Thursday, June 27, 2013

A New Look at the Arthurian Legend - Mordred and the King

Readers Will Never Look at King Arthur the Same Way”

RIVERDALE, NY – (June 27, 2013) – The Arthurian legend has never had a more sexually charged interpretation as it has in Mordred and the King, a new e-book by John Michael Curlovich published today by the Magnus LGBT imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books
“I’ve loved the stories about King Arthur and his court since I was a kid,” says Curlovich.  “But it always bothered me that Mordred, one of the villains, is nearly always ‘coded’ as gay – if only by casting actors like Roddy McDowall and Alan Mowbray in the role.  Re-imagining him as a sympathetic gay hero struck me as a fascinating challenge.  As I wrote, it became clear to me that there was a wonderful story to be told.  Writing an epic fantasy with a gay theme was a challenge I took on eagerly, with genuine relish.”

Rich in historical detail and grand in its chronicle of the worlds of Arthur, including those of his romantic and sexual desires, Mordred and the King is a sweeping journey through a retelling of the ancient legend.

Curlovich takes readers back to the sixth century as the classical world is dying and being rapidly replaced by the Christian world. Prince Mordred is the son of Morgan le Fay, the witch-queen who rules Wales.  Morgan and her entourage have long plotted to regain control of England, the Christian country ruled by her brother, King Arthur. They want to destroy everything Arthur has built. Arthur and his party lose their way on a hunting trip and end up in Morgan’s realm.  While visiting his sister’s castle, Arthur is glimpsed by young Mordred, who falls instantly, hopelessly in love with him.  In no time Mordred begins to plan to escape from his mother and to join Arthur in England.

“Mordred and the King is a smart, sexy, fast-paced read that’s also beautifully written and well-researched.  John’s gift in this novel is taking the legend and all the rich historical detail that we’re familiar with and turning it all onto its head.  Readers will never look at King Arthur the same way,” says Don Weise, editorial director of Magnus Books.

Writer John Michael Curlovich is based in Pittsburgh.  He has had more than twenty novels published, as well as numerous short stories.  For ten years he served as the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the award–winning regional monthly, Planet Q.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Amazing Deals for a True Blood Party!

First-Ever Ebook with a Private Sale, "Throw a True Blood Party: An Unofficial Guide to Partying with Your Favorite Vamps,"
Published by Riverdale Ave. Books 

Manic Panic, The Popcorn Factory, and Windy City Novelties Are Among Brands to Offer Exclusive Deals

New York, NY – June 16, 2013 – The first-ever ebook to feature a private sale to a targeted audience launches today.   More than 60 companies have flash-sale offers in "Throw a True Blood Party: An Unofficial Guide to Partying with Your Favorite Vamps", including,,, and    Published by Riverdale Avenue Books, “Throw a True Blood Party” celebrates vamps, tramps, and all things deadly. 

“This is the first private sale in a book,” said author and co-producer Paula Conway.  “Companies that want to reach a particular demographic have a unique medium with a limited-time sale.  The products featured were curated to give the purchaser access to great deals and a first-look at products that are rare and different.  This is a party book on steroids; it celebrates all things vampire while offering a sale on some cool items too.”
The targeted merchandise in "Throw a True Blood Party" is broad in scope, ranging 
from makeup and clothing, to furniture and food.  There's a chandelier maker who has created a custom-made black crystal chandelier for readers, and jewelry designer Marianna Harutunian, who has provided baubles for characters in the HBO Series, offers an exclusive discount in the book; fans can buy the exact jewelry the character Pam has worn and pay less.

The author of "Throw a True Blood Party" is Paula Conway who wrote the best-selling book "The Beauty BUYble" (Harper Collins, 2007),”The Everything Calorie Counting Cookbook” (Adams Media, 2007), and the upcoming "Turning Heads: Oscar Blandi's Celebrity Styles". "Throw a True Blood Party" is the first in a series of ebooks that will be written and curated by author Paula Conway to feature private sales for member readers. 
All deals, discounts and offers require a unique code, varied and set by the merchandiser, which can only be obtained by purchasing the book. Many also have embedded links, only accessible through the book. 

The act-quick-or-it's-gone discounts are peppered among vampire and True Blood themed party ideas, including how to create a faerie environment or wolf pack den to entertain your guests in; do your hair and makeup just like Pam, Sookie, or Lafayette; to original recipes and drinks (like the Bloody Billith or Eric’s Bare Bottom).  Sending your guests home with swag?  Try the coffin clutch with blood drops.   Want to avoid a fang-over?  Vampires must leave with a can of Mercy.  Need a chocolate fix?  Vamps take home the chocolate faerie; werewolves get the chocolate bone; and faeries snag the chocolate sun from Lucas Candies.   

Saturday, June 8, 2013

More Zombie Love! Call for zombie stories

Still Hungry for your Love!   

OK, as predicted, zombies never die.  As we await season 4 of Walking Dead, and the opening of World War Z, it’s time for more zombie loving.

So I am putting out the call for stories for Still Hungry for your Love, the second volume of my zombie romance anthology.

Zombie love knows no boundaries.  I’m looking for stories of love amongst the undead, between zombies and the living, and (we hope) many stories about the hot, alpha male and female zombie killers.  These stories can take place in the zombie apocalypse, alternative reality,  the future or on another planet.  You can cross genres (zombie steampunk?) and even sexual proclivities (not sure I can even imagine zombie BDSM). But, hey, let's be creative. and rip that envelope!

But seriously, folks. The zombie metaphor is rich. You know - we're all really zombies; our jobs make us zombies; zombies are a reflection of the mindless horde that is America, rotting on its own abundance.

And the socio/political/scientific elements of the zombie mythos are still ripe for exploration. What's it like to be king of the Zombies? Would zombie TV be any different? What exactly would it be like to be a zombie in love? Or to love a zombie?

So, hit me with your best shot.

Short stories should run between 1500 and 5000 words, and novellas between 20,000 and 30,000 words. Deadline August 31.

This will be an October title published by Riverdale Avenue Book in both ebook and print. Writers will receive a pro rata share of royalties paid quarterly.

PLEASE NOTE: Because of the nature of this anthology, the emphasis in these stories should be on the "romance" and not necessarily the "erotic." But let's see what you can do.

Please email me at and let me know if you are working on a story.

If you want to see what I'm looking for , you might want to read the first volume, HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Annette Funicello: America's Sweetheart by Marc Shapiro

I am thrilled to have published this wonderful, rich biography of Annette Funicello that was 16 years in the making.

When Annette was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1997, one of Marc Shapiro's publishers approached us about writing her biography.  Marc did the work and conducted a series of original interviews, and then they decided to shelve the book.

When Annette passed away in April (on my birthday), we set about getting the rights back and Marc filled in the missing 16 years in record speed, and with new perspective.  This book is his loving tribute to an amazing woman who both defined her time and was a product of it.

During her four decades in the spotlight Funicello literally defined pop culture, but biographer Shapiro makes clear it was not always an easy ride. Annette Funicello: America’s Sweetheart looks at her life and career from all angles all sides, the ups and downs.

Shapiro’s stories gain power and rare insight through the author’s exclusive interviews with fellow performers Carl Gardner (of the group The Coasters), Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Tommy Sands, songwriter Richard Sherman and many others from Funicello’s colorful life. The beloved Disney star and TV and movie icon has told her story before, but it has never been told this way.

Shapiro takes readers through her early days as Mouseketeer in the first season of The Mickey Mouse Club. Chosen for the role in 1955 by Walt Disney himself, she became the most popular Mouseketeer. She then ushered in a new era of teen-friendly movie high jinks in the Beach Party movies with her co-star Frankie Avalon. As a pop singer her biggest hit was 'Tall Paul,' which was a huge hit in 1959, and 'Pineapple Princess,' which was a big success in 1960.

“If there was a constant in Annette Funicello’s relationships with men, it was that they were older, inclined to encourage and yet control,” Shapiro says. “Beginning with her father, Joseph, through her first big romance with singer Paul Anka, her first marriage to Jack Gilardi and second to Glen Holt, the common denominator was that the men encouraged her and, in their own ways, guided her in personal and professional directions that they felt were best for her. And Annette, being the good Catholic girl, coming from a very sheltered upbringing, felt most comfortable with men who would make decisions for her. This is part and parcel of a 50s and early 60s attitude when young girls stayed with their parents until they married and then moved in with their husband. Annette knew as much when, in the wake of her divorce from Gilardi, she indicated that she might have been a different person if she had spent some time on her own,” Shapiro adds.