November 2008
SCP      Please help support Just About Write
by purchasing your books through the
StarCrossed Productions
links on our pages. Thank you, wholeheartedly.

Title: Beautiful Journey
Author: Kenna White
ISBN: 9781594931284
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 276
Genre: Romance/history

If you like historical period stories, Kenna White's Beautiful Journey is the book for you. If you like a good story, you still have the right book.

In the early years of World War II, before the United States entered the war, many Americans volunteered to serve in countries that were under attack. American Kit Anderson is a volunteer in the British Women's Air Transport Authority (ATA) where her job is to shuttle planes to the bases where fighter pilots are stationed and take damaged planes to repair facilities. Kit is very good at what she does and the work takes her mind off of the broken heart she left back in the States. What she doesn't count on is coming into contact with Emily Mills, a literature teacher and the only grandchild of Lady Lillian Marble. These two are meant to clash from the time Emily finds out her grandmother has rented a cottage to Kit through the experience of having Emily come to work on Kit's base. The British government has decreed that every woman had to work in the war effort and that includes Emily.

As a favor to Lady Marble, Kit signs Emily's work request as her reference, only to find she is held responsible for every mistake Emily makes and there are many mistakes. Emily just seems to be a walking disaster. Kit's good nature is often tested by Emily's unpleasant attitude and then her bumbling. As they are drawn together by the war however, Kit and Emily discover love and courage. It will take tremendous courage not only to survive the war, but to battle the prejudice and bigotry they will encounter as their relationship comes to light because homophobia is strong in Britain at the time. Kit is forced to face the fact that the quality of your work does not equate with acceptance of your lifestyle and the women will face a choice when Kit is threatened with losing her wings.

The atmosphere of this book is perfect. The reader feels immersed in the lifestyle of the English countryside and gets a real grasp of what the people were forced to endure as bombs rained from the sky. It is clear that Kit is an American imbedded in a different culture as she adapts to the English; they don't adapt to her. The story is full of appealing characters, some suspense, some humor, a tragedy and an interesting romance. The plot flows from page to page easily and pulls the reader's interest along with it.

This is definitely one of the books that you can't wait to read and don't want to end. The only question it raises is whether lesbians in the 1940's actually found it this easy to locate each other, but it is an environment that might seem to draw them together, similar to sports. The only readers who might not find this book appealing are those who like the highly charged adventure stories, but there is a little of that, too. There are some typos that should have been picked by an editor or proofreader, but they don't detract from the story as a whole.

Beautiful Journey is a well-written, enjoyable story. This is a book that is a pleasure to recommend. Great literature, no, but still a terrific book to read.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Cooper's Deale
Author: KI Thompson
ISBN 10: 1-60282-028-7
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 219
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Set in the small town of Deale, on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Cooper's Deale examines the life of Abby Cooper. Abby seems to have a permanent cloud over her head, with nothing going right. She has returned to the family home in Deale to take care of her disabled brother. Broke, she is forced to take in boarders to make ends meet. From there, her life continues to go South when a body is found on her land.

With wonderful wit, KI Thompson has given her readers an enjoyable romp which includes a dastardly FBI agent, a bodacious bar tender, and three grungy thugs. How they all interact, (and intertwine) is meat of this hilarious novel of romance and intrigue. Will Chesapeake Bay be saved from disaster? The answer lies in Thompson's excellent read.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Cooper's Deale
Author: KI Thompson
ISBN 10: 1-60282-028-7
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 219
Genre: Romantic Comedy





Addy Cooper is called home suddenly by the death of her grandmother in an accident that certainly is unusual. She's hit by a piece of debris from space. Addy doesn't have anything to hold her in California since she's managed to lose her job and her lover in the same day, so she returns to Deale, Maryland, to plan the funeral and care for her brother Tommy, who thinks he's a bird and lives in a tree house. This might seem funny, but what Addy has to deal with certainly isn't. Her brother is fleeing from a tragedy early in their lives and she is forced to take in boarders to support them because she can't risk moving him anywhere else.

Unfortunately, Addy arrives back in town just as the FBI is launching an investigation into possible terrorist activity in the town and then a dead body is found on the Coopers’ land. Addy finds herself having to deal with Officer Karen Kaczarowski, the love of her life who betrayed her six years before. Karen is still interested in Addy, but so is Liberty McDonald, a new boarder with an ulterior motive. Addy is totally shaken when she finds that both she and Tommy are suspects in the murder and she knows she has to do anything to protect her brother.

Addy doesn't know who to trust as she finds herself drawn to both Karen and Liberty only to have them both suspect her of being a killer. When she realizes the terrorists might be coming after Tommy, she'll have to take a chance on one of the women and maybe end up ruining things for herself and Tommy forever.

There is a lot to recommend this book. It shows the type of close-knit community that can exist in a small town, especially one that comes together to protect a man-boy who can't face the reality of his situation. There are quirky characters who become endearing when they will do anything to protect Tommy from the forces that would harm him, including the FBI. Tommy could be a comic figure when he flaps his arms like wings and caws, until the reader understands what drove him to this behavior and then he becomes a sympathetic character.

The would-be terrorists are detailed just enough to reveal how they set the investigation in motion and to show the threat they could be to the Coopers. Addy at times is irritating in her behavior, but her devotion to Tommy is admirable and she shines when compared to Liberty McDonald. The undercover agent is a female predator who will say anything to get a woman into bed and doesn't mind abusing her authority to collect evidence. The fact that she becomes almost a buffoon by the end of the book is one of its more rewarding aspects.

Cooper's Deale isn't truly a comedy, though it does have some funny scenes in it. It is a romance, but the major message seems to be how confusing it can be to decide what or who you really want and that you'll make mistakes along the way to deciding. It certainly is topical in that it features domestic terrorists who want to use a "dirty" bomb and deals somewhat with the terrible environmental damage being done to the Chesapeake Bay.

The book is an enjoyable combination of romance and adventure with some parts that will make the reader laugh, but it's hardly the slapstick tale that the blurb on the cover seems to indicate. If the reader likes a happy ending however, and believes that love conquers all, this is the book to read.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Deception
Author: Erin O'Reilly
ISBN13: 978-1-933113-87-6
Publisher: Intaglio Publications
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $16.95 - Pages: 214
Genre: Legal Thriller





Erin O'Reilly has given readers a strong female protagonist in Lane Cuthbert. She is trying a case with all of the cards stacked against her: she has a client who is widely disliked, has a motive, and no alibi, and a sheriff with a grudge. Lane has a case which will bring her fame and prestige in the legal community; all she has to do is to find her client innocent.

O'Reilly skillfully shows the hill country of Texas, as well as the drama of the courtroom. Lane must fight for her client while fighting racism and class. Deception is a well crafted page turner which shows a tightly knit community, warts and all.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Deep in the Heart, A Memoir of Love and Longing
Author: Sheila Morris
ISBN-10: 0979442028 - ISBN-13: 978-0979442025
Publisher: Red Letter Press
Distributed by Red Letter Press,
Price: $14.95 - Pages: 177
Genre: Memoir

This well-written memoir takes us back to the 1950s and 60s, back to the South of the era when life was simpler and families were closer. Sheila Morris opens the door to the house in the town of Richards, Texas, and introduces us to a cast of characters that includes her beloved grandparents, her parents, and a host of other family members and childhood friends.

Along the way, she reveals her struggles, from a very early age, to come to terms with her “difference” revealed in her desire for boxing gloves instead of dolls for Christmas and comfortable pants instead of frilly dresses. She does this with humor and poignancy, allowing us to experience her deepest emotions, including her love for her family and her struggles with her sexuality.

Her more humorous tales include her crushes at an early age, a fall from a horse and a bump on the head that left her repeating the same things over and over again to the dismay of her parents, and a wonderful story that many of us can relate to, when she realized that Santa was really Uncle Marion (or in Morris’ case, she thought that Uncle Marion was actually Santa Claus).

The emotion in Morris’ stories runs just below the surface with threads connected to the very depths of our beings. Some stories are laugh-out-loud funny. All are complex and engaging. Baby boomers will enjoy the reminiscences about old TV shows, old songs, old traditions, and growing up during a time when life was less complicated and relationships with extended families seemed more intimate. Just one more thing: you don’t need to be from the South to relate to these stories. There is an every-lesbian quality to them than anyone can enjoy.
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: Homecoming
Author: Nell Stark
ISBN 10: 1-60282-024-4
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bold Strokes Books,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 239
Genre: Romance

Stark has given her readers a book, set in Rhode Island, that cuts straight to the 2008 ballot in California. Her characters are involved in "Fair Rhode Island," a group fighting a proposition on the Rhode Island ballot which would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Stark brings back two beloved characters, Corrie and Quinn, from her previous novel, Running With the Wind, as friends of her main character, Sarah Storm. Abandoned by her parents, her previous lover, and even her university, Sarah has transferred to the University of Rhode Island. Her straight roommate Rory, a film major, is filming the battle fought by FRI where Sarah is an intern.

How the students use their energy, enthusiasm and passion to work to defeat the amendment is just part of this excellent read. Nell Stark also shows how Sarah and Rory grow to understand themselves as well as each other. Their dance toward maturity is told with wit and grace, as the tension builds in this great page turner.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Sticky Fingers
Author: Morgan Hunt
ISBN: 9781593500030
Publisher: Alyson Books
Available at: Alyson Books,; StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $14.95 - Pages: 207
Genre: Mystery

Tess Camillo has a shocking start to her day. She bends down to pick up something and finds a rattlesnake staring at her from under her bed. From there, Tess is drawn into the investigation of another lesbian who is murdered by snake bite and thus begins the first of the Tess Camillo mystery series.

At first Tess is concerned with finding out if she has anything in common with Belle Farby that would make someone want to kill them both. Could there be a serial lesbian killer with a fondness for reptiles? After Tess receives some threats herself, the search becomes more personal.

In the midst of this, Tess discovers a lump in her breast and has to deal with a mastectomy. Ironically, the murder investigation provides a distraction from her medical problems. Tess eventually learns she'll survive the cancer, but she may not be so lucky avoiding the murderer and other assorted characters she crosses paths with as she's threatened with knives, snakes and hypodermic needles.

Hunt has written a rather tame mystery with plenty of distracters. There's a psychic who keeps having "visions," a police officer who was once a girl friend, a depressed herpetologist who can't decide which sexual team she plays for, and a roommate/once lover who has decided to go hetero, but still turns Tess on.

Tess has to deal with New Age philosophy, Chinese herbalists, doctors who want to argue with her and two half senile dogs that are often in the way, but provide loving companionship. All of the characters keep the reader guessing as to who the real murderer is, though the final solution is somewhat predictable. Tess doesn't display skill in detective work as much as she stumbles into clues.

Considering the seriousness of breast cancer and the fact that it is such an issue for so many women, the reader might expect more attention to be paid to this event in Tess's life, but it doesn't happen. In fact, the breast surgery and its results are hardly mentioned. Tess's attitude seems to fall along the lines of: She's investigating this murder, living her life and, oh, by the way, having her left breast cut off tomorrow. Hunt's purpose may have been to say that such an experience doesn't stop life from going on, but the off hand manner which it is dealt with is still a little jarring. It needs to be mentioned also that the publisher could have done a much better job of proofreading this book. There are a number of places where words are dropped or letters are left off. It doesn't detract from the story, but it is an unnecessary distraction to the careful reader.

Sticky Fingers is a typical first book in a series. A lot of time is spent introducing characters that will reappear and defining their relationships with the main character. The mystery doesn't seem as important as the characters and it's really just a vehicle to accomplish the real mission of the book. However, there is a mystery here and it provides an acceptable story with a few hours of diversion.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Sweet Poison – A Jane Lawless Mystery
Author: Ellen Hart
ISBN-10: 0312375255 - ISBN-13: 978-0312375256
Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur
StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $24.95
Pages: 416
Genre: Mystery/Lesbian

What is poor Jane Lawless to do? Her father’s acting strange—he has become remote and unavailable, using his campaign for governor as an excuse not to spend time with Jane. Her housekeeper is beside herself because her nephew, an ex-con, is suspected of a murder and rape, and she begs Jane’s help in clearing his name. Cordelia’s old girlfriend, Mel, has moved in, then, moved out, but the two are still getting along famously, much to Jane’s confusion.

When an old flame of Jane’s suddenly re-appears, she complicates an already strained and unraveling bond between Jane and Kenzie, Jane’s long time, and long-distance relationship. While Jane struggles to keep all the balls of life and relationship in the air, this story takes twists and turns that will thrill and surprise the reader. Of course, the character of Cordelia Thorn, Jane’s best friend and alter-ego, does not disappoint, once again. Cordelia is the comic relief when the tension builds. Yet in her naiveté, she offers clues that Jane, and only Jane, can decipher.

Published this month, Sweet Poison is the sixteenth in the Jane Lawless mystery series. It is Hart’s finest offering in this body of work thus far. The entire story is suspenseful, keeping the reader turning one page after another. By the end of the book, all the characters have revealed themselves for who they really are and loose ends are tied up for us. But before we get to that point, we are in for quite a ride. Lawless fans will be delighted with this new offering. Newcomers will delight in discovering Hart’s tales. Don’t miss Sweet Poison.
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: White Offerings
Author: Ann Roberts
ISBN: 9781594931215
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available From: Bella Books,; and
StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 228
Genre: Mystery

Ari Adams promised her girlfriend, Detective Molly Nelson, that she wouldn't get involved with any more mysteries. After all, the first one nearly cost her life. When white orchids start arriving for her best friend, Jane Frank, though, Ari can't help but be curious and concerned. Jane is happily sleeping her way through most of the lesbians in Phoenix and insists she hasn't created an enemy in the bunch, but both women become worried as the messages with the flowers become more threatening.

Jane hires private detective Elizabeth "Biz" Stone to find out what is going on, but it's Ari who is disturbed to feel an attraction to the woman. Ari is sure she loves Molly, but Molly isn't being very communicative about her feelings. As Ari battles with these feelings and the messages become more disturbing, an orchid arrives for Ari. Who is doing this? What are the intentions for Jane, and how much danger is Ari in for being her friend? Worse yet, with so many suspects, including some close to them, who can the women trust?

White Offerings is the sequel to Roberts' previous book Paid in Full. It's a simple mystery with plenty of suspects thrown in to keep the reader guessing. The characters of Ari and Jane are well developed because they interact so much in the book and take up the majority of the story.

Molly and "Biz" could have used some more attention, especially Molly. Her reluctance to commit to Ari isn't really explained and it's a tad curious that, while the woman she claims to love is threatened, she's more interested in a case she's working on with the FBI. The relationship between Ari and Molly is juxtaposed next to Jane's profligate behavior as a contrasting picture of how people live their lives, though what they see in each other is sometimes unclear.

While the mystery is intriguing, it's difficult to develop any feeling for the characters. Ari is the most appealing, while Jane is somewhat humorous, although the reader may come to feel that she deserves the stalker she's acquired through her behavior. Molly is more involved when she's working her case than she is with Ari, and "Biz" doesn't do that much to solve the question of who is sending the flowers. The ending is rather abrupt and there is a set up in the final scene for what is obviously a third book in the series.

If you're looking for a mystery to pass the afternoon or evening, White Offerings will suit the bill.
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:
Contact her at

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
lesfic_unbound and

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.

Contact her at

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.

Contact her at

Author Bios

Ellen Hart
Ellen Hart is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, as well as a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction. Entertainment Weekly recently named her one of the “101 movers and shakers in the gay entertainment industry.”

For the last eleven years, Ellen has taught “An Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery” through the The Loft Literary Center, the largest independent writing community in the nation. Ellen lives in Minneapolis with her partner of 30 years.

Morgan Hunt
Morgan Hunt is a New Jersey native whose service in the Navy culminated in her living in San Diego for twenty-seven years. She now lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she works on her books in the Tess Camillo series. Like Tess, Hunt is a cancer survivor. She can be reached at for more information.

Sheila Morris
Sheila Morris was born and raised in rural Grimes Conty, Texas, and is a first-year Baby Boomer. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and has spent four decades working with numbers as a CPA, college instructor, stockbroker and financial advisor.

As she enters the third act of her life, she wants to spend time with words. Her passion for equal rights for women, African Americans, and gays and lesbians has placed her at odds with her Southern Baptist upbringing and brief calling as a minister of music. She has overcome, and moved on.

She lives with her partner, Teresa Williams, and their four dogs in Columbia, South Carolina, where she has been for over thirty years.

Erin O'Reilly
Erin O'Reilly lives in the Hill Country of Texas. She enjoys computers, and writing. Visit her web site at

Ann Roberts
Ann Roberts is an educator who lives in Arizona with her family. Her other books are Paid in Full, Furthest from the Gate, Brilliant and Beach Town. She can be reached at

Nell Stark
Nell Stark, while originally from the East Coast, is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she and her partner are living. She enjoys the outdoors and computer games. She has contributed to several erotica anthologies, including the soon to be published Romantic Interludes.

KI Thompson
KI Thompson is the author of two previous books, House of Clouds and Heart of the Matter. She also has short stories in several anthologies.

Thompson loves to write about the Washington, DC, and Chesapeake area where she lives. Her next book, The Will to Wynne, is a historical romance set during the American Revolution and is due out in 2010.

Kenna White
Kenna White was born in Southwest Missouri, but has lived in various parts of the United States. She is back in the Ozarks where she can enjoy faded jeans, bare feet and her writing. She also travels, substitute teaches and makes dollhouse miniatures with her partner of ten years.