Trevar’s Team: 1
It’s about colorful, captivating characters. There was plenty of action and detestable villains. You get involved with the characters and I love the environments. It was very creative and that makes this story a page-turner. There was enough twists to keep me on the edge of my at and I liked the build up to find the killer (s), the detective work and the drama. I keep guessing who did it and why. It was suspenseful to the end. The end was a surprise for me and probably also for lieutenant Powers. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
Blushing Aspen (Sappho’s Corner Solo Poetry)
A book of poetry with a retrospective and a modern point of view. Beautiful poems about how things used to be, how it feels to love a woman, and more. I recommend Blushing Aspen to any other hopeless romantics out there.
Everything Kieran York composes is poetical and lyrical and that includes this novel. In Careful Flowers, we have several stories beautifully intertwined. The characters are complex and likeable, except for one who is so despicably evil but he too is created to perfection. This is a must read!
I like a book that makes me think. I am definitely impressed by the many levels of this book. The way it’s written keeps you wanting to know more until the end. The careful flowers once planted keep growing in the background and you can almost see them.
Shawn Marie Bryan – Radio Talk-Show Host –
Careful Flowers by Kieran York (Blue Feather Books) was a stand out for me this past year. I heard of its premise and immediately an excited anticipation carried me until its release and I could delve in, page by page. It is an intriguing plot with flesh and bone characters. A rich tapestry of personal histories and present surprises. It asks a question, with which you may have to wrestle.
Jerry L. Wheeler – Copyright 2014
Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews, February 3, 2014 –
Books about family history usually leave me cold, but when they involve murder/suicides, Nazi concentration camps, and the possible dissolution of a relationship, the entertainment value shoots up sharply. And that’s the case with Kieran York (Lambda Literary Award nominee in 2013 for Appointment with a Smile) and her latest novel, Careful Flowers.
For a relatively short book (less than 200 pages), York attempts to keep a lot of balls in the air as she juggles the mystery about Fleur’s parents, Fleur’s deteriorating relationship with Abby, decoding letters her Aunt Golda wrote in the concentration camp, and a final decision Fleur must make. However, she manages this quite well, never shorting the reader on any of these accounts. Part of this is due to her timing and ability to weave some of these disparate threads together, but part of her success also comes from creating interesting characters and letting them work through their paces without author interference.
And two of the most interesting characters are never seen, not even in flashback. York does a terrific job of characterizing Fleur’s parents- free-spirited hippieearthmotherchick Maggie and her staid, stern Vietnam vet boyfriend Shane- through reminiscences of Maggie’s friends Gemma Rae and Bernie. Due to the positioning of the bodies, most of their friends assume Shane killed Maggie and then turned the gun on himself, but Fleur’s investigation casts some doubt on this theory. Enough for the police to reopen the case. And by the time York works her magic, you won’t be able to believe either one could have shot the other. And therein lies the mystery.
What is not a mystery is the problems Fleur is having with her relationship with Abby. York’s portrait of disintegrating love is both realistic and sad as she makes us witness to Abby’s unyielding practicality and inability to understand why Fleur has to do this as well as Fleur’s irresponsibility in running off and leaving Abby to do the lion’s share of work at home. Their telephone conversations are deliciously awkward, enough for the reader to want to scream at both of the, “For Chirssakes, bend a little, willya?”
Less successful for me was the choice Fleur must make once she finds out the truth about her parents’ deaths. I can’t say too much without spoiling the plot, but we know what she’ll do all along, so the decision she makes is not surprising. I would rather had more a moral dilemma, more of a reason for her to go the other way. Perhaps even gone the other way. However I’m a pretty perverse reader who loves characters that defy his expectation. Other readers will applaud Fleur’s choice and appreciate how its reinforced by the information found in her Aunt Golda’s letters.
But no matter how you feel about Fleur’s choice, there’s much to like in this interesting, affecting story of one woman’s search for the truth about her past and how it affects her future.
WITHIN OUR CELEBRATION
This a wonderful collection of short stories. They are so beautifully written and each story has its own charm and each story is so different from the other. I really enjoyed all the stories but I do have 2 Favorites. X-Chromosomes and Her Poetry of Us. The latter is about an interview with Sappho, poetess of Lesbos. I know the island well, and I’m also familiar with Sappho’s history. That is why this story has a special meaning for me and of course it is such a beautiful story. I can highly recommend this collection of short stories.
SHINNEY FOREST CLOAKS
A Royce Madison Mystery : Part 3
Awesome book. Thanks for writing another great book.
This is a long awaited return of Sheriff Royce Madison and many other characters from Kieran York’s previous books.
Top notch story, sheer poetry of description, A love affair with Kansas, and the land that is worth fighting for. If I could give this a 10 STAR rating, I would – this book is THAT good! The book has all good qualities. God story of good vs evil, justice vs injustice, surviving life on the tenuousness of a farm and in today’s economy, being true to one’s being, and interesting/fascinating characters you can truly care about. While it starts out a bit slowly, the story takes on a life of its own as we are drawn into the lives of Bryanna and Michelle. I won’t go into the story itself – the synopsis does that well enough. Suffice to say, Kieran York knows how to tell a story. You fall in love with Kansas, its beauty in everyday life, even in its imperfect people. You become invested in a way of life, of farm life, of generation after generation love affair with the harshness and beauty that is the land, and a modern day struggle of what it is to be accepted into a community. It is a story of honor, of ethics and standing by those who love and accept you not matter the trials. This may sound dull but it it not. This book exudes warmth, love, and the sheer poetry that is the beauty of this land. In the hands of a lesser-skilled craftswoman, this book could be trite. It is anything But!!! You can tell York is also a poet at heart – some of her descriptions are SO beautiful, you walk away feeling awe at what you have rad and you just want to bask in that beauty and walk away feeling richer for having witnessed such a story. Earthen Trinkets is also a metaphor used throughout the book, but I’ll let you savor that one for yourself. Poet, storyteller, and mighty fine writer – ALL Good qualities you’ll find in this book. Enjoy.
Kieran York at her best! I say that with each new work of this wonderful author and poet. Her characters are wrapped in beautifully descriptive phrases. You can almost feel their pain, fear, sincerity and certainly love. A love for the land and each other. These are strong mature women working unbelievable hard to make their choices work for themselves and those they care about. Her description of the evilness encountered brought fear and concern to my heart. I highly recommend this and all of Kieran York’s previous noels.
OMG, what a story! My blood pressure rose dramatically while reading this story. My blood boiled with anger frequently. I felt enormously conned with Bryana and Michelle, and their love for each other, their strength with the people around them. Wow, this was definitely one of the best stories I’ve ever read. I barely had time to breath it was so exciting. In my eyes, an absolute winner.
LOITERING ON THE FRONTIER
Loitering on the Frontier is a wonderful walk through Lesbain (and some Gay) history during the heady times in the 1960s when the police brutality and harassment of those years seems not so very different from what we are witnessing in 2015 toward various marginalized groups…
The crux of the story is what the protagonist does after she photographs a cop beating an older lesbian who subsequently dies from her injuries. York has accurately captured the vernacular, the issues and the ever-present topics of discussion about equality and fairness that were top priority during those times.
Kieran York has excelled again! Everything written by this creative author and poet is worth reading. Loitering on the Frontier,” is no exception. The endearing characters were well defined and likeable. The evil persons cruel, threatening and had me worried until the conclusion. The twists and turns involved in this mystery were plotted so well that I worried. The romance was sweet and believable. I loved them. The facts and conditions which represented the times were factual and written by someone who lived through the era. I am always impressed with Ms York’s writing and was not disappointed. A Must read!
A wonderful ride with Primrose. A captivating story and realistic characters. It’s about the power and endurance of love and music. To find the courage to face what she has known since the break-up months ago, they belong together. A day-to-day struggle for survive. I was drawn into Primrose world through Megan’s words and actions. You’ll love and care for all the characters. You can hear the music, you’ll feel the pain, the loneliness but also the joy. Each bump along the journey makes the end worth it. It’s fascinating to follow Primrose progress as musicians. I’m happy to have read it but sad it was over.
APPOINTMENT WITH A SMILE
I read Kieran’s book when it first arrived back in April 2012. Once the cover was cracked open – yes, I still prefer print – I read it in one sitting. Kieran had made a comment in one of her Facebook posts that “a whole bunch of my heart is in it”. That clearly came through on the pages of this book. She surrounded Danielle with an outstanding cast of characters that added levity to the situation of meeting Molly after 30 years. And putting the setting of this story in England was a positive so we could enjoy the scenery and British humor. An excellent read. I had sent these comments to Kieran back in April on her Facebook account but wanted to post them here also. Many Lesfic fans have been asking for romances involving older individuals. Well here you go. Thank you Kieran for your words – and my new discovery that you are quite the poet which further explains how you can draw us in. Looking forward to your next book. – P. Sloss
When I read a book – I want to be in those pages. I want to escape to another place and see what the characters are seeing…feel what the characters are feeling. From page one of `Appointment With A Smile’ – the author does just that. Kieran York has the ability to take you places, make your senses unravel and make you feel that anything is possible. I loved this book, highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more by Ms. York. – DMH
Kieran York has performed quite a feat. She’s created a thoughtful, interesting story with a main character that is sometimes aggravating beyond belief. Danielle is one of those women the reader might want to grab and shake until her head rattles. If she were someone you actually knew, you’d want to yell at her, “What’s wrong with you?” The fact that her friends frequently do that makes the story more realistic. She’s a very complex character, sometimes admirable and sometimes hopeless. At times it’s maddening to watch her possibly torpedo a chance for happiness.
York chose to write about older characters. That means that these women come with many more conditions and situations than younger characters would have. York treats their issues as plot lines. A woman has to have some age to have been hopelessly in love with a person she hasn’t seen in three decades. Danielle also faces a very real concern when she wonders if she can make room in her life for a lover after the age of 60. She’s use to living her life a certain way and she’s not sure she wants to change at this point or ask someone to move into her sphere. Many older readers will be able to identify with that internal battle between finding someone to love and altering the comfortable patterns they’ve settled into.
The encouraging part of the story comes from Danielle’s friends. They provide the Greek chorus chanting in reply to Danielle’s pessimism that life isn’t over until it’s over and that she should grasp every opportunity to experience it to the fullest. York uses Danielle’s friend Esther, an astrophysicist, in a sotto voce position. Her comments about the universe, the expanse of time and the possibility of discoveries is in direct contrast to Danielle’s short vision. Esther and the other women definitely believe that age is nothing but a number and is not the primary factor in what you decide to do.
There is a lot in this book. It was refreshing to read about older characters dealing with what life throws at them. Most lesbian fiction tends to feature characters between twenty-five and forty-five, , but the population is aging. There are many things in this book that an older woman can relate to. There is also a message of hope in that love (and sex) does exist for older women, just at a different pace.
Appointment with a Smile is not just for older readers. There are points here that can appeal to many ages. However, it was nice to read about life from a different perspective.
I really loved this book. Every now and then we are privileged to read work that digs into the soul rather than deals in mere platitudes and this book does just that. Kieran York delivers a profoundly moving account of what it means to fall deeply in love and then to lose it and never recover from that loss. It is a testament of true love’s endurance in spite of the decades that pass. Yet at the same time it also shows us that there are many `soul-mates’ and that love is different each time it comes to us and if we are open to it, we can be healed. Kieran’s lead character `Danielle’ is well crafted and her journey is explored with depth and respect. Although the book deals with great heartbreak and loss it is also interspersed with humour. I enjoyed the astro-biological insights of her best friend Esther and the wild exploits of her hetero-cougar art-agent Fiona and the way they encourage Danielle through a mix of `loving bullying’ and incisive wit to accept herself, her choices and her true talent. I also enjoyed the insight into the processes of painting and the creation of art. – Firehorse
Simply put, Kieran York’s talent for taking the reader on a journey of profound character development appears effortless on her part. I was completely engrossed in this novel from page one. The in-depth life observations are thinly covered by masterfully witty dialogue making this a must read. With the writer’s obvious knowledge of art, my hand rests on Danielle’s with every stroke of the brush on canvas, just as my eyes devoured every word in this book. You won’t be disappointed with Kieran’s ability to draw you into the pages of this tale. On to the next York novel… – Melianne Lussier
I totally loved this book – not only has Kieran a great way with words, but also with the arts: I loved how the paintings are described, how they are created … what a beautiful glimpse into an artist’s world. Having a broad range of interests I liked as well the quirky comments Esther made about astrobiology – outrageous <s> and of course I loved the British setting. As any foodie will discover when reading this book: London has very good food and the author certainly has a great fondness for it. That the characters are 40 / 50 + is another plus in my books (although I love young adult novels as well) and this romance has a serious side as well. Good read all around. – Philologus
This is the story of Danielle who at 60 is at a crossroads in her life. She is in London for her first one woman art show and shortly after her arrival bumps into Molly, the woman she has been holding a torch for for thirty years. Her friend Esther flies to London from Colorado to lend her support and to urge Danielle to finally move on with her life. Her agent Fiona is there to encourage Danielle as she channels her feelings and creates the finest work in her long career.
With the help of her friend Esther our protagonist is introduced to Bethany who is everything Danielle can hope to find in a woman. Someone who can understand the hurt and hope that binds Danielle to her past but who is strong and loving enough to push her toward a future she is not able to imagine.
Danielle is now faced with all the emotions that have been dormant everywhere in her life except for her art for the last three decades. How Danielle and the women who surround her in London for the two week time span of the story handle the events from the past and present and all Danielle’s emotions make for a great read.
Ms. York wrote a unique book dealing with women who have passed the blush of youth but remain sharp, vibrant and sexual. (The kind of women we can all aspire to be.) There is no explicit sex but there is a lot of emotion and caring.
I know that this is a book that I will read again. – Mary Anne
Timber City Masks Reviews
Kieran York succeeds largely because her characters are fully developed and she keeps a firm hand on her plot development. York’s secondary characters are well-drawn, and all play important roles. She presents information through conversation rather than description. An entertaining mystery full of lively characters. Finally, the writing is well above the average from lesbian mysteries, adding depth and interest to all aspects of the novel. Ultimately, it is the quality of writing that sustains both characterization and plot. Kieran York has succeeded in creating such distinctive characters, and I look forward to reading more. – The Lesbian Review of Books by Diane Griffin Crowder
Kieran York has created remarkably genuine people in the Royce Madison series. She has developed fast paced, realistic mysteries sent in the mountains of Colorado. – The Book Worm by Gerry Costello
“Philosophically, I think we’re a nation neatly tucked away in a lesbian enclave and we remain invisible to the masses,” says York. “I want to write about a lesbian who mainstream.” York should be commended for writing in a genre she thoroughly enjoys, creating characters she respects in a setting she adores. – The Boulder Weekly by Windy DeBow
I enjoy Kieran York’s work, and can’t wait to read more of it. – Sandra Scoppettone
A well-plotted mystery kicks off the Royce Madison series. – Windy City Times
Crystal Mountain Veils Reviews
An entertaining read…..filled with rich description and colorful characters. – Small Press
Very likeable protagonist. York doesn’t limit herself, however, and has drawn several other interesting characters. She describes the lovely Rocky Mountain country in terms that will have the readers planning their summer vacations. It includes passionate love scenes, interesting facts, and an intriguing mystery. The exciting conclusion is “plenty amazing”, and leaves the reader looking forward to the next mystery. York has the ability to make Timber City a very real place. She also fleshes out the characters she introduces. I strongly recommend the refreshing trip to the Rocky Mountains. It’s an exciting read with memorable scenery and a great ending. – Mega Scene Palm Springs, California by Lynne Watson
Give it a try! – Mama Bear News and Notes by J. Antoinette Johnson-Gross
Kieran York knows the joys, the passion, the sorrows of living gay in the nineties and shares her insights with intrigue, grace, and deft wit. Kieran writes in a sensitive, realistic way that is powerful, sexual, and satisfying. – Rocky Mountain Career Women’s Communique.
A well-paced, Lesbian murder mystery that shows us the many layers of veils that people utilize in everyday life. The action is nonstop. Kieran York forces us to take a look at the way we live. I deliberately did not go into the sensual love secenes in order to avoid denying you the pleasure of discovering them for yourself. Quest Magazine – by Carol Williams