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Yours Cruelly, Elvira
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark | Cassandra Peterson
24 posts | 15 read | 23 to read
The woman behind the icon known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, the undisputed Queen of Halloween, reveals her full story, filled with intimate bombshells, told by the bombshell herself. On Good Friday in 1953, at only 18 months old, 25 miles from the nearest hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, Cassandra Peterson reached for a pot on the stove and doused herself in boiling water. Third-degree burns covered 35% of her body, and the prognosis wasn't good. But she survived. Burned and scarred, the impact stayed with her and became an obstacle she was determined to overcome. Feeling like a misfit led to her love of horror. While her sisters played with Barbie dolls, Cassandra built model kits of Frankenstein and Dracula, and idolized Vincent Price. Due to a complicated relationship with her mother, Cassandra left home at 14, and by age 17 she was performing at the famed Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Run-ins with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Tom Jones helped her grow up fast. Then a chance encounter with her idol Elvis Presley, changed the course of her life forever, and led her to Europe where she worked in film and traveled Italy as lead singer of an Italian pop band. She eventually made her way to Los Angeles, where she joined the famed comedy improv group, The Groundlings, and worked alongside Phil Hartman and Paul "Pee-wee" Reubens, honing her comedic skills. Nearing age 30, a struggling actress considered past her prime, she auditioned at local LA channel KHJ as hostess for the late night vintage horror movies. Cassandra improvised, made the role her own, and got the job on the spot. Yours Cruelly, Elvira is an unforgettably wild memoir. Cassandra doesn't shy away from revealing exactly who she is and how she overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. Always original and sometimes outrageous, her story is loaded with twists, travails, revelry, and downright shocking experiences. It is the candid, often funny, and sometimes heart-breaking tale of a Midwest farm girl's long strange trip to become the world's sexiest, sassiest Halloween icon.
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Tiffiney
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Pickpick

I so loved Movie Macabre when I was a kid! I grew up in Southern California so it was a Sunday staple on my TV. I was so excited to read this book…and I wasn‘t disappointed. She dishes some great dirt and is painfully honest about a lot of rough moments in her life. 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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5feet.of.fury
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Pickpick

Wow! What a life! The early chapters recount her time as a “Virgin Groupie” and a Vegas Show Girl and those alone are iconic. I hated hearing about the projects that fell through because I bet they would have been awesome. Cassandra Petersen herself is very humble and unproblematic. Content Warning: stories of Child abuse, sexual assault, suicidal ideation pop up here and there. Highly recommend audio especially, because I love the voices she does

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5feet.of.fury
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The caliber of names that get dropped are just 🤩🤩
Listening while I‘m cleaning and suddenly realized “Bobby” is Robert Deniro. (Some of these stories are 😱 but his is 👍) What a life!

Megabooks I need to pick this up! I remember her so clearly from my childhood (80s)! 7d
5feet.of.fury @Megabooks I was born in 84, so I missed the heyday but I‘ve always been a horror fan, and I worked at a video/music store until the industry made me stop and the classic rock icons and movie legends she has referenced this far 🤯🙀 honestly, if you like movies, music, and/or feminism ..so far.. I recommend! 7d
20 likes2 comments
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5feet.of.fury
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🦇🦇🦇
Excited to be starting this today, the beginning talks about when she‘s called “over the hill” at 30 after an audition …fast forward to still being stunning and an absolute icon at 70.
🦇🦇🦇

Tera66 I love her! 1w
5feet.of.fury @Tera66 yessss she‘s awesome! 1w
25 likes2 comments
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RamsFan1963
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#12Booksof2021 #10thof2021 #October
Another easy pick. Cassandra Peterson's (aka Elvira) memoir was funny and inspiring. I read several celebrity books in 2021, more than I usually do, and this one was the best. Definitely should be listened to on audio, she does a wonderful job narrating her story.

NicoleCeBallos I really enjoyed it too! She's hilarious 3w
Graywacke Ok, this sounds really fun. 3w
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Michael_Gee
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Pickpick

A greatly enjoyable and engaging read. Peterson writes about her life with an off-handed humor and down-to-earth directness that is refreshing and positive. I enjoyed her voice and the scope of her memoir. 🖤

Pic by Aaron Rapoport

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Sharpeipup
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It‘s been a rough week for me. I took a walk just so I could cry at work. Tagged #audiobook brought me a few laughs… just in time for the weekend.

ShyBookOwl You're not alone. I'm right there with you. Maybe I'll check this one out soon. Hang in there ❤ 2mo
AmyG It seems like everyone is very stressed out. Hugs 2mo
SW-T Sending virtual hugs your way. 2mo
See All 9 Comments
Texreader So sorry to hear that. Here‘s hugs. 🤗 Hope all is better soon 2mo
erinreads Hope things get better soon. 💕 2mo
Megabooks Sending hugs 💕💕 2mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Sending a virtual hug & support. I hope tomorrow is a better day. 💞 2mo
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britt_reads
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Pickpick

I thought it would be appropriate to finish Elvira‘s memoir on Halloween. I chose the audiobook for this one and I really enjoyed listening to Cassandra share her stories. This was a very well done celebrity memoir!

#scarathlon2021 #teamslaughter #littenlisten

Clwojick This looks awesome! Might have to check it out during next years #scarathlon! 3mo
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JoeMo
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Pickpick

I enjoyed listening to this memoir, especially with how Ms. Peterson got her start in show business and her continued struggles both personally and professionally after finding her breakthrough role of Elvira. I enjoy memoirs of working actors much more as they struggle and have to take whatever jobs they can to pay the bills versus A-listers who score multimillion paydays that allow them to take months or years off.

25 likes3 comments
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britt_reads
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Listened to some of the wonderful tagged audiobook on this beautiful autumn day 🍂🎧
#scarathlon2021 #teamslaughter

Linsy Gorgeous! 🍂 3mo
rretzler That looks so relaxing and beautiful! 3mo
Nute Pretty! 2mo
27 likes3 comments
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UwannaPublishme
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Pickpick

What better way to celebrate Halloween week than with Elvira—and her honest, eye-opening & truly inspiring memoir.I‘ve been a fan for years ever since she skewered the corniest sci-fi films on Movie Macabre with her witty repartee to her outrageous live performances at Knott‘s.This Queen of Halloween aka Cassandra certainly had a rough road of frightful events & heartaches, but she overcame them all being resilient, fearless & true to herself.🙌🏻

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I love all your autographed memorabilia. This was a great read. 3mo
UwannaPublishme @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I think we even have a stand-up of Elvira somewhere! I just love her. Agreed! This was a page-turner for me too. 3mo
PurpleyPumpkin Wow, that‘s an awesome collection! Sounds like a great book too. 📚 3mo
UwannaPublishme @PurpleyPumpkin Happy Halloween my friend! Hope your weekend will be filled with many treats. Oh yes, this one is definitely on my list of favorite reads this year. 🤗❤️ 3mo
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Matilda
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Pickpick

What a treat to listen to “Elvira‘s” memoir during my annual rewatch of Elvira. Absolutely loved it.

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StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego
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Pickpick

I do love a good celebrity memoir, and this one did not disappoint. I kind of wish I had gone with the audio version, so I could hear all the crazy stories right from the horse's mouth. Then again the book had pictures, so I'll just have to experience both formats I guess.

Coincidentally, I can upon this smashing rendering while visiting the Pumpkins After Dark art exhibit. 🎃

#Screamathon @4thhouseontheleft

PaperbackPirate My junior high Civics teacher used to tell us all the time that he went to high school with her. He said she was quiet. Lol! 3mo
UwannaPublishme Cool artwork! I was tossed as well between the hardcover and audio version. But the photos she included are priceless. 🙌🏻 3mo
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Twainy
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Pickpick

🎧 This book is amazing! I love Elvira, mistress of the dark.

The author reads the memoir.

She tells her life story from her early years as a toddler who burned herself on a stove to her late in life pregnancy, over a decade of marriage, awakening to the reality of verbally abusive relationships, her divorce, her 19 year lesbian relationship and finally her happiness today at age 70.

It‘s heartbreaking, hilarious, enlightening.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Twainy I bought the hardcover, it just came today & has a bunch of color pictures inside!! 😁 3mo
UwannaPublishme I‘m reading it and loving it too! 🙌🏻 3mo
Twainy @UwannaPublishme I loved the audiobook so much I bought the hardcover before I was halfway through the book. 🖤 3mo
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ravenlee
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Today‘s #bookmail just arrived! I just watched Mistress of the Dark this week so the timing‘s right.

Problem is the mail carrier has started cramming packages like this in the mailbox instead of dropping on the doorstep, and one of the corners is bent. Kiddo‘s violin book recently was in a rigid envelope and it still got folded in half and shoved into the box. So, mailed books get mangled, BN orders just don‘t arrive in store…now what?

Patchshank Any local bookstores you can order and pick up from? Other than that all I can think of is calling the post office and complaining or asking your mail person directly to be more careful. Or leave a note on the mail box saying to be more careful. 3mo
ravenlee @Patchshank unfortunately BN is the only bookstore around here, other than a couple used bookstores. The mail carrier has always been good before; I‘m guessing they have new productivity/timeline BS and she‘s less willing/able to walk it up the drive. Hopefully it all works out soon. 3mo
Patchshank I wonder if one of the used bookstore would be willing to order books for you to pick up. I've seen a few used bookstores that will sell a handful of new books. I've never tried to order from any of them though. Hopefully it does work out soon for you. 3mo
36 likes3 comments
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Jen2
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Revenge is better than Christmas!!

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JessClark78
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‘The undisputed Queen of Halloween.‘

I absolutely loved this book. There‘s so much in this book I didn‘t know about Cassandra Peterson. She did a lot of struggling and had some horrible things happen to her but there‘s also some pretty amusing stories as well. I highly recommend this to any of her fans.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#Scarathlon2021 #Screamathon #Wickedathon
#SpookOWeen #Readathon

+26 points #TeamHendrix

TheSpineView 👍📖🧡🎃 3mo
Tera66 🖤 3mo
46 likes2 comments
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RamsFan1963
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Pickpick

I love Elvira. What's not to love? Cassandra Peterson is funny and sexy as hell (70?!?! Are you kidding me?!!!). She's has lived an amazingly outrageous life, made some disastrously bad decisions, survived things most of us wouldn't, but through it all she kept her sense of humor and her positive view of life. This is 100% a definite audiobook pick, she tells her story with just the right amount if snark and honesty. 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Reggie I think about how I saw one of the first Blob movies while she was hosting it back when I was 5 or 6 and she looks the same now 35 years later. 4mo
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JessClark78
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TheSpineView Looks interesting! 4mo
Tera66 Yes! I pre-ordered it and it's on my TBR for this month. I love her! 4mo
SkeletonKey Yessss!! Can‘t wait to read this one. 4mo
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RamsFan1963
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I'm looking forward to starting this today. I've always been a big fan of Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson), so I knew I wanted to get this as soon as it was available. I picked audio because I want to hear her tell her story. Since I don't do horror, this is about as close as I get to a Halloween read.

UwannaPublishme Love Elvira! This one is on my list for this month, too! 🙌🏻 4mo
Twainy I just put this on hold on Libby yesterday 🎉 4mo
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Tiffiney
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#bookmail 📚🤓 Can‘t wait to read it! I loved watching her when I was a kid.

Twainy AUDIO! She reads it! On my list now 😁 thanks! 🤗 4mo
Tiffiney Nice! I‘m gonna see if my library has the audio version! 4mo
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WanderingBookaneer
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WanderingBookaneer
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This Instagram link includes a snippet of the author reading the audiobook. https://www.instagram.com/p/CUN-jYArjo5/?utm_medium=copy_link

ravenlee I love her! 4mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Wow, I can't believe she's 70. What a stunner. I just ordered her book. Can't wait. 4mo
LeahBergen 70?! That‘s just crazy! 4mo
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WanderingBookaneer
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I know what I‘m reading this weekend!

Gissy I love Elvira, always so eccentric and funny in those old movies☺️ (edited) 4mo
Sharpeipup We were just wondering about her… 4mo
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