June Magee, R.N. Festival Nurse – Ann McMan, Salem West and Barrett

June MageeIn homage to the pulp fiction of the 50’s, Jane Lawless, Cherry Ames, R.N., and all the fabulous tales from when the world was a simpler place, the terrible trio of Ann McMan, Salem West and Jeanne Barrett Magill have crafted a witty, amusing and cleverly modern tale.

June Magee R.N. is the quintessential 1950’s “perfect woman” – at least on the surface. She appears flawlessly proper and fulfills the ideals of dedicated womanhood, putting her career above all else – followed closely by the appearance of modest perfection. Photographer Roi may be retro in her London Drape Suit, but everything else is bang up to date from her Boi styling to her wordly-wise knowledge of the gay scene. When the pair are sent to Rehoboth Beach FEST for Nurse Magee to do a book reading, all kinds of revelations and escapades ensue.

Ann McManSomehow, throughout a romping Nancy Drew style adventure, June remains a poster girl for a simpler era, while at the same time revealing both a three-dimensional character who becomes increasingly adorable and a complex self aware woman whose past is less perfect than the image she portrays. Add in a charming romance and a gentle whodunit and this book will definitely entertain on a number of levels

Exquisitely written, full of perfectly balanced and clever observation, witty asides and a cast of characters that makes “Birdcage” look tame, “June Magee R.N. – Festival Nurse” is slated to be the first of a series, and I can’t wait for more. I haven’t quite worked out how they managed to juxtapose a character who feels so totally lifted from the 50’s with a modern cast and setting, but it works seamlessly, teasing your mind with the question when the time warp will appear. Quite brilliant.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bedazzled Ink (December 1, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00QHEUE86
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Twist of the Magi – Caren Werlinger

TWIST OF THE MAGIChristmas is not looking very merry for Penny Havers – she won’t be seeing her family for the holidays; she hasn’t had a girlfriend in forever; she can’t get her stories published. When two young women are hired at the shop where she works, Penny begins to think her luck may have changed. Penny is about to learn that, when Christmas works its magic, what you hope for isn’t always what you get.

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An excellent short story that will put you in the Christmas spirit. This is a delightful romance, well written, fully rounded and fleshed out in a very small and sweet package.

Caren Werlinger BiogMs Werlinger always delivers excellent stories. Her works are well written, well considered, well thought out. Her characters are deep and multi-dimensional. Her romance is tender and delicate. And over-all we end up with a gentle but heartwarming tale that thaws the cockles in an almost Dickensian style.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 38 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (Nov 5TH, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PASHS3O
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Seasons Meetings – Amy Dunne

Seasons MeetingsAmy Dunne’s second novel, Season’s Meetings, reinforces the writing skills and storytelling ability we saw in her Goldie winning first novel, Secret Lies. This is a gentler, easier read, without the YA angst and issues of abuse and self-harm, falling solidly into the Traditional Romance category. But that doesn’t detract at all from how good a wordsmith Ms Dunne is.

The characters are engaging, well rounded and three-dimensional. From Angus the snowplow driver to the Celtic witch in the tourist shop, every person you meet will resonate. The main characters invite our empathy and our good will, we want then to make it… even the annoying best friend Beth has redeeming traits.

The plot is a sweet and heartwarming seasonal fair, but filled in with a level of detail that makes it more than just a vehicle for a romance. The journey is well done and the juxtaposition of Holly, the tinsel loving, big family traditionalist with the bah-humbug Scrooge, Catherine, gives Dunne a perfect foil to make Christmas something new and exciting.

amy dunneIntertwined throughout is the theme of family. We see examples from happy global networks and small village life to lost, broken histories that have left a lifetime of pain. Amy Dunne brings them all in to play in the remote Scottish Highlands, and from the mix forges new traditions, and possibly even new families.

KimmyNo review would be complete without mentioning Kimmy, the orphaned cairn terrier who wriggles her way into Catherine’s heart. Full of character, lovingly drawn, she comes close to stealing the show and will definitely endear herself to all the fur-baby loving readers out there.

Thoroughly enjoyable reading, a great Christmas present and a well-done second novel that firmly establishes Amy Dunne as a talent to be watched.

(publisher review copy received)

 

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 15, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PTFPVLY
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Available to pre-order,

out on the 15th December
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L is For – Kiki Archer et al

L is ForA great mixed bag of short stories, from ghosts to erotica, humor to romance.

Contributed by UK lesfic writers the profits are being donated to the charity R U Coming Outl At just over $6 (£4) this is an excellent Christmas present and a great way to support a worthwhile LGBT cause.

Contributors: VG Lee, Suzanne Egerton, Kiki Archer, Deborah Underwood, Angela Peach, Sarah Bolger, Clare Lydon, Crin Claxton, Angela Clerkin, HP Munro, Nic Herriot, Karen Campbell, Frances Gapper, Jade Winters, Tanith Nyx, Andrea Bramhall, Rain McAlistair, Katie Bennett-Hall, Chloe A Marshall

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 193 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: AMAZON (NOVEMBER 26, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00Q9F6Y1Y
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The Job – Jove Belle

The JobThe Job is one of those books you pick up and don’t want to out down, even when you reluctantly come to the end. From the beginning the characters and action adventure plot reach out and capture your mind, heart and imagination.

Sera Warren is an undercover FBI agent trying to use her job with a mobster to dig out information about the domestic terrorist group he is funding. When one of her ‘team’ discovers the truth she finds herself caught in the middle of a cross between a bank robbery and a terrorist bombing. Add in that they are robbing her ex-girlfriends bank, and the pressure to be the perfect super-hero agent who saves the innocent and stops the baddies is overwhelming.

find out more about Jove BelleThis is a fast paced tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The odds are overwhelming and the tools to hand are minimal, but you just will Sera to make it happen. Ms Belle has done an excellent job of keeping us engaged throughout as the baddies continue to show their callous disregard for life.

On top of it all is the bittersweet romantic flashbacks to the college days of Sera and Tara, made for each other and deeply in love but neither strong enough to make a stand. 15 years later and the chemistry is obvious. But realizing the love of your life is now a bank robber may take some getting over.

Well written, cleverly conceived and with wholly engaging characters, this is an excellent read and I sincerely hope it leads to a series of Sera Warren adventures.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 13, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00NWYGIZ2
  Amazon.com
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The Long Weekend – Clare Lydon

The Long WeekendThe Long Weekend is a charming tale of a 20 year reunion between university pals. Ten years on from their last get together we follow the ups and downs of friendships and relationships across the decades. Gone are the 20 something students who could stay up all night drinking table wine from plastic bottles, but the 40 year olds aren’t all quite ready to let go of their youth.

While some have settled into marriage and the consequential issues of monogamy and long-term relationships, others are still looking for fulfillment. Add in a wild child now suffering the effects of depression and the whole group feels the ramifications.

Clare Lydon BioWhether the 3 lesbian couples can survive the weekend forms one of the core questions, as Ms Lydon explores how we deal with infidelity, lies of omission and co-dependency. Even the lone singleton is not immune to the affects of adultery.

The characters are strong, well rounded people we will all recognize, as are the dramas that impact them, from minor squabbles blown out of proportion to the trauma of redundancy and despair. The tale is one of growing pains.. or perhaps that should be lesbi-drama “growing up” pains.

Interesting observations, well drawn, engaging characters and realistic , well-done dialogue made this an enjoyable read. A piquancy of humor and gentle romance lightened the tone and left the sense of a sit-com movie in the making.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 3248 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Custard Books (November 4, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00P9ZET9O
  Amazon.com

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At The Water’s Edge – Harper Bliss

At the waters edgeElla Goodman is recovering from a life changing experience. Filled with regret, self-disappointment and hurt, she retreats to her hometown in Oregon to deal head on with the demons that haunt her and refuse to allow her recovery.

Her stay at the West Water’s Lake Resort gives her hope and space to begin the healing process. Every step in her recovery, though small, is at least in the right direction.

Kay Brody is the manager/owner of the lake resort and wastes no time in building a friendship with Ella, a bond that in difficult times Ella will lean on for support and comfort.

Although the book has a serious message to convey it is, at its heart, a story of love, forgiveness and the possibility of a future.

Having read all the previous stories by Harper Bliss this is totally different. It’s a harder read, an emotional roller-coaster but worth every second. The two main characters are charming and the strong supporting cast add veracity to the tale.

I thought this book was amazing and it was a privilege to read. It joins my all time best top ten titles.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Ladylit Publishing (November 12, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PKD1HX6
  Amazon.com
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Against Doctor’s Orders – Radclyffe

against doctors ordersThe Argyle Community Hospital has been the cornerstone of the sleepy town since it began to grow six generations ago. From that day to the present a Rivers doctor has lead the provision of health care to the residents. Now the board have sold the failing hospital to a national health care provider and the Rivers doctors must brace themselves for a difficult fight.

Harper Rivers was the next in line to step up when her father retired but she isn’t ready to give in and let a health care conglomerate strip bare the town and it’s people of the hospital they desperately need.

In walks Presley Worth, a high-powered corporate financier sent to oversee the closure. Beautiful, smart and commanding, with the ability to remain professional whilst stripping the small community of its only hospital.

Harper and Presley have some battles ahead but the one they didn’t expect to fight is their attraction to each other.

RadclyffeThe book is beautifully written, transporting the reader to a time and a place when community and neighbourly love meant everything. The Rivers family are the heart and soul of the town and Presley Worth the corporate bully sent to destroy them. With brilliant main characters with a wonderful supporting cast, especially the Rivers sisters, you have a book that is impossible to put down.

I absolutely loved this book, you feel you’re part of the community. The characters jump off the page and pull you in. My only question is, when does Flannery Rivers get her story told, because I will be first in line to buy it.
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(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 17, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00OS4WOE4
  Amazon.com

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Unwrap These Presents – Ed. Astrid Ohletz and R.G. Emanuelle

Unwrap these presentsFrom poetry to shorts this anthology will have something for everybody. Tales of self discovery, of romance, of heartbreak and heartwarming. A strong dose of guardian angels with a side order of succubi and a vampire. Travel and snowstorms loom large as you might expect, but often with unexpected outcomes.

Not all the stories have happy endings, several leave us wanting more, and others leave the characters at the beginning of journey rather than the end. But as always our favorite writers have delivered a wide-ranging assortment that will warm the cockles of the most cynical heart.

You will recognize some, others may be new to you – but what better way to get a feel for a new author than a charitable and seasonal tale.

All profits of this anthology will be donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK and the Ali Forney Center in New York City. Both organisations provide housing for homeless LGBTIQ youth. Being a young homeless person at Christmas time must be a terrible experience, driving home quite how cut off and isolated they are. This is an excellent way to help provide housing and support.. all for just $8.

Authors: Andi Marquette, Ashley Stevens, Catherine Lane, Cheri Crystal, Cindy Rizzo, Clare Lydon, Devin Sumarno, Erzabet Bishop, Eve Francis, Fletcher DeLancey, Jae, Jean Copeland, Joan Arling, Jove Belle, L.T. Smith, Lee Lynch, Lois Cloarec Hart, Nikki Busch, Patricia Penn, R.G. Emanuelle, S. M. Harding, T.M. Croke, Wendy Temple

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 385 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing (November 13, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PM993OS
  Amazon.comTo buy the Kindle edition – click here.
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Available on Smashwords HERE

Bright Lights of Summer – Lynn Ames

Bright Lights of SummerBright Lights of Summer is a delightful and nostalgic tale that brings together the love of softball and a sweetheart romance set against the backdrop of the Second World War.

Lynn Ames is the queen of story telling. She takes a setting and brings it alive for the reader. She recreates the mood, the feel – the texture of life in a bygone era for us to relive.

Dix and Frannie are young women in Phoenix, Arizona. We join them in 1940’s when their biggest concern it getting to be softball players for the Phoenix Ramblers alongside their heroes like Dot Wilkinson. When America is thrust into the war by the attack on Pearl Harbor their lives begin to change and we watch the impact of war on families, softball and the women themselves.

Lynn Ames BooksAs always, Lynn Ames has done her homework. There is a wide range of historical background as well as the detail of the softball teams, leagues and games. Every detail fits and there is a core veracity which give the sense of docu-drama rather than fiction.

Throughout it all the growing love story of our heroines carries us along. As Diz unfolds their history from her reminiscences, we re-live their day-to-day dramas tenderly retold and tearfully evoked more than 60 years later. Both the main characters and the wide-ranging cast of family and teammates are beautifully evoked and penned with loving detail.

This would, without a doubt, make an excellent movie to bring into focus the real story of women’s softball history and the difficulties of being ‘queer’ in the 1940’s, while showcasing the love story of two amazing women. A lovely read and undoubtedly another great success to add to the Lynn Ames collection.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • First published: 2014
  • Publisher: Phoenix Rising Press (November 12, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1936429101
  Amazon.com
To buy the Kindle Edition – click here.
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