New Book Reviewer

Dear All -

I am delighted to announce that M. E. Carter has joined the team here at Kissed By Venus as our new Book Reviewer. Monica will be bringing us a broad range of reviews covering both general lesbian fiction and literature, as well as more on the authors and fiction featuring not just lesbian, but straight and queer characters as well.

Look out for these, and more, in our REVIEW section here at Kissed By Venus.

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you!

The Editor

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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Hunter’s Way

Title: HUNTER’S WAY
Author: Gerri Hill
Publisher: Bella Books
ISBN: 1-59493-018-X
Rated: 4 Stars
Genre: Romance/Suspence

Homicide detective Tori Hunter was used to doing things her way. But even after having six different partners in seven years, Tori isn’t prepared when she’s forced to team up with the hot-tempered Samantha Kennedy.

Samantha, on the other hand, is trying to juggle a new job, a demanding boyfriend, and now finds herself with an even greater challenge—being partnered with the most difficult detective in the entire squad.

After a brief terrorist scare disrupts their serial killer investigation, the two women find themselves growing closer. Samantha begins to question the relationship with her longtime boyfriend, and Tori, never one to allow anyone to get close, begins to feel her defenses slipping in Sam’s presence.

A serial killer and drug deals gone bad; the two detectives struggle with their feelings, trying to maintain their professional relationship while keeping their nearly flammable physical relationship in check.

Hunter’s Way, a thoroughly engrossing read, hit all the right notes for me. The quality of writing is above average, as is the mystery/crime plotline, which is handled well giving us enough twists and turns along the way and, happily, the book is populated by a cast of fairly believable characters who don’t hover too close to the usual stereotypes.

If I had to put my finger on the pulse of what makes this one work, for me, I would say it was because the story’s titled protagonists, Hunter, is this wonderfully flawed, all-too human cop with a past that illumines her from within. Add to that mixture, Samantha Kennedy, and her complicated unravelling life, you have two characters that slowly find they have chemistry, giving life to—at times—a deliciously erotic love-story that finally finds fruition in the end.

I’m not usually fond of the straight girl suddenly finds she’s gay scenario, but this one worked. Why? Simply put, author Gerri Hill’s deft handling of material and storyline.

Hunter’s Way is now firmly fixed as one of my favourite reads. Put it on your must read list as well.

REVIEWED BY ALEXANDRA WOLFE

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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One Degree Of Separation

Title: ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION
Author: Karin Kallmaker
Publisher: Bella Books
ISBN: 1-931513-30-9
Rated: 2.5 Stars
Genre: Romance

Marian Pardoo, Reference Librarian for the Iowa City Public Library, would be happy if the woman she’s loved for years wasn’t already married. Completely annoyed by the thoughtless out-of-towner Liddy, Marian isn’t prepared for the seething passion that erupts when Liddy careens into her meticulously controlled life.

Liddy has run two thousand miles from a devastating love affair. Now the idea of spending the sweltering summer watching the corn grow is driving her mad. Finding herself lusting after Marian the Librarian seems like yet another cosmic jest at her hopeless love life. The only thing that keeps her sane is the coffee.

In a town where everybody knows your name…along with the names of your exes, your pets, and your third grade teacher…Marian is thankful that at least she and Liddy don’t have an ex-girlfriend in common.

It’s sad to say but this book only makes it just above two stars, and while this is a fairly reasonably written story that flows, it just never rises above being an average read. One populated with average characters we are never really drawn to, or identify with, who, quite frankly, are a little on the boring side even for average. Throw in an average setting and an average plot that, at times, for me at least, was paper thin and you have the holy trinity of average writing.

The problem is the story and characters lack one essential ingredient to make this anywhere an enjoyable read: heart.

There is none.

This is light-weight fluff that might have been better suited to a short story, rather than stretched thin and turned into a novel. By the time we get to the end of the book both the characters and plot have moved no further than round the bend, and, when you got there too, you’ll find there’s nothing to see.

A shame really, given Ms. Kallmaker’s usual high quality of storytelling ability and writing skills.

REVIEWED BY ALEXANDRA WOLFE

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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Just Do It!

“Just do it!” That’s what they all say, isn’t it?

Well for writers who also have to make a living to support their writing habit, coming back to that blank page is not always easy. Especially if the gig you have to pay the bills “in between” your writing projects requires ten hours a day of your undivided attention and two times a week of air travel away from home.

Offering Support

I write this article in the hopes of offering support and inspiration to other writers who are familiar with the pendulum which swings from time alone at home to write, to having to be out in the world to support financially that time alone at home to write. To do so, I will address what I had to go through to return to my ‘personal’ writing after a six-month stint as a writer/producer for a television show, which re-creates the near death experiences of outdoor enthusiasts. Not only was I taken out of my element as a writer who is used to staying at home, but I was expected to climb the highest mountains, trek across recently erupted avalanches, fly in helicopters, and belay down slot canyons in order to direct the very fragile subjects who were recalling nearly dying in similar circumstances. For many, what I was asked to do sounds exciting, exhilarating, breath-taking (no pun intended), a bit wild, and as my younger brother put it: “people would ‘kill’ to have my job.” Maybe some people would kill in order to have my job, but what stands out most for me, is a comment my cameraman said to me over a 16 ounce beer at one of our wrap parties—and that is that every time I got on the plane to head home after one of these marathon two-day shoots, I would turn to him, look him straight in the eye and say, “Why can’t I just work for the food channel? I mean food doesn’t talk, it doesn’t move, and for the most part, it doesn’t risk dying, because it is already dead.”

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They Say She Tastes Like Honey

Title: THEY SAY SHE TASTES LIKE HONEY
Author: Michelle Sawyer
Publisher: Alyson Books
ISBN: 1-55583-811-1
Rated: 4 Stars
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Ohio was hardly ready for its prized Piqua Peach Queen to come bopping out of the closet, so in her early 20s Macy Delongchamp moved to Greenwich Village and started her own successful travel agency. But Macy is now in her early 40s (or late 30s, depending on whom she’s talking to) and finds herself adrift in her own seemingly charmed life. First, there are the nightmares, then the nagging cough, and finally, after yet another night of tequila swigging, she trips down a flight of stairs and finds herself hobbling the streets of Manhattan.

In bawdy, hilarious style we follow Macy through one self-induced misadventure after another on her path to realizing that she has been running from herself and home has always been waiting.

This has to be one of the funniest books I’ve read in years. I read it almost in one sitting as I couldn’t put it down. I also nearly ended up in hospital laughing so hard I had a coughing fit that had me bent over the coffee table, cracking my head open on the solid wood. Yep. Better believe it. It was, however, worth the headache.

The dry, off-the-wall humor is spot on, as are the host of eccentric characters. Especially the wise-cracking Macy Delongchamp. Having spent several years living and working in New York, I’m convinced I met Macy during the 80s—oh, no, wait, I did. Gaby, was Macy modeled on you?

I recommend this book for someone looking for a great romp and an afternoon’s escape. Go on, you know you want to break a leg.

REVIEWED BY ALEXANDRA WOLFE

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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