November 30th, 2015

andrew potter

Blog Tour: Something Like a Love Song by Becca Burton

Something Like a Love Song by Becca Burton
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Interlude Press (November 19, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941530494
Amazon: Something Like a Love Song
Amazon Kindle: Something Like a Love Song

Blurb: One tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. But can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?

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Meet the author: Becca Burton penned her first Nancy Drew fan fiction at the age of nine and has been an avid writer ever since. Currently working as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse, Becca is a recent Oregon transplant from the Midwest. Becca has a weakness for coffee, the smell of old books, rainy days and her cat, Luna. Something Like a Love Song is her first novel.

"Thank you for having me. Something Like a Love Song is my first novel, a story about two long time boyfriends who find themselves facing a life changing tragedy and have to find the courage and love for each other to fight through.

While this is my first novel, I have posted many stories online, and have been writing ever since I learned how. I currently work as a nurse in a Neonatal ICU, and medicine has been a big interest in my life, and always seems to find a way into my writing. I am passionate about diverse, LGBTQ fiction, and am very excited to contribute to this genre."

1) Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing come from?
I think I can pretty much blame my obsession with all of that on my mom. My mom is a huge reader and has a massive collection of books, and as a lover of literature, has been both my enabler and my supporter. When I was little she shared her love of reading with me, and I was pretty much addicted to reading as soon as I learned how, and writing my own stories came shortly after. I don’t think I would have the love for literature and all of the arts if it wasn’t for her.

2) What were your goals when you started this book? Do you think you met them?
When I first started writing this story in its original format online, my goal was to bring awareness to the subject matter. Having worked as a caregiver, and with individuals with brain injuries, I learned how strong and incredible they can be, and how strong and courageous the caregivers have to be to care for someone they love in such a way. I really wanted to bring some awareness to subject, and I received so many kind and supportive messages from readers who have gone through similar situations, or could identify with the subject. My hope with this book is to bring a similar awareness to readers, and that maybe they will learn something new, or perhaps find a way to identify with Dylan and Landon’s journey.

3) Have you ever co-written with someone before?
I’ve attempted to co-write a silly story with someone before, but we were both very busy at the time and it never was finished. I would not be opposed to trying again some day!

4) Tell us about your favorite character in a book (yours or someone else’s).
Oh man, this is a hard question. I’m going to go to my default of Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. When I was in college, I wrote paper on Samwise, and how, even though he is a side character, he is probably the most important character in the trilogy, and I still stand by that. He’s loyal, selfless, and does what he does out of his love for another. Also he loves potatoes, so that makes him pretty perfect.
I would say my other favorite character would be Trip Morgan from Courtney Lux’s Small Wonders. If you haven’t read Small Wonders yet, it should absolutely be next on your to-read list. Trip is one of the most complex, delightfully frustrating, vividly real characters I have ever read.

5) List five foods you can’t live without.
1. Potatoes (in any form)
2. Coffee
3. Pumpkin flavored anything
4. Popcorn
5. Ice cream

Where to find the author:
Twitter: @missbeccaburton
Goodreads Link:

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: For Love of: Colt by Antonio

For Love of: Colt by Antonio
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Publication Date: August 28, 2015
Amazon Kindle: For Love of: Colt

Colt and Tangi are in love and they’ve survived being crowned homecoming kings. But if they’re expecting the craziness in their lives to settle down—they couldn’t be more wrong. Even though members of Colt’s football team, the cheerleaders, and the entire high school become involved in the couple’s romance, Tangi and Colt persevere. And Tangi stands strong when the time is called for him to do so. All… for love of Colt.

I love this book.  It is a great follow up to the first story and leaves it open for a third book.  This author’s writing style may not be for everyone, but I really urge those who love the coming of age sub-genre to give this book, as well as the first one, For Love of Tangi a try.

Oh Colt, Tangi loves you so, and I'm glad that love is returned. While this book did not solely focus on the relationship between Colt and Tangi, in fact, taking different POVs from characters you thought were only secondary, it was beautiful to read about the love, passion, and romance between these people who have supported and stood beside them. While beautifully written, and that is a testament to the author's talent and skill, the description of the settings was almost an afterthought. It was there, letting the reader know where the characters were, but there seemed to be missing a depth to the descriptions. The characters, however, were all completely relatable, if all hopeless romantics and looking to get married and have kids quickly, but they were all fully developed and well-rounded as far as being written. I enjoyed this story of a couple, a family, a small community as they grow, live, learn, laugh, cry, and love some more over the course of almost a full year.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: I’ll Always Miss You by Raine O’Tierney

I’ll Always Miss You by Raine O’Tierney
Bisexual Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (March 5, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165228
ISBN-13: 978-1632165220
Amazon: I’ll Always Miss You
Amazon Kindle: I’ll Always Miss You

Isa Zaman might forgive his parents for taking in a friend’s son if only he wasn't the most boring teenager in the universe. Macklin “Mackie” Cormack’s only interests are reading and the outdoors. Yeah, right. Isa's convinced Mackie is either a pyro or a klepto. Plus, as a white kid, Mackie looks ridiculous in the Zamans' Arab American household. Forced to share a bedroom, the boys keep butting heads until an absurd fight finally breaks the tension between them.

Isa’s just starting to figure life out: this new houseguest, his cultural identity, school, and even girls, when the entire family is uprooted from their home for reasons Isa can't understand. They move from their tiny city apartment to a giant old house in a small town, hours away from everything he's ever known. Oh, and the new house? It's probably haunted, or so says the blank-faced ten-year-old next door. As if things weren't weird enough, Isa's friendship with Mackie suddenly takes a strange turn down a path Isa's not sure he’s ready to follow. It turns out Mackie Cormack isn’t nearly as boring as Isa once imagined.

What an excellent book. Several strands beautifully woven together, the book never gets frantic. The ghost story dovetails beautifully with the boys' story which develops at such a lovely pace. Other sidelines are fitted in carefully providing a multi-dimensional book with depth (as in RL). Learning Isa is gay is not the central theme which is so refreshing. As he says, that is not all he is. Both mc are well developed although told from Isa's perspective we learn a lot about Mackie and how he feels. Excellent family relationships - arguments and laughter as in most families. How interesting to make the family Moroccan and to use this for a couple of key themes (Isa learning to cook and family). Two different areas of US described - I could tell the difference. So well written. Flows well, no grammatical or editorial errors to pull one out of the story. Language seemed natural for teenage boys and a family.

A different coming out story with an unusual mix of main characters - the Moroccan  culture was nicely defined and the boys acted like real teenagers, going from initial antagonism to mutual respect and affection.

This was an enjoyable young adult tale with several pleasant differences from other YA stories I’ve read. One of the best aspects of I’ll Always Miss You is that Isa and Zaman acted and behaved as typical teenagers. They were totally realistic and not like adults in teen bodies as is often seen in YA.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Deception by Design by Tara Wentz

Deception by Design by Tara Wentz
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (March 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939062918
ISBN-13: 978-1939062918
Amazon: Deception by Design
Amazon Kindle: Deception by Design

Photographer Joshlyn Davis moves through her life drawing as little attention as possible. She longs for the simple life with few complications and the less people know her the better. The long buried secrets have taken a toll, but everything is just how she wants it, or so she thought. Graphic/Software designer Kellen Reynolds lives her days substantiating her work from home business and her nights burning up the pavement at the local amateur race track. There really hadn't been much thought of a private life until a chance meeting with Joshlyn Davis. Almost immediately Kellen and Joshlyn find a connection and begin to slowly explore a relationship. Will the relationship have time to develop or will something dark and sinister put an end to it?

I’m not much into car racing… but this story sucked me in and kept me reading, which I take as a sign of a good story.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Storm Before the Calm by Cate Ashwood

The Storm Before the Calm by Cate Ashwood
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 5, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634760859
ISBN-13: 978-1634760850
Amazon: The Storm Before the Calm
Amazon Kindle: The Storm Before the Calm

Charlie has one passion in life: dancing. It’s his salvation when it feels like the world is swallowing him whole. When his mom secretly secures him a spot in the summer intensive at the Free Rein Dance Company in New York, he is thrilled. He knows that once the summer ends, he'll have to return to Beacon to get a job and help support his family, but for those two months, he can spread his wings.

In New York he meets Max, a junior instructor who is everything Charlie wishes he could be. Bold and self-assured, Max radiates pride in who he is. As they spend time together, Max shows Charlie what life can be like past the walls of his closed-minded home town. But Charlie doesn’t know if he’s ready to show the world who he truly is when standing in the spotlight is the last thing he wants.

A lovely story with incredibly not much angst. I enjoyed the characters and plot but thought that sometimes things were a bit too perfect. That was not enough to stop me from enjoying the story and its happy ending.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Stealing Arthur by Joel Perry

Stealing Arthur by Joel Perry
Transgender Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 380 pages
Publisher: Bear Bones Books (January 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590215869
ISBN-13: 978-1590215869
Amazon: Stealing Arthur
Amazon Kindle: Stealing Arthur

In this hilarious novel based on an actual event, author Joel Perry tells of fifty-five of Hollywood's highest awards--the Arthurs--have been stolen, setting in motion the kind of crazy only turn-of-the-millennium Los Angeles can provide. Intrigue, murder, comedy, sex, romance, celebrity dish, and ultimately redemption play out for characters from Skid Row to Hollywood's Walk of Fame, including all the desperate wannabes in between. In a town where people would happily kill anyone for a part, what would they do for a gilded Arthur statuette?

Ha! This book was sick, twisted fun. The plot was like a maze, and I found myself laughing quite a bit. If you like your books quirky and offbeat, you should dive right into this one.

While there was certainly a lot of plot, I found it too intricate and difficult to follow. Still, I recognize that developing such a plot took skill. Some interesting twists and an exciting climax. There were far too many characters for me to keep track of easily. I suppose there were good details and good dialogue to help develop them, but figuring out who was who was a continual challenge. I always felt I was in Los Angeles in the world of the film industry. Snappy dialogue, some good humor (though as I said earlier there was a lot of humor that didn't work for me), some genuinely touching scenes.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Most Beautiful Words by Raine O’Tierney

Most Beautiful Words by Raine O’Tierney
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632162105
ISBN-13: 978-1632162106
Amazon: Most Beautiful Words
Amazon Kindle: Most Beautiful Words

Twelve-year-old Autumn's world is shattered when her beloved Great-Pop, Tommy Johnson, suffers a stroke that leaves him comatose. With everyone around her resigning themselves to the inevitable, Autumn is the only one not willing to give up. She and Great-Pop have more secret stories to share with each other, after all. More stories about Roy McMillan—the great love of Tommy's life whom he lost fifty years ago.

Autumn struggles to keep Great-Pop on this side of death's door. But how can she compete with the beautiful and mysterious Valley—a place of surreal magic where the sun never fully sets? Especially when there's someone familiar in the Valley who will do everything he can to keep Great-Pop from returning to her.

It was a really difficult book to read, dealing with an hard issue such as death. But the way it was  faced is really sweet and strong. I think it's really difficult to let go people you love, and this book teach us to let go. Well written even if confusing in some passage, nontheless a very agreable book. Touching.

Here's the inspirational comment = A heartbreaking, beautiful story that left me shattered to pieces and crying my eyes out. This is about true love, a close-knit family, stories that can fill entire lifetimes, and a journey through dreams, life and death to learn what truly matters. I will remember this amazing, haunting love story for a long time to come. Loved everything about it!

I'm speechless... It was a very unusual book for me, it left me crying but mostly with happy tears…

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Chasing Death Metal Dreams by Kaje Harper

Chasing Death Metal Dreams by Kaje Harper
Transgender Contemporary Romance
ebook, 265 pages
Published August 2nd 2015 by
edition language English

Carlos Medina has spent years of sweat, pain, effort, and money becoming the man he is. He writes original songs, plays lead guitar, and wears his death metal front-man persona like armor. With an excellent drummer and a talented bassist, his band, KnifeSwitch, has what it takes to succeed, if they can just catch a break. But it’s been a long road already, and there’s still a mountain left to climb. Carlos isn’t looking for anything more in his personal life than an occasional hook-up with a hot guy, preferably outside the less-than-gay-friendly metal scene.

Nate Goldstein has no intention of dating a musician. His twin brother fronts a band, and he knows band guys are all busy, broke, and obsessed with their music. But Carlos catches his artist’s eye. Nate is wary - he has a history of picking the wrong guys. Still, he might be willing to break some personal rules to find out what’s behind Carlos’s dark gaze and imaginative lyrics.

Getting together the first time is easy and fun. The second time is more complicated. And when music, ambition, and personalities clash, the guys will have to decide if they have a future worth fighting for.

What a wonderful story! This year I chose „transgender” category in addition to the „gay” one I usually read to expand my horizons and leave my comfort zone a little. What can I say? I loved the characters and I really feel like I can sympathize with them, especially Carlos. He was a very likeable guy, despite his difficult childhood. And he was definitely a MAN, the author did a great job portraying him as such.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Chance Of the Heart by Kade Boehme

Chance Of the Heart by Kade Boehme
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1507505507
ISBN-13: 978-1507505502
Amazon: Chance Of the Heart
Amazon Kindle: Chance Of the Heart

Chance Becket's life was mapped out. He'd one day own the ranch he grew up on, have a family, and be the son he was raised to be, like all good boys in Small Town, U.S.A. When his high school sweetheart calls for a break during her last semester of college, the last place Chance thought he'd end up was in his old friend Bradley's bed. Bradley Heart blasted out of the closet before his family could name him heir apparent to his father's church. After six years away, a job layoff has him coming home to work behind the scenes. He and his father have little interaction and he's fine with it staying that way when he returns home. Going back into the closet, for any reason, is not on his list of things to do. But Chance may prove too much a temptation, especially with the simmering feelings they’ve had for one another since they were teens. Confused over his sexuality, Chance has to decide what’s more important -- loyalty to his family and the path set forth, or the promise of happiness with not just the only man, but the only person, he's ever really wanted. Includes a very toppy accountant, a cowboy who'd rather be in the kitchen, porn positions, some spanking, and absolutely zero religion other than worshipping... You know.

I really loved this book! The setting was very nice described, the characters and their inner conflicts amazingly written, I couldn't wait for them to be together at last.

This is a solid plot that kept me reading. I felt like Caitlin's reasons for delaying in telling people that she and Chance had broken up weren't fully developed. Also, I'm always disappointed when a major plot point happens because someone overhears a conversation. It was handled well, but it's still disappointing, because the main characters are passive in that situation. Fully developed. I could picture everything and felt immersed in the world. The characters seemed like real people with believable motivations. Well-written, but with a fair number of cliches and some may/might confusion ("might" is the past tense of "may"). 

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens

Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632169150
ISBN-13: 978-1632169150
Amazon: Conflict of Interest
Amazon Kindle: Conflict of Interest

When a material witness changes her story during a court interrogation, allowing the man who assaulted her little boy to go free, Senior Crown Prosecutor Finn DeHavilland's legendary self-control goes out the window. His subsequent suspension from appearing in court leaves Finn with time on his hands. Desperate to continue working, and after regularly attending his mandatory psychiatric sessions, he accepts a delicate case involving a fraudulent Scotland Yard police detective.

Excited to be assigned to the case, DS Tommy Drummond, who has had a soft spot for Finn since Finn defended him during an internal investigation, and his partner, Stevie Fielding, begin uncovering evidence. A series of seemingly random occurrences muddle their investigation. Believing they’re on the right path, the team pushes forward, until Tommy’s apartment goes up in flames. Offering Tommy a guest room in his home turns up the heat on the growing feelings between Finn and Tommy. But Finn’s baggage may be too much to deal with, and paranoia threatens to tear them apart. As the net around the corrupt detective tightens, it becomes clear he must have had help from high places, and Finn and Tommy become pawns in the game.

Great read, but then I have a soft spot for traumatized characters (and virgins!). I couldn't read fast enough to find out what happens next and yet I didn't want to finish.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Jolt by Kris Bryant

Jolt by Kris Bryant
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626391912
ISBN-13: 978-1626391918
Amazon: Jolt
Amazon Kindle: Jolt

Mystery writer Bethany Lange wasn’t prepared for the twisting emotions that left her breathless the moment she laid eyes on folk singer sensation Ali Hart. Of course she was flat on her back and looking up and backward at the gorgeous singer, but that didn’t stop her body and heart from bursting into a kaleidoscope of want, need, and lust. Scared at the intensity of her feelings, Bethany does everything she can to avoid Ali at Camp Jacomo, the camp designed specifically for children of lesbian and gay families where Bethany volunteers every summer. The camp director convinces the hottest singer at the moment, Ali Hart, to spend a week teaching the children music to everybody’s delight except Bethany’s. On her last day at camp, Ali approaches Bethany with an offer of friendship, but they both know it’s the prelude to something bolder. Should Bethany take the risk? Does she really believe she can balance her quiet private life with Ali’s outspoken one?

Jolt was a beautiful story about love at first sight, destiny, triumph over heartbreak, trusting again after being betrayed in a previous relationship, self-confidence, and how being with "The One" can show us and bring out a side of ourselves we never knew existed. I enjoyed reading about Ali and Bethany and traveling on their journey of love with them. Ms Bryant did an excellent job crafting such a passionate, romantic, emotionally gripping, and sensual plot that really grips the reader. I was a little disappointed at some of the plot threads that were hinted at or talked about but not resolved by the end of the book (why was Ali having a nightmare and saying "Please don't"? What happened to her? What was Bethany's book about? Ali mentioned that she wanted to have children with her ex but it seemed as if Bethany wasn't interested in having her own, that would cause problems, what discussion did they have? Did Ali buy the house?). If the author was planning on writing a sequel to answer these questions, which I think would be a good idea, then my score for plot and writing style, and even character development would be 10 each but since I don't know if there is one planned I'm basing it off the book I read. The setting was beautifully described, making the reader feel as if they were right there in the center of it all. Feeling the heat, the cold winds, the sand from the beach, hearing the pulse of the music and the roar of the crowd thundering through them. Ms Bryant did an exceptional job with it. The characters were likable. No, they were lovable. Flawed. Given to rash decisions and harsh judgements as humans are wont to do. I did so hope this book wouldn't be a "Miss-understanding Novel" as many contemporaries are, but Ms Bryant did a great job with it, putting an interesting spin on an overused trope. Her writing style was fascinating and engaging and I found myself so attached to the characters, the story, and the writing that I read the entire book in a day.

Totally loved this book.

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