‘This is a raw, true book that evokes not just the life of the great singer Billie Holiday but an entire jazz era....’ Mail on Sunday Julia Blackburn's brilliant and haunting book is a life of Billie Holiday told in the voices of those who knew her. During the 1970s a young woman called Linda Kuehl, planning to write a biography of Billie, recorded interviews with more than 150 people. Kuehl died in 1978 and her book never came out, but her recordings survived to provide the raw material for this extraordinary account of the life of America's First Lady of Jazz. Billie Holiday is usually portrayed as a tragic victim of her own vices. These intimate stories give us a much deeper picture of her personality - we witness scenes from her chaotic childhood; we see her when she first arrives in Harlem at the age of fourteen; and we follow her through her rise to fame and into the notoriety that came so close on its heels. Billie's friends and lovers and fellow musicians talk about her troubles and her addictions, but they also have a lot to say about her warmth and her courage, and the ones who were really close to her understood that although she had a lot of men and drugs and booze in her life, all that really mattered was the singing.
It All Started with Billie Holiday chronicles the discovery of jazz by a young Greek boy through his adult years. This is his personal odyssey revealing rewarding relationships with noteworthy jazz musicians, singers, and the many characters who inhabited the colorful jazz life. It takes you inside jazz clubs, backstage before and after those remarkable performances that defined a musical genre of such incredible singers. This is the remarkable story of how a Greek American boy from New Hampshire, a child of immigrants, discovered this culture of expression from everyday interaction with these artists. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the soul, sadness, and joy of Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Annie Ross and others, and how their poignant life experiences translated into such powerful, heart-stirring music, which has been called America's classical music by many critics and avid listeners.
This is a fi ctional tale that contains slight spiritual messages and subtle social issues sprinkled into it. It is a love story between a young angry hateful shrimper who lives in the village of Edgewater which is located along the St. Johns River in northern Florida and a young Gullah woman who is from St. Helena Island off the Beaufort coast of South Carolina. A boating accident occurs out in the Atlantic Ocean in which Billie Barrett is washed ashore on Hunting Island, South Carolina. After medical attention is given to Billie he is taken in and cared for by a Gullah family living in St. Helena Island. It is in this household that he meets Bridgette Kamau who tends to him on a day to day basis. A connection is made between the two and Billie has a change of heart in his ignorance as he falls in love with her. You will read into it what you will and get out of it what you perceive.
With an Edwardian twist on The Tempest, and surprising, earthy, and magical qualities, this irresistible novel is set on the remote, divided Scottish island of Kissack and Skilling, one half of which looks historically and geographically towards Catholic Ireland, the other toward the Protestant north and Scandinavia. In the spring of 1903 a ship explodes as it docks on the island, drowning many of the passengers and crew in the icy waters of Stolnsay harbor. Young, strawberry-blonde-haired Billie Paxton is among the only survivors. Clumsy, illiterate, and suddenly alone, Billie will not say why, before the explosion, she jumped from ship to shore, and so falls under the immediate suspicion of her fellow passenger, Murdo Hesketh, and his cousin and employer, Lord Hallowhulme, who owns the island—and has controversial plans for improving the lives of its inhabitants. Gloriously inventive and vividly atmospheric, Billie’s Kiss conjures up a way of life hurtling toward a brave new world in an enchanting novel that brings together murder and eugenics, progress, prejudice, and the loss of innocence.
Clare Rondell was a nurse on leave from the hospital, due to a severe illness. Allowed to work for private patients, she took on the job for Jonathan Edwards, a blind man who didn't have the foggiest idea of how to do anything for himself. His housekeeper Bailey was away on vacation and the Driver who was supposed to stay with him, was called away on an emergency. Finding Jonathan almost starving, she decides to take the job and in doing so, teaches him how to take care of himself. When his mother insists on Jonathan being put in a rest home, Clare marries him to make sure such a thing can't be done. Then sets out to defeat the hateful mother who has no love for whom she'd grow to love.
The Royle Family meets EastEnders, with a touch of Footballers' Wives in this marvellous, down-to-earth first novel, full of humour, warmth, sexual shenanigans - and violence. Kimberley Chambers, bestselling author of Payback, is a talent to match Martina Cole. 'Not once had Terry ever been hauled in by old bill. He was sure the filth was aware of him, as he had his fingers stuck in many pies, but he was a background man and that's the way he liked it. He made sure that he kept well away from the dodgy motors, the thieves and the yards...' Terry - the lucky villain with a heart of gold - is riding for a fall. Michelle - the wife he hates and is plotting to leave - knows something is afoot, but not quite what. Billie Jo - their adored only daughter - loathes her parents quarrelling and her mother drinking, but will she understand when Terry tells her the truth: that he is planning to marry his pregnant secretary? Jade is a cut above the rest and waits patiently for the day when she and Terry can live peacefully together on his ill-gotten gains, probably on the Costa del Sol. But fate is about to deal a terrible hand, leaving Billie Jo's protected world in tatters.