The Music Teacher by Bob Sennett
Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (February 1, 2014)
Amazon: The Music Teacher
Amazon Kindle: The Music Teacher
"At times this novel seemed almost plotless – the structure of the narrative is so dense that the threads tangle together and feel like they're going nowhere at times, which is sometimes frustrating and sometimes endearing but always enormously readable. Beautiful evocation of time and place in this one. Lyrical, elegant, heartwrenching. Seriously, I cried."
"I can hear the Irish lilt in the writing. This was an interesting story - with subject matter much deeper than your usual MM romance - this makes a refreshing change. I do wonder, however, how well it would be followed by somebody without some knowledge of Irish politics."
Lesbian Contemporary Romance
Exception to the Rule by Cindy Rizzo
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 3, 2013)
Amazon: Exception to the Rule
Amazon Kindle: Exception to the Rule
"An almost perfect score, really loved this one"
Transgender Biography / Memoir
Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: Ross Gustafson (December 9, 2013)
Amazon: Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth
Amazon Kindle: Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth
"I really liked this book. It’s unique and original. The writing style for a debut book is amazing. I felt the writer had the prose well in hand. The setting of Babette’s home and the dreary, rainy aspect of living in Seattle, is perfectly drawn. I had some difficulty with the plot and character development but nothing to really change my enjoyment of reading about this very eccentric, flamboyant, and outrageous central character. The dialogue is hilarious is spots, and Babette’s antics reminded me very much of Patrick Dennis’ Auntie Mame. Babette is a very good debut novel and I’d have no problem putting it forward as a potential Rainbow Award nominee."
"Once in a great while a reader has the privilege of not knowing what to expect, only to discover the fragile treasure waiting between the book’s pages. Such was the case with Ross Eliot’s magnificent work on Dr. Ellsworth. Original, unique, simplistically complex, this novel deserves to be in every home library so it may be read and reread. Thank you, Mr. Eliot, for the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful story."
Gay Contemporary Romance
Pick Up the Pieces by Tinnean
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 21, 2014)
Amazon: Pick Up the Pieces (The Light in Your Eyes)
Amazon Kindle: Pick Up the Pieces (The Light in Your Eyes)
"Very well developed story with characters that come alive on every page."
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
The Silvers by Jill Smith
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (February 16, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: The Silvers
"Awesome book. The character of Imms got my attention right away and made me fall in love. The world building was very good and I love the author’s spare, lyrical style. Overall a GREAT read. Kudos to the author."
Gay Contemporary Romance
Last First Kiss by Diane Adams
Publisher: Love Lane Books Ltd (January 17, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Last First Kiss
"It was my favorite, the tender passion and excellent pacing made up for any short comings."
"I can't express how much I loved this book. The sexual tension was strung taut from beginning to end. A lovely story that pulled me inside a world that I hated to leave! The tension inherent in the characters' situation made for a high-stakes story even though the scenes were mostly domestic. Vibrant setting, lots of detail that immersed me in the story. The use of sensory detail and visceral response got me inside Trent's skin. I loved the story so much, I just went with it. Overall, a well-written, enjoyable novel. "
Waiting for the Violins by Justine Saracen
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 18, 2014)
Amazon: Waiting for the Violins
"The author did an outstanding job on plot and setting."
"This is one of the most exquisite historical novels about WW II, It shows all the nightmares without being nightmarish. Friend and foe are both human. The best is that Justine Saracen honors with the names given those who fought in the front lines, Superbly researched."
"Really gripping story; I was totally wrapped up in it and could barely put it down! As for historical accuracy, I'm no historian, but I didn't find any logical fault in the proceedings. The romantic subplot was rather underdeveloped, which seems a given with a story about a British spy and a Resistance fighter in war-riddled Belgium, but what little of that there was I felt quite realistically done and poignant. Very accurate sense of time and place. I happen to know some of the locations where the story is set, and I felt transported there, sixty years in the past. Whether starving Brussels under the occupation, the Ardenne forest, the battles and fights, nightly parachuting behind enemy lines, the deportation camps - everything was depicted with haunting realism."
"It took me a little to get into this story I had to start it a couple of times. Mind you I did enjoy the read by the time I got to the end."
"This is an amazing read, I have loved every pages of it and this kind of writing make me think that this setting, the WWII, is where Mrs Justine Saracen give the best of herself. The book is precise but not pedantic; the historical facts are explained/followed in a way that make the reader interested in them; equilibrated in all it's aspects. So I can only say BRAVO!"
"Justine Saracen has created a spellbinding, page-turning work of exceptional beauty in Waiting for the Violins. The main story revolves around the various and varied cells of Resistance fighters in Belgium during WWII; in parallel fashion, the core of the story reveals two protagonists slowly brought together in a world of suspense and suspicion, fear and courage, pride and passion and a iron-willed determination to survive a world gone mad. The central question of this book is 'what price humanity?' People did what they felt they had to do to survive not only the Nazi war machine and the casually murderous madmen from lowest to highest rank, but, just as heart-wrenching, the realization that victims turned on victims, heroes blended morality with immorality and the perpetrators of inhumanity were, essentially, everyone in the war. The irony of the messages in this book resonate today when one considers the divisions between the Palestinians and Israelis; this masterfully well-written book and the history woven seamlessly in the background seems to reveal that the hunted can as easily become the hunter, then as now, one to the other and back again. This is a powerful story in the hands of a poised perfectionist who frightens us to wide-eyed realizations and makes us blink; this is a love story of unfathomable depth; this is a rare and special book."
"Another winner from Justine Saracen. Her historical pieces continue to amaze me with her spot on depictions, and storytelling!"
Transgender Biography / Memoir
An Unspoken Compromise by Rizi Xavier Timane
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (October 1, 2013)
Amazon: An UnSpoken Compromise: A Spiritual Guide for LGBT People of Faith
Amazon Kindle: An UnSpoken Compromise: A Spiritual Guide for LGBT People of Faith
"An incredibly moving autobiography. Dr. Timane lays bare his soul and the struggles he's endured to have the life that he wanted. Five Stars."
"Upon second reading of this, I marvel at the simple telling of Mr. Rizi's journey from a body that seemed wrong to the body that was right. Told in three parts, this story tells of Mr. Rizi's love of God following his true path in life, which included embracing being transgendered, finding love and acceptance, and translating that love and acceptance into his life's work. It is shocking that the LGBT community is at times as uncomprehending and accepting as the hetero community regarding transgendered. It is good to know there is a growing support system, lead by Mr. Rizi to help in the understanding and acceptance of all souls that walk this earth."
Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Piper by Leona Carver
Paperback: 540 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (September 10, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Piper
"The writing style took a few pages to get going and flow smoothly but once it did I was quickly sucked into this SF retelling of the Pied Piper and its characters. Loved the world building and the use of music in the plot and hope to see more of this world again."
Gay Fantasy Romance
Goblins by Melanie Tushmore
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (September 23, 2013)
Amazon: Goblins, Book One
Amazon Kindle: Goblins, Book One
"This story was an absolute delight from start to finish. Everything I could want in a light fantasy story was present, as well as everything I could want in a single author anthology. Love, adventure, ease of readability... Not once did the author throw me out of the story. I expect a lot from a story before I can give a perfect score... Goblins hit all the high notes, and earned a perfect score from me."
"Melanie Tushmore is one of those authors who create people who love to read. Her engaging style, superlative use of language, and sheer mastery of the art of writing are what I hope for whenever I open one of the stories I read for the Rainbow Awards. Her characters are memorable, her writing is flawless, and her stories are riveting. I’ll be putting Melanie Tushmore on my auto-buy list, and adding her publishing house for this amazing fantasy story to my list of favorites. Top notch editing by LT3 press."
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