November 8th, 2015

andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: To Love Again by B.L. Clark

To Love Again by B.L. Clark
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 442 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (May 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939062993
ISBN-13: 978-1939062994
Amazon: To Love Again
Amazon Kindle: To Love Again

Jade Donovan felt like she had everything in life, a great marriage, a beautiful daughter, and then fate intervened. Now she needs to learn how to move forward, not only for herself, but her four-year-old daughter. Jade's best friend Kristel hopes to help her get back on track by attending a grief counseling group run by Rachel Cassidy, a widow herself. With time, Jade is able to take the steps forward to heal and finds herself falling for Rachel. Not everybody is happy with the path that Jade has started on. Will Jade be able to overcome the loss of her wife and the other obstacles life has in store for her, to be able To Love Again?

A touching, tender, well-written story. The author weaves deftly between heartbreaking and heartwarming moments without slipping into cliché.

An author can’t do better than write a story that keep the reader attention page after page, and B.L. Clark have wrote a so alluring story that I couldn't put it down. A really good debut book! Interesting story, great development, tridimensional characters that were realistic and a lot of feelings without ever become too predictable or boring.  Really really really good!

Well written love story, in which I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Hystery App by V.T. Davy

The Hystery App by V.T. Davy
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Liberation Publishing (February 18, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0957408862
ISBN-13: 978-0957408869
Amazon: The Hystery App
Amazon Kindle: The Hystery App

‘That’s not female liberation; we’re not really doing as we please but as the CEOs and marketing men of mega-corporations please; women are being boxed into yet another stereotype that pleases or teases men in exchange for our advancement. It’s prostitution on a global scale. It is as if the feminism that you and I know never happened.’ When the biophysicist Dr Brogan Miller and her partner, the women’s historian Dr Honor Smith, stumble upon a cosmic phenomenon that enables them to film the everyday lives of women from the past, they believe it will bring about a revolution in the way that women’s history is taught and studied. On the release of the Hystery app, their initial euphoria is not dampened as astonishing uploads from all over the world pour in showing women from all centuries at home, at work and at play. But, as the uploads take a more sinister turn, they realise that, in their excitement, they overlooked society’s appetite for new technology that bends each innovation to satisfy its basest cravings. It is only when tragedy strikes the couple and the extraordinary Erin James enters Brogan’s life that she finds the courage to put right what she has let loose on the world. In the second of V T Davy’s ‘state of the lesbian nation’ novels, he blends science fiction, lesbian romance and women’s history to ask whether the rights that women espouse today are those that were fought for by the pioneers of feminism or whether they have become distorted beyond recognition.

This story was a pleasant and welcome surprise. In addition to a contemporary romance, it contains science fiction elements, which it uses to explore issues regarding the treatment of women in male-centered societies. With strong, three-dimensional characters and an exciting plot, I couldn't stop turning the pages.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Harvest of Ripe Figs by Shira Glassman

A Harvest of Ripe Figs (The Mangoverse Book 3) by Shira Glassman
Lesbian Young Adult
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press (January 21, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161040873X
ISBN-13: 978-1610408738
Amazon: A Harvest of Ripe Figs (The Mangoverse Book 3)
Amazon Kindle: A Harvest of Ripe Figs (The Mangoverse Book 3)

Esther of the Singing Hands is Perach's Sweetheart, a young and beautiful musician with a Girl Next Door image. When her violin is stolen after a concert in the capital city, she doesn't expect the queen herself to show up, intent upon solving the mystery. But Queen Shulamit -- lesbian, intellectual, and mother of the six-month-old crown princess -- loves to play detective. With the help of her legendary bodyguard Rivka and her dragon, and with the support of her partner Aviva the Chef, Shulamit turns her mind toward the solution -- which she quickly begins to suspect involves the use of illegal magic that could threaten the safety of her citizens.

This book is definitely a good one! Full of down to earth characters also if the story is a fantasy. I loved the balance between the normalcy of a domestic life in a setting that is not-normal and the mystery that need to be solved.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Blowback by Bev Prescott

Blowback by Bev Prescott
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (September 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939562686
ISBN-13: 978-1939562685
Amazon: Blowback
Amazon Kindle: Blowback

Meghan Blaney comes from a long line of self-sufficient, gritty Maine lobstermen. She knows a thing or two about hard work, loyalty, and sacrifice. When she put off going to culinary school so she could take care of her aging father, she never expected to be schlepping pancakes at a local diner a decade later. Nor did she plan to be living in an old house that was too small for her partner, Lauren, and her cantankerous father. Meghan's life becomes even more complicated when she agrees to let her ex-con brother, Scott, stay with them. He unwittingly brings the sordid underbelly of the fishing industry and one troublesome gun into their lives. Meghan quickly learns the hard way, despite everyone's best intentions, having a gun comes with its own unintended blowback.

Bev Prescott always deliver a good read but this one took me into the most unexpected journey. Guns ownership is a big topic in America, it is also: always hot, controversial, and as a non american watcher an unresolved one. I liked a lot this book because I couldn’t relate so much with news or info that come my way trough the media…but this book have made me connect like ever before to it. Impressive!

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Lesbians on the Loose by Lori L. Lake & Jessie Chandler

Lesbians on the Loose: Crime Writers on the Lam by Lori L. Lake & Jessie Chandler
Lesbian Anthology / Collection / Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Launch Point Press (May 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1633040305
ISBN-13: 978-1633040304
Amazon: Lesbians on the Loose: Crime Writers on the Lam
Amazon Kindle: Lesbians on the Loose: Crime Writers on the Lam

These tales of murder, mayhem, and suspense by some of today's finest crime writers will keep you up way past your bedtime! The lesbians on the loose in this collection are an entertaining mix of protagonists: cops, amateur sleuths, a PI, a judge, a bounty hunter, and one very insightful dog. There's even an intrepid high schooler and a mystery writer. Despite greed and grief, rage and revenge, secrets and lies, many of the stories feature humor from a variety of characters trying to find their way in a difficult world-cops who've seen too much, revenge seekers, and women who want justice for themselves and others. You won't regret going on the lam with these terrific writers! Stories by: Elizabeth Sims, Carsen Taite, SY Thompson, Andi Marquette, Linda M. Vogt, VK Powell, Kate McLachlan, Lori L. Lake, Lynn Ames, Sandra de Helen, Jen Wright, Sue Hardesty, Jessie Chandler, J.M. Redmann, and Katherine V. Forrest

I can’t say I’ve ever read an anthology where every story was a complete hit with me, but this one was so consistently good that I genuinely enjoyed every story in it. The variety is entertaining, the brevity a challenge the authors rose to, and the theme has interpretations both lighthearted and serious that worked equally well. One of the better anthos I’ve read.

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andrew potter

Special Awards of the Rainbow Awards

You often read good news on this wall, I love stories giving hope, maybe since I had too bad stories in my life. But interacting with many people, managing the Rainbow Awards, put me in contact with others, and that means interacting with different lives, and life is not always with an happy ending. Since 2011 I started to devote some Rainbow Awards to people who touched me, with the little hope we will not forget them, but years after years, I fear those names are going into oblivion, so forgive the sad wall, but I want once again remember them:

Bobby Michaels (1951 - October 30, 2011): the Gay Erotic Romance category is named after him; Bobby was an early Gay Erotic Romance author, I really loved his books, read them always on the day they were out. Bobby was fighting with AIDS, and he spent the last two years of his life in and out hospitals. It was at that time I launched the Rainbow Awards (2009) and he gladly accepted to be in the jury. At the time we were just a bunch of friends who thought we could do something good, and Bobby loved the experience. He was able to do only the first year, his rate was fundamental for the winner of that year, Kyell Gold​ with Out of Position. Bobby never submitted to the Rainbow Awards, never had the chance, but I'm sure he would have been a winner in his category.

William Neale​ (1957 - March 13, 2012): the Gay Contemporary Romance is named after Bill. He was a rising star of this genre, very involved in the community, among the first organizers of the GayRomLit convention (GRL). I was lucky enough to be picked to a lunch with author at New Orleans convention with Bill and Rick R. Reed​ joined us. Wonderful memory. I was particulary broken by the news of Bill passing away from an heart attack since, during that lunch, he told me that if I was ever in Cleveland we should have met, and indeed I wrote him I was going in March... and my email was sent on the same day he passed away.

Dirk Vanden​ (May 7, 1933 - October 20, 2014): the LGBT Biography/Memoir category is devoted to Dirk who won it with his memoir. Dirk was an early gay novelist, not a prolific one, but a beloved gay authors on the West Coast US in the 70s... not that there were many at the time. Dirk lost his partner due to AIDS, and many other friends too. He had financial trouble in the end, forced to sell all his memorabilia and paintings (he was an awesome artists too) just to make the day, let along the month. His only desire was to be able to feed his dog, and when he lost one, to be able to pay the shelter to take another one.

Cate Culpepper​ (June 29, 1957 - October 25, 2014): the Lesbian Paranormal Romance category is named after Cate. I have never met her, but she was always a favority of the Rainbow Awards. Actually when she passed away, her last novel was on the good track to be the winner of its category, how it happened. Cate was struggling with diabetes if I remember well, and all she wanted was to survive long enough to not leave her beloved old pet alone... as soon as he passed away, she did too. I'm sure they are taking long walk in heaven right now.

Dorien Grey​ (November 14, 1932 - November 1, 2015): the Gay Mystery/Thriller category is devoted to Dorien. When I started working with the LGBT community there weren't many venues you could trust, and the Yahoo Group of Roger/Dorien was one. Dorien was always a gentleman, always trying to be the peacemaker, maybe since he really saw what war was. Thinking at Dorien, make you think to better times, when being respectful wasn't an exception but what they told you since kindergarten. I still remember reading on his memoirs how he went through the things of a friend who passed away, and how sad it was to think everything was to an end... I hope Dorien Grey's life will be forever a treasure for the LGBT community.

Sandra Moran​ (December 20, 1968 - November 7, 2015): the Lesbian Historical category will be devoted to Sandra. She was quite a new friend in my circle, just shy of two years I think, but we often exchanged emails. She was interested in my book, Days of Love, especially the historical Lesbian lives I had in it. She told me we should talk about a project, but we never did... and now we will never do. When I was having some issue in my life, she took the time to privately messaging me, and at the time I was basically a stranger, to give me courage and hope. I was deeply touched, and from that moment on, I always associated positive feelings to Sandra's name. Yes, we have never met, but again, I will miss you.

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