Thursday, April 14, 2016
Get Lost in the Golden Age of Hollywood with Georgie Lee
Love in the Golden Age of Hollywood
by Georgie Lee
In 1935, with Hollywood in the midst of the Great Depression, and the Women’s Decency League railing against working women, female director Vivien Howard struggles to convince studio executive Weston Holmes that she is the best director to make a Civil War movie. When a publicity mishap results in their staged marriage, Vivien and Weston must learn to overcome their differences to finish the film and find their Hollywood ending.
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Read an Excerpt from Studio Relations:
Eve grabbed her bouquet and hurried to join Vivien. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
“I’m glad someone is excited about my wedding.”
“At least you’re getting the chance to walk down the aisle. That’s more than some of us can say.”
They stopped at Earl’s office door, and Vivien was about to pull it open when Earl pushed through, hastily closing it behind him. Vivien caught a glimpse of a small wedding cake set up in the corner but nothing else before the door swung closed.
“You can’t come in. It’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding.”
Eve tossed Vivien an “I told you so” look, and Vivien rolled her eyes.
“Can we just get this over with?”
“Yes,” Earl said with an uncharacteristic gleam in his eye. If she didn’t know him better, she’d say he was excited about the wedding. It was probably only the thrill of pulling off this ridiculous ruse on such short notice. “Margot, you go on inside, and Lou will tell you where to stand. Dave, you stay here.”
Margot nodded, opening the door. Vivien tried to get a peek inside, but Earl drew her off to the side.
“You’ll see everything soon enough,” he said. “Now, Judge Paxton has granted us the license and backdated it. He’ll also be the one to give you the annulment once it’s done.”
“He’s going to annul it on what grounds?”
Earl went red around the ears and—for the first time ever, she thought—looked a little embarrassed. “Nonconsummation.”
“Oh.” Vivien was surprised Weston had agreed to it. She guessed it was as good an excuse as any. “Well, that should be easy enough to guarantee.”
Eve choked out a laugh behind Earl, and he whirled around to face her.
“What?” he demanded.
Eve wiped away a small tear. “I’m just so excited to see Vivien getting married,” she gushed, barely able to hold back her laughter.
“All right, enough jokes, ladies,” Earl snapped before turning back to Vivien. “After the ceremony, we’ll take a few pictures of you and Weston cutting the cake, and Lou will make sure the story and the pictures are on the front page of the evening papers, tomorrow’s morning editions, and the trades. Tonight you’ll go to Weston’s.”
“Wait—what do you mean, go to Weston’s?”
“You’re moving in with him. I’ve arranged for your things to be taken over to his house so you can get ready for work tomorrow without any trouble.”
“I’m going to live with Weston?”
“Where did you think you were going to live?”
She hadn’t actually thought about it until just now. “At my house.”
“A married woman can’t live in her own house. It’s unheard of.”
“I can’t live with him.”
“You’ll have to if you want it to look real.”
“What does Weston think of this little arrangement?”
“He’s fine with it.”
“Well, I’m not.”
“No time to discuss it now. Come on, I’ll walk you down the aisle.” Earl offered her his arm, and she took it, still stunned by this latest revelation.
Live with Weston. Yes, it made sense, but the idea of being in close contact with him for who knows how long made her nervous. She might be able to act through today, but she wasn’t a good enough actress to get through the next six weeks and make it convincing. The flowers in her hand started to shake as she realized she no longer had a choice in the matter.
“No reason for you to be nervous.” Earl patted her arm reassuringly.
“Easy for you to say.” She was about to give the most award-winning performance of her career, only nobody outside of Earl’s office would ever know it.
Commenters: You don't need to be a serial binge watcher of the Turner Classics channel to love classic Hollywood movies and the stars of the silver screen that headlined movie theater marquees for decades. Have a favorite? Please share!
Author of contemporary and historical thrillers: The national award winning Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series as well as the Phaeton Black, Moonstone Investigations series. Jillian is currently working on the first book in a new Scotland Yard spin-off: Codename: Dragon. Visit her website: jillianstone.com