September 20th, 2013

andrew potter

Clark Polak (October 13, 1937 – September 20, 1980)

Clark Philip Polak (October 13, 1937–c. September 20, 1980) was an American journalist and LGBT activist. He was known for creating and editing DRUM magazine, an early gay-interest periodical, and for his leadership role with the Philadelphia-based homophile organization, the Janus Society. (Picture: Clark Polak by Sylvia Shap, 1973 – Oil on Panel, 40" x 36", Artist's Collection)

Polack killed himself in Los Angeles in 1980.

Clark was the youngest son of Arthur Marcus Polak and Ann Polak and the brother of Marcus Roy Polak and Roberta Esther Polak Weber/Shilling. He lived in a home that overlooked Hollywood with his friends and had two St. Bernards named Bert and Ernie.

Phil Donahue vividly recalled his first show with a gay man, Clark Polak, a prominent gay leader from Philadelphia and a close ally of Frank Kameny. "I do remember featuring the first out of the closet: `right here, right now, yes, here he is, folks-Clark Polak."' It was the year before Stonewall: "the first gay Donahue show out of Dayton. "There was the phone number and here was this gay guy-you could actually call up a gay guy! It really was a sensation." Donahue readily admitted his original motivation for exploring this subject: "People didn't leave the barber shop-even when their haircut was over!" Although he felt uncomfortable the first time he interviewed a gay man, he was also extremely curious. "And I know they're going to watch this program. And, remember, that's what I'm paid to do: I'm paid to draw a crowd." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 2968-2973). Kindle Edition.
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Tereska Torres (September 3, 1920 - September 20, 2012)

Tereska Torrès (3 September 1920 - 20 September 2012) was a French writer. In 1950 Torrès published in the United States a fictional account of her wartime experiences under the title Women's Barracks, which "quickly became the first paperback original bestseller" selling over 2 million copies in its first five years, as it was the first pulp to candidly address lesbian relationships. In total 4 million copies of the book were sold in the United States and it was translated into 13 different languages.

Torrès was born Tereska Szwarc to the Jewish Polish sculptor Marek Szwarc and his wife Guina in Paris. She had to flee her native country in 1940 via Lisbon to England when France surrendered to Nazi Germany after the Battle of France, while her father, serving in the Polish Armed Forces in the West, was evacuated from La Rochelle by the British Home Fleet. Her family was able to escape because they received visas signed by Vice-Consul Manuel Vieira Braga (following instructions from Aristides de Sousa Mendes) in Bayonne, France in June 1940.

At the age of 18 Torrès enlisted in Charles de Gaulle's Free French Forces Volontaires Françaises Corps and worked as a secretary in de Gaulle's headquarters in London. In October 1944 when she was five months pregnant, her first husband 20-year-old Georges Torrès, stepson of pre-war French-Jewish Prime Minister Léon Blum, was killed while fighting with the 2nd Free French Armoured Division in Lorraine.

In 1947 Torrès accompanied American novelist Meyer Levin while he filmed the documentary Al Tafhidunu (The Illegals) about Jewish refugees who fled Poland after the Holocaust and tried to reach Palestine. Her diary about her experiences on this journey from Poland's destroyed cities through the displaced persons camps in Western Europe to Israel and her imprisonment there by British Forces were published so far only in German as Unerschrocken (Unafraid).

In 1948 Torrès married Meyer Levin in Paris. He urged her to publish the diary she wrote while serving in the Free French Forces.

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Xenia Alexiou & May Kosma

Xenia Alexiou was born in northern Greece on September 20th, 1967. She has studied, traveled, and lived in many countries, on many continents, and considers herself a citizen of the world, but Greece is and will always remain her home.

"There is nothing I enjoy more than traveling and taking pictures of the many breathtaking places this world has to offer. Most of all, I like to capture the wonderful and interesting people that represent these cultures. Trying to see the world through their eyes has been my most challenging yet rewarding pursuit so far.

Children, especially, have always had a special place in my heart. Regardless of race, country and religion, all children should have the right to be JUST that. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many countries, where war and famine have poisoned their youth and replaced the look of happiness and purity in their eyes with that of despair and fear. No child should have to replace balls and dolls for guns and grenades. No child should have haunted eyes."

Her extensive travels have inspired countless stories. The seven-book Elite Operatives series, released by Bold Strokes Books, mark her debut as a writer. Her latest release is Demons are Forever, the fifth book in the series. Book six, The Gemini Deception, will be released in spring 2013.

Book Four, Dying to Live, was 2012 Lambda Literary Award Winner, won a 2012 Golden Crown Literary Society Award and The Lesbian Fiction Readers' Choice Award. Book Three, Missing Lynx, was a 2011 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, won a 2011 Golden Crown Literary Society Award, two Lesbian Fiction Readers' Choice Awards, and Honorable Mention in the 2011 LGBT Rainbow Awards. Book Two, Thief of Always, won a 2010 Golden Crown Literary Society Award and two Lesbian Fiction Readers' Choice Awards. Lethal Affairs, the first book in the series, reached #1 in Lesbian fiction on Amazon's best seller list two days after its July 14, 2008 release. It won the Lesbian Fiction Readers' Choice Award for favorite Adventure in 2009, and the Dutch translation won 2nd prize for "All-Time Best Lesbian International Book". The first three books in the series have been translated into Dutch and Russian.

Her passions include photography, the music of her homeland, racing fast cars and bikes, and a variety of sports. She is a voracious reader, and her extensive library contains an eclectic array of academic material, including books on sociology, anatomy, genetics, psychology, chemistry, and physics. Some of her favorite fiction authors include Fjodor Dostojewski, Leo Tolstoy, Umberto Eco, Michael Cunningham, and David Sedaris. But as much as she enjoys all of the above, that which gives her the greatest joy is spending time, when ever possible, with her amazing nephews.

Xenia Alexiou taking a stroll with her girlfriend

Xenia shares her home with her extraordinary Shepherd, Noah.


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More LGBT Couples at my website:, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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New Releases Print Book Giveaway: James Lear - The Hardest Thing

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! please be aware you will have to provide a physical mail address once I will privately contact you.

And the ebook giveaway goes to Zeoanne

Today author is James Lear: James Lear is the nom de plume of a prolific and acclaimed novelist. As James Lear, he is the author of The Back Passage, The Secret Tunnel, Hot Valley, The Low Road, and The Palace of Varieties. He lives in London.

The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery by James Lear
Series: Dan Stagg Mystery
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (June 11, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1573449296
ISBN-13: 978-1573449298
Amazon: The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery
Amazon Kindle: The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery

Killing is easy. Love is... The Hardest Thing

James Lear does Lee Child

Once a major in the U.S. Army, Dan Stagg fell afoul of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In his late 30s, tall, and muscular, Dan is prone to violence, always upholding what he views as justice. He’s offered a great deal of money to protect the young male “secretary” of a powerful real estate broker. The vain, shallow—but most of all hot—young man’s idea of protection includes sex. Dan quickly realizes something strange is going on: he’s being used as a shield for a much more sinister operation and must chose between easy money and sex or the ideals that he embodied in the Army. Why should he do the right thing—particularly when the army betrayed him? The Hardest Thing is a sexy gay mystery as only James Lear can write it: filled with lots of gay sexual encounters, romance, sweat, violence, and conspiracy.

Kindly offered by Cleis Press

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His Roommate's Pleasure by Lana McGregor

I suppose the focus of the story was to have a cute and fun reading about two boys (and yes, they are boys, first year of college, barely legal young men just leaving the nest and spreading their wings for the first time), but if I have to be truth, I was worried for them. They are so young and naïve, playing the game of sex like it was the new console for video game, that I wanted to tell them, be careful, it is serious thing what you are doing. But Adam and Josh are not listening to their mind, yes, in this case you can well say they are being led by their small head (pun intended).

Adam is a virgin, and horny, curious gay boy; when he finds out that his roommate, whom he wasn’t liking much, is gay as well, and with the hidden, and forbidden, desire to be a Dom that well pair with Adam’s submissive nature, the match seems to be made in heaven and not by the College Administration office. But that is the trouble, nor Adam or Josh really knows what BDSM really is, for them is like a game, to play at night instead of watching a movie or using the game console. Or maybe instead of a trouble that is their lucky: they cannot do much in their dorm room, aside from some spanking and role play, and so they never go to a level where pleasure can be discomfort.

I’m not sure they are in love, maybe they can be in the future, but at this time, they are two college students discovering their sexuality and enjoying the process, a lot.

Amazon Kindle: His Roommate's Pleasure
Publisher: Carina Press (July 1, 2013)


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Bullied by Jeff Erno

I was a little scared to read Bullied, I was worried about these young boys, and indeed, for at least 1 story, my fear was right placed. But there is also a lot of hop, it gets better attitude, and even some very sweet and romantic love story.

What is probably most interesting is to see the different perspective, the best friend, the parent, the teacher, the bystander and even the bully, how they all see the same story in a different way, how they all can change the ending of the same story if they only have the courage to do so. And then there are the victims, some too scared to be able to see the light, some more lucky than others, some who have a talent that will help them to arise from the misery. Some will find love, some will find acceptance.

The strongest voices are those of the younger one, major point to Jeff Erno being able to do so. It’s probably part of the author’s own experience, and indeed some of the characters have similarity to others you can find in Erno’s longer novels, but the good thing is that, even if these are short stories, they are complete and you arrive to care for these boys, even if you are with them for the span of few pages.

This is an Young Adult imprint, and indeed there is basically no sex at all, actually there are very few “romances”, the focus is more on the tragic experience of being bullied at school and how that will influence your life forever. A good text to help understand how important is for these young men to understand that, even if no one seems able to help them, they can have the means to fight back.

Amazon: Bullied
Amazon Kindle: Bullied
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press; 2 edition (December 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623803918
ISBN-13: 978-1623803919


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Manhandled by S.A. Reid & Rosemary O'Malley

Good sexy story, maybe I was a little sad to see it end so soon, it’s a novella length and it’s basically all developed around 3 encounters between short-tempered Irish-American cop Brendan, and naïve and inexperienced doctor Stephen.

Brendan is hot, but not exactly a dream-date and indeed his current boyfriend dumps him; doesn’t matter Brendan was thinking to do the same, when that happens he needs to prove a point and he decides to kidnap Kent in a closet and teach him a lesson. But the one kidnapped is not Kent, but Stephen. This is an erotic romance bordering in erotica, and so the focus is the sex; it will not be a one night stands for Brendan and Stephen, but the authors didn’t indulge in the details of how they plan to date or the anticipation of their meetings, and instead focus on what they do when they are alone, i.e., sex!

For me it’s a first time of both authors, and there is definitely a lot I like in their styles, Brendan is a faulted hero, the one I preferred. There is no drama in this story, but you understand that Brendan has the potential to be a beautiful troubled romance hero. If I have to find a fault in him, and in the story, is the hint of threesome (m/m/m) at the end of the novel: I didn’t know enough the characters, and the evolution of their story, to be able to understand if they were ready for that.

Amazon Kindle: Manhandled
Publisher: Lyonnesse (April 26, 2012)


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