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Veronica and the Darlings Go To Del Mar Opening Day 2013

Monday, 15 July 2013 17:16 Jennifer Devore
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The Darlings of Orange County author Jennifer S. Devore has her well-polished finger on the pulse of Southern California: O.C. beaches, Newport shopping sprees, Laguna Beach dining, San Diego Comic-Con and the Del Mar Racetrack, just to name a few locales. As this year's Del Mar Opening Day (July 17, 2013) coincides beautifully with Comic-Con Weekend (July 18-21, 2013), it seems only appropriate that excerpts from Devore's bikini-and-martini, beach-read novel, The Darlings of Orange County make the rounds this summer. With chapters based on Comic-Con as well as Del Mar's Opening Day, she proffers you wee peeks into the scandalous, saucy, salacious world of her Darlings!

Excerpt from The Darlings of Orange County by Jennifer S. Devore

The weather couldn't have been more perfect if it had been written into a novel: 84 degrees, sunny, clear blue skies, Simpsons-clouds, a light breeze and zero smog. The ocean was sparkling and depending where you were that day, one could see not only Catalina, but also San Clemente Island. The day presented every feature possible for conditions air traffic controllers and pilots called clear and a million. Of course, this was Del Mar and on a summer's day, not to mention Opening Day, nothing less could be allowed. It was probably mandated by the San Diego City Council.


 

Along with Tuesdays at the Ritz and shared birthdays at Disneyland, Opening Day at Del Mar was an annual tradition for Kieran and Veronica. Big hats, expensive dresses, painfully strappy sandals and Del Martinis were the kick off to their birthday month: both August Leos. As if they didn't have too much fun most days anyway, thirty more days of birthday festivity would follow today: Disneyland, an Angels game (Always the Anaheim Angels to this crowd, never, ever, ever the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim! Would the Red Sox like to be called the New York Red Sox of Boston?), champagne lunches at the Ritz, shopping at South Coast Plaza, antiquing at The Barn in San Juan Capistrano, a huge dinner party at Cannon’s in Dana Point and various other outings, coffees and soirees across Orange County.

This year's Opening Day, however, was a truly special event. Only yesterday Ryan was taunting death and saved by the grace of the U.S. Coast Guard, or a shark that had already eaten. Looking out at San Clemente Island, the point of no return, or very iffy return, for once you got past that isle open water was all you had, it was very clear that everyone was very lucky indeed to have their Ryan with them today. Veronica watched him stuff a crab cake in his mouth and smiled, then gave him a big bear hug just because. Today was also the unofficial recap show of Shark Guy. All morning he'd been reenacting the events of the day. He and Pardo played off each other, finished each other's sentences. Ryan reeled in an imaginary shark all morning as he showed everyone exactly how he'd worked the rod and line. He also did a perfect impression of Lt. Colbert: a little Colin Powell, a little Fire Marshall Bill.

"Now, kids, I want everybody to know that a shark is not a toy and that the stick in my ass was implanted initially by my father, who disapproved of me at every turn as a child. Said stick was later tightened and secured in place by the United States Coast Guard, which I later learned would validate and confirm me if I just followed their lead and worked daily to impress. Remember, boys and girls, a shark is not a toy and Jesus hates fun."

Since nine o'clock that morning, when everybody met at the Starbucks just down the street from the track, across from Flower Hill Mall, the impressions, recaps, reenactments and Monday morning quarterbacking had been almost non-stop. A few people had even recognized Ryan: a couple of gromits, little toe-headed surfers, at Starbucks, and a few folks at the track, including the parking valet and their private waiter. Toby, the waiter, couldn't get enough of the stories and Ryan and Pardo couldn't help but oblige. Someone in the parking lot had even asked for his autograph. Veronica had laughed and insisted Ryan use her fancy pen, a Waterman she carried in her purse, a gift from Pat for Veronica's very first book signing three years ago. It was a rare show of confidence by Pat in Veronica's quest for literary importance. Today was about Ryan, his circle of friends and even his family.

"Where's Tucker?" it suddenly occurred to Veronica as she fed Ryan another crab cake and hugged him playfully, but saw Chet over his shoulder and noticed he was eating a hot dog. There were no hot dogs on the spread in this room. "Is he selling? Is he outside selling? I thought he just went out for a little walk," she scanned the room quickly. "Damn it, I told him no cart today!"

She let go of Ryan and walked to the door of their suite and looked down the hallway, both ends.

"Yep, he's gone," she raised her palms to Ryan, then to Chet and waited for an answer, who just shrugged and shoved the rest of the contraband hot dog into his red-bearded face. "Jesus, this is so hacky of him. I swear, if he gets caught and tries to use Kieran to get out of it I'm going to steam cook his own wiener."

"That's a weird thing to say," Chet mumbled with a mouthful of food. "But he does do a good wiener. You shouldn't have invited him. He's doesn’t know how to act in a setting such as this," he shook his head in disgust of his youngest brother, agreeing fully with Veronica as flecks of Wonder bun, Hebrew National pork, Gulden's mustard and sweet onions sprayed from his mouth.

Veronica's face screwed up as she watched the vileness fly in her general direction. Chet was right, though; she shouldn't have invited him, either of them. Kieran had insisted, though. It was a special occasion and after what everybody had been through yesterday, she arranged, through her storied and many connections at the track, for the entire Seabiscuit Terrace: anybody and everybody was invited for a day of sun, cocktails, wine, beer and all the gourmet grub they could swallow, all gratis. Of course, Chet and Tucker accepted. Veronica's only stipulation was that Chet wear a shirt, ditto for Pardo, and that Tucker not set up shop. Now, he had done just that and Veronica was going to have to go deal with it.

 

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Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

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