December 8th, 2011

andrew potter

Best Plot Development

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Sloan Parker – Breathe
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 16, 2010)
Amazon: Breathe

Lincoln McCaw lost everything -- his home, his job, his partner -- after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has. Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything -- a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.

2) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822271
ISBN-13: 978-1602822276
Amazon: Wild

This book was a great read, and I'd happily read another by this author. Suspense and romance mixed together well, with the romance being a deliciously complicated snarl of trust, desire, and longing both for a partner and for acceptance of self. --Heidi

This was an interesting book; it slowly drew me into the story. I liked the fact that two strong women had vulnerable sides. I liked the way the story line played out it wasn’t obviously in your face and it kept you wanting to read more... So for me this was a great book. --Norma

The only thing that frightens shapeshifter Selene Rhodes more than the full moon is the idea of falling in love. Selene Rhodes has lived her whole life with a terrible secret: not only can she take the form of any animal at will, but once a month the full moon transforms her into a fierce wolf-creature without a human conscience. Managing her condition means living by a strict routine, and more importantly, abstaining from intimate relationships with human beings. Selene is convinced that love and friendship can only bring her pain. Forensic pathologist Eve Thomas is well-acquainted with the pain of romantic love. Swearing off relationships after having her heart broken by a cheating ex, Eve throws herself into her work: catching murderers. When Selene comes to her aid after an attack by a masked man in Golden Gate Park, Eve is shocked by how powerfully she is drawn to her mysterious savior. Shaken by her own feelings for Eve, Selene is even more terrified to realize she isn’t even close to being the scariest monster stalking San Francisco. There is someone out in the city who is killing for pleasure, and his next target is the one woman he thinks might be able to stop him: Eve.

3) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758246803
ISBN-13: 978-0758246806
Amazon: The Evolution of Ethan Poe

Thought-provoking! Great characters. Ms. Reardon's writing style is effortless, easy to read, and truly pulls you into the life, persona and internal conflict of the main character. -- Bobby

In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories, and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt: his parents are divorcing, his older brother Kyle is exhibiting alarming behavior, and his best friend is turning into a spiritual fanatic. Then there are the shifting uncertainties-including his feelings toward his father and his desire to both blend in and stand out in his rural Maine hometown. Most pressing of all, there's his attraction to Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does. Despite Ethan's initial reluctance, he gets pulled into a heated and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Family and friends are turning against each other, school is a battleground, and Ethan will have to take a stand. Because some facts are irrefutable and some bonds unbreakable, even when they can't be seen. And once Ethan finds the courage to become who he was meant to be, the outcome could be absolutely extraordinary… This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1360716.html.
andrew potter

Best Setting Development

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1-tie) Tamara Allen - The Only Gold
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615818383
ISBN-13: 978-1615818389
Amazon: The Only Gold

I loved this book, couldn't put it down and stayed up way too late several nights running to finish it. --Anne

Ms Allen writes some of THE best historical romance stories ever; she does it very well. She can drop a reader into the era and locale within a handful of paragraphs and never look back. In ‘Gold’, her plot thickened and developed, foreshadowing events with just enough mystic to not give it all away. This was a most excellent story and one I will read again and enjoy with as much verve. --Merith

Jonah Woolner's life is as prudently regulated as the bank where he works. It's a satisfying life until he's passed over for promotion in favor of newcomer Reid Hylliard. Brash and enterprising, Reid beguiles everyone except Jonah, who's convinced Reid's progressive ideas will be the bank's ruin. When Jonah begins to discover there's more to Reid than meets the eye, he risks succumbing to Reid's charms-but unlocking the vault to all of Reid's secrets could lead him down a dangerous path. Losing his promotion-and perhaps his heart-is the least of Jonah's difficulties. When the vengeful son of a Union army vet descends upon the bank to steal a government deposit of half a million dollars during the deadliest blizzard to ever sweep New York, Jonah and Reid are trapped, at odds and fighting for their lives.

Andrew Wolter - Much of Madness, More of Sin
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Shadow City Press (March 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0578061031
ISBN-13: 978-0578061030
Amazon: Much of Madness, More of Sin

A winner all the way around. –Carey

BEYOND THE DEPTHS OF MADNESS... During an annual festival celebrating an ancient god...In a county jail where escape is unlikely...Along downtown avenues where population provides safety...In a nightclub so boisterous, it's difficult to hear the person standing next to you...In a bath house in Phoenix, or amidst the towering trees of wilderness. Here madness touches the souls of those lost and lonely, those who seek out the pleasures of the body while flesh is bared, blood is spilt, and the most enigmatic chaos reveals itself. These are the landscapes in the world of horror writer Andrew Wolter. INTO THE CORE OF THE FORBIDDEN... Now, in this boundary-breaking collection of eleven original tales, Andrew Wolter delivers his unique style of interlacing pop-culture, eroticism, the insidious, and a chaos that creeps around every corner of our daily lives.

2-tie) Dusk Peterson - The Eternal Dungeon
Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press (October 18, 2010)
Amazon: The Eternal Dungeon

Normally I don't feel much need to express my thoughts on the books I read beyond the score, but in the case of The Eternal Dungeon, I feel I should. It seemed on the surface, given its title and length, that it must surely be an extensive love letter to sexual horror, and reading through the table of contents seemed only to support this. You can imagine my astonishment to discover that it is in fact a deeply moving philosophical work, which yes, has both sex and torture in it, but surprisingly little of either despite the fact that it all takes place in a dungeon. The characterization is very good and even bold, and the world building, while narrow, is solid and hints at a vast and real world that exist beyond the confines of the story. The overarching plot development is excellent, and is an extensive metaphor for the major themes of the book. The writing is eminently readable, and the author's decision to intersperse in-story historical analysis alongside the events taking place works beautifully.

In the Queendom of Yclau lies an underground royal prison that embraces the worst of the past and the best of the future. The Eternal Dungeon is old-fashioned in its equipment and ahead of its time in its treatment of prisoners, seeking to put their best welfare above all else. Torture is part of the process of assisting the prisoners. The High Seeker, Layle Smith, embodies this contradictory institution: a man of deadly impulses, the head torturer binds himself strictly by the dungeon's code of conduct. His efforts to maintain this delicate balance are altered, though, by the introduction into his life of Elsdon Taylor, a vulnerable prisoner who is coming to terms with his own darkness. This 440,000-word omnibus contains four novels and a novella in The Eternal Dungeon, a historical fantasy series set in a land where the psychologists wield whips.

Karis Walsh – Harmony
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 16, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822379
ISBN-13: 978-1602822375
Amazon: Harmony

Loved the storyline. I could not put this book down! --Mitzie

Sometimes conformity and control are only shields, and all it takes is the right woman to shatter the illusions forever. Andrea Taylor craves peace in her life, no matter what the personal sacrifice. She arranges her career as a violist, her relationships with family and friends, and even her love life so she can avoid strife at all costs. Everything is going according to plan until she meets Brooke Stanton the night before Brooke’s wedding rehearsal and her ordered existence falls apart. When Brooke hires a string quartet to play at her rehearsal dinner, she doesn’t expect to meet a woman who threatens the security of her already predetermined future. Suddenly she has doubts about the conventional path she has chosen and desires she can no longer ignore. In an eclectic neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, these two women face a life-altering decision—will they fight the attraction that threatens their carefully structured lives or take a chance on finding the harmony only love creates?

Anel Viz - P'tit Cadeau
Paperback: 486 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (February 20, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1456552430
ISBN-13: 978-1456552435
Amazon: P'tit Cadeau

Generally, I loved the story and thought the writing style to be good. The main character development for Ben was pitch perfect - I understood his complexity but I had a difficult time believing Jean-Yves authenticity. –Janet

[P’TIT CADEAU (euphemism) – the “small gift” French hustlers ask for to let you know they expect to be paid] Ben, an American art professor on a painting sabbatical in the south of France, rents a room in an isolated village to avoid the tourist crush. There he meets his landlady's brother, the sensitive and childlike loner Jean-Yves, whom the locals consider simple minded because he is "different". Ben makes him his principal model and undertakes to build his self-confidence and prepare him to fend for himself. Jean-Yves’ has never had a friend before. As they grow closer, Ben comes to realize the extent of the young man’s emotional needs, and his total dependence and unbridled devotion frighten him. Has he taken on more responsibility than he can handle? Should he allow himself to fall in love with Jean-Yves when he knows their relationship must end when his sabbatical is over?

3-tie) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822271
ISBN-13: 978-1602822276
Amazon: Wild

This book was a great read, and I'd happily read another by this author. Suspense and romance mixed together well, with the romance being a deliciously complicated snarl of trust, desire, and longing both for a partner and for acceptance of self. --Heidi

This was an interesting book; it slowly drew me into the story. I liked the fact that two strong women had vulnerable sides. I liked the way the story line played out it wasn’t obviously in your face and it kept you wanting to read more... So for me this was a great book. --Norma

The only thing that frightens shapeshifter Selene Rhodes more than the full moon is the idea of falling in love. Selene Rhodes has lived her whole life with a terrible secret: not only can she take the form of any animal at will, but once a month the full moon transforms her into a fierce wolf-creature without a human conscience. Managing her condition means living by a strict routine, and more importantly, abstaining from intimate relationships with human beings. Selene is convinced that love and friendship can only bring her pain. Forensic pathologist Eve Thomas is well-acquainted with the pain of romantic love. Swearing off relationships after having her heart broken by a cheating ex, Eve throws herself into her work: catching murderers. When Selene comes to her aid after an attack by a masked man in Golden Gate Park, Eve is shocked by how powerfully she is drawn to her mysterious savior. Shaken by her own feelings for Eve, Selene is even more terrified to realize she isn’t even close to being the scariest monster stalking San Francisco. There is someone out in the city who is killing for pleasure, and his next target is the one woman he thinks might be able to stop him: Eve.

Lisa Girolami - Jane Doe
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822174
ISBN-13: 978-1602822177
Amazon: Jane Doe

I very much enjoyed reading this book. Lisa Girolami is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers. –Mitzie

Sometimes a brief getaway where no one knows your name can change your life. Emily Carver is an inhibited, small town woman who, against warnings from her family, takes her first trip to Las Vegas. On her first night there, she is mugged and saved from worse trauma by Royal Wooten, an independent, assertive woman, and a virtual opposite of Emily. With no money or identification and unwilling to go home and face her “I-told-you-so” family, Emily decides to stay in Las Vegas and rebuild her stolen finances. But what she actually rebuilds is her entire life. She even gambles on a chance for true love and discovers that sometimes in order to find yourself, you have to start from scratch.
andrew potter

Best Characters Development

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1-tie) Sloan Parker – Breathe
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 16, 2010)
Amazon: Breathe

Lincoln McCaw lost everything -- his home, his job, his partner -- after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has. Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything -- a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.

Marie Sexton - Song Of Oestend
Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (October 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0857157477
ISBN-13: 978-0857157478
Amazon: Song Of Oestend

Great world building-- familiar enough to relate to, but with some interesting changes. I liked the mixture of modern with the generators and the old-fashioned windmills. I didn't think I'd like the main character Aren too much, but the author did a really great job of making him (all of them) multifaceted and interesting and he really grew on me the more he grew up. --Kirsten

Paranormal western. I wasn’t too sure at the beginning as I worried it would be a little too horror-like for me to enjoy & I’m not a big fan of alternative reality/sci-fi, but quickly grew to love it. --Juni

Symbols have power... Aren Montrell has heard tales of the Oestend wraiths - mysterious creatures which come in the night and kill anyone who’s not indoors. Aren’s never had reason to believe the stories, but when he takes a job as a bookkeeper on the BarChi, a dusty cattle ranch on the remote Oestend prairie, he soon learns that the wraiths are real. Aren suddenly finds himself living in a supposedly haunted house and depending on wards and generators to protect him from unseen things in the night. As if that’s not enough, he has to deal with a crotchety old blind woman, face “cows” that look like nothing he’s ever seen before, and try to ignore the fact that he’s apparently the most eligible bachelor around. Aren also finds himself the one and only confidante of Deacon, the BarChi’s burly foreman. Deacon runs the BarChi with an iron fist and is obviously relieved to finally have somebody he can talk to. As their relationship grows, Aren learns there’s more to Deacon and the BarChi than he’d anticipated. Deacon seems determined to deny both his Oestend heritage and any claim he may have to the BarChi ranch, but if Aren is to survive the perils of Oestend, he’ll have to convince Deacon to stop running from the past and finally claim everything that’s his.

2-tie) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822271
ISBN-13: 978-1602822276
Amazon: Wild

This book was a great read, and I'd happily read another by this author. Suspense and romance mixed together well, with the romance being a deliciously complicated snarl of trust, desire, and longing both for a partner and for acceptance of self. --Heidi

This was an interesting book; it slowly drew me into the story. I liked the fact that two strong women had vulnerable sides. I liked the way the story line played out it wasn’t obviously in your face and it kept you wanting to read more... So for me this was a great book. --Norma

The only thing that frightens shapeshifter Selene Rhodes more than the full moon is the idea of falling in love. Selene Rhodes has lived her whole life with a terrible secret: not only can she take the form of any animal at will, but once a month the full moon transforms her into a fierce wolf-creature without a human conscience. Managing her condition means living by a strict routine, and more importantly, abstaining from intimate relationships with human beings. Selene is convinced that love and friendship can only bring her pain. Forensic pathologist Eve Thomas is well-acquainted with the pain of romantic love. Swearing off relationships after having her heart broken by a cheating ex, Eve throws herself into her work: catching murderers. When Selene comes to her aid after an attack by a masked man in Golden Gate Park, Eve is shocked by how powerfully she is drawn to her mysterious savior. Shaken by her own feelings for Eve, Selene is even more terrified to realize she isn’t even close to being the scariest monster stalking San Francisco. There is someone out in the city who is killing for pleasure, and his next target is the one woman he thinks might be able to stop him: Eve.

Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758246803
ISBN-13: 978-0758246806
Amazon: The Evolution of Ethan Poe

Thought-provoking! Great characters. Ms. Reardon's writing style is effortless, easy to read, and truly pulls you into the life, persona and internal conflict of the main character. -- Bobby

In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories, and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt: his parents are divorcing, his older brother Kyle is exhibiting alarming behavior, and his best friend is turning into a spiritual fanatic. Then there are the shifting uncertainties-including his feelings toward his father and his desire to both blend in and stand out in his rural Maine hometown. Most pressing of all, there's his attraction to Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does. Despite Ethan's initial reluctance, he gets pulled into a heated and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Family and friends are turning against each other, school is a battleground, and Ethan will have to take a stand. Because some facts are irrefutable and some bonds unbreakable, even when they can't be seen. And once Ethan finds the courage to become who he was meant to be, the outcome could be absolutely extraordinary…

3-tie) Felice Picano - True Stories
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984470778
ISBN-13: 978-0984470778
Amazon: True Stories

From author Felice Picano, co-founder of the path breaking Violet Quill Club, comes a new collection of memoirs, many of which have never appeared in print. Picano presents sweet and sometimes controversial anecdotes of his precocious childhood, odd, funny, and often disturbing encounters from before he found his calling as a writer and later as one of the first GLBT publishers. Throughout are his delightful encounters and surprising relationships with the one-of-a-kind and the famous-including Tennessee Williams, W.H. Auden, Charles Henri Ford, Bette Midler, and Diana Vreeland.

Colette Moody - Parties in Congress
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (February 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822026
ISBN-13: 978-1602822023
Amazon: Parties in Congress

I would likely never have picked the story up on my own, but wowza, am I ever glad it got assigned to me, because otherwise I’d have missed out on a brilliant, humorously written piece of fiction. This story is a gem well worth reading. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever been disheartened by the political system here in the US, anyone who has struggled with an improper attraction, anyone with a heart and a brain. Bravo Ms. Moody, bravo. You’ve made a fan out of me. I can't think of a single flaw in the writing of that story. I really believe the story to be one of the best written pieces of fiction it's been my pleasure to read for quite some time. --Cherie

Nicely paced story with good supporting cast. Loved the humor throughout the story. --Tammy

This story was really enjoyable; the story drew the relationship growth between Bijul & Colleen. It may not have been hot & heavy but it showed that sometimes relationships are more than just the sex. I liked the fact that there was diversity in races with the characters. Also the humour was pretty cool as was the sarcastic banter between Bijal & Colleen when the first meet. To be honest I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I am so glad that I read it; it was a real surprise. --Norma

They say politics makes strange bedfellows... Elated to secure her first paid political staff position, Bijal Rao is eager to focus her efforts on the election of her candidate to U.S. Congress. However, Bijal's first unforeseen obstacle is her profound and unexpected attraction to their opponent—incumbent Congresswoman Colleen O'Bannon¬—who is outspoken, charismatic, and openly lesbian. An even greater hurdle is the subterfuge and pretense that pervades the climate in Washington, D.C., where small missteps are readily painted as major gaffes, and lies are explained away as "in the public's best interest." During the heated campaign, both Bijal and Colleen struggle not to cross the lines of propriety—and perhaps more importantly, their party lines.

Lee Houck – Yield
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758242654
ISBN-13: 978-0758242655
Amazon: Yield

Easily one of the best books I've read in the last few years. Houck writes with an amazing voice, making what could have been an unsympathetic character relatable and likable. The story should be a familiar one, but it felt fresh and engrossing. Strong storytelling and a wonderful way with words. --Josh

In his evocative and mesmerizing debut novel, Lee Houck depicts a contemporary Manhattan thrumming with sex and violence as seen through the eyes of Simon—a twenty-something part-time hustler with a cadre of loyal, sometimes floundering friends. As Simon grows increasingly involved with a gorgeous, guileless client named Aiden, he tries to navigate a path to fulfillment in a city where love and honesty are as dangerous as they are rare. Witty, spare, and rapier-sharp, this is an exceptional story of the friendships that sustain us, the families we create, and the pain and joy that are always within reach, waiting for us to yield…

Heidi Cullinan - Nowhere Ranch
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (February 15, 2011)
Amazon: Nowhere Ranch

I really liked the main characters and I liked the romantic relationship and the slow way it built. Competent and better than a lot in the genre. There was probably just as much "gay rights" lecturing in this story, but I didn't feel like it was blatantly aimed at me. -- Kirsten

Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never mixes business with pleasure -- until he takes a weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad idea, but Travis Loving is hard to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up like a pair of custom-cut rails. As Loving points out, so long as this is sex on the side, no interfering with the job, they could make it work. The truth is, there’s good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn’t need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: the past always catches up with you. Eventually, even a loner gets lonely, and home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it -- even in a place called Nowhere.
andrew potter

Best Writing Style

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1-tie) Tracy Rowan - Suffer the Little Children
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (January 26, 2011)
Amazon: Suffer the Little Children

When Victorian private investigator Nick Romney’s step-father, an Anglican bishop, is murdered, Nick refuses to get involved. At the urging of his family, though, Nick and his lover Davy step in to investigate. Together they uncover the truth of the bishop’s involvement in the dark and horrifying world of child prostitution, the reason why he was killed, and the shocking identity of the murderer.

Karis Walsh – Harmony
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 16, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822379
ISBN-13: 978-1602822375
Amazon: Harmony

Loved the storyline. I could not put this book down! --Mitzie

Sometimes conformity and control are only shields, and all it takes is the right woman to shatter the illusions forever. Andrea Taylor craves peace in her life, no matter what the personal sacrifice. She arranges her career as a violist, her relationships with family and friends, and even her love life so she can avoid strife at all costs. Everything is going according to plan until she meets Brooke Stanton the night before Brooke’s wedding rehearsal and her ordered existence falls apart. When Brooke hires a string quartet to play at her rehearsal dinner, she doesn’t expect to meet a woman who threatens the security of her already predetermined future. Suddenly she has doubts about the conventional path she has chosen and desires she can no longer ignore. In an eclectic neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, these two women face a life-altering decision—will they fight the attraction that threatens their carefully structured lives or take a chance on finding the harmony only love creates?

2) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758246803
ISBN-13: 978-0758246806
Amazon: The Evolution of Ethan Poe

Thought-provoking! Great characters. Ms. Reardon's writing style is effortless, easy to read, and truly pulls you into the life, persona and internal conflict of the main character. -- Bobby

In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories, and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt: his parents are divorcing, his older brother Kyle is exhibiting alarming behavior, and his best friend is turning into a spiritual fanatic. Then there are the shifting uncertainties-including his feelings toward his father and his desire to both blend in and stand out in his rural Maine hometown. Most pressing of all, there's his attraction to Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does. Despite Ethan's initial reluctance, he gets pulled into a heated and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Family and friends are turning against each other, school is a battleground, and Ethan will have to take a stand. Because some facts are irrefutable and some bonds unbreakable, even when they can't be seen. And once Ethan finds the courage to become who he was meant to be, the outcome could be absolutely extraordinary…

3-tie) Sloan Parker – Breathe
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 16, 2010)
Amazon: Breathe

Lincoln McCaw lost everything -- his home, his job, his partner -- after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has. Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything -- a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.

Tamara Allen - The Only Gold
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615818383
ISBN-13: 978-1615818389
Amazon: The Only Gold

I loved this book, couldn't put it down and stayed up way too late several nights running to finish it. --Anne

Ms Allen writes some of THE best historical romance stories ever; she does it very well. She can drop a reader into the era and locale within a handful of paragraphs and never look back. In ‘Gold’, her plot thickened and developed, foreshadowing events with just enough mystic to not give it all away. This was a most excellent story and one I will read again and enjoy with as much verve. --Merith

Jonah Woolner's life is as prudently regulated as the bank where he works. It's a satisfying life until he's passed over for promotion in favor of newcomer Reid Hylliard. Brash and enterprising, Reid beguiles everyone except Jonah, who's convinced Reid's progressive ideas will be the bank's ruin. When Jonah begins to discover there's more to Reid than meets the eye, he risks succumbing to Reid's charms-but unlocking the vault to all of Reid's secrets could lead him down a dangerous path. Losing his promotion-and perhaps his heart-is the least of Jonah's difficulties. When the vengeful son of a Union army vet descends upon the bank to steal a government deposit of half a million dollars during the deadliest blizzard to ever sweep New York, Jonah and Reid are trapped, at odds and fighting for their lives.
andrew potter

One Perfect Rate (Honorable Mention)

And now before posting the last 2 category, Debut Novel and Best Book, please let me assign these honorable mentions. ALL the books are worthy, and the judges did a wonderful job, and I tried to assign each book to a balanced mix of readers (authors, editors, reviewers, simple, but important, readers), and sometime I received a rate from a judge saying, I LOVE this book, this is the best book I have read... but it was not enough. I call this category, One Perfect Rate, it means these books received a very high rate from one of the judges reading it. I'm sure the readers, and the authors, will appreciate to know.

Honourable Mention:



Adam Fitzroy - Stage Whispers
Publisher: Manifold Press

Meet jobbing actor Jonathan Stapleton – failed husband, slightly better father, with no ambition and in his own eyes only a modicum of acting ability; he doesn’t need complications in his life, but that’s exactly what he gets with Callum Henley – younger, talented, exasperatingly impulsive, and for some reason completely crazy about him. How can they hope to succeed as a couple when one is heading for fame and fortune at the very top of his profession … and the other one prefers to stay at home?

Amy Meister - Rainbow in the Dark
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005GXJ5NY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I liked this book, even though I did keep forgetting that they were all animal species... the story kept me wanting to know more... the characters were believable and funny... and I liked that I knew most of the bands mentioned... I will definitely be looking for more of Amy Meister’s future works. --Norma

Andy Frankham-Allen – Seeker
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SHNNTG/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Boy, there's quite a lot of story here. It isn't my usual type of read, but I thought the author did an excellent job of weaving so many details into an intriguing plot. --Janet

Barry Brennessel – Tinseltown
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608203565/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I really, really loved reading the book. I thought the idea with the voices in Micah's head was unique and hilariously funny. But at the same time I was absolutely shocked and moved to tears (by some of the events in the story). --Uli

Carole Cummings - Aisling 1, Guardian
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1610401182/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Constable Dallin Brayden knows who he is, what he’s about, and he doesn’t believe in Fate. ‘Wilfred Calder’ has no idea who he is, what he’s about, and has been running from Fate for as long as he can remember. When Wil is brought in for questioning as a witness to a brutal murder, and subsequently flees, Dallin is dragged by duty into the chaos of ancient myth, fanatical religion, and the delicate politics of a shaky truce between two perpetually warring countries, all of which seem to hinge on the slender shoulders of the man he knows is not Wilfred Calder.

Carsen Taite - Nothing But The Truth
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602821984/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The truth, like love, can be elusive, unless you’re willing to fight for it. Sparks fly when two top notch attorneys battle each other in the high risk arena of the courtroom, but when a strange turn of events thrusts one of them from the role of advocate to witness, prosecutor Ryan Foster and defense attorney Brett Logan join forces in their search for the truth. Working together they quickly learn their attraction to each other is as strong as their commitment to justice, but courthouse romance is not without complications.

Clare London - 72 Hours
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1615815929/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Tanner Mackay and Niall Sutherland were once far more than just fellow intelligence agents. But then a mission went horribly wrong and everything fell apart, sending Tanner into hiding and splitting the team and their affair wide apart. Now an unknown traitor is threatening the team, and their ex-boss is determined to reunite them before it's too late. She finds Tanner in a run-down trailer park, bringing with her a most unwelcome refugee in need of temporary sanctuary.

Damon Suede - Hot Head
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1615819487/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

A truly great book and a joy to read. With all-around good, likable, but still believable characters, an engaging, original plot and interesting settings the story took place in. A book I probably would have chosen to buy and read for myself. Though maybe the almost porn-like sounding title would have kept me from giving it a second glance *ack* ^___^. That would have been a shame. --Sandra

David Pratt - Bob the Book
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984470719/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

This was such a fun book, with a truly unique premise! I loved that the point of view was entirely through the books as the primary characters, and the humans and their relationships secondary. I will never feel the same way about my books again. The story was so compelling, I kept reading feverishly to see what would become of the various books and whether they would find their way back to the one's they loved. --Ellis

Eric Arvin - Woke Up in a Strange Place
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1615817956/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I thought the book was absolutely gorgeously written and the characters were beautifully drawn. The setting was reminiscent of other books for me (even C.S. Lewis' work, to some extent). Out of the five books assigned to me, I felt this one was the best. --Melissa

Erin Dutton - Reluctant Hope
http://www.amazon.com/dp/160282228X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Cancer survivor Addison Hunt knows she can’t offer any guarantees, in love or in life, and after experiencing a loss of her own, Brooke Donahue isn’t willing to risk her heart. Addison hasn’t been with anyone since her cancer treatment and has convinced herself she is happy with the life she is building on her own. Brooke is attracted to Addison, but that’s as far as she is willing to let it go. She doesn’t want to get involved, especially not with someone whose future is uncertain.

Gill McKnight - Indigo Moon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822018/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The road trip from Hell is paved with good intentions. Hope Glassy and Godfrey Meyers are on a mercy mission. Their friend Isabelle has been attacked by a rogue werewolf and is in the throes of lycanthropic fever. With their respective partners out of town all Hope and Godfrey can do is get Isabelle to the safety of Little Dip and the Garoul clan before her sire comes to claim her. In a desperate race against time, with the hounds of hell snapping at their heels, can they save her—and does Isabelle want to be saved? Third in the Garoul series.

Jamie Fessenden - The Christmas Wager
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GXB5LU/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Mr. Fessenden’s work, The Christmas Wager, was a delight to read from start to finish. The author’s voice rang charmingly through every syllable, and was in fact so hypnotizing that I had to lay the work aside for a few weeks after reading it before I could make a fair assessment of the writing style. I love Victorian era M/M romances that take into account the attitudes and mores of the time, and Mr. Fessenden’s work does that. If you like gay romance, friends to lovers, and Victorian era stories, you are sure to love this work. You may love it even if you don’t typically care for those things, simply carried along by the hypnotic lilt of Mr. Fessenden’s brilliant storytelling. --Cherie

Kate McMurray - Blind Items
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1613720688/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Big surprise of the bunch -- EXCELLENT contemporary. --Lee

Kim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou - Dying to Live
http://www.amazon.com/dp/160282200X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The book was great and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was completely believable as something that could happen in our world today. --Mitzie

Lea Santos - Picture Imperfect
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602821801/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Once, Paloma and Deanne Vargas thought they were destined to grow old together. But after fourteen years together and two children, Paloma finally accepts she has based her life on the foolish dream of two passionate high school sweethearts. Heartbroken that Deanne seems more devoted to being a cop than a partner, Paloma tosses her out and tries to move on. But Deanne is determined to get their marriage back on the road to happily ever after, by way of Memory Lane—and Lover’s Lane... Third in the Amigas y Amor Series

Nathan Goh - Blame It On The Raging Hormones
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590211154/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Blame it on the Raging Hormones is different - kooky and sweet, real with enough power to draw you in and make you care. --Merith

Natasha LaBrake - Vows From Darkness
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456403796/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

A very good book!! Loved it! --Rachel

Reiko Morgan - Over The Mountain of the Moon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608202569/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I absolutely, completely and thoroughly enjoyed this book. My attention was riveted from word one and held until the end. I enjoyed the journey of the two main characters, both in Jin's need for revenge and Tetsuya and Jin's relationship. The setting was particularly exquisite; tangible and yet not overdone in description. The style was crisp and clean. Even so, this is one of my favorite books I've read this year. Highly recommended. --Heidi

Rowan Speedwell - Kindred Hearts
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1615818987/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Charming rascal Tristan Northwood seems to have it all: an ancient name, a noble inheritance, a lovely wife, and a son he adores. Women love him, men admire him, and it seems there is nothing he can't do, whether it's seducing a society wife or winning a carriage race. Little does Society suspect that the name means nothing to him, the fortune is in his father's controlling hands, and he has no interest in his wife except a very distant friendship.

Shane Allison - Black Fire, Gay African-American Erotica
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822069/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Black Fire celebrates the heat and power of sex between black men: the rude B-boys and gorgeous thugs, the worshippers of heavenly ass, and the devoutly religious in their forays through the subterranean grottoes of the down-low world... The narrator of Jamie Freeman's "Alex's Adventures in the Land of Wonder China Emporium" puts a hot gay twist on a fairy tale classic. And in Bearmuffin's "His Jock Slave," a man's dream comes true when he is nailed by the man he worships in every way imaginable. From the sultriness in Logan Zachary's "Black Bayou Fire" to the raw lust that goes down in a department store changing room in Landon Dixon's "Fitting Room," these are stories that arouse and confront.

V.K. Powell - Justifiable Risk
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602821976/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Very good uber romance and well written police thriller. --Julie

Yolanda Wallace - Rum Spring
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602821933/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

A unique, well-researched cross-cultural romance with a complex plot and unforgettable characters. Truly wonderful. –Jessica
andrew potter

Best Bisexual/Transgender Debut Novel

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Ryan Loveless - Building Arcadia
Publisher: TVB Publishing; 1 edition (March 23, 2011)
Amazon: Building Arcadia

I really enjoyed the book. I especially enjoyed how in depth the author went into the incident as it’s called in the book and just how much it affected all three main characters. The book is well written with fantastic plot and character development. Overall, a fantastic book. --Danielle

A dark alley, an unprovoked attack. A lethal shooting. An accused man who can't remember holding the gun. For two best friends, an evening out gone horribly wrong. Musician Connor Adams can't remember killing one of the men who attacked him and his best friend and fellow musician Sam, who is gay. What he does remember is this: three man-shaped shadows coming towards them, a struggle, and Sam falling to the ground. But the attacker is dead, Sam lies in a coma, and evidence points squarely at Connor. Facing twenty-five years in prison and dealing with the grief of Sam's condition, Connor doesn't know if he should lean on his wife Kelly for support or divorce her and let her move on. As they struggle to find the truth of that fateful night under the public's eye, Connor, Kelly, and Sam realize that they need each other like never before and that their long friendship is growing into love. But can they get around forced separation and their reluctance to show their true feelings to find a way back to each other?

2) Elliott DeLine – Refuse
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 11, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463650922
ISBN-13: 978-1463650926
Amazon: Refuse

A very rewarding novel. An excellent reading as young trans struggle through their lives. I really enjoyed the quickness of the story, immersing myself in the tale and reading almost straight through. I'd say you have a winner in this one. Congrats. Young, confused trannies going through the motions. Written very well, easily understood, showing their angst of being young or being a trannie. – Mick

"All writers are born in the wrong body, but it happens to be the reader’s good fortune that Elliott DeLine was literally born in the wrong body – even if he would never use a tacky cliché like that. 'Refuse' is a stunning debut “novoir” about an over-observant young outsider with really great hair who is outside everything – including the transgender community – but keeps a great deal bottled up inside. Funny, cynical, tough, vulnerable, honest, deluded, sagacious, self-loving and self-loathing, 'Refuse' is irresistible." -Mark Simpson, author of 'Saint Morrissey'

3) Ben Monopoli - The Cranberry Hush
Amazon: The Cranberry Hush

Vince Dandro might be going through the quietest quarter-life crisis of all time. He lives alone, works at a comic book shop, and has a crush on his coworker he can't seem to act on. His life is just fine, but only just fine. Everything changes when Vince's long-lost friend Griff shows up at his house in the middle of a blizzard. They were roommates in college, so close back then that Griff's girlfriend called them "lifebuddies" -- but Vince's love for Griff ended the friendship, he thought, forever. They haven't spoken in years. Why has Griff shown up again? And, more importantly, can Vince handle his return? Vince and Griff are two twentysomethings struggling to find their places in the world and in each other's lives. This is a story of friendship and love, both unrequited and requited, and learning how to fly through the post-college void, where sometimes the only sound you can hear is The Cranberry Hush. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1361980.html.
andrew potter

Best Gay Debut Novel/Book

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Lee Houck – Yield
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Kensington (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758242654
ISBN-13: 978-0758242655
Amazon: Yield

Easily one of the best books I've read in the last few years. Houck writes with an amazing voice, making what could have been an unsympathetic character relatable and likable. The story should be a familiar one, but it felt fresh and engrossing. Strong storytelling and a wonderful way with words. --Josh

In his evocative and mesmerizing debut novel, Lee Houck depicts a contemporary Manhattan thrumming with sex and violence as seen through the eyes of Simon—a twenty-something part-time hustler with a cadre of loyal, sometimes floundering friends. As Simon grows increasingly involved with a gorgeous, guileless client named Aiden, he tries to navigate a path to fulfillment in a city where love and honesty are as dangerous as they are rare. Witty, spare, and rapier-sharp, this is an exceptional story of the friendships that sustain us, the families we create, and the pain and joy that are always within reach, waiting for us to yield…

2) Timothy McGivney – Zombielicious
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (December 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608202631
ISBN-13: 978-1608202638
Amazon: Zombielicious

Sexy and horrifying, Zombielicious is an innovative twist on the Zombie craze. The multiple point of view narration could have been a real mess, but the author really makes it work well. Fast paced and exciting; a refreshing change from all the whiny angst ridden plot lines being recycled again and again. This one's a winner. --Tim

Amidst a zombie outbreak, Walt, athletic and confident, meets shy and quiet Joey, the attraction between them both instant and electric. With strength in numbers, they band together alongside fellow survivors; Jill, an ex-porn star turned nurse who's made a startling discovery about her past; Ace, a disgruntled security guard who just can't live up to certain short comings; and Molly, the fiery redhead unwilling to give up on her dreams of stardom. In this apocalyptic new world of the dead, an anything-goes attitude has become the law of the land and lust, betrayal, true love and redemption are all just a gunshot away.

3) Morgan Cheshire - Solemn Contract
Publisher: Manifold Press

This book is sweet and charming. Set in early American history, it's not your usual m/m setting, which makes it all the more fun because the period feels accurate, as do the characters. The plot is not complex, but neither is it overly grim or unnecessarily harsh. Classic melodrama which a deft hand for keeping the same melodrama in check. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and recommend it happily. –Heidi

Connecticut, 1720: In an attempt to give his family financial security, school master Jem Bradley hires himself out as an indentured servant – and thus begins an odyssey which will take him to the small settlement of Kennet and a burgeoning friendship with enigmatic blacksmith Will Middleton. Trouble is never far away, however, and when Jem is accused of committing a bloody murder his future begins to look very bleak indeed…

Honorable Mention:



4) Feliz Faber - City Falcon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/161372098X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The premise of this story was very unique, the writer's voice was strong, the characters were strong and well-drawn, and the sex was very hot. I really enjoyed the book and found it very engaging once I started it. --Ellis

5) Mel Bossa – Split
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822204/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

It was told in a series of flashbacks told from Derek’s diary written achingly to ‘Dear Bump’ the longed for younger brother whose stillbirth caused the breakdown of his mother’s mental health. I felt that the author really caught the tone of a child’s story telling with beautiful touches of humour. This book was about a young boy who would have had a very arid childhood if it weren’t for his lovely Aunt and the wonderful friendship he had with the family of his best friend. I’m looking forward to more from this author. --Rachel

6-tie) R.A. Padmos – Ravages
Publisher: Manifold Press

The third person writing style through me initially, but once I got into the story I was able to appreciate the love between Daniel and Steve. In all honesty, I think the story could have been trimmed a little BUT it was still a wonderful tearful experience. --Janet

Well written gripping and visceral story of the aftermath of a gay-bashing - a bit repetitive at times, but a great read. --J.P.

Sophia Deri-Bowen - Young Man in Paris
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SBQ8GM/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The writing is what set this apart and elevated from the crowd. I liked the descriptions of Paris and their life there-- the parties and the time period were really well doneI also really liked the way this story was told from a future perspective-- we already knew how they'd end up. The story was how their journey started. --Kirsten

Michael Alenyikov - Ivan and Misha: stories
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0810127180/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

In Ivan and Misha, Michael Alenyikov portrays the complexities of love, sexuality, and the bonds of family with boldness and lyric sensitivity. As the Soviet Union collapses, two young brothers are whisked away from Kiev by their father to start life anew in America. The intricately linked stories in this powerful debut, set in New York City at the turn of the millennium, swirl about the uneasy bond between fraternal twins, Ivan and Misha, devoted brothers who could not be more different.

Kannan Feng - Lord of Misrule
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00433TENY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Atia Selene is the premiere magical university on the continent, and Verity Fen is its brightest star. Handsome, spoiled, and too smart for his own good,Verity has his pick of his fellow students, breaking the heart of any young man who falls into his bed. One of the privileges of Verity's position is a servant who he treats with disdain, who may prove to be the one man Verity can't use and use up. Iskander cares for his master with grace, skill, and discretion, along with a heavy leather belt and a thoroughly commanding attitude.

Belo Miguel Cipriani – Blind
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1604945559/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Imagine if the most severe physical pain and sorrow in your life were inflicted by the people you trusted most. In the spring of 2007, Belo Cipriani was beaten and robbed of his sight at the hands of his childhood friends. Blind: A Memoir chronicles the two years immediately following the assault. At the age of twenty-six, Belo found himself learning to walk, cook, and date in the dark. Armed with visual memory and his newly developed senses, Belo shows readers what the blind see. He narrates the recondite world of the blind, where microwaves, watches, and computers talk, and where guide dogs guard as well as lead. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1362269.html.
andrew potter

Best Lesbian Debut Novel

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Robin Summers - After the Fall
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books; 1 edition (July 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822344
ISBN-13: 978-1602822344
Amazon: After the Fall

WOW! This book is really good! I could not for the life of me turn my computer off and walk away from it! The storyline was believable enough to make one wonder what could happen if.... Believable enough to make you a little afraid of the future but, at the same time it gives you enough hope to think that one can survive. Very well written and easy to read. --Mitzie

When the world ends, what’s left to care about? Taylor Stone is no hero. She has three simple rules for life after the plague: Keep moving. Keep to yourself. Don’t get involved. The plague took a particular joy in killing the women of the world, making it that much harder for the few who survived. The only thing that matters since she escaped from a small farm outside of Pittsburgh is the truth waiting at the end of her journey home. The rest of the world, or what’s left of it, can go straight to Hell as far as she’s concerned. When a group of survivors offers her food and shelter, she is more than happy to spend a few days, take what she needs, and get out, like she always does. But in a place called Burninghead Farm, despite all her rules and plans, Taylor finds a group of people who have more to offer than the basics of survival. Most of all, there is Kate, a woman who makes Taylor realize love is still alive and makes her dream of a future she thought was no longer possible. If only Taylor can find the courage to fight for it. It turns out that the end of the world isn’t about the end of the world at all, but about what happens after.

2) Karis Walsh – Harmony
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 16, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822379
ISBN-13: 978-1602822375
Amazon: Harmony

Loved the storyline. I could not put this book down! --Mitzie

Sometimes conformity and control are only shields, and all it takes is the right woman to shatter the illusions forever. Andrea Taylor craves peace in her life, no matter what the personal sacrifice. She arranges her career as a violist, her relationships with family and friends, and even her love life so she can avoid strife at all costs. Everything is going according to plan until she meets Brooke Stanton the night before Brooke’s wedding rehearsal and her ordered existence falls apart. When Brooke hires a string quartet to play at her rehearsal dinner, she doesn’t expect to meet a woman who threatens the security of her already predetermined future. Suddenly she has doubts about the conventional path she has chosen and desires she can no longer ignore. In an eclectic neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, these two women face a life-altering decision—will they fight the attraction that threatens their carefully structured lives or take a chance on finding the harmony only love creates?

3) Mary Griggs - Unbroken Circle
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bella Books; 1 edition (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594932433
ISBN-13: 978-1594932434
Amazon: Unbroken Circle

I believe this is her first book and with that in mind it is a very good story. –Julie

Sallie Lee Hybart doesn’t see many strangers at her diner counter. Pennington, Alabama, is a town the interstate passed by, so newcomers are rare. But this one looks familiar. Janet Bouton has nothing and no one. Her life has been stripped down to the clothing on her back. Counting out her meager change to pay for a stick-to-the-ribs meal, she is hoping to escape the diner unrecognized. She shouldn’t have come back...but no place else on earth was familiar. An act of kindness sets a chain of events in motion and pulls Sallie Lee and Janet together, but the past has the power to tear them apart. There are still people in Pennington who remember Janet too well. Small town memories have had a lot of years to simmer, and love may not be the recipe for happiness. Mary Griggs’ debut romance novel unites a lost soul and a determined survivor to create a passionate story that readers will remember long after the final page.

Honourable Mention:



4) Christine Hall Volkoff - Travels Through Love And Time
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1456466119/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

From the rocky coves of the small island of Porquerolles in her teenage years, the glamour of the Cannes Film Festival in the 60's to a café in Paris in the 80's as a middle aged woman, Christine doesn't really know if she is looking for love, or if love is looking for her. At the terrace of a small outdoor café, she discusses Marguerite Duras with an unknown woman, and enters into a whirlwind of anxiety and desire only mitigated by good food and the magic of the city. Has Christine learned anything about love in her travels?

5-tie) Sophia Kell Hagin - Whatever Gods May Be
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602821836/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Whatever Gods May Be is one of the best lesbian romances I've seen in a while --Lori

K.E. Payne - 365 Days
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602825408/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

One mixed-up girl, one dull boy, two hot distractions. How does one figure it all out? Life sucks when you’re fifteen years old, confused about your sexuality, and the girl of your dreams doesn’t even know you exist. The sudden entrance of a hot new emo at school only adds to the confusion. Clemmie Atkins thinks she's in love with her school friend, the mysterious and alluring J. Devastated that J doesn’t even seem to know she exists, Clemmie tries to escape her feelings by dating the nice but dim Ben.
andrew potter

Best Bisexual/Transgender Novel

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1-tie) Justine Saracen - Sarah, Son of God
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822123
ISBN-13: 978-1602822122
Amazon: Sarah, Son of God

Beautifully written, with a lovingly described setting, original and likable characters and an engaging plot. --Jenna

Extremely well written and engrossing novel. I had a hard time getting into it at the beginning because my preference is a story from a male perspective; however, once I let that go and focused on the story, it certainly kept my attention. I was put off by the story's premise that a woman imitated Jesus because he died rather than resurrected, but I admire the sheer audacity of the writer's creative treatment. The plot was complex and the characters fully developed. Brava, Justine! Mi piace. --Janet

What happens when who we love forces us to change our view of who we are? Against her better judgment, Professor Joanna Valois takes on sexually undefinable Sara Falier as her assistant on a trip to Venice. The object of their research is a sixteenth century heretical book and the truth about the woman condemned to death for printing it. The book, a translation of an ancient codex, not only shattered the lives of nearly everyone who touched it, but 400 years later, could still bring half the world to its knees. Like nesting dolls, this story within a story within a story raises the question as to whether gender-breaking has not only challenged the boundaries of love and sexual desire, but altered the course of history.

Catherine Ryan Hyde - Jumpstart the World
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Ember (November 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375866264
ISBN-13: 978-0375866265
Amazon: Jumpstart the World

I wish I could give this book a 100. This was the best book I've read in a long, long time. It stays with me, and so the all the characters. And I think as far as YA books go, this is a must read for every YA who has ever thought they were "different." The writing is what most writers should aspire to do. It's simple, it's clean, it's tight, and it's what writing fiction should be all about. I can't recommend this book enough to everyone. If I had kids, I'd sit them down and force them to listen while I read it to them. – Ryan

Elle is a loner. She doesn't need people. Which is a good thing, because now she has to move out of her apartment so her mother's boyfriend won't have to deal with her. Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door to her new place. Being with him is impossible: he's a grown-up and has a girlfriend. Still, Elle can't stop thinking about him. Frank isn't like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He's gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. Then Elle discovers that Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he's transgender. Elle's head and her heart explode; her world is turned upside down. But when an accident nearly takes Frank's life, Elle must search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world. Tender, honest, and compassionate, Jumpstart the World is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love.

2) Ryan Loveless - Building Arcadia
Publisher: TVB Publishing; 1 edition (March 23, 2011)
Amazon: Building Arcadia

I really enjoyed the book. I especially enjoyed how in depth the author went into the incident as it’s called in the book and just how much it affected all three main characters. The book is well written with fantastic plot and character development. Overall, a fantastic book. --Danielle

A dark alley, an unprovoked attack. A lethal shooting. An accused man who can't remember holding the gun. For two best friends, an evening out gone horribly wrong. Musician Connor Adams can't remember killing one of the men who attacked him and his best friend and fellow musician Sam, who is gay. What he does remember is this: three man-shaped shadows coming towards them, a struggle, and Sam falling to the ground. But the attacker is dead, Sam lies in a coma, and evidence points squarely at Connor. Facing twenty-five years in prison and dealing with the grief of Sam's condition, Connor doesn't know if he should lean on his wife Kelly for support or divorce her and let her move on. As they struggle to find the truth of that fateful night under the public's eye, Connor, Kelly, and Sam realize that they need each other like never before and that their long friendship is growing into love. But can they get around forced separation and their reluctance to show their true feelings to find a way back to each other?

3) Elliott DeLine – Refuse
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Lulu Press (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/refuse/18738579)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463650922
ISBN-13: 978-1463650926

A very rewarding novel. An excellent reading as young trans struggle through their lives. I really enjoyed the quickness of the story, immersing myself in the tale and reading almost straight through. I'd say you have a winner in this one. Congrats. Young, confused trannies going through the motions. Written very well, easily understood, showing their angst of being young or being a trannie. – Mick

"All writers are born in the wrong body, but it happens to be the reader’s good fortune that Elliott DeLine was literally born in the wrong body – even if he would never use a tacky cliché like that. 'Refuse' is a stunning debut “novoir” about an over-observant young outsider with really great hair who is outside everything – including the transgender community – but keeps a great deal bottled up inside. Funny, cynical, tough, vulnerable, honest, deluded, sagacious, self-loving and self-loathing, 'Refuse' is irresistible." -Mark Simpson, author of 'Saint Morrissey'

Honourable Mention:



5) John F. Rooney - Unprotected Love
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0975275615/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I must admit when I first started this book I didn’t think I was going to like it... but by about 10 pages in I couldn’t put it down. It kept me guessing the whole way through... I will definitely be looking for more of this persons work... I liked the fact that there was no major love interest... it was a brilliant police story. --Norma

6) Marshall Thornton - Desert Run
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/161040145X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The author did an excellent job setting the scene; even before he started to clearly define when the story took place, I was able to get a sense of the time period. The writing was great and the setting was interesting. --Shanna

7) Ben Monopoli - The Cranberry Hush
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QZ9OWA/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Vince Dandro might be going through the quietest quarter-life crisis of all time. He lives alone, works at a comic book shop, and has a crush on his coworker he can't seem to act on. His life is just fine, but only just fine. Everything changes when Vince's long-lost friend Griff shows up at his house in the middle of a blizzard. They were roommates in college, so close back then that Griff's girlfriend called them "lifebuddies" -- but Vince's love for Griff ended the friendship, he thought, forever. They haven't spoken in years.

8) Tomas Mournian – Hidden
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0758251319/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

When Ahmed's parents send him to a residential treatment center known as Serenity Ridge, it's with one goal: to "fix" their son, at any cost. But eleven months of abuse and overmedication leave him desperate to escape. And when the opportunity comes, Ahmed runs away to San Francisco. There, he moves into a secret safe house shared by a group of teens. Until they become independent at eighteen, the housemates hide away from authorities, bound by rules that both protect and frustrate.

9) L.A. Witt – Static
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1611249538/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I have never read a novel with a transgender character before now. Perhaps to soften what can be a controversial topic, the author used science fiction to craft the story. The story is alternately narrated by Damon and Alex, in first person POV. A few times, this became problematic, yet readers need to see the story from both of their sides. I read fiction for escapism, and this book severely pushed the limit. Overall, it was a gripping story with a great HEA. Recommended. --Jem

10-tie) Giselle Renarde - My Mistress's Thighs
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1600546234/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Erotic Transgender Fiction and Poetry by Giselle Renarde. A cross-dressing cowboy, a post-war pin-up, and a wolf in grandmother’s clothing all find a special home in My Mistress’ Thighs. This collection of erotic transgender fiction and poetry by Giselle Renarde makes room for everyone. There’s a secret solstice sacrifice, a case of spring fever, an online romance, and a Wednesday night dinner routine that’s anything but dull. This anthology includes erotic favorites, new surprises, and never-before-seen poetry.

Penelope Friday – Thrace
Publisher: Manifold Press

A collection of three short stories, each set on the planet Thrace, a not very popular destination due to its bleakness, and the resident alien population of Tsygons, an androgynous species blessed with three eyes and a long tail. Three interesting stories each of which in one way or another explores relationships between humans and aliens, and in some cases love and intimacy between the two. The theme of the ugliness of prejudice features strongly too. –Benjamin
andrew potter

Best Gay Novel/Book

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Sloan Parker – Breathe
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 16, 2010)
Amazon: Breathe

Lincoln McCaw lost everything -- his home, his job, his partner -- after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive…before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has. Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But how can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything -- a friendship and a love that could save him? He may not have time to make the choice before someone else destroys it all.

2) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; Original edition (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758246803
ISBN-13: 978-0758246806
Amazon: The Evolution of Ethan Poe

Thought-provoking! Great characters. Ms. Reardon's writing style is effortless, easy to read, and truly pulls you into the life, persona and internal conflict of the main character. -- Bobby

In the space of a few months, sixteen-year-old Ethan Poe's life has become a complicated mix of facts, theories, and hypotheses. Things he knows beyond doubt: his parents are divorcing, his older brother Kyle is exhibiting alarming behavior, and his best friend is turning into a spiritual fanatic. Then there are the shifting uncertainties-including his feelings toward his father and his desire to both blend in and stand out in his rural Maine hometown. Most pressing of all, there's his attraction to Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does. Despite Ethan's initial reluctance, he gets pulled into a heated and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Family and friends are turning against each other, school is a battleground, and Ethan will have to take a stand. Because some facts are irrefutable and some bonds unbreakable, even when they can't be seen. And once Ethan finds the courage to become who he was meant to be, the outcome could be absolutely extraordinary…

3-tie) Tamara Allen - The Only Gold
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615818383
ISBN-13: 978-1615818389
Amazon: The Only Gold

I loved this book, couldn't put it down and stayed up way too late several nights running to finish it. --Anne

Ms Allen writes some of THE best historical romance stories ever; she does it very well. She can drop a reader into the era and locale within a handful of paragraphs and never look back. In ‘Gold’, her plot thickened and developed, foreshadowing events with just enough mystic to not give it all away. This was a most excellent story and one I will read again and enjoy with as much verve. --Merith

Jonah Woolner's life is as prudently regulated as the bank where he works. It's a satisfying life until he's passed over for promotion in favor of newcomer Reid Hylliard. Brash and enterprising, Reid beguiles everyone except Jonah, who's convinced Reid's progressive ideas will be the bank's ruin. When Jonah begins to discover there's more to Reid than meets the eye, he risks succumbing to Reid's charms-but unlocking the vault to all of Reid's secrets could lead him down a dangerous path. Losing his promotion-and perhaps his heart-is the least of Jonah's difficulties. When the vengeful son of a Union army vet descends upon the bank to steal a government deposit of half a million dollars during the deadliest blizzard to ever sweep New York, Jonah and Reid are trapped, at odds and fighting for their lives.

Marten Weber - Benedetto Casanova, The Memoirs
Paperback: 414 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1461010934
ISBN-13: 978-1461010937
Amazon: Benedetto Casanova, The Memoirs

I liked this book very much. Had sex and history all beautifully combined that you lose yourself in his words, his descriptions, his passions. It was expertly done, very nice and reading more than 500 pages I wanted it to go on for more, a 1000 pages still would be enjoyable. What a story Casanova writes! A beautiful history lesson. --Mick

This was an incredible piece of literature and should definitely be considered for the final award. While the writing was excellent and the historical research was compelling, I had a serious problem with the fact that so much of this book was centered on sex. It was like reading a glorified hand job digest. --Johnny

Great pastiche of the original, but just too long. --Lee

No doubt you have heard of Casanova, the famous womanizer, and maybe you’ve seen the movie, or read the account of his life. But did you know he may have had a gay brother? Benedetto, a few years Giacomo’s junior, was pressed into service of the Church, to follow the famous lover of women through the courts of Europe. On the way he had amorous adventures with countless men, but, unlike his brother, fell in love and kept alive a romantic relationship with a strapping German soldier over time and distance. Benedetto Casanova’s (fictional) memoirs were discovered only in 1881, when an English traveler rummaging through a private library in Rome found them glued to the pages of a book. They were written in Italian and have never before been published in English. Marten Weber delivers a wonderful "translation" of this challenging text, full of linguistic cunning and his usual talent for breathtaking eroticism.

Honourable Mention:



5) Tracy Rowan - Suffer the Little Children
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004TBEQCO/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

When Victorian private investigator Nick Romney’s step-father, an Anglican bishop, is murdered, Nick refuses to get involved. At the urging of his family, though, Nick and his lover Davy step in to investigate. Together they uncover the truth of the bishop’s involvement in the dark and horrifying world of child prostitution, the reason why he was killed, and the shocking identity of the murderer.

6) Alan Chin - Match Maker
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1615815872/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

“Match Maker” by Alan Chin is one of the best books I have ever read. The story was fascinating from page 1 to the end. And the characters were so realistic and intriguing. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop until I had finished it. Mr. Chin’s writing style is superb. --Verena

This book was a nice surprise, because I didn't expect to like it so much, because I am really really not interested in tennis... But I have to say it got that an high rating from me, because one thing I liked about the book was the great representation of tennis and the psychological side of it for the players. I actually thought I might watch a tennis match on TV again once in a while. The book really had a great story line and was full of interesting characters. --Uli

7) Felice Picano - True Stories
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984470778/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

From author Felice Picano, co-founder of the path breaking Violet Quill Club, comes a new collection of memoirs, many of which have never appeared in print. Picano presents sweet and sometimes controversial anecdotes of his precocious childhood, odd, funny, and often disturbing encounters from before he found his calling as a writer and later as one of the first GLBT publishers. Throughout are his delightful encounters and surprising relationships with the one-of-a-kind and the famous-including Tennessee Williams, W.H. Auden, Charles Henri Ford, Bette Midler, and Diana Vreeland.

8-tie) Marie Sexton - Song Of Oestend
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0857157477/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Great world building-- familiar enough to relate to, but with some interesting changes. I liked the mixture of modern with the generators and the old-fashioned windmills. I didn't think I'd like the main character Aren too much, but the author did a really great job of making him (all of them) multifaceted and interesting and he really grew on me the more he grew up. --Kirsten

Paranormal western. I wasn’t too sure at the beginning as I worried it would be a little too horror-like for me to enjoy & I’m not a big fan of alternative reality/sci-fi, but quickly grew to love it. --Juni

Dusk Peterson - The Eternal Dungeon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0047T7OGI/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Normally I don't feel much need to express my thoughts on the books I read beyond the score, but in the case of The Eternal Dungeon, I feel I should. It seemed on the surface, given its title and length, that it must surely be an extensive love letter to sexual horror, and reading through the table of contents seemed only to support this. You can imagine my astonishment to discover that it is in fact a deeply moving philosophical work, which yes, has both sex and torture in it, but surprisingly little of either despite the fact that it all takes place in a dungeon. The characterization is very good and even bold, and the world building, while narrow, is solid and hints at a vast and real world that exist beyond the confines of the story. The overarching plot development is excellent, and is an extensive metaphor for the major themes of the book. The writing is eminently readable, and the author's decision to intersperse in-story historical analysis alongside the events taking place works beautifully.

10) Jay Bell - Hell's Pawn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1463513461/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

The author took what could have been overdone and cliche (war between heaven and hell) and gave it a really unique twist. All the different "heavens" were really well done, but what I thought was the most creative was the section of the story set in purgatory. I thought the characters were fabulous. They all seems to have a mix of flaws and heroic characteristics and I really liked that Bell thought of the animals and what happens to them after they die-- Bolo the seeker was really neat. --Kirsten

Beautifully intricate fantasy with complex characters & a great slant to the usual m/m tropes. Felt it stated a little slowly but picked up. –Juni
andrew potter

Best Lesbian Novel/Book

And the Rainbow Award goes to:



1) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822271
ISBN-13: 978-1602822276
Amazon: Wild

This book was a great read, and I'd happily read another by this author. Suspense and romance mixed together well, with the romance being a deliciously complicated snarl of trust, desire, and longing both for a partner and for acceptance of self. --Heidi

This was an interesting book; it slowly drew me into the story. I liked the fact that two strong women had vulnerable sides. I liked the way the story line played out it wasn’t obviously in your face and it kept you wanting to read more... So for me this was a great book. --Norma

The only thing that frightens shapeshifter Selene Rhodes more than the full moon is the idea of falling in love. Selene Rhodes has lived her whole life with a terrible secret: not only can she take the form of any animal at will, but once a month the full moon transforms her into a fierce wolf-creature without a human conscience. Managing her condition means living by a strict routine, and more importantly, abstaining from intimate relationships with human beings. Selene is convinced that love and friendship can only bring her pain. Forensic pathologist Eve Thomas is well-acquainted with the pain of romantic love. Swearing off relationships after having her heart broken by a cheating ex, Eve throws herself into her work: catching murderers. When Selene comes to her aid after an attack by a masked man in Golden Gate Park, Eve is shocked by how powerfully she is drawn to her mysterious savior. Shaken by her own feelings for Eve, Selene is even more terrified to realize she isn’t even close to being the scariest monster stalking San Francisco. There is someone out in the city who is killing for pleasure, and his next target is the one woman he thinks might be able to stop him: Eve.

2) Fay Jacobs - For Frying Out Loud
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: A&M Books; First edition (November 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615342914
ISBN-13: 978-0615342917
Amazon: For Frying Out Loud

This collection of essays and observations is wise, sarcastic, humorous, and touching. Simply wonderful. I'm a new fan! --Bobby

2011 Delaware Press Association Book of the Year! **** Fay Jacobs is back! The author of As I Lay Frying and Fried & True returns with more wise and witty recollections about contemporary life in general and more specifically life in Rehoboth Beach, a small resort town on the Delaware Coast. A treat for longtime fans and new readers alike For Frying Out Loud is a collection of Fay s latest columns plus some new, never published material. It s provocative, political, occasionally heartwarming and reliably hilarious. Jacobs' witty way of describing universal experiences in her utterly unique voice will keep you laughing, smiling and relating page after page.

3) Barbara Davies - Bourn's Edge
Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (November 11, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934452521
ISBN-13: 978-1934452523
Amazon: Bourn's Edge

Wonderful, wonderful book! --Debra

Following an attempt to kill her, librarian Cassie Lewis leaves the only life she's ever known and flees west into the mist-shrouded borderlands that lie between England and Wales. There, the sleepy, hillside village of Bourn's Edge provides a safe haven for her to regroup and decide what to do next, and reclusive local artist Tarian Brangwen provides an intriguing and welcome distraction. But Cassie soon makes a startling discovery that turns her world upside down. For deep in the heart of the adjacent Bourn Forest lies an entrance to Faerie, and the enigmatic Tarian is much more than she appears.

Honourable Mention:



4) Robin Summers - After the Fall
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822344/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

WOW! This book is really good! I could not for the life of me turn my computer off and walk away from it! The storyline was believable enough to make one wonder what could happen if.... Believable enough to make you a little afraid of the future but, at the same time it gives you enough hope to think that one can survive. Very well written and easy to read. --Mitzie

5-tie) Colette Moody - Parties in Congress
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822026/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I would likely never have picked the story up on my own, but wowza, am I ever glad it got assigned to me, because otherwise I’d have missed out on a brilliant, humorously written piece of fiction. This story is a gem well worth reading. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever been disheartened by the political system here in the US, anyone who has struggled with an improper attraction, anyone with a heart and a brain. Bravo Ms. Moody, bravo. You’ve made a fan out of me. I can't think of a single flaw in the writing of that story. I really believe the story to be one of the best written pieces of fiction it's been my pleasure to read for quite some time. --Cherie

Nicely paced story with good supporting cast. Loved the humor throughout the story. --Tammy

This story was really enjoyable; the story drew the relationship growth between Bijul & Colleen. It may not have been hot & heavy but it showed that sometimes relationships are more than just the sex. I liked the fact that there was diversity in races with the characters. Also the humour was pretty cool as was the sarcastic banter between Bijal & Colleen when the first meet. To be honest I didn’t think I would enjoy it but I am so glad that I read it; it was a real surprise. --Norma

Q. Kelly - Strange Bedfellows
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1466304812/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I've read books that are so good that I just can't put them down until I finish them. I've also read books that have been very difficult to get through because they are terrible. This book was different. I wanted the story to go on forever and found myself putting it down just so that I could come back to it later! It's kind of difficult to explain but it was so well written, and the characters were so realistic, I just wanted to have it to come back to again and again. Great read! --Mitzie

Loved the characters, loved the story! --Tammy

7) Karis Walsh – Harmony
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822379/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Loved the storyline. I could not put this book down! --Mitzie

8) Farzana Doctor - Six Metres of Pavement
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1554887674/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I wish there were more than 40 points available. This one so surpassed the others in all areas. Truly wonderful. --Jessica

I had a very diffictult time starting this story and as I read the story I asked myself "Why is this story in a GLBT writing contest?" It was around 1/2 through before I found out why. This writer is amazing. It was hard to read at first because the main character was so sad and had been for a very long time. By the end of the story he had finally forgiven himself for an 18 year old error, he had finally stopped looking over his shoulder at what did the neighbors think, and with the new friends and relationships he'd formed he was happy! I really enjoyed this book. --Debra

9-tie) J.M. Redmann - Water Mark
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602821798/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Wonderful book, well written. Had my attention from the very first word to the last. --Debra

Redmann portrays the horrors of Katrina masterfully, from the setting to the characters, all while weaving an mystery with many twists and turns. --Julie

Lisa Girolami - Jane Doe
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602822174/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

I very much enjoyed reading this book. Lisa Girolami is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers. --Mitzie
andrew potter

Rainbow Awards: And the award goes to...

This year was really HUGE! more than 300 books, more than 100 judges, all over the world (even for the first time Australia), and many, many submissions, from indie publishers, from mainstream publishers and a lot of self-published authors. I loved it, and I know the judges loved it too!

First of all a big thank to all the judges who helped me to arrive to this result:

Alisha, Alan, Alannah, Aleksandr, Ali, Amie, Anke, Anna, Anne, Antonella, Aoife, Arch, Audrey, Austin, Aya, Barbara, Benjamin, Bethann, Bobby, Carey, Carol, Caroline, Cassandra, Cherie, Chris, Clare, Dan, Danielle, Danika, Dawn, Debra, Ellis, EM, Erotic Horizon, Ethan D., Ethan S., Eve, Gillian, Graeme, Heidi C., Heidi F., Helen, J.P., James, Jamie, Janet, Janice, Jason, Jem, Jenna, Jenre, Jerry, Jessica, Joanne, Jodie, Johnny, Jorgi-Anne, Josephine, Josh, Júlia, Juli-Anna, Julie, Juni, K.C., Kate C., Kate Mc., Kathy, Kelli, Kenley, Kimberly, Kirsten, Kris, Lee, Lia, Lidya, Lily, Lori, Luce, Lyne, Marilyn, Matt, Melanie, Melissa, Merith, Michelle, Mick, Minami, Mitzie, Molly, Morg, Norma, Penny, Perpetua, R.J., Rachel Mc., Rachel T., Rosemary "Ro", Rosie, Ryan, Sally, Sandra, Shanna, Signy, Stacey, Stacia, Steve, Susan, T.C., Tammy, Theresa, Tim, Uli, Verena, Will, Z.A. (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1268574.html)

A special thank you to the special jury for the Rainbow Award Cover Contest: Debra, Dylan Rosser, Jack Mackenroth, Jesse Archer, Julie, Max Rhyser, Mitzie, Tammy.



And as always a big thank you to the Publishers which allow me and the judges to have all the books for the reading phase:

A&M Books, Agate Publishing, Ai Press, Amber Quill Press, Aquarius Publishing, Awe-Struck Publishing, Bedazzled Ink, Bella Books, Blue Feather Books, Bold Strokes Books, Breathless Press, Bristlecone Pine Press, Carina Press, Carnal Passions, Chelsea Station Editions, Cheyenne Publishing, Circlet Press, Cleis Press, Dreamspinner Press, Drollerie Press, Dundurn Press, Ellora's Cave, Excessica Publishing, Fanny Press, Featherweight Press, Fierce Publishing, Guiltless Pleasure Publishing, JCP Books, JMS Books, Kensington Books, Less Than Three Press, Lethe Press, Loose Id, Love in Dark Settings Press, Loveyoudivine Alterotica, Manifold Press, MLR Press, Modern History Press, Nazca Plains Corporation, Night Publishing, Noble Romance Publishing, Ormidon Publishing, P.D. Publishing, Parker Publishing, Pink Petal Books, Prizm Books, Random House, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Ride the Rainbow Books, Romance Unbound, Samhain Publishing, Sapphire Books, Senneff House Publishers, Shadow City Press, Silver Publishing, Storm Moon Press, Stowarzyszenie Lambda Warszawa, The Sofawolf Press, Torquere Books, Total-e-Bound, Triquarterly Books, TVB Publishing, Unnormal Normalcy, Untreed Reads Publishing, Wheatmark, Wicked Nights, Wildcat Press

And now what all you are waiting, the 2011 Rainbow Awards. And the awards go to:



Best LGBT Coming of Age / Young Adult

1) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
2) David-Matthew Barnes – Mesmerized
3) Catherine Ryan Hyde - Jumpstart the World

Honourable Mention:

4) Elliott DeLine – Refuse
5) Tracey Pennington – Awake
6) Andrew Ashling - A Dish Served Cold
7) Greg Herren - Sleeping Angel
8) Jeff Erno – Bullied
9) K.E. Payne - 365 Days
10) J.p. Barnaby - Little Boy Lost, Enlightened

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1460257.html

Best Gay Contemporary Erotica

1) Heidi Cullinan - Nowhere Ranch
2) Claire Thompson - The Cowboy Poet
3) L.A. Witt - With the Band

Honourable Mention:

4-tie) Doug Starr - Wrestling With Love
Fyn Alexander - Angel and the Assassin
6) Todd Gregory - Games Frat Boys Play (Greg Herren)
7) Michael Willhoite - The Venetian Boy
8) Dale Chase - The Company He Keeps
9) Michele L Montgomery - Lethal Obsession, Caged
10) Cheryl Dragon - Backing Brian

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1460500.html

Best Lesbian Contemporary Erotica

1) Roscoe James - Dancing with Venus
2) Christine Hall Volkoff - Travels Through Love And Time
3) Lesley Gowan - The Collectors

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1460912.html

Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction

1) Alan Chin - Match Maker
2) Lee Houck – Yield
3) Jameson Currier - The Third Buddha

Honourable Mention:

4) Rob Rosen – Sparkle
5) Mel Bossa – Split
6) Michael Alenyikov - Ivan and Misha: stories
7) Eden Winters - Settling the Score
8) Timothy Wang – Slant
9) Kathryn Shay - The Perfect Family
10) Susan Roebuck - Perfect Score

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1461194.html

Best Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction

1) Farzana Doctor - Six Metres of Pavement
2) Clifford Henderson - Maye's Request
3) Martha Miller - Retirement Plan

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1461272.html

Best Gay Contemporary Romance

1) Sloan Parker – Breathe
2) Kimberly Gardner - Too Soon For Love
3-tie) A.B. Gayle – Caught
Ally Blue - These Haunted Heights

Honourable Mention:

5) Anel Viz - P'tit Cadeau
6) R.J. Scott - The Christmas Throwaway
7-tie) Sue Brown - Nothing Ever Happens
Heidi Cullinan - Dance with Me
9-tie) Feliz Faber - City Falcon
Mickie B. Ashling – Momentos
Amy Lane - Living Promises
Anah Crow & Dianne Fox - One Real Thing
M. King - Light and Water
Katrina Strauss - Sonoran Heat

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1461525.html

Best Lesbian Contemporary Romance

1) Robin Summers - After the Fall
2-tie) Colette Moody - Parties in Congress
Q. Kelly - Strange Bedfellows
3) Karis Walsh – Harmony

Honourable Mention:

5) Lisa Girolami - Jane Doe
6) Bobbi Marolt - Loving Liz
7) Lesley Davis - Playing Passion’s Game
8) Radclyffe – Firestorm
9-tie) Rachel Spangler - The Long Way Home
D.L. Line - Head Trip

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1461919.html

Best Bisexual/Transgender Contemporary

1) Justine Saracen - Sarah, Son of God
2) Ryan Loveless - Building Arcadia
3) Ben Monopoli - The Cranberry Hush

Honourable Mention:

4) Tomas Mournian – Hidden
5) Giselle Renarde - My Mistress's Thighs

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1462137.html

Best Gay Fantasy

1-tie) Marie Sexton - Song Of Oestend
Dusk Peterson - The Eternal Dungeon
2) Jay Bell - Hell's Pawn
3) Lee Benoit – Moonspun

Honourable Mention:

5) Cecilia Tan - The Prince's Boy
6) Scarlet Hyacinth - Bed and Breakfast
7-tie) Sasha L. Miller - Stolen Hearts
Amy Lane - Hammer & Air
Kannan Feng - Lord of Misrule
10-tie) Kyell Gold - Isolation Play
Brandon Witt - Submerging Inferno

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1462385.html

Best Lesbian Sci-Fi / Fantasy

1) Barbara Davies - Bourn's Edge
2) Andi Marquette - A Matter of Blood
3) JoSelle Vanderhooft and Catherine Lundoff - Hellebore and Rue

Honourable Mention:

4) Erica Lawson - The Chronicles of Ratha, Children of the Noorthi
5) Sarah Diemer - The Dark Wife

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1462638.html

Best Bisexual/Transgender Sci-Fi / Paranormal / Fantasy

1) L.A. Witt – Static
2) Penelope Friday – Thrace
3) Lauren P. Burka - Up For Grabs 2

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1462807.html

Best LGBT Historical

1-tie) Marten Weber - Benedetto Casanova, The Memoirs
Tamara Allen - The Only Gold
2) Tracy Rowan - Suffer the Little Children
3-tie) Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon - The Nobleman and the Spy
Erastes - Mere Mortals

Honourable Mention:

6) Erastes - Last Gasp
7-tie) Rowan McAllister - A Devil's Own Luck
Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon - House of Mirrors
9) Morgan Cheshire - Solemn Contract
10) KC Warwick - Prove a Villain

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1463174.html

Best LGBT Mystery / Thriller

1) J.M. Redmann - Water Mark
2) Greg Herren & J.M. Redmann - Women of the Mean Streets
3-tie) Julie Bozza - The Definitive Albert J. Sterne
EM Lynley - Rarer Than Rubies

Honourable Mention:

5) John F. Rooney - Unprotected Love
6) Marshall Thornton - Boystown 3
7-tie) JoAnne Soper-Cook - Willing Flesh
L.A. Witt - Cover Me
Marshall Thornton - Desert Run
10) Greg Herren - Who Dat Whodunnit

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1463514.html

Best Gay Paranormal / Horror

1) Megan Derr – Midnight
2) Belinda McBride - Blacque Bleu
3) Timothy McGivney – Zombielicious

Honourable Mention:

4) Andrew Wolter - Much of Madness, More of Sin
5-tie) Lex Valentine - Breathe Me In
Lee Thomas - The German
7-tie) Angel Martinez - A Different Breed
EM Lynley - Wicked Good
9-tie) J.L. Merrow – Camwolf
Storm Grant - Shift Happens

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1463684.html

Best Lesbian Paranormal / Horror

1) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
2) L.L. Raand - Blood Hunt
3) Nell Stark & Trinity Tam – nevermore

Honourable Mention:

4) Winter Pennington - Darkness Embraced
5) Cate Culpepper - River Walker

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1463813.html

Best Gay Sci-Fi / Futuristic

1-tie) CC Bridges - Angel 1089
Aleksandr Voinov & Rhianon Etzweiler - Dark Edge of Honor
M.J. O'Shea - Dark Sun
2) Amy Lane - A Solid Core of Alpha
3) Aislinn Kerry - Double Feature

Honourable Mention:

6) Chris Quinton - Fool’s Errand (Fool’s Odyssey Trilogy 1)
7) Jordan Castillo Price - Zero Hour
8) Anne Barwell - Cat's Quill
9-tie) Chris Quinton – Starfall
Stevie Woods - Other Worlds

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1464237.html

Best LGBT Non Fiction

1-tie) Fay Jacobs - For Frying Out Loud
Patricia Nell Warren - My West
2) Felice Picano - True Stories
3) Dorien Grey - Short Circuits, A Life in Blogs

Honourable Mention:

5) Belo Miguel Cipriani – Blind

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1464445.html

Best 2011 LGBT Cover

1) Visible Friend by Anne Cain
2) Moonlight, Tiger, and Smoke by Mara McKennen
3-tie) City Falcon by Reese Dante
Isolation Play by Blotch

Honourable Mention:

5) Something Like Summer by Andreas Bell
6) Dangerous Man
7) Apples and Regret and Wasted Time by Nathie
8-tie) Angel 1089 by Kanaxa
Arabesque by Ms. Rosek
Hellebore and Rue by Vasilis Akoinoglou
Some Kind of Magic by Paul Richmond
Black Gold by P.L. Nunn

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1464606.html

Best Plot Development

1) Sloan Parker – Breathe
2) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
3) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1465074.html

Best Setting Development

1-tie) Tamara Allen - The Only Gold
Andrew Wolter - Much of Madness, More of Sin
2-tie) Dusk Peterson - The Eternal Dungeon
Karis Walsh – Harmony
Anel Viz - P'tit Cadeau
3-tie) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
Lisa Girolami - Jane Doe

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1465225.html

Best Characters Development

1-tie) Sloan Parker – Breathe
Marie Sexton - Song Of Oestend
2-tie) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
3-tie) Felice Picano - True Stories
Colette Moody - Parties in Congress
Lee Houck – Yield
Heidi Cullinan - Nowhere Ranch

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1465593.html

Best Writing Style

1-tie) Tracy Rowan - Suffer the Little Children
Karis Walsh – Harmony
2) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
3-tie) Sloan Parker – Breathe
Tamara Allen - The Only Gold

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1465714.html

One Perfect Rate (Honorable Mention)

Adam Fitzroy - Stage Whispers
Amy Meister - Rainbow in the Dark
Andy Frankham-Allen – Seeker
Barry Brennessel – Tinseltown
Carole Cummings - Aisling 1, Guardian
Carsen Taite - Nothing But The Truth
Clare London - 72 Hours
Damon Suede - Hot Head
David Pratt - Bob the Book
Eric Arvin - Woke Up in a Strange Place
Erin Dutton - Reluctant Hope
Gill McKnight - Indigo Moon
Jamie Fessenden - The Christmas Wager
Kate McMurray - Blind Items
Kim Baldwin & Xenia Alexiou - Dying to Live
Lea Santos - Picture Imperfect
Nathan Goh - Blame It On The Raging Hormones
Natasha LaBrake - Vows From Darkness
Reiko Morgan - Over The Mountain of the Moon
Rowan Speedwell - Kindred Hearts
Shane Allison - Black Fire, Gay African-American Erotica
V.K. Powell - Justifiable Risk
Yolanda Wallace - Rum Spring

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1466048.html

Best Bisexual/Transgender Debut Novel

1) Ryan Loveless - Building Arcadia
2) Elliott DeLine – Refuse
3) Ben Monopoli - The Cranberry Hush

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1466355.html

Best Gay Debut Novel/Book

1) Lee Houck – Yield
2) Timothy McGivney – Zombielicious
3) Morgan Cheshire - Solemn Contract

Honourable Mention:

4) Feliz Faber - City Falcon
5) Mel Bossa – Split
6-tie) R.A. Padmos – Ravages
Sophia Deri-Bowen - Young Man in Paris
Michael Alenyikov - Ivan and Misha: stories
Kannan Feng - Lord of Misrule
Belo Miguel Cipriani – Blind

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1466555.html

Best Lesbian Debut Novel

1) Robin Summers - After the Fall
2) Karis Walsh – Harmony
3) Mary Griggs - Unbroken Circle

Honourable Mention:

4) Christine Hall Volkoff - Travels Through Love And Time
5-tie) Sophia Kell Hagin - Whatever Gods May Be
K.E. Payne - 365 Days

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1466724.html

Best Bisexual/Transgender Novel

1-tie) Justine Saracen - Sarah, Son of God
Catherine Ryan Hyde - Jumpstart the World
2) Ryan Loveless - Building Arcadia
3) Elliott DeLine – Refuse

Honourable Mention:

5) John F. Rooney - Unprotected Love
6) Marshall Thornton - Desert Run
7) Ben Monopoli - The Cranberry Hush
8) Tomas Mournian – Hidden
9) L.A. Witt – Static
10-tie) Giselle Renarde - My Mistress's Thighs
Penelope Friday – Thrace

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1467091.html

Best Gay Novel/Book

1) Sloan Parker – Breathe
2) Robin Reardon - The Evolution of Ethan Poe
3-tie) Tamara Allen - The Only Gold
Marten Weber - Benedetto Casanova, The Memoirs

Honourable Mention:

5) Tracy Rowan - Suffer the Little Children
6) Alan Chin - Match Maker
7) Felice Picano - True Stories
8-tie) Marie Sexton - Song Of Oestend
Dusk Peterson - The Eternal Dungeon
10) Jay Bell - Hell's Pawn

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1467326.html

Best Lesbian Novel/Book

1) Meghan O'Brien – Wild
2) Fay Jacobs - For Frying Out Loud
3) Barbara Davies - Bourn's Edge

Honourable Mention:

4) Robin Summers - After the Fall
5-tie) Colette Moody - Parties in Congress
Q. Kelly - Strange Bedfellows
7) Karis Walsh – Harmony
8) Farzana Doctor - Six Metres of Pavement
9-tie) J.M. Redmann - Water Mark
Lisa Girolami - Jane Doe

Link: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1467562.html This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1363559.html.
andrew potter

The White Cat by Jennifer Thorne

This is a fairy tale (no pun intended) and as such, I should not probably try to find it any other meaning if not that of the happily ever after of a fairy tale, but there were at least two points that gave me the impression there was something more.

Erard is a wandering prince, one of three princes their father sent to the world in quite “meaningless” quests, like in this case, he has to find a special dog, a dog that will earn him his father’s favour. After a wreckage, Erard is ashore, more or less at the door of Druze, a magical cat. Druze walks and talks like an human but he has the body of a cat. As soon as Erard sees him, he addressed the cat like a lady, and that is the first point that made me think twice; my idea is that Erard was attracted by the special creature, and since he has never considered he could fall in love for a man, he automatically assigned to Druze the female gender. Sure this is a self-conscious thought, Erard also is not considering he can have a love relationship with a cat, even if the cat walks and talks. But nevertheless I think he protected his mental peace with that expedient. An Druze decides not to correct him, probably fearing he will lose Erard in that case.

The second point that made me wonder if I shouldn’t be reading some hidden message in the story, is when Erard “finds” out that Druze is a male (truth be told, I’m still convinced he already knew…); in any case Erard seems to be more distraught by the fact Druze is a male than by the probably more problematic detail the other is a cat. Erard almost repudiates the other creature only for his gender, when until the day before, he was almost bonding with “her”, in a cat-shape. Again Erard proved to have some “big” preconception on who he is supposed to be and to love.

So in the end, a nagging idea that the author wanted to include some civil right meaning to this story still lingers, like that, no matter if it’s today, or a fairy tale country, the danger to encounter homophobia is still great, and the happily ever after could be more difficult to achieve than expected.

https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/glbt-fantasy-c-53_61/the-white-cat-ebook-p-650

Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: The White Cat
Publisher: Silver Publishing (October 31, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle