June 18th, 2013

andrew potter

Pleading the Fifth (Assassin/Shifter) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

I haven’t read all the books in this series, so that of Scott and Tristan was almost a new story to me, most of the supporting characters were known, but their dynamics not entirely clear and in a way, to me, this made for a better read, because nothing was “expected”. One trait of the author I found again in this novel is her satirical twist, a humor sense that says to the reader, come on, we are here to have fun, don’t take life too seriously. This series is made mostly of men (even if there are positive female characters here and there) and these guys want to have fun, they like to have sex, and to have a beer soon after, to watch sports while snuggling on the coach, to leave their dirty dishes on the kitchen sink until the morning after and maybe even later.

ETM Scott and lawyer Tristan are no different, considering also that, before being a lawyer, Tristan was a navy SEALS. Add to that both of them are werewolves, mates and both with an Alpha streak to the booth and you have the perfect recipe for a snarling before kissing romance. Scott and Tristan cannot bear each other but at the same time the mate bond is so strong they are driven to each other. They don’t want to mate, but they cannot have sex with other men, not only since, when one of them is trying, the other is ready to ruin everything.

Everyone around them is suggesting to let the fate have its course, but they are both stubborn and it will not easy to accept the unavoidable.

Due to the fact that I’m reading the books letting time pass between each of them, I’m not sure which is my favorite until now, but I quite liked the light core of this one, plus I found it sometime even cute and tender, without depriving the men of their 100% manliness.

Amazon: Pleading the fifth
Amazon Kindle: Pleading the fifth
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 26, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480146919
ISBN-13: 978-1480146914

Series: Assassin/Shifter
1) A Marked Man: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1866493.html
2) Alaska, with Love: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1878006.html
3) By the Light of the Moon
4) Half Moon Rising
5) Best Laid Plans
6) For the Love of Caden
7) The General’s Lover
8) Russian Prey: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1737908.html
9) An Ignited Passion: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1777760.html
10) Reflash: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2788763.html
11) The Red Zone: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2251976.html
12) Irish Wishes: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2319427.html
13) Pleading the Fifth

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

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andrew potter

2013 Rainbow Awards Submission: Thomas L. Marshall - Soldier Boy

Soldier Boy: The Adventures of Bryce Tyconnel: Book One by Thomas L. Marshall
Series: The Adventures of Bryce Tyconnel
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1490301879
ISBN-13: 978-1490301877
Amazon: Soldier Boy: The Adventures of Bryce Tyconnel: Book One
Amazon Kindle: Soldier Boy: The Adventures of Bryce Tyconnel: Book One

Bryce Tyconnel is a beef-loving, gun-toting Roman Catholic who served his country bravely as a military sniper in Iraq and came home with medals...and PTSD. He's a real flesh and blood hero with the looks and charisma to match, and a few issues, such as asthma, and oh yes, he's in love with his married best friend. Bryce parleys his experience as a crack shot and his connections at Homeland Security, traveling the globe as a freelance assassin with his buddy Isaac tagging along. Their Nordic good looks and the coincidence of their appearance--they're often mistaken for twins and scandalously affectionate twins at that--cause no end of confusion and consternation, in no small measure because both of these hot young men are Christian. Be warned, Soldier Boy, Book One of The Adventures of Bryce Tyconnel, contains sex, strong language and violence. Read it at your own risk...and pleasure!

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andrew potter

Craig Rodwell (October 31, 1940 - June 18, 1993)

Craig L. Rodwell (October 31, 1940 – June 18, 1993) was an American gay rights activist known for founding the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop on November 24, 1967, the first bookstore devoted to gay and lesbian authors and as the prime mover for the creation of the New York City pride demonstration. Rodwell is considered by some to be quite possibly the leading gay rights activist in the early homophile movement of the 1960s.

Rodwell was born in Chicago, IL. His parents divorced prior to his first birthday and for the next few years he was boarded out for day care where he was required to do kitchen labor and laundry to supplement his board and care. When he was 6 years old, Rodwell's mother, Marion Kastman, fearing that the child care set up could cause her to lose custody of her son, arranged for his admission to the Christian Scientist affiliated Chicago Junior School (later called the Fox River Country day School) for "problem" boys, in Elgin, IL. Conditions and treatment at the school were described as "Dickensian" and Rodwell got a reputation for being a rebellious child, as well as a "sissy," during his seven years there. It was at Chicago Junior School that Rodwell first experienced same-sex relationships and also came to internalize the Christian Scientist notion that "truth is power and that truth is the greatest good."

After graduating from the Chicago Junior School, Rodwell attended Sullivan High School in Chicago, IL. Rodwell continued his studies in Christian Science by enrolling in Sunday school at the 16th Church of Christ, Scientist. He later studied ballet in Boston before finally moving to New York City in 1958. It was in New York that he first volunteered for a gay rights organization, The Mattachine Society of New York.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Rodwell
NO ONE WILL ever know for sure which was the most important reason for what happened next: the freshness in their minds of Judy Garland's funeral, or the example of all the previous rebellions of the sixties-the civil rights revolution, the sexual revolution and the psychedelic revolution, each of which had punctured gaping holes in crumbling traditions of passivity, puritanism and bigotry. All that is certain is that twelve hours after Garland's funeral, a handful of New York City policemen began a routine raid of a gay Greenwich Village nightspot, and the drag queens, teenagers, lesbians, hippies-even the gay men in suits-behaved as no homosexual patrons had ever behaved before. Deputy Police Inspector Seymour Pine, who led the raiding party, would never forget it. "I had been in combat situations," he said, but "there was never any time that I felt more scared than then.... You have no idea how close we came to killing somebody." The Stonewall Inn at 53 Christopher Street was not an elegant establishment; it didn't even have running water behind the bar. But the crowd was unusually eclectic for a gay place in this era, and sixties types like Jack Nichols enjoyed the feeling of "free-wheeling anarchy" inside. Like nearly all gay bars in 1969, its existence depended on two groups that younger gay people despised: the Mob, which owned it; and the local police, who took weekly payoffs from it. Because the "inn" was without a liquor license, it pretended to be a "bottle club," which meant that everyone had to sign in at the door. "Judy Garland" and "Elizabeth Taylor" were two of the most popular pseudonyms. On weekends, admission cost $3, in return for which one got two tickets, good for two drinks. According to the historian Martin Duberman, this obscure venue was an unlikely gold mine: the weekend take often approached $12,000, the weekly payoff to the precinct was always $2,000 and the rent was just $300 a month. The bar had often been raided before, but this raid was different because it occurred without a prior warning to the owners.' Shortly after midnight, about a dozen policemen arrived at the front door. Inside, the fifties tradition of flashing white lights to warn of incoming undercover men had been maintained, and the dancing stopped before the raiding party entered. After checking for attire "appropriate" to gender-a requirement of New York state law-the police released most of the two hundred patrons. Only a couple of employees and some of the most outrageous drag queens were arrested. Outdoors in the summer heat, the mood was festive, but many eyewitnesses also remember a febrile feeling in the air. Several spectators agreed that it was the action of a cross-dressing lesbian-possibly Storme DeLarverie-which would change everyone's attitude forever. DeLarverie denied that she was the catalyst, but her own recollection matched others' descriptions of the defining moment. "The cop hit me, and I hit him back," DeLarverie explained. For the first time in history, "The cops got what they gave." This had never happened before. There was instant pandemonium. The police were pelted with pennies, dimes, and insults, as shouts of "Pigs," "Faggot cops," and "This is your payoff!" filled the night. Morty Manford remembered a rock shattering a second-floor window above the bar's entrance, which produced a collective "Ooh!" from the crowd. The raiders quickly retreated inside and bolted the heavy door behind them. But one of the demonstrators had pulled a loose parking meter out of the ground and started to use it as a battering ram. Jeremiah Newton saw inmates of the Women's House of Detention throwing flaming pieces of toilet paper out their cells. "They fell down very delicately, very gracefully, extinguishing before they hit the bottom," he said. Sheridan Square Park was directly across the street, and it provided excellent ammunition: "It was full of bottles and bricks," said Newton. "It just happened to be the right place at the right time. If the Stonewall had been further down the block, where nobody could stand across from it, perhaps nothing would have happened." Believing he could intimidate the crowd, Inspector Pine raced outside and grabbed one of the demonstrators around the waist. When Pine pulled him back in, Howard Smith, a Village Voice reporter who had accompanied the raiding party, quickly recognized the policeman's quarry: it was Dave Van Ronk, a well-known heterosexual folksinger (and a good friend of Bob Dylan) who had wandered over from the Lion's Head next door to investigate the disturbance. Once inside, Van Ronk was badly beaten by the furious policemen. Then the cops grabbed a fire hose to try to keep the screaming demonstrators away, but it produced only a feeble spray-and more ridicule from their attackers. "Grab it, grab his cock!" someone yelled from the crowd, and Craig Rodwell shouted, "Gay Power!" --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.
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More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

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andrew potter

John Cheever (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982)

John William Cheever (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982) was an American novelist and short story writer. He is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born, and Italy, especially Rome. He is "now recognized as one of the most important short fiction writers of the 20th century." While Cheever is perhaps best remembered for his short stories (including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," and "The Swimmer"), he also wrote a number of novels, such as The Wapshot Chronicle (National Book Award, 1958), The Wapshot Scandal (William Dean Howells Medal, 1965), Bullet Park (1969), and Falconer (1977).

His main themes include the duality of human nature: sometimes dramatized as the disparity between a character's decorous social persona and inner corruption, and sometimes as a conflict between two characters (often brothers) who embody the salient aspects of both – light and dark, flesh and spirit. Many of his works also express a nostalgia for a vanishing way of life (as evoked by the mythical St. Botolphs in the Wapshot novels), characterized by abiding cultural traditions and a profound sense of community, as opposed to the alienating nomadism of modern suburbia.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cheever
For the title alone, I am grateful. Who’d have thought Cheever—of all writers—would come up with a late-life story about how we learn to love our lives? Oh What A Paradise It Seems, a sublime novel, is about 100 pages long, and just about as chockfull of improbable incidents, uncanny insights, and heartwarming charm as anything by Trollope or Dickens. --Michael Downing.
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andrew potter

Gregory Connell & Peter Allen

Peter Allen (10 February 1944 – 18 June 1992) was an Australian songwriter and entertainer. His songs were made popular by many recording artists, including Elkie Brooks, Melissa Manchester and Olivia Newton-John, with one, "Arthur's Theme", winning an Academy Award in 1981. In addition to recording many albums, he enjoyed a cabaret and concert career, including appearing at Radio City Music Hall riding a camel. His marriage to Liza Minnelli ended in divorce; he subsequently proclaimed his homosexuality and publicly entered a relationship with Gregory Connell (September 16, 1949 - September 11, 1984) that lasted until Connell's death, 15 years later.

Peter Allen was born Peter Richard Woolnough in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia. He was the grandson of George Woolnough, whom Allen immortalised in his song "Tenterfield Saddler". Allen began his performing career with Chris Bell as one of the "Allen Brothers", who were a popular cabaret and television act in the early 1960s in Australia. Mark Herron, the husband of Judy Garland, discovered Allen while he was performing in Hong Kong. He was invited to return with them to London and the United States, where he performed with Garland. (Picture: Gregory Connell AIDS Quilt)

Allen commenced releasing solo recordings in 1971, but throughout his career achieved greater success through his songs being recorded by others. Allen scored his biggest success with the song "I Honestly Love You", which he co-wrote with Jeff Barry and which became a major hit in 1974 for Olivia Newton-John. Her single reached number one in the United States and Canada and won two Grammy Awards, for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Newton-John. Allen also co-wrote "Don't Cry Out Loud", with Carole Bayer Sager, popularised by Melissa Manchester in 1978, and "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love", also co-written with Bayer Sager and popularised by Rita Coolidge in 1979. One of his signature songs, "I Go to Rio", co-written with Adrienne Anderson, was popularised in America by the group Pablo Cruise.

Allen and Chris Bell as the Allen Brothers, 1967

Peter Allen and Gregory Connell AIDS Quilt

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Allen

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andrew potter

Nigel Owens (born June 18, 1971)

Nigel Owens (born 18 June 1971 in Mynyddcerrig, Llanelli, Wales) is a Welsh international rugby union referee. He is an international and Heineken Cup referee and was the only Welsh referee at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, as well as the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. In May 2007, Owens publicly came out as homosexual in an interview with Wales on Sunday. Although reactions have been generally positive, he says it was a difficult decision to make and that he had even contemplated suicide.
"It's such a big taboo to be gay in my line of work, I had to think very hard about it because I didn't want to jeopardise my career. Coming out was very difficult and I tried to live with who I really was for years. I knew I was 'different' from my late teens, but I was just living a lie."
Shortly after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Owens was named 'Gay Sports Personality of the Year' by gay rights group Stonewall's gay awards ceremony in London.

He was a patron of the LGBT Centre of Excellence Wales, until it's disbandment in late 2012, but he is still that of the Wooden Spoon Society rugby charity.

Owens was born and raised in a small village called Mynyddcerrig in the Gwendraeth Valley in South Wales and he is a fluent Welsh language speaker. He was a school technician at Ysgol Gyfun Maes Yr Yrfa Cefneithin and youth worker with Menter Cwm Gwendraeth.

Owens was appointed as an international referee in 2005, and that year officiated his first international between Ireland and Japan in Osaka. Along with Wayne Barnes of England and Marius Jonker of South Africa, Owens made his World Cup debut in Lyon, France on 11 September 2007 for the Argentina vs. Georgia match. He is only one of two referees ever to be appointed to referee two consecutive Heineken Cup finals: Munster v Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium in 2008 and Leicester Tigers v Leinster at Murrayfield in 2009.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Owens

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andrew potter

UK GLBTQ Meet Ebook Giveaway: Stevie Carroll - A Series of Ordinary Adventures

I asked to all the authors joining the UK GLBTQ Fiction meet in Manchester in July (http://ukglbtfictionmeet.co.uk/2013-event/2013-attendees/spotlight_authors-2/) a personal favor, a special Ebook Giveaway: twice a week I will post 1 book from each author, and among those who will leave a comment, I will draw a winner. Very easy and very fast ;-) I will send a PM to the winner, so remember to not leave anonymous comments!

And the ebook giveaway goes to: brenopa

Today author is Stevie Carroll: Born in Sheffield, England’s Steel City, and raised in a village on the boundary of the White and Dark Peaks, Stevie Carroll was nourished by a diet of drama and science fiction from the BBC and ITV, and a diverse range of books, most notably Diane Wynne-Jones and The Women’s Press, from the only library in the valley. After this came a university education in Scotland, while writing mostly non-fiction for underground bisexual publications under various aliases, before creativity was stifled by a decade of day-jobs.
Now based in Hampshire, Stevie has rediscovered the joys of writing fiction, managing to combine thoughts of science fiction, fantasy and mysteries with a day-job writing for the pharmaceuticals industry and far too many voluntary posts working with young people, with animals and in local politics. Stevie’s short story, ‘The Monitors’, in Noble Romance’s ‘Echoes of Possibilities’ , was longlisted by the 2010 Tiptree Awards jury. Other short stories have appeared in the anthologies ‘British Flash’ and ‘Tea and Crumpet’, while Stevie’s first solo collection ‘A Series of Ordinary Adventures’ was published by Candlemark and Gleam in May 2012.

A Series of Ordinary Adventures by Stevie Carroll
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam (May 22, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936460300
ISBN-13: 978-1936460304
Amazon: A Series of Ordinary Adventures
Amazon Kindle: A Series of Ordinary Adventures

A wander down a country pathway, a cruise vacation in the Mediterranean, a school reunion, a sandwich eaten in the park - in the stories of Stevie Carroll, the mundane becomes tantalizingly magical. A footballer's mistress gets more than just an apartment when her lover tries to keep her in style; a rock-and-roll bass player finds out that second chances aren't all they're cracked up to be; something sinister lurks beneath the trappings of a travelling carnival. Richly peopled with characters you might meet in the shop around the corner, yet haunted by glimpses of something entirely otherworldly, A Series of Ordinary Adventures will transport you from the streets and lanes of England to a place where imagination is only the beginning. Magical realism mixes with subtle horror and heartfelt romance in a collection of stories that will captivate and transform you long after the final page.

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andrew potter

Pawn Takes Rook by Lex Chase

Almost a comics in written format, I have the feeling that Pawn Takes Rook, first episode in the Checkmate series is part of something bigger in the author’s mind, something she has already developed and that is now feeding us little piece by little piece. A lot has already happened when the story starts and I struggled a little to fit all the details, but in the end I had a good idea: the time is the same as today, 2013, but it’s an alternative universe; the poly vaccine caused a genetic variation in the newborn who acquired special powers, and now almost everyone is a superhero. If you are really a good one, you are part of the Alliance, fighting the villains in the name of the law. Things you consider as given, televisions, laptops, are luxury items people save a life to buy.

Hogarth, the nephew of the Google’s algorithm creator, want to be part of the Alliance, but he is actually more a nerd than a hero. When he is rescued by Rook, a former Alliance hero, he sees him as his chance to meet the Alliance standards: if he cannot make it alone, why not try with a dynamic duo? But Rook is like a loose cannon, not really trustworthy, plus he is defective, like a pot that, when reaching the boiling point, instead of going in off mode, explode. Doesn't hurt that Rook is also an hunky viking, with startling icy eyes and long, blond locks.

You can say the author had a lot of fun writing this novella, I had the feeling like she planned it with friends, like a videogame she was playing and trying all the special effects. Yes, the mood was of fun, light entertainment, winking the eye probably to some favorite cartoon or comic character I’m not able to point out (not really a comic fan here). But even if I cannot pinpoint the origin, it was a funny little piece.


Amazon Kindle: Pawn Takes Rook
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2013)

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

Cover Art by Paul Richmond

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andrew potter

2013 Rainbow Awards Submission: Anel Viz - Alma's Will

Alma's Will by Anel Viz
Publisher: Silver Publishing (May 18, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Alma's Will

Livia Redding returns to Macon, Georgia, with her husband and children after her mother's death to settle her estate. She is shocked and offended to hear that the will stipulates that her house be used as a safe home for gay teenagers rejected by their families. Against her husband's better judgment, Liv decides to contest it and stay on in Georgia with their children.

But her mother had a reason for making the bequest: her son, Ronnie, who disappeared a quarter-century ago, after his father threw him out of the house because he was gay.

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andrew potter

2013 Rainbow Awards Submission: T.A. Webb - Second Chances

Second Chances by T.A. Webb
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623800323
ISBN-13: 978-1623800321
Amazon: Second Chances
Amazon Kindle: Second Chances

Mark Jennings is at a crossroads. His finance job in the Atlanta nonprofit scene stresses him out, his mother is dying, and his relationship with Brian Jacobs has crashed and burned. He needs a distraction, some way to relax, and a massage seems like just the thing. He never expected his massage therapist, Antonio Roberto, to become his best friend.

Despite their differences-Antonio is a divorced single father-the two men forge a firm friendship that weathers Mark's reconciliation with Brian and Antonio's questionable taste in women. Over the years, Antonio remains constant in his support, though others in Mark's life come and go through a revolving door.

When a young boy runs away from the group home where he works, Mark finds another door opening. Through it all he holds on to the things his loved ones taught him-about family, about friends and lovers, about life and death. Most importantly, he realizes that sometimes the greatest gift of all is a second chance.

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andrew potter

2013 Rainbow Awards Submission: P.D. Singer - Blood on the Mountain

Blood on the Mountain by P.D. Singer
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 14, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623802369
ISBN-13: 978-1623802363
Amazon: Blood on the Mountain
Amazon Kindle: Blood on the Mountain

The Mountains: Book Four

Jake Landon thinks a second ranger season in the Colorado Rockies with Kurt Carlson is close enough to heaven, and a national forest is big enough to be his closet. Pharmacy school-and the luxuries of electricity and running water-can wait, maybe forever, as long as Jake doesn't have to come out. He doesn't plan on Kurt's vision of his future being as narrow and direct as the single track roads through the trees.

"Your future, your fear, and me," Kurt tells Jake. "You can have two of the three, so choose wisely." Jake may have no choices left after they stumble on armed men guarding a beautiful but deadly crop that doesn't belong among the pines and spruces. Angry men with guns are only one danger in the Colorado wilderness, and Jake's reluctance to come out is now his smallest problem.

Kurt's skills and Jake's silver tongue may not be enough to get them out of this mess-how much of the blood shed on the mountain will be theirs?

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andrew potter

Best Transgender Novel: Becoming Agie by Grigory Ryzhakov

Becoming Agie is a bittersweet story, sad but with hope; it’s about finding yourself, finding also love in the meantime, and losing it; it’s about second chances, that arrive if you are courageous enough to open your heart.

This is a contemporary tale, and I’m using the word “tale” with a specific purpose: even if there are no fantastical element in the story, there is a feeling of surrealism that makes everything ethereal. The first feeling you have is that the writing is almost simple, like someone writing a diary with no target of telling a story; there are no flourishing details, not planned setting. But in the end it’s this simplicity that caught you.

Agie is a transgender male to female; one the story starts, she has just had her sex reassignment surgery, but for her own decision, she has not yet completed all the “changes” in her body, and so basically, she still appears like a slightly feminine man. Now please, I’m not an expert of transgender experiences, so if I’m saying something improper, it’s done without intention. Feel free to correct me. I had the feeling Agie didn’t want to complete her transition because she was still fearing of acceptance. And indeed Ben, a gay man (boy actually) falls in love with her believing she is a guy. But Agie is not someone who wants to live a lie, and she is always very direct in telling people she is transgender. And Ben, cute, sweet, young Ben, who fell in love for Agie, and not for the sex gender she is, opens his heart to that love.

I think these two novellas are very personal and tied to the author; there is a lot of Grigory Ryzhakov in Agie, both Russian, both scientists, both living in a Western town. I don’t know if Ryzhakov shares with Agie also something else, what I feel is that Ben, and then Jake, felt like real to me, like they are from Ryzhakov’s real life, and that the needs to write the novellas was a mean to exorcize a deep pain but also to affirm the concept that happiness is still possible.

Amazon: Becoming Agie: The Adventure of a Russian transgender scientist entangled in fiction, romance and mystery
Amazon Kindle: Becoming Agie: The Adventure of a Russian transgender scientist entangled in fiction, romance and mystery
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 148029893X
ISBN-13: 978-1480298934

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

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