Title: Memoirs of a Transsexual Call Girl: Enter the Butterfly Author: Dee Dee Jackson Genre: Autobiography/Transgender Length: 122 pages ISBN: BOOMNXXOGS Publisher: Dee Dee Jackson (August 12, 2014) Heat Level: Moderate Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts Reviewer: Zane Blurb: Besides the sensational title, this is a well-written, compelling book with a hard edge. You see, Dee Dee is the woman who lived inside the young boy Denny. Sound confusing? Imagine what young Denny went through? This powerful narrative follows the change in body, mind and life of a transsexual girl.
After a turn to prostitution to finance her sex change surgery Dee Dee makes the best of it and expands her new sex worker life to include owning and operating an escort service. After her surgery, this narrative follows her as she indulges in some of the sexual behavior she had only dreamed about pre-surgery.
OK, this book does have a collection of Dee Dee’s excesses, but it also contains the story of how she overcame some huge obstacles. Courage is courage, be it in sex change surgery or from the view behind the bars of a locked jail cell. Most people would have given up or sought an easier way, but not Dee Dee.
This book is her legacy. Her hope is that it will endure and bring some clarity to readers about the trials of the transgendered. We know Dee Dee endured long enough to finish her journey and see her life’s dream come true, a claim few can make. In a way this book is a success story, it’s about a win, it’s about hope triumphing.
Review: Most of us take what life hands us as right and true, and we don’t question the very basic things that are part of our makeup, but not Dee Dee Jackson. Dee Dee was born Denny, but from her youth she knew she wasn’t supposed to be Denny. This book is the self-penned story of how Dee Dee came to be.
From the beginning, we are given a very transparent window into her life starting with childhood, leading up to and beyond her surgery. Dee Dee talks about traumatic experiences, sexual experiences , family, as well all the things she had to do to get through this life she was living.
Dee Dee is a pioneer of sorts – having a sex change operation at a time when the surgery was new and unfamiliar. It takes great courage to open yourself to the public. I have such respect for this author being able to do something that most of us could never attempt. The things shared here are deep, personal, and by no means easy to divulge or read.
That being said, I wanted more. I wanted a view into her heart as well as her mind. I didn’t just want to KNOW what happened in her life, I wanted to FEEL her emotions and connect with Dee Dee herself.
This is a direct, honest narrative, with a no holds barred approach to storytelling. Dee Dee is not afraid to tell it like it is and it shines through in her writing. My attention was captivated from word one; I read this from beginning to end without pause. I did enjoy this, and it is my hope that perhaps one day Dee Dee will gift us with a deeper look into her story.
. ** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through www.mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com **
Title: Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice.
Author: Andrew E. Stoner and Peter A. Conway
Genre: True Crime
Publisher: Magnus Books (June 19th, 2012)
Heat Level: 0
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.5Hearts
Blurb: Cobra Killer presses the “play” button to uncover the real world of online pornography–an industry that generates billions in revenue daily and makes ordinary people overnight-stars and millionaires.
For the first time authors Peter A. Conway and Andrew E. Stoner tell in full detail the twisted story of a pair of young, aspiring gay adult film producers whose quest for fame at any cost leads to the gruesome murder of the man who stands in their way, gay porn entrepreneur Bryan Kocis. News of the killing of the 44-year-old (stabbed 28 times, his throat slashed to near decapitation) in his suburban home sends shock waves through the bucolic Pennsylvania town. Neighbors are horrified to hear about the murder but equally astonished to learn that Kocis ran a small but thriving online porn operation from his home, sometimes employing underage young men as models.
The murder investigation leads police and prosecutors to the far reaches of the country, from Virginia to New York City, to Las Vegas, and to a nude beach in San Diego where investigators facilitate an incredible clandestine suspect surveillance. The manhunt nets a former U.S. Navy veteran and a former Marine, turned male models, turned hustlers, turned porn producers, who ultimately land at the bottom of a delusional conspiracy. 26-year-old Harlow Cuadra and his 35-year-old partner and lover Joseph Kerekes are implicated and eventually convicted in the brutal January 2007 murder of Kocis. Their motive? An ill-conceived attempt to lure a rising gay porn star named Brent Corrigan away from the grips of Kocis and into their crumbling, self-built porn empire.
Cobra Killer takes readers into the sometimes alluring, sometimes dangerous and often surprising world of gay porn and the deceit, schemes, and ultimate betrayals lying underneath the fantasy. (via Goodreads)
Review: Most people with knowledge of gay porn recognize the name Brent Corrigan, or his other alias Fox Ryder, or his real name, Sean Paul Lockhart. For the sake of clarity, he is referred to by his real name for the duration of the review, as are all other persons with aliases.
Cobra Killer opens in early 2007, with Bryan Kocis on a plane to Pennsylvania, home to his booming gay pornography company. He had just come to a settlement with the problems surrounding Corrigan’s underage appearance in Cobra gay pornographic films. Within five days, his body was found in tiny Dallas Township, Pennsylvania, nearly beheaded, stabbed 28 times in the chest and stomach, and his body set afire. Harlow with Corrigan
The authors appear to have done ample research (more about referencing later), and provide detailed accounting of the investigation into Kocis’ murder. They note how the police were able to determine suspects within days by reviewing Kocis’ email, having found emails about setting up a meeting sent from one ‘Danny Moilin’. Further investigation revealed Danny Moilin to be Harlow Raymond Cuadra, and photographs online showed Cuadra posing with Lockhart, drawing another connection to Cobra Video. Further connections were drawn to Cuadra’s life and business partner, Joseph Manuel Kerekes. Meanwhile, Cuadra was indulging the media about the apparent relationship between himself and Kocis, but refused to speak with police.
About this time, investigation showed that months before Lockhart had expressed his desire to be rid of Kocis, as he felt Kocis had ‘ruined his life’ (page 12). Police also discovered the recently settled lawsuit relating to Corrigan’s underage appearance in porn. The investigation quickly cleared Lockhart and his boyfriend, Grant Roy from having any part in Kocis’ death.
Several chapters are devoted to Kocis’ life, which gives a good background into who he was, at least according to those around him. This also includes insight into the formation of Cobra Video and why he chose to focus on twinks, how he courted the young men and signed them to his company, and the relationships he had with these actors.
Another chapter is solely devoted to Lockhart, who provides star power necessary to make Kocis’ death more than just another murder case. I’m not entirely sure how this chapter has any relevance to the actual murder, as it delves into his background which has, at most, a very incidental role in the case.
Kerekes and Cuadra’s defenses span a few chapters, delving into their finances, their lawyers, the evidence against them, Kerekes’ guilty plea, and finally Cuadra’s trial, which is very detailed. Finally, the epilogue examines Kerekes’ and Cuadra’s lives in prison, the reporters who covered the case, the detectives and prosecutors involved in the case, Lockhart’s blog posts about the murder and subsequent events, and Lockhart’s life and career since Kocis died.
Cobra Killer gives insight as to why Cuadra and Kerekes killed Kocis: they wanted Lockhart to work for them, and Kocis was standing in their way, despite Kerekes stating clearly “neither did we need Lockhart” (pages 57-8). The authors offer information about how and why Lockhart and Roy chose to work with law enforcement and tape their subsequent interactions with Cuadra and Kerekes.
As for references, I literally held by breath when looking at Cobra Killer for the first time. I scrolled to the end of the first page; nothing, then tried a few other pages with the same results. Still hoping, I went to the end of the first chapter; still nothing. Hope waning, I tried the end of the second chapter. Nope. Last shot: end of the book. There, in all its wonder were the end notes, divided by chapter. Now, this is not by any means a perfect accounting- the references give no hint as to where many of these sources were found (for instance, this reference, in its entirety, reads, “Melnick Interview with AES, 6-9-09”). I do approve of the authors attempts at noting their sources, especially direct quotes, however certain aspects of the book were written as though common knowledge. For example, on page 7, the authors note how Kocis’ friend, Robert Wagner, travelled to Pennsylvania at the bequest of the local police, but no reference is given for that. Is it supposition, or was that actually verified by either transcripts or one of the involved parties? I do understand that true crime type books generally don’t follow scholarly requirements for citing references, as they can be fictionalized accounts. In offering endnotes and quotes, Cobra Killer appears at first glance to be non-fiction, however, given the sporadic referencing, does indeed fall into the True Crime genre.
Frankly, had Sean Paul Lockhart never had his (rather peripheral) role in the entire case, this would be another forgotten greed-fueled murder, but because of his popularity this became a sensationalized event. As such, I can only really recommend Cobra Killer to a limited audience: those interested in Lockhart, pornography, or true crime novels.
Join world-renowned Clinical Sexologist Dr. Charley Ferrer as she provides authors with valuable information about Dominance and submission and the various power exchange relationships. This book addresses the emotional and psychological connections men and women make in this uniquely erotic lifestyle, dispelling many of the misconceptions perpetuated by Hollywood and the media. BDSM for Writers provides authors with a valuable tool to assist them in developing stronger and more realistic characters, plots, and scenes. Not only does this book cover the basics every author must know when writing in this particular genre, but it also provides insight into individual characteristics, personality traits, and lifestyle etiquette that adds realism to any fictional BDSM work. Discover the integral techniques and foundations necessary to train a slave, the benefits and pitfalls of rewards and punishment, and the various methods of how to use punishment and humiliation on a male versus a female submissive/slave to achieve optimum results. There is even a BDSM Checklist created specifically for authors to assist in developing characters and those deliciously wicked scenes.
Review: Written in an engaging, talkative style which gives the impression you’re actually holding a conversation with a friend rather than reading a book on writing, BDSM for Writers captures attention from the first words of Joey W. Hill’s preface. However, the chatty writing style quickly becomes detrimental in a non-fiction reference book as there are no footnotes or endnotes attributing any of the quotes made along the way. This same fault occurs when reference examples of kinds of behavior in the BDSM community. AN example is given, yet there is no note of any kind saying – personal conversation with so-n-so, even if the name used is a pseudonym to protect the individual’s identity. Additionally, things are stated as fact with no attribution to outside research. Yes, many of these facts are common knowledge within the BDSM community; however, an author should never assume that all their readers share the same knowledge base.
Often an acronym or term is introduced, used repeatedly and only later defined as to its exact meaning. Luckily, many times these terms are again common knowledge which anyone doing a bit of online research into the BDSM lifestyle will already have been exposed to; however, again, this lack of immediate explanation is a determent to the context of the book. For example, Dr. Ferrer begins to discuss the basic rules of a BDSM relationship by defining the term ‘safeword’ in the context of ‘SSC/RACK’ relationships but doesn’t explain the later term until two paragraphs and one page later! If you don’t already know the anagram, you will have no idea why Dr. Ferrer is using the term in her definition. It’s not until the third chapter of the book – after pages of generalized discussion – that Dr. Ferrer actually takes the time to fully define many of the terms she’d already been using. Thankfully, many of the terms are either in common usage, are understandable from context or are casually defined whenever they are mentioned in the text.
Additionally, there are some formatting issues with the book. The copy I read for this review would shift back and forth between one inch margins all around the text to inch-and-a-half left margins with one-inch right, top and bottom margins. Many of the errors are easily ignored – such as missing periods at ends of sentences, misplaced periods and a repeatedly used non-traditional spelling of ma’am – but partial parenthetical phrases where the beginning/ending parenthesis is missing and common, easily noticed spelling errors quickly became irritating.
BDSM for Writers suffers from an inherent bias on the part of the author toward heterosexual relationships, specifically, female dominant/male submissive relationships. From the beginning of the book through to the final pages, the reader is constantly reminded that this is the preferred relationship for the author and that – all gender pronouns could be switched as needed – as if the dynamics of BDSM relationships are completely interchangeable. While this could indeed be the case, it is difficult to ascertain from the text. Only twice – once in the section discussing anal sex and once in the resource list – does the book directly reference male/male authors. And then only to refer these authors to other books.
After all of the hype surrounding this book in the writing community, I must admit to being extremely disappointed in it. None of the material was really new to me, nor was it something I hadn’t found in other BDSM non-fiction books. The resource list was very short, mostly links to sites or groups known directly to the author, a few non-fiction general information books, and a few movies and fictions books. Again, the authorial bias was shown in this list. As an extremely basic introduction to BDSM, this book is passable though I feel it is greatly flawed due to authorial bias. Even the much vaunted BDSM Checklist for Writers is just a variation of similar checklists and instructions for filling them out easily located via a Google search.