TIME TRAVEL TO CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD
A ROGUE, A PIRATE AND A DRY MARTINI is my time travel romantic comedy novel homage to Hollywood back in the Golden Days of the black and white movie classics. How would you like to find yourself starring opposite one of the legends of Hollywood, his leading lady, in fact? Relive the magic of old Hollywood, when Musso and Frank made the best dry gin martinis (as they still do) and everybody who was anybody strolled along Hollywood Boulevard.
"Cancelled, dumped and told to retire all in one morning in Hollywood, our heroine, the former star of Morgan Sidney, the Laughing PI, thinks it can't get any worse until her agent tricks her into working on some real low end, Loserville production where everybody smokes all the time and drinks martinis between scenes. No special effects, no car chases, just actors she's never heard of playing scenes.
And her co-stars! Who are these guys? Sophisticated, witty, and sexy, the kind of men you wouldn't mind a bit doing a nude scene with, but for some reason in these movies there's no humping. All they do is kiss. But after a martini or two, kissing these guys (and our heroine makes it her business to kiss them all) is better than sex. No kidding.
It's all great fun, even if it is guaranteed to ruin her career. So what's going on? Nobody makes movies like this anymore. And where the Hell are they getting all these unfiltered Chesterfields? So what happens if the guy you're crazy about turns out to be somebody you've probably watched on Turner Classic Movies? And you're pretty sure (if only you'd paid more attention in history class) that it's the middle of the Great Depression and World War II is on its way. Does any of that matter if you're in love for the first time in your life?"
Looking for the old homes of the Legends of Hollywood
One of my greatest disappointments was visiting Hollywood and finding that the town was unaware of and totally indifferent to its glorious past. The oldest star on the star maps was Lucille Ball. I love Lucy as much as anybody, but she was more of a TV star. Nobody had heard of let alone cared about Carole Lombard, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Rudolf Valentino, Mary Pickford, Fred Astaire or any of the myriad other world class artists who wrote the book on what cinema could do, spawned and refined an entirely new art form, and changed the way the world perceived itself now and forever.
Grauman’s Chinese footprints and hand prints were the only tangible sign that these giants had once walked Hollywood Boulevard. Tom, my husband, actor Tom O’Rourke, and I were both completely crushed. When we moved out to LA, we spent many weekends, chasing around looking for star homes and other old Hollywood landmarks that were still standing, and there were precious few, even then.
I actually had the great good luck to meet and shake hands with one of the greatest stars from the great days of Hollywood: Cary Grant. It was 1967, long before the days of DVDs and VHS, when the only place to see old black and white movies was on afternoon TV’s Million Dollar Movie. I was young model invited to a fancy cocktail party on Park Ave. My friend asked if I’d like to meet Cary Grant. I said I’d be thrilled, even though I was confused between Cary Grant and Gary Cooper, not sure which name went with which face. The minute I saw him, he was everything he looked in the movies and more. I remember his slightly bemused smile and kindly gaze into my star struck, teenage eyes. I mumbled something polite as he shook my hand. He was the first movie star I’d ever met, my first encounter with a dream walking. He was so much more gorgeous, charming and gracious than he was even on film. I’m sure I’ve met at least a couple of other movie stars, but, somehow, I can’t remember them at all.