November 4th, 2017

andrew potter

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Alonso Munich is Now Dead S. Gates


1) The physical descriptions in this book, both of various locations and Atlanta as a whole, are detailed and well-written. I can easily imagine every room entered and route taken, and the author uses the contrast of clutter and sterility in locations to good effect. The descriptions occasionally veer toward the overly-factual, but not too often. Meanwhile, the supernatural elements of the setting were familiar, but often used in fresh ways or with details often overlooked. Alonso’s point of view works a lot with the contrast of a near-dead body and an actively living mind, or sensations such as a necromancer’s magic being worked nearby. Witchcraft techniques such as knot magic are shown without being pedantically explained, and while I’m rarely a fan of soulmate-esque concepts, the Keeper-Charge bond present here feels fresh due to its consensual and not-necessarily-romantic nature. Along with these, a few other details help round out this setting. One is the use of the differences between Alonso’s past and present, from the pop culture he recognizes to how the buildings have changed, which all helps add to his conflicted worldview. The openly dirverse and non-heteronormative nature of this setting is also a boon; there are characters who are transgender, asexual, gay but in a platonic hetero-soulmate relationship and more, and most of them PoC to boot. While characters face a believable amount of friction for their identities, they also find understanding and respect with their allies.
2) I really liked this story. I did wonder why Alonso, nor any others, ever addressed Marcella being transgender head on as a topic of discussion, but it worked out okay. It was worth the read.

Alonso Munich is Now Dead S. Gates
Asexual - Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (May 24, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1684310091
ISBN-13: 978-1684310098
Amazon: Alonso Munich is Now Dead S. Gates

Alonso is missing the last five years of his memory, during which he wasn't even alive at all. After waking up in a cheap motel room with no memory of how he got there and an odd young man named Tyler telling him he's a vampire, "life" gets a little strange. Troubled by dreams that might be latent memories, Alonso is on the edge of despair when he meets Marcella, a local psychic with an affinity for the dead. She introduces him to the hidden magical underbelly of his home city of Atlanta, and Alonso begins to believe he might just be able to get the hang of life after death. Unfortunately, the Master of Atlanta has other plans.

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andrew potter

2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Jove Belle Bittterroot Queen


1) I love to read. I read a lot of books, and sometimes a story like this one comes along which reminds me why. It doesn’t miss a beat. The characters, the plot, the editing, all made this a pleasure to read.
2) A good story, well-told with engaging characters. The writer knows her craft and adds the creative colorations to make this a wonderful read.
3) Absolutely loved this contemporary romance. Love Bitterroot. What a unique set of characters.  Didn’t want to put this one down.  Loved Olly’s vulnerability. This story was more “ real life” then he traditional ones. 
4) I absolutely loved the characters and the writing here. The story pulled me in immediately.
5) A delightful piece of fiction, Jove Belle weaves a story filled with angst, humor, personal growth, coming of age, and family bonding. Highly recommended and one you're sure to re-read.

Jove Belle Bittterroot Queen
Lesbian - Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback
Publisher: Dirt Road Books (June 30, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 194725300X
ISBN-13: 978-1947253001
Amazon: Jove Belle Bittterroot Queen

When Sam Marconi packs up her home and leaves Las Vegas behind her, she pictures an idyllic life waiting for her and her daughter, Beth, in Bitterroot, Idaho. After saving for years, Sam finally has enough to chase her dream of owning and operating a small roadside motel. When she arrives, she finds her new business in a derelict state that makes Sam second guess her decision to move.

For Olly Jones, home has always been in the stretch of road between houses. As a child, her parents raised her to embrace a nomadic life, a practice she continues as an adult. Unlike her parents, Olly doesn't view the movement as her birthright. She feels an inexplicable, irrepressible tug pulling her ever forward, searching for...something. She trusts she'll know it when she finds it.

Sam and Olly's first meeting is explosive with accusations of trespass and vandalism, backed up by mace. But when Sam puts up a flyer seeking skilled labor at an unskilled labor price, Olly is the only one who shows up for the job. Despite her initial reservations, Sam hires her and eventually realizes Olly is exactly what she needs.

Charmed by Bitterroot and drawn in by Sam's fierce independence, Olly lingers longer than normal. For the first time, she sees a potential for home and family. Will they find a way to build the life they've both been searching for? Or will they cling to the ties holding them to the past?

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