Revealing: ALL THE GIN JOINTS – a novel of World War II Hollywood

During the past couple of years since I finished writing my Hollywood’s Garden of Allah series, I have written a couple of biographical novels: specifically Chasing Salomé about actress Alla Nazimova, and The Heart of the Lion about MGM producer, Irving Thalberg. I’m very happy with how they turned out and how well they’ve been received, but a part of me missed writing the Hollywood’s Garden of Allah sort of stories, which were a 50/50 mix of a fictional tale played out against factual events.

For a while, I didn’t really know how to jump back into that particular pool . . . until . . . a fact and an idea converged on me at almost exactly the same time.

I read an article about how Humphrey Bogart played chess-by-mail. That’s when you make a move, write it down on a postcard, which you mail to your opponent, who does the same thing. Back-and-forth you go until one of you gets to write “CHECKMATE.”) One of Bogart’s chess partners was a guy in Brooklyn who was the brother of someone who worked at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, Los Angeles. My writerly mind started to ruminate over how that happened.

It had also occurred to me that so many Hollywood stories are about people who want to come to Hollywood, ambitious to make their mark, or reinvent themselves. Or both. What if, I pondered, I could write about a character who didn’t want to go to Hollywood, but was unwillingly compelled. And what if, I further pondered, that character came to find his true way forward in life?

One ‘what if’ led to another and now I’m happy to announce the details of my next release.

ALL THE GIN JOINTS

a novel of World War II Hollywood

by Martin Turnbull

Due for release July 2021

For those of you curious about the making of a book cover, I drew inspiration from one of the original posters for Casablanca, which featured the stars in sepia and the title in red.

~oOo~

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Luke Valenti has never fit into his swaggering family of overbearing loudmouths. Even worse, the world is at war again and Uncle Sam has stamped his draft notice “4-F” — the ultimate rejection — because of a rare eye condition that has left Luke unable to see colors. So instead, he dreams of escaping Brooklyn for the beaches of Montauk.

That is, until a stolen prop from The Maltese Falcon pitches him down a reluctant path to Hollywood. Luke is tasked with returning it to Warner Brothers, where Humphrey Bogart is about to embark on the movie that will launch his career into the stratosphere: Casablanca.

But the production is chaotic. Bogie is desperately unhappy in his marriage. Ingrid Bergman feels lost and alone. The script is constantly rewritten, and the overbearing director hates that damned song. Nobody thinks this movie will amount to anything—except the guy who sees in black and white. Finally, Luke has found his way in.

But studio stuntman Gus O’Farrell wants him out again: Luke has replaced him as the star’s stand-in, and Gus is having none of it. Bogie warns Luke to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. It’s great advice, but when a chance to reverse his 4-F status presents itself, Luke needs to learn that distinguishing friends from enemies can be a tricky business in a land where artifice blurs reality like murky shadows in a back alley.

From the author of the Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels comes a story set against the making of one of the most beloved films of all time—and the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

~oOo~

ALL THE GIN JOINTS is due for release JULY 2021

~oOo~

And yes, you read that right. All the Gin Joints is Book 1 in the Hollywood Home Front Trilogy.

~oOo~


The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels
by Martin Turnbull

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnbull - all 9 titles banner

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)

~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Exhibitor’s Herald, December 25, 1926, announcing the plan for The Garden of Alla(h) Hotel on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles

You’d think that after a dozen years researching and writing about the Garden of Allah Hotel, that somewhere somehow I’d have come across this announcement in the Exhibitor’s Herald, December 25, 1926 that Alla Nazimova planned to turn her movie-star mansion into The Garden of Alla Hotel. (The “h” was added to “Alla” a couple of years later.) But apparently the internet is a bottomless well of surprises and information.

~oOo~


The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels
by Martin Turnbull

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnbull - all 9 titles banner

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)

~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Peters family photos of the Getty mansion used during the filming of “Sunset Blvd” at 641 S. Irving Blvd, Los Angeles, 1949

I was recently contacted by Teresa Peters who told me that her grandparents, Cletus and Della Peters were the caretakers of that mansion and would I like to see some family photos of their time there. Naturally, I told her that I’d love to see them. I was expecting 3 or 4 shots, but she sent me 25 photos, all of which appear to have been taken when Sunset Boulevard was being filmed, which dates these shots somewhere between April and June 1949. At the time, their son, Bernard – Teresa’s father – would have been 13 years old. What an amazing place to grow up!

It took a lot of people to film those scenes. Here’s the crew on a meal break:

Norma Desmond’s magnificent luxury car in the movie was a 1929 Isotta-Fraschini 8A . You can learn more about it here.

Sunset Blvd didn’t come out until August 1950, fifteen months after these photos were taken. Little did 13-year-old Bernard know what a soon-to-be-iconic car he was sitting in.

Paramount released Streets of Laredo, also starring William Holden in May 1949, so I’m guessing it was one of their big releases when Sunset Blvd was in production. Never one to miss a publicity opportunity, the studio put the poster on one of their crew trucks. I don’t know what’s on the back of the truck – I’m guessing maybe some sort of power generator? – but if anyone reading this can tell us, we’d love to know:`

The story I’d always heard was that when Paramount wanted to use the exterior of the mansion in their movie, the owner at the time was an ex-wife of John Paul Getty, the oil baron. Teresa told me that she’d heard that Getty used the house as a place to store his artwork. The place was so big that both could be true at the same time.

I also heard that Getty’s ex-wife agreed to let Paramount film there, but only if they built her a pool. Presumably the one that Joe Gillis (William Holden) falls into after Norma Desmond loses her marbles. Here is Della taking a relaxing float in one of filmdom’s most famous pools.

Teresa said her grandparents moved out of the mansion when they bought a house in 1954, and assumes they gave up the caretaking job then as well. In 1955, the house was used again for filming, this time for Warner Bros.’ Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean. And in 1957 it was demolished.

I’d like to thank Teresa Peters for sharing these precious and rare family photos and letting me post them online for all of us to enjoy.

You can see other views of the Getty/Norma Desmond mansion on my website here and here.

~oOo~


The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels
by Martin Turnbull

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnbull - all 9 titles banner

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)

~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

An original neon sign from the Garden of Allah Hotel is now for sale

Quite a few years ago – ten or twelve, maybe – while researching the Garden of Allah Hotel for my series of novels, I happened upon a photo of one of the hotel’s original neon signs.

This sign that had spent 30+ years drenched in golden California sunshine ended up living out its days buried in the snowy wilds of Detroit. So many questions hung in the air: How did it get there? Who owned it? Why was it left outside? How long did it last before it disintegrated under the rigors of Michigan’s often hostile climate?

The photo was taken in 1960, so it was already more than 50 years old by the time it pinged my radar. Still, I figured, someone must know something, and must have written about it somewhere. Yes, well, Google can only get you so far. In this case, it got me no place, and all those questions went unanswered.

Fast forward to October 2020

A comment was added to a post I’d made in 2014 about a photo of a door handle that might possibly have been from the Garden of Allah. (Click HERE to see that post)

The comment was from Mark Santamaria who wrote to say “Martin, If you are wondering where the Garden of Allah neon sign is, I have it.” As you might imagine, I sat there and thought “Wait. What? Is he talking about the sign? The one that’s in Detroit? He has it? What on earth…?” So of course I responded and the next day he sent me this photo:

It was now sitting in his garage in Oakland, California having acquired it from the family in Michigan. He planned to restore it as he had done with other vintage neon signs that had once glowed from landmark buildings around Hollywood and Los Angeles. He even had the original neon tubing.

It no longer worked, but it would make restoration much easier, so that it would end up looking like it did in this 1951 photo, when it was still in situ.

What a stunning find! And from completely out of left field, too. Who’d have thought it still existed? Let alone in half-way decent shape! It just goes to show that you never know what’s out there, right?

Fast forward to February 2021

Although Mark had every intention of fully restoring the sign, his circumstances have recently changed and he is now looking at selling it. For someone with the right skills, finances, and location, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a unique slice of Los Angeles history.

If you would like to buy it – or know someone who would – please contact him directly.

His email address is: msm195812 at aol dot com

Thanks for your on-going interest and let’s hope we can find this treasure a new home!

~oOo~


The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels
by Martin Turnbull

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnbull - all 9 titles banner

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)

~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Teasing the stuff that dreams are made of because this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Yesterday, I wrote the two sweet words you get to type after you finish the first draft of a new novel you thought would take three months but ended up taking four.

I never like to give out hints of my next novel until I’ve finished the first draft. That’s because, despite starting with a detailed outline, I’m rarely 100% sure what a new story is about until I’ve written at least one full draft. And now that I’ve typed “THE END” I can share this teaser graphic with you:

I’ll reveal more as the year unfolds, but for now let me add that, unlike my two more recent books – Chasing Salomé (about Alla Nazimova) and The Heart of the Lion (about Irving Thalberg) – this new novel is more like my Hollywood’s Garden of Allah series: 50% factual history + 50% fictional story. It’s not about the making of Casablanca, but is an original story that unfolds against the backdrop of filming one of the most-loved movies to come out of Hollywood’s golden age.

Oh, and one more thing: it’ll be the first book in a brand-new trilogy.

But that’s all you’ll get out of me. For now. Watch this space for further developments. Meanwhile, here’s looking at you kid.

Cheers,
Martin

~oOo~

Also by Martin Turnbull:


The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnbull - all 9 titles banner

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)

~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Recreating (pieces of) the Garden of Allah Hotel

I recently came across a photo of a letter dated February 6, 1939, written from the Garden of Allah Hotel, 8152 Sunset Boulevard at the gateway to the famed Sunset Strip.

Handwritten letter on Garden of Allah Hotel letterhead, dated February 6, 1939

As I studied the photo, I realized that I had among my files that same artwork featured at the top of the page. I never really knew its intended purpose, just that I liked it, and it was from the Garden of Allah Hotel, which is the setting for my nine-book Hollywood’s Garden of Allah series.

Ah! thought I. They used it for their letterhead.

Hmmm! thought I. Perhaps I can do something with it. And the similar artwork I also have.

And so I now am happy to announce that I have partnered with Zazzle and come up with a range of seven recreated Garden of Allah Hotel items:

Folded note cards
Three different versions
(with envelope)

Full color:

Recreated Garden of Allah Hotel note card (full color)

Black outline with orange coloring:

Recreated Garden of Allah Hotel note card (orange)

Red ink:

Recreated Garden of Allah Hotel note card (red)

Notepaper
Available in five different types of paper
The paper shown here is “Felt.”
(no envelope)

Recreated Garden of Allah Hotel note paper

Close up of the artwork on the letterhead:

Recreated Garden of Allah Hotel letterhead

Postcard

Recreated Garden of Allah Hotel postcard

Coffee mug

Shot glasses
Available in multiples of 2

Recreated Garden of Allah Hotel shot glass

~oOo~

To browse and shop, just visit my Zazzle store.

Zazzle promise 100% satisfaction. If you don’t love what you’ve bought, they’ll take it back. They also give you the option to follow me so that you are automatically alerted when/if I add more products. I’m also open to suggestions if there’s something you’d like me to add.

Thanks everyone!

Martin Turnbull

~oOo~

Also by Martin Turnbull:

The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

Chasing Salomé: a novel of 1920s Hollywood

The Heart of the Lion: a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)

~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Would Irving Thalberg have enjoyed audiobooks?

Irving Thalberg, the legendary head of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer once said famously (or infamously as it turned out)

“Novelty is always welcome but talking pictures are just a fad.”

He had to be convinced on the idea of adopting that new-fangled format those Warner boys were pushing: the talkies. “Why spoil pictures with all that blah-blah-blah?” was his way of thinking. To be fair, he wasn’t the only movie mogul saying that. But he took longer than the rest of them, which is why MGM were late to the talkies party. (They didn’t release their first talkie, Broadway Melody, until 16 months after The Jazz Singer.)

If Irving were alive today, I wonder what he would make of audiobooks. Would he be an early adopter of new technology? Or would he have said, “Books were made to be read. On paper. With pages. So that you can sniff that bookish smell.”

It’s hard to say, but I do think he would approve of the audiobook version of my novel about his life – THE HEART OF THE LION, a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood – that came out this week.

"The Heart of the Lion - A novel of Irving Thalberg's Hollywood" by Martin Turnbull, Audiobook narrated by Donald Davenport

Narrating my take on Irving Thalberg’s extraordinary life is Donald Davenport, who has done a fine job giving voice to someone who was on the quiet side, who thought deeply about everything he did, and whose natural inclination was to turn inward. This meant that he was not the cigar-chomping, woman-chasing, big-talking movie baron that his contemporaries were, and yet he out-did them all.

Here’s a rather touching quote from someone who knew him well, the daughter of MGM boss, Louis B. Mayer:

And so, if you like to consume your fiction aurally, The Heart of the Lion is now available in audiobook format.

Amazon

Audible

~oOo~

Some reviews for The Heart of the Lion:

Martin Turnbull has created magic once again. Irving Thalberg came to life in the pages of this book and I felt I was part of the story-I was completely engaged the entire book. Such masterful story telling! Such real characters! Thank you for another amazing look into the early years of Hollywood.

***

I very rarely write a review but I had to on this book. Every book Martin Turnbull writes is absolutely excellent and this one is no exception. He does his research and turns it into a story that is great to read. Such a talented writer. I wish the book was 1000 pages long so I could still be reading it!

***

We read this book in two sittings, and probably would have done so even if we didn’t have an interest in Hollywood history. As a study of a man and an industry, The Heart of the Lion is a terrific read, and we heartily recommend it. – Silver Screenings:

***

Turnbull expertly draws out the tension inherent in Thalberg’s constant awareness of his own frailty, even as he feverishly maintains a punishing work schedule. While the behind-the-scenes glimpses into the lives of a parade of famous stars make for a fascinating and entertaining read, the heart of the novel is Turnbull’s depiction of Thalberg’s emotional life. – Art in Fiction

***

Links to all the formats can be found on my website.

~oOo~

Also by Martin Turnbull:

The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

Chasing Salomé: a novel of 1920s Hollywood

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

~oOo~

 
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

“Chasing Salomé” audiobook and other news to share

I’m very happy to let you know that the audiobook version of my novel about Alla Nazimova  – Chasing Salomé – is now available. For this release, I accepted an offer from Oasis Audio, who wanted Chasing Salomé to be the first in their new Hollywoodland imprint of audiobooks dealing with Hollywood’s golden age. They suggested using the voice talents of New York actor, Romy Nordlinger.

"Chasing Salome" narrated by Romy NordlingerRomy has performed her original solo show PLACES also known as THE GARDEN OF ALLA about silent screen star Alla Nazimova to sold-out audiences and critical acclaim at HERE, Players Club, Dixon Place, 59E59, the Edinburgh Fringe, and The Kennedy Center. She has also shot co-starring roles on Bull (CBS), and FBI (CBS), and the independent feature Downrange. Off-Broadway credits include Lancelot, Shakespeare’s Slave, and Caligula. A member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Film & Television, Playwrights Gallery, and the Dramatists Guild, Romy is currently narrating her 220th audiobook.

I mean, really, with a resume like that, who better to narrate a novel about Madame Nazimova?

You can listen to the first ten minutes here:

 

More information about Chasing Salomé can be found on my website.

The audiobook of Chasing Salomé can be found through these retail outlets:

Audible

Amazon US (digital download)

Amazon US (CD set)

Book Depository (CD set, free worldwide shipping)

For those of you who have been asking about the progress of the possible screen adaptation of my Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels, I can now announce that the producer, Tabrez Noorani, recently renewed our option agreement. It indicates that he is still actively developing the project, and so I was pleased to see him mentioning it in a recent interview: One-on-One with Tabrez Noorani.

~oOo~

THE HEART OF THE LION - a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood by Martin Turnbull

And in case you missed my previous announcement, my most recent book – THE HEART OF THE LION: a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood – is now out and receiving wonderful reviews. Here’s a sample:

Silver Screenings:
We read this book in two sittings, and probably would have done so even if we didn’t have an interest in Hollywood history. As a study of a man and an industry, The Heart of the Lion is a terrific read, and we heartily recommend it.

Art in Fiction
Turnbull expertly draws out the tension inherent in Thalberg’s constant awareness of his own frailty, even as he feverishly maintains a punishing work schedule. While the behind-the-scenes glimpses into the lives of a parade of famous stars make for a fascinating and entertaining read, the heart of the novel is Turnbull’s depiction of Thalberg’s emotional life.

Amazon review – 5 STARS
I very rarely write a review but I had to on this book. Every book Martin Turnbull writes is absolutely excellent and this one is no exception. He does his research and turns it into a story that is great to read. Such a talented writer. I wish the book was 1000 pages long so I could still be reading it !!

Amazon review – 5 STARS
The story of Irving Thalberg told in such a way that Hollywood comes alive, Mr. Thalberg was the man behind the movies in the golden age of movies. I had never heard of him before. The story part biography part story was told in such a way that putting it down was impossible. At the end I had laughed, cried, felt great empathy and felt that big let down when I finally read the last page, because it had ended.

Amazon review – 5 STARS
Martin Turnbull has created magic once again. Irving Thalberg came to life in the pages of this book and I felt I was part of the story-I was completely engaged the entire book. Such masterful story telling! Such real characters! Thank you for another amazing look into the early years of Hollywood.

You can find all the links to all the retailers HERE.

~oOo~

As ever, thanks for your interest in my work. I appreciate each and every one of you so very much.

All the best,

Martin Turnbull

 

~oOo~

Also by Martin Turnbull:

The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

Chasing Salomé: a novel of 1920s Hollywood

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

~oOo~

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Announcing the release of “THE HEART OF THE LION: a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood”

Imagine that you were born with a blazing desire to make your mark on the world, and that you knew you had what it took to achieve those far-reaching ambitions. And then imagine that your birth coincided with the rise of a new art form, and you were part of the generation who invented it as they went along. Ah, but there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? The heart in which this all-consuming drive lives is also weak and frail. It could stop beating at any time.

Do you hold nothing back as you pursue your dreams, knowing that the unrelenting pressures and strains could be the very thing that brings you down?

Or do you sacrifice those ambitions, even though they fuel and fulfill you? And you live your life with caution instead, because every safe and sensible choice you make will help you live another day?

This is the dilemma that Irving Thalberg, head of production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studios from 1924 to 1936, faced every day of his remarkable life. And that’s the predicament I wanted to explore in my new novel.

I am very excited to let you know that THE HEART OF THE LION: a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood is now available.

~oOo~

“THE HEART OF THE LION: a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood” by Martin Turnbull

~oOo~

Lose yourself in the Golden Age of Hollywood—and discover the story of the man who helped create it.

Hollywood in the 1920s: the motion picture industry is booming, and Irving Thalberg knows it takes more than guts and gumption to create screen magic that will live forever. He’s climbed all the way to head of production at newly merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and is determined to transform Leo the Lion into an icon of the most successful studio in town

The harder he works, the higher he soars. But at what cost? The more he achieves, the closer he risks flying into oblivion. A frail and faulty heart shudders inside this chest that blazes with ambition. Thalberg knows that his charmed life at the top of the Hollywood heap is a dangerous tightrope walk: each day—each breath, even—could be his last. Shooting for success means risking his health, friendships, everything. Yet, against all odds, the man no one thought would survive into adulthood almost single-handedly ushers in a new era of filmmaking.

This is Hollywood at its most daring and opulent—the Sunset Strip, premieres at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, stars like Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford—and Irving is at the center of it all.

From the author of the Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels comes a mesmerizing, true-life story of the man behind Golden Age mythmaking: Irving Thalberg, the prince of Tinseltown.

~oOo~

You can read Chapter 1 on my website.

~oOo~

THE HEART OF THE LION - a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood by Martin Turnbull

 

The Heart of the Lion is now available through these retailers:

Amazon US Kindle

Amazon US Paperback

Amazon Canada Kindle

Amazon Canada Paperback

Amazon UK Kindle

Amazon UK Paperback

Amazon Australia Kindle

Amazon Australia paperback

Barnes & Noble Nook ebook

Apple ebook

Kobo ebook

Scribd

Goodreads

Overdrive

Book Depository (free shipping worldwide on all paperbacks)

Audiobook – COMING SOON

~oOo~

The Heart of the Lion on MartinTurnbull.com

~oOo~

Also by Martin Turnbull:

The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

Chasing Salomé: a novel of 1920s Hollywood

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Hollywood round up while we’re waiting for Irving Thalberg

Hello everyone,

Well, here we are, Day #786,004 of the Covid lockdown. I really don’t know how many days we’ve been sheltering in place but it sure feels like 2,153.6 years, doesn’t it? On the plus side, things are starting to open up, so let’s hope that glimmer of light we’re seeing is, indeed, the end of the tunnel.

But until it is, we have little choice but to carry on living as best we can. Over in my neck o’ the woods, the manuscript for my next novel is currently in the hands of my editor.

"The Heart of the Lion: a novel by of Irving Thalberg's Hollywood" by Martin Turnbull

THE HEART OF THE LION
a novel of Irving Thalberg’s Hollywood

And that means the book is still on track to be released mid-to-late-June-ish 2020, so not long now!

~O~

"Lights, Camera, Author" podcast with Jim Junot

Meanwhile, I was recently interviewed by Jim Junot, who hosts the “Lights, Camera, Author!” podcast. He contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d come onto the show to talk about my upcoming Irving Thalberg book. You can listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or go here:

https://beta.prx.org/stories/322327

~O~

Hollywood Party podcast by Lauren Semar

The ever-fabulous Lauren Semar launched her podcast this week. In each episode of “Hollywood Party,” she tells us the life of a different personality from Hollywood’s golden era. In the show’s debut, Lauren talks about Desi Arnaz – and she had me laughing from the get go. You can get “Hollywood Party” through all the usual podcast channels or go here:

https://www.laurensemar.com/hollywoodpartypodcast

~O~

Meanwhile, to help you all dream of a gentler, kinder time when we didn’t have to worry about passing on a virus while hugging someone, let me share with you some interesting vintage photos of Los Angeles and Hollywood that I’ve come across recently:

Looking west along Wilshire Blvd from Virgil Ave toward Bullocks Wilshire, 1934

Looking west along Wilshire Blvd from Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, 1934

In this photo taken atop whatever building stood on the northeast corner of Virgil Ave and Wilshire Blvd in 1934, we’re looking west toward the Bullocks Wilshire department store. We can see a few of the large homes that used to line Wilshire in the early part of the 20th century.

~~~

Getty Mansion aka Norma Desmond’s home in “Sunset Boulevard” midway through demolition, Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 1957

Getty Mansion aka Norma Desmond’s home in “Sunset Boulevard” midway through demolition, Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 1957

An estate once owned by John Paul Getty played the role of “Norma Desmond’s mansion” in 1950’s Sunset Boulevard. This photo was taken in 1957 as it was being demolished. In the foreground we can see the swimming pool, where it all ended rather badly for Mr. Joe Gillis.

~~~

The new Hollywoodland sign in the Hollywood hills, circa 1925

The Hollywoodland sign in the Hollywood Hills, 1925

The Hollywoodland sign up the top of the Hollywood Hills looks freshly made and freshly painted, which it still would have been in 1925, just two years after it went up. The Hollywoodland development wasn’t a booming success initially, so walking around the neighborhood would have felt like you were roaming open countryside, which, in a way, you would have been.

~~~

Mom Lehr's Hollywood Guild & Canteen, 1284 N. Crescent Heights Blvd Los Angeles, circa 1942 (1)

“Mom” Lehr’s Hollywood Guild & Canteen, 1284 N. Crescent Heights Blvd,
Los Angeles, circa 1942

This modest sign belies a much-needed service provided to enlisted men passing through Los Angeles en route to the Pacific during WWII. Anne Lehr, the wife of the vice president of United Artists, saw that they didn’t have anywhere to sleep while on leave, so she leased a mansion near the Garden of Allah Hotel and on May 15, 1942, opened the Hollywood Guild & Canteen, in which she provided up to 1200 servicemen with a meal and a place to sleep. When Bette Davis and John Garfield saw what a huge need there was, it inspired them to create the Hollywood Canteen, which opened in October.

~~~

View of the Hollywood Bowl during a night performance

View of the Hollywood Bowl during a night performance, circa 1940s

The photographer who took this shot of the Hollywood Bowl was standing past the last row to give us the view of a nighttime performance that would look much the same now as it did back then. The shell form was constructed in 1929 and the decorative pool was installed in 1953. The Hollywood Freeway in the background opened in 1940, so this photo was taken sometime between 1940 and 1953.

~~~

Schwab's Pharmacy menu, 8024 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, circa 1940s

Schwab’s Pharmacy menu, 8024 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles, circa 1940s

After the Schwab brothers opened their Sunset Blvd location in 1932, it fed the dreams and stomachs of Hollywood hopefuls. Recently I came across a menu from the 1940s. (I have a larger version on my website – scroll down you see click HERE.) I think I’ll start with a Mexican Tamale with chili, then move onto the Club Style Sandwich No. 3, and end with coffee and a Black Beauty for dessert. And what’ll you have?

~~~

You’ll most likely be hearing from me again around this time next month when I’ll be letting you know that The Heart of the Lion is available. Until then, I do hope you’re being safe and keeping your sanity intact.

All the best,

Martin Turnbull

~oOo~

Also by Martin Turnbull
the Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels:

Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
Book 8 – City of Myths
Book 9 – Closing Credits

 

The Hollywood's Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnbull - all 9 titles banner

~oOo~

Grab your free books now (limited time offer)

~oOo~

Connect with Martin Turnbull:

Website

Facebook

Pinterest

~oOo~

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments