August 26th, 2014

andrew potter

Christopher Isherwood & W.H. Auden

Chester Simon Kallman (January 7, 1921 – January 18, 1975) was an American poet, librettist, and translator, best known for his collaborations with W. H. Auden and Igor Stravinsky.

Kallman was born in Brooklyn of Jewish ancestry. He received his B.A. at Brooklyn College and his M.A. at the University of Michigan. He published three collections of poems, Storm at Castelfranco (1956), Absent and Present (1963), and The Sense of Occasion (1971). He lived most of his adult life in New York, spending his summers in Italy from 1948 through 1957 and in Austria from 1958 through 1974. In 1963 he moved his winter home from New York to Athens, Greece and died there at the age of 54.

Together with his lifelong friend (and sometime lover) W. H. Auden, Kallman wrote the libretto for Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (1951). They also collaborated on two librettos for Henze, Elegy for Young Lovers (1961) and The Bassarids (1966), and on the libretto of Love's Labour's Lost (based on Shakespeare's play) for Nicolas Nabokov (1973). They also wrote a libretto "Delia, or, A Masque of Night" (1953), intended for Stravinsky, but never set to music. They were commissioned to write the lyrics for Man of La Mancha, but Kallman did no work on the project, and the producers decided against using Auden's contributions.

Kallman was the sole author of the libretto of The Tuscan Players for Carlos Chávez (1953, first performed in 1957 as Panfilo and Lauretta).

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Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood (August 26, 1904 – January 4, 1986) was an Anglo-American novelist.

Born at Wyberslegh Hall, High Lane, Cheshire in North West England, Isherwood spent his childhood in various towns where his father, a Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army, was stationed. After his father was killed in the First World War, he settled with his mother in London and at Wyberslegh.

Isherwood attended preparatory school St. Edmund's, Surrey, where he first met W. H. Auden. At Repton School he met his lifelong friend Edward Upward, with whom he wrote the extravagant Mortmere stories, only one of which was published during his lifetime (a few others appeared after his death, and others were summarised in his Lions and Shadows). He deliberately failed his tripos and left Corpus Christi College, Cambridge without a degree in 1925. For the next few years he lived with violinist André Mangeot, working as secretary to Mangeot's string quartet and studying medicine; during this time he wrote a book of nonsense poems, People One Ought to Know (published 1982), with illustrations by Mangeot's eleven-year-old son, Sylvain.

In 1925 he was reintroduced to W. H. Auden, and became Auden's literary mentor and partner in an intermittent, casual liaison, as Auden sent his poems to Isherwood for comment and approval. Through Auden, Isherwood met Stephen Spender, with whom he later spent much time in Germany. His first novel, All the Conspirators, appeared in 1928; it is an anti-heroic story, written in a pastiche of many modernist novelists, about a young man who is defeated by his mother. In 1928-29 Isherwood studied medicine at King's College London, but gave it up after six months to join Auden for a few weeks in Berlin.

@Stathis Orphanos
Christopher Isherwood (1904 - 1986) was an Anglo-American novelist. Born in Los Angeles, California, Don Bachardy was the life partner of writer Christopher Isherwood, whom he met on Valentine's Day 1953, when he was 18 and Isherwood was 48. They remained together until Isherwood's death in 1986. A number of paperback editions of Isherwood's novels feature Bachardy's pencil portraits of the author. A film about their relationship, titled Chris & Don: A Love Story, was released in 2008.

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Donald Jess "Don" Bachardy (born May 18, 1934) is an American portrait artist. He resides in Santa Monica, California. (Picture: Bachardy at 19 – Photo by Carl van Vechten (January 1954))

Born in Los Angeles, California, Bachardy was the life partner of writer Christopher Isherwood, whom he met on Valentine's Day 1953, when he was 18 and Isherwood was 48. They remained together until Isherwood's death in 1986. A number of paperback editions of Isherwood's novels feature Bachardy's pencil portraits of the author. A film about their relationship, titled Chris & Don: A Love Story, was released in 2008.

Bachardy studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Slade School of Art in London. His first one-man exhibition was held in October 1961 at the Redfern Gallery in London.

Since that time he has had many one-man exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston and New York. More recently, he exhibited at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, in 2004–2005.

His works reside in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum of Art in San Francisco, the University of Texas, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institute, and the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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Back in the early 80s, I had the great privilege to be introduced to Mr. Isherwood by the legendary LA gay activist, Morris Kight. At the time, I had not read anything Mr. Isherwood had written, and out of nerves, I blurted this out to him. What a relief when he laughed and made me feel as though I'd just said the most charming thing he'd ever heard. Afterward, I picked up and read "Christopher and His Kind"; and by our next meeting I was able to tell him I had read something he had written. --Aaron Fricke
When I stumbled upon "Christopher Isherwood Diaries" I was transfixed – a volume of Isherwood’s personal sentiments spanning 1939-1960. Though not always a daily account this volume defines his move from England to California and his formative years there as a writer. His diaries tell how he became a disciple of the Hindu monk Swami Prabhavananda, his pacifism in World War II, his work as a Hollywood screenwriter and his friendships with artists and intellectuals like Garbo, Chaplin, Bertolt Brecht, Stravinsky, Olivier, Richard Burton, and many others. In luminous prose he reveals his most intimate and passionate relationships, with Bill Caskey and later with the very young artist… Don Bachardy. A fascinating read! --Charlie David
In Goodbye to Berlin, the character Sally Bowles is so ingrained in public awareness—thanks to the screen and many stage versions of Cabaret—most people think they know this book already. But Sally Bowles appears in only one relatively short chapter. The whole book is undoubtedly one of the best recreations of pre-WWII Berlin ever written. Sally is one of scores of equally memorable and touching characters. Isherwood writes in such clear, unaffected prose, his accomplishments as a stylist are sometimes overlooked. And he somehow managed to make of himself the most interesting character in his entire body of work, all while appearing to remain discreetly in the background. --Stephen McCauley
We all know the Sally Bowles stories from The Berlin Stories that became Cabaret, and they hold up gloriously well. Even so, it’s the novella, “Mr. Norris Changes Trains” that is my absolute favorite Isherwood and I got to read a section in front of a star studded Hollywood crowd for the celebration of Isherwood’s hundredth anniversary. Not only is Mr. Norris a perfect anti-hero, he is the shady forerunner of so many morally ambiguous, delightfully immoral, and frightfully illegal heroes that populate 20th Century books, plays and films. Even funnier and sadder is watching Berlin’s tres Gay ‘Twenties characters transform themselves into Hitler’s uptight Third Reich. --Felice Picano
Erika Julia Hedwig Mann (November 9, 1905 – August 27, 1969) was a German actress and writer, the eldest daughter of novelist Thomas Mann and Katia Mann.

Erika Mann was born in Munich and was the firstborn daughter of the writer and later Nobel-prize winner Thomas Mann and his wife, Katia (née Pringsheim), the daughter of an intellectual German family of Jewish heritage. She was named after Katia Mann's brother Erik, who died early, Thomas Mann's sister Julia Mann, and her grandmother Hedwig Dohm. She was baptized as a Protestant, just as her mother had been. (Picture: Annemarie Schwarzenbach)

Thomas Mann expressed in a letter to his brother Heinrich Mann his disappointment about the birth of his first child:
"It is a girl; a disappointment for me, as I want to admit between us, because I had greatly desired a son and will not stop to hold such a desire. [...] I feel a son is much more full of poetry [poesievoller], more than a sequel and restart for myself under new circumstances."
Nevertheless, he later candidly confessed in the notes of his diary, that he "preferred, of the six, the two oldest [Erika and Klaus] and little Elisabeth with a strange decisiveness".

Erika and Karl Mann
Thomas Mann’s two eldest children, Erika and Klaus, were unconventional, rebellious, and fiercely devoted to each other. Empowered by their close bond, they espoused vehemently anti-Nazi views in a Europe swept up in fascism and were openly, even defiantly, gay in an age of secrecy and repression. Erika and Klaus were serious authors, performance artists before the medium existed, and political visionaries whose searing essays and lectures are still relevant today.

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Heinz Neddermeyer was a German citizen born about 1915. He is also considered to be the first great love of writer Christopher Isherwood. Heinz and Christopher met in Berlin on March 13, 1932 when Heinz was 17. Christopher would often describe their relationship as an adoption, being the Heinz was so much younger and not entirely mature. The couple lived together in Berlin until May 1933 when, due to the uprising of Hitler, they were forced to flee the country. The photograph is of Heinz (left) and Christopher (right) during this time. They traveled Europe and North Africa until May 12, 1937 when Heinz was expelled from Luxembourg and forced to return to Germany. The next day he was arrested by the Gestapo and sentenced to three and half years of forced labor and military service. He survived the forced labor which was brief. Being conditionally free, he married a woman named Gerda in 1938 and had a son named Christian, his only child, in 1940.

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Wystan Hugh Auden (21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973), who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content. The central themes of his poetry are love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature.

Auden grew up in and near Birmingham in a professional middle-class family and read English literature at Christ Church, Oxford. His early poems, written in the late 1920s and early 1930s, alternated between telegraphic modern styles and fluent traditional ones, were written in an intense and dramatic tone, and established his reputation as a left-wing political poet and prophet. He became uncomfortable in this role in the later 1930s, and abandoned it after he moved to the United States in 1939, where he became an American citizen in 1946. His poems in the 1940s explored religious and ethical themes in a less dramatic manner than his earlier works, but still combined traditional forms and styles with new forms devised by Auden himself. In the 1950s and 1960s many of his poems focused on the ways in which words revealed and concealed emotions, and he took a particular interest in writing opera librettos, a form ideally suited to direct expression of strong feelings.

He was also a prolific writer of prose essays and reviews on literary, political, psychological and religious subjects, and he worked at various times on documentary films, poetic plays and other forms of performance. Throughout his career he was both controversial and influential. After his death, some of his poems, notably "Funeral Blues" ("Stop all the clocks") and "September 1, 1939", became widely known through films, broadcasts and popular media.

In 1939 W.H. Auden met the poet Chester Kallman, who became his lover for the next two years (Auden described their relation as a "marriage" that began with a cross-country "honeymoon" journey). In 1941 Kallman ended their sexual relationship because he could not accept Auden's insistence on a mutual faithful relationship, but he and Auden remained companions, sharing houses and apartments from 1953 until Auden's death. Kallman died less than two years after Auden, seemingly of a broken heart.

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Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (Paperback):
Amazon (Kindle):

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

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andrew potter

2014 Rainbow Awards Submissions

Lesbian Contemporary Romance
In a Heartbeat by RJ Nolan
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr. (May 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3955331598
ISBN-13: 978-3955331597
Amazon: In a Heartbeat
Amazon Kindle: In a Heartbeat

Veteran police officer Sam McKenna has no trouble facing down criminals on a daily basis but breaks out in a sweat at the mere mention of commitment. A recent failed relationship strengthens her resolve to stick with her trademark no-strings-attached affairs. Dr. Riley Connolly, a successful trauma surgeon, has spent her whole life trying to measure up to her family's expectations. And that includes hiding her sexuality from them. When a routine call sends Sam to the hospital where Riley works, the two women are hurtled into a life-and-death situation. The incident binds them together. But can there be any future for a commitment-phobic cop and a closeted, workaholic doctor?

Gay Contemporary Romance
Hunted by Liz Powell
Published August 1st 2014 by Manifold Press
ISBN13 9781908312242
edition language English

As a professional footballer it looks like Adam Hunter has it all, but when the secret of his affair with midfielder Louie Jackson begins to leak out he’s plunged into the depths of misery – prompting a desperate series of manoeuvres to conceal the truth. Injured, distrusted by his team-mates and plagued by personal tragedy, Adam goes from hero to zero – and by the time Louie’s transferred to a German side he’s running out of reasons to stay alive. If there’s any way back from the brink of suicide, it isn’t clear to him at the moment …

Gay Historical
Randy by Jane Elliot
ebook, 182 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Manifold Press
ISBN13 9781908312259
edition language English

Approaching middle age, Garrison Gaines is aware that all his humble hopes for the future have crumbled into dust. He’s travelling through the vast Unorganized Territories of the central United States when his path crosses that of Randy Everett, a young man who dreams of great adventures in exotic far-away locales – and, while no one can accurately predict the future, one thing is quite certain: that neither man will walk away from the encounter completely unaffected.

Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans
Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Melange Books (June 21, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1612358764
ISBN-13: 978-1612358765
Amazon: The Last Conception
Amazon Kindle: The Last Conception

Passionate embryologist, Savarna, is in a complicated relationship, with two different women, when she is told that she Must have a baby. Her conservative East Indian American parents are desperate for her to conceive, in spite of her "not being married". They insist that she is the last in line of a great spiritual lineage. In the process of choosing her lover and having doubts about her ability, or desire to conceive, Savarna begins to question the necessity of biology and lineage within her parents' beliefs and becomes forever fascinated with the process of conception and the definition of family. Threads of Dan Brown (DaVinci Code), Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart) and The L Word (Tv series) flavor this colorful tale of awakening, romance and mystery.

Lesbian Mystery / Thriller
Chip Off the Ice Block Murder (A Shay O'Hanlon Caper) by Jessie Chandler
Series: A Shay O'Hanlon Caper (Book 4)
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK; Reprint edition (May 8, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738739391
ISBN-13: 978-0738739397
Amazon: Chip Off the Ice Block Murder (A Shay O'Hanlon Caper)
Amazon Kindle: Chip Off the Ice Block Murder (A Shay O'Hanlon Caper)

It’s the dead of winter in Minnesota, and Shay O’Hanlon can’t wait to close up her coffee shop and get out of town with her girlfriend, Minneapolis cop JT Bordeaux. But when she receives a call informing her that her dad is missing, Shay’s plans for a romantic getaway are put on ice.

Figuring her dad is on one of his periodic benders, Shay is shocked to learn that his gun has been used in a murder. With the dead man found in a giant ice cube unable to provide any answers, Shay and her quirky friends are bound and deter- mined to find her father—and the real killer—before the trail turns cold.

Charities Donation program progress:
328$ Albert Kennedy Trust:
1165$ Ali Forney Center:
Australian Marriage Equality:
50$ Audre Lorde Project:
25$ BiNet US:
125$ CARE:
125$ The Center Colorado:
25$ LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland:
531$ COLORS:
130$ Covenant:
75$ Diversity Role Models:
25$ The Diversity Center:
Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia:
367$ Galop:
150$ GLYS:
135$ Human Rights Campaign:
75$ Huntsville GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services:
125$ It Gets Better:
100$ Inland Northwest LGBT Center:
28$ In Other Words:
Los Angeles LGBT Center:
415$ Lambda Legal:
50$ Lambert House:
50$ Lancaster LGBT Center:
50$ LEAP:
515$ Lost-n-Found Youth:
50$ MKE LGBT Center:
130$ Moveable Feast:
25$ Odyssey Youth Center:
25$ Out Youth:
50$ Pathfinders:
235$ PFLAG:
175$ Point Foundation:
130$ Ruth Ellis Center:
854$ SAGE:
25$ Terrence Higgins Trust:
605$ The Trevor Project:
160$ UCAN:
25$ WayGay:
225$ You Can Play:
75$ YouthCare:
You Will Rise Project:
1135$ Other Funds
TOTAL: 8698$*

* more than 150$ is a direct donation from a supporter of the Rainbow Awards who isn't submitting; while some authors were more than generous, arriving to donate 5 times the suggested amount, being the submission fee a non mandatory and voluntary direct donation, we were struggling to raise the same amount as last year and there is who decided to cover part of it. I thank you for all you are doing, and if you wish to donate to the above links, please drop me a note with your donation and I will update the total.

2014 Rainbow Awards Guidelines:

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andrew potter

GayRomLit Retreat: Geoffrey Knight

Starting from March up until September I will feature authors attending the GayRomLit Retreat in Chicago (October 16-19, 2014:

Today author is Geoffrey Knight:
From palace-hopping across the Rajasthan Desert to sleeping in train stations in Bulgaria, from spinning prayer-wheels in Kathmandu to exploring the skull-gated graveyards of the indigenous Balinese tribes, Geoffrey Knight has been a traveller ever since he could scrape together enough money to buy a plane ticket. Born in Melbourne but raised and educated in countless cities and towns across Australia, Geoffrey was a nomadic boy who grew into a nomadic gay writer. When he’s not travelling the world, Geoffrey is travelling the world of his imagination—where the adventures, thrills and romance are limitless. His gay novels, novellas and short stories include: The Cross of Sins, The Riddle of the Sands, The Curse of the Dragon God, To Catch a Fox (co-written with Ethan Day), Scott Sapphire and the Emerald Orchid, The Pearl Trilogy, The Boy from Brighton, Nude Surfing, Hotel Pens, Paperboy, Boy Scout, Harm's Way, Drive Shaft, Drive Shaft 2: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Under the Bridge, The Gentlemen's Parlor: Room of Chains, and the Non-Fiction work Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance edited by Kris Jacen. His work also features in several anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2013 edited by Richard LaBonte. He currently owns his own advertising and design agency which he runs from his island home on the Great Barrier Reef, and can't wait to buy his next plane ticket—whether it’s real or imaginary.

Geoffrey Knight and Wilde City Press are offering a copy of Be My Valentine, Bobby Bryson to one commenter on this blog. You can comment on LJ or DW if you have an account (I will send a PM to the winner), if you don't have an account, please leave a comment on DW with a contact email.

Be My Valentine, Bobby Bryson by Geoffrey Knight
Publisher: Wilde City Press; Second edition (January 23, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Be My Valentine, Bobby Bryson

Valentine’s Day has long been a difficult day for widow and single mom Kate Madsen. But this Valentine’s Day is going to be more than just difficult… it’s going to be downright awkward. For Kate’s only child, seven-year-old Mikey, just stunned the small town of Elk’s Ridge by writing a Valentine’s Day card to someone name Bobby Bryson.

While the card sends teachers into a tizz and turns Mikey’s grandfather into a grumpy old man, Kate discovers over the course of one afternoon that she and her young son are about to begin a journey of questions, confrontations and hopefully one day… happiness.

In the meantime, will Mikey and his Mom make it through this Valentine’s Day? Will the innocent intentions of one young boy change the narrow minds of a stubborn, small town? And just who exactly is the object of Mikey’s affections—Bobby Bryson?

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andrew potter

Cover Reveal: Lissa Kasey's 'Hidden Gem'

Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey
ISBN-13 978-1-63216-199-4
Pages 246
Cover Artist Shobana Appavu

Misaki “Aki” Itou is a psi—a person with mutated DNA granting him psychic abilities. He’s also a contracted companion—a whore. It may not be the perfect profession, but having a roof over his head, food to eat, and not being subjected to torture is a dream come true. He is the top companion at the Hidden Gem, and it makes him enough money to buy the prettiest, most sparkly shoes he can find.
Shane McNaughton is an Irishman who survived the Third World War and works as a cop. Head of Missing Persons, he’s good at finding people, but after the plague of the Third mutated his DNA, he has a hard time letting anyone see the monster inside. He’s been paying for Aki’s services for two years, both the psi and the sexual kind, but he wants more from the companion.
Shane needs Aki’s ability to see into another person’s past to track down a serial killer murdering the children of rich and powerful men, but the more they work together, the clearer it becomes that they are linked through a darker past than either of them realizes.

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Author Bio: Lissa Kasey lives in St. Paul, MN, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing, and collects Asian Ball Joint Dolls who look like her characters. She has three cats who enjoy waking her up an hour before her alarm every morning and sitting on her lap to help her write. She can often be found at Anime Conventions masquerading as random characters when she's not writing about boy romance.
Author Contact:
Twitter: @parisbvamp

Tour Dates: 8/26/14
Tour Stops:
Parker Williams, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Redz World, Amanda C. Stone, Hearts on Fire, My Fiction Nook, Love Bytes, Velvet Panic, Kimber Vale, Havan Fellows, MM Good Book Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings, Prism Book Alliance, Cate Ashwood, 3 Chicks After Dark, Iyana Jenna, Fallen Angel Reviews, Rainbow God Reviews

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card

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andrew potter

Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza

This was a really sweet romance, with just that touch of kinky to make it sexy: Nicholas Goring, the butterfly hunter earling, may have, most of the time, his head on a cloud, but when he manage to tack down Dave, then he becomes like a little tiger, tenacious and hungry, overwhelming Dave with his desire.

There was an hint of bittersweet in the story, something related to Nicholas's "condition", the son of an earl, when his family butler agrees with Dave the contract terms, he also asks him to take care of Nicholas, like he is a precious thing. And indeed he is, Nicholas, precious, and fragile, but as I said, he unveals hidden strengths, that maybe aren't useful in real life, but that make him intriguing, also to the eyes of otherwise straight Dave.

Truth be told, I don't believe Dave is straight; he fell in love with Denise when he was 5 years old, and just by chance, Denise is a strong woman, way stronger than Dave. I have the feeling that, if Dave was approached by a boy and not a girl, he would have fell in love with the boy too. Dave needs a leading hand, not in real life, but for his emotional path: what a strange combination, a guide who needs to be driven.

Julie Bozza puts together an unlikely pair, but right for that, it was endearing to read how they fell in love, and the ending was almost fairy tale.

Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Manifold Press (November 12, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1908312963
ISBN-13: 978-1908312969
Amazon: Butterfly Hunter
Amazon Kindle: Butterfly Hunter

More Reviews by Author at my website:, My Reviews

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