Palm Springs since the days of the Rat Pack has been the getaway destination for Angelenos. The Coachella Valley Music Festival, The White Party, and the BPN Paribas Open, are just some of the events that draw thousands from LA annually. Just two hours east of downtown Los Angeles, Palm Springs is the desert oasis that many people from Los Angeles run to when they want to escape the pressures of Hollywood, or perhaps carry on an illicit affair. Palm Springs is home to many exclusive resorts and boutique hotels that cater to the rich and famous from Los Angeles with the utmost discretion. What goes on in Palm Springs largely stays in “the Springs.”
In the novel, “Palm Avenue,” Chloe chooses Palm Springs as the perfect place to seduce the naïve young actress, Ashley. Chloe knows that Ashley will be impressed with the five star resort she has booked a room at, the seductive desert landscape and the underlying decadence. There is a vibe in Palm Springs that allows people to quickly slip out of their inhibitions. Of course, a few well chosen pharmaceuticals, high grade marijuana, and expensive champagne will help things along.
An excerpt from the book describes how Ashley falls into the trap. Chloe and Ashley are driving out to Palm Springs for their girl’s weekend getaway. It is Ashley’s first visit to Palm Springs. Chloe offers Ashley a pill to take the edge off. “What is it?” Ashley asked. “It will make you feel better. Trust me,” Chloe said smiling. A bit later they came over a hill and the desert and the mountains were before them. There was a large wind farm spread out across the hills with hundreds of wind turbines rotating. It was surreal and hypnotic and seductive. Ashley remembered seeing the scene from a music video. She felt an intense rush from it and suddenly felt very happy, and comfortable and warm.”
Ashley is impressed with the five star hotel, and the pampering, and the expensive champagne, and the chocolates on the pillows. The embossed toilet paper. Chloe has Ashley just where she wants her – like leading a lamb to the slaughter. Of course, some lambs are willing participants to their own undoing, and Ashley isn’t quite as naïve as Chloe thinks. Ashley has her own agenda, and she feels that she needs to rack up some life experience to benefit her acting skills.
She was crossing new boundaries every day and the thing that scared her was that she enjoyed it. She was excited, she was aroused. She felt free and alive and artistically awake. She also felt out of control and didn’t know where each day would take her.
The trip to Palm Springs turns out to be quite memorable for Chloe and Ashley. The bad thing about every escape from reality is the inevitable return to it. The horror of life on life’s terms hits them as they arrive back in Los Angeles. The weekend was just that – a diversion and a pit stop. All of their problems and obstacles are still there in Los Angeles waiting for them.