Category Archives: Literature

Books, Magazines, Poetry

An Evening with David Sedaris at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Are you a fan of the wonderful, witty Mr. Sedaris? Well, faster than you can dress your family in corduroy and denim, quicker than you can explore diabetes with owls check out ticket availability for his one-night only appearance at the Schnitzer! The fun begins at 7:30PM, this Friday, November 8th.

From the Portland’5 Press Release

NPR humorist and bestselling author of CalypsoNakedDress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers, known for his sardonic wit and incisive social critiques. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

Calypso, his latest collection of essays, is a New York Times best-seller, and a Washington PostBest Book of the Year. The audiobook of Calypso was nominated for a 2019 Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Album category.

David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, NakedMe Talk Pretty One DayDress Your Family in Corduroy and DenimWhen You Are Engulfed in FlamesLet’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and Calypso, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls is a 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories.

“Sedaris ain’t the preeminent humorist of his generation by accident.”– Whitney Pastorek, Entertainment Weekly

You can follow David on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davidsedaris.

Bullies and Biceps 2019 Calendar

CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER MIKE RUIZ PRESENTS THE ‘BULLIES AND BICEPS’ 2019 CALENDAR

Honoring The Memory of His Own Beloved Pit Bull, Oliver

Benefiting New York Bully Crew Pet Rescue

Everyone loves photos of adorable pit bull pups.  So what happens when you pair the cutest pooches on earth  — who just happen to be in need of forever homes — with beautiful, hunky men?  The year’s most buzzed-about calendar.

Photographer Mike Ruiz’s 2019 calendar, “Bullies and Biceps,” is fourteen months of perfection (2 bonus months in 2020) that will put a smile on your face every day of the new year.

Mike Ruiz is a celebrity photographer whose clients include Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and countless others.  In addition to his work in Hollywood, Ruiz is known for shooting top male fitness models.  “I admire men who have sculpted their bodies into works of art,” he says. “It takes incredible skill and knowledge to form human tissue to near perfection.  Photographing their work is quite gratifying to me.”

The men featured in “Bullies and Biceps” are some of the biggest male fitness models working today including Bryan Richards, Michael Dean, Nick Topel and cover-model Casey Christopher.  Collectively, they have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. They also are all passionate about animal rescue.

Mike Ruiz, too, is a pit bull rescuer and this year’s calendar is in special tribute to Oliver, his beloved canine, who passed away last month.  Mike and Oliver shared six wonderful years together.  It was Oliver who inspired  Mike to fuse his two passions — photography and pit bulls — together into a calendar that would benefit dogs in need of rescue.

The pit bulls that appear in the calendar were chosen at random and represent only a fraction of those in need.  “This is a very sad time to be in rescue,” explains Carla Mohan of the New York Bully Crew.  “People are giving up their dogs without remorse.  Pit bull type dogs are especially vulnerable because most rescues shy away from saving them due to lack of experience, knowledge and the negative media coverage the beautiful creatures have received.”

Founded by Craig Fields in 2010, New York Bully Crew specializes in the rescue, rehabbing and rehoming of pit bull type dogs.  They partner with city shelters around the country to help local animals and have also begun outreach in Puerto Rico, Honduras, Peru,  and South Korea.

“Pit bulls are the most loyal and loving dogs,” Carla continues.  “They are soulful creatures that can be the silliest best friend ever. I have had many different breeds of dogs in my life, but none compare to pit bulls.”

She hopes the calendar will open people’s eyes and hearts and change misconceptions about this goofy and jolly breed.   While shooting the calendar, the pit bulls on set stole the hearts of the super gorgeous male models.  “I wanted to take them all home with me,” laughs Casey Christopher.

Every dollar made from the sale of the “Bullies and Biceps” 2019 calendar will go directly to New York Bully Crew for various services benefitting the health and welfare of the dogs.  “The calendar makes the perfect holiday gift and also brings awareness to these special animals,” says Mike Ruiz. “Every pit bull deserves a forever home.”

Mike Ruiz’s 2019 calendar, “Bullies and Biceps” is available for only $24.99 at www.nybullycrew.org

Tiffany’s Features Same-Sex Couple

It’s a first!

Tiffany & Co. features a same-sex couple in their new ad campaign. Photographer Peter Lindbergh captured the happy couple on film for this 178-year-old jewelry company.

You’ve got to love the tagline for real-life couple, dancer Eric Bourne and fashion executive Thomas Trube:

“Will you promise to never stop completing my sentences or singing off-key, which I’m afraid you do often? And will you let today be the first sentence of one long story that never, ever ends?”

The times—they are a changin’!

Tiffany-same-sex-ad-full

Fathers Day is Coming – Modern Friction

By Skip Sheffield

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHans M. Hirschi’s stories are a mirror on today’s LGBT community, the first generation able to legally marry and have children.  Each tale in his new novel, “Living The Rainbow: A Gay Family Triptych”, offers a glimpse at how modern gay families live their lives, the unique worries they have, and how they deal with them. Love is at the core of all the stories, along with the message that gay families are as tightly bound and complicated as any other family unit.

What can readers learn from the adventures in your stories?
I don’t write to teach lessons.  I often use stories to question beliefs. In the “The Opera House”, I explore how death can test faith.  “Jonathan’s Hope” examines trust issues and “Family Ties” tackles monogamy. What I hope my novels do is ask questions and present possible solutions.

Hans MAre the stories autobiographical?
They are, somewhat.  They deal with issues that are constantly on my mind as a gay father. I wrote “Family Ties” while my husband and I were pregnant.  The prospect of fatherhood was constantly on my mind. Would I be a good father?  What would people say seeing two dads with a child? “Jonathan’s Hope” probes, among other things, the age difference between the two main characters. I am twelve years older than my husband.

Is that a problem?

Not now but when I retire at 70, my husband will only be 58.  When he’s 70, I’ll be 82. I’m sure we’ll work things out, but it scares me that I may not be there for him at some point. Or that he may have to care for me. The ending of “Jonathan’s Hope” is a glimpse at how that might look like, and it is bittersweet.

What binds all three stories together?
Love, hope and a message that gay families are just like any other family.

Do shows like Modern Family accurately reflect today’s gay families?

While they have done wonders for people’s conceptions of LGBT families, they tend to portray us as camp, butch or neurotic.  They rely on stereotypes for laughs.

What is the biggest difference between nuclear and LGBT families?
LGBT parents tend to be a bit older and wiser.  We plan long and hard for our children.

What unique challenges do LGBT parents face?Hans baby boy
Homophobia is always showing its ugly face when you least expect it.  It started for us right from the beginning. Homophobia from social services kept us from fostering and adopting. We ended up building our family through surrogacy and that has led to other forms of homophobia.  More than once, we’ve been accused of buying our child.

What does the world need to know about modern LGBT families?
We’re as exciting and dull as the rest of them. My son’s diapers smell as badly as any other baby’s.  We worry the same and we’re as willing to sacrifice ourselves for our kids as any other parent.

Your worry is reflected in the last novel in the trilogy, “The Opera House”.

The story explores the loss of a child, something I believe most parents contemplate in one way or another.  I wrote it after my son’s birth. The fear of losing him was really difficult at times. Those first months, I’d listen to every breath he’d take.  Any silence would alarm me.  I was so afraid of SIDS.

What’s next for you?
I’ve just started a new novel. It is going to be about a man’s journey and travels. I have no idea where it’s going to take me; what the man is going to experience or what trials and tribulations may be ahead. My writing is very fluid and extremely unconscious. I let my fingers do the typing and marvel at the words that come to life on the computer screen. Every now and then, I gasp at the unexpected plot turns, wondering how on earth I’m going to fix the problem I just created.


Living The Rainbow Front Cover“Living The Rainbow: A Gay Family Triptych” is available now, digitally and as a softcover boxed set, on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble  (Nook), and at selected local bookstores.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love One by J'son M. Lee

Love One

Love One by J'son M. LeeSynopsis

Sex is the foundation of many relationships. But what if sex were no longer on the table?

J’son M. Lee introduces us to Sebastian Chalmers, a successful activist who finds comfort in random sexual encounters. Sebastian harbors a painful childhood secret that is the root of his sexual dysfunction. On the verge of losing everything, can he find the courage to confront his past or will he continue his downward spiral into decadence?

Biography

J’son M. Lee, though born in Brooklyn, New York, is essentially a North Carolinian.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a degree in Speech Communication with a concentration in Performance Studies.  Lee is 44 years old and resides in Baltimore, Maryland.  He is also the author of Just Tryin’ To Be Loved, the “Friends or Lovers” short story series (Best Friends, More Than Friends and Can’t Be Friends), love One (short story), One Family’s AIDS (short story) and co-author of the multiple award winning title, How could my husband be GAY?, with Ondrea L. Davis.  J’son was recently named 2013 Author of the Year by SGL BOOKLOVERS magazine.

In addition to books, Lee wrote, produced and starred in his own one-man show entitled One Family’s AIDS.   This play is the story of Gene Alexander McCoy – a young, educated African-American man who finds himself in a race for time to make peace with his family and with God upon being diagnosed with HIV. The play, told from four different perspectives, chronicles Gene’s life as he confronts such issues as HIV/AIDS, family, abandonment and homophobia. With the help of his over-bearing mother, a nurturing grandmother, and an uncle who doesn’t really feel comfortable talking about Gene’s sexuality or disease, we learn the complexities of love and relationships, the damaging results of fear and shame, and how the relentless quest for the truth ultimately leads us back to each other.

Contact Information For additional information or interview requests, contact J’son M. Lee – 888.688.4250 or jlee@sweetgeorgiapress.com

Json M. Lee

 

One Family's Aids By J'son M. Lee

One Family’s Aids

One Family's Aids By J'son M. LeeOne Family’s AIDS, by J’son M. Lee, is the story of Gene Alexander McCoy—a young, educated African-American man who finds himself in a race for time to make peace with his family and God upon being diagnosed with HIV. The short story, told from four different perspectives, chronicles Gene’s life as he confronts such issues as HIV/AIDS, family, abandonment and homophobia. With the help of his over-bearing mother, a nurturing grandmother, and an uncle who doesn’t feel comfortable talking about Gene’s sexuality or disease, we learn the complexities of love and relationships, the damaging results of fear and shame, and how the relentless quest for the truth ultimately leads us back to each other.

One Family’s AIDS is based on the stage play of the same name. Readers fell in love with Grandma Annie Mae McCoy’s first person account of her experiences with the disease:

Annie Mae McCoy – He is Er’rythang To Me (excerpted from One Family’s AIDS)

I raised Gene since he was four years old. My oldest son, William, brought Gene home to live with me after my daughter got messed up on that stuff. I’m not really surprised how Ruthie turned out. She was always a little hot in the tail. She ran away after she got pregnant with Gene. I’ve always taught my ‘churen that you can never run from your troubles. I guess she missed that lesson. A hard head always makes a soft behind.

I fell in love with Gene when he smiled and I saw those dimples. I knew he was “special” early on. Let me tell you this funny story. When he was growing up Gene loved…Lord, what’s her name? Little skinny gal…wit all the hair…sang wit the Supremes…Oh yes, Diana Ross! I reckon he was about five or so. He snook up in my room and had put on some of my makeup and slipped on a pair of my heels. I stood back and watched him. He didn’t know I was watching. Chile he was putting on a show in the mirror singing, “Stop! In The Name Of Love.” He was singing his little heart out like he was Diana Ross.  I never said a word. He was always a little performer.

Gene kept to himself a lot when he was growing up. The other kids tormented him so much…just ’cause he was a little different. You see, Gene wasn’t rough like the other boys. He pretty much stayed up under me. I didn’t mind. He was such a sweet boy. Gene also had a lil’ twist in his walk. I guess he got that from his momma. She had a walk you wouldn’t believe. Chile, drove the boys crazy! She knew it, too. Gene’s walk kinda’ reminded me of that. Po’ thang, he couldn’t help it. He was knock-kneed and pigeon-toed like his momma…so when he would walk away from me, I would say, “Lord, ‘ha mercy”.

After he went off to college he started opening up to me more about what he was going through. I guess it was all that education. He started using these big saditty words. I had to say, “Wait baby…break it down so grandmamma can understand.” That’s when he told me about his lifestyle…that he liked mens. I said, “Baby, I knew dat…tell grandmamma something she don’t already know.” Mothers always know. Nothin’ could change my love for my baby. All I’ve ever wanted is for him to be happy…and if this made him happy, so be it. Who cares if he loves different?

My baby now has da AIDS…I really didn’t know what da AIDS was ’til my Gene got it. All I know is that he was real sick all the time…so when I asked him ’bout it, he told me he had da AIDS. I’ve learned a lot about da AIDS; as much as an old lady like me can learn. I’m not afraid of hugging or kissing my son. But I don’t take any chances. Gene makes sho’ of that. I remember one time I was shaving him and nicked his face. I reached for a Kleenex to dab the blood and he shouted, “Annie Mae, (that’s what he calls me when he’s mad) I’ll do that. Don’t ever touch my blood!”

It’s hard watching your child die. I watch him when he’s asleep just like I used to do when he was a little boy and he looks the same. It’s not until he opens his eyes that reality hits me in the face. His eyes look sunken and sometimes they seem so distant. In the hospital he began to talk out his head. I think it was all that medication. When I walked in his room I said, “Hey there…how’s my favorite son?” He said, “I’m fine…Niecey just left.” “Was it a nice visit?” I asked. “Yes mam”, he said. Niecey was this little girl he used to play with who lived next door when he was a little boy. We ain’t heard from that girl in over 15 years. Then one time he was talkin’ ’bout he had to change his clothes so that he could go and milk the cow. He kept telling me to hand him the pail that was lying on the flo’. Although I didn’t see it, I pretended I did cuz when I didn’t see what he saw, he got so frustrated. The funny thang was ‘dat boy didn’t know nothing ’bout milkin’ no cows. He ain’t never milked a cow a day in his life! He was always too “nice” for that. He didn’t work in the field and didn’t believe in getting dirty. He said he wasn’t getting black as a boot and doin’ all dat sweatin’. Like I said, he was too “nice” for all that.

I could talk for three days and all you would hear are words upon words…none of which would make any difference. They won’t help my Gene. They won’t stop him from suffering…from dying…and from me having to watch him die. Sometimes he just seems so helpless. But it’s all in God’s hand now. I love all my ‘churen. I always thought they would suffer my death. I always thought I’d be gone first. Looks like I’m gone be wrong….

Biography

J’son M. Lee, though born in Brooklyn, New York, is essentially a North Carolinian.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a degree in Speech Communication with a concentration in Performance Studies.  Lee is 43 years old and resides in Baltimore, Maryland.  He is also the author of Just Tryin’ To Be Loved, the “Friends or Lovers” short story series (Best Friends, More Than Friends and Can’t Be Friends), love One (short story), One Family’s AIDS (short story) and co-author of the multiple award winning title, How could my husband be GAY?, with Ondrea L. Davis.  J’son was recently named 2013 Author of the Year by SGL BOOKLOVERS magazine.

Contact Information For additional information or interview requests, contact J’son M. Lee – 888.688.4250 or jlee@sweetgeorgiapress.com

Json M. Lee

Just Tryin To Be Loved by J'son M. Lee

Just Tryin’ To Be Loved

Synopsis

Just Tryin' To Be Loved by J'son M. LeeIt has taken almost two years for Mark to put the pieces of his shattered life back together following a devastating breakup with his first love, Tony. Determined to never allow anyone to hurt him again, Mark becomes a recluse and throws himself into his career. Confronted with the demons of his past and a yearning to be loved, Mark soon finds his life spiraling out of control. Charismatic real estate executive, Jared Muse, knows that Mark is still healing and is resigned to give him all the time and space he needs; that is, until Tony re-enters Mark’s life with hopes of reconciling. After a while of dating both gentlemen, Mark makes his decision.  Unfortunately, this is when his nightmare begins.  Hell also hath no fury like a MAN scorned…

Biography

J’son M. Lee, though born in Brooklyn, New York, is essentially a North Carolinian.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a degree in Speech Communication with a concentration in Performance Studies.  Lee is 43 years old and resides in Baltimore, Maryland.  He is also the author of Just Tryin’ To Be Loved, the “Friends or Lovers” short story series (Best Friends, More Than Friends and Can’t Be Friends), love One (short story), One Family’s AIDS (short story) and co-author of the multiple award winning title, How could my husband be GAY?, with Ondrea L. Davis.  J’son was recently named 2013 Author of the Year by SGL BOOKLOVERS magazine.

Excerpt

…Oddly, my thoughts went to Jared.  Jared was the only man that I allowed to hold me since my breakup with Tony.  He had accomplished something that no one else had been able to do.  He was cracking the wall that I had erected to protect my heart.  It felt good being in his arms that day at his condo, and it was not because he was familiar.  It was because it was what I wanted.  Why did life have to be so complicated?  I was comfortable living my life without a man.  In a few months’ time, I now had two men in my life.  I didn’t invite anyone into my world.  Why did they both have to come knocking now? …I have never been the type to date more than one guy at a time.  I always thought it was messy.  It seemed to be this cruel game because at some point you had to make a choice.  That choice leaves someone out in the cold.  I’m a smart guy.  I know that with games, someone wins and someone has to lose.  But a game where someone’s feelings were at stake wasn’t the kind of game that intrigued me.  I saw my friends do it like it was nothing and it seemed to work for them.  Maybe that was my problem.  I was always thinking about the other guy and not myself.

Endorsements

“This is one of the best books I have read in the 400 plus books that I’ve read spanning over the last five years.  Very few novels have left me emotionally drained at the end … I could go on and on about this book, that is just how good it was. Kudos Mr. Lee on a job well done!  I can’t wait for your next book.”  –M.T. Pope, Author

“Lies, secrets, and violence are depicted in this gripping novel. This is a story that readers will be able to relate to.”   –Books2Mention Magazine

“Author J’son does a great job with the twist and turns in this book, and ties all the characters together… J’son Lee is an author to be on the look out for. This is a great story and I look forward to reading more from him in the near future.     SiStar Tea, ARC Book Club Inc.

Lee has used his abilities as a storyteller to address issues of relationships, accepting who you are and being comfortable in your own skin as well as where faith plays a role in your life and the decisions you make. It has all of the characteristics you would expect of a book that was designed to grab the reader and not let them go, and that is something it does with each page. Presented in such a way that people of all walks of life will be able to see slivers of themselves, J’son M. Lee shows that we are all just trying to be loved. It’s all about the path you go searching for it.    –C.A.Webb, Conversations Book Club

Just Tryin’ To Be Loved by J’son M. Lee is a story filled with drama, intrigue and a budding romance. This was my first book by J’son M. Lee, but it sure won’t be my last.  The pacing of the story and the interesting cast of characters made  this a fast-paced read.   –Shelia M Goss, Essence Best-Selling Author

“…a remarkable novel packed with memorable and intriguing characters… if you love suspense, betrayal, and a good love story, this book is for you.   –Imani Wisdom, Author

Just Tryin’ To Be Loved is a must for those seeking a gay-driven romance, highly recommended.  –Michael J. Carson, The Midwest Book Review

Contact Information For additional information or interview requests, contact J’son M. Lee – 888.688.4250 or jlee@sweetgeorgiapress.comJson M. Lee

Eating My Feelings

EATING MY FEELINGS – Tales of Overeating, Underperforming, and Coping with My Crazy Family

By Mark Brennan Rosenberg

 “Hysterical! Mark Rosenberg is the gay, Jewish love child of Ignatius J. Reilly and Chelsea Handler.”
—Alison Arngrim, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

 Ever since Mark Brennan Rosenberg was a foul-mouthed, sass-spouting, overweight teenager, he knew his life was one for the books. And he was right: with the publication of his first memoir Blackouts and Breakdowns, Mark became a self-published sensation, touring across the country and winning over fans from small towns to big cities.

Now Mark’s back with a new book; EATING MY FEELINGS: Tales of Overeating, Underperforming and Coping with My Crazy Family (Three Rivers Press paperback original: August 6, 2013).  This collection of comic essays delves into Mark’s outrageous childhood, recounting his struggles as a fat, sassy, soon-to-be-gay kid, relating to the world through his beloved idols from All My Children, Melrose Place, and Clueless.

From battling his evil stepmother (with an arsenal of unprintable insults not suitable for your average 10 year old), to attempting to blackmail his counselor at fat camp, and shamelessly sporting blackface on Halloween, Mark’s adolescent misadventures set him up perfectly for an equally flamboyant adult life. Things don’t slow down when Mark emerges into the image-obsessed world of gay New York, and he raises as much hell as he did in the sleepy Baltimore suburb of his childhood. Whether he’s hiring the personal trainer he only wants to sleep with, or blogging his way to fame with an X-rated twist on Julie & Julia, Mark’s life is anything but boring.

For a guy who describes himself as a whiter, skinnier, gayer version of Oprah, EATING MY FEELINGS is Mark’s metaphorical wheelbarrow full of fat. No emotional stone is left unturned—or potato chip left uneaten—as Mark gives us an uncensored and uproariously funny look into every one of his food and body issues.

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 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MARK BRENNAN ROSENBERG is the author of Blackouts and Breakdowns and writes the blog The Single Life. He currently resides in New York City and is single—so if you know of anyone, let him know. Visit him online at markbrennanrosenberg.blogspot.com 

Project Publicity

eating my feelingS: Tales of Overeating, Underperforming, and Coping with My Crazy Family

By Mark Brennan Rosenberg

Three Rivers Press Trade Paperback Original

On-sale date: August 6, 2013 • ISBN: 978-0-385-34780-8 • Price: $16.00

Also available as an eBook: 978-0-385-34781-5

 

Mark is touring cross-country to promote EATING MY FEELINGS
and is available for interviews.

His tour card is attached.

For updates on Mark’s events and for more information,
follow him on Twitter @MarkBRosenberg
or become a fan of Eating My Feelings on Facebook.