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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gay Rights Movement as Seen Through LGBT Pulp Fiction

Last night, the Palm Springs Library presented “The Significance of LGBT Pulp Fiction with Author Katherine V. Forrest,” an author interview conducted by Dr. Christopher Freeman. Forrest is the author of Curious Wine and other lesbian-themed novels. Freeman has published numerous works on gender studies.

The term “pulp fiction” refers to the cheap “pulp magazines” printed on low-quality paper and produced in the early twentieth century. These precursors to modern mass-market paperback novels were sold in drugstores, train and bus stations, and grocery stores. Their bold covers reflected the often torrid or taboo subject matter contained within the slim volumes.

Freeman and Forrest encouraged audience members to relate their experiences with pulp fiction. Their tales shed a fascinating spotlight on the struggles faced by gay and lesbian readers and writers in the decades before and after the pivotal Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village in 1969.

Imagine in the 1930s through 1980s trying to purchase books with two or more bikini-clad men on the cover or nearly naked women. Gay and lesbian pulp fiction gave Katherine V. Forrest and many members of the audience their first glimmer that they were not alone in their sexual orientation. But obtaining the novels were often an ordeal. One audience member related making multiple trips to the library to read a book he was too embarrassed to check out. Katherine Forrest remembered buying four books she didn’t want in the hope the cashier wouldn’t notice the fifth book, a lesbian-themed novel she did want. Others related similar experiences.

For many it seemed, these books gave them the courage to inch out of the closet, even if just to their friends or families. Some mentioned Spring Fire by Vin Packer, and Odd Girl Out by A. Bannon. Others remembered The Price of Salt by Claire Morgan.

Many of the authors of the lesbian-themed books were later discovered to be men with female pen names. Few authors, like Ann Bannon (who wrote as A. Bannon) were openly out of the closet. Dr.

Christopher Freeman, an English professor at the University of Southern California, discussed Maurice (pronounced Morris) by E. M. Forster, which had been written in 1913-1914 and twice revised decades later. Forster had resisted publishing the book because he knew his story of same-sex love would be all the more controversial because of its happy ending. Thus it wasn’t published until six decades after he had first written it.

Many mentioned Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, a 1928 novel about a female ambulance driver in World War I. A campaign against the book led to an obscenity trial in the United Kingdom during the time of Virginia Woolf and Rudyard Kipling.

As a writer hoping to add more LGBT characters to my Young Adult novels (The Teen Wytche Saga), the evening was a fascinating immersion into the history of the gay rights movement as seen through LGBT literature.  

©2014 by Ariella Moon
Helpful links
Christopher Freeman, PhD

Friday, April 25, 2014

Acting Up: A Fun Inspirational Romance From Kristin Wallace

Kristin Wallace is back in the spotlight with her new Inspirational Romance,

Acting Up

This looks like such a fun read!
Acting Up
Covington Falls Chronicles


Acting Up is a contemporary inspirational romance set in the fictional Southern town of Covington Falls.

Addison Covington is the reigning Ice Queen of television. Until her producer husband falls in love with her on-screen daughter and a well-placed punch on national television casts her as the wicked ex-wife. Fired and disgraced, she escapes to Covington Falls to try and figure out how to save her career. Before Addison can say “Casting Call” she's drafted to direct the high school musical.

Life is constantly on the brink of chaos for widower and single father Ethan Thomas. As a high school principal he also has to deal with hundreds of students. Now, he’s short one drama teacher and if he doesn’t find someone to direct the spring musical he’s going to have a riot on his hands. His childhood neighbor, Addison Covington, could be an answer to prayer. Or one more complication he can’t afford.

Soon Addison dealing with some off-key caterwauling, a bitter stepson showing up, and the sexiest high school principal she's ever met. One thing Addison and Ethan agree on is that there’s no room in their lives for romance. He’s got too much at stake, and she needs to reclaim her former glory in Hollywood. In the end, these two lost souls will choreograph a happy ending with the help of Grace, Love and a Curtain Call.


Chapter One

Dear Diary... I died today.
Deliberately plowed down in the middle of the street by the proverbial black, unmarked car. My funeral will be mobbed by the movers and shakers of the fashion world on three continents. The inquiry into my death will bring about a national manhunt for my killer and spark at least a half a season’s worth of who-dunnit episodes.
The list of suspects will be a mile long. My faithless husband? My nemesis and rival in romance and in business? My drug-addicted son? My angelic daughter? Wronged business partners? Wronged business adversaries? Pretty much anyone who ever had the misfortune to cross Corrine Barrett. Or get in my way.
“We got it.”
“Let’s set up for the next scene.”
Shouts went up as the director called out instructions to the crewmembers. With a deep sigh, Addison Covington opened her eyes. Rolling onto her hip, she performed an inventory of the various parts of her body. After being jerked back by the harness attached to her waist and landing on an air mattress in the middle of the street, she’d expected to feel like the roadkill Corrine had become. Her back would be protesting the abuse tomorrow, but for now she was only a little sore.
One of the grips approached her landing pad and helped her stand up. “You all right, Addison?”
“Never better, Charlie.”
Yeah, she wasn’t really dead. It just felt that way.
Corrine Barrett-Channing, ice queen and ruler over the Barrett Empire in the hit drama House of Fashion, was toast. But Addison Covington, her portrayer, was sadly still of this earth.
She slipped off the jacket of her white Armani suit so Charlie could remove the harness and fought back a wince. Perhaps she’d been wrong about only being a little sore.
Charlie scowled. “I told you to let your stunt double handle the fall.”
“I’ll be fine.”
Even as he unhooked the contraption, other crewmembers removed her landing pad, setting up the scene to reveal Corrine’s body lying in the street. At least Addison would be spared the humiliation of having to play dead. That job would go to her stand in.
Addison’s job here was finished. Literally.
“Stubborn woman,” Charlie said with a gruff affection as he took off the harness.
“Thank you, Charlie,” she said, kissing his cheek. “You’ve always been a prince.”
He shuffled his feet and then leaned in closer. “You deserve better, Addison.”
“Not according to the gossip rags. They all think I should be burned at the stake.”
From behind her, a familiar feminine voice rang out. “You punched America’s sweetheart in the nose. What did you expect?”
Addison glanced around to see her on-screen nemesis and off-screen best friend, Sydney James, approaching. “I expect it should be acceptable to rearrange someone’s face after she’s stolen your husband, but then I’m old-fashioned that way.”
Sydney laughed, and they both stood on the sidewalk watching the organized chaos unfolding. For several moments neither of them spoke.
Then Sydney bit her lip. “I hate this,” she said, fury and desolation etched in every word. “I hate what’s happened to you. I hate that you won’t be here with me anymore, and I hate that he gets away with everything.”
“Look on the bright side,” Addison said, digging her nails into her palm, hoping the pain would stave off the urge to curl up in a fetal position and wail. “You’ll probably never have to film a fight scene in a mud-bath again. Who knows, maybe Merrick will change his mind, and I’ll be back as my evil twin someday.”
A gurgle of laughter mixed with a sob escaped. “I think Corrine Barrett is the evil twin,” Sydney said, tears swimming in her green eyes.
“The good twin then. It would certainly be a stretch for me to play, right?”
Sydney took Addison’s arm. “Come on, there’s nothing more to see here.” They headed to the dressing trailers down the block. “You’ll need a hot bath tonight. Otherwise you won’t be able to move tomorrow.”
“What I need is my job and my husband.”

Buy Links:

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About Kristin Wallace
Growing up Kristin devoured books like bags of Dove Dark Chocolate. Her first Golden Book led to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, C.S. Lewis and the Sweet Valley High series. Later, she discovered romance novels and fell in love all over again. She writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction filled with love, laughter and a leap of faith. When she’s not writing her next novel, Kristin works as an advertising copywriter. She also enjoys singing in her church choir and worship team and playing flute in a community orchestra. Kristin is a member of Romance Writers of America and serves as President of the local affiliate chapter, Florida Romance Writers. This is the second book in the Covington Falls Chronicles. Be sure to check out the first book in the series, Marry Me.
Connect with Kristin:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Three Wishes ~ A Magical YA Novel from Deborah Kreiser

Deborah Kreiser and her YA debut novel, Three Wishes, is in the spotlight today. 

Three Wishes looks like such a fun read! I love your choices for Book Boyfriends!


Tall and lanky, Genie Lowry is only noticed at academic awards assemblies—until the day she turns 17 1/2, when her body changes from Kate-Hudson-flat to Katy-Perry-curvy—and she finds out she’s a real, live genie. Suddenly, every guy at school is paying attention to her, including Pete Dillon, her never-in-a-million-years crush.

But to gain her full powers and keep her new body, Genie has to find a master, and she’s not sure if Pete’s Master (or Mr.) Right. With help from her dead mother’s interactive diary and an imposing mentor with questionable motives, Genie uncovers the family history and genie rules she never knew. She grapples with her new powers and searches for the perfect master as she tries to make her own wishes come true.


Sitting in French class, I let my mind wander back to my grandmother’s cryptic statement this morning. “It’s December sixth. You’re seventeen-and-a-half now, and today is the day you become a woman,” she warned. In the rush to get out the door, I hadn’t paid close attention, and chalked it up to her usual absent-mindedness.

I puzzle over her words for another moment before brushing it off. After all, this is the same woman who tells me I “hit the nail on the nose” when I get things right.

Leia, my best friend, sits to my left. Catching my attention, she mouths “what?” and gestures with a nod to the front of the room, where Madame Houle is describing how we’ll be preparing for the Advanced Placement exam. I shrug back at her. Languages have always been a cinch for me, so this is the one class where I’m not too worried.

The same is not true for AP Bio, AP European history, or AP English, which fill the rest of my day. By the time school ends, I’m exhausted. “What was I thinking, anyway, signing up for such a hard year?” I complain to Leia, yet again, as we get in the car to drive to swim practice. “Aren’t seniors supposed to skate through?”

“Get real. Don’t try pretending you’re not an overachiever.” She laughs. “We all know you want to get out of sleepsville St. Philomena and go off to college.”

“Whatever.” I poke her arm with my elbow. “Don’t we all?” Looking around at the emptying parking lot, I ask, “So, just us two today?”

“My brother’s getting a ride home from Kaydee,” she tells me, pulling a face. “I can’t imagine what he would see in her.”

Buy Links"

If Deborah Kreiser had three wishes, they would include: a lifetime supply of calorie-free chocolate, a self-cleaning house; and the ability to expand time as needed. When not dreaming of her next plot, she teaches nature programs to preschool kids in Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters.

There are so many to choose from! These guys are what leap to mind. They're all super-nice, super-hot, and support their girlfriends in all things that matter. The fact that they're great kissers doesn't hurt, either.

5. Jase from MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick
4. Justin from EFFORTLESS WITH YOU by Lizzy Charles
3. Percy Jackson from his own series by Rick Riordan
2. Four from the DIVERGENT series by Veronica Roth
1. Peeta from THE HUNGER GAMES series by Suzanne Collins

Deborah Kreiser

YA debut THREE WISHES coming April 15 from Astraea Press
Blogging at:
Tweeting at: @DeborahKreiser
Facebooking at:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spell Struck Giveaway

RONE Award nominee, Spell Struck, Book 2, The Teen Wytche Saga
is one of two books featured today at 
the Romance Studio's Book-A-Day Giveaway. 
Enter to win your chance at a free ebook copy:

Eric Edson's Story Solution

Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey has long been my Go To book for plotting and story structure. So I was intrigued when Eric Edson presented “Cracking Screen Story Structure” to the Palm Springs Writers Guild. Edson has developed a new paradigm that builds upon Vogler’s work and takes it in a new direction. He shares all in his book, The Story Solution: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take.  

Edson is a screenplay writer for movies and television, and is a Professor of Screenwriting and Directing of the Graduate MFA Program in Screenwriting at California State University, Northridge. He lectures through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from UCLA. So it is no surprise that he developed his theory of story structure after analyzing numerous successful movies.

Hero Goal Sequences

At the heart of Edson’s approach to story structure are Hero Goal Sequences.

“A Hero Goal Sequence generally consists of 2 to 8 pages of screenplay…in which the hero pursues a single physical, visible, short-term goal as one immediate step in achieving the main overall story objective driving the plot. The Goal Sequence ends when the hero discovers FRESH NEWS, which is some form of new information that effectively ends the necessity to pursue the current goal and creates a new physical, visible, short-term goal - thereby beginning the next Hero Goal Sequence.”

The day after I attended Edson’s presentation, I went to the local Regal Cinema and saw The Grand Budapest Hotel. Then I viewed (for the third time) The Hunger Games. Two very different movies, but the Hero Goal Sequences leapt out at me in both. The next movie you watch, see if you can spot the Hero Goal Sequences.

As with other well-known approaches to screenwriting and story structure, Edson’s paradigm includes rising tension and major hooks at the end Acts I and II. But his interpretation is a little different and well worth a visit to his website for a free download of his analysis of Back to the Future. Or, for a more full explanation and more analysis, consider purchasing The Story Solution: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take.
Happy writing!
~Ariella Moon

Spell Struck, Book 2 in the Teen Wytche Saga, has been nominated for a RONE AWARD. Public voting for the YA Paranormal category is open from April 14-20. Follow this link to cast your vote.
Thank you!