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StitchersGirl

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

I usually don't judge an author by their books and vice versa, but let's be honest...

Shame and Attachment Loss: The Practical Work of Reparative Therapy - Joseph Nicolosi

Joseph Nicolosi is a dick in the closet behind the closet and he needs HELP. 

 

I'd love to take all the treatments and "cures" he's promoting and use them on him. Just to help him overcome his audacity, hypocrisy, idocy, ignorance and pure stupidity. 

 

The thing is, everyone is entitled to their opinion. They can even write a book about it, or thousands of tweets. Write it in the sand of your own personal beach every day for all I care. As long as you don't hurt anybody else. 

 

But this cuntmuffin is hurting people all over the place. With every nonsensical word he cooked up in his psychology kitchen, someone gets hurt. And I'm positively aching for the reviewers of his books who try to convice me that he's absolutely right and changed their life for the better. 

 

Joseph Nicolosi is an American clinical psychologist, founder and director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, and a founder and former president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

 

MY ASS! He's a conman, a snake oil salesman who gets off on hiding behind pseudo-scientific terms, double negations and antonmys. This is a book for the "non-gay homosexual ... same-sex attracted men whose deeply held values and sense of self prevent them from embracing a gay identity. (p. 119)" 

 

Time to let that sink in. 

 

Honey, the phrase you've been looking for your whole life is "in the closet". That quote of the book in simple words:" It's a book for gay men who are afraid to come out because assholes like me tell them it's wrong." 

 

Please, Mr. Nicolosi, GO HOME. Go home, embrace your closet in private and just STOP. There is no place for you in this world, there is no place for you in any world, and your shame is great enough already. 

YES!

Rustic Melody - Nic Starr, Book Cover by Design

Just got the ARC - so excited! Good thing I'm on vacation as of now. This is coming out so soon and there is a review waiting to be written. Well, no time like the present. 

Sooo, I might have finished that in one night...

The Law of Attraction - Jay Northcote

And it was FABULOUS! I'll post a longer review a little closer to publication date, but I just had to say something. This was really good. I had some serious qualms going in. What if it's to trope-y? Too formulaic? Too predictable? I know Jay Northcote has some serious skills when it comes to her UST and her characters, but office romances aren't the easiest to write. Especially not when it comes to boss-employee-relationships. Plus, I remembered another story about an Alec, lawyer, who was an asshole at first, but had some serious layers. That was a German fanfic and very different from this book - but you know how it is with associations. Once you have them in the back of your mind, you can't help but compare a little... Anyway, this book did so not disappoint! Y'all should be damn excited about this one to come out on Feb 5! It's lovely! 

I've read 32 of 100% of One Marine, Hero

One Marine, Hero - E.M. Lynley

Well, this was akward. I have absolutely no problem with sex scenes fading to black, especially when the plot is strong and I get engrossed in a mystery. On the contrary, I prefer my mysteries without copious amounts of smut mixed in. BUT. This one felt... odd. Why would you describe the foreplay in detail and end the scene with one MC being impatient and thinking how he can't wait for... things to happen? He can't wait to feel it. And then fast-forward to the next couple of DAYS? It's like telling me he's having the best burgers in town, but not elaborating on what they actually taste like right when he takes the first bite! If you want your sex scenes fading to black without frustrating your readers, doing it by going into detail right until the big finale is probably not the best way to do it. Just keep it vague all around! 

Remembering Alan Rickman

Sense and Sensibility  - Jane Austen The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass - Lewis Carroll The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - Patrick Süskind , John E. Woods

One of the greatest actors of our time passed away this week. He was only 69, but cancer doesn't know age, fortune or fairness. And it surely doesn't care about genius. But since I can't change a damned thing about Alan Rickman's passing, except for being more grateful for my "survivors" who are still with me, I decided to pay this brilliant man my respects in the most lasting way I know of. With books. 

 

Because, sure, he starred in some pretty damn awesome movies. I will never forget Dr. Lazarus in Galaxy Quest - "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan, you shall be avenged!". He was sweet in Love Actually, broke my heart in Snow Cake, slayed me in Sweeney Todd - which was a wonderful Tim Burton adaption of the musical. And he was absolutely on fire as the genderless (maybe) voice of God, Metatron, in Dogma. I LOVED him to death!

 

 

Same goes for Phil Allen in Blow Dry. That was HIS movie  - nobody cared about Heidi Klum at any point in time. Plus, the foot tatoo inspired some people in my life in a way you wouldn't believe. Really, you wouldn't. 

 

 

 

 

But even more remarkable were his roles in filmizations of really great books. Starting with a classic. Granted, I'm not a fan of Jane Austen, but Alan Rickman was great as Colonel Christopher Brandon in Sense and Sensibiltity. 

 

And do you remeber the great voices he did in some movies? Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Awesome! And Absolem! I adored Absolem, and Alan Rickman was the perfect voice for him in the latest Alice in Wonderland! And I can't put in words how much I'm looking forward to Alice through the Looking Glass this year.

 

And let's not forget him as one of the best known villains of all time, yes? As George, Sheriff of Nottingham, in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I love the tales and ballads of Robin Hood - always have, always will. And Alan Rickman made one formidable Sheriff. He also nailed his performance as Antoine Richis, father of one of Grenuilles obsessions in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. His pain was my pain in the end - despite me not liking the movie.

 

I could go on and on like that. 

 

But of course there is one role that fit him like a second skin. The one role he filled like nobody else ever could. The one that changed my perception of a "villain/hero" in the story from this: 

 

 

to this: 

 

https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/41.jpg?quality=65&strip=all&w=748

 

Alan Rickman managed something that only happened once or twice in my life as an avid reader so far. He REPLACED the character of Professor Snape I imagined in my mind while I'd been reading (and re-reading) the Harry Potter books for years - after only watching the first movie. Once.

 

Alan Rickman became the face of "my" Severus Snape in my own mind. That never happened to me before - not to that extent. I'm not sure if it was because he was perfect for the character, or the character was perfect for him, but either way, he was the most amazing actor in these movies. I grew up with this man as an idol, loved him to pieces as  an actor AND as Severus Snape and I not only had tears in my eyes when his character died, but again when he left the real world behind. So while I'm not mourning an man I knew personally, I still mourn one of the greatest talents that - directly or indirectly - has been an influence on my life for many years. 

 

And when somebody asks me in twenty years if Alan Rickman is still one of my most favorite actors, and if I still think of him when I think of Harry Potter - after all this time? 

 

I'll answer: 

 

"Always". 

Source: http://seveninchesofyourtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/rickman10.png
“Here’s to the best damned antagonist a guy could ask for.”
“Here’s to the best damned antagonist a guy could ask for.”

No more words needed.

Source: http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/daily-cartoon/bonus-daily-cartoon-remembering-alan-rickman
"The stars look very different today."
"The stars look very different today."

Addition to my first post about one of my teenage idols and legends of our generation leaving this world behind. (I just found the Daily Cartoon of the New Yorker and enjoy it immensely - most of all for the respect they pay while picking the world apart.)

Source: http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/daily-cartoon/bonus-daily-cartoon-remembering-david-bowie

Alright, I'm going in!

The Law of Attraction - Jay Northcote

And I'm sooooo excited! Lawyers, suits, attraction, closets and ambitions. Just... YAAAAASSSS!

New M/M Releases

Cold Fusion - Harper Fox A Kind of Truth - Lane Hayes If The Seas Catch Fire - L.A. Witt So Into You - S.E. Harmon Tracefinder: Contact - Kaje Harper The Imperfection of Swans - Brandon Witt Xperiment - Dan Skinner Playing With Fire - Avery Cockburn

I can't wait to get my hands on these new M/M releases this month!

 

  • "Cold Fusion" by Harper Fox - The Warning says it all: Contains a disgraced environmentalist and an autistic genius who go from strangers to lovers-for-life in thirteen days. Don’t believe in miracles? We’ll make you.

  

  • "A Kind of Truth" by Lane Hayes - Two musicians in the Big Apple trying to find their way? Count. Me. In.

 

  • "If the Seas Catch Fire" by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov - Contrct killers, Mafia royalty and a healthy dose of revenge. Need I say more?

 

  • "So Into You" by S.E. Harmon - I absolutely loved the first book in the PI guys series! I've been dying for this one to come out ever since finishing "Stay With Me".

 

  • "Tracefinder: Contact" by Kaje Harper - Well, for one I helped a tinsy little bit at finding the title for the story. And secondly, it's a new Kaje Harper! No more words needed really. She's an auto-buy for me. 

 

  • "The Imperfection of Swans" by Brandon Witt - This is one great guy, and a wonderful author and this book isn't just a story, but a deeply personal tale. Can't wait for it and thank f* it's coming out at midnight! 

 

  • "Xperiment" by Dan Skinner - This book scares me. So much. But it's very long, political, unique, surreal and so fascinating to me, it's unreal. So yeah, I'm really excited for it!

 

  • "Playing With Fire" by Avery Cockburn - The third installment in the Glasgow Lads Series. Coming out on the 31st. I caaaaan't wait. 

 

 

I know there are a lot more new releases out there. I could go on and on, but these really are the ones I'm dying to read. Plus, there are some I won't touch with a ten-foot pole. "Full Domain", the third in the Nice Guys Series for example. I almost loathed the first one, couldn't even finish the second one, didn't like the other books by this author I reas, and even though people around the globe LOVE this one (it was in the top 20 of ALL Amazon sales this week), I think I'll pass. 

Hurts in all the Right Places

Sutphin Boulevard - Santino Hassell

“I wish I didn’t love your stupid ass so much.”

 

 

Dear lord, this book slayed me. I didn't expect to love this as much as I did. And I didn't expect it to hurt so good, even though I had been warned. 

 

So let me tell you why the pain is so worth it. 

 

Firstly, we get to meet Michael. Puerto-Rican New Yorker, escaped from his messed up family life in South Jamaica, teaching in one of the most LGBTQ friendly schools in Brooklyn, is struggling with... Everything. His family is broken. His mother is dead, his brother can't motivate himself to even keep the house clean, let alone find a job, and ever since MIchael moved back into his childhood home, his feelings are all over the place. Add his low-life father, who not surprisingly is dying because of the cirrhosis of his liver, and the mix is getting toxic pretty damn fast. You can practically taste Michael's guilt, anger and desperation right from the start. 

 

The only light in his life is Nunzio. Best friends for twenty years, the two men know each other inside out - even literally ever since picking up drunk David in a bar. But toxic stays toxic, no matter how much sugar you add to it. So, even though Michael still has his rock, Nunzio, things start to change. At work, they're put on two different teams, there is the new supervisor who looks awfully familiar with all the green stuff behind his ears, and at home the atmosphere is so full of rage and desperation, that not even his escapes to Nunzio can really make a dent in Michael's ever-growing pile of dark feelings. Liquor is his crutch, a sharp tongue his only weapon, flight his only instinct remaining intact. 

 

And that's only the beginning, because as soon as things start to crumble left and right, Michael looses his footing for real, more so with each day that doesn't get better. And it's so painful to read, it's insane. 

 

Santino Hassell has an eerie talent to transport me right into the middle of his tale without warning. I started reading and I was just right there with Michael. There was no way out of his head, and even when I stopped reading, I had him on my mind the whole time. I realize that for some readers that was too much. Which is totally understandable, but made the book all the better for me. I wasn't able to get away from the darkness lurking behind the pages, and didn't want to. Not once. Even after the hollow feeling in my gut got worse and worse, even when I felt like I was watching a train wreck and would probably crumble as soon as shit hit the fan for real, I kept on reading. And reading. And reading. Despite my fear that nothing would get better in the end, I kept going. Which is not how I usually operate. 

 

I also understand that some readers felt Nunzio to be too pale, or too vague, his thoughts not illustrated enough. That they would have needed his POV in order to really enjoy him as an MC. That was so not the case for me. Because even though we never get a chance to be in his head, Nunzio is one of the most expressive and clearly portrayed MCs I've read in a long time. Even though his POV is not given, I understood him perfectly. Granted, you had to read between the lines, watch him carefully, empathize a lot, but in the end that made it all the more worth it. Nunzio just felt real to me. As deeply flawed as Michael, but more self-less, more empathetic and as a reader you had to do what Nunzio was doing with Michael. Not listen to his words, but watch his reactions, analyze his actions and get your clues from what he was NOT saying.

 

Needless to say, I loved both of these men. Despite Michael's depression and very own darkness, he was an inherently good guy. Self-centred more often than not, oblivious to a fault, descending into his very own hell faster and faster, but never selfish or evil. His own fears, guilt and desperation led him to some questionable decisions, his caring nature brought him to his knees when it came to his family, his despreate clutch on the status quo almost destroyed the good things he still had. I loved him. He was flawed, he didn't always do the right thing, he didn't react to things the way I would have or did in the past. But he still got under my skin and made me hurt in all the right places. As for his family drama: If there is one thing I understand it's the predicament of "I know, it ttears me apart, but it's still my FAMILY." Resounded with me on every possible level. Same goes for Nunzio. He grabbed me by my heart and my "balls" and queezed until I wanted to hug him for days.

 

One word for the smut: Delicious! Or maybe three: Dirty, gritty, RAW. No sweet fluffy love-making, at least not in the traditional sense. There was tenderness, there were real feelings, heart-breaking moments - but it came in a package that fit the story so damn perfectly, it was unreal.

 

And special kudos go to Raymond, Michael's brother. Another flawed, real character with many facets, layers and a complex personality. One thing this book aced were the three-dimensional characters. Perfectly done. Plus, I loved Raymond's tendency to call 'em as he saw 'em.   

 

“Wow, son. You’re mad retarded.”
David whipped his head around and pinned my brother with a lethal glare. “Don’t say that word.”
“Sorry.” Raymond kept staring at me. “You’re mad special ed.”
David scoffed, and I burst out laughing.”

 

 

I'll stop now, because enough said. But just so you know, I could go on for hours about this book! All the love, because this definitely is one of my favorites of 2016. 

Every Shattered Dream

Every Shattered Dream: Part Four - T.A. Chase Every Shattered Dream: Part Three - T.A. Chase Every Shattered Dream (Part 1) - T.A. Chase Every Shattered Dream - T.A. Chase Every Shattered Dream - T.A. Chase

 Alright, I'm going to review all five parts of this together. Because I don't know why someone would break this up into five individual parts and the complete serial together was quite good. 

 

Logan Shelton, retired from the army, is a little lost in the civilian world. He's trying to get his lafe back on track and find some purpose after he left the only carrer he has ever known. A beautiful car and a chance meeting result in an unexpected friendship that changes his life in ways he never anticipated. 

 

Dawson Harrow is visiting his friends, and the last thing he expects is to hook up with a hot guy - not in a small town bar. But Logan is intriguing, sexy and willing, so home together they go. Little does Dawson know that he'll get more than he bargained for - as a military history professor and as a psychic. When he and Logan join forces in trying to fullfill the last wish of a persistent ghost, things get interesting. And heart-breaking. 

 

I enjoyed all of the parts individually, although I think they worked so well for me because I had all of them on my kindle and basically read them as if they were one whole novel instead of five novellas. 

 

Story-wise it was a fine balance between the past of Kenny, and the present blossoming relationship between Logan and Dawson. The supernatural aspects fit the story, the flashbacks were good and placed right in order to not distract from the present. Also, I was a big fan of Logan's family dynamics. They made it all feel more real. One little niggle was Dawson. He remained rather pale throughout the books and sometimes felt more like a "plot device" rather than a real MC. 

 

But all in all, it was a good read. A little angsty, a little sexy and a little heart-breaking. Not sure how it would work if you didn't read one part right after the other, but as a package deal they made for an enjoyable read. 

I'm on page 100 of 246 of "After Midnight" by Santino Hassell

After Midnight - Santino Hassell

This is crazy. It's insane! I shouldn't even like this book! 

 

I had this one sitting on my Kindle for quite some time. My dilemma? I fell in love with Santino Hassell's writing with "Sutphin Boulevard", and I just had to read more of his books. I HAD to. But then there was "After Midnight". Even though I like mysteries and thrilling plots, I was so hestitant to pick this one up - even after buying it quite some time ago. The post-apocalyptic, dystopian, drug trade tale and me? Should NOT go together. 

 

But holy crap, it does! I started reading last night because I thought it was a short book I'm not really interested in, and I could read a few pages before going to bed. Well, I finally put it down sometime in the middle of the night, with watering eyes and my brain on fire. Not because of the book, but because my body needed rest. I'd have stayed up happily for another 5 hours and finished this story if I could have. It's really that good!

 

There hasn't been any sweet romance so far. Scratch that, there wasn't any romance, period. Just some antagonism, and a little hot banging. But it's mostly plot and mysteries - so much of it. I'm loving it! A kick-ass MC, flawed and real, trying to survive in a shitty world, struggling with his life decisions, hating his boos but loving his best friend.

 

All I can say is: YES! I could barely leave it and be productive for a few hours. So good! 

"Those places where sadness and misery abound are favoured settings for stories of ghosts and apparitions."

The Midnight Palace - Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves

What can I say? Thisreally isn't right up my alley, but my mother-in-law highly recommended it and I love that woman, so I gave it a try. I shouldn't have. 

 

I liked parts of it - mostly the writing. Zafón has a way with words. He lets them flow, makes them run through you, paints pictures in your mind. It's a wonderful albeit scary experience. It did however make me want to read more of this author's work which makes it not a total loss. 

 

 

"Set in Calcutta in the 1930s, The Midnight Palace begins on a dark night when an English lieutenant fights to save newborn twins Ben and Sheere from an unthinkable threat. Despite monsoon-force rains and terrible danger lurking around every street corner, the young lieutenant manages to get them to safety, but not without losing his own life. . . .

Years later, on the eve of Ben and Sheere’s sixteenth birthday, the mysterious threat reenters their lives. This time, it may be impossible to escape. With the help of their brave friends, the twins will have to take a stand against the terror that watches them in the shadows of the night—and face the most frightening creature in the history of the City of Palaces."

 

 

The blurb was very promising. I can't say I'm an expert on Calcutta, but I consider it a good thing to broaden my horizon now and again. I liked the first chapters very much. Thrilling and mysterious, it was all I could ask for in a book. Bite me, I'm a sucker for mystery novels and crime solving plots. Years later, Ben and his Chowbar society were a very loveable bunch. Young teens, not quite children anymore, but also not exactly adults, are unique and wild in a sense, but always stick together. Sheere and her grandmother were different. Especially the grandmother. Her issues were her own, and yet she forced a young girl to a lifer of fear, solitude and escapism. 

 

And the grandmother brings me to the parts I didn't like. As much as I enjoy a mystery plot, this one was all over the place. Mostly because despite the wonderful writing style, Zafrón failed to explain a lot of things. Or at least allude to them right from the start in order to make them plausible. The supernatural aspect of the story was strong, the corresponding plotline remained vague, pale and unsatisfying though. I was always torn between figuring out the origin of the supernatural or the mystery as a whole. Which led to a kind of constant distraction because time and time again, I would try to understand if one part of the story would finally give me a rational explaination for the superpowers or if the superpowers just were what they were and I should take all the other parts of the story as a piece of the mystery puzzle without thinking too hard about it. In the end, I wasn't happy with the execution of both, the supernatural and the crime solving. 

 

Also, the story started to fizzle and fly all over the place after approximately one third of the book. So many plotlines, so many pieces of a greater puzzle I wasn't able to see until almost the very end. Dramatic high points drowned in all the changing POVs that albeit being interesting, confused me or even bored me at one point or the other. The worst was the telling. So much telling of the same tales. Well written, but still all over the place. And when I get the same story told for the umpteenth time - with some parts changed completely and others completely the same? I'm over- and underwhelmed at the same time. The only good thing about that was my growing empathy for Jawahel, the "villain". Still didn't save me the disappointment at the end, but it gave the super-bad guy some facets and layers. 

 

All in all, I was sceptical going in because of the "horror" aspect of the story - since that is not my favorite genre. Being done with it, I can honestly say: The horror was not the problem. It wasn't the writingstyle, either. The plotlines and -holes, the lack of consistency and plausibility, the overall jumbled mess of explainations really didn't do it for me. Sadly disappointed. 

Not related to my book world - but very much to the real one. RIP, Ziggy - a legend, an inspiration and one of the best we've seen so far.

RIP Mr. Bowie

Reblogged from OpenBooks.com:
— feeling sad

 

Snapshots Through the Years

Through The Years - Z.A. Maxfield

This one surprised me a little bit. 

 

 

To be honest, I was never part of the hype surrounding ZAM. Simply because I haven't read that many books by this author and I don't think any of them rocked my world very hard. But this little one here was very well written. And I'm a sucker for good stories that are written episodical. 

 

I know that enough readers have their problems with this style. It's not easy to pull off, and when done right, the reader always has to read between the lines a lot. Imagination on both sides plays a huge part in making this work, as well as a good memory and a lot of empathic skills from time to time. It can be time-consuming, or at the very least laborious. Like I said, I'm a sucker for it, but it's most definitely not for everyone. 

 

Through the Years offers us bits of pieces of the life of Ethan and Barry, starting from the wildness of their teenage years and ending with... Nah, I'm not telling. But I liked it very much. In between we get to meet these two every ten years, going through life and hardship together. And struggle they did. With openness, with substance abuse, with hate and tragedy, family drama, loosing the right way and finding each other even in darkness. This book covers a lot of time and many themes in a very little space and time. But despite my reservations concerning length and believability, I enjoyed it thoroughly. There were just two regular guys dealing with every-day problems, unique conflicts and unusual character traits. It just felt real - always a plus in my book. Even though both guys might not have been the easiest MCs to like, they somehow got to me and I rooted for them until the very end. 

Awesome deals and steals today!

A Casual Weekend Thing - A.J.  Thomas Treble Maker (#PerfectHarmony, #1) - Annabeth Albert Beauty And The Bookworm - Nick Pageant Billy's Bones - Jamie Fessenden Double Indemnity - Maggie Kavanagh

Some I've read, some are on my TBR - and they are all on sale on DSP and Amazon. Go get 'em!