July 3rd, 2011

andrew potter

Frances Parkinson Keyes (July 21, 1885 - July 3, 1970)

Frances Parkinson Keyes was a prolific journalist, editor, memoirist, and biographer, but was most well known as a bestselling novelist. Problematic for some critics because of her popular and accessible prose, Keyes captivated fiction readers from the 1940s well into the 1960s, writing about politics, murder, religion, and life in the South. Today, however, few of her novels remain in print.

Frances Parkinson Wheeler was born on July 21, 1885, in Charlottesville, where her father, John Henry Wheeler, was the chairman of the Greek department at the University of Virginia. After her father's death, her mother, Louise Fuller Johnson Wheeler, remarried and moved the family to New England, where Keyes split her time between Boston, Massachusetts, and Newberry, Vermont. She was educated privately in Boston, Geneva, Switzerland, and Berlin, Germany, and traveled widely throughout Europe. On June 8, 1904, at the age of eighteen, she married Henry Wilder Keyes (which rhymes with "prize"), and the couple lived on Henry's family estate, Pine Grove Farm, near Haverhill, New Hampshire. The couple had three sons: Henry, John, and Francis.

Her husband Henry Keyes was involved in politics, serving in the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1891–1895 and 1915–1917), State Senate (1903–1905), and later as governor (1917–1919). The couple moved to Washington, D.C., when Henry was elected to the United States Senate, where he served from 1919 to 1937. After her husband's death in 1938, Frances Keyes spent time traveling in Europe and the United States before eventually settling in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Keyes's professional career as a writer began with the publication of her first novel, Old Gray Homestead, in 1919. During the 1920s, she wrote the series "Letters from a Senator's Wife," for Good Housekeeping (where she served as a contributing editor from 1923 until 1935), which were later published in book form. Keyes also wrote about her experiences as a political wife in two memoirs, Capital Kaleidoscope: The Story of a Washington Hostess (1937) and All Flags Flying (published posthumously in 1972), as well as a novel, All That Glitters (1941).

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Frances Parkinson Keyes died on July 3, 1970, at her home in New Orleans. She is buried at The Oxbow, a home built by her great-grandfather in Newbury, Vermont.

Source: http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Keyes_Frances_Parkinson_1885-1970

Frances Parkinson Keyes's Books on Amazon: Frances Parkinson Keyes

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andrew potter

Bernard, Diary of a 46-year-old Bellhop, by S.L. Danielson

At the beginning I thought Bernard was a bit too romantic and pink glasses perspective story, but that was all right, it was a romance. Then it took a turn that brought it on a more realistic track, and again, that was more than all right, since it bittered the plot that was, maybe, a little too sugary.

Bernard is an overweight, virgin, gay and 46 years old bellhop without prospective in life. Since he is also without any self-esteem, he is also easily depressed, and at a minimal sign of rejection he answers with suicide. It’s the 4th time and this time he was really near to succeed it. At the hospital he meets his doctor, Jack, 10 years younger, handsome, gay and single. And interested in Bernard. That is good, isn’t it? Romantic and sweet, how wonderful Jack is, a man who can have everyone and instead pick up Bernard.

The 40 pounds making Bernard an obese soon are gone, and a good psychiatric helps Bernard to regain his self-esteem (big obstacle this one since Bernard is really without any of it, sometime I wanted to shake him and tell him, go on, you cannot really think like that, you don’t have any backbone, but really, that was probably the best characterization for Bernard, otherwise there was not chance he could have attempted suicide 4 times, and for quite “stupid” reasons). Bernard is another man and Jack asks him to move in… that is, Bernard IS another man, someone Jack helped to shape, someone that maybe is a little more similar to his dead partner.

That is the catch, Jack is not exactly perfect as it seems, he is still mourning the death of his partner, he is alcoholic and can be really cruel. Not exactly the right companion for someone like Bernard, but at least in this way he can be on a same level with Bernard. If he was really perfect, if he was the handsome and kind doctor he at first appeared, I had the feeling their relationship would have not last, since, once Bernard was right, Jack would have moved on his next pity case. Maybe he didn’t realize it, but he came out like a good Samaritan, someone who wanted to right things for a man, and then moving on another man and so on. Being Jack not perfect allows him to be someone that actually can be a long-term companion for Bernard, not just a passing miracle.

Amazon Kindle: Bernard; Diary of a 46-yr-old Bellhop

Reading List:



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andrew potter

A Taste of Love by Andrew Grey

If you are used to Andrew Grey’s novels you already know he tends to have a pink glasses perspective on the world, a perspective allowing young gay boys in trouble to always find a way to get out of them, with little sacrifice but mostly unscathed. Plus his stories are mostly set in small towns, probably since in those close quarters it’s easier for these boys to find help, everyone takes care of its neighbour, and it’s easier to understand who is a friend or an enemy.

In this case the story is about Billy, 21 years old and without a job that needs to take care of his younger twin brother, 5 years old Davey and Donnie. In any other world, social services would pester him and Billy, young and hot, would obviously consider that there is an easy way to gain money for a twink gay boy, but here, in the Pink Glass bowl that is Andrew Grey’s contemporary romance world, Billy finds a job as part time waiter in Darryl’s restaurant, and of course Darryl is gay as well and of course he is attracted by Billy and he is a wonderful man who is not scared that with Billy comes also the heavy bundle of a premade family.

I’m sincere, Andrew Grey played a trick ace with the pitiful story of two 5 years old boys hungry and scared, and of Billy who was so pretty and kind that harming him was like kicking a puppy; I’m sincere, I shed a tear or two, but mostly this was a novel with happily ever after written all over it. True there was a bit of a dramatic turn, but all in all, the relationship between Billy and Darryl flows smoothly and good until the end. That is another common characteristic with previous romances I read by Andrew Grey, the feeling that the big bad world is out there, and that yes, it scarred some of our heroes, but that in the end, they have always managed to find their little peaceful oasis in the world, where they can live happily together, far from the hate of other people.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2047

Amazon: A Taste of Love
Amazon Kindle: A Taste of Love
Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615816313
ISBN-13: 978-1615816316

Reading List:



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