April 5th, 2012

andrew potter

In This Land: The Purple Book by Matthew Haldeman-Time

In This Land series by Matthew Haldeman-Time is quite a famous trend in the M/M romance world: Matthew Haldeman-Time is maintaining an online and ongoing series, and people can read any new chapter paying a small fee every month. I started the subscription more than two years ago and it was just well far on deep in the story, so I really don't know when all started. I have to admit that now I interrupted my subscription, but not since the story was no more interesting, but since the author finally decided to release the story also in print version, collecting all the various chapter in 8 different book (and later on I will explain why 8, or at least why I believe there will be 8 books) and I obviously bought the book in print version (I have all the book of Matthew Haldeman-Time in print...).

The starting point of the series, is Bade's personal story. Bade is a prince of a fantasy kingdom, a realm that is a mix of medieval and arabian custom. In Bade's world, homosexuality is not a crime, even if not so common; since Bade is not the first born, he is relieved from the task to provide an heir to the throne, and so is his twin brother Vane. Bade and Vane are inseparable, but at the beginning of the book they are forced apart by Bade's particular "mission": he is chosen by Prince Orinakin, the royal diplomat of a more important and wealthy kingdom, as suitor for his pharaoh Anosukinom. Prince Orinakin is travelling among all the kingdoms of the world to find various and handsome suitors and Bade is one of the chosen. Bade doesn't know why he is considered worthy, or why the chosen was him and not his more friendly twin Vane, but he takes the choice as a task, a way to bring the issues of his native kingdom in front of the powerful pharaoh.

For Bade is quite a cultural shock: even if in his native land, homosexuality is not forbidden, he is not used to openly manifest his sexual behavior or desires. Instead in this new land, sex is a common expression of a natural need, and not only it's not forbidden, it's also warmly adviced. The Bade we met at the beginning of the book almost separates in two different men: one who remains inside his mind and that has quite a predisposition toward Orinakin, the royal diplomat, and one that becomes to express himself also through his body, and that is deeply fascinated by Anosukinom. It's quite interesting to see Bade's evolution to see what will be his final choice. On the other side, both Orinakin than Anosukinom are interested in Bade, but Anosukinom, as man and god alike, already knows who will be his future husband, and so his intetest in Bade could mean that he is the final chosen. Instead Orinakin fears to care too much for Bade since, if he will marry his brother, he will be forever forbidden to him.

Even if Bade, Orinakin and Anosukinom are the main characters of this first book, all the other brothers of Orinakin have big supporting roles in the story, and since they are in total 8 (with Orinakin and Anosukinom), I have the feeling that every book will focus more on one of them, and that only in the final book all their stories will come to an end. Every brother has a different color who identify him, and Purple is the color of Orinakin.

"In this land" recreates a very complicated and interesting fantasy world, with deep arabian characteristic, like the harem and the use of water and gardens to embellish the palace. I felt almost like a cultural clash when Bade arrives in the new land, since his background was more european medieval, with all the boundaries that this means, and he found himself in a country that was at the same time terrifying and fascinating, since it disputed all he believed since then. I have also the feeling like Bade moved from a world in black and white, or better in soothing color, like brown and black, to a world that was a rainbow of joyous color, and this reinforced the sensation of cultural clash I had.

Amazon: In This Land: The Purple Book, Volume One
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1475043465
ISBN-13: 978-1475043464

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

What Happens Next (2012) directed by Jay Arnold

After rich businessman Paul Greco (popular daytime star Jon Lindstrom) retires early, his imperious sister Elise (two-time Emmy Award® nominee Wendie Malick) tries to get him to settle down with the woman of her choosing. But Paul seems more interested in developing his friendship with Andy (cutie Chris Murrah), a charming gay man he meets at a dog park.

Director: Jay Arnold

Writers: Jay Arnold, Thom Cardwell

Stars: Jon Lindstrom, Wendie Malick and Chris Murrah

Genres: Comedy

Storyline: Handsome daytime lead Jon Lindstrom, As the World Turns, General Hospital and Port Charles) stars as Paul Greco, an unmarried billionaire socialite who seems to have it all. Or does he? After Paul sells his business and retires he suddenly has more money and time than he knows what to do with. His overbearing (but well-meaning) sister Elise (the fabulous Wendie Malick — Just Shoot Me, Hot In Cleveland, All My Children) decides giving Paul a dog would be the perfect start.

With little else to do, Paul assumes the daily dog walking routine in the park. There he encounters Andy Chance (Chris Murrah), a young gay self-employed advertising whiz, who happens to walk his dog on the very same schedule. What starts as a casual daily meeting in the park, eventually develops into something a bit more questionable.

Andy and Paul find themselves in a series of comedic situations — due to differences in their personalities, upbringing, background and ages (not to mention the lack of clarity around their undefined relationship). This gets even more complicated by the influential and overbearing women in both of their lives. Elise senses definite and curious changes in Paul’s behavior and personality but becomes preoccupied about her own alternative lifestyle artist son, Brian (Ariel Shafir), with whom she has become seriously estranged. At the same time Andy’s adopted sister Roz (Natalia Cigliuti, All My Children), a high-powered art gallery owner, becomes overtly uncomfortable with Andy’s fascination over Paul, a straight philanthropist from an elite world of socialites and black-tie benefits.

This wonderful gay comedy is full of twists and turns. The elements of discovery, surprise and delight are everywhere. Through its portrayal of a unique relationship between two men, What Happens Next explores the meaning, definition and redefining of family and the nature of relationships.

Awards & Quotes “Features exceptional acting from a cast of film and television veterans, a snappy script, and a joyful tale of love.” — Philadelphia QFest

“An old fashioned romantic comedy in every way possible.” — Philly2Philly.com

“If you like gay films, this one is charming. There are no sexual scenes. It is just a sweet story of discovery and acceptance.” — Suite 101

@Wolfe on Demand: http://muvi.es/w1845/36488
@Amazon: What Happens Next (2012)

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Cast (in credits order)
Jon Lindstrom ... Paul
Wendie Malick ... Elise
Chris Murrah ... Andy
Natalia Cigliuti ... Roz
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Darrin Baker ... Harry
Michael Blaustein ... Robbie
David J. Bonner ... Chip
Christina Broccolini ... Sam
Janet Carroll ... Gloria
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