River Queens

Across the Heartland in a boat—two men and a spotted dog.

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Dust jacket  for  River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America

Dust jacket for River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America

Alexander Watson

Alexander Watson's interest in writing came at an early age. His grandparents were world travelers, the Mame Dennis and Beauregard Burnside of their day. They sent postcards and letters from around the globe; but for young Alexander to receive, he had to give. Reading of their exploits and reciprocating with his own cultivated Mr. Watson's ability to convey the color of places even as remote as a child's imagination and render fascinating the petty businesses of the people who lived therein.

Sell sheet for River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America

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For Immediate Release:

NY Times best-sellers, Bryan Mealer and Melissa Fay Greene, herald River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America by Alexander Watson as “The well-trod river epic on its ear,” and “I love it. I can’t put it down,” respectively.

River Queens is a coming of age story, albeit middle-age, about two men who have the opportunity to chuck it all and sail away—an attractive proposition made more so because their vessel, a vintage 1955 Chris-Craft motor yacht. Their destination is Cincinnati, Ohio, the Queen City. Their route is across the Heartland on America’s great rivers.

Compelling are the people they meet along the way whose mannerisms and idiosyncracies Mr. Watson captures with respect and admiration—people whose aid the two must solicit to continue on their way; people have never really encountered homosexuality before, at least not in their own backyard. Gay is a city thing and, if need be, referred to as “peculiar”. Nevertheless, the sailor’s code of “Always render aid” prevails on the water and sends our intrepid sailors on their way.

River Queens is a modern day Huck Finn, every bit as humorous and candid as the Mark Twain classic, reminding us that pursuit of happiness is still integral to the our social fabric and the uniquely American “pursuit of happiness.”

River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America by Alexander Watson. Orange Frazer Press: Wilmington, Ohio. October 1, 2018 release. 322 pages, hard cover, $27.95.

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“This is a heartwarming look into the heart of America.”


Melissa Fay Greene

Melissa Fay Greene—Author and Two-time National Book Award Finalist.A pair of wise-cracking middle-aged gay white men from Texas renovate an old yacht and cross the country with her--knowing full well they're going to baffle and flummox most of the boat-loving heterosexual citizens they meet in Midwestern river towns every night.” 5 Stars.

Stacey Ritz

Stacey Ritz Books:I always enjoys well-written memoirs and Watson's book does not disappoint.” 5 Stars.

Movers & Makers Magazine, Cincinnati.

December '18/January '19 edition. Page 12. Alexander Watson: River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America. Two middle-aged men rescue a dog and an aging Chris-Craft and set out to explore America’s Inland Waterways: destination Cincinnati. (Orange Frazer Press)


Michael Dunford

January 2019. Midwest Book Review. “Impressively written and inherently engaging from beginning to end, "River Queens" is a very special 'real world' adventure story in the form of a unique, thoughtful and thought-provoking travel journal.” 


Never Hollowed by the Stare

January 15, 2019. “I browsed the first few pages just to get a feel of the book and before I even realized, I have already read through half of it! This is one of the most engaging and easiest books to read.”

Barbara Searles

December 27, 2018. The Bibliophage, @barbarasearles: “River Queens is the story of a voyage through America. But more than that, it’s the story of Alexander Watson, Dale Harris, their dog Doris Faye, and their boat the Betty Jane. It made me laugh, learn, and even shed a tear.”

Leo Bradley

Ed D, Professor Emeritus, Educational Administration Program, College of Professional Sciences, Xavier University

December 26, 2018.

We live in a divided country culturally and politically, but River Queens gives hope that understanding and even acceptance is still within the American grasp.


November 30, 2018. For the Southwest by the Southwest: “If you are gay.. read it… if you aren’t gay read it..if you are an American read it..if you love boating and are a river rat..read it!”


Dr. Barbara Tye

November 28, 2018. “I didn’t want this book to end, so I read it a second time.” Not Rated.


Daniela W

November 24, 2018. Books to get lost in:River Queens reads like a classic, one that my teacher could have chosen for class.” 4.5 Stars.


Keith Gerritz

Professor emeritus, Wilmington College

November 15, 2018. “At first, River Queens, purchased by my wife for me, took me aback, but after dutifully reading the back cover, the flaps, and the prologue, I got into the first chapter only to discover that it is a remarkable and unique book with setting and characters blending together to bring back memories of my father and his older brother as teenagers on the upper Mississippi during the 1920s, scavenging abandoned and wrecked boats to make them river-worthy, sewing new sails so they could sail that part of the river near Little Falls, Minnesota, where Charles Lindbergh had grown up to fly alone across the Atlantic.”


Herb DuVaL


November 10, 2018. “Alexander Watson's book about the purchase, restoration of a classic wooden yacht, and eventual odyssey to the hilly port of Cincinnati could have taken many paths: It could have been a buddy movie, with Dale Harris as the noble sidekick, the Sundance Kid to Alexander's Butch, but it isn't.” Not Rated.



October 31, 2018. Whispering Stories: The book is extremely easy to read and I finished it in a few days. The light hearted narrative skips along with plenty of conversation and humour.” 3.5 Stars.


Kathleen Garber

October 26, 2018. SMS Nonfiction Book Reviews:If you enjoy travel memoirs and/or love or are interested in boating than you will really enjoy this book.” 3 Stars.


Rosie Amber

October 22, 2018. Rosie Amber:I don’t know anything about boats, but I could follow much of the technical terminology. Once the duo were underway on their trip, the snippets of information about the rivers, the river-folk and the marinas brought the pages to life.” 4 Stars.


Jason Brown

October 10, 2018. Toast Toasted (https://Toastx2.blogspot.com):Based on a review copy of the book, I was pleased that my initial impressions were shallow.” 5 stars.


Stephanie Alford

October 7, 2018. 7Stillwell: “Alexander Watson’s writing is elegant and the story of River Queens is so compelling I’m having a hard time finding my objectivity.” Not Rated.


Amy Shannon

October 1, 2018. Amy's Bookshelf Reviews: There is a part that sticks with me, and it's just something that Dale says to his mother. "Home is where Alexander is." I found this story inviting, and well told.” 4 Stars.



For the Southwest by the Southwest Book Corner: Featured Author of the Month (December 2018)


The Biblioholic: Spotlight Release


91.7 FM WVXU, Cincinnati, Ohio: Cincinnati Edition with Dan Hurley


Stacey Ritz Books: Author Interview


The IndieView: Author Interview

Screen Shot Tim Ray & Alexander Watson.png

UI Media Network, Roswell, GA, The Good Intentions Show with Tim Ray.


WKRC, Local12: Good Morning Cincinnati


Linda’s Book Bag: Staying in with Alexander Watson


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