Divas of Desire

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fragments with Nona

National Coming Out Day is October 11 and in recognition of that, my publisher Loose Id is releasing a series with the pertinent theme "Coming Out"—a selection of same sex romances that celebrate diversity and love. Please check them out here.

My other publisher, The Wild Rose Press, also has an m/m themed series through the Scarlet line called "The Boys of Summer". If you like your men hot, hard, and ready to roll, check out the selections here.

But as Abigail Adams said, "Remember the ladies…" With that in mind, please keep in mind that my first same-sex romance, Irresistible Impulse, features two of my favorite characters, Tania and Latisha.  This short story tells how they connected at a speed dating event, of all places. You can find the story  at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

The Romance Reviews blog is sponsoring a GLBT blog hop Sept 27 – 30, and while The Divas of Desire blog is not officially on the roll, I want to offer a shout out.  Besides arranging the blog hop, TRR is having contest offering fun and prizes! Many authors (including me) are participating in the contest with Q & As, and you can win ten points for each correct answer. Go here to join the fun!

As part of the blog hop, many bloggers are focusing on a gay novel that has meaning for them. I'd like to tell you about a memoir that I came upon while browsing Amazon and purchased after reading the glowing reviews. Was That a Name I Dropped by Paul E. Brogan was a very touching, enjoyable and inspiring story.

Paul was a square peg growing up in concord New Hampshire, a "teacher's pet" who loved Jeannette MacDonald and Doris Day.  Though popular with teachers, he was an outcast among his peers, who couldn't understand his interests. He was especially devastated when his lone friend rejected him because he no longer wanted to hang around with an "oddball."

But something amazing happened. When Paul was still a child, he wrote a fan letter to Doris Day and she responded. That began a lifelong correspondence and friendship. As he grew older, Paul realized he was gay, and that led to more isolation as he couldn't at that time acknowledge his orientation. What saved him was his love of films and his job at the local movie theater. Paul knew he wanted to move out West to Hollywood and somehow make a life there, but his parents' insisted that was just a pipe dream. Not wanting to disappoint them, he headed to college. While he was there, he was the victim of a horrible sexual assault which shattered his life. For many years he kept silent about it, suffering PTSD and unable even to confide in his therapist.

But even in the darkest moments of his life, his friendship with Doris Day saved him. Her faith in him pulled him out of deepest gloom. And though Paul's life took a number of detours, at last he was able to achieve his dream of living and working in Hollywood. During his time there he became friends with Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn, hairstylist to the stars Sydney Guillaroff, and many others.

Though Paul certainly experienced a number of tragic events, this is not a depressing read. Paul's basic view of life is upbeat. He is a real model of perseverance, of getting up every time he falls down. He does not blame others for his own mistakes and misdeeds, and tries to forgive those who've hurt him. The things he cares about have given him much joy, and he's devoted much of his time helping others in the area of AIDS awareness.  He is a true inspiration.

If you enjoy stories of Hollywood, growing up gay, coming-of-age, of the power of love and friendship, then you are sure to enjoy this book. I certainly did.

Was That A Name I Dropped is available here.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!
Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic


  1. Thank you for your kind and generous remarks about my book, I sincerely appreciate it and enjoyed reading your take on it. When writing a book, an author is never sure whether anyone will read it as you sit there - alone - pecking away at the keys. It has been humbling to read and hear from so many people who took a chance on an unknown author and read the book. I wish, when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's, that I'd had a book that could have helped me to understand the "gay experience" from someone's perspective. Your blog is fascinating to read and I've a feeling you are touching and inspiring a lot of lives. Best of luck.
    Paul E. Brogan

    1. Hi Paul! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I'll bet you never expected to see your book reviewed on an erotic romance blog! I really enjoyed your book, which may sound strange considering all the adversity you faced, but you write with such honesty you completely drew me in. And I really connected with your upbringing in the 60's and 70's and your sense of feeling like an outsider.

      I hope you are in good health. My sincere best wishes to you.



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