“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.


Rod Baker, Publisher

The Ledger Independent. March 5, 2019—“Your presentation was much different than what we typically have at Rotary, in a very good way. Not taking anything away from others who have presented, I found what you shared to be both interesting and entertaining. Learning about your leap of faith with the purchase of the Betty Jane, and the subsequent journeys on the rivers from Oklahoma to the Queen City, was fascinating.  You hooked me when you took the time to read a portion of the book from an event that took place at Paris Landing in Tennessee.  Can’t wait to read your book to learn more.  Thank you for sharing your story.”


WoodenBoat Magazine

March 1, 2019—“A good read.”


Geoff Whaley

February 12, 2019. The Oddness of Moving Things @geoff_whaley: “I realized that I was doing to Watson, a gay man in the south, that Watson on rare occasion (but far less than you would imagine) did to the people he encountered on and around the rivers he traveled. I was scoffing at the entire region I grew up in (the South) and the country-ness of Watson from my high urban city-gay point of view and I had to check that, because I felt Watson did a great job of portraying most of the people he encountered realistically. His writing evoked a sense of place you would only know if you’ve been to and his vivid portrayals of those he encountered immediately brought the people to life.”


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.” 


January 30, 2019. “This is a lovely book. Watson captures the domestic dynamic between Alexander and Dale in a beautiful way: creative and tempestuous Alexander draws on his experience from antiques and quiet and reliable Dale is the ship’s captain. Doris Faye is the beloved mascot who wins over every stranger.”


An Angry Old Man Reviews Books

January 28, 2019. “So there's strike two for poor judgment…I also learned that most boats are either a) broken, b) recently fixed, or c) about to break, and often two or three of those things at once.”


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 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 ( 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.