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It’s Still Happening in Vegas

HarperCollins published my first book, Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, several years ago.  But this book review by Betty Jo Tucker from Author’s Den and Movie Addict Headquarters on blogtalkradio is new!

Thank you, Betty Jo.

bigbooksmlLas Vegas Weddings: Book Review

By Betty Jo Tucker

Author Susan Marg deserves kudos for her impressive research in connection with “Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide.” It’s an entertaining read packed with fascinating information about how Vegas weddings intertwine with the history of the town itself.

It’s also fun reading for movie addicts like me, mostly because Marg highlights the nuptials of so many film stars who got hitched in Las Vegas. What a treat to find out the revealing facts behind weddings of such glamorous actors and actresses as Angelina Jolie, Michael Caine, Judy Garland, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, Nelson Eddy, Bette Midler, Joan Crawford, Richard Gere, Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood and Elvis Presley!

And speaking of Elvis, Marg includes an entire chapter titled “What’s a Wedding without Elvis”? She writes, “While there is an impersonator for any celebrity…it is the King that couples clamor for.” There are hundreds of Elvis impersonators in Vegas, of course, and it’s no problem to hire a fake Elvis to escort the bride down the aisle and to serenade the newlyweds after the ceremony. The book also features a chapel guide that helps prospective brides and grooms plan their own wedding festivities in Vegas.

It’s no wonder Vegas and Hollywood seem like a perfect match, so I’m pleased that Marg mentions various films about Las Vegas — including Honeymoon in Vegas, Vegas Vacation, Viva Las Vegas, Fools Rush In, and Ocean’s Eleven. She points out that movies like these have played an important role in making Vegas weddings so popular

Despite the massive amount of information in Las Vegas Weddings, it flows seamlessly. Marg has a breezy, appealing style that draws us in and keeps us interested. Her book also presents some rare photographs of celebrities. I especially love the one of Michael Caine and his beautiful bride as well as the photo of Elvis and Ann-Margret dancing together while filming Viva Las Vegas!

I think this book would make a wonderful holiday gift for movie fans.

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View and Review

Book CoverThis review is by John Burroughs for Midwest Book Review and reposted below:

Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following Their Dreams, Making It Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown collects more than 500 quotes, wisecracks, tell-it-like-it-is tips, and words of wisdom from popular stars and directors, including Ben Affleck to Jackie Chan, George Clooney, Carole Burnett, and many more. Grouped by subject, these vignettes offer a condensed glimpse of the trials and tribulations of the showbiz industry, and are just plain fun for a quick browse anytime. Hollywood or Bust also makes an excellent gift book for anyone who loves TV and movies! “I’d say the cut-off point for leading ladies today is thirty-five to forty whereas half the men in Hollywood get their start then. It’s a terrible double standard.” -Kathleen Turner, actress

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To view the original on the Midwest Book Review Bookwatch – August 2013, scroll down seven categories to Burroughs’ Bookshelf.

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Hear Ye Hear Ye: Talking About the Stars

Book CoverYesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of chatting with Betty Jo Tucker, movie critic extraordinaire and the editor/lead critic of ReelTalk Movie Reviews, and her co-host James Colt Harrison, also an author of thousands of reviews and articles about Hollywood, on Betty Jo’s radio program “Movie Addict Headquarters.”

My book Hollywood or Bust was the central point of our conversation, and I was peppered with lots of questions.  Where did the idea come from?  What was the biggest challenge in writing the book?  How did you decide on the themes in the book?  What are your favorite quotes in the book?

Oh, there are so many.  I like the first quote in the book from Hilary Swank: “I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.”  I think that sets the tone of the book because Hollywood and the movies, even life itself, are all about dreams.

On the loss of privacy that comes with fame, I like Jennifer Aniston’s quote: “When someone follows you all the way to the shop and watches you buy a roll of toilet paper, you know your life has changed.”  The lesson here is to be careful for what you wish.

Betty Jo had her favorite quotes, too.  She pointed out how touched she was by Charlie Chaplin saying, “I was loved by crowds, but I didn’t have a single close friend. I felt like the loneliest man alive,” and she played a few minutes of music Chaplin had composed for Modern Times.  Afterwards she noted, “There he is making everyone else laugh, but he has such feeling.”  And, then we moved on to more amusing topics.

James shared a story relating a chance meeting between Clark Gable and William Faulkner on the MGM lot where they were both working in the 1930s.  Clark Gable knew who William Faulkner was, but Faulkner couldn’t return the compliment.  Ah, writers.  What would the movies be without them?

As screenwriter Joe Eszterhas noted: “Screenplays are a bitch to write.  One man wrote War and Peace.  Thirty-five screenwriters wrote The Flintstones.” Ah, Hollywood.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

Here’s the link for your listening pleasure:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/movieaddictheadquarters/2013/07/30/hollywood-or-bust

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Thank you, Betty Jo Tucker

Betty Jo Tucker is a movie critic extraordinaire, currently serving as editor/lead critic of ReelTalk Movie Reviews and hosting “Movie Addict Headquarters” on BlogTalkRadio. An author herself of Confessions of a Movie Addict and Susan Saradon: A True Maverick, she took time out of her busy schedule to review Hollywood or Bust.  Her review, posted on authorsden.com, is reposted below.

 Hollywood or Bust Book Review

By Betty Jo Tucker

Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013

Happiness for movie fans like me is reading “Hollywood or Bust” by Susan Marg! I love all the quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks from some of my favorite actors and actresses that are included in this fascinating anthology. So, of course, I found Marg’s revealing, star-studded book impossible to put down once I started it.

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As someone who has had a longstanding love affair with the cinema for over fifty years, I was surprised to find so many delicious surprises in Hollywood or Bust. For example, why did Mel Brooks start out as a drummer? What did Sandra Bullock learn from directing a film? How does Harrison Ford define a movie star? What did Elizabeth Taylor have in common with the critics?  Why did Michael Caine want to win an Oscar?  And that’s just the tip of the show-biz iceberg.

The complete title of this entertaining read is Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making It Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown.And “dish” they do – from the price they pay for stardom and what they think about acting as a career to their feelings about each other as well as about directors, writers, studio executives, agents, and the Oscar. According to Marg, their observations “are caustic, critical and cynical on the one hand — but they are also eye opening, amusing, inspiring, and in some cases, even endearing.” Most of all — to me — they are extremely readable.

Marg calls herself a writer, a reader, a television watcher, a moviegoer, a theater attendee, and a museum visitor. She is also the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by Harper Collins.

Hollywood or Bust is published by Cowgirl Jane Press, and here’s the link to the book’s website: www.HollywoodOrBustTheBook.com.

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News Flash and Splash

Book CoverCowgirl Jane Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUST ANNOUNCED:

BEACH BOOK FESTIVAL AWARDS HOLLYWOOD OR BUST.

The 2013 Beach Book Festival announced winners on June 10.  Hollywood or BustMovie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown placed first in the category Compilations/Anthologies.

Comprised of over five hundred quips, quotes, and off-the-cuff remarks from actors, directors, writers, and others involved in the business, Hollywood or Bust conveys what insiders think about themselves, their lives, their fame, their careers, each other, and the town itself. Even among those who have made it opinions vary as to whether or not the road trip down the yellow brick road to fame and fortune is worth the heartache and hard work.

Author Susan Marg is thrilled with the award.  “The Beach Book Festival seemed like a natural competition for my book.  Hollywood or Bust is a fun, summer read, filled with wit and whimsy.”  She further adds, “I won’t be going to the rewards ceremony, however, as it takes place in New York.”

Hollywood or Bust, ISBN 978-0-578-11882-6, is a 182-page paperback book consisting of seven chapters and twenty original photographs.  Topics cover dreams of success to attending the Oscars.  It lists for $14.95.

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Susan Marg is the author of Las Vegas Weddings: A Brief History, Celebrity Gossip, Everything Elvis, and the Complete Chapel Guide, published by HarperCollins.  Since she has moved her field of focus from the City of Lights to the City of Angels, her interest in popular culture has only intensified.

 

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Pop Quiz #1: They Said What?

Book CoverLet’s see how well you know your movie stars past and present.  Identify the speaker of the quotes below.  It’s multiple choice – how hard can it be?

Answers can be found in Hollywood or Bust: Movie Stars Dish on Following their Dreams, Making it Big, and Surviving in Tinseltown (the page number on which the quote can be found follows the quote) or on my Hollywood or Bust website.

Let me know how you did.

1. I don’t use any particular method.  I’m from the let’s pretend school of acting. (page 59)

A. Harrison Ford

B. Robert Pattinson

C. William Shatner

D. Paris Hilton

E. Hugh Grant

2. I’ve always had confidence.  Before I was famous, that confidence got me into trouble.  After I got famous, it just got me into more trouble.  (page 43)

A. Don Johnson

B. Sean Penn

C. Bruce Willis

D. Clark Gable

E. Eddie Murphy

3. The secret of having a personal life is not answering too many questions about it.  (page 38)

A. Lindsay Lohan

B. Rock Hudson

C. Bill Clinton

D. Joan Collins

E. Barbra Streisand

4. I am not a demon.  I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther.  I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion. (page 119)

A. Charlie Sheen

B. Dennis Hopper

C. Quentin Tarantino

D. Will Smith

E. Nicolas Cage

5. I’m very fond of doing movies where men fight over me. (page 64)

A. Angelica Huston

B. Elizabeth Taylor

C. Kerry Washington

D. Megan Fox

E. Marlene Dietrich

6. The only thing I have a problem with is being labeled. (page 91)

A. Elvis Presley

B. Johnny Depp

C. Peter Dinklage

D. Bela Lugosi

E. Esther Williams

7. I want to do something gritty, something real funny, a real smelly part. (page 83)

A. Gwyneth Paltrow

B. Meryl Streep

C. Joan Crawford

D. Hugh Grant

E. Meg Ryan

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Happy 10th! Or is It?

The daffodil: the flower of choice, representing happiness, on 10-year wedding anniversaries. Photo by: robynejay

Anyone who has made it to their tenth wedding anniversary knows what an important milestone it is.  After working through traditional symbols of having walked down the aisle – paper for the first year, cotton for the second, leather for the third, etc., you’ve reached tin and aluminum.  Congratulations!

Although these metals don’t represent romance or love, they are pliable and durable, qualities needed for a successful relationship.

Julia Roberts has these features in abundance.  She has been a leading lady since Mystic Pizza in 1988.  Although not her first marriage, she tied the knot with cameraman Danny Moder on July 4, 2002 when she gathered friends and family to her New Mexico ranch to celebrate the holiday and participate in the surprise ceremony.  They are still together with reason to mark the date.

Liza Minnelli had no such concerns about privacy when she married event producer David Gest on March 16, 2002.  It was a spectacle followed by an extravagant party for an intimate gathering of 850 of their closest friends and family. The excitement lasted for months.  Too bad that the marriage was over in 2003 when Gest sued Minnelli for damages he alleged she had inflicted upon him.  Their legal battles continued for years.

Paul McCartney never asked Heather Mills to sign a prenup before their 2002 wedding because he was in love.  When he filed for divorce citing “unreasonable behavior” in 2006, she vowed to fight back.  While she was awarded less that a fifth of what she asked, a $48 million dollar settlement can soothe the soul.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey became a pop culture phenomenon when their October 26, 2002 nuptials led to their starring on MTV’s reality television program Newlyweds.  But making the relationship work was much more difficult than winning the hearts and minds of their followers, Jessica having many more fans than Nick.  When she filed for divorce in 2005, she asked the court not to award spousal support.

Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley won’t be celebrating together this year either.  Her throwing her $65,000 engagement ring overboard shortly before their August 10th Hawaiian wedding should have been a cue that it wouldn’t work out. Their on-again/off-again relationship ended just 107 days after it began.

It’s not easy being married to a celebrity.  It’s not easy being married period.  But Gwen Stefani and fellow musician Gavin Rossdale will celebrate their 10th anniversary in September, possibly because they keep their relationship out of the media.  Best wishes to them.  And daffodils to all you lovebirds who have made it work!

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved