Rainbow Con 2014

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Where to start! Well I am confident that every author, blogger, and person in attendance will post their own versions so I’m hoping readers and everyone who missed out will get an overall feel of the convention from several different sources.

Here is my experience. I flew in Thursday morning and checked in with registration (and my awesome roomie Gryvon!) easily and dumped my things in the hotel. A side note on the hotel – NOT recommended. But rooming with easy going and cheerful people, Gryvon and Ann Anderson, made it much more pleasurable. Plus the conference will be at a different hotel next year.

I checked the restaurant in the hotel but it didn’t really have any options for me so I walked down the street to Panera. It did me good to stretch my legs anyway but I remember thinking “oh god I should just go home, I don’t know anyone here!” SMP was nice enough to invite me, Grayvon and Ann were great roommates, and I met another reviewer Lisa but everyone had people to hang out with and were busy. Thankfully I had panels!

I’ll post on another post about the panels I was on – five in all! – but the overall structure of the convention and cerebral aspect of the entire weekend is what saved me. Well that, and the fact that I actually met my soulmate, Caethes Faron, and she introduced me to other authors and readers. I was surprised at how open and friendly almost everyone was.

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For me the conference differed and exceeded GRL in two extremely important ways. First Rainbow Con was in essence – a convention. It wasn’t really a fan based weekend but that certainly played into it. There was more than enough time to hang out and chat with your favorite authors but there was also significant structure to the weekend where if you didn’t know too many people or actually wanted to talk books you could do so with ease.

Breaking down those two rather large differences I’ll start with the panels. There were so many panels and almost every single one of them sounded interesting. There was an author track and a reader track but certainly you could mix and mingle as you wished. I found several of the author driven panels to be fascinating and I participated in several of the reader panels myself while attending many others. The panel topics were interesting – even if the titles were occasionally vague and obtuse – and the resulting discussion between audience members and panelists kept things very lively for every panel I attended or participated in.

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Character playing cards from Geoffrey Knight!

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Kindle Alexander swag table – condoms and lube!

Additionally there was something scheduled everyday from 10am to 10pm with breaks for lunch and dinner. If you were a lone author or reader going to a convention where you may not know many people, this organization helped give attendees something to do but there was also no requirement to go to everything. In fact I missed several of the late night events – though they looked amazingly fun! And occasionally I’d miss panels I wanted to go to because I was caught up talking with people. Something I honestly –never- thought would happen there.

There were so many interesting and thought provoking panels that often they were scheduled at the same time and I had to choose between two talks I wanted to see. I’ve heard that next year they’re thinking of recording the audio from the panels to make it available in such situations. I really hope that’s true because even know I’d love to know how certain panels went.

David Berger swag table. Totally caught my eye.

David Berger swag table. Totally caught my eye.

This structure was sorely lacking at GRL, which was more like one big social party. Nothing wrong with that but if I hadn’t gone with my favorite women and shared a house with them I don’t think I’d have talked to really anyone the entire time. I certainly got to speak to some of the authors at GRL but again I always had the impression that they were there to interact with each other and not necessarily fans and readers. I’d have about a 15 minute conversation and that was the end of it, whereas at Rainbow Con I could talk to authors for literally hours and never felt as though they had better things to do. (Even if they did, they covered it really well!)

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Think of the children! LGBTQ fiction and YA panel

At rainbow con I certainly got the feeling everyone was happy to talk to anyone. I ended up talking to Kindle Alexander at great length about a wide variety of things, and though I’ve never read the duo’s books and clearly am not important enough to pimp to, they were beyond lovely in person. Likewise David Berger offered some excellent and thought provoking conversation, as did Storm Grant. Really I could continue to name numerous authors that I had interesting discussions with that ranged from reviews to books to just life experiences. I felt much more welcome at Rainbow Con than GRL. [Perhaps because no one knew me? Heh]

I realize that conventions are a subjective experience, just like anything else in life. I personally appreciate an intellectual and content driven convention more than just a socializing gathering. Readings are ok but I dislike them generally and they never really interest me in a new author. Instead I want to hear the author’s thoughts on writing, their subject matter, and what excites them in the field. That more than anything will get me to buy their book. So I appreciated that the focus was again on content and subjects relevant to the diversity of the genre as a whole and not simply “meet the author who doesn’t really have time to talk.” Our community is relatively small and somewhat incestuous so it’s nice to have time to speak with authors about the topics that affect the field and reflect current trends.

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Publisher room

I’ll talk more about my specific panels – which I really quite enjoyed being a part of – in another post since this one is so long. I’d urge people to consider Rainbow Con next year as I think it’s a phenomenal way to interact with other people passionate about this genre and curious about the industry in general. The wide range of intellectual conversation should suit readers, reviewers, authors, and publishers. And of course there is social interaction, plus jello shots!

Strippers on the first night!

Strippers on the first night!

 


Review: Defeated by Love

Defeated by Love
Defeated by Love by Samantha Kane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s been years since I’ve read a Samantha Kane book but I vaguely remember enjoying her Brothers in Arms series. However, to be fair, I only read the first four books and remember absolutely nothing from them, except they were m/f/m threesome books. Oh and reading her books made me long for m/m only instead of the predictable female that was always interesting but pretty much the same. So I chose this Kane book because it’s advertised as m/m and I knew the writing would be good. The book is indeed well written as expected and has some interesting twists to keep the action moving. However, the focus is on the erotica between the main couple – Daniel and Harry – and a secondary couple – Christy and Simon. Because of that I didn’t really care about either couple very much but enjoyed the author’s writing and sense of humor anyway. Continue reading


Back to reality

Hello everyone! 

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I’m finally back from Rainbow Con 2014, which I’m sure readers even forgot I was going to. No worries I’ll have tons of posts coming up to fill everyone in on the greatest convention they missed. And all the reasons everyone should come next year. Hint – Tam, Chris, Jen, Kris, Leontine, Tracy, Janna *cough* Not trying to push anyone or anything of course! Just saying you all missed some epic jello shot action.

 

I also want to welcome anyone I met at the convention that actually found a my blog. Considering I was (literally ) the only blogger without business cards or a recognizable blog I’ll be surprised if many people could find my little corner. Or if anyone does. But for the one devoted person who’s new here – seriously welcome. You mean a lot to me!

 

Likewise I’ve also set up a Facebook page – yes finally – as it seems it’s yet another thing everyone should have. I also did a facebook page because honestly I’m not entirely sure what the difference is. If anyone knows and can tell me? Thanks. I’ve no clue which one people are supposed to go to. My meter on caring tapped out after dealing with that.

Here is my page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Three-AM-Reviews/774547979246093

I’ve also spent time updating my blog links (how sad that some people are not around! Must stalk Kris is on my to-do list). I’ll be doing some other blog updates over the next few weeks to tidy things up and dust off the shelves a bit but don’t worry… Three am will remain an obscure blog! At heart this is the essence of a blog for me. It’s not meant to be anything but a record of my reviews and random thoughts as they occur to me. I’ll be posting quite a bit about Rainbow Con in the coming weeks as well as an extensive list of my books that I now want to read after meeting authors and/or hearing raves about the work. I’m always interested in what people think about the books and whether they’ve read them or not.

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I’ll leave you with a teaser

 

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Geoffrey Knight @ 1am after jello shots!


Review: A Nightmare Come True

A Nightmare Come True
A Nightmare Come True by Sage Marlowe
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A Nightmare Come True is basically porn in written form. It has a weak storyline to set the two men up but the focus is on the sex and an equally weak ending to give the characters some kind of an ending. Or not an ending since I guess this is a series. It’s not the worst thing ever but it’s inane and boring and lacks any kind of plot structure. It’s a vehicle for lots of sex, which may be what some readers want. I’ve reader hotter and better erotica/porn in the genre so I wouldn’t recommend this. However I also didn’t want to throw it across the metaphorical room so that’s why I gave it another half star, rounded up. Continue reading


Review: Going Up

Going Up
Going Up by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lately I haven’t been in the mood for m/m books but I chose this because it’s Amy Lane, usually a sure fire hit for me. It was a cute, sweet enough story but kind of boring. I find Lane’s greatest books come with heaping amounts of angst. When she tries to do sweet or light, it never hits the mark for me unfortunately. This is a novella so it was quick to read and innocuous but I forgot it almost while I was reading it and never really engaged in the story. The meet-cute was sweet but it lingered in nowhere for too long and then I never really bought into the chemistry between the two men. I’d probably recommend it for someone that likes very sweet renditions of fairytales. Continue reading


100 books isn’t that much.. not really.

Readers like us read that in a year, if not less. So I shouldn’t really complain. Plus I know I’ve read some of these so that’ll break it down as well.

Diving into said list-
Red are the ones I’ve read
Blue are ones I want to read
Green I am not going to read!
Black are all the others I haven’t read Continue reading


Book lists and pressure…

Sometimes I’m convinced the universe hates people, well by people I mean me of course. I don’t believe in religion, spirituality, karma, or any kind of god so really I don’t honestly think any random spirit or omnipotent being is out to get me. I just…wish I could blame shit on it.

Life sadly hasn’t gotten much better but I’ve decided to just ignore it, because it all sucks and I can’t fix most of it. Not only do I have a massive dr’s bill for my injured knee, an auto repair bill for my car due to the asshole that rear-ended me and sped away, and a vet bill because really why doesn’t everything go to hell at once? At least we’re all alive, if beat up.

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So I’m feeling pressure and decide what better escapism then reading. Then I open up - Amazon’s 100 books to read this year list.

100 books. That’s a lot of pressure. A lot of reading. What if it’s not.. fun?

I’ve read the hyped books and authors.
Gillian Flynn – horrible characters but well written if you like reading despicable people doing despicable things with non-endings.
James Dashner – decent writing but horrible plots that always fall apart after the first book and I end up loathing a series I liked at the start.
Charles Dickens – I’m sorry but this guy needed a good editor. Depressing and overly verbose I just can’t with him. Good themes but kills it every time.
Suzanne Collins – I loved the Hunger Games trilogy but it will never sit well with me that it’s a total rip off of Battle Royale and never credited for it.

And so on.. so while I enjoy popular or recommended books from a wide variety of genres, I’m never sure if such lists are going to be… well interesting and fun or simply pressure to do what someone tells you to read.

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Oh you’re feeling more optimistic? Great! I’ll try.

Why not start a sure to be doomed project of reading books off the 100 must read books of the year list. Because that’s a goal sure to not happen! So now I have to make the list and see which ones I’ve read, which I remember because I KNOW I read Great Gatsby but there’s a reason it’s blocked forever in my mind. Bad walking/reading accident in high school? No clue.

Why can’t we have a list of the 100 greatest m/m books to read? *ponders* we should get on that.

Even though this is nominally an m/m blog it’s also my area that no one but me reads so I’m gonna update my progress here. I also have about 15 m/m books I need to get on when I can stop hating on everything for a moment. They’re books I even -want- to read.


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