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review 2018-05-04 17:29
Only With Passion: Figure Skating's Most Winning Champion on Competition and Life (Witt)
Only With Passion: Figure Skating's Most Winning Champion on Competition and Life - Katarina Witt,E.M. Swift

OK, once I got past the highly debatable subtitle and rather ridiculously sexed-up cover picture, this little book from 2005 was actually quite an enjoyable read. A full biography it is not, but Katarina is not the first female skater - see, for instance, Barbara Ann Scott - to combine scattered biographical facts and philosophical musings into an advice-to-a-young-skater format. At least Katarina's book doesn't include an entire chapter on the details of school figures!

 

I like Katarina, based on her pretty consistent public persona here and on tv - she's generally very down-to-earth and seems to have a strong grasp on realities both interpersonal and financial. What's more, she appears to have the capacity to form strong female friendships - notably with Sandra Bezic and with her business partner, Elizabeth. She also somehow seems to have maintained a strong relationship, though perhaps part of that is unacknowledged dependency, with a coach, Jutta Muller, whose methods in this gradually-awakening day and age would likely be described as borderline abusive. The strictures on Katarina's weight - and the skater's defence of those strictures - I found troubling. Anyway, it's clear that even 10 years after her last amateur skate, Muller was still a valued part of Witt's career. She takes her fictional young skater friend, "Jasmine" to see her training with Mueller for her latest professional project.

 

One of the self-revelations I most enjoyed was Katarina's complete awareness that she's addicted to showboating. She doesn't seem particularly worried that she thrives on being the centre of attention, and doesn't perform her best unless she's aware of multiple eyes upon her. I'm not sure she quite makes the full connection between that and the fact that she has never settled down into a marriage, but she comes close in the few fairly guarded sentences that she devotes to her longish relationship with Richard Dean Anderson. In fact, rather too much of this narrative is slightly defensive about being an independent single woman, although I can completely understand that she has had to deal with this same narrative for years from the media; all that emphasis on her femininity and her beauty (often at the expense of acknowledging her real athletic chops). That aspect of her life interested me far less than her stories of growing up in East Germany, and also the stories she introduces about some of her East German friends, at least one of whom made the dangerous crossing from East to West Berlin while the wall was still up.

 

About other skaters of her era, Katarina generally speaking follows the "if you can't say anything nice" rule; she has respectful words for Debi Thomas, and also for Nancy Kerrigan, and she openly regrets that she was so aggressively competitive with Rosalynn Sumners in the pre-1984 years, given how well they got along in the pro years that followed. And then there's this:

 

"And what was Tonya Harding like?"

"Tonya," I chuckled ruefully. "She was an impressive athlete, I must say. Her jumps were so high. She was very talented, except not in the head. Really, I don't care two cents about her."

 

She's careful, but it's not North American media-speak. I like that.

 

If you are curious about how she would describe her Playboy photo-shoot, or the '87 Worlds, '88 Olympics, the '94 Olympics, or Carmen on Ice, you'll find a bit about each of those in here, though none of them is terribly deeply examined. E.M. Swift (the same man who "co-wrote" Gordeeva's My Sergei) has done a good job eliminating any Germanic-sounding glitches from the smooth first-person narrative. There is a photo section, in black and white, not in itself a reason to buy the book, but with some fun novelties (including pictures of Katarina and Anett Poetzch wearing the same competition dress).

 

I hope we do someday get a more substantial memoir or biography, but in the meantime, this little book has earned its spot on my shelves.

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review 2018-04-25 11:44
RETRO REVIEW TOUR & #GIVEAWAY - Changing Plans (Changing Plans #1-3) by L.A. Witt
Changing Plans (Changing Plans, #1-3) - L.A. Witt
Changing Plans is separated into three different parts - the first two from Elliot's point of view, and the last one from Derek's. We find out that Elliot has been jilted at the altar but decides to use his honeymoon ticket to Hawaii anyway. Due to the weather though, the planes are stranded, and whilst waiting, he meets Derek - the epitome of a playboy who admits to never having long relationships. What happens between them both though, catches them by surprise.
 
This is a sweet, low-angst book that is also full of steam! I found myself rooting for the two MCs from the word go. Although the idea of meeting your other half at the airport may sound a bit far-fetched (this is fiction after all!), L.A. Witt brings this story to life, with brilliant characters and situations, plus with gorgeous descriptions of Hawaii.
 
An amazing story, told exceedingly well, I have no hesitation in recommending this amazing book. Thoroughly loved every word.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

 

,

Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2018/04/retro-review-tour-giveaway-changing.html
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review 2018-04-06 23:34
After the Fall (Tucker Springs, #6) by L.A. Witt Review
After The Fall - L.A. Witt

After years of saving every penny, Nathan has finally managed to buy the horse of his dreams. He’s looking forward to a summer of exploring the Colorado mountain trails above Tucker Springs with Tsarina. But on their very first ride, a motorcyclist makes a wrong turn, scaring Tsarina into bolting and leaving Nathan with a broken leg, a broken hand, and a ruined summer.

Ryan is a loner and a nomad, content with working odd jobs before moving on to the next town. Feeling guilty for causing the accident that leaves Nathan in two casts, Ryan offers to keep Tsarina exercised until Nathan heals.

Despite their bad start, Nathan and Ryan soon become friends . . . and then much more. But with a couple of nasty breakups in his past, Nathan doesn’t want feelings getting involved—especially knowing that Ryan will never settle down. But since when do feelings ever listen to reason?

 

Review

 

LA Witt is a fine writer and this is a well written book in a very good series. Witt does an especially good job with how Nathan fools himself and protects himself.

However, I am disappointed in this book overall as I was so looking forward to Nathan's book from reading the other books in the series. He seems really diminished somehow here and less himself than in other books. So, the love story loses its shine as well for me though it is enjoyable

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review 2018-03-30 18:38
Mascara & Bandages (Mary's Boys, #3) by Brandon Witt 4 Star Review
Mascara & Bandages (Mary's Boys Book 3) - Brandon Witt

Ariel Merman is a new drag queen who’s already finding a family at Hamburger Mary’s. After a performance as Ariel, Zachary Cooper walks home in his makeup and is assaulted by homophobes. Zachary’s worry that the attack has thrown a wrench in his good fortune is eased when he looks into the eyes of his doctor.

Dr. Teegan Chau is a little lost after divorcing his wife and coming out of the closet, but he can’t deny the pull he feels toward the young man he patches up. Luckily, Zachary takes the initiative and asks Teegan out. But attraction is the easy part of their blossoming relationship—as they deal with an ex-wife and child, being a drag queen in a heteronormative culture, Zachary’s lingering trauma from his attack, and Teegan acclimating to life as part of an out-and-proud gay couple.

The challenges seem daunting at the start of a romance. Can Zachary and Teegan make it through the rough patches and take a chance on the love that’s been missing from both their lives?

 

Review

Zachary's and Teegan's romance is wonderful. They feel an attraction right away and it slowly burns as Zachary recovers from a bashing.

 

Zachary struggles with some self esteem issues as a femme male as a victim of a violent crime. Teegan is dating for the first time.

 

They really really like each other and it is great to see.

 

The setting at Mary's and the bookstore is awesome. Teegan's steadfast courtship is sexy.

The circle of friends remains great as does the dealing with the intersection of gender and culture and romance.

 

I wish the heat factor was a little more as these heroes deserve more sexy times but it was a lovely read.

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review 2018-03-06 23:01
Once again I'm late to the party on this one but even arriving late...
At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere - L.A. Witt,Sean Crisden

it was still worth showing up for.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The MCs were wonderful and the story was heartwarming and at times heartbreaking. 

 

Adrian needs someone to be reminded that human kindness and compassion are characteristics the world can't afford to loose.  Max needs to be reminded of the same thing only from the receiving end of things. It's through their mutual need for this reminder that both men discover the value of love.

 

I really enjoyed this one and as always Sean Crisden's narration added depth, emotion and life to the story and I have zero doubt that I'll be listening to this one again and probably again...maybe I'll take the time to do a longer review on one of those revisits.

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