The first two winners have been chosen by (literally) picking the two names out of a box (I didn’t have a hat handy). Thanks to Lillian, my co-worker, for her assistance!
Congratulations to RammsteinNicCage and Tonya Rice!! Please send me your mailing address within the next two days to Citizenscreenclassics (at) gmail (dot) com so we can send your books to you without delay!
A huge THANKS to all who participated! AND, remember there are three more chances to win. I’ll be posting a question on Twitter and another on Facebook. See below the links to each of my pages so you can follow along.
I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that when time proves scarce what suffers is my reading, which is one of my favorite activities for relaxation. Because of this I rarely read books when released even though I buy them with enthusiasm. This was not the case, however, in July of last year when Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations was released. For some reason I couldn’t wait to get to this particular book so I bought it upon its release and read it in a couple of days. I couldn’t put it down.
Well, Simon & Schuster just released Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations in paperback and Stephen Bedford, who’s made several generous offers for me to share on this blog, has once again reached out with giveaway copies of this book for anyone who may stop in and want to read it. I cannot recommend a better way to spend a few summer evenings – this is a fascinating read.
The Secret Conversations came about when Gardner reached out to British journalist, Peter Evans to ghostwrite her memoirs in 1988. Ava Gardner was partially paralyzed on the left side following a couple of strokes and needed the money. I’d be remiss not to mention that the initial Gardner memoirs as intended from these conversations was scrapped due to a disagreement, for lack of a better word, between Gardner and Evans that had to do with Sinatra. The Secret Conversations was published from the notes kept by Peter Evans and published after his death in 2012. Ava was never comfortable with the idea of a tell-all book although what she shared with Evans was as candid as one can get. I’ll add that The Secret Conversations is available at the Ava Gardner Museum (which I’m dying to go to) managed by Ava Gardner’s Estate – meaning the information as presented in this fascinating book is authorized.
During their collaboration, Evans and Gardner met in the star’s London apartment for a series of interviews during which she recounted her “charmed childhood,” life in Hollywood, three marriages and faded glory and beauty all of which prove poignant portrayals that bring Sunset Blvd. to mind. Not that Gardner seems crazy in any way. In fact, I was endeared by her demeanor and wicked humor as she cursed through stories and recollections with the confidence of a true survivor while also relaying a palpable sadness of days gone by.
“Life doesn’t stop because you’re no longer a beauty or desirable. You have to make adjustments. Although I’d be lying to you if I told you that losing my looks is no big deal. It hurts, goddamit, it hurts like a sonofabitch.”
As fascinating as Ms. Gardner’s stories are – and there are plenty of juicy ones about Rooney, Sinatra, Howard Hughes, Lana Turner and many others – how the conversations with Evans took place makes for a compelling story on its own. Gardner was prone to call the journalist at 3 am, worried that her words would be misinterpreted and often second guesses whether the book should be written at all. It was during these late night/early morning phone chats that Ava was most candid and vulnerable, both about her life and in regards to Evans with whom she had a constant tug-of-war.
Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations is poignant, funny and delightful. I’ve always liked Ava the star, but this book made me admire the woman. Gardner was a real dame with as much spine as she had beauty.
“You can sum up my life in a sentence, honey,” she tells Evans in her throaty voice. “She made movies, she made out and she made a [expletive] mess of her life. But she never made jam.” – Ava Gardner
The Giveaway –
You will have five chances to win a copy of Peter Evans’ and Ava Gardner’s, Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations in paperback. Here are the details:
By this coming Saturday at midnight (July 19), leave a comment below noting your favorite Ava Gardner movie. I will choose two winners from this lot and announce them on Sunday.
After that I will promote this post via Twitter (@CitizenScreen), Facebook (Citizen Screen) and Tumblr (Citizen Screen) on which anyone interested need only Retweet, share or reblog and answer the Ava-related question posed. The three winners from the three platforms will be chosen by Saturday, July 26 and announced the following day.
You can enter as many times as you like. Each week’s winners will be chosen at random from all those that participate based on the details above. I will announce each week’s winner on this post and share it on the other social media platforms mentioned above. If the winner turns out to be you, please be sure to contact me within two days of the announcement by sending me your mailing address via email to: email@example.com I will then forward that information to Stephen at Simon & Schuster so you can get your book as quickly as possible. Note that if I don’t hear from the winner after two days (48 hours) I will have to choose another. And, of course, a huge THANK YOU to Stephen Bedford for his generosity!
Note: This give-a-way is open to residents in the continental U.S. only. My apologies to my Canadian friends or those who live in Hawaii, Alaska or other far away places.
Thank you and good luck! This is one you don’t want to miss!