Dying for a Change by Sean Reynolds (Feb. 2011 Pick of the Month)
The year is 1965, the place is Chicago. The streets are hot, not just because it’s August, but because racism lives and breathes with a fierce determination to tear apart any civility between blacks and whites.
In the midst of this is cool-as-a-fan Chan Parker, 33-year-old numbers runner, working her dead-end profession with all the enthusiasm of a broken toaster. With her boyish good looks, she makes much more money than the average Negro, but being on the bottom rung of a mobster operation making its money off the backs of blacks isn’t her idea of a career. As Chan says in DYING FOR A CHANGE, “Prostitution is doing any job you would rather not do, and I was beginning to feel whorish.”
The bright spots in Chan’s life are her 55 black-over black T-Bird, her eclectic jazz collection, and best friend Henrietta Wild Cherry. A 300-pound drag queen, Henrietta has been Chan’s rock since childhood, and when the lady asks for help finding a fellow dragster who’s come up dead, Chan is hot on the trail of discovering what happened to Miss Dove.
Dying for a Change paints a vivid scene of old Chicago as she and Henrietta track down a killer. In the midst of it all, Chan’s job proves to be a more of a liability while discerning who’s on the right side of the law – and who’s twisted in the game.
Sean Reynolds’ prose in Dying is deftly captivating, and the slang from 1960s Chicago is authentic, refreshing, and a character in its own right. As you read, you’re transported to that time of juke joints and back rooms, a time when being the wrong color on the wrong side of town could mean trouble. Dying is a mystery, history lesson and cool suspense at the same time. I would have liked to see more romance, but nonetheless, Reynolds knows her genre, knows her people, and most importantly, knows how to tell a fantastic story.
This Is How We Do It by D. Alexandria
Women are blessed with sexual prowess to varying degrees, from the most vanilla to a rainbow swirl, and THIS IS HOW WE DO IT captures all those kinky flavors, a veritable taste of what lesbian sex has to offer.
D. Alexandria, a former author at kuma2.net and writer for several anthologies including the Best Lesbian Erotica and Ultimate Lesbian Erotica series, at last boasts her own collection of freaky fiction. As her synopsis points out, “We need more than teasing kisses, tender caresses, whipped cream or wisps of lace.”
Simply put, this is a strictly sexual thang.
This is How We Do Itis broken up into three interludes, one rawer than the next. It begins with “When She’s Mad,” where after a fight, a couple airs all their “dirty laundry” at a public rest stop. In “The Jewel of Storyville,” a famed whore in 1899 New Orleans is astonished when her baby-faced John pulls a deception that pleases them both.
The next section of the book is all about the thrill of getting busy, as evidenced in “Tag,” a version of hide and seek nothing like the version you played growing up. And a lot of the things you thought “Butches Don’t” do are disproved between two masculine bruhs just chillin for the afternoon.
The final interlude saves the pain for last. A student is taken to task in lieu of studying in “Pain Slut,” while a woman relives schoolgirl torture in “Penance.” The best of the bunch is “Flipping the Script,” a passionate role-playing tale.
This is How We Do It showcases D. Alexandria’s proficiency in erotica writing that’s grounded in real scenarios and playfulness. The moral of This Is How We Do It is that roles and hang-ups don’t matter – as long as you’re handling yours.