Kissed by Venus short fiction contest

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Get your crayons out, your pencils sharpened, and your keyboards warmed up – whatever it takes to enter your story in the  Venus Magazine Short Fiction Contest.  Follow the link for rules and what not. Come on. You know you have a story in  you. Give it a go. What the hell, the worst that can happen is you won’t win, …

“When Women Were Warriors” review

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  Go to Salem West’s The Rainbow Reader site for my review of Catherine M. Wilson’s superlative When Women Were Warriors (http://rainbowreader.blogspot.com/2011/08/when-women-were-warriors-by-catherine-m.html) Note: I have since been corrected and deeply regret calling the novel fantasy. It is historical fiction. This illustrates my ignorance of both genres, but if all historical fiction is as good as When Women Were Warriors I am soon …

Ghosts of Winter – Rebecca S. Buck

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While a satisfying romance, I kept waiting for Ghosts of Winter to turn into a good, old-fashioned ghost story. Ros inherits a rundown English mansion (see, spooky right there!) and sets about restoring it while she also restores her broken heart, both with the help of cool but comely architect Anna. In short chapters Buck gives us glimpses of Winter Manor’s …

Unplugged, Hem, Sharks and Hyenas.

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Went to Florida Keys for a couple days and unplugged. Very disorienting. Like withdrawing from a drug. But ah, after the initial withdrawal, comes peace. Little waves breaking on the beach, lapping at the dock. Palm fronds gabbing with the breeze. The Gulf air  as warm and insular as a second skin, its water womb-like – especially if you’re a …

Kissed by Venus, A Love Letter to the Editor

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Flaming June – Lord Frederic Leighton Kissed by Venus is the only magazine I ever take time to read, from it’s always-arresting front cover through to the back, where Botticelli’s delectable Venus suggestively anticpates the next issue.  Front to back, every contribution merits praise, far too much to post in a comment box. “Flaming June” – A perfectly prescient cover for this late, burning-summer release. …

Secret Language of Crows – Thea Atkinson

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I knew there had to be good, independently published, literary fiction somewhere out there in cyberspace. I found it in Thea Atkinson! The novel opens in Faulknerian style with a dying father, murder of crows, the taking of a sadistic lover, the main character’s return home, and the lover then lying dead on the compost heap – all eerie foreshadowing …

“No Rules of Engagement” Tracey Richardson

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I don’t mind romance in a novel but I don’t like romance novels. Unless the novel is Tracey Richardson’s No Rules of Engagement. In a military hospital at Kandahar Air Force Base, we are introduced to the eponymous Major Logan Sharp, a keen, confident doctor, unflappable in the most urgent of situations. Until photojournalist Jillian Knight arrives at KAF on a …

Fact or Fiction?

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You’ve all heard the joke about what lesbians do on their second date, right? Buy wedding rings? So help me out. Is this true?   I keep reading lesbian novels in which the protagonist and new love interest fall IMMEDIATELY and MADLY in love. Is that how it works in real life, or is this just a literary device? I …