March 31st, 2011

andrew potter

Love Ahead: Expect Delays by Astrid Amara

I’m sure that for the fans of the urban fantasy genre, Astrid Amara is probably one of the goddess of that field, but I have to admit that I absolutely love her light comedy romance: this is the third I read of her seasonal romances and they are one better than the other.

In this one, Zach and Austin are quite a recent couple, just six months into their relationship and they are still on the boyfriends stage; true, Austin would like to move on the next level, but Zach is reluctant, he is scare that Austin will turn like his past boyfriends, from knight in shining armour to bastard. To give credit to Austin he has never behaved in a wrong way until now, and so, maybe to test him in a 24/7 situation, Zach decides to invite him over during a 3 days road trip that will end in Zach’s parents home right in time to celebrate the Hanukah.

Austin is not really happy of the arrangement, the car is fated to fail them and the weather is not good, but he loves Zach, and Zach is able to make sad puppy eyes when someone deny him something, and so here they are, in a cramped little car in the middle of a snow storm.

Confirming Zach unconscious theory, the forced closeness brings out their worst sides, but it also allows them to understand that love is the most important thing, and that their love is stronger than shadowy memories from their past.

Truth be told, Zach is the one who thinks the most and will mend most of his scars; Austin let it out here and there that his past was not happy either, and that on the opposite of Zach, he has not an idyllic relationship with his parents, but nothing more is said, and while Austin’s secret desire, to build a family with Zach will be granted, he will still have the unresolved issue with his previous family.

Of course, between open heart discussions, heated quarrels and sweet skirmishes, there will be also hot, very hot sex, with just that touch of kinkiness in the end to make the season naughty. Zach and Austin enjoy their sex, and even when they are a little angry with each other, the desire they have for the other will never lessen, so that it is always clear to the reader that they will be able to find an agreement, since a good relationship like their cannot be destroyed by something futile like silence or too much love.

Amazon Kindle: Love Ahead: Expect Delays
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 30, 2010)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Marci Gass
andrew potter

Dario Bellezza (September 5, 1944 - March 31, 1996)

Dario Bellezza (September 5, 1944 – March 31, 1996) was an Italian gay poet, author and playwright. He won the Viareggio, Gatto, and Montale prizes.

Dario Bellezza was born in Rome on September 5, 1944. After his studies at a liceo classico in his native city, from which he graduated in 1962, he worked for several Italian literary and poetry magazines: Paragone, Carte segrete, Bimestre, Periferia, and Il Policordo.

Bellezza entered the Roman intellectual world in the mid-1960s when, thanks to literary critic and writer Enzo Siciliano, he became increasingly close to Sandro Penna, Aldo Palazzeschi, Attilio Bertolucci, Alberto Moravia, and Elsa Morante, who eventually became a confidant.

The decade from 1950-1960 was a period in which the working class, the Italian Communist Party, the trade unions, and all their hopes for radical cultural change were dramatically defeated. The political and economic growth of the Christian Democrat middle class and the new, changed Freemasonries prevailed.

Bellezza, thus, lived in a political-cultural era convulsed by the ideological confrontations of the 1960s and the subversive ideological line of the aggressive neoavant-garde that struggled against conventional linguistic codes.

From the early 1960s on, Bellezza collaborated with the magazine Nuovi argomenti, becoming associate director shortly before his death.

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andrew potter

Pamela Macaluso (1952 – March 1997)

Pamela Macaluso, a California romance author, who had some fame as a romance novelist for Silhouette Desire, was a victim of a murder suicide in March 1997.

Pamela Macaluso, a 42-year-old writer who lived by the motto 'love conquers all', was murdered by her husband Joe, a career military man, at their Californian home in 1997. He then turned the gun on their two sons and then himself. According to friends, the author had finally plucked up the courage to tell him she wanted to end their 20-year marriage because of the way he treated her.

Her sister Julie Ballinger said: "Joe was very violent during the first five years they were married and then it stopped.

But the verbal abuse continued.

She did what she had to do to survive - and she wrote. She enjoyed creating that fantasy world, partly because she was unfulfilled in her life."

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Source: The death of romance by Caroline Graham, The Mail on Sunday (London, England), Sept 5, 1999 (;col1)
andrew potter

Say It Again by Jasmine Black

I think my reaction to this novel was the same of the main character Wade to Jared’s rebuttal after their first night together: surprise and questions.

When I started reading it, I was expecting a nice and light comedy about a bachelor auction and 2 best friends with benefits. Wade is an hot firefighter but he is somehow like an homemade pie, simple and “natural”: he likes a good beer, good friends and good sex. He is not complicated and he doesn’t like to fake an interest in women he has not, and so, after years and years of being the hot piece in a charity bachelor auction, this year he has decided to come out and to hope for a man that will bid on him.

Jared is Wade’s friend, and when the time comes he is the one who bids for him; not only that he takes Wade home and they share a wonderful night together, only to having Jared being shit scared afterward and practically kicking Wade out of his bed and home… only to come back a week after and self-inviting himself into Wade’s bed… only to leave him cold soon after sex.

As I said, Wade, and the reader with Wade, is not able to understand what is happening: where is their light comedy, their romance going? Where are the champagne and bed of roses? Where is the happily ever after? Something shadowy and scaring is haunting Jared, something that is preventing him to fully enjoy his love and lover. And in a way, Wade, with his reassuring attitude, healthy living and plain behaviour will be the answer to Jared’s past scars.

My only, very little complain, is that in a realistic situation, Jared would be probably too much damaged to be really able to enjoy his romance with Wade, but to be true with the author, she didn’t give them a pink glasses perspective happily ever after, Jared and Wade will not have an easy path in front of them, and Jared is not totally “cured” at the end of this story, but at least they are on the right path.

Amazon Kindle: Say It Again
Publisher: Silver Publishing (August 26, 2010)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Reese Dante
andrew potter

Paul Richmond: Show-and-Tell

As usual I'm more than happy to welcome Paul Richmond on the page of this livejournal, even more this year since he is now the "daddy" of our Rainbow Cheesecake Boy, the official pin up for the Rainbow Awards. Paul asked me to host his annual contest to pick up the best among his covers, and there are wonderful prizes if you partecipate, so come one, read the post and follow the instruction!

This is Paul Richmond, painter/illustrator/depantser-of-the-stars! It’s wonderful to be back here visiting with Elisa and all of you. It’s been too long! Welcome to my special Show-and-Tell post, and since I am quite the show-off, let’s get right to it...

First and foremost, I need to enlist your help in a very important decision. I am hosting another “Uncovered” contest, and you’re all invited! This is where I show you four recent novel cover illustrations and you vote on your favorite. The winning illustration will become the next limited-edition print offered exclusively in my online store, plus it will be on display in Dreamspinner’s booth at Gay Days in Orlando this June. And even better, just by voting, you become eligible to win the first print in the series along with a slew of other fabulous prizes. That’s right — this year I’m ramping up the rewards! This contest is so fabulous it will knock your pants off!

Here are the four contenders:




Elisa and I are going to announce the winner right here on her blog on Thursday April 28, so what are you waiting for? Go cast your vote now: On the entry form, you’ll see that you also have the opportunity to submit a question for moi. Ask anything you like. I’m an open book! I’ll answer my favorite questions in the post on the 28th, and if yours is included, then you’re eligible for even more fabulosity. Good luck!!

One question you won’t have to ask is “What have you been up to lately?” because I’m going to answer that one right now. I have been a busy bee these last few months, and I’m excited to fill you in on all the scoop.

This winter, I put dessert first by kicking off the frosty season with a heaping helping of cheesecake -- Cheesecake Boys, that is. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my apparel-challenged pin-up boys, let me give you a “brief” introduction. Cheesecake Boys are based on classic pin-up girls from the 40’s and 50’s, only with one major difference — they’re men!

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We had a super-fun art event in Columbus last November showcasing my Cheesecake series (which includes many gaylebrities in compromising states of undress — people like Perez Hilton, Jesse Archer, and Jack Mackenroth) and celebrating my new “Cheesecake Boys” book. We also had some live Cheesecake Boy models showing off their skivvies while serving miniature cheesecakes to happy guests. It was a blast! Here’s a pic of me with the boys (apparently I was a bit overdressed for the occasion!), and you can see more on my blog here:

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And if you’d like to bring some Cheesecake Boys home with you, order a copy of my new book here:  

Cheesecake Boys, The Pin-Up Art of Paul Richmond

You may recognize one of the Cheesecake Boys on display at the event — our esteemed Rainbow Pride Cheesecake who is proud to be the face (and body) of Elisa’s uber-fabulous Rainbow Awards. He can barely contain his enthusiasm! And check out his cute Elisa Rolle tat — you know you want one!

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Speaking of boys without pants, I was honored to have my new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” inspired painting “I Won’t Tell if You Won’t” featured in the NY exhibit “Hotter Than July: A Sexploration.” The controversial painting, featuring two semi-nude military men and diva-angels Lady Gaga and Kathy Griffin, garnered its fair share of attention thanks in part to a tweet from Ms. Griffin herself. See the uncensored version here:

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I’ve also been busy fighting crime this year – not in tights and a cape (although I wouldn’t be opposed to a costume that lets you wear underwear on the outside). My arch-nemesis turned out to be a man named Cai Jiang Xun, a knock-off artist from China selling bootleg copies of my work on eBay. Hear about the entire saga, including the ultimate prank that left him with a drafty derriere, in this feature on Boing Boing:

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Now, boys and girls, it’s time for a little less “Tell” and a lot more “Show.” As always, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the fabulous world of gay fiction, and I’m so grateful to the wonderful authors who entrust me with their babies and keep me very busy. My process includes taking reference photos (either of friends or myself), sketching, rendering the illustration in black and white colored pencil, and adding color in Photoshop. Here’s a little window into my world showing the development of one recent cover illustration for “Detour” by Talia Carmichael (note the stellar acting skills by yours truly in the reference photo).

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And here are some other recent cover illustrations, starting off with one that I really got a kick out of, “Gay Knights and Horny Heroes” by Michael Gouda. And no, I won’t be sharing the reference photo for that one!

Gay Knights and Horny Heroes - This one is available as a limited-edition print:

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Desert Crossing - Also available as a print:

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While we’re talking about books, I also want to brag about being included in a wonderful new anthology called “100 Artists of the Male Figure” alongside some of my biggest artistic inspirations. I am completely honored to be in such stellar company, and I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates figurative art (or a little man booty):

And that brings us to the end of our little visit for today. As Carol Burnett would say, I’m so glad we’ve had this time together! Don’t forget to go vote on your favorite cover in my “Uncovered” contest, and I hope to see you back here on the 28th when we announce the winners! Of course, if you need a Pauly fix in the meantime, here are a few links to tide you over:

My website:  
My blog:  
My store:  

See you soon!

Paul Richmond

“A Hundred Little Lies” courtesy of Cheyenne Publishing:

“100 Artists of the Male Figure” courtesy of Schiffer Books:

All other novels courtesy of Dreamspinner Press: