reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
This book is intriguing, intense, and instantly engaging. From the beginning, the reader is swept up into this fast-paced whirlwind that turns everything on its head and inside out. At the same time, the author provides just enough information to keep the reader up to speed, though you have to stretch to get it sometimes. Many seemingly unrelated stories were woven into one. I loved the various genders and identities, and especially the map of everyone at the end. Very useful. A near perfect score, I gave a 9 to character development because there were some I would have liked a bit more on. Overall, an awesome read!

Perihelion (Queenships Book 1) by Tami Veldura
Transgender Sci-fi / Futuristic
Publisher: Oldewolff Alternascents (April 15, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Perihelion (Queenships Book 1)

Kato Ozark, crown prince and soldier, has just been chosen to pilot his family’s queenship. He’s trained his entire life for this honor, but it comes with a catch. It seems that First Engineer Mas’ud Tavana has also been chosen as the queen’s pilot. Mas’ud has no formal training, and they both believe a mistake has been made. But when an attack on a distant Ozark queen forces them to work together, it’s clear their minds are better as one than apart.

They might even go on a proper date. Through mission briefings and politically required offspring, the mental link their queenship forges between them only grows stronger. Within this bond they find strength in each other. Then a rogue AI attacks their ship, ripping the queen open to the core. The two pilots feel it all; the assault destroys their connection and tears them adrift into open space.

Kato and Mas’ud wake up in the medical bay of a rival family with no memory of their queenship or each other. Hailed as a war hero, Kato retrains as a kingship pilot, preparing to defend Earth against the AI. Mas’ud, dismissed as permanently broken, struggles to rediscover his own truth.

Their queenship is out there, waiting for her pilots to come home. The future of their family depends on it.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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I have read a few other LA Witt books and have loved all of them. She draws readers into the story as if you are there and you can feel the romance developing between the characters. I will always read her first if I get a list of by books to read.

Not Safe For Work by L.A. Witt
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (December 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619232049
ISBN-13: 978-1619232044
Amazon: Not Safe For Work
Amazon Kindle: Not Safe For Work

They're a match made in the dungeon...until their secret gets out. Bored senseless in a meeting, architectural modeler Jon McNeill amuses himself with a kinky dating app on his phone. Then the app matches him with another user...who's six feet away. Suddenly Jon finds himself on the same page as someone way above his pay grade: millionaire property developer Rick Pierce. His firm's biggest-and hottest-client. The app isn't kidding either. They're a perfect match. Jon's a Dom, Rick's a sub, and bondage is their thing. Both guys are well into their forties, know their way around the bedroom, and definitely appreciate a good suit. And the best part? They're a match outside the bedroom too. But office relationships aren't easy to keep a secret. When the truth comes out, Jon is certain he's about to get fired. Instead, his bosses throw him a curve ball-an ultimatum that puts both his job and his relationship in jeopardy. Warning: Contains literal and figurative sex machines, blindfolds, a sub being punished during a business meeting, enough rope to tangle up a millionaire, and a Golden Girls marathon.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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1) A strong book set at a time that to me is still more the dominion of history lessons and horror and those childhood stories that my grandparents never, ever tell. So not exactly a time that lends itself to romance, and I admit I was sceptical when I first picked this book up. Happily my scepticism was misguided. Instead of the wartime romance I was half-dreading, this book is the story of two men struggling to stay human in an increasingly inhuman world; remembering that the enemy soldier is a human being, too, is just one part of it. Very well done. But then, everything about this book is well done: The plot is solid and gripping and although it jumps ahead in time twice, it doesn’t seem episodic; the characters are all complex and layered, even the secondary characters – even the obligatory super-Nazi was interesting from a meta perspective! – and the protagonists have a depth that is sometimes more hinted at than revealed fully; the setting was evocative and done right – at least, this German reader was very pleased to come across genuine German names as well as properly spelled and grammatically correct German sentences; the writing, finally, flowed smoothly, at a good pace, and managed to keep me up way past my bedtime because I simply could. Not. Stop. Reading. Last but not least, I quite enjoyed seeing the Germans from the American character’s perspective, all those little comments and observations on manners and language, and I couldn’t help grinning at the bit where Mark wonders at Armin’s mood because from his tone of voice he can’t tell whether Armin is annoyed or not, what with German sounding the same all the damn time. :-)

2) Writing as you wish it do be when you look for this kind of reading; well-developed characters; perfect research; and some very little flaws are covered by a gripping story, although dark, mesmerizing.

3) One of the most touching, heartbreaking beautiful story I ever read. Set in a German POW camp at the end of WWII, it is not a easy reading, the covered topics certainly leave its marks on the reader. But you won’t be able to put it down, you need to know how the main characters get to their well deserved happy ending. Be ready to cry, a lot, be ready to get angry, to feel relieved. The authors managed to engage the readers describing the environment and every action with such powerful attention to detail that you can almost see yourself there. There must have been a lot of reserch behind it, a very good job. A book to read at least once in a lifetime.

4) This book wasn’t at all what I was expecting. The setting is about as dramatic as it gets, but the story itself, the development of the romance and the tightly-written scenes between Armin and Mark are surprisingly easy to read. It was so engaging I couldn't put it down.

Broken Blades by Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 312 pages
Publication Date: February 15, 2016
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523448040
ISBN-13: 978-1523448043
Amazon: Broken Blades
Amazon Kindle: Broken Blades

They only had one night together—a stolen interlude at the 1936 Olympics. After Mark Driscoll challenged Armin Truchsess von Kardenberg to a good-natured fencing match, there was no resisting each other. Though from different worlds—an Iowa farm boy and a German aristocrat—they were immediately drawn together, and it was an encounter neither has ever forgotten. Now it’s 1944, and a plane crash in hostile territory throws them back together, but on opposite sides of a seemingly endless war. Facing each other as opponents is one thing. As enemies, another thing entirely. And to make matters worse, Mark is a POW, held in a cold, remote castle in Germany… in a camp run by Armin. They aren’t the young athletes they were back then. The war has taken wives, limbs, friends, leaving both men gray beyond their years, shell-shocked, and battered. The connection they had back then is still alive and well, though, and from the moment Mark arrives, they’re fencing again—advancing, retreating, testing defenses. Have they been given a second chance? Or have time and a brutal war broken both men beyond repair?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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1) It was by far the most enjoyable of the five books I read for the awards this year. Overall, the writing was strong, but there was an overuse of the word "as" and several clunky passages throughout the book. A few times, the author used phrases that made me roll my eyes. "Her eyes shone with tears," "tears were running down her cheeks," "her eyes filling with tears." As far as the setting, the details placing the story in 1980 were convincing, but while Pittsburgh was mentioned repeatedly, and names of neighborhoods were thrown about, I didn't get enough details about what was actually there. I thought the story started off well. I liked the emphasis on helping the homeless. However, since for 2/3 of the book, we're led to believe Dogman is Ellie's brother, when he suddenly drops out of the story and that subplot is left unresolved, I feel dissatisfied as a reader. Perhaps it's "realistic" for everything not to be tied up neatly. I don't need "neatly," but I also don't like being left hanging. I enjoyed the window display parts of the story. I can't say I "enjoyed" the banking parts, given the sexual harassment scenes, but they were compelling. The Italian family dynamics were good. The characters were believable and likable. I thought the dialogue "Do you eat like this every day" "Don't I look like I eat like this every day?" funny. I know in every romance, there has to be a problem and a temporary separation before the characters can get back together. But the emotional pain and hurt caused by the separation in the book was so profound that I'm not sure I believe their reunion at the end. It truly feels like the damage is irreparable, that there will always be deep scars which will prevent them from feeling they are safe with each other, that they are too aware of the pain the other is capable of delivering to them. I can't imagine them not always being a little bit on their guard from now on. That's okay, I suppose, as it's "realistic," but the ending as written suggests we are supposed to believe all is forgiven, and I'm not sure I buy that. The dinner conversation where Teresa's family talk her into going back to Ellie was a little forced at the end, particularly the line, "All her life, the best way to talk Teresa into anything was to plant the seed and leave her alone to think it over." I can SEE for myself that they're planting a seed and that she has to think it over. I don't need the author to tell me. It's overkill. I don't want to be told what to think. Just plant the seed and let me watch for myself as the character reflects on it. Finally, I loved the scene where the aunt tells Teresa that she'll have regrets no matter what decision she makes, that she just has to figure out which set of regrets she can live with. Overall, I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but these few errors and problems keep me from giving it as high a score as I wish I could.

2) A perfect score for what really is a perfect romance and later-in-life coming-of-age story. A subtle story that gently builds, incorporating a gritty, immersive setting, and featuring delightful and diverse characters that leap off the page. Absolutely wonderful.

Cast Me Gently by Caren J. Werlinger
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr. (October 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955333914
ISBN-13: 978-3955333911
Amazon: Cast Me Gently
Amazon Kindle: Cast Me Gently

Teresa Benedetto and Ellie Ryan couldn’t be more different, at least on the surface. Teresa still lives at home. As much as she loves her boisterous Italian family, she feels trapped by them and their plans for her life. Their love is suffocating her. Ellie has been on her own for years, working hard to save up enough to live her dream of escaping from Pittsburgh to travel the world. Except leaving isn’t that simple when she knows her brother is out on the streets of the city somewhere, back from Vietnam, but not home. When Teresa and Ellie meet and fall in love, their worlds clash. Ellie would love to be part of Teresa’s family, but they both know that will never happen. Sooner or later, Teresa will have to choose between the two halves of her heart—Ellie or her family. Set in 1980, the beginning of the Reagan era and the decline of Pittsburgh’s steel empire, Cast Me Gently is a classic lesbian romance.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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This was a fun read - the world building was imaginative though lightly touched in places falling more heavily on the characters and plot. I enjoyed the interplay between Cameron and Finn, and particularly appreciated the time taken to develop the love story and move it through to its natural conclusion, rather than an abrupt ending at the wrap up of the main story arc. All in all, a fresh take and well appreciated.

Stealing Dragon's (Lifting the Veil) Heart by Susan Laine
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634769716
ISBN-13: 978-1634769716
Amazon: Stealing Dragon's (Lifting the Veil)
Amazon Kindle: Stealing Dragon's (Lifting the Veil)

A Lifting the Veil Story

Notorious master thief Finn Grayson is hired to break into a high-class skyscraper in New Shanghai and steal a priceless artifact known as the Shard. But someone’s gotten to the Shard first―and the penthouse suite turns out to be a dragon’s lair.

Cameron Feilong, Guardian of the Earth Shard, is ancient enough to realize that he and his unbidden guest are being used like puppets on a string. Forming a shaky alliance is the only way for them to survive and to stop their ruthless foes.

Unfortunately, Finn and Cam seem to be forever one step behind. To learn more about their clandestine enemy, they travel together from walled Asian cities, barren tundras, and underwater temples to secret paranormal clubs and legendary elvish cities rising high in the trees or buried deep under glaciers. Finn and Cam must learn to trust each other before it’s too late, for bringing together the five Elemental Shards will spell the end of the world.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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The author did an excellent job writing a story that sticks with the reader. Her characters were distinct and vivid. The only draw backs, the pacing was slow in a few places and it ends too neatly.

Indigo Road by R.J. Jones
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523643447
ISBN-13: 978-1523643448
Amazon: Indigo Road
Amazon Kindle: Indigo Road

Two best friends take a year off to find themselves… and end up finding each other. Joshua Simpson has just finished four years at Purdue University, but that’s not why he’s buzzing with excitement. Once they’ve said goodbye to their families, Josh and his best friend Alex are taking off to discover America in an old but reliable VW van, planning on not seeing snow for an entire year. Josh has always considered himself straight—except for that one time in college—so when he and Alex are living in such close proximity on the road, he’s unsure what these new feelings mean. Is it because they’re spending 24/7 together, or is it something deeper? And does it really matter since Josh has only ever seen Alex with women? While in Oregon, Josh meets Johnno, a sexy but confusing Aussie surfer. While having an impromptu surfing lesson, Johnno helps Josh realize who he is and what he wants—but Alex’s reaction leaves Josh confused. From a Montana ranch to the bright lights and dangerous streets of Los Angeles, to a dark and lonely deserted highway in Alabama, join Josh and Alex as they drive around the US, discovering not only who they are, but who they can be together.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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Another well written romance by the author. I really liked Casey but not so much Jaq.

Capturing Forever by Erin Dutton
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 16, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626396310
ISBN-13: 978-1626396319
Amazon: Capturing Forever
Amazon Kindle: Capturing Forever

Jacqueline Knight is driven and ambitious, always focused on getting to the top. But when her father’s failing health demands her attention, she must consider putting her career on hold. Though she struggles with her new responsibilities, she won’t admit she can’t do it alone. And the last person she wants to accept help from is her ex, Casey.

Since their breakup eight years before, Casey Meadow s has concentrated on co-parenting their son and making a new life for herself. While she’s happy to offer her help, spending time with Jacqueline threatens to open the box in which she’s locked away their past relationship.

Will the lessons learned in eight years apart be enough to mend the mistakes of the past?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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I really enjoyed this book. The author did a brilliant job with the pacing of the story. I never once felt as if the storyline was dragging or that it was being rushed, everything flowed as it should have, giving me-and other readers-the chance to really get to know Bri and Dana. To fall in love with them. To be annoyed by them at times. To laugh with them, and to cry with them. The love story between these two women, set against a backdrop of danger and violence, childhood hurts and pains, was beautifully described and expressed by the author through the development of the characters, the wildly descriptive settings, and a plot that was thrilling in all manners of the word. To that end I had to give this book a score of 40/40. It was very much deserved.

The Wrong Kind of Woman by Voss Porter
Lesbian Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press, LLC (February 18, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1530011582
ISBN-13: 978-1530011582
Amazon: The Wrong Kind of Woman
Amazon Kindle: The Wrong Kind of Woman

All of her life, Dana Anderson has done what was expected of her. She put herself through school, she worked hard for her career, and she held her brother together after the loss of both parents. As summer comes and her inhibitions lower, however, she finds herself face-to-face with danger, mystery, and an illogical chance at true love. Will rough and ready biker, Bri Gunner, be the woman of her dreams? Or will the heat of their passing flame burn out?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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1) This is the third novel in a series. Not having read the first two, I was a bit lost at times, but that had nothing to do with the writing in this book. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read with vividly drawn characters.

2) While I'm not particularly interested in sports, I still found the story to be quite readable, and I can imagine that anyone who likes baseball would enjoy all the baseball talk, which comes across as very believable. The writing is solid, the best I've seen in a while. Word usage was good, and punctuation was correct. Those might seem like small things, the basics everyone should have down pat, but more and more writers these days fail in this arena, so I wanted to point it out. The writing flowed well, with little or no awkwardness. I felt comfortable as a reader, trusting the author. The dialogue was good. I almost felt there were too many main characters, but by the end, I knew everyone well enough and liked all the different storylines. There was a casual and believable insertion of details about in vitro fertilization. Any time we needed details on IVF or AA or baseball, the information was delivered in a good way. There were just a couple of places where there was some unnecessary repetition, sometimes almost line for line (in particular when Lisa was talking about her feelings toward her dad). I also found it odd that so many of the characters were surprised by sex. It seemed a little unrealistic. I've never found sex all that startling, even good sex. You don't have to be startled to enjoy sex. All in all, a well-written book that was a good read.

3) Usually series books aren't as good as the first, not true with this one. The author has a winner. She scores big in all categories, especially her characters. Her writing is getting better with each book.

4) A good read. Probably I would have liked it more if the book was more concerned with one single couple storyline at the time, because the amount of characters involved left me sometimes confused about the pairings and who was talking. But the story is fresh and interesting. The setting is quite peculiar and that makes up for some shortcomings in the story plot.

From Third to Home (Playing for First #3) by Chris Paynter
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Series: Playing for First (Book 3)
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Companion Publications LLC (March 29, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1942204124
ISBN-13: 978-1942204121
Amazon: From Third to Home (Playing for First #3)
Amazon Kindle: From Third to Home (Playing for First #3)

First baseman Amy Perry and her Cincinnati Reds teammates have one goal for the new season: win the World Series. Sportswriter and best friend, Lisa Collins, is there to cover the action from spring training through the hot days of summer.

But baseball isn't the only thing on Amy's mind. Her wife, Stacy McCrady, is trying to have a baby. The thought of becoming a mother pushes Amy to think this might be her last year--if the Reds were to win it all.

While covering the Reds, Lisa gets the surprise of a lifetime. Her father, whom she has never met, contacts Lisa. Can Lisa's partner, Frankie Dunkin, help Lisa set aside more than thirty-five years of anger?

Kat Benson is the cocky second baseman for Amy's former team, the Kansas City Bandits. The Bandits manager insists that Lisa and Amy attend a game to assess Kat's potential for the minor leagues. Kat, however, struggles to focus on baseball while confronted with her family's secrets.

From Third to Home continues Chris Paynter's Playing for First baseball series. Join Amy, Lisa, Kat, and the women who love them for an exciting season full of ups and downs, hopes and dreams.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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A fast-paced, exciting story set in a wildly imaginative and original world. Constant twists of plot and turns of characters that left me breathless. A well-constructed, vividly imagined masterpiece.

Shadows and Light by Cari Z.
Gay Fantasy
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing (March 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786518740
ISBN-13: 978-1786518743
Amazon: Shadows and Light
Amazon Kindle: Shadows and Light

A fight to the death against his former master turns into a chance for Rafael, an assassin denied the immortality he lived to achieve, to learn the shocking truth about the fate he was spared.

Rafael wanted nothing more than to serve his immortal master, Xian, a High One of Clare, who taught him from an early age how to be an assassin. But after failing the final test, Rafael was turned out into the Lower City, abandoned by the one person he thought he could count on.

Years of hatred and thoughts of revenge have fueled Rafael’s quest for vengeance, but when the time comes to strike at Xian, he hesitates and is taken prisoner. Rafael expects to die, either at Xian’s hand or at the hand of Myrtea, his sadistic mistress.

Instead Xian heals him, spares him a brutal interrogation and tells him the dark truth driving the ruthlessness of the High Ones—the source of their immortality is spent. Soon the city will devolve into chaos as High Ones battle one another and the rebelling denizens of the Lower City for power and resources. Xian wants to spare Rafael that pain, just as he spared him the pain of becoming a High One a decade earlier.

Their only chance for survival is to escape Clare before civil war breaks out. Even if they make it out of the city, though, there’s no guarantee that Xian will live through the agonizing process of becoming human again. The only ones they can rely on are each other…if Rafael can bring himself to once again trust his former master, the only man he’s ever loved.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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1) A strong well-developed story. As someone with teenage children I could recognise their emotions and frustrations, and understand the family dynamics.

2) Having been a military brat way back in the day it was easy for me to understand some of the things Shane was going through. There are a lot of emotional ups and downs in this book due to misunderstandings. I loved the way the author played everything out however and will be keeping this book to read again.

Private by Matthew J. Metzger
Gay Young Adult
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Queerteen Press (November 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1517731844
ISBN-13: 978-1517731847
Amazon: Private
Amazon Kindle: Private

Sixteen-year-old Shane has finally settled into life in the country, with university ambitions, a steady relationship, and a grudging tolerance for dance that is entirely the fault of his boyfriend, Luke.

Then Shane’s father gets his marching orders, and Shane’s time in this new life is put on a countdown. At sixteen, Shane could legally leave but has nowhere to go. And leaving the first real home he’s had in nearly twelve years doesn’t feel any better whether it’s for the wilds of Cornwall or the local housing association.

But in order to stay, Shane is going to have to tell his very conservative, very military family his biggest secrets ... all three of them.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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A good and simple read, I have enjoyed this book. The characters are well developed and the story is believable and sweet. I liked a lot how some cliché have been avoided about a working in construction woman or how a girly girl should act. Refreshing.

Built to Last by Aurora Rey
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626395527
ISBN-13: 978-1626395527
Amazon: Built to Last
Amazon Kindle: Built to Last

Olivia Bennett is on the tenure track at Cornell University, the resident expert on Southern women writers. After moving to upstate New York from Atlanta, she falls in love with and purchases an old, run-down farmhouse. The only catch: she know s nothing about renovating a house, taking care of land, or snow . Joss Bauer is a New York native who grew up in her family’s construction business. She has a soft spot for old houses, but no patience for overpaid debutantes who want to play at country living. W hen Olivia hires Joss to do the renovations on her new home, the sparks fly, in more ways than one. It turns out both women have a lot to learn about life, love, and the meaning of home. But when a scandal threatens Olivia’s professional reputation, it puts her priorities and her new found love on the line.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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1) Points for originality, for sure.

2) I really enjoyed this sweet shifter story. The characters were lovely, and having the MC as a domestic cat shifter was delightful. M.A.'s writing style fit the story perfectly - it was smooth, error-free, and a joy to read.

Behind the Eight Ball (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #2) by M.A. Church
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 30, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634766962
ISBN-13: 978-1634766968
Amazon: Behind the Eight Ball (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #2)
Amazon Kindle: Behind the Eight Ball (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #2)

Fur, Fangs, and Felines: Book Two

A cool morning, a yard full of birds, and a kitty on a mission. What more could a werecat want? Beta Heller Wirth has it all, except a mate―a shifter mate, that is. The last thing he wants is one of those dangerous humans who kill without remorse. Heller knows about that firsthand. So what does the goddess Bast do? She gives Heller exactly what he does not want―a human: business owner Lawson Dupre.

Lawson hasn’t a clue what just happened in his car detail shop. One minute a cute client is about to pass out, and then he perks up and starts flirting. Next thing, he runs out the door like the hounds of hell are after him. Learning that Heller is a werecat doesn’t freak out Lawson. He happens to be one of those rare humans who knows paranormals exists. He even lives with one. Watch the fur fly as Heller and Lawson battle hurt feelings, misguided beliefs, and a power shift in Heller’s clowder.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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1) I like all five stories in this collection. Some were more engaging than others I found some characters more intriguing than others… My favourite story was Sweet Girl.

2) It’s Only Love is a delightful collection of short stories by a writer who knows exactly what to include to pull at your heart strings. Each story resonates with a fresh perspective on age-old themes of love, loss and triumph. The writing style is easy, engaging and perfect for the stories and the settings.

It's Only Love: A Short Story Collection by Diane Marina
Lesbian Anthology / Collection / Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Aspen Palms Press (February 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523364351
ISBN-13: 978-1523364350
Amazon: It's Only Love: A Short Story Collection
Amazon Kindle: It's Only Love: A Short Story Collection

Schoolteacher Jessica Thomas flees heartache and her home in Baltimore to spend a summer in Rome, Italy. During her stay, she befriends a local tour guide who shares her knowledge of the city, as well as the surrounding tourist sites. What begins as a summer to forget the past turns into one full of memories in Italian Summer. In Savannah, Georgia, Mandy, a young heir to the city’s largest candy manufacturer falls hard for Skylar, the new employee at the Olde River Sweet Shoppe, but her family is in danger of losing their business when a rival company moves in, set on stealing her family’s recipes. All signs point to Skylar being a corporate spy. Can Mandy trust Skylar, or will she lose her heart and her family’s business in Sweet Girl? On a rainy evening in Washington, D.C., Cameron Dowd struggles with her inner demons and visits “The Castle,” a lesbian-only club where women can live out their fantasies with like-minded women. Cameron’s inner turmoil comes from her insistence that she’s not gay, despite her deep-rooted attraction for her best friend, Corbin. What Cameron discovers at “The Castle” leads her toward acceptance in her evening full of surprises in It’s Only Love. In California, Miranda and Chelsea pack up and move from their beachfront condo in Pismo Beach to a stylish home in Pasadena at the request of Miranda’s father, who owns the house. The house has been the source of some unsettling occurrences, and Miranda and Chelsea vow to get to the bottom of what is happening in Blue Lamp. In a posh hotel in New York City in 1948, two young socialites are introduced by their mothers. As their friendship grows, so does love. Will Lily and Joan's love prevail? Are they brave enough to stand up against the social standards of the time, or will their love simply become part of the history of the Imperial Hotel?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Minacious Malice starts nicely and then gets better and better. The author has developed her characters, setting and plot skillfully. The story is well-written and flows. The relationship between Sasha and Alice is intriguing and believable. I have no doubt that readers will enjoy this novel, especially if they like intrigue.

Minacious Malice (Malice #19) by K’Anne Meinel
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Series: Malice
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 153012476X
ISBN-13: 978-1530124763
Amazon: Minacious Malice (Malice #19)
Amazon Kindle: Minacious Malice (Malice #19)

As Alice continues with her tale of where she has been for the last couple of years, Kathy realizes the tally of deaths is adding up. The same reasons that caused their separation are still there. Can she forgive, much less forget, why they broke up in the first place? Murder, planned murder especially, takes time. Alice must feel ‘justified’ in who she targets. She also must take into account that Sasha is not only a witness, but an accomplice to what Alice must do. Sasha will be shocked as she realizes the depth of what Alice is capable of. Sasha must learn to ‘appreciate’ Alice and her ‘skills’. Follow along as Sasha and Alice begin the hunt for those who had imprisoned them….

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Meridian (Mirror #1) by Kirby Crow
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Series: Mirror
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1537238205
ISBN-13: 978-1537238203
Amazon: Meridian (Mirror #1)
Amazon Kindle: Meridian (Mirror #1)

Grant Baines operates a specialty-tour company with his sister, Andie. The tour part is ushering frat boys around the Gulf of Mexico in his charter yacht. The specialty is that he's an ex-military psychologist who does favors for the government. When Grant is asked to spend a week evaluating traumatized FBI Advisor Matty Sawyer, he agrees, thinking it will be just another babysitting assignment. Grant is more relaxed in a bondage playroom than he is going on a date, so he's amazed by how strongly he’s attracted to the damaged but brilliant man who arrives in his town. Grant’s job is to assess Matty’s stability to return to the FBI after Jaeger Koning— Matty’s former lover— is charged with multiple assassinations. Knowing Matty's past poses a danger to his family, Grant is determined to keep his distance, until Matty reveals a submissive side that Grant finds impossible to resist.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Malachite (Paladin Cycle #1) by Kirby Crow
Gay Fantasy
Series: Paladin Cycle
Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 23, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1535261692
ISBN-13: 978-1535261692
Amazon: Malachite (Paladin Cycle #1)
Amazon Kindle: Malachite (Paladin Cycle #1)

Marion Casterline is the highwarden of Malachite, an ancient, beautiful city floating in a shallow sea. In the aftermath of a brutal gang war, there is finally peace in the city, which gains new life every year through the sacred ritual of Aequora. Through Aequora, exiles, outlaws, and orphans can become citizens of Malachite. This ritual is vital to the city's survival, because Malachite is populated only by males. Jean Rivard grew up in the Zanzare slums at Marion's side. As boys, they were branded into the violent Teschio gangs that ruled the criminal underworld of Malachite. Known in the slums as the Prince, Jean became a spy, an assassin, and Marion's lover. As men, they worked together to destroy the Teschio and crown Kon Sessane as magestros of the city, only to drift apart after the battles were won: Jean to the Black Keep, Marion to the grand halls of the Consolari. When Marion announces his engagement to Kon's son, Jean is hurt and resentful. Marion is leaving him and their past behind in every possible way. Marion also believes that he's starting a new life, but when a charismatic rebel leader kindles a revolt in the slums, he realizes that the only man who can prevent war from devouring the city he loves is his very own prince.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Archer's Omnibus of Oddities, Mischievous Exploits & Sundry Tales of Insubordination: A Queer Collection of Essays by Jesse Archer
Gay Non Fiction
Publication Date: August 28, 2016
Amazon Kindle: Archer's Omnibus of Oddities, Mischievous Exploits & Sundry Tales of Insubordination: A Queer Collection of Essays

Jesse Archer spins his most shocking escapades into short editorial that is sometimes salacious, often incendiary, and always irreverent. From Manhattan to Burning Man to North Dakota's Corn Palace, follow the totally true adventures of a gay man with a lot to learn. This volume includes a decade's worth of outrageous tales which may involve black sheep, masculine bottoms, forbidden fruit, sex parties, suicide, AIDS cures, prison pen pals, Fire Island survivors, a high school hero, and how to ruin your best friend's wedding.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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New Lease of Life by Lillian Francis
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634766903
ISBN-13: 978-1634766906
Amazon: New Lease of Life
Amazon Kindle: New Lease of Life

Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalized not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humor too. Ever since, he has pushed his friends away and shut out the world. Donating his vintage clothing to a charity shop should have been the final act in a year-long campaign to sever the links with the man Pip used to be, but the stranger on his doorstep awakens feelings in Pip that he hasn’t experienced since the incident that left him angry at the world and reliant on the cold metal of the hideous hospital-issue crutch.

Colby forces his way into Pip’s life, picking at the scab of his past. Colby isn’t interested in Pip’s money or his expensive address. He has only one goal: to make Pip smile again. With every moment in Pip’s presence, Colby chips away at the walls Pip has built around himself. Pip knows it’s impossible to fight his attraction with Colby’s sunny disposition casting light into the darkness in his soul.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Resistance (Village Love #1) by Lillian Francis
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Finally Love Press (July 5, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Resistance (Village Love #1)

How long can you wait on a promise?

After his first night with Mal, Rick broke the habit of a lifetime and invited the sexy radiographer to spend the weekend in the sleepy English village he called home. Rick isn’t in denial but he’s afraid to reveal his sexuality in the close-knit community that has known him since he was a babe in arms.

The sex is amazing but equally Mal loves lazy days spent in the garden at Slopy Bottom, and every precious moment he spends with Rick. For Mal the village quickly becomes an oasis of peace, far from the noise and grime of life in London, a slice of tranquillity with Rick at the heart. But Mal has defied his family and his religion to be true to himself, and there is no way can he join Rick in his self-built closet, no matter how comfortable it is...

Rick is afraid revealing the true nature of his relationship with Mal will change the way his neighbours see him. He adores these people, this village, and he can’t face the thought of losing everything over who he chooses to sleep with. When the alternative is giving up a man who has slotted perfectly into his life—a man who he might just love—it’s no choice at all. But, knowing what has to be done isn’t always as easy as putting it into practice.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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David, My David by Eduard Qualls
Gay Historical
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Danaan Press (April 27, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1890000132
ISBN-13: 978-1890000134
Amazon: David, My David
Amazon Kindle: David, My David

"Hatred is the laziest form of cowardice.

Born in 1921 Germany, Eduard Meyer finds that, toward the end of his life's long journey he must, himself, deliver a gift, containing remnants of his arduous life's experiences, that he had promised to his American, Texas-born nephew.

That fulfillment of his promise, in 1995, frames the saga of Herr Meyer's life.

Within this exposition, he details his quest: the early discovery and development of his musical, keyboard prodigy, his early childhood bereavement, his harrowing experiences and traumatically maximal personal losses during the Hitler-time. Ultimately, after struggling through stress and depression, he must impart to that nephew the survivor's wisdom and knowledge that had arisen through his travails, that had carried him through all his trials.

This American nephew must face his own hate-riven era, the US-Reagan AIDS-hysteria of the 1980's. Only too late is Herr Meyer able to deliver the promised gift, the packet.

A story of personal triumph, of family cohesion and understanding, of an abiding faith in indestructible love and devotion, this saga does to hatred—to Anti-Semitism and homophobia, in particular—what Uncle Tom's Cabin did to slavery: it makes hatred intensely, inescapably personal.

A first-person narrative, readers will within it understand viscerally, unforgettably, its characters' forceful assertion that Hatred is the laziest form of cowardice.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Percolation, Poetry, and Passion & Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas (2 novellas as 1 submission) by A.V. Sanders
Gay Contemporary Romance

Percolation, Poetry, and Passion by A.V. Sanders
Publisher: Less Than Three Press, LLC (August 24, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Percolation, Poetry, and Passion

Beckett works at a coffee shop to make ends meet while attending a prestigious university. It's not the most exciting job, but he's done it long enough he's good at it—and can avoid the tedium by spinning sexy little daydreams of things he doubts will ever happen.

Daydreams that soon include Simon, the hot, handsome, and older freelance writer who stops in one day. But then Simon becomes a regular, a bright spot more interesting than the inside of Beckett's head, and daydreams start to seem like they could be something far more tangible—if reality doesn't get in the way first.

Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas by A.V. Sanders
Publisher: Less Than Three Press, LLC (December 14, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas

Reid, an American shark research scientist, is in Perth, Australia working to develop a mobile app that may revolutionize shark safety practices. But even the company of his boyfriend, Graham, isn't enough to stave off homesickness as Christmas approaches, and a missing shark and Graham's struggling business seem set to ruin the holiday for good.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Lover on Top: A Firefighter Romance (Six-Alarm Sexy #3) by Kristine Cayne
Bisexual Erotic Romance
Publisher: Kristine Cayne (April 28, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Lover on Top: A Firefighter Romance (Six-Alarm Sexy #3)

*** LOVER ON TOP IS A STANDALONE NOVEL IN THE SIX-ALARM SEXY SERIES ***

A straight firefighter discovers an irresistible attraction for his best friend’s younger brother—one that could lead to complete disaster.

A perpetual bachelor, firefighter lieutenant Hollywood Wright hops from one woman’s bed to another, searching for something he never finds. Has his father’s emotional and physical abuse somehow damaged him? Or is something else going on, something that involves the intense and uncomfortable feelings aroused by his best friend’s little brother?

Sexy-as-sin paramedic Chad Caldwell has always been out and proud. Sure, some gay-bashers are harassing him, but he’s determined to be true to himself. There’s just one problem: he’s hung up on Hollywood, his older brother’s straight best friend. When Hollywood’s apartment is damaged by fire, Chad reluctantly takes him in. Will Chad’s heart survive such close proximity to a man who’s both unattainable and everything Chad wants?

To their mutual surprise, Hollywood finds Chad and his world fascinating—and much hotter than anything he’s ever experienced. But with a rabidly homophobic father, is Hollywood doomed to die in the closet? Chad won’t accept anything less than a public relationship, no matter how amazing the sex is. Can Hollywood ever accept the man he has always kept buried deep inside?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Due Diligence (Takeover) by Anna Zabo
Bisexual Contemporary Romance
Publisher: InterMix (June 21, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Due Diligence (Takeover)

A business trip leads to a surprise encounter with an old flame in this sexy romance from the author of Just Business.

After Fazil Kurt breaks up with his girlfriend, a business trip to Seattle offers some much-needed time away. Sent by S.R. Anderson Consulting, Fazil is there to help audit Singularity Storage, a company they are trying to save. His first discovery is intriguing to say the least: One of Singularity's engineers is Todd Douglas, Fazil’s first love.

He knows better than to get personally involved on a job like this. Back in high school, Todd broke Fazil’s heart more times than he could count, but both men have grown so much since then—and Fazil never could say no to Todd...

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3) by Vanessa North
Transgender Contemporary Romance
Series: Lake Lovelace (Book 3)
Paperback: 154 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 21, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626494185
ISBN-13: 978-1626494183
Amazon: Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3)
Amazon Kindle: Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3)

Recently divorced Tina Durham is trying to be self-sufficient, but her personal-training career is floundering, her closest friends are swept up in new relationships, and her washing machine has just flooded her kitchen. It’s enough to make a girl cry.

Instead, she calls a plumbing service, and Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario comes to the rescue. Joe is sweet, funny, and good at fixing things. She also sees something special in Tina and invites her to try out for the roller derby team she coaches.

Derby offers Tina an outlet for her frustrations, a chance to excel, and the female friendships she’s never had before. And as Tina starts to thrive at derby, the tension between her and Joe cranks up. Despite their player/coach relationship, they give in to their mutual attraction. Sex in secret is hot, but Tina can’t help but want more.

With work still on the rocks and her relationship in the closet, Tina is forced to reevaluate her life. Can she be content with a secret lover? Or with being dependent on someone else again? It’s time for Tina to tackle her fears, both on and off the track.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626493421
ISBN-13: 978-1626493421
Amazon: Blueberry Boys
Amazon Kindle: Blueberry Boys

Love is coming into season.

Connor Graham is a city boy—a celebrated fashion photographer in New York. When his uncle’s death drags him back to the family blueberry farm, all he wants to do is sell it as quickly as he can. Until he meets his uncle’s tenant farmer.

Jed Jones, shy and stammering, devout and dedicated, has always yearned for land of his own and a man to share it with. Kept in the closet by his church, family, and disastrous first love, he longs to be accepted for who he is. But now, with his farm and his future in Connor’s careless hands, he stands to lose even the little he has.

Neither man expects the connection between them. Jed sees Connor—appreciates his art and passion like no one else in this godforsaken town ever has. Connor hears Jed—looks past his stutter to listen to the man inside. The time they share is idyllic, but with the farm sale pending, even their sanctuary is a source of tension. As work, family, and their town’s old-fashioned attitudes pull them apart, they must find a way to reconcile commitments to their careers and to each other.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Come Back To Me (The Lost and Founds #5) by Edmond Manning
Gay Erotic Romance
Series: The Lost and Founds
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Press; 1 edition (August 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997860812
ISBN-13: 978-0997860818
Amazon: Come Back To Me (The Lost and Founds #5)
Amazon Kindle: Come Back To Me (The Lost and Founds #5)

After years of lying, scheming, and dangerous manipulation, Vin Vanbly finally gets what's coming to him: love. How can he survive unstoppable, uncontrollable love when his very nature demands he control everything? Clues about his one true love—tantalizingly hinted at in each of the books in The Lost and Founds series—come together in four life-changing stories. In No Kings, a sex hookup with a parking lot stranger reveals more about Vin’s life as a Lost King and his destiny than he could have dreamed. In King Fitch, Vin meets the last king in his long legacy, one final weekend before he withdraws from the world to an anonymous Latin American jungle. The Lost Ones recounts a terrifying kidnapping by street thugs from Vin’s past. In King Malcolm the Restorer, Vin’s mysterious relationship with his older brother—and the soul-crushing secret which drew them together—is finally revealed. Through it all, Vin Vanbly struggles to survive. But what if he is destined for more than mere survival? Is he finally ready to embrace the truth and remember who he was always meant to be? Once there were a tribe where every man was the one true king and every woman the one true queen…

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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In Pain (In Distress #2) by Caethes Faron
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Publisher: Branwen Press (October 26, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: In Pain (In Distress #2)

In a future ruled by an exploitative caste system, Malcolm, a member of the highest caste, and his lover Will, a member of the lowest caste, work with their family to change the world in which they live. Will's found the solution to their problems: a way to infiltrate the Department of Genetic Integrity and hopefully find the truth they've been searching for. But just when victory is in their grasp, tragedy snatches it away.

Devastated, Malcolm seeks revenge for the horrors inflicted upon his family, but each of his victims draws him further form the goal he's spent his whole life working toward. Will is left to shoulder the burden of leading the movement for change, but he can only do so much. To pull their family through the darkness and toward a brighter future, Malcolm and Will must rely on the unlikeliest of allies--an ally who may prove even more dangerous than the enemies they face.

In Pain is the second book in the In Distress series and is intended to be read after In Distress.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives) by A.M. Arthur
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619234335
ISBN-13: 978-1619234338
Amazon: The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives)
Amazon Kindle: The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives)

Love can slip through the smallest crack in the door.

Perspectives, Book 3

While most of his friends have moved on to “real” careers, Jon Buchanan is content skating through life as a part-time waiter and gay porn star. Firmly single thanks to a previous relationship disaster, he focuses his spare time on Henry, a dear friend dying of cancer.

And with Henry's happiness paramount, Jon is on a mission to help Henry meet his recently discovered grandson.

Isaac Gregory hasn't set foot outside for the past year. He has everything he needs delivered, and his remaining family knows better than to visit. When a complete stranger shows up claiming to be his grandfather-with a distractingly handsome younger man in tow-his carefully structured routines are shaken.

Despite his instant attraction, Jon senses Isaac is too fragile for a relationship. Yet tentative friendship grows into genuine companionship. And when Henry's health begins to fail, they realize Fate brought them together for a reason.

Warning: Product contains a neurotic porn star with body image issues, a virgin hero with severe agoraphobia, and a fluffy ball of gray cuteness you'll want to take home and cuddle. Also contains references to past abuse some readers might find disturbing.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Unnatural by Joanna Chambers
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (November 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619232391
ISBN-13: 978-1619232396
Amazon: Unnatural
Amazon Kindle: Unnatural

The heart breaks but does not change. An Enlightenment Story Captain Iain Sinclair. Perfect son, perfect soldier, hero of Waterloo. A man living a lie. The only person who really knows him is his childhood friend, scientist James Hart. But they've been estranged since Iain brutally destroyed their friendship following a passionate encounter. Iain is poised to leave the King's service to become an undercover agent in India. Before he leaves his old life behind, he's determined to reconcile with James. An invitation to a country house party from James's sister provides the perfect opportunity to pin the man down. James has loved Iain all his life, but his years of accepting crumbs from Iain's table are over. Forgiving Iain is one thing-restoring their friendship is quite another. In the face of James's determined resistance, Iain is forced to confront his reasons for mending the wounds between them. And accept the possibility that James holds the key to his heart's desire-if only he has the courage to reach for it. Warning: Contains a dashing military hero with one weakness-a scientist who feels their chemistry in every cell of his body. Kissing in the rain, skinny dipping, and emotional flashbacks. Huzzah!

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Let Me Introduce Myself

Hola from The Land of Enchantment. I want to thank Elisa for hosting me today. I’m C.L. Etta, a novice author whose first book, Heartache and Hope was released for publication in July by Pride Publishing. This ride has been quite a high for me.

Imagine, I went from enrolling in a creative writing class to nurture my creative muse, to writing not one buy four novels. The second book, Heart and Home, is scheduled for preorder from Pride on October 25. Heart and Home continues the story of Kevin, Raphael and Robbie, the boys introduced in Heartache and Hope. The third book in the series, Hound and Harmony, has been submitted to Pride.

The fourth book, Love’s Tethered Heart, has been contracted with Dreamspinner Press for publication early next year. I’m proud of all my work to date, but this title holds a special place in my heart. I can hardly wait to share it with you. Danny and Mico spoke to me so clearly while I was writing Heart and Home, that I left it on the shelf, in order to tell their story. In the US, Dreamspinner is the gold standard publisher for our genre. I’m honored at being included in their family.

GRL is four weeks away, and I’m squirming because I’m so eager to meet all the attendees: authors whose work I’ve enjoyed, authors whose work is new to me, fans who love this genre as much as I do, and friends I know only through social media. I hope to meet you all. Look for the short, round woman with the silver hair, wandering the halls and holding a margarita. That’ll be me. Now, let’s meet the boys from The Beyond Heartache series.



Heartache and Hope
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing (July 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786513706
ISBN-13: 978-1786513700
Amazon: Heartache and Hope
Amazon Kindle: Heartache and Hope

Book one in the Beyond Heartache series

After heartache comes hope…

At eighteen, Kevin Monroe has learned that mothers don’t always love their sons, Dad’s fists
can break your bones and a closet gets mighty crowded with two. After the boy next door
breaks his trust and his heart, Kevin departs Albuquerque, New Mexico, determined to live
his life out and proud as the man he is meant to be. With Diamondback tickets in his pocket,
Kevin leaves his heartache behind to pursue his long-time hope of entertaining as a drag
queen.

Fear has ruled Raphael Delgado since he first realized he was gay—fear of discovery, fear that
he can’t support his disabled mama and fear that he has lost Kevin forever. Against a backdrop
of familial love and obligation, Raphael struggles to find the courage to accept his sexuality,
while hoping to leave the fragile confines of his closeted life.
While watching a Diamondback game on television, Raphael spots Kevin kissing a man in the
crowd. His first reaction is fear for Kevin’s safety and his second, fear that Kevin will never
come home.

Can love be restored long distance? Will love’s key be strong enough to unlock Raphael’s closet door? And who is the red-haired beauty wrapped in Kevin’s arms?



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Stranger Than Fiction by Jeanine Hoffman
Lesbian Sci-fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Mystic Books by RCE (February 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619292742
ISBN-13: 978-1619292741
Amazon: Stranger Than Fiction
Amazon Kindle: Stranger Than Fiction

A self described recluse, artist, and acclaimed author, Tori Monroe is used to being self-reliant. She has chosen a life where she grows and hunts for as much of her food supply as possible. When she isn't outside keeping herself fed, she is writing under one of two pseudonyms or creating canvasses for display in distant galleries. She has spent most of her adult life working and living in seclusion. When Tori is injured while hunting, she seeks help at the closest small town. Once there, things begin to happen fast. A hand surgeon who does research on blood disorders, a clinical psychologist who helps people deal with the stress brought on by intense life events, and even the hospital staff get overly interested in her care. Tori learns that what really happened to her out in the woods was more than a hunting accident. She has been infected with a strange virus that will change her in literal and figurative ways she never imagined.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Credit Worthy by Jeanine Hoffman
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Yellow Rose by Rce (June 3, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161929284X
ISBN-13: 978-1619292840
Amazon: Credit Worthy
Amazon Kindle: Credit Worthy

Is life random or is it something more? People's lives weave and interweave in many different and unexpected ways as Becca Hammond discovers. It starts with a plane ride home from a meeting for her family business. Can she understand the connections before they strangle her and close the collection and credit counseling business her father worked so hard to build? Shelly James graduated college and went to work at the Federal Trade Commission with the hope and intention of helping people. She never dreamed that several years later she would be burned out and ready for change. She isn't looking for romance. She wants a new place to start over and a different way to use her knowledge of facts and number crunching to assist people in more direct than ethereal ways. Becca and Shelly end up crossing paths, colliding, and ricocheting around each other. Neither is looking for love, just a way to follow their career dreams. They agree, nothing can or will happen despite an early attraction. It is business and only business. When you've been hit and run over by love, is it possible to trust again? To love again? Can anyone really escape the web of the Fates, and should they try?

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Paralian: Not Just Transgender by Liam Klenk
Transgender Biography / Memoir
Paperback: 456 pages
Publisher: Troubador Publishing (May 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1785891200
ISBN-13: 978-1785891205
Amazon: Paralian: Not Just Transgender
Amazon Kindle: Paralian: Not Just Transgender

Definition: Paralian - Ancient Greek meaning 'one who lives by the sea'. Paralian is a memoir narrated through the author's relationship to water. We follow Liam Klenk's tumultuous journey to find his authentic self and happiness against more than a lifetime's worth of adversities. At five months old, Liam was adopted from an orphanage and ushered into a unique journey, which introduced him to the characters that would become both the currents that moved him and the rocks that supported him. Liam, who lives in Zurich with his wife, says: "At three years old I began catching odd glances because I was born in a girl's body yet began to introduce myself to people as a boy." Paralian tells the remarkable story of an honest, and at times, challenging life, and offers insight and wisdom from a fluid position - from experience. Liam reveals how exploring the world helped him find a home inside his own body and spirit. Through this ultimately heartwarming and inspiring story, readers learn how Liam never gave up, faced his fears, and always managed to find positivity in each trauma. Written with an engaging sense of humour, this memoir of transcendence and finding oneself will appeal to those who enjoy true stories of courage, resilience, and dedication in the face of adversity. Paralian celebrates life with infectious strength and positivity. Follow Liam's journey from a small river in Germany to the biggest performance pool in the world, from Switzerland to the US, the Maldives to Macau.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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The Last Enemy (Agents of Influence #1) by Christian Beck
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications (July 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632168022
ISBN-13: 978-1632168023
Amazon: The Last Enemy (Agents of Influence #1)
Amazon Kindle: The Last Enemy (Agents of Influence #1)

"An Agents of Influence Book "

Highly decorated Delta Force operator and Iraq war hero Simon Monk loses everything when his romantic partner defects to Beijing after being caught selling US secrets to Chinese Intelligence. Monk is drummed out of the Army from the blowback but gets a second chance at a career when he is recruited into a covert group within the CIA.

Years later Monk s latest assignment sends him to Cairo, where the head of station has disappeared amid a highly publicized sex scandal. But things are not what they seem. When the base chief turns up dead and the Egyptian government looks the other way, Monk and his team hunt down the assassin.

All roads lead to a ruthless and lethal cult from Egypt s ancient past who discard every unwritten rule of espionage to win. Monk is forced to take to the shadows to find and destroy his most dangerous adversaries yet, as a chain of events threatens to ignite war in the Middle East. "

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Come What May (All Saints) by A.M. Arthur
Gay Contemporary Romance
Series: All Saints (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Carina Press (April 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 037300396X
ISBN-13: 978-0373003969
Amazon: Come What May (All Saints)
Amazon Kindle: Come What May (All Saints)

ALL SAINTS

ALL SAINTS

Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn't know it yet.

Or at least, he doesn't want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He's a straight, carefree frat-boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone—especially himself—didn't leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.

Enter Tate. He's smart, confident and instantly sees right through Jonas's surly exterior. Sure, he's done things in life he's not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he's never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.

But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas's old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn't enough—and sometimes it's exactly what you need.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Very engaging and well-written story. Great humor, characters, and plot development in both books. Really enjoyed the story, setting, and character development in both books.

Groomzilla & Groomzilla Does Vegas by Tere Michaels
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627985026
ISBN-13: 978-1627985024
Amazon: Groomzilla & Groomzilla Does Vegas

"The Groomzilla Collection"

"Groomzilla"

When drama threatens to ruin a romance on a reality show, only a true friend can save a groomzilla s wedding.

Daniel Green is neither a romantic nor a wedding planner, but he s the only person who can manage his childhood friend Ander, an outrageous fashion designer soon to marry a wealthy entertainment lawyer. Distracting Daniel is Owen Grainger, a too-handsome-to-be-true producer whose quiet charm pulls Daniel into his orbit.

When the stress of the show triggers bad behavior from Ander, the coproducer decides it s the key to a ratings bonanza, and he undermines Ander and Rafe s relationship to create more drama. Daniel is determined to protect his friend, but when he falls for Owen, there s much more at stake than ratings.

"Groomzilla Does Vegas"

Daniel Green and Owen Grainger found a happy ending in the middle of chaos. Now, a year later, they are engaged, setting up house, and working on their new production company. What could go wrong? Well, allowing the eccentric but well-meaning Ander to be the wedding planner is possibly Daniel's first mistake. A bachelor weekend in Las Vegas might just make or break Daniel's last nerve."

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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This book is a comic romp that simultaneously celebrates and lampoons a mash-up of genres: the bloodless murders (in this case six) of Agatha Christie and her ilk, the screwball movie mysteries of Nick and Norah Charles (it's Nick and Noah here), and the simile-rich voice-overs of film noir-- all updated for a gay context. Everything is drawn in broad strokes and exaggerated. With such an extensive dramatis personae, the author gives each bodybuilder character hilarious traits that helps the reader sort out who's who (and who's being killed next). It's certainly not subtle, but it's effective. I was especially taken by the twins who could read each other's thoughts, resulting in some hilarious one-sided dialogue.The setting (the New England college of Treemeadow, named after its spindly gay founders, Tree and Meadow) is a hilarious one-note of constantly shifting autumn colors. Repetition is effectively comic, as in the tongue-twisters ("Try saying that three times fast."). As for the writing, it, too, is over the top. Sam Spade-like similes abound: "[He] jumped up like a malaria victim's temperature"; "slower than a priest in altar boys' dressing room"; and so on. The character's name are similarly de trop: to name only two, Nicky Abbondanza (the narrator who boasts of an improbably-sized appendage) and Mickey Minor (the diminutive bodybuilder). Comic writing is difficult, and this author has succeeded on his own terms.

Drama Muscle (Nicky and Noah Mystery #2) by Joe Cosentino
Gay Humor
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (January 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590215664
ISBN-13: 978-1590215661
Amazon: Drama Muscle (Nicky and Noah Mystery #2)
Amazon Kindle: Drama Muscle (Nicky and Noah Mystery #2)

It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah's parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky's suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body.

You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino's fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Sons of Taldra: A Science Fiction Adventure by Duane Simolke
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Publication Date: August 27, 2016
Amazon Kindle: Sons of Taldra: A Science Fiction Adventure

In an alternate reality, an Iroquois woman and her twin gay sons battle shapeshifting aliens.

Valchondria (Earth) developed a one-world government, consisting of Leader, the Maintainers, and the Supreme Science Council. A millennium ago, the Valchondrians sent two ships of colonists into space. The first ship became radicalized by a violent religious cult. Alien creatures called the Naadloosh attacked the second ship. Valchondria banned contact outside its atmosphere and shut down the space program. Over the centuries, freedom and progress decayed.

Now the Naadloosh have found the human world. Leader and her sons must stop the invasion. Maintainer Admiral Nil blames Leader for a series of tragedies and might pose an even greater threat than the changelings that want to feed on humanity.

One of Leader’s twin sons, Telius, simply wants to marry the man he loves. The other, Argen, struggles with the residual effects of a deadly drug addiction. The young men rally to Leader’s side as she faces humanity’s greatest threats.

Native American storytelling inspired this stand-alone sequel to Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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The World As He Sees It (Perspectives) by A.M. Arthur
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (October 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619231964
ISBN-13: 978-1619231962
Amazon: The World As He Sees It (Perspectives)
Amazon Kindle: The World As He Sees It (Perspectives)

Love knows no limits...but fear could keep them from seeing it. Perspectives, Book 2 Gabe lives a double life. As Gabriel Henson, he works multiple jobs to support his remorseless, alcoholic mother. As Tony Ryder, he does internet porn for extra cash and regular safe sex without complications. Yet when he encounters a scared young man freaking out in a night club, he's compelled to reach out. Ever since then, the memory of that young man has haunted him. Tristan Lavelle lives his life thirty minutes at a time. After a traumatic brain injury three years ago, he gets through his day recording his life in spiral notebooks and sticky note reminders. A month after Tristan's embarrassingly public meltdown, another chance meeting with Gabe sparks a warm, emotionally fulfilling email relationship. Both men crave more, but fear of the next step stands between them. Until Tristan gets the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial that could improve his memory-if the side effects don't kill him. But for Tristan, the possibility of a real life with Gabe is worth any risk... Warning: Contains two damaged but lovable heroes, secret-keeping friends with good intentions, and an abundance of inappropriate food innuendo.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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