New from Purple Books: GRAY by R. L. Jackson

…a frightening tale of taxidermy gone wrong.
Purple Books Publishing is pleased to announce the release of its latest title, GRAY by R. L. Jackson. GRAY, a frightening tale of taxidermy gone wrong, begins when its title character, a horror novelist named Gray Turner, is arrested after sixteen taxidermied bodies are found in her basement. The deaths of the victims mimic the killings in the in-progress sequel to Gray’s first novel, The Taxidermist, making her latest work-in-progress seem like a “how-to” manual for the grisly murders. Since Gray has recently been experiencing blackouts, and since all evidence points directly to her, even Gray begins to wonder if she might have actually committed the crimes. Dr. Margaret Talbot, a psychiatrist, works with Gray as she delves into the dark events of her past – a past that might just have created a mind that is not only capable of dreaming up gruesome tales of pure evil, but also, perhaps, of acting them out. Gray and the psychiatrist embark on rough and tumble psychological journey that begins to awaken Gray’s memories, and her sexuality. Eventually, the truth behind the bodies in her basement is uncovered, and Gray finds herself in a fight for her life.

My 2012 Trip to Europe: Re-discovering History

I went to Europe this past August. I’d never been there before and now I’m surprised about why that had never happened. So much history is around every bend, much of it affecting the U.S. and my personal life.
Kelly and I walked the streets of Paris for four days, seeing museums and artwork and places where heroes walked before us. At the Pere Lachaise cemetery, we visited the grave sites of Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas buried together, Jim Morrison, Colette, and so many more as well as the poignant memorials dedicated to the thousands of French Jews deported to Nazi death camps.
We climbed to the top of the Arch de Triomph at night in the full moon and to the very high second platform of the Eiffel tower, 38 stories above ground. We ate scrumptious food, especially pastries and cheeses. In the Montmartre, we couldn’t resist walking into the sex shops and the Moulin Rouge.
We boarded the Avalon river cruise ship Creativity for an Olivia eight-day cruise along the Seine.  We visited many small towns including Van Gogh’s last home and burial site in Auvers sur Oise, Giverny where Monet painted the gardens he created, and Rouen where Monet painted the  Cathedral de Notre-Dame. Also in Rouen we went to the St. Joan of Arc church where the 19 year old Joan was memorialized as the true hero that she was, and we went into the La Couronne restaurant where Meryl Street as Julia (in Julie & Julia)  ate her first lunch in France with her husband Paul.
At the Normandy Beaches, we were touched by the intense U.S. and British military history, impressed by the ingenuity it took to create the apparatus to accommodate the landings, and deeply pained by the ages of the very young men who were killed there. We visited the American cemetery where we were given roses to lay on grave sites. I found some young Jewish soldiers and placed stones on their markers along with the roses.
We flew to Munich after the cruise, thoroughly enjoying the openness and aliveness of the city. We spend much of the second day at Dachau, that place of tremendous horror and pain and death…even still, even after being sanitized, is still a reminder of what hate and intolerance will do, how it consumes the hater and destroys humanity. As a small child growing up in a Jewish family, I learned that if we forget, it will surely happen again. Sometimes I feel like our leaders of today have forgotten, that the growing visible hate in this country will lead to the kind of intolerance that kills masses of people.
Where is the love Jesus asks of one another? I know I need to keep an open mind and an open heart, but with the power of my pen and keyboard, I will continue to write, continue to seek freedom for our LGBT sisters and brothers, continue to create awareness as long as I’m able. I hope you’ll commit to doing the same, lest we forget. This once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe helped me to remember….
Keep writing!

Welcome to the new Purple Books and Purple Distinctions blog!

Hi! Welcome to the new hot Purple Books and Purple Distinctions blog. Well, really, it’s my personal blog but its focus is about writing, publishing, and LGBT-related issues.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit in the last month, speaking with folks, signing my books, hugging old friends and meeting new people. The opening of the Pride Center at Cal State University Northridge last month was such a wonderful event and I felt very honored to be their keynote speaker. Sharing a day with LGBT/Ally Faculty and Staff at the University of Colorado in Denver was very exciting as they move forward to do the great work of full inclusion. Finally, I got to meet the amazingly smart LGBTQ students at Michigan Tech University and share time with them, with faculty and staff, and their student affairs folks reminded me of why this work is so important to me.

Next month I will be in Miami at the Miami International Festival of Books with my dear high school friend and great author C. K. Laurence. C. K. and I will be signing our own books and selling the terrific books published by Purple Books. Our hot new book just released is entitled Gray by R. L. Jackson. It you like scary thrillers with a lesbian twist, don’t miss it!

Let me know what you’re writing. I’m still working on my WWII book. Since November is National Novel Writing Month, I plan to participate in it for a strong complete first draft.

Keep writing!