December 4th, 2015

andrew potter

Blog Tour: JINXED by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

Jinxed (The Rock Series #2) by Sandrine Gasq Dion
Series: The Rock Series
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1518837735
ISBN-13: 978-1518837739
Amazon: Jinxed: The Rock Series book 2
Amazon Kindle: Jinxed: The Rock Series book 2

BLURB: Jinx Jett is a rock superstar. As such, the hunky Skull Blasters drummer thoroughly enjoys the many perks of willing groupies, earning him a reputation as the band slut. Making it big and scoring hot women is something Jinx never expected. There's a little voice in the back of his mind constantly reminding him of how he used to be -- shy, overweight and acne prone. One night in a gay bar turns life upside down when Jinx runs into Jayden Dempsey, a kid he's been fantasizing about since giving him his autograph at a mall. Long-held insecurities keep Jinx from fully committing to anyone, and he may lose Jayden if he can't put his past behind him.

Jayden Dempsey always wanted out of his life in small-town Alabama. When his parents kicked him out after he told them he was gay, Jayden decided the time was right to move on. He crosses the country to try out for 'Singers!', a show that propels unknowns to stardom. In a twist, producers choose him and three others as winners and form a boy band called London Boys.This season, the show brings Jayden and the guys back for the finale. Surprise! The contest's heavy metal finalist will be singing with Skull Blasters.

Jinx and Jayden's initial meeting doesn't go so well, and Jayden's stunned when the guy he's crushed on for years turns out to be a total jerk. It doesn't stop him from falling into Jinx's arms every time they're alone, but Jayden didn't sign on for one nighters. He wants Jinx Jett, baggage and all.

Can a former teen outcast put rejection behind him and embrace the acceptance standing right in front of him? How much will one boy bander put up with from his rock idol before enough is enough? Can they make it work? Or are they jinxed in love?

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About the Author: Best-selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by "Old School" French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn't until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research. She's been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She's traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.
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Giveaway:
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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: What you are by Erin E. Keller

What you are by Erin E. Keller
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (February 8, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: What you are

Alex walks down the road of his life, apparently without any detours. He has a job, friends, a nice apartment and a girlfriend who meets his needs. A smooth life lived on a smooth road.

But when Daniel shows up at his door, Alex meets the first bump in road -- which turns out to be more like a boulder -- in his way.

Daniel is a gorgeous, warm, affectionate man, one who will force Alex to deal with something that happened years ago, something that made him take the safe route through life. With Daniel, he finally realizes that he'd shut down his true self, he begins the most difficult part of his journey -- the one that could take him to Daniel and to happiness.


Alex is hostile and difficult towards Daniel with no apparent reasons.  A little bit more background patching his transition would be better.  Alex was such a sulky bully at first, I almost wondered if this is really a romance. The story picked up pace and eventually the romance started to make more sense in readers eyes.  I still find Alex's earlier behavior odd and Daniel's attraction to him unfounded.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Blood and Dirt by Lloyd A. Meeker

Blood and Dirt: A Russ Morgan Mystery by Lloyd A. Meeker
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press, LLC (August 19, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925313433
ISBN-13: 978-1925313437
Amazon: Blood and Dirt: A Russ Morgan Mystery
Amazon Kindle: Blood and Dirt: A Russ Morgan Mystery

Family squabbles can be murder. Psychic PI Russ Morgan investigates a vandalized marijuana grow in Mesa County Colorado, landing in the middle of a ferocious family feud that’s escalating in a hurry. Five siblings fight over the family ranch as it staggers on the brink of bankruptcy, marijuana its only salvation. Not everyone agrees, but only one of them is willing to kill to make a point. Russ also has a personal puzzle to solve as he questions his deepening relationship with Colin Stewart, a man half his age. His rational mind says being with Colin is the fast track to heartbreak, but it feels grounding, sane, and good. Now, that’s really dangerous…


A solid mystery story. Developed original characters and a slightly twisted plot. An entertaining read for a smooth evening.

An excellent mystery with a hint of romance. The characters were engaging and vivid and I couldn't put the book down. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

Great story filled with mystery which is something I really enjoy and look for in a thriller. I appreciated the suspense, finding out who the antagonist was. Sometimes the wolf IS dressed in lamb's skin. It was so hard putting this book down at night knowing I had to get up so early in the morning to then continue reading while making breakfast for my daughter before sending her out to school. This is a 'Pick up and don't put down til you're down' sort of book. Definitely will read more from this author.

An engrossing read, rich in the mystery side and well written and well researched on the subject of family feud, as well as the setting.  An unmissable mystery in the m/m genre.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Snowman by Isabelle Rowan

Snowman by Isabelle Rowan
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 4, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634760271
ISBN-13: 978-1634760270
Amazon: Snowman
Amazon Kindle: Snowman

We all find ways to run away. Some do it in seclusion, others in the arms of lovers.

Since the death of his long-time partner, Caleb Maguire lives a quiet life in Australia’s Victorian high country with only his dog and horses for company. Each day is the same. There are no surprises―good or bad―until a major snowstorm hits his mountain and Caleb is called out to rescue a stranded tourist. The late night snow brings with it a lost soul who forces Caleb to reassess his solitary life.

Paul Turner is a barista in the trendy Melbourne suburb of Carlton. He lives life totally in the moment, but a life of no commitments is about to change for this city boy. Three days is all it takes for Paul to fall hard for Caleb, and Paul returns to the city with a promise he’ll be back after turning his life around… but only when all the roads are clear.


This is packed with emotion. It is also kind of a slow pace, character development piece. I cried from happiness and hope several times. It really caught me up in the drama at the end.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum by Jack Scott

Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum by Jack Scott
Gay Biography / Memoir
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Springtime Books (May 18, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 099323772X
ISBN-13: 978-0993237720
Amazon: Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum
Amazon Kindle: Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum

Six months into their Turkish affair, Jack and Liam, a gay couple from London, took lodgings in the oldest ward of Bodrum Town. If they wanted to shy away from the curtain-twitchers, they couldn't have chosen a worse position. Their terrace overlooked Turkey Street like the balcony of Buckingham Palace and the middle-aged infidels stuck out like a couple of drunks at a temperance meeting. Against all the odds, the boys from the Smoke were welcomed into the fold by a feisty mix of eccentric locals and a select group of trailblazing expats, irresistible ladies with racy pasts and plucky presents. Hop aboard Jack's rainbow gulet as he navigates the choppy waters of a town on the march and a national resurgence not seen since Suleiman the Magnificent was at the gates of Vienna. Grab your deckchair for a whirlwind tour of love and duty, passion and betrayal, broken hearts and broken bones, dirty politics and the dawn of a new Ottoman era.


A delightful NONFICTION book. It’s a fast read. Brimming with atmosphere, interesting characters, and wonderful central ones. Sophisticated dialogue, fast and funny. I need to give this one a full 40 marks. It’s that good. So far one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read this year. Thank you for sending it my way.

The language in Turkey Street is beautiful, the imagery are vibrant and the characters practically leap off the page.  The book is literary, but it’s also playful, witty and poignant. Thank you, Jack Scott, for a very enjoyable read.



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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell

Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 31, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634763254
ISBN-13: 978-1634763257
Amazon: Sutphin Boulevard
Amazon Kindle: Sutphin Boulevard

A Five Boroughs Story

Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens, to teaching in one of the city’s most queer-friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.


A surprise gem.  This is a terrific story, gritty without being grungy.  A story written for adults –and I'm not just talking about the sex.  Mucho gusto!

Sutphin Boulevard grabbed my attention from the first page and never let go. It’s emotional, gritty and very sexy. The setting details, both in terms of environment and culture, were excellent. The characters are likeable, unique and interesting, a refreshing change from the cookie cutter types so prevalent in the genre. Thank you, Santino Hassell for a great read.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Balls & Chain, A Buck 98 Adventure by Eric Andrews-Katz

Balls & Chain, A Buck 98 Adventure by Eric Andrews-Katz
Gay Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626392188
ISBN-13: 978-1626392182
Amazon: Balls & Chain, A Buck 98 Adventure
Amazon Kindle: Balls & Chain, A Buck 98 Adventure

Miguel Reyes is not only the first openly gay governor of Florida, he's also the man behind Referendum 65. If passed, Florida will be the first Southern state in the U.S. to include marriage equality. When the governor's fourteen-year-old son, Alejandro, is kidnapped, the message is clear: Kill the bill or we kill the boy!

Agent Buck 98 is given only one week to find and rescue Alejandro. It's a race against time, and his opposition includes: the boy's tutor who has suddenly fled the scene, an anti-gay reverend leading protests against the governor, a countess with a rifle and three annoying dogs, and then there's the romantic pitfalls with a very handsome security guard.

Buck is back on another case, and the alligators aren't the only things snapping at his heels.


Fun. Snarky. Irreverent. Obnoxious in all the best ways. Flawlessly told. Recommended for everyone who enjoys mysteries and thrillers with a heavy side of snark and sass. 

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane

The Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (June 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162649276X
ISBN-13: 978-1626492769
Amazon: The Deep of the Sound
Amazon Kindle: The Deep of the Sound

Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great-uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.


It wasn't a problem that this book was obviously one of a series. Interesting story with the conflict coming from an unusual source - family problems. I liked that both MCs had problems which equalised them. Nice main and secondary characters.

It's Amy Lane, what more do you need to say? Touches my heart, gives me hope, makes me want to help.

The three family members: Cal, his brother & uncle, are engrossing and audacious in many courageous ways. The setup is unique and nicely developed. The graphic sex is essential to the narrative and, for the most part, well done. The writing is very good, the dialogue strong though the constant use of "fuck" is repetitive & tiresome however fashionable. I've some problems with the book--if I were the editor, I'd have some strong suggestions--BUT I want to stress the positive here, since there is so much to be grateful for with this book. I found it quite moving at the end. I would want to read more by this author..


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Dragon Horse War: The Calling by D. Jackson Leigh

Dragon Horse War: The Calling by D. Jackson Leigh
Lesbian Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (February 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626392404
ISBN-13: 978-1626392403
Amazon: Dragon Horse War: The Calling
Amazon Kindle: Dragon Horse War: The Calling

When is war justified to preserve peace?

Society has evolved into one collective belief that celebrates diversity. Luxury credits are earned and spent only after the world population is fed and educated. But when catastrophic weather kills thousands and destroys crops, people begin to look for answers among ancient legends of guilt, retribution, and a vengeful deity.

Jael, seasoned commander of a latent cell of dragon horse warriors, understands what Alyssa, an alluring young priestess, doesn’t—words won’t be enough to quell the violent sect preying on the population’s fear and hunger. As their conflicting ideologies threaten to jeopardize their mission, Alyssa and Jael realize their growing attraction and entwined destiny might be more formidable than the enemy they have been called upon to defeat.


Outstanding. The first book in a speculative fiction trilogy. Cyrus is "The Prophet" (think Mike Huckabee)  preaching to a return to  "The Natural Order" (think Islamic Taliban).. First Warrior Jael and Advocate Alyssa are fighting to prevent the fascist religious overthrow. They have special powers with the 'dragon horses'. I was riveted.

An excellent and fully realized fantasy with endearing characters.

This was one of the best lesbian novels I've ever read, honestly, and definitely a great fantasy. I think the writing style could do with a bit of fine tuning when it comes to descriptions, but the romance was just delightful and the world-building was smooth, diverse, and really refreshing.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Peacock’s Eye by Jay Lewis Taylor

The Peacock’s Eye by Jay Lewis Taylor
Gay Historical Fiction
Publisher: Manifold Press (May 1, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: The Peacock’s Eye

Philip Standage – half-Italian, Catholic, Kit Marlowe’s last lover – is one of the Admiral’s Players, the company that rivals Shakespeare’s. Once Nick Hanham wheedles his way in to the Rose theatre, Philip even has an apprentice to share his secure life. Secure, that is, until he is caught up in Sir Robert Cecil’s plans for the future of England, and more than England.

The last years of Elizabeth’s reign gleam light and dark like a coin spinning beside a flame: wealth and dirt, glory and revolt, high poetry and bloody murder. In this uncertain world nothing is what it seems, least of all men, least of all love. Who can Philip rely on? And if he makes the wrong choice, who can save him?


One of the best historical novels I've read in a while. The author captured late Elizabethan London perfectly. I could almost smell the ambience. Research has been flawless as far as I could tell. The tale was little rambling and diverting from its main storyline, but it was forgiveable to explore the reality of the MC's 16th-century England. Interesting plot line.

Maybe not for everyone, but for a true lover of historical the best you can wish for; wonderful old style writing, good and reasonable plot, beautiful characters, all of them. I wish I could go back there to meet them.

Incredibly detail-dense and yet excellently characterized historical romance. Best I’ve read in a long time.



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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Americana Fairy Tale by Lex Chase

Americana Fairy Tale by Lex Chase
Gay Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 12, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632162067
ISBN-13: 978-1632162069
Amazon: Americana Fairy Tale
Amazon Kindle: Americana Fairy Tale

Modern fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: he’s a guy. Two: his perfect brother Atticus is the reincarnation of Snow White. Three: Taylor has no idea which princess he is supposed to be. Four: Taylor just left his prince (a girl) at the altar. Despite his enchanted lineage, Taylor is desperate to find his Happily Ever After away from magic, witches, and stuffy traditions. Regrettably, destiny has other plans for him. Dammit.

When word reaches Taylor that Idi the Witchking has captured Atticus, Taylor is determined to save his brother. He enlists the help of rakish and insufferable Corentin Devereaux, likewise of enchanted lineage. A malicious spell sends Taylor and Corentin on a road trip through the kitschy nostalgia of roadside Americana. To save Atticus, they must solve the puzzles put forth by Idi the Witchking. As they struggle, Taylor and Corentin’s volatile partnership sparks a flash of something more. But princesses have many enemies, and Taylor must keep his wits about him because there’s nothing worse than losing your heart… or your head.


This has by far been my favorite book to read! Very creative. Love how the author used fairy tale folklore and set the book in contemporary time period. The use of Americana was a fun twist on their adventure. The only negative I have is that it took so long for the two of them to get their act together that we had only a little at the end where they actually were a couple. I would have liked a bit more on that aspect, but I understand why Lex wrote it the way she did for the plot to work. Lex brought her world to life very well. My only negative was that I would have liked a bit more interaction with the various locations they traveled. There were very detailed scenes for some and glossed over info for others. A better balance might have made the whole book that much better. The main and supporting characters were all very identifiable and had dynamic personalities. At times I felt really bad for the brother and other I wanted to beat him senseless. I guess that means he was written well :) The fairy godfather was really funny and added a great dynamic to the two primary characters relationship. The huntsman and the princess had well developed back stories that flowed well with the rest of the book. Their growth both as individuals and as a couple built throughout and culminated in a way that left the reader wanting to see more of them together. Well written. The language was appropriate to the style. flowed smoothly and the pace was maintained to keep the reader interested.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable adventure through a world vividly brought to life by the author. The plot was original, fast moving, and unpredictable. The characters were engaging, three dimensional and finely drawn.  The writing flowed easily and kept me engaged from start to finish. I will certainly look out for more from this author.

The intense quirkiness of this book totally made it for me.

I love this book. The characters are fantastic, the plot entertaining and just the nuances to make classic princess into princes and all of the other fairy tale aspects were superb. This was only of my favorite reads from the last year.



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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Desert Rats by Christopher Church

The Desert Rats (The Mason Braithwaite Paranormal Mystery Series 2) by Christopher Church
Gay Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Series: The Mason Braithwaite Paranormal Mystery Series
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Dagmar Miura (June 30, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194226707X
ISBN-13: 978-1942267072
Amazon: The Desert Rats (The Mason Braithwaite Paranormal Mystery Series 2)
Amazon Kindle: The Desert Rats (The Mason Braithwaite Paranormal Mystery Series 2)

Strange things start to happen as soon as psychic investigator Mason and his boyfriend, Ned, and their roommate, Peggy, arrive in the high desert. An old friend sends him on a quest to identify an artifact found hidden among his dead father’s possessions, and the journey brings him into contact with a series of odd characters—not least the enigmatic Laura, who’s camping out on the desert but seems to be up to something else. With the help of a manicurist, a librarian, and a revealing side-trip back to Los Angeles, Mason manages to sharpen his psychic skills and gain insights into Gilbert’s artifact—and perhaps even the hidden structure of the world. The second book in the Mason Braithwaite psychic mystery series, The Desert Rats follows Mason as he grows into his new career as an investigator and confronts the paranormal phenomena swirling around in the desert. In the face of Ned’s skepticism and some counterintuitive experiences, Mason has to decide whether he can handle this new version of reality.


Entertaining and well-characterized.



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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Wrecked by Deanna Wadsworth

Wrecked by Deanna Wadsworth
Gay Historical Romance
Paperback: 286 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632166550
ISBN-13: 978-1632166555
Amazon: Wrecked
Amazon Kindle: Wrecked

Off the Key West coast, Rief Lawson works as a wrecker, salvaging ships and their cargo. Exiled to the outskirts of society because of his mysterious gift of sight, Rief’s only respite from his loneliness is painting an unknown blond man. When a merchant ship wrecks during a violent storm, Rief rescues a drowning victim and comes face-to-face with his destiny.

It is the man from his art!

Heir to an English barony, Mathew Weston entered the merchant trade with his greedy father and soon-to-be father-in-law. Dominated by his father and smothered by the people around him―including his sweet but tiresome fianceé―Mathew is terrified to follow his true desires. Marriage and obedience seem safer than a life of secrecy and possible prison.

After the daring rescue, a fire ignites between the two men. Powerless to resist his desire, Mathew learns what it means to be a man in Rief’s arms. With this newfound confidence, Mathew teaches Rief through gentle touch that he deserves the affection he’s long been denied. Yet their affair is doomed from the start. Two desperate men, wrecked in heart and mind, must find a way to salvage the chance at love fate has given them.


Very interesting book. At times it reads just like the cover, an M/M bodice ripper. At other times the plot has imagination. The descriptions of dress, custom, history are well woven into the story. Sex is well written in its description, yet again it feels like a trashy novel at the same time. The author also plays with the manly man being buggered by the less hirsute younger man. Much is made of the younger being ridiculed as effeminate by his father. A complicated story. Also the modern world keeps coming into play with yearnings for things to be like the 21st century, hard to imagine in the 19th. (A personal note, the girl puts butter on burns, my grand mother in 1964 put butter on my burns, we now know better than to smother burns, but oh so interesting how long that remedy continued.)



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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Soiled – A Shannon Patrick Landscape Mystery by Lin Phillippi

Soiled – A Shannon Patrick Landscape Mystery by Lin Phillippi
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (March 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939062837
ISBN-13: 978-1939062833
Amazon: Soiled – A Shannon Patrick Landscape Mystery
Amazon Kindle: Soiled – A Shannon Patrick Landscape Mystery

The debut of a remarkable new talent in lesbian mystery fiction in a suspenseful, fast paced, highly entertaining story you will not want to put down. Landscape designer Shannon Patrick lives in Palm Springs with her wife of many years, Karen, a collectibles dealer, and Mooch and Bailey, their two idiosyncratic cats. Shannon has intervened in previous predicaments that affected her friends, so when she arrives for a client appointment only to discover the massive door to the huge home wide open, broken glass and blood on the floor and her client nowhere to be found, long-suffering Karen knows she's in for it. Along her investigative way Shannon meets a mysterious beauty, witnesses strange events at the neighboring estate, uncovers a Native American artifact counterfeit scheme, encounters a stunning local police officer and her equally gorgeous wife, and in her spare time intervenes in a friend's highly risky gambling addiction. Amid escalating peril, she and the increasingly dismayed Karen find themselves locked in a storage unit run by the Bikers for Jesus motorcycle club-all of which leads to a climactic scene of Shannon fighting for her life with the aid of Karen and the inestimable feline talents of Mooch and Bailey. Don't miss, Soiled, first in a series featuring one of the most engaging sleuths you'll ever want to meet.


Mystery & humor & romance. Reading the plot summary I was afraid it was going to be a poorly written slapstick comedy but it was a fun read that never went too over the top.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: InterMix (March 17, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Trust the Focus

From the author of Make it Count comes the first novel in the In Focus series…

With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.

As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.

But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.

Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.


Beautiful Friends to lovers story set against a fun and educational trip across the country. This novel made me fall in loe with two men and one woman (the author). I will read anything Megan Erickson writes.

I absolutely loved this story. It was sweet, gentle and easy to read. I enjoyed following the characters, journey both figuratively and literally and watching their relationship develop and and how they both handled the hurdles along the way. I would definitely read more from this author.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Common Thread by Jaime Maddox

The Common Thread by Jaime Maddox
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626391904
ISBN-13: 978-1626391901
Amazon: The Common Thread
Amazon Kindle: The Common Thread

Dr. Nicole Coussart and Katie Finan seem to have no common thread, but the one they discover will change both of their lives. Nic has lived a privileged life as the only child of two physicians, but she’s not happy. Her career as an ER doctor isn’t just like on TV, and she’s convinced she’ll never find a woman who lives up to her high expectations. Katie has struggled since running away from home as a teenager. Now the father of her children has been shot and the killer is after her. As these two women’s worlds become tangled, a secret is uncovered that sends Nic spinning into the arms of DEA Attorney Rae Rhodes. Rae helps Nic make decisions that redefine her life as she learns to live and laugh and love for the first time.


Another great read by this author.  I was hooked from the get go and couldn't put it down.  The MC's are very well written, complex, and likeable. The author's writing style provides for an almost effortless read.  Looking forward to more from her.

Loved it - lots of action and adventure and a bit of humor a couple good romances. In fact, the only let down for me was that I needed more - 260 pages wasn't enough to cover two romances as well as the surprise connection between Nicole and Katie.


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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Death's Doorway by Crin Claxton

Death's Doorway by Crin Claxton
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Series: Supernatural Detective Mystery
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 9, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626393540
ISBN-13: 978-1626393547
Amazon: Death's Doorway
Amazon Kindle: Death's Doorway

Death’s door is open, as far as supernatural detective Tony Carson is concerned, and ghosts are flooding through it. Tony’s got her hands full, but she’s obsessed with why the prisoner from Holloway can’t rest. Luckily, her trusty drag queen spirit guide is always ready with advice and insults.

Tony’s girlfriend, Maya, is worried that the hot new acupuncturist at her clinic is driving their best friend, Jade, crazy, and not in a good way. Maya’s determination to find out why puts all their lives on the line.

Somewhere beneath the lies, voices, and delusions is the truth. But can Tony, Maya, and Jade come together in the final race to stay in the land of the living?


I loved this one.  I like the flow and writing style of the author.  The story is packed full of twists and turns and keeps the reader engaged.  The characters mesh well together!

Really enjoyed it - the setting in London England, the main characters were entertaining, the suspense and the humor were spot on. More suited to a paranormal category subtitle is  'Supernatural Detective Mystery' - 2nd book featuring detective Tony Carson.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: No Thru Road by Linda M. Vogt

No Thru Road by Linda M. Vogt
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Quest by RCE (October 9, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619292122
ISBN-13: 978-1619292123
Amazon: No Thru Road
Amazon Kindle: No Thru Road

Newspaper reporter Riley Logan is looking forward to some peace and quiet when she goes with her best friend Marie to beautiful Galiano Island, B.C. Instead, the two find themselves in the middle of an environmental clash, a decades-old mystery and the murder of a well-loved islander. The women stay at the Cliffhouse, a funky waterfront cottage Riley has inherited from her aunt, where they discover 60-year-old letters that may hold important clues. And then strange things start happening on Galiano . . . a ferry rams the dock, an oil slick coats the harbor and Riley's new love interest, Kit, disappears and is named a suspect in the murder. Will Riley and Marie use her aunt's letters to solve the murder? What did someone hide on nearby Wallace Island that could break the case open? And what happened to Kit? The answers to those questions, along with love, adventure and a dash of humor, can be found in Linda M. Vogt's debut novel No Thru Road.


Delightful debut - all my senses were engaged from the first page - realistic characters and a lovely setting in the Pacific Northwest.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: All the little Moments by G Benson

All the little Moments by G Benson
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr. (August 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955333418
ISBN-13: 978-3955333416
Amazon: All the little Moments
Amazon Kindle: All the little Moments

A successful anaesthetist, Anna is focused on herself, her career, and her girlfriend. Everything changes abruptly when her brother's and sister-in-law's deaths devastate her and her family. Left responsible for her young niece and nephew, Anna finds herself dumped and alone in Melbourne, a city she doesn't even like. She tries to navigate the shock of looking after two children battling with their grief while managing her own. Filled with self-doubt, Anna feels as if she's making a mess of the entire thing, especially when she collides with a long-legged stranger. Anna barely has time to brush her teeth in the morning, let alone to date a woman-least of all one who has no idea about the two kids under her care. Just when Anna finally starts to feel as if she's getting some control of the situation, the biggest fight begins and Anna really has to step up once and for all.


A winner, in my humble opinion. It's truly a wonderful book, especially because it deals with the painful side of life: loss, grief, living with a big hole where there used to be a person while trying not to drown in other's grief and accepting that life does go on. What I loved most about this book is the message it seems to send. Nothing so trite as "life goes on" or "time heals all wounds". But more "if life pushes you where you never wanted to go, and you have the courage to accept this new way, you can find unexpected happiness". That, to me, is deeply encouraging. At first glance, nothing much seems to happen in this book. It's only a closer look at what is there that reveals the many different layers of plot. And how the author handled that shows mastery: Nothing is rushed or too slow, all the sub-plots are paced perfectly, and the author never loses control of one single thread. Kudos to that. There is a limited number of places that are important: The house, the hospital, court. It matches the plot in showing how the protagonist's world has limited - from the career woman who went out almost every night to the guardian of two small, grieving children. In that the setting becomes part of the plot and supports it, and it does so very well. There is the right amount of details to paint a solid backdrop, but not too many intricacies or descriptions to make matters confusing for someone who is neither a caregiver nor a medical professional. The thing that I noticed first about the characters is that all of them are treated with respect by the author. No two-dimensional evil exes, no sugary-cute children: These are all layered, complex, real people. Even toddler Toby. Especially the children delighted me in particular; I haven't read too many authors who know how to write children, and small children, and traumatised children at that. Plus, all of these complex characters develop in some way, some more, some less, and it's an organic kind of development: two steps forwards, one step back, one to the side. It feels real, believable, and it's very well done. The writing flows smoothly, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, always captivating. Excellent. The author doesn't make unnecessary words but she doesn't leave out or skip things either. The reader is right there with the protagonist, and if at times there is a certain sensation of detachment from her, well, that just shows how well the author manages to portrayAnna's emotional state. It also underlines once more how in control the author is of her plot and her characters.

The characters are well developed and very good writing.  Would recommend.

This book is bursting with likeable, relatable characters, the dialogue is witty and the plot is gripping from the first page to the last. This is written from the heart, with wonderful family dynamics at play along with a smooth, sweet romance woven in. A beautifully conceived debut, the only criticism being it was a little too wordy at times.

I loved it - setting, children, new love, conflict well told - the only thing lacking would be more happiness -humor and happiness really seal the deal in a romance.



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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Surrender by Terias McKlay

The Surrender (Guardian Book 1) by Terias McKlay
Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (December 19, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939562643
ISBN-13: 978-1939562647
Amazon: The Surrender (Guardian Book 1)
Amazon Kindle: The Surrender (Guardian Book 1)

Mariska Cooper is a twenty-two year old student/waitress by day, feared vigilante by night. She and her best friend, Lucas Forsythe, lead the Guardian team, a ragtag group who battle the thriving criminal community in Toronto, Canada. Mariska, grieving the loss of her teammate and love of her life Lisa, throws herself into her work and focuses her mission on keeping the city safe. Alana Pierce, a savvy businesswoman in a high powered oil company, pulls Mariska from her self-imposed exile and brings light back into Mariska's life. But Alana holds secrets of her own that can endangered them both.


I loved this book. It kept me reading to find out what happens next.

Terrific action debut - more a super hero along the lines of Batman then a Mystery thriller.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Art of Peeling an Orange by Victoria Avilan

The Art of Peeling an Orange by Victoria Avilan
Lesbian Erotic Romance
Paperback: 334 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1514257653
ISBN-13: 978-1514257654
Amazon: The Art of Peeling an Orange
Amazon Kindle: The Art of Peeling an Orange

The Art of Peeling an Orange, set in sizzling, contemporary West Hollywood, is the art of glorifying and eroticizing the dual pains of love and lust. It is a gender-bending, risqué take on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The story's powerful structure, colorful characters, and magical themes echo the ancient story of the lovers in the Underworld.

What do you do when your lover has eloped with another woman on the eve of your wedding? The other woman is a famous beauty named Anna Garibaldi, and you die inside. To add insult to injury, the one who has abandoned you dies unexpected ly. Whe re do you go from there for solace, for justice?

If you are Carly Rosen, a portrait artist with huge imagination, you use your art to charm your way into the life and inner circle of the alluring Anna Garibaldi, whose seductive and secretive underworld is nothing you could have expected! You are doomed and you are blessed, and you don’t know which you prefer.


A solid debut.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith

Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus by Rachelle Lee Smith
LGBT Visual Arts / Photography
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: PM Press (November 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629630411
ISBN-13: 978-1629630410
Amazon: Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus
Amazon Kindle: Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus

A photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14–24, identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning), Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus presents portraits without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth and gives a voice to an underserved group of people that are seldom heard and often silenced. The collaboration of image and first-person narrative serves to provide an outlet, show support, create dialogue, and help those who struggle.


I really liked how even though there was an official author the story was written by the individuals. Compelling, real, and positive outlook toward the future.

All I can tell you is that it moved me.  Each page made me think, smile, feel.

Visually stunning and poignant, this book puts together the youth of the LGBTQ community and their thoughts at the time of their portraits for an exhibit. The book is the result of the exhibit.  There are many THEN and NOW sections--of how the person felt at the time, and the reflection of what was going then and now. Some moved me to tears, while others made me think, and few made me laugh.  The most basic and universal of messages--let me be free to be me--get to know me--I too am human were wonderfully documented in this book.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Sheltered Love by M.J. Williamz

Sheltered Love by M.J. Williamz
Lesbian Erotic Romance
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (July 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626393621
ISBN-13: 978-1626393622
Amazon: Sheltered Love
Amazon Kindle: Sheltered Love

Boone Fairway worked hard to buy her own bar and now reaps the benefits. She’s a partier and loves the different women she meets at the bar. When she meets Grey Dawson, she hopes she’ll be one in her string of women. Grey has different ideas. She works at a domestic abuse shelter and feels that bars are a main contributor of abuse.

When Boone’s sister-in-law shows up at Boone’s bar, beaten by her husband, Boone turns to Grey for help. They work together to help Phoebe and begin a budding relationship. The relationship is strained by Boone’s drinking and the bar, which Grey has a hard time accepting as just a social gathering point.
Both women were raised in abusive environments and work hard to overcome their fears and insecurities to make the relationship work.


Doesn't get more erotic than this novel - sexy, graphic and well written.


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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: All We Lack by Sandra Moran

All We Lack by Sandra Moran
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (March 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939562929
ISBN-13: 978-1939562920
Amazon: All We Lack
Amazon Kindle: All We Lack

It begins with a bus crash. Maggie is a funeral director from Indiana who lives a double life. Bug is a ten-year-old boy in the Pennsylvania foster care system who is sent to live with an aunt he doesn't know. Jimmy is a former paramedic and prescription drug addict on his way to meet a woman he met online who thinks he's a successful doctor. Helen is a Chicago insurance investigator who is leaving her marriage in search of the woman she wants to be. Four strangers, all traveling to Boston in search of better lives, are tied together in ways they don't even realize. Each are trying to fill the void of what's missing in their lives. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to overcome all that we lack.


Destined to be a classic - this novel should win the Lambda award for General Fiction, it's epitome of lesbian literature.

All We Lack grabs you from the first moment of the prologue.  The prologue begins with the bus crash, tossing the reader around in slow-motion, describing every terrifying and heart-breaking detail, as the bus tumbles.  Unbeknownst to the reader, we are also meeting the characters in the story, but without the heavy-handed foreshadowing that I saw in so many of the books. From there, the story built organically by exploring what was going on before the crash in the lives of the individuals we first glimpsed as they were tossed around the tumbling bus.  The characters' stories were developed in stages, moving through each of them, though not in a predictable order like Maggie, Bug, Jimmy, Helen.  The author skipped around a bit, bringing Maggie in more often, as her's was the main story, but it gave the book a feeling of developing organically. Each character was a fully fleshed out person, with qualities you like and ones you don't, not easy to achieve, because as an author, there are some characters that you fall in love with and want to make all good, and others you really don't like who you want to under-bake.  The settings were very visual to me, I could see much of went on clearly, without the author going into minutiae.  I get bored easily with detail, and this was the right amount. And the style of writing kept pulling me through the story.  I kept wondering what was coming next.  I generally don't have trouble putting a book down when I need to do something else, but this one I did.  I actually spent an entire afternoon and evening until the wee hours with it because I didn't want to put it down.  Normally I space out my reading into 2-3 hours a day, but not with All We Lack.

Wonderfully rich and compelling.



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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Memoirs of the Happy Lesbian Housewife by Lorraine Howell

Memoirs of the Happy Lesbian Housewife by Lorraine Howell
Lesbian Biography / Memoir
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing (October 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939062691
ISBN-13: 978-1939062697
Amazon: Memoirs of the Happy Lesbian Housewife
Amazon Kindle: Memoirs of the Happy Lesbian Housewife

"A heartwarming reflection written with humor, wit and just the right amount of sarcasm, Lorraine Howell's fun and conversational style reels you in. Sit back and laugh as she shares what makes her "The Happy Lesbian Housewife." Jennie McNulty, Comedian, Co-host of LA Talk Radio show "Cathy is In, The Cathy DeBuono Show" and author of a weekly(ish) blog on Lesbian.com. With a partner named Sweetie, three grown children that are threatening to go into the witness protection program and a career as an adult entertainer, Lorraine Howell delivers a somber, no nonsense look at the difficulty of coming out late in life and how it has affected her poor, pitiful family...NOT! She really brings you a weight-loss book that guarantees that by simply reading her tome word for word, you will lose 25 pounds by the end. HA! Don't you wish? "Memoirs Of A Happy Lesbian Housewife - You Can't Make This Stuff Up. Seriously!" is truly a no-holds-barred, irreverent collection of stories looking at the late-blooming lesbian, Howell, and her hilarious take on life, love, friends, family and SEX! Nothing is off limits...Did we mention SEX? So hop on board and enjoy the ride. You will laugh and cry then laugh some more. Lorraine Howell's The Happy Lesbian Housewife, will not disappoint!


Hysterically funny - only thing better would be an audio book by the author.



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