Monthly Archives: October 2017

Happy Halloween: The Secret of Sleepy Hollow

The Secret of Sleepy Hollow

 

The other week at a local CVS, I noticed racks of Christmas romance paperbacks. I’m not quite ready to turn over all my leaves to winter holiday tales, though. Where oh where can I trick or treat for romances between queer women on All Hallows Eve? When I’m stumped for stories or want recommendations I can count on, I ask the readers at The Lesbian Book Review Book Club, a Facebook group associated with The Lesbian Review review site. I received several great titles for my treat bag, but I knew right away which one I would start with…

The Secret of Sleepy Hollow is a perfect seasonal tale to cozy up with as the days grow shorter, wetter, and colder. You know the feeling that time stops, characters frozen in place until you re-open a book? How easy it feels to to pick up where you left off as though no time has passed at all? This is one of those worlds. Andi Marquette takes the well-known and oft repeated tale of Ichabod Crane and his ill-fate time in Sleepy Hollow, and gives it a modern, lesbian spin. Abby Crane spends Halloween weekend deep in the archives of the local history museum in Sleepy Hollow, investigating her famous ancestor. As she works on her doctoral thesis, she meets Katie, a descendant of Katrina van Tassel, home on holiday from her own studies. Sparks fly immediately as the pair set out to learn what really happened to Ichabod on that fateful night 1799… I had fun reading it, enjoying the chemistry between the two women, the mysterious interplay of waking life and dreams, as well as the search itself 🙂 Maybe someday they’ll make a movie based on this version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!

The Secret of Sleepy Hollow by Andi Marquette
Book Two in Twice Told Tales – Lesbian Retellings
Ylva Publishing, October 2015

You can purchase a copy through Ylva Publishing, Bella Books, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. Join the conversation on Goodreads, too!

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Categories: contemporary, Holiday, lgbt, novella, paranormal, retellings, romance, seasonal, series | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Magical Herstory Tour: Sappho’s Bar and Grill

SBG cover

love history, especially women’s history, especially queer women’s history. Author and professor Bonnie J. Morris blends fiction with her vast experience collecting and writing about history. The result is an immersive, unforgettable journey. As LGBT+ History Month draws to a close (and really, it’s all year round because we’re making it everyday), this is the perfect way to celebrate.

On a cold and lonely Valentine’s Day, Women’s History professor Hannah Stern half jests that women’s history will be her date. Sappho’s is like a queer Cheers for women. Whether or not everyone knows your name yet, it’s a bar where all are welcome. Isabel, friend-owner-barkeep extraordinaire, spreads more than just good cheer with her seemingly magical cocktails. Over the course of the year, Hannah connects with famous women on holidays and special events. All it takes it a touch or a taste to trigger an encounter. She discovers far more about the women she esteems in her lectures and course assignments. 

Sappho’s Bar and Grill is a wonderful treat for readers who enjoy delving into the lives of their foremothers and recognizing the heroines among us today. Hannah’s journey through past and present provides vicarious experiences for those of us who would love just one minute with the women who have impacted our lives. 

Sappho’s Bar and Grill by Bonnie J. Morris
Bywater Books, July 2017
Join the conversation on Goodreads!

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Food for thought:

  1. Who would you visit that isn’t in this book?
  2. What advice would you offer via postcard?
  3. What advice do you wish you had received?
  4. Have you ever been inspired to get a tattoo (like Hannah and her Sappho tattoo)?
  5. Invite three historical women to dinner. Who and why?

 

 

Categories: fantasy, fiction, history, lgbt | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

LGBT+ History Month: Browsing The Ladder

Happy LGBT+ History Month! It’s a great time to be a queer history omnivore, with more and more books, articles, documentaries, and films being produced and made widely available, than in years past. My voracious appetite for queer history has led me down many a rabbit hole. I’ll read a reference or passage about someone or an event and that will lead me to seek out more and more sources. It’s a wonderful, never ending cycle. If you spend any time at all reading about the queer history of the United States, you’ve likely heard about a nonprofit organization called The Daughters of Bilitis. This is just a quick overview of who they were and what they did; hopefully it will pique your curiosity and lead you on an in-depth reading spree (see Further Reading below). 

Founded in 1955 in San Francisco, the Daughters of Bilitis (D.O.B) aimed to provide education for its members, fellow female-identified “variants”/”homophiles” (terms used in lieu of lesbian), and the public. This often happened through public panels, private meetings, social events (picnics, bowling, holiday parties, etc.), and research projects. They also sought to understand laws regulated their personal and public lives and how they might promote positive change in this area. One of the DOB’s primary methods of communicating its purpose and connecting with queer women was through the organizational publication, The Ladder. The magazine ran from 1956 through 1970. Each issue contained informative articles on topics of interest to “variant” women; original fiction and poetry; an events calendar; letters to the editor; book lists; and more.

The Ladderb

The newsletters were promoted in large part by word-of-mouth. Folks passed told their friends about it; and DOB members contacted universities and professional persons (such as lawyers, psychiatrists, authors). In more than one issue, subscribers and potential subscribers were assured, in detail, that their private information would not find its way into the hands of government officials or other entities that might use it for nefarious purposes (or for whatever else, there was no good reason for the subscriber list to be handed over to anyone outside of the newsletter staff). The readership comprised people from all over the country and the world (as evidenced by the letters to the editor) and from cities large and small.

This was my second go round of browsing through back issues of The Ladder. It’s one thing for me to read about it through second, third hand sources, like books, articles, and documentaries. Quite another to read letters to the editor, ads for events, book lists, and short stories. It is not easy to get hold of, so I want to say how much I really appreciate my local public library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department for finding me a copy and a huge thanks for the universities that allowed me to borrow it! 

Further Reading

And of course, what kind of post would this be if I didn’t include a book list (of sorts)? Why, I’d be a real crumb bum 😉

Books

Different Daughters (2007) by Marica M. Gallo, Seal Press

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Comprehensive and compulsively readable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America (1991) by Lillian Faderman, Columbia University Press.

*See pages 148-150, 179, 180, 186, 190-193, 197, 198.

Articles

Bessette, J. (2013). An archive of anecdotes: Raising lesbian consciousness after the Daughters of Bilitis. Rhetoric Society Quarterly43(1), 22-45.

Esterberg, K. G. (1994). From accommodation to liberation: A social movement analysis of lesbians in the homophile movement. Gender & Society8(3), 424-443.

Gorman, P. (1985). The Daughters of Bilitis: a description and analysis of a female homophile social movement organization, 1955-1963 (Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University).

Martin, D., & Lyon, P. (2001). Daughters of Bilitis and the Ladder that Teetered. Journal of lesbian studies5(3), 113-118.

Schultz, G. (2001). Daughters of Bilitis: Literary Genealogy and Lesbian Authenticity. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies7(3), 377-389.

 

Categories: history, lgbt, magazines | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Read with Pride Northwest 2017

The Read with Pride Northwest conference, formerly known as Gay Romance Northwest (GRNW), is only 3 weeks away! It will be held at the Seattle Public Library on Saturday, November 4th from 12 pm to 6 pm. Afterwards, hop uphill to enjoy a multi-author reading event at Gay City, from 7 pm to 10 pm. Registration is required to attend panel sessions, but all are welcome to peruse the books for sale and chat up authors. If you want to pre-funk for the conference, I’ve included a list of the attending authors, as well as a link to their websites and books.

Last year, I attended for the first time, along with a co-worker buddy. And it was amazing! I love romance, and queer romance especially; so having this kind of convergence of kindred spirits and authors so close to home makes me feel super lucky. For the remainder of the month, I’m trying really hard not to buy anymore books, because I know I’m gonna splurge on books and bookish stuff at the SPL’s Friends of the Library store (and there is a coffee shop inside, whuuuuut). This year I’m arriving earlier because that table of freebie books empties out quick! Also, bring any LGBTQIA+ titles that you would like to donate to the library at Gay City. Last year they had a table accepting donations, so I’m pretty sure they will this year, too.

 

Attending Authors

For more information on the attending authors, click HERE.

RWP 2017 authors

Gimme all your lovin’! 

Need even more love in your life? Yeah, I know, me too! Here’s a sample platter to satiate those romance hunger pains until November 4th. Stay tuned for that special moment when the panel sessions are revealed on Read with Pride Northwest‘s website! Cheers 🙂

Love-Between-the-Covers

I know I shared this last year, but it’s still a great romance documentary. Love Between the Covers features numerous writers, including Radclyffe. You can watch it via Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, and Google Play. You can also watch it for free if your library subscribes to Hoopla or has DVD copies available.

 

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Austin Chant and Amanda Jean host a fantastic queer romance podcast, The Hopeless Romantic. Check it out!

Categories: events, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Case of the Not-so-Nice Nurse – audiobook review

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Cherry Aimless and I have at least one thing in common: our admiration of teen super sleuth, Nancy Dre…er, Nancy Clue. Narrator Emily Beresford captures the playful spirit of Mabel Maney’s The Case of the Not-so-Nice Nurse. Originally published in 1991, this tongue-in-cheek combo parody (with a queer twist) of the Nancy Drew mystery series and the nurse-cum amateur-investigator series, Cherry Ames, is even more fun in audio form.

Cherry, a clueless nurse with a heart of gold, is about to take a well-deserved vacation from her job at a busy hospital in Seattle, when chaos erupts. Beresford deftly channels the young woman’s perky helpfulness and oblivious nature, treading a fine line between endearing and annoying. Along the way to California, Cherry picks up a few friends and meets her idol, Nancy Clue. All characters are given distinct vocal profiles. This enhances the humor and increases listener immersion. Together, the women pool their talents and resources to solve the mystery.  

***Book two in the series, The Case of the Good-for-Nothing Girlfriend, follows up on the traumatic backstory of Nancy Clue, her father, and much-beloved housekeeper.***

A Nancy Clue and Cherry Aimless mystery, Book 1
Cleis Press
Length: 7 hours, 2 minutes
Audiobook production: 2012

Available from Amazon/Audible and iTunes.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Categories: audiobooks, humorous, mystery, romance, series | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passing Strange – Bi the way

Books with bisexual main characters are underrepresented in my reading life. It’s one of my goals this year to remedy that, but when I look through the dozens of novels I’ve enjoyed so far this year, a negligible percent are by and/or about bi folks. Last month, though, I stumbled upon a review in Bookmarks magazine…

Image result for passing strange book

Passing Strange is an engrossing story about a circle of queer women in San Francisco, 1940.  The novel opens on an elderly Helen Young, the last surviving member of her group of friends. She leads us through the alleys of Chinatown, on a mission to retrieve an invaluable object. 

The novel then shifts back to 1940, where we meet Emily, (a college drop-out with all the right night moves), Helen (a Japanese-American lawyer who moonlights as a dancer in Chinatown), Haskel (a painter whose chalk strokes bring lurid magazine covers to life), and others. 

Events quickly unfold, flowing organically from one section of the story to the next. Though the novel centers on Haskel and Emily, San Francisco is reflected through the other women’s lives. When shit hits the fan, each woman must draw on their talents and make difficult decisions. 

It’s wonderful tale of friendship, love, place, seasoned with subtle infusions of magic. I couldn’t put it down. Ellen Klages’ vivid depictions of the City by the Bay and the high stakes involved with living queer lives in the 1930s and 1940s, enthralled me from cover to cover.

Categories: fiction, friendship, historical fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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