May 1st, 2012

andrew potter

Lorena Hickok & Eleanor Roosevelt

Lorena Alice Hickok (March 7, 1893 – May 1, 1968) was an American journalist and confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt. Her relationship with Roosevelt has been the subject of research.

Lorena Hickok, popularly known as "Hick", was born in East Troy in Walworth County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Anna Adelsa (née Waite) and Addison Hickok. During childhood, Hickok experienced a troubled family life, characterized by abuse, unemployment, and repeated moves. She left home at the age of fourteen to work as a maid until her mother's cousin, Ella Ellis, took her in. While living with Ellis, Hickok finished high school and enrolled at Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Hickok never adjusted to college and dropped out after one year. She was then hired to cover train arrivals and departures and write personal interest stories at The Battle Creek Evening News. To attempt to follow in the footsteps of her role model, novelist Edna Ferber, she eventually joined the Milwaukee Sentinel as its society editor, but moved on to the city beat, where she developed a knack as an interviewer. Hickok then worked in Minneapolis and New York, but was unsuccessful in such a big city and was fired after just a month. She returned to Minneapolis to work for the Minneapolis Tribune and enrolled at the University of Minnesota, but ended up leaving upon being forced to live in a women's dormitory. She stayed with the Minneapolis Tribune, where she was given opportunities unusual for a female reporter. She had a by-line and was the paper's chief reporter, covering politics and football and preparing editorials. She left the Minneapolis Tribune in 1926. After a period of travel, and ill health, she went to New York. After working for "The Mirror" for about a year, Hickok landed a job with the Associated Press in 1928, where she became one of the wire service's most valued correspondents. She reported in a prominent way on such huge events as the Lindbergh kidnapping. Her specialty was campaign reporting, often sharing campaign trails with her male colleagues.

Collapse )


Eleanor Roosevelt had a deeply committed relationship with her husband that involved working together closely and raising five children. They also both had lovers and committed relationships outside their marriage. For several years Eleanor Roosevelt was romantically and sexually involved with journalist Lorena Hickok; later this relationship was replaced by a profound, if complicated, friendship. Hickok reported on Roosevelt's political work and, in 1959, authored a book for young adults, The Story of Eleanor Roosevelt, that detailed her former lover's life and work. Their letters give a profound sense of their involvement. On February 4, 1934, Roosevelt wrote to Hickok from the White House:

Hick darling, I just talked to you, darling, it was so good to hear your voice. If I just could take you in my arms. Dear, I often feel rebellious too & yet I know we get more joy when we are together than we would have if we lived apart in the same city & could only meet for short periods now & then. Someday perhaps fate will be kind & let us arrange a life more to our liking [but] for the time being we are lucky to have what we have. Dearest, we are happy together & strong relationships have to grow deep roots.

Roosevelt remained intensely involved with her "ladies' brain trust" for decades. Later in life, working with the United Nations, she was deeply committed to international human rights.
Collapse )--A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski

Collapse )
andrew potter

Just Perfect by Rowan McBride

There is a lot of unpolitical correct behaviour in Rowan McBride’s characters, but in Just Perfect she pushed a lot on this aspect. True, Draven and Cody are only 14 years old when Draven does an irreparable theft to Cody, and for the only reason that, at 14 years old, Cody is a pretty boy and Draven wants for him to remain like that.

Draven is a Drayner, i.e. he has the ability to steal physical features of other people, present and future, and so, when they are only teenagers, he decides to steal Cody’s muscle growth, so that he will always remain lean and pretty, no matter how much training he will do. Draven’s idea is that he will be always there, to protect Cody, but that is not what it happens. Draven is forced to part from Cody when they are 18 years old, to only be able to be back 3 years later, and find a completely different Cody, cold and unattainable, someone who seems really to dislike Draven and to allow the man near him with almost reluctance.

While Draven is for sure the stronger in body, I felt as Cody was the stronger in an absolute meaning of the world, even when they were teenagers. Draven is always ready to satisfy every Cody’s desire, like a puppy eager to please his master; more Cody is cold with Draven and more Draven wants to please Cody. The shift in the story we will have in the end is quite in line with this attitude, and even if the author continues to say that Draven is dangerous, a cold killer, I really found him a pawn in Cody’s hands.

I’m pretty sure some readers will find questionable most of Cody and Draven’s behaviour, but if you are used to Rowan McBride’s stories, you are already accustomed to them. I find intriguing her universe of muscle growth and features draining skills and I’m always ready to read a new story in that universe.

Amazon Kindle: Just Perfect
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (January 17, 2012)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Rainbow Awards: Current Submissions (41-50)

41) Ruth Sims - The Quarterback's Secret
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Cheyenne Publishing (October 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937692043
ISBN-13: 978-1937692049
Amazon: The Quarterback's Secret
Amazon Kindle: The Quarterback's Secret

Set in the mid-1990s, The Pride Pack is a group of teenagers who band together to help each other out in a time before teens were equipped with cell phones, when homework was done in a notebook rather than on a laptop, and when gay-straight alliances were nothing but a pipe dream. Athletics remain largely homophobic environments. How will his teammates react if 16-year-old baseball pitching star Ben Reis admits he is gay? And so he mostly lies about his sexuality even when he is with the Pride Pack at the local gay and lesbian community center. All that may change however as the result of his falling through a sinkhole into an unknown cavern and learning THE QUARTERBACK'S SECRET... Includes a foreword by Steve Berman and an interview with the author.

42) Belinda McBride - When I Fall
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (October 10, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: When I Fall

As king, Helios Dayspring is desperate to secure the future of his people and their new homeworld. His lost memories are slowly returning, bringing with them danger and betrayal. As the king’s consort, Griffin Hawke wrestles with growing isolation from his lover. When Helios’s secrets begin to come to light, Griffin finds that he barely recognizes him anymore. And Griffin is haunted by his own secrets, nightmares that bring torture and death in his sleep. Surrounded by enemies and allies, seductive aliens and dangerous operatives, Helios and Griffin find themselves tested to their physical and moral limits. Not knowing who to trust, they can only turn to each other. Will you be there to catch me when I fall?

43) Cardeno C. - Just What the Truth Is
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 11, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613722060
ISBN-13: 978-1613722060
Amazon: Just What the Truth Is
Amazon Kindle: Just What the Truth Is

Ben Forman has been in the closet so long he's convinced himself he's actually straight. But his denial train gets derailed when hotshot lawyer Micah Trains walks into his life. Micah is brilliant, funny, and determined... and he just assumes Ben's gay and starts dating him. Finding himself truly happy for the first time he can remember, Ben doesn't have the willpower to resist. Still, life isn't all rainbows and happily-ever-afters. Ben loves his family, but his parents have been estranged from his brother, Noah, since he came out of the closet. Ben doesn't want to lose them, but Micah won't be his dirty little secret forever. Suddenly Ben's hold on his happiness and his sense of self seems to be slipping. If he's going to survive with his heart intact, he'll have to own up to the truth of what he wants and who he is. The trouble is figuring out just what that truth is.
Charles Silverstein - For the Ferryman

44) J.B. Sanders - Glen & Tyler's Honeymoon Adventure
Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: (October 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1257851454
ISBN-13: 978-1257851454
Amazon: Glen & Tyler's Honeymoon Adventure
Amazon Kindle: Glen & Tyler's Honeymoon Adventure

Tyler can't inherit unless he gets married . . . and when Glen proposes, hijinks ensue. Follow the guys on their world-spanning adventure as they defeat mobsters, an evil step-mother, a rakish brother-in-law and pirates. No, really -- pirates! Plus there's an underground super-base. And hockey. Come for the romance, stay for the hockey.

45) L.T. Marie - Three Days
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602825696
ISBN-13: 978-1602825697
Amazon: Three Days
Amazon Kindle: Three Days

Dakota Riley is not looking forward to the next three days in Vegas. Her best friend Riann is getting married there, but Dakota doesn’t like the heat or the fact that she is going to be spending three days with twenty women she can’t stand. All she wants is a little free time and a warm body to fill her bed, that is until her world is upended by the introduction of her best friend’s cousin, the mysterious Shawn Camello. Shawn Camello has been invited to her cousin Riann’s bachelorette party at the last minute. She is reluctant to go but is persuaded by Riann in the hope that they can become reacquainted after not seeing each other for twenty-five years. The moment she meets the sexy, determined Dakota Riley, she tries avoiding her at every turn. The problem is, everywhere she looks, Dakota is there, and she’s becoming harder and harder to resist. In a town like Vegas where anything can happen, Shawn and Dakota find that the stakes are love at all costs, and it’s a gamble neither can afford to lose.

46) David-Mathew Barnes - Swimming to Chicago
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602825726
ISBN-13: 978-1602825727
Amazon: Swimming to Chicago
Amazon Kindle: Swimming to Chicago

Reeling from his mother's suicide, seventeen-year-old Alex Bainbridge retreats from the world around him, often finding solace on a secluded island behind his house. As an Armenian-American living in a small Southern town, Alex struggles to fit in. His close friendship with the outspoken Jillian Dambro is his only saving grace, until he meets and falls in love with Robby LaMont—an introverted new student at school. As the year unfolds and the lives of the adults around them unravel, the three teens form an unbreakable bond, vowing to do anything to stay together—even if it means leaving everything behind.

47) A.J. Quinn - Hostage Moon
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602825688
ISBN-13: 978-1602825680
Amazon: Hostage Moon
Amazon Kindle: Hostage Moon

Everything can change in a heartbeat. Hunter Roswell thought she had left her past behind. But her carefully structured world starts to fall apart when a serial killer connected to her past emerges from the shadows and begins stalking her. Already responsible for the deaths of five women, the killer now has Hunter firmly in his sights. And he’s picked a target date—the night of October’s full moon—also known as the blood moon or hunter’s moon. Sara Wilder, a psychologist and former FBI profiler, is brought in to help Hunter unravel the connection between her past and a ruthless killer. But as the search for the killer intensifies, both women find themselves struggling with an unexpected and undeniably mutual attraction. In a race against time, can they survive a killer who is willing to use anything—even love—to further his own agenda?

48) Richard Labonte - Erotica Exotica
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160282570X
ISBN-13: 978-1602825703
Amazon: Erotica Exotica

Great sex can be magical, but what if magic adds sizzle¬—or horror—to the sex? Wrestlers with superhero powers battle for combat prowess and sexual dominance in a secret League of Justice. A demanding demon has its horrific way with a gay couple whose wonderful day together goes awry. The Devil’s seed oozes evil on a New York subway car. A vampire’s seduction of a beautiful youth ends tragically. The unlikely love of two men survives the tragic death of one. A college student experiences a nerve-wracking close encounter with dick-grabbing tentacles slithering out of his toilet. And when a man comes to visit an old school buddy, he’s seduced by the father who has stolen his son’s soul... Arcane mystery, supernatural seduction, sex that haunts in a manner both weird and wondrous—these stories by Lawrence Schimel, Tom Cardamone, Gregory L. Norris, Bard, Mark Wildyr, David Holly, Johnny Murdoc, Davem Verne, and others offer sexual thrills and perverse arousal, spooky chills and magical orgasms. Dare to enter a sexual Otherworld.

49) Felice Picano - Contemporary Gay Romances
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books; 1 edition (October 18, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602826390
ISBN-13: 978-1602826397
Amazon: Contemporary Gay Romances
Amazon Kindle: Contemporary Gay Romances

Contemporary Gay Romances is the third collection of short fiction by legendary novelist and memoirist, Felice Picano (The Lure, Like People in History, Ambidextrous). It is also his most diverse in terms of the times, places, themes, characters and situations he writes about. Filled with the unexpected, the true, and the amazing, Contemporary Gay Romances moves with ease from gas-lit, upper class London, to a future, climate-altered Bay Area; from semi-rural Florida to Southern California beaches, to an extrasolar planet where people have surprising existences. His characters range from ordinary American suburban housewives to extraordinary children, from grieving young geologists and memory-haunted middle aged men, to British Midlands soccer stars and 22nd Century war heroes. Picano subtitled this collection of stylish, unique, and moving works “Tragic, Comic, Mystic & Horrific,” and they are all that and more. The ten tales include prize winners as well as stories published here for the first time, and are as different from any standard “romances” as you can get, but they will linger in the mind and memory.

50) Charles Silverstein - For the Ferryman
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions (October 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983285128
ISBN-13: 978-0983285120
Amazon: For the Ferryman
Amazon Kindle: For the Ferryman

A memoir from the noted psychologist and co-author of The Joy of Gay Sex about the author's activism on gay issues in the medical and psychiatry professions and his personal relationship with a younger man and his partner's decline into addictions.
andrew potter

Dojo Boys: The First Misunderstanding (Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow) by Alex A. Akira

I think the first big warning to this novella was given by the author in the blurb: “This is the tale of the pair's initial attraction and their first misunderstanding”. This to make aware the possible reader this is like an appetizer and that the real story will come later, probably in a novel length book. Anyway, if you are familiar with yaoi in general, that is not uncommon, often these stories are dragged for more than one comic, and to arrive to the end you have probably to buy 4 or 5 comics.

And the comparison with yaoi is not only in the “planning” of the story, but also in the plot itself; this is the classic high school yaoi romance between pretty boys, and you wonder where the parents of these underage kids are since they are always absent (in this case, one set of parents is abroad for a 2 years long job commitment). These teenagers kids are always left alone to deal with dramatic event, and more often than not, the reason for their bad actions is quite “naïve”, jealousy or envy, or some other petty feeling.

The main pair here is Sato, the good guy of the high school, the one everyone likes, and the new kid at school, Jiro, who is like an exotic birds, from a very wealthy and ancient Japan family, he is like fire for the mots. Sato is actually on the breaking with another boy, Jun, who is cheating on him even if Sato doesn’t know yet.

Everyone in the book is highlighting like Jiro is older than his age, 15 years old, but I actually found him exactly like a teenager should be, maybe a little spoiled teenager. Spoiled since Jiro knows how important his family is, and how much expectations they laid upon him. Jiro was raised to be the heir, to be perfect, to be sensitive and right… and when he meets Sato, what he really wants is to be a boy in love.

Even if yaoi can be quite explicit and sexy, this novella is instead pretty “innocent”, a lot of kissing, some heavy petting, but nothing more. Sato and Jiro are both virgins, for various reasons, but that is not their issue, they have other trouble in mind, and maybe I think they want to enjoy the naïve side of their blossoming love.

It’s a nice story, but it’s only a first part, be aware when reading it because you will have to wait to read more.

Amazon Kindle: Dojo Boys: The First Misunderstanding (Dojo Boys: Dragon and Crow)
Publisher: Alex A. Akira @KDP; 2 edition (April 9, 2012)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Legend of the Mountain Ash & The Lawyer, The Ghost and The Cursed Chair By Ruth Sims

Legend of the Mountain Ash By Ruth Sims

A short story about forever love, and here forever is a really long time; Davy and Ethan met during IWW and at the end of that war, Davy being disowned by his own English family for being a conscientious objector and Ethan being an orphan, they decided to build their own family and home in the Appalachian Mountain. But they were naïve, and innocent, believing they could live together given they didn’t harm anyone. Davy above all, a CO, believed there was good in anyone. Davy is like a mystical creature, someone that could not be possible of this world, since he is too innocent and good at heart to be humankind, a humankind that in less than 50 years managed to get into 2 world wars and many other conflicts. Ethan is more realistic, but he loves Davy, and whatever pleases Davy, Ethan will try to do. But he is only a man, and a man can little against fate and tragedy.

A bittersweet tale that is “sweetened” only by the end, but one of these men will have to wait a long time for that happily ever after.

Amazon Kindle: The Legend of the Mountain Ash
Publisher: Untreed Reads (March 25, 2011)

The Lawyer, The Ghost and The Cursed Chair by Ruth Sims

A funny short story about a greedy lawyer and a cursed chair. At the beginning of the story, H.L. (Horatio Lamar) is not exactly a positive character, and his boyfriend on the side (since H.L. is married) is more or less a kept man who will do whoever is paying more (i.e. he is like one another of the expensive toys H.L. is buying). But something happens and H.L. has to reconsider all his life. It’s all about doing good things to receive back good things, and H.L. will learn the lesson and his prize will be to be able to maintain his expensive toys, and yes, I mean all of them.

Really nice and funny story, I made a laugh or two reading it, and even if short, it was clever and perfectly packed.

Amazon Kindle: The Lawyer, The Ghost and The Cursed Chair
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing, LLC (March 7, 2010)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle