To give to everyone the chance to enjoy the spotlight of their honorable mentions, I decided to post a little of them every day until October 1, when I will announce the finalists of the 2013 Rainbow Awards. An Honorable Mention means a judge really liked the book, so much they gave it a rate above 36 out of 40; an honorable mention doesn't necessarily mean the book is a finalist, you have to wait the actual announcement on October 1 to know that. So please, enjoy this year Honorable Mentions (in no particular order, 1 out of 5 post), and congratulations to all authors!Badges are designed especially for the Rainbow Awards by Paul RichmondA.J. Thomas - A Casual Weekend Thing
Jon: It's got to be the best novel I've read this year!
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 13, 2013)
Amazon: A Casual Weekend Thing
Amazon Kindle: A Casual Weekend ThingAlex Kidwell - After the EndAndrea: A strong sense of place, immersing me in the setting. Loved the sensory detail and the use of objects to convey meaning. Totally fell in love with these characters right from the beginning. The language is beautiful, I stopped several times just to savor it, to let the meaning sink in. Yet the literary style never gets in the way of the story. Brilliantly crafted.
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 21, 2013)
Amazon: After the End
Amazon Kindle: After the EndAmelia C. Gormley - AccelerationApril: The main character definitely kept me reading. I found myself liking him right from the start. He had character traits that were identifiable within all of us. The writing style also kept me reading, wanting more of the story. The author did a great job with the plot flow.
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 7, 2012)
Amazon: Acceleration: Impulse, Book Two
Amazon Kindle: Acceleration: Impulse, Book TwoAmy Lane - Under the RushesJulie: Lane is obviously a brilliant writer, with her detailed and creative world-building a particular strength, and I really can’t fault her work.
Chuck: There is always a novel character who pops out with each reading, and the world itself is so fascinating that I find myself upgrading my initial review. This novel challenges Mrs. Lane's Mourning Heaven and Sidecar for being my favorite Lane novel. And that's saying something. An excellent read for the reader looking for AU m/m romantic adventure.Sar: Excellent. There's mystery spun into things. Enough details are given to give readers curiosity and to visualize them in their heads. The brilliance is in how it's all unraveled, with just the right amount of mystery and build in the plot. You see the characters live, and although the sex is frequent once it starts happening, the emotional expressions are enough to let the reader imagine what they're like.
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 21, 2012)
Amazon: Under the Rushes
Amazon Kindle: Under the RushesAnn McMan – AftermathApril: The author did a great job of center the plot around the setting. Also, the writing style and characterization was what kept me reading.
Publisher Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (November 19, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: AftermathB.G. Thomas - The Boy Who Came In From The ColdJo Ann: Mr. Thomas has written a very wonderful Pay-it-Forward HEA novel. You could watch the characters, Todd and Gabe; grow, towards each other and in their own way, internally, which was a nice change. The plot was typical and not so typical, but was so finely written it cast a new light on a much used story-line I have watched some scenarios like this really happen and Mr. Thomas captured the emotions perfectly. I picked it up and could not put it down until the last page was turned. I want to thank you Mr. Thomas for writing this.
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 29, 2013)
Amazon: The Boy Who Came in from the Cold
Amazon Kindle: The Boy Who Came in from the ColdBill Konigsberg - Openly Straight
Barbara: A really engaging, hard-to-put-down little story. Funny, with great dialogue and a real sense of time and place. It was well done, well-written, clever--hard not to like it very much.
Publisher Arthur A. Levine Books (May 28, 2013)
Amazon: Openly Straight
Amazon Kindle: Openly StraightCaren J. Werlinger – MiserereDebra: Great tale! Hard to put down.
Mitzie: Miserere was an exciting and intriguing read. The characters came to life and brought you into their intense and complex lives. It is a book that I find myself wanting to read over and over again.
Henriette: This is a great package of history (old and more recent), the old south of segregration & paranormal. Very well done!
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Corgyn Publishing (December 4, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: MiserereCathy Pegau - Deep DeceptionDebra: Wonderful book! Grabs your attention at the beginning and doesn't let you go until the last word.
Publisher: Carina Press (May 27, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Deep DeceptionEden Winters – CollusionVal: Collusion is a tightly plotted mystery-thriller with an unusual and well-researched background in pharmaceutical drug smuggling. It stands out from other gay romance books for this reason. The rich setting is unmistakably the hot, humid American south. There is a lot of humor in the book, especially in the horrible apartment and job that Lucky has to take as part of his undercover position. This book is top-notch.
Melissa: This was actually the first book I read this year for the Awards, but I was such a big fan of the first book in the series, I decided to set it aside for a while to think about how I would actually rate it. Upon re-read, it seems just as original and compelling as the first time. I think this book also stands completely on its own merit - you do not need to have read the first book to enjoy it at all.
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (March 20, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: CollusionGene Gant - Battle for JerichoCarey: A coming of age story set in the modern world, The Battle for Jericho is a truly moving novel of hatred turned to sympathy, two lives of unfulfilled dreams, and the journey it can take to find a world you want to live in.
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (January 1, 2013)
Amazon: The Battle for Jericho
Amazon Kindle: The Battle for JerichoIsabella Carter - A Shadow of a DreamTame: A fantasy read with mysterious and magical characters, an intriguing world of dark magic and even darker enemies, and a detective who has much to hide and just as much to solve before more lives are lost. No sexual content, which definitely worked for this book, and the action and dialogue kept the pages turning for me way into the night!
Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 20, 2013)
Amazon: A Shadow of a Dream
Amazon Kindle: A Shadow of a DreamJade Winters - A Walk Into Darkness
Tammy: Totally loved this book. A lot of story in a small offering, I wanted more! Couldn't get enough of Ashley and Tasha.
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle: A Walk Into Darkness (Ashley McCoy #1)JD Ruskin - When One Door OpensTheresa: Well written. Plot and character development nicely paced. The writer had me caring about the characters and cheering for them from Chapter One.
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 28, 2012)
Amazon: When One Door Opens
Amazon Kindle: When One Door OpensJulie Bozza - The Apothecary's GardenBethann: I loved this book!
Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: Manifold Press (June 28, 2013)
Amazon: The Apothecary's Garden
Amazon Kindle: The Apothecary's GardenKeith Hale - Letters to a Shooting StarChuck: I am not a fan of stories concerning the rural southern areas of America. This story totally won me over, however. The whiplash plot turns and plethora of really unusual (to say the least) characters totally won my heart (save for Minister Jim Henry who makes life a total misery for his wife and children.) This is a very special Young Adult (with adult overtones -- kind of a PG-13) novel. I really can't recommend it more highly than I have throughout this review. The book is unusual, but tells a wonderful story of two young men who finally realize that they're more than just best friends. (And those secondary characters range from an sexually voracious Auntie Mame-type to a passel of good old boys.) Highest recommendations for a reader looking for a bit of a challenge to go with a well above-average YA novel.
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Watersgreen House (August 25, 2013)
Amazon: Letters to a Shooting Star
Amazon Kindle: Letters to a Shooting StarL.A. Witt - Finding Master RightApril: On a personal level this novels BDSM theme was hard for me to relate to, however, the journey I took with Chase and Derek allowed me to empathize with them. They were both relatable characters, regardless of whether the reader is in to that lifestyle or not. I thought the plot progress with the characters brilliantly.
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (June 15, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Finding Master RightLane Hayes - Better Than GoodJosie: One of the best books this year. Perfect amount of beautiful lovemaking with great flow in the plot and character development. Great debut author and I hope Hayes doesn't become a one hit wonder.
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 8, 2013)
Amazon: Better Than Good
Amazon Kindle: Better Than GoodLinda North - Wind and DreamsMitzie: This was at times difficult to follow because of all the foreign words. However, it was an incredibly amazing book to read! The characters grew and changed in a very realistic way.
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (June 15, 2013)
Amazon: Wind and Dreams
Amazon Kindle: Wind and DreamsMadison Parker - Play Me, I'm YoursJames: One of the best romantic titles I've read in some time!
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press; 1 edition (March 31, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Play Me, I'm YoursMickie B. Ashling - Fire HorseAndrea: The plot was engaging and kept me turning the pages. Once the main story started, I didn't want to put the book down. The settings were beautifully rendered. Each of the locations came to life, for a lush and exotic feel. I felt every bit of the joy and suffering and angst that the characters felt. Brilliant. Wonderful to see how they grew over the years. All that yearning made for a powerful and satisfying story.
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 12, 2013)
Amazon: Fire Horse
Amazon Kindle: Fire HorsePaul Alan Fahey - The Other ManAlison: To say that “The Other Man” is all about infidelity is short-changing the subject and defining the concept by very narrow values. While it’s true that for many readers and reviewers, infidelity is a deal breaker, the fact that these essays are all based on actual experiences makes them an intriguing study of this taboo topic. Each essay shows a different aspect of the picture, making the issue less black and white and much more complex.
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: JMS Books (April 9, 2013)
Amazon: The Other Man: 21 Writers Speak Candidly About Sex, Love, Infidelity, & Moving OnRhys Ford - Sinner's GinDarien: Yes, it was good! I am also down for interracial love in my books and the author is a master at this. I like that she writes Asian characters, and she writes them well.
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 24, 2012)
Amazon: Sinner's Gin
Amazon Kindle: Sinner's GinScott M. Terry - Cowboys, Armageddon, and The TruthAlison: Scott Terry’s recollection of growing up in a household dominated by people claiming to adhere to the precepts of being Jehovah’s Witnesses is harrowing reading. What the author as a child longed for, more than anything, was acceptance and attention. Not because he was gay, as that was still something he was barely aware of, but first and foremost as a person and as a child of a father whose love he longed for. Everything changed when his mother left and he gained the stepmother from hell, Fluffy.
Patricia: A whiplash piece of literary reporting, about a family of children growing up poor and religiously abused in the rural West, and one child miraculously finding himself in spite of everything. I was riveted. Will make sure to get it for my personal library.
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (October 6, 2012)
Amazon: Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion
Amazon Kindle: Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From ReligionSuzie Carr - Staying TrueTammy: Took a while to get into the story but once I did I enjoyed it. I especially liked the interplay between all of the characters in the story. The author can definitely tell a story.
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Sunny Bee Books LLC (June 20, 2013)
Amazon: Staying True - A Contemporary Romance Novel
Amazon Kindle: Staying True - A Contemporary Romance NovelTaylor V. Donovan - Disasterology 101Kate: This is the second book I've read this year about a character with OCD, but this is a very different book. I found Cedric to be a really intriguing character because of it. I liked also that the conflict was quite realistic—it mostly boils down to negotiating a relationship in which one partner can't meet the needs of the other.
Paperback: 398 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (July 17, 2013)
Amazon: Disasterology 101
Amazon Kindle: Disasterology 101Wayne Mansfield - The Hiding Place
Rosie: Wow. For such a short book this really packed a punch. I found this to be a very moving and thought provoking/ haunting story. The character of Bryan stayed with me long after I had finished this short story.
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (April 21, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: The Hiding PlaceWill Parkinson – Pitch
Lyne: Great young adult/coming of age story.
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (August 8, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Pitch
This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3882112.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.