December 2nd, 2015

andrew potter

Blog Tour: Clean By Mia Kerick

Clean by Mia Kerick

Blurb: High school senior Lanny Keating has it all. A three-sport athlete at Lauserville High School looking at a college football scholarship, with a supportive family, stellar grades, boy band good looks… until the fateful day when it all falls apart.

Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school bad-boy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival.

Lanny seeks out Trevor’s companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love.

When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate, while the other spirals downward into addiction.

Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability?

Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.

Collapse )

Meet the author: Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Tell us five moments that stayed with you from any 5 books.
I read a lot. A lot. And I have chosen five moments from five books that have remained in my heart for years!
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- I’ll always remember when Jane and Mr. Rochester reunite at the end; the proud Mister Rochester is now a broken and damaged man.
2. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx- I cry when I experience the bitter regret of Ennis Del Mar at the novel’s conclusion when he visit’s Jack’s home.
3. Bare Back by Chris Owen- Because of a betrayal, the two men lose their comfortable, day-to-day life, a simple blessing that they had taken for granted.
4. Once Upon a Time in America by Michael Bowler- I grit my teeth when Lance refuses to let go of Ricky’s hand (if he lets go Ricky will fall to his death).
5. Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune- I will always remember when an angel falls from the sky!!

Where to find the author:
Website (& Blog):
Clean Facebook Page:
Mia Kerick Author Facebook Page:
Newsletter Sign Up:
Goodreads Link:

Collapse )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Resist by Heather C. Leigh

Resist: Gavin (Sphere of Irony Book 3) by Heather C. Leigh
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Shelbyville; 1 edition (August 9, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Resist: Gavin (Sphere of Irony Book 3)

All Gavin Walker, bass player for the multi-platinum selling band, Sphere of Irony, wants to do is surf, play music, and occasionally get laid. The problem is that Gavin has a stalker. A potentially deadly one. The threats he receives always mention something about Gavin being gay, which isn't public knowledge since the record label wants to keep it quiet.

Mitch Hale used to track serial killers for the FBI. A live-changing incident led him to quit the bureau and start his own company providing computerized security for Los Angeles' wealthiest people. Mitch doesn't know anyone when he moves across the country from D.C. to California, and all he has for companionship is a pathetic string of failed relationships with women.

When Gavin's manager hires Mitch to find the stalker, the men instantly hate each other. Despite the constant fighting, attraction between the two blazes hot, confusing the former FBI agent. Spending time with Gavin forces Mitch reflect on what he's denied about himself for the last ten years. Listening to Mitch's plan to catch a madman thrusts Gavin's personal life out in the open for the entire world to see.

Can Gavin and Mitch stop fighting long enough to stop a stalker before someone gets hurt? Or will they stubbornly resist the feelings that develop when they're forced to work together?

This is book 3 in a 4 part series. It is a spin-off of the Famous Series. These can be read as standalones.

A really amazing and enthralling story, the characters so vivid and charming you cannot end up loving them, even when you would like to smack them to make them see the stupid way they are acting. To be read, absolutely.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Stone Magic 1: Moonstone by K-lee Klein

Stone Magic 1: Moonstone by K-lee Klein
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: Stone Magic
Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: Amber Allure (August 4, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1681759845
ISBN-13: 978-1681759845
Amazon: Stone Magic 1: Moonstone
Amazon Kindle: Stone Magic 1: Moonstone

(Book 1 of the Stone Magic series)

Ky’s fought his way to the boxing championship for the third time, but now the fight of his life isn’t against an opponent in the ring. He’s battling a darkness within himself that he can’t ignore and can’t control. If he fails, everything he’s spent his life working for will be gone, and he can’t see a path to victory. Only a hunch sends him looking for help in the most unusual places.

Blue’s a quiet guy, living for his family and the art of his tattoos. He’s created his shop, Blue’s Dungeon, to be a place for the celebration of art on skin—simple, friendly, and mostly uncomplicated—and Blue likes it that way.

But when Ky shows up in Blue’s tattoo parlor, desperately searching for a lifeline, it’s the beginning of something magical for both men...

The relationship was hot and heavy fast but that made sense for both of the guys involved. The paranormal aspect was a new take on an old theme which is always welcome and it didn’t do the annoying thing I’ve seen lately, which is taking the place of actual character development. And the writing was clean--vivid, without being intrusive or show-offy. 

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Black John by Amy Lane

Black John (Johnnies Book 4) by Amy Lane
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 163216552X
ISBN-13: 978-1632165527
Amazon: Black John (Johnnies Book 4)
Amazon Kindle: Black John (Johnnies Book 4)

Johnnies: Book Four

John Carey is just out of rehab and dying inside when he gets word that Tory, the guy who loved him and broke him, has removed himself from the world in the most bitter way possible―and left John to clean up his mess.

Forced back to his hometown in Florida, John's craving a hit with every memory when he meets Tory's neighbor. Spacey and judgmental, Galen Henderson has been rotting in his crappy apartment since a motorcycle accident robbed him of his mobility, his looks, and his boyfriend all in one mistake. Galen's been hiding at the bottom of an oxy bottle, but when John shows up, he feels obligated to help wade through the wreckage of Tory's life.

The last thing John needs is another relationship with an addict, and the last thing Galen wants is a conscience. Both of them are shocked when they find that their battered souls can learn from and heal one another. It doesn't hurt that they're both getting a crash course on how growing up and getting past your worst mistakes sure beats the alternative―and that true love is something to fight to keep if your lover is fighting to love you back.

The author should give lessons to other authors on how you write a standalone book in a series. Just an amazingly perfect job.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Anatomy of Perception by AJ Rose

The Anatomy of Perception by AJ Rose
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: The Grim Writer Press; 1 edition (March 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1508822263
ISBN-13: 978-1508822264
Amazon: The Anatomy of Perception
Amazon Kindle: The Anatomy of Perception

In the beginning, there was wreckage. Dane Perry’s mother was dead, and the father who always said he’d amount to nothing blamed him. Dane swore he’d become something. He would be someone. In the middle, there was escape. Rebuilding his life from the ashes of his mother’s memory, Dane found success as a respected surgeon, and love in the form of Craig Dahl, a talented artist who became his everything. But there was also darkness, lies, and a crumbling foundation just waiting for the ground to shift. In the end, there was a spectacular fall, illusions shattered, and for Dane, nothing more to lose. He was broken, damaged, and left with fierce demons. But from the bottom, the only way left is up. Dane renewed friendships and salvaged his career. The only thing he cannot replace is Craig. But Dane has a plan. Brick by brick, his foundation is rebuilt, and all he needs is for Craig to listen one last time. In the beginning again, there’s hope and tatters of love. Can Dane repair the damage with Craig? Can he rescue the only thing he amounted to that ever truly mattered?

Simply amazing on all counts.

This novel captured me from paragraph one, promising terrible pain, but also (in part because of the unusual narrative choice) amazing healing and hope. There were enough subtle hints early on to draw me into the plot, and even once I knew the gist of how the book would run its course I was still captivated by the incredibly well-drawn characters and by the thorough (but not heavy-handed) treatment of the main character's illness. One of the best books I've read that tackled this kind of subject matter. 

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A New Man by P.D. Singer

A New Man by P.D. Singer
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 9, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632166437
ISBN-13: 978-1632166432
Amazon: A New Man
Amazon Kindle: A New Man

Senior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?

Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends. Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.

A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may throw himself back after his husband turns out moody and hard to get along with, no matter how much fun his new sex drive is. Surgery turns Chad into a new man, all right…

…but Warren fell in love with the old one.

I got sucked into this story very quickly. Great characters, including those who weren't the MCs, and I liked the way the issues they faced weren't solved quickly which made it more realistic.

First book I read from this author but won’t be the last.

Great characters and an emotional plot made this one a page-turner for me.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Cinder and the Smoke by Geonn Cannon

Cinder and the Smoke by Geonn Cannon
Lesbian Historical Fiction
Publisher: Supposed Crimes LLC (March 1, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Cinder and the Smoke

In nineteenth century New York, safes aren’t living up to their name. A thief so wily, so impossible to capture the the police call her “the Smoke” has been targeting the wealthy. In reality the Smoke is a woman named Kezia Cyr, a woman born in prison, stolen from her mother, and raised by runaways and pickpockets. When her emotions causes a job to blow up in her face, Kezia’s adoptive family scatters and she is left to avenge those she’s lost.

The Smoke may finally meet her match in Pinkerton Agent Shelby Button who earned the moniker “Cinder” for running into a burning building to capture a criminal. Button finds Kezia’s trail and refuses to let her prey go without a fight.

With a decade-old murder to avenge, Kezia will stop at nothing to correct her past mistakes, and Agent Button is willing to trek across the country to bring the phantom Smoke to justice once and for all.

Good vs Evil. This book actually had me rooting for the criminal. Kenzie Cyr, aka Kieran Scott, aka Smoke, was a troubled character who struggled with her identity, her sexuality, her past, her present, the people in her life, her skills, her need for revenge, and her desire for stability, wealth, love, and acceptance. Traveling through the journey of her life with her, experiencing her griefs, her triumphs, her failures, her betrayals, her pains, her happiness, all served to show the author's wonderful writing style. The way the setting was described so elegantly, the development of the plot, and the way it ended so satisfyingly, was refreshing to me. This story was new and the historical aspect was spot on and accurate. I sincerely enjoyed the story, the tension that was created at different points, the humor, the sensuality, the angst, and even the hope. There was only the few instances of missing words and repetitive phrases that threw me out of the story that prevented me from giving this book a perfect score.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Astounding! by Kim Fielding

Astounding! by Kim Fielding
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 26, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634762207
ISBN-13: 978-1634762205
Amazon: Astounding!
Amazon Kindle: Astounding!

Carter Evans is founder and editor-in-chief of Astounding!―a formerly popular spec fiction magazine currently in its death throes. Not only can he do nothing to save it, but stuck in a rathole apartment with few interpersonal connections, he can’t seem to do much to rescue his future either. And certainly all the booze isn’t helping. He snaps when he receives yet another terrible story submission from the mysterious writer J. Harper―and in a drunken haze, Carter sends Harper a rejection letter he soon regrets.

J. Harper turns out to be John Harper, a sweet man who resembles a ’50s movie star and claims to be an extraterrestrial. Despite John’s delusions, Carter’s apology quickly turns into something more as the two lonely men find a powerful connection. Inexplicably drawn to John, Carter invites him along on a road trip. But as they travel, Carter is in for some big surprises, some major heartbreak… and just maybe the promise of a good future after all.

The author did an amazing job with her characters. Carter wasn't perfect by any means. He was an overweight hermit with a drinking problem but I couldn't help but empathize with him and want a happy end for him and John. Though not a genre I often read, this story leapt off the page and left me wanting more.

While the plot for Astounding! Is sort of typical, and (thankfully, because I was rooting for these guys) predictable, I still liked the way the author stayed faithful to it and le the characters develop through it without dragging in any maudlin, over-the-top angst to go with the predicted lows. She wrote characters strong enough to weather the low points and resilient enough to revel in the high points. She backed up her main characters with fun and interesting second and tertiary characters that enhanced the story but never stole the spotlight. I had a great sense of place through the whole novel, though it changed settings frequently. I could easily picture the vast assortment of venues the characters lived, played and worked in. I felt like I was immersed in the settings as much as in the characters. There is no better way to get me into a book than for a writer to make me laugh. And I cried, too. Just a bit, because parts were sad, but I like that the story didn’t dwell in those places over long, but allowed her characters to grow through their pain and come out the other side still  intact, if slightly reconfigured. And I liked that the writer poked fun at her own writing in a way, throwing out blunt punchlines that could have been cheesy if they had tried to take themselves seriously. Overall, I really just enjoyed this book and read it all in one go (well, I had to sleep once, but that’s beside the point) I just sort of forsook what I should have been doing to get to John and Carter’s HEA.

If you read Kim Fielding regularly, you know you’re going to get certain things out of her novels. There are excellent plots, fantastic settings and always a few little details that will somehow have your jaw dropping. But what I like best about her writing, and about this story, are the layers of personal and interpersonal issues, drama and depth that she endows her characters with. There’s always more than one reason for a person to be however he is, and how those reasons interact and connect with the lives of others are, in this book, honestly astounding. It lives up to the name.

This was a bit of an odd book for me as it started out feeling like it was going to be one thing and then turned on a dime part way into the story. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you, just an odd thing. The cover as well, made it feel like I was getting a contemporary romance only to be surprised by the sci-fi aspect, so I didn’t get the vintage pulp-mag connection right away. I enjoyed the characters and the author included enough setting details throughout most of the book that I didn’t have to work as hard filling in the blanks. As someone who has never visited Yosemite, I would have appreciated more details about the area, but that was a small thing. I did feel at times that the emotional aspect of the relationship was a teensy bit heavy-handed here and there, but I enjoyed the story overall! My first time reading this author and based upon what I read, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another book by her.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara

The Devil Lancer: A Novel of the Crimean War by Astrid Amara
Gay Fantasy
Series: Crimean War Novels
Paperback: 475 pages
Publisher: Blind Eye Books (October 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935560301
ISBN-13: 978-1935560302
Amazon: The Devil Lancer: A Novel of the Crimean War
Amazon Kindle: The Devil Lancer: A Novel of the Crimean War

Captain Elliott Parrish of Her Majesty’s 17th Lancers cavalry division finds most details about his assignment in the Crimean peninsula insufferable. Rampant cholera, missing supplies, and inept planning start the British war effort against the Russian Czar’s expansion into Turkish territory on poor footing. What should have been a swift and decisive summer victory soon drags into a harrowing winter campaign, and Elliott must rally disheartened men through sickness, battle, and starvation. But when he is assigned the additional task of spying on a fellow officer, the inscrutable Cornet Ilyas Kovakin, he finds himself disconcerted and fascinated by both the work and the man. Rumors surround Ilyas Kovakin, the half-Russian officer who reports to none in his division. People say they’ve seen snakes slithering into his tent at night, that he has another face visible only in certain light, and a penchant for violent acts carried out in darkness, alone. But the truth that Elliot soon discovers is much more dangerous then mere superstition. For Ilyas, his return to Crimea is colored with the horrors of his past. Once a mercenary, he has made a terrible mistake and inherited horrifying powers that he can barely control. He feels his hold over his humanity slipping away daily, and fears that salvation may already lay beyond him when the cheerful Captain Parrish catches his attention. Among men who hate him and superiors who covet his brutal power, Ilyas finds the young captain’s charming company almost irresistible. But Ilyas knows that the closer he is drawn to Elliot the more he will endanger them both.

The amount of research and detail that went into The Devil Lancer is breathtaking. I've never been interested in historical romance, but Amara completely drew me in. I enjoyed the harsh reality of the setting. This is the first romance I've read where the main character has lice, and yet this doesn't dampen the truly hot love scenes. The characters were engaging and developed throughout the novel. I cared about them and was saddened when they suffered. The plot skillfully wove magic with reality into a believable story. There was very little drag and a lot of energy as we followed the war and Elliot and Ilyas' parallel quest. The climax was a satisfying culmination of what Amara set up. The writing style had a few bumps here and there, but was overall easy to devour.

Oh my goodness, Ms. Amara. Your story is utterly fascinating. If someone had told me I’d be reading a historical fantasy set during the Crimean War and loving it this hard a week ago, I’d have laughed. But your book is just that good. It’s long, satisfying, pulls you in and drives you forward, as inexorable as the battles it follows. This book is clearly well researched and well plotted, and has been very, very well written. 

So well researched, with a fascinating base and a wonderful setting. The plot unfolded effortlessly. Characters were a bit stock, but I really felt for Ilyas. Lovely book, definitely a fan of all the hard work and real effort in this.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Trouble Comes in Threes by M.A. Church

Trouble Comes in Threes by M.A. Church
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165503
ISBN-13: 978-1632165503
Amazon: Trouble Comes in Threes
Amazon Kindle: Trouble Comes in Threes

A snowstorm in the South—on New Year’s Eve—is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when, naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines.

Out of the punishing weather and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves.

Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters—and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.

This was a cute story that included fun moments as well as action. The characters were all well fleshed out and likeable and I liked that the shifters in this story were house cats. The writing was easy to read and flowed well. It looks like it is a single story but I would be happy if it turned into a series.

Wonderfully written with a unique twist on the shifter great.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Silver Scars by Posy Roberts

Silver Scars by Posy Roberts
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press (June 22, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Silver Scars

A bomb destroyed high-powered lawyer Gil Lemieux’s seemingly perfect life, and PTSD has ruled every decision since the explosion that left him scarred inside and outside. Moving home with his mom is meant to be a temporary measure, just like proofreading for a medical editorial firm is meant to be a stopgap. But two years after taking on the wrong court case, he’s still living in fear.

Keith Kramer might be based 1,500 miles away from Gil, but their shared work brings them together—a chance meeting that’s life-changing. Gil is drawn to Keith’s good looks and intelligence, but it’s his innate understanding that Gil is more than the scars on his skin that is truly attractive. He’s everything Gil used to be and more. It blows Gil’s mind that his attraction might be returned.

Only doubt could widen the distance between them. Keith’s hopefulness, borne out of surviving some tough challenges of his own, isn’t enough to bridge the distance alone. Gil will need to believe he has as much to offer as Keith if they’re to build a life together.

A great example to show that just because a character isn't perfect, doesn't mean they can't find love and acceptance.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: No Good Reason by Cari Hunter

No Good Reason (The Dark Peak Series Book 1) by Cari Hunter
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 9, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626393524
ISBN-13: 978-1626393523
Amazon: No Good Reason (The Dark Peak Series Book 1)
Amazon Kindle: No Good Reason (The Dark Peak Series Book 1)

“I can’t do this. I can’t do any of this without her.”

Detective Sanne Jensen (not blonde, not tall, definitely not Scandinavian) and Dr. Meg Fielding (scruffy, scatterbrained, prone to swearing at patients) are lifelong best friends, sharing the same deprived background and occasionally the same bed.

When a violent kidnapping stuns the Peak District village of Rowlee, both women become involved in the case. As Sanne and her colleagues in East Derbyshire Special Ops search for the culprit, and Meg fights to keep his victim alive, a shocking discovery turns the investigation on its head. With the clock ticking, Sanne and Meg find themselves pushed closer by a crime that threatens to tear everything apart.

A fabulous mystery, well grounded in setting, creepy and steadily paced, reminiscent of the television show Broadchurch.

Very good craft. Great story. I would like to have seen more kickass in the heroine. A little to indecisive for my taste. But a great story idea that really grabs you about midway through. I’d like to have seen the heroine force the issue a little more. The plot components are all there and in order. But the heroine could have made that flow a little faster, a little more captivating by rebelling every once in a while. Setting is Excellent. The reveal was a little slow on a few issues and, I believe, incomplete on others. The heroines’ father. How that impacted her decision making could have been developed a little more. And there were two specific times I wanted to grab the H and yell at her. Go do this now. You not doing this particular thing is out of character for you. The most important of the two was when they finally linked one person to the killings (Farley I believe) and everyone else gave up on the second victim (Rachel). And our H went home wounded and tired, all teary eyed, but she had a hunch or maybe a hope. She shouldn’t have given up. She should of fought Meg to the point of anger and continued the search on her own. In the dark. In the rain. Through the pain. That’s what makes our heroes heroic. Great stuff. Nice flow. Very clean. Well edited. Only mention here would be using a lot of brand names. Especially products that a reader outside the UK may never have heard of before. Great one. I will be finding another title by this author for personal reading.

Brilliant.  This started out looking like another trudge through a cliché formula, then suddenly spun out into a hair-raising hunt.  I'd go on about how good it is but I don't want to give away any surprises.   A real surprise.

An excellent start into a new series oozing with brithisness and characters who run deep.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Unfortunate Son by Shae Connor

Unfortunate Son by Shae Connor
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165309
ISBN-13: 978-1632165305
Amazon: Unfortunate Son
Amazon Kindle: Unfortunate Son

Sons: Book One

Five years ago, Evan Day lost his lover in the Afghan sand, and in the fallout, he lost his military career and his family. With help from friends, he reinvented himself as porn star Trevor Hardball, but his scars are hidden, not healed. When Riley Yeats falls into Evan’s lap in a bar, he awakens a part of Evan he’d thought was dead and gone. Evan’s fascinated by the blond and twinky Riley, even though he’s the opposite of Evan’s usual type.

Then Evan’s family reappears in his life, and Evan soon learns Riley has his own family-inflicted wounds—ones that make it hard for him to be there for Evan. A disastrous confrontation between Evan and his parents leaves Evan’s mother injured and Evan overcome by anger and fear. Losing his tenuous hold on his emotional control, Evan makes one bad decision after another, but maybe his final fall will be the wake-up call Evan needs to set things right—with his parents, and with Riley.

Well written, good characterization, plot believable.

Great book! The characters were memorable and the story sucked you right in and didn’t let you go. I think the character of Riley could have benefitted from more facetime and from a deeper look into why he treats Evan with the cold shoulder so much. That needed some help hence the lower score for character development. But overall, one of the best I’ve read this contest.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Inclination by Mia Kerick

Inclination by Mia Kerick
Gay Young Adult
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing (February 4, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0620645563
ISBN-13: 978-0620645560
Amazon: Inclination
Amazon Kindle: Inclination

Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too. Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?

Anthony, the main character, drew me into the story from the first page. This is a thoughtful tale of one young man's struggle to reconcile his religious beliefs with his sexual orientation.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Modern Brides & Modern Grooms by Mark O'Connell

Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other NonTraditional, Twenty-First Century Weddings by Mark O'Connell
LGBT Non Fiction
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (November 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629145831
ISBN-13: 978-1629145839
Amazon: Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other NonTraditional, Twenty-First Century Weddings
Amazon Kindle: Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other NonTraditional, Twenty-First Century Weddings

How to make any wedding liberating, brave, and sexy.

This post-DOMA book is for any couple--same or opposite sex--seeking a personalized wedding that dignifies the relationship and the individual self. No "new normal" here--this guide emboldens you to harness your unique, brazen, queer truth; to be creative; and to plan your wedding your way.

Every fiancé faces the question: How do I become something new without losing myself? Using his own story--from how he and his husband connected via MTV's The Real World to the real world of their marriage--author Mark O'Connell reflects on conflicts that arrive during wedding transitions, as well as various other transitions throughout your lives.

As a psychotherapist, O'Connell offers ideas to bridge relational gaps with your partner, family, and friends. As a professional actor, he also offers insight into the ways your wedding is a theatrical production: how this can help you to conceptualize the event, consolidate your efforts, and increase creative collaboration as a couple. This will serve you not only on the day, but also for the rest of your time together.

Whether we're straight, gay, or other, weddings inspire us to carve out more fun, freedom, recognition, life-space, love-space, and connubial space than we've ever had before.

Part ‘how-to’ and part memoir, this book manages to transcend both and achieve something rather refreshing. Not a light or quick read, but well worth the journey.

I read Modern Brides and Modern Grooms in practically two sittings. This is a very well-written and clever resource for planning gay and straight weddings. The author is a therapist in NYC and he includes several case histories of wedding couples to support his ideas and strategies. The book is contemporary, practical, and fun to read. I loved it.

The nonfiction content of this book and the wonderful writing style, full of wit, empathy, and profound understanding of others definitely puts this book close to the top as far as LBQT advice tomes are concerned. 

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Immortal by Amy Lane

Immortal by Amy Lane
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632169207
ISBN-13: 978-1632169204
Amazon: Immortal
Amazon Kindle: Immortal

When Teyth was but a child, a cruel prince took over his village, building a great granite tower to rule over the folk. Greedy and capricious, the man will be the bane of Teyth’s existence as an adult, but as a boy, Teyth is too busy escaping his stepfather to worry about his ruler.

Sold into apprenticeship to the local blacksmith, Teyth finds that what was meant as a punishment is actually his salvation. Cairsten, the smith, and Diarmuid, his adopted son, are kind, and the smithy is the prosperous heart of a thriving village. As Teyth grows in the craft of metalwork, he also grows in love for Diarmuid, the gentle, clever young man who introduces him to smithing.

Their prince wants Diarmuid too. As the tyrant inflicts loss upon loss on Teyth and Diarmuid, Teyth's passion for his craft twists into obsession. By the time Teyth resurfaces from his quest to create immortality, he’s nearly lost the love that makes being human worth the pain. Teyth was born to sculpt his emotion into metal, and Diarmuid was born to lead. Together, can they keep their village safe and sustain the love that will make them immortal?

Amy Lane is always a delight, and her writing is vibrant and gull of emotion. They are always very hard for me to read because she beautifully captures the pain of every day life, and turns it extraordinary.

A beautifully painful dark fairy tale.

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.