When Pastor Rick Harris is sent to a camp run by drag queens for society’s most irredeemable homophoboes, he confronts his identity and finds authenticity—both for himself and his community.
The oldest translation of a Gospel is returned to the world by a secret society long dedicated to its preservation. In it, Jesus explicitly condemns bigotry and homophobia. In a new world in which LGBTQ passengers receive preferential boarding for flights and the United States has elected its first lesbian President, Pastor Rick Harris is stalwart, closeted preacher who doggedly holds onto his increasingly unpopular convictions.
When an incendiary sermon goes too far and offends an influential family, Rick makes a painful choice to keep his job: He attends an atonement camp run by drag queens for society’s most unrepentant and terminally incurable homophobes.
Atonement Camp is immersion therapy for Pastor Harris, and it might be working. An open bar with pedicures, a devastatingly attractive roommate and an endless supply of glitter help him manage to make new friends. Soon, Rick and his cohorts learn the camp may hold its own secrets. Amid the smiling faces and scantily clad pool boys who staff the camp, a clandestine group plots to discredit the New Revelation and everything it stands for.
If Rick has the conviction to confront his own hypocrisy, he might be able to uncover the conspirators with help from his adopted flock—and find new truths within himself.
CONTENT WARNING: This novel addresses issues related to the infliction of emotional abuse by a homophobic parent who suspects his son to be a homosexual. Separately, while not the author’s intent, some readers may interpret the story’s attempt to confront issues of religious hypocrisy as an assault on religion itself. No such conclusion is intended. Lastly, the novel follows a protagonist who, at times, uses hateful slurs to refer to members of the LGBTQ community. Such language is intended to give authenticity to a self-hating, closed member of that same community. Readers may appreciate the protagonist’s growth as he embraces his sexuality and reconciles himself with his faith.
About the Author
Evan is a member of the LGBTQ community who fancies himself as a playboy socialite, living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Between work and lucid moments of sobriety, he writes a little. His debut novel is a light-hearted work that still manages to confront religious hypocrisy and contemporary LGBTQ struggles to balance their loss of culture with new-found civil rights.
“SATC is my religion, so I’m offended by this book. But fuck, it’s funny.” – Dario Holley, Gay Icon
“I couldn’t help but wonder….”. If you cringed while watching Sex and the City but still can’t get enough of it, this is the book for you. A modern recap of this iconic television series, for diehard Sex and the City addicts.
“Sex and the City Plotholes” is a dryly hilarious summary of each of the ninety-four episodes and two movies of Sex and The City, an enormously popular American romantic comedy-drama which ran from 1998 to 2004. The show was ground-breaking in many ways. It introduced many plot features which had never been seen so openly on mainstream television, including sexual promiscuity, non-standard relationships, coarse language, fetishes, and homosexuality, to name a few. Enjoy discovering the multitude of flaws in the plotlines and characters, explored through the more politically correct 21st century lens.
Included are several “top ten” lists covering such subjects as “Ten Worst Dates” and “Ten Unresolved Plotlines”. You’ll also find Inane Dialogue, Miranda Moments and Best Quotes throughout.
8 “I Love a Charade”
Carrie wears a terrible dress and worse hairstyle to a Hamptons wedding. We are assailed with mentions of “zsa zsa zsu”, a made-up term of speech that thankfully only lasts one episode. Berger shows up again, now single but no more likeable. Charlotte realises she has fallen for Harry, but is dismayed when he tells her it can never be because she’s not Jewish (which explains why he was OK with being a fuck buddy). Samantha demands Smarmy Richard, who she dumped a while ago, allow her to use his Hamptons house for a huge party. The SATC girls crack continual jokes about Bitsy von Muffling marrying the gayest man in New York.
The girls are off to a wedding, amidst their disbelief and amusement that Bobby Fine, a cabaret piano entertainer who tells his audience he wears pink caftans and a Peggy Lee wig in the privacy of his own home, is marrying Bitsy Von Muffling, a thin middle aged socialite with platinum hair. There is much consternation among the SATC girls about why they are getting married at all, but the general agreement is that it must be for companionship. Carrie bleats on about the zsa zsa zsu – the butterflies in your stomach you get when you’re in love – and how it couldn’t possibly exist in a gay/straight union. I’m already wishing zsa zsa zsu didn’t exist as vocabulary in the script.
In ongoing coincidences, Harry handled Bitsy’s divorce, so he’s invited to the wedding. He wants Charlotte to go with him, and as they are slowly progressing away from fuck buddies to something more, Charlotte agrees to go; but only if he waxes his back. He must have it done at the same place that butchered Samantha’s face peel, because after the wax his back looks as though it’s been grilled on a Broil King. We’ve all waxed our legs, haven’t we ladies? There should be no ongoing redness or welting, and certainly no pain after the procedure. Charlotte is horrified to see Harry’s back looking like breakfast bacon, but at least it’s hairless. She finds other things to complain about though: Harry’s shirt, his use of the word “tits” and his tendency to eat without caring about food on his face. Harry is characteristically good natured about it all. He’s slowly becoming my second favourite SATC lead cast member (after Miranda). Except for the teabag thing, but we’ll get to that.
On their way to the huge party that Samantha has decided to host at Richard’s house in the Hamptons, Jack Berger makes another appearance, just in time to create some drama in season 6. He rides badly on a motorcycle to the very same fast food joint where the SATC girls minus Charlotte are having lunch. It’s quite the coincidence. The motorcycle is an impulse purchase Berger made to get him through a breakup with the girlfriend Carrie was hopeful he would break up with. However, he’s not very confident in riding it, which makes me wonder how he got his license, and if he should really be riding it up to the Hamptons. Carrie invites him to Samantha’s party, and he knows the house because Berger has a Hamptons house as well. (So does Harry; have you noticed how many people have Hamptons houses on SATC?)
At the party, Carrie and Berger sit outside the house together on the grass and Carrie delivers a one-woman monologue about her last breakup and breakups in general, crapping on well long enough to make her seem a dozen kinds of crazy. Berger can’t get away fast enough, even pulling his jacket out from under Carrie so suddenly she tips sideways. Carrie, in her characteristic narcissistic way, has scared him off. I’m still waiting for someone to quote Lisa Kirk to Carrie:
“A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.”
It may have helped Carrie a little in life. Anyway, moving on to the actual wedding reception. Harry professes to Charlotte that he’s falling for her, but then follows up that he can never marry her because she’s not Jewish. They decide to just dance and figure it all out in season 6. Miranda is ruminating over her recent accidental sex with Steve (again!) and realises she may be falling for him too. Berger shows up yet again, invited that very day by the groom (because when you pay $500 a head for a lavish Hamptons wedding, it’s ok to ask random people on the street to attend on seven hours’ notice). Carrie keeps her mouth firmly shut, embarrassed by her earlier verbal haemorrhage, and they decide to date properly before their (spoiler) rocky relationship and spectacular breakup in season 6. Samantha isn’t falling in love with anyone, I’m relieved to say, because that’s enough love (or simulation thereof) for one episode.
Style note: I can’t even say how much I hate the dress and hair combo Carrie wears to the wedding. The other girls somehow always put it together for events, but Carrie is generally relied upon to wear unflattering frocks, like this one that is just a strapless gathered piece that looks like the towel you wear under your arms when you’re stripped off and about to get a massage. Don’t get me started on the hair.
About the Author
Nicole Taylor writes from Sydney, Australia, where Sex and the City reruns are a constant on Foxtel. In addition to her SATC addiction she has a Seinfeld addiction, a pole addiction (the kind you dance on) and two adorable cats who helpfully sit on her keyboard while she types. She has released an album of pop music called “Ambiguosexual” and is writing her next novel.
Wiping the sweat from his top lip, he tried to breathe in something other than stranger’s body heat. It was thick. Solid. Like the air had been stuck in the carriage for years. And he knew as the doors beeped shut behind him, the five-fifty-two to London was going to be one bastard of a journey.
‘Close one, Georgie boy.’
‘I know.’ Wheezing, George slipped into the seat next to Alfie and sucked in mouthfuls of the staleness. ‘Got held up at work.’
Truth was, it had nothing to do with his job. Being late wasn’t something George Taylor was good at. He was the fucking champion. Tell him where and when to meet and he’d be there. Twenty minutes after everybody else.
Dripping with sweat, he dragged the back of his wrist over his brow then yanked the neck of his T-shirt in an attempt to cool his clammy skin.
Sitting on the chav wagon for an hour was hell for him. The thought of being sat amongst thirty-odd strangers, most of whom had no idea of personal space, gave him full on anxiety. Actually doing it, made him want to vomit. But it was worth it. Nothing could bring him down. Not even a soap dodger with an allergy to antiperspirant. He was on his way to see Ellie. And that was all that mattered.
‘Babes, please tell me you’re not wearing that tonight.’ Aimee momentarily glanced away from her phone and winced at his muddy top. ‘Ells will actually kill you if you turn up in that.’
‘Course not. I’ve got my going out gear in here.’ George unzipped his torn rucksack to prove he’d packed a fresh set of clothes that morning. He hadn’t needed the reminder that Ellie would disapprove of his work gear. ‘I didn’t have time to change.’
‘Or wash by the smell of you.’ Aimee turned her nose away. ‘You look like you’re covered in-’
‘Shit!’ Alfie jabbed his elbow into George’s side. He was gawping at a blonde who had just boarded the train in a tight figure-hugging blue dress. ‘Look at the bounce on those things.’
Never one to encourage Alfie’s ogling of anyone with breasts, George made a point of rolling his eyes. He couldn’t help but notice the impressive chest on the blonde himself though.
‘She is hot.’ Alfie whistled, manspreading into George’s space.
Aimee peered up from her phone to give the woman the once-over. Possibly the twice-over by her look of disdain. She was one of the nicest, sweetest girls on the planet but other attractive females brought out the monster in her. ‘What? No way. She’s so basic.’
‘I don’t care if she’s basic, I’d motorboat the fuck out of those things,’ Alfie beamed, following it up with a wink George’s way.
‘The way you objectify women is gross.’ Aimee huffed, pulling at her neckline to show off her own bronzed and perky assets. ‘Besides, you can tell she’s a total bitch, just look at her eyebrows.’
George and Alfie shrugged in unison as Aimee continued to glare at the woman. Like she was sizing her up for a coffin. George had no idea what the woman’s eyebrows had to do with her being a bitch, but by the grimace plastered on her face, Aimee seemed adamant about it. She always insisted that she had a way of knowing those sorts of things, but George had yet to see any proof.
About the Author
“My English teacher in Year 11 once said that I’d either be a rent boy or a writer. I wasn’t successful at the first so thought I’d try the latter.” Kent Lowe grew up in East London, spending most of his youth in Dagenham, before moving to Essex. Being a daydreamer and somewhat of a loner, he found art and literature to be the perfect medium for his endless imagination. After finishing college, Kent went on to study a Fine Art degree where he moved from canvas to installation which reared his love for both visual and literary storytelling. Kent has always had an affinity with animals, and growing up with a menagerie of creatures, he now has fish, an orange cat and four adorable dogs that make his chaotic world just that little more harmonic. As an artist and writer, all of Kent’s works delve into humour, love and friendship.
Darkness Dawns is a love story. It also tells the tale of one man’s war with himself, brought onto the battlefield of his blindness. Leo Ferrar suffers from diabetic retinopathy and lost his sight two years ago. Unable to bear the scrutiny of strangers or the impact of his blindness on those he loves, Leo has determined on shutting the world out ever since. This is the man Ben meets on his first day at work as Mr Ferrar’s care assistant.
A former heroin addict, Ben was sentenced to six months community service as punishment for his crimes by a judge entitled to condemn him to a seven-year stretch. Far too charming for his own welfare, Ben proves unaccountably brilliant at ‘bulldozing the blind’.
When fate sees fit to dispatch Ben to the home of the man he has dubbed Mr Ferrarcious; it is with the words of the last five unfortunates who’d dared darken Leo’s doorway ringing in his ears. A door that is opened by a man who might be Lord Byron himself. Drop dead gorgeous and as hot as hell, Leo Ferrar has the most beautiful eyes Ben has ever seen.
Never has an irony seemed so cruel. Nor fate so fortuitous.
Leo knew heshould have opted to use the cane, instead of the arm Ben offered him for their unexpected walk. Should. Every time that word left someone’s lips, Leo wanted to scream; fists clenched in a screech of hopeless, helpless rage. The fact that everything he should do was For-His-Own-Benefit, made it so much worse, which was as ludicrous as it was true. Independence was the only thing he had left to aspire to. So, why the fuck did should rub Leo so raw it obliterated any inclination he may have had to do whatever it prefaced? He ought to want to do the things he should. But what if he tried…and failed? What if Leo couldn’t master any of them? Then he would lose even the hope that he might, one day, be able to. Even more galling, that loss would be down to him, because he was so bloody useless. He did want to show Ben that he was quite capable of managing…didn’t he? Very much, although why that mattered, Leo had no idea.
Why care what this latest in a long line of functioning eyeballs thought of him? It was probably more politic to say, ‘visually unimpaired’. Visually Impaired. Leo had to stifle the urge to punch people who described him thus. Impaired? Adj: weakened or damaged. Weak. Weakened. F’fucksakes. He was still chewing that particular wasp when Ben asked for his wrist.
Does he intend to lead me by it, as if I’m a toddler?
Leo found himself holding it out anyway. Christ knows why he was going along with all this. It was just that…being in Ben’s company was rather like sitting in the passenger seat of a snow plough driven by a drunk. Far preferable to standing in its path…and yet, somehow more appealing than staying behind, wherever the hell it was off to.
Nevertheless, he was still relieved when Ben clasped the proffered wrist—not to cart Leo off as he’d feared—but to plant his hand on top of Ben’s head. The fact that Leo could have changed the lightbulb without stretching a whole lot further, did seem to suggest he’d been addressing Ben’s nipples for the last half hour.
Quite how Ben then contrived to claim fault for something that was Leo’s mistake was less clear, but this was pulled off with such disarming charm, it would’ve been churlish to argue otherwise. Why the hell did the notion of calling Ben’s bluff feel as brutal a prospect as drowning his cat? If he had one, of course. Cat? More to the point…nipples?
“Thank you,” Leo managed to mumble, which was something of a result itself. Half an hour with Ben and he’d started to feel several sandwiches short of the proverbial picnic. He’d also begun to suspect that Violet had been a sweet little old lady—and quite sane—when she’d met Ben.
So off they went. The blindingly daft leading the blind off on a stroll around Camden.
In a bid to distract himself from well, pretty much everything he’d thought for the last five minutes, Leo decided to ask Ben to describe himself. For some reason he was intrigued, not only to know what Ben looked like, but to hear the picture he drew. Leo had an inkling this would prove more unmissable than an aural tour around the National Portrait Gallery. Unmissable? It was a bloody masterpiece. There most definitely were not any renderings of Steptoe’s six-four daughter there. The last two years might have felt a damn sight less soul-destroying if Ben had voiced Leo’s DVD visual descriptions.
Walking outside had lost all its appeal when the world became a giant landmine lying in wait to blow up in Leo’s face; every step into the unknown, a potential public humiliation. Despite this, and Ben’s partiality to lamp posts, they somehow arrived in Gloucester Crescent, alive and well. Even more shocking, was that Leo hadn’t fretted about…anything really, along the way. He’d just drifted along, listening to Ben weave words too beguiling to question where embellishment waved farewell to the truth. But who the fuck would want to, when that would feel as blasphemous as punching a fist through a Picasso?
About the Author
When Zakarrie was little and dreamed big, she wanted to be a writer. Just like Enid Blyton. Or p’raps not…having been most remiss on the lashings of ginger beer front. After moving to London at eighteen and flitting about for far too long, she finally settled, as blissy as can be, by the sea. When her castaway dreams resurfaced, they were believed into being by the warm words of friends who breathed life into her own. Her one wish now is that someone, somewhere, might enjoy the misadventures of her miscreants as much as she adores writing them.