October 30th, 2015

andrew potter

Blog Tour: Corin's Chance (Avanti Chronicles 1) by Hannah Walker

Corin's Chance (Avanti Chronicles 1) by Hannah Walker
Publication Date: September 20, 2015
Amazon Kindle: Corin's Chance (Avanti Chronicles 1) by Hannah Walker

Blurb: Posted to some stars awful cruiser, Dr. Corin Talovich hoped to serve his time quietly and get on with his life, but fate stepped in and decided otherwise.
Crashing into an unknown planet was the last thing Corin expected. With only his friend, Lieutenant Commander Tate Riven, by his side, they face the unexplored world and new enemies bravely, leading them to the Derin Clan, where they’re welcomed by the leader’s son.
Kel isn't sure about the strange men, but he isn't about to send them away, especially when the bond between Corin and himself is something he can't ignore.
When another clan wages an attack, Kel is forced to make some hard choices which nearly costs him everything he holds dear. Together, with their allies, Corin and Kel fight, focusing on the future they desire, knowing failure not only dooms their love, but also those around them. Side by side, they work to destroy the evil threatening to keep them apart and becoming the family both men desire.

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Meet the author: Hannah Walker is a full-time mum to two gorgeous teenage sons, and shares her home with them and a very supportive husband, who has always encouraged her to follow her dreams.
She has always loved books from her childhood years reading alongside her father. She has inherited her father’s love of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. She has combined this with her love of MM romance to write her series Avanti Chronicles. She loves writing about a complex world where the men love and live hard.
Welcome to the world of MM Sci-fi.

1) How do you develop your plots and characters?
I have to admit to most of it being the characters talking to me. They tell me who they are and what they think happens in their story. So it’s more like I have a mental conversation with them. So I think things through and see what I come up with plot wise. I try to put myself in their position and see what I could see actually happening.
For the characters I start with the basics, who they present to the world, then I look below that and see what they show those around them. I take back each layer to see to the root of who they are. I then like to weave these layers through the story. So you may have a warrior, who is totally badass, but he may be someone who say loves to dance and goes out with his friends to have a good time. Then he may be someone who yearns for a family, but keeps it quiet as he can’t have that and do the job he does at the same time. He might be someone who is really stern and brusque on the outside but wants nothing more than to let go enough to laugh. Most of all I try to paint the characters as human no matter who they are.

2) Who doesn’t love a good hero? Tell us about your protagonist. Was there a real life inspiration behind them?
Corin has real life inspiration.
Corin is a remarkably gifted surgeon. My son is actually disabled, although thankfully not too severely. He has undergone more surgeries in his childhood years than anyone ever should. However we’ve been very lucky. His surgeon is an incredible woman.
She is well respected in her field and often goes to other countries to lecture and give seminars about her work. We’ve even gone with her once or twice, to the seminars in the UK, so that my son’s case could be used as an example.
She has never been one to shy away from trying new treatments and is constantly evolving and researching new treatments for Cerebal Palsy. Because of what Cerebal Palsy is, it covers more than just the bones of the body. It’s bones, muscles, nerves and so much more. So despite the fact that she is an orthopedic surgeon, she has undergone a lot of training in other areas. When it came time to write Corin’s backstory I used her as inspiration.
She is one of the loveliest people I have ever met. It’s often said that the truly gifted surgeons have no bedside manner. Not true in her case, she is genuinely one of the nicest people I know. She cares for each and every patient of hers. Even now, when he has officially moved over to adult services, she still phones up to check on him. She still asks the surgeons he’s under now, how he’s doing.
So yes, Corin is modelled on her.

3) What real-life inspirations do you use when world building?
I have a passion for science. I have a degree in chemistry, but also took major courses in physics and earth/planetary sciences. I like to draw on the science for some of the technology that I use in my books. The landscapes I try to stay within the normal ranges of what is out there now in our universe.
I keep an eye on the science journals and think about what new discoveries could be used as a basis for something in fiction.

4) Did you learn anything from this book and what was it?
I learnt to both listen to my characters and my gut. To listen when they say they want the story to go a certain way. The characters themselves can be really quite stubborn and will simply shut up if they think I’m not listening to what they want. On those days it becomes impossible to write so I normally end up giving them what they want just so that I can write again.

5) It’s your last meal on earth. What do you choose?
There’s a restaurant near where I live that is incredible. It dates back to the 1920’s and still has a lot of the original design. It’s a seafood restaurant. They do the most amazing seafood platters. I would probably have that and some champagne to toast the moment.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009788113663
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009788113663
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvantiHannah
Blog: http://nuttieprof.wix.com/author-blog

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Rafflecopter Prize: One of two e-copies of the book
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Diventando: The Vessel by JC Wallace

Diventando: The Vessel by JC Wallace
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611248124
ISBN-13: 978-1611248128
Amazon: Diventando: The Vessel
Amazon Kindle: Diventando: The Vessel

Owen McIntyre is no stranger to the Grim Reaper. Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of fifteen, he’s spent the last ten years slowly dying. With only two weeks until his next checkup, Owen’s body is already warning him that he is no longer in remission. Tired of the countless meds and chemo, not to mention the way his family coddles him, he decides to live and die on his own terms and forgo treatment. When he meets a lively college professor named Turk, conquering the man becomes part of Owen’s bucket list. But as Owen gets to know Turk, he starts to see him as more than a fling, a luxury that a dying man doesn’t have. But what if, suddenly, everything Owen knew to be true turned out to be a web of lies and deceit—even his diagnosis of cancer? Taken hostage, tied to a bed and subjected to painful experimentation, Owen’s nightmare of leukemia is a far cry from the horrors he will face. No longer able to trust anyone in his life, including Turk, Owen is alone and cut off from the world. He has to make the hard decision to trust those who have betrayed him, including Turk (for whom he deeply cares), or die a lonely death. Soon, with time running out, Owen will not only fight to live, but fight to want to live again. But will that be enough to save him from the evil that lurks inside his body and mind?

This book sucked me in from the first page and took me on a journey that held me riveted. With snappy dialogue and characters I fell hard for, this book was a winner all the way.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Everything's Coming Up Roses by Barry Lowe

Everything's Coming Up Roses: Four Tales of M/M Romance by Barry Lowe
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Lydian Press (September 30, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1909934828
ISBN-13: 978-1909934825
Amazon: Everything's Coming Up Roses: Four Tales of M/M Romance
Amazon Kindle: Everything's Coming Up Roses: Four Tales of M/M Romance

Four pairs of lovers get their Happily Ever After. THE DAY OF THE CLIFFORDS Can a teenage crush ever develop into the ‘real thing’? When the teenage Clifford brothers, Jerry and Matt, spend their summer holidays next door, fellow teen, Sam Dempsey, develops a romantic crush on Jerry, although the guilty secret they share will eventually tear their friendship apart. When Sam and the Cliffords meet up again ten years later, can anything be salvaged? CHRISTMAS IN JULY Kauko Sallinen has fled his native Finland for the warmer climes of Australia, where he hopes to find himself a bronzed Aussie to complete the picture. But he slips during a bush walk, injuring his foot and confining his movements. But things aren’t all bad when the doctor who calls to attend his injury is exactly what Kauko ordered, except the doc has a secret that could bring their budding relationship to its knees. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE CUDDLY Sheriff Haskell keeps the itinerant cowboys and the girls of Miss Kitty’s cathouse away from the god-fearing families of Headstone, but the fragile peace is threatened with the arrival of a handsome, young Italian by the name of Benedetto, who the cowboys take to calling Bernadette. HE WON’T SEND ROSES Christopher runs a florist shop on the dangerous side of town, so he knows he's about to die when a loud motorbike pulls up outside and a behemoth of man, heavily tattooed and muscled like a steroid freak, strides through the front door.

This one really surprised me! Each story was centred around wonderful characters. The love stories were just about perfect. The second tale, in particular - Christmas in July - had me in floods of tears about Oliver's death. Really consummate writing from a new author to me.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens

Beyond the Surface (The Breakfast Club Book 1) by Felice Stevens
Gay Erotic Romance
Series: The Breakfast Club
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1517063566
ISBN-13: 978-1517063566
Amazon: Beyond the Surface (The Breakfast Club Book 1)
Amazon Kindle: Beyond the Surface (The Breakfast Club Book 1)

On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He's unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick's life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever. For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear. When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it's Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn't prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

Good story with believable characters in vivid settings that pulled me in right away.

A complicated romance with deep, conflicted characters and plenty of delicious obstacles to overcome.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Seventh by Rachel White

Seventh by Rachel White
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (June 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620045575
ISBN-13: 978-1620045572
Amazon: Seventh
Amazon Kindle: Seventh

Hynd leads a lonely life, suffering the lingering effects of a debilitating illness and rejected by most of society because of it. He has spent most of a decade investigating the disappearance of the Seventh Dragoons, content to immerse himself in the frustrating search and the book he is writing about it. When his sister comes to him about a handsome man eager to meet him, Hynd can scarcely believe his luck, unable to recall the last time somebody wanted to be near him and did not fear or revile him for his illness. But Julius has come only to see Hynd's research, hoping to learn what happened to the Seventh and prove that his great-grandfather was not a traitor. And while an assistant in his research is not what Hynd had hoped for, it's better than nothing. And maybe between the two of them the mystery of the Seventh can at last be put to rest...

I loved this story. Hynd is such an unusual hero. His deformed appearance stood in stark opposition to Julius's handsomeness. But they have much in common. Their relationship felt natural, moving at a slow but steady pace. They grew to respect one another before falling in love. And I fell in love right along with them. The author's voice was compelling and strong, and her narrative reflected the beauty of the written word.

I loved this story, was drawn into it very quickly, and read in on sitting as I couldn't put it down.  I thought the characters and their world were very well drawn, and the relationship felt very natural and realistic. Loved the mystery of the Seventh and the way it was finally solved.

This story of an alternate England and a search for historical truth by a disfigured man shunned by society is brilliantly told. It even has an HEA which I totally believed!

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Jackdaw by KJ Charles

Jackdaw by KJ Charles
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (March 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619228033
ISBN-13: 978-1619228030
Amazon: Jackdaw
Amazon Kindle: Jackdaw

If you stop running, you fall. Jonah Pastern is a magician, a liar, a windwalker, a professional thief...and for six months, he was the love of police constable Ben Spenser's life. Until his betrayal left Ben jailed, ruined, alone, and looking for revenge. Ben is determined to make Jonah pay. But he can't seem to forget what they once shared, and Jonah refuses to let him. Soon Ben is entangled in Jonah's chaotic existence all over again, and they're running together-from the police, the justiciary, and some dangerous people with a lethal grudge against them. Threatened on all sides by betrayals, secrets, and the laws of the land, can they find a way to live and love before the past catches up with them? This story is set in the world of the Charm of Magpies series. Warning: Contains a policeman who should know better, a thief who may never learn, Victorian morals, heated encounters, and a very annoyed Stephen Day.

The author's writing packs quite a punch, regardless of the type of scene. Her characters are flawed, both good and bad qualities warring within them. But they still retain their personality consistency and thus feel extremely real. They will infuriate and frustrate. And you will shed a couple of tears too over the injustice of it all. The plot twists well enough but its the complex characters that breathe life into the story. It was intriguing to see characters from the previous books in the series as well but shown in a very different, and not a particularly sympathetic, light.

I have found a new genre to read with this book.  The story was so exciting and intense that I could hardly pull myself away from reading it.  The relationship between Jay & Ben was outstanding and so real that even during the most difficult times I was hoping they managed to get past their issues and come together because of how great their love and need for each other was presented.  Just a really great story and I loved every minute of it.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: YES by Brad Boney

YES by Brad Boney
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 16, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632168413
ISBN-13: 978-1632168412
Amazon: YES
Amazon Kindle: YES

What if youth wasn't wasted on the young?

On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Ian Parker is looking for a reboot. He may be the proud owner of a trendy coffee shop in Austin called La Tazza Magica, but his love life has been MIA for years. During a trip to Denver with his best friend, Mark, Ian buys an enchanted chocolate from a mysterious candy store—then wakes up from a nap two decades younger. After the initial shock, Ian realizes a quirk of the universe has given him a second chance and, with Mark’s help, he devises a plan to start over.

With a new lease on life, Ian sets his sights on handsome architect Bartley James, a regular customer at La Tazza. He pursues Bartley as Ian’s twenty-one-year-old alter ego, Ryan, with decidedly unexpected results. Joining Ryan on his adventures are Matthew, the dreamy new barista, Jeremy, the geeky high-school math teacher, and Sam, the pizza delivery boy. Even as misunderstandings and expectations collide, Ian remains determined to right his past mistakes and find his off-ramp to happiness.

The characters were sympathetic, yet flawed. They had histories, hobbies, problems, preferences. If I met one of them in a coffee shop, I’d know what to expect. The setting was uncomplicated, but well-rendered through the use of all sensory data, and I always knew where and when I was. The writing style was so smooth, I didn’t even notice it. But the best part was the plot. Romance as speculative fiction? This caught my attention, because whatever happened was so subtle, the plot device couldn’t even be considered paranormal. The MC didn’t “get himself in trouble” by doing something stupid, either. He found himself in an awkward situation he couldn’t have predicted or explained rationally, which made me care for him and the other involved characters even more.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: When It Raynes by C.D. Cain

When It Raynes (Chambers of the Heart Book 1) by C.D. Cain
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (June 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939562945
ISBN-13: 978-1939562944
Amazon: When It Raynes (Chambers of the Heart Book 1)
Amazon Kindle: When It Raynes (Chambers of the Heart Book 1)

Rayne Amber Storm finds her serenity on the waters of her Louisiana bayou, where she can let her thoughts be her own among the moss-covered cypress trees. Slowly, a gentle, insistent ripple of difference stirs within her. A ripple that leads her away from her mother's Southern Baptist values to thoughts that betray the very core of what she believes is right and wrong. She leaves the protection of the bayou for medical school and lets the ripple grow until she is knocked unsteady by a powerful wave in the charismatic Samantha LeJeune. But when tragedy strikes back home, the pull of cross currents traps Rayne in what seems an insurmountable struggle between her heart, which now knows the true meaning of happiness, and doing what she has been taught all her life. Is she strong enough to keep navigating through unfamiliar but thrilling waters or will she give in and paddle down the path of least resistance?

I love it when the cover of a book perfectly reflects the tone of the story within, and that's what happened here. The characters are alternately brooding and funny and all too real.  They tugged at my heart on several occasions, pulling me completely into their world. A great debut.

Liked the book but had no ending.  What if I never read anymore in this apparent series?  Would have liked it tied up.  Loved Rayne and she had a pretty decent supporting cast. For the most part good 1st effort.

Good in every aspect. I like and actually expect that a novel is well constructed and make sense and is generally well written… I am always impressed when this characteristics can be applied to a debut novel….but when those characteristics are present in a debut novel of a series I reach my nirvana! I will not only read the next book of this series but I will wait impatiently and buy it’s sequel right when it come out because I definitely can’t wait to see how Rayne's journey continues. Awesome read!

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