Dec. 8th, 2014

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Playing Ball by Shae Connor, Kate McMurray, Kerry Freeman & Marguerite Labbe
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627981756
ISBN-13: 978-1627981750
Amazon: Playing Ball
Amazon Kindle: Playing Ball

This was overall a very enjoyable anthology. The characters are 'people' one can actually 'see' in real life. Their situations are factual, things like what each of these men went through I could see happening to men out there.

This array of stories sucked me in... I liked they were so easy to fall into and feel like you were a part of the story itself—sign of good writing to me.

Probably the best anthology I've ever read. Each story was a little gem. Loved it.




Runners Up:
2. Rainbow Briefs by Kira Harp
3. Secrets of Neverwood by G.B. Lindsey, Diana Copland & Libby Drew
4. Stitch by Eli Easton, Sue Brown, Jamie Fessenden & Kim Fielding
5. (tie)
a. All you can Eat, A Buffet of Lesbian Erotica and Romance by R.G. Emanuelle & Andi Marquette
b. Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers by Steve Berman
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Breaking Free: A Guarded Novel by Cat Grant
Publisher: Cat Grant Books (July 9, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Breaking Free: A Guarded Novel

Cat delivers as usual. I don't even like books that include cross-dressing, just not my thing, but Cat made this a hot, hot story. The plot was well done, a slow build up that did not disappoint.



Runners Up:
2. At Her Feet by Rebekah Weatherspoon
3. Games Boys Play by Zoe X. Rider
4. Into The Fire by Lori Toland
5. Incubus Tales by Hushicho
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, an anthology by Ron J. Suresha
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Bear Bones Books (June 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212592
ISBN-13: 978-1590212592
Amazon: Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards
Amazon Kindle: Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards

This work, this anthology is a gem. Full of unexpected surprises and delightful sallies into wholly foreign realms. A delight, a bucolic frolic, an earnest journey, a vigorous climb up the mountain of our own understanding, and a foggy glimpse into the glade of our own souls where bears in all their myriad forms dance beneath the stars. By turns funny and poignant, wry and crass, it’s a pocketful of honey drizzled goodness. None of the poems in and of themselves is perfect, for all poems are onl

Love, love, love this. So many authors, so many emotions, in fact, if I may, I’ll call this a rainbow of emotions. From the sublime to the thought provoking; from innocent to ‘don’t tell anyone you’re reading this book.’ It’s all there, and I was left wanting more only because of the quality of the writing. In my years as a Rainbow Award judge, I have never given a perfect score, until now.

Poetry is difficult to judge but each piece was beautifully written.

This book did what Poetry was supposed to do, elicit emotion. I laughed, paused, thought, and teared up a few times. Well done.

BRILLIANT! Lush and evocative, it gave me an excellent peep into a rich, diverse culture and made a Bear Admirer out of me! I especially enjoyed the poems by Jack Fritscher and Gavin Geoffrey Dillard.

Poetry written with the flair of genius. Incredible look inside the author’s mind.



Runners Up:
2. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
3. Souvenir Boys by David-Matthew Barnes
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Beards, an Unshaved History by Kevin Clarke
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Bruno Gmunder Group (November 1, 2013)
Language: English, German
ISBN-10: 3867876347
ISBN-13: 978-3867876346
Amazon : Beards, an Unshaved History

I love books like this. I actually collect them and the visual effect just kept me drawn to each page. I loved reading all the information. I know some people might find it boring, but I don’t. It also helps that I love men with beards... so for me this is like a coffee table book: one I’d have on display all the time.

For those who love looking, caressing, kissing a bear, this books is perfect. I gave it top rate because it's a well put together coffee table book and I know there are so many out there who'd love to entertain themselves browsing through the pages. As far as myself? I'd rather caress a smooth face. Some chest hair don't bother me and maybe a little facial as well but not the bushy, full grown beard. Overall, this is a good book and quite informative. Mr. Clarke selected a very good array of mod

Oh my word. This was amazing. Holy smokes!! This was like an art history class. Wow. With this and the Bear Bards poetry book one could teach a college level course on what it means to be a ‘bear’ in the modern world. Wow. Did I say wow?

Gorgeous photography, interesting and well-written as well as informative.

This book was not only about the visual but also told a story. That made the work much more compelling.




Runners Up:
2. A Thing of Beauty by Jake Jaxson & RJ Sebastian
3. dr.a.g. by Christopher Logan
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1.
Slide (Roads) by Garrett Leigh
Paperback: 326 pages
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 14, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627981470
ISBN-13: 978-1627981477
Amazon: Slide (Roads)
Amazon Kindle: Slide (Roads)

Mental/Emotional trauma and angst are my favorite themes in stories, so the fact that I enjoyed Slide immensely is unsurprising. I found the writing to be flawlessly in-tune with the characters which did much to immerse me into the story. There were some minor plot holes, but by the time they showed up I was so involved with the situation I didn't loose my interest. The setting is solid but not significant to the story- it could have happened equally in Seattle as Chicago/Philly.

Slide is a stunning work of homoerotic fiction, a deep psychological study awash with authentic details, gripping characterizations and two protagonists who personify the term “survivor”.

I only have a couple things to say about my experience reading Slide. It pulled me in from the very first page. I was expecting an angst-fest but it wasn't. Sure, there was some angst but it made sense and never felt like too much. The writing and the characters were exceptionally well done.




Runners Up:
2. Demons Within, For Love of Authority 1, by Rhiannon Ayers
3. Beyond Cutting by Vicki Clifford
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Alpha Trine (The Valespian Pact) by Lexi Ander
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (September 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620042444
ISBN-13: 978-1620042441
Amazon: Alpha Trine (The Valespian Pact)
Amazon Kindle: Alpha Trine (The Valespian Pact)

Honestly this is one of the best books I've read this year. It is a rich, full world with rich, full characters. I couldn't have asked for a better sci-fi book. Sci-fi is one of the hardest (in my opinion) genres to write in, and it's rare (for me) that a story captures my interest so thoroughly.

I read the original free version, but this is much smoother and well edited. The characters are the strong point. The start with the alien lizardlike species who adopt Zeus is really inventive and fascinating. The symbiont bond between Dargon and Alpha is very interesting and original too. World building is good, but I have a feeling more will come with the sequel. Same goes with plot development - it felt a tiny bit unfinished. Writing style is very good.

A rare books that sends reader straight back to the bookstore to get part 2. The story keeps you wondering what's next till the very end. Just the right balance between sci-phy and romance in perfect space settings. Thank you for introducing that wonderful author to my library.
d. Alone in deep space, Zeus is adopted by a noble family whose lineage may be too great for him to join. Exciting tale of danger and privilege.

The first in a series; a very different story about a world where humans are revilved and other species revired, and how a blind human changes the course of several worlds, including his own future.




Runners Up:
2. Cythera by Jo Graham
3. The River Within by Baxter Clare Trautman
4. The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj
5. Best Bi Short Stories by Sheela Lambert
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Stuff (The Bristol Collection) by Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (May 27, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Stuff (The Bristol Collection)

Charming - not much else to say. Just very, very charming.



Runners Up:
2. Slide by Garrett Leigh
3. Fusion, North Star trilogy 2, by Posy Roberts
4. Rocky Mountain Freedom by Vivian Arend
5. Capricious by Julie Cox
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, an anthology by Ron J. Suresha
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Bear Bones Books (June 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212592
ISBN-13: 978-1590212592
Amazon: Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards
Amazon Kindle: Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards

This work, this anthology is a gem. Full of unexpected surprises and delightful sallies into wholly foreign realms. A delight, a bucolic frolic, an earnest journey, a vigorous climb up the mountain of our own understanding, and a foggy glimpse into the glade of our own souls where bears in all their myriad forms dance beneath the stars. By turns funny and poignant, wry and crass, it’s a pocketful of honey drizzled goodness. None of the poems in and of themselves is perfect, for all poems are onl

Love, love, love this. So many authors, so many emotions, in fact, if I may, I’ll call this a rainbow of emotions. From the sublime to the thought provoking; from innocent to ‘don’t tell anyone you’re reading this book.’ It’s all there, and I was left wanting more only because of the quality of the writing. In my years as a Rainbow Award judge, I have never given a perfect score, until now.

Poetry is difficult to judge but each piece was beautifully written.

This book did what Poetry was supposed to do, elicit emotion. I laughed, paused, thought, and teared up a few times. Well done.

BRILLIANT! Lush and evocative, it gave me an excellent peep into a rich, diverse culture and made a Bear Admirer out of me! I especially enjoyed the poems by Jack Fritscher and Gavin Geoffrey Dillard.

Poetry written with the flair of genius. Incredible look inside the author’s mind.




Runners Up:
2. Alpha Trine by Lexi Ander
3. Cythera by Jo Graham
4. Stuff by Josephine Myles
5. Slide by Garrett Leigh
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (March 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627988203
ISBN-13: 978-1627988209
Amazon: If We Shadows
Amazon Kindle: If We Shadows

WOW! This author bravely tackled everything about being a trans* teen. The gender dysphoria, how to "pass", dating, hormone injections, transphobia, violence against trans* people.... All of the issues big and small were covered, brilliantly. Then it was packaged with Shakespeare and High School, and magic. I am so impressed right now. Certainly one of the best trans* books I've EVER read.

Perfect 40. This book was pure pleasure to read. The author hit every note perfectly, leaving me feeling like I was in the head of the main character, or whomever had pov control at that point. Flawless. The character growth was believable, the story arc enthralling, the writing style captivating. I am definitely a fan.

D.E. Atwood is a powerful voice, and this story should be in every high school library across the nation. The simple beauty with which the author presents this clever weaving of magic, ordinary teen angst, the alienation everyone struggles through in high school, and the pervasive dissonance of being born into a body whose bits and pieces don’t fit the person living inside it…astounds. Bravo, D.E. Atwood, bravo.

I don't know how this book could get any more perfect. An intricate plot told in accessible language that manages to come through in a very believable teenage voice. The characters are multi-layered and likeable. Most of all, the author addresses the difficulties of being a transgendered teen, as well as the mechanical details--therapies, "packers," balancing the opinions of parents/friends/school/potential love interests--rather than romantically glossing over them.




Runners Up:
2. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot
3. An Unspoken Compromise by Rizi Xavier Timane
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (March 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627988203
ISBN-13: 978-1627988209
Amazon: If We Shadows
Amazon Kindle: If We Shadows

WOW! This author bravely tackled everything about being a trans* teen. The gender dysphoria, how to "pass", dating, hormone injections, transphobia, violence against trans* people.... All of the issues big and small were covered, brilliantly. Then it was packaged with Shakespeare and High School, and magic. I am so impressed right now. Certainly one of the best trans* books I've EVER read.

Perfect 40. This book was pure pleasure to read. The author hit every note perfectly, leaving me feeling like I was in the head of the main character, or whomever had pov control at that point. Flawless. The character growth was believable, the story arc enthralling, the writing style captivating. I am definitely a fan.

D.E. Atwood is a powerful voice, and this story should be in every high school library across the nation. The simple beauty with which the author presents this clever weaving of magic, ordinary teen angst, the alienation everyone struggles through in high school, and the pervasive dissonance of being born into a body whose bits and pieces don’t fit the person living inside it…astounds. Bravo, D.E. Atwood, bravo.

I don't know how this book could get any more perfect. An intricate plot told in accessible language that manages to come through in a very believable teenage voice. The characters are multi-layered and likeable. Most of all, the author addresses the difficulties of being a transgendered teen, as well as the mechanical details--therapies, "packers," balancing the opinions of parents/friends/school/potential love interests--rather than romantically glossing over them.




Runners Up:
2. Beloved Pilgrim by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
3. Cevin’s Deadly Sin by Sally Bosco
4. His Fair Lady by Kimberly Gardner
5. Collected by Solar Harris
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: Ross Gustafson (December 9, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991186109
ISBN-13: 978-0991186105
Amazon: Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth
Amazon Kindle: Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth

I really liked this book. It’s unique and original. The writing style for a debut book is amazing. I felt the writer had the prose well in hand. The setting of Babette’s home and the dreary, rainy aspect of living in Seattle, is perfectly drawn. I had some difficulty with the plot and character development but nothing to really change my enjoyment of reading about this very eccentric, flamboyant, and outrageous central character.

Once in a great while a reader has the privilege of not knowing what to expect, only to discover the fragile treasure waiting between the book’s pages. Such was the case with Ross Eliot’s magnificent work on Dr. Ellsworth. Original, unique, simplistically complex, this novel deserves to be in every home library so it may be read and reread. Thank you, Mr. Eliot, for the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful story.

This book was compelling in every way. Wonderful characterization. Vivid setting. Interesting plot. And writing that drew me in from the very first page/. Although I don’t usually enjoy stories written in the present tense, I quickly became accustomed to the narrative choice of Eliot and found it a most effective device for telling Babett’s life story. A wonderful read!

Multilayered, interesting, well-told, educated. The typesetting and production is sometimes a bit "homespun" though.




Runners Up:
2. Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders by Diane & Jacob Anderson-Minshall
3. An Unspoken Compromise by Rizi Xavier Timane
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (March 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627988203
ISBN-13: 978-1627988209
Amazon: If We Shadows
Amazon Kindle: If We Shadows

WOW! This author bravely tackled everything about being a trans* teen. The gender dysphoria, how to "pass", dating, hormone injections, transphobia, violence against trans* people.... All of the issues big and small were covered, brilliantly. Then it was packaged with Shakespeare and High School, and magic. I am so impressed right now. Certainly one of the best trans* books I've EVER read.

Perfect 40. This book was pure pleasure to read. The author hit every note perfectly, leaving me feeling like I was in the head of the main character, or whomever had pov control at that point. Flawless. The character growth was believable, the story arc enthralling, the writing style captivating. I am definitely a fan.

D.E. Atwood is a powerful voice, and this story should be in every high school library across the nation. The simple beauty with which the author presents this clever weaving of magic, ordinary teen angst, the alienation everyone struggles through in high school, and the pervasive dissonance of being born into a body whose bits and pieces don’t fit the person living inside it…astounds. Bravo, D.E. Atwood, bravo.

I don't know how this book could get any more perfect. An intricate plot told in accessible language that manages to come through in a very believable teenage voice. The characters are multi-layered and likeable. Most of all, the author addresses the difficulties of being a transgendered teen, as well as the mechanical details--therapies, "packers," balancing the opinions of parents/friends/school/potential love interests--rather than romantically glossing over them.




Runners Up:
2. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot
3. Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders by Diane & Jacob Anderson-Minshall
4. Beloved Pilgrim by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
5. Cevin’s Deadly Sin by Sally Bosco
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Loved and Lost by Stephanie Kusiak
Paperback: 566 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939062586
ISBN-13: 978-1939062581
Amazon: Loved and Lost
Amazon Kindle: Loved and Lost

Where should I begin with this book? If it was the author's intent to reach into the very depths of the reader's heart and soul and pull out every emotion, taking them through the heights of fated love, happiness, joy, and forgiveness, while subsequently raking them over the coals of despair, jealousy, bitterness, grief, anguish, loss, suffering, and unparalleled heartbreak, then I say she has achieved that immensely.

A story that will stay with me a long time, caused a lot of emotion when I was reading it. Definitely will be on my reread list.

Oh gosh give me the sequel now! This book was so captivating that I couldn't put it down till the very end. An incredibly impressive debut book, the author have surely put the stake high so I can only wish her too keep doing what she had done here!



Runners Up:
2. Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett
3. Like Jazz by Heather Blackmore
4. Let the Lover Be by Sheree L. Greer
5. Exception to the Rule by Cindy Rizzo
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Rest Home Runaways by Clifford Henderson
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 19, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626391696
ISBN-13: 978-1626391697
Amazon: Rest Home Runawayst

Wow - this woman can write! I read it in one sitting. My only quibble is that I wouldn't describe it as Lesbian centric as other novels (Lee's book in 2012 'The Raid' is a good example of a Lesbian centric novel).

I was blown away by this book. Henderson weaves a masterful story mixed with raw emotion and humor. Simply wonderful.

Good, good and so good! I have loved this book so well written, so funny and also so touching, practically a perfect read that you can't put down till the very end.

A laugh-out-loud funny and yet still poignant story about family and aging and relationships that was a delight to read.

This was a very interesting look into the lives of three different people: Cora, Mac, and Morgan and how their lives are changed by the actions of Mac when he takes off one day during a field trip from an elderly rest home at the request, or rather the demand, of his deceased wife Effie, based on a decades old promise to her. The setting was beautifully described and the emotions felt by each character was so unique to them.




Runners Up:
2. What Matter Wounds by Geonn Cannon
3. Let the Lover Be by Sheree L. Greer
4. Ebenezer by JoSelle Vanderhooft
5. Hoosier Daddy by Ann McMan & Salem West
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Camellia by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (May 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620043572
ISBN-13: 978-1620043578
Amazon: Camellia
Amazon Kindle: Camellia

Camellia is a beautiful, delicate story that unfolds with the same languid, graceful pacing of a Japanese tea ceremony...and like the ancient art of the ceremony, will engage every one of your senses by the time it concludes. The memory will linger as well, with surprising, subtle strength. And lest you think this story is a snoozefest, I’d best mention the sex was hot enough to leave me wishing for a fan. No fooling.

I normally do not read lesbian novels or BDSM. The genres are not my usual preference. However, after reading this book (first in a series), I was genuinely pleased with the dynamic, tight writing style, the beautiful explaination and demonstration of the BDSM lifestyle, and the introduction into the beauty of tea service. Lucy & Danny are two characters I am willing to visit again & delve deeper into their story.

A book about tea but this romance is so much more than that. Lust swirled between these two characters that exploded off the page and kept me spellbound. With a promising ending, I wanted to read more about these characters and I dreaded getting closer to the end.

I know a book is good when it makes me a fan of a lifestyle that I usually don't find attractive or interesting. BDSM is usually not my scene at all and also if it's a setting so explored and exploited nowadays in literature, a really few reads have been able to engage me during their reading, but this book is one of the winners!

As a member of the BDSM community and a Dom I often cringe when I read books that contain BDSM/Kink elements. I especially cringe when these stories attempt to delve into the mindset of a Dom because they so often get them wrong. However, this story did such a gloriously, magnificent job on both of these jobs that I found myself hard-pressed to put the book down even when I had to go to sleep.




Runners Up:
2. Departure from the Script by Jae
3. (tie)
a. Loved and Lost by Stephanie Kusiak
b. No Boundaries by Donna K. Ford
4. (tie)
a. Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall
b. She Sings of Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things by Caren J. Werlinger
5. Like Jazz by Heather Blackmore
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Dogs of War: An Underdogs Novel by Geonn Cannon
Publisher: Supposed Crimes LLC; 1 edition (June 29, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Dogs of War: An Underdogs Novel

Dogs of war surprised me out of the gate with an on topic prologue that didn't give away the bad guys or serve as a poorly written chapter one. All of the characters had their own arcs to move through and even the minor angst between the main characters was nicely understated. I'm a fan of shifter stories and this is an excellent entry to the genre.



Runners Up:
2. Wolf’s Eyes, Amendyr Series 2, by Rae D. Magdon
3. The Empath by Jody Klaire
4. Chronicles of Osota - Warrior by Michelle Magly
5. Dark Horizons by Rae D. Magdon & Michelle Magly
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. A Kingdom Lost by Barbara Ann Wright
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626390533
ISBN-13: 978-1626390539
Amazon: A Kingdom Lost
Amazon Kindle: A Kingdom Lost

I hadn’t read the previous books in this series, but I will be after this one. Wright’s world building made me feel as though I was right there with the characters. As is common with the fantasy genre, there are a lot of characters, but there aren’t so many that you lose track of who’s who. Honestly, the only complaint I have is the cliffhanger ending. Not nice, Ms. Wright, not nice at all.

A wonderful story in a complex and fascinating world, though it didn't work well as a standalone. I hadn't read books 1 and 2 in the series, but Barbara Ann Wright is a fantastic writer and the characters engaging enough that I want to read it! Setting was incredible, engaging all five senses. I took off some points because I was lost for a while about the characters, and the cliffhanger ending. Otherwise, definitely recommend this author and series (if starting at book 1).

A super talented author. Superb world building. Compelling storytelling. The characters leap of the page they seem so real. You wish you were reading 4 of the author's titles every year.




Runners Up:
2. Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones
3. The Only Way by Jamie Sullivan
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Waiting for the Violins by Justine Saracen
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626390460
ISBN-13: 978-1626390461
Amazon: Waiting for the Violins

The author did an outstanding job on Plot and setting; in contrast there was more telling and not enough showing for the characters and at times it seemed like the dialogue could be a bit wooden. I was on the edge of my seat the whole read - I highly recommend it and hope it wins - it is that good.

This is one of the most exquisite historical novels about WW II, It shows all the nightmares without being nightmarish. Friend and foe are both human. The best is that Justine Saracen honors with the names given those who fought in the front lines, Superbly researched.

Really gripping story; I was totally wrapped up in it and could barely put it down! As for historical accuracy, I'm no historian, but I didn't find any logical fault in the proceedings. The romantic subplot was rather underdeveloped, which seems a given with a story about a British spy and a Resistance fighter in war-riddled Belgium, but what little of that there was I felt quite realistically done and poignant. Very accurate sense of time and place.

It took me a little to get into this story I had to start it a couple of times. Mind you I did enjoy the read by the time I got to the end.

This is an amazing read, I have loved every pages of it and this kind of writing make me think that this setting, the WWII, is where Mrs Justine Saracen give the best of herself. The book is precise but not pedantic; the historical facts are explained/followed in a way that make the reader interested in them; equilibrated in all it's aspects. So I can only say BRAVO!

Justine Saracen has created a spellbinding, page-turning work of exceptional beauty in Waiting for the Violins. The main story revolves around the various and varied cells of Resistance fighters in Belgium during WWII; in parallel fashion, the core of the story reveals two protagonists slowly brought together in a world of suspense and suspicion, fear and courage, pride and passion and a iron-willed determination to survive a world gone mad.

Another winner from Justine Saracen. Her historical pieces continue to amaze me with her spot on depictions, and storytelling!




Runners Up:
2. Club Storyville by Riley LaShea
3. Murder and the Hurdy Gurdy Girl by Kate McLachlan
4. Fervent Charity by Paulette Callen
5. Agnes by Jaime Maddox
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Season of the Wolf by Robin Summers
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626390436
ISBN-13: 978-1626390430
Amazon: Season of the Wolf
Amazon Kindle: Season of the Wolf

A magnificent thriller with great characters. It is ultimately about redemption. The writing is superb and enthralling. A nailbiter to keep the reader reading through the night.



Runners Up:
2. Rapture, Sins of the Sinners by Fran Heckrotte & A.C. Henley
3. Tumbledown by Cari Hunter
4. Girls Don't Hit by Geonn Cannon
5. Killing Rosa by Lynn Kear
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I didn't want to announce this before to not influence the judges... Cate Culpepper sadly passed away few weeks ago, and she was not only a previous recipient of a Rainbow Award, she was most likely a winner of this year as well, as indeed happened. Like for dear friends Bobby Michaels and William Neale before, I would like to dedicate the Lesbian Paranormal Romance category to Cate Culpepper, from this moment on the Cate Culpepper Award for Best Lesbian Paranormal Romance.

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Windigo Thrall by Cate Culpepper
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (January 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602829500
ISBN-13: 978-1602829503
Amazon: Windigo Thrall
Amazon Kindle: Windigo Thrall

I really loved this book! I had never read a book about a windigo before. I was fasinated by the detailed story and the writers' brilliant telling.

I'm a sucker for stories about Native American folklore, curses, and supernatural creatures, and this story grabbed me from page one. Well-drawn characters and a serpentine plot added to my enjoyment. A very entertaining read.



Runners Up:
2. True Nature by Jae
3. Return of an Impetuous Pilot by Kate McLachlan
4. Vermilion Justice by Sheri Lewis Wohl
5. If I Die Before I Wake by Liz McMullen
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Eight Dates: A Romance by Lori L. Lake
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Launch Point Press; 1st edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1633040003
ISBN-13: 978-1633040007
Amazon: Eight Dates: A Romance
Amazon Kindle: Eight Dates: A Romance

This book made me laugh out loud more than once. Sky’s eight date challenge, put forth by her best friend Mitchell, was a study in futility. I felt bad for Sky, not because of the horrific dates she had to endure, but because she couldn’t seem to see what was right in front of her. The interactions between Sky and Maya were amazingly done. The only problem I had was the book seemed to end a couple of chapters too soon. I wanted a little more.

Best of the finalists. I was laughing out loud many times. The ending left me wanting more. The characters were vivid and memorable.

This was another new author for me—I really enjoyed the read... I like it when a book makes you feel for the character whether it’s to cheer her on or commiserate with her.

In my opinion the best read in this category of finalists. A good romance, more unpredictable that the start could lead one to think and a good pace. A strong writing style that makes me enjoy this book even more.




Runners Up:
2. Out Of Retirement by Erica Lawson
3. That Certain Something by Clare Ashton
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. The End of Eve: A Memoir by Ariel Gore
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Hawthorne Books (March 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0986000795
ISBN-13: 978-0986000799
Amazon: The End of Eve: A Memoir
Amazon Kindle: The End of Eve: A Memoir

Beautiful, raw, honest, and compelling. I absolutely couldn't put it down until I was finished. Simply gorgeous.

I had read this - I picked it up at GCLS in Portland in July - excellent writing - riveting - I could not put it down until the last page - it is my favorite in this category.

This story was equal parts hilarious and hilariously disturbing. Perhaps because I saw my own biological mother portrayed in the Eve but either way I believe that the author's writing style and just the general plot of the story will strike a chord with many people. I do wish that the setting had been a bit more descriptive, but, with the portrayal of the characters, the angst, the bickering, the fight that Ariel has within herself when it comes to her mother.

This was a magnificent book. All the revelations come at the right moment for proper story development. The book is sad, funny, horrifying. It is deeply insightful and real. It's about more than her dying mother and recovery from abuse--it's about life itself and how to navigate this crazy, awful world. I thought the book was exceptional. The major characters are exceptionally well-developed, but even the minor characters are well-developed.

This book had me sucked in from the very beginning... I must admit I didn’t think I was going to like it so I put it to the end of my reading list... but I ended up enjoying it the most. Will definitely look for more my this author.

I loved this honest and amusing tale of endeavouring to live a good life and to deal civilly with a nightmare of a mother. Beautifully done.




Runners Up:
2. Waiting for the Violins by Justine Saracen
3. (tie)
a. Club Storyville by Riley LaShea
b. Camellia by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.
4. Rest Home Runaways by Clifford Henderson
5. Time Fries! Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach by Fay Jacobs
6. Season of the Wolf by Robin Summers
7. Rapture, Sins of the Sinners by Fran Heckrotte & A.C. Henley
8. Departure from the Script by Jae
9. (tie)
a. Loved and Lost by Stephanie Kusiak
b. No Boundaries by Donna K. Ford
10. Eight Dates by Lori L. Lake
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Silent by Sara Alva
Paperback: 382 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1493665901
ISBN-13: 978-1493665907
Amazon : Silent
Amazon Kindle: Silent

I found this young adult book engrossing. Sara Alva is a consummate writer. She developed the main characters so well. At first I found myself responding to Alex's "mask," and didn't like him much. But it was just that, a mask. Once Sara showed us the real Alex, bit by bit, I was on his side, and by the end I felt as desperate as he did for his Seb. Sebastian was interesting - a real challenge to look beyond the surface with people judged "special."

The descriptions of Los Angeles and the characters are very vivid. The author brings to life what it means to experience real poverty and limited choices, what it is like to have no hope. The author deftly pulls you into the story and the lives of the characters.

Silent by Sara Alva was moving, eloquent, and original. The characters in the book were both fierce and heart-breaking and any reader, I think, would come to care very deeply about them. This is not just a good YA book, but a very fine novel for anyone. Loved it!

For me this book had it all. It was an outstanding read. The world building was rich and detailed, the writing very crisp and accomplished, and the character development throughout the story was superb. Each of the boys go through profound changes and growth, and I believed in all of it totally. I was emotionally invested in Alex and Seb from the moment I met them, and completely immersed in their world. I felt I shared in their heartache and their love.

What a beautiful book. I really enjoyed the story of a young lad finding his own moral compass. Bit of a slushy ending, and left me wanting to know what happened to Seb & Alex after the ending. Such a clever, well-paced development of character, particularly Seb's.




Runners Up:
2. (tie)
a. This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
b. Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick
3. (tie)
a. The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick
b. Vivaldi in the Dark by Matthew J. Metzger
4. Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett
5. (tie)
a. Us Three by Mia Kerick
b. Omorphi by C. Kennedy
c. Red Devil by Kyell Gold

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162778036X
ISBN-13: 978-1627780360
Amazon : Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East
Amazon Kindle: Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East

Gaysia is skillfully written, has quite a bit of humor along the way, and gives the reader a glimpse into what it means to be gay in China, Japan, Malaysia, and other Asian countries. (Some chapters are more interesting than others, but I’d give the writer high marks for tackling a difficult subject in a unique way.) Enjoyable read if a bit repetitious.

Read it. Admire it. Would give it full marks. I very much appreciate Mr. Law is NOT a predator but a serious, sensitive journalist. I say BRAVO!

For anyone interested in the Asian LGBT culture this books is a must. I've read some people refer to it as a travelog and funny. Well, in a way, yes, it's a good travelog but to me, been that I've never been interested to visit that part of the country, it's more of an informational book, something that should be learned in school. The stories held within its pages are at times funny, or at least it makes you laugh a couple of times, but the rest? The rest, in my opinion is simply somber.

I would award more points if I could. To be honest, this book vastly outshines all the other finalists in this category. More a combination travelogue / cultural study than memoir, this enlightening work should be read by every GLBT rights advocate in the world. I applaud the author for undertaking such an ambitious (and often unpleasant) project and for presenting his findings with sensitivity and casual grace. Gaysia doesn’t read like a dry academic paper.

An interesting and clear-eyed look at a variety of cultures, that certainly helps me appreciate how very far my own culture has come.

I was really blown away by this book. Having lived and traveled around Asia for five years, many of Benjamin Law’s observations hit home for me. Not being a gay man, I was treated to seeing the same things from an entirely different perspective. Sex is a huge aspect of Asia, and Ben explores that with in-depth discussions with sex workers, tourists, locals, and then provides an accurate and colorful picture of what it’s like to be gay in Asia, and how it varies widely from country to country.




Runners Up:
2. The End of Eve by Ariel Gore
3. Time Fries! Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach by Fay Jacobs
4. True Stories Too: People and Places From My Past by Felice Picano
5. Lesbian Marriage: A Love & Sex Forever Kit by Kim Chernin & Renate Stendhal
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And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (May 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632160404
ISBN-13: 978-1632160409
Amazon: This Is Not a Love Story
Amazon Kindle: This Is Not a Love Story

Hard topic beautifully written. This is a love story that works on many levels--it's true to life, tough, harsh, and yet hopeful. It made me think, but most importantly it made me feel. A marvelous debut novel.

This is truly a gripping story of teenagers---one mute with an artistic gift, one damaged inside but with a beautiful spirit---but this is NOT a teenage story. There are tears, abuse, homelessness, grief, loss, more loss, and then. . .well, it is not a love story, but it IS a story about love. And sacrifice. And where home really is.

I just couldn't find anything that didn't deserve the highest rating. This is a book that will stay long with you after you finished reading it. Usually I am not such a happy end person, but for these characters I desperately needed a happy end - anything else would have been devastating. Luckily I have no experience with homelessness, but to me the descriptions of their struggles felt real and I was caring deeply for the characters.

Raw, painful, sometimes difficult to read but also fully engaging in its characters and their struggles.

This book captivated me from the first page. The writng, characterization and plot drew me in and kept me invested until the very last page. I loved this book.




Runners Up:
2. Light by Nathan Burgoine
3. The Next by Rafe Haze
4. (tie)
a. dr.a.g. by Christopher Logan
b. Piper by Leona Carver
5. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Sex & Sourdough by A.J. Thomas
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 13, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627983074
ISBN-13: 978-1627983075
Amazon: Sex & Sourdough
Amazon Kindle: Sex & Sourdough

I loved both the MCs and the realistic situation they found themselves in as they followed the Appalachian trial together. I was immersed in their experience, and all the details both of the hike and of Kevin's situation felt realistic. My only issue with this book was the nasty ex-lover trope which I felt detracted from the rest of this lovely book.

In the beginning, the plot moved along in a gentle, unhurried pace, perfectly in keeping with the subject matter of a hike through the mountains. Then followed an action twist, the plot took up space only to settle down towar the ending with a completely satisfying conclusion. My only niggle was with the somewhat over-the-top ex-boyfriend trope, but this was really minor. Beautiful pictures, transporting me right there. The writing engaged all senses, including taste and smell.

I bought this book several months ago on a whim. I thought the title was cute. But this book is so much more than that. The author takes the reader on a journey, quite literally. By the time I was done reading this I felt as if I had just had a wonderful vacation. Also, the characters are unique and likeable. They feel like family when I was finished reading this.

I loved this story and was caught up in it almost immediately I started reading. Great tension at the end, and a writing style that was easy to read. A new author to me, but one I will have to read more of.




Runners Up:
2. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
3. My Favorite Uncle by Marshall Thornton
4. I Loved You More by Tom Spanbauer
5. (tie)
a. Stronger Than This by David-Matthew Barnes
b. First Exposure by Alan Chin
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle Book 3) by Eli Easton
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 30, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632160153
ISBN-13: 978-1632160157
Amazon: The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle Book 3)
Amazon Kindle: The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle Book 3)

This was a fantastically well written book. The plot unfolded naturally. Not once did anything feel forced or manipulated. The flow of it engaging the reader and drawing them deeper. The writing, honestly this is the type of writing that sends me to the bookstore (or more likely online because I can't wait that long) for the next book. It's engaging, enthralling, purely addicting. This was a book that had to be taken away so that I would remember to sleep.

This was just a joy to read. Characters who seemed so real that you’re vested in them early on. Excellent book.

Wonderful book all around. Gripping tale, endearing characters, well-rounded story and even a satisfying epilogue - What's not to love!

The book is very enjoyable, and the characters are what they are. This is like the 1930’s movie that’s got real star-power, but is boosted into the higher ranks by its character actors. Plot is sweet and lovely. The story of a polio-stricken writer of sci-fi, who’s fading in his profession, and a physical therapist/sex surrogate (!) goes exactly where an experienced reader of m/m fiction would expect.

I hate to give a perfect score to anything, because there's always room for improvement, right? But in this novel, I couldn't find anything to deduct for. The characters are so vivid and well-drawn, they feel like real people. The plot never lagged; it was enjoyable and intriguing right from the beginning, and the sexual tension was high. The characters deserved to find love, and they were perfect for each other. I couldn't help but root for them.

A captivating novel about two very interesting men. The writing was fun and enjoyable and I loved the way we got to see both the tough and the venerable sides of both men. James's polio was handled very well. The sex surrogacy was an interesting twist and handled very well as a healing method. It was good to see the difference from the way Michael treated that to the way he felt for James. Quite the wonderful happy ever after, too.



Runners Up:
2. Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C.
3. (tie)
a. Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
b. Takedown by Cat Grant
4. Cub by Jeff Mann
5. Behind the Curtain by Amy Lane
6. Ethan in Gold by Amy Lane
7. The Last Thing He Needs by J.H. Knight
8. Message of Love by Jim Provenzano
9. Unbroken by Larry Benjamin
10. The Silence of the Stars by Kate McMurray
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And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. (tie)
a.
Trusting Thomas (Collars & Cuffs) by K.C. Wells
Series: Collars & Cuffs
Paperback: 282 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627983287
ISBN-13: 978-1627983280
Amazon: Trusting Thomas (Collars & Cuffs)
Amazon Kindle: Trusting Thomas (Collars & Cuffs)

Beautifully written alternating between potential heartbreak and joy. I found myself rooting for this couple almost from the moment they met. I love that although one is an obvious victim that needed healing their relationship actually lends to them both healing.

I am not one for BDSM, but this series is wonderful!!! The 2nd in a series, one does not have to read the first one to fully enjoy this one. An abused sub who knows too much, and is so in need of love & knowledge...a lonely Dom who isn't looking for permanence but is willing to help with rescue & healing...it is an enlightening & wonderful pairing!



b. A Little Too Broken by Brad Vance
Paperback: 162 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1492247227
ISBN-13: 978-1492247227
Amazon: A Little Too Broken
Amazon Kindle: A Little Too Broken

Title says it all, HIV, PTSD, Double Amputee. Wow, thrust issues Jamie deals with, the terrors Tom deals with, both men support and contribute to the others problems so well by the end. They were meant to be. Brad brought some real life problems to life and showed us what we may never have to deal with but we should understand and support those that do. I cried and became so very angry at some of the people that Jamie and Tom had to deal with. Some people need slapped up-side the head.



Runners Up:
2. Love and Salvage: Loving Emmett by Mathew Ortiz
3. (tie)
a. A Place for Cliff by Talon ps
b. The House on Hancock Hill by Indra Vaughn
c. It's Like This by Anne O'Gleadra
4. (tie)
a. More Than Everything by Cardeno C.
b. Splinters by Thorny Sterling
5. Gin & Jazz 1- 4 by Morticia Knight
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Rising Frenzy, Men of Myth 2 by Brandon Witt
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623809657
ISBN-13: 978-1623809652
Amazon: Rising Frenzy
Amazon Kindle: Rising Frenzy

Second book in a series, and while it is very helpful to follow along series-wise, one can catch up in the story pretty quickly. Well-written book about a warlock who lost his love and has a voice inside his head, the man he loved who's part-mer(man), part-demon, and how they are separately fighting to correct wrongs in which they 'might' have had a hand in. That is to say, they didn't MEAN to be part of the cause of the strife, but now they feel responsible.

This book was extremely well written with rich characters, fantastic world building, and a plot which ratcheted up after the first ha;f of the book.



Runners Up:
2. Shirewode by J Tullos Hennig
3. Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde
4. Mercy's Prisoner, Life Prison 1, by Dusk Peterson
5. Night Creatures by Jeremy Jordan King
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. (tie)
a.
A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies) by KJ Charles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (January 28, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies)

KJ Charles has written an excellent continuation of this series. This book can be read as a standalone, however. The characters are developed well throughout, and layers are added right to the end. The plot is complex and exciting. The setting, being a historical, shows a lot of research was done and appears very accurate. The characters behave appropriately for the time period. KJ's writing style is very good. The prose flows seamlessly, the dialogue is great too.

One of the best books I've read recently. The plot and characters held me captive until the early hours of the morning.



b. Goblins by Melanie Tushmore
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (September 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162004238X
ISBN-13: 978-1620042380
Amazon: Goblins, Book One
Amazon Kindle: Goblins, Book One

This story was an absolute delight from start to finish. Everything I could want in a light fantasy story was present, as well as everything I could want in a single author anthology. Love, adventure, ease of readability... Not once did the author throw me out of the story. I expect a lot from a story before I can give a perfect score... Goblins hit all the high notes, and earned a perfect score from me.

Melanie Tushmore is one of those authors who create people who love to read. Her engaging style, superlative use of language, and sheer mastery of the art of writing are what I hope for whenever I open one of the stories I read for the Rainbow Awards. Her characters are memorable, her writing is flawless, and her stories are riveting. I’ll be putting Melanie Tushmore on my auto-buy list, and adding her publishing house for this amazing fantasy story to my list of favorites.

It's a fun and interesting world the author has created. Rarely are the more evil or dark people the focus of the relationships, and it's nice to see something fresh like that. The almost Stockholm syndrome tone of the first story was interesting, not badly handled, just not something you seem too often. It had a very nice ending for sure. I really enjoyed the descriptions of how the goblins used everyday items, fire flies in cob webs and such.




Runners Up:
2. Reawakening by Amy Rae Durreson
3. (tie)
a. The Calm Before by Neena Jaydon
b. Of Last Resort by Megan Derr
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And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. The Gentleman’s Madness by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (December 31, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: The Gentleman’s Madness

I really enjoyed this story about hope even in the most heartbreaking of circumstances, of love being able to find one even when the world says it's wrong or even when they feel incarcerated or hampered by their surroundings. The characters of John Gilliam and Sam Tully were both like a pair of sweet onions, capable of making the reader cry as they pulled back more layers and learned more about them, cutting and delving into their inner souls.



Runners Up:
2. Randy by Jane Elliot
3. (tie)
a. Happy Independence Day by Michael Rupured
b. The Music Teacher by Bob Sennett
4. Turnbull House by Jess Faraday
5. The Gentleman’s Keeper by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Think of England by KJ Charles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (July 1, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Think of England

My only complaint has to do with the climactic shootout scene at the folly. It struck me as cheesy and something of a copout. A resolution based on wit rather than weaponry would’ve been more appropriate, I believe, because the MCs and their female helpers had previously shown such ingenuity. Not overly detailed (a good thing; excruciating descriptions can be tedious and distracting), yet sketched in so deftly, I could picture every location.

K.J. Charles is a very talented writer. You are drawn into her books so easily and you can picture everything in your mind like a movie. Great supporting characters. The plot flowed smoothly and had just enough description (of characters, setting, etc.) without overwhelming the reader with the unnecessary details.

This classic story of opposites meeting, clashing and ultimately attracting - amid a dark atmosphere of political intrigue and base greed - has been one of my favorite reads of the year. Archie Curtis, an Englishman with a capital "E", is a forthright man of action - who, by his own admission, has very little imagination - and he dislikes Daniel da Silva on sight. And why not? After all, da Silva is his polar opposite: clever, imaginative, sharp-tongued and terribly, terribly effete.

Very captivating book – history, mystery and, of course – love. It was hard to put it down. The house with its mysterious passages... so there was plot, apart from the love story. I miss it in some of the M/M books.

Drama, intrigue, fantastic characters and a very deft and capable hand with setting left me feeling like I didn’t want to leave this world behind, so I read the story again. There is literally nothing not to like about this story, no place where it fell down, nothing that disappointed. There’s sex, romance, mystery, atmosphere, historical accuracy…read this. You don’t have to love historicals to love this book.




Runners Up:
2. Tournament of Shadows by S.A. Meade
3. Forever Hold His Peace by Rebecca Cohen
4. Dance of Stone by Jay Lewis Taylor
5. The Dead Past by Kate Aaron
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And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Corruption by Eden Winters
Series: Diversion
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books; 1 edition (October 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626220050
ISBN-13: 978-1626220058
Amazon: Corruption (Diversion)
Amazon Kindle: Corruption (Diversion)

These two men continue to be an interesting, hot, and unique couple. This book has to be read in series order, but the first two books are also very worth reading - fans of sexy, complex men, and romance with a well-developed law-enforcement plot will want to start at the beginning. There is more relationship depth and development in this book, and some new facets of both men are revealed.

Bo was given the undercover assignment of going deep into a drug running biker gang. Lucky had to stand on the sidelines and watch the man he loves go it alone. He had every confidence in Bo’s abilities, but the total lack of control was enough to drive him crazy with worry. The investigation itself was compelling. I really got into it in a way I haven’t in the past books. Corruption is a perfect mix of investigation, adventure, romance, and hot sex. I loved this book!

I loved this installment of the Diversion series. Lucky and Bo are really interesting, multi-layered characters and the well-written, suspense-filled plot kept me glued to the story till the very end. I can't wait for book 4.

The story isn't entirely self-contained, since this is a serial book, but the plot builds logically, without any breaks or lose threads. And yet, there's enough tension left to carry over into the next book. Also, the unique subject matter makes this book interesting; I learned a lot while reading and still never felt overwhelmed with details. The pacing is just right, not too fast, not too slow; sex scenes are erotic without sounding either too porn or too flowery.

Part three - recharged. New crimes, new identities, new development in the relationship between Lucky and Bo: closer, harder, and more dangerous than before. Could Lucky allow Bo to breach the iron wall and build their happily ever after together? It was a really fun read. Thank you!




Runners Up:
2. Home The Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield
3. Relief Valve by JL Merrow
4. Pawn of Satan by Mark Zubro
5. The Next by Rafe Haze
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. (tie)
a.
Monsters Under the Bed (Lifting the Veil) by Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (October 22, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Monsters Under the Bed (Lifting the Veil)

Short and sweet story. Mystical beings are human too, at least in their souls. They leave among us and bring magic to everyday life and even ones dreams.

I've been enjoying this series and this book is a great addition. The story was well written While the mystery aspects of the story is not really very mysterious it does not detract from the story and the great characters.

Although this was book 4 in a series I have not read, it was fairly easy to pick up on what had gone before. Engaging; humorous at times; good use of description of setting and emotions. Sex scenes realistic and relevant. The description and atmosphere of the murder victim's run down mansion, was particularly good. I could visualise the rooms and grounds completely. Oh, I really liked the main character. Being told in first person, he leapt off the page with his humour and narrative.



b. Wide Asleep (Tales from Ballena Beach Book 3) by Nick Nolan
Series: Tales from Ballena Beach Book 3 (Book 3)
Paperback: 407 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (February 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1477817972
ISBN-13: 978-1477817971
Amazon: Wide Asleep (Tales from Ballena Beach Book 3)
Amazon Kindle: Wide Asleep (Tales from Ballena Beach Book 3)

In terms of plot, this one was all over the place, but in a good way. It pulled in bits and pieces of several genres to freshen up some classic tropes from sci-fi and romance. I was thoroughly engaged by the characters and the story.

This is my first book by Mr. Nolan and it grabbed my attention from the first page. I loved the little twists and turns the story took and could not wait to see what would happen next.

Beautifully researched in all aspects, tight plotting, satisfying ending... this book is simply terrific. I'm getting tired of stories where everyone is wealthy, but even that works given the backstory.



Runners Up:
2. Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain
3. In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.
4. Hell & High Water (THIRDS, Book #1) by Charlie Cochet
5. Motel. Pool. by Kim Fielding
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Merry Gentlemen by Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (November 12, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Merry Gentlemen

I was very impressed with this book. I enjoyed the author's sense of humor and the way she drew you into the lives of these two men who were clearly destined for each other. Good conflict, resolution, and banding with the local wildlife.

I just love Josephine Myles' characters. They are always so well written and easy to fall in love with. Merry Gentlemen was no exception. Loved the humor in the story as well.



Runners Up:
2. Caught! by JL Merrow
3. Shiny! by Amy Lane
4. The Ghost Slept Over by Marshall Thornton
5. On Archimedes Street by Jefferson Parrish
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Rarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (January 24, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608209199
ISBN-13: 978-1608209194
Amazon: Rarely Pure and Never Simple
Amazon Kindle: Rarely Pure and Never Simple

This book was a delight to read. Ms Martinez has an extraordinary ability to bring the reader into the story and become a part of it. These two men, although imperfect, are perfect together, even though Damien just wants to be left alone. He doesn't think he deserves to have a lover because of who/what he is. Then there is Blaze. A tough, 'I don't give a damn' sort of man who, after meeting Damien, all he wants is to protect the more fragile man.

Gorgeous story I was reading for the 3rd time. It didn't matter a bit. The plot is tense, the characters well built up throughout until you really know them by the end. The romance is achingly lovely without being mushy for a single moment. These are real people. The world building is perfect - a logical premise, a believable response to Variants with in the population. Angel's writing style is likewise impossible to fault.

Not particularly complicated in terms of plot but well constructed and solid. A solid alt universe setting with intriguing possibilities – would definitely like to read more stories set here. The characters really make this one come alive, well developed and sympathetic, their romance feeling like a very natural and realistic progression of their relationship. Engaging, witty, would definitely like to read more from this author.



Runners Up:
2. Light by Nathan Burgoine
3. Piper by Leona Carver
4. Strain by Amelia C. Gormley
5. Rangers Over Regulus by Alex Powell
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162778036X
ISBN-13: 978-1627780360
Amazon : Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East
Amazon Kindle: Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East

Gaysia is skillfully written, has quite a bit of humor along the way, and gives the reader a glimpse into what it means to be gay in China, Japan, Malaysia, and other Asian countries. (Some chapters are more interesting than others, but I’d give the writer high marks for tackling a difficult subject in a unique way.) Enjoyable read if a bit repetitious.

Read it. Admire it. Would give it full marks. I very much appreciate Mr. Law is NOT a predator but a serious, sensitive journalist. I say BRAVO!

For anyone interested in the Asian LGBT culture this books is a must. I've read some people refer to it as a travelog and funny. Well, in a way, yes, it's a good travelog but to me, been that I've never been interested to visit that part of the country, it's more of an informational book, something that should be learned in school. The stories held within its pages are at times funny, or at least it makes you laugh a couple of times, but the rest? The rest, in my opinion is simply somber.

I would award more points if I could. To be honest, this book vastly outshines all the other finalists in this category. More a combination travelogue / cultural study than memoir, this enlightening work should be read by every GLBT rights advocate in the world. I applaud the author for undertaking such an ambitious (and often unpleasant) project and for presenting his findings with sensitivity and casual grace. Gaysia doesn’t read like a dry academic paper.

An interesting and clear-eyed look at a variety of cultures, that certainly helps me appreciate how very far my own culture has come.

I was really blown away by this book. Having lived and traveled around Asia for five years, many of Benjamin Law’s observations hit home for me. Not being a gay man, I was treated to seeing the same things from an entirely different perspective. Sex is a huge aspect of Asia, and Ben explores that with in-depth discussions with sex workers, tourists, locals, and then provides an accurate and colorful picture of what it’s like to be gay in Asia, and how it varies widely from country to country.




Runners Up:
2. The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton
3. Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C.
4. Silent by Sara Alva
5. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
6. Think of England by KJ Charles
7. (tie)
a. Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
b. Takedown by Cat Grant
8. Beards, an Unshaved History by Kevin Clarke
9. Corruption by Eden Winters
10. Cub by Jeff Mann
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
More than 520 books, almost 170 judges, all over the world, and many, many submissions, from indie publishers, from mainstream publishers and a lot of self-published authors. And, to me more important of everything, we raised almost 11500 dollars donated to LGBT charities:

TOTAL: 11478$ )

First of all a big thank to all the judges who helped me to arrive to this result: )

And as always a big thank you to the Publishers which allow me and the judges to have all the books for the reading phase: )

And now what all you are waiting, the 2014 Rainbow Awards. And the awards go to:


"Rainbow Pride Cheesecake" is the official pin-up boy of the Rainbow Awards especially created by Paul Richmond

Best LGBT COVER
DESIGN:
1. The Tin Box (Anne Cain)
Runners Up:
2. Omorphi (Reese Dante)
3. Love Lessons (Kanaxa)
4. Stitch (Eli Easton)
5. The House on Hancock Hill (Brooke Albrecht)
ILLUSTRATION:
1. Splinters (Thorny Sterling)
Runners Up:
2. London Calling (Kevin Pruitt)
3. Balefire (TreeHouse Studio)
4. That Certain Something (Fereday Design)
5. Bitter Waters (Elizabeth Leggett)

Best LGBT Anthology / Collection
1. Playing Ball by Shae Connor, Kate McMurray, Kerry Freeman & Marguerite Labbe
Runners Up:
2. Rainbow Briefs by Kira Harp
3. Secrets of Neverwood by G.B. Lindsey, Diana Copland & Libby Drew
4. Stitch by Eli Easton, Sue Brown, Jamie Fessenden & Kim Fielding
5. All you can Eat, A Buffet of Lesbian Erotica and Romance by R.G. Emanuelle & Andi Marquette

Best LGBT Erotica
1. Breaking Free by Cat Grant
Runners Up:
2. At Her Feet by Rebekah Weatherspoon
3. Games Boys Play by Zoe X. Rider
4. Into The Fire by Lori Toland
5. Incubus Tales by Hushicho

Best LGBT Poetry
1. Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, an anthology by Ron J. Suresha
Runners Up:
2. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
3. Souvenir Boys by David-Matthew Barnes

Best LGBT Visual Arts & Photography
1. Beards, an Unshaved History by Kevin Clarke
Runners Up:
2. A Thing of Beauty by Jake Jaxson & RJ Sebastian
3. dr.a.g. by Christopher Logan

Best Bisexual Debut
1. Slide by Garrett Leigh
Runners Up:
2. Demons Within, For Love of Authority 1, by Rhiannon Ayers
3. Beyond Cutting by Vicki Clifford

Best Bisexual General Fiction
1. Alpha Trine by Lexi Ander
Runners Up:
2. Cythera by Jo Graham
3. The River Within by Baxter Clare Trautman
4. The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj
5. Best Bi Short Stories by Sheela Lambert

Best Bisexual Romance
1. Stuff by Josephine Myles
Runners Up:
2. Slide by Garrett Leigh
3. Fusion, North Star trilogy 2, by Posy Roberts
4. Rocky Mountain Freedom by Vivian Arend
5. Capricious by Julie Cox

Best Bisexual Book
1. Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, an anthology by Ron J. Suresha
Runners Up:
2. Alpha Trine by Lexi Ander
3. Cythera by Jo Graham
4. Stuff by Josephine Myles
5. Slide by Garrett Leigh

Best Transgender Debut
1. If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Runners Up:
2. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot
3. An Unspoken Compromise by Rizi Xavier Timane

Best Transgender Fiction
1. If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Runners Up:
2. Beloved Pilgrim by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
3. Cevin’s Deadly Sin by Sally Bosco
4. His Fair Lady by Kimberly Gardner
5. Collected by Solar Harris

Best Transgender Non Fiction
1. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot
Runners Up:
2. Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders by Diane & Jacob Anderson-Minshall
3. An Unspoken Compromise by Rizi Xavier Timane

Best Transgender Book
1. If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Runners Up:
2. Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot
3. Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders by Diane & Jacob Anderson-Minshall
4. Beloved Pilgrim by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
5. Cevin’s Deadly Sin by Sally Bosco

Best Lesbian Debut
1. Loved and Lost by Stephanie Kusiak
Runners Up:
2. Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett
3. Like Jazz by Heather Blackmore
4. Let the Lover Be by Sheree L. Greer
5. Exception to the Rule by Cindy Rizzo

Best Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
1. Rest Home Runaways by Clifford Henderson
Runners Up:
2. What Matter Wounds by Geonn Cannon
3. Let the Lover Be by Sheree L. Greer
4. Ebenezer by JoSelle Vanderhooft
5. Hoosier Daddy by Ann McMan & Salem West

Best Lesbian Contemporary & Erotic Romance
1. Camellia by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.
Runners Up:
2. Departure from the Script by Jae
3. (tie)
a. Loved and Lost by Stephanie Kusiak
b. No Boundaries by Donna K. Ford
4. (tie)
a. Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall
b. She Sings of Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things by Caren J. Werlinger
5. Like Jazz by Heather Blackmore

Best Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic & Fantasy
1. Dogs of War by Geonn Cannon
Runners Up:
2. Wolf’s Eyes, Amendyr Series 2, by Rae D. Magdon
3. The Empath by Jody Klaire
4. Chronicles of Osota - Warrior by Michelle Magly
5. Dark Horizons by Rae D. Magdon & Michelle Magly

Best Lesbian Fantasy Romance
1. A Kingdom Lost by Barbara Ann Wright
Runners Up:
2. Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones
3. The Only Way by Jamie Sullivan

Best Lesbian Historical Fiction & Romance
1. Waiting for the Violins by Justine Saracen
Runners Up:
2. Club Storyville by Riley LaShea
3. Murder and the Hurdy Gurdy Girl by Kate McLachlan
4. Fervent Charity by Paulette Callen
5. Agnes by Jaime Maddox

Best Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
1. Season of the Wolf by Robin Summers
Runners Up:
2. Rapture, Sins of the Sinners by Fran Heckrotte & A.C. Henley
3. Tumbledown by Cari Hunter
4. Girls Don't Hit by Geonn Cannon
5. Killing Rosa by Lynn Kear

The Cate Culpepper Award for Best Lesbian Paranormal Romance
1. Windigo Thrall by Cate Culpepper
Runners Up:
2. True Nature by Jae
3. Return of an Impetuous Pilot by Kate McLachlan
4. Vermilion Justice by Sheri Lewis Wohl
5. If I Die Before I Wake by Liz McMullen

Best Lesbian Romantic Comedy
1. Eight Dates by Lori L. Lake
Runners Up:
2. Out Of Retirement by Erica Lawson
3. That Certain Something by Clare Ashton

Best Lesbian Book
1. The End of Eve by Ariel Gore
Runners Up:
2. Waiting for the Violins by Justine Saracen
3. (tie)
a. Club Storyville by Riley LaShea
b. Camellia by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.
4. Rest Home Runaways by Clifford Henderson
5. Time Fries! Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach by Fay Jacobs
6. Season of the Wolf by Robin Summers
7. Rapture, Sins of the Sinners by Fran Heckrotte & A.C. Henley
8. Departure from the Script by Jae
9. (tie)
a. Loved and Lost by Stephanie Kusiak
b. No Boundaries by Donna K. Ford
10. Eight Dates by Lori L. Lake

Best Gay & Lesbian Young Adult
1. Silent by Sara Alva
Runners Up:
2. (tie)
a. This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
b. Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick
3. (tie)
a. The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick
b. Vivaldi in the Dark by Matthew J. Metzger
4. Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett
5. (tie)
a. Us Three by Mia Kerick
b. Omorphi by C. Kennedy
c. Red Devil by Kyell Gold

Best Gay & Lesbian Non Fiction
1. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
Runners Up:
2. The End of Eve by Ariel Gore
3. Time Fries! Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach by Fay Jacobs
4. True Stories Too: People and Places From My Past by Felice Picano
5. Lesbian Marriage: A Love & Sex Forever Kit by Kim Chernin & Renate Stendhal

Best Gay Debut
1. This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
Runners Up:
2. Light by Nathan Burgoine
3. The Next by Rafe Haze
4. (tie)
a. dr.a.g. by Christopher Logan
b. Piper by Leona Carver
5. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction
1. Sex & Sourdough by A.J. Thomas
Runners Up:
2. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
3. My Favorite Uncle by Marshall Thornton
4. I Loved You More by Tom Spanbauer
5. (tie)
a. Stronger Than This by David-Matthew Barnes
b. First Exposure by Alan Chin

The William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance
1. The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton
Runners Up:
2. Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C.
3. (tie)
a. Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
b. Takedown by Cat Grant
4. Cub by Jeff Mann
5. Behind the Curtain by Amy Lane
6. Ethan in Gold by Amy Lane
7. The Last Thing He Needs by J.H. Knight
8. Message of Love by Jim Provenzano
9. Unbroken by Larry Benjamin
10. The Silence of the Stars by Kate McMurray

The Bobby Michaels Award for Best Gay Erotic Romance
1. (tie)
a. Trusting Thomas by K.C. Wells
b. A Little Too Broken by Brad Vance
Runners Up:
2. Love and Salvage: Loving Emmett by Mathew Ortiz
3. (tie)
a. A Place for Cliff by Talon ps
b. The House on Hancock Hill by Indra Vaughn
c. It's Like This by Anne O'Gleadra
4. (tie)
a. More Than Everything by Cardeno C.
b. Splinters by Thorny Sterling
5. Gin & Jazz 1- 4 by Morticia Knight

Best Gay Fantasy
1. Rising Frenzy, Men of Myth 2 by Brandon Witt
Runners Up:
2. Shirewode by J Tullos Hennig
3. Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde
4. Mercy's Prisoner, Life Prison 1, by Dusk Peterson
5. Night Creatures by Jeremy Jordan King

Best Gay Fantasy Romance
1. (tie)
a. A Case of Possession by KJ Charles
b. Goblins by Melanie Tushmore
Runners Up:
2. Reawakening by Amy Rae Durreson
3. (tie)
a. The Calm Before by Neena Jaydon
b. Of Last Resort by Megan Derr

Best Gay Historical
1. The Gentleman’s Madness by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon
Runners Up:
2. Randy by Jane Elliot
3. (tie)
a. Happy Independence Day by Michael Rupured
b. The Music Teacher by Bob Sennett
4. Turnbull House by Jess Faraday
5. The Gentleman’s Keeper by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

Best Gay Historical Romance
1. Think of England by KJ Charles
Runners Up:
2. Tournament of Shadows by S.A. Meade
3. Forever Hold His Peace by Rebecca Cohen
4. Dance of Stone by Jay Lewis Taylor
5. The Dead Past by Kate Aaron

Best Gay Mystery / Thriller
1. Corruption by Eden Winters
Runners Up:
2. Home The Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield
3. Relief Valve by JL Merrow
4. Pawn of Satan by Mark Zubro
5. The Next by Rafe Haze

Best Gay Paranormal Romance
1. (tie)
a. Monsters Under the Bed by Susan Laine
b. Wide Asleep by Nick Nolan
Runners Up:
2. Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain
3. In Your Eyes by Cardeno C.
4. Hell & High Water (THIRDS, Book #1) by Charlie Cochet
5. Motel. Pool. by Kim Fielding

Best Gay Romantic Comedy
1. Merry Gentlemen by Josephine Myles
Runners Up:
2. Caught! by JL Merrow
3. Shiny! by Amy Lane
4. The Ghost Slept Over by Marshall Thornton
5. On Archimedes Street by Jefferson Parrish

Best Gay Sci-Fi / Futuristic
1. Rarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez
Runners Up:
2. Light by Nathan Burgoine
3. Piper by Leona Carver
4. Strain by Amelia C. Gormley
5. Rangers Over Regulus by Alex Powell

Best Gay Book
1. Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law
Runners Up:
2. The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton
3. Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C.
4. Silent by Sara Alva
5. Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
6. Think of England by KJ Charles
7. (tie)
a. Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
b. Takedown by Cat Grant
8. Beards, an Unshaved History by Kevin Clarke
9. Corruption by Eden Winters
10. Cub by Jeff Mann

To celebrate the 2014 Rainbow Awards: )

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