American Blonde (Paperback)
Book 4 in the Velva Jean series
Plume, 9780452298217, 384pp.
Publication Date: July 30, 2014
“A stunning talent.”—Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Get Capone
In 1945, Velva Jean Hart is a bona fide war heroine. After a newsreel films her triumphant return to America, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer promises to make her a star. They give her a new life story and a brand new name. As “Kit Rogers,” she navigates the movie sets, recording sessions, parties, staged romances, and occasional backstabbing that accompany her newfound fame. She also navigates real-life romance, finding herself caught between a charismatic young writer and a sexy and enigmatic musician from her past. But when one of her best friends dies mysteriously and the most powerful studio in the world launches a cover-up, Velva Jean goes in search of the truth—risking her own life, as well as her heart, in the process.
Set during Hollywood’s Golden Age and peopled with a cast of unforgettable characters, American Blonde will mesmerize readers of The Chaperone as well as fans of the Velva Jean series.
About the Author
JENNIFER NIVEN has written four novels for adults—Velva Jean Learns to Drive, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, Becoming Clementine, and American Blonde—and three non-fiction books—Ada Blackjack, The Aqua-Net Diaries, and The Ice Master, which was named a top non-fiction book by Entertainment Weekly. She has also written two books for young adults: Holding Up the Universe and the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places; the movie, starring Elle Fanning, will be released in 2017.
Although she grew up in Indiana, she now lives with her fiancé and literary cats in Los Angeles, which remains her favorite place to wander.
For more information, visit JenniferNiven.com, GermMagazine.com, or find her on Facebook.
Praise For American Blonde: Book 4 in the Velva Jean series…
“A stunning talent. Like Elmore Leonard, [Niven]'s such a sneaky good writer that you might not notice what she's up to. On one level, American Blonde is a crackling thriller that will keep you up all night until the pieces of the plot come together. At the same time, it's an elegantly written, impressively researched novel that makes idealism, heroism, and a romantic era come to life. Either way, it's a total knockout.”
—Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Get Capone, Luckiest Man, and Opening Day
“Fans will relish this latest installment in the adventures of Velva Jean.”
“Utterly enthralling from the first page to the last, thanks to the magic of Jennifer Niven's lovely writing, and the riveting drama of her character's quest for her dreams and for herself.”
— Rosemary Harris, Tony-and-Emmy Award-winning actress
“Captures perfectly the artificiality of Hollywood and the iron grip of the studio system in the 1940s.”
—Historical Novel Society
“Every moment sparkles with wit, excitement, and historical accuracy.”
—North Valley Magazine
“Wonderfully constructed, with an amazingly shocking end showing the story to be a great thriller as well as a work of romance and historical fiction. Highly recommended.”
—Crystal Book Review
“A spunky, modern heroine with a knock-out voice.”
“Mixes golden age drama with a touch of noir mystery.”
“It’s an exciting book that paints a vivid picture of the movie industry of the time . . . Velva Jean is a brave, smart and loyal woman.”—Bookworm is my Totem
“If you’re a fan of Hollywood’s Golden Age there’s plenty for you here [with a] murder mystery . . . good enough to hold your interest even if you’re not fascinated by the machinations of the studio system.”
—Verity Reads Books
PRAISE FOR BECOMING CLEMENTINE:
“A spirited tale of courage, honor and loyalty. Jennifer Niven succeeds in not only illuminating an important and little-known role played by women during the war, but creating an unforgettable and heartfelt story that will resonate with readers far and wide.”
—Pam Jenoff, author of The Diplomat’s Wife
PRAISE FOR VELVA JEAN LEARNS TO FLY:
Featured on Los Angeles Magazine's "To Read" list for August 2011
Named the September Read of the Month by the Southern Literary Review
“An endearing portrait of a young woman with a big heart—Velva Jean Learns to Fly illuminates the power of going after a dream and the courage it takes to never let go."
—Beth Hoffman, bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
“Besides creating a gutsy heroine, who, despite the repressive times, never becomes bitter, Niven's writing shines overall. Cheers to Niven, Velva Jean, and the two further books of her remarkable story to come in 2012 and 2013.”
—Booklist, starred review
“A very special World War II novel…. Jennifer Niven’s ongoing portrayal of this totally engaging young woman set within a stunning vision of the American South during WWII is a major achievement. The explorations of the Nashville music industry and the WASP initiative are rich in evocative detail.”
—Southern Literary Review
PRAISE FOR VELVA JEAN LEARNS TO DRIVE:
An August 2009 Indie Next Pick
A Summer 2010 Indie Next Reader's Group "Top Ten" Pick
A Costco Pick (Pennie's Book Pick of the Month for August 2009)
“A touching read, funny and wise, like a crazy blend of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, a less morose Flannery O’Connor, and maybe a shot of Hank Williams . . . Niven makes some memorable moonspun magic in her rich fiction debut.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A fluid storyteller.”
—Wall Street Journal