Introducting Scarlet Clover

Introducing Scarlet Clover Publishers!

On Monday authors of Blue Feather Books, Ltd., received an email. The nearly decade-old publishing company is to be dissolved.

For me it was very sad news. A book company would be lost. On a personal note, I grieve for what made Blue Feather Books special – Emily Reed, and the staff of Blue Feather Books, cared. Em cared about the authors and about the readers.

Emily took a chance on my book about a sixty-year old woman finding romance in Appointment with a Smile. She took another chance on a book that was uncomfortable – it talked about two war. There were Hippies and a Concentration Camp – good and evil of life. Careful Flowers might have gone unpublished if not for Em. She is a hero to me, and I thank her and wish her the best.

I wish Em, and all the authors of BFB a happy future. Speaking of authors, and the world of publishing – there are so many magnificent women providing today’s Sapphic literature. I’m so very proud to be part of this ‘golden era’ of words.

Ann Bannon wrote a few books that changed many of our lives. Emily Reed reconstructed a publishing company – and gave so many of us an opportunity. Beth Mitchum created not only her own brilliant work, but she’s promoted women’s poetry and fiction with her amazing publishing company, Ultra Violet Love, and Sappho’s Corner Series.

Blazing the way in the enormity of Sapphic literature, these leaders have forced the best in us. As writers and as readers. Each book written makes a commitment to the future. So I thank all those who read and who write. I also thank the Reader – they support our cause.

For me there is no competition. I truly admire each of the publishing houses, and the authors. We all make one another better, and stronger. So let’s keep constructing words, and our love of the scrambled alphabet. I wish you all good fortune.

Monday, after reading the email that took a little part of my heart, I became determined to contribute in some way to Sapphic writing. I put a dream together in my mind. I’m a technologically imperiled. Uncertain how I could realize this dream, I talked with my mentor and dear friend, Beth Mitchum. She has always encouraged me. And that was when Scarlet Clover was born.

The name, Scarlet Clover – well, yes, it is after my dog, Clover. The scarlet part – well, I know that red clover comes in varieties. Scarlet (the most intensely red), crimson, and pink. My sister loves the Scarlet Clover.

Fields of Scarlet Clover are not bashful.

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April’s A’Tossing

April is a’tossing all kinds of great emotional pleasures of the season. It does this every single year.

I really like Vita Sackville-West’s lines from “Spring,” The Garden. She says:
April the angel of the months, the young
Love of the year.

Hey, my bulbs are protruding through earth’s surface. Crocus, tulips and more dots of color. That’s good enough for me. Although I know there will be a little kick or two left from Winter – for the most part – it is a done deal. Mentally, I’ve got my garden planned and planted. My happiness is sprouting like fireworks on the 4th.

The birds are obviously every bit as delirious as I am. This morning they were having an April  sing-along. They make me smile – realizing that smile from the beginning to the end, as my lips curl.

Blossoms, clear skies with the warmth of sun and ‘can do’ attitudes become magical festivals.

I’ve always been sold on Spring. But there is a funny thing about having Colorado’s four seasons. Summer’s turn will find us standing in rows of fresh growth. There is the green herbal  of everything from dill to lavender. And Summer will thrill me.

After Summer is the Autumn bounty of harvest, and the magnificence of fall colors. Then there’s that moment’s rush when large, cleansing flakes of snow drift down. Winter.

Life is certainly a ‘Gee Whiz’ event. I’m glad that Spring has tossed us an April of simple heart pleasures. Those are the joys my life appreciates most.

While it may be April Fool’s Day, I’ll be the first to admit – my soul isn’t fooled one little bit. April’s A’Tossing out days, weeks, and months of wonder.

 

Copyright: Kieran York 2014

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Kieran York’s latest fiction is Careful Flowers, available in book form through http://www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

Her romance, Appointment with a Smile, a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, is also available in both book form and e-book through Amazon, Blue Feather Books or Bella Book Distribution.

A new book of poetry is planned for a summer release. Blushing Aspen is a Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series Solo book for 2014 – published by Ultra Violet Love. Her poetry is also published in the best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Wet Violets, Volume 2; Roses Read, Volume 3; and the newly released Delectable Daisies, Volume 4. These collections are edited by award-winning poet, Beth Mitchum. They are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

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Interviews:

A print interview with Kieran York is available by going to: http://ultravioletlove.com. You’ll find it under Featured Author’s Series: Inside the Writer’s Head.

Two blog radio interviews are available through: http://beabehn.com – click left on Be(h)n’s Bookshelf to find discussion on Careful Flowers and Appointment with a Smile.

Tender Territory

TENDER TERRITORY

Awaking to life’s kiss is a tender territory.
The blink of night’s shade lifts.
At the horizon’s edge, lips are half-opened, and awaiting.
A unfurling smile is a great effervescent swath of light
directing us toward our day.
This globe loans us fervent magnificence,
Steeped in intensity – lands, oceans, and skies rally.
Without pretension, nature enchants.
A chunk of forever is actualized – and becomes our very own.
We, the eavesdroppers, the voyeurs, the surveyors, and guests –
we debark from the cavernous wombs of destiny.
We, the passengers, those cosmic terrestrial folk,
those newly-minted life forms –
we eagerly spur our spirits.
And we thrust our bodies toward life’s love affair.
We interlace with both the finite and the infinite.
Once held inside a cradle’s miracle,
we now skip across the edges of earth,
and swim from shore to shore across the seas,
and wing a path through the air.
We canvass our salvation.
Migratory, with great compulsion to search, we drift.
From our start,
we have been shackled by those obtruding our freedoms.
For territory, we have fought, and been protective guardians.
We have influence, as good devotees of all.
We have crossed a thin rope – from canyon’s sides.
Within the arms of love,
we have also been cuffed
within the musculature of greed and hate.
We seek always to locate others – and ourselves.
For we are links of a golden fob,
chaining us to the luminous dial of existence.
Yet terra, sea, and endless space
have been sullied, trampled, obliterated, and destroyed.
We’ve committed betrayal, adultery, and murder of our planet.
We poach treasured gifts.
With gluttony, we’ve siphoned one another’s prosperity.
We’ve pilfered one another’s bounty.
Earth’s eternal crest is ablaze with immense splendor.
It asks nothing in return; demands nothing.
We clench tightly to each woven wrinkle of territory.
We drain the waves as seas lift and curl.
We poison precious morsels of air.
This home, our shelter, has long embraced us.
With crevices, curtains, and plush ecstasy as our coverlets,
we are clothed by all that is the globe.
We are nourished by each aquatic caress,
each shawl of vegetation,
and each breath pressed inside us.
Uniquely formed, tangible and intangible gifts are borrowed.
Our spindly planet of semi-hollow magic carries us
through the vastness of the heavens.
Our appetites are satiated with wild, salient views –
our internal treasury.
Nutrients for our imagination are rarely depleted.
We have made of earth our pincushion, punching bag,
and our experiment.
We unveil and forfeit the riches of this planet – for profit.
Weeping, I wonder why we haven’t understood our acts.
Our interchange might have been the reunion of our souls
with a tender territory.
We might have realized the truth earlier.
Earth is our lover.

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

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Please check out my poetry in the latest, best-selling Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series:Wet Violets, Volume 2; and Roses Read, Volume 3. Edited by Beth Mitchum, the books are available through http:ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please consider the Lambda Award Finalist (2013) Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Book Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are also available through Amazon.

And watch for the latest fiction release, this month – Careful Flowers!    

WAR CLOUD WORDS

At times it seems that we are surrounded by war. Explosions rob us of one another. Countries, with mad posturing, aim their threats across the world. And I go along with little-to-no understanding of war.

I caught the flowing thoughts that stampeded through my mind. War Cloud Words is written with pain, with hurt, and with ingredients I admit not to know how to decipher. My vision of a world filled with war cloud words has a flip side. I can also hope for humanity’s long reach to finally hold a sky filled with love and peace.

WAR CLOUD WORDS

Words, no louder than a wasp emits, were sighed.
Vividly detailed hatred shouted its message.
Each nation’s declaration was galvanized with stealthy resolve.
When trepidation converted to fear –
terror became a shiver announcing there was no way back.
Such a small deed was required – barely a blemish.
Watchdogs suffered from the violent feeding frenzy.
A veiled cradle had been leavened into time’s mud.
Metal twisted stick-figures.
Uncoiled trinkets were barely identifiable as they
anonymously cascaded to earth.
Hollowed-out lands, homes, people were estranged
from their mission of life.
Death remnants of pungent air, and hovering souls
were reinvented.
Exalted, vile, and evil laughter claimed sad victory.
A desolate calendar continued digging earth.
Naked flame of once bright ceremony
duplicated blisters of excruciating agony.
Life was haunted by love converging
in a cobwebbed corner.
Delusion invaded destiny.
Rushing away was the fake charisma
of a well-armed circus barker.
All songs smashed into their own silent stone of anguish.
No one had truly conquered the darkest day ever created.
War exploded – while love imploded.
Emotions were folded between crease of flesh.
Drills scratched the globe to find the depths of blood.
Hate’s taste had forever fouled the air.
Yet perfumed trails of love curled toward heaven.
If we pressed our lips to kindness,
would unkindness not hide?
Such a searing microcosm had ushered in disruption.
The clasp of love could assuredly will peace with simplicity
and with the majesty of perfect care.
Yet villainy intruded with deliberate intent
to scar that very decency and carve it away
Hostilities, so chaotic and cruel seemed ever-present.
So honorable was trust and benign hearts.
Prayer from the sky above sent utterances of charity.
And war cloud words were shrieking ever louder.
At least until the world became weary of listening.
And then without contrition,
without pseudo-justice,
yet with compassion for victim, and not villain –
reason lived.
The sky cleared.

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

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Please check out my poetry in the best-selling poetry collection, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Roses Read, Volume 3; and Wet Violets, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum, the books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you are interested in romantic fiction, please consider the 2013 Lambda Award Finalist, Appointment with a Smile, by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are available through Amazon. York’s latest book is titled Careful Flowers, and will soon be released by Blue Feather Books.

A Thought

This has been an active week concerning same-sex marriages. A couple of decades ago I wrote a short story – “X-Chromosomes” – part of a collection of short stories. As I was hearing news reports about equality, I thought of this story. It contains some of the fears parents had about losing custody of their children if they were found to be lesbian or gay.

Well, here’s my offering, and we are still concerned about inequality. What silliness when all we should be considering about any portion of life is – good hearts.

X-CHROMOSOMES by Kieran York

“That’s the ticket,” Dolly Riggs reassured. She leaned down to give the child’s plump cheek a soft tweak. “A smile is better than a frown any old day. Why you got a sweet little face when it’s smiling, Violet. Your name suits you. For a fact, it does.” Standing back, Dolly gave a frisky nod toward the five-year old. “We all like happy endings.”

Violet Thomas blinked into the sun. She focused her squint on the spry octogenarian. One of the neighbors had called Dolly Riggs a senile old bat of dubious sexual leanings. Miss Agatha Dillard, Dolly’s dear friend and housemate, had died two years ago. Dolly had shared a home with Miss Agatha for over fifty years. Everyone on the block had called the two women spinsters. Some however, were more graphic. Violet had no earthly idea what ‘leps-beings’ were. And her mother told her it wasn’t of any true importance anyway.

To Violet, Dolly was only a nice old neighbor lady. She wore strange garb. A huge pagoda straw hat was always worn in the sun. And long-sleeved shirts and pants, because Miss Agatha had always said that Dolly had a bad way with the sun. Dolly’s wardrobe may have set her apart as eccentric, but even that seemed to endear her to the children on the block. She always had time for them. Time to give them apples from her giant apple tree. Time to tell them stories of Joanie Appleseed. That was the feminist version, naturally. And she insisted the kids call her by her first name rather than Mrs. Riggs. The formal title annoyed her.

“Davey run off with my favorite seashell. Aunt Lana brought it from the ocean. Brought it special for me. And Davey stole it,” Violet tattled with a grumble inside her jaw.

When her parents divorced, Aunt Lana had moved in with Violet and her mother, Jody. Aunt Lana was a traveling business woman. She often went near the ocean, and always brought a special shell, and a t-shirt, for Violet.

“Why on earth would Davey do that?” Dolly quizzed. “That boy has more toys than good sense. He’s as selfish as the day is long. Why his big brother never acted like that. He was a gentlemanly youngster. But that Davey!”

“Well, he did it. He took it offa me. To be mean, I ‘spose,” Violet incriminated her playmate. She gave a sway of her curly blonde locks to confirm the crime.

“Never thought I’d see the day when he could get one over on you, Violet Rae Thomas.”

“He did it to be spiteful. Aunt Lana tells that Davey is a spiteful little shit if ever there was one. And my mom says Aunt Lana knows character. Why Aunt Lana even told Mommy that my Daddy wasn’t right for her. Mom says I was the only good thing that come outta getting married. But she had to try marriage on.”

“Lots of folks don’t pick the right flavor first off.”

“Aunt Lana says she’s amazed my dad didn’t goof up with a Y.”

“A Y?” Dolly questioned, gawking down at the child.

“Yes. Instead of the X-chromosome.”

Dolly grinned. “Aunt Lana said that, did she?”

“Yep. Now, how am I gonna get my shell back?”

“Why that’s clear as a fresh scrubbed window.” Dolly’s frown broke. Memory, she mused, is where the past is reinvented. She found similarities in most events trailing from her many yesterdays to today. “One time I wanted something that was taken from me. I set my mind thinking and came up with a plan.”

“Criminy sakes,” Violet squealed. “I just need me a plan.”

“Can’t use my exact plan. It’s been used up by me. But we can change it about.” She crossed her spindly arms defiantly. Leaning down, she asked, “Want to try that?”

“Sure. You can come up with a plan for me.”

“You’ll need to be clever as all get-out.” Dolly hesitated. “Solving problems can usually be done in one of two ways. Blossoms or bullets.”

“Blossoms or bullets?” Violets face squeezed with pure bewilderment. “What’s that all about?”

“Blossoms, well, that’s giving folks a smile. You serve Davey up some tea-cakes and sugar.”

“Davey is too spoiled for that business. His momma bakes a bunch.”

Dolly reconsidered, “Well, I mean by being kindly to him, but I do believe he’s far to strong-willed for blossoms to work.” She dipped the brim of her hat. “Blossoms are out.”

“I got no bullets,” Violet whined with a shrug. “I don’t even got a gun.”

“Bullets don’t mean real bullets. It means you use tactics that aren’t so kindly.”

“That’ll get me in Dutch at Sunday School.” With a puffy sigh, she asked, “What did you have so you needed blossoms or bullets?”

“My best friend wanted my husband. I married him. Thought I would have family of sweet little ones. That never came to be. Anyways, my friend still wanted him. So I gave him to her. I sort of traded for her roommate. Well, she regretted the trade. And I never regretted it for one minute.” Dolly cackled. “Not one minute of my whole life. Agatha and I were better suited.”

Violet’s lips protruded. “I want my shell back,” she brayed. She stomped her foot. “And I’m gonna get it, too. Aunt Lana said not to be in-tim-a-dated. Not by him, or any other boy in the world. Tells me never try to be equal to boys ’cause that would be lowering my standards. She tells me I’m already better because of my X business makin’ me a little girl.”

“What’s your mama say?” Dolly quizzed with amusement.

“Says Aunt Lana is a radical, separatist, feminist Sapphic.”

“Gracious,” Dolly said with a bolt. “But that’s your little secret.”

“I got another secret, too.”

Dolly’s eyebrows lifted. “I’ll bet I can guess.”

“You can?”

“I’ll bet your Aunt Lana isn’t really your aunt. But she’s a pretend aunt.”

“How’d you know?”

“Just a wild guess.”

“Yeah, but I can’t tell nobody. Besides, Aunt Lana is the best aunt I could have anyway.”

“Yes. Now then, little Violet, what do you intend on doing about your special shell?”

“This blossom and bullet tactic isn’t for me,” the small girl answered. “I’m gonna give Davey a shake or two. Smack him in the tummy if I got to. That should do the trick. Aunt Lana said it was okay to tear a strip offa him or any other bullies. An’ I’m gonna do just that.”

Violet stormed down the sidewalk. Pure determination was her ally. Dolly shook her head and snickered for many moments. She watched until Violet was out of sight. Then she returned to tending her begonias. Dolly fussed over her flowers with the tenderness they deserved. Several times she put down her garden shovel and chuckled to herself.

“X-chromosomes, indeed!”

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

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Please check out my poetry in the best-selling poetry collection, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Roses Read, Volume 3; and Wet Violets, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum, the books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you are interested in romantic fiction, please consider the Lambda Award Finalist Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through www.bluefeatherbooks.com. Or order through Bella Books Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are available through Amazon.

Poetry Month

April is Poetry Month!

I realized when I was very young how some words got stuck in my heart. The only way to dislodge the words that gathered was to write them. Perhaps I merely continue writing them as they’ve forever been written – with gleams from a heartbeat.

GLEAMS FROM A HEARTBEAT

Being different, and alone from the mainstream, dims light within.
Words fill up the blank pages of our souls.
Phrases spill as we grab for our pens.
For perhaps there is no other trace of us –
other than skeletal remains.
Yesteryear’s scratches have carved rocks,
and scrawled parchment –
to tell of us.
As generations press us across time,
we looked in both directions.
Then we looked up into the heavens.
We became less alone – for we all saw the same thing.
In the past we’d shared our caves with long-tailed lizards.
We were described as ancients –
we were sequestered and chained to earth.
Throughout existence, we’ve known the lies of prejudice.
Bloody, dripping paint splashes told of wild beasts.
Miniscule were the advancements we craved.
For we loved differently.
Our mistakes surely came from wild roots,
and amulets filled with holy sparkling gems.
Paths crossed,
and different symbols and marks were traded.
Plunderers burned and shredded many sequels.
Only destiny sheltered us between vast rainbows.
Erosion might have been all that saved us
as the facade disrobed – then shattered.
Beyond the altars, behind the fossils of our parents,
our secret had been hidden.
Tragedians called our souls twisted.
Dark Ages listed us as wicked.
Now we are compounded, raw materials
upon shelves of sand.
We are still misfits of the biosphere.
We tour the solar system by invitation only.
Strangers we are to Everything beyond.
We tread our gravitational field as we must.
On the floor of our planet,
we share our lectures.
Other cannonballs, those planets above,
jeer back at us.
They watch our mirrored probes
as if we are disenfranchised.
For we are still cloistered nomads of the atmosphere.
Beyond the visible, we take the invisible’s pulse.
Magnetic, our rocky rubble is the earth’s clothing.
We change styles with each rendezvous.
We gouge and dig the cliff’s robes.
We prod the folded mountainous shawls.
We plunge into the depth
of our ocean’s liquid wading pools.
Although guests ourselves,
we pretend to be planetary hosts.
Yet we fear emptiness as we voyage the stars.
We know rejection as we crawl the globe’s paths.
Our scrapbooks fall open with disheveled guesses.
We ignore both earth’s nucleus, and our own.
Our naked eyes witness the same bright dots
that were once examined from cave porches.
Our enzymes from loins of long ago
have been scooped and examined.
Our scroll of DNA has named us.
Molecules of chaos have been chiseled from flesh.
We are genetically misspelled samples.
However, we’ve survived the bonfires.
The hazing, the horrors – they have emboldened us.
We can share who we are with cursive alphabets,
with keys of electricity,
and with speeding waves of energy.
Most of us can now acknowledge our spirit’s rhetoric.
I can present myself to you.
I am Sapphic,
and my words are gleams from a heartbeat

COPYRIGHT: Kieran York

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 Please check out my poetry in the best-selling poetry collection, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Roses Read, Volume 3 and Wet Violets, Volume 2. edited by Beth Mitchum, the books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you are interested in romantic fiction, please consider Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. Books are available through wwwbluefeatherabooks.com. Or order through Bella Books Distribution for books or e-books. Books and Kindle e-books are available through Amazon.

Songs, songs, songs –

This blog is songs, songs, songs – I’m posting some of my song lyrics – written decades ago. These were songs sung by a regional Colorado woman’s band. I was fortunate to be a member and friend of the women. I wrote songs, and was a barely okay singer and guitar player. And so I’ll include the lyrics of three of my personal favorites.

The group’s theme song was “Denver Dreams” and we opened every performance with it. The second is a song I wrote for a very special woman. The final song is a love song I constructed so many years ago, I’m not sure of how it evolved.

DENVER DREAMS

* It always seems those Denver Dreams keep bounding across my mind.
Thoughts designed to comfort me, won’t loosen up and be
The way that dreaming takes you back into a yesterday
Mellow dreams of Denver times, seems they’re here to stay.

We shared so many mountain walks
With late night campfire talks.
Mica that reflects the stars
And country songs on our guitars.
So many ways that we both seemed to care.
Scouting trickling rocky streams
Blended with our wildflower dreams.
So many times I reached and you were there.*

Evergreen brushed weekends
Aspen, pine, the scents they send.
Wooded paths we wandered through
And cabin smiles I’ve smiled for you.
So many ways that we both seemed to care.
Those coming home to Denver drives
Coming back to our city lives,
So many times I reached and you were there.*
Copyright – Kieran York

ANNE, HAVE I EVER TOLD YOU

*Anne, have I ever told you
I’d give my world to hold you
And lace sunshine into your day
Kiss your troubles all away.

So give your love without a fear
I’ll have kindness always near
And soft and warm just to build
A world that’s ever daisy-filled.
Entrust me with your days ahead
I’ll beckon smiles for you instead
Of frowns that might have come your way.
You can count on me to stay.
So here’s my promise, I’ll be strong
If you’ll allow me to go along.*

Let’s turn our dreams all around
I’ll share with you the songs I’ve found.
With happiness to pave your time.
The beauty of a simple rhyme.
Turn your tears back into a grin.
Allow my love entrance in
And slide the sun back into your eyes
Place rainbows thick against your skies.
So here’s my promise, I’ll be strong
If you’ll allow me to belong.*
Copyright – Kieran York

WARMED BY YOU

I want to touch the leaves
As they fall down through the sky.
Finish with a somersault on the wings of a butterfly.
And when I land I want to finally settle
In the middle of a columbine petal.
Nap against the grasses in the afternoon shade
Dream about a caterpillar parade.
Listen to the stream striking over stones
Making up music with magical tones.
And as the day drifts out against midnight’s blue,
I want to snuggle up and be warmed by you.

As the clouds sweep across the air I want to glide
And finish with a rainbow slipper slide ride.
Down onto a water-lily afloat
With rays of love spraying around as my moat.
Rest in a pond of sparkling sunshine rain.
Under a bluebell umbrella I’ll remain
Tranquil with my heart set into a smile
Hope I can stay right here for awhile.
And as the day drifts out against midnight’s blue,
I want to snuggle up and be warmed by you.

Copyright – Kieran York

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Please check out my poetry in the best-selling poetry collections, Sappho’s Corner Poetry Series: Roses Read, Volume 3 and Wet Violets, Volume 2. Edited by Beth Mitchum, the books are available through http://ultravioletlove.com and Amazon.

If you’re interested in romantic fiction, please consider Appointment with a Smile by Kieran York. It’s a 2013 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Books are available through amazon, and e-books through Kindle.