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And Then They Were Nuns
$ 10.45 paper
A Novel by Susan J. Leonardi
"Beatrice has probably told you that when someone starts talking about staying, we usually send her home for a while, away from the seductions of these holy hills, so she can decide whether she really wants to plant herself in a nunnery. And to make sure she's not running away. As I was."

Julian Pines Abbey. From 1965-2000, women come and stay or come and go, in a quiet experiment to remake religious and communal life. No tradition is safe from revision - not the tradition that says God is male, or that women can't be priests, or that nuns must be celibate.

With a vision both generous and uncompromising, And Then They Were Nuns tells the story of the women who, as Sister Anne says, come for all the wrong reasons and - if they stay - stumble on good ones, while they struggle (sometimes hilariously) with love, sex, community, snakes, neighbors, outhouses, poverty, goats, sanity, sobriety, sisterhood, compost, and the life of the spirit.

The author, Susan J. Leonardi, followed 16 years of Catholic education, (including time spent as a postulant in a California convent that was, she emphasizes, nothing like Julian Pines Abbey), with eight years of teaching in Catholic high schools. She currently teaches literature and writing at the University of Maryland and is the author of two works of non-fiction, Dangerous by Degrees and The Diva's Mouth (with Rebecca A. Pope).

Includes a book club readers guide!
Get more information about this BookSense 76 pick and Lambda Literary Award nominee here.
$10.45 paper ISBN 1-56341-126-1
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 205 pages

Dish It Up, Baby!
$ 14.95 paper
"Dish It Up, Baby" is Kristie Helms' first novel which serves up some varied slices of life, tracing her twenty-something heroine through childhood in rural Kentucky to her first job in Manhattan, and finally to Boston as she searches for true love, a cubicle near the window and the perfect shade of lipstick. A cross between "Bastard Out of Carolina" and "Bridget Jones' Diary," the novel explodes stereotypes about Appalachia and offers a hilarious look at the work-a-day world of the Northeast through the eyes of its plucky heroine.
$14.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-134-2
8 x 5 1/2 200 pages

Venus of Chalk
$ 14.95 paper
A new novel by "the most criminally underrated dyke novelist in the world," Diva Magazine, February 2004

Take the trip of a lifetime with Carline, a home economist and woman-of-size, Tucker, a bus driver, and Mel, a retiree, as they journey from Massachusetts to Texas to unload an old city bus. In the process, these friends also leave behind their preconceived notions about one other, drop their inhibitions and become fully who they were meant to be.

Read an excerpt from Venus of Chalk.

Read what others said about Susan Stinson and Venus of Chalk:

"I am an enormous fan of Susan Stinson's work, and, as a fan, consider it my duty to help more and more people know about its wonders: I can think of no-one who writes with more love, passion, and precision about the pleasures of the body and the pleasures of the soul, and that nebulous (often neglected) intersection of body and soul. She writes extraordinary love stories, with intelligence and generosity and a wild imagination."

Elizabeth McCracken, author The Giant's House (National Book Award finalist)

"Through an ardent faith in the written word Susan Stinson is a novelist who translates a mundane world into the most poetic of possibilities."

Alice Sebold, author The Lovely Bones

"Venus of Chalk is by turns tender and ruthless, dark and funny, haunting and starkly contemporary. In spare, eloquent prose Stinson mines depths most writers shy away from. And along the way she tells a gripping tale of a modern-day heroine who's like no other you've ever seen. From the first page, I was under Carline's spell. Single minded, indomitable-Carline is on a fast bus to Texas. This is one ride you won't want to miss."

Alison Smith, author Name All the Animals

"Venus of Chalk satisfies like that first long breath after a good cry; like a thorough spring cleaning; like a warm, clothing-optional hug. If they ever conduct a census of fictional characters, the category of unapologetic fat woman will be nearly empty -- a criminal lack -- but for Carline, who courageously pursues her sense of self across continents, back to childhood, and into the mysteries of her own body. We can all benefit from her travel tips."

Marilyn Wann, author FAT!SO

"Susan Stinson is at her best in Venus of Chalk. In characteristically gracious Stinson-style, she gives voice to detail with incredible delicacy and finesse, even in the most pedestrian moments. By so doing, she exposes the contours of an otherwise unseen and elusive world. Venus of Chalk is an engaging journey of discovery brimming with imagery and adventure, passion and politics. This book is going places- hop on board for a great ride!"

Sondra Solovay, Esq., author, Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight-Based Discrimination

"This neatly-stitched tale of a latter-day home economist's 'glaring departures from sensible living' is a religious experience. Under Susan Stinson's microscopic needlework, the fabric of the phenomenal world shimmers with sublime beauty. A can of baking soda, a traffic pylon, a city bus - these things will never look the same again. Stinson lavishes the same minute reverence on her human subjects, discovering rich, sacramental meaning in their most banal small talk. This book unravels what you think you know about women and men, the freakish and the normal, shame and salvation - then mends it anew into a most surprising story."

Alison Bechdel, creator Dykes To Watch Out For

"Carline is brave, strong and beautiful, just like Susan Stinson's writing. As a reader, I was fascinated by Carline's journey; as a writer I was dazzled by the language in which it was told."

Lesléa Newman, author Heather Has Two Mommies

$14.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-137-7
8 1/2 x 5 1/2 208 pages

Moll Cutpurse
$ 7.95 paper
A Novel by Ellen Galford

From National Public Radio ("a charming, authentic re-creation of bawdy life in Elizabethan London") to Gay Community News ("a celebration of rebellious womanhood"), the critics -- and readers--agree that Moll is a winner. If you haven't read this delightful lesbian romp, don't miss it!

$ 7.95 paper ISBN 0-932379-04-4
51/2 x 81/2 224 pages

$ 11.95 paper
A Novel by Jana Williams

Jana Williams' debut novel is a lively foray into the world of women recruits at the U.S. Navy bootcamp outside of Baltimore in the early 1970s. Scuttlebutt — military slang for gossip or news..."deftly bypasses all that is clich‚ about 'baby boots' and captures instead the astonishingly deep emotional demands of their experience." (Library Journal)

$11.95 paper ISBN 0-932379-88-5
51/2 x 81/2 200 pages

Sister Safety Pin
$ 9.95 paper
A Novel by Lorrie Sprecher

"Take a wry, reflective 17-year-old, add the Sex Pistols, Sisterhood Is Powerful and a generous handful of safety pins, and you'll have Sprecher's delightful portrait of the artist as a young, punk lesbian." (Publishers Weekly). On the wrong side of political correctness, this is a "down-to-earth love story" by an author with a startingly sweet,unique voice." (Kirkus)

$ 9.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-050-8
51/2 x 81/2 256 pages

Falling to Earth
$ 12.95 paper
By Elizabeth Brownrigg
In Falling To Earth, Alice--computer honcho and closeted dyke by day/swimmer in the lesbian sea of women by night--has been touched by an angel, but not the television variety. Phoebe is a different kind of angel in America, Alice's insolent guardian angel.

While Alice works hard to maintain the split between the two halves of her life, Phoebe appears in the fissure. She has stories she wants to tell, part of her desire to become human, and needs Alice to write them down. Alice herself is an inveterate storyteller. And the tales are wonderful: about Jo-Jo, the drag queen with a thousand faces; Blanche, the Southern millworker who is attracted and terrified by interracial love; and Carla, the artist who creates universes in small boxes.

Alice and Phoebe are on opposite sides of a revolving circle, yin and yang slowly turning as Phoebe descends to earth and Alice flies high enough to hear the music of the spheres. As their stories increasingly intertwine, one takes up where the other leaves off.

$12.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-100-8
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 176 pages

Bruised Fruit
$ 13.95 paper
Anna Livia's astringently humorous, no-holds-barred novel, Bruised Fruit, is the story of British Caroline, lesbian escapee from an abusive relationship; Sydney, dainty hermaphrodite with a Southern drawl; and Patti, bisexual with a trust fund who inexorably, it seems, kills every m an she sleeps with.

These three, along with a tantalizing array of minor characters, are thrown together in San Francisco, each in search of someone to tell his or her--or in the case of Sydney, his and her--secrets to. When fate gathers them at the home of Ella Weissman, a feminist therapist whose house is her significant other, the intertwined tale of their loves, fears, and confusions sinuously unfolds.

Caroline is continually shocked by exposure to her own "tales of the city." Sydney feels compelled, once and for all, to pick a gender. Patti wants to be sexually attractive without giving in to everyone else's desire...and its negative effects.

Written as a mixture of chilling comedy and neogothic, Bruised Fruit is Anna Livia's fifth novel. Her two short story collections, Incidents Invo lving Mirth and Incidents Involving Warmth, have been Lammy finalists. The author lives in Berkeley, California with her lover and their soon-to-be -born twins.

$13.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-106-7
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 256 pages

The Wolf Ticket
$ 12.95 paper
A Novel by Caro Clarke
In the last months of WWII, Pascale Tailland, an American translator serving in the U.S. Women's Army Corps bound west out of Germany with her unit, sees a refugee on the station platform wistfully contemplating her train. The refugee is dressed like a young man, but Pascale, intuitively knowing that it is a woman, pulls her aboard as the train starts to roll.

These two women, thrown together by chance, torn apart by the destruction in wartime Europe, struggle to find each other again across a chaotic continent. The soldier is as fearless with her heart as with her ideals; the Polish refugee, who has survived years of desperation and danger, has the cunning of a wolf.

In their attempts to reunite they are hindered, helped, and loved by many women. There's Nell Tulliver, international war correspondent--hard-boiled, soft-hearted, and well-connected; Captain Corinne West, a competent and proper officer, unduly influenced by love as she bends military rules; and Sibylle Benard, a French prostitute and German collaborator--a woman who got by as best she could by relying on the available men--now falling in love with a woman.

The Wolf Ticket is a first novel of great skill and imagination, tautly written and powerful.

$12.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-098-2
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 224 pages

Crybaby Butch
$ 14.95 paper
A Novel by Judith Frank

Drawing on her experience as an adult literacy tutor, Judith Frank's first novel traces the difficult and sometimes hilarious connection between two butches of different generations - a middle-class, thirty-something adult literacy teacher and her older, working-class student. With a disparate group of adult learners as the backdrop, Frank examines, with warmth and wit, the relationship between education and gender, class, and racial identity.

With Crybaby Butch, Judith Frank creates a deeply human, bravely unsentimental story while at the same time investigating the meaning of butch identity as it reinvents itself from one generation to the next. ~ Carol Anshaw

Fearless and unflinching, Crybaby Butch rigorously explores butch/femme dynamics over two generations. Judy Frank's debut novel is searing and memorable. ~ Claire Messud

Judith Frank is a winner of the Astraea Foundation's Emerging Lesbian Writer's Fund prize in fiction. A professor of English at Amherst College, she lives and writes in western Massachusetts. For more information on Judy Frank, check out her website.

$14.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-143-1
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 350 pages

The Woman Who Loved War and Falling to Earth
$ 19.95 paper
A Novel by Elizabeth Brownrigg
From Central America to Central North Carolina, follow Suzanne, a journalist who loves the excitement of war and danger. When she is disabled in an accident, Suzanne believes she can heal herself by solving the mystery that is hidden in her body. One clue that she must confront, however, is of a terrible act she committed fifteen years before. In her search for redemption, Suzanne encounters a Gulf War veteran whose memories may hold the key to her salvation. A timely, compelling mystery/thriller set against the Gulf War.

With Falling to Earth, Elizabeth Brownrigg's first novel.

$19.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-142-3
5 1/2 x 7 1/2 200 pages

The Woman Who Loved War
$ 14.95 paper
A Novel by Elizabeth Brownrigg
From Central America to Central North Carolina, follow Suzanne, a journalist who loves the excitement of war and danger. When she is disabled in an accident, Suzanne believes she can heal herself by solving the mystery that is hidden in her body. One clue that she must confront, however, is of a terrible act she committed fifteen years before. In her search for redemption, Suzanne encounters a Gulf War veteran whose memories may hold the key to her salvation. A timely, compelling mystery/thriller set against the Gulf War.

$14.95 paper ISBN 1-56341-142-3
5 1/2 x 7 1/2 200 pages

The Mandrake Broom
$ 14.95 paper
A Novel by Jess Wells
During the Dark Ages, unlanded men found their way to property, power, and prestige as Bishops, priests and clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, systematically waging war against small landholders, midwives, keepers of verbal histories, naturopathic healers and doctors, as well as Jews and any others in the way of the expansion of the iron grip of the Church, witting or otherwise.

The sinews and bones of wide-flung Celtic civilizations of Europe were casualties of that war, a holocaust that modern scholars call the Inquisition, that feminist scholars name the Burning Times - a war waged primarily against women, whose positions in matrilineal or matriarchal and historically polytheistic cultures opposed - by their existence - the strictly hierarchical, unabashedly sexist construct of the conquering Roman Catholic Church.

Where are their stories, the people of the Burning Times? Author Jess Wells, in her new novel, The Mandrake Broom, gives voice to some of them: healers, wise women, bold men, people of conscience and true science who lived ordinary or extraordinary lives, who died nobly or ignonimously, slaughtered by armies of god or felled by the plagues resulting from the Churchs vast ignorance and disastrous pogroms to rid Europe of witches, their consorts, and their familiars the cats.

$14.95 paper ISBN 978-1-56341-152-6
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 250 pages

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