never let a comedy treasure like him retire. David is still at the top of his game and has so much more to give. If he doesn’t want to work nightly anymore, perhaps one of the networks can get him to do a few specials each year. He is a national treasure and a “doctor of the soul” whose sense of fun has cured many of us from our doldrums. I’ve never seen all of the Laugh Factory comedians in agreement on any one thing, but they all seem to agree on David’s importance and contributions to comedy. It seems that these feelings are also shared by comics all around the country.

So my mantra is–so long Dave, enjoy the break, but we ain’t saying goodbye.

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A Goodbye After 20 Years of Directing Late Show With David Letterman

In the early evening of May 20 the words “used to be” will be grafted to the end of my name. Around 5:30, I will ask CBS Technical Director Tim Kennedy to “please fade to black.” Later I will remove the few remaining personal items from my sunny office with the four windows and set out to civilian life. When my feet touch 53rd street I will take my place among “ex” ball players, “former” Congressmen and “used to be” ship captains. I will be referred to as “the former director” of Late Show with David Letterman. Along with the name change, comes the surrender of an all-access pass to New York City.

Consider the sound of six hands clapping. In March of 2012, the cast of the Broadway show Once was booked on Late Show. On the Friday before the appearance, I walked eight blocks south to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater with a Late Show producer and my assistant. We sat in the darkened house as Cristin Milioti, Steve Kazee and the entire cast treated us to a very private performance of “Falling Slowly.” We were invited onstage where these big-time performers warmly introduced themselves and asked if “we would like to see it again?” “Ah, thank you. We’d love to see it again.”

Show business is filled with effusive strivers who realize their dream and can’t stop telling you about it. Sorry, but yes, there was a younger version of me from the north shore of Staten Island desperate for a one-way ferry ride. Manhattan scared me — it was loud, uncomfortable and uncaring, and, for reasons thousands of smarter people have tried to explain, absolutely magnetic. I had no choice. I needed to step off on the New York side and stay there.

One arctic January night, I rode the ferry again but this time I “owned” it. Late Show needed a new opening montage and I was given the resources and creative freedom to light up a boat named “The American Legion”. After crossing the harbor with the ferry’s captain, I grabbed a taxi to the West 30th street heliport where a pilot and camera crew harnessed me to the floor of a helicopter that was missing its doors. We did multiple passes across the bow of the ferry that was following a route and speed I requested. Later we buzzed the icons. I got a close look at the rivets dotting the roof of the Chrysler building and dangled my feet over the spiky crown of the Statue of Liberty. “Big deal” you say, “directors get to do that stuff all the time.” True, but on what scale and how often? I was in show business every day for 20 years or 1040 Sundays if Billy Crystal is counting. I had a blast. If things didn’t go well on Tuesday (they often didn’t), I had the rest of the week to get it right (I often didn’t.)

When my time at Late Show ends I will have directed over 3700 broadcasts, three openings and dozens of single camera shorts. I was treated to a private tour of the Empire State Building. I rode in blimps, police cars and the back seat of a taxi with Buzz Aldrin, who listened politely as I explained how to hold a pen in zero G. I had free run of Yankee Stadium and was part of a group that convinced George Steinbrenner to berate our Stage Manager, Biff Henderson. Mr. Steinbrenner turned out to be a great guy but the people around him seemed very nervous.

I put in hundreds of miles wandering the city streets with writers and camera crews in search of “found comedy”. On one of the many days when the funny refused to reveal itself, a call was put in to City Hall. Forty five minutes later, we were standing on the porch of Gracie Mansion as Rudy Giuliani lectured us about the waters of the Long Island Sound, the Harlem River and Upper New York Bay converging off his front yard to form the currents of Hell Gate. He reminded me of a know-it-all uncle.

If Joaquin Phoenix can romance an operating system, can I love a building? In 1992 I was invited to abandon my comfortable union gig in the art deco halls of NBC and travel a few blocks west to a smelly, broken down theater that saw its glory days in the 1960s. There was no guarantee of long-term employment, but there was the opportunity to help refurbish of one of the world’s most famous stages. Money blew down Broadway as the corporate might of CBS dragged a neglected ocean liner out of mothballs and made it seaworthy again. It was intoxicating. A dazzling broadcast facility was dropped into a swirl of fresh plaster, deep pile carpeting and velour seats. Everything was new; everything was possible.

I roamed the grand old building unchallenged, no one told me to leave (actually there was one time in 2003, long story). Instead stagehands and security people acknowledged me with snarky, absurd salutations that can only be traded among people who’ve shared changes of seasons and cycles of life. I’ve crawled through every accessible inch of The Ed Sullivan Theater. I’ve examined the pumping system that tames the stream running beneath the building and I’ve spied the plump rats who shared the stage with Letterman. I’ve climbed the sketchy iron ladder to the roof and stepped out a restaurant window onto the iconic marquee where Paul McCartney marked his return with a summertime street concert. I’ve pondered my good fortune in front of the René Bouché pencil drawing of Ed that hangs in the inner lobby and I’ve seen the looks of reverence from the many people I’ve taken through the place.

In October of 2002 Warren Zevon showed up for rehearsal; he was dying from mesothelioma. This was his last Late Show appearance and final public performance. He would be dead in less than a year.

Warren was a Late Show regular and covered for Paul Shaffer during the rare times Paul was unavailable. He was one of those guys you never saw coming. He didn’t enter a room — he appeared. On this day a rolling silence announced Warren’s arrival. He took in our frightened, sad faces for a few perfectly timed beats and said, “I think it’s the flu.” Later, Warren and Letterman had a compelling and surprisingly amusing conversation during which Warren shared that he may have “made a tactical error in not going to a physician for 20 years.” With the time he had left, Warren told us he intended to “enjoy every sandwich.” He performed three songs, focusing every witness to a deep look at the abyss.

Each day, Late Show started with a blank page that demanded to be filled. There were plenty of smart ideas, but we often resorted to spectacle. We broke windows, blew up pumpkins and spilled thousands of marbles from seven floors up. We hosted presidential candidates, presidents and former presidents. (There’s that “former” word again.) We re-enacted the Civil War and marched Marines under our marquee and through the aisles of the theater. We watched Philippe Petit take a wire walk 14 stories above an airbag that the city demanded, but he assured me would do nothing to save his life.

And then there are the folks, the humans who kept the assembly line moving. Late Show is populated by smart, stylish people with wicked senses of humor and impossibly fast minds. They gorge on popular culture and carry generous supplies of intuition and insight. Somehow they soldier on through jealousy, rage, dysfunction, cancelled guests, evolving technology, relentless scrutiny, tardy rock stars, fierce competition, 4 am calls, failed comedy ideas and a very demanding boss. They are clever, resilient and, at their core, among the most decent people you could ever hope to meet.

And then there’s Letterman — someone who relentlessly drove himself and the rest of us to the outer envelope of effort and clear thinking. In a random close encounter you’re likely to be charmed — what a great guy, so well-informed and so interested in what I have to say.

I grew up around funny people. Sarcasm and irony was my native language, finesse was an alien concept. Humming just beneath the surface of banter and insults was a bond allowing us to endure life’s cruelties with silliness. Funny people are strong. They counter fear and the indignities of living by surfacing the ironic, the ridiculous and the unexplainable. If tragedy is never taken seriously, then nothing can be tragic, fear is eliminated. To be in the presence of funny people is effortless and exhilarating, to be around people trying to be funny requires you to pay attention — it’s work.

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When Dave was still at NBC hosting his 12:30 show, there were lavish Christmas parties. He’d buy out the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink and staff and crew would eat, drink and skate together. It was magical. Imagine sliding around on that famous ice minus the crowds, while envious tourists studied us from the plaza above.

As the evening wore on, small support clusters gathered to strategize about the best moment to approach Dave. We all wanted a little face time to register gratitude and maybe say something clever. People agonized over when to make the move and what to say. It was like lining up to visit Santa Claus, except Santa was a moving target, easily irritated and there would be no sitting on his lap.

It didn’t feel right to bother him while he was skating; you weren’t going to interrupt him while he was eating and there was never an easy way to join a conversation he was having with someone else. I was new to this world and couldn’t reconcile the degree of angst hovering over the room. Smart people were struggling to measure the conditions of saying “thank you” to their boss at the company Christmas party. It seemed way too difficult but, like everyone else, I was thrilled to be included and desperately wanted to be invited to the next party and beyond.

As I silently raged against my diffidence and fear of celebrities, I was steadily reminded by more experienced partygoers that “you have to go up there.” Time was running short. When I spied a gap around his table, I jumped. It was like stepping off the wing of a shrieking airplane. Beyond the pressure of coming up with something smart to say was the added burden of being evaluated by a gaggle of eavesdroppers who would overhear my remarks and report to the rest of the party. There would be judgment.

Before I was frightened off by the intense, narrow eyes that screamed “Oh God, here’s another one,” I stuck out my arm and said “Well Dave, it’s time for the annual hand shake.” I was sure that lampooning the absurdity of it all was something he’d appreciate. Turns out I was very wrong. Professional funny people don’t like wise guys. My stab at neighborhood humor was met with soul-searing silence. “Thanks for everything,” I stammered as he reflexively gripped my hand. “No Jerry, thank you,” came the kind-of-loud reply. I slithered away reduced. I spent two agonizing hours trying to get it right and he dropped me with four words and a scowl. I wanted to stick my head in a bucket.

Spread over 25 years my Letterman encounters, occasionally direct sometimes by proxy, were dominated by similar miscues, garbled intentions and remorse. I never seemed to say the right thing, but the stakes got higher — I was the director, perfectly positioned to screw things up and I often did. Despite an earnest desire to please, I never left work thinking I got it right.

Among Dave’s many gifts is the uncanny ability to turn the simplest task into something unwieldy. Watch him dial a phone or attempt a tweet. He’s also someone who can stare down the barrel of a single camera and distill the most complex human frailties with sideways insights that are hysterical and ultimately reassuring. The maddening part is the impossibility of predicting which version you’re going to get.

Long before Paris Hilton, the obnoxious Housewives or the family Kardashian was Dave, antagonizing Bryant Gumbel with a bull horn or taunting General Electric’s upper management with a gift basket. Dave pioneered reality television. If he was happy, you knew it and there was no escaping the times he was pissed. Search the night he announced the birth of his son or the time someone accused him of being a “non-voting Republican.”

Brilliant writers showered him with scripts, concepts and set ups. Most pitches were rejected and the rare ones to make it through were drastically altered. Even the best ideas were a threat to his effort to spill his thoughts out in real time. The memorable nights were when he was on a rant or a roll and the vitriol or joy flowed fresh from his uniquely wired brain. While he filleted himself in pursuit of perfection, David Letterman harbored a deep disdain for anything suggesting rehearsal. The observations, the comedy, the biting conclusions had to be conjured in the moment. This was not a teleprompter guy, if it was being read, it wasn’t a conversation, and if it wasn’t a conversation you’re not a broadcaster.

Dave is painfully self-aware. He lives in a state of perpetual examination and is incredulous that others don’t make the same effort. If they did, the world wouldn’t be populated by so many fools. He is easily the fastest knife in any fight and lights, microphones, cameras and direction only interfered. He was impossible to please, and if you stumbled into doing something right, he was convinced it would lessen your next effort. Was it simply some noble, Midwestern work ethic? I may never know.

Dave possessed a fierce drive to honor his opportunity. He threw everything he had at the show and left nothing on the table. Defying an earlier generation of generic NBC executives, David Letterman did become the uncontested heir to Johnny Carson. He walks off with his dream fully realized. He also gave me and many others a shot at their own professional dreams. The entertainment business is deep with people who passed through Dave’s world and have gone on to considerable success.

Now it’s time to hand the keys to a new owner. One day you’re a big shot with fat budgets and vast resources and the next day you’re not. Like the high school we leave behind or the vacated summer rental, someone kind of like you will occupy the space that was once yours and create memories of their own.

When Warren Zevon was leaving the theater that early autumn evening the impossible silence returned. The stage was dim and the theater’s ghost light was in place. As Warren gingerly lowered himself into the backseat of a town car, Stagehand Kenny Sheehan attempted a goodbye — “We’ll see you around, Warren.” A weary grin came to Warren’s face as he reached for the door. “Yea, I’ll see you somewhere.”

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The Long Goodbye

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When the day arrives, the day you dreaded, the day you know that you put so far into the back of your mind, it had no possibility of ever coming true. In fact, that what the doctor said, “You have a better chance of dying of old age than of chronic lymphocytic leukemia,” we believed him.

Several years into the progression of the disease, I had heard mom complain of feeling tired so much and that she just wasn’t herself. I knew it but encouraged her to get out more… take a walk. Little did I or anyone else suspect that it was her time and now we must realize that we are getting closer to the end. Yes, the end of Mom’s physical existence on this Earth’s plane. Big changes are coming. She has survived losing her parents, having three children by the time she was 20, getting a divorce, going back to school and becoming a nurse and then many operations over the years, getting remarried and losing a son and years later her second husband, and now leukemia. Through it all, she says she has had a wonderful life and she is ready.

When the doctor ordered hospice to get involved, I was not ready. Wait, she is still playing cards, getting her hair done, going shopping and on picnics. She appears way too active for the end. In the end, the numbers don’t lie. The white blood count is raging through and blowing out the red cells. The spleen is getting larger and is painful. I find the alternative approaches and Mom says no. No to chemo, (I do not blame her)..no to heroic measures. Unfortunately persons of my mom’s generation believe that anything alternative is mostly “hocus-pocus” and tend to believe that doctor’s are the last word.

So now I have returned home to help to stabilize what is left of her time. Although I had ushered others through the end of life in similar situations. This is very personal, after all, this woman, this person who has known me everyday day of my life, who indeed knows me better than I know my self. Tells me she has had a wonderful life and is so grateful for everything.

Everything is the house will be gone, in that it will go to family, hospice or sell. The idea of a garage sale seems crazy so, I am pushing that aside. There is the task of deciding what to keep personally. I have opted to scan what can be scanned; photos, paperwork and film.

When she has a bad day, I try to be more gentle and offer comfort. Other days, we talk and operate normally as I do not want her to feel dependent so I let her do more.We pour through family albums and mementos and she recounts stories with them all. She is filling in the gaps in my memory, but to her, they were like it happened yesterday. I look into her serene blue eyes and revel in all of the joy in her memories. I have heard more stories that I never knew. They fill in so much about the person than just mother. She is always kind and has an extraordinary sense of fair play. She never has been unkind to anyone and has gone out of her way her entire life to help others including becoming a nurse when we were off to college. I know how lucky I am to have her as a parent and true friend.

There are days that I am okay. I stay busy with organizing and keeping things up on the property. And then, at night, I lie and bed and it hits me that I am so grateful to have these days with her and I doubly grateful that for 90 percent of the day she is relatively pain-free thanks to medicinal strength Tylenol and sometimes morphine

Although there is no time frame here, I have been told 3-6 months and she is already into the fourth month. I pray she that goes in her sleep. As I said earlier, her wishes were no hospitals, no heroic measures and she has signed the directives. There is family and friends now who have flown in to say their goodbyes.

Once, many years ago, I spent a weekend with about 15 people in a seminar hosted by Shirley MacLaine. We arrived Saturday morning, sat in a circle and each of spoke about what was on our mind and what we hoped to accomplish with each other. Shirley spoke and told us that her father has passed away the night before in North Carolina. I know I was surprised that she would be with us when she might have been there with the family. She said something so profound that it has changed my thought of death. She said that she and her father no longer have distance to separate them anymore. I got it. Everything he was, was his spirit and her memories, not his body. Physicality was no longer a part of the relationship and he was with her full time now. And year later, my dear friend, Marianne Williamson spoke of “dropping the body'” and although we cannot see them, it doesn’t mean that they are not there. Dropping the body leads them to broadcast on channel 7 and we were still on channel 2.

My mission is now to be here with her, hold her. comfort her and thank her for everything she has done. These days of preparation and organization are blessed with so much that in the end, it will be difficult to say goodbye. The best I can do will be to honor who she was and continue to be inspired be her actions to be more like her. Those are my wishes.

Stay tuned.

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Goodbye Milky Way

Goodbye Milky Way


Tom Calvano is a freelance project manager with a reputation for getting results for corporations and governments. But he’s never been up against a challenge like this. From the depths of space a deadly stellar-mass anomaly is hurtling toward Earth, threatening all of mankind with extinction. The Guardian, an ancient alien being who has watched over humanity for eons, has informed the U.S President and other world leaders of the threat. When they choose secrecy and denial, Tom convinces The Guardian to join forces with the Star-Slayer Team, an eclectic group dedicated to saving the planet. A geophysicist, George Blocker, independently recognizes the threat to humanity after the earthquake that touched off the Asian tsunami caused a shift in the axial tilt of the Earth. But what could have caused such a powerful earthquake and its unusual tectonic activity? He and a few colleagues, fearing global panic, begin meeting in secrecy to confirm their calculations. But the group’s activities are uncovered by a powerful, mysterious international agent provocateur who makes the Star-Slayer Team an offer they can’t refuse. The team’s leader is Jon Walmer, a brilliant scientist and inventor of an incredible computer named Aieda who thinks she’s female. Walmer enlists the help of the President to use the manned mission to Mars as a cover for funneling billions of dollars to their black-ops project. When the Star-Slayer Team finally comes up with a solution, it’s a highly improbable one. It’s based on Aieda’s formulation of a new theory governing gravity and space-time that, hopefully, will give the team just one chance to prevent global disaster. Although there’s no way to test the theory, it’s the only alternative. The team has only seven years to develop the mechanism and hit the launch button before the anomaly consumes the Earth.

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Wave Good-bye

Wave Good-bye


St. Elizabeth, Georgia, offers charm, Southern hospitalityand the occasional murder. This time, when a new hair salon tries to steal business, it’s someone’s life that gets cut short Violetta’s salon is up in arms. Business is dead. Snippets, a big box haircutting chain, has opened in St. Elizabeth, undercutting prices and luring away loyal customers. Violetta’s daughter, hairdresser Grace Terhune, is shocked to discover that it’s her old high school rival Lisa Butterworth who’s behind the big sweepand Grace isn’t going to take this sitting down. Snippets’ cold-blooded prized employee is doing wonders with Violetta’s client list. According to Lisa, it’s just businessuntil a bitter confrontation leaves Grace more than frustrated, and Lisa less than alive. Now Grace is the prime suspect in her rival’s murder. And only her friends at Violetta’s can save herbefore the charge proves permanent. BEAUTY TIPS AND TRICKS INCLUDED!
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