elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mentions

Waiting for the winners to be announced on December 8, I will post daily the 2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mentions: an honorable mention means a judge gave a rate of 36 or above out of 40 to the book; an honorable mention doesn't mean the book is among the winners or runners up, could be could be not, but it's important to understand there were more than 500 books in the literary contests, more than 250 among the finalists, and the difference between winners or not is only few decimal points. So please, congratulate with me this year honorable mentions:

Gay Erotic Romance
A Place for Cliff (Dominion of Brothers) by Talon ps
Series: Dominion of Brothers
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Talon ps (February 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615967779
ISBN-13: 978-0615967776
Amazon: A Place for Cliff (Dominion of Brothers)
Amazon Kindle: A Place for Cliff (Dominion of Brothers)

I have not read the first in this series. I like Cliff; he goes through and overcomes a multitude of problems that just about break him completely. Thanks for Pyotr, he is such a sweetie to me. With the problems he, himself has, he stands tall and strong. The families of both men contribute so much to the story and Talon explains, interweaving even the smallest detail to bring out the situation to a believable compelling solution. I loved it and will be buying the first to this and probably any more to come.

Gay Visual Arts & Photography
Beards, an Unshaved History by Kevin Clarke
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Bruno Gmunder Group (November 1, 2013)
Language: English, German
ISBN-10: 3867876347
ISBN-13: 978-3867876346
Amazon : Beards, an Unshaved History

Oh my word. This was amazing. Holy smokes!! This was like an art history class. Wow. With this and the Bear Bards poetry book one could teach a college level course on what it means to be a ‘bear’ in the modern world. Wow. Did I say wow?

Gorgeous photography, interesting and well written as well as informative.

This book was not only about the visual but also told a story. That made the work much more compelling.

Bisexual Contemporary Romance
Fusion (North Star Book 2) by Posy Roberts
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627982221
ISBN-13: 978-1627982221
Amazon : Fusion (North Star Book 2)
Amazon Kindle: Fusion (North Star Book 2)

This book had an excellent flow, the writing was compelling, and had characters I cared to know about. It also met MY criteria for Bi romance, as it deal with bi characters showing their interest in m/w.

I think I've had felt more emotionally grounded in this if I'd read the first book - but I didn't want to punish the author for that. This is really incredibly sad, but it is intricately and carefully told and just plain good.

Bisexual Poetry
Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, an anthology by Ron J. Suresha
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Bear Bones Books (June 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212592
ISBN-13: 978-1590212592
Amazon: Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards
Amazon Kindle: Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards

Poetry is difficult to judge but each piece was beautifully written.

This book did what Poetry was supposed to do, elicit emotion. I laughed, paused, thought, and teared up a few times. Well done.

BRILLIANT! Lush and evocative, it gave me an excellent peep into a rich, diverse culture and made a Bear Admirer out of me! I especially enjoyed the poems by Jack Fritscher and Gavin Geoffrey Dillard.

Poetry written with the flair of genius. Incredible look inside the author’s mind.

Gay Contemporary Romance
Jurassic Heart by Anna Martin
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 27, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627982280
ISBN-13: 978-1627982283
Amazon: Jurassic Heart
Amazon Kindle: Jurassic Heart

Fun read with interesting story about the dinosaur dig as well as the developing romance.

Gay Contemporary Romance
Message of Love by Jim Provenzano

Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Myrmidude Press (March 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615669247
ISBN-13: 978-0615669243
Amazon: Message of Love
Amazon Kindle: Message of Love

While I was unaware of both the author and the series, I found myself drawn into the story with an interest I have seldom experienced. Prior to reading the story’s sequel, which is this year’s submission, I first read the initial novel in the series. Without that grounding, I still would have found the story, and its writing, beautiful, but reading the novels in their proper order certainly added to the impact of this author’s (and his MCs’) lives and their continuing battle to maintain their relationship in a singularly unique time of American gay life. Very highly recommended.

Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
Not in the Stars (Mischief Corner Anthologies 4) by Toni Griffin, Freddy MacKay, Mathilde Watson and Angel Matinez
Series: Mischief Corner Anthologies
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First edition (April 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1499284675
ISBN-13: 978-1499284676
Amazon: Not in the Stars (Mischief Corner Anthologies 4)
Amazon Kindle: Not in the Stars (Mischief Corner Anthologies 4)

Four well-chosen, well-written, and generally well-done novellas, definitely worth the read.

Lesbian Romantic Comedy
Playing My Love by Angela Peach
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Angela Peach (November 23, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Playing My Love

This was a very good read at first I did not think so but the more I read the more I fell in love with it.

Gay Anthology / Young Adult
Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers by Steve Berman
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (February 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590212827
ISBN-13: 978-1590212820
Amazon: Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers
Amazon Kindle: Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers

I have read other works by Steve Berman and I loved this book every bit as much as I did the others... I am sure this will become one of my favorites as well.

Gay Young Adult
Safe by Mark Zubro
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (January 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608209121
ISBN-13: 978-1608209125
Amazon: Safe
Amazon Kindle: Safe

I found Safe to be a strongly written, gritty, and realistic mystery/coming of age story. At times it was heartrendingly sad, but ultimately it was the story of a young man (Roger) coming into his own. The writing was solid, with an even pace, and the characterizations had depth and dimension. I particularly liked the way that Mark Zurbo developed Roger's character throughout the story, building in him, conscience, compassion and ultimately the strength to come out and live his life as a gay teen out in the open.

Gay Poetry
Souvenir Boys by David-Matthew Barnes
Publisher: Pindelion Publishing; First edition (December 2, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Souvenir Boys

Each piece is of love lost and growing up and into who you are. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

Gay Sci-fi / Futuristic
The Balance by Neal Wooten
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162639055X
ISBN-13: 978-1626390553
Amazon: The Balance
Amazon Kindle: The Balance

Intriguing story about a dystopian society, above ground and on the ground, and the difference between two cultures who realize that those whom they revire are something other than those who were created. . .

Gay Fantasy Romance
The Calm Before by Neena Jaydon
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (February 5, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620043246
ISBN-13: 978-1620043240
Amazon: The Calm Before
Amazon Kindle: The Calm Before

This was a very slow start. If I were not reading this for Rainbow Awards, I would have dropped it. Riagan was someone I started to hate at the beginning. He was all of the attributes I do not like especially because he acted like an entitled bully. Elisedd was also someone I did not particularly care for, letting himself be a victim. After lots of twists, one gets a spine and one realizes that loving someone ca be the best and most important thing in their lives. I thought the setting was unique and the parallels to us humans on earth, quite realistic.

Gay Mystery / Thriller
The Next by Rafe Haze
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press, LLC (April 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925180093
ISBN-13: 978-1925180091
Amazon: The Next
Amazon Kindle: The Next

Possibly the best book I've read in years.

The initial frenetic, unpleasantly acerbic state of our narrator has its origin in a damaged past which is unveiled little by little throughout the book. The sympathetic cop who reaches out to him has his own complex reasons for the way he is, and the chemistry of those two characters together - which encompasses both recognition and acceptance of each other’s weaknesses as well as their strengths - is unbelievably attractive. The mystery itself is beautifully constructed and interlocks seamlessly with the story of our protagonists' lives - the one story line moves the other forward in a very natural way, leading both to quite satisfactory conclusions. This was the surprise read of the Awards for me, and it is undoubtedly a winner. I look forward to reading more from this author. This was the surprise read of the Awards for me, and it is undoubtedly a winner. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Gay Contemporary Romance
The Only One Who Matters by Cat Grant & L.A. Witt

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (March 18, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: The Only One Who Matters

Really a great story. For it being the 2nd in the series, it stood alone very well which is a testament to the good writing of the authors. Unlike other Riptide books I’ve read that were rife with poor or seemingly no editing, this one was spot on which was a relief.

Gay Young Adult
This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet

Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (May 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632160404
ISBN-13: 978-1632160409
Amazon: This Is Not a Love Story
Amazon Kindle: This Is Not a Love Story

Raw, painful, sometimes difficult to read but also fully engaging in its characters and their struggles.

This book captivated me from the first page. The writing, characterization and plot drew me in and kept me invested until the very last page. I loved this book.

Lesbian Anthology / Romantic Comedy
Three by Ann McMan
Paperback: 162 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (December 16, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939562422
ISBN-13: 978-1939562425
Amazon : Three
Amazon Kindle: Three

Loved this one. It is excellently written and the characters are well drawn. Funny, heartwarming and could not put it down. This is not a genre I even enjoy, so for me to give this a perfect score is a big deal. Loved it.

Lesbian Biography / Memoir
Time Fries! Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach by Fay Jacobs

Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: A&M Books; First edition (December 12, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983796157
ISBN-13: 978-0983796152
Amazon: Time Fries! Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach
Amazon Kindle: Time Fries! Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach

Can a “mature” straight woman be touched and completely delighted by the life of a “mature” gay woman? Oh, you bet! I loved this collection of Fay Jacobs’s reminiscences and reflections, so much so that I have put it on my list of comfort reads. As usual with memoirs, the term plot does not really pertain. So instead, I will say the material in this book was organized perfectly. The sketches were presented chronologically, with month and year clearly indicated in the chapter heads. Each little story was concise – or rather, exactly as long as it needed to be – with no tedious or unnecessary digressions. Ms. Jacobs also offered just enough commentary to personalize each event and give it the kind of depth that a simple narrative alone cannot provide.

A hilarious send-up about what it means to be a GLBTQI senior, with a focus on lesbian seniors but really all GLBTQI seniors---heck, ALL seniors! At once funny, and sometimes, touchingly poignant, Time Fries put you in the driver’s seat of a very large and long RV and sends you down the road whether you know how to drive it or not! For anyone who ever thought, “Let’s blow this Popsicle stand and go on the road,” Time Fries is must reading. For anyone who ever said, “No, I’m too tired,” Time Fries is a must read! It is a real slice of life on the legal lam with heavy doses of warmth, outrage, insight and outright hilarity. Somewhere between Rehoboth Beach and Fay Jacobs mind is a vast and fertile cacophony of laugh aloud stories told with humor, intelligence and insight.

Facing the trials and tribulations of life with a dash of gusto.

Gay Poetry
Velvet Rodeo by Kelly McQuain
Publisher: Bloom Books

A master at imagery. Beautiful work.

An intricately structured set of images and perceptions laid forth in sensual, evocative language. Gorgeous.

An enthralling, engrossing collection of poems that will involve its reader on many levels of interest.

Lesbian Paranormal Romance
Vermilion Justice by Sheri Lewis Wohl
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626390673
ISBN-13: 978-1626390676
Amazon: Vermilion Justice
Amazon Kindle: Vermilion Justice

I have read so many stories about vampires; they have all started to sound the same. However, Vermilion Justice brought a welcome spark to the overdone premise of these undead bloodsuckers. I loved the characters and the writing.

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