Review: A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott

I found this fun story on Net Galley. I’ve always been a fan of classic movies and this story sounded so neat: a young woman moves to Hollywood from Indiana since she wants to be a screenwriter. She becomes a personal assistant to Carole Lombard and spends time with Lombard and Butler as the filming of “Gone with the Wind” is taking place.

I’ve read Kate Alcott’s other two books — both I actually listened to as audiobooks in the car (The Daring Ladies of Lowell and The Dressmaker). I liked this novel more than either of those two (which I also enjoyed). TOUCH OF STARDUST focuses on Julie Crawford, who I was rooting for throughout the story. She is seeking independence and wants to be a screenwriter in a male-dominated industry. She meets a young man, Andy, whom she is drawn to and starts dating. Andy is Jewish and this ties in to the more global story of the war in Europe (it is 1938) and Andy’s concern for his relatives. The portrayal of Carole Lombard and the other movie people, Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, David O’ Selznick, etc. is what made the story for me. They truly come alive on these pages. Alcott has done her research and homework into events of the time, issues in the making of the movie, life in Hollywood in the pre-war 30’s, and mostly the personalities of these movie icons.

An enjoyable and fun read that I highly recommend if you, like me, are a fan of classic Hollywood.

Thank you for my review copy, Net Galley and Doubleday Books!

Find this book at an indie near you! (I am an Indie Bound affiliate).


Find it at an Indie!

Quick Review: AS YOU WISH by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden

I was more than thrilled when Maria at Simon and Schuster asked me if I’d like to review Cary Elwes’ new book, the full title of which is As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. I just love that movie, and I figured it would be a fun read.

This book starts with Elwes getting cast to play Westley and goes through the entire filming and creation process. Interspersed throughout are pictures, along with quotes and snippets from other cast members, often sharing their view of the same incidents that Elwes writes about. His book is not a self-serving bit of megalomania (a worry I had since it is written by a Hollywood star!) but more of a tribute and a very touching personal recollection of what could be described as the best job of his life. Throughout it you come to intimately know the real people behind the characters, along with Rob Reiner, the director (apparently one of the greatest and most lovable guys in Hollywood). This book was a lovely and fun read, paying homage to a film classic that many of us count in our top ten favorite flicks of all time.

If you love this film, don’t miss reading AS YOU WISH.

Quick Review: QUEEN OF HEARTS by Rhys Bowen (Royal Spyness mystery)

I love all the Georgie mysteries, and this one was no exception. Somehow I missed that it was publishing, and so I found it for my kindle a few weeks ago. In this installment, Georgie and her mother head to the US to get a quickie divorce for her mum in Reno. While they are waiting, they go to Hollywood so her mother can take part in the filming of a movie (they met a movie mogul while coming over on the boat from England). Who should show up but best friend Belinda and boyfriend Darcy (who is sleuthing around for a jewel thief). Georgie of course ends up stumbling over dead bodies and it seems like everyone is a suspect, but no one had the means to commit murder.

Will Georgie figure it all out in time? Will Darcy and Georgie ever move forward in their relationship? Will Georgie ever get a proper lady’s maid??

You will have to read it to find out.

Always a pleasure, Ms. Bowen’s latest is the eighth in this series. Added to the fun is the addition of “real” character Charlie Chaplin.

You can see it on Amazon where I got mine.