My book “Nelson Eddy: The Opera Years” free today as an ebook!

Today Nelson Eddy: The Opera Years can be purchased as a Kindle book – for free!

I just love it when Nelson and/or Jeanette hit a Best Seller list – where everyone can see them and new folks can discover them! Yay!!! And today, July 15, 2015, Nelson Eddy: The Opera Years is once again on Amazon’s Best Seller list!

Please note that today Amazon is having a special Prime Day anniversary day; if you’re not signed up you can do so and have a 30-day Prime free trial and get the Nelson Eddy: The Opera Years ebook for free by “buying” it with “Kindle Unlimited.” You don’t actually need to own a Kindle though, you can read ebooks on your desktop (they have a free reader program that you can download and install) or on a smartphone or tablet with the Kindle app. Here is the link which – possibly for today only – is free as a Kindle book with the “Kindle Unlimited” option. Enjoy!

PS: Amazon has also put my ebook edition of The Rosary on sale at half-price at $4.99. This book has the special introductory chapter that I wrote giving the background story of this 1909 best seller and with all the information and photos of Jeanette and Nelson who had planned to turn this book into a comeback film for themselves in 1948. The link for The Rosary ebook is here, please note that if you want the softcover edition it is only available on our website at this link.

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BREAKING NEWS! Nelson Eddy’s “I love you” letter to Jeanette MacDonald, Christmas 1935!

Here it is at last – the long lost letter is now ours!

After all these decades and all the hundreds of original handwritten letters that were no doubt torn up or reportedly burned, one little ‘ol letter slipped through…and was just sold at auction.

And what a letter!

In it he calls Jeanette an “extravagant wretchess.” Just to clear up the definition, the word is “wretchess.” A wretch is someone who is a poor unfortunate thing or a scoundrel. He’s calling her a girl version of that, or maybe mixing it up calling her a wretch and a princess? Like a special nickname he calls her when he lovingly scolds her or she annoys him. Whatever reason he calls her that, it is a loving nickname.

It was found among Jeanette MacDonald’s boxed-up belongings and surprise, surprise – these items were in the possession of of Clara and Tessa, in the Topeka home they shared, the two women who ran Jeanette’s largest fan club back starting in the last years of Jeanette’s life. They were the keepers of the flame for the Jeanette and Gene blissful marriage and eventually made sure every one of their magazine covers featured a photo of the “happy” couple. They were (in case you didn’t know) on lifetime salary from Gene Raymond and they did their jobs well.

What you should know is this: they DENIED any relationship ever between Jeanette and Nelson. And they made sure that anyone who came to them asking about it were told NO SUCH DOCUMENTATION EXISTED. In addition, they paraded out the happy Jeanette-Gene photos to show how amazing that marriage was.

In one regard, perhaps you can’t totally blame the phony pretense because certainly Jeanette, Nelson, Gene, Blossom and others towed the party line for the public, press and those club publications. Irritating as it may seem now, all of them politely played out their politically correct roles. For decades.

Some background to this letter: just a few months earlier Nelson proposed marriage to Jeanette at Lake Tahoe, she accepted and then there was an ugly breakup. For details of what happened read Sweethearts but in essence Nelson was so very, very VERY hurt and certain he was well rid of Jeanette – who seemed to care more about her career than her feelings for him.

Yet Nelson couldn’t help himself. He loved her and termed her “like a sickness” he couldn’t get over.

And she loved him. That was never the issue with them; the love and desire was there… so the ex sex was inevitable. And by December 1935 Nelson missed their personal relationship dreadfully and wanted to Jeanette to travel with him on his upcoming 1936 tour so he wouldn’t be alone. That would have meant her cancelling or postponing the film San Francisco. They quarreled about this and his desire to have his woman at his side while Jeanette claimed she could successfully balance both marriage to him and her career.

From this excerpt from Sweethearts (which I wrote twenty-one years ago) we learn what happened in December 1935:

…In desperation Jeanette finally arranged to see Nelson alone and tried to resolve things with him. They hashed out things over and over between periods of lovemaking, trying to find a way a union between them could work. This marathon lasted for over twenty-seven hours with endless hours of discussions and arguments and lots of tears – mostly Jeanette’s. Finally they had to agree that it would never work. They loved each other and they needed each other but they were too similar. Neither one was willing to give an inch or sacrifice their career goals. “I used to think that Love was the most powerful emotion,” Nelson said bitterly years later. “But I found out it wasn’t. Pride is the greater emotion.” In the end, they decided to part friends, knowing they would love each other always but determined to break both the spiritual and sexual bond….The romance, as far as either believed, was over forever.

And yet on Christmas Day, what was Nelson doing? Partying? Or taking time to sit down and think about Jeanette and write her a touching letter blurting out like a lovesick schoolboy that despite his attempt to be casual and “just friends,” he was still hopelessly in love with her.

This man was 34 years old, folks! And he already knew that he would “always be devoted to you.” All his life. As indeed he was.

For those who can’t read his scrawl, this is an excerpt of what he states in the letter, dated Christmas 1935:

Dearest Jeanette,

Thank you.

It’s beautiful, and I appreciate it more than I can tell you.

You are an extravagant wretchess, but I love you and will always be devoted to you.

Best Christmas and New Year’s thoughts to you.

Gratefully and fondly,

Your Nelson

By the way, Christmas was an emotional and reflective time for Nelson Eddy, don’t forget that he later broke up with Jeanette at Christmastime once again, in the 1940s, feeling he didn’t deserve to be with her anymore since he couldn’t get a divorce.

I had never heard of this letter but to see how perfectly it fit in with Nelson’s torn emotions at that time – spending passionate hours with her and then determining that “it would never work”….well, this is the Nelson you see here.

So it’s a couple weeks perhaps after their brief reconciliation, he’s already going through “withdrawals” from her and showing what what a mixed up young man he was emotionally about her. Unfortunate that he was so stubborn and didn’t listen to his mother Isabel who wisely observed in her memoirs:

I had never seen Nelson so happy….As I looked at her [Jeanette], I thought how safe a man would be with her. Despite any career, with this girl a marriage vow would always come first. Alas, my son did not believe this and so the Gods forever ruled his peace away.

Folks, here it is in Nelson Eddy’s own handwriting – the answer is YES, he was hopelessly in love with Jeanette MacDonald.

So – I welcome you to shout it to the rooftops! And to the next person or publication you come across who tries to deny the Jeanette-Nelson romance – feel free to share this letter!

From the grave both Nelson and Jeanette are speaking now to us and in an ironic twist – their truths are revealed from those who lied and sought to hide the facts. But no more.

We are vindicated and validated and my thanks to all who have helped uncover the truth over these decades.

The above quotes and book passages are from Sweethearts (© 1994, 2001 ,2014 by Sharon Rich) with ordering details at the link.


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Join me in Los Angeles June 28, 2015!

If you’re a fan of my books or a Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy fan, join me at a special luncheon/book signing on Sunday, June 28, at the Sportsmans Lodge Hotel at 12 noon.  We will have additional surprise guests and it will be a very emotional meeting. I recommend you not miss it. Tickets available at the link.

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A “Sweethearts” reader review…

Brenda forwarded this to me after she recommended that a friend read Sweethearts:

Finished the book.  Felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster.  What a tragic love story and yet at the same time quite beautiful.  I know how you felt about reading it at night. You just couldn’t seem to get it out of your head.  The thing that got me the most was Mayer making Nelson sing at Jeanette’s wedding.  What a louse.  At any rate, I’ve been enjoying their magnificent voices on YouTube. I’m driving Carl nuts.”

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New “Sweethearts” edition on Amazon’s best seller list!

Nice birthday present for me! Both the softcover and the kindle version of “Sweethearts” is bouncing around amazon’s best seller list today, at various positions but #14 earlier today on one list! I love seeing Jeanette and Nelson being popular again!

The kindle edition – and softcover – can both be ordered at this link.



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June 29, 2014 – Los Angeles luncheon/book signing/Jeanette & Nelson afternoon

Join author Sharon Rich on Nelson Eddy’s birthday, June 29, 2014, for a special afternoon including a new “Master Class” presentation, a Q&A period and the latest information updates!

Tickets and details are at the link.

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May 3rd: Sweethearts 2014 launch party on Long Island! Meet author Sharon Rich

Maytime 2014 is a time to celebrate! Join us at the launch party for the new edition of Sweethearts!

Saturday, May 3, Time: 1-4 pm
Location: Riverhead Library
330 Court Street
Riverhead, NY 11901
(631)727-3228 ext.100

Admission: free. Light refreshments served.

The afternoon will include the book signing, a talk and film clips shown. Come celebrate with us!

You can click on the photo above to access or download a high-def copy of the flyer to print out.

To order books, here is the link.

I look forward to celebrating the book with some of you in person!


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Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy mini marathon on TCM May 1st

For those of you who need to refresh your memories of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, you may want to check out TCM’s mini-marathon on May 1st.  They will be showing Sweethearts and Maytime, two of the films that have a lot of action going on behind the scenes that isn’t in the scripts!

For example, in Maytime see a very clear photo above of Nelson’s tears during the “Czaritza” scene. And again, he blinks back tears during the “Will You Remember” scene. Jeanette wept too but they cut from her so as not to show too much. Only Nelson’s tears are really visible.

As for Sweethearts, well, it’s just a Nelson Eddy love-fest for the co-star he obviously adores. His hands wander in the “Pretty as a Picture” number, he just beams at her, blows on her neck and if you watch carefully when the camera pulls away from them and features the dancing girls, Jeanette leans over and plants a quick kiss on him. This is the first film I ever saw, I watched it with Jeanette’s sister Blossom and when it was over,  I understood why there was both excitement and heartache over the realization that yes, these two were in love with each other. And Blossom confirmed it.

Watch these films carefully and it will enhance your reading of my new updated edition of Sweethearts.

Here are the screening times (Eastern time) for May 1st:

6:00 AM – The Cat And The Fiddle (with the Technicolor final scene!)
7:30 AM – The Firefly (1937)
10:00 AM – Sweethearts (1938)
12:00 PM – Maytime (1937)


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“Sweethearts” updated 20th anniversary coming soon!

News alert! The revised and updated edition of Sweethearts will be published on May 1st – Maytime, appropriately!

More information is available here.

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Join me in LA on Sunday, December 8!

The  Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy annual holiday luncheon will on Sunday, December 8 at 12 noon at the Sportsmans Lodge Restaurant, at the corner of Ventura Blvd and Coldwater Canyon in Studio City. (Coldwater Canyon exit on the 101 Freeway.)  $45/person admission includes luncheon and program and is payable at the door. Meeting runs from 12-4 pm.

I will give a talk, answer questions and sign books. We will also have another “Master Class” live presentation, with more fascinating data and documentation (from one who was there)  backing up the ever-intriguing MacDonald-Eddy story.   At the last luncheon, the actual charm bracelet given by Nelson Eddy to Jeanette MacDonald was displayed for all to see  - with all the personal charms on it that I wrote about in my book. There are candid pictures of Jeanette wearing it and also a few glimpses of it in the movie “Sweethearts.”  (After Jeanette’s death, the bracelet went to her sister Elsie.) The topic of this weekend’s special presentation is a surprise even for me, but don’t miss it if you’re a fan. We are so blessed to have some of these sources still here with us to share their information. These luncheons provide precious and valuable memories for those who care about the the story. Don’t miss it!

The hotel address is:
Sportsmans Lodge Hotel
12825 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
toll free: 800-821-8511
local: 818-769-4700

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