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Ode to The O.C.: An Excerpt From Jennifer S. Devore's The Darlings of Orange County

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 08:26 Jennifer Devore
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Orange County versus L.A.? Well, versus just about everybody? Please. It's a fun game to play; but they started it. Orange County was just sitting there, beachside in her lovely Escada pixie pants, having a Bombay martini, minding her own business and, without provocation, all those other snarky, nasty, jealous little counties started razzing her. La Pauvre! Authoress Jennifer Susannah Devore is one of her most ardent protectors in such silly, verbal contests, most oft set in a grungy bar somewhere other than The O.C. (Psst, we don't call it that.)

Within the pages of her novel, The Darlings of Orange County, she takes the opportunity to give it a direct S/O and, ever so politely, correct the "competition". (Really though, short of Monterey, Carmel and Santa Barbara, Orange County has no competition in California.) Love it or hate it, Orange County counts ... and it doesn't, by a very long stretch.

Enjoy an excerpt from Jennifer S. Devore's The Darlings of Orange County

Orange County? Now, that’s a whole other zone. It counts ... and it doesn't count, by a very long stretch. Orange County is excluded from the spiritual as well as the legal TMZ, and with extreme prejudice.

Orange County is the pretty, privileged, perky cousin you hate, but have no real, valid reason to do so. All you have are some faint memories of childhood and family visits, because you really just don’t visit ever, if you can help it. Still, you're constantly reminded of her success, beauty and casual, happy lifestyle through family gossip, pictures and Facebook posts. She grew up in a bigger house, with nicer parents, received a better education, and had shinier hair, fancier clothes and even her own damn horse. You can't stand the fact that even though you secretly disdain her, she adores you and year after year gives you a better Christmas present than you give her and it's always beautifully wrapped. She's a total bitch because she's not a bitch at all and despite the crap you give her, she still smiles, laughs, drinks her cocktails and enjoys her life and, worst of all, has a kick-ass body that you know you could have if you actually worked on it like she did; but, she actually likes working out and that makes you hate her even more. It makes her feel good and she just couldn’t imagine a day without exercise and that makes you cringe. In short, you are jealous of her and that is why you mock her with the other unhappy people in your life … but you know you would trade places with her in a heartbeat if somebody just dropped it all in your lap.

Now, tonight that little bitch was having a kick-ass party and you were invited. You bitched all the way down the 405 from The Valley, but you showed up anyway and are going to drink all the free champagne you can, aren’t you?

The only folks whom proudly claim to love Orange County, live in Orange County. The rest of the world dismisses it with a flip of the wrist and a catty, convenient label: phony, vapid, unreal, tacky, fake, classless, trash with cash, Mickey's whorehouse, Silicone Valley. Los Angelenos think Orange Countians are stupid and unsophisticated, Inland Empire dwellers think they're phony and plastic, and Northern Californians hate them viscerally and consider them an Aryan race of Republican trust fund brats hell-bent on enslaving the Mexican immigrant community and manicuring the entire state to look like a Mission Viejo cul-de-sac. Amidst all that, the competition within and behind the Orange Curtain is fierce and it's a daily struggle to be the prettiest, perkiest, most privileged cousin on the block. To quote Lynne Curtin from the self-destructive Real Housewives of Orange County, "It's Orange County! It's freaking hard to live in Orange County! It's so hard!"

It is a damn fine place to live, though. Like those outside the main stream enough to build a house into a boulder, and there happens to be one of those on Laguna’s Aliso Beach, some of the Hollywood set have made Orange County their home: if not a primary residence, at least a second home.

From John Wayne, Richard Nixon and Errol Flynn to Dennis Rodman, Barbara Eden and Bette Midler, some have just understood the beauty of Orange County. Some, like Humphrey Bogart, Mae West and James Cagney, were content to keep their yachts moored in Newport Harbor and some, like Charlie Chaplin, Billy Bob Thornton, Britney Spears, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hanks, are happy to use her facilities on occasion: Disneyland, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island, Monarch Links, The St. Regis. Yep, a lot of the world may talk a lot of smack about the O.C., but, like an appletini or mozzarella sticks, once you've had a taste you know you want some more.

Excerpt from The Darlings of Orange County by Jennifer S. Devore. All rights reserved. Property of KIMedia, LLC. Excerpt may be shared digitally for entertainment,  non-commercial purposes only and may not be reprinted in analog format or sold in any format, digital, analog or otherwise.


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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. is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!



Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at

Abyssinia, kids!