What to Read Wednesday

14 Nov

Thank you for joining me for another round of What to Read Wednesday :)   As you know, there are times I like to shake things up and today is one of those “shaker” days. Instead of interviewing my guest today, I’m turning the floor over to her.

So, please help me in welcoming Paulette Mahurin. She’s one interesting lady who has a lot to share. Paulette’s post is a great lead in for her book THE PERSECUTION OF MILDRED DUNLAP.

Paulette is also donating all profits from the sale of her book to a no kill animal shelter in Santa Paula California. Here’s the link and I’ve also included it at the end of the post. 

What’s in a Label: Lesbian Persecution

By, Paulette Mahurin

Author of, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

I’m delighted to have an opportunity to write an article for your Blog site, Christine. Thank you so much for the invite.

Being that I am a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in women’s health, and lately have been involved in issues dealing with the persecution of lesbians, the oppression that comes with labeling, bullying of them, and my book focuses on this, I thought it appropriate to write about that.

While involved in a recent project, I became very interested in the impact this label, lesbian, has on the women involved. The questions I had brought me to Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment, for indecency, which was a watershed moment in history for the changing of attitudes toward same sex relationships.

The exacerbation of hostility toward lesbians (as well as gays) increased after Wilde’s imprisonment, in 1895, and as a result attitudes toward homosexuality changed from a cautious false social acceptance, a degree tolerance, to outward hatred and abuse. When the news of Wilde’s imprisonment went out, it was big news around the world, and where there were whispers in living rooms prior, open discussions of disgust followed. In the United States, the New York Times, April 5, 1895 fueled the controversy by doing an article on the immorality of homosexuality, heightening suspicion toward women friendship.

Up till Wilde’s imprisonment, women were involved in friendships that brought no attention, hugging and hand-holding were common place, socially acceptable.Two women who could afford to live together and forgo marriage were also accepted as spinsters. But, were a couple of women to be labeled lesbian, they were considered, diagnosed, insane. The treatment was rape, by their doctors or someone their doctor hired, to cure them of their inability to enjoy a man.

This, at a time when the Constitution spoke of  equal rights and male citizens in The Second Amendment, and women were subjugated—when the suffrage movement was yet a glimmer, was a dangerous time for lesbians. It is therefore no wonder that the label, which became its own prison sentence is so charged, a charge that moves with it in time.

Book Synopsis/blurb/short bio:


 By Paulette Mahurin


ISBN # 978-0-9771866-1-7   Price: $14.95 Kindle book: $2.99

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

 “Paulette Mahurin’s first novel is surefooted and unflinching in its portrayal of a singular and unique character and her compelling struggles. Compassionate and confident, Mahurin allows Mildred’s story to burn through onto the page with all its inherent outrage and tenacious, abiding love. Here is a character we can champion—flawed, striving, surviving— and fully embrace in her awkward, beautiful navigation of a world that resists her in every way.”      Deb Norton, Playwrite/screenwriter of The Whole Banana

“If you need to question your values, read this book! The author captures the intolerance and hypocrisy of a 1895 Nevada town, and its transcendence in time through tolerance and understanding.  The angst and pain that two women feel daily, living the ‘lie’ of their lesbian relationship, and the prejudice they must endure, is unconscionable.  I was moved to tears by their struggle in the face of the conflicted values that continue to dominate our ‘modern’ society.”                William K. Fox, PhD, Professor of Zoology 

Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs–Max and Bella. She practices women’s health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. Her book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, has the distinction of being Amazon Best Seller Rank #5.


He lapsed into a monologue of exaggerated details, altered beyond original description: The Negro must have lied, probably has some rich white women sponsoring him because he’s good in bed, and the Jew deserved to be imprisoned for having the gall to try to become something he was not born into. “People should know their place. When they are made by God to be inferior, they should just do their best to stay out of the way of the good hard-working folk who are the backbone of society.”

Mildred was disgusted. Anger welled up into her throat that wanted to be let out in a scream and she felt an urge to pick up one of the horseshoes and whack him to shut him up. As the blood began draining from her head, she felt sick to her stomach. “Oh my,” she mumbled, trying to ease out of the tirade.

He kept on and on, discharging a hatred that gave her chills. She knew then and there, beyond any doubt, that the fear she had felt when she first heard of Oscar Wilde’s conviction was not just about prejudice existing across a continent and ocean, but rather the ignorance that lives in closed minds everywhere. The seeds that grow and inflate the smallest minds into giants, those who believe they can take down anyone with their petty realities, was what she saw full-blown in Pursey. It mattered not whether his reality was based on prejudice, fear, or just plain ignorance, the end result would be the same, ruined lives. The tone in his voice reminded her of Josie that day outside the telegraph office. She now understood why up till that time this sort of talk didn’t bother her.

The hatred was now something personal and she knew, no matter the excuses, that she and Edra no longer were immune from suspicion.










VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section:


PLEASE REMEMBER READERS, Paulette is donating all profits from this book to the animal shelter located by following this link:


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31 responses to “What to Read Wednesday

  1. myrahmcilvain

    November 14, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Thanks for sharing this fascinating and tragic story. I am downloading it now.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

      So glad you came by Myra and are checking out Paulette’s book. I think it’ll be an interesting read.

  2. Loralee Lillibridge

    November 14, 2012 at 7:51 am

    A part of history I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jennifer Lowery

    November 14, 2012 at 8:53 am

    A piece of history I didn’t know either! Thank you for sharing.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think it’ll be a bit of history that is new to several us. Glad you dropped in Jennifer.

  4. Sandra Dailey

    November 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

    A powerful story that needed to be told. I’m sold!

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Exactly how I felt Sandra….glad you came by 🙂

  5. Sharon Cullen

    November 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

    This book sounds fascinating. I didn’t know any of this. My favorite line–> She knew then and there, beyond any doubt, that the fear she had felt when she first heard of Oscar Wilde’s conviction was not just about prejudice existing across a continent and ocean, but rather the ignorance that lives in closed minds everywhere.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Powerful words for sure! So glad you dropped in Sharon 🙂

  6. Jenna Jaxon

    November 14, 2012 at 10:55 am

    This sounds like a fantastic read! I really must read this. On my Christmas list now.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Thanks Jenna…so glad you found a book that appeals to you here 🙂

  7. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    November 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Thank you all for your comments. And, a very heartfelt special thank you to Christine for having me over today for this visit and for all the support you give to the indie community. We love you.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Thanks so much Paulette. If I blushed I definitely would be. I’m glad to help and I’m also glad to find some wonderful new friends and new reads. So glad you came on What to Read Wednesday today!

  8. Brenda

    November 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Thank you so much for bringing this story to my attention. I’m going to download it now.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Wonderful to hear Brenda….thanks so much for coming by 🙂

  9. Ally Broadfield

    November 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    What a fascinating subject. The writing is beautiful. This is at the top of my TBR list.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      So glad you had a chance to come by Ally and I’m happy that I helped you find another author and book to add to your tbr list.

  10. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    November 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Hello everyone, I’m getting e-mails every time any one of you comment and trust me, my cup is overflowing. I’m really grateful for all this combined energy for such an important subject, tolerance.
    Please feel free to connect with me on facebook or any of the above links to stay in touch. I’d love that. Paulette

  11. Cait

    November 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Fabulous stuff, Paulette…my favourite line was the one about seeds that can grow and inflate the smallest minds to giants…so so true. How many small minded people think that the product of their minds is something that must be said aloud, repeatedly and in increasing volume? Your book sounds hugely interesting. Thanks Christine for the introduction 🙂

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      Glad I could help spread the word about Paulette and her book. Thanks Cait!

  12. Calisa Rhose

    November 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    What a powerful message Paulette. Thank you for sharing this piece of history. Ignorance is not always bliss.

    • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

      November 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Great responses from all of you. I didn’t know a lot of this when I started the book. Research brought me to places I think a lot of historians didn’t want to write about, or were just too uncomfortable to include.

    • ChristineWarner

      November 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks so much for coming by Calisa 🙂

  13. Callie Hutton

    November 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Sounds like an absolutely fascinating book. Best of luck with it.

  14. chitsuen

    November 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Definitely sounds like interesting read. I’ll have to check it out.

    • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

      November 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting Chitsuen. And, again to all of you who came, read, and shared your comments, it’s been great being here with you. Again, a heartfelt thank you to my lovely and most generous host, Christine. Hope are paths all cross again. Paulette

  15. Ceri Hebert

    November 15, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Wow, very interesting! Thank you for sharing! I wish you the best of luck with sales!

    • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

      November 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thank you, Ceri. I’m happy for this comment and a chance to come back here again, to read all the comments once again, and feel immense gratitude for all here, and Christine. It is you, all of you, that kee me promoting and wanting to help, in the name of tolerance. Thank you all so much. I hope you’ll connect with up with me and feel free to comment any time. And, Christine, I’m looking forward to visiting you again-on another Wednesday to meet more of your fabulous author friends.


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