November 7th, 2016

andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Enchanted Soles by Sasha L. Miller (211-07-26-2016)

1) Overall, this imaginative collection of short stories was a joy to read, hosting some wonderfully unique characters and creative plots, all of which were very well written. Three Nights was a full story for such a short tale that had me completely absorbed from start to finish. Beautifully written. Dame Fortune was entertaining and the author showed a wonderful imagination, Aelfwear was charming and entertaining, Into the Hollowed Veil was uniquely creative and emotionally evocative. I may have shed a tear or two over that one.

2) Sometimes these are hard to judge as I have to do the whole book and not just an individual story… So, in saying that I found some stories better than others but they each had something about them that appealed to the readers.

3) This anthology touches on many aspects of queer identity from bisexuality to trans identity to asexuality and beyond. It's refreshing in that respect and more so in its inclusion of fantasy and fairy tales from sources outside just European culture. There's a touch of science fantasy too, a little something for everyone, and I don't mean that in the very limited and privileged context in which it's usually used. Well written and edited with just a few minor errors, this is an anthology worth exploring.

4) Each story's plot isn't something that's particularly new, but the little details and changes that the authors of these stories made are what makes them really special. The plots are straightforward, but the twists make the stories. They're quick, fun reads that are really enjoyable. Good show! Each story had its own feel and voice. I really appreciate how much work the authors put into these and how much care the editor used to curate them. They're all a nice little taste of something, and the variety is amazing. Characters seem to have their own unique voices. At no time did any two characters feel like they were just a mask over a similar voice. They each had motivations and quirks that made them stand apart on their own. Excellent job overall. Good writing overall. Clear, a little slow in pacing, but just enough slowness to make things enjoyable. Strongly Recommend for an Award.

Enchanted Soles by Sasha L. Miller
Bisexual Anthology / Collection / Fantasy Romance
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (June 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620047969
ISBN-13: 978-1620047965
Amazon: Enchanted Soles
Amazon Kindle: Enchanted Soles

Sometimes all it takes is the right pair of shoes... In Three Nights (A.D. Truax), Synder buys a pair of sandals that have a mind and plan of their own, and drag him to a celebration to which he was not invited—and into the arms of a handsome prince. Saidah of Dame Fortune (C. Finley) asks her beautiful new wishing boots to take her to her true love, but the simple question has a complicated answer that will take more than magic boots to find. Heart, Lace, and Soul (Archer Kay Leah) brings together Elly, who seldom removes the psychic boots that let her read and feel the minds of other people in order to help them, and a man her boots cannot read. In Aelfwear (Katey Hawthorne), Frida is hired to make hideous shoes for a beautiful woman who claims she's out to cause misery for a man who once betrayed Frida's family—but Frida fears she'll wind up being played for a fool a second time. And Into the Hollowed Veil (A.M. Valenza) is the story of a man who puts on a pair of beautiful red shoes and finds himself in a strange forest helping a beautiful woman rescue the man she loves...

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Undertow by Rory Ni Coileain (363-08-31-2016)

Love this world. Undertow is well written and the story and characters pull you right back in to this universe. I devoured this one in one setting.

Undertow (SoulShares Series #7) by Rory Ni Coileain
Gay Fantasy Romance
Series: SoulShares
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books (July 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626012903
ISBN-13: 978-1626012905
Amazon: Undertow (SoulShares Series #7)
Amazon Kinlde: Undertow (SoulShares Series #7)

Rhoann Callte, Rhoann Half-Royal, is an impossible Fae. Shape-shifter, he carries the blood of Fae water elementals and has a once-in-a-generation healing gift. Which is his blessing, or his curse, depending on how you look at it – his gift is needed among the exiled Fae of the Demesne of Purgatory, and he’s coerced from his beloved solitude and sent on a one-way trip to the human world. Vietnam veteran Mac McAllan has been through hell in the last few months, and not just because his new C-leg isn’t performing up to spec. He and his partner of 34 years, stocky bald muscle bear Lucien de Winter, were working at Purgatory when what the owner said was a gas explosion collapsed the building – and put Lucien into a coma back in August. Now it’s October, and an impossibly handsome stranger says he can heal Lucien. But there’s always a price… A Fae who wants only to be left alone, SoulShared with a human who’s already found the love of his life… and the Marfach testing their incomplete bond, seeking the key to its watery prison. What could go wrong? **** The SoulShares series is a four-time finalist in the Rainbow Awards (Gay Erotic Romance and Gay Fantasy Romance) and is nominated again for MANTLED IN MIST and UNDERTOW.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: A Quantum Convergence by C.A. Farlow (359-08-31-2016)

1) It’s always good to find a series that let you waiting impatiently for its sequel, this is that kind of book. I really liked this story, it’s different enough to be interesting right from the start and it’s well developed that even if there are a lot of difficult theories behind the characters travelings, the story never become too strange to follow. I also liked a lot how fantasy elements where well placed into the story to give the plot an hedge that other sci-fi don’t have. I will wait impatiently for the next book.

2) This one is a book I’m going to read again and probably read others in the series. It captivated me in places.

A Quantum Convergence (Nexus Trilogy #1) by C.A. Farlow
Lesbian Sci-fi / Futuristic
Series: Nexus Trilogy
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Desert Palm Press; 1 edition (July 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1942976151
ISBN-13: 978-1942976158
Amazon: A Quantum Convergence (Nexus Trilogy #1)
Amazon Kinlde: A Quantum Convergence (Nexus Trilogy #1)

Lauren Beckwith, eco-scientist and medical doctor, identifies life-threatening pollution and is challenged to remediate it. Alexandra, Queen of Fuar Cala, struggles with the aftereffects of a bio-weapon released on her world. Children are contracting a strange disease. A winter field trip, a ragging blizzard, and a grievous injury bring Lauren and Alex together. Will Lauren find answers to her self-doubt and professional guilt? Can she help Alex find a cure for her people? A quantum convergence brings their worlds together.Only a soul mates bond is strong enough to create a quantum convergence and allow them to find each other and heal.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Better Than Safe by Lane Hayes (262-08-11-2016)

Lane Hayes deftly takes us into the decadent worlds of high fashion and art while giving us a realistic love story with the tumultuous fits and starts of two men afraid to fall in love. A happy ending sure to warm your heart. A wonderful read.

Better Than Safe (Better Than Stories #4) by Lane Hayes
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 25, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634765222
ISBN-13: 978-1634765220
Amazon: Better Than Safe (Better Than Stories #4)
Amazon Kindle: Better Than Safe (Better Than Stories #4)

A Better Than Story

Paul Fallon is a fashion advertising guru. He’s a genius at dealing with difficult editors, art directors, and designers alike. He thrives on the chaotic atmosphere and constant challenges. But in his personal life, he’s hoping for peace and stability. Settling down with a nice doctor or lawyer sounds perfect. Anyone but an artist. He’s been there, done that, and he doesn’t want to relive the heartache.

Seth Landau is a model, occasional guitarist, and aspiring painter. He’s quirky, flighty, and wise beyond his years. Life has taught him some tough lessons, then given him opportunities he never dreamed of. He’s learned to appreciate the fragility of life and to express it in his work. Seth’s flare for the absurd combined with a supple mind and a beautiful body are too alluring for Paul to ignore. Against his best intentions, Paul is drawn to the younger man whose particular brand of crazy challenges Paul to accept that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes taking a chance is better than being safe.

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

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andrew potter

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Hunger Man by Scott D. Pomfret (277-08-14-2016)

Very difficult read for non-native speaker, but worth the trouble; not a romance, historical literature.

The Hunger Man by Scott D. Pomfret
Gay Historical
Publisher: NineStar Press (June 6, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: The Hunger Man

At the outset of the Great Irish Potato Famine of 1845-50, a family of Irish revolutionaries attacks a British food convoy and kidnaps a young English officer named Julian Hawke. This first act of overt rebellion unleashes a series of events that both inextricably ties the O’Rahilly clan to Hawke and to the gay seanachie (storyteller) Ciaran Leath, but also seals their fates.

The only daughter, Muireann O’Rahilly, an aspiring physician, fails to resist the strong mutual attraction between her and Hawke. Hawke tries to balance his love for Muireann and his growing love for Ireland with his duty to suppress the budding rebellion. Ciaran Leath, who falls in love with both Julian Hawke as well as an angelic young tinker man, foresees both the coming famine and the disintegration of his adopted O’Rahilly clan, but finds himself unheard and powerless to protect them—or himself. Encountering spirits of the dead and other bad portents, Ciaran Leath invokes his old benefactor, the ancient Faerie Fin Bheara, but in doing so learns something devastating about himself and of what he is capable. When the O’Rahilly clan sets its sights on assassinating Queen Victoria, whom Hawke is sworn to protect, during her 1848 state visit to Cork, the stakes loom large for all involved, and the story turns inexorably toward a tragic end.

Against the backdrop of the terrible beauty and exquisite misery of southwestern Ireland during the famine years, this part-comic, part-romantic struggle against starvation, oppression, and one’s own worst impulses plots an epic arc from London and Dublin to Cork and New York City. Magic, Faeries, haunts, spirits, legends, ancient kings, monsters, and lovers richly populate this clash between the British Crown and the Irish people, and there can only be one survivor.

The Hunger Man contains adult content suitable for mature readers only.

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

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