Review: The Stories You Tell by Kristen Lepionka

“A mystery with a deadline — what could go wrong?” Ohio-based private investigator Roxane Weary stars in another incredible installment of Kristen Lepionka’s compelling crime series. Roxane makes winter season ends meet with low-stress assignments, like searching for the source of counterfeit leggings. However, as she well knows, things can heat up in an instant. Late one night her brother Andrew calls in a panic about a woman who disappears after leaving his apartment. A murky world of appearances, both online and in Roxane’s relationships with on-again lover Catherine and “it’s complicated” former lover/friend, Tom, make it difficult to suss out reality. 

Lepionka’s mastery of dialogue and character development over the course of the series enriches relationships between recurring cast members. Roxane is an especially strong blend of vibrant and vulnerable qualities. Everyone who comes into contact with this tenacious P.I., readers and characters alike (well, not so much for the criminals) is better off for having met her. I’m eager for the next step in her journey. Definitely a must-read series!

Publication date: July 9, 2019
Roxane Weary, #3
Minotaur Books

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Categories: lgbt, mystery, netgalley, series | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Audiobook Review: Fixit by Erik Schubach

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The dirt-side have-nots toil away for the needs of the 1% living luscious lives in sky cities. When a shipment goes missing via air pirates, whizbang mechanic Vega Hasher, aka Fixit, is forced to deliver replacements or face punitive actions. This Sci-Fi morsel, narrated by frequent Erik Schubach audiobook collaborator Hollie Jackson, immerses readers in the world of Tau Ceti Prime, though leaves listeners feeling as if they stopped up against the edge of a cliff. Think of the Fixit series as serialized adventures starring the resourceful and mechanically adept Fixit: Where will our heroine end up next? Will she find love with the statuesque member of the sky guard? Additional characters in this novelette production include her A.I./semi-sentient robotic companions (which she much prefers to people) and the snooty steward. Schubach also includes fun exclamatory expressions, like “boot waffle”.

Fixit Adventures
Author: Erik Schubach
Narrator: Hollie Jackson

Categories: audiobooks, fiction, lgbt, novelette, science fiction, series | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Crime Me a River: Queer women private investigators


I’ve been on a crime novel spree over the past couple weeks. My faves include all of Kristen Lepionka’s Roxane Weary series, a Columbus, Ohio-based private investigator battling personal demons while solving paid and pro bono cases. I recommend starting with the first one (which is usually how I read series, with a few recent exceptions): The Last Place You Look. Roxane immediately became one of my favorite sleuths. Her humor, tenacity, intelligence, big heart, and flaws, endear Roxane to me. I want her to succeed, to find love, to come to terms with the relationship she had with her father. Lepionka releases book 3, The Stories You Tell, on July 9th. I’m working on a review for her latest, so stay tuned!

After I finished the first Roxane Weary novel, I was eager for more crime novels starring queer women. I’ve heard great things about Cheryl A. Head’s Charlie Mack Motown Mysteries. I started off with book 3, Catch Me When I’m Falling. Charlie leads a small private investigator firm in Detroit, working with her team on complex cases that always turn into more than what they seem. She also embodies what I love in female detectives: mental dexterity, plenty of heart, compassion, and perseverance. Head’s next novel, Judge Me When I’m Wrong, comes out on October 15. Two books in one year is a welcome bounty for this new fan!

Both series feature suspenseful and compelling writing, along with well-crafted dialogue. If you prefer your detecting with fewer swears, alcohol, and sex, check out some of the cozy mysteries I read last month: Cozy Mysteries: Gay and Lesbian BFFs.

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Review: Love’s Portrait

“It’s a bit depressing how facts seem to hide more than they reveal.” – Molly Goode, museum curator

Less than a year on the job, Molly finds herself tasked with at a make-or-break crossroads with Evelyn Fox, the frosty and exacting Director. In order to carry out the final bequest of their longtime benefactor, George Wright, Molly must work closely with his daughter, Georgina. While Georgina expresses no interest in the arts, the unknown provenance of a cherished watercolor portrait of her ancestor Josephine, compels her to enlist Molly’s assistance. As they delve deeper, becoming increasingly invested in the discovering the identity of the artist, Edith Hewitt, and her relationship with Josephine Brancaster-Wright, the two women’s chemistry builds. However, Molly struggles with the line between professionalism and her heart; while Georgina grapples with the ever-present wounds of her relationships with her parents. Author Anna Larner combines a satisfying mix of humor, bittersweet revelations, family and workplace dynamics, drama, opposites attract romance, and history.

“Love’s Portrait” explores personal histories obscured by dominant narratives and available information, particularly as it effects the stories passed down from queer lives. Fragments of Josephine’s and Edith’s relationship in 19th century England surface as Molly and Georgina discover records. The novel does not have dual narratives, however, as most of the story focuses on the contemporary romance and the protagonists goal of honoring queer history in the present-day. Larner’s uses of fragmentary glimpses mirrors the frustrations of the contemporary time sleuths with the limitations of preserved & available records and ephemera.

If you enjoyed “As Long as Love Lasts” by Jea Hawkins, you’ll likely enjoy Anna Larner’s “Love’s Portrait”. Both combine contemporary romance with investigations into family members’ hidden lesbian pasts.

Listen to Clare Lydon’s interview with Anna Larner on The Lesbian Book Club podcast.

Love’s Portrait by Anna Larner
Bold Strokes Books
April 2019

Categories: contemporary, family relationships, fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Cozy Mysteries: Gay & Lesbian BFFs

The most recent cozy mysteries I’ve read feature gay and lesbian besties of the books’ main characters. They lead interesting lives and do a bit more than pop over to Ms. Amateur Sleuth’s with a quip and invaluable insights.

Died in the Wool (Whisky Business Mystery #4)

Died in the Wool by Melinda Mullet
Series: A Whisky Business Mystery, #4

Died in the Wool is the first book of I’ve read from Melinda Mullet’s “Whisky Business” mystery series. Abigail “Abi” Logan is starting to get the hang of things at the Scottish whisky distillery she inherited from her uncle. Between whisky-ed at a university in Edinburgh, her new role on the board of a women’s shelter, and her unsettled love life, there’s a lot to enjoy. Abi also hosts an unofficial rest home for elderly sheep on her estate. Each sheep is named after a writer xD <333 A well-characterized cast of friends, coworkers, townsfolk, add to the mystery’s charm and lived-in feel. The progression of events sends Abi back and forth between city and countryside, giving readers the best of both worlds.

Whodunnit? The death of a shelter resident is more than suspicious, especially after a relocation of the facility is treated as a foregone conclusion by the building’s landlord and fellow board member. Abi investigates, despite repeated demands that she leave it to the police. She doesn’t go it alone, however, as any good amateur sleuth worth her salt has an equally good crew beside her. Melinda Mullet spins a yarn in which separating the culprit from a flock of plausible suspects is a wonderful challenge. Are anyone’s hands clean? Maybe. Maybe not.

While cozy mysteries are good at recapping events from previous installments (making it so you don’t necessarily have to go back and read ones you missed; though personally I feel like I miss out on character & story building if I skip), I’m looking forward to rewinding and reading the first three in this series. 

BFFs: Patrick & Abi
Patrick Cooke, Abi’s friend from her days as an investigative journalist, is the editor-in-chief for the Whisky Journal, an Edinburgh-based industry publication. The two BFFs brainstorm ideas, divide and conquer information sources, and share glasses of finely distilled spirits. Heartbroken over a recent breakup, Patrick rebounds with the chef of a trendy new restaurant. While I was reading I imagined Mathew Horne; probably because he plays Agatha Raisin’s BFF Roy Silver in the BBC adaptation of MC Beaton’s series. (He’s fantastic)

The Bodies in the Library by Marty Wingate
Series: A First Edition Library Mystery, #1
Expected publication date: October 8, 2019

Fans of “Golden Age” mysteries written by female authors will connect the title of Marty Wingate‘s inaugural “First Edition Library Mystery“: The Bodies in the Library with Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library. Wingate delivers a charming new cozy mystery, featuring a relatable amateur sleuth, that fans of books about books and stories set in England will especially enjoy.

Hayley Burke, curator #2 of the First Edition Society in Bath, England, has her hands full with reinvigorating the society after a rocky start. Charged with building up the society by connecting its collection of Golden Age mysteries with the public, Hayley is beset on all sides by a stringent coworker, an odious heir, a knotty love life, and of course, a rather rudely placed dead body. The beleaguered curator, meanwhile, has a secret of her own that the murder investigation may bring to light…

Bath is peopled with memorable characters, including members of an Agatha Christie fan fiction group, Society secretary Glynis Woolgar, and Hayley’s best friend and Society Board member, Adele. Key characters are introduced, along with nuggets from Hayley’s life and seeds for future series’ installments.

BFFs: Adele and Hayley
Adele Babbage, FES Board member ally, local school teacher, and stealth matchmaker. She and Hayley bonded over their shared experiences working at The Jane Austen Society. While they escaped wearing period costumes on the job, Adele was known to sport a terrific t-shirt: Was Jane Austen a Lesbian??? The pair often escape to their favorite go-to pub, The Raven. Adele’s current crush could be a murderer…. Hopefully she’ll make more appearances in future installments.

Categories: fiction, mystery | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: Full English by Rachel Spangler

Full English

Following the devastating dissolution of her marriage, best-selling American author Emma Volant gathers her remaining dignity and escapes to England. Amongst the welcoming denizens of the quiet seaside village and a nearby castle, Emma and local woman-of-all-trades Brogan McKay find love, possibility, and belonging. Author Rachel Spangler spent the better part of a year living in Europe with her family and it shows in her homey, welcoming prose. Emma struggles with her self-esteem throughout the story, wondering how someone she loved could denounce her so completely. While Brogan, on the other hand, grapples with insecurities of her own (financial parity in relationships, the oh-so-fun existential crisis) as she gets to know the withdrawn writer. Palpable chemistry and wonderfully drawn supporting characters, including Brogan’s loving and hectic family and Lady Victoria, make this contemporary romance a joy to read.

Readers are provided a pronunciation guide for British and Irish names and places. Test yourself with “Amberwick”. I definitely didn’t say it right the first time!

Spangler posts regular updates on her blog, “Wonder Boi” She’s written quite a few great pieces that connect Full English with her family’s Northeast England sojourn. Available now from Bywater Books.

Full English by Rachel Spangler
Bywater Books, 2019
Contemporary Romance

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Golden Crown Literary Society 2019 Nominees

Since 2005, the Golden Crown Literary Society has hosted “The Goldies”, literary awards for lesbian literature in multiple genres and special categories. Winners will be announced in July at the annual conference in Pittsburgh. I’m excited to see so many novels that I’ve enjoyed (as well many more piled atop my TBR shelf) over the past year appear as nominees.

For more information on how books are nominated and considered, head on over to Golden Crown’s website. Click on any title below to learn more about each nominee and where you can find the books online.

Ann Bannon Popular Choice

TitleAuthorPublisher
Bev PrescottBywater Books
A Recipe for Love: A Lesbian Culinary RomanceLucy J. MadisonLabrador Publishings
After the Glitter FadesDiane MarinaAspen Palms Press
Against All OddsKris Bryant, Maggie Cummings, M. UllrichBold Strokes Books
Alice: A Woman’s Flight for FreedomSam SkyborneDukebox.life
Because of KatiePatty SchrammRegal Crest Enterprises
Beowulf for Cretins: A Love StoryAnn McManBywater Books
Bird on a WireTagan ShepardBella Books
BreakthroughKris BryantBold Strokes Books
Compass RoseAnna BurkeBywater Books
Contract for LoveAlison GreyYlva Publishing
Desire Returns for a Visit: Intimate Poems about Lesbian LoveSandra de HelenLaunch Point Press
Dingo’s RecoveryGenevieve FortinBella Books
Great BonesLynn AmesPhoenix Rising Press
Gum For GracieOna MaraeFlashpoint Publications
Hers to ProtectNicole DisneyBold Strokes Books
In DevelopmentRachel SpanglerBrisk Press
Irregular HeartbeatChris ZettYlva Publishing
Just for ShowJaeYlva Publishing
Light at the End of the Tunnel, A MemoirSallyanne MontiQueer Stuff Press
Love AllRachel SpanglerBywater Books
Love and Lechery at Albert Academy: Pina and Katie and the Stalker of Albert HallDolores MaggioreSapphire Books Publishing
Love at Last CallM. UllrichBold Strokes Books
Lucky 7Rae D. MagdonDesert Palm Press
MadeleineEmma NicholsBritain’s Next Bestseller
Media DarlingFiona RileyBold Strokes Books
Paper LoveJaeYlva Publishing
Room ServiceFiona RileyBold Strokes Books
SandmanTammy BirdFlashpoint Publications
Sappho’s Overhead ProjectorBonnie J. MorrisBywater Books
Secrets on the ClockNicole DisneyBold Strokes Books
Sparks Like OursMelissa BraydenBold Strokes Books
The GoodmansClare AshtonBreezy Tree Press
The Music and the MirrorLola KeeleyYlva Publishing
The Smell of RainCameron MacElveeBold Strokes Books
Wait For MeSusan X MeagherBrisk Press
Wake Me When It’s OverCheryl A. HeadBywater Books
Zero Sum GameStefani DeoulBywater Books

Contemporary Romance
(Short Novels)

TitleAuthorPublisher
A Recipe for Love: A Lesbian Culinary RomanceLucy J. MadisonLabrador Publishing
All of MeEmily SmithBold Strokes Books
BreakthroughKris BryantBold Strokes Books
Bring Holly HomeA.E. RadleyHeartsome Publishing
Charming MemoryEL BossertTwo Boots Publishing
Changing SeasonsB.J. PhillipsDesert Palm Press
Cracking LoveEmily KingBella Books
Dingo’s RecoveryGenevieve FortinBella Books
Fore PlayJulie CannonBold Strokes Books
Hungry HeartsSaxon Bennett and Layce GardnerSquare Pegs Ink
Landing ZoneErin DuttonBold Strokes Books
Listen to Your HeartBecky HarmonBella Books
Love at Last CallM. UllrichBold Strokes Books
LovebirdsLisa MoreauBold Strokes Books
On the FlyPJ TrebelhornBold Strokes Books
Reclaiming YancyJ.B. MarsdenSapphire Books Publishing
StuntedBreanna HughesTriplicity Publishing
Taking ChancesErin McKenzieBold Strokes Books
The DisappearedNicole PylandSelf-Published
The NeighborGerri HillBella Books
The PromiseClaire Highton-StevensonSelf-Published
The Road AheadA.E. RadleyHeartsome Publishing
TouchKris BryantBold Strokes Books
Twice in a LifetimeJodie GriffinRiptide Publishing
Undiscovered AffinityJane HardeeBold Strokes Books
Welcome to Ruby’sKC Luckself-Published

Contemporary Romance
(Mid-Length Novels)

TitleAuthorPublisher
A Call AwayKC RichardsonBold Strokes Books
A Proper Cuppa TeaKG MacGregorBella Books
A Wish Upon a StarJeannie LevigBold Strokes Books
Autumn’s LightAurora ReyBold Strokes Books
Because of KatiePatty SchrammRegal Crest Enterprises
BlendGeorgia BeersBold Strokes Books
Breaking Down Her WallsErin ZakBold Strokes Books
Broad AwakeningMickey BrentBold Strokes Books
Calendar GirlGeorgia BeersBold Strokes Books
Charming the VicarJenny FrameBold Strokes Books
Epicurean DelightsRenee RomanBold Strokes Books
Escape and FreedomClaire Highton-StevensonSelf-Published
Find Another YouRJ LayerBella Books
French SummerLise GoldLise Gold Books
Friends Without BenefitsDena BlakeBold Strokes Books
Hearts of Emerald BayD.G. BarnesSelf-Published
Hearts Like HersMelissa BraydenBold Strokes Books
I’m Gonna Make You Love MeTracey RichardsonBella Books
Kat’s Nine LivesLaina VilleneuveBella Books
Kindling for the HeartKaren LegasyBella Books
Love At Cooper’s CreekMissouri VaunBold Strokes Books
Love Came CallingC.A. PopovichBold Strokes Books
Passionate RivalsRadclyffeBold Strokes Books
Playing the SpyMaggie BrownBella Books
Pride and PortersCharlotte GreeneBold Strokes Books
Pursuit of HappinessCarsen TaiteBold Strokes Books
Queen of HeartsSheryl WrightBella Books
Room ServiceFiona RileyBold Strokes Books
SeascapeKaris WalshBold Strokes Books
Second-Best MediumAsh DylanSelf-Published
Secrets on the ClockNicole DisneyBold Strokes Books
Sparks Like OursMelissa BraydenBold Strokes Books
Take My HandMissouri VaunBold Strokes Books
Take Your TimeVK PowellBold Strokes Books
The CruiseLise GoldLise Gold Books
The Curvy Side of LifeSuzie CarrSunny Bee Books
The FireNicole PylandSelf-Published
The Last Time I Saw HerKathleen KnowlesBold Strokes Books
The MomentsNicole PylandSelf-Published
The Shape of YouGeorgia BeersBold Strokes Books
Truth or DareC. SpencerBold Strokes Books
Unconventional LoversAnnette MoriAffinity Rainbow Publications
Wayworn LoversGun BrookeBold Strokes Books

Contemporary Romance
(Long Novels)

TitleAuthorPublisher
A Country Girl’s HeartDena BlakeBold Strokes Books
A Heart to Call HomeJeannie LevigBold Strokes Books
After the Glitter FadesDiane MarinaAspen Palms Press
Can You Hear MeGeonn CannonSupposed Crimes
Code of ConductCheyenne BlueYlva Publishing
Contract for LoveAlison GreyYlva Publishing
Decree AbsoluteW A CooperHappy Ever After Publishing/Junction Publishing
FirefliesLise GoldLise Gold Books
From the Same StarNicole FieldLess Than Three Press
GoldE. J. NoyesBella Books
In DevelopmentRachel SpanglerBrisk Press
Irregular HeartbeatChris ZettYlva Publishing
It’s Not a DateHeather BlackmoreBold Strokes Books
Just for ShowJaeYlva Publishing
Just Tell Her (Chicago Series #2)Nicole PylandSelf-Published
Learning to Walk AgainS.L. KassidyDesert Palm Press
Love AllRachel SpanglerBywater Books
Love Like ThisMelissa BraydenBold Strokes Books
Love Walked into The Lantern (Chicago Series #3)Nicole PylandSelf-Published
Media DarlingFiona RileyBold Strokes Books
Nautical DelightsS.L. GapeTriplicity Publishing
Paper LoveJaeYlva Publishing
Plus OneSarah L. YoungLess Than Three Press
Rules of the RoadK. AtenRegal Crest Enterprises
Spring’s WakeAurora ReyBold Strokes Books
The Best Lines (Chicago Series #1)Nicole PylandSelf-Published
The Bucket ListCJ MurphyDesert Palm Press
The Four SeasonsHeidi HarrisonSapphire Books Publishing
The GoodmansClare AshtonBreezy Tree Press
The Music and the MirrorLola KeeleyYlva Publishing
The Princess DeceptionNell StarkBold Strokes Books
The Way You SmileKiki ArcherK.A. Books
Three Reasons To Say YesJaime ClevengerBella Books
Times Like TheseAna McKenzieSapphica Books
Wait For MeSusan X MeagherBrisk Press
Where There’s a WillVirginia HaleBella Books
Worth the WaitKarelia Stetz-WatersForever Yours/Grand Central/ Hachette

Debut Novel

TitleAuthorPublisher
Across A Crowded RoomJane AldenDesert Palm Press
An Ocean Between ThemCheryl Espinosa-JonesSapphire Books Publishing
Beneath the SurfaceRebecca LanghamNineStar Press
Certain RequirementsElinor ZimmermanBold Strokes Books
Chasing StarsAlex K. ThorneYlva Publishing
Compass RoseAnna BurkeBywater Books
Cracking LoveEmily KingBella Books
Decree AbsoluteW A CooperHappy Ever After Publishing/Junction Publishing
Epicurean DelightsRenee RomanBold Strokes Books
Gum For GracieOna MaraeFlashpoint Publications
Hearts of Emerald BayD.G. BarnesSelf-Published
Hers to ProtectNicole DisneyBold Strokes Books
Irregular HeartbeatChris ZettYlva Publishing
Kiss Your ElbowSusan StockerDesert Palm Press
MercyMichelle LarkinBold Strokes Books
PagodavilleEllen BennettSmiling Dog Publications, LLC
Paper is WhiteHilary ZaidBywater Books
Reclaiming YancyJ.B. MarsdenSapphire Books Publishing
Rocks and StarsSam LedelBold Strokes Books
SandmanTammy BirdFlashpoint Publications
Steel AnimalsSK DymentInanna Publications
Terrible PraiseLara HayesBella Books
The Deep EndEllie HartBold Strokes Books
The Devil Between UsS.C. WilsonBackabity
The Fletcher: Book One in the Arrow of Artemis SeriesK. AtenRegal Crest Enterprises
The Music and the MirrorLola KeeleyYlva Publishing
The Queen of IeflariaEffie CalvinNineStar Press
The TreehouseRandi TriantSapphire Books Publishing
The Universe Between UsJane C. EstherBold Strokes Books
Truth or DareC. SpencerBold Strokes Books
SnowsistersTom Wilinsky & Jen SternickInterlude Press

Erotic Novels

TitleAuthorPublisher
Breaking the RulesLarkin RoseBold Strokes Books
Broken VowsMJ WilliamzBold Strokes Books
Certain RequirementsElinor ZimmermanBold Strokes Books
Knotted LegacyBrenda MurphyNineStar Press
Medusa’s TouchEmily L. ByrneQueen of Swords Press
Off LimitsVanessa NorthSelf-Published
The Sex Therapist Next DoorMeghan O’BrienBold Strokes Books
Those Parlor Girls and Other Erotic StoriesJenny J WrennPurple Clothespin Publishing

Fiction Anthologies

TitleAuthorPublisher
Fandom to Fantasy, VOL. 1Isabella & Sallyanne Monti (eds.)Sapphire Books Publishing
Fandom to Fantasy, VOL. 2Isabella & Sallyanne Monti (eds.)Sapphire Books Publishing
Into the Mystic Volume 3Jason Bradley (ed.)NineStar Press
Language of LoveAstrid Ohletz, Lee WinterYlva Publishing
The Boss of Her: Office Romance NovellasJulie Cannon, Aurora Rey and M. UllrichBold Strokes Books
Upstaged: An Anthology of Queer Women and the Performing ArtsA.M. Leibowitz (ed.)Supposed Crimes
Winter HeartsA.E. RadleyHeartsome Publishing
Written DreamsBeth Burnett (Curator)Brisk Press

General Fiction

TitleAuthorPublisher
Alice: A Woman’s Flight for FreedomSam SkyborneDukebox.life
An Ocean Between ThemCheryl Espinosa-JonesSapphire Books Publishing
Bird on a WireTagan ShepardBella Books
Calling HomeJen SilverAffinity Rainbow Publications
Coming Around AgainBeth BurnettSapphire Books Publishing
Days of MoonlightLoren EdizelInanna Publications
Flashpoint – Book VIII of The Commitment SeriesKaren D. BadgerBadger Bliss Books
Gum For GracieOna MaraeFlashpoint Publications
Highland Dew:A RomanceBarrettMagillSapphire Books Publishing
Kiss Your ElbowSusan StockerDesert Palm Press
PagodavilleEllen BennettSmiling Dog Publications, LLC
Paper is WhiteHilary ZaidBywater Books
Perfect Little WorldsClifford Mae HendersonBold Strokes Books
Reach of the HeronAngela KoenigAffinity Rainbow Publications
Steel AnimalsSK DymentInanna Publications
The Heart Begins HereJacqueline DumasInanna Publications
The Smell of RainCameron MacElveeBold Strokes Books
The TreehouseRandi TriantSapphire Books Publishing
Tomb of the Unknown RacistBlanche McCrary BoydCounterpoint Press
When the Stars SangCaren J. WerlingerCorgyn Publishing, LLC

General Non-Fiction

TitleAuthorPublisher
Four Years: a MemoirMartha MillerRegal Crest Enterprises
Her WidowJoan AldenDog Ear Publishing
In Search of Pure Lust: A MemoirLise WeilShe Writes Press
Light at the End of the Tunnel, A MemoirSallyanne MontiQueer Stuff Press
The Liberation of Ivy Bottini: A Memoir of Love and ActivismJudith V. BranzburgBedazzled Ink Publishing
Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-the-Land LifeDianna HunterUniversity of Minnesota Press

Historical Fiction

TitleAuthorPublisher
Across A Crowded RoomJane AldenDesert Palm Press
By the Wind’s WillNat BurnsRegal Crest Enterprises
Crossing the LineCF FrizzellBold Strokes Books
Heart of SherwoodEdale LaneLess Than Three Press
Lies of OmissionElena GrafPurple Hand Press
MadeleineEmma NicholsBritain’s Next Bestseller
The Devil Between UsS.C. WilsonBackabity
Trafalgar & Boone and the Children of the Burnt EmpireGeonn CannonSupposed Crimes

Humorous Novels

TitleAuthorPublisher
Beowulf for Cretins: A Love StoryAnn McManBywater Books
Great BonesLynn AmesPhoenix Rising Press
Greengage PlotsEmma Sterner-RadleyHeartsome Publishing
Match MeAJ AdaireDesert Palm Press
Rescue MeSaxon Bennett and Layce GardnerSquare Pegs Ink
Take a ChanceD. Jackson LeighBold Strokes Books

Mystery/Thriller/Crime

TitleAuthorPublisher
A Matter Of BloodCatherine MaiorisiBella Books
AliasCari HunterBold Strokes Books
Answering the CallAli ValiBold Strokes Books
Black Ridge FallsJody KlaireBedazzled Ink Publishing
Blood Ribbon: When there’s more than secrets buried, where do you start digging?Roger BraySelf-Published
Deadly Deception – Rylee Hayes ThrillerCade BroganTriplicity Publishing
Death’s EchoesPenny MickelburyBywater Books
Double Dog DareE.J. CochraneBella Books
Flesh And GoldAnn AptakerBold Strokes Books
Invalid EvidenceStevie MikayneBold Strokes Books
Justice CallsAnn RobertsBella Books
Kennel ClubGeonn CannonSupposed Crimes
Killer WinterKay BigelowBold Strokes Books
SandmanTammy BirdFlashpoint Publications
Saving RoseKate GenetSapphica Books
ShadowboxerJessica L. WebbBold Strokes Books
The Deep EndEllie HartBold Strokes Books
The LocketGerri HillBella Books
The PotionR.G. EmanuelleDirt Road Books
Twisted DeceptionIsabellaSapphire Books Publishing
Wake Me When It’s OverCheryl A. HeadBywater Books
What You Want to SeeKristen LepionkaMinotaur Books

New Adult Fiction

TitleAuthorPublisher
Rocks and StarsSam LedelBold Strokes Books
The Universe Between UsJane C. EstherBold Strokes Books

Non-Fiction Anthologies/Collections

TitleAuthorPublisher
Swelling with Pride: Queer Conception and Adoption StoriesSara GraefeDagger Editions

Paranormal/Occult/Horror

TitleAuthorPublisher
Force of Fire: Toujours a VousAli ValiBold Strokes Books
Fury’s DeathBrey WillowsBold Strokes Books
Gnarled HollowCharlotte GreeneBold Strokes Books
Hunger for YouJenny FrameBold Strokes Books
Lex FilesCeleste CastroBella Books
MercyMichelle LarkinBold Strokes Books
Muraille IslandMavis ApplewaterWednesday Afternoon Press
Musings of a MadwomanJazzy MitchellDesert Palm Press
Sarah’s LoverSaxon Bennett and Layce GardnerSquare Pegs Ink
Shadow HandSacchi GreenYlva Publishing
Terrible PraiseLara HayesBella Books
The Curse of the Old WoodsElizabeth AndreTulabella Ruby Press
The TalebearerSheri Lewis WohlBold Strokes Books
This TimeS.W. AndersenS.W. Andersen Books

Poetry Poems/Collections

TitleAuthorPublisher
Desire Returns for a Visit: Intimate Poems about Lesbian LoveSandra de HelenLaunch Point Press
LovelyLesléa NewmanHeadmistress Press
Playing into SilenceTina BielloDagger Editions
RestMargaree LittleFour Way Books
Same-Sexy MarriageJulie Marie WadeA Midsummer Night’s Press
Thanks for NothingDeb JannersonFinishing Line Press
when they say you can’t go home again, what they mean is you were never thereMarty McConnellSouthern Indiana Review Press

Romantic Blend

TitleAuthorPublisher
Against All OddsKris Bryant, Maggie Cummings, M. UllrichBold Strokes Books
As Long As Love LastsJea HawkinsSelf-Published
As the Crow FliesKaren F. WilliamsBold Strokes Books
Ask Me AgainE. J. NoyesBella Books
Blame AphroditeAsh DylanSelf-Published
Coach ZQ. KellyRide the Rainbow Books
CaptiveDonna K. FordBold Strokes Books
Chasing StarsAlex K. ThorneYlva Publishing
Dangerous WatersRadclyffeBold Strokes Books
Dark EuphoriaRonica BlackBold Strokes Books
Darkness FallsKC LuckSelf-Published
Data CaptureJessie J. ThomaBold Strokes Books
Heart of the DevilAli ValiBold Strokes Books
Hers to ProtectNicole DisneyBold Strokes Books
It’s All Coming Back To MeMichelle Marraself-Published
Known ThreatKara A. McLeodBold Strokes Books
Love’s VerdictCarsen TaiteBold Strokes Books
Mission CompromisedGraysen MorgenTriplicity Publishing
My Lady LipstickKarin KallmakerBella Books
Outside the LawCarsen TaiteBold Strokes Books
Precipice of DoubtMardi Alexander and Laurie EichlerBold Strokes Books
Racing HeartsDena BlakeBold Strokes Books
Romancing the KickerCatherine laneYlva Publishing
Running Off RadarMB AustinBold Strokes Books
Second In CommandVK PowellBold Strokes Books
Stroke of FateRenee RomanBold Strokes Books
The Power to ChooseSarah LiberoBella Books
Timing Is EverythingAlison R. SolomonWild Girl Press
Under Your SkinLee WinterYlva Publishing
Unexpected PartnersMichelle LarkinBold Strokes Books
Warrior Class – Sky CutterS.L. KassidyDesert Palm Press
Where We BelongFox BrisonBold Fox Publishing
With Child: A Detective Amy Sadler Mystery: Book ThreeMichelle ArnoldSelf-Published

Science-Fiction/Fantasy

TitleAuthorPublisher
2 DegreesBev PrescottBywater Books
A Touch of Truth Book One: Raven, Fire, and IceNita RoundRegal Crest Enterprises
Ardulum: Third DonJ.S. FieldsNinestar Press
Beneath the SurfaceRebecca LanghamNineStar Press
Compass RoseAnna BurkeBywater Books
ConduitK.F. BradshawWishbox Press
Death in TimeRobyn NyxBold Strokes Books
Demon in the MachineLise MacTagueBella Books
Kai’s HeartRenee MacKenzieAffinity Rainbow Publications
Lucky 7Rae D. MagdonDesert Palm Press
Proxima FiveMissouri VaunBold Strokes Books
Sappho’s Overhead ProjectorBonnie J. MorrisBywater Books
Seer and the Shield, Dragon Horse War Book IIID. Jackson LeighBold Strokes Books
Shadow of the PhoenixRebecca HarwellBold Strokes Books
The Archer: Book Two in the Arrow of Artemis SeriesK. AtenRegal Crest Enterprises
The Fletcher: Book One in the Arrow of Artemis SeriesK. AtenRegal Crest Enterprises
The LiaisonNat BurnsBella Books
The Monster Baru CormorantSeth DickinsonTor books
The Phoenix EmpressK Arsenault RiveraTor books
The Queen of IeflariaEffie CalvinNineStar Press
The Rise of the ResistanceJackie DBold Strokes Books
The Sagittarius: Book Three in the Arrow of Artemis SeriesK. AtenRegal Crest Enterprises
The Tattered LandsBarbara Ann WrightBold Strokes Books
Waking the DreamerK. AtenRegal Crest Enterprises

Tee Corinne Award for
Outstanding Cover Art

TitleCover ArtistPublisher
Ann McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
A Matter Of BloodJudith FellowsBella Books
A Recipe for Love: A Lesbian Culinary RomanceLucy J. MadisonLabrador Publishing
Across A Crowded RoomMichelle BrodeurDesert Palm Press
After the Glitter FadesDiane MarinaAspen Palms Press
Against All OddsDeb B and Jeanine HenningBold Strokes Books
Because of KatieAnn McMan, Acorn GraphicsRegal Crest Enterprises
Beowulf for Cretins: A Love StoryAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
Bird on a WireJudith FellowsBella Books
Black Ridge FallsSapling StudioBedazzled Ink Publishing
BlendAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBold Strokes Books
Both WaysJeanine HenningBold Strokes Books
Bring Holly HomeA.E. RadleyHeartsome Publishing
Broken VowsSheri HalalBold Strokes Books
Calendar GirlAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBold Strokes Books
ChosenTammy SeidickBold Strokes Books
Coming Around AgainAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioSapphire Books
Compass RoseAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
ConduitTS95 StudiosWishbox Press
Cracking LoveJudith FellowsBella Books
Dangerous WatersSheri HalalBold Strokes Books
Death’s EchoesAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
Demon in the MachineSandy KnowlesBella Books
Desire Returns for a Visit: Intimate Poems about Lesbian LoveJove BelleLaunch Point Press
Flashpoint – Book VIII of The Commitment SeriesKaren D. BadgerBadger Bliss Books
Flesh And GoldPhilomena MaranoBold Strokes Books
Great BonesAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioPhoenix Rising Press
Gum For GracieAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioFlashpoint Publications
Heart of the DevilSheri HalalBold Strokes Books
Hearts of Emerald BayStefanie FontechaSelf-Published
Highland DewAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioSapphire Books
In DevelopmentAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBrisk Press
Jacob’s GraceSheri HalalBold Strokes Books
Kiss Your ElbowMichelle BrodeurDesert Palm Press
Language of LoveStreetlight GraphicxYlva Publishing
Learning to Walk AgainJamini Hawkins-ElDesert Palm Press
Light at the End of the Tunnel, A MemoirMichelle BrodeurQueer Stuff Press
Love AllAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
Love and Lechery at Albert Academy: Pina and Katie and the Stalker of Albert HallAnn McMan, Treehouse StudioSapphire Books
Love Like ThisJeanine HenningBold Strokes Books
Lucky 7Rachel GeorgeDesert Palm Press
Match MeAJ AdaireDesert Palm Press
MercyTammy SeidickBold Strokes Books
Mission CompromisedTriplicity Publishing Design DepartmentTriplicity Publishing
Musings of a MadwomanMichelle BrodeurDesert Palm Press
My Mother Says Drums Are for Boys: True Stories for Gender RebelsAnn McMan, Acorn GraphicsRegal Crest Enterprises
Off LimitsAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioSelf-Published
Paper Is WhiteAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
Raven, Fire and IceAnn McMan, Acorn GraphicsRegal Crest Enterprises
SandmanAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioFlashpoint Publications
Sappho’s Overhead ProjectorAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
ShadowboxerMelody PondBold Strokes Books
SnowsistersC.B. MesserInterlude Press
The Boss of HerTammy SeidickBold Strokes Books
The Bucket ListAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioDesert Palm Press
The GoodmansJayne FeredayBreezy Tree Press
The Liberation of Ivy Bottini: A Memoir of Love and ActivismSapling StudioBedazzled Ink Publishing
The LocketMicheala LynnBella Books
The Navigator’s TouchC.B. MesserDuet Books/Interlude Press
The PotionJove BelleDirt Road Books
The Road AheadA.E. RadleyHeartsome Publishing
The Shape of YouAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBold Strokes Books
The Travels of CharlieAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioSapphire Books
This TimeCindy BamfordS.W. Andersen Books
Timing Is EverythingCindy BamfordWild Girl Press
UnforgettableTammy SeidickBold Strokes Books
Wait For MeCarolyn NormanBrisk Press
Wake Me When It’s OverAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books
Warrior Class – Sky CutterJamini Hawkins-ELDesert Palm Press
Welcome to Ruby’sMay DawneySelf-Published
When the Stars SangPatty G. HendersonCorgyn Publishing, LLC
Written DreamsCarolyn NormanBrisk Press
Zero Sum GameAnn McMan, TreeHouse StudioBywater Books

Young Adult

TitleAuthorPublisher
Going Under (Book Seven in the Clarksonville Series)Barbara L. ClantonRegal Crest Enterprises
Love and Lechery at Albert Academy: Pina and Katie and the Stalker of Albert HallDolores MaggioreSapphire Books Publishing
SnowsistersTom Wilinsky & Jen SternickInterlude Press
Swamp GirlIza MoreauBlack Bay Books
Zero Sum GameStefani DeoulBywater Books
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review: A Curious Woman

I read the words “cozy mystery set in Australia” and was immediately sold on Jess Lea’s quirky, fun coastal town. Bess Campbell, procurer and exhibit extraordinaire for the Cabinet of Curiosities, finds herself amidst murder and an unlikely romance with the local history museum’s frosty curator, Margaret Campbell. Port Bannir is full of interesting characters that help move the action along, even while exploring some of the side characters’ relationships. Everyone’s personal demons provide ample room for red herrings. The culprit may seem obvious, but are you sure it’s really so glaringly apparent?*

Lea moves between Bess’ and Margaret’s perspectives, providing insights into possible motives and the town’s less than sparkly history. Bess, formerly of Melbourne, lives in a tiny house off the beaten path with her beloved chickens and rooster, Genghis. She doesn’t shy away from unpopular stances or from being herself. As I read, I couldn’t help but cast Margaret as actress Michelle Gomez (currently playing the devilish Ms. Wardwell in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). Margaret blends austerity with a carefully hidden vulnerability that allows readers to thaw towards her as the story progress.

I’ve read other reviews that point out the on-screen sex scene as a non-Cozy element. If you prefer Cozies with more flirtations and allusions to sex, this might come as a surprise and feel free to fast forward. However, the other aspects of this genre are in full bloom: off-screen murder, townsfolk with close relationships and years of dirt on each other, and a plucky, intelligent amateur heroine who is determined to solve the case.

*A portion of this review was shared via my Goodreads account.

A Curious Woman by Jess Lea
Ylva Publishing, 2019

Categories: contemporary, mystery, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lambda Literary 2019 Nominees

Lambda Literary
Image via Lambda Literary

Lambda Literary recently announced their category nominees for their annual literary awards, now in its 31st year. As usual, I have a lot of reading to do after browsing Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gay, and LGBTQ anthologies in fiction and nonfiction categories. This list is drawn from Lambda Literary’s official list of nominees. The contenders this year are amazing. I highly recommend listening to Jenny Frame’s Charming the Vicar and diving headlong into the immersive graphic novel anthology
Beyond II: The Queer Post-Apocalyptic & Urban Fantasy Comic Anthology (also, you’ll find incredible comics that need funding on Kickstarter; this was one of them!). Winners will be announced on June 3, 2019.

Lesbian Fiction

Gay Fiction

Bisexual Fiction

Transgender Fiction

Bisexual Nonfiction

LGBTQ Nonfiction

Transgender Nonfiction

Lesbian Poetry

Gay Poetry

Transgender Poetry

Bisexual Poetry

Lesbian Mystery

Gay Mystery

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

Gay Memoir/Biography

Lesbian Romance

Gay Romance

LGBTQ Erotica

LGBTQ Anthology

LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult

LGBTQ Drama

LGBTQ Graphic Novels

LGBTQ SF/F/Horror

LGBTQ Studies

Categories: awards | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Not Every River by Robbi McCoy

I curled up with my cats and creature comforts during this year’s “snowpocalypse”. Just before the frozen front swept into town, I finished Robbi McCoy’s “Not Every River”. I eagerly tucked into this contemporary romance set in rural Arizona and starring Claudine “Randi” Randall, a geologist employed by the local Bureau of Land Management, and Kim Gatlin, an archaeologist and university professor. It’s the second McCoy novel I’ve read and I love her strong/vulnerable scientists who find themselves grappling with personal and professional challenges. (If you’re looking for another remote setting featuring scientists, read “Melt“).

Dr. Gatlin is in Yuma during the cooler months to investigate a series of Hohokam petroglyphs. It’s a chance to immerse herself in the fieldwork she lives for, yet misses while teaching undergrads. Gatlin’s passion for her work, however, leaves her with little time for a personal life. Randi’s protective hackles raise before the archaeologist even sets foot on desert soil. She moved to Yuma a few years before, trying to reestablish herself after substance abuse issues in Phoenix. Since then, the land and the people have become an irreplaceable part of herself. The last thing she wants is more folks trampling the petroglyphs as their existence becomes well-known. As the women grapple with their conflicting roles, they develop an understanding and a keen attraction.

The small town life is full of colorful figures, including desert residents Nellie and Flynn, and Gatlin’s earnest and hardworking assistant Ramon. Surprisingly, tiny Yuma even boasts a gay bar and a lesbian social scene that provide ample opportunity for the two women to cross paths. If you’re looking for a respite from chilly winter climes and frozen hearts, dive into this satisfying and immersive contemporary romance.

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Categories: contemporary, fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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