Rainbow Plantation Blues
Fiction/Historical Novel by Robert L. Sheeley
Available on Amazon or in paperback
Sheely has written this novel with incredible historical detail, as if he is reflecting on his own past, although not possible since the story takes place in the 1850’s. There is just enough drama in the novel to keep you turning pages, but not so over dramatic that it seems an unbelievable tale. The story depicts equality issues, such as slavery, women’s rights, and gay liberation – from the perspective of life in a pre-civil war era.
Not only do the characters in this book undergo a self-discovery process, but they also discuss their uncertainty for the future of America, which is ironically similar to what many of us are presently going through. While reading, I was filled with a sense of hope -- learning where we were as a segregated nation, and knowing where we are today. Change is inevitable. My so-often feelings of despair in this-age society in America were given a short break during this read, and I felt a greater appreciation for my life and the freedom I have been granted.
In a brief conversation with the author, here is his response to my most important question: "Yes, there will be a sequel but not for about a year."
As featured in Connextions Magazine. Click here to view this editorial.
"In 1850, Jonathan Thomas, a young, personable, and aristocratic Southern gentleman, has returned to his antebellum home from an Ivy League school in the North. His father is dying and Jonathan is sole heir to the family's lavish prosperous, and renowned Rainbow Plantation. While up North, two major revelations had seriously shaken his self-image. His exposure to Northern abolitionism had permanently shaken his outlook on slavery, the South's peculiar institution. Worse, he had begun to believe he might be a sodomite, a most wretched creature reviled by the customs of nineteenth-century American society.
When he tours the plantation grounds for the first time in years, he sees that his boyhood playmate, a slave named Kumi, has matured into a black Adonis. Jonathan is instantly captivated. Now he is convinced he is a sodomite, and even worse, he is hopelessly smitten over a slave.
As he grapples with his sexual proclivity and the peculiar institution, he befriends Steven Wentworth, a social non-conformist living an esoteric lifestyle, who has a deep, hidden connection to him. Under Steven's progressive influence, and from another unlikely source-the Bible-Jonathan is able to unravel his demons and triumph in the end."
Available on Amazon
Typically, Connextions does not promote books and stories that are as overcharged in sexual nature as Promiscuous
, but this 97 page manuscript is actually a diary, a true written account of 123 different sexual partners. In the constant quest for companionship and love, Jones writes an honest and raw journal of how her sexual encounters replace the feelings of loneliness.As stated by Author KD Jones: "Not another Sex and the City, but many indiscretions. More compared to Tucker Max. More direct than Chelsea Handler. My story, is my time of promiscuity. I know, big deal. But this true tale comes rapid-fire. In your face. Raw and raunchy. Diary or blog-style. Like today’s world, fast-paced.
Not a groupie, not entirely a slut. More a consenting adult. Confronting a life with no commitments, no family obligations, just a passion to live with an insatiable need to party and lust and actually challenge death with my own means of survival.
This is a totally honest depiction of the actual events that took place in my search for companionship. Some I will never forget, some I remember only because I kept a diary. There came some good times, some very bad, some happy, some very sad, which included 2 rapes, a near gang rape, and incidents where I am very lucky to be alive.
This story reveals desperation, loneliness, desertion, feelings of fear, lots of drugs and sadness in my search for compatibility.Love would have been nice, but I knew better. So sex was better than nothing. Diligently documented 123 different guys and their many
adventures, with several repeat offenders…Just a wild and crazy girl, I guess."
A salacious, unapologetic and sometimes shocking account of a woman's mad dash for sexual escapades after her divorce, with a preference for younger men way before it became "fashionable". These interludes include 3-somes, 2 guys in the same day, new encounters the very next day and lots of drugs. Not all good experiences, there is documented rape and instances where she is lucky to be alive. Overall a facinating diary.
Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JU20FA
Promiscuous website: http://www.promiscuoustales.com
In The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination
, author, activist and historian Sarah Schulman shows us the scorched surface of the earth, much like Morpheus did with Neo, so that we might see, with our own eyes, the consequences of the last 30 years of urban renewal—to see how our collective identity was forced out while consumerism trickled down through our institutions, communities and identities, colonizing our minds in "body-snatcher" fashion, even as we slept.
To the author, this current cultural moment is much more profound than we know. Just as the AIDS crisis took a generation of our best artists, mentors and producers, government inaction left our communities and identities vulnerable to the private sector predation that continues unchecked to this day. AIDS produced—along with hysteria, stigma, resentment and death—an abundance of urban space to be occupied by the dominant culture. For decades, climbing costs and corporatist doctrine waged a silent war against genuine artistry and invention, pricing out the young, and marginalizing the city's vibrant history to the point of invisibility. During this time, our communities were replaced with homogenous neighborhoods and conformist states of mind, meant to preserve consumerism and the dominant culture that lay subservient to it.
Say that corporatism destroyed America and most people won't flinch, because the word has become, whether we like it or not, a cliché—a euphemism for organized evil—a breeding ground for the worst elements of human behavior—protected, predictable, ubiquitous and deceptively benign. Say that corporatism leveled our communities and our identities, colonized them with
consumerism, homogeny and compliance then made us forget, and you have a recipe for revolution. But is it already too late?
Schulman says it's still possible (probable even) that we'll recover from gentrification—the removal and replacement of people, histories and ideas in urban centers, politics, art and thought—to return to a cultural moment rooted more in consciousness and social cohesion than in conformity and material possession.
Gentrification. At some point, the word came to symbolize the beautification and "stabilization" of our communities. But with urban
gentrification, diversity and social cohesion were the values hardest hit. To the gentrified mind, self-identity and empowerment are no match for the desire to belong—a condition once reserved for suburban sprawl that now leaches cultural complexity and innovation from our cities. Gentrification represents a systematic dismantling of the human spirit—first authenticity, then memory, now autonomy.
Schulman describes her work as a personal intellectual memoir, not an academic book, but to enlightened readers struggling through the current paradigm, The Gentrification of the Mind
is a poignant call to action. It's easy to dismiss the spiritual vacuum of mass culture and corporatism as a sustained collective lapse in judgment, or as the byproduct of rampant materialism, or a side effect of seeing our reflection in technology with unprecedented clarity; or maybe it's ideology and circumstance recycling itself too thin. Whichever theory you prefer cannot adequately represent what Schulman calls "an internal replacement that alienated people from the concrete process of social and artistic change." So, it would seem, the power of redemption lies within us.
The Gentrification of the Mind
takes into account supremacy ideology, marriage equality, literature, urbanism and politics, offering numerous solutions, practical and theoretical, with which to avoid further loss. Most importantly, Gentrification
makes an astonishing connection between the AIDS crisis, urban reorganization and corporate colonization, shining a beacon far and wide for those of us who find ourselves "still attracted to justice."
List Price $27.95
Hardcover, 192 pages
University of California Press
As featured by Edward Truth for Connextions Magazine, Issue 8
Written by Anthony DiFiore, this young adult fiction novel is the first book of a new series that follows the adventures of a group of fashion-obsessed supernaturals as they navigate an industry held together by vampires, ghouls, and other strange creatures. Enjoy laughter and drama in this
"Twilight meets The Devil Wears Prada" adventure that blends fashion and magic.
Exerpt: "The three of them stood there with their arms folded, their bodies enwrapped in plus-sized furs. They looked like an evil triad of mob wives who had been kicked out of North Jersey and unleashed on the streets of Manhattan."
Available in paperback and e-book formats from inGroup Press.
For more info: www.FashionHasASecret.com
As featured in Connextions Magazine, Issue 7
The Hanged Man
By Astrid Fiano
Gabriel’s World is a mystery/thriller fiction series, that features Gabriel Ross, a NYC private investigator. The stories offer crime, moral complexity, and themes of social justice, in the LGBTQI genre, with a strong, intelligent, and compassionate hero. The Hanged Man is the first book in the Gabriel’s World series, and is on sale now. The official website GabrielsWorld.com offers an expanded reader experience and interactive elements.
The Hanged Man is an unpredictable thrill ride from beginning to end. Astrid Fiano manages to touch on many different stereotypes in the shoes of her main character, Gabriel. As you read the 476 page novel, you find yourself cheering for Gabriel and his exciting journey. Personally, I appreciate the large font and double spacing, as well as the creative sub-title explanation that is
delivered with each chapter. This is an entertaining mystery, one of which, you will not soon forget. I found myself thinking about the story long after I was done reading it, and looking forward to the upcoming sequel.
Available at Amazon and CreateSpace
Review by Mary Reed, Contributor
Chronicle of a Plague, Revisited: AIDS and Its Aftermath
By Andrew Holleran
Da Capo, 264 pp.,
Andrew Holleran’s dark collection of columns first published by the author in the 80s, is set amidst a backdrop of tragic uncertainty, illustrating in vivid detail how the urban gay community met the brutal reality of the burgeoning epidemic. This 2008 edition of Holleran’s original compendium of essays, released in 1988 as Ground Zero
, gives a striking firrsthand look into a world many remain unaware of to this day.
Bookslut Feature: 2007 Interview with Andrew Holleran
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS
, 20th-Anniversary Edition
By Randy Shilts
St. Martins, 630 pp.,
Written by then San Francisco Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts, the international bestseller is hailed one of the most essential books of our time. In this 2007 edition of the 1987 original, Shilts reveals why the disease was initially ignored by the nation's most trusted institutions and allowed to spread throughout the population unchecked. Chronicling the early years of the crisis, And the Band Played On
is considered the first major book about AIDS.
SFGate Audio Podcast: Remembering Randy Shilts
The Epidemic: A Global History of AIDS
By Jonathan Engel
Smithsonian, 400 pp.,
Science, politics and culture come to a head in Jonathan Engel’s 2006 dramatic look at the weakness and heroism surrounding one of history’s deadliest outbreaks. Engel, a medical historian, takes readers on a journey from the pathogen’s first appearance to the battles waged in third-world countries today.
Engel: Academic Website
Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life In America
By John-Manuel Andriote
University of Chicago, 570 pp.,
Based on hundreds of interviews and national responses to the epidemic, Journalist John-Manuel Andriote’s acclaimed work chronicles the effects of the disease on the gay rights movement, from the
1970s to the post-AIDS community of today. This brand new edition of the 1999 hardcover original offers an updated and expanded narrative and institutional history of the crisis that defined a generation of activism.
Andriote: Author Website