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Rainbow Awards: Current Submissions (191-200)

191) Lorna Hinson - Shifting Steam
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press (October 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1610405404
ISBN-13: 978-1610405409
Amazon: Shifting Steam
Amazon Kindle: Shifting Steam

Steampunk and shifters? Do they even go together? Of course they do. Steampunk is all about the possible, the magical and the otherworldly. Shapeshifters are all about bending the idea of humanity into new shapes. Combine them, and you get Shifting Steam. The stories in Shifting Steam pave the way for a magical journey through space and time to alternate realities, where anything is possible. From dragons to birds, from Victorian era expositions to secret laboratories, these stories explore what happens when man meets beast in a world of airship captains and fantastic creatures. Whether it's a Jekyll and Hyde style beast, a wolfman who would rather not be a wolf, or a man who wishes he could fly, every kind of creature gets its day in the steampunk sun. Step into the world of Shifting Steam and let it transport you to a sexy, fantastical new universe. Shifting Steam features stories from authors Missouri Dalton, Ekaterina Morris, Lydia Nyx, M Raiya, Lynn Townsend and Emory Vargas.

192a) Peter Hansen - First Watch
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 27, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: First Watch

Do you want to live? In the darkness of a WWI battlefield, young Legionnaire Edouard Montreuil lies dying. As teeth nibble his flesh, a voice whispers, Do you want to live? Frightened and desperate, Edouard bargains his freedom for a second chance. Aboard the Flèche, a grim submarine captained by the nightmare who granted Edouard new life, Edouard pays the price for his survival. Each night, he gives his body to his captain as the bells sound first watch. But surviving is not living, and as the days stretch into months beneath the waves, Edouard grows desperate for escape. Can Edouard’s old comrade Farid Ruiz help him break this devil's bargain, or will Ruiz fall to the same fate, trapped beneath the waves at the mercy of a monster whose hunger knows no bounds? Edouard and Ruiz served together once before, and slept together too, but courage and passion failed to save them from the eldritch beasts who roamed the night. This time, the cost of failure is nothing so clean or simple as death, and the spoils of victory are not just life, but love.

192b) Damon Suede - Grown Men
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 27, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Grown Men

Every future has dirty roots. Marooned in the galactic backwaters of the HardCell company, colonist Runt struggles to eke out an existence on a newly-terraformed tropical planetoid. Since his clone-wife died on entry, he’s been doing the work of two on his failing protein farm. Overworked and undersized, Runt’s dwindling hope of earning corporate citizenship has turned to fear of violent “retirement.” When an overdue crate of provisions crashes on his beach, Runt searches frantically for a replacement wife among the tools and food. Instead he gets Ox, a mute hulk who seems more like a corporate assassin than a simple offworld farmer. Shackwacky and near-starving, Runt has no choice but to work with his silent partner despite his mounting paranoia and the unsettling appeal of Ox’s genetically altered pheromones. Ox plays the part of the gentle giant well, but Runt’s still not convinced he hasn’t arrived with murder in mind. Between brutal desire and the seeds of a relationship, Runt’s fears and Ox’s inhuman past collide on a fertile world where hope and love just might have room to grow.

192c) L.A. Witt - A Chip in His Shoulder
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (November 4, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: A Chip in His Shoulder

“Contract killer” is a fitting job for a vampire, and it suits Liam just fine. Cast down from the wealth and status of the Sky for taking a human lover, Liam lurks in the poor and pollution-choked Gutter, killing to survive. Between his natural strengths and his Cybernetix mods, no mark has ever escaped him. Liam’s ex-lover Daniel is the heir to Cybernetix—and its greatest threat. Horrified by people less man than machine and the exploitation of Gutter factory workers, he’d rather destroy Cybernetix than inherit it . . . if his father doesn’t destroy him first. Years of anger and a heap of mods have kept Daniel and Liam apart. When Liam is hired to slaughter a man in his glass Sky tower, he walks right into a Daniel-shaped trap. Daniel’s father has betrayed them both, and only by working together can Daniel and Liam survive the coming day. They have no reason to trust each other, but as the dawn looms, a bargain that began with the simple urge to live soon reminds them of the love they once shared. Can they find each other again, or will the Cybernetix assassins find them first?

193a) Andrea Speed - Pretty Monsters
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 27, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned, #1)

Josh knew the night shift at the Quik-Mart would be full of freaks and geeks—and that was before the hell portal opened in the parking lot. Still, he likes to think he can roll with things. Sure, the zombies make a mess sometimes, but at least they never reach for anything more threatening than frozen burritos. Besides, it’s not all lizard-monsters and the walking dead. There’s also the mysterious hottie with the sly red lips and a taste for sweets. Josh has had the hots for Hot Guy since the moment he laid eyes on him, and it seems Hot Guy might be sweet on Josh too. Now if only Josh could figure out whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between. After all, with a hell vortex just a stone’s throw away, Josh has learned to take nothing at face value—even if it’s a very, very pretty face.

193b) Andrea Speed - Peek-a-Boo
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (January 7, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Peek-a-Boo (Josh of the Damned, #2)

As night-shift clerk at the go-to Quik-Mart for monsters with the munchies, Josh Caplan believes he’s seen it all. Battling lizard men, werewolves chasing cars in the parking lot . . . nothing fazes Josh anymore. Or so he thinks, at least, until a yeti with poor communication skills drops a dead skunk on the checkout counter. Josh can’t figure what a living, breathing shag carpet wants with him, or why it won’t leave him alone no matter how hard he ignores it. But hey, at least it seems harmless . . . if perhaps a little slow on the draw. But Sasquatch is plenty fast when two of Josh’s human customers try to out-monster the monsters. Times are strange when creatures from the hell portal save the day, but in the protective hands of a lovesick yeti and a sexy vampire boyfriend, Josh realizes that maybe his new normal isn’t so bad after all.

193c) Andrea Speed - Triple Feature
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 14, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #1

What most people call a hellish shift, Josh Caplan calls a normal evening. After all, he works nights at a convenience store beside the mouth of hell, selling snacks to zombies and lizard men. Some monsters are odder—and more dangerous—than most. Like the rampaging, oversized mustache who skips the Pringles and eats the customers instead. Or Cthulhu’s half-brother Stan, who doesn't know how to take no for an answer . . . or where to put all those tentacles. But killer facial hair and inept hentai beasts pale in comparison to the monster even other monsters fear. When hell’s big boss demands a sit-down with Josh, she reveals a destiny bigger than he’d ever imagined—or wanted. You'd think preventing the apocalypse would net Josh more than minimum wage and a hot vampire boyfriend, but it turns out saving the world can be a pretty thankless job. This title is #3 of the Josh of the Damned series.

193d) Storm Grant - Sucks & Blows
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 27, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: Sucks & Blows

Deeply in debt to a loan shark, oversexed dentist Cary Drewel lives in fear of foreclosure and bodily harm. His new practice is missing one rather crucial element: patients. Which, terrifyingly enough, is the one thing his creditors also don’t have. Pierce Sharpe, a powerful vampire with a drinking problem—or, more accurately, a problem drinking—can’t feed through the pain in his damaged eye teeth. In danger of losing his standing in the vampire community, Pierce seeks Cary's dental services. When Cary extracts his canines, Pierce must turn to other bodily fluids for sustenance. Together, Cary and Pierce find a mutually pleasurable solution to both their problems. Turns out, though, there’s more to this dentist-patient relationship than simple suction, and what began with raw hunger from each of them might just end in love.

193e) Storm Grant - Few Are Chosen
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (February 18, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Few Are Chosen

Sparks fly between virgin teenage demon hunters when the Chosen One turns out to be the Chosen . . . Two? Apprentice warrior Blake St. Blake is the Chosen One, raised by an ancient order to defend the world against evil. Well, maybe not the whole world, but at least his neighborhood in downtown Detroit. When a dreaded reflux demon is sighted in a local cemetery, Blake is sent off to his very first battle, armed with his sword, his super-senses, his black leather duster, and a few well-rehearsed one-liners. But another Chosen One gets in Blake’s way—an apprentice wizard named Shadow. While the boys argue about who’s the more chosen of the two, the demon escapes. Blake wants to be angry, but it turns out he and Shadow have a lot in common. Besides, Shadow’s pretty cute, and Blake can’t help but think that the wizard’s skills (and hands and lips and other bits) might make the perfect complement to his. Blake and Shadow are brave enough to challenge the reflux demon in a second battle, but will they have the courage to tell each other how they feel?

194) Cat Grant - Once a Marine
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (October 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937551245
ISBN-13: 978-1937551247
Amazon: Once a Marine
Amazon Kindle: Once a Marine

Love is a battlefield. Discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, former Marine major Cole Hammond is struggling to find a new identity. But PTSD casts a pall on everything, and his hard-nosed, homophobic father can’t even bear to look him in the eye. To top it all off, he’s pretty sure he’s flunking out of law school. Marc Sullivan is a kind, sensitive romance author-slash-waiter with a thing for men in uniform. Cole’s not wearing his anymore, but there’s no mistaking the warrior Marc meets in the diner one rainy afternoon. Cole’s sexy smile and Carolina drawl prove irresistible, but Marc’s played this game before, and he always loses. Once a Marine, always a Marine, and if there’s one thing Marc knows about such men, it’s that they all leave him in the end. It doesn’t help that Cole’s practically closeted in public, or that he refuses to seek treatment for his PTSD. But like any good Marine, Cole’s willing to fight for what matters. And like the characters in Marc’s stories, he’s certain that if they try just hard enough, together they can find their own happily ever after.

195) K.A. Mitchell - Not Knowing Jack”
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609283139
ISBN-13: 978-1609283131
Amazon: Not Knowing Jack
Amazon Kindle: Not Knowing Jack

When your lover becomes a stranger, trust is the weakest link of all. Bartender Tony Gemetti has it all: a rich, hot boyfriend, a McMansion in the ’burbs and unlimited sex in an expectation-free zone. He thought that was all he ever wanted out of any relationship—until Jack begins making excuses for frequent disappearances. Realizing he has more than his libido and enough drawers for his T-shirt collection riding on this relationship, Tony figures it’s time to find out what’s going on. Jack Noble has spent his life hiding his real self behind a carefully created image. With Tony, he finally knows real freedom, real happiness. Now a past of buried secrets and lies is closing in, and no matter how hard he tries to stop it, the truth is tearing through. Once Tony learns what kind of man Jack really is, he won’t stay. Jack’s sure of it. Suddenly the past shows up in a completely unexpected way, testing the boundaries of their old, coasting-along-on-fun relationship. Tony indeed finds that Jack isn’t the man he went looking for, but it’s too late. There’s too much at stake to just walk away. First, though, he has to make sure there are no lies left for Jack to hide behind.

196) Mark Zubro - Black and Blue and Pretty Dead Too
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (November 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608204677
ISBN-13: 978-1608204670
Amazon: Black and Blue and Pretty Dead Too
Amazon Kindle: Black and Blue and Pretty Dead Too

Paul Turner returns. In his first appearance since 2007, this gay Chicago detective and father of two sons gets caught in a tangle of intrigue and corruption. A brutal Chicago cop is found murdered at a gay leather festival. Turner, plus his police department partner, Buck Fenwick are assigned the case. Through a rising tide of danger, they need to find the truth among police corruption and cover ups. Some top cops and A-list leather queens are among those whose lies and fears drive the web of desperation and deceit that Turner and his partner must unravel.

197) Etienne - Love Turns the Page
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613721293
ISBN-13: 978-1613721292
Amazon: Love Turns the Page
Amazon Kindle: Love Turns the Page

An Avondale Story. Tom Foster has his life planned out, and he's systematically pursuing his goals. At twenty-two, he's been organist and choirmaster at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd for three years, he's working on his doctoral thesis, and he's beginning a secondary career performing in concert. There is no room in his schedule for romance... until Noah Webster, a gorgeous green-eyed blond, walks into the church one evening to audition for the choir. What starts as an arrangement of convenience-Tom's usual page turner is unavailable, and Noah agrees to do the job-soon turns into a fast friendship. Then Noah, who is saddled with an obnoxious roommate, rents the spare bedroom in Tom's house, and ultimately the two men become lovers and partners in life. But before they can ride off into the sunset together, they must face one major obstacle: Noah's violent, homophobic Southern Baptist father.

198) D.W. Marchwell - Roots and Wings
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613721889
ISBN-13: 978-1613721889
Amazon: Roots and Wings
Amazon Kindle: Roots and Wings

In the six years since Jerry, David, and William first welcomed Billie and Cory into their home, a lot has changed in their lives. William has fallen in love, Cory has graduated and is engaged, and Jerry is as irascible as ever. David, however, is struggling. He worries about William and Cory, about how he and Jerry will deal with their house becoming an empty nest, and about his aging parents. Then circumstances conspire to give David more concrete worries: Jerry finds a potentially cancerous lump, William's first experience with love is in jeopardy because he has two dads, and David's long-lost mother shows up, wanting to reconcile with him. Amidst the drama of a heartbroken sixteen-year-old, a husband facing a medical crisis, and an impending wedding, David will learn that life should be lived to the fullest-and that each of us is endowed with roots and wings.

199) Rachel Haimowitz - Master Class
Paperback: 108 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (November 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937551016
ISBN-13: 978-1937551018
Amazon: The Master Class Collection
Amazon Kindle: The Master Class Collection

Broadway darling Nicky Avery is a shooting star by night, but by day he bounces from one heartless one-night stand to the next. A quick flogging, a rough lay, a new whip-hand to manipulate—yet still he yearns for something he cannot even name. He finds his first true hint of satisfaction in Devon Turner, a self-possessed film star and expert Dom. Devon knows what he wants the moment he sees it, and what he wants is Nicky Avery. Nicky’s never learned to trust and has a nasty habit of topping from the bottom, but he learns fast that in the bedroom, Devon won’t tolerate his actor’s masks. Nicky's a broken boy, but Devon knows exactly how to put his new sub back together. With patience, care, and all the punishments his little pain slut can handle, Devon breaks Nicky down one scene at a time, revealing a mind that yearns to trust and a heart that hungers for the ecstasy of true submission at last. The Master Class Collection features all eleven stories from Master Class and Sublime: Collected Shorts.

200) Lisa Worrall - Unshakeable Faith
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613722672
ISBN-13: 978-1613722671
Amazon: Unshakeable Faith
Amazon Kindle: Unshakeable Faith

Of all the bars in all the towns in all the world, the stranger walks into Brody Tyler's. With no memory and a name he chose from a newspaper, Nash is a gamble-one Brody is willing to take. It isn't long before Brody and Nash fall in love, but then a tragic accident shatters their cozy world, resetting Nash's memory once again. The "new" Nash Walker is a businessman with a bottom line, and he doesn't care what or who gets stomped on. Waking up in a hospital bed after a hit-and-run with no idea where he's been for the past six months is bad enough, but someone trying to kill him is even worse. Enter Brody Tyler, accidental bodyguard. Brody's determined to help Nash remember and bring back the man he loves. Nash thinks Brody's a drop-dead gorgeous pain in the ass. If only he could remember...
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