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2017-10-22 06:26 pm

2017 GRL convention... restoring my faith in the LGBT community

So yes, for once I want to write something out of my live and let live policy... but in the end is not so far. And be aware, this is a looong post. Before coming to this year GRL 2017, my 7th (they told me I'm among the more or less 20 people that joined all the GRLs so far), I was of the idea that this one was to be the last one. I did not enjoy much Kansas City, maybe it was me and not the convention, maybe it was the fact it happened few days after I was grilled and served to the social media, with my life questioned and the Rainbow Awards demoted, but yes, that did not pass unnoticed to me, and left scars. So I was not in the better disposition for this year convention. And as soon as I arrived, I read posts about how people were complaining due to the inclusion of erotica, BDSM and other hard core elements in the convention... Now, I'm the first to say BDSM is not my cup of tea, that I do not read erotica cause, I already skip the sex scenes from my romance books, if I read an erotica, it would be basically skipping half if not more of the book, but hey guys and girls, do you know the concept of "inclusion"? is a very nice concept, and if you grilled me since I was not including the Asexual in an LGBT award (that now is actually LGBTA), more or less the same people should not complain if erotica or BDSM or pornography is included as well. Inclusion is not written with an "except" notice at the end. Inclusion is all or nothing. And now I want to tell you my personal experience and the reason why I consider this GRL a nice experience that I will remember fondly. I usually skip the thursday night event, that is usually a naughty party. The first year in New Orleans I spent all the night talking outside in the balcony with someone while inside they told me were happening the most naughy things. This year, from the description of the event, I wasn't expecting anything different, but I happened to be curious since one of the panelists, R.j. Sebastian​, had a connection with a friend of mine, Jesse Archer​, and also since he was in a long-term relationship with his husband, Jake Jaxson​, and having written a book about long-term LGBT couples, of course it was something that picked my interest. Tell you the truth, I did know what Cocky Boys are about (A Thing of Beauty won 2nd place in the Visual Artist category of the Rainbow Awards 3 years ago) but I had never seen one of the movies. Read above, I skip the sex scenes in the books, can you imagine that maybe I'm not really interested in porn, BUT I do like the aesthetic of nudity if it's well done. So I went, but I told my mom, who was at the GRL with me, better if you stay in the room. And my idea was to just have a feeling of the situation and if I did not like it, to just go back to my room. First surprise: the panel room was nicely set up, with totally innocent pins on the tables (so innocent that my mom used them the day after, and my mom is 75 years old...) and some red and blue decorations, red and blues ballons and just one big poster with the name Cocky Boys and nothing else. Susan Lee​ acted as moderator (very good job) and she first interviewed R.J. and Jake, and it was all about how they met, how they started to do pornography, the quality they wanted to achieve in what they do. The first thing you noticed was how humble they were, not cocky at all, and even a little shy. Then three of their actors joined the panel, and yes, they were all good looking boys, toned and sculpted, maybe yes, they were more cockys, but they talked about their families, their motivations in doing this job, and also how you can meet your love interest while doing it. After the panel the night was to continue with dance and music, but first R.J. Sebastian offered to take pictures with the three boys... poor guys I'm not sure they realized what was expecting them: a huge line of people so long that it took all the time they had, up until 1 am to finish. And I remained until the end since I wanted to see if they really were to take all those pictures (mind you, for free) and yes, they did. It was clear they were tired but no one was rejected and each single photo was staged and time was spent to make the one asking for a photo feeling welcomed. So yes, after a specific treatment I received from part of the "inclusive" LGBT community, it restored a little bit of my faith in the above mentioned community to see that indeed, there are (still) really good people. And maybe, after all, I will check out what these Cocky Boys are about... if I was not a fan/subscriber before, I maybe be today, and I'm sure many other in the panel will do the same.
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2017-10-10 07:47 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Rainey with a Chance of Hale (A Rainey Bell Thriller #6)

1) Fast paced thriller. Even though this is part of a series it is written so that you didn't need to read the others before this one.  Extremely well developed characters and the reader is kept guessing through the whole story.  
2) Setting was always vivid and fit the story line. Quality of writing was good, spare, left something to the imagination of the reader, with good dialog. A few minor editing flaws, but on the whole a good surprise for a self-published book.
3) This is a well-paced, crisp story that follows through with what it promises to the reader. It's a strong example of its genre.

Rainey with a Chance of Hale (A Rainey Bell Thriller #6) R.E. Bradshaw
Lesbian - Mystery / Thriller
Series: A Rainey Bell Thriller
Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: R. E. Bradshaw Books (July 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998954926
ISBN-13: 978-0998954929
Amazon: Rainey with a Chance of Hale (A Rainey Bell Thriller #6) R.E. Bradshaw

Rainey Bell, a former FBI Behavioral Analyst, has had a couple of quiet years since her last brush with death. Her old teammate with the BAU and her children's Godfather, Danny McNally, pays a visit to North Carolina from Quantico to escort Rainey into the Butner Federal Correctional Complex. Rainey made a promise almost twenty years ago to a distraught mother of a missing child. The opportunity to fulfill that pledge, one she should never have made, presents itself in the form of Chance Obadiah Hale. The teenager Rainey believed responsible for Alyson Grayson's disappearance was now a man in prison who wanted to talk, but only to Rainey. Can Rainey and Danny finally get to the truth about Alyson and Chance? Or will Rainey's stubborn belief in his guilt put everyone she loves in mortal danger? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Who will be the first to go?
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2017-10-10 07:45 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Planning for Love Erin Dutton

1)Another well written romance by the author.  Story flowed effortlessly and enjoyed both Rachel and Faith. Interesting story arc.

Planning for Love Erin Dutton
Lesbian - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626399549
ISBN-13: 978-1626399549
Amazon: Planning for Love Erin Dutton

Wedding coordinator Faith McKenna doesn’t believe in the happily-ever-after that she promises her clients. So she has no qualms about giving a few brides one last fling on the side before they commit for life.

When maid of honor Rachel Union catches her best friend fooling around with the wedding coordinator before her wedding day, she swears she’ll out Faith to everyone if the bride doesn’t make it down the aisle. Against her better judgment, Rachel agrees not to tell the groom, but she vows to keep a close eye on Faith until after the big day. But spending time with Faith challenges Rachel’s opinion of her as shallow and opportunistic.
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2017-10-10 07:42 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Amy L. Stone Cornyation

1)This was a non-fiction work that documented the history, rise and influence of Cornyation Fiesta, an event that takes place in San Antonio. The book highlights the great aspects of the show: that is part satire, part vaudeville, part drag show, and lots of entertainment, woven with history. It has struggled to become accepted and by becoming involved in the AIDS crisis, has developed into a great organization.

Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition
LGBT - Non Fiction
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: Maverick Books (April 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159534800X
ISBN-13: 978-1595348005
Amazon: Amy L. Stone Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition

Fiesta San Antonio began in 1891 began as a parade in honor of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto and has evolved into an annual Mardi Gras-like festival attended by four million with more than 100 cultural events raising money for nonprofit organizations in San Antonio, Texas.
At Fiesta's start, the events were socially exclusive, one of the most prominent being the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo, a lavish, debutante pageant crowning a queen of the festival. Cornyation was created in 1951 by members of San Antonio's theater community as a satire, mocking the elite with their own flamboyant duchesses, empresses, and queens, accompanied by men in drag and local political figures in outrageous costume. The stage show quickly transformed into a controversial parody of local and national politics and culture.
Told through more than one hundred photographs and dozens of interviews, Cornyation is the first history of this major Fiesta San Antonio event, tracing how it has become one of Texas's iconic and longest-running celebrations, and one of the Southwest's first large-scale fundraisers for HIV-AIDS research, raising more than two million dollars since 1990.
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2017-10-10 07:40 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: E.M. Hamill Dalí

1) The author's ability to describe a sci-fi future made me believe that space flight was possible and in fact a reality. The various alien races were described in such a way as to be believable, while the technology was ingenious and creative.
The main character's ability to morph between female and male genders depending upon external stimuli, while normally sitting comfortably in a genderless state made me question what gender was, and how we fit into our assumed roles. This aspect was brilliantly portrayed by the author!
2) This sc-fi novel is spell-binding in its inventiveness and originality. Featuring third-gender, sexually fluid humans as the main characters along with an assortment of alien species as friends and foes keeps the plot moving swiftly to a dynamic conclusion. Dali is a unique character that I found fascinating. Great world and character building. An extremely satisfying read.
3) This is a phenomenal book with an intriguing approach to gender. The writing is sharp, effective, and suspenseful. The political and social conditions of the future are rich, detailed, and convincing.

E.M. Hamill Dalí
Bisexual - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Publisher: Ninestar Press, LLC (August 7, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947139584
ISBN-13: 978-1947139589
Amazon: E.M. Hamill Dalí

Dalí Tamareia has everything--a young family and a promising career as an Ambassador in the Sol Fed Diplomatic Corps. Dalí's path as a peacemaker seems clear, but when their loved ones are killed in a terrorist attack, grief sends the genderfluid changeling into a spiral of self-destruction.
Fragile Sol Fed balances on the brink of war with a plundering alien race. Their skills with galactic relations are desperately needed to broker a protective alliance, but in mourning, Dalí no longer cares, seeking oblivion at the bottom of a bottle, in the arms of a faceless lover, or at the end of a knife.
The New Puritan Movement is rising to power within the government, preaching strict genetic counseling and galactic isolation to ensure survival of the endangered human race. Third gender citizens like Dalí don't fit the mold of this perfect plan, and the NPM will stop at nothing to make their vision become reality. When Dalí stumbles into a plot threatening changelings like them, a shadow organization called the Penumbra recruits them for a rescue mission full of danger, sex, and intrigue, giving Dalí purpose again.
Risky liaisons with a sexy, charismatic pirate lord could be Dalí's undoing--and the only way to prevent another deadly act of domestic terrorism.
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2017-10-10 07:37 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Mistress of Mogador T.T. Thomas

1) Well researched and strong character development kept me reading and interested in a setting and a time so different from our own.  The descriptions of setting and especially of inner emotions were particularly well wrought.

Mistress of Mogador T.T. Thomas
Lesbian - Historical Romance
Paperback: 458 pages
Publisher: Bon View Publishing; First Edition edition (August 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0986260045
ISBN-13: 978-0986260049
Amazon: Mistress of Mogador T.T. Thomas

1895 – From the teeming shipping docks of Liverpool, England to the caravans of sub-Saharan deserts to the mysterious port of Mogador, Morocco, intrigue, danger and passion surround three unusual women looking for an uncommon love in a country and a world least likely to help them find it. Morocco! A land of elegant and revered architecture, the arts and the umblemished beauty of harsh opposites. Morocco! Traditions and tribal loyalties govern all political power, and cultural and religious differences make enemies of neighbors and beloveds of strangers. Nora Mandrake, owner and captain of a small fleet of cargo sailing ships, must navigate more than rough seas and an unfamiliar culture between Liverpool and Morocco, as her emotions fluctuate and fumble from constancy to capricious and between an old love and a new one. When Nora agrees to take on a paying passenger to augment the struggling cargo business, she finds herself intrigued with the lovely Alice Tattersall who happens to find Mandrake similarly fascinating. Little does Nora know, Alice’s father, Bertie Tattersall has plans for both his daughter and his shipment of contraband, innocuously labeled as sewing machines. But there’s a woman in Mogador, Najwa, who awaits the return of Captain Mandrake with whom she has begun to pursue a special relationship. Najwa, a proud and progressive Amazighen (Berber) woman has a high standard for love and an inviolable sense of integrity. This could be disastrous. But thrilling. But disastrous! Mandrake realizes her most dangerous enemy is herself—her passions force her to confront the troubling realization that her attitudes toward women are no more enlightened than the prevailing male attitudes she has come to despise in the Morocco she has come to love. How could this happen to her? Mandrake wants it all, and all of it is what she stands to lose, as all three women pivot unsteadily on the eve of the enormous progress and breath-taking social turmoil of the 20th century.
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2017-10-09 09:16 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Perfect Life and Other Stories Elaine Burnes

1) Each location, be it mundane or fantastical, is lovingly described and vividly imagined. The author manages to write two stories about tours through Alaska without the setting feeling rehashed between them, evokes changes in two women’s lives by the state of a car and a single office plant, and even manages to write a Halloween story that feels fresh through the use of weather. While most of these stories are in a contemporary setting, I must give a special shout-out to the one SFF story in this collection, as well as the fantastical visuals included in another otherwise-mundane tale. The author’s worldbuilding is filled with so many intricate details, from how children would survive on a desert planet (and how this fits into an intergalactic war) to how dangerous lasers would actually be in space. Even the story “The Gift,” which takes place in a shopping mall during the holidays, becomes evocative as the protagonist describes the mall as a grotesque insect queen littered with parasitic shoppers, a visual that wouldn’t seem out of place in a bizarre fantasy novel.

A Perfect Life and Other Stories Elaine Burnes
Lesbian - Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (September 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943837368
ISBN-13: 978-1943837366
Amazon: A Perfect Life and Other Stories Elaine Burnes

Call it happily ever after or a perfect life, it's a universal destination we all hope to reach. Lily plays out the anxieties of her freshman year while standing in line. Lin, wanting only to be left alone, watches a stranger waiting on her porch. Denny flies tourists around an Alaska mountain, hoping to forget, while Alice embarks on an adventure to remember. Tate and Emily, friends since childhood, team up to play out the pirate games of their youth, only this time it's not a game. From North America's highest mountain to that quirky town at the end of the hook of Cape Cod and well past the stars beyond, Burnes explores the hopes and fears that drive us all. With eight previously published stories, and the all new "Auto Repair," A Perfect Life and Other Stories is the first collection by the author of Wishbone.
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2017-10-09 09:13 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Haunting Muses Doreen Perrine

1) This was also a book where some of the stories were better than others, but as a whole it wasn’t bad. If I had have bought the book I wouldn’t have been mad that I’d wasted my money as I really did enjoy most of the stories.
2) An anthology of provocative, well-curated pieces that stretches the boundaries of what a sapphic ghost story can be while still celebrating the women and specters that helped form the genre. Every piece spoke to me, leaving me haunted and awed (or even going “aww”) in equal turn. This may be a near-perfect score, but upon examination, this is a near-perfect anthology. There are three types of plot at play across this anthology. The first are those styled like a typical ghost story, involving a chance encounter with a stranger and their ghostly nature being the twist. There is nothing detrimental about this; rather, they felt like an homage to the genre while providing their own sapphic spin, the sort of stories one would imagine listening to around a late-night campfire. The second type of plot at play is the observation; most common in the poetic pieces, the focus is musing on the situation at hand through use of form and description. Though a few of these lean toward enigma or purple prose, most of these still evoke a haunted sensation in both the speaker and the reader. The remaining stories played with the concept of ghosts in a less literal sense, and often felt like chapters from a larger piece of work. From memories and time travel to guilt and A.I. recordings, the unique takes these stories took on ghosts made their plots harder to predict. Most of these had more positive endings than the other pieces; I applaud one particular piece for making a zombie-transformation loving and romantic. Despite the similar theme, every short story in this collection has a unique location and mood. There are Victorian-esque seaside manors, the last quiet Sunday before school in suburbia, and marooned spaceships eaten alive by growing desperation, and each place feels equally believable. Real world locations like the graveyard-filled Colma feel well researched and lived-in, while the glimpses we see of fantastical locations like a zombie-friendly moon are enticing and leave me wanting more stories in these settings. The range of moods is impressive as well; plenty of stories are as creepy as one would expect a ghost story to be, while others are more action-packed tales of desperation and survival, and a few even feel sweet. Due to the theme of ghosts, many of the characters involved are either learning to deal with loss, or wish they were as they are haunted by their pasts—though explorations of a loss of self are just as common as the loss of a loved one. Most of them manage to find strength and hope by the end of the story, even if their newfound acceptance has a darker twist to it in some of the tales. There are also quite a few unreliable narrators in this anthology, leading the readers to question how real some of these ghosts (or even our protagonists themselves) may be. As expected from an anthology, there are a wide array of writing styles at play. There are third-person adventures, first person musings with unreliable narrators, even a couple poems and a second-person piece. There are modern voices a-plenty, with a few authors bringing elements of other languages and cultures into play, while others are more reminiscent of classic authors like Jane Austen or Mark Twain. A couple stories lean toward the verbose or even purple prose, but otherwise, the writing is clear, poetic, and typo-free.

Haunting Muses Doreen Perrine
Lesbian - Anthology / Collection / Fantasy
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (October 21, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194383752X
ISBN-13: 978-1943837526
Amazon: Haunting Muses Doreen Perrine

In this collection of lesbian stories, ghosts, be they actual or the metaphorical ghosts of memories, aren't necessarily evil and hauntings may or may not be bad. How do we move beyond the foul spirits or integrate the shining beings who haunt us in the cruelest or the best ways? And how do we or our characters reconcile these ghosts into transformation and healing within present reality?
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2017-10-09 09:10 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Sam Burns Straight from the Heart (Wilde Love #1)

1) This is a great debut novel. The characters are likable. Liam is an undercover officer who saves Alex from a mugging. There is great chemistry between the characters, but the plot seemed a little short and got wrapped up too quickly and too neatly fast.

Sam Burns Straight from the Heart (Wilde Love #1)
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: Wilde Love
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 154688369X
ISBN-13: 978-1546883692
Amazon: Sam Burns Straight from the Heart (Wilde Love #1)

On the same night that Alex finds himself disowned and sleeping on his best friend's couch, he meets Liam, who saves him from being mugged. It's a strange time for him to be starting a relationship, but everything about being with Liam feels right. When it becomes apparent that Liam isn't exactly the prince charming he seems to be, Alex has to deal with some hard truths about not just his new boyfriend, but his own history as well. Liam is just trying to do his job, but everything keeps getting in the way. First he gets assigned to watch some stranger, then somehow, he finds himself dating the guy. Even if it doesn't offend the boss, Liam knows the wrong thing to do when he does it. He finds himself wondering, though: is his job really the most important thing in his life, or can he walk away from it all for a brand new relationship?
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2017-10-09 09:09 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Eating Life Beth Burnett

1) This one has it all. It made me laugh. It made me cry. The book was engaging from start to finish. I loved how the author moved the story along telling everyone's story.   Loved all the character except Anna.  They were all well developed and you really get to know them.
2) I really liked this book! The story is different enough to be surprising and the characters are very relatable. The pacing is good and have a good flow to it. Maybe I would have used one chharacter less because the story is not so long and sometimes it seemed to have too much going on.

Eating Life Beth Burnett
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943353875
ISBN-13: 978-1943353873
Amazon: Eating Life Beth Burnett

Carefree and irrepressible, Casey Wilde has spent her life running. Running from love, running from responsibility, and running from commitment. Megan Woodson, Casey’s best friend, has spent her life building security with a long-term partner and a well-paying, highly respected position in the best ad agency in Memphis. Ben Stagg is a man who has lost everything, including the desire to live. And Brilliant Wilson is a photographer who can’t quite figure out why she keeps dating women who don’t love her. Faced with painful and pressing decisions, the group is forced to confront their own life choices. When their worlds collide and everything starts to fall apart, these friends must learn that the only important decision is the one to follow their hearts.
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2017-10-09 09:06 pm

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: C.L. Etta Love’s Tethered Heart

1) Finally, a story that is really well written.

C.L. Etta Love’s Tethered Heart
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635332222
ISBN-13: 978-1635332223
Amazon: C.L. Etta Love’s Tethered Heart

Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archaeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.

Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the fragile enigmatic man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.

If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.
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2017-10-08 11:41 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) Victoria Sue

1)Loved the story, and its characters.  I got sucked in immediately and couldn’t put it down. The world building is complex, and well thought out, and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.  

Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) Victoria Sue
Gay - Romantic Suspence
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634779150
ISBN-13: 978-1634779159
Amazon: Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced #1) Victoria Sue

Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives—four weeks for them to survive.
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2017-10-08 11:39 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Survivor T.M. Smith

1) Well-paced and filled with lots of suspense, reasonable dealing with a possibly delicate subject. Good balance between romance and mystery plot. Vivid pictures and great sense of place. Descriptions felt a bit off sometimes; also, some of the character's actions felt out of character for them. My only complaint was the fact that some of the chraracters used aliases, and that their aliases and real names were used interchangeably which made following the storyline a bit tricky at times. Otherwise very well-written. I'd recommend this book. 

Survivor T.M. Smith
Gay - Contemporary Romance
File Size: 5263 KB
Print Length: 186 pages
Publisher: TTC Publishing (August 22, 2017)
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Amazon: Survivor T.M. Smith

Taylor Langford’s world is torn apart when he is only thirteen years old—his parents killed, leaving him alone and orphaned. With no living relatives, he’d certainly be another statistic if not for the intervention of the policeman who found Taylor in the crawl space where his mother hid him that fateful night. Despite the tragedy and resulting anguish in his life, Taylor knows how lucky he is.

Frank Moore is a rookie with the Dallas Police Department when he and his partner answer a call in Devonshire, one of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods. They think the young boy in various pictures throughout the home has been kidnapped until they find him, shaken but alive. Officer Moore recognizes the pain in the kid’s eyes, having lost his own mother to cancer when he was just a boy. He steps in, making sure Taylor is placed with a loving foster family. Over the years, Frank becomes a permanent fixture in Taylor’s life.

A decade later, the case remains unsolved and the once gangly, uncertain teenager is now a college graduate who knows exactly what he wants. He’s coming home to the man that helped mold and shape his life, the man he’s loved for as long as he can remember, Frank Moore. But Taylor isn’t the only person returning to Dallas, and while Frank is distracted by his own conflicting feelings and the new bond growing between the two, the past creeps up on them, determined to finish what was started ten years earlier.
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2017-10-08 11:36 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Tabitha (Sunflowers Blooming #1) Irene Wendy Wode

1) New to me author. I quite enjoyed this story. I look forward to reading the second in this series.

Tabitha (Sunflowers Blooming #1) Irene Wendy Wode
Transgender - Paranormal Romance
Series: Sunflowers Blooming
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (July 25, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1684310849
ISBN-13: 978-1684310845
Amazon: Tabitha (Sunflowers Blooming #1) Irene Wendy Wode

Tabitha is a simple country girl in a simple country town—or so she tries to make everyone believe. But when a boy with a quiet confidence and appealing edge shows up in town looking to collect beautiful images, it's Tabitha he ends up most drawn to. Life is never simple, and the complications aren't only on her side. There are mysteries to be solved, and Tabitha fears all of her questions will lead only to bad news.
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2017-10-08 11:35 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Sue Brown Morning My Angel (Angel Enterprises #1)

1) Excellent characters, I could feel their pain and pleasure. The author brought me right into their lives, seamlessly incorporating the reader within the action. The plot twisted and turned and even though I guessed a few things correctly, the outcome was a shock.

Sue Brown Morning My Angel (Angel Enterprises #1)
Gay - Romantic Suspence
Series: Angel Enterprises
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 26, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539772489
ISBN-13: 978-1539772484
Amazon: Sue Brown Morning My Angel (Angel Enterprises #1)

Josh Cooper, top US security field agent, is sent on an inter-agency assignment to London, when a partner in his firm goes missing in suspicious circumstances. Used to working in sole charge of his well-honed team, he clashes heads with the handsome, but pompous Cal, his UK co-operator and superior. Josh’s gut tells him something is wrong. He’s being kept out of the loop and Cal’s agenda is running on a different path. He also has a personal issue to deal with. He’s involved in a cyber-relationship with “Charlie”, an unknown man who connected with Josh by accident. Their banter has led to deeper respect and a sexual interest, but now Josh is faced with a growing attraction to Cal. Between this conflict and the tension of the mission, Josh’s heart and head are overworked and confused. Things can’t get much worse. Then Josh discovers the enemies he’s seeking have a new target: him.
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2017-10-08 11:29 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: House of Fate Barbara Ann Wright

1) I really enjoyed this book. The scope of the plot and setting had me grinning extremely quickly, and I love, love, LOVE how the author treats the reader as though she is already familiar with the universe and plunges right in. The story didn't do what I expected it to. At first, I was a little unsettled by that, wondering how things would play out, but I realized quickly that this was a symptom of the dense plot and slick pacing. I ended up really appreciating not being able to predict what was going to happen. Most refreshing! The characters were all unique, with their own quirks and personalities, and the dialogue never felt stilted or forced; everything flowed organically, and nothing overtly manipulated or shoved the plot forward. Everything fit. I spent a whole evening rolling from spot to spot on my rug, reading and reading and reading because I didn't want to put the book down. And Annika. I adored Annika. Complex, almost innocent in a way (if you can be innocent and still be a trained assassin!), Annika went through the most complicated internal journey of everyone. I was deeply engaged with the way her views morphed and shifted, and grateful that the book did not denounce or apologize for who she had been before, but rather allowed her to grow into someone new.
2) Loved. This. Book. Wright weaves a complex, yet fast-paced adventure through the stars, taking her readers to a variety of unique and interesting places. Her plotting is completely on point, her universe is fascinating, and I cared greatly for her characters and their fate. All around a perfect read!

House of Fate Barbara Ann Wright
Lesbian - Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626397805
ISBN-13: 978-1626397804
Amazon: House of Fate Barbara Ann Wright

Judit has one duty: to guard the chosen one, he who will unite two warring, star-spanning houses in marriage. Simple, if she wasn’t already in love with the bride-to-be. As far as anyone knows, Annika has been raised to be the perfect bride and future matriarch. Secretly, she’s an assassin ordered to usurp the chosen one’s mind and kill anyone who gets in her way.

When the political landscape shifts, murders and abductions threaten to tear the galaxy apart. Judit and Annika race to uncover the source of the strife. It must be someone powerful and bold enough to risk throwing whole star systems into ruin, someone who could change destinies and bring two lovers together, if they survive.
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2017-10-07 11:55 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: An Outsider Inside R.J. Samuel

1) Very intriguing, thought provoking read. My 1st story from this author. Initially not sure I would enjoy this one however the story was very well written from the plot to the characters. There is a lot going on in this book and keeps the readers interest.

An Outsider Inside R.J. Samuel
Lesbian - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 346 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 25, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1548247227
ISBN-13: 978-1548247225
Amazon: An Outsider Inside R.J. Samuel

For Irish-Indian lesbian activist, JAYA DILLON, an outsider who craves belonging over all else, survival depends on hiding the truth of who she is and who she loves - from herself. In the heated run-up to Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage, she finds herself trapped between the “Yes” and “No” sides. And Jaya's got a boulder on her shoulder about bisexual women and being brown in Ireland. While clearing out an Indian couple’s rental house in Galway, she discovers a manuscript, written by the wife, Lana, who disappeared in worrying circumstances. When Jaya travels to France, she comes closer to the characters in Lana’s unfinished novel than she ever imagined possible. And she is shoved back into contact with her ex- fiancée, Chloe, who is planning her own wedding. To a man. Jaya is drawn into a fictional world that may be truer than reality. As she fights to uncover the truth, everything she thought she knew about her politics and her place in the world turns on its head as she falls for the elusive Lana, is attracted to the charming, gay French-Algerian Ishmael and his beautiful sister Isabella, and confronts her unresolved feelings and dread over the choices Chloe is making. Can she find Lana and the truth in time to save Chloe … without losing herself?
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2017-10-07 11:53 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) L.A. Witt

1) “Anchor Point” is the first in this series of male-male military romances As a reader, I fell in love with the characters. The tale of angst, conflict, lust and love are woven nicely together. The pacing is good, and you don’t realize that you’ve quickly read most of the book in one sitting. Well done love story with a satisfying happily-ever-after.

Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) L.A. Witt
Gay - Erotic Romance
Series: Anchor Point (Book 1)
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162649469X
ISBN-13: 978-1626494695
Amazon: Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) L.A. Witt

For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job . . . until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.

After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.

One taste and neither man can get enough . . . right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.

With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.
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2017-10-07 11:50 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: How We Love Michael Ryan Webb

1) This story was amazing.  I had me laughing and crying.  Such good work.

How We Love Michael Ryan Webb
Gay - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 21, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 197371888X
ISBN-13: 978-1973718888
Amazon: How We Love Michael Ryan Webb

Mark and Adam had been happily married for five years and together for over 15. Things were going well for them. But when Mark spiraled into mental illness after his father died, their marriage was strained in a way that Adam can no longer bear. Now separated, they have to learn to live life alone for the first time. Faced with uncertain futures, can they overcome their differences and learn how to love each other again? Or has their tie to each other been severed forever? From alternating perspectives, join them on their journey of love, loss, heartache, and healing.
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2017-10-07 11:48 am

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Rare and Beautiful Things Giselle Fox

1)Really liked this story.  The plot, characters and setting were all well written.  Liked the developing relationship between Nikki and Amber.  Definitely recommend this romance story to others.
2) This was a wonderful story and I really enjoyed it. Even though I had figured out a majority of plot it was wonderful to read and experience everything as the characters did.  I've been to Belize and I'm a Scuba Diver so these details and how the setting was depicted were perfect.  The writer has clearly done the research needed to make this real and believable especially with the scuba diving sections. The author crafted a story in such a way to completely get me sucked in. I could easily visualize all the locations and the settings, which made me as a reader very happy. The character arcs were exactly what I expected and wanted. It really worked. The way this story was written really worked for me I had no problems with writing or how it was written. I want to sit down with Amber and Niki and get to know them better over dinner and maybe trade some dive stories.

Rare and Beautiful Things Giselle Fox
Lesbian - Contemporary Romance
File Size: 1585 KB
Print Length: 197 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Amazon: Rare and Beautiful Things Giselle Fox

The rarest prize might be buried deep … or hiding in plain sight.

Amber Greyell knows a lot about jaguars. A virgin at 32, the willowy, redheaded PhD finds romance far more baffling. So when she meets gorgeous, athletic shipwreck diver Nikki Sharpe off the coast of Belize, her curiosity is mixed with a strong dose of caution.

Nikki can’t help being intrigued by Amber’s innocence and intellect. When the pair discover a long-lost journal preserved in a sunken ship, the unexpected story in its pages sets them on their own journey toward intimacy.

But Amber doesn’t want to get her heart broken by a woman who won’t be around for long. Can Nikki overcome Amber’s doubts and show her there’s more than one kind of hidden treasure?