Martin Turnbull has worked as a private tour guide showing both locals and out-of-towners the movie studios, Beverly Hills mansions, Hollywood hills vistas and where all the bodies are buried. For nine years, he has also volunteered as an historical walking tour docent with the Los Angeles Conservancy. He worked for a summer as a guide at the Warner Bros. movie studios in Burbank showing movie fans through the sound stages where Bogie and Bacall, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and James Cagney created some of Hollywood’s classic motion pictures.
From an early age, Martin was enchanted with old movies from Hollywood’s golden era–from the dawn of the talkies in the late 1920s to the dusk of the studio system in the late 1950s–and has spent many, many a happy hour watching the likes of Garland, Gable, Crawford, Garbo, Grant, Miller, Kelly, Astaire, Rogers, Turner, Welles go through their paces.
When he discovered the wonderful world of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs, his love of reading merged with his love of movies and his love of history to produce a three-headed hydra gobbling up everything in his path. Ever since then, he’s been on a mission to learn and share as much as he can about this unique time.
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Martin moved to Los Angeles in the mid-90s.
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Searchlights and Shadows
The dark days of Pearl Harbor loom over Los Angeles, and posters warn Hollywoodites that loose lips sink ships. MGM screenwriter, Marcus Adler, needs to come up with a sure-fire hit. Gwendolyn Brick dreams of opening her own dress store, but it threatens to drag her back into the orbit of Bugsy Siegel. Columnist, Kathryn Massey survival depend on a place nobody’s heard of: Las Vegas.
Hollywood, 1939: When Tinseltown begins to woo wunderkind Orson Welles, he stashes himself at the Chateau Marmont until he’s ready to make his splashy entrance. But when William Randolph Hearst realizes "Citizen Kane" is based on him, he won’t be happy—and when Hearst isn’t happy, nobody’s safe. Marcus Adler, Kathryn Massey, and Gwendolyn Bricky need to go for broke, and the clock is ticking.
The Trouble with Scarlett
Book 2 in the Garden of Allah novels finds Marcus, Kathryn, and Gwendolyn caught up in a Hollywood obsessed with finding the screen’s Scarlett O'Hara. Kathryn scoops the news which makes Louella Parsons hopping mad, Gwendolyn wants the role but faces stiff competition, while Marcus creates a fiasco at the Hearst Castle and needs an out. Who knew casting Scarlett O'Hara could cause so much trouble?
The Garden on Sunset
In Hollywood, 1927, three naïve hopefuls band together to tread water against a tidal wave of threadbare casting couches, nervous bootleggers, human billboards, round-the-world zeppelins, sinking gambling boats, waiters in blackface, William Randolph Hearst, the Long Beach earthquake, starlets, harlots, Harlows and Garbos. But how will they get their feet inside Hollywood’s golden door?
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