March 2009
SCP      Please help support Just About Write
by purchasing your books through the
StarCrossed Productions
links on our pages. Thank you, wholeheartedly.

Title: A Pirate’s Heart
Author: Catherine Friend
ISBN 10: 1-60282-040-6 - ISBN 13: 978-1-60282-040-1
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available From: Bold Strokes Books,; and StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 316
Genre: Romance/Intrigue/Historical/Contemporary

Catherine Friend has created another tale set in two centuries. She tells the parallel stories of pirate captain Thomasina Farris and Rebekah Brown in the 18th century and librarian Emma Boyd and private investigator Randi Marx in the present. In the process, the reader learns that there are still pirates among us and treasure lies in where you find it.

Tommy Farris had a reputation as a ruthless pirate in the Caribbean in the early 1700's and left many legends behind her before mysteriously disappearing. As a follow up to an article she did, Emma Boyd is determined to find out what happened to the captain and the fabulous fortune she supposedly stole from a Spanish gold fleet. The treasure has never turned up, but it becomes obvious that Emma isn't the only one who believes in it when she discovers that someone is going to rare book collections and cutting maps out of the books that might tell where Captain Tommy's gold is. Emma feels she is in a race against time with the thief, so she reluctantly accepts the assistance of investigator Randi Marx. As the women chase leads across the country, they discover Tommy Farris was more complex than anyone realized as they turn up evidence of an involvement with someone named R. Brown and tales of a hidden island that only some people can see. Randi Marx proves to be as difficult to know as the captain, but Emma is enjoying that challenge as much as the hunt for Farris, until a terrible betrayal threatens to break her heart forever. Emma learns that pirates come in many forms and capturing the heart of one may be more valuable than gold.

A Pirate's Heart is a combination of mystery and adventure with a little romance thrown in. The story of Thomasina Farris is a classic pirate story with swashbuckling and adventure with Rebekah Brown playing the part of the damsel who is reluctantly saved and then falls in love with the roguish captain. It captures the tone of the time very effectively and creates an interesting contrast with the present. Emma and Randi present more contemporary images, but reflect many of the same emotions and experiences as the earlier couple. The only drawback to the book is the way Friend chooses to alternate the stories from one couple to the other, past to present. Just as the reader is getting involved in one story, the book changes gears and switches to the other. It gives the book the feeling of being a little choppy, but none of the sections are long enough to cause the reader to lose the thread of either story. The format does allow the reader to compare the characters in both stories and see their similarities. Anyone who has read Friend's other historic novels will find this one equally as satisfying.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Accidental Rebels
Author: Kelly Sinclair
ISBN: 9780979412059
Publisher: Blue Feather Books, LTD
Available From: Blue Feather Books,; and StarCrossed Productions,
Pages: 157 - Price: $13.50
Genre: Fiction

Tantona, Texas, is a typical Southern town in 1989. Being gay is highly undesirable, proven by the fact that a local church offers a group to “cure” people of that condition. It’s conservative, Christian and, unknown to most of the town, including the gay people, rampant with homosexuals. A few are out, most are closeted and some haven’t discovered their true natures yet.

Mandy Gabriel is trying very hard to deny her natural tendencies, but she’s losing the battle. Tina Ransom, the town librarian, is scared that someone will discover her true nature and it will cost her the job she loves, but she’s more afraid of the genetic disaster that may be hanging over her. Tina’s fear is nothing compared to the terror of her secret lover Sydney Melson, who is willing to marry a man to protect her teaching job.

Cat and Neil Acuff live in a comfortable marriage, necessitated fifteen years earlier when they tried to prove they weren’t gay by having sex and instead created their son Wesley. Now they are best friends and Cat releases her passion by singing lead for a band in her spare time.

This group and their friends are beginning to feel restless and ready for a change. As they begin to interact, more and more gay people pop up in the town and changes begin to ripple through the community. Maybe some of these people will find the happiness that has been eluding them.

Kelly Sinclair has created a story about people trying to find themselves and where they fit in their community, or if they can. She paints a picture of the prejudices that can exist in a small town community, not just towards homosexuality, but anything that appears to be “different” from the norm. Sinclair may have been too intent on showing how many forces can be at work because she includes a lot of characters. The book is reminiscent of the movie “The Big Chill” in that it introduces a lot of plot lines that are loosely connected by a central theme, but some of them aren’t fully developed. This gives a superficial approach to some of the stories, though the one that eventually includes Cat and Tina makes a good focus for the book. Sinclair can be applauded for trying something different and enough of the stories are left open that a follow-up book might be possible. Accidental Rebels is a quick read and will provide a few hours of entertainment.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Adijan and Her Genie
Author: L-J Baker
ISBN: 9781934452059
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,
Pages: 244
Price: $13.95
Genre: Fantasy





Calling L-J Baker’s books fantasies may be a mistake, because people who don’t like that genre will miss a terrific reading experience if they don’t read her books. Although there’s often an aspect of fairy tales in her stories, at their hearts they are adventure books. Adijan and Her Genie is about a hero on a quest told with a touch of The Arabian Nights.

Adijan is a screw-up. She has big dreams, but everything she does turns out to be a fiasco and often treads on the other side of the law, so she covers her inadequacies with liquor and dwells in poverty. The only correct thing she has done in her life is marrying Shalimar, who she loves desperately, but Shali’s brother is determined to break the union apart and marry her off to someone who can do him some good financially.

One of her trips to deliver questionable goods leaves her in possession of a locket that contains an enchanted woman named Zobeide. Typical for Adijan’s luck, this woman has no magic power at all to create wealth or good fortune and, when she’s out of the locket, she’s arrogant, self-centered and a real pain in the posterior.

When Shali’s brother manages to separate Shali from Adijan and accomplish a fraudulent divorce, Adijan becomes frantic to win her back before she can be shoved into another marriage. Her only hope seems to be to take Zobeide back to her hometown where she can be freed from her enchantment and pay Adijan the reward that will help her overcome her ex-brother-in-law’s plans. The journey is long and complicated but rewarding for Adijan in ways that she did not anticipate. She learns to face some of her own weaknesses and discovers strengths in her character that she didn’t realize she possessed. She also stands as an example of what the power of love can do as an incentive. The only question is if she can complete her journey in time for any of it to ultimately do her and Shalimar any good.

Although Baker never specifically sets this story in the ancient Middle East, anyone who has read the stories of Sinbad that Sailor and Ali Baba will recognize the tone and the surroundings. Though there is the touch of fantasy, one of the strengths of the story is that it seems totally plausible. Many of the escape scenes would fit just as easily into a Mission Impossible setting or Bourne movie.

The greatest strength however is the way Baker deals with character development. Adijan is not a very admirable person when the story begins, but she grows through the story and acquires traits that transform her into a true hero. Zobeide, who is originally totally unlikable, becomes an appealing person as she learns to amend her attitudes and perceptions. The interesting twist is that she learns these lessons from Adijan, a person she starts out totally despising.

At heart, Adijan and Her Genie is an adventure story with plenty of crises, triumphs and near disasters, but it’s also an encouraging lesson in how a person can change, improve and come to live up to her true potential. This is one of those books that can be read to just enjoy a tale, but also has something to teach in the process.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Beautiful Journey
Author: Kenna White
ISBN-10: 1594931283 - ISBN-13: 978-1594931284
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 276
Genre: Romance/Adventure/Lesbian





Beautiful Journey, set in the 1940s in a little hamlet in the UK, lets us peek under the aviator goggles of the woman contributing to the war effort of the time. Lieutenant Kit Anderson is an American who has come to the British Women’s Air Transport for two reasons: to help in the fight and to escape, if only for a little while, a failed relationship back home. She is a poised leader with a very human, caring side, evidenced in her interactions with her crew, the other women pilots of her unit.

Kit’s focus is singular when it comes to her missions, risking her life as she delivers damaged planes for repair and repaired planes to other bases for the men to fly in battle. Although she has no desire to become involved in a relationship, meeting the irascible Emily Mills causes Kit’s poise and resolve to start to falter. Initially, Kit and Emily engage in verbal sparring, but this progresses to a series of sometimes comical, sometimes poignant, entanglements that make us love Kit all the more—and wonder about Emily’s ability to do much of anything without getting into difficulty from which she must be rescued. Eventually, the two women realize that they are being pulled toward one another. Kit fights the attraction, playing the valiant, aloof warrior to Emily’s shy, uncertain maiden.

In the course of the story, Kit takes her life in her hands in the line of duty more than once. When Emily’s life is in danger, Kit doesn’t hesitate to volunteer for a rescue mission. However, the recovery effort becomes a much more harrowing experience than Kit ever imagined.

This tale is full of the flavor of WWII flying aces of the female persuasion. It is peopled with interesting, well-drawn characters that will amuse, excite, and entertain the reader. White has told a story of a little known, under acclaimed part of history—and has told it very well. Beautiful Journey is just that—it lingers in the mind and on the heart long after the account has ended.
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: Best Lesbian Romance, 2009
Edited By: Radclyffe
ISBN 987-1-57344-333-3
Publisher: Cleis Press,
Available From: Cleis Press,
Price: $14.95
Pages: 221
Genre: Romance Anthology

Best Lesbian Romance, 2009 completely lives up to its title. It includes stories by Radclyffe, Jennifer Fulton, Karin Kallmaker, and many other published authors. The stories are beautifully written, with well drawn characters and stories that pique the reader's interest. Radclyffe's “Music on the Wind,” with two mature lovers is a great example: ". . . you should let us play for you, the wind and I. . .fingers over the nipples, scoring the melody, note by note. . . "

Jennifer Fulton sets her story in France at the beginning of World War II. It is a tender story of a young girl's awakening, that ends five years later with a far older and wiser heroine. "I met the love of my life, and there will never be no other." Jennifer's characters are intriguing and brave and make the reader wish for more. From recovering alcoholics to first dates, and set in the sand and the snow, Best Lesbian Romance, 2009's stories are wonderful to read and reread.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Green-eyed Monster
Author: Gill McKnight
ISBN-13: 978-1-50282-042-5
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available From: Bold Strokes Books,; and StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $14.95 - Pages: 185
Genre: Romance

Gill McKnight has given her readers a delightful romp in Green-eyed Monster. A Matinee Romance, this book has it all: a kidnapping, fires, pirates, and the Grand Cayman Islands. The twists and turns of the plot leave the reader turning the pages to see who is the real victim and who is the villain. Along with the roller coaster ride, comes plenty of hot sex to add to the tension. Spending an afternoon with Green-eyed Monster is great fun.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Love’s Redemption
Author: Helen Macpherson
ISBN: 9781935053040
Publisher: Yellow Rose Books
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $16.95 - Pages: 228
Genre: Romance

Jo Ashby is a television star with her program “Where Are They Now?” which features stories about famous people who drop out to create a new direction in their lives. The series is doing very well, but Jo won’t be satisfied until she can do the story that interests her the most. Lauren Wheatley was the most promising amateur on the women’s golf circuit ten years ago when she had an unexpected meltdown in a tournament and disappeared from sight.

Jo locates Lauren serving as the chief guide in a nature park in Tasmania and sets out to find out what happened to someone who everyone thought would end up in the Hall of Fame. Lauren doesn’t want the publicity of the show because she’s got more than one secret that she doesn’t want revealed. She’s very happy living in obscurity and resists Jo in every way she can think of. Some things are inevitable though and, as the women get to know each other and cooperate on some rescue missions of lost hikers, they find there is a mutual attraction.

Jo has to decide if she can compromise her journalistic principles to protect Lauren’s secrets and Lauren has to decide if she can let her barriers down enough to enjoy a relationship with someone who can actually return her feelings. And there is another presence lurking in Lauren’s life that might make everything impossible.

Love’s Redemption is Macpherson’s third published novel. She doesn’t publish her books as quickly as some writers, but she always delivers a solid story when she does. A reader can always expect detailed character development wrapped in a tight and focused story. Macpherson delivers again. This is a lesbian romance, but it steps a shade above the norm.

Lauren Wheatley is an intricate character who draws the reader into her mysteries slowly. Jo Ashby is the type of journalist that most people wish was really on television as she seems to understand that there is a line that should not be crossed when reporting about a person’s private life. The emotions that both of these characters experience radiate off of the pages. Add to that detailed descriptions of a shark hunt underwater, the beauty of the nature park and the dangers of rescuing people lost in snow storms and the result is a rich story.

Macpherson throws in a supernatural storyline that isn’t usual in her books, but fits perfectly here. Waiting three or four years for an author’s next book is worth it when the reader knows she can count on a story that has some quality to it and is enjoyable to read. Love’s Redemption fulfills both qualities.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Rebeccah and the Highwayman
Author: Barbara Davies
ISBN-10: 1934452017 - ISBN-13: 978-1934452011
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $15.95
Pages: 264
Genre: Romance/Adventure/Lesbian

Rebeccah and the Highwayman is one of those thrilling, swashbuckling stories that will keep you turning page after page. Set in England in 1706, when the “hanging tree” was still a part of life and transgressors who were executed became the entertainment of the day, a young woman takes a profession usually reserved for men. The woman’s name is Kate, but she is known to all when she rides out to work, as Blue-eyed Nick.

Rebeccah Dutton comes from a somewhat well-to-do family; however, her own wealth is compromised because her father has decreed that whomever her older sister marries shall inherit the family business. Of course, this gives her sister a long line of men vying for her hand and Rebeccah struggles with impatience with her sometimes difficult and self-centered sibling.

The lives of Rebeccah and Blue-eyed Nick are destined to become entangled and as Rebeccah, her mother, and her sister travel by coach back to their home in London, they are accosted by the highwayman and robbed of their valuables.

From this first encounter, we learn two things: there is an attraction between Nick and Rebeccah, and Nick is no ordinary cutthroat thief. Rather, “he” has principles and ethics, curious qualities in a person who had chosen a profession on the wrong side of the law.

Encounters with low-life abound. We are also given a glimpse into the royal court when a desperate Rebeccah sets about a plan to save the highwayman’s life from the terrible Tyburn prison by making a direct plea to Queen Anne.

Davies gives us stunning descriptions of London life and times. She also gives us some of the more abhorrent imagery of less savory places, rounding out our picture of a fascinating era. The characters are people we grow to be concerned about and we want to root for the success of the good guys and the demise of the bad. There are cliff-hanging details, nail biting moments, and tender scenes of romance and attraction—in short, something for everyone. If you love historical romance and adventure, you’ll love this exciting, well-crafted period tale.
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: State of Denial
Author: Andi Marquette
ISBN: 9781035053095
Publisher: Quest Books
Price: $18.95
Pages: 262
Available From: StarCrossed Productions,
Genre: Mystery

Andi Marquette returns to the US southwest for the setting of her new novel State of Denial and reacquaints her readers with the characters from her previous work Land of Entrapment, but in reverse order. This time Albuquerque police detective Chris Gutierrez takes the lead position and her best friend K.C. Fontero is in the supporting role.

A naked body found in a shallow grave in the desert soon leads Chris and her partner Dale Harper on a search for what appears to be a serial killer and their investigation leads them to a conservative megachurch with a very popular minister who likes to start programs to cure people of being gay. Their efforts to prove who the murderer is has them traveling across the country and trying to tie together the pieces of more than one murder. Although they quickly settle on a suspect, the challenge is to find the evidence to prove what they suspect before anyone else dies.

K.C. becomes invaluable with her knowledge of cults and fanatical groups and the contacts she has to help them uncover information. Chris finds herself dealing with another mystery at the same time. She’s strongly attracted to lawyer Dayna Carson, but she’s not sure of how Dayna feels about her and there seems to be something lurking in Dayna’s past that she doesn’t want to share.

At times Chris doesn’t know which is more frustrating, trying to figure out if she and Dayna can establish a lasting relationship or solving the murders. As Chris draws nearer to closing the case, the danger escalates beyond what she expected and there is a real possibility that she could end up losing everything.

Fans of the old “Columbo” series will enjoy this book. Just as in that show, there is little doubt from almost the beginning as to who the killer probably is, so the meat of the story is in how the two detectives piece the evidence together. Marquette gives a very adept lesson in how detective work, contrary to most stories, isn’t a lot of excitement with sudden revelations of truth, but a painstaking process of spending a lot of time collecting information, interviewing and re-interviewing people, and trying to manipulate suspects into revealing more than they want to. She holds the reader’s attention through the process by including interesting characters who add color to the story.

Marquette also shows that she knows how to use dialogue to reveal insight into what is happening and to explain why the story is developing as it is. At one point, Chris is curious about why an earlier church has not questioned some of Rev. Chaz’s behavior and a witness gives a telling explanation: “The Southern thing to do is to whisper behind your hand over lunch about other people’s personal lives. So I knew that some people knew about me though I wasn’t formally out, and I knew that they didn’t approve, but they were courteous and as long as I didn’t make any big do about it, neither did they. Typical Southern stand-off about skeletons in the closet. Don’t ask, but tell in low voices around the kitchen table.” Anyone who has ever lived in the South will chuckle at how dead-on that description is.

Andi Marquette is proving to be one of the most dependable writers in the lesbian genre. She provides excellent writing, well developed stories and characters who unfold gradually to the reader in a process of discovery. Her characters aren’t one dimensional in their emotions and behavior. State of Denial is thoroughly entertaining and highly recommended for reading.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Taming the Wolff
Author: Del Robertson
ISBN: 978-1-933113-96-8
Publisher: Intaglio Publications,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $16.95 - Pages: 246
Genre: Historical Fiction

Lesbian novels featuring pirates have recently become very popular. Robertson's Taming the Wolff differs from the others in that it is told in two voices. Noble-born Alexis De Vale is abducted, along with her mother and sister, by the notorious pirate, Kris Wolff. Each woman tells her story in alternating chapters. Robertson has an ear for dialogue, and is a skilled at the craft of story telling. She also stays true to the history of the times, with the uneasy truces that were built by England, France and Spain.

Taming the Wolff is an exciting read with many ups and downs, dastardly deeds and villains, and exciting escapes. The story is so good, that the details that are woven in, such as: finding direction from the stars, the derivation of the sailing term "knots,” and the difficulty of physically maintaining the ship, are part of what makes it all seem real. Robertson has done her homework, and the reader comes away with an understanding of life on the high seas.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: The Kiss That Counted
Author: Karin Kallmaker
ISBN-10: 1594931313 - ISBN-13: 978-1594931314
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 256
Genre: Romance/Lesbian

Secrets are the name of the game as this Kallmaker romance opens. Contact with the good-hearted Karita Hanssen leaves CJ wishing for impossible things—friends, roots, a lover who knows her real name.

Karita is busy living a life cheerfully balanced among the things that she loves, giving freely of her time and affection. She isn't looking for anything more until something in CJ's eyes suggests that there could be feelings there—deeper, stronger, and possibly more dangerous than any she has ever felt.

A few casual meetings between the two women fan embers that neither has sought. CJ isn’t into commitment and Karita keeps her distance, not willing to be hurt. Yet these two women can’t help themselves and each must face challenges and make changes in their lives if they are ever to have a chance to build a relationship.

The Kiss that Counted is Kallmaker at her finest—a not to be missed romance. She offers us characters with depth and dimension, along with a rich plot, peppered with an air of mystery to keep the reader turning pages long into the night. Read it to see if CJ will be able to take control of her past and if Karita will ever be able to let down her defenses to allow someone in again. Finally, read it to see if the kiss really counted.
Reviewed by Anna Furtado

Title: The Rainbow Cedar
Author: Gerri Hill
ISBN 978-1-59493-124-6
Publisher: Bella Books,
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $13.95 - Pages: 228
Genre: Romance

What is true love? “Friendship is a necessity. Physical love will only take you so far. True, long-lasting love is not between two people, it’s between two souls” (p. 171-2). Jay Burns has endured an eight-year relationship with Katherine Patton, a woman who has become a virtual stranger to Jay. Whatever love might remain between them is sorely tested on a daily basis. Katherine is completely obsessed with making law partner as she craves money and prestige. Her ambition supersedes all else and she’s rarely home. To make matters worse, Katherine belittles Jay’s interior design profession as merely a “hobby.”

Jay doesn’t realize the extent of her loneliness until a fender-bender results in a chance meeting with Drew Montgomery, whom Jay and her best friend, Audrey Knor, dub, “Dreamy, steamy and creamy” (p. 27).

Drew, the proud owner of a landscaping business, is as refreshing as a cool lake on a hot day. Drew’s presence allows a fragrant, comforting, gentle, and welcome breeze to tempt Jay. But Jay’s commitment to Katherine stands in the way of her getting to know Drew as more than just a friend.

Drew goes home to an empty house and realizes, “Finally, after all these years, she’[s] met the one woman who captivate[s] her, who [holds] her attention, who [makes] her laugh, who [is] bright and intelligent…and who [is] honest and loyal. But loyal to someone else. And honest enough to admit her feelings” (p. 63). The attraction between Jay and Drew goes beyond the physical; their budding friendship flourishes, and their souls call out to each other. Nonetheless, Jay remains loyal, and Drew is respectful of the relationship Jay has with Katherine.

The Rainbow Cedar, like the legend of Okalani and her tree, which Hill describes in lush detail, leaves readers with a lasting impression of lazy days despite personal strife in the tropical paradise of Maui. The breathtaking views from the Haleakala National Park pale compared to the look in Drew’s eyes that consistently mirror Jay’s yearnings. Jay struggles to remain faithful even as lust leaks from every pore. Reason says there is no justification for Jay to stay with Katherine; however, Jay is determined to do the right thing. Will she be able to contain her desires? Is there anything worth salvaging between her and Katherine? Jay sacrificed a lot to be with Katherine, but in the process, she lost some important parts of herself. With Drew, Jay can be herself. She feels she can grow and flourish—and even like herself when she’s with Drew. Doesn’t her soul deserve better than she currently has?

People change; relationships change. Life refuses to unfold as planned. In this romantic journey, Hill does a commendable job in exploring what happens when one love dies and a new one begins. Change is frightening, but it’s exciting, too. Will Jay stay with Katherine out of duty, or will she set herself free to be with Drew? Read The Rainbow Cedar to find out. Hill seduces her readers with plenty of tension as Jay teeters between relation hell and lovers’ paradise.
Reviewed by Cheri Rosenberg

Title: The Trouble with Emily Dickinson
Author: Lyndsey D'Arcangelo
Publisher: Alpha World Press,
ISBN: 9780982104408
Available From: Alpha World Press,
Price: $14.97
Pages: 242 pages
Genre: Young Romance

Josephine (JJ) Jenkins is an excellent student at the private Sampson Academy where she doesn't exactly fit in. She's a secret poet, but also quite obviously a lesbian, which successfully bars her from being one of the "in crowd.” This doesn't concern her until she discovers that she has been assigned to tutor "the" most popular girl on campus Kendal McCarthy, campus beauty, cheerleader, leader of the "in crowd" and straight as an arrow...supposedly.

Kendal is normally a good student, but poetry and how to interpret it are totally beyond her abilities. She'll do anything to pass English, including spending time in the library with JJ. As the two girls work together, they build a friendship and discover they have more in common than either thought possible. Kendal tries to help JJ gain the confidence to overcome her stage fright and bring her poetry into the open, while JJ discovers, to her horror, that she's falling hard for a girl she believes she can never have. Both girls begin to try the patience of their respective friends who can't understand why they want to spend so much time together. Confusion reigns as the girls begin to realize that they are developing more than a friendship and neither of them is sure she can deal with the situation.

The Trouble with Emily Dickinson is a humorous, yet tender, look at young love and the difficulty a teenager has dealing with being so "different" from her peers. Much of what the girls go through will strike familiar chords with women who have already passed through those experiences. It's a coming out story that can hold the attention of older readers as well as young. It has the added bonus of containing a character who keeps the story light when it could bog down in teen angst.

Queenie McBride is JJ's loyal friend and an outrageously out lesbian way beyond her years in experience and attitude. As the heir in an old Virginia family, she delights in driving her parents crazy with her antics and her wild spending sprees. She may seem superficial, but her devotion to JJ is absolute and she is the first to realize that her friend may be setting herself up for a great disappointment. Everyone will wish she had a friend like Queenie.

Stories about teenagers might not appeal to older readers, but they should give this one a chance. If the reader forgets the girls' ages, then The Trouble With Emily Dickinson becomes a story about discovery, friendship and self realization. It only takes a few hours to read it and you might find it's worth it.
Reviewed by Lynne Pierce

Title: Trails Merge
Author: Rachel Spangler
ISBN-13: 978-1-60282-039-5
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available From: Bold Strokes Books,; and StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 233
Genre: Romance

Trails Merge refers to the sign on ski slopes indicating that two trails are going to join. To a beginning or intermediate skier, unsure of her skills, those words can provide heart-stopping moments. Trails Merge could also mean the intersection of two lives. In this case, two women who have been badly wounded by their lovers.

Campbell Carson returned to Bear Run Ski Resort, owned and managed by her family after her lover forced a choice between family or her. Parker Riley left the Chicago Democratic political scene after being betrayed both personally and professionally. She has taken a marketing job at the Bear Run Ski Resort.

The meeting of these two women produces sparks that could melt the snow on the mountain. They are drawn to each other, even as their pasts warn of future pain. The characters are beautifully drawn. Spangler has done her homework and she does a great job describing the day to day workings of a small ski resort. She tells her story with wonderful humor, and gives an accurate voice to each of her characters. Parker Riley's best friend Alexis is as true to the sophisticated "City" girl as Campbell's father is to the country. Trails Merge is a great read that may have you driving to the nearest mountain resort.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Uncross My Heart
Authors: Andrews & Austin
ISBN: 10: 1-60282-045-7
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books,
Available From: Bold Strokes Books,; and StarCrossed Productions,
Price: $15.95 - Pages: 235
Genre: Lesbian Romance

Austin & Andrews never, never disappoint their fans. Their wit and intelligence sing from the pages, while they tell a story which grips their readers. Uncross My Heart is a far cry from a typical "formula" romance.

Alexandra Westbrooke is an Episcopalian priest who teaches at Claridge Seminary. A graduate of U. C. Berkeley, and former campus radical, Alex has come to an uneasy truce with the chancellor of the seminary and her own inner voices.

Vivienne Wilde is a radio talk show host, columnist and author who has written and said scathing comments about the seminary. They meet when Alex is ordered by her chancellor to persuade Vivienne to "cease and desist.”

Austin & Andrews’s novel is extremely timely as our nation grapples with the role of religion in politics and in the voting booth. Alex must confront her own beliefs while she tries to explain them to her students, her father, and the chancellor. While religion plays a major role in this story, the plot is driven by two bright, attractive, and successful women. The diaglogue between these women is delightful. Uncross My Heart is a wonderful read.

As an added gift, Andrews & Austin have provided a "Postscript" which shows how the characters in the Richfield & Rivers series, the Mistress of the Runes, and Uncross My Heart are connected through the archetypes and issues presented. Their explanation is fascinating and adds to the depths of the stories.
Reviewed by RLynne

Title: Who'll Be Dead for Christmas?
Author: Kate Sweeney
ISBN 978-1-935216-00-1
Publisher: Intaglio Publications
Available from: StarCrossed Productions,; and Bella Books,
Price: $16.95 - Pages: 224
Genre: Suspense Thriller

Who'll Be Dead for Christmas? is the fourth book in the Kate Ryan Mystery Series. Kate has moved back into her old neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago. She's purchased a condo in an old, renovated brownstone for a suspiciously low price. Her detective instincts are further raised when she discovers the previous owner, a doctor, was murdered in the unit during a robbery. Kate is even more alarmed when she finds out the doctor worked at University Hospital with Kate’s love interest, Dr. Maggie Winfield.

Sweeney has great dialogue and characterizations. As one of her characters, Matt, says, "Much, much better than Tracy and Hepburn.” She deftly mixes the sinister and the humorous in such a way as to develop a very believable blend of characters. Kate, Maggie, and their neighbors are nicely fleshed out. And, as the plot thickens, so does the sexual tension between Kate and Maggie.

The story line of Who'll Be Dead for Christmas? has elements that are as old as the Second World War and as new as tomorrow's headlines. This is an exciting read that is perfect for a cold winter's night.
Reviewed by RLynne

Our Reviewers
Bios of Authors

Our Reviewers

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

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

Andrews & Austin
Andrews and Austin live in the Midwest where they have a horse ranch. Retired from the Hollywood scene, they have many business ventures to keep them occupied, along with writing and riding.

L-J Baker
L-J Baker lives in New Zealand with her civil spouse, many cats and various other animals. She is the site administrator for the online Lesbian Fiction Forum and L-J is her whole name. Adijan and Her Genie is her third published fantasy novel. You can contact her at her homepage (Google “L-J Baker”) and her email address is

Lyndsey D'Arcangelo
Lyndsey D'Arcangelo was raised in Buffalo, New York, and started writing at a young age. She recently had two stories published in Alyson Books and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

D'Arcangelo is an experienced freelance writer and contributes to Curve and Outcome magazines. The Trouble with Emily Dickinson is her debut novel. She can be contacted at .

Barbara Davies
Barbara Davies was born in Birmingham, England, twenty minutes after her twin sister. She grew up in the Midlands, managed to scrape a BA from York University, worked in computing in Surrey, then moved to Gloucestershire where she’s now a writer and a book reviewer for Starburst.

Barbara published her first short story in 1994. Since then, more than forty of her stories have appeared in various genre magazines, including Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, Khimairal Ink, Neo-Opsis, and nanobison, and in the anthologies Ideomancer Unbound, Crossings, and F/SF Vol. 1.

The readers of Kimota gave one of her stories their 1999 Best Story Award.

Catherine Friend
Catherine Friend is the author of The Spanish Pearl, The Crown of Valencia, A Pirate’s Heart, The Compassionate Carnivore, Hit By a Farm, and The Perfect Nest. She raises sheep in southeastern Minnesota with her partner Melissa and writes fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. They have three dogs, three barn cats, and no TV reception, which means their long winter nights are spent cozied up by the wood stove, reading and drinking wine. It’s a rough life.

Gerri Hill
Gerri Hill began writing lesbian romance as a way to amuse herself while snowed in one winter in the mountains of Colorado, and hasn’t looked back.

Her first published work came in 2000 with One Summer Night. Many more romances have followed, with the occasionaly murder mystery in the mix.

Her awards include the 2007 GCLS winners, Behind the Pine Curtain and The Killing Room, the GCLS finalist Hunter's Way and the Lambda finalist In the Name of the Father.

Gerri’s love of nature and of being outdoors usually makes its way into her stories as her characters often find themselves in beautiful natural settings.

When she isn’t writing, Gerri and her longtime partner, Diane, can be found at their home in East Texas, where their vegetable garden, orchard, and five acres of woods keep them busy. They share their lives with an ever-changing cast of furry friends.

Gerri’s favorite pastimes include camping, hiking, birdwatching (though she insists that she doesn’t wear funny hats yet!), photography, and cooking. She collects things nature offers, like an unusual pinecone, colorful rocks, or an abandoned bird feather. Dawn is her favorite time of day, the moment right before sunrise.

Visit Gerri’s site at

Karin Kallmaker
Karin Kallmaker's lesbian fiction novels include the Goldie and Lammy award-winning 18th & Castro, Just Like That, Maybe Next Time and Sugar and span lesbian romance, lesbian erotica and lesbian science-fiction/fantasy. Translations include Spanish, French, German and Czech.

More than five dozen short stories have appeared in anthologies from publishers like Alyson, Circlet, Cleis, Bold Strokes, Yellow Rose and Haworth.

Her writing career began with the venerable Naiad Press, continues with Bella Books and spans more than two dozen novels in print. In 2008, she joined Bella Books as the press's first Editorial Director.

Helen Macpherson
Helen Macpherson lives with her partner of fifteen years in Canberra, Australia, where she works. She specializes in lecturing and tutoring in a variety of human resource development/management subjects.

She enjoys traveling, reading, writing and bushwalking. She’s an avid sportswoman and competed in soccer and softball when she was younger. Now she is content with usually being a spectator, but does play golf. Her email is

Andi Marquette
Andi Marquette was born in Albuquerque, NM, and grew up in Colorado. She completed a master's in anthropology/ archaeology in 1990 then returned to New Mexico in 1992 to do yet more graduate work (this time in history) and consign herself to being a chile addict.

In 1993 she fell into editing and has been obsessed with words ever since. She completed her doctorate and kept working as an editor in academic publishing until 2004 when she ventured east of the Mississippi and lived in Nashville, TN, for a while. Her western roots pulled her back to Colorado, where she currently keeps busy as a freelance writer and editor.

Her email is and her web site is at

Gill McKnight
Green-eyed Monster is Gill McKnight's second novel. Her first, Falling Star, was also published by Bold Strokes Books. She has contributed short stories to several anthologies, including the award-winning Best Women's Erotica 2008.

Radclyffe has written over thirty novels and multiple anthologies. She is a five-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, a Lammy winner in both romance and erotica, and a recipient of several Goldies from the Golden Crown Literary Society. A retired surgeon, she brings her knowledge of the medical world to many of her novels. Radclyffe is the founder and publisher of Bold Strokes Books. She lives with her partner in upstate New York.

Del Robertson
Del Robertson and her partner live, work, and play in San Antonio, Texas. Taming the Wolff is her first published novel. It is the winner of the 2009 Alice B. Reader Lavender Certificate.

Kelly Sinclair
Kelly Sinclair lives in Temple, Texas, but is a transplant from the South Plains. She has been a reporter, a rock singer-songwriter, and is currently a librarian. One of her poems appeared in the Texas Observer political magazine, and her computer-derived prints are featured in art galleries.
Sinclair has worked with an experimental art-rock ensemble, written country songs for such Texas acts as the Maines Brothers, and sung backup for funk bands and bluegrass performers. In her writing, she follows a similar path of exploring her creative boundaries, writing scripts, plays, and musical song-cycles.

Rachel Spangler
Rachel Spangler and her partner live with their son in western New York State. They enjoy winter sports, travel and their beloved St. Louis Cardinals. Rachel's first book, Learning Curve, was also published by Bold Strokes Books.

Kate Sweeney
Kate Sweeny was born in Chicago and lives in Villa Park, Illinois, where she is an office manager— "no glamour here, folks; it pays the bills."

Humor is deeply embedded in Kate’s DNA. She sincerely hopes you will see this when you read her novels, short stories, and other works.

She was the recipient of the 2007 Golden Crown Literary Society award for Debut Author for her first book in the Kate Ryan mystery series, She Waits. The same book was also nominated for the Lambda Literary Society award for Lesbian Mystery.

Her other books are A Nice Clean Murder, The Trouble With Murder, Away From the Dawn and Residual Moon. She also contributed to an anthology Wild Nights: (Mostly) True Stories of Women Loving Women.

You can visit her web site at or email her at

Kenna White
Kenna White lives in a small town nestled in Southern Missouri where she enjoys writing, making doll house miniatures, and life's simpler pleasures. She and her long-time partner Ann love to travel and Kenna's novels often reflect places they have visited. After living from the Rocky Mountains to New England, she is once again back where faded jeans, bare feet and lazy streams fill her life.