March 20th, 2011

andrew potter

Of Death and Desire by Jude Mason

At the end of the nineteen century, two lovers have to face the worst of separation, death. They are both men, but this is not the story of how difficult it was for them to be together, when the story starts they are a couple and they would be happy if not that Philip is deathly ill, consumption, and day after day he is fading away. Jonathan, who is also the wealthier of the two, decides to bring Philip in a big mansion just outside New Orleans, not in the hope to see him better, but to alleviate his last months; in the isolated place, with only the servants as witnesses, Jonathan and Philip are building memories that will serve to Jonathan to survive losing his lover.

There is a bit of paranormal element in the story, but it’s basically an historical short story. The author devoted enough words to describing the setting, the disposition of the mansion where the lovers are living, with the highlight of the “modern” comforts wealth allow them, like an in-house bathroom.

I like also the shift in power between the two men, something that explain Jonathan’s desperation in losing Philip and his apparently incapacity to go on alone: when the story starts Philip is so ill, that Jonathan seems, and is, the strongest of the two; it’s him who takes care of Philip, like a mother with a son, even if there is always the underlying spark of desire. But before Philip’s illness, it was Philip the master in the couple, Jonathan was his pet; without Philip, Jonathan has no balance, no reason to survive his master.

Of Death and Desire is a nice short story, with enough development to give the reader enough material to imagine what in the short story itself there is no time to tell.

Amazon Kindle: Of Death and Desire
Publisher: BWLPP (March 20, 2011)

Reading List:
andrew potter

Km.0 (2000) directed by Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra

A comedic look at the love lives of 14 different people and how they interconnect during one hot August afternoon around the Plaza del Sol in Madrid, Spain.

Directors: Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra

Writers: Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra

Release Date: 8 July 2000 (L'Alfàs del Pi Film Festival, Spain)
15 April 2001 (Turin International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Italy)
30 April 2001 (Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, USA)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Storyline: At Kilometer Zero-the very center of Madrid-relationships begin, love blossoms and lives intersect as 14 people looking for sex, romance or anything in-between come together in a passionately exuberant sex farce. The story follows a series of chance meetings, missed connections and mistaken identities that soon give way to unexpected erotic interludes, hot-and-bothered sexual escapades and romantic couplings. From a fresh-faced aspiring director who becomes involved with a prostitute, to a gay dance instructor whose computer sees more action than he does, to an older woman who seeks a male escort for the first time, Km.0 is a fast-paced, inventive and stylish comedy.

Awards: 2002 Audience Award as Best Feature Film to Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra, Boulder Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
2001 Goya Award Nomination as Best Original Song (Mejor Canción Original) to Ismael Serrano, Goya Awards
2001 Eurola Award to Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra, Hamburg Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
2002 Audience Award as Outstanding Narrative Feature to Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra, L.A. Outfest
2001 Audience Award to Juan Luis Iborra & Yolanda García Serrano, Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
2001 Audience Award as Best Feature to Yolanda García Serrano & Juan Luis Iborra, Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

@Amazon: Km.0
@TLA Releasing


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Cast (in credits order)
Miquel García Borda ... Benjamín (as Miquel García)
Víctor Ullate Jr. ... Bruno
Concha Velasco ... Marga
Georges Corraface ... Gerardo
Silke ... Amor
Carlos Fuentes ... Pedro
Mercè Pons ... Silvia
Alberto San Juan ... Sergio
Elisa Matilla ... Tatiana
Armando del Río ... Máximo
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Benjamin & Bruno

andrew potter

Monthly Appointment with My Reading List

With the starting of the Rainbow Awards, my reading scheduling is getting a little slower, but I hope you all will understand ;-) Anyway here are the first 100 titles of my reading list, more or less the next month reading will be done picking books among these:

The Balance of Silence by S. Reesa Herberth & Michelle Moore
Let Them Try Harder by Reno MacLeod & Jaye Valentine
Shift Happens by Storm Grant
Treasured by Cari Z
Inhabiting The Night by Carolina Valdez
A Dish Served Cold by Andrew Ashling
Baked by Sean Michael
In the Pale Moonlight by Sunny Moraine
Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners by Deborah Anapol
The Glass Minstrel by Hayden Thorne
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andrew potter

The Balance of Silence by S. Reesa Herberth & Michelle Moore

The story starts as an post-apocalypse sci-fi romance and I was like, uhm, not bad but not really my thing; I have to be true, sci-fi/futuristic romance are not really my cup of tea unless the authors don’t go out-tracking from the usual path, spaceships and aliens are not my kink. This story in particular caught me for the mute character of Ducks, I’m always interested in reading a romance between characters with a disability, I think it needs more carefulness from the authors’s side.

But the story held another surprise, a nice surprise for me: the futuristic side of it almost disappeared to become more or less an ordinary romance and indeed the development of the love story between Riv and Ducks was more focused on Ducks trying to regain his mental good health than on the sci-fi details.

Riv is a volunteer running supplies for ReliefCorp, a way for him to atone what he sees as a sin towards humanity, not matter he committed it to defend a friend. During his mission he stumbles upon a traumatized man he will call Ducks; Ducks is scared not only in body but also in mind. I liked the authors decided to not pursue the relationship between Riv and Ducks immediately since indeed in that situation Ducks needed to have time to heal, in every meaning of the word.

With the shift in time of few months we find Ducks in a hospital facility and from this moment on, as I said, the story moves from sci-fi to pure romance. Ducks is not gay but he feels something for Riv, and like Riv gave him time to physically heal, so he will give him time to come to terms with his feelings for another man.

Maybe since Ducks was mostly in a not balanced mental situation, maybe due to this side of the story, the unexpected feelings he has for a man, the authors didn’t push too much on the physical side of the love story; sure there were some “connections”, kisses and cuddling, and of course the necessary discovery of Ducks that a man is different from a woman (no pun intended) in many ways other then the most obvious one. The balance of the title is not only the research of a mental balance for Ducks, but also a balance in his feelings and of course the search for balance between good and bad that led Riv in an almost suicidal mission against the best advice of all his friends.

Amazon Kindle: The Balance of Silence
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (September 14, 2010)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Kanaxa
andrew potter

Let Them Try Harder by Reno MacLeod & Jaye Valentine

I remember the first story in this series, despite dealing with otherworldly creatures, a mix between demons and zombies, that story was mostly naughty and odd to say funny. Diego is a naïve demon, newborn to the modern time from the middle ages and so totally like a kid in a candy store, everything catching his eyes he has to have and Rick, the almost retired cop who found him in a cemetery is part of the package. Diego attaches himself to Rick like a loyal puppy to his master, but like a puppy he needs to be take care of, and the protective Rick is the right man; a fringe benefits of the job is that having sex with Diego, and exchanging blood, Rick is growing younger day by day.

On the run from fanatics who want to send Diego back in hell, the obvious places where Rick can bring Diego to experiment his new life are Las Vegas and Los Angeles, place were lights and glitters sometime cover the ugly reality. Moreover place where appearances do count, and Rick is slowly loosing his wisdom while Diego at the same time is losing his newfound innocence; even if in danger, and on the run, Rick and Diego are doing it in a grandeur way, enjoying the decadence of being forever young while enjoying each other young bodies.

I like that, even if more like a splatter movie than a romance novel, in any case there is a underline of romanticism in the story: Rick and Diego really loves each other, and their bond is not only a way to survive, they really believe to their words when claiming there will be no other for them; what started more like a Rick taking care of Diego, now is morphing in a same level relationship, something that is reflected also in their lovemaking.

Let Them Try Harder is a nice conclusion to the previous introduction story, if you read them together you will have the whole feeling of the story; and if the authors will decide to take these men up again, there is still space for something more, after all, there are still a lot of shining and decadent location in the US where two gay guys can spend time enjoying themselves.

Amazon Kindle: Let Them Try Harder
Publisher: M&V Tailz (November 2, 2010)

1) Let Them Try:
2) Let Them Try Harder

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle