Trevor Donovan in Love Finds You In Charm, Sunday; Should You Create Audio Books; Caitlyn Jenner’s Critics; Pastor Slams Gay Grads

Trevor Donovan In Love Finds You In Charm, Sunday

Update: Evidently, Love Finds You In Charm was chosen as a TV pick for the week in The New York Times. 

I’m posting this now because I never really know whether or not I’ll post on weekends. I usually do. But this time of year I never know for sure.

Here’s all you need to know, plain and simple:

Who: Trevor Donovan stars in Love Finds You In Charm

What: Love Finds You In Charm is an Amish Romance, based on a best selling 2009 novel.


When: It airs this Sunday, beginning at 7 pm, NY time. I also noticed while setting my DVR that they will air it again at 9 pm, and a few times after that. So you’ll get several chances to see it…or binge on it.

Where: It’s airing on the UP channel. I’m not sure of all the market shares, but in the Philadelphia market, if you have Verizon Fios, it’s channel 224. I’m sure if you do a simple search you’ll be able to find it online as well.

I read the book a while ago and I found it a great escape with a nice love story, in a great setting. I think it’s something that crosses romance genres and all romance readers will enjoy it…think along the lines of Debbie Macomber, but Amish. 

Here’s a trailer where Donovan performs a song, Fields of Gold, he wrote for the film. He’s been getting a lot of attention for this on social media from all over the globe, and rightly so. 

Should You Create Audio Books

I don’t have links to this part of the post. It’s only my opinion/advice. You can take it for what it’s worth, one way or the other. And like all advice, this isn’t set in stone. There are always variables and everyone’s experience is a little different. 

With that said, I glanced at a discussion yesterday on social media where an author was talking about producing his/her own audio books. It was a good discussion, but I noticed one thing missing. Reality.

A handful of people commented positively about audio books. They raved at the thought of the author spending his/her own money to produce them. However, it was a handful of people, not over one thousand…not even in the hundreds. And for an author to make it worth his/her time he/she has to have the kind of large readership that’s willing to spend the money on an audio book.

I love audio books. I have a few out there that were produced by Ravenous Romance. One in particular was An Officer and His Gentleman. The audio book sold well, but by no means as well as the book itself sold, and by no means well enough to create more audio books with other titles. This was the publisher’s decision, not mine, but I agreed with them completely. But even more important, audio books like An Officer and His Gentleman are pirated all the time. I obviously won’t provide a link to show you, but that’s just another factor in producing audio books you have to consider nowadays. And piracy is getting worse, not better.

A writer/author has to think like a businessperson now more than ever, and they have to be prudent as well. Even though it’s nice to have 75 or 80 people with good intentions tell you how much they’d love to see all your books produced as audio books, you have to take into consideration that you need to have a readership in the thousands to make it worth your while. That’s why you don’t see all publishers producing audio books for all authors and all titles. It’s not because they don’t want to produce audio books, it’s because that large market just isn’t there all the time. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, however you really have to know your readership before you invest the time and money in getting into audio book production.  

Caitlyn Jenner’s Critics

I knew this would happen sooner or later. I didn’t mention it in any posts, but I’ve been waiting for it. Now that Bruce Jenner made the full transition to Caitlyn Jenner, the critics have started to surface. I’m not going to post the most ridiculous things I’ve seen in the mainstream, but this is interesting. Jenner is not getting the kind of support you would expect from the transgender community.

I overwhelmingly support Caitlyn Jenner and am happy for her as she now gets to live her authentic life. One of the things her story highlights is that everybody’s transition is unique — no two people are alike, and every person faces different challenges in their own context. 

The reality is, Caitlyn’s story is unique because she is coming from a tremendous amount of privilege.
Not everybody can make a coming out statement to Diane Sawyer or be on the cover of Vanity Fair and have a reality show in the works. But it’s wonderful there are people who use their celebrity to advance a message to help others. 

You can read the rest here. It’s not a totally negative piece, and I’d like that to be clear. However, there are a few left-handed comments, so to speak. On the other hand, as it states, it brings the topic out in the open for debate.  And we all still have a great deal to learn about it. I’ve been fortunate to know more than a few trans people who live and work here in New Hope, PA and even I’m still learning.

And, here’s a link to another one titled, Caitlyn Jenner Is Not the Right Poster Girl For Trans Equality. 

Pastor Slams Gay Grads

Another good Christian is speaking out with anti-gay comments, and this time it’s yet another pastor.


While delivering a baccalaureate service to a class of high school seniors, Pastor Scott Carpenter (pictured) thought it would be an opportune time to remind any gay graduates in the audience that they were going to burn in hell.

The hate speech happened on May 30 at Kings Mountain High School in Kings Mountain, NC and, naturally, left quite a few people upset.

The rest is here. The school wasn’t too thrilled with this guy and they claim they will be vetting speakers more carefully next time.

I wonder what this pastor thinks of the Duggar debacle. 

The Rainbow Detective Agency: On Fleek


 

Trevor Donovan, Texas Rising, Frontiers Interview; Gay Sex Shops In New York; Five Ways To Get Book Publicity

Trevor Donovan, Texas Rising, Frontiers Interview

I hadn’t planned another post about Texas Rising until after the series airs this Monday, May 25th. However, I spotted this interview late last night with Trevor Donovan in Frontiers, which is an LGBT press, and thought I’d share. Here’s a link to previous posts I’ve written about Texas Rising.

The interview gets into a little bit about Donovan’s background and a gay role he once played on 90210. I never actually watched 90210, but I know that show still has a huge fan base all over the world. I actually regret not watching it just for work related reasons because I find many of the fans of the m/m romance genre are fans of 90210. And, for those of you who really, really need labels, which I’m personally starting to care about less and less lately, Donovan is straight.

In this quote from the interview, Donovan talks about how he prepared for the role of Kit Acklin in Texas Rising. This I actually do recall just from following Donovan on social media. From what I remember, the guy worked his ass off.

“The audition process was long for me. I went in four different times. I was taking horseback riding lessons throughout the whole audition process, just in case I did get it so I would be ready to rock. I just knew that it was going to take a lot of work on my part, looking at Westerns and how these guys presented themselves, and doing historical research. But it was all a lot of fun.”

For those who hope Donovan’s character will be a knight in shining armor and sweep one lucky lady off her feet, the actor admits, “Kit has definitely got a strong moral compass. He’s a guy who grew up with family values. The Texas Rangers were kind of vigilante misfits. Some of them were criminals and ex-criminals, but they were fighting for the greater good alongside the military. Kit is definitely the more level-headed and more educated, and I have a beautiful little side love story as well.” It’s that love story that Donovan teases might just pull at your heartstrings. “Keep your Kleenex nearby,” he laughs.

You can read the rest here. 

And, you can follow Donovan on social media with these links, below. I can’t promise you much, but I can promise that if you follow Donovan you’ll never know what to expect. There are opinions, words of advice, a great deal of humor, photos of dogs…and more selfies in a week’s time than most of us will ever take in a lifetime. I’m just joking about that. Seriously, all of the photos…not just most…are professional and actually have an artistic appeal that would work in coffee table books like those of George Platt Lynes. Why Donovan’s agent isn’t getting him book deals like that I don’t know.

Snapchat:TrevDonSnap Instagram: Facebook: Youtube:

Gay Sex Shops In New York

I know I wrote about a gay sex shop in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood in one of the Virgin Billionaire books. Of course, as usual, I just can’t recall which book that is at this time. That’s because there are a few sex shops in Chelsea. And now people are starting to complain and say there are too many sex shops and they corrupt kids and ruin the neighborhood. My brother lives in Chelsea and to be honest I never actually notice the sex shops all that much. They’re almost invisible to me.

“It’s starting to feel like Times Square around here,” Stephen P. Williams told the New York Times.

Williams said he’s tired of seeing things like Boy Butter (“a revolutionary creamy formula”) and penis-enlargement systems (“used successfully for 30 years with 15 million satisfied customers”) being advertised in large window displays.

And this is priceless:

One man described as a “father” told the Times that he was recently cooking dinner with his 6-year-old son. When he asked him to get the olive oil, the child replied: “Dad, why don’t we use the Boy Butter?”

You get the idea. “Texas has a whorehouse in it…”


You can read the rest here.

Five Ways To Get Book Publicity

I often see books being promoted on social media, mainly on Twitter, in the most clever ways…and in the most questionable ways. I actually feel bad for people sometimes. So when I see something that might help authors promote I try to share…because we all know that writing the book is nothing compared to promoting it these days.

As an author, when planning a publicity campaign, you probably think about contacting the press a few months before you launch a new book or embark on a book tour. But there are a lot of other ways to get press and blog coverage for your writing besides the usual book tour and book launch publicity campaign.

Here’s a link to the rest of the piece. And frankly, I’ve begun to question a lot about promotion and how it’s done. Like it’s okay to pay Kirkus hundreds of dollars for a review, but not so okay to pay a reviewer not as well known as Kirkus for a review? Who made up THAT rule? I’m sorry. I’m not buying into that anymore. If the reviewer/reader read the book and gave it an honest review, I don’t really care if she/he got paid or not. It’s time someone said Kirkus is the emperor wearing no clothes. So if you have a great idea to promote your book, and that idea is legal and ethical, have fun. Your goal is to promote your book or books to the best of your ability. Just try to stay away from e-mail spamming. That’s the one thing that will really piss people off.

And take a moment to check out the web site. It’s all about the indie author and indie book. I think readers owe it to their wallets to check it out, too.

And Officer and His Gentleman

 

Trevor Donovan In Texas Rising, May 25th; Porn Purge On Twitter; Gay Pickles

Trevor Donovan In Texas Rising, May 25th

Here’s a link to a photo of the entire cast of the upcoming History Channel series, Texas Rising. Trevor Donovan is the second one in, from the right. He’s playing Kit Acklin, Texas Ranger.

Texas Rising will air this Monday, May 25th, on the History Channel at nine o’clock eastern time.
This post is just a brief reminder. I’ve posted in-depth details about it several times, here. 

Here’s a link to the History Channel web site.

Here’s a link to an excellent blog post by a personal blogger about Kit Acklin that I found fascinating. 

And, here’s a link to Donovan’s personal page with even more details about Kit Acklin:

1.- Christopher B. (Kit) Acklin who was a Texas Ranger in the 1840s.
2.- He was born in in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville was founded by Kit’s grandfather, Col. John Hunt.
3.- We don’t know when Kit Acklin moved to Texas. But he was one of the participants in the August 12, 1840, Battle of Plum Creek.
4.- The Battle of Plum Creek was a clash between allied Tonkawa, militia, and Rangers of the Republic of Texas and a huge Comanche war party under Chief Buffalo Hump, which took place near Lockhart, Texas, following the Great Raid of 1840 as the Comanche war party returned to west Texas.

You can find even more on Acklin, at the link provided above to Donovan’s page. And there’s really not much out there about him. Someone did his research well.

And then there’s this, which is one of the best.

Porn Purge On Twitter

Evidently, Twitter is about to take the same censorship route as Facebook when it comes to what’s considered porn. I phrased it that way because there’s never been a set definition of porn. Some people think a guy not wearing a shirt is porn, and others think that…well you know how that goes.

In any event,

According to SunTrust Robinson Humphrey tech analyst Robert Peck, Twitter is preparing to purge an estimated 10 million porn-posting users. Ditching such a large chunk of users sounds drastic until you do the math: Twitter claims to have 302 million monthly users, so getting rid of the explicit posters will only account for about 3 percent of its total—although that’s just counting the users and not their followers. Twitter is a one-stop shop for all your media needs, whether you want to catch up on news, message a celeb in real time, or browse explicit images posted by adult stars. Purging the porn will surely upset millions of users, and would certainly put a dent in Twitter’s hip freedom of speech reputation.

You can read more here. 

Obviously, I’m not fond of this kind of censorship in any form, anywhere. You can unfollow and block something you find offensive on Twitter. You don’t have to be exposed to it. I do that all the time on Twitter. As I said, what defines porn is all up to the individual. And I have seen cases where people do, indeed, consider shirtless men porn. So before you get all thrilled about this, pay attention to the bigger picture, too. It’s so bad with retail web sites that sell e-books you can’t even use the words “daddy” or “boy” innocently, without having a book taken down thanks to search engines.

Gay Pickles

Here’s a story about a gay owned and operated business that makes pickles…and other things.

The company is called Manfood…I think this is an advertorial, but I’m not sure.

The brand is the brainchild of 40-year-old Andre Dang. Born to a Malaysian mother and Vietnamese father, British-born Dang studied horticulture at Reading University.

A placement with leading department store chain M&S – which brought him into contact with buyers and food students – convinced him that he actually wanted to work in the food sector.

You can read more here. They didn’t just start pickling and selling. They both have a great deal of experience in the food industry and in PR.

I hate to sound like a dream crusher, but I knew several gay men who tried to start businesses just like this. They invested everything and worked endlessly to get it started. It didn’t end well. The fact is that most small businesses don’t. And I’ve seen that happen too many times to too many people not to mention it.


Trevor Donovan Rides Bareback, Texas Rising, Cannes Film Festival; Gay Men Trapped In Hetero Marriages

Trevor Donovan Rides Bareback, Texas Rising, Cannes Film Festival

I’ve posted several times about Trevor Donovan starring in The History Channel’s new series, Texas Rising. Here’s a link to all of them.

Now that the series premiere date is approaching, on May 25th, I thought I’d post a few updates I haven’t mentioned before. One of which is that Texas Rising actually made its world premiere at Cannes. I found that interesting because even though I loathe travel (flying) to the point of gagging, I have always wanted to go to The Cannes Film Festival. There’s just something about it.

The fact that a series like this was shown at Cannes could also mean that the UK and other European markets will get a chance to see Texas Rising, too. But don’t quote me on that. I haven’t seen anything definitive yet. I just know from my readers in the UK and in places far off in Eastern Europe that the American Old West is something they find interesting…and from the information below, there is a broader market.

This comes from Variety:

“Its root is very much this sort of Western drama based on real-life events,” Gopal says, “but having seen quite a few of the episodes, it’s a much broader show than that. It’s got huge global appeal, lots of different storylines and themes.”

Contrary to any antiquated notions of regional-specific television, “Texas Rising” is a model of how lavish smallscreen productions are now being made for viewers worldwide.

“Our focus is to find great stories and great content wherever they are in the world, try to get them financed and produced, and then take them to as broad and global an audience as possible,” Gopal notes.

“Two years ago, a high percentage of the content we were taking to market came from the U.K., and that has shifted. We’re investing in, obviously, ‘Texas Rising’ and ‘Aquarius’ (an upcoming limited series about the hunt for Charles Manson starring David Duchovny), another one of our shows in the U.S. It’s a slightly different model, but it brings something different to our portfolio, and then our buyers tell us what they want and are interested in.

“We’re investing in content still here in the U.K.; we’re investing in content in Europe, in Australia. … Regardless of where the show is, we’re really focused on partnering with great producers and writers and talent, hopefully bringing our distribution experience in terms of financing those projects, getting them made, then being able to sell them around the world.”

And, obviously there is a market, because Texas Rising is now a full series, with more episodes ordered.

This is also from Variety:

The History miniseries “Texas Rising,” set to bow on Memorial Day, has been expanded to 10 hours and will air over the course of five weeks, the network announced on Tuesday.

The series, which details the Texas Revolution and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers, will air two-hour installments on both Memorial Day (May 25) and the next night (Tuesday, May 26). Its final six hours will then be played out over the next three Mondays (June 1, 8 and 15).

It had originally been planned as a six-hour series.

I think it’s a smart move, especially since that time of year is usually riddled with nothing but bad reruns of HGTV shows and reality shows no one cares about. I don’t think the TV market has changed in the sense that people aren’t watching TV anymore. I think viewers are looking for more TV like Texas Rising, but they aren’t getting ituntil now.

And here’s a video with Trevor Donovan talking about riding Bareback while shooting TR. And get your minds out of the gutter. I know you guys too well. Riding bareback in this case means a horse without a saddle.

You’ll find that here, along with other videos of Donovan and TR. 

Gay Men Trapped In Hetero Marriages

I was editing the fourth book in the Rainbow Detective series this afternoon and when I saw this article I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Without any spoilers, I get into the same thing in the fourth book, and I even go into a little detail about the complications.

The topic discussed is when gay men are in hetero marriages. I’m not talking about gay men who are married to straight women and the women know it. That’s a completely different thing, and, that actually does seem to work very well…from what I’ve heard and seen from personal experiences. Yes, I do know several marriages like that. All are happily married in spite of the fact that the man is gay. And for the record, it could be a gay woman and a straight men.

In this case, they are talking about when closeted gay men are trapped in hetero marriages, which I think is something that goes a lot deeper than we even realize. I used to be shocked when allegedly straight married men came on to me, but not so much anymore. For some reason, it almost always happens at weddings when the wife is in the same room with the husband, and she knows nothing. It’s creepy. 

First, this all happened on a small news show in Texas. And don’t blame Texas for this. I love Texas and I think it’s a wonderful place. We have a news show here in Philadelphia that can be just as cringe-worthy. The idiot who hosts the Philly show, Good Day, on Fox 29 in the morning would probably do the exact same thing, in the very same insulting way. But that’s just speculation. My point is that all states have good points and bad points.

In any event, this is what happened in Texas:

“Alright, another one of those conversations where, you know, maybe you don’t want the young kids, if they’re around, to ask about this stuff,” the uncomfortable anchorman began, “so you get a couple of seconds to usher them out of the room ’cause we’re going to be talking about the new mixed marriage. One straight spouse. One gay spouse.”

Yes. Get the kiddies out of the room and close the blinds. A psychologist came on and she started talking about gay men “trapped” in hetero marriages. Where they get these statistics I’m not sure.


“Over four million women have been with a man who’s had sex with a man,” Rapini said, citing a study from the CDC. “The Family Pride Coalition has said over 20 percent of all gay men are in heterosexual marriages.”

This is a problem, Rapini said, because “many of them go out and have gay relationships without their spouse knowing. You could expose her to an STD or… It’s just not fair! Because she wants to be married to someone that really loves her and enjoys intimacy with her! And they don’t!”

We can’t help but wonder if Rapini was speaking from personal experience. She certainly sounds like a woman scorned.

You can read the rest here. What bothers me is that it sounds as if a guy cheating on his wife with another woman can’t bring home an STD…as if STDs are only reserved for gay people. Evidently, I’m not the only one bothered by this segment. The comments go directly to the main point.

Here’s one comment, in part, I found highly appropriate.


This therapist number one, is biased. She falls on the side of supporting unfair treatment to women and does not address once, the harrowing sense of displacement, alienation and desperation of gay and bi males competing and performing in a neurotically Christo-judeo-judgmental paternal hetero-sexist society. These (non-disclosure) dishonest marriages, based in fear of reprisal, are not fair to anybody involved.




Trevor Donovan and Texas Rising; John Carroll’s Advice Column; Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen Are Daddies

Trevor Donovan and Texas Rising

If you don’t know much about Trevor Donovan, here’s his web site. I’ve been posting about an upcoming mini-series on The History Channel he’ll be starring in titled, Texas Rising. You can read more about TR here, where I’ve posted a few times. Donovan’s web site is simple to navigate and if you’re like me and you’ve been meaning to work on a new web site you might get a few ideas. I think his web site designer is mentioned there as well.

In any event, for those who don’t know much about Texas history, here’s a link I found fascinating. I’ve written a lot of novels set in Texas (the entire Glendora Hill series) and I’ve had to research a good deal of this already…plus, I had to contact friends on social media who live in Texas to find out little details, like climate and terrain.

On March 2, 1836, with the Alamo under siege, delegates from across Texas met and declared their independence from Mexico. Feelings of Texas pride have remained strong ever since, going well beyond just football and barbecue. Explore nine things you may not know about the Lone Star State.

Here’s another link with more about the mini-series, Texas Rising. 

Here’s a book titled, The Texas Rangers, with Kit Acklin…Christopher B. Acklin.

And here’s a youtube video with Donovan that’s not related to Texas Rising, however, it’s an interesting short interview he gave last December at the RFK Ripple of Hope awards in NY. In other words, you’ll see a lot of great beefcake videos and photos of Donovan, but not much that shows he’s smart, which is also important. I’m all for fun, sexy promotional marketing at any time, but I also think it should be balanced. Dolly Parton’s big breasts helped make her famous, but her brilliance kept her famous. You can quote me on that. 

Texas Rising will be airing on May 25th, on The History Channel, and I’ll probably be posting more about the Texas Rangers before then. The problem is that getting any information online isn’t easy. In the US we tend to ignore history if Washington or Lincoln didn’t sleep there.

John Carroll’s Advice Column

Here’s something a little different. The talented John Carroll is doing an advice column.

Have a problem? Need some good advice? Well, you could bend the ear of a trusted confidant to give you some sage words of wisdom…or you could go against your better judgement and just ask me. You can contact me at John@TheJohnCarroll.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There’s more here, with a video.

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen Are Daddies

I’ll bet anything most of you think this is about Cooper and Cohen adopting a kid and living HEA. Well, so did I. I really did. I’m not joking about that. My first thought was, “How nice.”

Evidently, I was wrong. This isn’t about them becoming dads. This is about them being DADDIES…as in “Yes, Daddy, give me some more, Daddy.” I know. But I didn’t write this. I’m just linking to it.

Andy Cohen opens up about his close friendship with Anderson Cooper to Attitude magazine when asked if they’re a similar type of gay man. Cohen puts it simply: “We’re both daddies? We’re both silver guys? We are! He’s my good mate. We have a great time. He and I are going on tour together, starting this month, in Boston. We travel extensively together actually. We’re doing a speaking tour soon. But yes, we’re both daddies.”

You can read the rest here, with more stories of idiocy that seem to be similar to this one 🙂 


In this third book in The Rainbow Detective series, Proctor and Blair take on a case that involves blackmail, kidnapping, and a handsome young guy with two perfect penises. The guy with two penises is a public personality, and the wealthy client who hires Blair and Proctor is willing to pay a huge sum of money to keep the guy’s two penises a secret.

As fascinated as Blair and Proctor are with the guy who has two penises, there are dangerous, unexpected twists in this case that put them in grave danger. And the fact that they are in love with each other doesn’t make working together any easier. It’s the kind of peculiar double penis case that will not only test their love, but also test whether or not they can continue working together.


Will Blair be able to grow up and meet Proctor’s professional expectations? And will Proctor ever be able to get the guy with two perfect penises out of his head?

Trevor Donovan, Kit Acklin, Texas Rising; Liz Smith Interview and Gay Stars

Trevor Donovan, Kit Acklin, Texas Rising

Although I’ve been more focused on an erotic romantic suspense series, The Rainbow Detective Agency, lately, I’ve written and published many western mm romance books and stories and it’s really my favorite when it comes to writing historicals. But this post is about the upcoming mini-series, Texas Rising, on the History Channel, with Trevor Donovan playing Texas Ranger, Kit Acklin, and I don’t want to digress.

The interesting thing is that even though the press release went out last year for Texas Rising with the disclosure Donovan would be in the series, if you do a search for photos of Kit Acklin you’ll mostly find Donovan playing him. Donovan’s been working very hard on this one, and I think that adds more to the anticipation of the series, because there really weren’t many photos taken back in those days. It also adds more exposure to the real Kit Acklin who didn’t have much out there until recently. Those photos that were taken in the 1800’s were either lost, destroyed, or are not very clear now…if any were ever taken. But more than that, I think having some kind of visual adds to the romance that surrounds stories of the old wild west.

And by romance I don’t mean simplistic romance novels with happy endings. That’s a completely different thing than the kind of romance I’m talking about. The folklore, the stories, and all that’s been passed down since the days of the old wild west create the kind of romance I think is defined best in Dictionary.com as being…the colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales.

Here’s an example I think shows how colorful it can get:

Two of the four rangers were facing the most terrible fight of their lives–topping even Ackland’s famous knife fight with a Comanche chief in the battle of Bandera Pass.” While Carlin and Dunn were bathing in a creek that fed the Nueces, Acklin and Perry got into a horrific fight with the Indians. “The Indians fired at him (Acklin), bullets and arrows. He was hit twice in the body and an arrow battered out teeth and ripped through his cheek.” “But he (Acklin) didn’t stumble.” “…he snapped off a shot (with his 5-shot revolver)…and stood his ground.” The paralyzed Perry rolled over and also shot at the Indians. The Indians briefly lost the trail of the injured rangers and Acklin managed to carry Perry to a hiding place.

This personal memoir from Capt’n C.R. Perry that mentions Kit Acklin is even more interesting:

We was joined there by Acklin when he pulled the arrow out of my shoulder leaving the spike in which was cut out two years after. I caught hold of one of the horse’s tails and went across, but I fainted again. Carlin took my gun and pistol to load them when the Indians made a second charge on us and they run off and left Acklin and me taking my gun pistol with them. They had their horses about that time I come too and ran to a dense thicket where I lay down with the wound in my face down in the dust and little sticks, it stopped the blood. I did lay long before the Indians got all around the thicket that I was in I could hear them talk and knock on the brush. They stayed but a short time then went away. I remained until dark when I started to the water about 200 yards away. I had to crawl on my hands and knees for I lost so much blood that I would faint and fall to the ground. It took me from dark until day light to get to the water.

In any event, this is only a sample of these stories so rich with American History you don’t hear about often. Texas Rising has been in the works for a long time, and it’s finally going to be aired on May 25th this year. As for the historic accuracy, I can’t tell at this point. But frankly, when it comes to things like this I’m not always a stickler for too much historic detail. I want to know the basics and I also want a compelling story line, not just a lesson in history that will please the history police. I can take a that boring course with that boring professor if I want that. With this, I want entertainment. From what I gather, Texas Rising promises to be compelling.

You can read more here, for the basics. The central theme of TR revolves around the Texas Revolution with Mexico and how the Texas Rangers were formed.

Here’s a link to a great photo shoot that’s focused on Trevor Donovan while he was still in character for Texas Rising. I think long time fans of Donovan will be surprised at how much he put into this role. The comments are interesting, too. One mentions how Donovan looks younger. I think the guy is only like 29 or 30. How much younger should he look?

Here’s a web site I didn’t even know existed where you can see more photos of Donovan as Kit Acklin.

And, there’s a google blog about Trevor Donovan playing Kit Acklin.  


In 1836, if west of the Mississippi was considered the Wild West then Texas was hell on earth. Crushed from the outside by Mexican armadas and attacked from within by ferocious Comanche tribes – no one was safe. But this was a time of bravery, a time to die for what you believed in and a time to stand tall against the cruel rule of the Mexican General Santa Anna. From General Sam Houston, to rag tag Rangers to the legendary “Yellow Rose of Texas” – this is a story of the human spirit rising in the face of insurmountable odds and claiming a piece of history for all eternity.

The only thing I haven’t heard is that there will be full frontal male nudity in Texas Rising, which is a shame because we need so much more of that (smile). Maybe if it becomes a full series we’ll see some of that. You can’t blame people for wondering. And they did a great job of male full frontal in Boardwalk Empire. So it can be done.

Liz Smith Candid Interview and Gay Stars

There’s a fascinating interview with 92 year old Liz Smith where she mentions something interesting about stars who were/are allegedly gay…or not gay…and how she handled it in her column. It’s not an “outing” story by any means. The entire interview is excellent, I’ve been following Liz Smith’s column since I was in college, and the part about how people reacted to her possibly talking about gay rumors in her column really hits home…it’s still relevant. This happened in the late 1990’s. Not much has changed since then in that department. And I LOVE what she says about good old trustworthy Barbara Walters. Hey, Liz is 92, let her speak up now, which is exactly what she’s doing. And you don’t need fishing boots to read it.  

You grew close to many other well-known people over the years. Do you keep in touch with Barbara Walters? 

Well, it turns out Barbara Walters can do without me, though I still consider her a friend. She has done so much for me through the years. But when I lost my column and my power, she kind of lost interest in me. When we run into each other now, she loves me; she’s always saying, “Let’s get together,” blah, blah, blah. But I rarely hear from her now. That’s OK.

Were there others who dropped you? 

In this job, you don’t have illusions about people you cover. I don’t mix with a lot of celebrities these days. I know Oprah, to say hello and kiss her and genuflect. Helen Mirren, Renee Zellweger, people like that. But I don’t see them often. The truth is, everyone around me is dropping like flies, so I don’t have many friends left. My best friends are Mary Jane McDonough and Dennis Ferrara, who put out the column with me every day.

In 1997 you caused a furor when you wrote that a certain star was about to come out of the closet. 

Oh, yes, and it wasn’t just Oprah who was furious with me about that. [Media had gossiped at the time that the mystery star was Winfrey.] Rosie [O’Donnell] was as well.

Here’s a little comment about Oprah…oh, and her best friend, Gayle.

But Oprah still felt compelled to put out a statement denying she was gay. 

I was amazed by the blowback from that story! It was harmless. The gist of it was, “Better pay attention, readers, because gay people are popping up everywhere!” Despite all that hoopla, Oprah went right on being friends with Gayle King, and I always admired her for that, because she easily could have just rejected Gayle when rumors about them started spiraling.

You’ll find the rest here, with a video. I highly suggest checking it out just for the fact that Liz Smith is, indeed, an icon who has not been forgotten by people like us. There are great photos of her, too, and she didn’t use Oprah’s photo shop guy to try and look as if she’s thirty years old.

 

Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin: Texas Rising; Religious Florist Fined; Shirley MacLaine The Children’s Hour

Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin: Texas Rising

I’m sure most of you know who Trevor Donovan is by now. Not Trevor Noah. I’m talking about Trevor Donovan. Part of Donovan’s fame came from playing one of the most popular characters in Beverly Hills 90210, “Teddy Montgomery.” 

He’s also been in well known films that you can watch over and over again like Strawberry Summer. I know a lot of m/m romance readers follow Donovan on various social media outlets. I see you there commenting, retweeting, and liking. So I figured I’d start posting updates on a new mini-series Donovan is going to be in titled, Texas Rising. It will be on the History Channel this May (I believe May 25th, and I’ll confirm that in an upcoming post) and it’s been interesting to watch the buzz about Texas Rising because there isn’t much like this on TV right now.

In this post I’m going to talk about the who, what, when, and where. This is directly from the History Channel web site:

From the same team that brought us the multiple Emmy Award-winning and ratings-record breaking HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, TEXAS RISING is an 8-hour miniseries that details the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers. Texas Rising stars Bill PaxtonBrendan FraserRay LiottaJeffrey Dean MorganOlivier MartinezThomas JaneCrispin GloverRhys CoiroJeremy DaviesCynthia Addai-RobinsonChristopher McDonaldMax ThieriotChad Michael MurrayTrevor DonovanRobert KnepperJeff FaheyRob Morrow and Kris Kristofferson, and is directed by two-time Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission).

In 1836, west of the Mississippi was considered the Wild West and the Texas frontier was viewed as hell on earth. Crushed from the outside by Mexican armadas and attacked from within by ferocious Comanche tribes—no one was safe. But this was a time of bravery, a time to die for what you believed in and a time to stand tall against the cruel rule of the Mexican General Santa Anna (Martinez). The heroic General Sam Houston (Paxton), the rag tag Rangers and the legendary “Yellow Rose of Texas” lead this story of the human will to win against insurmountable odds. At the end, the Texas flags stood tall and victorious, claiming a piece of history for all eternity.

Trevor Donovan is playing Kit Acklin, probably on of the most fascinating Texas Rangers of his day. There isn’t that much online about Acklin, but what is there will give you a good idea of what the world must have been like back then…and what Acklin must have been like. Before I ever heard of Texas Rising I read about Kit Acklin while doing research for my Chase of a Lifetime books so I could loosely base one of the characters on him.

Here’s something from one personal blogger who researched Acklin that’s one of the best out there. 

Christopher (Kit) Acklin was born ca 1819 to Samuel Black Acklin & Elizabeth (Hunt) Acklin in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville was founded by Kit’s grandfather, Col. John Hunt. C.B. Acklin’s paternal grandparents were Christopher & Christian (Black) Acklin, who were my 5th great-grandparents.

There’s an in-depth post here where you can read more. 

I was following Donovan on social media last summer while he was shooting his scenes for Texas Rising down in Mexico. It was interesting to see photos and updates as they occasionally came in.  A good deal of hard work went into making the series and followers saw first hand that Donovan really worked hard to become the character. From letting his hair grow long, to his mannerisms and actions. Very interesting to watch.

Before I wind things up with this post, I guess I should also mention that Donovan looks hot, and is hot playing Kit Acklin. Yes, I said hot. I don’t usually have trouble saying that with other guys I post about here, but this time it’s different. It’s a little creepy because when you follow someone on social media and get to know them through social media you think about them in a different way…not just as that ass. However, I would be highly remiss if I didn’t mention that ass (smile), and I know many of you are just as interested in Donovan’s photos as you are in Kit Acklin’s life story. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Film is, and always has been, more about visual than narrative.


Here are a few photos of Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin. I have permission to use them all, just in case any of you know-it-all yentas doubt me or my concern for copyrights.

I’ll post more updates about Texas Rising and Trevor Donovan as they are released. You can follow Donovan on Twitter (@trevdon), Facebook. He posts regular updates and there are hashtags with even more information. There are a lot more photos of Donovan on Twitter, and some are with notables like Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

Religious Florist Fined

I posted about this a while ago, and here’s the follow up, plain and simple.

A religious zealot who refused to do business with a gay couple has been fined AND forced to provide flowers for the gay wedding that started all this.

Barronelle Stutzman, from Washington, was given 60 days to pay a fine of $1,000 (€922) plus $1 for court costs and fees after refusing to sell flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding.

Back in 2013, Robert Ingersoll – who had bought flowers from Stutzman for years – asked her to provide flowers for his wedding to Curt Freed.

But she refused, claiming it would go against her ‘relationship with Jesus Christ’.

You can read more here, and don’t miss the comments.    

Shirley MacLaine The Children’s Hour

If you have not seen the film, The Children’s Hour, make a point of seeing it soon. It was a mainstream film over 50 years ago with a lesbian theme…during a time when anything same sex related was done in whispers, with fear, and with a hefty amount of shame.

Now, over 50 years later, MacLaine is speaking about what it was like to film The Children’s Hour, and how the director had “trepidations.”

Director William Wyler ‘had trepidations about the subject matter – it was 1961 and nobody had done that,’ MacLaine said Sunday at a screening of the film during the TCM Classic Movie Festival in Hollywood which was attended by Gay Star News.

MacLaine, 80, believes the film was not as powerful as it could have been because of Wyler’s trepidation.

‘Scenes of brushing each others hair or ironing clothes – he cut some of them out and in doing so I think pared the picture down a little bit.’

The women are the best of friends and their school has just made money for the first time when their dreams are dashed when a malicious child falsely claims the women are lovers.

There’s more here. Like I said, you really should see this if you haven’t already. It shows what things were like back then, and now with these statements that is only reinforced with respect to what happened behind the scenes. It’s just a shame it took about 50 years to talk about the shame. 

  Chase of a Lifetime