Feb. 28th, 2014

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Aldyn McKean, a singer and actor who was an advocate for gay rights and the rights of people with AIDS, died on February 28, 1994, at his home in Manhattan. He was 45.

The cause was AIDS-related complications, said Denny Lee, a spokesman for the AIDS protest group Act Up.

For the last five years Mr. McKean was a frequent spokesman for Act Up, representing that organization at international AIDS conferences and on national television.

He also pressed for more and better studies of long-term survivors with the virus that leads to AIDS.

He appeared in the film "Voices From the Front" and performed in the Broadway production and national tour of "The Robber Bridegroom."

Born John Baldwin McKean, he was raised in Lewiston, Idaho. He came to New York to do graduate studies at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and completed his studies in 1975.

He was a member of the Harvard University class of 1970 and served a tour of duty in Vietnam.

On March 4, 1994, a funeral procession accross 14th Street to Union Square Park took place to honor Aldyn Mckean. They brought a sign reading: "A Great Hero In The Fight To End AIDS
Honor His Life -- Take Action"

"I am a person with AIDS and I am gonna fight to get what I need."

Read more... )

Source: http://www.actupny.org/diva/polfunsyn.html

Further Readings )

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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Travis Mathews (born 1975) is an American film director and screenwriter. Primarily working within the documentary genre, his credits include the films I Want Your Love and Interior. Leather Bar., and the web series In Your Room.

Openly gay, Mathews lives and works in San Francisco.

I Want Your Love is the title of both a 2010 short film and a 2012 feature-length film. Both films were directed and written by Travis Mathews. The drama films both revolve around the friends and ex-lovers of Jesse Metzger, a gay man in his mid-thirties who is forced to move back to his hometown from San Francisco due to financial reasons.

The actors' own names, along with much of their real-life stories, were used for their characters in both films, which both feature graphic sexual and pornographic scenes. The production of both films was aided by porn studio NakedSword. This led to the full-length film being refused exemption from classification to screen at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a decision to which actor James Franco (who invited Mathews to collaborate on his film Interior. Leather Bar.) reacted negatively. (P: Jesse Metzger)

Cast
Jesse Metzger, a performance-arts director and the main character, who's forced to move back to his hometown.
Brontez Purnell, a friend of Jesse's, who works at a clothing shop.
Ben Jasper, Jesse's ex-boyfriend, who works in advertising and stops by to say goodbye.
Keith McDonald, Jesse's friend and roommate.
Wayne Bumb, Jesse's best friend and roommate.
Ferrin Solano, Wayne's boyfriend, who moves in with Wayne.
Jorge Rodolfo, Wayne's friend, of whom Ferrin is initially jealous, but who eventually joins Wayne and Ferrin for a threesome.
Peter DeGroot, Jesse's one-night stand.


Travis Mathews. The poster for the 2012 movie.


Photograph by Pamela Littky. Brontez Purnell, the San Francisco indie rocker turns his focus from music to movement.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Want_Your_Love_(film)
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A dancer with American Ballet Theatre (1987-93) and Dance Theatre of Harlem (1980-87), Carld Jonassaint (c. 1962, Port-de-Paix, Haiti - 28 February 1997, New York City, age 35) was also a choreographer who, in the last few years of his life, produced several promising works. Three of these were performed by Ballet Inc., a company directed by Charles David Anderson, a former member of New York City Ballet. Jack Anderson's review in the New York Times includes several paragraphs on Jonaissant's work: "The most effective creation was Mr. Jonassaint's audacious 'Serenade for Dead Men,' to the same Tchaikovsky score that accompanies 'Serenade,' George Balanchine's bittersweet masterpiece of 1934," Anderson wrote. "As in the older work, groups crystallized and dissolved and soloists darted in and out. But whereas Balanchine emphasized women, this was a ballet for an all-male cast. Its mood was elegiac, its patterns were attractive and its only heavy-handed moment came when an allegorical Christ figure welcomed men who supposedly represented the spirits of great choreographers and dancers. (Picture: Photo: Marbeth, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)

"In Mr. Jonassaint's mysterious 'Inner Voice,' Peter Lentz, of Ballet Theater, portrayed a brooding model in a painter's studio. This character encountered Melissa Lentz, the dancer's sister, who wore an elegant gown that made her resemble a goddess in one of Jean Cocteau's chic updatings of Greek mythology. As she moved, Ms. Lentz, a mezzo-soprano with the Metropolitan Opera Company, sang Villa-Lobos's haunting 'Bachiana Brasileira No. 5,' to the ugitar accompaniment of Derek Kudrow, and she seemed to be an artist's muse.

"Mr. Jonassaint also contributed 'Full Moon Over Central Park,' a not entirely convincing study of sexual violence, to a new score by Robert Ruggieri."

Read more... )

Source: http://www.artistswithaids.org/artforms/dance/catalogue/jonassaint.html

Further Readings )

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff MC (25 September 1889 – 28 February 1930) was a Scottish writer, most famous for his English translation of most of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, which he published under the Shakespearean title Remembrance of Things Past. (Picture: C.K. Scott Moncrieff painted by Edward Stanley Mercer (1889–1932))

Scott Moncrieff was born in Stirlingshire, the youngest of three sons. Because his brothers, Colin Scott Moncrieff and John Irving Scott Moncrieff, were several years older, the young "Charlie" spent much of his childhood playing alone or lost in books. From the age of seven he attended a local day school, where he displayed an uncommon genius for languages.

He attended Winchester College and while still a schoolboy, became associated with the Wildean circles of Robert Ross and Christopher Millard, Ross' sometime secretary and author of the first bibliography of Wilde's works. Millard was also known for his pandering to younger boys and may well have had a relationship with Scott Moncrieff. There is, however, no proof of this.

In 1907, he published a short story, 'Evensong and Morwe Song', in the pageant issue of New Field, the literary magazine that he edited, while at Winchester College. The story deals with sex between two boys at a public school. The magazine was hastily suppressed, although not before copies of the offending edition had been mailed to parents. The story was republished in 1923 in an edition of fifty copies for private circulation only. It was never published again in the author's lifetime. Although it is commonly claimed that Scott Moncrieff was expelled for this act of rebellion, there are no records of expulsion in Winchester College Archives and there are letters in the archive which mention his returning there before the war as an "old boy", which would have been unlikely had he left in disgrace. (Picture: Robert Ross)

Read more... )

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

Further Readings )

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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Christian Haren (February 1, 1935 – February 27, 1996) was an American actor, model and community activist.

Haren was born in San Bernardino County, California. He attended school and colleges in San Bernardino. In his 20s he served in the United States Army during the 1950s.

In the 1960s Haren received a studio contract from MGM and starred in Vincente Minnelli's Bells Are Ringing, Otto Preminger's In Harm's Way, and Billy Rose's Jumbo. He starred on Broadway in the Bertolt Brecht play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, produced by Tony Richardson.

He is best remembered for playing the role of the Marlboro Man in print advertisements in the early 1960s.

Haren was openly gay and the proprietor of the popular Palm Springs gay bar CC Construction Co. in later years. In 1985 he was diagnosed with AIDS and became active in AIDS prevention education. He started "The Wedge", a "safe sex" AIDS prevention organization for teens in San Francisco.

Haren died in 1996 in San Francisco, California of complications from AIDS, at the age of 61.

His life was the subject of the 1998 documentary short Castro Cowboy.



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

Further Readings )

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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Peter John Gomes (May 22, 1942 – February 28, 2011) was an American preacher and theologian, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard Divinity School and Pusey Minister at Harvard's Memorial Church — in the words of Harvard's president "one of the great preachers of our generation, and a living symbol of courage and conviction."

Gomes was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Orissa (White) and Peter Lobo Gomes. His father was from the Cape Verde Islands and his mother was African-American. DNA testing revealed that he was likely descended from the Fulani, Tikar, and Hausa peoples of West Africa, and that his patrilineal line likely leads to some Sephardic Jewish ancestry. He was baptized as a Roman Catholic, but later became an American Baptist.

After earning his AB from Bates College in 1965 and STB from Harvard Divinity School in 1968, Gomes was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Plymouth, Massachusetts, (where he occasionally preached throughout his life). After a short tenure at Tuskeegee, he returned to Harvard, where in 1970 he became Pusey Minister in Harvard's nondenominational Memorial Church, and in 1974 was made Plummer Professor of Christian Morals.

Gomes was a leading expert on early American religiosity. On faculty at both Harvard's Divinity School and its Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Gomes taught graduate and undergraduate courses — his History of Harvard and Its Presidents explored the interplay between shifting religious attitudes and changes in national (and educational) politics in America — and served as faculty adviser of the Harvard Ichthus.

In 2000, he delivered The University Sermon before The University of Cambridge, England, and The Millennial Sermon in Canterbury Cathedral, England; and he presented The Beecher Lectures on Preaching, in Yale Divinity School.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_J._Gomes
Because it was the example of the black civil rights movement which made the gay liberation movement possible, it is especially appropriate that one of the most eloquent philosophers of liberation in the nineties was the Reverend Peter J. Gomes, a black gay Baptist with an "Anglican over-soul" who was the chief minister at Harvard University. He also happened to be a Republican who delivered the benediction at Ronald Reagan's second presidential inauguration.
Gomes outed himself to the Harvard community in 1991, after a conservative campus publication cited everyone from Freud to the Bible to prove that gay life was "immoral" and "pitiable."
"Gay people are victims not of the Bible, not of religion, and not of the church, but of people who use religion as a way to devalue and deform those whom they can neither ignore nor convert," Gomes declared. Then he identified himself as "a Christian who happens as well to be gay... These realities, which are unreconciliable to some, are reconciled in me by a loving God, a living Saviour, a moving, breathing, healthy Holy Spirit whom I know intimately and who knows me."
Gomes offered an elegant argument that there is no intrinsic conflict between a Judeo-Christian God and a homosexual. In The Good Book, which Gomes published in 1996, he pointed out that when the Bible was written, its authors "never contemplated a form of homosexuality in which loving, monogamous, and faithful persons sought to live out the implications of the gospel with as much fidelity to it as any heterosexual believer. All they knew of homosexuality was prostitution, pederasty, lasciviousness, and exploitation. These vices, as we know, are not unknown among heterosexuals, and to define contemporary homosexuals only in these terms is cultural slander of the highest order." --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
Further Readings )

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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James Sinclair Ross, CM (January 22, 1908 – February 29, 1996) was a Canadian banker and author, best known for his fiction about life in the Canadian prairies. He is best known for his first novel, As For Me and My House.

Ross was born on a homestead near Shellbrook, Saskatchewan. When he was seven, his parents separated, and he lived with his mother on a number of different farms during his childhood, going to school in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. He left school after Grade 11 and in 1924 the sixteen-year-old Ross joined the Union Bank of Canada which became part of the Royal Bank of Canada a year later. At first he worked in a number of small towns in Saskatchewan then moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1933 and Montreal, Quebec in 1946, after spending four years in the Canadian Army during World War II. He would remain with the Royal Bank until his retirement in 1968, after which he spent some time in Spain and Greece before moving to a nursing home in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he lived until his death.

As For Me and My House, set in an isolated town in the Prairies during the Great Depression, was published in 1941. At first not much noticed, it went on to become a Canadian literary classic which set the precedent for the genre of Canadian prairie fiction. He wrote three more novels during his lifetime as well as a few anthologies of short stories, none of which became as well known as his first novel. He is known to have destroyed manuscripts of novels that his publisher rejected, including a sequel to Sawbones Memorial.

A monument in his honour has been erected in Indian Head by Saskatchewan artists and readers with a bronze statue sculpted by Joe Fafard.

In 1992, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He died in 1996 after battling Parkinson's Disease, and was buried in Indian Head. At the end of his life, his homosexuality became public knowledge, thanks in large part to Keath Fraser's controversial 1997 biography As For Me and My Body: A Memoir of Sinclair Ross.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Ross

Further Readings )

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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Tomm Ruud was a San Francisco Ballet principal dancer, best known for his role as Drosselmeyer in "The Nutcracker." Ruud died on February 28, 1994, at his home of AIDS-related illnesses. He was 50 years old. (Picture: Evelyn Cisneros & Tomm Ruud Ballet original)

After 10 years with William Christensen's Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Ruud joined the San Francisco Ballet in 1975. In the 1986-87 season, he was made a principal character dancer.

Ruud was born in Pasadena and raised in Afton, Wyo. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in dance from the University of Utah.

He also made guest appearances with national and international ballet companies and dance festivals, including the National Ballet of Canada, the Ninth International Ballet Festival in Havana, the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Oakland Ballet.

In 1983, Ruud danced the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet" and the pas de deux from "La Fille Mal Gardee" for a "Magic of Dance" program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

Ruud also choreographed several works that are in the San Francisco Ballet's repertoire, including "Mobile," "Metamorphoses," "Trilogy," "Introduction and Allegro," "Richmond Diary" and "Step for Two."

A short subject film, "Balances," released in 1981, is based on his best-known ballet, "Mobile."


Tomm Rudd and Vane Vest Ballet Shirtless

Read more... )

Source: http://articles.latimes.com/1994-03-03/news/mn-29292_1_san-francisco-ballet

Further Readings )

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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Aldyn Mckean (1948 - February 28, 1994): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3480572.html

Aldyn McKean, a singer and actor who was an advocate for gay rights and the rights of people with AIDS, died on February 28, 1994, at his home in Manhattan. He was 45. On March 4, 1994, a funeral procession accross 14th Street to Union Square Park took place to honor Aldyn Mckean. They brought a sign reading: "A Great Hero In The Fight To End AIDS Honor His Life -- Take Action" "I am a person with AIDS and I am gonna fight to get what I need."

Carld Jorel Jonassaint (1962 - February 28, 1997): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3480737.html

A dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Dance Theatre of Harlem, Carld Jonassaint was also a choreographer who produced several promising works. Three of these were performed by Ballet Inc., a company directed by Charles David Anderson, a former member of NYC Ballet. Bringing together his work as a choreographer, poet, composer and costume designer, Jonassaint created a multimedia dance/theater piece, Poetry in the Life of A.I.D.S., featuring 30 dancers, actors, singers and musicians.

Charles Aufderheide (November 30, 1920 - February 1984): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3480932.html

Charles Aufderheide was an American technician. Aufderheide came to Los Angeles with Ruby Bell and the From twins. He began working on cameras at Technicolor, and he continued there for about 30 years. According to a friend, Aufderheide's personal qualities were largely responsible for the harmony of The Benton Way Group: he had quick insight into the needs of his circle of acquaintances and friends, liked to entertain, and was able to talk practically on a wide range of sophisticated subjects.

Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff (September 25, 1889 – February 28, 1930): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3083512.html

Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff was a Scottish writer, most famous for his English translation of most of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, which he published under the Shakespearean title Remembrance of Things Past. It was at the wedding of Robert Graves that Scott Moncrieff met another poet, Wilfred Owen, with whom he maintained a difficult relationship for several months. Coded sonnets by Scott Moncrieff, addressed to a "Mr. W. O.," suggest that his love for Owen was unrequited.

Christian Haren (February 1, 1935 – February 27, 1996): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3481304.html

Christian Haren was an American actor, model and community activist. He is best remembered for playing the role of the Marlboro Man in print advertisements in the early 1960s. Haren was the proprietor of the popular Palm Springs gay bar CC Construction Co. In 1985 he was diagnosed with AIDS and became active in AIDS prevention education. He started "The Wedge", a "safe sex" AIDS prevention organization for teens in San Francisco. His life was the subject of the documentary short Castro Cowboy.

E.F. Benson (July 24, 1867- February 29, 1940): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/2539288.html

Edward Frederic Benson was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist and short story writer, known as E.F. Benson. Benson was an excellent athlete, and represented England at figure skating. He was a precocious and prolific writer, publishing his first book while still a student. Nowadays he is principally known for his Mapp and Lucia series about Emmeline "Lucia" Lucas and Elizabeth Mapp. Benson never married but there is no evidence that he was homosexual, though thought so by many people.

Peter J. Gomes (May 22, 1942 – February 28, 2011): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3083896.html

Peter J. Gomes was an American preacher and theologian, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard Divinity School and Pusey Minister at Harvard's Memorial Church. "I now have an unambiguous vocation — a mission — to address the religious causes and roots of homophobia... I will devote the rest of my life to addressing the ‘religious case’ against gays.” Same-sex marriage advocate Evan Wolfson described Gomes as an integral contributor to the cause of marriage equality."

Seth Rudetsky (born February 28): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4227367.html

Seth Rudetsky is an American musician, actor, writer, and radio host. He currently is the host of "Seth's Big Fat Broadway" on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's On Broadway. The show focuses on Rudetsky's knowledge of Broadway theatre history and trivia. Broadway Nights was released in 2007: Stephen Sheerin was born to play on Broadway—or at least, under it. He’s a musician, a conductor, and his dream is to music direct a big Broadway musical. He’s just been given his big break.

Sinclair Ross (January 22, 1908 – February 29, 1996): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4227210.html

James Sinclair Ross was a Canadian banker and author, best known for his fiction about life in the Canadian prairies. He is best known for his first novel, As For Me and My House. In 1992, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He died in 1996 after battling Parkinson's Disease, and was buried in Indian Head. At the end of his life, his homosexuality became public knowledge, thanks in large part to Keath Fraser's controversial 1997 biography As For Me and My Body: A Memoir of Sinclair Ross.

Stephen Tennant & Siegfried Sassoon: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3084046.html

During the 1920s and 1930s, Stephen Tennant had a sexual affair with the poet Siegfried Sassoon. His relationship with Sassoon was to be his most important: it lasted some four years before Tennant off-handedly put an abrupt end to it. Sassoon was reportedly depressed afterwards for three months, until Sassoon married in 1933 and became a father in 1936. Seigfried Sassoon died one week before his 81st birthday in 1967. When Tennant died in 1987, he had far outlived most of his contemporaries.

Tomm Ruud (1944 - February 28, 1994): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3481599.html

Tomm Ruud was a San Francisco Ballet principal dancer, best known for his role as Drosselmeyer in "The Nutcracker." Ruud died on February 28, 1994, at his home of AIDS-related illnesses. He was 50 years old. Ruud also choreographed several works that are in the San Francisco Ballet's repertoire, including "Mobile," "Metamorphoses," "Trilogy," "Introduction and Allegro," "Richmond Diary" and "Step for Two." A short subject film, "Balances," is based on his best-known ballet, "Mobile."

Tommy Tune & David Wolfe: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3481700.html

Tommy Tune is an American actor, dancer, singer, theatre director, producer, and choreographer. He has won 9 Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts. In Tune's memoir Footnotes, he writes about what drives him as a performer, choreographer and director, offers stories about being openly gay in the world of theatre, his partners, stage manager David Wolfe: "On December 25th, 1994, David died at 4.00 a.m. Thank you, God, for answering my prayer. Thank you, David, for sharing your life with me."

Travis Mathews (born 1975): http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4226964.html

Travis Mathews (born 1975) is an American film director and screenwriter. Mathews lives and works in San Francisco. Primarily working within the documentary genre, including the films I Want Your Love and Interior. Leather Bar., and the web series In Your Room. I Want Your Love was refused exemption from classification to screen at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a decision to which actor James Franco (who invited Mathews to collaborate on his film Interior. Leather Bar.) reacted negatively.

Vassili & Marc Brent-Shields: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3481915.html

Marc, a dental-office manager, who at the time he met Vassili was still living at home with his parents in a Boston suburb, didn’t announce his engagement. With little fanfare, he changed the relationship status on his profile from “In a Relationship” to “Engaged.” At the time, he had been dating his fiancé, Vassili Shields, who was then 23, for a year. They met in the restaurant where Vassili used to work as a waiter. “I thought he was cute the first night he came in with his friends."

William Finn & Arthur Salvadore: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3084291.html

William Alan Finn is an American composer and lyricist of musicals. His musical Falsettos received the 1992 Tony Awards for Best Music and Lyrics and for Best Book. After a surgery, Finn experienced a year of humbled serenity and constantly felt like he had a "new brain." The musical A New Brain is based on his experience. Around 1980, Finn met Arthur Salvadore, with whom he has shared his life ever since. Salvadore figures in A New Brain as Roger Delli-Bovi, Gordon's patient, responsible lover.
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Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Careful Flowers by Kieran York
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Blue Feather Books LTD. (October 20, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935627635
ISBN-13: 978-1935627630
Amazon: Careful Flowers
Amazon Kindle: Careful Flowers

Fleur Hamilton is a botanist with an important project and a pending grant. She is also in a relationship that has taken a critical turn. Life isn't turning out to be as simple as she had hoped. Then, she enters her fourth decade and loses her Aunt Golda. Suddenly, Fleur discovers that nothing is as she believed it to be. Ever the scientist, she becomes obsessed with discovering the truth about her aunt, and about her own roots. As she slowly uncovers her parents' Hippie era lives and her Aunt Golda's past as a Holocaust survivor, their stories become her own. Fleur is thrust into a crossroads, forced to make a horrific decision. Her unearthed heritage strengthens her as it directs her, and the past becomes her tutor to the future. Peace and love, hatred and pain, all become her reality. As these opposing worlds converge, Fleur must discover herself. Only then will she be able to deal with her broken relationship, and with her future.

Charities Donation program progress:
25$ Point Foundation: www.pointfoundation.org/
25$ Lambda Legal: www.lambdalegal.org/
25$ YouthCare: www.youthcare.org/
53$ COLORS: www.colorsyouth.org/
107$ Galop: www.galop.org.uk/
110$ SAGE: giveto.sageusa.org/
125$ Cancer Research Institute: www.cancerresearch.org/
160$ UCAN: www.ucanchicago.org/
250$ Ali Forney Center: www.aliforneycenter.org/
TOTAL: 880$*

* 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: reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4162490.html
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Before talking of why I loved this story, I should tell you a little one myself: when my mother was only a child (she was born in 1942 in full wartime), she lived in an occupied city, Padua, by the Nazi Army. Most of the people was living in barns right outside the city, and near where they were there was a garrison of German officers; my grandfather, after years and years of wartime (he was enlisted in the Africa campaign and then Greece, and he had already lost a 3 years old child to pneumonia) had deserted the Italian army, and to be able to help his family, he was tending the German officers’ animals, mostly mules; one of these officers took sympathy on my mother, she was red-head and curly, and he said she remembered him of his own daughter, back in Germany; he brought chocolate to her and what food he could to my grandfather and grandmother; when the Army started to recede to Germany thought the Alpes, they took my grandfather with them, to tend the animals; but it was clear that he wasn’t to come back, as soon as they were at home, my father, an Italian deserter was probably to be sent to prison if not worse; the German officer told him to stay at the back of the group, and to wait for his signal; as soon as it was possible, he signaled my grandfather to run away. We don’t know what it was of the officer, we don’t even know his name, but we know he saved my grandfather’s life.

So this story of a high-ranked German officer who fell in love with the American assassin who was sent to kill him rang true to my ears. Not only that, I’m always a little weary of war stories cause they are usually tragic, with little hope for an happily ever after, and instead this one was very romantic, as light as it could be due to the matter, and yes, full of hope and with an uplifting feeling that lulled and comforted the reader during all the course of the story.

The plot develops in parallel, the story of Frank and Johann when the met, and that of 3 years later, when the war is over and Johann is under process at Nuremberg for crime against humanity. There is little Frank can do, he for sure cannot admit he was Johann’s lover and he cannot disclose his former mission; to the world’s eyes, Johann was an high-ranked German officer who was primarily involved in the Germany’s war strategies.

The love story between Frank and Johann was sudden and immediate, I did wonder if a trained assassin could really fall like that, I was always expecting for him to turn and betray Johann; on the other hand, Johann was like a romantic hero, talking of love and being the perfect lover, trusting Frank totally only for the reason he was in love; again, I thought he was maybe a little naïve, but I really liked his romantic streak, and for once, it was a joy to read a war story, and not a “tragic” experience.

Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing (July 21, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622341104
ISBN-13: 978-1622341108
Amazon: Lovers in Arms
Amazon Kindle: Lovers in Arms



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