HEY FRIENDS, I HAVE MY BLOG TOUR STOP AND REVIEW POST OF ANTISOCIAL BY HEIDI CULLINAN FOR YOU TODAY, AND BOY DO I LOVE THIS BOOK! INCLUDED IN THIS POST IS WHAT I THINK ABOUT THIS BOOK, BOOK INFO, AN EXCERPT AND MORE INCLUDING A WONDERFUL POST FROM HEIDI ABOUT THE MUSIC THAT SHE ASSOCIATES WITH THIS BOOK! LET'S GET STARTED!
Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
Buy Links: Amazon US ebook, Amazon US paperback, Amazon UK ebook, Amazon UK paperback, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Scribd, Smashwords
I am a huge fan of Heidi Cullinan and every book she releases just reminds me why! Antisocial is a terrific story, but it proves to be more than that, it acts as a lesson, it teaches us that to be who you really are is more important than making people happy. Skylar learns that those that really care about him don't care what path he chooses as long as he is true to himself!
Watching Skylar and Xander navigate sometimes troubled waters to fight for something they both believe in is amazing! It will not be easy, but if they believe in each other enough they can make it work.
Will the outside world leave these two in peace, or will certain people tear them apart? You gotta read this one friends, it is amazing!
the 5 freedom symbol rating :)
I JUST HAD TO DO THAT RATING IN HONOR OF SKYLAR! YOU WILL SEE WHY WHEN YOU GRAB THE BOOK FROM THE LINKS POSTED ABOVE! HERE IS AN EXCERPT FOR YOU!
The painting, three by four feet and propped on an easel in the center of the room, arrested Skylar Stone, emptying every thought from his head, save one. This piece of art was the most incredible thing he’d ever seen.
He paced a semicircle around the canvas, unconsciously hooking his index finger into his collar to loosen his tie, as if looking at this painting required more room to breathe. It assaulted his senses and made him too dizzy to think. How did it possess so many colors and yet seem kind of purply blue? There was gold in there, somehow, and red, and…God, everything. What was the figure in the foreground? A man? A dog? A boulder? Somehow it was all three. A hulking mass of darkness looking out at…stars. Or perhaps it was someone lying on a blanket. Or it was a gargoyle looking over a city. A city on fire.
Or maybe it was a city being formed?
It looked like a child had painted it. Or a grand master. It took Skylar’s breath away.
“I said, can I help you?”
Blinking, Skylar turned toward the speaker, a mousy, scrawny, hunched male student with a permanent glower stitched on his face. He wore a dark-blue apron stained with paint, several brushes sticking out of the right-side pocket. The plaid shirt the apron protected was frayed at the collar and cuffs, and it fit the man so poorly it looked like he’d dressed in his father’s closet. His jeans were equally worn, and his tennis shoes sported soles flopping open at the toes.
The man glared at Skylar with dark-brown eyes peering from a shag of slightly curly, too-long bangs as he waited for Skylar’s reply.
Skylar cleared his throat and struggled to find his usual confidence, feeling clearer with the artwork out of a direct line of sight. “Sorry. That painting is so gorgeous it knocked me off my game a little.” Digging his smile out of his stupor, he crawled back into what his fraternity brothers called Silver Stone Mode and stuck out his hand. “Skylar Stone. I’m the risk manager for Delta Eta Sigma. I’m looking for Mr. Xander Fairchild. Can you tell me where I might find him?”
The mousy guy didn’t accept the handshake, and if anything, his scowl deepened. “What do you mean, the painting is gorgeous?”
Skylar turned back to it, rubbing the smooth line of his chin with his thumb and forefinger. “I mean that the painting is gorgeous. I feel like I could look at it for hours.”
“The paint is too thick, and the brushstrokes are a mess.”
“That’s kind of what I like, though. The thickness. The roughness. It feels almost 3-D. I don’t know anything about art, so I wouldn’t know a brushstroke if you hit me with it, but I love this painting. Do you know who did it?”
Scowling Guy snorted. “Me.”
“Wow. Really? That’s fantastic. I can see someday I’ll be forking over an arm and a leg for the right to hang your work in my living room.”
The artist hunched his shoulders and glared harder. “What do you want?”
Right, no more compliments. Skylar got down to business. “Like I said, I’m here to see Mr. Fairchild. Do you know where I can find him?”
“You already did. Now tell me what you want, so I can tell you no and get back to work.”
“You mean—you’re Xander Fairchild?”
“Yes. And you’re one of the frat boys who spray-painted penises all over my mural.”
Here, finally, Skylar found his groove. “No. I’m one of the officers of the fraternity where three members are on probation for vandalizing your work. I’m here to apologize on behalf of Delta Eta Sigma and see what we can do to make amends for our brothers’ inappropriate behavior.”
“There’s not much you can do. It can’t be replaced. I’d have to repaint the whole thing, and it’ll never be the same as the first time. It’ll always be a copy, which means it’s going to suck. I told the dean to take it down and forget it. I’ll do another mural somewhere with less chance of roving drunken monkeys. Or I won’t do it at all. I have my portfolio and BFA project to think about.”
That news disillusioned Skylar on multiple levels. He’d assumed he could sentence the freshmen to eons of community service beginning with cleaning, but hearing the mural was ruined meant things were more serious than he’d been led to believe. Also, he’d liked that artwork. It was on the wall of Gama Auditorium, which meant he passed it every time he walked into school, and he walked almost every day. It made sense, he supposed, that he’d liked the mural so well, since it was by the same artist as the painting in front of him. He liked the painting so much better, though. The mural had been stylized, designed to represent Benten College more than being art. It depressed Sky to think it would be removed, not repaired.
He realized he was woolgathering, not focusing on his mission, and he cleared his throat. “I’m sorry to hear the mural is ruined. That will change our punishment of the offenders, though I can’t imagine that’s much recompense for having your work destroyed. At the very least, I’d like to apologize on behalf of Delta Eta Sigma. As someone who enjoyed your mural, I will miss seeing it every day.”
Xander turned away and wrestled the lid off a paint can. “Whatever.”
Normally Skylar would enjoy the challenge of someone so difficult to smooth over, but he wasn’t on his game today. “Are you sure the mural can’t be saved? Because believe me, these two have days of community service ahead of them. If that can’t be done, maybe there’s some particularly grueling work they can do here in the studios?”
“You think I want them in here? Anyway, why are you asking me? I did the mural as a sophomore special project. I don’t have any authority over what happens to it. That said, if you try to stick me in a room full of frat boys grousing about their punishment—”
Skylar held up a hand. “Hey—first of all, I’m asking you because you’re the artist. Yes, we’re in discussion with the head of the art department, and the Interfraternity Council, as well as campus security, but your thoughts on this situation are also important. Second of all, no one will be sticking you with anything. These two are facing all manner of charges and suspensions, and at this point they’re doing nothing but groveling. We take this seriously. That’s why I’m here, asking how Delta Eta Sigma can make it up to you.”
Xander had the lid off the paint can and waved it angrily at Skylar. “Nothing. Thanks for the effort. Talk to the building secretary about donating money for paint or something, but don’t let your goons clean any of my brushes. Meanwhile, I need to get back to work.” After dunking a fat, wide brush in the can, he wiped it on the rim and aimed it at the canvas.
Skylar frowned at him. “What are you doing?” When he realized the brush was about to slide across the top of that night sky, he didn’t think, only knocked it out of Xander’s hand, sending it clattering to the floor.
“Christ!” Xander faced down Skylar with his fists clenched. “What the hell is your problem?”
Skylar felt queasy and slightly shaky. “You were going to paint over it.”
“Yes. It’s a piece of shit, and I need the canvas.”
Piece of shit? “It’s stunning. If you don’t like it, sell it and buy a new canvas.”
Xander’s nostrils flared. “Like I said, you can leave now.”
Skylar should have. He’d done what he’d come to do—he hadn’t succeeded, but if he wanted to achieve his goal, he’d need to leave, regroup, and try again another day. But he couldn’t leave and let the painting be ruined, so instead of walking out the door, he reached for his wallet. “How much do you want for it?”
This only enraged Xander further. “I said, get out.”
Skylar thumbed through his bills. “I only have forty-five on me, but I’ll go to the nearest ATM and get the rest of whatever price you name. I want to buy the painting, Mr. Fairchild.”
“I’m not letting you take this back to your stupid frat house so you and your brothers can use it for a dartboard.”
Skylar lowered his wallet and swallowed the impulse to give in to temper. “I have no such intent. I would never use a piece of art so callously. I gather you don’t have a high opinion of Greek life, which I’m sorry to hear.” Gears turned, and Silver Stone Mode ground back to life. “You don’t seem to have much regard for your own skill, either, if you’re so unwilling to sell your work. As far as I’m concerned, you belong in a gallery.”
TRUST ME FRIENDS, THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! HERE IS A BLOG POST JUST FOR BIKE ABOUT THE MUSIC OF ANTISOCIAL! I ALWAYS LISTEN TO HEIDI'S BOOK LISTS ON SPOTIFY AND THIS ONE IS AMAZING TOO, CHECK IT OUT!
Thanks so much for having me here today!
My new release, Antisocial, is a new adult gay and asexual romance set in a fictional college in upstate New York between a one-percenter fraternity boy and a highly antisocial artist. One encounter with Xander Fairchild’s artwork is enough to turn Skylar Stone’s carefully orchestrated life upside down, unlacing his secrets and inviting him into a secret anime-soaked world with a new set of friends. But will they be brave enough to embrace their fragile new relationship and let it last beyond the summer?
As always, with my releases I have a story soundtrack, which you can access here on Spotify.
This is another one of those soundtracks I’m really, really going to miss when I’m done with the book, and basically when I’m done with promotion, I won’t have any reason to listen to it, ever again, as this is truly the most firm not-a-sequel book I’ve ever written. I suppose I’ll just have to pull the soundtrack out again every now and again for nostalgia, because I do truly love this one.
Here are a few highlights with my commentary for you. Spotify links will be in the title, YouTube versions below when I can get them.The Rules for Lovers by Richard Walters
THE RULES FOR LOVERS YOUTUBE
This song sums up Xander and Skylar so perfectly—their relationship with each other, themselves, the whole novel, really. Who decides the rules for lovers like you and I? I had this and several other lyrics to this novel taped to my monitor for a good chunk of the drafting of this novel.
I found this song because of a Yuri on Ice AMV (animated music video, for those of you not up on Tumblr lingo), but I really love it. Just so you understand how deeply Yuri on Ice is embedded into this story.
Waves by Magic Man
I love the energy of this one. I’d often wake up with this one in my head and sit down itching to queue it up to play first. The lyrics work too, but it’s the energy that tugs at me for this one. It feels like Skylar and Xander drawing each other out of their wrong places and into a new world together.
High and Low by Empire of the Sun
I do love Empire of the Sun on any given day, but this song in this story really hooked me hard. Again, the energy was great, but that both sides, high and low felt so Skylar. And Xander too, honestly. It made me hum every time it came on.
Ornithological Symphony from the film Something More
This song is super, crazy important to me because while it technically belongs to another story’s soundtrack, it’s become a key to a high point in my own mental soundtrack for my own tale. Without giving anything away for those who haven’t read it: I listened to this song on repeat as I wrote Skylar walking into Xander’s show.
Glorious by Beyond 5 (originally by Stephanie Mabey)
The link is to the version I listened to, and the YouTube is to the original version—my daughter is salty that no one knows the song for the original female artist, but I always point out to her that Mabey is getting paid for every version so don’t cry for her too hard. I used the Beyond 5 version because of the male voices and the sound fit what I was doing better, but both versions were great. Like Rules for Lovers, this song’s lyrics are perfect for Antisocial—the message is about being yourself and trusting your instincts and the world falling in place around you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into the musical backstory of Antisocial and that you too enjoy the soundtrack long after the book is finished.
HERE IS A BIO ON HEIDI WITH SOCIAL LINKS! WASN'T THAT A GREAT BLOG POST? I AM LISTENING TO THE PLAYLIST NOW ON SPOTIFY AND I LOVE IT!
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn't writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.
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THIS HAS BEEN SO MUCH FUN AND I THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY FOR MY BLOG TOUR STOP AND REVIEW OF ANTISOCIAL! I WILL LEAVE YOU WITH THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY AND URGE YOU AGAIN TO BUY THIS BOOK!