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:
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
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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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