reviews: The Definitive Albert J Sterne

Albert has received some great reviews, and attracted some interesting attention from the lovely people at Goodreads!

Rainbow Awards 2011: Runner Up in the Best LGBT Mystery / Thriller category

Judges’ comments: A very gripping thriller. At first I was a bit shocked that it has almost 700 pages but once I started reading I couldn’t stop. The part I enjoyed the most was the love story between the two main protagonists. All the characters have depth and are complex which made them very realistic. I found this book very fascinating and I will definitely read it again.

And: The book was a refreshing change from the usual “m/m-fare” and had a great mix of a real thriller and romance, although with a character like Albert I am not sure if romance is the right word… ;-) One problem I had was that I was missing some explanation for why Albert was the way he was.

My Fiction Nook: 5 stars from Rosa

Excerpts: … That’s what I love about Julie Bozza; each of her books is so different. She’s eclectic and it shows. … I think this is a love it or hate kind of book. It’s a bit dry in the beginning, but once you push though that and kind of go with the flow of the novel, it’s awesome and singularly different from other MM books. … I highly recommend it. I want to hug it. … (If you read and like this book, please read Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect, which is also fantastic.)

‘Charm: A Two-Edged Sword’: 5 stars from A.B. Gayle

A.B. Gayle says: This isn’t a romance, but it is a love story. Not romantic love but deeper, more meaningful love. And she also says a whole lot more in a fascinating analysis of what she sees as the main theme here: This book is about charm. The use of it. The abuse of it. The lack of it. The strength of it. Albert Sterne is not a charming man. He is impatient, abrupt, arrogant, irascible … Fletcher Ash, the only person who has managed to penetrate his defensive field, possesses charm in abundance. He gets on with everyone. … He likes people. On the surface, you’d assume that being charming is a good thing, yet one of the hardest hitting sections of the book involves a scene where Fletcher comes to realize that he’s been charmed by someone else.

Julie adds: You might never read the book, but I’m sure you’ll get something out of reading the review!

Reviews by Jessewave: 5 stars from LadyM

Excerpt and summary: Two complex and complicated men in search for a cunning serial killer. Excellent book for patient readers. … a terrific novel, ambitious in both its scope and complexity and it is a wonder that it wasn’t picked up by some mainstream publisher. … if you have patience and enjoy the challenge and complex characters and relationships, you will be rewarded by this gem of a novel. Highly recommended

Elisa’s reviews and ramblings: by Elisa Rolle

Excerpt and summary: … it’s not its length that will ‘disturb’ you, but the ability of the author to give deepness to every character, even the less important ones, like Ricardo, the hustler, or the more unlikely like the villain. … I’m not sure this book by Julie Bozza is good for everyone, the most squirming reader will probably want to avoid it. But if you want a very good psychological thriller, of the old fashioned type, I can fully recommend this one.

Dear Author: A- from Sirius

Conclusion: I recommend this book very highly, especially if you love snarky, complex heroes and if detailed descriptions of murder with torture do not scare you.

Saturday Recs: from Elin Gregory

Conclusion: This FBI based thriller abut the search for a vicious serial killer by an FBI agent assisted by the titular Albert, forensic genius and the most obnoxious man in the Bureau, is probably the most satisfying story I’ve read so far this year. Give it a go and I promise that the charming Fletcher Ash and the appalling Albert will stay in your mind and your heart for a long time.

Albert at goodreads:

Currently 160 ratings and 46 reviews, with an average of 4.15 stars.

  • Simsala gave it 5 stars, and said: Lightyears away from the standard m-m romance.
  • Indigo gave it 5 stars, and said: An unbelievably fascinating book. Clever, well-written, powerful characters, witty and enthralling. A must read.

Readers’ Responses

Jenre featured this as her Overall Book of the Year in her post on favourite male-male romance books read in 2013, and said: This is the second book by this author on my lists this year and well deserved it is too. It’s hard to believe that two years ago I started this book and stopped reading a third of the way through. This year I picked it up again and couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters of Albert and Fletcher and the way their relationship develops in slow increments which mirrors Fletcher’s investigation of a series of murders. The plot moves slowly but that was part of its beauty and by the end I felt like I had taken a worthwhile journey. In fact I was rather bereft when it was all over. Luckily the sequel/companion book was on hand to help with my withdrawal :). If you like mysteries/police procedurals and want to read about characters that aren’t easy to like but with whom you will fall in love, then I highly recommend this book. Don’t be put off by the length, it’s worth investing your time in every page.

excerpt: The Definitive Albert J. Sterne

An excerpt from the Prologue (New Orleans, October 1971) for this novel. Albert goes looking for sex.

Microsoft Office clipart“You looking to party?” the young man asked.

When Albert drew off his dark glasses, his com­panion politely followed suit, tucking his own into the back pocket of his jeans. Albert considered the figure before him, stepping to one side for the full effect of the late-setting sun’s illumination: male, of primarily Hispanic background; eighteen or perhaps nineteen, which was getting old to be on the game; one-seventy, an inch taller than Albert; light brown and dark brown. Further than that: undernourished, and had been for months if not years; clothes old and torn, though fairly clean and assembled with a harmony of color; eyes too bright; demeanor anxious, assessing. Some might have considered the haunted expression romantic, those who thought fey meant something more whimsical than the tragedy of ‘fated to die’. But Albert was instead drawn by the spark of intelligent curiosity.

“If party is a euphemism for having sex,” Albert said, “then, yes, I do want to. Frankly, I have no idea why else I’d be approaching you.”

Continue reading excerpt: The Definitive Albert J. Sterne

About Julie Bozza

Ordinary people are extraordinary. We can all aspire to decency, generosity, respect, honesty – and the power of love (all kinds of love!) can help us grow into our best selves.

I write stories about ‘ordinary’ people finding their answers in themselves and each other. I write about friends and lovers, and the families we create for ourselves. I explore the depth and the meaning, the fun and the possibilities, in ‘everyday’ experiences and relationships. I believe that embodying these things is how we can live our lives more fully.

Creative works help us each find our own clarity and our own joy. Readers bring their hearts and souls to reading, just as authors bring their hearts and souls to writing – and together we make a whole.

I read books, lots of books, and watch films. I admire art, and love theatre and music. I try to be an awesome partner, sister, daughter, friend. I live an engaged and examined life. And I strive to write as honestly as I can.

I have lived in two countries – England and Australia – which has helped widen my perspective, and I have travelled as well. I love learning, and have completed courses in all kinds of things. My careers have been in Human Resources, and in eLearning and training, so there has always been a focus on my fellow human beings and on understanding, conveying, sharing information.

Knitting gives me some down time and the chance to craft something with my hands. Coffee gives me stimulation and a certain street cred. My favourite colour has segued from pure blue to dark purple, and seems to be segueing again to marine blues.

I think John Keats is the best person who has ever lived.

And that’s me! Julie Bozza. Quirky. Queer. Sincere.


Transformative Works Statement

TRANSFORMATIVE WORKS ARE GREAT! MAKE ALL THE THINGS! \O/

If you are so inspired, please feel free to use my original or transformative works in your own transformative works, whatever they may be. I would appreciate credit and a link back to my work, but I won’t insist. I would also like to be informed, and to have the opportunity to share the love with you, but again I won’t insist. Do as you wish or as you will!

On a broader philosophical level, while I appreciate a mutual courtesy and respect, I feel rather strongly that one of the fundamental aspects of transformative works is that no permission is needed from the original creator, whether their work is professional or fannish, in the public domain or otherwise. Get in there and have fun!

P.S. If it needs saying, transformative works (see Fanlore) are completely distinct from plagiarism (see Wikipedia and Fanlore). And I do not support or condone plagiarism.


If you would like to contact me, you can use a Comment form on any page or post, or feel free to email me: info@juliebozza.com.

And if you would like to know more … here’s more!

  • A podcast I did with Angie at TWAM Nation.
  • An interview I did with Divine Magazine.
  • The Saturday Historical Novelist Interview with Christoph Fischer.
  • A blog post on “Writing What I Know” as Featured Guest Author on Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews.
  • An interview about Butterfly Hunter among other things on Prism Book Alliance.
  • Charlie Cochrane interviews me about Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life and other matters – and also here about The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring.
  • A Quintette of Questions asked by the wonderful Narrelle Harris – and a second Quintette, this time focusing on The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring.
  • The combined results of many awesome conversations I’ve had with fellow writer AB Gayle.
  • An interview I did with Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews when Of Dreams and Ceremonies was being released.
  • An interview I did with the UK Gay Romance blog.
  • An interview I did with the Boys In Our Books blog, for their Authors as Readers feature.
  • An interview I did on Smashwords.
  • An article on me by Rainbow eBooks for their Feel Good Friday feature.
  • The full interview I did with Rainbow eBooks for the above article, now posted on Queer Town Abbey.

Other things I’m particularly proud of:

  • Nomination in the M/M Romance Group Member’s Choice Awards 2013 on Goodreads, in the category Favorite All-Time M/M Author.
  • Nomination in the M/M Romance Group Member’s Choice Awards 2014 on Goodreads, in the category Favorite All-Time M/M Author.

fiction by Julie Bozza