September 22nd, 2009

andrew potter

Behind the Cover: Steve Walker

Do you know that feeling when you are sure to know something but you are missing the link between two points? I like very much Steve Walker's art (even if I wonder why does he change website every few months...: and I'm pretty sure to be able to recognize his style when I see a paint. Then I like very much some of Michael Thomas Ford's covers (, the one with the white background and in the middle a picture of one or more men, always by behind. It's months already that I wanted to buy one or more of that books, but I have to order them online, and usually I prefer to see the book before ordering it. So Sunday, during my last shopping trip (wondering where? Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia obviously!), I picked up one of those books, neither being sure if it was exactly the one I wanted to read, but the cover was so pretty and I knew that the author is very good, so one or the other was the same. My choice is Looking for It, and during the flight back home I sat there, admring the last addition to my collection and suddenly I had a realization: that picture on the cover was for sure a Steve Walker's work! And yes, I was right, I searched the back cover and there it was, the name of the artist. As soon as I was back home, I searched for all the covers of Michael Thomas Ford with that style, and then matched them one by one with a Steve Walker's paint in his gallery. And today I'd like to feature you my little matching work.

Prince of Tides, Steve Walker, 2002

Changing Tides by Michael Thomas Ford, 2007: Few authors write about the full spectrum of gay men's lives with as much warmth, honesty, humor, and compassion as Michael Thomas Ford. Now the bestselling author of Last Summer, Looking For It, and Full Circle, delivers a shimmering, heartwarming story of one summer in the lives of three people, of the elusive search for human connection—and the necessity of love. Marine biologist Ben Ransome understands the sea, especially the tiny, beautiful sea slugs he has studied and admired for most of his life. What Ben doesn't understand are people, and now, one of the most important people in his life—his sixteen-year-old daughter, Caddie—is coming to live with him for the summer. But the sweet, happy child he remembers has been replaced by a wounded, angry stranger who resents everything about her father. Caddie is determined to act out in every way, leaving Ben feeling more alone than ever. Hudson Jones has come to Monterey, California, to find the answers to all his questions. The young, ambitious graduate student believes he's found a lost John Steinbeck novel called Changing Tides that seems to hint at the author's love for his best friend, Ed "Doc" Ricketts. If he can prove it, his career will be made. And then, perhaps he can quiet the personal demons that haunt him. But first, he'll need some local help in his research, and Ben just may be able to supply him with access to the information he needs. It's clear to Hudson that the handsome, quietly passionate Ben needs some help, too—with Caddie and his life. Sharing dinners and walks on the beach, intellectual discussions and heart-to-heart conversations, Ben and Hudson move from tentative friendship to a surprising, revelatory relationship, one with the power to point them toward the most important discoveries of their lives. For Ben, it's a summer of new beginnings, even as his daughter embarks on a dangerous course that will test the new happiness he's found. Changing Tides is an extraordinary novel that explores the glorious flaws and frailties of human beings in the never-ending struggle to connect, to be open to love, and to embrace the unknown in order to live fully.

Amazon: Changing Tides

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More Artists at my website:, My Ramblings/Art

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andrew potter

Otter Fashion & Gay Top Model present the cover boys for Charlie David's book "Boy Midflight"

Since today is Behind the Cover's weekly appointment, I thought this video is right on the matter: it's the video of the session shoot for the cover of "Boy Midflight" by Charlie David, Palari Publishing. From what I understood, it was a collaboration between the publisher and Otter Fashion (, click on the link to see a beautiful photo of Charlie David...). Boy Midflight is the story of Ashley, an 18 years old struggling with his important life choices who has the chance to be a fashion model for Otter; it's quite a good commercial choice to mix reality with fiction, both of the partners in this business, Palari Publishing and Otter Fashion, gain a showcase in the other market industry.

And then, have you ever wonder how those photoshoot are? I know that most of the time, the picture is chosen on a photostock website, but it's nice to see that sometime an author is lucky enought to have his own personal photo for the cover.

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andrew potter

Dragonfly by L.E. Bryce

I remember that I liked Concubinage, I have always had a penchant for Sheikhs and related story, and the fantasy world of the Courtesans of Tajhaan by L.E. Bryce resembles a bit that genre, but I also remember that Concubinage was a bit sad, not exactly a love story, but more the life of two akhari, Inandre and Hanithi, who probably, outside that situation could have been lovers and instead are best friends, and probably the only steady point in each other life.

Inandre loves Hanithi, and the proof is that, when he is in dear need of comfort and the warm of someone who really cares, Hanithi is the only one he wants near him. But for how Inandre was raised, it's impossible for him to love another akharu, so impossible that he even considers it. Hanithi could be only a friend, and he is not the one who could resolve his immediate problem. Inandre was raised to be a lover, a companion, an artist, he doesn't know how to do anything else, and if he is not able to find a patron, he will be not able to survive.

Hanithi introduced Inandre to Shapur, a wealthy merchant, not the lesser nobility Inandre was used to frequent before the scandal that ruined his career, but Shapur is now is last chance. At the beginning of the novella, with the only point of view of Inandre and Hanithi, and the clear affection between them, I saw Shapur as an intruder in the possible love story between the two akhari. Then, when Shapur starts to behave a little better with Inandre, my idea of him changed, but still I was thinking and hoping for an end with Hanithi in some role in Inandre's life. But Shapur is a character who grows stronger with the story, and more I read of him, and more I put Hanithi in a corner; the author was so good to make me completely change my mind in the quite short span time of a novella. More, she was able to make me see Shapur from two different perspective: first the one of the akharu who was searching a new patron, and in a second time with the eyes of the lost boy that was Inandre, a boy who disappeared during his training, but that the bad experience he went through has brought him back.

And I was not expecting to find passion between Inandre and Shapur, I was content enough with the sweet and tender story they had, but I'm very glad that instead the passion was there, and that even if we read only about the sparkle, the reader knows that Inandre has a bright future in front of him, a future where he will be no more alone, and where he will be finally loved, as he has always desired, even if not admitted.

Amazon Kindle: Dragonfly

Series: The Courtesans of Tajhaan
1) The Golden Lotus:
2) Concubinage:
3) Dragonfly

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle