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1106 Grand Boulevard

1106 Grand Boulevard

5.0 6
by Betty Dravis

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All her life, Billie Jean Sloane, a charismatic, exquisite, small-town beauty, has been desired and spoiled by men. At sixteen, following a tragedy involving her first husband--"the love of her life"--she is heartbroken. Unable to forgive or forget, her parents take drastic measures to keep them apart.

The vain, yet innocent, Billie Jean--one of seven


All her life, Billie Jean Sloane, a charismatic, exquisite, small-town beauty, has been desired and spoiled by men. At sixteen, following a tragedy involving her first husband--"the love of her life"--she is heartbroken. Unable to forgive or forget, her parents take drastic measures to keep them apart.

The vain, yet innocent, Billie Jean--one of seven siblings--is swept from her humble beginnings at 1106 Grand Boulevard in the Midwestern town of Hamilton, Ohio to a luxurious life-style in Phoenix, Arizona and other fascinating locales... through a World War II marriage and a Mafia scare in Sacramento, California... to vicious seduction at Lake Tahoe... to the fabulous wealth of the "San Francisco Sinclairs," real estate and jewelry tycoons. Then back to her hometown to search for her first husband.

This story takes you through Billie Jean's seven marriages and sixty-four years--1933 to 1997--of happiness and tragedy. Always searching for her first love and her childhood, the enchanting child/woman captivates many men along the way, each wealthier than the one before ... each sending her scurrying back to 1106 Grand Boulevard, a trail of broken hearts in her wake.

1106 Grand Boulevard is the story of passions that last a lifetime; of family love and betrayal; of spousal abuse and sadistic child abuse; a story of Billie Jean's desperate search for happiness, self-worth, and maturity ... a story of people needing people and people using people.

Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Reviewer - Christy Tillery French
Author Betty Dravis has written an intriguing "faction" as she calls it, eloquently weaving fiction with her own personal history. The end result is a powerful peek into family dynamics and relationships.

When 16-year-old Billie Jean Sloane elopes with Cal Taylor, the Sloane family is taken aback. But when Billie Jean flees from an abusive Cal to the sanctum of her family's home at 1106 Grand Boulevard, the family gathers around her in an effort to be supportive. Pregnant and depressed,

Product Details

Just My Best, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

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Meet the Author

Betty Dravis is a retired, award-winning California journalist and newspaper publisher who also hosted a Cable TV talk show. She was listed in several Who's Who books, is an honorary Kentucky Colonel, an esteemed "Dame of Dialogue," a member of American Author's Association, former member of Sigma Delta Chi and San Jose Newspaper Guild. She is the recipient of many California awards, including city, county and state and was a San Jose Woman of Achievement.

In addition to co-authoring this book, Dream Reachers II, Dravis also co-authored the award-winning Dream Reachers (with Chase Von). This talented woman is also the author of three novels: 1106 Grand Boulevard, an epic romantic thriller; The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley, a young adult fantasy adventure; and Millennium Babe: The Prophecy, a supernatural mystery adventure. She also has a number of published short stories and writes reviews for Midwest Book Reviews and is an Amazon top reviewer.

Canterbury House Publishing will release two of the above books in eBook format in May 2011: 1106 Grand Boulevard and The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley.

Dravis was born in Ohio, but is a long-time California resident. She has four surviving children, two angels in Heaven, nine grandchildren, four "greats" and a great-great granddaughter. The author now lives in Central California where she's working on her first serial-killer thriller. For more info, visit her website: bettydravis.com

Another of Dravis's favorite things is interviewing; among those she has interviewed are the "living legend" actor/director/producer Clint Eastwood, country singer/actress Tanya Tucker, the late actress Jane Russell, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, Tanya Tucker, the late San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto, actresses/singers Katherin Kovin Pacino and Marissa Autumn, actor/producer/director Tony Tarantino and many more...the list keeps growing. Please see the Celebrity Section of this website.

Of writing, Betty always says, "It's exhilarating––like sliding down a rainbow with a huge smile on my face, filled with love for the whole of God's magnificent creation." She laughs as she adds: "Yeah...and marketing is like trudging through a field of 'chewed' bubbleg

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1106 Grand Boulevard 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the books that Betty has written so far (The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley, Millenium Babe: The Prophecy), this one has to be my favorite. From the opening scene when Cal storms into the kitchen in a jealou rage, you are drawn into Billie Jean's world, a world that goes from deep despair to the ultimate in joy, seemingly at the drop of a hat. Speaking as a parent, we have the need to protect our children from the evil in the world no matter the cost to all involved. Parents some times believe that they know best and act accordingly. If Billie Jean's parents hadn't brought her home after being shot by Cal and her mother's choice not to give Billie Jean Cal's letter, we would not have had this wonderful story that shows the many depths of human nature. With every relationship that follows Cal, Billie Jean is looking for the magic that she had with him, but she does not find it. Each relationship is a learning experience for Billie Jean and a chance for her to grow further. As each relationship ended, you feel the pain and anguish that she felt from another failed attempt to recapture that magic. Billie Jean was happy in her own way during all of these relationships but was not truly complete until she reunited with Cal once more. As Cal stated near the end of the book, if things had not happened the way that they did between him and Billie Jean, they never would have found their way back to each other as they did. If they had not found each other all those years later, we all would have missed out on a very special love story that brings a smile to your face as you remember it. A belated Happy 90th Birthday to Billie Jean.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some books grab you with an action-packed opening and hook you right in from the first paragraph. Other books reveal the richness of their story a layer at a time. Betty Dravis' '1106 Grand Boulevard' does both. Firmly rooted in small-town America, it ranges through nearly fifty years and across the country from Ohio to Arizona, Nevada and California. Sixteen-year-old Billie Jean Sloane takes center stage as she runs screaming from her young husband's jealous rage, headlong into an amazing matrimonial career. Billie Jean's family, already disapproving of her marriage to Cal, shield her from his remorse and entrust her to the care of her Aunt Tommie where she learns a more calculating approach to relationships -- without losing her sometimes naive desire to marry for love. Fortunate in the love of her large family, Billie Jean is not so fortunate in her marriages. Time after time she marries in haste only to be disappointed in her search for the lasting 'love of her life,' yet her energy and optimism shine through the author's words. Billie Jean's parents, sisters and brothers circle through her story in a way that made me appreciate the importance in my life of my own family. This book is fiction based on fact, and how I'd like to meet the author's sister (the 'real' Billie Jean) and the rest of the family. What a great bunch! Betty Dravis portrays all of her characters lovingly but doesn't sugar-coat them, and their personalities are never overshadowed by the events of the story. They could be your next-door neighbors. This book reminded me of 'Standing in the Rainbow' by Southern author Fannie Flagg, having a similar span of time, small-town focus, and entrancing, strong-minded woman as a central character. Billie Jean's personality is very different from that of Flagg's Neighbor Dorothy, but both women live their lives with a consistency and honesty that has the ring of truth -- both are people you'd like to know. Both claim the attention of everyone in their sphere and work hard for everything they achieve. I love a story that somehow comes full circle, referencing and resolving the themes that run through it. This book certainly does that -- read it for yourself to find out how! -- and it's that resolution that lifts the story, and the telling of it, out of the ordinary. To see the pattern and context in a long, vivid life is a gift, and '1106 Grand Boulevard' gives us that. If it were a movie -- and it should be, with the lead played by somebody easy to like, Sandra Bullock for instance -- I'd be there with a box of tissues in my lap, expecting some tears and lots of smiles. A great story, interesting characters, costumes and interiors from the thirties through the seventies -- what could be better? Betty Dravis' beautifully paced book kept me reading late into the night, fingers crossed that the irrepressible Billie Jean would find the true, satisfying love we all yearn for. If you believe in second chances, you will love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
1106 GRAND BOULEVARD is a tough book to classify and giving it a rating in numbers of stars is yet more difficult. Usually 5 stars indicates a masterpiece of literature, one of the great novels, one of the books destined to climb to the top of the best selling list, or some other dubious notch on the ladder. But Betty Dravis has written an engrossing book about middle America and the foibles and kinks and bonds of the big family, bound together by secrets and by familial love of the unconditional type, and in doing so she has elected to tell her story in the language appropriate to the family. This novel is not overflowing with metaphors and waxing eloquent: Dravis writes with constrained Midwest vocabulary even as her huge cast of characters travels the continent and eventually the world. Her strict reliance on this style pulls the story along with a credibility sense that keeps it real. It is a feat, a writer's decision, and it works. And as such it deserves 5 stars.To relate the story in a brief synopsis would be impossible, so rapid fire are the incidents, so changing the characters, so extensive the time from 1933 to 1997. The story begins in Hamilton, Ohio where the address of the title is the home of the Sloane family. The eldest daughter Billie Jean is a bombshell and a hedonist and marries Cal at sixteen only to be abused and eventually shot by him. Pregnant and a disappointment to her family she moves to Arizona where her Aunt Tommie begins her 'education' about managing men. And manage them she does, going through seven marriages and countless boyfriends as she makes her way through life struggling with her perceived lack of her mother's love and respect and her desperate longing for her original love, Cal. Along the way she grows up and relates to her large family of brothers and sisters in meaningful encounters, only to ultimately learn the etiology and lessons of her lifelong reaction to men and her desperate need to feel the love of her mother. The story shifts from secrets to disasters to hopes crushed by deaths to wild nights and incidents that would destroy a lesser heroine than the impossible not to love Billie Jean.Dravis is able to create characters with a minimum of dialogue and a maximum of response from her heroine's experiences. There is never a dull moment or a gaping hole in the narrative. There are problems with electing to write in the vernacular that I am sure Dravis weighed carefully: phrases like 'Lordy', 'Honey', and repeated familial epithets tend to drone the reader and the use of a drawing of a face at the beginning of each chapter that tends to give the appearance of a running magazine serial instead of a novel. These are quibbles. The task or goal of a storyteller is to capture the attention of the reader and hold the reader 'hostage' until the final page. Dravis is a past master in this. The adventures of Billie Jean Sloane-Taylor-McIvers-Hollings-Parsons-Sinclair-etc... make for a wild ride and a good read. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
This pithy comment by Hamlet is perhaps the very essence of this engaging, thought-provoking novel about family dynamics and some of the dysfunction that, essentially, touches all of us to some degree. The resiliency of Dravis' heroine, Billie Jean, is indeed refreshing, wonderfully antithetical to the all too common saccharine, off-putting portrayal of many of fiction's leading ladies. How inspiring that someone can remain resilient and undaunted, even in the face of real adversity! Who ever said life is perfect? We need more fiction rooted in this human condition as opposed to the chimerical pabulum that we are besieged with all too often. Bravo to Dravis for being bold enough to break free from the creative intransigence that plagues so many writers. Don't we have enough formulaic novels already? Thank God for Ms. Dravis. Her creative prowess and intuitive narrative affords readers a window into relationships, adventures, and at times, heartache. Like all great fiction, 1106 Grand Boulevard holds up a mirror in which all of our reflections are cast, leading to introspection, self-analysis, identification, self-analysis and ultimately healing. This is a winner.
kidztales1 More than 1 year ago
Let's travel back in time to the 1930's. It's evening and an argument has just broken and Billie Jean accidentally gets shot in the shoulder by her husband, Cal. Running for her life she hides from her husband in the bushes. Naturally, she goes back to her childhood home.1106 Grand Boulevard. This is one woman's story of her search for true love during and after the turbulent World War II years. At her childhood home, she is welcomed with open arms by her family. Naturally, her parents admit her to the hospital where the doctors repair her shoulder. Now that sixteen-year-old Billie Jean is married, can she stay at her childhood home or will her stern mother make her go back to her manic husband? Aunt Tommie enters the story here. She believes in marrying rich and having the best of everything. She takes Billie Jean to Arizona to live with her and her uncle. Billie Jean is schooled in the proper way to get a rich husband. Aunt Tommie teaches her how to walk, talk and behave like a lady around the 'right' people. At her coming out party, Billie meets a handsome man in his twenties named Jackson. Of course, Jackson is struck by Billie Jean's beauty and wants to marry her. By this time, Billie Jean is used to the high life and the attention shown to her by men. She flits from man to man searching for someone who can take Cal's place. She marries several of these men. Each time she marries, Billie Jean is sure she is in love. But is she? Six times she goes home to 1106 Grand Boulevard where her sister helps her drown her sorrows by going shopping. She goes back to 1106 Grand Boulevard each time a husband dies or when Billie Jean goes through a divorce. Once she went back when her then husband went off to fight in World War II. Will there be a seventh homecoming for Billie? Will Billie Jean ever find true love or will she keep flitting from man to man like a bee flits from flower to flower?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago