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"I’m often asked why I became a writer.

Usually, I’ll give some hoity-toity answer about ‘expressing myself’ and ‘all the stories I want to tell’ and the ‘joy of creation.’

The real truth is I can’t hold a job.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been fired, or the place I worked went out of business—well, I’d be sipping a margarita on a gorgeous white sand beach on a tropical island somewhere. It’s sad, but true. I’ve tried just about everything—fast food, retail, airlines, travel, bank teller, insurance, natural gas sales—but in almost every case, either the business shut down or I got a pink slip.

I finally realized it was the Universe telling me to chase my dreams and start writing—and I’ve never looked back.

At this time, under my own or one of my pseudonyms, I’ve published over twenty novels. I won’t list them here—they’re elsewhere on this site, but definitely take a look and buy them—they make excellent gifts!

I was born in Alabama but grew up in Chicago. I graduated high school and started college in Kansas, finishing in California, and then I moved to Houston for a few years. After Houston, I lived in Tampa for four years before eight months in Minneapolis (too cold!) and finally, I made it down here to New Orleans.

Like Tennessee Williams, I consider New Orleans to be my spiritual home.

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I’m still working my way through the Chanse MacLeod series, but what I really like about Greg Herren is that he excels at setting. I’ve never been to New Orleans, but the way he draws the city in his books makes me think sometimes that I have been. His love for the city shines right through his prose. --Kate McMurray
Further Readings:

Bourbon Street Blues by Greg Herren
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (April 1, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758202121
Amazon: Bourbon Street Blues

Native boy Scotty Bradley knows how to bend his hometown's every unwritten rule. it doesn't hurt that he's buff, boyish, and completely irresistible, with a job by day as a personal trainer...and the occasional night gig dancing on the bar for rent money. Hey, it's a living. Scotty likes his relaxed life, living upstairs from the coddling lesbian couple he calls his aunties, and hanging out with his eccentric, close-knit family -- stoner-hippie parents, Uptown but well-meaning sister, and scheming lawyer brother. And with New Orleans's biggest circuit party -- Southern Decadence -- about to hit town, Scotty's looking forward to plenty of dancing, cruising, and maybe, just maybe, an adorable Mr. Right.

But then Scotty discovers one of his best clients in front of his Decatur Street apartment, shot through the head, execution style. It's even more troubling when his friend Jeremy, he of the disappearing act a year ago, reappears briefly in the bar, begging Scotty to take care of a computer disk for him and spouting something crazy about people being after him. And things get really, really bad when everyone from the cops -- who don't believe anything Scotty says -- to a shadowy man claiming to be an FBI agent is tailing Scotty's every move, waiting for a chance to arrest him...or worse.

Now, with help from his best friend David and a gorgeous new lover who just happens to be a cat burglar of the real and not-Cary Grant variety, Scotty's diving into a web of tawdry Southern secrets that stretches all the way to a corrupt political machine whose members would do anything and use anyone to get to Scotty and that disk. Suddenly, the Big Easy's liveliest gay celebration has just taken on asinister glow, and Scotty's carefree living is turning into a desperate race for his life.

Women of the Mean Streets: Lesbian Noir edited by J.M. Redmann and Greg Herren
Series: Bold Strokes Victory Editions
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 16, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822417
ISBN-13: 978-1602822412
Amazon: Women of the Mean Streets: Lesbian Noir
Amazon Kindle: Women of the Mean Streets: Lesbian Noir

Women. Crime. Justice. At least the search for it. On the mean streets, the back allies, the dark corners.

These are stories of tough women in hard places. The nights are long, the women are fast, and danger is always a short block or quick minute away. Edited by award winning author/editors J.M. Redmann and Greg Herren, Women of the Mean Streets is an anthology of some of the top, tough women crime writers today, noir stories with a lesbian twist.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards
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Alan Chin is an American author. He writes novels (seven published), short stories (one anthology being published in 2014) and screenplays. Most of Alan’s work deals with gay themes, and cover a wide scope of genres. He published his first novel, Island Song, in 2008. Alan and Herman spend half of each year in Palm Springs, California and the other half traveling the globe. Together since 1994, in 2014 they celebrated their 20th anniversary. In 1999, Alan changed his last name from Hurlburt to Chin so that they could share the same family name. They were legally married in California in 2008. Music has a hold on their lives. Alan and Herman met at the San Francisco Opera twenty years ago, and fine music is a love they share, something that brings them closer together. They have traveled to over fifty countries over the last fifteen years, and have attended concerts and opera performances in most of those countries. Our other passions are writing, hiking, and competitive tennis, all of which we share.

The Lonely War won a 2010 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Historical and Best Gay Novel, Match Maker won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction.

Alan Chin is an American author. He writes novels (seven published), short stories (one anthology being published in 2014) and screenplays. Most of Alan’s work deals with gay themes, and cover a wide scope of genres. He published his first novel, Island Song, in 2008. Alan and Herman spend half of each year in Palm Springs, California and the other half traveling the globe. Together since 1994, they celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2014. They were legally married in California in 2008.

Further Readings:

The Lonely War by Alan Chin
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724586
ISBN-13: 978-1613724583
Amazon: The Lonely War
Amazon Kindle: The Lonely War

The realities of war are brutal for any man, but for a Buddhist like Andrew Waters, they're unthinkable. And reconciling his serene nature with the savagery of World War II isn't the only challenge Andrew faces. First, he must overcome the deep prejudice his half-Chinese ancestry evokes from his shipmates, a feat he manages by providing them with the best meals any destroyer crew ever had. Then he falls in love with his superior officer, and the two men struggle to satisfy their growing passion within the confines of the military code of conduct. In a distracted moment, he reveals his sexuality to the crew, and his effort to serve his country seems doomed. When the ship is destroyed, Andrew and the crew are interned in Changi, a notorious Japanese POW camp. In order to save the life of the man he loves, Andrew agrees to become the commandant's whore. He uses his influence with the commandant to help his crew survive the hideous conditions, but will they understand his sacrifice or condemn him as a traitor?

Match Maker by Alan Chin
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615815872
ISBN-13: 978-1615815876
Amazon: Match Maker
Amazon Kindle: Match Maker

In the four years since being forced off the professional tour for being gay, Daniel Bottega has taught tennis at a second-rate country club. He found a sanctuary to hide from an unkind world, while his lover, Jared Stoderling, fought a losing battle with alcohol addiction to cope with his disappointment of not playing on the pro circuit. Now Daniel has another chance at the tour by coaching tennis prodigy Connor Lin to a Grand Slam championship win. He shares his chance with Jared by convincing him to return to the pro circuit as Connor's doubles partner. Competing on the world tour is challenging enough, but Daniel and Jared also face major media attention, political fallout from the pro association, and a shocking amount of hate that threatens Connor's career in tennis, Jared's love for Daniel, and Daniel's very life.
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Indulge yourself in a sumptuous taste of mystery with a dash of heart pounding thriller. Perhaps a sprinkling of science fiction will be what teases your palate as you feast on Roscoe James' brand of romance. And don't forget the spicy wickedness that makes his stories Hot with a capital "H". Roscoe James (RJ to his adoring fans) writes romance with a delicious twist.

Born along the dusky red banks of the Ohio River, RJ grew up in a sleepy little town in southern Indiana where the sounds of cicadas and whippoorwills marked the arrival of summer and cruising the town square on a Friday night was a rite of passage. From law enforcement to the hallowed corporate halls of two Fortune 500s he draws from a deep well of life experience. With Spanish as his second language and the day-to-day of living in one of the largest cities of culture in the world, RJ infuses his stories with a raw reality that makes the characters memorable forever.

Most days you'll find RJ sitting at his desk overlooking one of the concrete jungle's lush city parks trying to dream up new ways to captivate and titillate your imagination ... in the most wicked way possible, of course.

Dancing with Venus won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Contemporary Erotica.

Further Readings:

Dancing with Venus by Roscoe James
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (August 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1607377365
ISBN-13: 978-1607377368
Amazon: Dancing with Venus
Amazon Kindle: Dancing with Venus

Jessie doesn't understand matters of the heart, not even her own.

Blues is Jessica Butler's life. No performer romances the audience better. Unfortunately the audience is the only thing twenty-eight-year-old Jessie is romancing these days. Her life is an endless string of club dates with the occasional male groupie thrown in to stave off complete isolation. Careful to never surrender more than her body, matters of her heart remain a mystery, even to her.

On the outs with her family, she's been running from gig to gig for over a year. When her little sister's wedding invitation finds her in Chicago Jessie realizes it's time to stop running. Unwittingly she starts a pilgrimage that turns the ever elusive matters of her heart into a train wreck.

Marcella Dionysius keeps company with the dead Europeans. Instead of bars and clubs, Marci's venues are concert halls and recording studios. She's a world-class cello player, a woman that loves women, and the only daughter of a very powerful man who wants just one thing before he dies. An heir.

Marci is an exotic Greek goddess next to Jessie's pale, lanky, Midwestern form, and Jessie hates her sister's best friend immediately. She hates her even more after their first kiss. Because this time running isn't an option.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Sloan Parker writes passionate, dramatic stories about two men (or more) falling in love. She enjoys writing in the fictional world because in fiction you can be anything, do anything--even fall in love for the first time over and over again. Sloan lives in Ohio with her partner and their neurotic cats. Her greatest moments in life are spent with her family, her friends, and her characters.

More won a 2010 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Contemporary Romance. Breathe won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Contemporary Romance and Best Gay Novel.

Further Readings:

More by Sloan Parker
Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1477635998
ISBN-13: 978-1477635995
Amazon: More
Amazon Kindle: More

For fifteen years Luke Moore has lived by three rules: stay off his father's radar, never spend more than a single night with any man, and never fall in love again. But one night of explosive sex and two men he can't get out of his head have Luke breaking them all. Richard and Matthew push him past all his boundaries--both sexually and personally--and now he's no longer hiding from his senator father; he's taking him on. And he isn't just falling for one man; he's falling for two. If you're going to break the rules, might as well break them big.

But Luke's father has his reasons for hating how his son lives, and he'll do whatever he can and use all his power to keep Luke away from Richard and Matthew.

Can this threesome find a way to make their unconventional relationship last with the world around them trying to pull them apart? And will Luke be able to keep breaking his rules for Richard and Matthew, or will he head back to his familiar way of life just when his new lovers want to pull him closer?

Breathe by Sloan Parker
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 22, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480061980
ISBN-13: 978-1480061989
Amazon: Breathe
Amazon Kindle: Breathe

Lincoln McCaw lost everything—his home, his job, his partner—after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has.

Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything—a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2010 & 2011
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Ben Monopoli lives in Boston with his husband, Christopher Connors. They married on September 1, 2007.

The Cranberry Hush won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Bisexual / Transgender Contemporary and Best Bisexual / Transgender Debut.

Further Readings:

The Cranberry Hush: A Novel by Ben Monopoli
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 6, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1468189557
ISBN-13: 978-1468189551
Amazon: The Cranberry Hush: A Novel
Amazon Kindle: The Cranberry Hush: A Novel

Vince Dandro might be going through the quietest quarter-life crisis of all time. He lives alone, works in a comic book shop, and has a crush on his coworker he can't seem to act on. Like an old comic book, his life's colors have started to fade. Everything brightens when Vince's long-lost friend Griff appears on his doorstep in the middle of a blizzard. They were roommates in college, so close back then that Griff's girlfriend called them "lifebuddies" -- but Vince's love for Griff had ended the friendship, he thought, forever. They haven't spoken in years. Why has Griff shown up again? And, more importantly, can Vince handle his return?

Vince and Griff are two twentysomethings struggling to find their places in the world and in each other's lives. This is a story of friendship and love, both unrequited and requited, and of learning how to fly through the post-college void, which just might hold more than a cranberry hush.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Fay is a native New Yorker, who spent 30 years working in journalism and public relations. Her first book, As I Lay Frying a Rehoboth Beach Memoir (2004) is in its 3rd printing. Her second, Fried & True Tales from Rehoboth Beach won the 2008 National Womens Press Association Book of the Year for humor. Fay is the publisher of A&M Books a small feminist press. Fay has contributed The Advocate, Baltimore Sun, Delaware Beach Life, Sussex Weekly and the Wilmington News Journal. "

For Frying Out Loud won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Non Fiction, 1st place, and Best Lesbian Book, 2nd place.


Further Readings:

For Frying Out Loud - Rehoboth Beach Diaries by Fay Jacobs
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: A&M Books; First edition (November 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615342914
ISBN-13: 978-0615342917
Amazon: For Frying Out Loud - Rehoboth Beach Diaries
Amazon Kindle: For Frying Out Loud - Rehoboth Beach Diaries

Rainbow Reviews Book of the Year! ALA Over the Rainbow list! Multi-Award winner! **** Fay Jacobs is back! The author of As I Lay Frying and Fried & True returns with more wise and witty recollections about contemporary life in general and more specifically life in Rehoboth Beach, a small resort town on the Delaware Coast. A treat for longtime fans and new readers alike For Frying Out Loud is a collection of Fay s latest columns plus some new, never published material. It s provocative, political, occasionally heartwarming and reliably hilarious. Jacobs' witty way of describing universal experiences in her utterly unique voice will keep you laughing, smiling and relating page after page. **** Laugh, cry, and above all, rejoice with Fay Jacobs' newest collection -- Radclyffe, author of Trauma Alert

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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"Fact One: I like corny jokes. If you have any good ones, send them my way!

Fact Two: My favorite color is purple, but my writing is gray. Life is not black and white. I often write about issues and characters where there is no "right" answer.

Fact Three: I'm weird. I like being weird."

Strange Bedfellows won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Contemporary Romance, 2nd place. Waiting won a 2012 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction, 3rd place, and Third won as Best Lesbian Sci-fi/Fantasy, 3rd place.

Further Readings:

Waiting by Q. Kelly
Paperback: 156 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1466409681
ISBN-13: 978-1466409682
Amazon: Waiting
Amazon Kindle: Waiting

Caris Ismay, 30, is falling in love with a woman she dares not pursue, and at exactly the wrong time. Caris knew that life after having her baby would be different, especially since her wife did not love her anymore. But Caris never expected post-baby life to be this difficult. Dale, her wife of three years, is in a coma that turns into a vegetative state. Lena, Dale's 29-year-old daughter, is put in the awkward position of revealing Dale's secrets to Caris. Caris and Lena share a perfect, passionate kiss that they cannot stop thinking about. Plus, they can help each other in ways no one else can. They try to build a friendship, but their growing attraction gets in the way. Can Caris and Lena move past the taboo of their attraction and find their path together?

Third by Q. Kelly
Paperback: 186 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 20, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1469942208
ISBN-13: 978-1469942209
Amazon: Third
Amazon Kindle: Third

Tudor historian Helen Franklin is horrified when her dying scientist father leaves her a most unusual inheritance: Anne Boleyn. Yep, Anne Boleyn as in Henry VIII's beheaded queen. She is a time traveler and is having trouble adjusting to the modern world. Helen tells herself she does not have time for Anne. Yalia, Helen's wife, has been distancing herself from Helen for three years, and Helen needs to decide if she wants to save their marriage.

Then the unexpected happens. A romantic relationship develops among Yalia, Anne and Helen. Can the three of them figure out their lives together, especially when time might be running out for Anne?

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011 & 2012
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Patricia Nell Warren (born 15 June 1936) is an openly lesbian American author and journalist.

Primarily known as an author, Warren is also commonly known as "the mother of Frontrunners" - the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender running/walking clubs that have been started in Los Angeles and other large cities around the world which was inspired by Warren's bestselling novel The Front Runner about a gay coach and his Olympic runner. There have been several failed attempts to have TFR made into a full length feature movie, but a production with a viable production budget has never materialized. As a runner herself she was one of the first women to run in the Boston Marathon.

She was introduced to Ukrainian literature in the late 1950s by her husband Yuriy Tarnawsky. Prose writer, poet, translator, publisher and editor, she has published three books of poetry in Ukrainian including The Tragedy of Bees (1960), Legends and Dreams (1964) and Pink Cities (1969). She stopped writing in Ukrainian and left the group in the early 1970s, shortly after she divorced Tarnawsky.

Warren, aka "Patches", to her Front Runners family, also frequented the runs and the annual dinners held by the Los Angeles group and participated in the annual Christopher Street West GLBT rights parade as part of the Frontrunners contingent during the 1990s thanks to then president Marty Freedman and then executive board member Don Norte.

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How many other gay men have had the same experience as I did? I discovered The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren on a trip to the mall when I was in high school, surreptitiously bought it when my friend wasn´t looking, and took it to home, hid it between my mattress, and box springs...and absolutely treasured it. It opened my eyes to so much (yes, two men can really love each other-it´s not a sickness or an abnormality) and made me realize I was not alone. --Rick R. Reed
Yes it’s a cliché—practically every Gay male over 40 at least has read The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren, a pivotal-for-its-time piece of Gay Americana. Whatever its disputed merits or flaws, it jumped out at me on a public library shelf when I was a lonely, closeted 17-year-old who had no idea what was really possible between two men beyond the most obvious physical basics. Warren’s book was my first peek at the possibility of true love between men and so in that sense she changed my life. If that doesn’t warrant inclusion on a list like this, I don’t know what does! --Dan Stone
The Front Runner is the first gay-themed book I ever read. First published in 1974, this story of the love between a track coach and a young runner has had a profound effect on countless readers. I have had the privilege of meeting the wonderful Patricia Nell Warren, who is still writing and publishing great books through her own independent imprint Wildcat Press. For a recent interview with Patricia, see the November 2009 issue of John Morgan Wilson’s Book Buzz column at --Wayne Courtois
What can be said about The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren, a classic, that hasn´t already been said? Unstereotypical. Groundbreaking. Heartrending. All those superlatives are true. And for me, it was very familiar. It reminded me of the school I attended, Hanover College. A heartbreaking book of love transcending bigotry...almost. So where´s the movie? --Eric Arvin
Patricia Nell Warren, 1997, by Robert Giard  )

Original Covers )

Further Readings )

More Particular Voices at my website:, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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EM Lynley, a Rainbow Award winner and EPPIE finalist, has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she'd rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

Rarer Than Rubies won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Mystery / Thriller, 3rd place.

Further Readings:

Rarer Than Rubies (Precious Gems) by EM Lynley
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615819304
ISBN-13: 978-1615819300
Amazon: Rarer Than Rubies (Precious Gems)
Amazon Kindle: Rarer Than Rubies (Precious Gems)

When Trent Copeland runs into Reed Acton at a Bangkok airport, he thinks the handsome American is too good to be true. Why would someone like Reed be interested in a quiet, introverted gay-romance writer? After all, even an obvious tourist like Trent can see that there is more to Reed’s constant unexplained appearances in his path than meets the eye. Reed Acton has one mission and one mission only—he needs to get the map that was accidentally slipped into Trent's bag and keep the mobsters who want the priceless artifact from taking deadly revenge. Trent Copeland is a delicious and damned near irresistible diversion, but Reed can’t afford distractions right now, especially if he wants to keep Trent safe. From Bangkok's seediest back alleys to the sacred north, the two men will fight to stay one step ahead of the bad guys and learn that the only treasure worth finding is... each other.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London where he makes his living as an editor in the financial services sector. After many years working in the horror, science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy genres, Voinov has set his sights now on contemporary and historical gay novels.

Voinov's natural form is the novel, as all short stories eventually turn into novels. Described as a "workaholic speed-writing freak" by fellow writers, a "creative writing class drill sergeant" by his writing 'padawans', Voinov is a self-confessed geek and has enlarged his days by 12 secret hours in return for the sacrifice of ten albino virgin pygmy hippos.

Voinov's style has been called "dynamic to the point of breathlessness", "dark and gritty" and "disturbingly poetic" by publishers and literary agents.

He has just barely enough time to take care of a bonsai standing in the kitchen, goes weight-lifting, and confuses opponents as a left-hander in foil fencing. Intellectually, he is drawn to the dark side of human nature and history. As a trained historian, Voinov is fascinated by wars, religion and the conflict between the individual and society.

Interest at the moment include professional chess players, Swedish massage, tailored suits, and networking with writers and literary agents. The interests are subject to change from one day to the other, and Voinov single-handedly sustains three bookshops in London.

Dark Edge of Honor, co-authored with Rhianon Etzweiler, won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic, 1st place. Country Mouse, co-authored with Amy Lane, won a 2012 Rainbow Award as Best Bisexual Erotic Romance, 2nd place, and Incursion won as Best Bisexual / Transgender Sci-fi/Fantasy and Best Bisexual / Transgender Novel, 1st place. The two novellas If It Flies and If It Fornicates, co-authored with L.A. Witt, won a 2013 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Erotica, 1st place.

Further Readings:

Dark Edge of Honor by Aleksandr Voinov and Rhianon Etzweiler
Publisher: Carina Press (August 15, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Dark Edge of Honor

Sergei Stolkov is a faithful officer, though his deepest desires go against the Doctrine. A captain with the invading Coalition forces, he believes that self-sacrifice is the most heroic act and his own needs are only valid if they serve the state.

Mike, an operative planted within Cirokko's rebels, has been ordered to seduce Sergei and pry from him the Coalition's military secrets. His mission is a success, but as he captures Sergei's heart, Mike is tempted by his own charade and falls in love.

When the hostile natives of the planet Cirokko make their move, all seems lost. Can Mike and Sergei survive when the Coalition's internal affairs division takes an interest in what happened in the dusty mountains of Zasidka Pass…?

Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing; first edition (August 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626490449
ISBN-13: 978-1626490444
Amazon: Country Mouse: The Complete Collection
Amazon Kindle: Country Mouse

Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but after a long day playing tourist on his London vacation, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun.

Owen’s all for an adventure, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm Kavanagh thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing’s too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.

Incursion by Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 7, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Incursion

When the local authorities ask Kyle Juenger to hunt a shape-shifting Glyrinny spy, he can’t refuse. After all, he can use the reward to replace his paralyzed legs with cyberware, and maybe even to return to his home planet. Besides, he hates the morphs—those invasive, brain-eating monstrosities whose weapons cost him his legs.

Kyle’s best lead is the Scorpion, a mercenary ship armed to the teeth. Grimm, the Scorpion’s pilot and captain, fascinates Kyle. He’s everything Kyle lost with his legs, and he’s from the same home world. He’s also of the warrior caste—half priest, half savior. But Grimm’s been twisted by life as a merc, and Kyle’s stuck undercover as a criminal on the run.

That doesn’t stop Grimm from coming on to Kyle, or from insisting he’s more than the sum of his past and his useless legs. But Kyle has other concerns—like tracking a dangerous morph who could be wearing anyone’s face. And as if things weren’t complicated enough, Kyle can’t tell if Grimm is part of the solution . . . or part of the problem.

If It Flies (A Market Garden Tale) by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 9, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: If It Flies (A Market Garden Tale)

Spencer is in a rut. Long hours at the law firm are sucking the life out of him, and he doesn't have time or energy for a relationship. He’s lonely, horny, and itching for something new, so he tries the Market Garden, an exclusive—and expensive—brothel. Spencer isn't in the door five minutes before a cocky rentboy makes his move.

Nick isn't just any rentboy, though. He’s a Dom, he’s a sadist, and he’s everything Spencer didn't know he was missing. One night turns into more, and before long, Spencer is one of Nick’s regular clients.

Both men think they’re just scratching each other’s backs: Spencer’s exploring a submissive, masochistic side he never knew he had, and Nick is getting off and getting paid. But as time goes on, it’s clear their strictly professional arrangement . . . isn't, and if Nick has one hard limit, it’s that he doesn't get romantically entangled with his johns. The problem is, while Nick doesn't want to be owned, Spencer’s no longer content with just renting.

If It Fornicates (A Market Garden Tale) by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (June 8, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: If It Fornicates (A Market Garden Tale)

Nick is a top earner in the Market Garden, where rentboys fulfill their high-rolling clients’ every sexual fantasy. As a Dom and a sadist, he sets his own price and is experienced enough not to let any client get out of hand. He’s damn good at his job, and it’s easy money.

Or at least it used to be. But now he has a boyfriend. Spencer is a former client, a closeted corporate lawyer, and so beautifully submissive he’s perfect for Nick. He doesn’t even mind how Nick earns a living. He just wants to take care of Nick—something Nick isn’t quite sure how to handle.

In fact, Nick’s clearly off his game these days. Sure, he’s tired from his shift work and his studies, but mainly he’s bored by his clients and distracted by thoughts of Spencer—dangerous for everyone when he’s wielding a whip. Now Nick has to make a choice: give up his independence, or walk away from the only man he’s ever loved.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011, 2012 & 2013
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"Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, back before computers, before email, before the internet–Imagine that!–a book junkie was born. That was me.

Fast forward three decades to a soft spring day in 1997, and find me contentedly reading my eleventy-thousandth romance novel. Sighing, I closed the book and say, “I can do that.”

Voilà! A writer was born!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to walk you through the intervening years day by day, project by project, rejection by rejection. A journey like that would involve far more wailing and gnashing of teeth than even I, with my flare for drama, could stand.

What I will do, is tell you that over the years I have written a little of everything including: a novel-length contemporary romance, two screenplays, dozens of flash fictions and prose poems, short stories of varying lengths, novellas and most recently gay erotic romance.

Gustave Flaubert said, “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

And I do. I live in a three-story Victorian with my husband, three cats and a yellow lab named Oliver. Most days I write (at least a little) and read quite a lot.

As to whether my work is violently original … achieving that goal may take the rest of my regular and orderly life."

Too Soon For Love won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Contemporary Romance, 2nd place.


Further Readings:

Too Soon for Love by Kimberly Gardner
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608202992
ISBN-13: 978-1608202997
Amazon: Too Soon for Love
Amazon Kindle: Too Soon for Love

Michael Stricker is still reeling from his partner's sudden and untimely death when he meets someone new, someone he could really care about. But first he needs time, time to get his life back in order and time to get over is lost love. But learning to live alone again is nearly impossible with his well-meaning relatives treating him like a poor helpless blind guy. When Alan Stuart befriends Phillip DiMartino's grieving partner, the last thing he expects is to discover hidden lies and infidelity. Guilty over his attraction to the still-grieving man, Alan resolves to stay silent. But the truth has a way of coming out, and soon a dead man's secrets bring about more heartbreak than Alan could have imagined. Although both men vow to keep their distance, staying away is easier said than done, even when it's Too Soon For Love.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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I'm the author of a large (and growing) number of published and forthcoming novels. 

The forthcoming works are: Second Hand Heart (September, Transworld UK) and Jumpstart the World (October, Knopf). 

My newest books currently in release are Diary of a Witness (Knopf '09), When I Found You(Transworld UK '09) and the brand new trade paperback edition of Pay It Forward (Simon & Schuster '10). 

The newer works are Becoming Chloe (Knopf '06), Love in the Present Tense (Doubleday '06),The Year of my Miraculous Reappearance (Knopf '07), Chasing Windmills (Doubleday '08) andThe Day I Killed James (Knopf '08). 

My backlist titles are: Funerals for Horses (Russian Hill Press, ’97), Earthquake Weather(Russian Hill Press, ’98), Pay It Forward (Simon & Schuster, ’00), Electric God (Simon & Schuster, ’00) and Walter’s Purple Heart (Simon & Schuster, ’02). 

Most of you know that Pay It Forward turned into a movie. Not the world’s most faithful adaptation, but I’m still glad it was made. I have a handful of other titles in various stages of development. Like the book publications, I’ll add details when they are “in the bank.” 

I've written scads of short stories. They've appeared in some good literary journals. (Or at least, I think you’ll agree if you know literary journals. It's kind of a little-known world.) These include The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train, Ploughshares and lots of others too numerous to go into here. A big handful of my stories won (or were shortlisted or nominated for) literary prizes like The Tobias Wolff award, The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, and The Pushcart Prize, among others. Three of them were cited in Best American Short Stories. Some of them ended up in anthologies like Dog is my Co-Pilot. 

Read more... ) 


Further Readings:

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 11, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375832602
ISBN-13: 978-0375832604
Amazon: Becoming Chloe
Amazon Kindle: Becoming Chloe

Meet Jordy. He’s on his own in New York City. Nobody to depend on; nobody depending on him. And it’s been working fine. Until this girl comes along. She’s 18 and blond and pretty–her world should be perfect. But she’s seen things no one should ever see in their whole life–the kind of things that break a person. She doesn’t seem broken, though. She seems . . . innocent. Like she doesn’t know a whole lot. Only sometimes she does.
The one thing she knows for sure is that the world is an ugly place. Now her life may depend on Jordy proving her wrong. So they hit the road to discover the truth–and there’s no going back from what they find out.
This deeply felt, redemptive novel reveals both the dark corners and hidden joys of life’s journey–and the remarkable resilience of the human soul.

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Ember (November 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375866264
ISBN-13: 978-0375866265
Amazon: Jumpstart the World
Amazon Kindle: Jumpstart the World

Elle is a loner. She doesn't need people. Which is a good thing, because now she has to move out of her apartment so her mother's boyfriend won't have to deal with her.
Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door to her new place. Being with him is impossible: he's a grown-up and has a girlfriend. Still, Elle can't stop thinking about him. Frank isn't like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He's gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. Then Elle discovers that Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he's transgender. Elle's head and her heart explode; her world is turned upside down. But when an accident nearly takes Frank's life, Elle must search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world. Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

Where We Belong by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Transworld Digital (July 3, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1490536388
ISBN-13: 978-1490536385
Amazon: Where We Belong
Amazon Kindle: Where We Belong

Fourteen-year-old Angie and her mom are poised at the edge of homelessness... again. The problem is her little sister, Sophie. Sophie has an autism-like disorder, and a tendency to shriek. No matter where they live, home never seems to last long.
Until they move in with Aunt Vi, across the fence from a huge black Great Dane who changes everything. Sophie falls in love immediately, and begins to imitate the "inside of the dog," which, fortunately, is a calm place. The shrieking stops. Everybody begins to breathe again. Until Paul Inverness, the dog's grumpy, socially isolated owner, moves to the mountains, and it all begins again.
Much to Angie's humiliation, when they're thrown out of Aunt Vi's house, Angie's mom moves the family to the mountains after Paul and his dog. There, despite a fifty-year difference in their ages, Angie and Paul form a deep friendship, the only close friendship either has known. Angie is able to talk to him about growing up gay, and Paul trusts Angie with his greatest secret, his one dream. When the opportunity arrives, Angie decides to risk everything to help Paul's dream come true, even their friendship and her one chance at a real home--the only thing she's dreamed of since her father was killed. A place she can never be thrown out. A place she can feel she belongs.
By the bestselling author of DON'T LET ME GO, WHEN I FOUND YOU, and WALK ME HOME, WHERE WE BELONG is a poignant, heartfelt, and uplifting story about finding your place in the world, no matter how impossible it seems.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011 & 2013
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Mary Griggs spent over ten years running bookstores for Borders Books and Music before turning her attention toward nonprofit management. Currently, she is a partner in a non-profit consulting firm with offices in Oakland, California and New Orleans, Louisiana. Her first novel, Unbroken Circle, has been published by Bella Books.

Unbroken Circle won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Debut, 3rd place. In the Midst of Tribulation won a 2013 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic, 3rd place.

Further Readings:

Unbroken Circle by Mary Griggs
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bella Books (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781594932434
ISBN-13: 978-1594932434
ASIN: 1594932433
Amazon: Unbroken Circle
Amazon Kindle: Unbroken Circle

Sallie Lee Hybart doesn’t see many strangers at her diner counter. Pennington, Alabama, is a town the interstate passed by, so newcomers are rare. But this one looks familiar.

Janet Bouton has nothing and no one. Her life has been stripped down to the clothing on her back. Counting out her meager change to pay for a stick-to-the-ribs meal, she is hoping to escape the diner unrecognized. She shouldn’t have come back...but no place else on earth was familiar.

An act of kindness sets a chain of events in motion and pulls Sallie Lee and Janet together, but the past has the power to tear them apart. There are still people in Pennington who remember Janet too well. Small town memories have had a lot of years to simmer, and love may not be the recipe for happiness.

Mary Griggs’ debut romance novel unites a lost soul and a determined survivor to create a passionate story that readers will remember long after the final page.

In the Midst of Tribulation by Mary Griggs
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bella Books (August 13, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594933774
ISBN-13: 978-1594933776
Amazon: In the Midst of Tribulation
Amazon Kindle: In the Midst of Tribulation

Long suspicious that the world was going to go up in flames, Jay has retreated to remote Northern California and lived off the grid for years. She didn’t want to be right—but she was.

When the war ended, it was clear nobody had won. Susan knows only one place where she and her extended family might be safe: with Jay, her ex. Desperate and frightened, the refugees rely heavily on their friend Piper, who agrees to make the journey with them.

After a ragged reunion, Jay is willing to take in the newcomers, but the only way they will all survive on the land is if they all work and sacrifice. It is easier said than done, especially when old feelings—and new ones—break the fragile peace and threaten them all.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011 & 2013
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In another realm, Lesley Gowan is the author of lesbian mysteries and romance novels as well as numerous short stories. The Collectors is her first published work of erotica. Lesley lives in the Midwest with her partner.

The Collectors won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Contemporary Erotica, 3rd place.

Further Readings:

The Collectors by Lesley Gowan
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (February 22, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822085
ISBN-13: 978-1602822085
Amazon: The Collectors
Amazon Kindle: The Collectors

Laura owns what might be the world’s most extensive collection of BDSM lesbian erotica, but that’s as close as she’s gotten to the world of her fantasies. Until, that is, her friend Adele introduces her to Adele’s mistress Jeanne—art collector, heiress, and experienced dominant. Nothing in Laura’s reading prepares her for the powerful reaction she has to Jeanne or how completely she is captivated by this sensual new world. With Jeanne’s first command, Laura’s life changes forever.

But even the most commanding mistress can’t always control a willful submissive, and Adele’s jealousy challenges Jeanne’s dominance and Laura’s place in their world. What Jeanne and Laura learn about themselves on their erotic journey will either drive them apart or change the very nature of their lives.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Catherine Lundoff is an author and editor, with 5 books currently in print/available as ebooks. She writes in multiple genres including science fiction and fantasy, erotica and romance. Her fiction has won 2008 and 2010 Goldie Awards for erotica, 2008 and 2009 Lesbian Fiction Reader's Choice Awards and been shortlisted for the 2008 Spectrum Award for Short Fiction and the 2009 Goldie Award for speculative fiction. An anthology she edited, "Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades", was a Best Other Work at the 2010 Spectrum Awards.

Hellebore and Rue co-edited with JoSelle Vanderhooft won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Sci-fi/Fantasy, 3rd place.

Further Readings:

Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic by JoSelle Vanderhooft and Catherine Lundoff
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (May 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590213777
ISBN-13: 978-1590213773
Amazon: Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic

The essence of fantasy is magic and the folklore of women has often dwelt on the innumerable powers they possess. Magic that heals, magic that destroys, magic that saves their community. All these elements and more can be found in the queer women of Hellebore & Rue. These lesbians shape their worlds, their wants and needs, and, most important, their destinies. Here are stories of a greenmage reuniting with her former partner on one last mission in Connie Wilkin's ''The Windskimmer''; a shaman calling on the power of the Medicine Buddha to fight demons in Jean Marie Ward's ''Personal Demons''; and even an aging school nurse discovering a dark secret about her heritage in Steve Berman's ''D is for Delicious.'' A dozen stories by a dozen talented authors, including Juliet Kemp, Lisa Morton, Ruth Sorrell, C. B. Calsing and other names that promise the reader many wonders.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Timothy McGivney can still remember his first attempt at writing a story. He completed maybe a paragraph, of which the first sentence is still burned into memory: The springs beneath the mattress shook furiously up and down as she awaited the final climax. With the help of a fellow writing partner (Hey, Paula!), little Timmy was just thirteen years old when he scribbled that sentence onto a piece of paper out on the cold, cruel, and lonely school grounds of St. Williams Elementary. Over twenty-five years later, he's proud to say he's written not one, but two books!

Tim resides in Palm Springs, California, is single, and currently dating (his TiVo).

Zombielicious won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Paranormal / Horror, 2nd place, and Best Gay Debut, 2nd place.

Further Readings:

Zombielicious by Timothy McGivney
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (December 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608202631
ISBN-13: 978-1608202638
Amazon: Zombielicious
Amazon Kindle: Zombielicious

Amidst a zombie outbreak, Walt, athletic and confident, meets shy and quiet Joey, the attraction between them both instant and electric. With strength in numbers, they band together alongside fellow survivors; Jill, an ex-porn star turned nurse who's made a startling discovery about her past; Ace, a disgruntled security guard who just can't live up to certain short comings; and Molly, the fiery redhead unwilling to give up on her dreams of stardom.

In this apocalyptic new world of the dead, an anything-goes attitude has become the law of the land and lust, betrayal, true love and redemption are all just a gunshot away.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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"I'm an author based in far Northern California where I live with my family and pack of wild Siberian Huskies. (OK, they aren't wild, just crazy.)

I write erotic romance, primarily under the umbrella of speculative fiction. That term covers science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy and basically anything that has no basis in reality! LOL! The sexuality of my characters is fluid, so if you are turned off by menage or same sex (or opposite sex) interaction, please check the book blurb before you buy.

I've won the EPIC Award for Paranormal Romance with Blacque/Bleu, the Passionate Plume in Sci Fi Romance with An Uncommon Whore, and have either placed, finaled or been nominated for several other awards including the RT Reviewer's Choice (with Cherise Sinclair and Sierra Cartwright for Doms of Dark Haven) and the Rainbow Book Awards."

An Uncommon Whore won a 2010 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic, 3rd place. Blacque Bleu won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Paranormal / Horror, 2nd place. The Bacchi won a 2012 Rainbow Award as Best Bisexual / Transgender Sci-fi/Fantasy, 3rd place.

Further Readings:

An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (January 26, 2010)
Amazon Kindle: An Uncommon Whore

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most dangerous bar on Warlan. He has no memory, no future of his own, yet deep inside Pasha knows that that he is meant for better things. The day that Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows that he mustn't let the stranger slip away, regardless of what he must do to attract his attention.

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the greater part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his knees, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, the hardened officer finds himself falling for the allure of the sensual creature who has taken his place. Returning Helios to his position on the throne is the only right thing to do, yet Griffin knows that in doing so, he risks losing his lover forever.

Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (October 12, 2010)
Amazon Kindle: Blacque/Bleu

Lukas Blacque is a deeply closeted werewolf, and almost more than anything in life, he desires his neighbor, Oliver Bleu. Oliver is a vampire who is slowly dying from insomnia. More than anything, he needs Lukas Blacque and the rich blood that flows through his veins.

On the day that Blacque makes an important commitment to his family and pack, he also succumbs to temptation and agrees to a passionate weekend with the alluring vampire. At sunset on Friday, it’s all about urgent lust and the drive to lose his virginity. When the sun rises on Monday, lust has shifted to love and devotion. He's not sure he can walk away, even for the commitment he's made. He's even less sure Bleu will let him go.

In Blacque’s world, vampires and werewolves make uneasy bedfellows, and a gay werewolf is an impossibility. In Bleu’s world, all living creatures are little more than vessels for food and sex. But in the mysterious and magical town of Arcada, the unexpected is always waiting right around the corner. Now Blacque and Bleu just need to survive long enough for Arcada’s magic to work for them.

The Bacchi by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (July 30, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: The Bacchi

The Bacchi Lefi Dhrahn lives a life of luxury and decadence, but is tortured by memories of a lost love. He survives the pain by surrounding himself with sex, beauty, and all forms of self-indulgence. When he meets the alluring Inspector Afton Teris, Lefi believes the detective will make a very nice addition to his string of conquests.

Afton Teris is a Valoran hermaphrodite, and like all members of his species, is stern, cerebral and disapproves of the frivolous prostitute. Afton orients as a male, but the beautiful Lefi Dhrahn stirs him sexually, making him question everything he knows about himself. To further confuse his emotions, Afton finds himself tempted by the forbidden pleasures surrounding the Bacchi.

When a kidnapping ring strikes close to home, the two go undercover on a brothel barge to investigate a slavery operation. There, Lefi is confronted by painful memories from his past, while Afton is faced with a horror that threatens his future, and perhaps his very life. Their survival lies with one another, but only if Lefi can set aside his pain and listen to his heart.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2010, 2011 & 2012
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Jay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of alienation, adventure, and love that surrounded this decision, and has been putting pen to paper ever since. They met on March 1, 2000 and married on September 27, 2003.

Something Like Summer is one of Amazon's selections for Best Gay Books of 2011, a Lambda Literary Awards finalist, and soon to be a movie from the makers of Judas Kiss. Kamikaze Boys is a winner in the 25th annual Lambda Literary Awards for gay romance, and winner of two Goodread's M/M Romance Member's Choice awards. Both covers are by Jay Bell’s husband, Andreas.

Hell's Pawn won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Fantasy, 2nd place.

Jay Bell never gave much thought to Germany until he met a handsome foreign exchange student. At that moment, beer and pretzels became the most important thing in the world. After moving to Germany and getting married, Jay found himself desperate to communicate the feelings of alienation, adventure, and love that surrounded this decision, and has been putting pen to paper ever since. They met on March 1, 2000 and married on September 27, 2003.

Further Readings:

Something Like Summer by Jay Bell
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1453875042
ISBN-13: 978-1453875049
Amazon: Something Like Summer
Amazon Kindle: Something Like Summer

Love, like everything in the universe, cannot be destroyed. But over time it can change.

The hot Texas nights were lonely for Ben before his heart began beating to the rhythm of two words; Tim Wyman. By all appearances, Tim had the perfect body and ideal life, but when a not-so-accidental collision brings them together, Ben discovers that the truth is rarely so simple. If winning Tim's heart was an impossible quest, keeping it would prove even harder as family, society, and emotion threaten to tear them apart.

Something Like Summer is a love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies.

The Seasons Series:
Book 1: Something Like Summer
Book 2: Something Like Winter
Book 3: Something Like Autumn
Book 4: Something Like Spring

Hell's Pawn by Jay Bell
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463513461
ISBN-13: 978-1463513467
Amazon: Hell's Pawn
Amazon Kindle: Hell's Pawn

John Grey is dead... and that's just the beginning.

Purgatory should have been a safe haven for souls that belong neither in Heaven nor Hell, but instead John finds himself in a corrupt prison, one bereft of freedom or pleasure. Along with his decedent friend Dante, John makes a brave escape, only to fall straight down to Hell and into the arms of Rimmon, a handsome incubus. John is soon recruited as Hell's ambassador, visiting the afterlife realms of other cultures to enlist an army strong enough to stand against Heaven. As interesting as his new job is, John's mind keeps returning to Purgatory and the souls still trapped there. Somehow John must stop a war he doesn't believe in and liberate Purgatory, all while desperately trying to attract the attention of an incubus whose heart belongs to another.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Bonnie Dee began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, she was the designated ghost tale teller, guaranteed to frighten and thrill with macabre tales. She still has a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

Writing childish stories for her own pleasure led to majoring in English at college. Like most English majors, she dreamed of writing a novel, but didn't have the necessary focus and follow through at that time in her life. A husband, children and work occupied the next twenty years and it was only in 2000 that she began writing again. Bonnie enjoys reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When she couldn't find enough books to suit her taste, she began to write them.

The Nobleman and the Spy, co-authored with Summer Devon, won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Historical, 3rd place.

Further Readings:

The Nobleman and the Spy by Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (September 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611183669
ISBN-13: 978-1611183665
Amazon: The Nobleman and the Spy
Amazon Kindle: The Nobleman and the Spy

They once faced each other on a battlefield. Now soldier-turned-spy Jonathan Reese must keep watch over the man he's never forgotten. A close encounter reveals Karl von Binder, the count's son, also recalls the day he spared Jonathan's life.

Sparks fly between the former enemies and Jonathan begins to lose perspective on his mission. He knows he must maintain distance because the heat he encounters in Karl's touch stirs him far too deeply for his own good. He can't keep away -- especially when he suspects someone is trying to kill the nobleman.

The spy becomes a protector as Jonathan guards the man he's begun to care for. Together the men try to puzzle out who would benefit from Karl's death -- and how much they're willing to trust each other when a torrid sexual fling threatens to become an affair of the heart.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011

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Tracy Rowan has done office work, sold books, made and sold all manner of crafts, taught beading, edited tech manuals, been an artist and illustrator, and a street photographer, and for fifteen years she was a caregiver. But the thing she's found most difficult and therefore most fulfilling is writing. She lives in a craftsman-style two flat on Chicago's northwest side where she and her housemate spend a lot of time planning the garden, hanging with their friends and laughing a lot.

Suffer the Little Children won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Historical, 2nd place, and Best Writing Style, 1st place.


Further Readings:

Suffer the Little Children by Tracy Rowan
175 pages / 52000 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-153-1

When Victorian private investigator Nick Romney’s step-father, an Anglican bishop, is murdered, Nick refuses to get involved. At the urging of his family, though, Nick and his lover Davy step in to investigate. Together they uncover the truth of the bishop’s involvement in the dark and horrifying world of child prostitution, the reason why he was killed, and the shocking identity of the murderer.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011

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Felice Picano (born February 22, 1944) is an American writer. He graduated cum laude from Queens College in 1964 with English department honors. He founded SeaHorse Press in 1977, and The Gay Presses of New York in 1981 with Terry Helbing and Larry Mitchell; he was Editor-in-Chief there. He was an editor and writer for The Advocate, Blueboy, Mandate, Gaysweek, and Christopher Street. He was the Books Editor of The New York Native. At The Los Angeles Examiner, San Francisco Examiner, New York Native, Harvard Lesbian & Gay Review and the Lamdba Book Report, he was a culture reviewer. He has also written for OUT and OUT Traveller. With Andrew Holleran, Robert Ferro, Michael Grumley, Edmund White, Christopher Cox, and George Whitmore, he founded The Violet Quill considered to be the pathbreaking gay male literary nucleus of the 20th Century. (Picture: Felice Picano, portrait by Christopher Oakley)

In his memoir Men Who Loved Me, he describes his close friendship with the poet W. H. Auden. In his later memoir/history, Art & Sex in Greenwich Village, he writes about contacts with Gore Vidal, James Purdy, Charles Henri Ford, Edward Gorey, Robert Mapplethorpe and many contemporary and younger authors.

Among those who Picano introduced to the public via his publishing companies were Dennis Cooper, Harvey Fierstein, Jane Chambers, Brad Gooch, Robert Gluck, Doric Wilson, and Gavin Dillard. Several of his novels have been national and international best-sellers, and they have been translated into fifteen languages.

A long time resident of Manhattan and Fire Island Pines, Picano has resided for periods of time in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, England, and Berlin, Germany. He now lives in West Hollywood, CA.

He won the Ferro-Grumley Award and Gay Times of England Award for best gay novel and the Syndicated Fiction/PEN Award for short-story. He was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and was nominated for four Lambda Literary Awards.

The cover blurb from Edmund White calling Like People in History a “gay Gone with the Wind” is a bit hyperbolic, but this is one of my all-time favorite gay novels. Sweeping from the late 50’s through the early 90’s, it is the story of two gay cousins and their dysfunctional but loving friendship. With scenes at Woodstock to Fire Island in its 70’s heyday to ACT UP demonstrations, this book and its characters follow the development of gay culture from the closet of the 50’s/60’s through the hedonistic early days of freedom and pride through the horror of the AIDS plague. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and when you finish it, it will continue to resonate in your mind long after. A masterpiece from one of the community’s greatest writers. --Greg Herren
Felice Picano pretty much tops every writer´s (and reader´s) list of favorite gay authors, myself included. Ambidextrous, the first of five of Picano´s noted memoirs, was also the first coming out book I read that was as unapologetic as it was zany and sexy. It offers a slice of life completely different from my own, yet one I could wholly relate to. But it´s Picano´s style and flair that really stand out here, making this the one book I read in my twenties that grabbed me and shook me and made me want to become a writer myself. Fortunately, I´ve been able to tell that face-to-face with the author himself - numerous times now. --Rob Rosen
If you want to learn what gay men do in bed, The Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein & Felice Picano is the book. (Although I prefer the illustrations in The Gay Kama Sutra – but sadly, it’s OOP.) If you want to see it in action – watch gay porn! --Cat Grant
Felice Picano, 1985, by Robert Giard  )

Further Readings:

True Stories, Portraits from my past by Felice Picano
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984470778
ISBN-13: 978-0984470778
Amazon: True Stories, Portraits from my past

From author Felice Picano, co-founder of the path breaking Violet Quill Club, comes a new collection of memoirs, many of which have never appeared in print. Picano presents sweet and sometimes controversial anecdotes of his precocious childhood, odd, funny, and often disturbing encounters from before he found his calling as a writer and later as one of the first GLBT publishers. Throughout are his delightful encounters and surprising relationships with the one-of-a-kind and the famous-including Tennessee Williams, W.H. Auden, Charles Henri Ford, Bette Midler, and Diana Vreeland

More Particular Voices at my website:, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She's a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Strawberries for Dessert won a 2010 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Contemporary Romance, 2nd place.

Song Of Oestend won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Fantasy, 1st place.

Blind Space won a 2012 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Sci-fi/Fantasy, 1st place.

Further Readings:

Promises (Coda Series) by Marie Sexton
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615813780
ISBN-13: 978-1615813780
Amazon: Promises
Amazon Kindle: Promises

Part of the Coda Series

Jared Thomas has lived his whole life in the small mountain town of Coda, Colorado. He can't imagine living anywhere else. Unfortunately, the only other gay man in town is twice his age and used to be his teacher, so Jared is resigned to spending his life alone.

Until Matt Richards walks into his life, that is. Matt has just been hired by the Coda Police Department, and he and Jared immediately become friends. Matt claims he is straight, but for Jared, having a sexy friend like Matt is way too tempting. Facing Matt’s affair with a local woman, his disapproving family, and harassment from Matt’s co-workers, Jared fears they'll never find a way to be together—if he can even convince Matt to try.

Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Series) by Marie Sexton
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615815503
ISBN-13: 978-1615815500
Amazon: Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Series)
Amazon Kindle: Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Series)

When Jonathan Kechter agrees to a blind date with Cole Fenton, he expects nothing more than dinner and a one-night stand... but he gets more than he bargained for in Cole. Cole is arrogant, flamboyant, and definitely not Jon's type. Still, when Cole suggests an arrangement of getting together for casual sex whenever they're both in town, Jon readily agrees. Their arrangement may be casual, but Jonathan soon learns that when it comes to Cole Fenton, nothing is easy. Between Cole's fear of intimacy and his wandering lifestyle, Jonathan wonders if their relationship may be doomed from the start-but the more Cole pushes him away, the more determined Jon is to make it work.

Song of Oestend by Marie Sexton
Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (October 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0857157477
ISBN-13: 978-0857157478
Amazon: Song of Oestend
Amazon Kindle: Song of Oestend

Symbols have power... Aren Montrell has heard tales of the Oestend wraiths - mysterious creatures which come in the night and kill anyone who’s not indoors. Aren’s never had reason to believe the stories, but when he takes a job as a bookkeeper on the BarChi, a dusty cattle ranch on the remote Oestend prairie, he soon learns that the wraiths are real. Aren suddenly finds himself living in a supposedly haunted house and depending on wards and generators to protect him from unseen things in the night. As if that’s not enough, he has to deal with a crotchety old blind woman, face “cows” that look like nothing he’s ever seen before, and try to ignore the fact that he’s apparently the most eligible bachelor around. Aren also finds himself the one and only confidante of Deacon, the BarChi’s burly foreman. Deacon runs the BarChi with an iron fist and is obviously relieved to finally have somebody he can talk to. As their relationship grows, Aren learns there’s more to Deacon and the BarChi than he’d anticipated. Deacon seems determined to deny both his Oestend heritage and any claim he may have to the BarChi ranch, but if Aren is to survive the perils of Oestend, he’ll have to convince Deacon to stop running from the past and finally claim everything that’s his.

Blind Space by Marie Sexton
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Marie Sexton (January 19, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991415302
ISBN-13: 978-0991415304
Amazon: Blind Space
Amazon Kindle: Blind Space

Captain Tristan Kelley enjoys the luxuries of Regency service, as well as the pleasure of his Prince’s bed. It’s an easy life, if not a happy one. When the Prince decides to take a trip through the perilous Blind Space, Tristan must go with him, but somebody in the Prince’s guard is a traitor. Blind and held prisoner, Tristan finds himself at the mercy of Valero, a pirate who bears no love for the Regency. Valero is determined to seduce Tristan, and Tristan fears his resolve won’t last. His duty is clear, but so is his desire. As the days tick by with no word or ransom from the Regency, Tristan begins to question what loyalty means to his Prince, the Regency he’s sworn to, and to the man who holds him captive. He begins to realize that being a prisoner may actually set him free.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2010, 2011 & 2012

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Anel Viz, born and raised in New York City, currently resides in the Midwest, where he has taught at the same small liberal arts college for over thirty years. He has lived about one-quarter of his life in French-speaking countries. He returned to his childhood passion of writing at age sixty, and ever since he has churned out works in a variety of M/M genres: poetry, short and novel-length fiction, humor, essays, etc. He likes to experiment. Though most of his stories are romances, few of them would be called traditional romance. His work appears regularly in Wilde Oats and GayFlashFiction online magazines.

P'tit Cadeau won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Setting Development, 2nd place.


Further Readings:

P'tit Cadeau by Anel Viz
Paperback: 486 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 20, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1456552430
ISBN-13: 978-1456552435
Amazon: P'tit Cadeau
Amazon Kindle: P'tit Cadeau

[P’TIT CADEAU (euphemism) – the “small gift” French hustlers ask for to let you know they expect to be paid] Ben, an American art professor on a painting sabbatical in the south of France, rents a room in an isolated village to avoid the tourist crush. There he meets his landlady's brother, the sensitive and childlike loner Jean-Yves, whom the locals consider simple minded because he is "different". Ben makes him his principal model and undertakes to build his self-confidence and prepare him to fend for himself. Jean-Yves’ has never had a friend before. As they grow closer, Ben comes to realize the extent of the young man’s emotional needs, and his total dependence and unbridled devotion frighten him. Has he taken on more responsibility than he can handle? Should he allow himself to fall in love with Jean-Yves when he knows their relationship must end when his sabbatical is over?

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Penelope Friday hates writing bios because she never quite knows how to describe the eclectic mixture of things she writes about. Her particular strengths are erotic fiction (of all sexualities) and articles on disability issues - but she also writes science fiction, romantic stories, articles on the Regency Period, articles on writing and a lot more besides.

Thrace won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Bisexual / Transgender Sci-fi/Paranormal/Fantasy, 2nd place.


Further Readings:

Thrace by Penelope Friday
ebook, 174 pages
Published 2010 by Manifold Press
ISBN 97809565

Welcome to the planet Gielgud, crossroads of the galaxy, where the indigenous species has three eyes, a tail - and no gender.
Welcome to the city of Thrace; travellers of all kinds wander through here. Most are just looking for a good time, free of the restrictions of their own cultures, but some of them have a more specific agenda in mind.
And welcome to JJ's bar, where all genders and those who are genderless are welcome. This is where adventures tend to start ...

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards/2011
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Farzana Doctor is a Canadian novelist and social worker. She has published two novels to date, and won the 2011 Dayne Ogilvie Grant from the Writers' Trust of Canada for an emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender writer. Her second novel, Six Metres of Pavement, was also a nominee for the 2012 Lambda Literary Awards in the category of lesbian fiction, and was announced as the winner of the award on June 4, 2012.

Born in Zambia to Muslim expatriate parents from India, her family immigrated to Canada in the early 1970s.

In addition to her writing career, Doctor works as a psychotherapist, coordinates a regular reading series in Toronto's Brockton Village neighbourhood, and coproduced Rewriting The Script: A Loveletter to Our Families, a documentary film about the family relationships of LGBT people in Toronto's South Asian immigrant communities.

Six Metres of Pavement won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction, 1st place.


Further Readings:

Six Metres of Pavement by Farzana Doctor
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Dundurn (February 17, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1554887674
ISBN-13: 978-1554887675
Amazon: Six Metres of Pavement
Amazon Kindle: Six Metres of Pavement

Ismail Boxwala made the worst mistake of his life one summer morning twenty years ago: he forgot his baby daughter in the back seat of his car. After his daughter's tragic death, he struggles to continue living. A divorce, years of heavy drinking, and sex with strangers only leave him more alone and isolated.

But Ismail's story begins to change after he reluctantly befriends two women: Fatima, a young queer activist kicked out of her parents' home; and Celia, his grieving Portuguese-Canadian neighbour who lives just six metres away. A slow-simmering romance develops between Ismail and Celia. Meanwhile, dangers lead Fatima to his doorstep. Each makes complicated demands of him, ones he is uncertain he can meet.

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards
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Tamara lives in the piney woods north of Houston, Texas, where she spends her time on administrative work, taking care of her family, and writing when she gets the chance.

Whistling in the Dark won a 2009 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Historical, 1st place, Best Characters Development, 3rd place, Best Writing Style, 2nd place, Best Gay Novel, 1st place.

The Only Gold won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Historical, 1st place, Best Setting Development, 1st place, Best Writing Style, 3rd place, Best Gay Novel, 3rd place

Further Readings:

Whistling in the Dark by Tamara Allen
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press; New edition (January 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590210492
ISBN-13: 978-1590210499
Amazon: Whistling in the Dark
Amazon Kindle: Whistling in the Dark

New York City, 1919. His career as a concert pianist ended by a war injury, Sutton Albright returns to college, only to be expelled after a scandalous affair with a teacher. Unable to face his family, Sutton heads to Manhattan with no plans and little money in his pocket but with a desire to call his life his own.

Jack Bailey lost his parents to influenza and now hopes to save the family novelty shop by advertising on the radio, a medium barely more than a novelty, itself. His nights are spent in a careless and debauched romp through the gayer sections of Manhattan.

When these two men cross paths, despite a world of differences separating them, their attraction cannot be denied. Sutton finds himself drawn to the piano, playing for Jack. But can his music heal them both, or will sudden prosperity jeopardize their chance at love?

Downtime by Tamara Allen
Paperback: 504 pages
Publisher: Hunna Bunna Press (February 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615301053
ISBN-13: 978-0615301051
Amazon: Downtime
Amazon Kindle: Downtime

FBI Agent Morgan Nash is on assignment in London when his case goes awry and he finds himself moments away from a bullet through the heart. But fate has other plans: Morgan is knocked out pursuing a suspect... and wakes up in 1888.

While cataloging ancient manuscripts at the British Museum, Ezra Glacenbie accidentally pulls Morgan out of the twenty-first century--an impromptu vacation that may become permanent for Morgan if they can't locate the spellbook Ezra used. Further hampering Morgan's quest to get home is the irresistible temptation to investigate history's most notorious serial killer. But in repressive Victorian London, the unexpected romance blossoming between Morgan and Ezra becomes the most dangerous complication of all.

The Only Gold by Tamara Allen
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615818383
ISBN-13: 978-1615818389
Amazon: The Only Gold
Amazon Kindle: The Only Gold

Jonah Woolner's life is as prudently regulated as the bank where he works. It's a satisfying life until he's passed over for promotion in favor of newcomer Reid Hylliard. Brash and enterprising, Reid beguiles everyone except Jonah, who's convinced Reid's progressive ideas will be the bank's ruin. When Jonah begins to discover there's more to Reid than meets the eye, he risks succumbing to Reid's charms--but unlocking the vault to all of Reid's secrets could lead him down a dangerous path.

Losing his promotion--and perhaps his heart--is the least of Jonah's difficulties. When the vengeful son of a Union army vet descends upon the bank to steal a government deposit of half a million dollars during the deadliest blizzard to ever sweep New York, Jonah and Reid are trapped, at odds and fighting for their lives.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards
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Roger Margason, who uses the pseudonym of Dorien Grey, is an openly gay American author, (born in Northern Illinois). Margason served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in English.

Margason is the author of the fourteen-book Dick Hardesty mystery series, which received a WordWeaving Series of Excellence award, and four of which have been finalists for a Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of the three-book Elliott Smith Paranormal Mystery series. In addition to his two series, he has a stand-alone gay western/romance/adventure novel, Calico, aimed at young adults and traditional western buffs, and a book of blogs, Short Circuits: A Life in Blogs, drawn from blogs published over the past several years.

Short Circuits, A Life in Blogs won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Non Fiction, 3rd place.


Further Readings:

Short Circuits: A Life in Blogs (Volume I) by Dorien Grey
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing (June 24, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Short Circuits: A Life in Blogs

Lambda-nominated author Dorien Grey (The Dick Hardesty Mysteries, The Elliott Smith Mysteries) knows more than just how to write a great murder novel. He's also had amazing life experiences in the military and around the world. Here, for the first time, are the collected blog and journal writings of this prolific author. As Grey notes, "Sometimes things are more clearly seen through the eyes of others." The hope is that the reader will see similarities to his/her own life, and recognize the commonality of the human condition.
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M.J. O'Shea has been writing romance since algebra class in sixth grade (when most of her stories starred her and Leonardo DiCaprio). When she's not writing, she loves listening to nearly all types of music, painting, reading great authors, and on those elusive sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, she loves driving on the freeway with her windows rolled down and her stereo on high.

Dark Sun won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic, 1st place

Further Readings:

Dark Sun by M. J. O'Shea
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (July 5, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Dark Sun

Lynx is the spoiled sheltered son of the Dragon Triad, a crime family that rules over futuristic New Seattle. When he gets separated from his cousins during an adventure in the seediest part of town, he meets the man of his dreams in a bar owned by the Phoenix Triad, his family’s bitter rivals. After a night spent in passion, his mysterious lover disappears and Lynx fears he’ll never find him again.

Orion has a secret. On the surface he’s the perfect son, a society prince, heir to the Phoenix Triad’s corporate throne. But in his other life he’s known as Katana -- thief, hacker, hero who steals from the triads to help the poor citizens of Bottom City. Orion knows the pretty Dragon he met in the bar that night is trouble, but he can’t forget the passion they shared.

So when the opportunity arises, Orion captures him and takes him on an adventure he’ll never forget. Will their love match survive the revelation of their true identities and the heat of their families' feud?

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards

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Erastes is the the creator of Speak Its Name – the only place on the net for reviews, resources and discussion of gay historical fiction.

Erastes latest published book is JUNCTION X published by CHEYENNE BOOKS. Based on a tragic true story, it is the tale of Edward, a closeted, married, middle-aged stockbroker who, in 1960′s England, falls passionately in love for the first time, with the 17 year old son of his next-door-neighbour.

Standish was Eraster's first novel, recently reprinted. Mere Mortals won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Historical, 3rd place.


Further Readings:

Standish by Erastes
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press; New edition (January 28, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590214277
ISBN-13: 978-1590214275
Amazon: Standish
Amazon Kindle: Standish

A great house. A family dispossessed. A sensitive young man. A powerful landowner. An epic love that springs up between two men. Set in the post-Napoleonic years of the 1820's, Standish is a tale of two men - one man discovering his sexuality and the other struggling to overcome his traumatic past. Ambrose Standish, a studious and fragile young man, has dreams of regaining the great house his grandfather lost in a card game. When Rafe Goshawk returns from the continent to claim the estate, their meeting sets them on a path of desire and betrayal which threatens to tear both of their worlds apart. Painting a picture of homosexuality in Georgian England, Standish is a love story of how the decisions of two men affect their journey through Europe and through life.

Mere Mortals by Erastes
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (March 23, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590210433
ISBN-13: 978-1590210437
Amazon: Mere Mortals
Amazon Kindle: Mere Mortals

Orphaned Crispin Thorne has been taken as ward by Philip Smallwood, a man he's never met, and is transplanted from his private school to Smallwood s house on an island on the beautiful but coldly remote, Horsey Mere in Norfolk. Upon his arrival, he finds that he's not the only young man given a fresh start. Myles Graham, and Jude Middleton are there before him, and as their benefactor is away, they soon form alliances and friendships, as they speculate on why they ve been given this new life. Who is Philip Smallwood? Why has he given them such a fabulous new life? What secrets does the house hold and what is it that the Doctor seems to know? Trust acclaimed author Erastes to tell a moving story in the field of gay historical romance.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards
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Amy Lane has four children, two cats, an aging dog, a crumbling mortgage and an indulgent spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance--and if you give her enough diet coke and chocolate, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

A Solid Core of Alpha won a 2011 Rainbow Award as Best Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic, 2nd place.

Country Mouse, co-written with Aleksandr Voinov, won a 2012 Rainbow Award as Best Bisexual / Transgender Romance/Erotic Romance, 2nd place.

Sidecar won a 2012 Rainbow Award, The William Neale Award, as Best Gay Romance, 1st place, and Best Gay Novel, 2nd place.

Further Readings:

Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 18, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615813462
ISBN-13: 978-1615813469
Amazon: Keeping Promise Rock
Amazon Kindle: Keeping Promise Rock

Carrick Francis has spent most of his life jumping into trouble with both feet. The only thing saving him from prison or worse is his absolute devotion to Deacon Winters. Deacon was Crick's sanity and salvation during a miserable, abusive childhood, and Crick would do anything to stay with him forever. So when Deacon's father dies, Crick puts his college plans on hold to help Deacon as Deacon has helped him.

Deacon's greatest wish is to see Crick escape his memories and the town they grew up in so Crick can enjoy a shining future. But after two years of growing feelings and temptation, the painfully shy Deacon finally succumbs to Crick's determined advances and admits he sees himself as part of Crick's life.

It nearly destroys Deacon when he discovers Crick has been waiting for him to push him away, just like Crick's family did in the past. When Crick's knack for volatile decisions lands him far away from home, Deacon is left, shell-shocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but by no means a certainty.

A Solid Core of Alpha by Amy Lane
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613721420
ISBN-13: 978-1613721421
Amazon: A Solid Core of Alpha
Amazon Kindle: A Solid Core of Alpha

In an act of heroism and self-sacrifice, Anderson Rawn's sister saved him from the destruction of their tiny mining colony, but her actions condemned the thirteen-year-old to ten years of crushing loneliness on the hyperspace journey to a new home. Using electronics and desperation, Anderson creates a family to keep him company, but family isn't always a blessing.

When Anderson finally arrives, C.J. Poulson greets him with curiosity and awe, because anyone who can survive a holocaust and reinvent holo-science is going to be a legend and right up C.J.'s alley. But the more C.J. investigates how Anderson endured the last ten years, the deeper he is drawn into a truly dangerous fantasy, one that offers the key to Anderson's salvation-and his destruction.

In spite of his best intentions, C.J. can't resist the terribly seductive Anderson. Their attraction threatens to destroy them, because the heart of a man who can survive the destruction of his people and retain his sense of self holds a solid core of alpha male that will not be denied.

Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing; first edition (August 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626490449
ISBN-13: 978-1626490444
Amazon: Country Mouse
Amazon Kindle: Country Mouse


Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but after a long day playing tourist on his London vacation, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun.

Owen’s all for an adventure, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm Kavanagh thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing’s too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.


A magical weekend, a breathless declaration, a happy ever after . . . Right?

Wrong. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that. But there’s one problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn’t know the rules of a relationship and isn’t confident enough to trust that his is real.

Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.

Sidecar by Amy Lane
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 29, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161372568X
ISBN-13: 978-1613725689
Amazon: Sidecar
Amazon Kindle: Sidecar

The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley. But that's just the beginning of their story. Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Suddenly Joe's life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can't conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him. Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they're both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn't be is alone.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards
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Summer Devon is the alter ego Kate Rothwell who invented Summer's name in the middle of a nasty blizzard. At the time she was talking to her sister who longed to visit some friends in Devon, England--so the name Summer Devon is all about desire. Between them Kate and Summer have written books that have been a Romantic Time's Reviewer's Choice Nominee and a two time finalist in the Passionate Plume Award as well as other awards.

Kate Rothwell grew up in Washington, D.C. She went to art school in Boston, where she met her husband who is a scientist.

Kate has worked as a service manager/parts runner in a Saab garage, an artists' model, a day care center child care provider, a sales clerk, a bartender in an Irish bar in Boston (green beer on St. Patrick's day), a reporter, a feature writer, a food prep chef (3 days), a cross-stitch kit instructions writer, a publisher and editor of a newspaper for children, a substitute teacher (for about a month). She has two undergraduate degrees from two colleges.

She and her husband and three kids live in Connecticut.

She is published with Kensington, Samhain, Simon and Schuster, Ellora's Cave, Total-e-bound, Liquid Silver, Loose Id, Carina Publishing and on her own.

The Nobleman and the Spy by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon won a 2011 Rainbow Award, 3rd place, as Best LGBT Historical.


Further Readings:

The Nobleman and the Spy by Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (September 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611183669
ISBN-13: 978-1611183665
Amazon: The Nobleman and the Spy
Amazon Kindle: The Nobleman and the Spy

They once faced each other on a battlefield. Now soldier-turned-spy Jonathan Reese must keep watch over the man he's never forgotten. A close encounter reveals Karl von Binder, the count's son, also recalls the day he spared Jonathan's life.

Sparks fly between the former enemies and Jonathan begins to lose perspective on his mission. He knows he must maintain distance because the heat he encounters in Karl's touch stirs him far too deeply for his own good. He can't keep away -- especially when he suspects someone is trying to kill the nobleman.

The spy becomes a protector as Jonathan guards the man he's begun to care for. Together the men try to puzzle out who would benefit from Karl's death -- and how much they're willing to trust each other when a torrid sexual fling threatens to become an affair of the heart.
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Claire Thompson has published erotic fiction and romance since 1996. Claire's work includes the sensual exploration of D/s and erotic romance, as well as the darker side of BDSM. Claire has published over fifty novels and short stories, both in print and ebook format. A successful independent author, Claire publishes under the Romance Unbound Publishing ( imprint. Claire lives and writes in upstate New York.

The Cowboy Poet was awarded with a 2011 Rainbow Award, 2nd place as Best Gay Contemporary Erotica.

The Cowboy Poet by Claire Thompson
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 30, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1456325698
ISBN-13: 978-1456325695
Amazon: The Cowboy Poet
Amazon Kindle: The Cowboy Poet

Tyler Sutton can run all he wants from his past, but he's still got himself to contend with. Dark secret dreams of sexual submission continue to haunt the magazine reporter. The embers of his hidden yearnings burst into a bright flame of reality when Tyler meets Clint Darrow, the cowboy poet. Clint, the foreman on a West Texas bull ranch, hides his dominant sensual nature behind the laconic, quiet persona of a true Texas cowboy. When the pair is thrown together in a search to uncover the culprit of a series of thefts at various local ranches, the connection is immediate and fierce. As they begin to explore their attraction for one another, Clint senses Tyler's need for sexual surrender. Clint must exert every ounce of self control to keep from pushing Tyler too far, too fast. When passion overtakes caution, the firestorm of desire that erupts between them threatens to burn everything in its path.

Handyman by Claire Thompson
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (July 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605043192
ISBN-13: 978-1605043197
Amazon: Handyman
Amazon Kindle: Handyman

Handsome, sexy and gay, Will Spencer used and discarded lovers as easily as he made his Wall Street stock trades. He was used to taking whatand whohe wanted. Jack Crawford, a recently widowed handyman, never thought of himself as gay. Frightened by an erotic encounter years before, Jack had never embraced his deepest sexual longings. In an unlikely pairing, Will and Jack explore an incendiary relationship, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always scintillatingly erotic. Jack is forced to confront feelings hes hidden for a lifetime. Will is faced with something he isnt sure he can handlelove.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards
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Heidi grew up in love with story. She fell asleep listening to Disney long-playing records and read her Little House On The Prairie books until they fell apart. She ran through the woods inventing stories of witches and fairies and enchanted trees and spent hours beneath the lilac bush imagining the lives of the settlers who had inhabited the homestead log cabin and two-story late 1800s home on her family farm. She created epic storylines for her Barbies until it wasn’t satisfying enough to do so any longer (age ten), and then she started writing them down. Her first novel, The Life and Times of Michelle Matthews, was published when she was twelve in the school anthology and took up nearly half of it.

Though Heidi continued to write novels through high school (and still has the Rubbermaid tub full in her bedroom), she stopped in college, deciding it was time to grow up and do something meaningful with her life. When the specifics of that didn’t pan out, Heidi ended up in grad school to become a teacher, and through one of the courses rediscovered her love of romance novels. She began to write again on the side, continued to do so while she taught seventh grade language arts and reading, and when she quit teaching to have her daughter, she took up writing with more seriousness, both as a stress relief and as a potential means of bringing in money.

Many million pages later, Heidi has learned a lot about writing, more than she ever wanted to know about publishing, and most importantly, finally figured out that writing IS the meaningful something she wants to do with her life. A passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Heidi volunteers as often as she can for One Iowa and donates with her husband as a monthly partner to the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. She encourages you to support your own local and national LGBT rights groups, too.

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Further Readings:

Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1St Edition edition (February 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615813586
ISBN-13: 978-1615813582
Amazon: Special Delivery
Amazon Kindle: Special Delivery

Sam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa—not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. But before his mother died, he promised her he’d grow up to be a good man, so he needs a stable career and a good husband, not a dead-end job and empty sex. Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to an affair, and when Mitch offers to take Sam on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure with his fantasy man... but Mitch also comes with a past. A threesome with the other man in Mitch’s life would have been just another kinky ride, but somewhere between the Mississippi River and the Colorado Rockies, Sam falls in love. But can a relationship born out of escape and indulgence become something that lasts? Will a fantasy man be willing to settle down into reality, or is the adventure and excitement Sam finds with Mitch just another stop on a delivery man’s journey? For better or for worse, eventually Sam is going to discover the answer, because no matter how far away he travels, eventually all roads lead home.

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (January 19, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611183804
ISBN-13: 978-1611183801
Amazon: Nowhere Ranch
Amazon Kindle: Nowhere Ranch

Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never mixes business with pleasure -- until he takes a weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad idea, but Travis Loving is hard to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up like a pair of custom-cut rails. As Loving points out, so long as this is sex on the side, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

The truth is, there's good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn't need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: the past always catches up with you. Eventually, even a loner gets lonely, and home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it -- even in a place called Nowhere.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Rainbow Awards at my website:, Rainbow Awards
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A solid good story, well written and nicely developed, With the Band was almost a “classic” romance; the show business theme, the love between members of the same band, the issue of being gay when you have a public persona, all these points where faced, developed and resolved.

Aaron and Bastian are not “heroes”, they are ordinary men, and I liked that, even if the Band is having success, in any case it remains to an average level, that means lot and lot of miles and cheap motels and maybe even struggles to arrive to the end of the month. How many of these stories there are out there? How many musicians choose to live of little for the love of the music? Aaron and Bastian are two of them, and it’s not for the glamour of the scene they are doing that, but for the satisfaction of being able to sing their songs.

That is also the reason why this novel rang true; I have the feeling the author well knows the life of a roadie, or at least she has done her homework. It’s a world of sweat and tears more than glitters and glamour; maybe it’s about sex, drugs and rock and roll, but it’s also about sharing an apartment with your brother or best friend and having to hide your true feelings since, even if you are good, public opinion is still stronger than you on a commercial level.

I like the contrast of both Aaron and Bastian; Aaron appears to be really young, like the little kid brother, but he is also able to take the upper hand in most situation, and even in bed; Bastian on the other side seems to be this big bad boy, leather and brooding looks, but he has a layer of insecurity that can be charming, making you want to cuddle him.

As I said the plot development is almost classic, what is more important is probably the good setting, you could almost feel the “flavour” of all those bodies writhing to the vibes of the hard rock music.

Amazon Kindle: With the Band
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (March 22, 2011)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by April Martinez
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Aislinn Kerry builds a future possible world where clones are common occurrences, arriving to have women “bear” their own clone instead of risking to have a child with a stranger. Adrien and Cristian’s case is not the same, being Cristian only few years younger than Adrien, but they grew completely apart from each other, Adrien in the US, the son of show business people and becoming himself an actor, and Cristian in rural Spain where he is now the owner of a B&B. I don’t know if the author wanted to make a statement about human genetics and homosexuality, since she really didn’t highlight it too much, but both Adrien than Cristian are gay, even if their upbringing was completely different.

Adrien doesn’t know about Cristian, while instead Cristian knows about the actor, and every step in his life is conditioned by that knowledge. Cristian has a mix of love and hate for Adrien, he cannot really hate him since he knows about their connection, but loving him is not either possible, being Adrien out of reach. But when Adrien knocks at his door, that is Cristian’s chance to complete his life since until that moment a piece was missing, the other half of himself. Cristian is in a relationship with Felix, and Felix will work us conduct between Adrien and Cristian, through the sharing of a partner, Adrien and Cristian will be able to reconnect.

I think many could find odd, if not even too kinky, for a man to have a sexual relationship with his clone, but for me is at the same level of a woman who decides to give birth to her own clone, it’s all a question of biology more than morality. In a way the author lets understand the reader she is not really fine with the idea of giving birth to your clone, but no prejudices is expressed for Adrien and Cristian’s sexual relationship, or at least I didn’t feel any.

Adrien, Cristian and Felix will build a perfect ménages, each of them completing or giving something one of the other two needs, something the other lover was not able to provide. Removing one of the three will unbalance the relationship, and so it’s essential for them to be together.

Aside from all the clone thing, the future world where Adrien, Cristian and Felix are living is pretty much the same as today, the issues Adrien is facing with his notoriety are exactly the same, the lack of privacy, the need to satisfy the public demand, and so on.

Amazon: Double Feature
Amazon Kindle: Double Feature
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (August 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611249503
ISBN-13: 978-1611249507

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
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Dark Sun is a little too sexy to be considered a Young Adult story, but if not for that, the feeling was really “young” and with a Romeo and Jules’s theme (after all, Romeo and Juliet were teenagers…).

Orion and Lynx are respectively, heir and second son of the most important triads in the city, Phoenix and Dragon. To an outsider they are pampered princes, with all the money and the chances in their pocket. In this post-apocalypse Seattle, the city is divided in three level, Cloud Level, Midtown and Bottom City, and you move from one level to the other through lifts. Of course Cloud level is the most near the sky, but nevertheless there is no natural light, a cloud of pollution is obscuring the sun, and people are living in constant artificial life, if they can afford it, or in perennial shadow, like in the Bottom City.

Supposedly Lynx is an enforcer, trained to be a warrior, but nor him or Orion have the right looks, on the contrary, from what I gather from the author’s description, they are both pretty and young boys, and maybe this adds to the feeling of being reading a Young Adult story, it was really like Orion and Lynx were fighting both against society than their own families; true, Orion in particular is doing good to the poor people of Bottom City, but both for him and especially for Lynx, there is a huge component of rebelling against their parents, and there was a little of bratty behaviour in them.

As the characters felt “young” so was the story, it was mostly like some sort of video-game, with the games culminating in the destruction of a target the heroes spent most of the novel trying to find through pieces of info here and there; and like in a video-game, I have never felt the heroes to be really in danger, like they had in any case some spare life to use.

I’m not usually a huge fan of urban fantasy, the gothic and dark atmosphere is sometime too heavy for my taste, but Dark Sun was not heavy at all, and that is a bonus from my point of view.

Amazon Kindle: Dark Sun
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (July 5, 2011)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain
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Blacque/Blue is a fantasy paranormal urban novel. It basically imagines that in our current time there is a small town in US, Acarda, where paranormal creatures are living together in a sheltered environment. And humans as well. I actually hadn’t understood if humans are aware they are living among paranormal creatures, unless they are not in a relationship with them, mostly since paranormal creatures are not behaving any different from humans. That is the main point of this novel and what I found the most interesting as well.

Blacque is a 30 years old werewolf; he is also gay and in the closet and for that reason he is also a virgin, a 100% virgin since Blacque has never had any interest in women. Now try to imagine a big and strong auto mechanic, all tattooed and pierced and a virgin! He has a sweet core given by his innocence that is a perfect contraposition with his bad guy looks. Blacque is attracted by Blue, the vampire next door; while Blacque is an auto mechanic, Blue does custom upholstery, and if in their jobs they are a perfect match, usually werewolves and vampires don’t match, they have a “polite” cohabitation, but sexual relationship are not common.

Only that Blue is ill, affected by a chronic insomnia that is preventing him to sleep during the day and he is not even “eating” in a right way, meaning that he is not sucking enough blood to sustain him. Blacque is like a banquet to Blue, rich and wealthy werewolf blood in an hot and ripe to be picked body. When Blue finds out Blacque is as innocent as a newborn baby, his first instinct is to “hunt”, but then Blacque shows him his kind side, the one who wants to nurture and protect, and Blue is lost.

I like the play of contraposition between Blacque and Blue; Blacque is innocent where Blue is experienced, and so Blue leads in bed; Blacque is strong where Blue is weak (at least now), and so Blacque leads in life; Blacque is an Alpha for his pack, but he is a little submissive in bed with Blue; Blue is an ancient vampire, older than Blacque, but in any case Blacque feels as he has to protect Blue, to make him one of his own pack, to give him shelter in many way, with his home, his body, his love.

I really liked this story, it has almost an “ordinary” mood in a paranormal world; Blacque’s struggle to come out was very much similar to what a gay guy would face if he was born in the “wrong” side, in a place where being gay equal to being weak; Blue and Blacque’s relationship has nothing of extraordinary, even if one is a vampire and the other a werewolf, they are simply two guys in love when they are together.

Amazon: Blacque/Bleu
Amazon Kindle: Blacque/Bleu
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (August 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611183626
ISBN-13: 978-1611183627

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain
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I should probably start this alerting reader that this is a Young Adult novel, more on the end side of the teen years than the start one, but in any case right for a YA target; this is the reason why, even if the characters are 18 and ready to start with their adult life, the mood of the story is “innocent”, fresh and clean. For example, they talk about sex, some of the characters is “rumoured” to have sex, but actually there is no sex at all in the story.

The first point of view is that of Serena, 18 years old and with a huge guilty sense: she was the perfect daughter, with good rates at school and with a bright future in front of her, a scholarship and all; but when her brother needs her, when he told her he was gay, she freaked out, and didn’t support him. Her parents had a similar attitude, they didn’t disown their son, but they also wanted to put an indifferent face, maybe hoping that was a phase. The boy was probably starving for support, for a friendly shoulder and he searched it in a community centre for LGBT youth, the same center out of which he was killed in a gay bashing.

Now Serena, and her family, need to cope with it and it changed completely their life. Serena is preparing for college but at the same time is searching for absolution; since her brother cannot give it, she searches it in Brodie, the gay kid at school. Brodie is in the closet and no one other than Serena guessed his secret. Brodie is young and cute, he wants to be an artist but he comes from a very conservative family. At the beginning of the novel he meets Lance, 2 years older and in college and they start a relationship with the help and support of Serena. As I said before the concept of “relationship” is very innocent, basically Brodie and Lance are boyfriend and their bond is deepened by their decision to take part to a dance contest.

There are all the usual milestone for a gay teenager in the novel: coming out to friends and family, trying to understand what they want to be in the future, facing the challenge of being alone against the world… but in Mesmerized all these issues are faced and coped, and Brodie and Lance are heading together towards the horizon, crowned by a wonderful rainbow. Mesmerized wants to make people aware it’s not easy, but also that it’s not impossible, and even if you are gay, and young, and alone, you have the same chance of you best girlfriend to find a boyfriend and be happy.

Amazon: Mesmerized
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602821917
ISBN-13: 978-1602821910

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
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Also Best Gay Novel (3° place)

Allow me to digress a little from the novel, but you will understand that, in the end, I didn’t go so far away from the point. I was kindly offered and ARC of this novel by the publisher; as soon as I started it (and sorry if I was not able to finish it sooner), my curiosity was picked, since I’m an old fan of Casanova, but I didn’t know he had a brother… yes, the author was so good in “preparing” the field for the reader that I really thought I was reading real memoirs and not a fictional work. But then I arrived to the of letter of Benedetto to Gianni Garini, and I wanted to know more, going back to the introduction, to that “with a foreword of Professor Guido Grancuore…”. Originally it was something like Professor Guido Grancuore, Università di S. Matteo (o Marco?), Padua. I don’t think the publisher knew I’m actually from Padua, and I don’t think they knew they did a huge mistake naming the college “S. Matteo”, not since, as the publisher well knew, there is no college “S. Matteo” in Padua, but since the University of Padua, aside from being one of the oldest University in the world, it’s also completely secular, and in no way one of its department could be named after a Saint. When it was founded in 1221, Padua gathered the “almost” heretic scholar from the University of Bologna (founded in 1181) who didn’t want to abide to the Church rule of miracles and divine providence. Those scholars believe in the secular laws of medicine, astronomy and all the other “heretic” matters, and since they couldn’t study it in Bologna, they retired to Padua. That is the reason why, the University of Padua has not the name of a Saint, or a King, or some other very important person, but it is simply named “il Bo’”, i.e. “the Ox”, from the head of an ox that was hanging at the entrance of the inn that initially accommodate them, and that is now the old court of that very same university. When I told to the publisher this same thing, he told me he didn’t want to use the real name but he wanted a “likely” name, something that was right according to the history (and the story). I suggest him to name the fictional college after Elena Cornaro-Piscopia (or Elena Corner della Piscopia), born in 1646 and died in 1684, she was the first woman to officially graduate in an University and she did it in Padua; since she was from a very wealthy family, it’s possible that a college was named after her (basically since her family could have sponsored that), and as the same Marten Weber tells in the acknowledgments, “there should be a university named after her”. And since Elena was an out of the ordinary woman, it’s right she is “used” in the story of an out of the ordinary man, Benedetto Casanova.

Now all of you are wondered, what all of this does it matter with the story? Well it’s a proof more the author paid high attention to all the minimal details, and the feeling of this fictional story is of a very non fictional memoirs, so much that, even for who, like me, lives in the place where part of the story is set, has difficult sometime to distinct reality from fiction, and only for the very fat chance I’m living in that very city, I probably found out one of those little story digressions from history the author took.

The story follows Benedetto Casanova, the less notorious gay brother of Giacomo Casanova, in his love adventures. While he is maybe as libertine as his famous brother, in one thing Benedetto differs from Giacomo, he believes in love. I think that is the main point of the author, since in the end, we will see that Benedetto has reached his dreams, and he is happy, while Giacomo continues in his wicked ways towards destruction. Like Giacomo, Benedetto cannot distinct love from sex, and so there is a lot of sex in this novel, but as I like to remember, one of the judges of the Rainbow Awards who gave an high score to this novel, said that “This was an incredible piece of literature (…) (but) while the writing was excellent and the historical research was compelling, I had a serious problem with the fact that so much of this book was centered on sex. It was like reading a glorified hxxxxxb digest.” For me it is like he was saying, I shouldn’t like this since it’s basically pxxn, but I liked it anyway.

What instead is in common between Giacomo and Benedetto is the hard social criticism they did of their times and politics (and remember, at that time, Church was politics); behind the façade of libertine, Giacomo was in reality, and Benedetto is in fiction, an accurate observer of society, and someone who wasn’t scared to tell the truth.

I highly recommend this novel, but please, be aware of the sexual component of it; knowing what you will find, you will be probably less scandalized and ready to enjoy the fine and clever mind who wrote it.

Amazon: Benedetto Casanova - The Memoirs
Amazon Kindle: Benedetto Casanova - The Memoirs
Paperback: 414 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1461010934
ISBN-13: 978-1461010937

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
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The first book I read by Megan Derr but for sure not the last, Midnight impressed me for the originality and quality of the story, both characteristics seldom found in independent small presses. Or at least when such presses are targeting a reader in search of “fun”. And please take this as the right compliment I’m paying to this author and this press. It’s not easy to write a story that is able to both involve than amuse you, at the end of Midnight I’m an happy reader, since I spend some pleasant hours with these characters and I would be willing to spend even more time with them, like if I made new friends and I was still eager to know them even better.

It’s “ordinary” to write a paranormal romance about vampires, or elves, or werewolves; if you start to talk about dragons, ghosts, witches or draugrs (from what I understood the historical version of zombies), it starts to be a little less ordinary, but still, I had already read about them in previous paranormal novels… but having all of them together? In an historical setting that was giving a “fashion-like” side to the story? Well that was original, and good.

Devlin White, eleventh Duke of Winterbourne, is a black witch; yes, someone already told me that, if it’s a man, than it’s not a witch but a warlock or a wizard, but in the novel the author appealed to Devlin as a witch and so I will do. Midnight is the Devlin’s ward, an orphaned child Devlin met during one of his mission; unfortunately Devlin was unable to save the six years old child, but when the little thing awake from the death as a draugr, Devlin bound him with a spell to his own life: if Devlin dies, Midnight dies, if Devlin lives, Midnight lives and grows and loves… Devlin. 15 years are passed and Midnight is now a 21 years old youth, beautiful and more than faithful to Devlin and only him; Midnight has always been in love with Devlin, even when he was 6 years old, and that love is the reason why he awake from the death; that innocent love turned into passion when, at 15 years old, he spied Devlin with another man, a beautiful young man with long black hair; Midnight decided he would grew in the perfect image of Devlin’s lover, so that he could replace him in that role. It’s not Devlin who shaped Midnight into his lover, it’s Midnight who has done everything in his power to be the one Devlin can love.

There is a lot to love in this story, basically all the characters are wonderful, even the villains. The half elf, half wolf Barra, the knight Neirin and his dragon Troyes, the vampires Ceadda and Alucard, and many, many other paranormal creatures are more than supporting characters to Devlin and Midnight, but what I probably loved the most in this novel is what I said at the beginning, that it was fun and yes, something even light; there was a lot of “love” for pretty things, Midnight being the prettiest thing of all, and the dark, gothic side of the story was always softened by something sweet and romantic, like a kiss, or pretty and shiny like a useless, but beautiful jewel.

Amazon: Midnight
Amazon Kindle: Midnight
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (January 11, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936202638
ISBN-13: 978-1936202638

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle


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