Finding Home a book about finding yourself and the one place that you can truly call home!
Luca is a first-year med student at the University of Gothenburg. He is following in his father’s footsteps, something he’d been programmed to do all his life. He lives a sheltered and still life, with no real friends. Luca would love to change that but doesn’t know how, since he always feels so odd around other people, like he doesn’t quite fit in. There’s so much inside him that wants out, like wanting to become a veterinarian more than a doctor. And the fact that he likes boys and not girls. But he doesn’t tell anyone about that—not even himself.
In comes Kai, an American cowboy in Gothenburg. He’s doing his thesis overseas to broaden his horizons before he does what he has always wanted to do, which is to go back home and run the family ranch. He just happens to see Luca one day leaving class and can’t stop watching the shy guy as he waded his way through the crowd with quick, silent steps, and his head down to avoid eye contact with anyone. For weeks Kai watches him from a distance, trying to figure out how to approach him.
Had he known that spilled coffee and slippery, awkward book bags would have gotten him close to the guy, he might have physically bumped into him a long time ago.
Finding Home is a book with star-crossed lovers meeting and the evil mind of the wicked witch in the west threatening to crush young love’s every dream.
All Romance: http://tinyurl.com/opl83nt
Trailer by Hans M. Hirschi.
Jonathan’s Promise by Hans Hirschi is a solid proof of what makes him into the excellent author that he is today. Hans is known as the Queen of unconventional endings, and boy is that God’s honest truth!
It’s always with an emotion of delight filled terror that one embarks on a book journey with the Hirschi. With most other books, if it’s a good book like Jonathan’s Promise, that captures your attention on page two and holds you there, you usually can’t wait to get to the end. You get the same experience with Jonathan’s Promise but at the same time the closer you get to the end the more nervous you get, because you never know with Hans what way the pendulum will swing.
I love those kind of endings, no I love those kind of books, some of the best books I’ve read in my life have been bittersweet, and I think Hans does too. I recently gifted Hans with a book that is very bittersweet, and that is one of the best books I’ve ever read, Memorizing You by Dan Skinner. When Hans was done reading it his first message to me was, It’s official I hate you!
When someone you know, who actually doesn’t hate you, says that to you it is easy to know that you, or in this case the book, has gotten them good! This is exactly what, the Jonathan books and Jonathan’s Promise did to me. (Payback is a bitch, Hans! Payback. Is. A. Bitch!)
Jonathan’s Promise has a way of etching itself to your heart bit by bit, slow burning at first, and then right when you are at the ultimate high, soaring and flying sky high, something happens that shifts your world upside down. Hans can have you crying and laughing at the same time, also, you sit there at the end with your heart and insides in your hands and are happy about it because you know there was nowhere else for this book to go than where he took it. It would have been a crime to have done it any other way.
Hans is a mastermind at creating characters that instantly feel like people who you’ve known for all your life. I can honestly say that I often sit back after reading his books and wish I could write half as well as he does. It looks so effortless, and I know it isn’t, and I don’t begrudge him any of his success in any shape, way or form because it has all taken a lot of hard work to achieved and is so well earned. But it makes you wonder how his mind works when his plot bunnies appear. What goes on in his head? How do the characters talk to him? I can sorta see him pondering along, talking to himself.
Jonathan’s Promise is foremost about four people, Cody, Parker, Jonathan and Marc all of them have an equally important part of make this story into what it is. There are several side characters that not only are important for this tale but also bring a lot of value to the story too. as First, there is the Captain of the cruise line ship on which Parker, Cody, and Jonathan embark on their journey together. He stands for, what someone who knows Hans, called ‘Swedishness’ (Debbie McGowan’s word not mine but I love it and just had to borrow it) and Swedish (or in this case Norwegian) values of treating people equal, that rules are meant to be broken even though in the end, he can’t grant the wish/favor Jonathan ask of him because of headquarters’ rules. There is also a female Mayor (even if that is more European than typical Scandinavian) and the fact that she’s a woman isn’t just a random act or the scandalous wedding that takes place between Jonathan and Emilie, where the couple decides to take her last name and not his, God forbid!
All these things are there for a purpose, they might seem as small and trivial things but they are important details, and as Hans himself says, they have all been put there very consciously and with great reason. I think some of those things are to push boundaries, to make us think about how our own part of the world looks like, what we still have to achieve and also Hans own political ideas of what a “perfect or imperfect” world looks like.
Jonathan’s Promise is of just that, keeping promises and to never ever give up. To fight for what you want and what you believe in, spite everything else, even spite of or maybe because of your past. To realize who do your life your life for, others or yourself? And does other’s, inform of family and good friends, have the right to interfere with your happiness?
Lastly, I don’t think Hans realizes how talented he is, the quality of well thought out stories he provides in his books but also how amazingly they reflect reality and therefore means so much more to the literature world than the average LGBT book.
Not that the overall LGBT books aren’t important too but that there are those authors, such as Dan Skinner and Hans Hirschi, that will help put LGBT books up there with other classics written by other amazing talented men and women such as Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronë did for women in the 17th and 18th century, Harriet Beecher Stow did with her Uncle Tom’s Cabin to show the truth and reality for slaves in the United States during the 18th century.
As a woman that’s what I’ve always missed in hetero books, women I can relate too, unless you count Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë which is funny since their books are hundred of years old and women in books today pale in comparison to those back then. Besides those kind of women, I feel more connected to Jonathan and feel as if I have more in common with him than many female characters I have encountered in my life by reading books. This proves not only that Hans characters are diverse but what sexuality a person has really isn’t that important, who they chose to love or simply screw has nothing to do with what their person brings to the table.
So, Hans I hate you too, because I am still bleeding all over this one, my heart still prickles in pain as I write this but at the same time I have to thank you for sharing this amazing series with us and I can’t wait for Jonathan’s Legacy to be out so I can be kicked in the gut again!
The End Game, from the wonderful Chess Series by Sean Michael, has a lot of loose ends to wrap up when it starts, and considering it starts with adding on to those lose ends I can honestly say I started to get worried if Sean Michael was going to be able to pull this off. In this last installment of the Chess Series, at least where we meet these four men together, it starts with Knight feeling trapped at their house and needs to get away. He and Bishop rents a cottage, hours from where they live and since Jason is going back to school he and Rook are left behind.
The feeling of Rook and Jason somehow being “less” a part of their four-person household is heightened here again and I get the same feeling each time I read this story that, Knight and Bishop and Knight especially are keeping them outside of himself and what they have. They are never quite let inside. Knight has always been eccentric, the emotional and erratic artist but at times he’s just a selfish asshole. To show love or be in love is on his premises, when he doesn’t want to or need it he’s pretty closed off and quite mean. While Rook and Jason gives and gives but seldom to never get anything back from the other two. It is quite aggravating but I love it at the same time because it just makes what they have so much more fascinating.
As for Bishop, I don’t know what to make of him in this, on one hand is very appreciative with Rook and Jason and make sure they feel a part of their little family. But when Knight demands not just a vacation away for a week but buys the cabin to go live there for months and months at the time without the other two Bishop goes. He doesn’t even make an argument to somehow include Rook and Jason. Once again Knight’s needs go before everything, and yes the man was mauled by a snowplow and almost died, but he was not alone in being devastated or hurt by that experience. Bishop and Rook where distraught, and it was Jason who kept them all sane and together.
The final book, End Game, was a great book with a great wrap up of Jason’s, Bishop’s, Knight’s and Rook’s mutual story. It was great before but after buying and getting the new editions with added scenes all books but especially this book became so much more. The added scene to the end of End Game helped easing my split emotions of the foursome, it made me forgive Knight and Bishop some for being so excluding towards Rook and Jason. What also helped deepened the plot was that in this book Sean Michael gave Rook and Jason some extra depth to their relationship. To say that Sean’s books are based on sex might be a slight exaggeration, but a deep meaningful sexual relationship always play a huge part in most of his books, not all, but most. Therefore, it was odd that only Bishop and Knight shared things that were not necessarily sex per se but intimate and soul-bonding when Rook and Jason who are two so prominent characters in the book were always kept out. In the beginning it made sense because Jason was new to the relationship, new to being into men, new to it all but as the story progressed it more felt like excluding them than anything else.
The new ending chapter to End Game, made this series and these four men and their journey to family and love come to a full circle. So thank you Sean Michael for this awesome series and for adding these lovely scenes that only enhanced the books.
You can find Sean on the following:
Sean Michael Website
Sean Michael Blog
I've said this before but life taught me years ago to always take the time to show appreciation where it's deserved, because - often enough - we don't. And today, I want to show that appreciation to Hans Hirschi, (no this is not the review for Jonathan's Promise, not yet, I'm still recuperating from that one), and I hope I don't embarrass you too much.
I haven't known Hans for a very long time, we met for the first time around Christmas last year. In a very shot time Hans has become this great person in my life. Even if I am very appreciative of all the things he has done for me in the short time we've known each other, from helping me with my writing, pushing me to believe in myself, reading my work, to introducing me to great people like Debbie McGowan, who'd I probably never had the pleasure to meet if it hadn’t been for Hans introducing us; we had the best lunch I'd had in a long time.
Besides all that he has also convinced me to be a part of all these amazing experiences with him, like going to West Pride (here in Gothenburg in June), and Euro Pride Con in Berlin, also in June. Things that I know will be experiences that will last me a lifetime, and things I'd never done on my own. All because I've met this passionate, considerate, accepting - and let's not forget - half crazy man with a taste for sarcastic humor (which I love).
At home, I speak so much about Hans, to my partner Daniel, that I'm pretty sure if it hadn’t been for the fact that Hans was married, or should I say married to a man, he might have gotten jealous. *winks*. No, seriously, in his own way Daniel is very happy for me, happy that I have found someone to share my passion with, and a friend to "hang out with". Did I mention already that I am a loner, that I have a hard time meeting new people... Well I do. However, I don't think Hans has noticed that particular personal trait of mine because I usually babble his ears off.
I've met some great people over the past year, even if I've never met any of you in real life, and you are all very dear to me, and I appreciate each and every one of you.
But even though all of these things are perfectly grand, it is still not the one thing that makes me appreciate Hans the most. For the first time in years, and this hit me after getting off the phone with him today, which was a very spontaneous and in the moment phone call. I realized that I have a friend, a real friend who (I think) enjoys my company as much as I enjoy his. Someone with whom I share these crazy interests, and who is as passionate about writing and reading as I am, if not more so. Someone to whom I can pick up the phone, and just call and say "hey you! How are you doing? Wanna do lunch?" I'm grateful!
So, thank you Hans for the great gift of friendship.
No Kisses, All Hugs.
Ps. Hans, Do I need to flee the country?
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.