October 2008
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Title: A Place to Rest
Author: Erin Dutton
ISBN: 9781602820210
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 234
Genre: Romance

A Place to Rest is the story of two women and their contrasting experiences with family. One has a family she rebels against and the other has no family and feels the loss keenly.

Sawyer Drake is like a rudderless ship. She drifts from job to job, woman to woman, never satisfied with what she has, but unable to determine what it is she wants. She knows that she doesn't want to work in the family restaurant, but she doesn't have much choice for a while. Her sister Erica is having a difficult pregnancy, so Sawyer puts a halt to her rambling and helps her brother Brady run the business. There she meets pastry chef Jori Diamantina, a woman who has a long history in foster homes and of being on her own. Sawyer is used to making conquests, but Jori isn't interested. She's been hurt too much in her life to take a chance on Sawyer, plus she doesn't want to lose a job she really likes when the relationship falls apart, which she's sure it will do.

Each woman represents what the other fears the most. For Sawyer, Jori represents permanence, settling down, accepting responsibility, things she has always tried to avoid. For Jori, Sawyer offers the possibility of permanence and a family that can be yanked away in a moment when Sawyer's restlessness pushes her to move on. The question is if the women can find a relationship that provides what each of them needs.

Erin Dutton has written a novel that is about family dynamics as much as anything. Sawyer represents the child who has never lived up to the family's expectations. The battle that goes on between Erica and Sawyer will feel familiar to many. Sawyer has failed so many times that no one expects her to succeed, least of all Erica. Erica's attitude towards her sister is almost painful to read, yet also understandable. How do you rely on someone who has never been reliable? Jori's story is as difficult, coming from a shattered family and abusive foster homes. The reader wants to say to her that it is OK to trust other people, that not everyone will fail her.

Dutton captures the emotions of all three of these women very well and engages the reader in the process of hoping that each one is able to overcome her attitudes. Then she surrounds them with secondary characters that fill out the story. The reader gets a chance to think about both what family members can do to each other and what the lack of family means to a person who hasn't had one. A Place to Rest is listed as a romance, but it goes beyond that and should provide a satisfactory reading experience.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: And Playing the Roll of Herself
Author: K.E. Lane
ISBN-10: 1932300724 - ISBN-13: 978-1932300727
Publisher: Regal Crest (Yellow Rose),
Available From: StarCrossed Productions, Price: $21.95
Pages: 336
Genre: Romance

And Playing the Role of Herself,
written by newcomer K.E. Lane, has taken lesbian fiction by storm by scooping up two Golden Crown Literary Society “Goldies”—one for Romance and one in the Debut Author category. These accolades are well deserved.

In this story, Caidence Harris is a thrity-something actress who, although she is successful in her career, is still coming to terms with her sexual identity and has never even dated a woman. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have fantasies—especially for the lovely and sophisticated actress, Robyn Ward, who has a recurring role in Caid’s regular TV series.

When first introduced to these two characters, they seem never destined to get together, but it does happen—awkwardly at first—and the relationship develops in fits and starts with an abundance of misunderstandings. However, a life-altering event gives the priorities these women struggle with a kick in the pants and they are finally able to travel down the road in a more direct line toward happiness, but first they have to get through the bumpy parts—and it’s quite a ride.

Lane has given us characters we can love easily and a story that is absorbing throughout with a final twist toward the unexpected. Caidence is charming and her tentativeness in her relationship with Robyn is endearing. Robyn is sophisticated, but cautious. It turns out, for good reason. Yet she cannot deny the pull toward Caid that seems to bring her back again and again. And Playing the Role of Herself is a romance par excellence and we can look forward to more from this new author with great anticipation.
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: Backslide
Author: Teresa Stores
ISBN: 978883523961
Publisher: Spinsters Ink
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $14.95 - Pages: 315
Genre: Fiction





Backslide is the story of lesbian novelist Virge Young who has hit the best seller list with her book Sinner. It's a loosely autobiographical work of fiction based on her life being raised in a fundamentalist Christian home, how she broke away from that teaching and the people she encountered in her hometown as she went through this. The book has stirred up a lot of controversy and caused Virge to receive more than one death threat. No one is prepared for what happens however when she is on a talk show and a member of the audience stands up and shoots her.

The book then proceeds to tell Virge's story, some chapters going forward from when she is shot (obviously she survives) and some going backward to when she was young. These are interspersed with musings from Virge's mind about an imaginary trip she is making and whether she'll be able to complete it or not. The trip appears to be an allegory for when she is shot and her battle to decide whether to live or not.

Virge's trip through life brings her into contact with a varied cast of characters who all have an impact on her development, including preachers, a Holocaust survivor, a sharp and straight-talking great aunt, a secret African American friend and her infamous-to-be friend Ricki Ann. She develops from a child who believes totally in the religious message she has been raised with into a young woman who must cope with the fact that a fundamental truth about herself conflicts with that message and the realization that people don't always live according to what they say they believe. She learns that the world is a place of contradictions and trying to find your place in that can put tremendous stresses on your life.

"Backsliding" is a tricky concept to define. It appears to be when a person is headed in one direction or one set of beliefs and then slips back into what was believed before or to ideas that were held in the past; however, it also encompasses that feeling one has when the mind starts to wander and you're in one place, thinking of yourself in another place or time and you momentarily become confused as to what reality is.

Stores tries to capture this feeling by not following a chronological order in her chapters. In one the reader is learning about Virge's past, then it slips forward to after the shooting, then back to the past or to one of those chapters where the reader is hearing Virge's thoughts about the shooting and its aftermath. The forward chapters have references to events that haven't been explained yet in the chapters of the past, but which will be. The reader begins to develop a feeling of floating in time, shifting backwards, forwards and sometimes sideways.

The book isn't difficult to follow, but it does require the reader to be alert and pay attention to the story. This isn't a simple romance or mystery that lays out its plot in a linear fashion and just takes the reader along with it. Backslide is more like a jigsaw puzzle where pieces are put into different areas of the puzzle in random order and then they come together to create the whole picture. The lessons it teaches are about growth, forgiveness for past injuries, learning to accept people who are different from you, and that there are people who will not achieve any of these realizations.

Backslide is a thought-provoking book for the reader who likes something a little more complex than the routine story. It can provide a good change of pace for a reading list.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Lethal Affairs
Author: Kim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou
ISBN10: 1-60282-022-8 - ISBN13: 978-1-60282-022-7
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Intrigue





Lethal Affairs is the first book in the Elite Operatives Series. It starts off with a bang, (pun intended), as Domino is cooped up in a hotel room in Istanbul. She is waiting to neutralize the founder of an extremist group which is causing grief for both American and U.N. Forces in Kuwait. This is the introduction to both Domino and the Elite Operatives Organization, (EOO), that Baldwin and Alexiou give to their readers.

Few, if any, are better at creating tension, drama, and suspense than Kim Baldwin. Her attention to details, and her character building are incredible. In Lethal Affairs, Alexiou adds her voice, drawing the foreign born Domino as a complete contrast to the American investigative journalist Hayley Ward. Domino refers to Hayley as "an innocent," and so she is. Hayley just wants to become a respected investigative journalist for an important news agency. Domino has been raised to serve EOO, an organization in which she completely believes. As Hayley's and Domino's worlds cross, both women are put to a test which will require courage, brains, and the ability to improvise.

Lethal Affairs is an exciting read, which definitely puts its reader on the edge of their seat. We can only hope that it is the first of a long series of books.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Lethal Affairs
Author: Kim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou
ISBN10: 1-60282-022-8 - ISBN13: 978-1-60282-022-7
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Intrigue

Lethal Affairs introduces a new adventure series featuring the Elite Operatives Organization. This is a top secret group based in Colorado that recruits children with special talents from all over the world and then raises them to be super agents with espionage and combat skills. The EOO is contracted by governments and other organizations to deal with situations that they legally can't solve. When they aren't on an assignment, the agents assume regular identities and mix in with the rest of the world.

Luka Madison has a reputation as a very skilled art restorer who travels the world working in exotic settings. That she is also the highly effective agent Domino is a secret kept by the EOO. It seems like a routine assignment when she is called in to lead a team in eliminating a drug lord, but mistakes are made and the situation isn't concluded with Domino's usual efficiency.

Hayley Ward is an upcoming newspaper reporter who is looking for that one big story that will make her career. When she receives a videotape of the assassination and a note about the EOO, she knows she's found it, but now she has two mysteries to solve. What is the EOO and who is feeding her the information to uncover its operations?

Luka's new assignment is to find out what Hayley knows, how she knows it and if she needs to be eliminated to protect EOO. The story spins through murder, blackmail, corrupt officials and political intrigue. When the EOO decides to go after both Domino and Hayley, Domino finds herself not only trying to save their lives, but questioning her loyalties and priorities.

Kim Baldwin has long been known by her fans for her adventure books. This series written with Xenia Alexiou introduces an edge and sense of intrigue that are new. Lethal Affairs fulfills its function of setting up the series very well. It gives enough details about the operation of EOO so that readers will understand what it is about, but there aren't enough details to cause this particular book to bog down.

Set in sophisticated and exotic locales, Lethal Affairs shows the depth of research done by the writing team and their ability to portray scenes vividly. The action is fast paced, the bad guys are really bad, and the reader can be swept up in the ability of the agents to handle any situation. If all of the books follow this pattern, this series will probably become a reader favorite.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Midnight Melodies
Author: Megan Carter
ISBN: 9781594931376
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 292
Genre: Romance

Midnight Melodies combines two stories. The first is about Bridget Sullivan and Ann Taylor who flee from London when Ann's family is in danger of discovering that the women are lovers. In 1912 they are sure that Ann will be committed to a mental asylum if not worse. They decide to book passage on the next ship to America and begin new lives there. It seems good fortune that the ship is the engineering marvel of the age, RMS Titanic, until it hits that iceberg and the women have to fight for their lives and those of the friends they have met on their voyage.

The story then switches to the present and Whitehall, Texas, where the town is preparing to celebrate its founding by erecting a statue to Bridget and Howard Taylor. The town has great affection for these two people who emigrated from England and became pillars of the community when they settled there. Many of the families would not have survived the Depression without their help and the town thinks this is an excellent way to remember their service.

Erica Boyd, who is one of their descendants, has no problem with the commemoration except that it's tearing her family apart. Her grandmother is as determined to stop the ceremony as her mother is to see it carried through, but she won't explain why she opposes the plan. There is a family secret that neither Erica nor the town knows about until a historian hired by Erica's mother starts poking around, asking questions and making a lot of people uncomfortable. Erica feels her small town life spinning out of control more than usual and begins to fear that she may lose family and friends, not to mention her closeted relationship with the mayor, before the uproar settles down.

Midnight Melodies really comes off as two different books. The part of the story that is set in1912 is a love story and a history lesson. Carter gives a clear picture of what lesbians had to endure in that time and the dangers that they faced in society. It's also an adventure story as Bridget and Ann take off across England to escape their parents and then get caught up in the events of the most famous ship sinking that has ever occurred. Some parts of it are a little contrived, but the reader basically gets a good feel for the time and what happened.

The second part of the book is what makes the book really worth reading. It's almost as if a different person wrote part two. Carter injects tremendous humor into this portion and has the reader laughing out loud at the antics of her characters. The view of small town life in the South is dead on, with all of its quirky people and convoluted politics. Erica's grandmother Gerti is priceless, not the kindly cookie-baking type that most often appears in stories, but a Bourbon drinking, Playboy reading firecracker who will tell you the truth in a minute.

Erica's struggles to deal with a lover who is terrified the town will find out about them, a mother who wants to be the queen bee of society, and her grandmother lead to more than one riotous scene. There is also an interesting contrast between Bridget and Ann, who were willing to risk so much to be together, and Erica and her lover Alice who don't want to risk anything for their relationship.

Megan Carter, aka Frankie J. Jones, has written many books, usually standard romances. This one may go down as her best. She shows her mastery of her craft through the characters she creates and the way she presents them. Midnight Melodies is definitely worth reading.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Phendar of the Avila
Author: Doreen Perrine
Publisher: Freya's Bower,
Available From: Freya's Bower,
Price: $3.99
Pages: Novella
Genre: Fantasy/Lesbian

Guest Review:

Cocktail Review by "Lovely Butterfly"
Review Score: Champagne Bottle!

Phen has left her home and security to plant seeds by request of her mother. Sowing the seeds could save her people from extinction. A deadly curse has beset the land. While selling trinkets in the market, Phen meets with the Crystal Princess, Gledise, who takes Phen under her wing. Phen becomes Gledise’s companion, and they both grow close.

However, Gledise’s parents aren’t pleased about the union of the two women and try and forbid the princess from being with Phen. True love reigns, and Gledise refuses to be apart from Phen. Phen is sent to the dungeons, but Gledise sets her free, and the two young women move away.

The seeds don’t seem to be able to grow anywhere, and time is running out for the cursed people. Living in a huge bubble, Glendise and Phen reside in a tower with other bubble dwellers. Unfortunately, something paramount to Gledise’s survival is stolen. Can Phen retrieve it and at the same time get the seeds to grow and save their people?

Apart from the above plot being unique and interesting, Phendar of the Avila is a touching story that showcases the love between two women. Not just sexually, but in friendship. The genuine love Phen has for Gledise shines through, and I didn’t want the book to end. I loved the voice/prose and really rooted for Gledise’s life force to be found and for the seed to grow. I wanted acceptance for Phen and Gledise as a couple, for their love is a tangible, wonderful thing.

I loved the premise, loved the word use, and loved the whole book. Very highly recommended.

Title: Remember Tomorrow
Author: Gabrielle Goldsby
ISBN: 10: 1 60282-026-0
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 233
Genre: Romance

Goldsby explores love, trust, and friendship with this enjoyable novel. Cees Bannigan has a successful home-improvement television show and the friendship and support of Lilly and her mother, Mama Nguyen. What she doesn't need is the memory of her failed relationship with Arieanna Simons. Cees' loyalty is put to the test when she is called to the hospital. Arieanna has been in an accident, and has come out of a coma with complete amnesia.

Goldsby has drawn Cees Bannigan as a person personifying strength and integrity. Cees is torn with wanting to take care of Arieanna, and yet not wanting to be hurt again. Arieanna has no one else to whom she can turn. Added to the conundrum are Lilly and Mama Nguyen. These two are fiercely protective of Cees, and are dismayed that Arieanna is back in her life. They also add humor and sharp wit to this tender story. Remember Tomorrow is an enjoyable read with memorable characters.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Residual Moon
Author: Kate Sweeney
ISBN 10: 1-933113-94-4
Publisher: Intaglio Publications,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $16.95
Pages: 227
Genre: mystery

Detective Sergeant Grayson MacCarthaigh is the daughter of a police office. Tall, dark, and handsome, she believes in facts which she can prove. She is currently trying to solve the grisly murders of two women, each found dead on Chicago's waterfront, and each killed in the same way. Having lost her lover to a violent death, Grayson is content to lose herself in solving Chicago's crimes.

Maeve MacCarthaigh, Grayson's mother, was born in Ireland. Maeve is a druidess, schooled in the old beliefs. She knows Dr. Neala Rourke, the curator of the National Museum in Dublin through Neala's work, and through her beliefs.

Sweeney has skillfully woven the stories of these three strong women together to tell a story as old as Ireland. Her tale is exciting and haunting, as she ties some of the stories of Christianity with those of the Druids. Her villain is the sort who causes nightmares. Residual Moon is a definite page turner which will hold readers until it's exciting climax.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Roommates
Author: Jackie Calhoun
ISBN-10: 1-59493-123-2
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 227
Genre: Romance

Jackie Calhoun has given her fans an epic novel which takes her readers from 1990 to the present. Beautiful, sophisticated Julie Decker and the horse loving Peg Kincaid were assigned as roommates at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Julie and Peg become inseparable. As their friendship deepens into love, school, family, and the world interfere with their fragile relationship.

Calhoun has beautifully drawn her complex characters, and allowed her readers to see how they grow and change as their lives grow and change. Julie and Peg have jobs and family responsibilities that must be dealt with if their friendship is going to last. As always, Calhoun has shown life as it is in a realistic world, and as always, has given her readers a compelling and believable story in Roommates..
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Tempus Fugit
Author: Mavis Applewater
ISBN: 9780979412004
Publisher: Blue Feather Books, LTD,
Available From: Blue Feather Books,; StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $23.40 - Pages 432
Genre: Romance

Tempus Fugit covers five decades in the lives of Ellen Druette and Ginny Swenson. They meet and fall in love when they are both cheerleaders at the same high school and just discovering what sexuality is about. Their roles as members of the privileged clique and their relationship come to a crashing halt when Laurie Swenson, Ginny's "evil twin," uses Ginny's identification to break a law and Ginny takes the fall for her. Ellen learns a hard lesson in knowing who your friends really are when rumors about her and Ginny begin to circulate.

While Ginny serves a prison term that stretches on for years, Ellen attends college and law school, determined to prove that Ginny was falsely convicted. She continues her efforts even after Ginny is released from prison and Ellen hopes to resume the relationship, but Ginny can't settle down after being confined. They spend years drifting in and out of each other's lives, always connected, but never committed to each other since neither one has the confidence or courage to say the words the other one needs to hear.

As they move from the 1950's, through the turbulent 60's, other relationships come and go as Ginny tries to find herself and Ellen continues to work to build her career and prove Ginny's innocence. Maybe they want to be more to each other than just passing friends, but there are many obstacles to overcome and no guarantee that they'll be able to accomplish that.

Mavis Applewater's fans know that she's not afraid to write a book that has some length to it. Applewater can carry a story through many episodes and intricate character developments. At the end of Tempus Fugit the reader will know all of the characters and their motivations extremely well. Some of the scenes seem redundant and material could have been edited out without compromising the story; however, everything fits together and it's pleasant reading, so leaving in those episodes allows the reader to become more engrossed in what is going on.

What is missing is the amount of sex scenes that normally pepper Applewater's work. There are those scenes, but, instead of being a major part of Tempus Fugit, the story has to carry itself without the titillation she usually offers. This makes for a stronger book and more interesting story. The characters aren't always jumping into bed every time a page turns, but have to interact in a way that is more realistic and makes them more dimensional.

This book is an opportunity to read a good story.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: The Kiss That Counted
Author: Karin Kallmaker
ISBN: 978-1-594931-31-4
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 288
Genre: Romance

Kallmaker is arguably the queen of lesbian romance. With The Kiss That Counted she has given her readers two very different women brought together by a battered women's shelter. CJ Roshe is hiding from a past and people who haunt her dreams. Guarded, she has escaped to Denver where she has buried herself in the field of commercial real estate. Karita Hanssen is filled with lightness. Her belief in fairies and goodness follows her from work to her volunteerism at the battered women's shelter and animal shelter.

Kallmaker has used the darkness of Roshe and the glow of Hanssen to tell a story filled with mystery, excitement and danger. The Kiss That Counted is a gripping story that will delight Kallmaker fans, and win her many more.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: The Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Radclyffe
ISBN-10: 1602820058 -ISBN-13: 978-1602820050
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 259
Genre: Romance

In The Lonely Hearts Club, long-time friends, Liz, Candace, and Brenda have a long-standing lunch date to talk about their lives. Liz is a powerhouse attorney whose life has taken a turn for the worse since her long-time girlfriend took up with a cute young thing and dumped her. Candace has been in love with Liz for years, but is never one to commit. Bren leads a secret life that her friends know nothing about.

Attorney Liz Ramsey comes to the forefront of the story as she leaves her doctor’s office having just learned that she’s pregnant. It was something she had hoped to share with Julia, but now she’s forced to acknowledge that she was never truly happy with her ex and to move into another phase of her life—one filled with new responsibilities—and physical symptoms.

Running to meet her two friends for lunch, Liz literally runs into Dr. Reilly Danvers, and there is an instant spark between them that both women resist. When the members of the Lonely Hearts Club end up at Reilly’s softball game, Candace meets Parker Jones, another attorney who plays for a rival team, and when Candace goes home with Parker, she finds herself in over her head with the feelings she quickly develops for Parker.

Meanwhile, Brenda, the quiet one, we find, leads a double life as Melanie Richards, popular erotica author, who’s on a quest for her own true identity and personal fulfillment. Brenda, too, is a woman full of surprises.
These three travel down the road of life supporting and caring for one another. And they bring all their faults and idiosyncrasies as they try to help each other overcome obstacles and smooth out the path for one another as they move along into the future.

The Lonely Hearts Club is a story of friendship and love that comes when women support and love one another. It’s also a lovely romance with a little eroticism thrown in for good measure. Each character clearly has her own personality with needs, doubts, and desires. This is a good book for a long, lazy weekend spent with a glass of fine wine and someone you love
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: The Sea Captain and the Lady
Author: Vada Foster
ISBN-10: 1933113898 - ISBN-13: 978-1933113890
Publisher: Intaglio Publications,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $16.95
Pages: 208
Genre: Historical Romance/Lesbian

What could be better than a tall, dark and handsome woman of the world and a lovely, energetic, diminutive blonde? No, it’s not Xena and Gabrielle, but rather, Colleen Edwards and the object of her affection, Abigail Hume. Although not the famous duo, their story is just as much entertaining fun.

Abby is the daughter of a Scottish governor, appointed to a position in the Caribbean. Colleen is the daughter of an English shipping merchant. Abby paints, Col sails the seas with her father ever since the rest of the family died from cholera, including her older brother Charles, who proves rather significant in this story.

Abby and Col meet and fall in love. Their overtures are tentative, but each knows that she only has eyes for the other. How they will ever manage to spend their lives together, neither knows, but help comes in the unexpected form of the pirate, Jack Rackham, when he kidnaps Abby for the ransom he hopes to gain from her wealthy father. The pirate sets off a chain of events that play like a Rudolph Valentino classic, leaving us wanting to stand up and cheer during the action scenes. Foster has given us a story filled with cross-dressing women of courage and kindness.

So, grab a copy of The Sea Captain and the Lady. Sit back. Relax with a marvelous 1800s period piece. A time when sea captains were either gallant swashbucklers or scheming pirates! Enjoy a fantastic tale of love and romance, search and rescue, fun, and a cup of grog—laced with danger. A delightful read.
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: Web
Author: J.P. Mercer
ISBN: 1933720492
Publisher: P.D. Publishing, Inc.,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $17.99
Pages: 201
Genre: Suspense/Intrigue/Romance

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!" Sir Walter Scott

Beautiful women, a triple homicide, suspense, intrigue, and enough plot twists to make a pretzel. J.P. Mercer must have a new novel.

Ingrid Sheppard is the first woman president of the United States and she's running for a second term. That alone would be enough to rally certain forces against her, but the fact that she's also a lesbian has the conservative right in an uproar. How far would they go to keep her from winning? When Ingrid's younger sister Sasha is found in a house with three women who have been brutally slaughtered and she's covered in blood, she seems to be the logical suspect and also the end of Ingrid's chances for re-election.

All may not be as it seems though. With this coming soon after an attempt on Ingrid's life, Ingrid begins to wonder if her sister is being framed for a crime she did not commit. The president asks for help from two women who are the best in their fields. Sidney DeRoche is one of the top defense attorneys in the country, Ingrid's best friend, and Sasha's ex-lover. With an out of control district attorney screaming for Sasha's blood, Sidney's job is to protect the woman who once broke her heart.

Liberty Starr is one of the two remaining Talons, a group of highly trained agent/assassins once used by the government. She has retired, but when she is summoned, her sense of duty brings her from the mountains of Montana to see if she can discover who committed the murders, who is trying to kill the president, and if the two situations are connected in any way. As Liberty tries to unravel what exactly is going on, she is confronted with the fact that she may lose something that is more important to her than any duty she feels to her country or president.

When a spider weaves a web, it has many strands. Some lead straight to the center, some lead off of the web and the others are distracters intended to confuse the prey until the spider pounces. Mercer's Web is like that. There are multiple motives for the murder that cross and crisscross until the reader can't be sure which one is leading to the truth and there is always a nagging sense that the spider is about to pounce.

Mercer shows that women who seem to have no relevance to each other, through the right series of circumstances, follow paths that intersect in unpredictable ways. There are no extraneous scenes in this book, but there are those that lead to deliberate misperceptions about the story. The challenge to the reader is to figure out what is happening before Mercer tips her hand. She uses a combination of flashbacks and forward action to define just enough about the characters to keep the story together and moving.

Web is a book with plenty of action, suspense and a touch of romance; one of those that is compelling and may make the reader want to finish it in one sitting. This isn't one to start at night if you intend to get much sleep.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Yesterday Once More
Author: Karen D. Badger
ISBN: 9780979412035
Publisher: Blue Feather Books, LTD,
Available From: Blue Feather Books,; StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $20.99 - Pages: 318
Genre: Romance

Dr. Jordan Lewis was paralyzed from the waist down in a riding accident when she was sixteen, but she lives in 2105 and medical science has progressed amazingly. Jordan is the test case for a project to develop sensors that can be implanted in a patient's spine and restore mobility to the body. While she recuperates at home from surgery she decides to have some remodeling done and finds hidden in a wall diaries that belonged to Maggie Downs, a woman who owned the same ranch a hundred years before and, ironically, was killed in an accident similar to Jordan's.

Jordan becomes obsessed with finding out about Maggie to the point that Jordan's best friend Kale Simmons, who lives with her, is afraid she's becoming mentally unstable and will be disqualified from the project they're both working on. Jordan begins to believe that she is receiving messages in her dreams from Maggie across time and she's also convinced that Maggie's accident may not have been an accident at all.

She is desperate to find some way to reach Maggie and volunteers to be a test subject for Kale. He has been working for years to build a time machine and it's finally ready to try out. Against his better judgment he agrees to send Jordan on trips back through time to try and change history. She is determined to find out the truth of what happened and, if possible, save the life of the woman she has fallen in love with.

One complaint that cannot be made about Yesterday Once More is that the story and characters are not developed enough. Not only is the book over 300 pages, but it's in the larger format. There is ample space for exploring the characters and the plot points.

Badger is a skilled writer and knows how to write realistic dialogue and control the flow of a story. There is redundancy in some scenes, but Badger turns them into points in the repeating time travel plot. Some material might have been eliminated, but the fullness of the characters would have been affected.

The weakest element in the story is the time travel concept. Jordan returns again and again to the past with no concern about how her incursions might alter history or later people's lives. People who are science fiction fans know that this is always a major concern in similar stories. This is above all a romance however, so the lack of scientific discretion probably will be forgiven by the reader. To counterbalance it is the interesting work into helping paraplegics walk again. Since this type of work is already being done, it would be hoped that it would be further along a hundred years from now, but the concept is still interesting.

Overall, this is a romance that is made to be satisfying for lovers of that genre. It has all of the elements that are expected by the fans, the story is well told and it is believable if the reader accepts the science involved. Yesterday Once More is an easy and enjoyable read, but allow yourself an extended reading period.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Our Reviewers
Bios of Authors

Our Reviewers

Sandra Barret
Sandra Barret grew up in New England, where she spent more years than she cares to mention as a software programmer. She lives with her partner, two children, and a menagerie of pets. Sandra has been an avid reader of fantasy, horror, and lesbian romance. This interest has led her to pen her own creations in novel and short story format.

Contact her at

Anna Furtado
Anna is a Book Reviewer for Just About Write, The East Bay Voice, and The L-Word Literature section; and Author of The Heart's Desire Book One of The Briarcrest Chronicles, a 2005 GCLS Goldie Award Finalist, and The Heart's Strength, Book Two of The Briarcrest Chronicles,

Anna's Web site:
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Arlene Germain
For many years a teacher of English and Creative Writing, Arlene Germain lives with her partner in Massachusetts. She is a book reviewer for The Midwest Book Review, The Independent Gay Writer, the Just About Write Newsletter/E-zine, The Crown—the Golden Crown Literary Society newsletter and The

Kathi Isserman
Kathi lives with her partner and two very spoiled cats outside Washington, D.C. When not reading all kinds of books, she can be found on the golf course attempting to hit that little white ball. Her reviews can also be read at,, and The Independent Gay Writer.

Write to her at

Lori L. Lake
Minnesotan Lori L. Lake is the author of the Gun series, Different Dress, Ricochet in Time, and a book of short stories called Stepping Out. She also edited the 2005 Lammy finalist The Milk of Human Kindness: Lesbian Authors Write About Mothers and Daughters. Lori is currently at work on her sixth novel, Snow Moon Rising, which comes out in February. She teaches fiction writing at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and often reviews books for various print and online journals.

Contact Lori at

Lynne Pierce
Lynne Pierce is a life-long resident of Virginia who has spent the last thirty-two years trying to convince high school students that history is relevant to their lives and leading them through the process of learning to think for themselves about issues. Her main hobby since the age of five has been reading and she has spent the last ten years consuming every work of lesbian fiction that she can get her hands on. Lynne's reviews also can be read at
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You can reach Lynne at

RLynne lives in the high desert of California, next to Joshua Tree National Park, with her partner of 24 years, and various four-footed friends. A semi-retired educator, she’s been reviewing books since 1992. Her reviews have appeared in various gay rags, including Mega-Scene, The Lesbian Teachers Network, Lesbian Connection, and others.

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Cheri Rosenberg
Cheri Rosenberg is a reviewer for Just About Write, Queer Girl Talk, Midwest Book Review, The Independent Gay Writer, The L Life, Lambda Book Report, and other venues posting book reviews for the lesbian community. Check out Cheri’s Corner at

Published under the pen name Cheri Crystal, her short stories can be found in Lessons in Love: Erotic Interludes 3, After Midnight: True Lesbian Erotic Confession and many other anthologies of short fiction. She is currently writing her second novel while adding the finishing touches to her first.

When she is not working as a Consultant Dietitian, she is reading, reviewing, and writing lesbian fiction. Cheri is an "activist reader," a wife and mother to a wonderful husband and three terrific children, and she maintains that if more heterosexuals would read the works of lesbian authors they would realize they are talented, intelligent, articulate, admirable, and their books are equally as praiseworthy as anything published for the mainstream market in the literary world. Cheri hopes to enlighten the world and make it a more tolerant place where lesbian fiction is every bit as respected as straight fiction.

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Author Bios

Xenia Alexiou
Xenia Alexiou is Greek and lives in Europe. She has traveled around the world, which has inspired many stories. Lethal Affairs is her first novel and she is currently working on her second novel, Thief of Always, the second book in the Elite Operatives Series.

Mavis Applewater
Mavis Applewater was born and raised near Boston. After getting a degree in theater, she became a bartender. Tempus Fugit is her fourth published novel.

Her other published works are The Brass Ring, My Sister's Keeper and Home for the Holidays. Whispering Pines will be released in the fall of 2008. She lives in Boston with her partner Heather to whom she is legally married.

Kared D. Badger
Karen D. Badger, who is known to her online fans as "kd bard," was born and raised in Vermont, one of five children of a fiercely independent mother. After earning college degrees in theater, elementary education, and mathematics, she turned to writing ten years ago.

She currently works as an engineer in the semiconductor field and lives in Vermont with her partner. She fills her spare time with her writing and spending time with family and friends. Her first novel was On a Wing and a Prayer.

Kim Baldwin
Kim Baldwin has been a writer for three decades. After a twenty year career as a journalist, she turned to writing lesbian novels. She has published five previous novels, has had short stories included in several anthologies and has been a finalist for the GCLS awards multiple times. She now lives in Michigan.

Jackie Calhoun
Roommates is award-winning Jackie Calhoun's twentieth novel. Her books have been published by Bella Books, Windstorm Creative, and Naiad press. She lives with her partner in northeast Wisconsin.

Megan Carter
Megan Carter is an award-winning artist and freelance nature photographer. In her spare time she likes to rummage through flea markets and junk shops. Her hobbies include woodworking, metal detecting and genealogy.

She has written a number of books as either Megan Carter or Frankie J. Jones.

She can be contacted at

Erin Dutton
Erin Dutton was born and raised in New York and now lives in Tennessee. In her free time she enjoys reading, movies and playing golf. Her previous novels are Sequestered Hearts and Fully Involved. She has also had short stories in anthologies. Her next novel, Designed for Love, is due in November 2008.

Vada Foster
Vada Foster is an author, actor, and playwright. She lives in southern California with a collection of Shih-Tzu’s and a couple of cats, one twin sister, and a partner whom she had to go to Florida to find. She enjoys traveling and discovering new places, which she is doing a lot of since she met Gypsy.

Gabrielle Goldsby
Gabrielle Goldsby lives in Portland with her partner of nine years. She is the author of five novels. Wall of Silence was the 2007 Lambda Literary Award Winner, and The Caretaker's Daughter won the 2005 Alice B Lavender Certificate.

Karin Kallmaker
Karin Kallmaker has written more than twenty-five romance and fantasy-science fiction novels. She has had short stories appear in anthologies published by numerous companies. She began her career with Naiad Press and continues with Bella Books.

Kallmaker's novels have been translated into German, French, Spanish, and Czech and have received numerous awards, including those from the Lambda Literary Society and the Golden Crown Literary Society.

Kallmaker and her partner live in the San Francisco Bay area with their two children. Further details about her books can be found on her web site at

K.E. Lane
K.E. Lane lives along Colorado's Front Range with her partner and several pets. A software developer when she's not writing or participating in varied outdoor activities, she also enjoys reading, music, and watching remodeling shows while telling her amused partner, "I could do that."

J.P. Mercer
J.P. Mercer works in health care as a RN. She was born in Butte, Montana, but now resides in Phoenix, Arizona, though one of her favorite places is the beach town at Carlsbad, California. Her previous books are Incommunicado, Threads of Destiny and Talon. Mercer has also had short stories appear in anthologies.

She can be reached at or you can visit her web site at

Doreen Perrine
Doreen Perrine has been published in various anthologies and literary e-zines such as The Copperfield Review, Raving Dove, The Queer Collection, Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly, Lesbian Connection, Sinister Wisdom, and Gay Flash Fiction.  Doreen's writing has been performed at Here Arts Center, WOW, Under St. Marks Theatres, Manhattan Theatre Source, The Greene County Council on the Arts, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

A member of the the Golden Crown Literary Society, Doreen has presented her writing through the Pen & Brush Club and her short fiction was accepted for regional program, Story Time Live.

Doreen was awarded a Bachelors degree in English with honors from the College of Staten Island and an honorable mention in the Edward J. Rheberg poetry award. Also an artist, Doreen coordinates a local writer‘s publication opportunity where she resides in the Catskills region of New York.

Doreen's website:

Radclyffe is a retired surgeon and the president of Bold Strokes Books. She has written more than twenty-five novels and contributed to many anthologies, which has led to her winning numerous awards from the Lambda Literary Society and the Golden Crown Literary Society. She has twice been the recipient of the Alice B. Readers' award.

Despite her activities running one of the largest LGBT publishing companies, she turns out a prodigious amount of books, with three more planned in 2008.

Teresa Stores
Teresa Stores' first books, Getting to the Point and Side Tracks, were published by Naiad Press in the 1990's. She is an associate professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Hartford. She lives with her partner and their children in southern Vermont.

Kate Sweeney
Kate Sweeney won the 2007 Golden Crown Literary Society award for Debut Author with She Waits, the first of the Kate Ryan Mystery series. Kate lives in Villa Park, Illinois, where she is an office manager.