October Newsletter

New Releases

September

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A Perfect Life and Other Stories by Elaine Burnes

(GusGus Press) Call it happily ever after or a perfect life, it’s a universal destination we all hope to reach. From North America’s highest mountain to that quirky town at the end of the hook of Cape Cod and well past the stars beyond, Elaine explores the hopes and fears that drive us all.

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Right Out of Nowhere by Laurie Salzler

(Bink Books) Roni Oatman belongs to a crew that conducts Search and Rescue Operations for the Forestry Service deep in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho. They save lost people, but Roni is a bit lost herself.

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under the influence by cat mac

(GusGus Press) cat mac’s first collection of poetry, set in Vancouver, B.C. and Mexico, is about a poet growing up in the sixties, grows up in a dysfunctional family, who gets out from under negative influences, comes out as a lesbian, and becomes a healthy, happy poet-singer-songwriter.

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The Urn Carrier by Chris Convissor

(Bink Books YA) Nineteen-year-old Tessa is suddenly tasked with spreading her great aunt’s ashes all over the US and Canada so the rest of her relatives can receive their inheritance.

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October

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Haunting Muses edited by Doreen Perrine

(GusGus Press) In this collection of lesbian stories, ghosts, be they actual or the metaphorical ghosts of memories, aren’t necessarily evil and hauntings may or may not be bad.

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Hindsight by Jody Klaire

(Bink Books) The fourth book in the Above & Beyond series. The lock is the key. General Ursula Frei goes missing and the Criminal Investigations Group is thrown into turmoil. Can Aeron and Renee get Frei to safety and keep her past’s secrets hidden? Or will the truth mean she loses the freedom she fought so hard to have all these years?

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Live Love Lacrosse by Barbara L. Clanton

(Dragonfeather Books) Addie Coleburn, fresh out of the sixth grade, is spending the summer at her grandmother’s house in Syracuse with her mother and brother. Kimi Takahashi, a girl who lives up the street, invites Addie to go to the park and play lacrosse.

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The River’s Edge by Tina Sears

(Bink Books YA) Forced to spend the summer of 1976 with relatives, Chris Morgan faces many challenges. Surrounded by the danger of the river and the shadows of her family’s past, Chris realizes her carefree childhood is ending.

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The Sacred Beasts by Bev Jafek

(Bink Books) Ruth, a brilliant zoologist and geologist and Sylvie, a young French artist travel to Spain’s Costa Brava and then on to Barcelona—Ruth filtering the world through her feminist political and zoological/environmental perspective, and Sylvie capturing the world around her with a vivid, penetrating artist eye.

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Worn Masks by Phyllis Carito

(GusGus Press) Set in the late twentieth century, Mary Grace, an independent and solitary woman in her late forties, is drawn back into her mother’s life and death, and a journey that impacts her life as an estranged daughter.


Bedazzled Ink in the News

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The Book of the Mandolin Player (Bink Books) by Anne Britting Oleson has a review on centralmaine.com. Anne Britting Oleson has also been selected to participate in the 2016 Amtrak Writers Residency Program.

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The Urn Carrier (Bink Books) by Chris Convissor is featured in “On the Road, Again: New YA Road Trip Novels | SLJ Spotlight” in the September 2016 issue of School Library Journal.

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Meital Yaniv’s Spectrum for an Untouchable (GusGus Press) has a review in the Huffington Post.

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The River’s Edge (Bink BooksYA) by Tina Sears is one of YA and Kids Books Central Buzzworthy Books for Fall 2016.


Et cetera

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Chris Convissor said, “Let them eat cake,” at the launch party for The Urn Carrier in Traverse City, Michigan.

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C.D. Cain and Chris Convissor at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia.


October Events

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[Cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew] If you’re in Orlando, Florida for Pride weekend, C.D. Cain will be signing copies of When It Raynes (Bink Books) and It Pours (Bink Books) at the Melissa Crispo concert starting 9:15 p.m. October 7th at the Copper Rocket Pub.

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Celebrate Women’s Week in Provincetown with a Halloween treat of two book readings and signings for Haunting Muses (GusGus Press) The readings are on Thursday, October 13th at 2:00 p.m. and Friday October 14th at 11 p.m. at Art Market Provincetown, 432 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA. Attending authors are Lee Altomaro, Elaine Burnes, L.K. Early, Sacchi Green, Bonnie Morris, Doreen Perrine, and Pascal Scott.

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Also on October 13th during Women’s Week in Provincetown, Doreen Perrine will be reading “Angel of Light,” her ghost story in Haunting Muses from  10:15-11:45 a.m. and Elaine Burnes will be reading from A Perfect Life and Other Stories (GusGus Press) and Wishbone (Bink Books) from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. during the GCLS event at the Sage Inn & Lounge.

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At the same GCLS event Jody Klaire will be there through the magic of Skype, with the help of Velvet Lounger, who will read from Jody’s book, La Vie en Bleu at 2:45 p.m.

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Book Signing. Chris Convissor will be signing copies of The Urn Carrier (Bink Books) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. October 15th at the Horizon Bookstore, Traverse City, Michigan.

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Book Launch. The Visitor Welcome Center in Los Angeles is hosting a launch party for Spectrum for an Untouchable (GusGus Press) by Meital Yaniv on October 23rd.

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A Bittersweet Celebration

The highlight of the GCLS Conference is the announcement of the winners of the Goldie Awards and Bedazzled Ink had several Finalists this year.

Ann Bannon Popular Choice

Dramatic/General Fiction

Debut Author

Creative Non-fiction

Tee Corinne Outstanding Cover Design

Congratulations to Doreen Perrine, CD Cain, Pat Deihl, and Sandra Moran for their outstanding work.

 

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We’re delighted that Wishbone by Elaine Burnes won the Goldie Award for Dramatic/General Fiction. We’d been fans of Elaine Burnes’ short stories for years and we jumped at the opportunity to publish her first amazing novel. If you haven’t yet read this “beautifully written and poignantly powerful” work, there’s still plenty of summer left for a summer read.

This year’s Goldie Awards is also bittersweet for us. While GCLS honored Sandra Moran and her book, All We Lack, we feel an emptiness that we can’t celebrate her second Ann Bannon award with her and the added honor of the Tee Corinne Outstanding Cover Design by Ann McMan.

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We miss Sandra’s Moran’s presence as an author and as a person and these awards feel like an end to an all-too-brief era in Bedazzled Ink history. It’s true, we were slated to publish her last book, State of Grace, but we never had the chance to go through the editorial process with Sandra on this, our favorite of all her books. State of Grace will always be a bittersweet memory for me because one of our last conversations was about getting ready to embark on what was always a delightful undertaking with Sandra, the editing process, this time with State of Grace. This brief conversation says everything that needs to be said about Sandra the author and her desire to make sure a book was the best it could be. She wrote: “Fingers crossed that it ticked the boxes.” And I responded with: “Thanks! I’m sure it’s great.” To which she replied, “If it’s not, we will make it great together. I am always eager to make whatever changes are necessary.” I still feel an ache that we never got that chance to work together on State of Grace and that I’ll never have the privilege of working with her again.

In the end, we gave up State of Grace because of editorial and artistic differences with Sandra’s wife Cheryl Pletcher and we respect her choices in how she wants to handle Sandra’s legacy. After Cheryl tried to interest the major publishers in taking on State of Grace, another publisher agreed to put out an edition of Sandra’s last manuscript version of it. As Cheryl wrote in this edition’s Foreword: “I did not want it edited again. Perhaps the story could have been improved by editing. To me, that is irrelevant.”

With all of Sandra’s literary works now published and that chapter of her life closed, her work with Marianne K. Martin on the Legacies of Lesbian Literature Project lives on, with the goal of turning it into a video. All the royalties from the sale of Sandra’s books will go to funding this project. If you haven’t yet discovered the work of Sandra Moran, this is a great time to not only read a wonderful author but to support a worthwhile project. If you’ve already purchased her books, buy one for your local public and college library or recommend her titles to them. Keep passing on the word about this remarkable author who left us too soon so she can live on through her books–Letters Never Sent, Nudge, and All We Lack.

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You can also make a contribution to the project by going to https://www.crowdrise.com/legacies-of-lesbian-literature-project and you can friend the project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LegLesLit.

The Goldies always mark the end of awards “season” and as we celebrate Wishbone‘s win, we also pause to remember Sandra’s legacy and to celebrate her last Goldie Award.

Casey

That Feeling of Proud

You’ve had that feeling–accomplishing something that means something to you. It can be little things like passing on that scrumptious looking dessert to reaching lifetime goals. Our Robyn Stevens of Bedazzled Ink’s grant video fame is reaching another proud moment in her life. At the end of June, she will be vying for a spot on the US Olympic team as a racewalker. As her former coach and mentor, I’m quite proud of her dedication and strong-willed focus on her dream goal. Regardless of the final results, no one can take away that feeling of proud.

I’m a Farmville2 addict and rather proud of that! I have a great farm and if you look closely enough, has stories weaving throughout it . . . animals in lush pastures, homes with yards for kids or patios for outside leisure, and barnyards with free-range critters. I once got up in the middle of the night because I forgot to leave a water trough in one of the animal sections. Lately though, I’m finding myself clicking on another page I’m quite proud of. The Bedazzled Ink Publishing website. I’m just amazed at all the books and new authors we have cultivated over the years. As Publisher, I read all the submissions. I’m learning so much about the world and situations . . . of stories that need to be told. I can feel the “proud” of the authors as they captivate me in their tales. And I’m proud that I can help share these stories to the world for others to take pleasure in and learn from.

Although GusGus Press is the dream child of my managing editor gal Casey, I’m proud that I had the opportunity to give birth to it. It has been flooded with submissions from folks whose stories and poems don’t fit easily in the traditional publishing world. You can just feel the “this is my story and I’m proud to be me” throughout their work. This press has found a niche that I am very proud of.

Proud doesn’t have a size. It can be small accomplishments in daily living to life-changing actions. Proud doesn’t have a deadline. From first baby steps to the first earned wage to first day of retirement, you can be proud of yourself or for others during a lifetime. By publishing good books, I know for myself, nothing can beat that feeling of proud.

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The Rainbow Awards

At midnight Italy time on December 8th, Elisa–the mother of the Rainbow Awards–began posting the winners and runners up for each category, while people around the world were eagerly glued to their computers for the next several hours. What makes the Rainbow Awards so special is that they represent a wide cross-section of the LGBT community.
2015 was a record year of submissions for Bedazzled Ink–seventeen titles in eight categories. So here are our the Honorary Mentions, Finalists, Runners Up, and Winner. Congrats to all our authors. Every book is a winner in our eyes.

Honorary Mentions

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In the Stillness of Dawn by Laurie Salzler
We Came Alive in ’75 by Pat Deihl

Finalists

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Blowback by Bev Prescott
In My Neighborhood by Giovanna Capone

Runners Up

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Best LGBT Cover
Everything by Carole Wolf, cover design by Ann McMan, Treehouse Studio

Best Lesbian Fantasy & Fantasy Romance
The Duchess of Manusk by Jordan Falconer

Best Lesbian Mystery/Thriller
The Surrender by Terias McKLay
Blind Trust by Jody Klaire

Best Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Everything by Carole Wolf
All We Lack by Sandra Moran

Best Lesbian Contemporary Romance
June Magee, RN, Festival Nurse by Ann McMan, Salem West, & Barrett

Best Lesbian Debut
Wishbone by Elaine Burnse
When It Raynes by CD Cain
The Surrender by Terias McKlay
The Paths of Marriage by Mala Kumar

Best Lesbian Book
Everything by Carole Wolf
Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence
All We Lack by Sandra Moran

Winner

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Best Lesbian Sci-Fi/Futuristic
Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence

A bittersweet moment was the announcement of The Sandra Moran Award for Best Lesbian Historical Fiction & Romance. We were hoping that Bright Lights of Summer by Sandra’s good friend Lynn Ames would win. It just missed with first Runner Up.

Three things . . .

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Three things . . . because, according to Sandra Moran, there are always three.

One . . . Sandra Moran’s career as an author was meteoric, yet her impact on the literary landscape was immediate. It’s hard to believe her first book, Letters Never Sent, was published just over two years ago in September 2013, although it made a limited appearance at the GCLS Conference in July 2013. The 2013 GCLS Conference was also Sandra’s first public appearance as an author. Letters Never Sent went on to be a finalist for The Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, a winner of two Rainbow Awards, and a winner of the GCLS Award for Dramatic/General Fiction and the Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. Not bad for a debut book. In those short two years, Sandra was a popular guest at book festivals, conferences, special events, and for giving presentations on her books, gender, and lesbian literature. She was an instructor for the GCLS Writing Academy and became an active member in the Kansas City LGBT community. She treated her Facebook followers to her inquisitive nature and quirky sense of humor and added words and new meanings to things to our personal lexicons. Who among us won’t think of Sandra the next time we see neon clothing or moon pies or pie charts or pork rinds or syllabi or blurry photos of cats?

Second . . . Sandra’s books are destined to withstand the test of time and we need to do what we can to ensure future readers and scholars know the remarkable person behind the remarkable prose. Librarians have long recognized that the concepts of graceful degradation and graceful obsolescence of digital materials are more the ideal than actual practice–acid-free paper still remains the best medium for information storage. Digital material will be forever ephemeral because it only takes one technological advancement in information storage that does not adequately address a graceful transition to lose generations of knowledge.

Third . . . A Gedenkschrift is a memorial publication that celebrates and honors the life and work of a well-respected person. As Sandra’s publisher, we can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to capture her essence as an author and as a person in a permanent medium so she won’t be lost to readers and scholars in the future.

We are reaching out to everyone whose life has been impacted by Sandra to send us personal recollections on Sandra as a person, a writer, a teacher, and a mentor; plus essays on how her books and writing influenced you as a writer, impacted you as a reader, the place her books occupy in the literary world, and the importance of her research and presentations on lesbian literature. The length of a contribution can be as long as it takes for you to say what you want to say and each contributor will receive a copy of the book. The proceeds will go to the organization that receives the most votes from the contributors.

Introducing GusGus . . . Press

Since 2015 has been the year of change for Bedazzled Ink, I thought it would be the perfect time to indulge in a dream I’ve had since college. I’ve always loved books produced by small presses–chapbooks, poetry books, broadsides–many printed and bound by the publishers themselves with the quality ranging from saddle-stapled mimeograph pages with construction paper covers to exquisite volumes printed on small hand presses and sewn into cloth-bound covers–also hand made–and the thick rough paper softly feathered around untrimmed edges. These books are labors of love for publishers who are often non profit just to keep afloat. But these publishers are dedicated to collecting prose and poetry that is overlooked by a world that emphasizes a book’s worth by its commercial power.

There’s something basic and honest about work that’s selected for its beauty, its wildness, its uniqueness, its rebellion, its way of challenging, conquering, and constructing how we put words on paper. It’s a celebration of small literary forms.

Since Bedazzled Ink’s namesake, a horse named Infinitely Bedazzled, gave birth to Dazz’s Lil’ Gossip (GusGus) this year, I decided it only fitting to name a press devoted to small literary forms after Dazz’s offspring.

gusgustpGusGus Press will be the home of Bedazzled Ink’s books of poetry, anthologies, and short works of fiction and nonfiction prose. So visit the Author Guidelines to see what we’re looking for. As a part of our grand opening, we’re putting together an anthology for Halloween 2016 called Haunting Muses. Check out the Submission Guidelines for more information.

We’re excited to see where this little press takes us as we continue to grow and change as a publisher.

C.A. Casey

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