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Award-winning Novelist Mark Spano Joins 2017 “Meet The Author” Series June 25th

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker

Chapel Hill novelist Mark Spano will read from his new book Midland Club. 

June 8, 2017 (Raleigh, NC) — As part of the Raleigh LGBT Center’s 2017 Sizzling Summer “Meet the Author” Series, novelist Mark Spano of Chapel Hill will read from his critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Midland Club on Sunday, June 25th, beginning at 1 p.m.

After the reading, Spano will sign copies of the 120-page book that GayBook.Reviews.com critics have called “a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” “…a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic,” and “…more than just a murder mystery. It speaks to the human condition.” Most recently, ReadersFavorite.com reviewer Romualdo Dzemo praised the book as a “pure delight, composed of beautiful social commentaries and wonderful themes.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Midland Club has maintained a 4.2 (out of 5) rating on Amazon since it appeared there in December of 2016. Earlier this month, Midland Club received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE), one of only two books honored for Winter 2017 in the Mystery category.

Set in a midwestern city in 1958, Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.

Midland Club is now part of the LGBT Center of Raleigh Library.

This and all other “Meet the Authors” events this summer are free and open to the public.

The LGBT Center of Raleigh is located 324 South Harrington Street in downtown Raleigh. For more information: www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

For more information on Mark Spano and Midland Club, go to http://blog.markspano.com.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

 


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Trig Modern Raises Nearly $5000 for SAFE Haven for Cats During “The Cat’s Meow” Auction

The Dwell House by Grant Newton

Dubbed the “Dwell House,” a sleek composition of intersecting cubic volumes rendered in white laminate and natural wood, was one of six Modern cat houses created by architects and furniture designers to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats during The Cat’s Meow Cocktail Party and Auction sponsored by Trig Modern design center and showroom in Raleigh.

For the auction, the six imaginative houses were joined by a mixed-media painting by Louis St. Lewis of Raleigh and New Orleans, a large neon tabby cat sculpture perched on an old radio by neon artist Nate Sheaffer of Raleigh, and an iconic mid-century modern chair from Modernica donated by Trig Modern’s owner Bob Drake.

Under The Sea by i.S. Design

Approximately 100 cat enthusiasts attended The Cat’s Meow, along with

For Perching, Playing, and Napping by Little Associates.

two three-month-old kittens that SAFE Haven’s founder and director, Pam Miller, and a few volunteers brought to the event. Trig Modern provided an abundance of party food, wine, beer, and chilled water for the crowd as they perched on modern sofas and chairs throughout the showroom.

Mixed-media painting by Louis St. Lewis

With entertaining encouragement from professional auctioneer Ben Farrell, who donated his services to the cause, every item sold for prices that exceeded their designers’ expectations. Proceeds went directly to SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh, a non-profit, no-kill cat shelter and clinic that, to date, has found homes for nearly 8500 formerly stray and abandoned cats and kittens.

The auction itself netted $4525 with the “Dwell House” by Greensboro furniture designer Grant Newton commanding

The Cat Cave by Corey Baughman

the highest winning bid at $1150. Other donations brought in $274 and SAFE Haven sold $59 in retail items, making the grand total for the evening $4858.

Neon sculpture by Nate Shaeffer

“We want to thank Pam and the SAFE Haven volunteers; our delightful auctioneer Ben Farrell who made the auction entertaining as well as profitable; the architects, designers and artists who contributed their time and talent to the cause: and everyone who attended, especially all of the enthusiastic bidders,” said Bob Drake. “It was a wonderful evening and we’re looking forward to another Cat’s Meow next year.”

Background: This past February, Drake and Trig Modern’s interior designer Ann

Marie Baum, a SAFE Haven volunteer, invited architects and other designers throughout the Triangle to create “cool, modern” houses for indoor cats for the fundraising auction. According to guidelines, the houses had to be modern in style and of such quality that potential bidders would welcome them in their homes. They also had to be small enough to fit through a regular residential door and light enough for two people to carry them.

Multi-Use Play Tower by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

The following designers created the cat structures:

The “O” by Bret Page Architecture

For more information on Trig Modern, visit www.trigmodern.com

For more information on SAFE Haven for Cats, visit www.safehavenforcats.org.

About Trig Modern:

Founded in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, wall and floor coverings, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig Modern’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information, visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744 and find Trig Modern on Facebook. The showroom is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27604.

About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84% percent of its budget. Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.


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New Critically Acclaimed Murder Mystery, Midland Club, Is Now Available at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham

new murder mystery/gay lit book by Mark Spano

Book reviewers compare it to “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and film noir classics.

Chapel Hill author Mark Spano is pleased to announce that his new, critically acclaimed mystery novel, Midland Club, is now available at The Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street in Durham.

Since opening in December of 1976, The Regulator Bookshop has remained an independent store, selling “a little bit of everything,” as the owners state on the website. “Fiction, mysteries, poetry, cookbooks, kids’ books…You name it, we’ve got it.”

The Regulator is also an icon in downtown Durham that’s committed to serving the community by carrying books from lesser known authors, especially local authors and including self-published books; by buying and selling used books; and by hosting reading and author events.

“Having my book on the shelf at The Regulator Bookshop feels a bit like playing the Palace,” said Spano. “I’m a pretty lucky author.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Midland Club is a tale of corruption, lies, and murder in a Midwestern city in 1958. “Only one man is willing to reveal the truth – at the risk of his own life,” the synopsis teases.

Thus far, all of its reviewers have praised the 120-page book for reading “like a film noir classic.” One critic offered, “There’s a bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil amidst the melancholy and I highly recommend this book.” Another called it “a small jewel…flawlessly smooth and realistic…” And an appreciative reader posted, “Spano can be proud of his story as it perfectly captures that place and time to create an engaging work of noir fiction. It kept me reading non-stop until the end, meriting this hearty recommendation.”

For more insight into Midland Club, follow Thunderfoot Press’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThunderfootPress/.

The Regulator Bookshop is located at 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.regulatorbookshop.com.

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Author Mark Spano

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.


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Chapel Hill Author/Filmmaker To Serve As Judge for 2017 Film Festival

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker

Author Mark Spano

Mark Spano joins the jury for “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” 

March 30, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Mark Spano, author of the critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club and producer/director of the new documentary “Reimagining Sicily,” will serve as a judge for OUT at the Movies Int’l l LGBT Film Fest ‘17 presented by BB&T.

The festival will take place in Winston-Salem, NC, October 5 – 8, 2017, in the Aperture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St.; Wake Forest University Welcome Center, 1834 Wake Forest Road; and the UNC School of the Arts ACE Film Complex, 1533 S. Main Street.

“Being asked to be a judge for the OUT at The Movies Festival is such an honor,” Spano said “There is so much going on in film and the arts in general across North Carolina. I’m always pleased to contribute in any way I can.”

From the films submitted and screened, the invited jury will award Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Fest Short, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Mark Spano, owner/operator of Mark Spano Communications Inc. and Thunderfoot Press, has spent decades working in both film and television. He has produced numerous television series and programs, including “Models of Teaching,” a national television series on excellence in education funded by The Kenan Alliance for Partnerships in Education, and “Carolina Countryside,” a weekly public television series, among many others.

As a filmmaker, Spano’s work includes “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell.” In homage to his Sicilian heritage, he recently completed the definitive documentary “Reimagining Sicily.”

A resident of Orange County, NC, near Chapel Hill, Spano met key people involved with OUT at the Movies during a book reading/signing event for his new novel Midland Club hosted by the North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem. After the event, he was invited to be a judge at the 2017 Film Fest.

About “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” —  Rex Welton and Lee Mecum founded Winston-Salem’s OUT at the Movies LGBT Film Series in 2004, screening films monthly. The Film Fest began as a way to celebrate 10 years of making quality LGBT movies available to the Winston-Salem community. Filmmakers, documentary subjects, and actors travel from as far away as California to introduce their films and participate in Q&A and meet-and-greet sessions. For more information, go to outatthemovieswinstonsalem.org.

For more information on Mark Spano, visit blog.markspano.com.

 


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North Star LGBTQ Community Center Hosts Mark Spano, Author of the Critically Acclaimed Novel “Midland Club” for Book Reading, Signing

Author Mark Spano

North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem will host a book reading and signing event with Chapel Hill’s Mark Spano, author of the new, critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club, on Sunday, March 26, from 3-4 p.m. The Center is located at 930 Burke Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Admission is free and open to the public.

Released on Amazon in December 2016 where it has maintained a 4.2 rating among Customer Reviews, Midland Club is a knotted tale of corruption, lies, and murder in a Midwestern town in 1958 — the kind of town where the author grew up, and at a time in history when homosexuality was never mentioned, much less acknowledged, in high society. Only one man is willing to reveal the truth about a murder that everyone else considers a suicide. But he’ll risk his own life to do so.

One reviewer calls Midland Club “…a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic.” Another considers the 120-page novel “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.” And an Amazon reader observed: “Spano is a very evocative writer. He re-creates a period of time, full of treachery and secrets. You can practically smell the cigar smoke and see the dark paneled walls and mahogany of the club. But this book is more than just a murder mystery: it speaks to the human condition.”

After introducing his book, reading a passage, and answering any questions, the author will sign books that will be available for purchase.

For more information on the book signing event, email Rayce Lamb, North Star LGBTQ Community Center’s Outreach Coordinator: outreach@northstarlgbtcc.com.

For more information on Midland Club, visit Thunderfoot Press’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThunderfootPress/.

About North Star: North Star is Winston-Salem’s first LGBTQ Community Center. The Center opened on September 21, 2013, and offers many educational, social, and collaborative activities for the whole community in the Piedmont/Triad area. For more information: www.northstarlgbtcc.com.

About author Mark Spano: Mark Spano is a writer and filmmaker and the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. His films include “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell” and the definitive documentary on Sicily entitled “The Sicilians.” MHe holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C. He now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. For more information: http://blog.markspano.com.


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Trig Modern Announces…

catsmeowheader_large

Architects and designers create cool, modern cat houses for an auction to benefit SAFE Haven For Cats.

Trig Modern design center and showroom in Raleigh announces “The Cat’s Meow,” an auction of modern, professionally designed houses for cats to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats, a non-profit, no-kill shelter in Raleigh dedicated to finding homes for homeless cats and kittens.

The auction will be held Wednesday, May 10th, from 6-8 p.m., during a Cocktail Party in Trig Modern’s showroom in Dock 1053, 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road. Raleigh. The Auction and Party are free and open to the public. Professional auctioneer Ben Ferrell is donating his services.

Ann Marie Baum, Trig Modern’s lead interior designer and a SAFE Haven volunteer, has issued Invitations to architects and designers throughout the Triangle area to create “cool, modern cat houses that people who love cats will be delighted to have in their homes. So we’re encouraging participating designers to think of their contributions as furniture or accessories that will contribute to, rather than detract from, someone’s décor.”

Modern design and quality construction are also imperative, she stressed, “so that the houses will fetch substantial prices. This is a fundraiser after all!”

Baum and Trig Modern’s owner, Bob Drake, were inspired to organize and present “The Cat’s Meow” after seeing the results of a similar event that architects in Los Angeles. “How cool can a cat house be? Just take a look at these,” she said, referencing Los Angeles Architects For Animals fundraiser for a local nonprofit.

“We are so excited about ‘The Cat’s Meow’ auction to help formerly stray cats find their home-sweet-home’ literally,” said Pam Miller, founder and president of SAFE Haven for Cats. “This is a creative, fun, and practical way to help abandoned cats and kittens find the first real home they have ever known. We’re so grateful to Trig Modern for hosting this event.”

Completed cat houses will be delivered to Trig Modern May 4-6 and remain on display in the showroom until the night of the Cocktail Party and Auction. Those interested in bidding may stop in the showroom anytime during business hours (Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to take a close look at the little houses prior to the auction.

Anyone interested in participating in “The Cat’s Meow” – by designing a cathouse, providing in-kind donations, etc. – should contact Ann Marie Baum as soon as possible either by phone at Trig Modern, 919.516.8744 or by emailing her: annmariebaum7@gmail.com.

For more information on Trig Modern, visit www.trigmodern.com.

About Trig Modern:

Founded in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, wall and floor coverings, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig Modern’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744 and find Trig Modern on Facebook. The showroom is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27604.

About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84p percent of its budget. Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.

 


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UPDATE: Bluebird Hill Farm Essay Contest Eliminates Age Range for Entries, Defines What “The Farm” Includes

Aerial view of Bluebird Hill Farm.

Aerial view of Bluebird Hill Farm

February 13, 2017 (Bennett, NC) — After hearing concerns about the age-range stipulation in Bluebird Hill Farm’s Essay Contest (www.bluebirdhillfarmessaycontest.com) from otherwise qualified candidates, farm owner Norma Burns has decided to eliminate it entirely.

Previously, the Eligibility rules for the contest that Burns is holding to give away her 13-acre farm rather than sell it on the market, stated: “At least one member of the couple must be between the ages of 25 and 50 to ensure that the winning couple has the life experience and physical stamina that active farming requires.”

Burns clarified that she never intended aspiring organic farmers to state their ages. “We assumed everyone entering would conform to the age range we indicated,” she said, “We have rescinded any mention of it in the rules since age, by itself, was never an issue or criterion; experience and capability are. Therefore, those entering the contest must not include their ages in any entry document. Only their names should appear on the entry form.”

For those who submitted essays before the change and did include mention of their age, Burns says they need to email the contest’s clerk, Kay Maddox, at ktbug74@gmail.com. “Kay will intercept those entries and return them unopened so the sender can eliminate mention of age,” she said.

Burns also noted some confusion concerning what’s included in the word “farm” — just the farmable land? the land and outbuildings? the farmhouse, too?

To clarify what we feel is expressed on the website, Bluebird Hill Farm includes the gardens, land, outbuildings, the equipment that’s named and shown on the website, and the house, as well as the furnishings named in the photos of its interior,” she said. “Miscellaneous tools and additional furnishings that are too numerous to name are also included. All of it is going to the winner of the essay contest.”

For more information on the Essay Contest, go to www.bluebirdhillfarmessaycontest.com and watch the farm’s Facebook page. Questions should be submitted via Facebook.

logoAbout Bluebird Hill Farm:

Owned and operated by Norma DeCamp Burns, Bluebird Hill is a small USDA Certified Organic farm that specializes in growing herbs, specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts and food products. The farm incorporates the principles of permaculture to maximize the use of space in its raised beds. Burns grows many types of fruits and vegetables, emphasizing diversity and quality over quantity. The farm is located in Bennett, NC.