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 on The Backlot; Renee Richards on Bruce Jenner; Gay Pornsters Wearing Protective Goggles; Is Brad Pitt Bisexual?

Trevor Donovan on The Backlot

When I wrote the character of Luis in very first Virgin Billionaire book, I wanted him to have a safe place to go for when everything in the world started to crumble around him…that one perfect place where nothing could ever hurt him. So I did what I thought was real at the time, for a young gay man. I gave him a favorite web site that I’d loosely modeled after the real web site of Elisa Rolle, only the focus in the book was more about the artistic photos of male models, not books or reviews. In this case, there was some erotica, but the photos on the web site in the book were not always meant to be sexual. The focus was on the art and the escapism.

So when I find photo shoots like this one that Trevor Donovan did on The Backlot, I like to share with readers. I think this would be something that Luis would have loved in The Virgin Billionaire.  And I wrote The Virgin Billionaire long before I ever saw any of Donovan’s photo shoots anywhere.

Trevor Donovan has been a favorite here on TheBacklot ever since he played adorable (and sexy) Teddy Montgomery on the 2008-2013 reboot of 90210. Since then he’s made appearances on various series like The Client List and Melissa & Joey, but this weekend he heads west along with Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta and Brendan Fraser for the History Channel’s much-anticipated Texas Rising. The mini-series is directed by two-time Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission) and Donovan plays “Kit Acklin” a “wise-ass and expert horseman whose chivalry and equestrian skills are matched only by his gun-fighting prowess.”

You can get there from here. There’s a whole collection of some of the most artistic male art I’ve seen in a while. My own personal thoughts about what makes photos like this art is that I don’t see an agenda there. I just see the male form. In other words, when Nick Jonas poses for any photo shoot, even though it’s great, I always feel as if there’s an agenda behind what he’s doing that’s geared toward nothing but pure clickbait…like cheap wine in an expensive bottle. I don’t get that feeling with this photo shoot Donovan did. …And…the comments are adorable.

Renee Richards on Bruce Jenner

I think Renee Richards was one of the first brave souls of the past who had the guts to come out as transgender in the 1970’s. And it wasn’t easy back then, not by any means.

Now Richards is 80 years old and she’s commenting on Bruce Jenner.

‘You have to realize that somebody who is an entertainer, or even like with Bruce Jenner – a person like that can have a sex change and be just as accepted as an entertainer or a TV star or something like that afterwards,’ Richards, now 80, tells GQ in a rare interview.

Richards won the right to compete in the 1977 US Open and although she lost in the first round in singles, she made it to the finals of the women’s doubles. She later went on to coach Martina Navratilova in the early 1980s.

Then she returned to ophthalmology and practiced in New York City and it is in that kind of situation where she says being transgender is more difficult.

‘When I came back to practice after being so notorious, I couldn’t ever be a frivolous, entertainment-type, public kind of character,’ she says. ‘I mean, I had to be the same confidence-engendering… I’m operating on people’s eyes; I’m operating on their kid’s eyes. I mean, you better be some kind of a transsexual to do that! Otherwise you’re not gonna have much of a practice. It’s a whole different thing than being an entertainer.’

Jenner has beneftted from not only public understanding but from better understanding within the medical community which initially turned Richards away.

You can check out the rest here. I think she makes several valid points.

Gay Pornsters Wearing Protective Goggles

In a highly questionable attempt to stop the spread of HIV, the state of California is trying to force porn stars…not just gay…to wear protective eye gear…goggles…during shoots. Also, producers would be forced to pay for medical exams and hepatitis B vaccines. Most are claiming that if this goes through it will drive the adult entertainment industry out of the state.

‘These are regulations designed for medical settings, and are unworkable on an adult film set – or even a Hollywood film set,’ said Diane Duke, the CEO of the Free Speech coalition.

While the limits would not just be on gay porn, Duke says her organization and other groups wants to see the proposed regulation be amended after consulting with performers, production houses and public health officials.

This way, she says, this will ‘protect adult film performers without stigmatizing and shutting down an entire industry’.

You can read more here. It’s hard to comment on this one because there are several gray areas, however, if California does this who is to stop other states from doing it as well. And how many other ways can something like this mushroom? Nothing with porn and free speech is ever a clear cut case.

Is Brad Pitt Bisexual?

I’m always careful with things like this because there’s no proof, and it’s all alleged. In the same respect, it’s interesting in a hard to explain way.

One of the lower end tabloids best known for sensationalized, questionable reporting claims Brad Pitt is bisexual.

Hollywood insider Hesham ‘Sham’ Ibrahim makes the unsubstantiated claims the actor has a history of bisexuality that goes back at least 10 years.

‘I don’t want to define Brad Pitt’s sexuality, but whatever it is, he’s into guys,’ he told Star magazine.

The rest is here. Frankly, I think unsubstantiated is the key word here. I love poker, and as it stands I would NOT bet on this hand.

However, even if Pitt is bisexual, what difference does it really make? He’s always been supportive of the LGBT community, he’s never done or said anything to exploit the LGBT community, and in this case I think he has a right to his privacy. 

The Virgin Billionaire

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 Trailer; Gay Man and Bloody McDonald’s Burger; Robin Williams’ Last Gay Role

Trevor Donovan In Texas Rising Trailer

I’ve posted a few times about Trevor Donovan starring in the upcoming History Channel mini-series, Texas Rising. You can check that out here.

It’s a series filled with history during a time in America a lot of us don’t know much about. It’s focused on the Texas Revolution and the Texas Rangers. Donovan is playing Kit Acklin, who was a Texas Ranger with deep American roots, and it will debut on May 25th, almost one month from today.

Rather than get into more historical facts this time, here’s a new trailer for TR, with a vocal by Kris Kristofferson. You’ll like this, trust me. 

Gay Man and Bloody McDonald’s Burger

A 24 year old gay man went to a McDonald’s in Washington state and they called him a faggot and served up a rare burger seeping with blood. But to be perfectly honest, this isn’t just a clear case of gay hate. It is bad, as it stands. But there really is more to the story.

As far as I can parse this, the gay guy overheard the manager calling out an employee and the guy didn’t like what he heard.

Then, the gay guy spoke to the employee who was getting yelled at:

‘I stated if she was my manager and was in my face, I would not tolerate that.’

The employee went back and told the manager (the manager is a woman) what the gay guy said. And this transpired:


‘As they both were speaking, they both turned around and looked at me and then I explained that he did not need to tell her. I then stated that I would gladly explain to her how I felt about her scolding an employee in front of customers and crew members,’ he said.

Because the manager is supposed to care about what the gay guy feels?

The manager replied.

‘She then looks at me, shrugs her shoulders and says, “I really don’t care.”’

The manager could have left it at that, but she didn’t. 

You can read more here. There are a few more interesting details. Even if the gay guy may or may not have been a douche in this case, it still doesn’t give anyone the right to refer to him with pejoratives or give him bad food. The manager could have just called him a douche and left it at that. But they always have to bring the gay angle into it.

Robin Williams’ Last Gay Role

This July there will be an indie film released titled, Boulevard. It stars the late Robin Williams and he’ll be playing a gay character who is coming to terms with being gay rather late in life.

‘Boulevard is a complex, life-affirming and surprising film and Robin’s final performance is absolutely remarkable,’ Kevin Kasha, head of acquisitions for Starz, tells Entertainment Weekly.

Producer Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso tells EW: ‘We are very excited about partnering with Starz Digital to get this beautiful movie out there.’

In the film, Williams’ character begins an unsettling relationship with a young hustler (Roberto Aguire) and his safe existence with his wife (Kathy Baker) is rocked to its foundation.

Even though it sounds like all the painfully stereotypical tragic gay books and films I’ve worked hard as a writer to stay away from in my lifetime, because not everything that is gay is tragic and painful, it also sounds like something that can and does happen in real life. And there’s no doubt that I will make a point of seeing it. Hollywood can’t help themselves…yet. They only associate gay story lines with pain and tragedy about sad sack figures who are gay and are “rocked” to their foundations because they are gay.

I’m gay. I’m happy. And even though I do face various forms of discrimination daily that I’ve learned how to deal with, each time I’ve been rocked to my proverbial foundation it had nothing to do with my being gay. Usually it’s when I lose my keys. 

So there you are.

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






Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin; Steve Grand All American Boy Release Date March 24th; Morning After Glow

Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin

I’ve been remiss with pop culture pieces lately…because there have been so many unusual things happening. But I’ve been meaning to post about this, and I will post a more in-depth piece soon for several reasons. One, I think my readers will enjoy it. Trevor Donovan played a gay character…Teddy…on Beverly Hills 90210 a few years ago and he stunned so many his fandom grew practically overnight. Two, the character Donovan is playing, Kit Acklin, is one of the most interesting in the old wild west. Three, I’ve been following Donovan in social media and I notice that a lot of m/m readers follow him, too. I think they’ll LOVE this new mini-series called Texas Rising.

The History Channel has had some major past success with period miniseries (Hatfield & McCoys) so they’re hitching their (covered) wagon to the lone star state. The network is currently filming Texas Rising, an eight-hour miniseries about the Texas revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers (the oldest state law enforcement agency in North America.)

The project has an impressive cast, folks like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chad Michael Murray, Ray Liotta, Oliver Martinez, Max Thieriot (from Bates Motel), but we’re most interested in Trevor Donovan‘s participation (Donovan has been a favorite with TheBacklot readers since his days as Teddy Montgomery on 90210.

You can read more about Texas Rising and Trevor Donovan here. And I will post something more detailed, with photos…yes, I have permission to use photos…very soon. Of course the focus is on Donovan and the show in general, but I’m trying to find links about Kit Acklin and I’m learning that what’s there is excellent, but there’s really not much out there in general about the old wild west.

Mark your calendars. Texas Rising will be launched on Memorial Day weekend this May 25th. 

Steve Grand Album Release Date

These days there seems to be an interesting trend with anything LGBT related. The mainstream press will pick up on something gay trendy and beat it to death until they’ve had their fun and all the straight people have been entertained. They usually don’t follow up. And in this case I’ve been seeing this trend with the new release of LGBT singer Steve Grand’s album, All American Boy. I haven’t seen much support from the mainstream…yet.

SO, let’s give the guy a break and start sharing this news. This is significant to LGBT culture as well as pop culture. And while the straight people and James Franco continue to exploit and appropriate us, the least we can do is help each other out when something important comes along.

I think everyone reading this post knows about Steve Grand by now. If you don’t you can find out more with a simple search. His new album, All American Boy, is going to be released tomorrow…March 24th…and he’s been working hard to promote this for the past few weeks all over social media.

Steve kicks off his debut album, All American Boy, set to be released on March 24. The album includes the hit singles All American Boy, Stay, Back To California and Time. Steve’s KickStarter campaign used to fund the album was the 3rd most successful fundraiser on the website ever.

There’s more here at Grand’s web site. I’ll be buying this one on iTunes, and I hope everyone else who is buying it helps spread the word about it.

Morning After Glow

This is the type of pop culture piece I personally love. It’s a new photo shoot by photographer Paul Dedona and it captures some of the most interesting moments you’ll ever see.

It makes sense that the photo shoot has a “morning after” feeling. Petit Q’s underwear designs are all about sex appeal, like good luck charms if you want to get lucky. The underwear modeled by Andrei ranges from the flattering to the deviously distracting. The Bondage Bikini and Majax Boxer both offer full-coverage designs, technically. They leave the back and front covered, but your sides and legs are emphasized by sexy straps.

Whether or not the pair is masculine or feminine doesn’t matter. Like we said, Paul Dedona captures Andrei’s confidence. It lets Andrei pull off every Petit Q design thrown his way.

There’s more here, where you can see the photos.  

The Way We ALMOST Were

A Gay Parody  

 
 

 


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