“Murder Garden” by Ron Fritsch

“Murder Garden” by Ron Fritsch is a captivating murder mystery set in the suburbs of Chicago shortly after the decriminalization of homosexuality in the 1960s. Successful banker Ted Linden returns home one evening to find his teenage lover Warren Hadley dead in the backyard with his throat slit. The night before the murder, Darrel Hadley, Warren’s hot-headed brother, openly threatens Warren, demanding he return to the family farm. Homophobic and prejudiced attitudes within the Chicago Police Department complicate the investigation. Lead Detective Tim Conway must look past the roadblocks of preconceived ideas to the clues in order to discover the guilty party.  … More “Murder Garden” by Ron Fritsch

“Into the Blue Again” by Marisa Billions

“Into the Blue Again” is the sequel to the intensely mesmeric “Like Sapphire Blue,” and Marisa Billions does not disappoint. The charming albeit flawed main character, Emma Landry, returns on the tail end of her prison sentence, haunted and ashamed of her past but propelled to move forward by the prospect of love. Readers also get granular with the new love interest, Marisa, as we learn the intimate details of her harrowing past through her journal entries. … More “Into the Blue Again” by Marisa Billions

“Like Sapphire Blue” by Marisa Billions

To the naked eye, Emma Landry has it all—a charming home rife with luxury and comfort and a beautiful wife with whom she is hopelessly in love. So why is her beautiful wife staring at her from across the table with unfeeling eyes? Something has happened. Emma can feel the world she’s worked so hard to build crumbling, and it seems there is nothing she can do to change it. She’s done everything but pull her heart out of her chest for this woman, which she would gladly do if it meant salvaging the unsalvageable. Emma’s heart is breaking. But to understand how they got to this point, she must go back to the beginning. … More “Like Sapphire Blue” by Marisa Billions

“First Born Sons” by Vincent Traughber Meis

It’s late 2019; the California fires are spreading, the pandemic is in full swing, and America is deeply divided regarding everything from the BLM movement and the existence of a divisive virus. A blind homosexual black man tries to make a name for himself, only to fall victim to police brutality on a daily basis, and a gay married couple struggles to understand their teenage son’s plight. A divorced woman tries to shield her kids from her ex-husband’s obsession with QAnon and conspiracy theories, and a married woman of twenty-five years drops a bombshell—she is transitioning from female to male. As the fires rage on and the pandemic threatens to break the American spirit, these individuals, all tightly connected, must find a way to weather the storm while grappling with heartbreak, grief, and self-loathing. … More “First Born Sons” by Vincent Traughber Meis

“Ghostly Howls” by Stephanie Hansen

“Ghostly Howls” is a fascinating paranormal murder mystery fantasy by Stephanie Hansen. In the fictional town of Ethel, a port city with secrets, lies two women who, besides being best friends, also share another commonality amongst themselves but separate from the rest of the town. Orla has the gift that pairs as a curse of possessing people’s souls with a single touch. Molly is half banshee with the ability of knowing when someone has or will die, through an auditory ringing in her ears. Both girls have had their abilities for as long as they can remember and have learned to adapt as needed. … More “Ghostly Howls” by Stephanie Hansen

“To Pay Paul” by Michael Scott Curnes

“To Pay Paul” is a nuanced and complex snippet in time of Seamus Quinlan’s life. Set primarily on the Quinlan farm, the story runs readers through the gauntlet of emotions as Seamus loses his last living relative. In the process of burying his father, he makes new friends, becomes closer to those he already knows, and discovers himself and his voice in the process. … More “To Pay Paul” by Michael Scott Curnes

“In the Closet: A Triad” by Geri Gale

“In the Closet: A Triad” introduces readers to S. S.’s story is told in three parts (a triad). Part one discusses her relationship with her grandfather and his love for the piano player, Thelonious Monk. Part two discusses her relationship with her grandmother and her love for the poet, Emily Dickinson. Part three discusses her relationship with her mother and her love for the photographer, Diana Arbus. … More “In the Closet: A Triad” by Geri Gale

“Half In: A Coming-of-Age Memoir of Forbidden Love” by Felice Cohen

“Half In” introduces readers to another side of author, Felice Cohen. Already known for her book, “What Papa Told Me” about her grandfather surviving the Holocaust, this is a more intimate side of Felice and the story of her romantic life. Many people struggle to figure out who they are and who they want to be with-whether straight, gay, bi, etc. Felice is no different. What makes her different is the internal struggle that she dealt with in who she is and who she wanted to be with. … More “Half In: A Coming-of-Age Memoir of Forbidden Love” by Felice Cohen

“Like Sapphire Blue” by Marisa Billions

In “Like Sapphire Blue,” readers get to feel like they’re sitting in a cinema watching the path of the main character, Emma Landry, play out before their eyes. At first sight, we spot a ritzy dining room with an elegant meal laid out on a stunning table. We see the crown moldings decorating the wealthy dining area, and two women sitting in complete silence. It’s an awkward stillness; it is a scene showing the irreparable damage existing between a married couple, once madly in love, now trying to just get through a meal. … More “Like Sapphire Blue” by Marisa Billions