And the Rainbow Award goes to:
1) Iolanthe Woulff - She's My Dad (Outskirts Press)
If I was judging it on the main characters alone, it would absolutely warrant a full 9. They are written so well, with real personalities full of good & bad qualities. They are memorable and distinct, right from the start, and none of them exit the story quite how the entered it. --Heathyr
"Don't hate, Nicholas. Hate destroys everything. Don't let it destroy you..." For decades, ultra-liberal Windfield College has been a thorn in the side of Northern Virginia's hidebound elite. When a teaching position unexpectedly becomes available, the school hires a former male graduate - now a transsexual woman named Nickie Farrell - as an assistant professor of English. Hoping to find peace, Nickie keeps her secret under wraps until ambitious lesbian student reporter Cinda Vanderhart outs her. And Cinda has noticed something else: both Nickie and a young townie waiter named Collie Skinner have a genetic quirk which causes their eyes to be different colors. Convinced that the similarity is no coincidence, Cinda begins an investigation to discover the connection between them. Meanwhile, in a death-bed confession as she succumbs to years of brutality at the hands of her disgraced cop husband, Collie's mother Luanne reveals that his birth resulted from an illicit affair she had with a long-vanished Windfield college senior named Nick Farrington. Shattered by his mother's death, Collie turns for comfort to Robin Thompson, a gentle-hearted Christian co-worker at the upper-crust Foxton Arms restaurant. As Nickie is stalked by a pair of homicidal sociopaths, Robin finds herself entangled not only in Cinda's investigative machinations but also a murderous plot by former U.S Ambassador and tycoon Eamon Douglass to eradicate the hated college with a suicide detonation of a Cesium 137 dirty bomb. Lives and secrets hang in the balance until everything comes to a head on the morning of Windfield's annual spring picnic: April Fools Day. Filled with richly-drawn characters and building to a stunning climax, SHE'S MY DAD is a story about the destructiveness of hate, the power of love, and the redemptive triumph of good over evil. Like her title character Nickie Farrell, Iolanthe Woulff is a transsexual woman. A sixty-year-old Princeton-educated English major, she lives in Palm Springs, CA, where for several years she wrote a column in a local magazine about the challenges of gender transition. As the eldest child of author Herman Wouk, storytelling has always been dear to Ms. Woulff's heart. Her hope is that besides providing a suspenseful read, SHE'S MY DAD will help to dispel some of the widespread misconceptions about transsexual people.
2) Clifford Henderson - Spanking New (Bold Strokes Books)
I found the characters interesting and funny. They were really out there, but kept the story strong all the way to the end. I had no idea what to expect from this story. No idea at all. The idea was new to me, the whole point of view was something I've never seen before. It was risky, but it worked. The point of view was a bit too hard at first, it was difficult to keep track of the story, but once I got into the story, it got easier. There were some flaws of course, but the style was witty and something that is not seen so often. Definitely unique. --Morg
Getting born is trickier than Spanky ever imagined. Yearning for life, Spanky chooses Nina, a flighty actress just out of college, and Rick, a sax player who changes tires to get by, to be his parents. Only Nina seems to be hung up on her gay guy friend Pablo, and Nina’s best girlfriend Dink is hung up her! Will Nina and Rick get it together in time to conceive Spanky before he evaporates? And if this hurdle gets crossed, will they choose to keep him? There’s not much Spanky can do but watch from above while his fate plays out—and if that’s not scary enough—an unexpected twist of fate makes Spanky have to completely reevaluate his expectations. He’s a girl! A poignant, hilarious, unforgettable look at life, love, gender, and the essence of what makes us who we are.
3) Mykola Dementiuk - Dee Dee Day (eXtasy Books)
I really enjoyed this story. It has a lot of heart and love. --Merith
It’s a new city, with new dreams…but will he be able to forget the old and start anew? A young man arrives in NYC and rents an apartment from Dee Dee Day…who gives him a little bit more than he expected—love, passion, sex with her…or is that with him?
4) Cat Grant - Triad (Lyrical Press)
5) Lynn Lorenz - No Good Deed (Amber Quill Press)
Rainbow Awards: Best Bisexual / Transgender Contemporary
And the Rainbow Award goes to: