Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The one and only Diahann Carroll on sale today!

Well folks although I hate to play favorites, this book, Diahann Carroll's The Legs are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying and Other Things I Learned The Hard Way has turned out to my favorite of all our fall releases, because it is just plain so much fun. And insightful too, particularly about the pre-Civil Rights era and non PC years Old Hollywood.

Generations of people know Diahann Carroll. If it isn't for her turn on "Julia" as the first African-American with her own sitcom, or starring in the indepenent film Claudine, you know her from Dynasty or shows like A Different World or even recently on Grey's Anatomy .

Naturally such a long and storied showbiz career lends itself to a very interesting life story, and although young people may not like to admit it, it's hard to know everything when you're 25. Now in her Golden Years, Diahann Carroll has let it all out from her days hanging out with the Rat Pack to her tumultuous affair with Sidney Poitier (They were both married at the time), to her audition for Sunset Blvd. Carroll has more than enough stories to fill two books. You can see her talk about her book on Good Morning America, or her interview on NPR, or catch her on The View tomorrow! And for an extra treat watch this vintage video of Diahann Carroll in a gorgeous fringe dress. And you can watch her wrestle Joan Collins on Dynasty on Amistad TV.

Also on Sale Mo'Nique!

Last week everybody's favorite F.A.T. (Fabulous and Thick, that is) actress/comedienne Mo'Nique published her first YA novel, BEACON HILLS HIGH, which explores the trials and tribulations of teenager Eboni Michelle Imes, who gets uprooted from Baltimore to glamourous Los Angeles, just as she was about to start high school with her friends, the TTC (Too Tight Crew).

So thanks to the likes of Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton we know Southern California can be a bit unkind to anyone who dares to eat and expand beyond a size 0. And Miss (F.A.T.) Eboni has never been one to turn down quality food. So as you can imagine a fish out of water story ensues....With its multi-racial cast and fun setting this book is sure to resonate with many a tween girl. And the cover is cool too.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Deviant Life of and Demise of Sammy Davis Jr.

On sale this week is a book so hot it got the headline in Page Six of the NY POST and our offices intimidated by Jessie Jackson. Everyone knows who Sammy Davis Jr. is...but most of us, especially those of us who are younger, know little about his days with the Rat Pack...and more specifically how Sammy earned $50 million in his lifetime and died flat broke...not just any kind of broke, but broke broke. As in you owe the IRS your life. In Deconstructing Sammy journalist Matt Birbeck reveled some of the following bombshells:

Sammy Davis Jr. opted out of life saving throat cancer surgery because he thought it'd ruin his voice and eliminate the only way he could make money.

Following his divorce from Scandanavian actress May Britt in 1968, Sammy was pressued to marry a black woman, Altovise Gore who he pressured into attending wild parties.

When Sammy's good friend and longtime conductor, George Rhodes died, he asked Jesse Jackson to perform the eulogy. Jackson charged $5000 in cash and four first class plane tickets plus two suites at the Four Seasons Hotel. Sammy was so broke he had to ask his security guard to take a cash advance off of his credit card.

Matt appeared on NPR's Talk of the Nation so you can hear more about the book here:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A fall preview

September will not only bring you cooler weather, depending on where you live, but also two new exciting Amistad books, about Old Hollywood legends...one no longer with us and another alive and kicking like never before. Sammy Davis Jr. and Diahann Carroll. Masked Editor does not believe in working vacations (if at all possible...) so no new posts until Sept 16!


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