Oct. 4th, 2016

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1) I liked this book. The writing is concise; the dialogue reveals character issues, conflict and depth; and the main characters are likeable. There is sufficient conflict here that you want to find out what happens. Great YA book I would recommend to any young person who is interested in reading a book of teens set in the UK and where the teens encounter homophobia.

2) The most important thing I can say is that this is NOT YA. I have two queer teenage children and would not want them to read this book, nor would I recommend it for any impressionable young queer person. However, as an adult queer person, I found this book to be a gripping read. It's an amazing snapshot of two gay boys in love in Northern England, complete with massive character failings, rampant misogyny, and a lot of internalized homophobia that is never resolved quite as well as the boys (and perhaps the author) imagine. There's a domestic violence incident between the two boys that horrified me, and there were scenes that made me cry helplessly, but it was written beautifully and told so honestly that I couldn't put it down, even when the repeated use of slurs and other ugly content made me flinch. Highest marks for truly excellent writing, but I have to give it this caveat lest well-intentioned librarians or parents looking for material for their teens take my Honorable Mention as an endorsement of it as Young Adult-appropriate.

The Italian Word for Kisses by Matthew J. Metzger
Gay Young Adult
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 22, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1518803229
ISBN-13: 978-1518803222
Amazon: The Italian Word for Kisses
Amazon Kindle: The Italian Word for Kisses

It’s no secret Tav and Luca are going out. After the accident, it’s also no secret that new kid Jack Collins has a raging case of homophobia, and is not best pleased about having given the kiss of life to a gay guy. Either Luca quits swimming, or Jack is going to make him.

Tav favours the tried-and-true method of knocking Jack’s teeth down his neck, only he can’t really afford another school suspension. Luca favours just ignoring him, only ignoring a penknife being held to your throat at New Year’s Eve is downright stupid.

Thing is, Luca suspects Jack is a victim of something himself. And time is running out for Luca to get through to Jack, before Jack gets rid of him.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Interesting and suspenseful but convoluted. The characters are interesting and varied, even though they are fairly typical of m/m romance. The witty dialogue and extensive use of Gaelic with translations is very well-done. For the SIXTH volume in a series about characters with paranormal powers and cultural traditions, this novel is quite comprehensible.

Mantled in Mist (SoulShares #6) by Rory Ni Coileain
Gay Fantasy Romance
Series: SoulShares
Paperback: 334 pages
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books (January 27, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626012490
ISBN-13: 978-1626012493
Amazon: Mantled in Mist (SoulShares #6)
Amazon Kindle: Mantled in Mist (SoulShares #6)

In the sixth novel in the Rainbow Award-nominated paranormal M/M SoulShares series, Fiachra Dubhdara is a Fae living a stolen life, in a body that isn’t his own. He’s also the most junior detective on the D.C. Vice squad, assigned the task of infiltrating and shutting down Tiernan Guaire’s Purgatory. Peri Katsura is the newest and hottest masseur at Lochlann Doran’s Big Boy Massage, inexplicably drawn to the gorgeous cop assigned to bust him but needing to hide a dark secret of his own. And the owner of Fiachra’s body has a plan to get it back – a plan that may cost Fiachra his SoulShare and close the doors of Purgatory forever. Unless the Marfach gets there first…

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Cari Z has a great take on superheroes and supervillains. Wonderfully crafted characters, wit, anger, fun, and romance. Cari Z captures the right blend of elements and great dialogue between heroes and villains, all set against a backdrop of wonderful world-building. An incredibly entertaining read.

Where There's A Will (Panopolis #3) by Cari Z.
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Series: Panopolis
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (January 18, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626494061
ISBN-13: 978-1626494060
Amazon: Where There's A Will (Panopolis #3)
Amazon Kindle: Where There's A Will (Panopolis #3)

Being a Hero in Panopolis means living the high life: parties, money, influence, even reality television. And I’m one of the most powerful Heroes in the city. I have plenty of fans, a manager who looks out for me (after himself), and a job that pays the bills. I should be enjoying myself.

Unfortunately, the downside of my superpower means I can’t touch anyone, which tends to puts a damper on things. I probably don’t deserve all those perks anyway, since I’m working in secret with two of Panopolis’s biggest villains to undermine GenCorp—my main sponsor and the company that controls what gets through my force field.

I obviously don’t trust my corporate overseers, but they’ve hired a new scientist who actually seems interested in helping me. Dr. Mansourian might have the answers to all my questions—not to mention a starring role in most of my dreams—but he’s hiding something big. If I let him have what he wants, I might not live to regret it.

Then again, the way things are going in Panopolis these days, I might not live either way.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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1) A compelling, well-crafted, well-written book. The author has a true gift for story-telling, making the most seemingly everyday occurences into this smooth flow you don't want to get out of - and you notice only in hindsight that what seemed mundane was actually the author sneakily weaving her plot. And when the occurences are not everyday? It's breathtaking, literally, and you have to applaud a writer you can do action and urgency just as well as despair and despondency. And on top of that: beautiful, complex, multi-faceted charaters, each carrying his or her own story and secrets, some of which are revealed, some of which are only hinted at. Marvellous and fascinating and utterly brilliant. You could say I enjoyed this book - despite the warnings it came with - and you would not be wrong. (It really was that good).

2) I found my self totally immersed in this very different story of the sea and the creatures that live in the deep. Intense at times, bizarre yet imaginative beyond anything I have read recently.

Tempest by Cari Z.
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619234262
ISBN-13: 978-1619234260
Amazon: Tempest
Amazon Kindle: Tempest

Love can change a soul. But can it save one life?

Colm Weathercliff is a simple fisherman with an uncanny-some might say preternatural-knack for his trade. He thought leaving his small village to take his father's ashes to the capital city of Caithmor for a proper burial would be the grandest adventure of his life.

At first, all his hopes seem to be fulfilled. He finds a home where he's accepted without question, the freedom to use his talent to its fullest effect, and love with Nichol, a man with a longing for the sea as powerful as Colm's.

But Caithmor holds as many dangers as it does attractions. Colm's greatest secret turns out to be a dark revelation that gets him and his family shunned-and changes everything he thought he knew about himself.

The truth-about his parentage, his gift, even his physical form-could poison his chance for love. And doom both him and Nichol to a gruesome, inescapable fate.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html
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Meeting Readers Is the Best Part of Gay Rom Lit

Hi, I’m Cody Kennedy, and I’m getting ready for Gay Rom Lit Retreat! This will be my second time attending GRL and I am very excited! A very special thanks to Elisa Rolle for supporting Gay Rom Lit, our books, and, of course, the incredible feat of the Rainbow Awards!

My favorite part of GRL is spending time with readers. The love, laughter, and warmth shared with readers is the very essence of living life to the fullest. I met the most awesome readers in the world last year and I look forward to seeing you again and meeting new readers this year!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my books and me, here is a little about me:

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

ALL.OF.IT.IS.TRUE. One thing the above short bio doesn’t tell you is that I am old! Yes! It’s true! I’ll likely be the eldest author at GRL—is there an award for that?—and I write for the youngest crowd. I write for young adults, yet my stories deal with the very real adult problems our youth deal with today. Rebel that I am, my books also contain inference of violence, inference of sex, and music. I score my books. Please do not mock me. It’s a plight. Here is the music playlist for my newest novel, Thárros.



(if embedding is not working here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8JxfOJoPg&list=PLEbLIyCiBFQ3cCFcYUTcR0uFDmg4xo05-)



Raised in Hollywood, I spent way too much time on film sets growing up, but it gave me a unique perspective on storytelling. You’ll find more dialogue and action in my books than narrative. I also like to give readers a thrill. You’ll find twists and turns in my stories, the periodic Boo!, and at least one ‘are you freakin’ kidding me?’ moment. I have a wild imagination and look to bring imagination to life and give readers the best possible reading experience. You’ll also find three other things in my books. Romance, hope, and a happily ever after.

Without readers, we authors are nothing. Thank you for reading our books and I can’t wait to meet you at Gay Rom Lit!

Stop by my Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind.
Find me on Facebook, Twitter @CodyKAuthor, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, Ello, Goodreads, Medium, and read my free serial story, Fairy

P.S. I also write books for adults as Aisling Mancy and Heartifact will release on Thanksgiving Day! Check it out!

Here’s a little about my latest novel, Tharros! Elpida, book 3 in the series, will be out June, 2017!

Θάρρος
Thárros. Greek. Meaning courage
Courage. n. /ˈkərij/
1. The ability to do something that frightens one.
2. Strength in the face of fear, pain, or grief.

Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear,
not the absence of fear. ~Mark Twain

Tharros (Elpida) by C Kennedy
Series: Elpida (Book 2)
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (April 14, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634768957
ISBN-13: 978-1634768955
Amazon: Tharros (Elpida)
Amazon Kindle: Tharros (Elpida)

High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. Almost. He has great friends, parents who love him just the way he is, and he was a champion hurdler until someone took out his knee when they kidnapped his boyfriend. Yet, Michael is determined to make the USATF tryouts in spite of his injuries.

Christy Castle is Michael’s entire world. Healing from years of abuse, his abduction by a predator has left him hiding a new secret as he tries to start his life again. Together, Michael and Christy work to recover from their wounds in time to make prom and graduate high school. To complicate matters, Christy is astonished to learn a fellow victim from his native Greece has survived. Christy will stop at nothing to bring him to the US to keep him safe.

But the prosecution of Christy’s kidnapper looms large in their futures and the struggle to return to normal only worsens. Christy's past continues to haunt them and, when the prosecution turns ugly and Christy’s new life is torn apart, only their unrelenting courage and determination can save them from the nightmare that threatens to destroy their future together. Read Chapter One of Thárros!

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