Friday, July 19, 2013

Studio Relations by Georgie Lee

Vivien Howard hasn’t forgiven Weston Holmes for almost derailing her career five years ago. Female directors in 1930s Hollywood are few and far between, and a man who coasts by on his good looks and family connections can’t possibly appreciate what it took for her to get to where she is. But when the studio head puts Weston in charge of overseeing Vivien’s ambitious Civil War film, she realizes she has a choice: make nice with her charismatic new boss or watch a replacement director destroy her dream.

Weston Holmes doesn’t know much about making movies, but he knows plenty about money. And thanks to the Depression, ticket sales are dangerously low. The studio can’t afford a flop—or bad press, which is exactly what threatens to unfold when an innocent encounter between Weston and Vivien is misconstrued by the gossip rags. The only solution? A marriage of convenience that will force the bickering duo into an unlikely alliance—and guide them to their own happy Hollywood ending.

Book Genre: Historical Romance


"Earl tossed the paper with the photograph on his desk. “It’s one thing for a single woman to direct a film, and quite another for her to spend the night at a single man’s house.”

“I was only there because I was sick.” Vivien sank down on the couch, dropping her head in her hands. “I can’t believe this is happening. What am I going to do?”

“I know what you’ll do.” Earl sat back, a proud smile on his pudgy face. “You’ll get married.”

“What?” Vivien’s head popped up. “To whom?”

“To Weston, of course.”

Weston and Vivien exchanged horrified looks.

“Are you mad?” Vivien jumped to her feet. “We’ll kill each other.”

“Well, you’d better learn to live with each another because I don’t see how you’re going to come out of this with your reputation intact unless you get married.”

“Now, wait just a minute, Uncle Earl. Let’s not do anything hasty,” Weston cautioned, but Earl shook his head.

“You got her into this mess; you can get her out.” Earl picked up the phone. “Jenny, get me Eve in wardrobe and Ben in props. I’ll also need Lou from publicity. Get them on the phone at once.”

“We can’t get married,” Vivien protested, realizing Earl was serious.

“It won’t be a real marriage. Judge Paxton, he’s a friend of mine. We golf together and he owes me a favor.” Earl picked up the phone. “Hotel 550,” he said to the operator. He kept the phone loosely pressed to his ear as he waited for Judge Paxton and continued to explain his harebrained scheme. “He’ll give us a wedding license and do the ceremony today. Only we’ll have him date it for yesterday. Once the movie is finished shooting and it’s a hit at the box office, we’ll get Judge Paxton to get you a nice, tidy annulment.”

Weston took a deep breath, responding in a measured tone. “Earl, it isn’t that simple. My mother has expectations. My lawyers have expectations.”

“Are you saying I’m not good enough to marry?” Vivien demanded, insulted.

“I’m saying I can’t get married on a whim.”

“This time you’ll have to or it’ll be your reputation on the line too.” Earl pointed a fat finger at Weston. “What do you think the Hays Office will say about morality in Hollywood if the people in charge are seen to have lax morals?”

“The Hays Office isn’t worried about me,” Weston scoffed.

“Come here.” Earl hung up the phone and waved Weston forward, then threw one arm around his shoulders and led him to the window. “Think about Vivien,” he said in a low voice that Vivien strained to hear. “If you don’t do this, you’ll walk away with only a few little problems but it’ll ruin Vivien’s life. Not only will she lose her livelihood, but society will knock her down faster than you can spit. Now, the three of us know what happened last night and we can tell the press all about it, but it won’t matter to women like Mabel McGrath. So think about that before you say no.”"

About Georgie Lee, Author

"My love of classic films and Gone with the Wind helped inspire Studio Relations. I knew from my film studies background that there were a few female directors working in Hollywood during the 1930s. While the major studios did employ women behind the scenes, women usually worked in publicity, writing or the costume shop. It was the rare female who stepped behind the camera, and she faced a number of obstacles, from demanding studio bosses to disapproving women’s groups. Also, the 1930s saw a great deal of change in Hollywood from the conversion to talkies to the introduction of the Hays Code, which dictated what could and could not appear on screen. Outside the studio gates, the Great Depression was raging and Europe was heading toward World War II. There was a lot of conflict both on the soundstage and off for me to play with. I touch on all these subjects in Studio Relations, but especially what it was like for a woman to work in a man’s world in 1935 Hollywood.

In Studio Relations, I also pay homage to Gone with the Wind, by making the film Vivien directs a Civil War movie. I drew on my knowledge of Gone with the Wind’s production to help me make the scenes dealing with the production of Vivien’s film seem authentic to the time period. It was fun to pull from both my knowledge of classic Hollywood and Gone with the Wind to help make Studio Relations an engaging story."

Connect with Georgie Lee

Note: Description and pictures from Amazon

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