Regal Crest Authors - Renée Bess

Renée Bess is a Philadelphia native, and she and her partner reside in a northwest suburb of that city. Renée taught Spanish and French in a city high school for quite a few years. At the age of six, she was captivated by the plot of Dr. Dan The Bandage Man. She subsequently became enamoured of Nancy Drew, the Hardy boys and years later, Celie and Shug. Books became a necessary part of Renée's life, and writing became the natural corollary. She expects that there are more stories eager to come tumbling forth.

Email: novelas@ReneeBess.com
Web site: www.reneebess.com

 
Awards

Award: 1994 Labyrinth Fiction Contest

Date of Award: 11/30/-1

Description:
"At the Beauty Parlor: 1966", won first prize in the "Labyrinth Fiction Contest", Oct. 1994.


Award Web Site:

Award: November 2005 Pick of the Month

Date of Award: 11/30/-1

Description:
Leave of Absence, was the "pick of the month" (Nov., 2005) on the African-American lesbian literature website, Sistahs On The Shelf.


Award Web Site: Sistas On the Shelf

Current Releases

Rules, The

Blackmail, murder, missing persons, and hidden identities link lives that otherwise, would have remained unconnected.

London Phillips' suburban black middle class background has made her vulnerable to the alienation she feels as she tap dances between the expectations she holds for herself and the expectations other people impose upon her. A full-time realtor and part-time writer, London encounters frustration when she tries to contact Milagros Farrow, a revered lesbian author whose work London would like to include in an anthology she's compiling. Milagros has disappeared from the face of the earth.

Rand Carson is a prominent newspaper journalist who is forced to deal with the sudden loss of her financial security and the dissolution of her long term interracial relationship with Willa. Rand seems compelled to pursue London, although it's possible she's more attracted to London's ethnicity than to London herself.

Candace Dickerson, a corporate event planner, is married to avarice. In order to chase a more lucrative future, Candace has abandoned her lover, Lenah and Lenah's perceived lack of ambition. She's moved into the city where she executes a plot designed to augment her earnings with other people's money.

Lenah Miller is content with her job at a local hospital's Emergency Department. For reasons known only to her, she distrusts women she considers too ambitious or from different social strata. Steeped in cynicism and memories held in secret, Lenah finds it easier to criticize a woman whose gentle nature differs from hers than to accept their differences.

The threads entwined around London's desire to connect with a kindred spirit, Lenah's wary skepticism, Rand's inappropriate ardor, and Candace's greed come undone when three people fall victim to blackmail, one reappears, and another succumbs to murder.

**Print books are available from Bella. All eBook formats available from multiple vendors.**

Publication date: 04/10/2014
ISBN: 978-1-61929-156-0

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Leave of Absence

Corey Lomax, a writer and English professor at Allerton University in suburban Philadelphia, continues to recover from the rupture of a six year relationship with Jennifer Renfrew, the university's Assistant Dean of Admissions. Jennifer has embarked on a new relationship with Pat Adamson, a Philadelphia police officer.

Kinshasa Jordan, a novelist and teacher on leave from her public high school position in Connecticut, accepts a writer-in-residence post at Allerton. When she relocates, Kinshasa leaves behind a secure job as well as an abusive relationship.

Corey and Kinshasa meet as colleagues, writers, and minority women who must navigate their way through the sometimes unfriendly territory of white male dominated academia. Corey is proudly "out." Kinshasa's sexuality is a matter of conjecture. What is clear is both Corey's and Kinshasa's determination to avoid any romantic entanglements.

As the story unfolds, so do secrets, betrayals, a murder, and the slowly smoldering attraction between Corey Lomax and Kinshasa Jordan.

**Print books are available from Bella. All eBook formats available from multiple vendors.**

Publication date: 05/10/2013
ISBN: 978-1-61929-106-5

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Butterfly Moments, The

After a twenty-plus year career as a Parole Officer in Philadelphia, Alana Blue is more than ready to leave her job and move on to more rewarding work. Jaded and burned out, Alana is given the difficult assignment of supervising Rafe Ortiz, a renegade Probation and Parole Officer who arrives in Alana's office by way of a disciplinary transfer and with a reputation for accumulating meaningless sexual conquests.

Alana's life is more complicated by the frequent conflicts she experiences with her homophobic daughter, Nikki. Convinced that the transparency of her mother's sexuality doomed her first marriage, Nikki is obsessed with keeping her second union intact, even if it means constantly repudiating Alana. Nikki's husband, Owen Reid, doesn't always agree with his wife's opinions regarding same-gender relationships; nor does he always support their marriage by remaining faithful to Nikki.

As Alana is reaching for an opportunity to pursue a new career, the body of a brutally murdered university student is discovered partially hidden on a property very close to Alana's neighborhood. Detective Johnetta Jones, recently retired from the Philadelphia Police Force, and hired by a suburban law enforcement department, is assigned to the murder case. When the investigation leads her to one of Alana's parolees, Johnetta remembers having interviewed this particular Parole Officer once before. Although her memory of Alana is mostly pleasant, Johnetta remains more emotionally connected to her work than she is to any woman she's ever met. Vaguely discontent, she is reluctant to forge a romantic connection with anyone...until her path intersects with Alana's once again. Their renewed contact suggests the possibility of love and the end of loneliness for both women. As Johnetta and her work partner, Detective Harold Smythe, get close to solving the university student's murder, Johnetta realizes arresting their suspect will imperil her tenuous relationship with Alana.

Alana becomes caught in the war between her impulsive attraction to Rafe Ortiz's flirtatious pursuit and her realization that her feelings for Johnetta Jones are growing deeper with each passing day. Will everything in Alana's world disintegrate when lies are revealed, true identities are exposed, and the murderer is unmasked?

**Print books are available from Bella. All eBook formats available from multiple vendors.**

Publication date: 09/10/2010
ISBN: 978-1-935053-37-8

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Re: Building Sasha

Sasha Lewis, the uber-competent manager of Willingham Builders, is drowning in a whirlpool of distrust as she struggles to maintain her relationship with Lee Simpson, her dangerously twisted unfaithful lover. In a self-imposed exile from most of her friends, Sasha recalls a brief work related encounter with Avery Sloan; an encounter destined to become more meaningful when Avery's social service agency hires Whittingham Builders to convert an old Victorian era house to a residence for former offenders.

How far will Lee take her cheating? How much emotional damage will Sasha endure before she begins to rebuild her spirit? Will Sasha grab Avery's outstretched hand and accept the gentle yet exciting offer of love she sees in this woman?

**Print books are available from Bella. All eBook formats available from multiple vendors.**

Publication date: 11/10/2008
ISBN: 978-1-935053-07-1

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Breaking Jaie

Jaie Baxter, an African-American Ph.D candidate at Philadelphia's Allerton University, is determined to win a prestigious writing grant. In order to win the Adamson Grant, Jaie initially plans to take advantage of one of the competition's judges, Jennifer Renfrew, who is also a University official. Jennifer has spent the past ten years alone following the murder of her lover, Patricia Adamson, in whose honor the grant is named. Jennifer is at first susceptible to Jaie's flirtation, but is later vengeful when she discovers the real reason for Jaie's sudden romantic interest in her. A lunch with an old cop friend reveals that Jaie may very well have ties to Adamson's death.

Jaie is confronted with painful memories as she prepares an autobiographical essay for the grant application. She recalls the emotional trauma of her older brother's death, the murder of a police detective, her dismissal from her "dream" high school, and her victimization at the hands of hateful homophobic students. She remembers her constant struggles with her mother's alcohol-fueled jealousies and physical abuse she had to endure. This wake-up call causes her to look at her life in new ways.

But Jaie is not the only student applying for the grant. Terez Overton, a wealthy Boston woman, is Jaie's chief competitor. Jaie is drawn to the New Englander immediately but is also unnerved by her. She has no clue that Terez is trying to decide whether she wants to accept an opportunity to write an investigative article about an unsolved murder. Writing that article could put her budding relationship with Jaie in jeopardy.

And just when the angst of old memories and the uncertainty of her future with Terez are complicating Jaie's life, her manipulative ex, Seneca Wilson, returns to Philadelphia to reclaim Jaie using emotional blackmail. Senecas actions serve to wound and break Jaie in many ways. Will Seneca drive the final wedge between Jaie and Terez? Who will win the Adamson grant? And what did Jaie have to do with the death of Patricia Adamson?

**Print books are available from Bella. All eBook formats available from multiple vendors.**

Publication date: 07/10/2007
ISBN: 978-1-932300-84-0

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