Monthly Archives: November 2014

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.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

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
To buy the Kindle Edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

Everything – Carole Wolf

Everything Carole Wolfeverything is an epic, monumental and enthralling read. Heart breaking, poignant, moving – a magnificent story of self destruction and redemption.

In her latest novel everything Carole Wolf sets out to tell the chronicle of a family, a band and an addiction. Interwoven is a tale of growing up, a love story, a road trip and all of this based on the highs and lows of a brilliant, creative, self destructive woman. At 548 pages it is huge. But it needs every one of those pages to cover such an ambitious tragedy.

Ms Wolf’s writing is outstanding. It flows off the page and wraps around your senses, recreating time, place, atmosphere and ambiance in an effortless tsunami that drowns out the outside world and subsumes the reader. We are swept up in the lives of Jolán, Rachel, Myla and the inhuman fourth character that impacts all of them in the most dramatic of ways.

The cast is huge, from the core characters of the band, immediate family and friends, to bit players we meet momentarily along the way. They are all drawn with detailed care, forcing their way off the page and into out imaginations so strongly you will remember many well beyond their actual presence. The main players are more than just solid and well rounded; they are so real you feel you know them personally.

It isn’t an easy read. It is a tough story about a woman’s painful decent into hell, and the impact that has on everyone around her. But while it is a tale of secrecy, deceit and despair it is also about redemption, forgiveness, and ultimately the self-sacrifice to ensure the survival of one you love more than yourself. A novel literally of two halves, the first shows us a constructed life that seems whole and complete, but when the layers of socially accepted appearance are pealed back we are left with something raw, bloody and very real.

Hats off to Ms Wolf for a creation that had me enthralled. Despite the obvious ‘decline of a rock and roll band’ plot, it had so many twists and turns, unexpected bumps and intriguing plays, to absorb me completely. It has left me churning with emotions from compassion for those whose lives were so severely impacted to joy for a love that survived everything and admiration for the mind of the woman who created it and her skill to deliver such a work.

Product info:

  • Paperback: 548 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bedazzled Ink (September 25, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00NXF71EC

To buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.