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Best Gay Debut Novel/Book

And the Rainbow Award goes to:

1) Ken O'Neill - The Marrying Kind

A sweet and yet often emotionally charged story that is very topical (in the US), this novel really pulled me in. I couldn't read the book fast enough and when done almost wanted to start over again. –Kathy

I thought the New York setting was well used. You didn't really get a feel for the big city, so much as you got an insider's view of living there. I liked that. A comfortable book that you can pick up anywhere at any time and get right back into it. I liked the message it gave and there was a perspective there that was new to me. –Kirsten

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602826706
ISBN-13: 978-1602826700
Amazon: The Marrying Kind

Wedding planner Adam More has an epiphany: He has devoted all his life’s energy to creating events that he and his partner Steven are forbidden by federal law for having for themselves. So Adam decides to make a change. Organizing a boycott of the wedding industry, Steven and Adam call on gay organists, hairdressers, cater-waiters, priests, and hairdressers everywhere to get out of the business and to stop going to weddings, too. In this screwball, romantic comedy both the movement they’ve begun and their relationship are put in jeopardy when Steven’s brother proposes to Adam’s sister and they must decide whether they’re attending or sending regrets.

2) Jack Scott - Perking the Pansies ()

A really excellent book. Funny and insightful and poignant all at once. It's a memoir that reads like a novel, with a lively and entertaining cast of supporting characters and a lot to say about a culture not many Westerners know much about. –Kate Mc.

The book is written in a conversational style that made me think of sitting down with a close friend and listening to a lot of wacky and (occasionally) bittersweet stories. I was so caught up with the narrative that I was surprised by the time I got to the end. The author wrote a memoir that touched on the human experience in a way that as honest and thought-provoking. –Luce

Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Summertime (December 22, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1904881645
ISBN-13: 978-1904881643
Amazon: Perking the Pansies - Jack and Liam move to Turkey

Jack and Liam, fed up with kiss-my-arse bosses and nose-to-nipple commutes, quit their jobs and move to a small town in Turkey. Join the culture-curious gay couple on their bumpy rite of passage in a Muslim country. Meet the oddballs, VOMITs, vetpats, emigreys, semigreys, debauched waiters and middle England miseries. When bigotry and ignorance emerge from the crude underbelly of Turkey's expat life, Jack and Liam waver. Determined to stay the course, the happy hedonistas hitch up their skirts, move to the heart of liberal Bodrum and fall in love with their intoxicating foster land. Enter Jack's irreverent world for a right royal dose of misery and joy, bigotry and enlightenment, betrayal and loyalty, friendship, love, earthquakes, birth, adoption and a senseless murder. Perking the Pansies will make you laugh out loud one minute and sob into your crumpled tissue the next.

3) J.H. Trumble - Don't Let Me Go ()

The thing that really grabbed me about this book were the characters. Even though they were stupid and annoying at times, it was age appropriate behavior. But they also felt real and three dimensional. I was immediately sucked into the story and their little world of drama and would have read it straight through if I'd been able to do so. To me, that makes it a great book. There is seriously not enough money in the world that would EVER make me go back to high school, though. : ) –Ethan D.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Kensington (December 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758269277
ISBN-13: 978-0758269270
Amazon: Don't Let Me Go

Some people spend their whole lives looking for the right partner. Nate Schaper found his in high school. In the eight months since their cautious flirting became a real, heart-pounding, tell-the-parents relationship, Nate and Adam have been inseparable. Even when local kids take their homophobia to brutal levels, Nate is undaunted. He and Adam are rock solid. Two parts of a whole. Yin and yang. But when Adam graduates and takes an off-Broadway job in New York--at Nate's insistence--that certainty begins to flicker. Nate's friends can't keep his insecurities at bay, especially when he catches Skyped glimpses of Adam's shirtless roommate. Nate starts a blog to vent his frustrations and becomes the center of a school controversy, drawing ire and support in equal amounts. But it's the attention of a new boy who is looking for more than guidance that forces him to confront who and what he really wants. Tender, thoughtful, and unflinchingly real, Don't Let Me Go is a witty and beautifully written account of young love, long-distance relationships, and learning to follow your heart.

Honorable Mention:

4) James Erich – Seidman

Beautiful book with an unusual setting. Plot development was good and tight. I would definitely recommend. Loved it.

Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (June 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725760
ISBN-13: 978-1613725764
Amazon: Seidman

5) Brandon Shire - The Value of Rain ()

A powerfully moving read, it also comes with a note of caution for anybody who has ever felt like an outsider, who has ever been shunned or made to feel ashamed - this is a book that will make you think, feel, and sympathize, whether you want to or not. –Sally

This book is a series of twists and scenes, that are harsh in its realism but fulfilling because of that. It’s like a story written for the forgotten boys/girls and the cruelties they face with no one to care for them. It's a lot more than gay fiction, it's a great freaking read. –Darien

Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1467990248
ISBN-13: 978-1467990240
Amazon: The Value Of Rain

6) L.J. LaBarthe - No Quarter ()

I love this book. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. I will admit that it is not a book that I probably would have purchased on my own. That being said, I will be buying the other books in the series and broadening my view when looking for the next book to read. –Dawn

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 2, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724330
ISBN-13: 978-1613724330
Amazon: No Quarter

Rob Kaufman - One Last Lie

This book in a word is awesome, an incredible psychological thriller that will have you perched on the edge of your seat in the explosive and thrilling final pages. Which is odd, since the reader knows a very important fact very early on that helps to drive the novel - and yet, I found myself shocked and stunned by the actual event. To say that I was affected is an understatement. –Jon

Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Rob Kaufman (May 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 098562311X
ISBN-13: 978-0985623111
Amazon: One Last Lie

J.P. Beausejour - Buccaneer Island ()

As erotica this book is flipping BRILLIANT. Oh my gosh good. Yeah. It's all that and a bag of chips. This piece had everything an erotica book should have, and was a treat to read. –Cherie

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602826587
ISBN-13: 978-1602826588
Amazon: Buccaneer Island

Edmond Manning - King Perry ()

With two men as primary characters the focus of the novel was basically on them. Oh sure, there were the Hero stories but their relationship between them two was the thrust of the narrative. Smooth and easy going, wonderful control. –Mick

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613723784
ISBN-13: 978-1613723784
Amazon: King Perry

Jeffrey Ricker – Detours ()

Loved this book – read it straight through. The use of the ghost of his dead mother to help him understand himself and his relationship to his father, and the world around him was very effective. –Linda E.

I actually kind of enjoyed this book. It's not great gay literature but it read easy and fun and would make a terrific romance beach reading book. I would recommend this to folks. –Austin

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602825777
ISBN-13: 978-1602825772
Amazon: Detours

Robert Lennon - The Miles ()

A wonderful, satisfying reading especially as I’m not a reader of sporting/running books but still this one had me interested, glued to my seat every time I picked it up. In his events of a usual day as a runner and Robert Lennon’s portrayal of New York City in all kinds of weather had me wanting to run and experience it more for myself than I ever did before. I did not read this book with speed but a slow thoughtful progression, page by page, and was rewarded by experiencing a rich beautiful novel, the richness being subtle and coming upon you so slowly that you don’t even realize it until you’re deep in the novel. I especially liked the little insights into New York City, Madison Square Park, Central Park and the coldness of the city when you’re trying to run through its frigid streets. –Mick

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (May 29, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758271735
ISBN-13: 978-0758271730
Amazon: The Miles

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness. I'm shocked! Thrilled, definitely! Thank you and congratulations to the other winners and honorable mentions!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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