Bywater BLUE
We love good books, just like you do
September 2013
Welcome to Bywater Books

Dear Readers,

Fall approaches, and for the first time, The Mirror and the Mask and The Cruel Ever After by Ellen Hart are available in paperback. To find out more, see Author Profile and Hot Off The Press below.

Throughout the fall, Ellen will be making a series of appearances. For more details, see Bywater Events below — where you'll also find news of an upcoming appearance by Elana Dykewomon.

And if you missed our new releases from earlier this year, do check out Leap by Z Egloff, Giraffe People by Jill Malone and our re-print of The Escape Artist by Judith Katz. All have been picking up good reviews since publication. See Our Recent Publications below.

As always, we at Bywater strive to bring you the finest in lesbian romance, mystery, and literary fiction.

Till next time!

Michele Karlsberg
Kelly Smith
Marianne K. Martin
Val McDermid

Author Profile
Ellen Hart
Just how different were things back in the summer of 1987, when Ellen Hart sat down to write her first book? Well, you could buy Starbucks coffee — if you lived in Seattle. Watch The Simpsons — in one-minute slots on
The Tracey Ullman Show. And take your pick of mysteries at the bookstore — as long as you realized it wasn't likely to feature a lesbian.

Ellen has now written 30 mysteries, and from the first she's written about lesbians. There's no point writing yourself out of your own books, she argues. Besides, don't all writers write the books they want to read?

That summer, she knew that what she had always liked to read were mysteries. So that's what she tried, with a little help from P. D. James. Reading her books was like taking a tutorial, and helped her to figure out how to construct a crime novel. Ask Ellen now about what makes a good mystery and she argues that "What happens next?" is the driving force behind any story worth reading. As for mysteries, what these do is to offer us something that is so often missing from our everyday lives: resolution. That may not mean a happy ending, but it will mean a story where the mystery is solved.

According to Ellen, that's what makes mysteries so popular — and commercial. From the start, that's always been important to her: by reaching the largest possible readership, she hopes to communicate a better understanding of what it means to live outside the mainstream.

Such an approach has brought her critics. "Not gay enough," say some. "Too gay," say others. As part of the Minnesota Crime Wave, she often appears at book signings with two other authors — and notices that some people won't even touch her books. "It's like they're made of plutonium."

It's frustrating, of course. But even though her Jane Lawless series has been marginalized, Jane herself has been a fascinating character for Ellen to explore across 21 books. Especially because she's one who continues to reveal new aspects of herself — even while managing to age a whole lot better than her author. (That's fiction for you.)

If you'd like to hear Ellen talk about all this in more detail, she's happy to join your book group in person or via Skype. Go to her website,, for more details. Or if you just want to send her an e-mail, visit her site and she promises she'll get back to you. And if you've ever wondered yourself about writing a mystery, she teaches "An Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery" through the The Loft Literary Center.

Ellen lives with her partner in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. At least, she does now; she moved just this summer. Don't ask . . .

by Caroline Curtis

Hot Off The Press

The Mirror and the Mask
The Mirror and the Mask

by Ellen Hart

Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is at a turning point. Thanks to the tanking economy she has scuppered her plans for a third restaurant, and her long distance romance is on the skids and likely over. Opting for a big change, she takes her good friend A. J. Nolan up on his standing offer to take her on as a private investigator.

Jane's first job seems like beginners luck. All she has to do is find Annie Archer's stepfather. Jane tracks down a likely match — a man who has made a small fortune in real estate. While she's happy to close her first case, she finds it hard to reconcile the difference between PI work — finding what people pay you to find — and uncovering the truth, especially when clues in this seemingly simple case point to more threatening family secrets than where Annie's father has been hiding out.

"Juicy . . . Hart fans will enjoy the many twists, both personal and criminal."

– Publishers Weekly

"a tale full of complex plot lines, fast-paced action, and characters skilled in deception. Fans . . . will not be disappointed."

Library Journal, Starred Review

"Jane Lawless and her trusty sidekick, Cordelia Thorn, are the most refreshing, entertaining, and cerebrally stimulating duo since Rex Stout's unbeatable combo of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin."

— Baltimore Alternative

Lesbian Fiction 312 pages

ISBN print 978-1-61294-043-4

At fine stores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

The Cruel Ever After
The Cruel Ever After

by Ellen Hart

Jane Lawless is nearly dumbstruck when her ex-husband Chester reappears in Minneapolis. After their divorce he swore he would never return and left Jane with enough money to open her first restaurant. Now he's back and penniless, or as he would prefer to say, between fortunes.

But Chester is never without an angle to make more money. This time he is selling a priceless artifact recently looted from the Baghdad Museum. When he wakes up next to the dead body of his buyer with no memory of what happened the night before, Chester panics and flees the scene. Later he returns to cover his tracks only to find that someone has already taken care of that for him, but at what price?

"Buttressed by distinctive characters and a splendid Minnesota setting, the well-constructed plot builds to a satisfying conclusion."

– Publishers Weekly

"Hart has consistently maintained a level of excellence throughout her 18 Lawless mysteries. (She) never overplays Jane's lesbianism. It is just a fact of life in this truly engaging mystery series."

Library Journal

Lesbian Fiction 320 pages

ISBN print 978-1-61294-044-1

At fine stores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

Remembering 9/11

96 Hours

Tomorrow will be the twelfth anniversary of the day we now call 9/11.

In her latest blog, Georgia Beers explains why she chose to write 96 Hours, a novel set in the immediate aftermath of those events, when many planes were diverted to the small airport of Gander, Newfoundland.

The people there rallied to help the stranded passengers, an act of generosity that inspired her book. And so, while the events of that day retain their horror, Georgia says: "I am reminded less and less of the horrors and malevolence spewed from a wicked few and more and more of the kindness and unwavering humanity given by a selfless many."

To read the whole blog, click here.

Lesbian Fiction 304 pages
ISBN print 978-1-932859-84-3 ISBN eBook 978-1-6932858-85-0

At fine stores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

Recent Publications

Giraffe People

Giraffe People

by Jill Malone

Cole Peters thought life couldn't get any worse. Trapped between God and the Army, the teenage daughter of the Army Chaplain school dean at Fort Monmouth discovers a whole new peril opening up before her when she falls in love with her best friend. Her best girlfriend. Jill Malone delivers a fresh and subtle take on the coming-out story.

Jill Malone's second novel, A Field Guide to Deception, won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction and was a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Literary Award. Her first novel, Red Audrey and the Roping, won the Bywater Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction. Jill Malone is a regular blogger and her following is moving beyond the queer reading community. She lives in Spokane Washington.

Lesbian Fiction 272 pages
ISBN print 978-1-61294-039-7 ISBN eBook 978-1-61294-040-3

At fine stores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.



by Z Egloff

Summer 1979. Rowan Marks is done with high school. Next comes college. And in between there's a yawning gulf — the last carefree summer vacation.

At least, it should be carefree. But Rowan's older brother Ben is smoking way too much pot. Her best friend Danny is in love with her. And Catherine, the new girl in their small Ohio town, rubs her the wrong way. Well, that's OK. Rowan can deal. She's got it all worked out.

Then everything turns on its head. Catherine steals her heart, Danny falls out with her, and Ben crashes the family car, ripping the family secrets bare.

All of a sudden, Rowan has a stark choice — is she going to grow up or give up?

Z Egloff is an exciting new talent. Leap is an accomplished follow-up to her first novel, Verge, which won the Bywater Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.

Praise for Z Egloff's debut novel, Verge:

"Verge is powerful, quirky, and fresh . . . Z Egloff creates a rich, inclusive world and a heroine who's one of the most endearingly fallible characters I've met in a long time."

— Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home

Lesbian Fiction 232 pages
ISBN print 978-1-61294-023-6 ISBN eBook 978-1-61294-024-3

At fine stores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

The Escape Artist

The Escape Artist

by Judith Katz

Set in the brothels and gangster dens of Jewish Buenos Aires at the beginning of the twentieth century, The Escape Artist catapults us into the exotic lives of Sofia Teitelbaum and Hankus Lubarsky.

Sofia, a nice Jewish girl from Poland, is wooed from her family by Tutsik Goldenberg who claims to be a wealthy Argentine diamond merchant in search of a wife. In a horrifying turnaround, he delivers her to his sister's brother in Buenos Aires.

Hankus, also a nice Jewish girl from Poland, escaped from the pogroms that killed her family by passing as a man. An illusionist to the core, she's created the persona of a handsome and mysterious magician and escape artist. In Hankus, Tutsik spots a different kind of prospect. Managing Hankus could be his ticket to freedom from his sister's machinations.

But his juggling is the act that brings Sofia and Hankus together. Their attempts to walk the tightrope of love, freedom, and independence are quickly put to the test.

Judith Katz is the author of two published novels, The Escape Artist, and Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound, which won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction. She has received Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and National Endowment fellowships for fiction. She is an academic advisor at the University of Minnesota.

"Katz lives up to her first novel's potential in this moving, funny, wholly original picaresque about a nice Jewish girl . . . The pasts and common destiny of two remarkable women — related with perfect timing in Sofia's convincing Yiddish-tinged English — come together beautifully in this nicely crafted, emotionally satisfying, and well-researched historical fiction."

— Publishers Weekly

Lesbian Fiction 328 pages
ISBN print 978-1-61294-037-3 ISBN eBook 978-1-61294-038-0

At fine stores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

Get Booked!

Calling all Book Groups:

Ever wanted to know what an author thinks about her own book?

Choose a Bywater title to discuss at your Book Group, and we'll arrange for the author to join the conversation — in person, by webcam, or over the phone.

Book Group Leaders, feel free to write us for a complimentary copy of any Bywater book for your review.

E-mail our Publicity Dept at

Bywater Events
Ellen Hart

* will promote her latest novel, Taken by the Wind, along with the two new Bywater titles The Mirror and the Mask and The Cruel Ever After. She will be reading and signing at events throughout October:

Mystery to Me Bookstore at 7 p.m. on October 3.
1863 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711
For more information: (608) 283-9332

Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore at 7 p.m. on October 10.
604 W. 26th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405
For more information: (612) 870-3785

Sub Text: A Bookstore at 7 p.m. on October 15.
165 Western Avenue, N St. Paul, MN 55102
For more information: (651) 493-3781

* will be part of the Minnesota Crime Wave with William Kent and Charles Brookins at three events this fall:

Jackson County Library, Jackson, MN on September 28.

East Grand Forks Library, East Grand Forks, MN on October 7.

Burnhaven Library, Burnsville, MN on November 12.

* will appear at the Magna Cum Murder Crime Writing Literary Festival, at the Columbia Club, which takes place October 25 thru 27.
121 Monument Circle
Indiana 46204
For more information: (317) 767-1361

* will be appearing at the Heartland Forum, a celebration of independent bookselling across twelve states in the Greater Midwest. At this event for book industry professionals, Ellen will sign her books and take part in the Author Feast, 6-10:30 p.m. on October 5 at the Crowne Plaza, Chicago O'Hare.
On October 6, 10 -11 a.m., she will sign and also meet and greet at the booth of Consortium Books.

Elana Dykewomon

will appear at the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project Conference in Houston, October 10-13. She will be reading and will also appear on a panel about the Women-in-Print Movement. The event takes place at the Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport.
9100 Gulf Freeway
Texas 77017

The Virtual World

Your favorite authors also write blogs, have their own websites, and can be found on social networking sites.

Lisa Gitlin
Find her on Facebook.

Ellen Hart
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook. Check out YouTube.

Jill Malone
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook and MySpace.

Marianne K. Martin
Find her on Facebook, MySpace, and Red Room.

Paula Martinac
Click for her website. Click for her blog.

Val McDermid
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook.

Bett Norris
Click for her blog. Find her on Facebook.

Joan Opyr
Click for her

Mari San Giovanni
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter@MariSanGiovanni.

Hilary Sloin
Click for her blog.

Sally Bellerose
Click for her blog. Find her on Facebook.

Georgia Beers
Click for her website. Click for her blog.
Find her on Facebook

Jesse Blackadder
Click for her blog. Find her on Facebook.

Lindy Cameron
Click for her website, and for news of her press.

Kate Clinton
Click for her website.

Stella Duffy
Click for her blog. Find her on LibraryThing, MySpace, and Twitter

Elana Dykewomon
Click for her
website. Find her on Facebook and Red Room.

Z Egloff
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook and Red Room.

Marcia Finical
Find her on Facebook.

Katherine V. Forrest
Click for her website.

You can also follow Bywater Books on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter @BywaterBooks. And tune in to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to it, and you'll be alerted each time a new video is posted.

Issue: 35
In This Issue
Author Profile
Hot Off The Press
Remembering 9/11
Our Recent Publications
Get Booked!
Bywater Events
The Virtual World
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links

Bywater Books

About Bywater

Bywater Prize for Fiction Submissions

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