The Roaring Twenties, Chinatown, San Francisoco: back-street blues and bathtub gin...hardball mobsters and hardheaded cops...seductive speakeasies and sizzling scandals. As young Louis Armstrong blows his horn in the infamous Blue Canary, impetuous Nob Hill socialite Elizabeth Stafford Hamilton plunges into a reckless affair with mysterious Li Kwan Won. Unknown to Lizzie, Li is the overlord of the city's vast bootlegging empire—and arch-enemy of her powerful husband, the San Franciso district attorney. Suddenly Lizzie's privileged, upper-crust life is shadowed by danger and intrigue—as she's trapped between her lover and her husband while they battle for control of the city.
From Chinatown's dark underworld to high society's glittering ballrooms, from garish bawdy houses to the corridors of power, China Blues weaves an unforgettable tapestry of a dazzling age in the city of dreams, when nothing seemed forbidden—and every pleasure was a sin...
"Offbeat, unruly characters and vibrant atmosphere spill over the pages of this promising first novel set in San Francisco during Prohibition... Bootlegging, the Tong Wars, smoky speakeasies, inept mobsters, and the Teapot Dome scandal zigzag through these pages like streaks of lightning. The Jazz Era leaps to life."—Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
As Ki Longfellow-Stanshall, she created and sailed the Thekla, a 180 foot Baltic Trader, to Bristol, England where it became the Old Profanity Showboat. It remains there today as a Bristol landmark. On it, she and Vivian wrote and staged a unique musical for the sheer joy of it. "Stinkfoot, a Comic Opera," garnered a host of delighted, if slightly puzzled, national reviews and is currently in pre-production as a more than off-the-wall "mocku-documentary."
Her first book, "China Blues," now being republished, was the subject of a bidding war. Her second novel, "Chasing Women," (also soon to be republished)) introduced Longfellow to Hollywood...a long, hard, but ultimately fascinating trip.
When Vivian died, Ki stopped writing. Time may not heal, but it tempers, and eventually Ki began writing again. She chose the figure of Mary Magdalene to speak of gnosis (or "Knowing") in her acclaimed novel "The Secret Magdalene." Nancy Savoca, a brilliant independent film maker (winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize with her first film, "True Love") traveled all the way to Vermont to option the book as her next film.
Ki's second book in her Divine Feminine series is "Flow Down Like Silver," a novel about the numinous and gifted Hypatia of Alexandria, a tragically ignored woman of towering intellect who searched through intellect for what Mary Magdalene knew in her heart.
She is now at work on the third and last book in this series.
In 2011, Houdini Heart, Longfellow's first book of psychological horror was published. A stunning departure from her usual work, it's been favorably compared to Shirley Jackson and has also been selected by the Horror Writers of America as a recommended title for their next Bram Stoker Award.
She lives wherever she finds herself.