Monday, December 26, 2011

The Girls Club by Sally Bellerose

Book:  The Girls Club
Author:  Sally Bellerose
Publisher:  Bywater Books
Before I launch into my review of the award-winning book The Girls Club by author, Sally Bellerose, I want to offer up a big round of thanks to Guest Bloggers, Barrett and Cat for stopping by The Rainbow Reader and filling in for me while I was toasting my proverbial buns in sunny Key West. 

As Barrett so aptly noted, it’s always a little intimidating when you’re asked to diddle in someone else’s sandbox.  Job well done, Ladies!!!

Sally Bellerose and
Jeanette Winterson
take on similar topics
in their debuts
Back in 1985, Jeanette Winterson offered up Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, a giant in contemporary literature.  The book explored the themes of religion, growing up with a disability, coming of age, and sexual identity.  While often tabbed as semi-autobiographical, many critics claim it is really bildungsroman.

It sounds really frou frou, but it’s just a textbook Goethian term for a coming-of-age story that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood, and in which character change is a central thesis.

The reason I bring it up is because there are a striking number of parallels between Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and The Girls Club – the easy ones are religion, physical challenge, coming of age, and sexual identity.  The not-so-obvious ones are that both authors wrote parts of themselves into their stories and that neither one of them consider their stories to be players in traditional lesbian fiction circles. 

As Ms. Winterson said recently, “I've never understood why straight fiction is supposed to be for everyone, but anything with a gay character or that includes gay experience is only for queers.”

So, parallels between the two stories?  Yep, they’re there. 

However, the two stories and the characters within them couldn’t be any more different – they are both powerhouses, dealing with the human condition in its most basic form.

The Girls Club by Sally Bellerose follows the lives of the LaBarre sisters, Marie, Renee, and Cora Rose.  Told in the first-person by youngest sibling, Cora Rose, the reader follows the lives of these three young, white, working-class woman all coming of age in the unsettled times of the 1970s.  As the main protagonist, Cora Rose copes with a chronic illness her sisters not-so-jokingly refer to as "the dreaded bowel disease," struggles with poor decision-making and her emerging sexuality, and then slowly faces the growing disparity between her human desires and her traditional Catholic upbringing.

Covering the span of about a decade, the readers follow Cora Rose and her sisters through four major stages of their lives to this point – the book is broken into four parts.

In Part One the reader is introduced to Cora Rose, her sisters, and her best friend Stella.  The sisters have a typical relationship, one minute protecting each other and the next inflicting humiliation and teenage angst.  Cora Rose begins to realize that her feelings for Stella are more than platonic, and has a “Come to Jesus” moment with herself when the two kiss.  But Stella’s family moves away, and a rift develops between the girls and the families.  Marie gets pregnant and drops out of high school.  Renee, the “good” daughter, goes to nursing school, and Cora Rose, desperate to prove she’s not a lesbian as her oldest sister repeatedly suggests, gets pregnant the first time she has sex.

In Part Two, the reader sees Cora Rose trying to love her husband, and succeeding at being a good mother.  The relationships between the three sisters continue bob and weave, sometimes providing strength and insight, and sometimes inviting brutal honesty and unwelcome insight.  Marie continues to be in love with her baby daddy, who she won’t marry, and date an ongoing string on “not quite right guys”.  Renee is an RN, lives at home with mom and dad, and is saving herself for marriage.  To her, sex is just messy, emotionally and physically.  And, Cora Rose has a confusing meeting with the lesbians downstairs.

Part Three reveals Cora Rose's honesty about not loving her husband and wanting a divorce.  But nothing is easy.  Her “dreaded bowel disease” has proceeded to the point of needing an ostomy, she doesn’t have a job, and she needs benefits and a place to live.  She begins to lean more on her sisters for support with her son and her own emotional confusion.  She finds herself drawn to a lesbian bar called The Girls Club, and finally admits and submits to her craving for women.  She takes a part-time, minimum wage job, tackles nursing school, and fights constantly with her estranged husband.  Marie continues to love a man she won’t have, and have a man she won’t love.  Renee finally begins to realize that she has been better living as a part of everyone else’s’ lives than she has been at living her own.  But still the sisters build up, break down, and make each other stronger.  Day-by-day. Battle-by-battle.

In Part Four, Cora Rose finally comes to terms with the religious, physical, and social prejudices that have dictated her life since she was a teenager.  She and her sisters are finally gaining perspective and control in their lives, and emerging stronger and healthier for the fractured journey that has led them to this point.  

After all, Sisterhood is Powerful.

The Girls Club may be a debut novel for Sally Bellerose, but she is a long-honored writer.  Her storytelling is crisp, clean, and free of the gratuitous sturm und drang that often renders great fiction into mediocre narrative.  The story is fully conceived, well paced, and tightly written.  The characters are flesh and blood, strong and weak, lost and found.  The writing is both simple and elegant, yet befitting of the characters and their station in life.  The editing is flawless, and the cover art apropos of everything inside.

As a reviewer, it’s impossible not to mention that The Girls Club is a powerful piece of contemporary literature.  It’s part historical drama, part autobiography, part coming of age novel, and part modern-day Little Women.  Sally Bellerose tells a story that seems effortless, but is rife with complexity:  Sisterhood, sexuality, chronic illness, growing up, borderline poverty, and religious conflict.  Each topic could easily carry a book itself, and all together could easily lead a story astray.  But that doesn’t happen here, it doesn’t even come close.

From the beginning, Ms. Bellerose gives her characters a gritty complexity tinged with humanity and humor.  No one is always right, and no one is always wrong.  Good people do bad things, and winning doesn’t come easily.  Decisions are harder to admit to yourself than to others, and most of the time what ends up happening isn’t really fair.  

The Girls Club is a top-tier book, and by rights should win many more awards. However, it is not formulaic Lesfic.  It is contemporary fiction, and should be recognized as part of that broader spectrum.  There’s as much straight sex as lesbian sex, the main protagonist has a disease that is messy and can be unpleasant for some readers to handle.  The sisters are not always nice to each other, and the happy ending is only part of the beginning.

Still, this book needs to be read by members of both the queer and straight communities – it’s really that good.  Sally Bellerose is a mainstream writer, and one of the most talented ones in the business.  She has a strong voice, and isn’t afraid to take on topics that other people see as taboo. She also isn't afraid to tell her own story.

This book wasn't necessarily warm and fuzzy, but it was almost impossible to put down.  Without hesitation, I’m giving The Girls Club a solid 5.2 out of 6 on The Rainbow Scale.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Beebo Brinker by Ann Bannon


Shining A Spotlight On Amazing Books From The Past

With Special Guest Reviewer, The Cat, from sister blog Good Lesbian Books, “a guide to books about lesbians, and books by lesbians – from romance to graphic novels!”  

Book:  Beebo Brinker
Author:  Ann Bannon
Publisher:  Gold Medal Books/Naiad Press/Cleis Press

Original Cover Art by
Gold Medal Books - 1962
Written in 1962, Beebo Brinker is the final book in the famous pulp fiction series The Beebo Brinker Chronicles by Ann Bannon.  

Although it can easily be read first, as it's actually a prequel.

Beebo Brinker introduces readers to the 18-year-old butch lesbian who has since become a classic character in lesbian history.  Earlier books in the series introduce additional women who cross paths with Beebo later in life, and her future relationships.

This is a huge landmark novel in lesbian literary history, and I wanted to review it on its own merits, rather than “for being one of the first lesbian pulp fiction books that actually thinks lesbians are okay”.  

Luckily, it was a fun read, and still has plenty for modern readers to identify with.

It opens with Beebo’s tremulous arrival in Greenwich Village, New York, and her subsequent adoption by Jack. Jack's a generous soul who puts her up, finds her work, and gradually persuades her to come out.

 It takes a bit more obvious hint dropping for her to realize that he's gay too!

And then the story takes on a faster and more erratic pace, as she crosses paths with the scheming and malicious Mona and Pete, falls in bed with gentle, broken Paula, and falls hard for the gorgeous, erratic and selfish film star Venus.

Torn between loyalty and love, she becomes closer to the dysfunctional bombshell and becomes a friend to her son, Toby, who is lonely and disillusioned - gradually helping to bring the mother and son together. Venus finds that she actually, really cares about Beebo and spirits her away to California, for a life of doomed passion and secrecy.

 Because of course, a lesbian (sorry - Lesbian) affair would be a disaster for a starlet like Venus.

Cover Art by Naiad Press - 1983
Inevitably it all comes crashing down, through impetuousness and gossip initiated by Venus' frustrated husband aided by the helping hands of the two troublemakers Beebo left back in New York. Beebo is forced to return, but finds her affection for Paula has grown to love, and she walks easily back into her former lover's arms.

The entire book had a Great Gatsbyish feel. Set in the 1950s, there was a dated, delusional 'American Dream' feeling to everything. Farm girl Beebo arrives in free, civilized, and very gay, Greenwich Village. Rich and famous Venus and Leo live by their own rules, and are ruled even more by Society.

And they reminded me a lot of Tom and Daisy, from Gatsby.

It's a captivating, worrisome, tragic, lovely book. And yes, it's pulp fiction, all about colorful characters making friends and enemies of each other, but it isn't garish. The storyline is a bit erratic, and driven more by the supporting characters than Beebo, but I can easily imagine most of it happening today.

Beebo is a young and stereotypical 'mannish' butch - enough to make me wonder if she was intended to be transgender. She was fairly unique, especially for books of the time, in that she worked and dressed in order to pass as a man, and mostly succeeded. 

There were a few wallbangers of prejudice and, well, datedness, but they weren't too bad, surprisingly.  Most of the discussions about 'mannishness' and femininity, some of the ways they talked about Lesbians and homosexuality, and the harassment of Beebo by her boss all set off the political correctness alarms!

And yes, 'Lesbian' was usually capitalized.

There are a few more specific examples:

The supposedly sympathetic and open-minded Leo veered from saying he wasn't prejudiced (in so many words) to decrying how unnatural Beebo appeared to him. (To be slightly fair, he was at the end of his tether and Beebo was just the last in a long string of blatant affairs from his wife). 

Cover Art by Cleis Press - 2001
The two bisexual women, Mona and Venus - or at least, the two who slept with men, it was never actually clear if they were bisexual or not, or simply using men manipulatively in accordance with their personalities - were not particularly nice people. Beebo had to learn the hard lesson of not being accepted all over again, and lived with guilt over how her 'unnaturalness' had burdened her father.

But mostly, the dated elements don't interfere with the story - it feels nice and historical, but the gayness is not presented as bad, just difficult to understand for outsiders... and the path to a whole new realm, that Beebo is barely discovering.

Essentially, it's Beebo's coming of age novel.

And I definitely recommend it.

I'd give this classic story a 4.7 on the Rainbow Scale. It's light entertainment that took a huge historical step forward for queer rights, has a plot that mostly follows Beebo as she bounces from one woman back to another, and is kept me reading right to the end. Oh, And a bonus .2 for the suprisingly tender love scenes. 

So, if you're keeping score, that's an overall Rainbow Scale Rating of 4.9 for the ground breaking piece of historical Lesfic.

Stop by to read more reviews by The Cat and her co-blogger, Cress.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Piper's Someday by Ruth Perkinson


Shining A Spotlight On Amazing Books From The Past

With Special Guest Reviewer, BARRETT, author of DAMANGED IN SERVICE and the soon-to-be-released DEFYING GRAVITY

Book:  Piper’s Someday
Author:  Ruth Perkinson
Publisher:  Spinsters Ink

In my twenties, I made the long drive back to Illinois from California because my credit cards were stolen and I was in debt. The only thing I had to hang onto was my dog.

Many years later, when my life took another sharp turn, once again the company of my faithful dog provided strength and purpose when I quit my job, had surgery, sold my house, and traveled cross-country to start a new life.

And that’s just two examples of my gratitude for my faithful canine companions. I’ve always had a pet—usually a dog—to help me through the prickly bits.

And all the wonderful bits, as well.

So, when Salem West poked me and asked if I'd do a guest review for her REWIND SERIES, I stammered, made excuses, stuttered, and finally relented. When I couldn’t come up with a book right away, she said no worry, pick whichever one you like. (Okay, that was actually no help, at all, zippo, zilch, nada).

<< Cue: sounds of the roll of thunder, the crack of lightning and then a clock ticking loudly>>

I wanted a book that had touched my heart in a special way. Those books are ‘lingerers’. (The one’s I recall vividly years later.) After mulling the choices, a haunting standout for me, was Ruth Perkinson’s Piper’s Someday.

In 2007 the movie Juno was released. It gave Ellen Page and Diablo Cody overnight name recognition. Juno made an indelible impression on me as a smart, unusual, 16 year old girl. Her speech and mannerisms are still vivid. It was a brilliantly conceived and brilliantly performed story.

And what does that have to do with reviewing Piper’s Someday? Not much, but I so enjoy a good tangent.

Seriously, the thing is, I saw Juno four years ago, and the central character of that story remains very real to me. When I picked up Ms. Perkinson’s book to reread, I had the same sensation. Piper Cliff is an indelible character—I know her.

Meet River, the tripod,
and inspiration for Someday
A rush of warm feelings began as soon as I opened the book this time and read… “More often than not, I left my dog Someday tied to the red maple in back of my apartment on Stony Creek Road before I walked the eight-tenths mile to Carver Middle School.”

(Ed. NO-the dog does not die.)

Immediately I fell back in time to the humid summer days in Goochland County, Virginia and the lyrical story of a valiant preteen named Piper Leigh Cliff. Orphaned by a tragic accident, Piper lives a purgatory existence with her neglectful grandfather.

Her interminable summer days are made up of hanging out at the skateboard pipe, wandering along the James River, providing indentured servitude to her beer-swilling grandfather and his skeevy friend and drinking buddy, Clover.

Although unrecognized, Piper is a bright girl with an aversion to math.

I could tell, because how many 12 year olds use the words “annealed” or “espied”?

Having lost the love and nurturance of her parents and the companionship of her brother, Piper dreams of a future as a waitress at the ‘Curbside Cafe’. She envisions the glorious day when she will turn 18, be able to go to work waiting tables, and earn enough money for an apartment for herself and her dog.

While skateboarding, a serendipitous accident brings two caring strangers into her life. This singular event changes lives and rewrites her future. Jenny and Andrea are the new neighbors. Jenny is a postal worker and Andrea is a graduate student. They befriend Piper and Someday. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that their young friend is living in a precarious situation.

The story accelerates as July 4 brings a dramatic game-changer. Jenny and Andrea are publicly outed by Piper’s redneck grandfather and his gnarly sidekick; Piper escapes an assault, and Someday mysteriously disappears.

During the subsequent fallout, the constellation of Piper’s life takes on a new look. She learns a new definition of family and the value of unconditional love.

When the police, psychologists, and social services get involved, it’s Showtime.

By the time it’s over, each of the major characters makes life altering decisions and the bond between Piper and her dog grows.

 “Hallelujah! Amen! We got her, Pipe. We got her!”

She looked into the rearview mirror and I caught her eye. She looked back at the both of us for a split second. Our eyes smiled at each other and I put my arms and whole body around the love of my life—Someday Cliff. My dog, Someday. I closed my eyes and kissed her eyes, ears and nose. She licked me on my face and I giggled. I was secure in the backseat of Andrea’s car with my dog. I wished that we could drive away somewhere far perhaps Montgomery where the angel Lucy had sung about lived, a place where I could have my dog and Andrea and Jenny and even the cat.

Ruth Perkinson has created a story that will stay with us. Each of the well-crafted characters resembles someone we’ve probably met, maybe a relative, maybe a friend, maybe the checker at Wal-Mart. They live in cities and small towns all over this country. Most of them will never make the headlines. And Piper Cliff is artistically drawn to be a child that is far too common in our society—neglected, unappreciated, ignored. Like many of those children, Piper is resilient, resourceful and has a dream.

Piper’s unique voice tells this story. We soon begin to see her world as she describes the squalid apartment, the basketball hoop, her fort along the river, and the courtroom. We hear the overheard conversations of adults, without pretense and sometimes without understanding.

And,  if you close your eyes, you can smell the honeysuckle blossoms in Someday’s neck fur. Without much effort, you might even smell the stale cigarette smoke, old beer or urine soaked sofa.

Piper shows us a young woman, like many others whose lives have been forged by tragedy. I believed it and I felt it. I’ve known children just like her. For this seemingly invisible child, well-intentioned strangers are willing to risk it all to make a difference. Piper Cliff clutches to the one tangible hope, her dog Someday.

Ms. Perkinson captures the conflicting emotions of hope and despair, faith and disbelief, fear and comfort in an effortless way that never feels heavy-handed or fake. She lulls us into a seemingly simple story about a girl, her dog, and her grandfather. Without noticing, the story tightens along with the tension. You find yourself rooting for Piper and her three- legged dog. Along the way, you meet some wonderful characters that bring along humor by the gallon.

If you enjoyed her 2006 novel, Vera’s Still Point, you might be pleasantly surprised.

This is a lovely little book with some very deep and resonant messages about the value of love, loyalty, family, and the importance of doing the right thing.

And, I liked it a lot. I don’t know much about Salem West's Rainbow ratings, but for this little gem of a book, I would have to give it at least a 5.2 out of 6 on the Rainbow Scale.

Piper’s Someday has a permanent place on my special bookshelf, along with its 2008 follow up, Breaking Spirit Bridge.

If you’re out there Ms. Perkinson, thank you for introducing me to Piper Cliff!

The author
Ruth Perkinson
For more information about Ruth Perkinson, visit her website at or catch up on her blog at 

Her newest novel, The Mystic Market is scheduled for release on December 13th, 2012.

Thank you, Ms. West for sharing your witty, urbane, and clever site. I’m honored to grace these pages and to have been one of its “victims”.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Rainbow Reader Awards - The Very Best of 2011

As another year gears down, flips on it’s bright yellow turn signal, and aims its scrunched up little nose towards the exit ramp, I figure it is time to flip back through The Rainbow Reader reviews, and bestow the Very Best of 2011 Awards.

So far this year, I’ve had the honor and privilege to review 46 books and two short stories; and have been fortunate enough to post Guest Reviews from two amazing and talented authors – Baxter Clare Trautman and Catherine Wilson. 

Not a bad run for a twitchy little dyke, eh?

I tried to cover the spectrum of lesbian literature available, so authors could have a platform to showcase their work and readers could hopefully find books and stories that they will love.  I’ve read my way through piles of romances, dramas, mysteries, thrillers, poetry, anthologies, erotica, graphic stories, and an autobiography. 

Heck, I even reviewed an audio book just to cover all the bases.

I want to extend a special thanks to each and every one of my Victims (er, the brave and valiant authors) for having the guts, grit, and determination to make your work available.  It takes an amazing amount of talent to write a book, and it takes a constitution of steel to voluntarily become vulnerable to a world of readers and reviewers, and our myriad, sketchy opinions.   

I also want to thank you, The Readers, for stopping by to read my reviews.  Many of you have left comments on this blog, which I appreciate.  Many others have sent me emails or contacted me in other ways, and I want to thank each of you for letting me know what you think . . . that includes the readers who don't agree with me or the opinions presented in TRR reviews - I want everyone to have a voice.

With no further ado, The Rainbow Reader’s Very Best of 2011 Awards 

365 Days
K.E. Payne
Bold Strokes Books
Best use of the word "queasy" to describe the feeling resulting from a date with a teenage boy that smells like a goat
A Ride to Remember
Sacchi Green
Lethe Press
Anthology most likely to result in multiple memorable rides
Beautiful Game
Kate Christie
Bella Books
Sexiest use of a soccer tan in a romance
Beyond Instinct
Lynn Ames
Phoenix Rising Press
Special TRR Reviewer's Award for highest volume of anonymous threats as a result of a review
Bingo Barge Murder
Jessie Chandler
Midnight Ink
Best use of a fungo bat by a minor character
JD Glass
Outlines Press
Most fitting use of the word "Scheisskopf" by a man in a kilt
Damaged in Service
Affinity e-Book Press
Special TRR Reviewer's Award for Best First Page in a story featuring an inappropriate pronoun for a character coming out of the closet
Julie Cannon
Bold Strokes Books
Honorary Award for artistic ability to make protagonists sweaty, dirty, and bloody, but still damn sexy
Desire by Starlight
Bold Strokes Books
Gutsiest use of simultaneous orgasms in a rainstorm under a double rainbow while on a romantic picnic
Dying to Live
Kim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou
Bold Strokes Books
Special TRR Reviewer's award for repurposing the term "head of the table"
Far - Short Story
Sarah Diemer
Self Published
Best use of a sketchy dystopian soul recycling machine
Erin O'Reilly
Affinity e-Book Press
Best use of more than thirteen female characters in a historical romance
For Frying Out Loud
Fay Jacobs
A&M Publishing
Special TRR Reviewer's award for book most likely to make the Reviewer chuck it all and move to Rehoboth to be Fay Jacobs' Cabana Girl
Forbidden Passions
MJ Williamz
Bold Strokes Books
Best use of the word "twat" as pillow talk in historical erotica
Full Court Pressure
Lynn Galli
Penikila Press
Special TRR Reviewer's Award for It's About Damn Time a Woman Coaches a Men's Major College Sports Team
Getting the Mercury Out
Áine Ní Cheallaigh
Capsule Press
Best use of self-deprecating humor in an autobiography that includes multiple uses of the word "poop"
kris dresen
Outlines Press
Most innovative avoidance of capitalization by an artist with biker babe swagger
Hellebore & Rue
Edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft & Catherine Lundoff
Flyleaf Press
Funkiest cover art in an anthology featuring sexy queer magic mojo
Ann McMan
Bedazzled Ink Publishing
Sexiest use of jagged verbal jousting and intellectual tête-à-tête in a mountaintop romance
Love and Other Demons
kt klimax & miss slinky
Hottest sex scene in the dairy section of a local market in a book of poetry and prose
Miles to Go
Amy Dawson Robertson
Bella Books
Most daring leap to get the girl
Misfortune's Friend
Sarah Aldridge
A&M Publishing
Special TRR Reviewer's Award for making the Reviewer weep while writing her review
Moving Pieces
Emily Maroutian
Maroutian Entertainment
Best use of a troubled, but sexy protagonist with a non-specific gender
Murder Takes to the Hills
Jessica Thomas
Bella Books
Best use of a black Labrador retriever in a mystery series
My Soldier Too
Bev Prescott
Blue Feather Books
Special TRR Reviewer's Award for best toaster-oven moment of 2011
Parties in Congress
Colette Moody
Bold Strokes Books
Most likely to get Googled by confused Louisiana conservatives
Pitifully Ugly
Robin Alexander
Intaglio Publications
Best use of a strap-on as a successful plot device
Port Mortuary
Patricia Cornwell
Putnam Publishing
Most likely to make readers mainline black coffee and chain smoke while obsessing about what everyone else is hiding from them
Promises, Promises: a romp with plenty of dykes, a unicorn, an ogre, an oracle, a quest, a princess, and true love with a happily ever after
L-J Baker
Lethe Press
Best book title over twenty words long for a story that features creamy breasts
Lindy Cameron
Clan Destine Press
Most innovative use of ass tats on a female mercenary
Regal Crest Enterprises
Most likely to make the Reviewer throw the book across the room because she wants to see the damn Happily Ever After
Shadow Point
Amy Briant
Bella Books
Skeeviest bad guy with anger management issues
Shadows of Aggar
Chris Anne Wolfe
Orchard House Press
Miscommunication Award for protagonists who have hot sex but need to communicate better
She Waits
Kate Sweeney
Intaglio Publications
Special TRR Reviewer's Award for juiciest will they/won't they
Souls' Rescue
Pat Cronin
Regal Crest Enterprises
Best use of the Jaws of Life in a romance
Sweet Carolina Girls
R.E. Bradshaw
Blue Crab Publishing
Best use of an absorbent golden retriever in a lesbian drama
Sweet Turnaround J
P.V. Beck
Bedazzled Ink Publishing
Most likely to make readers sport a huge foam finger while reading
The Dark Wife
Sarah Diemer
Self Published
The hottest, most smokin' Lord of the Underworld in Lingerie
The Doge's Daughter - Short Story
Gabriella West
Self Published
Best ménage à trois utilizing a castrato
The Door at the Top of the Stairs
Alison Holt
Biggest cheer for retribution, even though the sadistic bastard really deserved to be strung up by his dangly bits, smothered in honey and left to have his parts picked clean by an army of pissed-off fire ants
The Killing Room
Gerri Hill
Bella Books
The hands down hottest sex scene in a secluded hot spring
The Leaving
Gabriella West
Self Published
Best escape plan implemented by a socially-awkward teenager
The Middle of Somewhere
Clifford Henderson
Bold Strokes Books & Dog Ear Audio
Most likely to cause a massive cholesterol spike before breakfast
The River Within
Baxter Clare Trautman
Self Published
Special TRR Reviewer's Award for sending the Reviewer into a three-day fugue state
The Target
Gerri Hill
Bella Books
Most ill-advised sexual act while being hunted by a hired assassin
The Wedding Party
Tracey Richardson
Bella Books
Best conversation between butches without the use of words
Two for the Show
Chris Paynter
Blue Feather Books
Most compelling use of a Press Box Yoda
Q. Kelly
Ride the Rainbow Books
Highest concentration of intriguing subplots in a book with a character in a persistent vegetative state
When Women Were Warriors
Catherine M. Wilson
Shield Maiden Press
Best kick-ass warrior babes with swords and bows and attitudes
Whitewater Rendezvous
Kim Baldwin
Bold Strokes Books
Sexiest night of wild, lusty passion in a grizzly-ripped tent, in a snow storm, on the banks of a raging river, awaiting emergency evacuation

Stop by The Rainbow Reader next week, when special Guest Blogger, Barrett, reviews Ruth Perkinson's Piper's Someday in another edition of TRR's Rewind Series.