December 1st, 2019

andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

The Cardboard Kingdom

"I loved it. These beautifully illustrated snippets of the everyday summer lives of kids with an amazing imagination made me laugh, cry, growl, and root for them. What starts with only a couple of kids roleplaying together grows into a true whirlwind adventure between a great many friends. Great costumes, fantastical masks, and brave plots prove that these kids have more in common than they initially think. They support each other in such wonderful ways, I was happy to read the whole thing in one sitting. There are characters for everyone: the boy who dresses up like a girl, the vocal girl who is told she's too loud for a good girl, the reformed bully, the prince and his rogue best friend, the bookish boy without friends, and so on. Something and someone for everyone to relate to. I was blown away by how much could be told with just a few pages and images. Couldn't recommend this higher."

"I loved this colourful, kid-friendly graphic novel. The stories are inventive, and will hold the interest of a young reader while opening their eyes to plethora of ideas and possibilities."

"I’ve never read a graphic novel before. I quite enjoyed the experience. I liked all the little individual stories that made up the kid’s summer holidays. Made me wish I had had a group of neighbourhood friends like that when I was growing up… it would have been fun."

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Awkward, and All's Faire in Middle School, this graphic novel follows a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity.

"A breath of fresh air, this tender and dynamic collection is a must-have." --Kirkus, Starred

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again.

In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be--imagine that!

The Cardboard Kingdom was created, organized, and drawn by Chad Sell with writing from ten other authors: Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez. The Cardboard Kingdom affirms the power of imagination and play during the most important years of adolescent identity-searching and emotional growth.

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Temple Road (Scarlet and the White Wolf #5) by Kirby Crow

The Temple Road: Book Five of Scarlet and the White Wolf

"As far as I'm concerned, The Temple Road is essentially perfect. Intrigue, love, lust, war, magic... What more can you ask for? My only complaint is that now I need to find the rest of the series!"

Scarlet and Liall set out with the king’s army on a perilous journey to the frozen heart of Rshan. As Scarlet’s fabled magic begins to change, Liall places their entwined fates into the hands of those who covet magic above all else, but will they save Scarlet or enslave him?

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Demon on the Down-Low (Supernatural Selection #3) by E.J. Russell

Demon on the Down-Low (Supernatural Selection Book 3)

"It was a thrill to read this book because it was very well written and exciting. A true page-turner. It was a plus to see characters from the previous book revisited within this new story and it was a bit sad to see everything come to an end. I need to read more of this author’s work."

"I fell instantly in love with Hamish, an Australian Kangaroo shifter who's gruff personality was on point throughout the entire novel. Hamish had depth, he was real to me. And then there was Zeke, who was conflicted, frenetic and utterly adorable. Zeke, being the good demon he is, just wants to please everyone. There were moments in this story where I laughed out loud. There were also a few spots where the description of hell sent shivers down my spine. Well done EJ Russell, it's not easy to disturb me! This was cute, fun, sexy and Russell had you rooting for the demon the entire time. This whole series is just joy. Highly Recommend."

After decades of unrequited love, this kangaroo will jump at the chance for a date. Any date.

Lovelorn kangaroo shifter Hamish Mulherne, drummer for the mega-hit rock band Hunter’s Moon, waited years for the band’s jaguar shifter bassist to notice him. Instead, she’s just gotten married and is in a thriving poly relationship. How is Hamish supposed to compete with that? But with everyone else in the band mated and revoltingly happy, he needs somebody. Since he can’t expect true love to strike twice, he signs up with Supernatural Selection. Because what the hell.

When Zeke Oz was placed at Supernatural Selection through the Sheol work-release program, he thought he was the luckiest demon alive. But when he seems responsible for several massive matchmaking errors, he’s put on notice: find the perfect match for Hamish, or get booted back to Sheol for good. The only catch? He has to do it without the agency’s matchmaking spells, and Hamish simply will not engage.

But Zeke starts to believe that the reason all of Hamish’s dates fizzle is because nobody in the database is good enough for him. And Hamish realizes that his perfect match might be the cute demon who’s trying so hard to make him happy.

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Minuet by A.M. Leibowitz

Minuet (Notes from Boston Book 4)

"This fantastic story was definitely and delightfully different from your usual run of the meal romance."

A.M. Leibowitz's conclusion to the intricate Notes from Boston series is here!

When it comes to love, Mack Whitman prefers to limit it to writing songs and poetry. Aromantic, he’s content to have quality friendships and people who sometimes also share his bed. He’s never considered himself the jealous type. But when he sees everyone in his life, from his best friends to his occasional partners, moving toward more settled lives, it leaves him frustrated, disappointed, and worried he’ll be left behind.

Amelia Roberts doesn’t care about the genders of her partners as long as she follows her one rule: Don’t ever fall in love. It’s worked out well for her, since that’s a line she knows she’ll never cross with Mack. He’s as happy as she is to keep things as they are. The only trouble with her philosophy is that she didn’t count on meeting the one person who might change her mind.

Jomari O’Brien’s supportive family made it smooth for him to transition several years ago. Since then, he’s been in and out of love, and other people’s beds, plenty of times, and he has no regrets. Each one is a small part of a larger symphony. Becoming involved with two people at once is a more complicated harmony, but it’s one he’s willing to learn as long as they are.

Their individual melodies become discordant as they struggle to make them fit together. But if all three can learn to play with each other instead of against, they may yet hit all the right notes.

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Thrown Off the Ice by Taylor Fitzpatrick

Thrown Off the Ice

"This story left my heart aching. I was left aching for Liam, who, from the very beginning felt a strong attraction toward Mike. These two characters were perfect together even through the rough patches they encountered, mostly because of Mike wanting to protect Liam from what he knew was going to be a broken heart. Wonderfully written, the plot moved smoothly. Surely one of the best stories I've had the pleasure of reading. I Loved it!"

"I loved this book! The storyline was tight and driven but complex on so many levels and emotional. It had me laughing, grunting in frustration,  and ultimately crying. The author clearly took the time to develop both characters to an extent far beyond the surface."

Mike knew he was making a mistake when he let the rookie climb into bed with him. He just didn't know it'd be a mistake that would follow him for the rest of his life.

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall

Magic Runs Deep

"A fantasy world with shifters and mages comes to life in this well written saga of good vs evil. Veier in bear form is a force to be reckoned with, and at times hard to control. In human form he's a different story all together. Smaller, prettier but don't get under his skin or you might find yourself shredded. Elrid, the mage and the king's brother is intrigued by Veier and the Ursinae clan he comes from. When Veier saves Elrid's life the new king tells him he can have his freedom is he can show he can control his animal instincts and not be a danger to the populace. An affection grows between Veier and Elrid to the point they find they cannot live without each other. A solution must be found. I enjoyed this story immensely."

"Magic Runs Deep is more than a romance or a shifter novel. Nestled in a fantasy world I'd love to visit again, this is the story of two men who, despite their differences, simply fit. One is a royal and one is part of a loving pack, but the politics of neither interfere, which is wonderfully refreshing. Even the darker elements of Veier's story can't weigh down the sweetness of the romance. Definitely one to reread."

For the last five years, Veier has been chained to a king’s throne in his bear form. When a neighboring kingdom overthrows the crown, Veier’s imprisonment ends, but true freedom is not so easily earned. With blood on his hands, he needs someone with patience, strength, and trust to help him become the person he was before and prove to the invaders that he isn’t the monstrous king’s loyal pet.

Elrid, the invading king's brother and a powerful mage, is everything Veier despises. He’s also the only thing between Veier and execution, because he thinks he can help Veier change from an aggressive bear shifter into a reasonable man. While the pair have a rough start, with long talks and mutual leaps of faith, they begin to care for each other.

However, the closer Veier gets to his freedom, the closer he is to losing Elrid. He must find balance in his heart and his life if he wishes to truly claim the freedom he’s been given — and the man he loves.

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