Book Title: The Moonstone Girls
Cover Artist: Cherie
Release Date: Feb 14,
Genre: Historical (1967/68) F/F romance
Themes: Coming out, Rejection,
“The story is full of drama, heartache, humor, and hope, set
against the backdrop of the late ’60s—the Vietnam War and the draft, racial prejudice,
homophobia, and a revolution in music.”
Queer rep: lesbian main
character, lesbian and gay side characters
homophobia, internalized homophobia, slurs, death, suicide, car accident, insensitive
Heat Rating: 2 flames
Length: 103 500 words/ 338
It is a standalone story and
does not end on a cliffhanger.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle
In 1968, a
seventeen-year-old queer girl traveled to Alaska disguised as a boy.
Tracy should have been a boy. Even her older brother
Spencer says so, though he wouldn’t finish the thought with, “And I should have been a girl.”
Though both feel awkward in their own skin, they have to
face who they are—queers in the late 60s.
When both are caught with gay partners, their lives and
futures are endangered by their homophobic father as their mother struggles to defend
While the Vietnam War threatens to take Spencer away,
Tracy and her father wage a war of their own, each trying to save the sweet, talented
At seventeen, Tracy dresses as a boy and leaves her parents
in turmoil, with only the slimmest hope of finding peace within herself. She journeys to a girl
with a guitar, calling to her from a photo, “Come to Alaska. We’d be great friends.”
Maybe even The MoonStone Girls.
Hours later, after I’d practiced piano, had a few arguments
about the war at dinner, and listened to complaints from Mom about Spencer’s continued
absence, I slipped into my pajamas and tried to stay awake, listening to “19th Nervous Breakdown”
from the Stones’ Big Hits album.
Something stumbled against my door. I heard Spencer cuss.
I ran to the door and yanked it open just as my very drunk brother rapped his knuckles
against the air.
“Whoa,” he said. “Where’d the door go? Hey, Sis.”
He wobbled just outside my room with a lopsided grin on
his face then put his finger to his lips. “Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m drunk.” He
“No shit.” I put his arm over my shoulder and turned him
around. “Let’s get you to bed.”
“Whaa . . . No.” He jerked his arm away and banged it into
the wall. “Ouch. Why’d you hit me?”
“You hit the wall, Spencer. Get to bed before you wake up
Mom and Dad.”
He put his hands on my shoulders and his face an inch from
mine. “You need to meet Pablo. He’s outside.”
“He drove you home?”
“Yeah. He thought I was too drunk to drive.” He breathed
and giggled. “He’s a really nice guy. We had a good time.”
I laughed, trying not to pass out from the alcohol fumes.
“Evidently.” I had never seen Spencer drunk. Dad would let us drink wine at dinner
sometimes. Maybe share a beer between us. But Spencer was never that interested.
Probably because Dad said a man’s got to learn how to hold his liquor. “What did you
His eyes crossed. “Tequila. Oh, that’s the best. From itsy
“A shot glass?”
He held his hand like a pistol. “Bang. Bang. Shot after shot.
C’mon, you need to meet him.”
I helped him down the stairs. He tiptoed to the foyer then
grabbed the front door handle. Red lights flashed through the glass at the top of the
“Cops?” I helped him open the door, and we both stared at
a policeman with his foot on the back of a young man, spread-eagled in our yard.
“Don’t you move, son,” yelled the officer.
Spencer’s eyes bulged as he screamed, “What are you
doing?” He ran toward the officer.
Somebody’s going to get shot! I followed. “Spencer! Stop!”
“He’s my friend!” He pushed the cop nearly to the ground
then bent down to help Pablo.
I ran to the officer whose hand moved toward his holster.
“That’s my brother’s friend. He drove my brother home and was waiting to meet me.” I
stood between him and the boys, holding my arms up, gasping for breath.
The man looked at me. “You live here?”
“Yes, with Spencer and my parents.”
Pablo was on his knees crying. “I thought he was going to
Spencer knelt and pulled Pablo to his chest. “You’re safe.
You’re safe.” He bent down to pick up Pablo’s white beret, brushed it off, and set it on his
Pablo was thin and shorter than Spencer. His mouth hung
open as he gasped for breath; his face was wet with tears.
Spencer clutched the boy against his chest and glared at
the cop. “What did he do?”
“He was a Mexican outside our house at midnight,” I said.
The man tightened his eyes at me. “I’ve never seen him in
this neighborhood. He looked suspicious.”
“Suspiciously brown?” I barked.
“That’s enough, Tracy,” said Dad, tying his robe, as he
strode down our walkway. “I’m Arthur Franks. This is my house. Did the boy do anything
“He looked like he was trying to get inside that car, and I
knew it wasn’t his.”
Pablo’s voice cracked. “I wanted my cigarettes. I just
wanted to smoke a cigarette. ¿Qué carajo?”
I hoped the cop didn’t speak Spanish because Pablo had
just said “What the fuck?”
“Are we done?” I asked.
The officer rested his hand on his pistol. “You sure you want
this kid in your yard, Mr. Franks?”
“No, I’m not, but he’ll be gone soon. We’ll take it from here,
“Okay, but if you need anything, just call dispatch. I can be
back here quick.” He shot Pablo one last glare before sliding into his Castle Hills patrol car
and drove away.
“Where have you been, Spencer?” Dad growled. “And do I
smell alcohol on you?”
“If your nose works,” Spencer giggled. “We stayed at Dr.
Sorel’s for a while then went to Pablo’s cousin’s house. I think I had one too many shots of
tequila.” He giggled again.
“Maybe two too many,” laughed Pablo with a thick
“You said tutu!” Spencer laughed.
“No, I said two too,” laughed Pablo as he playfully patted
“Jesus,” Dad muttered as he folded his arms and glared at
the two boys.
About the Author
Brooke Skipstone is a
multi-award winning author who lives in Alaska where she watches the mountains change
colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter
as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing
cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is
urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of
miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers,
arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its
animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and
death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.
Girls is her fourth novel. Visit her website at
brookeskipstone.com for information about her first three novels—Crystal’s House of Queers, Some Laneys Died, and Someone To Kiss
Social Media Links
Enter the Rafflecopter
Giveaway for a chance to win
a $20 Amazon gift