To give to everyone the chance to enjoy the spotlight of their honorable mentions, I decided to post a little of them every day until October 1, when I will announce the finalists of the 2013 Rainbow Awards. An Honorable Mention means a judge really liked the book, so much they gave it a rate above 36 out of 40; an honorable mention doesn't necessarily mean the book is a finalist, you have to wait the actual announcement on October 1 to know that. So please, enjoy this year Honorable Mentions (in no particular order, 2 out of 5 post), and congratulations to all authors!Badges are designed especially for the Rainbow Awards by Paul RichmondA.M. Arthur - Unearthing ColeChuck: This is an excellent novel, for both the story (as unusual as it is) and its characters. The story may seem to be a little too pat in its treatment of the abusive former lover and with its HEA but, overall, this is a book that is fascinating from the first page to the last. Highly recommended.
Jo Ann: I really, really wish it had been longer and a HEA not a HFN, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Cole and Jeremy yet and hope to read the next soon! I could relate to Cole's feelings about his home, my husband is a hoarder. His stalker ex caused a lot of pain and scars for Cole, but he got his own back. A.M. handled the panic attacks beautifully! Cole learning to trust Jeremy and their relationship happened at a perfect pace, it wasn't immediate like some author's do. All around a lovely read!!
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (March 19, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Unearthing ColeAleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt - Capture & Surrender
Valerie: Very well written. The characters were well developed, we knew enough about their past, without it overwhelming the story. We get a good feel for the environment it takes place in, even if we haven't read the previous stories. The story moved along at a good pace, without feeling rushed or incomplete. I loved the writing style and it is hard to believe it is written by 2 authors. Very seamless.
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 19, 2013)
Amazon: Capture & Surrender (A Market Garden Tale)Amelia C. Gormley – Velocity
Christina: Beautiful story, I had feeling of being let into the lives of two men that I came to adore. I finished this story in just hours, so drawn into their romance, the struggles they overcame, and their everyday lives. I was glad to see them get their happy ending and embrace their love and commitment to one another.
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 22, 2013)
Amazon: Velocity: Impulse, Book Three (Volume 3)Andi Marquette - From the Boots UpDianne: Andi Marquette's "From The Boots Up" will transport you to the Wyoming ranch in a way that you can understand why city slickers would want a chance to escape to a different way of life. The writing style makes this a very easy read that I finished this in a day and a half. Typically, I would not have chosen this book because ranching is not an interest of mine, but I really enjoyed this book.
Debra: Fun and easy to read. No intellectual challenges here but a fun way to spend a few hours.
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle: From the Boots UpAnna Zabo - Close QuarterHeidi: I really enjoyed this one--in fact, I'd already purchased and read it on my own before receiving it as a jury entry. I reread it with pleasure. Such a unique, exciting world to explore. Hoping for more in this series.Kris: I really liked this story. The twists on fae/vampires/elements was refreshing and creative. Overall, I really enjoyed the read and would recommend it to others.
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 13, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Close QuarterAnne Azel – TidesCherie: This story started off slow, a little hard to get into, but then the strong voice of the main character shone through and the rest of the story was amazing. There were some transcendent moments of literary brilliance...
Publisher Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (February 4, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: TidesBarbara Ann Wright - The Pyramid WaltzFernanda: As a 1st book from this author it is a pretty damn good start! It's a steady book, that can be read in one day because it's mixed really well and keep the reader’s attention. And I for sure want to read what comes next.
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 18, 2012)
Amazon: The Pyramid Waltz
Amazon Kindle: The Pyramid WaltzBrad Boney - The Nothingness of BenTheresa: Great story focusing not only on the relationship of the developing couple, but the family recovering from a tragedy as well. Beautifully done.
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 23, 2012)
Amazon: The Nothingness of Ben
Amazon Kindle: The Nothingness of BenBrad Boney - The ReturnJorgi-Anne: This was by far the best book I've read in a long time. So well written - moving back and forth between major story lines seamlessly and without effort. I cried several times while reading it, and I'm not a crying type of person. I couldn't put it down. Fantastic.Linda: Boney creates an imaginative scenario about recovering lost love. I had a couple issues with some of his choices, but they were purely subjective and did not detract from my overall appreciation of his skill.
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 5, 2013)
Amazon: The Return
Amazon Kindle: The ReturnBrandon Shire – ColdJordan: Wow! Everything about this book was amazing, from the beautiful writing to the bittersweet (but inevitable) ending. A sometimes difficult read which was well-worth the journey.
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 28, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: ColdCaren J. Werlinger - Neither Present TimeTammy: Another great offering by the author who continues to show growth in her craft. I not only loved the main characters but the supporting cast as well.
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Corgyn Publishing (August 30, 2013)
Amazon: Neither Present Time
Amazon Kindle: Neither Present TimeCharlie Cochrane - Promises Made Under FireAnne: I really enjoyed this story. Although it's a short novella, it's length doesn't take away from it at all and I was routing for the characters and hoping they got their happy ending. A sweet romance although the story itself in a lot of ways was bitter sweet.
Publisher: Carina Press (February 25, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Promises Made Under FireEden Winters - Naked TailsCaroline: At first, I found the idea od were-possums absolutely funny if not ridiculous. But when I kept reading, I realized there was so much more to it. The main characters were adorable, the plot rich and the writing style very, very good. I couldn't put it down.
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 17, 2012)
Amazon: Naked Tails
Amazon Kindle: Naked TailsElan Barnehama - Finding BluefieldFernanda: As a 1st book it is not only really good but above all different. I have liked the particular style, so different from the usual. The fact that the chapters where so long and that any of them have the attention put in one clear direction is interesting. This book is different and bold in a unique way.
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 18, 2012)
Amazon: Finding Bluefield
Amazon Kindle: Finding BluefieldGeonn Cannon - The Rise and Fall of Radiation CanaryJulie: Outstanding!
Publisher: Supposed Crimes LLC; 1 edition (March 13, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: The Rise and Fall of Radiation CanaryJ. Tullos Hennig – GreenWodeSandra: Clearly the author put LOTS of work into creating this world and its characters.
Myranda: Excellent re-take on the story of Robin Hood. Engaging, excellent, and touched very closely on my own fantasy-horror writing area of expertise.
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 18, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: GreenwodeJames Earl Hardy - Can You Feel What I'm SayingGene: The stories in anthologies are usually hit or miss. This is one of the rare anthologies where I thoroughly enjoyed every story. The characters in these stories are well developed, the writing is full of snap and wit, and there were laugh-out-loud moments. As erotica, it is appropriately steamy, but what surprised me is the social and political commentary woven seamlessly into everything, even some of the sex scenes. A fine anthology, indeed.
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: I A J Books (November 28, 2012)
Amazon: Can You Feel What I'm Saying?: An Erotic Anthology
Amazon Kindle: Can You Feel What I'm Saying?: An Erotic AnthologyJames Erich – DreamsCherie: Oh, this one was a pure pleasure to read. I would gladly place this book in the hands of any young person, and urge them to lay aside all else to fill their hearts, minds, and souls with the beauty of James Elrich's Dreams.
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (December 15, 2012)
Amazon: Dreams of Fire and Gods: Dreams
Amazon Kindle: Dreams of Fire and Gods: DreamsJere' M. Fishback - Tyler BuckspanUli: A beautiful heartbreaking coming of age story of a special boy. First I was waiting for there to be some big event at the center of the book, but then I realized it was just me on the journey with Tyler growing up. The book made me care deeply for the characters.
Chuck: This book affected me very deeply. I truly cared what happened to Tyler. But, beyond that, I cared about what happened to his friend Jacob, his crusty grandmother and, especially, his truest love, Devin. The placing of a YA novel in a town built around psychics and fortune telling didn't bother me any more than Tyler's occasional out-of-body experiences. I simply have nothing critical to say about this novel. It's affecting, very true-to-life and, in places, heart-rending. I couldn't ask for a better novel. This is as close to perfection as any recent novel I've read. This novel is truly a winner.
Jo Ann: Very interesting novel, I liked the psychic elements. The writing was top notch and the characters well drawn.
Publisher: Prizm Books (August 13, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Tyler BuckspanJustine Saracen - Beloved GomorrahTammy: Justine never fails to amaze me with her stories. She knows her craft. She puts a new spin on an old Bible story, and makes the reader think. I liked Joanna but couldn't warm to Kaia who seemed a bit unbelievable to me.
Dianne: Unique story and very well told. A story like this hasn't been told before. The descriptions of the settings were easy to visualize and made me want to visit the area that the book takes place in. The characters were fleshed-out and easy to relate to. I could picture them visually and relate to their circumstances. Great writing style. It was a bit formal, but I loved it nevertheless. Saracen is a very good, professional storyteller!
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 19, 2013)
Amazon: Beloved Gomorrah
Amazon Kindle: Beloved GomorrahKiki Archer - Binding DevotionTammy: I like how the author tells a story. I loved the characters, especially Pippa. I would definitely read more from her.
Publisher lulu.com (March 9, 2013)
Amazon: Binding Devotion
Amazon Kindle: Binding DevotionL.A. Witt - Meet Me In The MiddleLex: Perfect. The emotions, the motivations behind them…everything. Just an spectacularly well done book.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (August 20, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Meet Me in the MiddleL.A. Witt - Something New Under the SunGene: I found this to be a thrilling book. The world-building is very solid, the main characters develop along an arc that obviously began in the first book, reaching an apparent conclusion here, and the writing is wonderful. A most entertaining read.
Publisher: Riptide Publishing; 1st edition (January 19, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Something New Under the Sun (Falling Sky)Laura Antoniou - The Killer Wore LeatherChuck: This is, hands-down, the best novel, in any genre, that I have read in quite a long time. I reveled in the mystery; the MCs were sympathetic and whip-smart (for the most part. The background setting of the "Mr. and Ms. Global Leather (and Bootblack) Contest" is a brilliant device for introducing vanilla readers to the leather, BDSM-lite, and fetishist scenes without, in any way, being heavy-handed, or too much for the ordinary mystery reader to handle . This book should win in the Mystery slot as far as I'm concerned.
George: Good read.
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (April 9, 2013)
Amazon: The Killer Wore Leather: A Mystery
Amazon Kindle: The Killer Wore Leather: A MysteryLou Harper - Spirit SanguineJason: A fun and entertaining romp with both suspense and humor.
Ryan: When I'm reading paranormal I like a combination of detail and fantastical that takes me away to another world. But it has to be viable, too. I not only found these elements in this book, but likeable characters as well. And sometimes that's what it comes down to, just plain liking the characters. Plain and simple.
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 30, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Spirit SanguineMarcelino Rosas – AfueraTame: A gritty, at times heart-wrenching, brutal, and yet hopeful story about a Latino boy-to-man and his journey from discovering his homosexuality at a very young age, to physical and mental abuse from his father, experiencing shunning of who he is by those closest to him, and searching for and staying true to finding that acceptance within himself, ultimately, and others to support his true self. The dialogue and the hurt and hope of the main character made the pages turn very quickly for me.
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Proud Peacock Publishing LLC (February 4, 2013)
Amazon: Afuera: A Young Latino's JourneyMorgan Cheshire - Always With UsSue: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written beautifully in regards to its period; not once did I feel I was anywhere but Victorian England, specifically Liverpool. There is very little sex in the novel, but plenty of romance, preceded by a lot of UST. But in a way you hardly notice the slow pace of the romance (again, in accord with the historical period and how these things were conducted among heterosexuals, at least), because you are caught up with the social issues the book portrays. I have read Morgan's previous novel, 'Solemn Contract', which I discovered after last year's Rainbow Awards, and so I was well aware what a good writer she is. This, however, is an even better novel in my opinion, despite the fact its setting (blurb) would have been less attractive to me. Teaches you to follow the good authors, no matter what they write!Rosie: This was a beautifully written, slow building, character led, sweet romance that won my heart completely.
Publisher: Manifold Press (June 27, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Always With UsR.E. Bradshaw - Out on the Panhandle
Jodie: Out on the Panhandle is a brilliant sequel that easily stands on its own. Well written, rich characters, drama, humour, family, history; it packs it all in, in a thoroughly enjoyable book.
Mariana: This was a fantastic story. The history and sub-plot was so well done. The actual plot was great and the characters were very engaging. Loved seeing a family come together and support one another. I will be reading more from this author.
Joann: I had never read any books by R.E. Bradshaw until now. I'm hooked. This book was well written, held my interest, and I could not put it down. Lately I have trouble getting really into a lot of books, but this one was easy to love. The fact the book was set in North Carolina was another plus. The descriptions were absolutely fabulous! I'm eager to read the next part in the series now. I have a feeling that R.E. Bradshaw has just become another of my favorite writers!
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: R. E. Bradshaw Books (September 28, 2012)
Amazon: Out on the Panhandle: A Decky and Charlie Adventure
Amazon Kindle: Out on the Panhandle: A Decky and Charlie AdventureRyan Loveless - Ethan Who Loved CarterJerry: Loved this book. I have been challenged by the story and by the various opinions everyone has of it. Some people are very sensitive to mental illness and those with physical as well as mental challenges. Personally it has opened my mind to a different way "normal" people look at those with mental challenges. A challenging story that caused me to fall in love with all the main characters and root for a forever happily ever after.
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 17, 2012)
Amazon: Ethan, Who Loved Carter
Amazon Kindle: Ethan, Who Loved CarterShannon West - Making the Grade
Theresa: Great story. Nicely written for the most part. My only complaint is that I wish we learned more about Travis as a character and let his character develop in his own right instead of just in a reactionary way to things going on around him.
Publisher: MLR Press (May 3, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Making The GradeT.J. Askren - Killian JamesDebra: Started out slow and stilted but really came alive when the author brought in the main character's Grandmother. Then it was hard to put down and the plot really took off. Great character development. Wonderful story.
Publisher: Red Treehouse Publishing (August 8, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Killian JamesThomas L. Marshall - Soldier Boy
Michele: I loved this book! I am not saying that there aren’t a few wrinkles in it, but that the book as a whole was my idea of a perfect gay romance read.
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 19, 2013)
Amazon: Soldier Boy: The Adventures of Bryce Tyconnel: Book One
Amazon Kindle: Soldier Boy: The Adventures of Bryce Tyconnel: Book One