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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Alcott Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781101889435
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker comes a blockbuster novel that takes you behind the scenes of the filming of Gone with the Wind, while turning the spotlight on the passionate romance between its dashing leading man, Clark Gable, and the blithe, free-spirited actress Carole Lombard. 

When Julie Crawford leaves Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Hollywood, she never imagines she’ll cross paths with Carole Lombard, the dazzling actress fromJulie’s provincial Midwestern hometown. The young woman has dreams of becoming a screenwriter, but the only job Julie’s able to find is one in the studio publicity office of the notoriously demanding producer David O. Selznick, who is busy burning through directors, writers, and money as he films Gone with the Wind.
     Although tensions run high on the set, Julie finds she can step onto the back lot, take in the smell of smoky gunpowder and the soft rustle of hoop skirts, and feel the magical world of Gone with the Wind come to life. Julie’s access to real-life magic comes when Carole Lombard hires her as an assistant and invites her into the glamorous world Carole shares with Clark Gable, who is about to move into movie history as the dashing Rhett Butler. 
     Carole Lombard, happily profane and uninhibited, makes no secret of her relationship with Gable, which poses something of a problem for the studio because Gable is technically still married—and the last thing the film needs is more negative publicity. Julie is there to fend off the overly curious reporters, hoping to prevent details about the affair from slipping out. But she can barely keep up with her blond employer, let alone control what comes out of Carole’s mouth, and—as their friendship grows—Julie soon finds she doesn’t want to. Carole, both wise and funny, becomes Julie’s model for breaking free of the past.
     In the ever-widening scope of this story, Julie is given a front-row seat to not one but two of the greatest love affairs of all time: the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Scarlett and Rhett, and offscreen, the deepening love between Carole and Clark. Yet beneath the shiny façade, things in Hollywood are never quite what they seem, and Julie must learn to balance her career aspirations and her own budding romance with the outsized personalities and overheated drama on set. Vivid, romantic, and filled with Old Hollywood details, A Touch of Stardust will entrance, surprise, and delight.


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Quotes & Awards

  • Kate Alcott effortlessly evokes the shimmering world of vintage Hollywood as she drops a plucky young woman from Indiana into the tumultuous set of Gone With the Wind and a legendary silver screen romance, against the backdrop of the gathering storm in Europe. If you’ve ever longed to be a fly on the wall as Clark Gable loses his heart to the effervescent Carole Lombard, or watch Vivien Leigh gather herself together for her greatest scene, you’ll devour this book as hungrily as I did.   Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers
     
  • Sparkling with the magic of classic moviemaking and set against the fiery drama of Hollywood's Gone With the Wind filming, Alcott weaves fact and fiction so that readers cheer for the story to be reality— a place where we all might find... a touch of stardust. “
    — Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter 
  • [An] enticing peek behind the scenes of Gone With the Wind…. The portraits of studio heavy-hitters like Clark Gable's paramour, Carole Lombard, who takes on Julie as her personal assistant, are generous and appealing for their intimacy and humanity…. Alcott's ease with Thirties lingo and her intimate knowledge of the Old Hollywood gossip mill grounds the story's frothier elements…. Likewise, Alcott's acknowledgment of the era's less sparkling elements – the regular humiliations endured by black actors, Gable's homophobic discomfort with director George Cukor, the anti-Semitism underlying many Americans' disinterest in engaging in a war with Hitler – elevates the novel above pure fantasia….. gets just close enough to the glamour to make you feel extravagant and put a twinkle in your eye. The Austin Chronicle
  • This lively read with its cinematic scenes cry out for blockbuster movie treatment.... There’s more than a touch of stardust here. It’s liberally sprinkled on every page. Toronto Star
  • ...If you are a real film buff and true book lover, chances are you will not forget the irresistible new novel A Touch of Stardust...This is a daring act of literary imagination...And in Alcott's hands, the make-believe Lombard feels like an ahead of her times, flesh-and-blood human being who is as interesting as any character she portrayed on the silver screen.
    -- NY1

    Kate Alcott’s story of old Hollywood and the making of “Gone With the Wind” is simply enjoyable...Alcott’s depiction of the earthy, expletive-spewing Lombard reads just right.
    -- New York Daily News
  • “A coming of age story mixed with old Hollywood fun.... An utter delight! Readers get to go back in time to old Hollywood and not only witness a game-changing movie being made, but get to know the actors and actresses of the movie..... A treat to read. Alcott has given readers a unique novel in historical fiction. You'll find yourself wanting to watch "Gone With the Wind" again simply because of this grand novel!  The Examiner
  • If you could time-travel to anywhere in the golden age of Hollywood, it would be hard to imagine a place more exciting than the set of “Gone with the Wind which is just where Alcott sets much of her new novel….Lombard is portrayed as delightfully as any character she played in the moviesAlcott infuses her breathtaking novel with the sort of glamour found only on the big screen—and a host of frailties that are all too human.
  • "Julie, and the happy reader, [have] a ringside seat to Lombard's affair with Clark Gable, aka Rhett Butler... Our fictional heroine shows pluck as she tries to crack the male screenwriters' room, but it's the funny, ribald, likable (and doomed) Lombard who shines brightest here, throwing off more than a touch of stardust.  USA Today
  • Alcott makes good use of her research to portray the turbulent Gone With the Wind shoot, Lombard's earthy personality and genuine love for the equally no-BS Gable… Julie and Andy's tender but bumpy affair is also nicely depicted…Alcott's canny blend of Hollywood lore and a strong personal story is ultimately effective. Well-crafted commercial fiction displaying intelligence and nuance as Julie ponders Hollywood's dizzying fantasy/reality disconnect.  Kirkus Review
  • Alcott should entrance large audiences with her stellar historical novel…nuanced and substantive… The briskly paced narrative captivates as it lets readers view the creation of silver-screen magic, and it’s also a terrific tribute to the industry pioneers.  Booklist
  • Readers of Nancy Horan's Loving Frank and other biographical fiction will love this well-written, thoroughly researched look at Hollywood's glamorous and not-so-glamorous past.  Library Journal starred review
  • “How fun is this? Alcott, author of the New York Times bestselling The Dressmaker, has written a big, sprawling novel about the filming of Gone with the Wind, with a side trip to the boiling-over romance between its leading man, Clark Gable, and sunny Carole Lombard.”

    Library Journal

  • “Alcott should entrance large audiences with her stellar historical novel…nuanced and substantive…The briskly paced narrative captivates as it lets readers view the creation of silver-screen magic, and it’s also a terrific tribute to the industry pioneers.”

    Booklist

  • “Alcott makes good use of her research to portray the turbulent Gone With the Wind shoot, Lombard’s earthy personality and genuine love for the equally no-BS Gable… Julie and Andy’s tender but bumpy affair is also nicely depicted…Alcott’s canny blend of Hollywood lore and a strong personal story is ultimately effective. Well-crafted commercial fiction displaying intelligence and nuance as Julie ponders Hollywood’s dizzying fantasy/reality disconnect.”

    Kirkus Review

  • “Kate Alcott effortlessly evokes the shimmering world of vintage Hollywood as she drops a plucky young woman from Indiana into the tumultuous set of Gone With the Wind and a legendary silver screen romance, against the backdrop of the gathering storm in Europe. If you’ve ever longed to be a fly on the wall as Clark Gable loses his heart to the effervescent Carole Lombard, or watch Vivien Leigh gather herself together for her greatest scene, you’ll devour this book as hungrily as I did.”

    Beatriz Williams, author of A Hundred Summers

  • “Sparkling with the magic of classic moviemaking and set against the fiery drama of Hollywood’s Gone With the Wind filming, Alcott weaves fact and fiction so that readers cheer for the story to be reality—a place where we all might find… a touch of stardust. “

    Sarah McCoy, author of The Baker’s Daughter

  • “Cassandra Campbell’s engaging performance introduces Julie, an appealing ingenue who arrives in Hollywood from Indiana, hoping to become a screenwriter…Campbell makes her sound plucky and determined, and when Julie encounters celebrities, Campbell is wonderfully understated, never resorting to theatrics. When Julie is hired as personal assistant to Carole Lombard, Clark Gable’s brainy, beautiful, outrageous lady love, Campbell offers a Julie-eyed view of the sizzling Gable-Lombard affair and the electricity between Gable/Rhett and Vivien Leigh/Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. Campbell’s interpretation makes Alcott’s intriguing speculations feel right.”

    AudioFile

  • A February 2015 LibraryReads Pick
  • A 2016 RUSA Reading List Shortlist Selection
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About the Author
Author Kate Alcott

Kate Alcott is the pseudonym for journalist Patricia O’Brien, who has written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. As Kate Alcott, she is the author of The Dressmaker, a New York Times bestseller. She lives with her husband in Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of thirty-nine Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.