Royce Rolls


By Margaret Stohl

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Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce seems to have it all: an actual Bentley, tuition to a fancy private school, lavish vacations, and everything else that comes along with being an LA starlet. But after five seasons on her family’s reality show, Rolling with the Royces, and a lifetime of dealing with her narcissistic sister, Porsche, media-obsessed mother, Mercedes, and somewhat clueless brother, Maybach, Bentley wants out. Luckily for her, without a hook for season six, cancellation is looming and freedom is nigh. With their lifestyle on the brink, however, Bentley’s family starts to crumble, and one thing becomes startlingly clear–without the show, there is no family. And since Bentley loves her family, she has to do the unthinkable–save the show. But when her future brother-in-law’s car goes over a cliff with both Bentley and her sister’s fiancé¿ inside-on the day of the big made-for-TV wedding, no less-things get real.

Really real. Like, not reality show real.

Told in a tongue-in-cheek voice that takes a swipe at all things Hollywood, Royce Rolls is a laugh-out-loud funny romp with an LA noir twist about what it means to grow up with the cameras rolling and what really happens behind the scenes.



Melissa de la Cruz & Raphael Simon

the only Angelena & Angeleno

for whom I will drive

the 405 & the 101

after 3 P.M.

when Waze is down

& I’m not even in the car pool lane.

An ocean’s garbled vomit on the shore

Los Angeles, I’m yours.

—Colin Meloy, The Decemberists

“Los Angeles, I’m Yours” (Her Majesty The Decemberists)


May 2018

Grunburg Residence, Huntington Palisades

(Toyopa between Chautauqua and Sunset)

On May 4, 2016, in the early hours of the morning on one of the better streets of the Huntington Palisades,1 Talullah Kyong-Grunburg (thirteen-year-old daughter of Lifespan Network president and chronic insomniac Jeff Grunburg2) saw the news on her Tumblr feed @AllHailMemeOverlord.3

Sixty seconds after she texted her dad from her upstairs Tahitian-sea-grass-wallpapered suite, he was on the phone in his downstairs Balinese-bamboo-bookshelved office.

The next twenty-four hours were a blur.

To: Daniels, Dirk (

From: Grunburg, Jeff (

cc: Diaz, Barry (, Pearson, Pam


Subject: Problem

Date: May 4, 2018 [3:14 a.m.]

Lifespan Network Department of Publicity

Media Pull: ROYCE

Priority: High

Guys, are you seeing this?

Dirk, get me our guy at LAPD. Let’s all assume damage control until we see how the story plays out.

Barry, get Marketing ready to pivot from A Very Special Wedding Special to A Very Special Funeral Special, just in case.

Pam, identify Lead Mourners. Headliners only. Key message is “Golden Ticket Event.” I’m seeing Taylor Swift in a duet with one of the little Obamas. (How old is Hil’s grandkid again?) And, it goes without saying, bagpipes. (Does the Pope play bagpipes? What can the Dalai Lama actually do? Could we get Lin-Manuel Miranda to take a sick day? Let’s take a run at their agents, either way.)

Or—new direction—we hire the cast of Amazing Race to sing “Amazing Grace”? (Same #amazingrace hashtag either way, you seeing it?) They have to find their way to the funeral in a new Ford C-Max? Winner gets to shovel the first dirt or whatever? There’s something there, stay on it.

All of you, I want reports on the hour. We’re either totally screwed or we just won the lottery.



AP: Los Angeles, California


Bentley Royce, celebrity daughter of the Royce reality television dynasty, and T. Wilson White, heir apparent to the Whiteboyz music label as well as fiancé to Royce’s older sister, Porsche, are presumed dead this morning, following the discovery of burning wreckage in a cliffside ravine off Mulholland Drive.

The vehicle, a white late-model Audi, is registered in the name of T. Wilson White, who appears to have given the wheel over to his teen companion. According to witnesses, these were the only two people in the car. Royce allegedly lost control of the Audi just after 1 a.m., only hours before White’s much-anticipated wedding to Royce’s sister was scheduled to take place. That ceremony was to be televised as the season six finale of Rolling with the Royces.

According to sources, White and Royce were returning home from a wedding rehearsal dinner at the exclusive Soho House in West Hollywood when their car veered off the winding mountaintop road made famous by the death of Hollywood bad boy James Dean, dubbed “Deadman’s Curve.”

A low-profile yet high-ranking music producer (known in some industry circles as “Whitey”4), White avoided the limelight much of his young life, though in recent months he often appeared in the public company of his future bride. His swift rise to the top job at the Whiteboyz label, upon the announcement of his father Razz Jazzy’s impending retirement, came as a surprise to many.

In contrast, seventeen-year-old Royce’s turbulent teen troubles were often documented on her family’s show. Her own relationship with the media was legendarily uncomfortable.

No further information has been provided at this time. “But I can say that the ceremony has been postponed,” confirmed Rolling with the Royces producer and spokesperson Pam Pearson, “due to the absence of the groom.”

Veteran detective Harry Connolly, working with the LAPD’s Homicide Special Section, has refused to address overwhelming media speculation that the incident was not a simple accident.

The balance of the family now remains in seclusion at their luxury home5 in Beverly Hills’ Trousdale Park gated community. The Royce family has yet to release a public statement. White’s parents have still not surfaced since their sudden move to an unnamed South American destination earlier this year, prompting rumors of a tax evasion investigation.

The Lifespan Network issued the following comment, via network exec Jeff Grunburg: “Today the Lifespan family has lost one of our own. We are shocked and saddened by the events of the past twenty-four hours, and urge everyone to withhold judgment until the investigation concludes. We ask to be allowed to grieve in public [sic] at this difficult time.” The now-canceled wedding ceremony is rumored to have cost in excess of $3 million, the bulk of which was paid by corporate sponsors, including Porsche Royce’s own cosmetics line and the Lifespan Network.

One of the biggest family success stories in Hollywood, the Royces (Porsche Royce; her mother, Mercedes; younger sister, Bentley; and younger brother, Maybach) rose to fame as the stars of their hit reality television show (known to fans as RWTR).

Now concluding its sixth season, RWTR is currently the most popular serialized cable program in the 18-to-24 age bracket, recently edging ahead of the hunting season cooking show and cable newcomer Duke of Ducks.6 DOD was rated a mouthwatering first across all age demographics until Porsche Royce’s wedding coverage emerged to pluck the feathers from its crown.

#Roycers, as fans of the show are known, are also making their way to the Trousdale gates, leaving offerings of notes, flowers, candles and stuffed animals as they hold vigil in the memory of lives and loves lost so young.

(Disclosure: Celebcity is a fully owned subsidiary of the Lifespan Network, which is a fully owned subsidiary of DiosGlobale.)

Follow @celebcity for breaking details,



AP: Beverly Hills, California




Lifespan needs to put down this dog of a show! Witchy mama Mercedes should unleash her flying monkeys; big sis Porsche is a D-list D-iva wannabe Marilyn; little sis Brat-ley needs a spanking (or military school); MayBach MayNot get by as just the CGB (cute gay brother) for much longer. What season even is this now? Fifteen? Fifty? Yawn! RWTR is one docu-(un)follow that has us running the other way!

PRO TIP: Try New Reality Channel’s popular new hunting-season cooking show Duke of Ducks if you’re on the hunt for a laugh, starting with the show’s slogan: “This isn’t just gun violence, it’s DELICIOUSLY FUN violence!”7 Joelynne Wabash, the eldest daughter in the reigning duck-decorated Wabash family, is a hoot to watch as she skins animals—then eats them! No wonder this show is the newly crowned King of Cable.

Follow @fabcaster for all the latest on Fab or Fail.


June 2017

Young Hollywood’s “HELP IS IN THE CARDS”

Casino Night

(Chateau Marmont on Sunset, west of Laurel Canyon)

Looking good, Porsche! Work it, girl! Oh yes, thank you, Lord! Bentley! Bentley! Over here! Why so serious? Mercedes! This way, hot mama! Maybach! Bach! Bach! You got a smile?

The cameras kept flashing, but Bentley barely heard the paparazzi anymore. After years of red carpets, they were white noise. If she didn’t try to pick out one from the next—if she didn’t look at their faces—the effect was almost soothing. It was sort of like how the freeway could sometimes sound like crashing waves, if you didn’t listen all that closely. Bent was an expert at tuning things out, especially when it came to the three people standing next to her.

She closed her eyes and felt a sudden pinch on her left hip, stinging like a wasp. She twisted away, but it was too late. Her mother’s gel manicure—color conveniently entitled “BLOODRAWN”8—could, in fact, draw blood.9

“Ow!” Bentley yelped. “Retract your claws already.”

“Tongue! Out!” her mother, Mercedes, said through her teeth. “Where’s my favorite angry teen?”

“My mouth gets tired, Mercedes,” Bent muttered. They weren’t allowed to call her “Mom,” especially not on a red carpet.

“Do you think Miley ever says that to herTish?” Mercedes pinched harder. She was gifted at scrubbing the m-word out, even midsentence.

Miley’s Tish doesn’t control her life. If Miley sticks out her tongue, it’s because she wants to.”

Bent’s sister, Porsche, glanced over at her. “Told you, B. Should have worn the Spanx. Less to grab.”

Mercedes hissed behind her pursed red lips (her signature selfie trout pout), “Stand up straight! Long necks are swan necks! Remember the golden string—it runs from the top of your head right down to your toes!”

“Are you finally admitting we’re your puppets, Mercedes?” Bent’s little brother, Bach, the only boy in the family, snickered.

Mercedes ignored him. “Now for the smiles, everyone—”

Bentley sagged, despite any imaginary golden puppet strings. “Make me.”

“I told you we should have used the back door,” Bach said under his breath.

Porsche stuck out her lower lip even further (her signature selfie baby trout pout) and gave a quarter turn, angling her butt carefully to the left, so as to only expose its good side. (All cheeks, both upper and lower, had good and bad sides, according to Porsche; only amateurs forgot about their second pair.) “And I told Mercedes we should have left you both home.”

Rude, Bentley thought, wondering why after all this time a classic jab from her big sister still got to her. Even though she knew Porsche was right—Bent and Bach weren’t easy to manipulate into camera bait and paparazzi candy, and they didn’t thrive off flashbulbs the way their mom and big sis did—it still didn’t mean Bentley liked it that way. At times like this, she’d observe Porsche’s stoic elegance and marvel at the way each camera flash, each intrusive holler, seemed to actually make her sister grow taller, more radiant, as if she were feeding off the harsh paparazzi vibes.

Truthfully, Bent envied it. While the paparazzi and attention and fame strengthened Porsche, it degraded Bentley. The spotlight only made her feel smaller—inside and out.

“Bentley—” Mercedes repeated. The stinging at Bent’s waist intensified, and now she regretted agreeing to wear matching Balenciaga leather jackets along with her brother and sister. Bent’s was cropped so that it exposed a good three inches of hip flesh that she desperately needed to keep out of her mother’s talon reach.

“You know if you make me bleed, we’ll actually have to buy this jacket,” Bent said, blinking as the cameras flashed in her face.

Mercedes loosened her grip on her youngest daughter.

Bent raised her eyebrows, trying to dislodge her face from her own signature Bentley selfie-sulk. She sometimes got stuck that way. “And I was being serious, by the way. Make me smile. I can’t. I can barely breathe. These jeans are like four sizes too small.”

Mercedes retracted her claws, and the four Royces stared out at the flashing bulbs in relative silence. Every bright flash left a negative imprint on Bent’s eyes.

FLASH! The people became silhouettes.

FLASH! Now they looked almost like skeletons.

FLASH! Someone moved between them. Something.

FLASH! Blinking, Bentley looked again. This time, she thought she saw a hooded figure, dark and still in stark contrast with the surging crowd.


She rubbed her eyes. The figure wore sunglasses and stood hunched over, as if trying to be small, unnoticeable. But Bentley had noticed—even just that stance was so out of place, it had made her stomach flip. No one in this crowd wanted not to be noticed, and trying it only achieved the opposite. Nobody knew that better than Bent.

Bentley blinked again, and just as quickly as it had appeared, the figure vanished. Even weirder.

But she forgot about it a moment later, when she heard the familiar melody begin.

“Landlord’s mad and getting mad-der, ain’t we got fuuuuuuuuun?”

“Mercedes, no.” Porsche shook her head almost imperceptibly. “No singing allowed.” The singing stopped.

Mercedes Royce had the worst voice of any human on the planet, and all she had to do to get any one of her children to crack up was to sing a line from any song, ever.

Though Mercedes’s good looks and firecracker personality were why she had been cast in the short-lived trailer park makeover show TRASHPIRATIONAL10—along with the fact that she was already living as a single mother in the same Southern Utah trailer park where they were shooting—her earsplitting voice was the reason she had been the first one voted out of the double-wide. (Even if she had won the shooting range challenge and nailed the demolition derby, dangit!) Still, her first short stint on television had taught Mercedes to use what she had, and if what she had was a face that made people look and a voice that made them laugh, then so be it.

All of which was why, as usual, her silence was short-lived.

“Times are bad and getting bad-der, ain’t we got fuuuuuuuuun?” Mercedes intoned again, sounding like a wounded animal.

Bentley started to giggle, in spite of the paparazzi. Mercedes never looked away from the cameras the whole time she was singing. She could sing the entire national anthem without moving her lips or opening her mouth; after years of practice, she was just that good.

“The rent’s unpaid, dear, we haven’t a buuuuuuuuus…” Bach chimed in, through his own clenched smile.

“But smiles were made, dear, for people like uuuuuuuuus…” Porsche gave up, picking up the tune despite her own pouty pucker. Now Bentley was laughing in earnest—but even she couldn’t resist joining in.

“In the mean-time, in be-tween time, ain’t we got fuuuuuuuuun?”11

The Royce offspring broke character at the same moment, and as Bach threw back his head and laughed, Bentley grinned affectionately, and even Porsche dropped her forehead against Mercedes’s shoulder. Only Mercedes held it together, as usual.

The cameras exploded to catch the spontaneous moment of Royce family togetherness.

Just as Mercedes had planned.

An hour later, sitting in the VIP room off the main bar at the Chateau Marmont, Bentley Royce was in a great mood. Truffle french fries in little paper cones were never a bad thing. And the cozy-candlelight, slouchy-vintage-hipster vibe of the Chateau Marmont didn’t get on her nerves as badly as most event venues. Plus, there were no cameras now that they had gotten inside—and better yet, Mercedes had disappeared with Porsche to stalk Jeff Grunburg and pitch ideas for season six.

Bent and Bach were on their own for a few precious minutes. Hence the fries—hence the lack of mandatory mingling—hence not being made to take a lap around the room like a Westminster beagle—and hence Bach’s current run at the poker table, playing his hand between the two cutest boys in the room without a single lecture on how gambling was bad for his CGB image.12

But not one of those things was the reason for Bentley’s current mood. She had a better one: as of tomorrow, Rolling with the Royces was on hiatus.

Hiatus—the few months when any television series, including theirs, wasn’t shooting—was like summer vacation, only better. Hiatus meant no budget, so no show. No show meant no cameras. No cameras meant no hassle. No hassle meant no blowouts and no flatirons and no Spanx and no ab crunches. No panic over a zit the size of Mount Olympus, or even double pinkeye from an only allegedly hygienic lash-dyeing brush. (It so happens!)

During hiatus, as far as RWTR’s production team was concerned, it didn’t matter what you wore, what you said, what you ate, or whether or not you worked out. (So long as you still looked good, said nothing too terrible, and hadn’t gained a pound by the time you were back on camera.13 Vicious cycles were way more vicious in Hollywood.)


Pam the Producer didn’t want to have to deal with the cast during hiatus, but that was her only rule. If you crossed her, she would make certain you got the earliest call times possible for the entire next season.

Tonight was the Royces’ last gig of the season—the annual HELP IS IN THE CARDS Children of the Angels Hospital fund-raiser, sponsored by none other than DiosGlobale, the parent company of Lifespan.

Bent hadn’t wanted to come, but her brother and sister and mother had insisted: Mercedes for the networking, Porsche for the photo op, and Bach for the cards themselves. (Tickets-wise, Lifespan had contributed at the FLUSH level, and RWTR at the FULL HOUSE; even if the Royces themselves hadn’t given JACK, Mercedes had still managed to use their show to talk their way in. That was just how the Royces rolled.)

Bent had caved in the end, for Bach’s sake. It was their unspoken agreement, as the two lesser Royces. They were the wingmen beneath each other’s painstakingly TryCycle-sculpted wings, usually. (Bach: “I prefer Wing-gay.”) Tonight, though, Bach didn’t need her. Not at a poker table.

If Porsche bloomed on the red carpet, Bach came to life behind a deck of cards. As long as he had a deck in hand, his life was as perfectly fitted to him as his vintage plaid jacket or his hipster T-shirt, which was soft and faded and advertising a trendy Mexican beer he didn’t drink. (All of his James Perse T-shirts were tailored; Bach insisted on it, after reading in a magazine that Jennifer Aniston did the same thing.) It was the same outfit Bach had worn for Vanity Fair’s Young Hollywood shoot, and it worked. Girls and boys alike had crushes on Bent’s brother (including their publicist, which was probably why Bach had made the issue and Bent had not). Bach took it all in stride, the same way he did everything. The fact that he only liked boys somehow never stopped everyone else under the sun from trying, and he was fine with it.

Fine? He’s great. Relax. It’s all good, B. Even this party.

But after thirty seconds of trying to convince herself of that—while simultaneously avoiding eye contact with the producer’s son she’d been set up with for her “Awkward First Date” episode, as well as the alcoholic child actor who had once been cast for her “Sixth Grade Bully” episode, not to mention the whole RWTR App team—Bentley gave up.

“Yo, bro.” She tugged on his T-shirt to get his attention. “This is boring.”

Bach didn’t answer. He was too preoccupied with his cards, studying them like vital digits that had previously been missing from his hands.

“Hello? Remember me? Your sister? Favorite person ever?”

“Bach said I was his fave person ever,” said the still-struggling star of two critically acclaimed but financially insolvent big-screen YA adaptations. He sighed melodramatically.

“Whatsup, B?” Bach said, not looking up even the slightest bit.

Bent leaned on her brother’s shoulder. “We’re kinda supposed to have each other’s backs at these things—that’s the deal, right, B? And you’re kinda leavin’ me high and dry here, sailing away on your own little poker lifeboat and leaving me to drown.”

“Translation: get off my floating door, Leo,” laughed the cleft-chinned son of a famous vampire-novel writer.

“Whoa, those are two very opposite metaphors, B,” Bach quipped, still studying his cards. “Wanna pick one? Are we in subzero waters or on dry desert land? I’m just trying to follow the narrative.”

“Boom,” said the YA heartthrob.

“Ouch,” said the vampire son.

Bentley twisted her brother’s ear. “Does it matter? I die a painful death either way.”

Bach pulled his head away from her, finally looking up. “So dramatic! Come on, B, it’s not that bad. I don’t know—go sit by yourself and stare off into the distance like you’re thinking about something mysterious and important.”


“Why not? Nobody’s ever mad at a beautiful girl choosing to spend time alone in a room full of people. They just assume she’s cooler than they are, and move on.”

“So you’re saying I’m the beautiful person in this scenario?” She pinched his side, just like Mercedes would.

“I am if it’ll make you leave.” Bach rolled his eyes and shooed her away with a hand of cards and a tough-love smile. “Go be aloof. Somewhere else.”

Maybe he’s right, Bent thought, scanning the room for the perfect corner escape. Maybe tonight sitting alone could be her thing. As a Royce, she always had to have a thing—something, anything to feed the tabloids for the next morning. It didn’t matter what it was, not really. A haircut. A flirty look. A script, accidentally on purpose held to show the title. One or another small clue to their imaginary life away from the cameras, even if only invented for the cameras.

You didn’t have to shoplift a necklace or shave your head—you didn’t even need rehab or an adoption. Not yet. After a while, though, there wouldn’t be enough nipple slips in the world to stave off sliding into obscurity and nothingness. And according to Mercedes, nothing was worse than nothingness.

Bentley eyed a marble ledge near the bar. Could work. Good lighting for important and mysterious thoughts. She made her way toward it, imagining her new favorite headline: WHY SO SERIOUS, BENT? (REALITY STAR PONDERS NATURE OF REALITY AT CHATEAU MARMONT FUND-RAISER.)

Dream on, Bent. She sat down. She knew she’d never read that headline, because the truth was this: Bentley Royce was a smart girl with a mind of her own, but nobody, especially not the tabloids, cared about that.


  • "A truly Clueless take on Where'd You Go, Bernadette? This is hands down the funniest book I've read all year."—Melissa de la Cruz, #1 New York Times best-selling author
  • "[T]his funny, fast-paced read . . . explores identity, tragedy, and rallying around the people you love. . . . A smart, satirical edge separates this Hollywood chick-lit from many others."—Kirkus Reviews
  • "Anyone who ridicules celebrity TV shows while secretly watching them will get a kick out of this."—Booklist
  • "Stohl creates a laugh-out-loud send-up that pulls back the curtain on the unreality of reality TV."—Publishers Weekly

On Sale
Apr 3, 2018
Page Count
400 pages

Margaret Stohl

About the Author

Margaret Stohl is a lifelong science fiction fan, former video game designer, and #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures, Cat vs. Robot, Life of Captain Marvel, and more. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family.

Learn more about this author