October 7th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr (184-07-21-2016)

1) The main character, Rath, was suddenly on the line for his father's debts from the biggest crime boss, the Friar. His normal jobs would never pay him enough in time to cancel the debt. Urged to join the Tournament of Losers, or it's proper name, The Tournament of Charlet, he decides he will get to the part where he gets the stipend to help pay for expenses while in the competition, then lose, dropout, and go back to a life on the docks and the whorehouses. Ms. Derr's easy writing style made this for a delightful read. I was with her characters the whole time as well as the time and place; they were believable and plausible. The richness of the descriptions and the real dialog pulled me through until I realized, when I finished, it was nearly two in the morning. While there is no descriptive sex in the book; this was a romance, and there were ways to show affection other than the standard tab A into slot B writing. I found I did not miss it. How Rath felt the next day while trying to go about his work was sufficient, and was a great way to move the story forward. Thank you for allowing me to read this novel.

2) I absolutely adored everything about this story, from characters to the premise of the plot.

3) The author has written a perfect romantic fantasy story. The world was immediately real, well described, and all the elements seemed believable to me. There was just enough angst to keep the plot moving, but never too much you were overwhelmed with a need for tissues. The characters are perfect; the romance between Rath and Teric is slow-burn and with a gorgeous ending. I wanted them to get together, even though at times it felt they never would. The author's style is easy to read but surprisingly profound, and I would gladly read anything else she cares to share with us.

Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr
Gay Fantasy
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (November 22, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620046709
ISBN-13: 978-1620046708
Amazon: Tournament of Losers
Amazon Kindle: Tournament of Losers

All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble—and too many debts to pay—for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father's latest debt, Rath doesn't know what to do. There's no way to come up with so much money in so little time. Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every seventy-five years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament—funds enough to cover his father's debt. All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it's back to trying to live a quiet life...

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Forbidden Zone by Victoria Zagar (198-07-26-2016)

This book has an interesting plot with plenty of surprises to keep the reader engaged and wanting to know more. The characters are well fleshed out I really liked the way the MC's emotional development grows throughout the story.

The Forbidden Zone by Victoria Zagar
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (October 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620046636
ISBN-13: 978-1620046630
Amazon: The Forbidden Zone
Amazon Kindle: The Forbidden Zone

When Julian's mentor urges him to accept an invitation to study the dying sand of Valeria, all he sees is another assignment. Valeria's ban on romantic and sexual unions seems a trivial price to pay in the name of scientific progress; even the constant supervision by the Sisters, the advanced A.I. that runs Valeria, seems a negligible point. When the situation proves to be more difficult than anticipated, Julian finds a lifeline in Saidan, a warm, emotional individual who has somehow survived a world of passive expression and uniformity. As they work together to try and solve Valeria's degradation problem, they learn the Sisters had a much more sinister reason for inviting Julian to Valeria, and the two of them may not be able to save themselves, let alone an entire planet...

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Shorts by Hans M. Hirschi (205-07-25-2016)

A wonderfully crafted, multifaceted, well-written anthology with wide audience appeal. Mr. Hirschi delivers in every story.

Shorts, Stories from Beneath the Rainbow by Hans M. Hirschi
LGBT Anthology / Collection / Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (July 9, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1786450593
ISBN-13: 978-1786450593
Amazon: Shorts, Stories from Beneath the Rainbow
Amazon Kindle: Shorts, Stories from Beneath the Rainbow

"Shorts - Stories from Beneath the Rainbow" is a collection of LGBTQ-themed short stories. In happy or dire circumstances, this collection offers glimpses into contemporary LGBTQ life from many different angles and perspectives, and from diverse cultures- a beggar trying to survive, the mother of a drug addict, a groom on his wedding day, a gay family running from impending war, a refugee above the Arctic circle, a bullied kid, a gay man witnessing a crime, a rushed middle-aged man, a banker in love, a lesbian mom in Las Vegas, a public servant getting ready for her intern, an Alzheimer patient in Bombay, a cop in Los Angeles, a doctor in Atlanta, a man celebrating Christmas on his own, a ruthless killer, a survivor of a WWII concentration camp -all different, yet alike in their humanity. "Shorts - Stories from Beneath the Rainbow" is a kaleidoscope, a colorful sample of the rainbow in its true form: life.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Persephone Star by Jamie Sullivan (227-07-26-2016)

1) A lovely Wild-West-Steampunk that had a strong historical feel to it. It certainly portrayed women's situation in the "territories" in a very convincing, authentic and immediate way. Penelop in particular - at the beginning of the story she is dimly aware that the life she seems destined for is not the one she wants, but she is trapped by society and conventions, and not just physically, but mentally as well: She can't even think of another way to live than marry the man her father chose. Then she is kidnapped by the "hardened criminals" of the aircraft "Persephone Star". I quite enjoyed the conversion of the kidnapping trope: Taken hostage, Penelope is treated with more respect and kindness - not to forget a complete lack of violence - than she ever received from her father or fiancé. And when, in standard romance fare, the kidnapper kisses the heroine, and the heroine says no - that hardened criminal respects her wishes. Finally, lovely use of the setting: On board the aircraft Penelope's horizon widens, both literally and figuratively, and she grows from the trapped and obedient little girl into a woman who knows what she wants - and acts on it.

2) A delicious little steampunk tale with a gentle self-discovery story tucked inside. Excellent characters and a rollicking adventure to boot. Fantastic.

The Persephone Star by Jamie Sullivan
Lesbian Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (January 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620046970
ISBN-13: 978-1620046975
Amazon: The Persephone Star
Amazon Kindle: The Persephone Star

As Post Mistress of Fortuna, Penelope Moser knows just about everything about everyone. It's a job she takes seriously, no matter who comes to pry for gossip, or how unsettling the messages are—but even she is more than a little frightened by rumors that The Persephone Star has been spotted nearby. That means Mirage Currier is out of prison and coming to settle up with the man who put her in jail: Cullen Wiley, Sheriff of Fortuna and Penelope's fiancé. The worst comes to pass when Penelope is kidnapped—or so she thinks. But the simple truth she thought she knew starts to unravel, leaving her to choose between the man she promised to marry or the woman destined for the gallows.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson (230-07-28-2016)

1) A Frost of Cares was a very fascinating story. It was suspenseful and I couldn't stop until I had finished it. I fell in love with the two main characters, you could just feel how much they loved each other. I was really sad when it ended. I especially enjoyed the writing style. I will definitely read this one again.

2) Right from the start A Frost of Cares pulled me in and kept me fully engaged to the very end. The characters are fully three dimensional, and their voices individual. Very well written with an effortless flow that made this story a pleasure to read. Highly recommended , and I will definitely read more by this new to me author.

3) This story rates up there as one of the best I've read this year. The writing style made it a very easy to get sucked into it, and I spent a couple of late nights because I had to know what happened next. Atmospheric, and creepy in places, Part ghost story, part romance with a very satisfying ending on both fronts. I loved the characters - not just Luke and Jay but the supporting cast too. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

A Frost of Cares by Amy Rae Durreson
Gay Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (January 27, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: A Frost of Cares

Military historian Luke Alcott leaps at the chance to live in the seventeenth-century country mansion of Eelmoor Hall, home of the Royal Military School of Medicine, after being offered a job cataloging the school’s archives. Luke believes he chose the perfect place to start a new life and put his broken past behind him. But soon after settling into the old house, he hears strange noises—like footsteps—and he begins to suffer from terrible nightmares.

The only person Luke can turn to for help is the taciturn caretaker, Jay, a veteran of the Afghanistan war who carries an old battle wound. Together they try to understand Eelmoor Hall’s history and decipher what could be causing the haunting. As the weather grows colder and snow dusts the countryside, a child goes missing. Luke needs to deal with his own demons and learn to trust in love again if he hopes to face down the angry spirit and find the missing girl.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Cover Contest

This year all the covers will remain in the poll till the end. BUT I will push your competitive profile letting you know, week by week which covers are in the top 10 :-) this week there are 13 since there are tie-ins. AND... Everyone has a second vote! yes, I will delete only the triple and more votes, not the doubles, therefore go and vote again if you have already. And continue to vote until the end nothing has been written out! http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/covers.php




























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