Alice B Awards

Home | About | Founder | Contact
Current Medal Winners | Medal Winner Photo Gallery
Past Medal Winners
| Past Certificate Winners

About the Lavender Certificate 2005 - 2016

The Lavender Certificate was awarded from 2005-2016 to authors early in their careers who, in the committee's opinion, had outstanding "maiden" novels in print. The award was intended to encourage new writers in their quest to let their voices be heard, which until recently was not an easy accomplishment. Nowadays, though, the volume of lesbian books published is awesome, and the committee is unable to read all of the incredible wealth of debut books, so as of 2017 the certificate was suspended. We are delighted that at long last, there are plenty of books reflecting lesbian lives!

Biographical Information
For Past Lavender Certificate Winners

Erica Abbott [1958 - 2020] (2013 Certificate Winner for Fragmentary Blue ) was born and raised in the Midwest, and was a graduate of the University of Denver. She was a government lawyer and prosecutor, a college professor, sang mezzo-soprano on stage, and played first base on the diamond. She liked dogs, cats, music of all kinds, and playing bridge. She also had a love/hate relationship with golf. Her first two novels, Fragmentary Blue and Certain Dark Things, featured police officers Alex Ryan/CJ St. Clair as did subsequent volumes. Novels One Fine Day, Acquainted with the Night, Lay Your Zombie Down, Desert Places, and Taken In were published by Bella Books along with short stories in anthologies. Erica lived near Denver, Colorado, before passing away on July 4, 2020. You can find out more about Erica's work at her publisher's website.

Brenda Adcock [1951 - 2022] (2007 Certificate Winner for Pipeline) published 17 novels, including four Golden Crown Literary Award Winners: Redress of Grievances, The Sea Hawk, Soiled Dove, and Picking Up The Pieces with her publisher, Flashpoint Productions. Originally from the beautiful Appalachian region of Eastern Tennessee, she lived with her partner, Cheryl, in the Hill Country of Central Texas near Austin until her death in 2022 from kidney failure. As a teen she wrote serial stories to entertain her friends. She spent well over three decades teaching high school social studies, eventually returning to writing to entertain herself. When not working or writing, she and her partner always enjoyed creating stained glass and shooting pool at their favorite neighborhood bar. They are the parents of four grown children and two lively grandchildren. You can find out more about Brenda's work at her publisher's website.

L-J Baker (2008 Certificate Winner for Broken Wings) has lived in the USA and the UK, but home is New Zealand with her civilly united partner. In addition to Broken Wings, she has published Lady Knight. She is currently writing more books and hopes to soon have more novels in print. She writes in different genres, but her first love is lesbian fantasy. She is delighted when readers admit they don't normally like fantasy, but ended up reading one of her books. You can find out more about L-J's work at her website.

Miriam Ruth Black
(2014 Certificate Winner for Turtle Season)
has a degree in English from the University of Minnesota, which became a ticket to work in a variety of settings including the American International School in Israel and Los Angeles's inner city. She earned a Master's in Educational Psychology and then acquired a Marriage and Family Therapy License. Those degrees morphed into a career in the Northwest as a lecturer in education, substance abuse and mental health. Wherever she traveled, she remained fascinated by the written word - as a reader, story teller and writer. For years she wrote short stories and filed them away imagining someday they would become a collection. Instead, a new story emerged and became the novel, Turtle Season. Through Anna Simon, the protagonist, Miriam explored a constant preoccupation in her life - how do we as humans manage the inevitable and often very surprising events that change our lives? How do we rediscover or maybe recreate ourselves? What keeps us resilient through the often treacherous journey? She recently married her partner of twenty-eight years. They live in Tucson in the winter season and in Minneapolis during the summers. Learn more at her website.

Andrea Bramhall (2013 Certificate Winner for Ladyfish) is a native of Stockport (near Manchester, UK). She took her life in her hands a few years ago and crossed the great North/South divide and now lives in Norfolk with her partner, their two border collies, and two and a half cats (one isn't sure if she wants to be theirs anymore as the lady down the street feeds her Whiskas rather than whatever is on offer at the supermarket, like Andrea does!). Andrea spends her time running their campsite and hostel to pay the bills and scribbling down stories during the winter months. She is an avid reader and a keen musician, playing the saxophone and the guitar (just to annoy her other half - apparently!). She is also a recreational diver and takes any opportunity to head to warmer climes and discover the mysteries of life beneath the waves! Andrea is available on twitter, Facebook, on the blog, or you can find out more about her work at her website.

Amy Briant (2011 Certificate Winner for Shadow Point) is a native Californian. She grew up in a part of San Diego called Point Loma, which greatly resembles Shadow Point except for the malevolent phantom. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Her second novel, Romeo Fails, is coming from Bella Books in February 2012. Befriend her on Facebook or you can find out more about Amy's work at her website.

Nat Burns (2011 Certificate Winner for Two Weeks in August)
has always been a huge fan of the written word. A journalist for many years, she veered off into a career of software instruction and editorial systems management as she compulsively wrote fiction during every free moment. She has two published novels with Bella Books, Two Weeks in August and House of Cards, with three more slated for 2012. Natty has recently moved from South Texas to New Mexico where she writes full-time. You can find out more about Nat's work at her website.

Marie Castle (2015 Certificate Winner for Hell's Belle) is the Mississippi-born author of the lesbian paranormal romance series The Darkmirror, which includes Book One: Hell's Belle and Book Two: The Devil You Know. Writing Book Three: Demons of a Feather is in progress. Her works are published by Bella Books and can be found on and other sites as well as a bookstore near you. Hell's Belle was recently shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award in the LGBT Sci-Fi/Horror Category and received a Golden Crown Debut Novel Award and a Golden Crown Paranormal/Horror Award. To learn more about Marie, please visit her page at Facebook.

Jaime Clevenger (2005 Certificate Winner for The Unknown Mile)
is the author of Whiskey and Oak Leaves, Sign on the Line, All Bets Off, Call Shotgun, and the Golden Crown Literary Award Finalist, The Unknown Mile. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, with her partner and three cats. She's an emergency veterinarian who writes novels and short stories on her days off. She studies public health issues with a focus on animal-related diseases and has a horse named Sequoia that she loves to ride. She teaches karate part-time and is interested in all forms of martial arts. You can find out more about her work at her website.

Jean Copeland (2016 Certificate Winner for The Revelation of Beatrice Darby) is an author from Connecticut. Her debut novel, The Revelation of Beatrice Darby, is from Bold Strokes Books. You can find out more about Jean at her blog.

Gina Noelle Daggett (2011 Certificate Winner for Jukebox) is an award-winning writer, director, producer, speaker, and columnist in CURVE Magazine. A cum laude graduate from Pacific University's Creative Writing Program, she won a grant from POWER UP for her debut novel, Jukebox, when it was a work-in-progress. She is currently adapting the novel into a screenplay, which she plans to produce and direct through her production company, Chateau Entertainment. In 2010, Daggett won OUTtv's Hot Pink Shorts contest, which enabled her to write and direct her first short film. OUTtv also made a documentary out of the process. Gina is best known under the penname "Lipstick" in the popular national advice column Lipstick & Dipstick featured in CURVE. Voted the No. 1 column by readers, Lipstick & Dipstick have also published a book: Lipstick & Dipstick's Essential Guide to Lesbian Relationships (Alyson Books 2007) and speak regularly on college campuses. When Gina's not pounding the keys of her computer, she's pounding the pavement with her running shoes, skiing in Whistler, or beachcombing for sea glass. She lives in Vancouver, BC. You can find out more about Gina's work at her website.

Lea Daley (2014 Certificate Winner for Waiting for Harper Lee), from her earliest moments, has been motivated to create and to communicate. She's written fiction and poetry while raising two children, claiming a lesbian identity, earning a BFA in painting, teaching preschoolers and college students, surviving the death of her only daughter, and heading a nonprofit agency. Daley resides in St. Louis with her long-time partner and a very opinionated Poodle-Shih Tzu mix. To her immense regret, her son and his family live five hours away. A hard-core liberal, Daley follows politics and enjoys animated debates at the dinner table. She loves to travel, reveling in both the clash and culture of great cities, and the serenity and solitude of ocean shores - especially those on Florida's "Forgotten Coast." Because baking is a passion, her freezer almost always contains homemade desserts and she's happy to share recipes with anyone. Waiting for Harper Lee was published in 2013. FutureDyke, Daley's second book, will be published in 2014; other novels are in the queue. You can find out more about Lea Daley's work via her publisher.

Jenny Frame (2016 Certificate Winner for A Royal Romance) is from the small town of Motherwell in Scotland, where she lives with her partner, Lou, and their well loved and very spoiled dog. She has a diverse range of qualifications, including a BA in public management and a diploma in acting and performance. Nowadays, she likes to put her creative energies into writing rather than treading the boards. When not writing or reading, Jenny loves cheering on her local football team, which is not always an easy task. You can learn more about Jenny at her website.

Catherine Friend (2008 Certificate Winner for The Spanish Pearl) is the author of two novels from Bold Strokes Books, The Spanish Pearl and The Crown of Valencia, with a third due out the end of 2008. Her memoir, Hit By a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn, was a 2007 Golden Crown winner and a finalist for both a 2007 Lambda Literary Award and the Publishing Triangle's Judy Grahn Award. Her next nonfiction book, The Compassionate Carnivore: Or How to Keep Animals Happy, Save Old MacDonald's Farm, Reduce Your Hoofprint, and Still Eat Meat, will be released in May, 2008. Catherine has written six children's books, and the latest, The Perfect Nest, was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award and was chosen by the young reader programs of California, Arizona, and Kansas. For her children's work, she was the 2007 recipient of the Loft/McKnight Artist Fellowship in Children's Literature. Catherine and her partner of 25 years raise sheep in southeastern Minnesota. You can find out more about Catherine's work at her website.

Sophia French (2016 Certificate Winner for The Diplomat), also known as Eden Sophia French, is child of the late '80s, who spent her formative years playing text adventure games while bathed in the radiation of her mother's green-screen Amstrad. She "matured" into a queer writer/coder/sci-fi geek who likes to imagine she's really a cyborg because, following a motorcyle accident, she had a titanium rod inserted in her right leg. (It counts, okay?) She lives in Hobart, Tasmania, with her two girlfriends, is a committed vegetarian and gender rebel, and plays melancholy piano at midnight under the mistaken belief that her neighbors think it sounds beautiful. Her previous awards include a bunch of dull academic prizes and a Twin Peaks costume competition. You can find out more about Sophia at her website.

Gabrielle Goldsby (2005 Certificate Winner for The Caretaker's Daughter) is an Oakland, California, native currently living in Portland, Oregon, with her Partner of nine years. She is the author of several short stories and four novels, The Caretakers Daughter, Never Wake, Such a Pretty Face, and Wall of Silence. Gabrielle is hard at work on her next novel, Remember Tomorrow, scheduled to be released by Bold Strokes Books in 2008. You can find out more about her work at her website.

Regina Hanel (2012 Certificate Winner for Love Another Day) was born in Germany and obtained her U.S. citizenship as soon as she was of legal age. She grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in the mountainous suburbs of Northern New Jersey with her partner of ten years and their dog Scrapper, a sweet pit bull terrier. Regina earned her Bachelors' degrees majoring in accounting and biology, with a minor in German. She's also a Certified Public Accountant and works for the Federal Government protecting the taxpayer's interests. She loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, watching football, and trying out new vegetarian recipes. You can find out more about Regina's work at her website.

Nairne Holtz (2008 Certificate Winner for The Skin Beneath) is a Montreal-based fiction writer whose first novel, The Skin Beneath (Insomniac, 2007), was a finalist for Quebec's McAuslan First Book Prize. She is also the co-editor of No Margins: writing canadian fiction in lesbian (QPress, 2006), which was shortlisted for a 2007 Lambda Literary Award. Currently, she is working on her second book, This One's Going to Last Forever. You can find out more about Nairne's work at her publisher's website.

Cari Hunter (2012 Certificate Winner for Snowbound) lives in the Northwest of England with her partner, two cats, and a pond full of frogs. She works full-time as a paramedic and dreams up stories in her spare time. Snowbound was originally written as a Christmas present for her partner before it accidentally became a novel after a successful submission to Bold Strokes Books. Cari enjoys long, wind-swept, muddy walks in her beloved Peak District and forces herself to go jogging and swimming regularly. In the summer she can usually be found sitting in the garden with her feet up, scribbling in her writing pad. She also loves hiking in the Swiss Alps and hanging out in various television fandoms. Although she doesn't like to boast, she will admit that she makes a very fine Bakewell Tart. Cari is a recent addition to Facebook and you can find out more about Cari's work at her website.

D. Jackson Leigh (2011 Certificate Winner for Bareback and Long Shot) grew up barefoot and happy, swimming in farm ponds and riding rude ponies in rural south Georgia. Her love of reading was nurtured early on by her grandmother, an English teacher who patiently taught her to work New York Times crossword puzzles in the daily paper, and by her mother who stretched the slim family budget to bring home grocery store copies of Trixie Belden mysteries and Bobbsey Twins adventures that Jackson would sit up all night reading. It was her passion for writing that led her quite accidentally to a career in journalism and, ultimately, North Carolina where she now feeds nightly off the adrenaline rush of breaking news and close deadlines. She shares her life with her blue-eyed partner, a very wise Jack Russell Terrier, and "the cat" who made herself at home when Jackson and the dog weren't watchful.You can find out more about Jackson's work at her website.

D.L. Line (2010 Certificate Winner for On Dangerous Ground) has been many things at different times in her life: a musician, a pharmacy technician, a bartender, a student, a restaurant owner, a marching band director, and a dog sitter to name a few. Through it all, she has always been a storyteller. D.L. lives in Virginia with her family, including Snickers the Wonderdog. On Dangerous Ground is her first novel. You can find out more about D.L.'s work at her website.

M E Logan (2014 Certificate Winner for Lexington Connection) was born and raised in the Midwest. While she always wrote, she wasn't so interested in being published. So instead she worked for state and local governments usually in the support capacity, in a variety of fields (which has been great for writing), co-owned a small freight company and did driving and delivery, and worked for a supplemental airline. She raises and shows dogs, doxies. For hobbies, she collects books and dabbles in genealogy. She moved to Florida for a year's duration and now, thirty years later, she's still there. Her second book, Revenge, is schedule for release in April 2014 and her third, Tempered Steele, for sometime in 2015. You can find out more about her at her website.

Jaime Maddox (2015 Certificate Winner for Agnes) is a recovering ER doctor who gave up the adrenaline rush of critical care medicine to open her very own walk-in clinic. She doesn't miss the night and holiday shifts at all, but when pressed for the truth will admit to fantasies involving breathing tubes and large IV catheters. Some time ago she was swept off her feet by an amazing woman. For some reason neither of them can recall, they decided to have children. They now spend much of their time providing parental supervision to their twin boys, Jamison and Maddox. She lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania, plays golf and floats on kayaks, and murders plants in her garden. She also likes to bake, travel and write fiction. Her first novel, Agnes, was a Rainbow Award finalist, and her second novel, The Common Thread has been highly praised. Since writing is her therapy, she'll likely continue to pen fiction for many years to come. To learn more about Jaime, please visit her publisher's website or Facebook.

Kristin Marra (2011 Certificate Winner for Wind and Bones) was born and raised in a microscopic town in northern Montana where she developed a voracious reading habit. The wind blew her from there when she reached adulthood. She spent the next eighteen years becoming educated and a lesbian in the western Montana mountains. She finally accepted that cold and snow were never going to be fun for her, so she moved to Seattle to try out gray and rain. She likes that better. Kristin started writing fiction occasionally in the 1990s but never took it seriously until the plot for Wind and Bones lodged in her head. A series of lucky breaks led Wind and Bones to publication by Bold Strokes Books. Kristin is now hooked on writing fiction. Her second book, 78 Keys, will be published in May 2011. She hopes to have a sequel to Wind and Bones completed sometime in 2011.You can find out more about Kristin's work at her blogspot.

Gill McKnight (2009 Certificate Winner for Falling Star and Green-eyed Monster) is Irish and moves between Ireland, England, and Greece in a non-stop circuit of work, rest, and play. She loves messing about in boats and has secret fantasies about lavender farming. With a BA in Art and Design and a Masters in Art History it says much about her artistic skill that she now works in IT. Falling Star was her first published novel, and Green-eyed Monster her second. You can find out more about Gill's work at her website.

Ann McMan (2012 Certificate Winner for Jericho) is a writer by day, and a closet librarian by night. She was born in the mountains of Pennsylvania, but spent much of her childhood below sea level in northern Delaware. She now lives halfway between the mountains and the sea in central North Carolina, but dreams of one day relocating to Vermont-where the colder climate might help her keep better. When she isn't working, writing, or rereading Pride and Prejudice, she's cruising the circulation desk of her local public library-hoping to be discovered. Ann is the author of two novels, Jericho and Dust, both published by Bedazzled Ink. Aftermath, the much-anticipated sequel to Jericho, will be published in the summer of 2012. For a complete list of her stories and essays and more about Ann's work, visit her website.

Colette Moody (2010 Certificate Winner for The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin) is an avid fan of history and politics. When she isn't doing research or crafting scenes for her next romp of a novel, she can be found doing one or more of the following: watching classic films; sequestered in the kitchen eagerly trying to prove that everything DOES taste better with bacon; meticulously recreating cocktails from the 30s and 40s; or planning her next trip to Disneyland. By day, her alter ego toils at what she fondly refers to as her "crap job." She lives in Virginia with her very naughty dog and her only slightly less naughty partner of 10 years. Her novels include The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin, The Seduction of Moxie, and the upcoming Parties in Congress. You can find out more about Colette's work at her website.

Maggie Morton (2013 Certificate Winner for Dreaming of Her) Maggie's erotic short fiction has been published in a variety of anthologies. Her interests include psychology, Buddhism, river otters (according to her partner, her totem animal), and delicious food. Her reading encompasses biography and memoir as well as speculative fiction and, in particular, novels written about mysterious books. Her first novel is Dreaming of Her, published by Bold Strokes Books. She lives in Northern California with her partner and their Japanese Bobtail. You can find out more about Maggie's work at her blog.

AJ Quinn (2012 Certificate Winner for Hostage Moon) AJ Quinn is a transplanted Cuban who moved to Canada at an early age. After living in numerous places, she now calls Toronto the place where she lives, works, and plays. In other words, home. When not working as a consultant, she can be found indulging in her passions for travel, photography, and most of all, writing. Hostage Moon is her first published novel. You can find out more about AJ's work at her website (which is currently under construction, but we'll get the link up as soon as it's available).

C. Paradee (2005 Certificate Winner for Deep Cover) Carol resides in Northeast Ohio. Carol saw her first episode of Xena in season three and quickly found fan fiction. It inspired her to try her hand at writing, and The Agent was her first story. She also wrote Chasing Shadows, which is now out of print. Some things she enjoys are: Xena, reading, and writing. She can be reached in care of her publisher.

Jenna Rae (2013 Certificate Winner for The Writing on the Wall) is a northern California native who has traveled enough to know she wants to see much more of the world. An indoor enthusiast who enjoys reading, sewing, crocheting, and collecting more books than she has time to read, Jenna also enjoys baking complicated pastries and vegetarian dishes and foisting both on her gracious friends and neighbors. Jenna teaches English and devises various strategies for avoiding grading papers, with little success. You can reach Jenna at her website.

Amy Dawson Robertson (2011 Certificate Winner for Miles to Go) is a native Virginian and graduated from St. John's College in Annapolis. She lives in the Washington DC area, and her writing interests include genre fiction, short stories, and graphic novels. She creates strong female characters in action-packed stories drawn on current events. Miles to Go is Amy's first novel. Her second novel in the Rennie Vogel Intrigue series, Scapegoat, will be released late 2011.You can find out more about Amy's work at her website.

Del Robertson (2009 Certificate Winner for Taming The Wolff)
is a thirty-something retail store manager living in San Antonio, Texas. Although not a native Texan, she has resided in the state for over fifteen years. A voracious reader and writer, it is difficult to find her without a notebook in her possession and a pen tucked behind one ear for when inspiration strikes. To date, Del Robertson has a filing cabinet full of unpublished work, as well as fifty-odd stories listed on the Internet. Taming The Wolff is her first published novel. You can find out more about Del's work at her publisher's website.

Pol Robinson (2012 Certificate Winner for Open Water) is a writer cleverly disguised as a college professor in Southern California. A Wisconsin native and a fan of rowing, Pol was stunned to be recruited to the USC Rowing squad, an opportunity she hated to turn down, but one that served to rekindle her sporting spirit. From that and her participation in Master's rowing events was born her first novel, Open Water. Her second novel, Thin Ice, focuses on another of Pol's sports, short-track speed skating, and is scheduled for future release by Bella Books. Pol's published work includes several scholarly articles written about fanfiction and its impact on popular culture. Her Master's thesis examined the storytelling aspect of fanfiction and how the genre fills a need in the homosexual community for representation of our stories in popular culture. You can connect with Pol on Facebook or find out more about her work at her website.

Robin Silverman (2013 Certificate Winner for Lemon Reef) is a psychologist, and she has a law degree. Her writings until now have been non-fiction and have appeared in professional books and journals. She lives in Berkeley with her son. Lemon Reef is her first novel.

Rebecca Swartz (2013 Certificate Winner for Everything Pales in Comparison) was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and raised in and around that city. She's always been passionate about books and always wanted to be a writer, but had to go through several other career experiments, including dental assistant, DJ in a women's club, and dog obedience trainer before arriving at that goal. She is currently working on her second novel. You can find out more about Rebecca's work at her website.

Carsen Taite (2010 Certificate Winner for works by day (and sometimes night) as a criminal defense attorney in Dallas, Texas. Though her day job is often stranger than fiction, she can't seem to get enough and spends much of her free time plotting stories. She is the author of three novels:, It Should be a Crime, and Do Not Disturb (due out in June 2010), all published by Bold Strokes Books. She is currently working on her fourth novel, Nothing but the Truth, which, like It Should be a Crime, is a romance with a heavy dose of legal drama, drawing heavily on Carsen's experience in the courtroom. Carsen is married (Canadian-style), and she and her spouse live near White Rock Lake in Dallas where they enjoy cycling and walking the trails with their four-legged children. You can find out more about Carsen's work at her website.

Cynthia Tyler (2006 Certificate Winner for Descanso) was born and raised in Southern California. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in family therapy. She lives in Pasadena, California with her partner and their dogs. In her spare time she reads, hikes in the desert, and throws tennis balls for her Golden Retriever. She is currently at work on a new novel. You can find out more about her work at her website.

Brandy T. Wilson (2016 Certificate Winner for The Palace Blues) is the author of The Palace Blues: A Novel (Spinsters Ink), a 2015 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Lesbian Fiction. She earned her PhD at Florida State University. Brandy was an Astraea Emerging Lesbian Writers Fund Finalist, a Lambda Literary Retreat Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow in fiction, and a recipient of three Bread Loaf Writer's Conference scholarships. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Robert Olen Butler's From Where You Dream, Ninth Letter, G.R.I.T.S. Girls Raised in the South, Pank Magazine, Sinister Wisdom, and Lumina. Originally from Paris, Texas, she currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with her wife and their new son. She teaches writing, literature, and Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Memphis. To learn more about Brandy, visit her website.

Diane Wood (2014 Certificate Winner for Web of Obsessions) was raised by British parents between New Zealand, England, Scotland and Australia. At fifteen she fled to far North Western Australia where, by falsifying her birth certificate and qualifications, she won a position with an outback mining company. Returning to the UK as a seventeen year old, Diane worked on the London buses, joined the Army, got kicked out of the Army for being a lesbian, joined the Prison Service and spent many years enjoying the gay life in London before returning to Australia. Losing both parents within weeks of each other as a teenager and years later, her brother to murder, Diane found an outlet in writing, and shortly after her brother's death began the process of writing her first novel, Web of Obsessions, which was published by Bella Books in 2013. Diane now lives on the Central Coast of New South Wales with her partner of thirty-one years, and Toffee their adopted cat. Diane's second novel, The Fortune Teller's Daughter is due for release by Bella Books in March, 2014, and she is currently close to finishing the first draft of her latest novel, tentatively called Fey Beach. Diane does not have a website at this stage, but is available on Facebook.