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October 5th, 2019

Like Flesh Covers Bone

"This was an excellent collection of poetry. Each theme was explored through several kinds of styles and feelings. Emotions ranged from heartfelt to somber to angry, among others—and all of the poems thoughtful and invoked great imagery. The poems were witty and insightful. The collection was thoughtful and critical of the current dilemmas we face."

"Poetry is sometimes hard to judge—you either get it or you don’t. Some of these were very dark, but I can honestly say I liked them."

"Overall, I thought her poetry strong and dynamic. Her words build on current events and deep social issues. It wasn’t a fluffy read but felt very relevant to things happening now and made me think that this author is a warrior with words."

"Steckel is brilliant.  Not all the poems have the same power, but those that do really dazzle."


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A Muse to Live For

"A beautifully written romance with characters you can't help loving. Nathaniel is a brilliant artist suffering from depression and unable to paint until one night he sees Gabrielle under a street lamp. The world sees her as a whore, Nathaniel considers her his muse and knows he not only must paint her, he must love her. Even when he discovers that Gabrielle is in fact, Gabriel, his love does not waver. Rescuing him from a life of poverty and abuse becomes Nathaniel's goal in life. Together, and with the help of an old friend of Nathaniel's, they escape to Europe. Nathaniel's paintings of only Gabrielle are a small sensation in the art world. Could it be that at last Gabriel has found a way to live his life as he wishes, or will the artist tire of his muse and return him to the seedy streets of London? As I said, beautifully written with prose and dialogue that will alternately chill and delight you. Excellent."

"A beautiful and unusual love story, with a character who is not so much trans as truly androgynous.  It seems as though it could be genuinely historical – though the 'historical footnote' and book/author quoted at the end turn up no internet search hits.  It's a credit to the author that I did try to find out if that book was real."


London, 1884

An artist lives to create. When Nathaniel’s urge to paint died, so did his will to live.

Until the night he meets Gabrielle.

Gabrielle may be just a poor prostitute, but she has the beauty of a Pre-Raphaelite stunner and the otherworldly aura of a fallen angel. She also has a secret. Gabrielle is Gabriel, and when Gabriel’s dark past comes knocking and Gabrielle must abandon her new career as an artist’s model, Nathaniel’s whole world comes crashing down again.

Better to die than living without her love, and the breathtaking creative drive she brought him. But it’s dead easy to die for a woman. Any fool can die for love. To live for it, that takes altogether more courage, doggedness, and imagination.

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