Chicago, the Roaring Twenties. Cecilia Mills is new to town and struggling to survive. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for gangster Franky Greco's moll Nell Prescott. Working at The Orpheus dance hall thanks to Nell, Cecilia becomes known as CeeCee and rubs elbows with gangsters and the city's elite, and she and Nell hide their affair from Greco.
Patrick Sheridan is fresh out of prison and bent on revenge, with Greco in the crosshairs. He gets a job as CeeCee's bodyguard, and despite her infatuation with Nell, love blossoms between CeeCee and Sheridan. When Sheridan sees his chance, thanks to a disillusioned cop seeking his own revenge, he must choose where his loyalties lie as CeeCee and Nell are caught in the middle.
As a baron’s youngest son, Hector Somerville has no real prospects. He will not inherit, and he’s overshadowed by two perfect brothers. While searching for ways to improve his situation, Hector finds respite in an invitation to a country estate—and has a second chance at rekindling his illicit affair with Viscount Wentworth, captain of HBMS Dragon. The upcoming fortnight could be everything Hector dreamed of since their disastrous parting.
Wentworth has forsaken love, and yet, memories of guilt and heartache resurface. He loved a boyhood friend once, Hector’s older brother William, until the man left him, trampling his heart in the process. Years later, he wonders if he ever fell out of love. Is his heart bound by William, or can he create a life with Hector?
It’s 1937, and Heath Barrington is a naïve twenty-two-year-old about to set sail across the Atlantic on theQueen Mary. While on board, he meets the handsome Lord Simon Quimby, who invites Heath to his estate. Heath falls for Simon hard, but Simon soon becomes withdrawn and distant. Is Simon all he appears to be, or is there more to him than meets the eye? And what of the old gypsy curse Simon claims his family is under? Did it really cause his mother’s death, his sister’s suicide, and his father’s murder, or did Simon have something to do with it all? It’s up to Heath to uncover the truth, despite his heart telling him otherwise.
In this prequel to the Detective Heath Barrington Mystery series, Heath discovers that first love changes you forever and drives you to become the person you’re destined to be.
By Lee Patton
For 21-year-old gay virgin Gabe Rafferty, the first decade of adulthood is unpredictable and intense.
Flat broke upon college graduation, Gabe navigates the passage from menial work to globetrotting corporate drudge, then strives for a real chance at professional fulfillment. His journey exploring his sexuality—from inhibited innocence, to first-love crises, to random hookups—doesn’t seem to lead to the more sensual, committed relationships he wants. Then he meets Marty, an African American art student, and Gabe must face his white working-class background and racist father for a chance at true love.
Throughout, he traverses the joys and hazards of loving a headstrong cast of friends, including a lesbian couple, and Candy, a straight female friend whose life intersects with Gabe’s in unexpected ways.
For Gabe, what happens after coming of age and coming out is a scramble to survive first journeys into sex, love, and livelihood.
By MJ Williamz
DJ Sander is transitioning, as a civilian, as a cop, and from female to male. A fresh-faced rookie, he’s excited to be working in New Orleans’s French Quarter, until he discovers his brothers in blue don’t follow the rules. In fact, they break them.
Ashleigh Jorgenson’s father is DJ’s partner. Raised in a cop family, Ashleigh knows right from wrong, but the more involved she becomes with DJ, the more she starts to question everything. Bobby “Stringbean” Aiello has been a friend of the family for as long as she can remember, and despite her deepening feelings for DJ, she knows there’s no way he’s right about Bobby.
DJ suspects Bobby is guilty of a major crime and it’s up him to prove it, even when threats and attacks on his life make it mission impossible. He’s determined to get to the bottom of things and keep Ashleigh from getting hurt, but who is the real enemy? The bad guys? Or the supposed good ones?
By Lyn Hemphill
Rose Pereira is drifting through life when she’s first introduced to Stare at the Sun, an up-and-coming indie band led by the puppy-eyed Harley. The energetic group pulls her in, and she finds herself living for the first time in ages. Especially when she meets a friend of the band, Max, a trans guy.
With his bizarre sense of humor, his gorgeous arms, and the way he talks about music, Max is a danger to her don’t-care attitude. He’s her best friend, in her corner no matter what, he makes her laugh, and he gets her.
Even when she screws everything up, Max is on her side. Pregnant with Harley’s baby, she absolutely can’t be in love with Max.
Rose is not in love. Because if you don’t fall in love, then you can’t get broken.
Owen is only confident in two places: at work, supporting clients through IT woes, and when he's sitting around a gaming table in the role of a smooth and charming bard. He's never acted on the crush he's had on his physiotherapist—and total cubcake—Toma. Even though they're no longer patient and client, and his crush hasn't dialed down in the slightest, Owen can’t figure out how to make a move.
When a friend decides to play a prank involving Owen's contact list, Owen spends the morning of April Fools’ day inadvertently texting smooth and charming thoughts about Toma... to Toma himself.
By the time Owen discovers the prank, things are completely out of control. Discussions of thighs and awards for the World's Best Chest have been handed out—not to mention they've set an accidental coffee date—and there's no taking that sort of thing back. When this joke finally gets told, Owen's convinced he’ll be the punchline, but with a little luck and some nudging from his friends, the last laugh might be the best of his life.
An anthology of short fiction featuring the finalist selections from the 2021 Saints+Sinners Literary Festival.