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Stories from Candyland Hardcover

2.4 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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About the Author

CANDY SPELLING, whose husband Aaron produced America’s favorite entertainment (“Dynasty”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “The Love Boat”, “Beverly Hills 90210”), is one of Hollywood’s most famous wives and mothers.  Her marriage was one of Tinseltown’s happiest and most enduring, ending only with Aaron’s death in 2006.  Since then, Candy has begun writing, for TMZ.com and The Huffington Post, as well as becoming a contributing editor for Los Angeles Confidential Magazine.  She is involved with a number of charitable and public service organizations, and is in the process of “downsizing” from Spelling Manor to a 17,000 square foot condominium in Century City.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

When I first heard the Fifth Dimension singing Jimmy Webb’s “Up, Up, and Away” in 1967, I was in love with a man who refused to fly.

            But I knew I could change him.

            After all, I loved to travel and to fly, and I planned for us to travel all over the world and share once-in-a-lifetime experiences with each other.

            Aaron Spelling traced his fear of flying to his service in the Air Force during World War II.  He was yanked from a flight two minutes before it took off because he was sick with the flu.  That flight crashed, and everyone on board was killed.  Since he was expected to be on the plane, the military notified his family that he had been killed.  When he arrived home later that day, his mother saw him and fainted – and when she regained consciousness, she made him promise never to fly again.

            But he was going to marry the girl who grew up watching (and falling in love with) the handsome character who was introduced with the words:

 

            Look!  Up in the sky!

            It’s a bird.

            It’s a plane.

            It’s Superman!

 

            I was dreaming of my Superman with whom I could soar to new heights of ecstasy.

            A few months before Aaron and I got married, the Drifters hit the music charts with more high-flying lyrics in “Up on the Roof.”

            Everything pointed to upward.  Man was about to go to the moon.  Aaron and I would ascend to new heights together, too.

            But he never did break his promise to his mother.  We never flew anywhere together.  We had some spectacular vacations, by car, train, and boat.  And I’m not complaining.

            It’s just that something had gone wrong with my scenario.

            The highest we ever went together was our attic, and that’s far from romantic.

            My attic was a well-kept family secret and a source of much laughter and eye-rolling between Aaron and me.  Now that I have put my home on the market and am getting ready to move, I do have to go up, up, and away, and figure out what to do with everything that’s up there.

            I hadn’t given it a lot of thought until one of the Realtors spotted a stairway going up from the second floor and wanted to know where it led.

            “To the attic,” I mumbled.

            “How big is the attic?” the Realtor asked – innocently, I’m sure.  “Mumble, mumble, oh, about seventeen thousand, um square feet.”

            “Huh?”

            And then we went up to the attic.

            He was speechless.  I thought it might be a little overwhelming to a first-timer.  I go up there so often that it’s just routine for me.

            Now it has become a math problem, and math’s not my favorite subject.

            I have an attic that covers just over 17,000 square feet.  I’m moving into a new condominium that will be a total of 17,000 square feet.  My current living space is 56,500 square feet.

            The arithmetic goes something like this: 17,000 – (56,500+17,000) = much less space – and my having to get rid of an awful lot of possessions. 

            My attic is a source of amazement to the few people who had previously seen it.  Much of what operates the house, from the heating and air-conditioning units to the mechanical lift that raises and lowers the chandelier in the entry hall, is housed in the attic.  (I’m told that the lift was over-engineered so that it could raise and lower something as heavy as a Volkswagen, but I can’t imagine why I’d want to hand a VW in my entry hall.)

            The attic, like the house, is shaped like a W.  Originally, the house was going to be called L’Oiseau (“Bird”) but my French pronunciation isn’t that good, and we liked “The Manor” more.  I never considered the name Tara, although I have a staircase that Scarlett O’ Hara would have descended beautifully.

            My doll-designing rooms are in the attic, and I store many dolls there that are not on display in my downstairs doll museum.  I’ve got the fabrics from which I made their clothes, and the drawings, color swatches, paper samples for boxes, and everything else an efficient doll designer would need.  There are probably some non-necessities, too, but once I’d found stands to hold doll wigs and doll-size hair blowers, how could I resist?

            We also store lots of extra household supplies.  There are lightbulbs – more than sixty-five varieties.  (I don’t know how many light fixtures there are in The Manor, and I’m not going to count).  I know that sounds like a lot, but we have to keep them somewhere, and I never know when a dome light on the driveway, a reflector in the koi pool, or a custom light over a Renoir might need to be replaced.  A quick trip to the attic handles all lighting needs.

            I keep batteries adjacent to the lightbulbs.  I guess there are hundred of them, too, in all sizes and shapes and volts and expiration years.  Name a volt, and we have it.  The new owner of my house might laugh when he or she sees the battery and lightbulb collections, but I can guarantee they’ll thank me later.  That doesn’t even include the rows of light panels that control the lighting throughout the house.

            Do you know how much space it takes to store yards of extra carpet in a house such as mine?  Think about that if you’re criticizing the size of my attic.  There are carpet pads, too.  Any idea of how many air-conditioning filters this house needs?  I don’t know, either, but there are stacks and stacks of them.

            There are fifty-nine boxes of Easter decorations.  I have Easter eggs in different sizes and shapes from all the years different charity groups brought kids to The Manor for Easter egg hunts.  I also have the bunny costumes (Easter, not Playboy) my kids wore to parties.  Box 48 reads, 1 giant Easter bunny.  There are three boxes of various foiled eggs and three more labels painted wooden rabbits.  Oops, I forgot about the pink grass, yellow grass, and green grass I bought for next year’s Easter baskets and those boxes of new baskets.  Oh, look, box 59 has 2 rabbits at a tea party.

            I love holidays.

            My boxes of Thanksgiving decorations include garlands for the various fireplaces in the house and Thanksgiving bears.

            Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  My supplies include sound-activated jack-o’-lanterns, witches with caldrons, life-size (but not lifelike) ghosts and skeletons, beautifully carved artificial pumpkins, and even an animated spirit ball with a homely old lady who yells out threats to passersby.

            There are 128 143 151 164 180 boxes of Christmas decorations.

            I love Christmas.  For years I’ve been collecting toy soldiers (130 at last count, including 4 seven-footers), wreaths, dogs in Santa suits, tree ornaments, festive dishes and glasses, Mrs. Claus dresses for dolls, cones, tree stands, lights, sheet music, fake snowflakes, elves, and sleighs.  There are bears who sit on my front steps every Christmas, those who sit on the entry stairs, and bears who sit on coffee tables.  I have pastry chef bears who adorn the kitchen during the holidays, and one who has a little cast on his front leg.  (I imagine he went skiing during the holidays, so I keep him in my office, where I can keep an eye on him.  I count on him to keep an eye out to make sure the garland for the left side of the staircase doesn’t end up on the ride side.  He has a good eye).  You name it, and I have it.

            Anyone having a birthday party?  I have dozens of boxes of streamers, candles, tablecloths, hats, cake platters, cake recipes, and more.  I love birthdays.

            I also love babies.  That’s why I still have the beautiful Royal prams Barbara Stanwyck gave Tori and Randy when they were babies.  I can’t walk by them without smiling.

            I’ve quoted a lot of books in this book.  Oh, boy, do I have books and magazine and videotapes and DVDs!  There are hundred of boxes of those in the attic.  (I don’t have to estimate how many there are in the rest of the house, do I?)

            I love my books.  There’s everything from Dick and Jane primers to a college physics textbook that a houseguest left behind, from directories of Hollywood unions to home decorating books, from caring for orchids to child care.

            My Photoplay magazines are kept in order, in plastic, proudly on display on special shelves.  They are Hollywood history.  They deserve a place high above all else, up, up, and away.

            The attic houses various sizes of tapes and DVDs of every television show and movie my husband ever made, plus extra scripts, notes, photos, memorabilia (anyone for a 90210 lunchbox or a Vega$ poker chip, a Charmed book bag or a cast portrait of Charlie’s Angels?).  In order to explain why I have shelves and cabinets full of carefully organized boxes representing my husband’s work, let me recap that he produced more television than anyone in history.  In 1983, the Guinness Book of World Records saluted Aaron by naming him the “most prolific” television producer in history because of his astounding 3, 842 hours of television shows.  Guinness determined that someone could watch prime time seven nights a week for three and a half years without ever seeing a rerun of an Aaron Spelling show.  That was in 1983.  Now it’s more than 4,500 hours of programs.  That’s why I have hundred of boxes in the attic, plus rooms full of his awards, honors, favorite photos, original scripts, and shows throughout the house.  I love my husband’s work.

            There’s a hair salon in the attic.  Why is it in the attic?  We forgot to make room for it in the house.  I like it.  It’s near one of the stairways and has a barber pole outside that used to make my husband laugh.  The place is decorated like an old-style salon, with pictures of all the hairstyles from the fifties and sixties that, for some reason, we all thought were flattering and fun.

            Oh, and there’s a gift-wrapping room.

            I know, I know.  I wrote about how my gift-wrapping room is adjacent to my office on the first floor.

            Well there’s a second gift-wrapping room in the attic.

            And, then, hiding in the attic is the really large gift-wrapping area, for the really large packages.

            While my downstairs gift-wrapping room is festive, my attic gift-wrapping room is all business, with big boxes, industrial-strength wrapping paper, heavy-duty tape, wire cutters, postage scales, reams of paper with eight-hundred-foot rolls, a shrinkwrap machine, straw, and anything a UPS store would ever need.  I have a little kitchen next to it, since once I start wrapping those big packages, I sometimes won’t emerge for hours.

            By the way, everything in the attic is neatly labeled, cataloged, and stored.

            Hand-painted cachepots for orchids, card tables, fabrics for beach house, party favors, refrigerator shelves, drawer pulls, stuffed animals, mah-jongg supplies, hardware hinges, tori’s sweet 16 seat cushions, monogrammed hangers, and roofing materials are some of the categories.  Seriously. 

            It you want a sky blue Easter egg, I can point you right at it.  Need a wreath that measures 16.6 inches?  Miniature flowers?  Custom glass for the lampposts at the bottom of the driveway?  Plans for every inch of the house in 1/8-, ¼-, and ½-inche scale?  It’s all there.

            Wait.  I haven’t accounted for all 17,000 square feet yet.

            I also have a luggage section.  I love luggage.  There’s every size, lots of different designers, various colors, and they all have special names.  I remember while I was growing up my father had the “two-suiter” and “clothing bag.”  It’s much more fun today.  I’ve got too much luggage, I’ll admit it.  I always pack too much.  And I still have more, in case I ever need eighty or ninety suitcases for a family vacation.  As I said earlier, we borrowed suitcases from the set of Hotel earlier in our marriage when we traveled.  I guess we went overboard after that series went off the air.

            I’m very sentimental about everything in Tori and Randy’s life.  I guess that explains why I’ve kept almost everything of theirs.

            Do you want to see what Randy wore for Halloween in 1982?  Got it.

            The beautiful mother-daughter taffeta dresses Tori and I wore?  Got them, too.

            The custom seat covers I had made for Tori’s Sweet Sixteen party so the girls wouldn’t have to sit on the hard rental chairs?  Yup.  Right near the luggage.

            I can walk through the attic and remember the happy memories just by looking at the boxes.  Yes, they’re numbered and labeled, too, with a Polaroid picture of whatever’s inside attached to every box.  It’s easier that way, in case Randy wants to see what he wore on his first day of kindergarten.  He looked so cute in his little school uniform, with gray pants, a navy blazer, and a red tie.  (Aw, come on, Randy, don’t you want to see that outfit?  Tori, do you remember all those beautiful frilly dresses by Florence Eisenman?  I don’t know if I can keep them when I move.)

            I have quantities of spare gifts like you wouldn’t believe.  There are very high expectations for a “Spelling gift,” and I always used to take the advice of the Boy Scouts to “be prepared.”

            I love to give one-of-a-kind gifts.  There’s a wonderful store in Los Angeles that makes handmade personalized candles designed to be burned once a year for the first twenty-one years of a boy or girl’s life.  I received them for my children, and love to give them to other people for their blessings.  My favorite gifts are those pertaining to something the recipient is interested in.  That can be a book about a favorite subject, or a part of an antique collection.  I like to surprise people with unexpected and unusual gifts.

            If a colleague of Aaron’s liked eighteenth-century paintings, he was confident he could call and I had one waiting to be wrapped and messengered.  How about an antique clock?  Got ‘em.  A duplicate Lalique piece that I didn’t need for my own collection?  Sure.  Fountain pens when people gave them for graduation presents?  What color?

            There’s also a kitchen equipment section.  Aaron and I had various chefs at different stages of our life.  When we entertained a lot, we had a chef who liked to cook for big groups.  If we decided to eat healthy food only (which we rarely did), we’d hire a macrobiotic cook.  There’s an expert for everything in L.A., and cooks who specialize.

            The result was a lot of turnover in kitchen appliances, tools, pots, pans, bowls, and everything else a chef uses.  So, when a new chef would come in with his or her list of necessities for my kitchen, we would move the last group of expensive former necessities to the attic.  I always hoped that one chef would like what we’d bought for the last one.  Nope.  Who knew there were so many different kids of waffle irons and spice racks?

            I’m trying to be mature as I tell myself, and anyone who’ll listen, that it’s time to downsize.  I know people make fun me for saying I’m downsizing to 17,000 square feet.  That’s a very large home, and I’m grateful to be able to have it.

            Even if I just give away everything in the attic, I’ll still have more than three times as much stuff as my new home will hold.

            I don’t think self-storage is the answer.  Actually, one of those companies might want to talk to the new owner of The Manor about leasing space.

            Yes, I’m going to be mature and businesslike and figure out how to downsize.  I have to be less like a sentimental wife, mother, and grandmother and more like a corporate efficiency expert.  It might work.  I have hardhats, clipboards, and tape measures stored in the attic, too, so I won’t have to buy anything new to take on that new job.

            That’s the math.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002YNS0S0
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,028,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Where to start? I bought this book and read it as an objective reader. I wasn't on Camp Tori nor Camp Candy. But it is impossible to remain non-empathetic to Tori after reading this book. The author is narcissistic, lacks insight and judgment, and puts to rest why a daughter cannot bond with a mother. The author, in finding her voice, according to her 20/20 interview, has no clue as to what people want to hear from her voice. Sorry to say, but her mom and husband were wise in suggesting she remain silent. Her long, rambling stories about the most mundane subjects would not pique anyone's interest even if offered by actual important people. Her air of superficiality seeps out everywhere. Imagine the horror when a staffer mentioned that one of her powder rooms might be the size of a normal bathroom. (She was suprised this did not make the tabloids, although the reader is left wondering why anyone would vocalize such a thought). Her attitude about life and her daughter, while she thinks she is defending herself, tells a sad tale of what Tori must have faced when trying to break through to this woman (who speaks more highly of her candy collection, spare gifts, and good manners, than her daughter. I can actually envision Tori trying to explain the problem to her mother only to be met with the most infuriating lack of understanding mixed with inappropriate explanations. She doesn't say she made mistakes as a mother. Rather, she says she was juggling a world of luxury while trying "to be the best mother in the history of motherhood." (P. 98). I'm sure such comments would drive any daugter back into distance. The author mocked her daughter for saying she "only" inherited $800,000 while describing, in agonizing detail, more than that much in the incidentals around her Manor.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Chapter 3 or 4, I don't know but I am done with it.

I admit I never gave Tori much thought until her show.. I figured she was a Spelling living in the Spelling world.. rich girl.. etc.. then I watched her very cute, adorable show and the day she stood in that doorway of a trailer they had to live in while the Inn was being painted.. HUGELY Pregnant and made the best of it. I thought.. WOW I have this girl all wrong. I don't even think that would be in my thought process.

I realize it is TV but to see her heartbreak over her mother ,then to read this drivel..UGH.. Tori's book was fun and amusing and real.. The point is Tori comes off as approachable and relevant, her mother does not..she is stuck in her own head.. No wonder Tori could not relate to her.. There is no room for that girl in her mother's life. Too much ego.

Glad to see Tori however seems to be doing well with her little family.. Maybe Candy will get lost in the mansion somewhere... I mean really I loved her comment.. "I don't know how many rooms I have and I refuse to count".. it's pathetic.. don't waste your time or your money.. wait for Tori's new book to come out... if it is anything like her last one it would be a great read.
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Format: Hardcover
I am not a fan of Tori's but was interested in learning about the family that lived in one of the largest homes in the US. I finished Tori's book, sTori Telling, in 2 days and was completely delighted! What a fun read! I was hoping for more of the same with her mother's book and quite frankly, after 4 chapters I am bored into unconsciousness!! This book seems like Candy is reverting back into her childhood of make believe! Who CARES what she dreams the designs on her fan collection might mean or of her fantasy of being married to Rock Hudson??!??! ho-hum!! And she can't seem to stop taking pot shots at Tori! (but hugs and kisses to brother Randy! smooch, smooch!) The photos are nice and there is some stuff about REAL life in Spelling Manor, however, I am doubtful I will waste anymore time trying to swallow this stuff! I'd rather rearrange my sock drawer!
Sorry Mom, Tori wins this one by a long shot! Looking forward to the release of Babywood!! Keep up the great work, Tori!!
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Wow. Has anyone else noticed that the 5-star reviews of this book are quite obviously posted by Candy Spelling's friends ? PATHETIC.

Candy Spelling has yet to write anything significant or remotely interesting, and you certainly won't find it here. She is the epitome of selfishness and delusion, having lived an undeservedly privileged life because of Aaron Spelling.

Come on - a doll collection ? Those dolls were originally "gifts" to Tori at every birthday, only to end up in Candy's collection. Does anyone see the irony of her having four gift wrapping rooms and not understanding the first thing about truly GIVING a damn from her heart ? That's because she doesn't have one !

This reads as a very heavy-handed counterattack to her daughter's book and fails miserably. No new revelations about life at the Manor. We've all heard about the snow at Christmas and the designer Halloween costumes. Find something original to tell us, Candy. On top of that, what editor allows an author to drone on and on while listing all of her collections ? What a waste of paper !

Don't waste your time or your money on this book. Spend it on Tori's.
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