fiction

Review: Blend by Georgia Beers

 

Blend

In vino veritas, or, in this case, “in wine bar truth”. Since the death of her husband a few years ago, Ellen Bradshaw has basically lived at Vineyard, the business they started together in their early retirement. When she suddenly announces plans for a solo vacation, Ellen leaves both her daughter Piper and the wine bar’s general manager, Lindsay Kent, in charge. It’s an antagonizing arrangement that starts off sour grapes, but matures into a compulsively readable blend.

Enter “Corporate Barbie” or “Princess Elsa”, two of the nicknames whispered behind Piper’s back. Managing people and productivity as a VP at a tech company are tasks at which she excels. Dealing with painful memories and discomfiting emotions? Not so much. On the other half of the equation is the laid-back, but equally hardworking Lindsay strives to transform the wine bar that turned her life around.  Rocket, her lovable yellow lab and a small group of friends complete her good-enough-for-now life. Romance? Well, that’s just something that Lindsay’s stuffed away in a drawer full of mismatched socks.

As the women spend increasing amounts of time together at the bar and other locales around Black Cherry Lake, they find it impossible to remain at loggerheads. The supporting cast of family, friends, and co-workers deserve major kudos. This contemporary romance shows that sometimes it takes a village to bring two people together. Piper’s frosty demeanor gives way under the warmth of her friend Matthew (a wonderful bear of a kindergarten teacher), Edgar (her mustachioed cat named for Edgar Allen Poe), and older sister Gina. We all need people who love us, warts and all, and aren’t afraid to call us on our shit.

Author Georgia Beers delivers another satisfying contemporary romance, full of humor, delicious aggravation, and a home for the heart at the end of the emotional journey.

Blend by Georgia Beers
Bold Strokes Books, April 2018
Join the conversation on Goodreads!

*Netgalley review copy

 

 

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Categories: contemporary, fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Golden Crown Literary Society 2018 Award Finalists

For the past 14 years, the Golden Crown Literary Society has hosted “The Goldies”, literary awards for lesbian literature in sixteen genres and five special categories. Winners will be announced on July 7th at the awards ceremony in Las Vegas. I’m excited to see so many novels that I’ve enjoyed (as well many more piled atop my TBR shelf) over the past year appear as finalists.

For more information on how books are nominated and considered, head on over to Golden Crown’s website. Click on any title below to learn more about each nominee.

Genre Categories

 

 Anthology/Collections (Fiction)

 

 


Conference Call
, Ann Roberts (ed.), Bella Books

Our Happy Hours, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars, S. Renee Bess and Lee Lynch (Story Collectors), Flashpoint Publications

 

Combined Non-Fiction

 

 


Fried & Convicted: Rehoboth Beach Uncorked
 by Fay Jacobs, Bywater Books

Grief Map by Sarah Hahn Campbell, Brain Mill Press

 

 Contemporary Romance (Short Novels)

 

 


Bait and Switch
 by Blythe H. Warren, Bella Books

Echo Point by Virginia Hale, Bella Books
Fake it till You Make It by M. Ullrich, Bold Strokes Books
Forget Me Not by Kris Bryant, Bold Strokes Books
Highland Fling by Anna Larner, Bold Strokes Books
Pausing by Renee Mackenzie, Affinity Rainbow Publications
Unbridled by Fox Brison, Bold Fox Publishing
Unexpected by Jenny Frame, Bold Strokes Books

 

Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length Novels)

 

 


Ask, Tell
 by E. J. Noyes, Bella Books

The Butterfly Whisperer by Lisa Moreau, Bold Strokes Books
Delay of Game by Tracey Richardson, Bella Books
Love After Hours: A Rivers Community Romance by Radclyffe, Bold Strokes Books
Nantucket Rose by CF Frizzell, Bold Strokes Books
Night Voice by CF Frizzell, Bold Strokes Books
Right Here, Right Now by Georgia Beers, Bold Strokes Books
Sidebar by Carsen Taite, Bold Strokes Books
What Matters Most by Georgia Beers, Brisk Press
Wishing on a Dream by Julie Cannon, Bold Strokes Books

 

Contemporary Romance (Long Novels)

 

 


Casting Lacey
 by Elle Spencer, Self-Published

Crescent City Confidential by Aurora Rey, Bold Strokes Books
Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler, Bywater Books
Perfect Rhythm by Jae, Ylva Publishing
Rock and a Hard Place by Andrea Bramhall, Ylva Publishing
The Secret Pond by Gerri Hill, Bella Books
Vacationland by Susan X Meagher, Brisk Press
Who’d Have Thought by G Benson, Ylva Publishing
 

Debut Novel

 

 


Bend
 by Nancy J. Hedin, Anglerfish Press an imprint of Riptide Publishing

Falling into Her by Erin Zak, Bold Strokes Books
Frame by Frame by CJ Murphy, Desert Palm Press
Just Beyond the Shining River by Lynnette Beers, Regal Crest Enterprises
Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu, Soho Press
The Road to Wings by Julie Tizard, Bold Strokes Books
The Square Donut by Lauren Crane, Backyard Bird Publishing
The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, Tor/Forge Books
The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen, Cougar Creek Books
 

Erotica

 

 


Her Best Friend’s
 Sister
by Meghan O’Brien, Bold Strokes Books

Party Favors by Jaime Clevenger, Bella Books
This Foreign Affair by Harper Bliss, Ladylit Publishing
 

General Fiction

 

 


Bend
 by Nancy J. Hedin, Anglerfish Press an imprint of Riptide Publishing

Bitterroot Queen by Jove Belle, Dirt Road Books
Changing Perspectives by Jen Silver, Affinity Rainbow Publications
Goldenrod by Ann McMan, Bywater Books
The Price of Cash by Ashley Bartlett, Bold Strokes Books
 

Historical Fiction

 

The Ada Decades by Paula Martinac, Bywater Books
Crossing the Wide Forever by Missouri Vaun, Bold Strokes Books
The Sniper’s Kiss by Justine Saracen, Bold Strokes Books
The Winter Loon by Lori Henriksen, Cougar Creek Books

 
Mystery/Thriller

 

 

A Quiet Death by Cari Hunter, Bold Strokes Books
Forsaken Trust: A Luce Hansen Thriller by Meredith Doench, Bold Strokes Books
Genuine Gold by Ann Aptaker, Bold Strokes Books
The Girl on the Edge of Summer by J. M. Redmann, Bold Strokes Books
Lethal Care by Claire McNab with Katherine V. Forrest, Bella Books       
Taken In by Erica Abbott, Bella Books
 

Paranormal/Horror

 

 

Five Moons Rising by Lise MacTague, Bella Books
Little Dip – Garoul Series Book V by Gill McKnight, Dirt Road Books

 
Poetry

 

 

The Girls with Stone Faces by Arleen Paré, Brick Books
Hanging on Our Own Bones by Judy Grahn, Arktoi Books
Walking Through Turquoise by Laurie MacFayden, Frontenac House Ltd.

 
Romantic Suspense/Intrigue


A More Perfect Union
 by Carsen Taite, Bold Strokes Books

Heart Stop by Radclyffe, Bold Strokes Books
Into Thin Air by Jeannie Levig, Bold Strokes Books
Letter of the Law by Carsen Taite, Bold Strokes Books
Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D, Bold Strokes Books
Mine to Keep by Wendy Hudson, Ylva Publishing
Moment of Weakness by KG MacGregor, Bella Books
The Road to Wings by Julie Tizard, Bold Strokes Books
The Scholarship by Jaime Maddox, Bold Strokes Books
 

Science Fiction/Fantasy


Ardulum: Second
 Don
by J.S. Fields, Ninestar Press

The End by Roselle Graskey and Cheyne Curry, Bossy Pants Books
Erased by Robbi McCoy, Bella Books
Fury’s Choice by Brey Willows, Bold Strokes Books
House of Fate by Barbara Ann Wright, Bold Strokes Books
Phoenix Rising by Rebecca Harwell, Bold Strokes Books
Seoul Circuit by Tamara Boyens, Supposed Crimes
Shattered by Lee Winter, Ylva Publishing
Spark by Catherine Friend, Bold Strokes Books

 

Young Adult


Girls Like Me
 by Nina Packebush, Bedazzled Ink Publishing

Sovereign by April Daniels, Diversion Books
The Square Donut by Lauren Crane, Backyard Bird Publishing

 

Special Categories

 

Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award

 

An Outsider Inside by R.J. Samuel, Self-Published
Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler, Bywater Books
Goldenrod by Ann McMan, Bywater Books
Our Happy Hours, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars, S. Renee Bess and Lee Lynch (Story Collectors), Flashpoint Publications
Perfect Rhythm by Jae, Ylva Publishing
Right Here, Right Now by Georgia Beers, Bold Strokes Books
Sappho’s Bar and Grill by Bonnie J. Morris, Bywater Books
Strawberry Summer by Melissa Brayden, Bold Strokes Books
Time’s Rainbow: Writing Ourselves Back into American History, Lori L. Lake & Christopher Hawthorne Moss (eds.), Launch Point Press

Directors’ Award – TBD

Lee Lynch Classic Award – TBD

Tee Corine Award for Outstanding Cover Art


The Ada Decades, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
An Outsider Inside, Ann McMan, Treehouse Studio, Self-Published
Buried Heart, Melody Pond, Bold Strokes Books
Close to Home, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
Edge of Glory, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
Goldenrod, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
On a LARP, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Bywater Books
Our Happy Hours, LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars, Ann McMan, TreeHouse Studio, Flashpoint Publications

Trailblazer Award – TBD
 

Categories: anthology, awards, contemporary, erotica, fantasy, fiction, history, lgbt, lists, literary fiction, mystery, paranormal, poetry, romance, science fiction, short stories, sports, suspense, thriller, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2018 Winter Olympics: A booklist

Urban_exécutant_un_saut

Public Domain. Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, EI-13 (67)

The drama for Winter Olympics bronze-silver-and-gold glory will unfold in PyeongChang, South Korea. Every four years ice skating, skiing, curling, and snowboarding, and other ice and snow-based sports receive maximum exposure via television, radio, and internet platforms. Audiences around the world can thrill to speed skating and women’s hockey, and kids can imitate the intricate, powerful moves of ice skaters (like I did in my socks around the kitchen). Growing up, the Winter Olympics were my primary exposure to sports that I could never hope to play. For many of the countries competing, it is reflective of who can afford to train with equipment and facilities that far exceed a pair of sneakers and an open road.

I’ve gathered up a handful of books that center on the high stakes Olympic drama, as well as stories that feature winter sports, but don’t take place during the Olympics. I’ll continue to add books through the 25th. Please share any related books in the comments below! Let the games begin!

Olympics

Edge of Glory (2017) by Rachel Spangler
Delay of Game (2017) by Tracey Richardson
Fire on Ice (2018) by Jea Hawkins

Winter Sports (non-Olympics)

Rebirth (2017) by CS Patra
Castles in Flames and Ice, Book 1

Categories: booklist, fiction, lgbt, sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Girls from Alcyone – audiobook review

Image result for the girls of alcyone audiobook

The Girls from Alcyone, book one in Cary Caffrey’s trilogy of the same name and performed by Kristin James, is a science fiction thriller set in a 24th century universe. The divide between the haves and have-nots has turned into a gaping chasm. Young girls are purchased by the large Kimura Corporation from cash strapped families at a young age and shipped off to an experimental training facility. They undergo years of extensive physical and mental training, as well as surgical & biochemical enhancements, to become lethal assassins for hire. Before the first class can graduate, however, an outside group attacks. 

Sigrid, small and oft picked on by the other girls, develops a tough skin and undaunted determination to complete her training. Suko, respected and liked by her classmates, stands up for the diminutive girl. The two girls grow close and eventually fall in love. When their training at the Kimura operated academy is completed, they are employed by different clients. The mysterious enemy from their academy days isn’t far behind, however, and even the most badass assassin cannot handle it all alone… James delivers a great overall performance. conveying the high stakes and complex emotional territory. I have one minor quibble. Even though her New Zealand accent leaves something to be desired, she performs Suko with the same energy and passion as she does the rest of the narrative and characters. It’s an exciting, well-performed tale of intrigue set in outer space. If you enjoy mystery, Sci-Fi, tough heroines, and a dash of romance, this story is for you!

The Girls from Alcyone (2016) by Cary Caffrey
Series: The Girls from Alcyone, Book 1
Narrated by Kristin James
Length: 10 hours, 36 minutes
ASIN: B01DFAGTRY

Available as an audiobook from Amazon/Audible.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Categories: audiobooks, fantasy, fiction, friendship, lgbt, romance, science fiction, series | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AudioFile Magazine’s Best of Fiction 2017

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Every year, AudioFile Magazine reviews countless audiobooks and distills them into a “Best Fiction of 2017” list. Does it seem like a Sisyphean task, especially when every week more books are released? Maybe. Yet, here they are with a “stocking” full of audio treats that you can listen to and share with family, friends, co-workers, the barista at your favorite coffee shop… You can read reviews of this year’s best fiction by clicking on the book titles below. Check out other category lists on the AudioFile eZine!

On Omnivore Bibliosaur I write about queer works, however I also contribute audiobook reviews to AudioFile Magazine. Since June, I have listened to a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books for teens and adults. I did not, however, review any of the “Best of Fiction” titles listed below. If you have any favorites that did not make this list, I would love to hear about them in the comment section below! I’m also interested in what you think should appear on a 2017 “best of queer fiction” featuring female protagonists. Happy listening!

 

THE ESSEX SERPENT by Sarah Perry, read by Juanita McMahon
*Listen to a preview on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 ANNE BOLEYN: A KING’S OBSESSION by Alison Weir, read by Rosalyn Landor
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman, read by Marin Ireland
*Listen to a preview on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

 

FIVE-CARAT SOUL by James McBride, read by Arthur Morey, Nile Bullock, Prentice Onayemi, Dominic Hoffman
*Listen to a preview on AudioFile’s SoundCloud!
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

FOREST DARK by Nicole Krauss, read by Gabra Zackman
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

THE GOLDEN HOUSE by Salman Rushdie, read by Vikas Adam
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

ISADORA by Amelia Gray, read by Jen Tullock
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders, read by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and a Full Cast
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

MANHATTAN BEACH by Jennifer Egan, read by Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Lind, Vincent Piazza
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

THE REASON YOU’RE ALIVE by Matthew Quick, read by R.C. Bray
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

REFUGE by Dina Nayeri, read by Mozhan Marno, Youssif Kamal
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

THE RULES OF MAGIC by Alice Hoffman, read by Marin Ireland
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

SING, UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward, read by Kelvin Harrison Jr., Rutina Wesley, Chris Chalk
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

TRAJECTORY by Richard Russo, read by Amanda Carlin, Arthur Morey, Fred Sanders, Mark Bramhall
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

WHITE TEARS by Hari Kunzru, read by Lincoln Hoppe, Danny Campbell, Dominic Hoffman
Join the conversation on Goodreads! Available for purchase from Amazon/Audible and other retailers. Check your local public library for availability.

 

 

Exclusive Narrator Videos on YouTube

Curious about what it’s like behind the microphone? Narrators Vikas Adam and R.C Bray discuss their experiences working on The Golden House and The Reason You’re Alive, respectively.

Categories: audiobooks, booklist, fiction, lists | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Romance 2017

 

Happy holidays everyone! I’m in the midst of creating stocking stuffers full of winter seasonal cheer. Today I’m sharing holiday romances that will keep you warm as we stroll towards the Winter Solstice and indulge in festivities with loved ones, colleagues, and ourselves. Although I’m posting this now, it is by no means finished. I’ll try to add more books (published within the last five years) to future lists as I discover them. Until then, happy listening!

As always, I would love to hear about holiday romances that you’ve enjoyed! Please share them in the comment section below!

 

That Old Emerald Mountain Magic: A Christmas/Holiday (2017) by Cara Malone
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“Carmen hasn’t had snow on Christmas in ten years. Her family has grown accustomed to beaches and extravagant tropical vacations, but she still remembers the snow in Massachusetts when she was a kid. When her dad decides to book a cabin in the idyllic, snow-capped mountains of Colorado for Christmas, the rest of the family is skeptical – why trade palm trees and warm weather for a snowbound ski resort? Carmen’s in the same ‘bah humbug’ mood until she meets the impossibly optimistic, endlessly intriguing Joy and their worlds collide – quite literally – on the slopes. Joy has lived her whole life on Emerald Mountain and watched a lot of people come and go through the resort town. She has learned to expect a certain amount of impermanence here, but Carmen makes her hope for more than just a vacation romance. Can Joy help Carmen and her family rediscover the true spirit of Christmas?”  via Amazon


Eitan’s Chord: A Lesbian Fairy Trio for Chanukah
by Shira Glassman
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“Fairy magic requires fairy intimacy, so when the three Chanukah fairies—cute butch Latke, enthusiastic party girl Dreidl, and their elegant leader Menorah—decide to help an impoverished young couple, a fairy romp is in order! Eitan, a trans man, and his cis wife Abigail work retail and live on love in a studio apartment with broken blinds. If only Abigail’s beaded jewelry would sell online, they’d have a little more cash, but nobody’s biting. While they sleep, the fairies bring the miracle they’re looking for. This story features spicy behavior and is not for children.” via Amazon

 

A Christmas for Carol (2017) by Emily Sharp
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“A modern spin on a beloved Christmas classic. After the passing of her best friend, Jacqueline Marley, Elizabeth Scrooge heads up the powerhouse financial firm of Marley and Scrooge. Bitter and angry, love is the furthest thing from her mind. But then she hires a new employee. Carol Cratchit is looking forward to her new job as the personal secretary to Ms. Scrooge. Despite the simmering sexual tension which heats up between them both, Carol couldn’t ever imagine being with someone so cold and heartless. When Scrooge hires Carol to help her with a personal issue outside of work, Carol reluctantly agrees. But with each meeting, Carol begins to see past the hard exterior and sees something inside of Elizabeth that she has been longing for. For a miracle to happen this Christmas, and give the Happily Ever After both need, Elizabeth and Carol have to look into the past, focus on the present, and find the magic they both need for the future.” via Amazon

 

Winter’s Solace (2017) by Magnolia Robbins
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Katlynn Walker thought she had it all: a dream job in Silicon Valley. A beautiful California beach house. The love of her life. But her world crumbled beneath her feet the moment she found her best friend in bed with her fiancé. Desperate to escape her harsh new realities, Katlynn flees to her Massachusetts hometown of Wellesley, to spend Christmas at her sister’s cottage. Finding a new love was the last thing on her agenda, but when Katlynn reconnects with an old friend, everything she thought she knew about herself and her future is called into question. Iris’ life changed the minute her mother got sick. With her quiet, cozy world in Wellesley suddenly turned upside-down, there’s no room for more complications — especially not the resurgence of a college crush she thought she’d put out of her mind long ago. But when she finds herself spending the holidays next door to her old classmate Katlynn, Iris can’t ignore the chemistry between them. As the two women navigate their separate heartaches, will they crack under the pressures of life around them? Or can their new bond save them both? via Amazon

 

Snow Globe (2013) by Georgia Beers
Brisk Press
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“Mackenzie Campbell has no idea her life is about to fall apart. She’s bright and attractive with a good job, a comfortable home and an impending Christmas wedding she’s been planning for months. So when her girlfriend bails less than two weeks before the nuptials, Kenzie’s picture perfect Christmas world is turned upside down. Determined to hold on to at least some shred of her dignity, Kenzie snags her best friend, Allison, and flees the cold of the Northeast to take the honeymoon anyway. The Rainbow’s Edge is an enormous LGBT resort in Southern Florida, and its atmosphere of sun and fun seems to be just what Kenzie needs to help take her mind off of her lost relationship. But can a few hot dances, a mysterious suitor, and a handful of rum runners help her figure out what it is she really wants?” via georgiabeers.com

 

A Holloway Holiday (2016) by Voss Porter
Dark Hollows Press
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“Under the stress of the holidays, can Cara Spencer and Dre hold it together? Or do they need a little Holloway Holiday magic? At the behest of her brothers, Cara Spencer Holloway picks up the mantle of holiday entertaining, left behind in the wake of her parents’ untimely death, but now she’s beginning to second-guess her every decision. What if she can’t measure up to the memories? What if her brothers don’t think she’s good enough? And why in the world has her partner, Dre Martin, been acting so strangely? Join the Holloway clan as they realize all they truly need is a little holiday magic!” via Amazon

 

Mistletoe Mishap (2017) by Siri Caldwell
Brussels Sprout Press
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“Ready…set…yes! It seems like a simple challenge: who can make the other person take the Lord’s name in vain the loudest and the most often with the least clothes on before Christmas. With only twelve days to prove that all those years together do not mean she’s forgotten how to goad the love of her life into unbuttoning her own blouse, Kendra has no time to waste. If only Viv played fair… Will mental arithmetic, a little too much coffee, and mistletoe threaded through belt loops help two science professors laugh and love their way through the holidays?” via Amazon

Christmas Cakes (2017) by Anne Hagan
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When Hannah Yoder left the Amish order at 17, she didn’t know what life had in store for her. She just knew she wanted to be free to be herself. Four years later, with the support of a loving family of choice, an adopted son entering full-on toddlerhood and a new bakery starting to do well, she felt like she had almost everything. Almost. After a previous relationship fizzled out over different life goals, she decided to focus on her son, her business and completing culinary school before she gave any more thought to finding someone new to share her life with. Morgan Barber has secrets. She hopes culinary school will be her ticket out of the life she hides from the world; a life she wants so desperately to leave behind. With her home life a constant nightmare, a career in chef’s whites seems like a beautiful dream. She doesn’t dare dream of anything beyond that for herself. Assigned to work on a Christmas cake baking project together, the two young women are reluctant at first but then they begin to form a bond. Just when Hannah thinks she may have found a spark of the one thing missing in her life; that maybe she can have a relationship with Morgan, the other woman draws away and contemplates changing course entirely.

Categories: booklist, contemporary, fantasy, fiction, Holiday, novella, romance, seasonal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Right Kind of Wrong – audiobook review

right kind of wrong

 

Narrator Paige McKinney infuses BFFs Quinn Burke and Grace Everett’s friends to lovers dilemma with all of the baggage of their twenty years together. Her warm performance reflects the mostly sure and satisfied women’s personalities, a blend of confusion and determination mixed in. When the two women first met, co-working at a grocery store, Grace was more interested in having at least one close friend than in having yet another girlfriend. Life has reached a phase, however, in which Grace is looking to settle down with a woman who meets at least some of her standards, someone in the ballpark of “good enough”. Besides a satisfying job owning and operating a bookstore, great friends, and loving grandparents, she doesn’t want for much. Quinn, for her part, enjoys tending bar, Sunday brunch with her mother and Grace, and, for the time being, avoiding potential heartbreak. The women’s relationship is a slow burn romance that neither wants to acknowledge. After all, doesn’t every pair of bosom buddies complete each other’s sentences? When Quinn’s mother suffers a major heart attack, it acts as the catalyst for resolving bad blood and buried desire.

The cast of family, friends, and lovers, is wonderfully portrayed. Beth, Quinn’s homophobic older sister comes across as extreme and ridiculous in her prejudices through McKinney’s narration. Through raised pitch and clipped haughtiness, McKinney leaves listeners with no doubts as to who Beth thinks has the moral high ground in the family. Meg, the other estranged sister, is voiced in softer tones as her relationship with her younger sisters, Quinn and Callie, evolves. And Callie, the baby of the family, says what she means and means what she says, the lack of hesitation and fierceness of her love reflected in her the narrator’s tone and pacing. Family, whether it is the one that the characters are born into or the ones they make over a lifetime, is everywhere and everything in this story. 

The Right Kind of Wrong is a pleasurably frustrating, comfy, and relatable romantic journey between two longtime friends. It’s a great production, one which I hope you’ll enjoy, too.

The Right Kind of Wrong (2017) by PJ Trebelhorn
Bold Strokes Books
Length: 6 hours, 49 minutes
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Categories: audiobooks, contemporary, fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Fiction for Foodies

I’m thankful for a million people, places, and things, but when it comes to the holidays food is always my main squeeze. Feel awkward? Family overload? No football game? There’s always a comforting smorgasbord of delicious savory and sweet baked goods waiting on stand-by (I love you olives, rolls, and pumpkin pie!).

What butter….er…better booklist could I share than one in which food plays an integral role in the story? If you have some tasty reading recommendations, please share them in the comment section below 🙂

 

Perfect Pairing

Perfect Pairing (Bywater Books, 2016) by Rachel Spangler
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Big business & food truck dynamo clash over delivery, but find themselves sandwiched together.

 

a little bit of spice starting from scratch

Starting from Scratch (Brisk Press, 2010) by Georgia Beers
An oven full of cookies leads a graphic designer where she least expects.

A Little Bit of Spice (Brisk Press, 2015) by Georgia Beers
Sales manager for a family brewery tries for a supermarket sweep of a regional chain.
Join the conversations on Goodreads! (1) (2)

 

Chef Cute Girl give me some sugar

Chef Cutegirl (2016) by Nicolette Dane
The competition heats up between two reality cooking show contestants in “Chef Cutegirl”

Give Me Some Sugar (2017) by Nicolette Dane
Struggling bakery owner & business consultant try to salvage the crumbs in “Give Me Some Sugar”.
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(1) (2)

 

confucius jane katie lynch cover

Confucius Jane (Forge Books, 2016) by Katie Lynch
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Romance blooms over noodles and fortune cookies in New York City’s Chinatown.

 

the roundabout gerri hill

The Roundabout (Bella Books, 2016) by Gerri Hill
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Parking spaces and lovelorn denizens of a queer community conspire for some faux-mance between a new business owner and popular restaurateur.

 

all you can eat order up

All You Can Eat (2014) & Order Up (2016) from Ylva Publishing
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Collections of salty, sweet stories for insatiable readers.

 

side order of love

Side Order of Love (Bella Books, 2009) by Tracey Richardson
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Cooking superstar caters a golf tournament. Can love compete with a missed vacation?

 

Half Baked by Edie Bryant

Half Baked (2017) by Edie Bryant
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Could this be an Imagine Me & You situation, but with cake? 

 

chef special

Chef’s Special (Brisk Press, 2016) by Susan X. Meagher
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Can dreams withstand the heat of a professional grade kitchen?

 

Taste

Taste (Bold Strokes Books, 2016) by Kris Bryant
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Can a romance between a culinary instructor and student last longer than forty-five minutes, 375 degrees? Will their shared ingredients bind them or separate as the course cooks?

 

sugar

Sugar (Bella Books, 2004) by Karin Kallmaker
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Will the bake-off pay off, for both heart and wallet?

 

first course ja armstrong

First Course (2017) by J.A. Armstrong
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Business and pleasure go on a date at this fledgling restaurant.

Categories: contemporary, fiction, lgbt | 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
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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

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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