Hi everyone! Today I am very excited to welcome back the very fabulous Josephine Myles to the blog. Jo is here doing double duty today. First, she is helping us celebrate the Joyful Approach Countdown to GRL with a stop by the blog. She is also visiting as part of her Junk blog tour. Jo has brought details about entering her grand prize, and she is offering a smaller prize for commenters on this post as well.
My Shameful Secret by Josephine Myles
I have a confession to make: I have a hoarding problem.
Okay, I’m nowhere near as bad as some, like Jasper in my latest novel, Junk. My house isn’t particularly cluttered and I can bring myself to get rid of things I don’t need—although I find that hard work at times!
But hoarding isn’t just caused by difficulties in letting go of objects; it’s often a problem with acquiring them too. Are you the kind of person who finds it hard to pass by a bargain, even when you know you don’t really need the item? Or perhaps you’re the one your friends and family offer their unwanted stuff to, knowing that you’ll likely save them having to make a trip to a charity shop? (that’s a thrift store to the Americans reading, or an op shop for those Down Under)
Yep, I am that “lucky” person. Just the other day my mum offered me a dress that doesn’t fit her. It fits me okay, but I don’t really like it, so why on earth is it now hanging in my wardrobe? I just couldn’t say no. I know I should donate it to the charity shop myself, but all that will do is put me in the path of more temptation. I have to be exceedingly careful in those places.
Browsing in charity shops used to be one of my favourite pastimes. They’re like a cross between the ultimate bargain shop and a museum. If you browse the shelves of bric-a-brac you can find all kinds of strange, archaic items and ponder their use. Here are my top five of things I used to look out for:
- 70s craft books. I adore these. No, I don’t want to make any of the items in them (except perhaps an appliquéd owl wall hanging and maybe a macramé hammock), but the awful pictures are wonderfully entertaining. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with 70s style, as anyone who follows my Vintage Smut Sunday posts will probably realise. The decor and clothing from that period was truly awful, but I just can’t stop myself from staring at it. It’s so awful, it’s good.
- Unusual kitchen hardware. I used to pick up all manner of strange things because people buy these things thinking they’ll use them then never do. A vintage Cona glass coffee maker was one of my all time favourite finds, although sadly that broke years ago.
- Stone bottles and hand-glazed vases. I’m not sure why, but I’m always drawn to these. I have a shelf full of them. They’re great for cut flowers as nothing clashes with them, but I’ve got to be honest, I think I already have enough of the things to last me a lifetime. Except the vases, perhaps. I broke one recently. That means I’m allowed to buy another, doesn’t it? 😉
- Leftover yarn balls and scraps of fabric, which one of my local shops likes to bundle up in clear plastic bags and sell as a job lot. I’d be totally unable to resist the lure, even though I already have boxes of unused yarn and fabric lurking in my loft and under the bed. And don’t get me started on scraps of lace…
- Textile craft equipment. I wasn’t particularly fussy what. I’ve picked up all manner of embroidery and quilting hoops for next to nothing, along with rug hooks and bits of jewellery making equipment. I might not have used them all just yet, but at least they’re there waiting for when I have a bit of free time.
Then finally one day I reached a point when I realised I had a bit of a problem. Every weekend I was buying more things, yet I only had a finite amount of space to store them in. When I had to move to a smaller house the crunch point arrived. I had to be strict with myself. I had to get rid of some of my hoard, and I wasn’t allowed to acquire anything else. It was tough going, but I ended up simply banning myself from entering charity shops.
Three years on, and despite moving to a larger house the habit has stuck with me. These days I get my browsing fun in vintage boutiques and flea markets, and luckily I’m spoilt for choice with these in my home town. These places are fine because most of the time things are priced far higher than I’m prepared to pay. I’m a window shopping addict now, and that’s the way I plan to stay.
Unless I move to an even bigger house, that is…
Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all crashing down.
When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines and newspapers can no longer be classified as a “collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.
Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he remembers from school.
What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress, though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.
Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.
Warning: Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.
Junk is out now, available from the following retailers:
Kindle US | Kindle UK | Nook | Samhain
About the Author
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
For more information about Jo’s published stories, regular blog posts and saucy free reads, visit JosephineMyles.com
Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/hrQ4s
What kind of things do you find hard to resist buying, even though you know you don’t really need them?
Prize giveaway: In addition to the grand prize of a sexy book tote (entry details on Jo’s website) there will be a $5 ebook gift voucher awarded to one commenter from every post during the tour, up to Monday 9th September, 9am GMT (full details also on Jo’s website, including the blog tour itinerary)
Leave a comment for your chance to enter for both contests.
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I can relate to the not saying no to a good deal. Presently it’s Books. I have so many tucked away that caught my eye that it will take years to catch up. It used to be kitchenware and teapots. I made myself stop going to yard sales. Looking forward to reading Junk. 🙂
Oh, you sound very similar to me, dblue! Yard sales are a killer. I have to avoid them, but they’re SOOO tempting!
I always justify my trips to the local charity shops by taking a donation bag of goodies in, doesnt do my house any good but keeps the conscience clear!
Aha, that could work! And it’s meant to be good feng shui or something. One thing in, one thing out.
Books >.< I have enough to last me a very long time and yet I still guy them!
Yes, don’t we all! I have so many unread on my Kindle right now, yet I still buy new ones. At least they don’t take up any space 🙂
Books. I can’t help buying them, and I suppose I haven’t tried all that hard, though I do try to budget myself. It used to be shoes as well, but I finally broke myself of the habit by staying far away from shoe stores as much as possible. I’m looking forward to reading Junk. Thanks for the chance to win.
I have this horrible feeling I might be developing a shoe problem, Antonia. EBay is evil for this kind of thing!
Hope you enjoy the novel 😀
I can’t stop buying ebooks. At least they only take up virtual space.
Yes! Ebooks are wonderful like that. *Pets Kindle lovingly*
It was shoes at one time and I have to admit that after purging I’ve gotten to the point of having too many again but it’s not as bad as it once was. I took care of the book problem by going to the Kindle, there are still too many but now they are all in one tiny space! Thank you for the giveaway, I look forward to reading Junk.
Kindles are wonderful for saving space, although I do find mine still needs regular tidying to put books away after I’ve read them!
I do have trouble resisting a good deal (especially books and records). Also, I’m a sucker for art or clothing that has images of cassette tapes or vinyl records on them, or things made to look like cassettes or records. (A deck of playing cards that looks like a tape? Got it! I managed to resist a charm that looked like a cassette last week, but only because I didn’t have an iPhone to clip it onto.) Thank God 8-track cassettes haven’t inspired many designers, or I’d have even more trouble…
Ooh, that’s an interesting thing to collect! You’re right–it’s good it’s not too common. People who are into buying things with cupcakes on must spend a horrible amount of money 😉
I adore bargains. They’re so hard to resist! Usually I can manage to do so, simply because I’m also a bit of a tightwad. These fortunately balance each other out to a great degree. Unless I’m on vacation or have wild money. Then… it’s not always pretty.
Being a tightwad definitely makes it easier to keep a lid on your possessions. I think that’s probably what’s saved me from having a house stuffed to the gills! At least on holiday there’s a limit to what you can carry back, right? Although I always come back from the beach with pebbles. I have so many beautiful pebbles in my garden 🙂
Books and little cute accessories. I can’t help but want to buy them when I see them and in the case of books if I find the story interesting and the books are cheap. Thanks for the giveaway =)
I bet some shops are a nightmare for the cute accessories–but at least they won’t take up too much space if you stick to the little ones!
I would say books and jackets/ outerwear. At least with e books now, I buy less paperbacks now which helps with the space problems.
Jackets, eh? I think I could do with more of those. Quite demanding of space, though. And yes, ebooks have been a real boon to us bookworms with storage issues!
I am a kitchen gadget junkie. Can’t resist the latest lemon squeezer or twirly potato slicer or oh well you get the point. I don’t consider my book buying a problem, my budget does but I don’t. Count me in for some Junk.
Yes, kitchen gadgets FTW! And I do actually use mine too, so I consider it a perfect use of my money 😀
Recently we had to empty our attic and I was really hard pushed to actually say no to keeping everything. Luckily my husband is much more ruthless and we now have an empty attic and a lot less junk. Still have enough Junk to keep me happy though 😀
Oh yes. I feel a twinge of guilt every time I go up into the attic to see all the boxes of stuff I’ve insisted on keeping. But it’s all (potentially) useful stuff! Good you’ve got a partner who can help you get rid of things 🙂
Books are definitely my biggest splurge, followed by ceramic glazes and tools as I am a hobby ceramist.
Ooh, I love crafty spends. That’s a great one, Gigi!
If it is shiny then I feel I must have it. Some days I feel like a type of magpie, hoarding bits of shiny stones and cheap plastic gems. Luckily enough, I have never got into buying real gemstones–to freaked out about what will happen if i lose them–so it is a relatively cheap hobby/hoard.
Shiny things–another good one, Carissa! I think my daughter suffers from this one too 😉
Books and clothes. With ebooks now, it’s much better. The clothes between attires for work, working out and just everything else…..It seems that my wardrobe just expanded exponentially.
Another person thankful for ebooks. I sense a theme emerging! 😉
Clothing can definitely be an issue for me too, Val. I’m getting better at letting go of the stuff I no longer wear, but I know for a fact I have clothes in my wardrobe I haven’t worn in the last year!
Twice a year there are huge sales in Italy, and how can I resist s good pair of Italian leather shoes/boots with 60% off?! The problem is that I tend to stick to one pair of favourite shoes and the rest stay in the closet most of the time.
Oh yes, that must be incredibly hard to resist! I don’t own any Italian leather shoes but must admit to loving my Spanish ones. The leather is so soft and deliciously textured 😀
Like for most readers, my major hoarding problem is books 🙂 Thank god for ebooks!!! My other problem is plants, especially orchids. I’m always looking for ways to expand my window sills so I can place even more there 🙂 They are just so pretty!
Wow, orchids! I’m always impressed by people who can keep those looking pretty. Used to have loads of houseplants before moving onto the boat, but haven’t really built the collection up again since moving back to dry land. I do love a house full of plants, though 🙂
Books! Luckily I have a reasonable sized house, although it is full. I know its full, but there is always room for a few more books! I really feel for Jasper, in fact I am starting to wonder if all the boxes of books might indicate I have a problem. Luckily my husband is the same 🙂
Yep, individual books seem to small, but get them together en masse and… well… it sounds like you know exactly what I’m talking about, Jan!
Bought ‘Junk’ already and can’t wait to read it. I purchase shoes, I admit I am a shoe-aholic. I thank the creators of the ereaders because I have shelves and shelves of hardback and paperback books and it’s so difficult to give them away, even the ones I haven’t read yet. I’ve been good at restraining myself from attending library book sales because once I get started it’s all downhill from there…
Shoes and books are definitely proving popular here, Penumbra!
I tend to avoid the library these days as I seem to end up buying books there way too often.
Probably not a popular thing but I love crystals.
Ooh, pretty! I do love semi-precious gemstones, I must admit 🙂
I put a stop to hoarding handbags years ago…and almost put a stop to shoes…and kitchen utensils/gadgets/equipemnt…
Books are so numerous that the shelves have books stacked behind the books at the front, and on top of the bookcase…but the moment I’m trying to declutter the house. I put it down to ‘Junk’ !!! It showed me where I might end up 😀 But the urge to hoard breaks out in all sorts of ways – it’s notebooks now, those pretty ones with the nifty magnetic catches, or elastic bands. Oh, and clothes of course…
Hehe–you’re so right about the urge to hoard breaking out, Prue! I think it helps if you can steer it in the direction of tiny things. Beads are fine to hoard, as a general rule. I’m getting more into beads and jewellery these days 🙂
Elastic bands! Have you made yourself a ball? I’ve always wanted one of those 🙂
I find it hard to resist anything with a sock monkey on it. 🙂
Hi Madison. I just watched your video of you typing this post. How bizarre!
Sock monkeys are super cute. I can see why you’d find them hard to resist 🙂
I definitely cannot resist buying strange or new food items. For example yesterday I bought a packet of vitamin-fortified coconut-flavored maizena, from the new Win-Co. (It was really weird, but I can see why very poor children would be forced to drink it.) I also bought a packet of Mama’s gluten-free pizza crust dough mix in the hope that this one (unlike all the other ones) actually tastes like something.
(Not GF myself but do a lot of cooking for those who are.)
The day before that I bought some mysterious but good-looking meat from the Mexican butcher shop. It turned out to be chili-marinated beef short ribs. It was amazing.
Sometimes I worry that this compulsion of mine will lead me to my untimely death: “What do you mean it was goat poison? I thought it looked like candy?”
Ooh, that’s a weird one, but I know where you’re coming from! I can resist mystery meat just fine, but new and unusual chocolates are always tempting 🙂
You must have a whale of a time in ethnic food stores!
Yes, but I have to take all my money out of my pockets before I go in. 🙂
Like most people already said, it’s ebooks. I have more than enough to read but I still buy more, particularly if there’s a sale.
We all seem to be book addicts here, don’t we? I suppose it’s inevitable on a book review blog ;D
I had a really bad shoe problem, I bought so many and then it changed once I got married. Now I love cooking, so now I buy every cool kitchen gadget I can, also pots, and dishes, etc. I swear I have enough kitchen stuff for three houses. I really can’t wait to read Junk!
Hi Seiran! Shoes, kitchen gadgets and books. I wonder if these are the top three things women hoard? It’s seeming that way from the comments so far 😀
I have so much fun going to thrift shops because, as you say, you never know what you’re going to find. I have two things I can’t resist getting, craft supplies for paper projects and board games. I’m not using either of them nearly enough to justify how often I pick them up. The good news is that I’m not really a stuff person so those two things don’t take up a horrible amount of room, just maybe a little more than they should. 😉
Jo, it was a lot of fun reading and post and learning about Junk. Thanks for sharing with all of us!
Ooh, craft supplies are the best, aren’t they? Honestly, I don’t think I have all that much stuff either. Just maybe a few too many books and craft supplies. The rest is fairly minimal though…
Okay, I’m not sure I’ve even convinced myself there!
OH~ Yes… I have that issue…
Notebooks… God only knows why… I have SO MANY pretty notebooks… but when I go to the bookstore, or a bargain store… hell, even when I go to a 99 cent store–Ross, DD’s or any store that would have them…. when I see a notebook that is made in a way to look vintage or is just different/unique from all the others that I have… well… I HAVE to buy it… *sigh* I just don’t know… LOL… I don’t even use them!! augh!! but… they’re just so pretty~~ ;A;/
You’re not the only notebook addict I’ve met, Judi! Fortunately I don’t suffer from that one, although I do love it when people give me pretty notebooks as gifts. I have to use them, though. That way I get to enjoy them even more!
I’m pretty good at resisting temptation. I guess buying books (ebooks now) is my biggest downfall, but it’s my primary form of entertainment and winding down for the day, so I’d argue that they are needed.
Books are definitely needed. There’s absolutely no need to apologise for being a bookworm!
I love buying unique, locally-made items when I am traveling, even though I know I am sometimes paying a premium (and having to check an extra bag home). But, it is so much fun to unpack it all and relive the trip!
Oh yes, those are wonderful purchases! I love going round people’s homes when they have handcrafted items from all over the world. Makes me feel at home 🙂
My kids called me a hoarder. Yes, I did buy a LOT of things at second hand shops and yard sales but when ever they needed something because this or that broke and they had no idea how to go about fixing it, they came to me and usually left with one of my hoarding items. I mainly purchased wooden things. You name it, I had it! But….As a painter, I made a lot of money re-selling the same items they accused me of hoarding. (Once, someone made me an offer on a lot of wooden spoons, I bought them all, painted a bunch with a snowman scene and made a killing with them). I still have plenty of things and will be moving them with me soon. Glass, metal, wood, you name it, I painted it. Now it’s fabric. And talk about fabric…That dress your mom gave you, if you are not going to wear it but find it hard to get rid of, why not turn it into a rag rug? (Google it) It’s easy to make and look oh so beautiful!!! Think about getting some of that fabric to good use (decorative pillows, table scarfs, etc.) I’m about to take a 60’s coffee table and adding a plank of thick foam and covering it with fabric. I’ve seen it done and looks fantastic! I have 100’s of craft/painting books as well. A large 4 drawer file cabinet worth and then some! I can’t see myself getting rid of my painting books though. The others? I’ll see how I can make money out of them.
Sandra, you’re a girl after my own heart! I used to keep all my old clothes for possible rag rug use at some point, but I have to admit I’m just not all that interested in rug hooking. Perhaps the urge will bite me one day, but I reckon it shouldn’t be hard to find a load of unwanted fabric then 🙂
I love the idea of you painting all those objects and turning them into something beautiful!
Seeing your photo close up I noticed that you don`t have dreadlocks (I always thought that ) LOL XDDD (sorry my English)
Ha! I did have dreadlocks when I was 18, but never again 😛
I just have a mass of unruly ringlets. I quite like the idea of them looking like dreads, though. I do love the look of dreds piled up on heads.
Gifts for other people. I like giving things to others, and if I see something I think they’ll like, I’m impulsive and I’ll get it. Also bargain priced items or unique/beautiful dishes (tea cups, etc.) that catche my attention when I troll…I mean, check out my local thrift shop.
Oh, that’s a nice one. Yep, I find it tough to resist if I see something a friend would like, although I do pause sometimes when I think of how full their homes are already!