Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Mystery Monday: Book Blog Tour with The Darkness Knows


As I write this blog post I am listening to the Old Time Radio program, Let George Do It.  I started listening to old time radio since high school - when my insomnia would keep me up late listening to the radio.  On an AM station every so often they would play a few old radio programs - from the 1930s-1960s.  One of favourite parts in the program is listening to the radio ads from that time.  No wonder people were smoking in that time - smooth flavourable cigarettes sounds pretty dandy.  I like listening to sitcoms, dramas and theater but mystery and suspense are my absolute favourites.  I cannot even begin to list the shows I love.  I enjoy that period of the "Golden Age" so when I saw the synopsis for Cheryl Honigford's debut novel, The Darkness Know I added it to my TBR.  Sourcebooks was extremely kind to send me a physical advance copy to read and review!

THE DARKNESS KNOWS 
(Viv and Charlie Mystery: #1)
Written by Cheryl Honigford
August 2, 2016; 330 Pages
Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: historical mystery, old time radio, golden age, fiction, suspense

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY and Publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★★

 In Chicago, 1938 Vivian Witchell has landed the plum part of Lorna Lafferty in a detective radio series.  Graham Yarborough, the debonair actor,  plays the lead of Harvey Diamond, PI.  If she can prove herself in this role and other small roles she just may have a chance in Radio.  One night as Vivian heads back to the station to grab an umbrella she comes upon the body of a prominent radio actress, Marjorie Fox.  The only problem is that everyone disliked Marjorie so the suspect pool is plentiful.  In a letter found by Marjorie's body it indicates that Lorna Lafferty might be the next victim.  Fearing for her life, but not willing to give up her roles to her arch nemesis, the station hires it's consulting PI, Charlie Haverman, as her bodyguard.  As Charlie tries to discover the identity behind the letter and murder, Vivian inserts herself as his gal Friday.  Can Charlie find the killer before Vivian makes herself an open target?


This is Cheryl Honigford's debut novel so I had fair expectations going into the book.  I have higher expectations when it about a subject I am passionate about.  I was trying to tell myself it's okay if this novel doesn't quite meet up to expectations...page one I was hooked.  Honigford actually seems genuinely a fan of that era and golden age radio.  Vivian, a woman looking for her independence and a bit of fame, is a great character. She reminds me a bit of the character Brooksie in Let George Do it.  Brooksie might be the "sidekick" character, but she is the tough one that holds the hero up and keeps the story flowing.  Though in this book Vivian is the main character and we see everything through her voice, and Charlie is the glue that keeps them going.  Vivian can be rash where Charlie is reason.  The two mix very well with chemistry and characters working well with one another.  I loved the secondary characters around them, but at times felt they were a bit kitschy.  Honestly, that would be my only "flaw" with this book if it really is one. It never hindered my enjoyment of the book at all.  I loved the characters, enjoyed most of the story and am very hooked on where Viv and Charlie go in the future.  I do kind of wish that Viv was more of a "working-class" character BUT her being from a wealthy family is also intriguing.  I do think Mrs. Witchell is a blast!  I would recommend this novel to fans of historical mystery, cozy mysteries, historical fiction of the 30s and anyone looking to know more about Old Time Radio!  Book two won't be out till next Fall  next year, so I am a bit disappointed with the wait...as if I have no other books to keep me occupied.


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I have "spoken" with Cheryl on Instagram and she is a very kind person  Her and Sourcebooks have been so kind in providing me some fun stuff for you.  Including answering my questions!


Q&A with Cheryl Honigford:


1.       What drew you to Old Time Radio and as a setting for your book?


I’ve loved old time radio since my eighth grade reading teacher, Sister Barbara Jean, played a cassette of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” in class. I remember that the “live broadcast” from Grovers Mill gave me chills. It was so far ahead of its time. Also around that time I happen to see Woody Allen’s “Radio Days” which is a fictionalized memoir about his childhood mixed with behind the scenes action of fictional radio programs in NYC. Something about it struck a chord me with me. Years later, I started listening to old time radio through my earbuds at my desk at work. Then when I started writing a mystery for Nanowrimo shortly after that it naturally fell together to set it in a radio station in the era that I loved.

(War of the Worlds was one of my first radio programs and I too felt the Welles passion through this production.  No movie version can touch it)

2. What do enjoy most about OTR? 

It’s such a different way of telling a story. When you're reading a book, you imagine everything – the way characters look, how they sound, you can even read their thoughts sometimes. In the movies and on TV, you don’t have to imagine much of anything. It’s all laid out for you. Radio is halfway between the two, a purely auditory medium that engages your imagination. 
 
3. Do you have a favorite Radio Program(s)? Actors/Actresses?
My favorite program, hands down, is Suspense (https://archive.org/details/SUSPENSE). And my favorite episode is “Sorry, Wrong Number” starring Agnes Moorehead. Suspense, in general, is just a consistently well-crafted 30 minutes. I particularly love OTR horror programs though - Lights Out, Beyond Midnight, Macabre, The Creaking Door, Inner Sanctum, Nightfall, The CBS Radio Mystery Theater… Funnily enough, I don’t really care for the detective shows I modeled “The Darkness Knows” after – Shhh, don’t tell Graham and Vivian.

(I love Agnes Moorehead - especially in radio as she brings the characters to life.  Sorry Wrong Number is one of my favourite along with Welles' The Hitchhiker.  I won't tell Viv and Graham - and  I am sure I listen to enough of the detective ones for both of us)

4. How did you come up Vivian?

She’s been lurking in my subconscious, I suppose. I just started writing the story and there she was on page one. I came across a tidbit about “screamers” in an old Radio Guide during my research, and so that became her specialty and what we find her doing in the very first line of the book.

(I loved learning that tidbit, and I really enjoyed her as a character)
 
5. Where do you see this series going in the future?
Oh, all kinds of places! There will be more Chicago, more radio, more bickering between Viv and Charlie… Hollywood might come knocking for Vivian at some point. And WWII is also looming on the horizon, so that opens up a lot of possibilities.
(I am so excited to hear that and am waiting...semi-patiently for the next book!)

CHERYL HONIGFORD: was born and raised in Ohio, Cheryl Honigford has been writing stories since she could read (and telling stories even before that). She received her BA in Journalism, with a minor in English, from The Ohio State University.

The Darkness Knows began life as a Nanowrimo novel, inspired by Cheryl’s love of mysteries, Chicago, and old-time radio (and all things 30s). It was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest and the overall winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense (Unpublished Category).

Cheryl lives with her family in the suburbs of Chicago where she enjoys what her husband likes to call “the interests of an 80-year-old woman” (knitting, canning, cozy mysteries, and Fred and Ginger movies). The Darkness Knows is the first book in the Viv and Charlie Mystery series.


 Thank you Cheryl and Sourcebooks for bringing OTR and Viv & Charlie in my reading life!

k (My Novelesque Life)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Last Free Flow for a bit!

MY SECRET LIFE

I am a bit of a paradox.  A bit of a...chameleon.  One of closest friends is also my cousin - younger by 18 months.  We grew up together sharing our lovely Bibi.  Our grandmother's strength, stubbornness, and selflessness has helped shape us to be feminists.  I don't know if Bibi ever knew that through her openness we could be the kind of women that chose our own path. My cousin has grown into this amazing person that has become a lot like our grandmother...whether she knows it or not.  This amazing person in my life didn't know all my secrets until recently.  If she doesn't know...a lot of other people know just a droplet of who I am.

I am a crier. I remember both my mom and Bibi saying that if I continue to feel for everything and everyone as much as I do I will always have a broken heart.  I cried when my cousins' were punished by their own parents.  I cried when I saw something unfair.  I cried at commercials where people were starving.  I'd lay awake at night wondering how could I send my dinner to people that needed it.  At a young age I wanted to be a mother to an orphanage.  I would drag my dolls and stuffies around with me like they were each my child.  And when I adopted my Cabbage Patch, Victoria, I took that role seriously.  The first moments of my life I have dreamed of having my own house, husband and baby.  At seven, I knew maybe that wasn't possible for everyone.

My paternal grandma, my step-grandfather, and half aunt and uncle left my life abruptly when I was seven.  My paternal cousins were older than me and not always interested in my "look what I can do" jumping around so I would sit with my nose in a book and also listening to the adults.  I learned a lot that way.  My dad also having lost his mother just quickly turned to his own source of coping.  And in turn my mom turned to her own way.  My younger cousins weren't really in my life in an every day way as we were all going to school now.  I realized in school being different wasn't good so I blended well in the background.  I also stop showing I care and put up a sarcastic front.  I became good at humour and being a bit of a jerk. You don't have to lie to your friends if you don't become to close.  I don't have to be sad about not having a boy like me if I don't want to get married anyway.  I can never be disappointed if I can't have kids if I  say I don't care for them and would rather adopt.  I would have a flippant attitude but always be polite.

I became really good with humour when it came to things that were painful.  I get my storytelling and acting skills from making things seem okay.  I wouldn't lie but just make everything seem positive.  Or if I couldn't do that, I would just deflect to something that was positive.  I don't really share or communicate well.  Being a Psych major I know what I should say versus what I feel.  That went on well for 28 years.  The death of a former co-worker, who was like a mom-figure at work.  We worked every Sunday together for many years.  Every Mother's Day we would do a little something as she couldn't be with her daughter for the whole day, and I couldn't be with my mom. She was one of the first people I told that I wanted to be a writer...and she believed I could do it.  When she died, I was in another job that I liked but also was stressing me out a bit as it was completely customer service based.  I was sitting at the reception desk wait for a call when I looked at my personal email and saw the news.  Several weeks later I became very ill.  I had vertigo, nausea, stomach pain, etc.  I was off work a week...and I had never taken a sick day so my co-workers were worried.  I went to a walk-in, the ER and finally my own family doctor.  I took every test to man and had every diagnosis.  Then my doctor told me, that it was not anything physical, it was mental. I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder with minor Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Fuck, I'm crazy.

Once I had a diagnosis and plan set I got better.  I found that friends will stay in your life if you let them.  I had a dream job mostly because my manager understood what I was going through, my team lead thought I could do things I didn't think I could do and my work partner complimented me perfectly.  Even with dating failures and a break up, I was doing good.  Then Bibi was diagnosed with dementia and she couldn't remember me.  My team lead and manager moved on to other jobs (jobs they deserved) and my partner was getting close to retirement.  I met Derek at this time, and while he was a calming effect on me, our schedules were off so we could barely see one another (though he would later become an apprentice for his uncle's electrician company - which is why I didn't force the money as I wanted him to be able to go to school eventually).  I took a chance on a job closer to Bibi.  I thought if I my dream job was now just okay, why not leave for another place.  I found out about the new job while I was writing an elegy for Bibi.  Derek saw me at my lowest and it made us stronger.  I had a new job and boyfriend  Life was good.  Then bullying at work (by managers - my team was amazing) plus a layoff broke me a bit...as now I had lots of time to think about Bibi not being here.  All she ever wanted was to see me marry.  She would tell me she would buy my wedding gown and jewelry and a nice gold thing for this imagined hubby.  It didn't happen. 

Feeling like a failure without a job...and no calls for interviews...I slipped into "make Derek my life." I went running over there as soon as he got home and would do what he wished.  He was good at making me feel like this was temporary and a job would be coming soon.  I knew my parents and Derek were unhappy with me taking medicine for my anxiety and that I was anxious in the first place.  I stopped taking them...everything seemed bigger and worse.  I confessed to my doctor I stopped taking them...went back on...and evened out.  I am super lucky my dosage is the lowest level and has minimal side effects because going off cold turkey without medical supervision can be deadly.  At my new job, where I worked auxiliary hours, I made friends with great people who push and support me every day to do what I want.  This is how I started blogging more.  I started to change.  I became more comfortable with me inside.  I started to believe I was worth the effort.  And, best of all I stopped taking shit from everyone.  Yes, I am not full-time employed but I am getting there in my own way.

This changed things for Derek and I because I refused to be the one who made compromises to make this relationship work.  I started to demand my loan to be payed back and separate of our relationship.  I stood up and said I want to be in a relationship with him alone, in a space that is not shared by our parents.  I want some changes now, as it has been 4 years of the same way that is not working for either of us.  I became the feminist that scares him.  I'm not anti-men...I am for everyone being treated with the same rights.  I want my voice to be heard and count.  He thinks I should just go along when people make comments that are not right...including when someone makes a comment about us being an interracial couple.  I own my anxiety...and will not hide anymore because it makes me stronger. (I know many of you wondered about the ring he mentioned in his post.  He had not started to pay me back and asked to continue not paying me back so he could save up for a ring.  I told him he wasn't paying me so I assumed that he was saving up in general.  No ring or big repayment or moving out.  FYI: I picked out several rings for under a grand.)   In fact, the thing that is pissing him off right now is that I am talking at all - about him, us and even myself.  I'm not writing this to make him feel bad or make him seem like a bad person.  I am writing this because I am tired of being made to feel like what I have to say or feel is wrong.  I know other than my friends, no one cares about my relationship.  I am not sharing to make anyone uncomfortable.  I am sharing it to hopefully let people know that if they are going through anything of what I did...you are not alone.  Even as I share this, I probably won't talk about it and will continue to deflect to funnier or more positive things. 

I know how my friends feel - that I am not cherished and should look out for me...and I will get there. This is my story...my feelings...my perception...my heart. I have always needed validation and a pat on the back to know I matter...this is my own journey to that.  I had hoped that Derek could accept and love me for me but I realize I have to  demand that rather than just hope.  And, I am going to lean on and impose on my friends to get to where I am supposed to go. 

Now you know some of it...there is a lot more I won't share...just because I won't.  A lot of of what I am releasing from my heart is the broken bits and parts I want to fix.  I have not shared all the great things in the relationship with you all.  And I do think he is wonderful guy who is every bit as lost, broken and stuck in his ways like me - but he is incredibly brilliant at creating things, understanding complicated electrical things, making you feel like you are special, a good cook and can be funny and silly when his guard is down.  He gets down and plays with his brother's dog and is a good uncle to his niece when she comes over to his and his mom's place.  When he not angry about my reading and writing he is supportive.  He buys me loose tea and already made tea to make me happy.  He encourages me to buy a treat for myself so I can be happy.  I was willing to overlook his smoking, some bad habits I won't reveal, and his mom to have a future with him.  The first one I will still overlook but the "price of admission" for love has only gotten higher on my end.  I think I am going to take a break from free flow essays for a bit...but I promise book reviews and my OWN FICTION!

k (My Novelesque Life)

Quick Review on Wooing Wednesday: Unlocking Worlds







UNLOCKING WORLDS: A READING COMPANION FOR BOOK LOVERS
Written by Sally Allen
2015; 246 Pages
Griffins Wharf
Genre: literature, nonfiction

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★★
 
What do I love more than books? Books discussing books!  I enjoyed Sally Allen's look at her journey of reading.  Allen is a writer and teacher...and a reader.  With each of her points she shares her own personal story of reading.  The fact that Allen keeps a book in her purse, makes her my kind of gal.  Reading may start out as a solitary imaginative ride it can grow into a community activity by sharing words, ideas and connections.  It is a hard book to rate as it give each reader their own insight.  I enjoyed it, would read certain sections over again, I would recommend and buy this as a gift for book lovers so I would give it four stars.

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k (My Novelesque Life)

Update: The Missing Boyfriend...Time seems to make it worse



God, I am turning into the Taylor Swift of writing.  Well, I have only written about one boyfriend, and only because I have been second, third guessing my feelings...this free flow ramble actually relieves my anxious feelings.  I can't talk to anyone without their well intention advice.  I just need to unload without knowing how crazy I really am right now.  I can't talk to my boyfriend either - as he has frozen me out and may be dating someone else right now.  Ha, I  know!!!!

First, to my friends, I am okay.  Well, I am okay as I always have been.  I have been in this place for a few years but have not said anything out loud.  I know this heartache sounds new and you want me to stop hurting...be the strong person I appear.  Here's the thing...I choose to be where I am. (I blame no one for where I am now).  I made the decisions that led to these consequences.  I am a smart person and I can save the world, but I cannot save myself or stop loving Derek.  He's not answering any of my contact so maybe his rejection will force me to heal with time.  Seeing him happy with someone who is not me may cause me to understand that to me, I lost the love of my life.  I have seen her picture and while I am not envious of her looks because she looks like every other girl, but it hurts nonetheless.

I am fat - a lot due to laziness and eating bad things - but I am heavy.  I am not the girl who ever gets noticed by my looks - I am not the kind girl guys want to show off to people.  I am not the smartest, and no longer am as successful as I thought I would be.  I have a mental illness - anxiety - that I will always have to deal with.  I would probably have a better life if I didn't live in books and TV shows to block out bad things. (Yeah, I sure know how to sell myself).  She is all the things that I am not - in Derek's opinion.  What I do have...is a personality unlike anyone else, I can make friends no matter the situation and everyone wants me on their useless trivia team.  I know more about actual books than most librarians.  I will always look young, and have great eyebrows and eyes.  My pride never gets in the way of trying to earn a living (or much of anything)- and I always work hard.  And, my anxiety well it makes me a great person with details (organization is definitely forte).  There are many things I would change about myself except my parents (good or bad they have been there the best they can), my friends (I'm not always reliable because of my anxiety but they are always there) and my hope (of the world will always be better). 

What I would change in a heartbeat is my gullibility and getting attached.  I trusted Derek with my heart and everything really.  I don't know if he has been honest with this other girl, but I'm not sure where she would think he went all this time he was with me.  I don't blame her for any of this because only Derek can make his decisions.  All is fair in love and war, it's said so maybe I should get over it and move on.

My maternal grandmother married my grandfather without much choice.  I know they loved and respected one another.  They had seven children they choose to parent together.  My grandfather died when my mom was still a young girl.  My grandmother never remarried or had another relationship.  She was happy to have found the one and focused on the product of that union.  Even with her dementia she would mention him.  My parents were married in their teens.  My dad couldn't speak Punjabi, and my mom couldn't speak English  but they could understand each other's language and communicated well.  My mom had no one here and my dad took responsibility for my mom's well-being here.  They have gone through horrible times and good times...never giving up on each other.  Things are not perfect still...but they work at it because at the end of the day they love each other.

It is with that love that I love Derek. I have choosen to stay with him through everything he has gone through and think he is a strong person. When the first bad thing happened...I thought I can deal with this for him.  He has the potential to be such a great man if he thought he could do it and didn't think I was waiting for him to mess up.  Although when I hurt I do what to say to push his hurt buttons too.  I am not perfect.  I know my friends think I deserve better and should move on.  But when you find the one and give him the one thing you can only give once to a person - how can you move on? If you love someone how do you find someone else to love?  And this may be what I deserve.  So, I don't know...I guess Derek (and this other girl) will be deciding my future.  I am a survivor, I want the best for everyone,  and I have strong views on right and wrong...but when it comes to Derek...well-meaning words will fall on deaf ears... How can everything be okay in your life and the one bad thing drags you down?

I should get to sleep.

Night
k (My Novelesque Life)


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Another Song I Butcher


I have never been a fan of Justin Bieber, so was very surprised how much I liked this song.  Ed Sheeran co-wrote this song...ah!  Here is my version....

LOVE YOURSELF
For all the times that you rain on my parade
And all the stuff you bought using my savings
You think you broke my heart, oh, boy you haven't stopped
You think I'm crying on my own. Well, I ain't
And I didn't wanna write a song
'Cause I didn't want anyone knowing the real you. 
But you turned me into the crazy one
And, baby, you be movin' on
But I think you should have told me first
Maybe you should know that
My mama don't like you and she likes everyone
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
And I've been so caught up in life,
Didn't see what's going on
But now I know,
I'm better counting on my own
'Cause if you like the way you look that much
Oh, baby, you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still not worth it
You should go and love yourself
And when you told me that you hated my friends
The only problem was with you and not them
And every time you told me my opinion was wrong
And tried to make me forget where I came from
And I didn't wanna write a song
'Cause I didn't want anyone knowing the real you. 
But you turned me into the crazy one
And, baby, you be movin' on
But I think you should have told me first
Maybe you should know that
My mama don't like you and she likes everyone
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
And I've been so caught up in life,
Didn't see what's going on
But now I know,
I'm better counting on my own
'Cause if you like the way you look that much
Oh, baby, you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still not worth it
You should go and love yourselfFor all the times that you made me feel small
I fell in love. Now I feel worse of all
And never felt so low when I was vulnerable
Was I a fool to let you break down my walls?
'Cause if you like the way you look that much
Oh, baby, you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I'm still not worth it
You should go and love yourself



(Original song:Written by Benny Blanco, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group)

Release Day with The One Man






THE ONE MAN
Written by Andrew Gross
August 23, 2016; 432 Pages
Minotaur Book, St Martin's Press
Genre: historical fiction, WWII, suspense

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★  

 "1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man." (From Publisher)

I have read a few books by Andrew Gross and on the whole have enjoyed them.  He is a great action writer.  When I read his novels I can see it all take place in mind like a movie.  In fact, I am sure Goss's novels would make screenplays.  The One Man doesn't disappoint.  I enjoyed the book but at times I thought it lacked a bit of character warmth.  There is so much going on...in different countries and different characters...it feels like I am missing something.  I gave this book a three because while I enjoyed the book, I felt like this story had sort of been done before and this book doesn't add to the genre.  I also thought the ending was a bit rushed and too pat.  It is a good read for what it is.

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k (My Novelesque Life)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Slight Hesitation...

Tonight I watched Episode One/ Season Two of Wallander and I found it very interesting so thought I would share my thoughts with you. In this episode Kurt Wallander meets his daughter, Linda's boyfriend, Jamal.  Jamal is an intern doctor and his family is from Syria.  Wallander asks Linda if his family is from here (Sweden) and she gives him a look that is priceless.  The next case that Kurt gets involves an elderly couple being murdered.  Her last words are to Kurt who think she said "foreigner".  Suddenly, this case is about race when "foreigner" is leaked to the press.  I won't get into it any further in case you want to see the show but it was a fascinating episode. Kurt does ask why it matters who Jamal is other than the man that makes his daughter smile.  At the end of the episode he is talking to a friend and admits that while Jamal is just the kind of man he would want his daughter with...he hesitated when he met him.

When I started dating the boyfriend I remember him telling me that his mother was worried for him dating me...because I was Punjabi.  What would my culture demand and how would we be treated along with our kids (turns out she saw a mixed child and my baby pictures so it's okay now).  And, I know both him and I get asked "how does her/your parents feel about you dating outside the culture."  People tend to forget that I was born and raised Canadian so I identify more with my peers than my background culture. 
Linda and Jamal
My parents never had a problem with me dating anyone as long as they had the same values and treated me right.  I grew up watching Hollywood and all my crushes in school were someone other than Punjabi. Guys I dated were interested in my background but because it was a part of me and they wanted it to be a part of them.  Even the boyfriend has been pretty good in trying to get to know that side of my life and has even (on his own) volunteered to go to a Sikh parade (even I don't attend).  In argument, shit gets said.  I try to let a lot of that "she said/he said" stuff roll off.  Sometimes, though I don't admit to out loud, I get a bit pissed when someone says something about the Punjabi culture. And, so when he said his mother always said warned him about my culture.  And, he admitted that a guy at work warned him off dating my kind. 

It's a bit weird knowing that my skin colour makes people hesitate.  I think to myself what is it about my kind that would scare people or make them want to hesitate.  I know we get a bad rep for not wanting to date out of culture, but when my family met Derek, they were more than welcoming.  I was on pins and needles because everyone was meeting him at my cousin's wedding in a Gurdwara.  My aunts and uncles were hugging him...like we were suddenly in a scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I know we have a rep for father's bringing out their shotgun and getting their daughters married off to the first boy they speak.  My dad and my mom, hearing how I was being treated, was telling me there were other fish in the sea.  It is I who am clutching to the he's my first and forever.  While I haven't pushed for marriage - except the last year- I also don't want to stay stagnant.  For me to move in with him I feel I need a commitment.  I loaned him money to pay for every day stuff thinking I was investing in my future and saw it as a commitment to him.  I relaxed on some of my own beliefs to compromise to a new life.

 I cannot say I regret things, as I learned big lessons, but I also can't say I am glad I did it because of the consequences.  For example, hearing that your boyfriend's mom is "okay" with you being coloured and from an oppressive culture.  After awhile "your people" does get a bit on the nerve (even if not meant in malice, it's the "you are not like us").  I have to admit though, I was looking for her approval so I never spoke up, and even worse I would agree with things.  It wasn't all bad.  His aunt Colleen made up for everyone else.  She never asked me about my "culture" or anything to do with my race.  She was always complimenting me and making me feel good about myself.  She was the one who told Derek he had a keeper and should make things work.  She's the type of woman who is so non-judgemental that you can't help but admire. 

Sorry this turned out to be a ramble...just feeling a bit blue today.  I have not heard from Derek at all since the day I posted The Missing Boyfriend.  So we haven't technically broken up....we continue to be in this no man's land.  And, I am not sure what is going on - I have tried to contact him, but he's brooding.  Don't feel too sorry for him...he has company, I bet (more on her in another post).  Thanks to those who are reading this.  It gives me objective insight to my own life and I hope I can get stronger and demand what I am worth.  It also breaks the years of silence.  To keep silent about things has only made me sick because you can internalize so much.  I am also hoping that Derek can read this and see what exactly trying to say - it's not a blame game...it's this is how I feel how do WE fix it.  I invite him to share his feelings and what points I am missing. I have many flaws, that I know, lol.  Going to go start a new book...that always keeps the trembling hands busy.

Night <3

k (My Novelesque Life)


Book Blog Tour for A Promise of Fire



A PROMISE OF FIRE
(The Kingmaker Chronicles: #1)
Written by Amanda Bouchet
August 2, 2016; 448 Pages
Sourcebook Casablanca
Genre: fantasy, romance, fiction

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)



"Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her." (From Publishers)
 
Oooooo with a tagline and cover like that how can I not be interested in this book.  While I am not an avid fantasy fanatic, I do enjoy a good magical novel.  I started this novel with great anticipation, espcially since it was also labeled a good romance.  Alas, I could not get into the world and characters created by Amanda Bouchet.  Cat tries to be a strong female lead but then becomes stuck in a bizarre relationship where she is constantly controlled in one way another.  This novel reminds me a bit of the Kresly Cole's Immortals After Dark series but without the humour and sarcasm.  I read IAF in a binge read as it was something different I had not read and it was well-written.  Bouchet's book tries to be like that but I think falls a bit short.  I also could not root for the hero, Griffin, as he just seemed like a big bully without and redemption in my opinion.  I started to skim about 25% in as I promised I would read it for reviewing.  Usually, I give a series 2 or 3 books to decide whether to read or not...but I am making a decision not to continue based on where the series seems to be going (based on the synopsis of book two).  This novel does seem to have mixed reviews so you may want to give it the 50 pages test to see if this book is for you.  What you get in the first chapter is how it continues to the end.

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k (My Novelesque Life)

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Saturday Short Prose

First, my heart speeds up so that it feels like I can hear the beats and feel it pumping to fast.  My stomach starts to churn like it wants to devour itself.  My chest feels tingly till it starts to burn and I can feel the warmth crawl down my arms.  My head pounds like all my thoughts need to escape.  If I can't think it...will this all stop.  I need to lay down the room is spinning and I feel nausea spread.  Now all I can think is that I need to vomit...but I don't want to...and start to dry heave.  I can hear words bounce of me so that the words strung together fall apart.  I need to focus.  I need to take a proper breath.  One. Two. Three.

I need to be alone. I need a hug that holds on until the shaking goes away.  I need to be alone.

The world feels big and so small.  I can't take the next...correction...I don't want to take the next breath.  If I don't breathe I won't feel...feel all that is around.  The sadness.  Loneliness.  Pain.  I'm an other.  I'm not here.

I am not normal.
I am not like everyone else.
I am trouble.
I am a waste of time.
Unworthy of you.


Because you don't see me
because you stop loving me
because I no longer exist for you
because you can leave
I still feel
I still love
I still hope.

I am here
I am breathing
I am hurting
I am still here.


k (My Novelesque Life)

Quick Review: Short Stories Saturday: Not Quite so Stories






NOT QUITE SO STORIES
Written by David S. Atkins
March 2016; 166 Pages
Literary Wanderlust

(I received an ARC from the AUTHOR in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★


"The traditional explanation for myth (including such works as the relatively modern Just so Stories by Rudyard Kiping) is an attempt by humans to explain and demystify the world. That's crap. We may be able to come to terms with small pieces, but existence as a whole is beyond our grasp. Life is absurd, ultimately beyond our comprehension. The best we can do is to proceed on with our lives in the face of that. The stories in this collection proceed from this idea, examining how the different characters manage (and/or fail) to do this." (From Publishers)

Not Quite so Stories is an interesting collection of stories. Atkinson seems to take a different approach to the "what's next" in a story.  I enjoyed a few of the stories more than others, but it was interesting to read on the whole.  I would recommend this collection to those that enjoy shorter prose and want something a bit different.

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k (My Novelesque LIfe)

Quick Review: Sting



STING
Written by Sandra Brown 

August 16, 2016; 400 Pages
Grand Central Publishing
Genre: romantic suspense, mystery, fiction

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★

Shaw is a hitman hired by another to help with a hit.  The hit is a woman, Jordie Bennet.  She is beautiful and mouthy, as per Shaw.  He decides to turn on his partner and kidnap Jordie for a bigger payout.  Jordie, is the older sister of Josh Bennet, who has escaped police custody and is on the run.  He and his boss have embezzled 30 million dollars and for a lighter sentence Josh admitted to the crime.  Having second thoughts Josh decides to go on his own.  Shaw is hoping he can get the 30 million in exchange for Jordie.  But the sparks between her and Shaw just might change his plan.

The "mystery" of who Shaw really is, in my opinion, is easy to figure out as Brown drops a few details. (I will not say what in case you want to read this book and figure out the secret).  From a few pages in I was just waiting to see how the secret would be revealed.  In romances for a happy ending the "hero" must redeem himself if he is not the straight up guy in the beginning.  While it was an easy book to read I found this novel, just okay.  I miss the "pow" factor like in her earlier books.

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k (My Novelesque Life)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Free Flow Friday: Judge Thee

I always saw myself as blue or green....oooo, a nice teal would so be me.  I never expected orange.  It doesn't even have a rhyming word.  I don't even know if I own anything orange.  See, this is my problem...I cannot just say, "yes, I am bright orange and all the good stuff about me is true." I don't like orange, well except the fruit, so therefore it is something bad.  No, I must dissect and analyze.  When I hear I compliments I make an excuse why it is fluke. No, it's not that people trust me it's just that I'm there when they need to talk.  It's not humility as much as disbelief.

I miss the 5 year old (and younger) me.  The fearless I am the "queen" of the playhouse me.  Every day in kindergarten I would go to the playhouse for playtime.  I would direct everyone on how to play "house" properly.  And, oddly people complied.  I sounded like I knew my shit.  At times that part does come out but not as often as I would wish it would.  It's like if I need that part to come out I have to "act" like that person rather than just, ta-da, I am confident and wise.

On any given day you can wear the same same outfit all day long and be in the same mood with five different people and be described in five various ways.  Looking at myself through my Bibi's eyes I see that I am a lovable can-do-no-wrong (except stay single...that is very wrong) ball of awesomeness.  In my mother's eyes I am a miracle so while she loves me to bits and would never trade me in for anyone else, she does wish I was skinnier, more successful, and married with kids.  My cousin who's trade is in beauty sees me as just as pretty as any actress, and brilliant.  In a former manager I remember seeing that I was mess when it came to emotions - my own and being to kind to those under my supervision.  When my ex looked at me I felt beautiful, smart and very funny until I wasn't anymore.  In the boyfriend's eyes I see myself as smart but unsuccessful, cute but has potential for more once I lose weight and crazy as Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Would it surprise you that I was extremely thin as a child? I stopped eating because I couldn't eat.  Now it makes sense that it was due to my anxiety, but at that time it was diagnosed.  You could see how the bones in my kneecaps worked.  I was called bony, and had battles at the dinner table.  I think of it as one of my worst times. Would it surprise you to know I was scouted in a mall to be a model when I was a skeleton?  I had the "look" - thin, eyes, cheekbones and "exotic" look.  They wanted to pay for my lessons and everything.  Being a bit more fearless at that time, I said "I want to be an actress, please." Suffice to say I did neither.

I hit puberty and well, goodbye undershirt and hello B-size bra.  Since then, age 12, I have been dieting and exercising in some way - on and off.  I have always believed, though never vocalized, that being thinner would make my life better. I would be thinner which would make me prettier...I would look better in my clothes and I would be into clothes instead of books.  Not sticking my nose in a book would mean I would go to parties, hang with popular girls, have guys want me...which would lead me to a better job, a husband and children.  Right?  It makes sense.  Thin means happy.  Sometimes I think I am so weird to compensate

At 13 I was listening to opera and the symphony on CBC Radio while reading a book.  I would write short stories, plays, and poems while acting out the scenes in my room.  At 16 while most girls had celebrities of the month on their wall I had Marlon Brando.  I didn't even like Marilyn Monroe because it was cool, but because I understand her childhood and how she evolved fascinated the writer and psych major in me.   On my nightstand, besides the boyfriend's picture, is my copy of the complete Shakespeare.  I bought it when I was 14 from London Drugs and I keep it there in case I had a panic attack and need to calm down.  I can go in front of a crowd and talk about whatever, but the thought of going to a small party and making small talk freaks me out.

And when I freak out it means I am scared or frustrated so I get a bit angry too fast.  I also forget what I am angry about just as quickly.  But I can say things in the heat of the moment I should have kept inside.  Not so much to hurt the person but because my mind gets clouded and my filter vanishes.  My anxiety issue - well that's a big problem in it's self.  Who wants to be friends or dating someone who has eccentricities. Driving and parking make me nervous.  So I will often say no to things I do want to do, but don't want to bother anyone asking for a ride or direct directions.  Sometimes the world becomes too big and I can't go out because it feels like my skin is burning.  I am bad at asking for help.  I always feel like I am bothering someone or in someone's way.  I will just figure it out myself...or not.  As you already guessed, I have a control problem - things in their place, a way to do things and follow the rules.  Uggggh, my worse trait... I cannot stand purposely slow or lazy people.  I also cannot control my face at times.  I also have a habit of over-smiling and being too friendly...it comes off patronizing to some.  I talk weird...and I have to swear on purpose as I don't really swear.  Fine, since I am bearing all...I am a prude.  I skip over the sex scenes in books (except Forever as that was my first sex scene and I was very curious as to what was going on) and HBO shows.  I don't like to discuss personal sex stuff but also am too scared to stop anyone else.  I would like to think I am an adventuress person - but I believe in the hokey one person forever thing.  While I never judge anyone else on anything...I judge myself harshly on what is proper and not.

I know some people judge the boyfriend harshly about being disappointed with my weight.  I was skinnier when we met, and now look like I am pregnant and showing.  After dating for a bit I realized he like skinny girls that wear a lot of make up and look gorgeous at all times.  And, why shouldn't he.  He's handsome and he should pick his type.  I just wish I knew that earlier.  If you judge him, you have to judge me too.  Right at the beginning, because I'd rather just tell the bad stuff first, I told him what I was looking for in a partner.  I wanted someone who lived on their own, and never planned to live with their parents.  Obviously that is cutting out a lot of my Indian background.  While I have been on dates with Indian guys I have only been in relationships with non-Indian men.  I have a type as well.  And, what we are arguing about right now is the issue of him still living with his mom.  So if I judge him on that, fair is fair.   And, he has the right to want better if he chooses, especially if the person he is with thinks he can do better too.

I am sure I had some point with this free flow but have veered off, lol.  I guess it comes to down to...do what you need to so you can get up every morning with some glee.  And, yes this piece is an offering in place of a book review.  This heat is driving me to just waste my time on the computer.  Going to go read some now...

Night!
k (My Novelesque Life)

Happy Rakhri!

I can feel that hard knot in my stomach build up again.  It is the one day of the year I dread for holidays - worse than Valentine's Day (single or not).  It is Rakhri day - a day that girls visit their brothers to cement their relationship of being siblings.  When I was kid, I didn't have brothers (or sisters) so my cousins would step in for the holiday.  A few years ago I just stopped participating.  I love my little cousins to bits, but since we started going to school we started to drift away.  In an emergency I wouldn't want to bother them and I am sure they feel the same - and they all have siblings who they probably call anyway.  My two older male cousins are kind but again when it comes to siblings meeting up they do so, just the three of them.  Being Indian we always say we are close as siblings but due to the fact we all lived a bit away from each other we drifted.  That's life.  YET, when shit goes down bad, we all hail home, differences aside. 

The boyfriend has a very close relationship with his brother.  They see each other twice a week to hang out and grew up being each other's best friend.  I remember several months into our relationship I told him he was lucky to have a brother. He was first going to joke, but then looked over at me and
saw that I was being completely serious and softly replied, "I know."  I remember that moment so
clearly because it was a moment we were vulnerable.  If  I am honest I did hope that I would have gotten close with his brother...or even one of my cousins, because I do miss the relationships of our youth. (More on this in later posts).

The last few years it has been easier to let go of this tradition because I had him, and he used to make me so calm that I forgot I was alone. I could unburden myself to someone who wanted to carry the load and my anxiety weighed less on my heart.  I miss that more than I want to admit.  When one overthinks all the time they need some help, lol.  Or read, and have imagined siblings. 

Today I woke feeling a bit low...then I heard from my two friends who know more about me than my own mom probably does.  I realized then that I am never alone.  No matter what is going on in their life and where they are...these two gals will contact me back in hours.  If they don't hear from me in a few days; or I write something I think I am masking myself well they call me on it.  They are always thinking I am better than I probably am, but also tell me the truth.  I have sisters.  Not by blood but by love and respect.  SO today while Indian girls are tying colourful strings on their brothers and getting money in blessing...I smiled all day long because I may not have brothers but I have the best soulmates as friends.

Sorry I don't have any book review today, but I spent some time playing a word game, listening to Let George Do It (Old Time Radio), watching Outlander and only some reading.

k


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Wooing Wednesday with Daughters of the Bride


DAUGHTER OF THE BRIDE
(Los Lobos: #3; Standalone)
Written by Susan Mallery
July 12, 2016; 400 Pages
Harlequin
Genre: contemporary romance, fiction

(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS and NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★★

After 24 years of being a widow, Maggie is getting married and her daughters could not be happier for their mother.  Rachel, the eldest, cannot get over her ex-husband, Greg.  Greg was Rachel's first and only love and broke her heart by cheating on her.  They share a young son so Greg is forever in her life.  After hurting her back again, Greg starts to step up.  Sienna has been engaged twice and soon finds herself engaged again.  She cannot say no to David as he proposes at her mother's engagement party in front of everyone.  And, saying no now means another failure.  Courtney, the youngest, has always been underestimated so it's no surprise she doesn't have great confidence in herself.  She is trying to get her diploma in Business, while secretly coordinating her mother's wedding, and trying to have no strings fling with Quinn.   Can they all find their happily ever after...or at least be in the same room without fighting...as the wedding approaches?

First...this novel is technically the third book in Mallery's Los Lobos series but other than Gracie making a very small appearance there is no real connection.  I rarely say this...but this time this novel could be read as a standalone.

Second...I have been a reading sort of funk.  Nothing is really agreeing with me, and Susan Wigg's Family Tree had me right turned off with the romance.  And, if you read my last two personal essays you can guess romance in general might turn me off.  So on my day off today I went out to the deck and read this book in one setting. It was exactly what I needed...a good book with fun characters trying to figure out the same stuff I am.  I am a bit envious of the ending, but I kind of needed the HEA (Happily Ever After) today.  I would recommend this book for a summer read....as August comes to an end.

Third...on Instagram I posted this picture:








And, Susan Mallery wished me "Happy reading!"

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k (My Novelesque Life)




 

Quick Review: Fun Summer Read for New Readers



THE JOLLEY-ROGERS AND THE GHOSTLY GALLEON
(The Jolley-Rogers: #1)
Written by Jonny Duddle
2014 (Reissued August 2, 2016); 160 Pages
Candlewick
Genre: children's, pirates, easy readers

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★★★
 

I enjoyed this cute chapter book.  I loved the illustrations  - which there are many of and gives you a feeling of a long picture book.  This is a perfect book for little readers graduating from picture books to easy readers to easy chapter books.  With quirky lovable characters, pirates and mysteries this will be a hit for the whole family.

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k (My Novelesque Life)

The Missing Boyfriend...Spotted



My boyfriend that takes two hours to respond to my "hi" text actually read my blog and supported me by commenting on my Instgram account with his point of view.  (I have not edited anything - left spelling as is):
She's right every situation has a story and this is mine...I don't normally do this but people close to me said I should have my peace!no I might seem like I don't want people in my life or to hear my side bit honestly I've been backed into a corner..the one girl I wanted to myself had my painted as this un..understanding male in her life which is a totally lie...the one who speaks of me now is not the one I fell in lone with....and yes I don't do the social media thing cause I think the world had enough on their plate! !! Then to have to deal with another couple fighting....don't get me wrong I loved this girl....not negative posts and all but just her...I'm not the guy to win everyone's hearts it was hers I was going for....relationships are hard enough...but to please everyone in life I'd hard....yes I'm still with my mother at home and she is sick unable to work...but why must that be a point one points out to make fun of me and or what type of man I could be??? There are txt I will not get into but I'm the most worst person but yet she wants to be with me......I'm her first but has called me I'm like every other guy...I'm can't love someone who I opened my life to only to make fun of every person I involved my life with her.....my trust wasn't good and I see what is out there now...I never didn't want her to do well....never...it was the negativity from her in the writing I didn't like...I was willing 1.5 years ago to commit to her but when you txt hurtful things I'm only human and I will not get into that I was suppose to be your one and only why????

My response:
There you guys are the other side of the story...I'm hearing it for the first time. You mom broke her collarbone 13 years ago and if she goes back her pay will go down as her job had changed. I never knew she was sick and was unable to work. I'm very sorry to hear that. When we discussed marriage I wasn't aware we were going to be living with her. You always just said us. I also didn't know we were engaged 1.5 years ago. I must have missed the sparkler on my finger. Of course I said mean things in text...we are arguing...that's kind of the point. My point in the free flow essay...which yay you actually read 🙌🏽😊 was that I was lied to going into this relationship and no promises have been kept. And while working auxiliary hours I was supporting both of us on my savings. I have not just not had your support in my new career but put down for my weight,looks, culture and anxiety. I am not perfect as we all know but I put my heart on my sleeve and am honest as I can be and to fault to forgiving and fault myself a lot. I've forgiven cheating, aggression and being inserted into family situations that aren't mine. And even blamed myself for being less of a woman and gf. I wanted support for the things I am good and loved for myself even my flaws and my anxiety. I don't make fun of your situation of living with your mom because I know you are in debt, but that you don't let me help you figure out a way to save as I'm good that kind of stuff. Thank you for commenting on my post as j always appreciate when readers let me know what they think and my writing had moved them. 💕

 Yesterday, when I wrote my free flow piece, I did not really have any expectations when I wrote it - which is mostly what happens when I write these.  I wrote what I felt at that time because writing in free flow style is my most honest writing. I don't edit or censor myself. I am so used to not sharing anything and keeping my stuff to myself.  I have done so to the point where my emotions have turned into physical sickness.   My point in putting this on my blog, instead of just as a personal diary, is work on writing and myself.  I am not looking to be famous or sharing for the sake of getting people to feel bad for me (or side with me).  I am flawed.  I make mistakes.  I say things I don't mean when I feel hurt, angry or frustrated.  I can be judgemental on certain things.  I see more of my bad than good, one hurtful comment tears down the million compliments that built my confidence.  SO, having a response to my post thrills me because I get a response that is cemented.

When I visit the boyfriend, I also see his mother - it has been a different experience for me.  I, too live with my parents, but he has only met them about 6 times - two being a wedding and funeral.  My parents and I are close but they have their own stuff going on especially now that my dad had retired and they are always off on some adventure or landscaping.  I spent most of my time driving to the boyfriend's house.  His mom rents most of the upstairs with the boyfriend having two of the four rooms and use of kitchen and bathroom.  Most of our time was spent in one room when we were at home.  Because the boyfriend's mom does not work she too was home a lot of the time.  Therein lies the "three's company" thing.  When you date a guy you go out of your way to be kind to his mother, laugh at her jokes, hold your tongue at comments you don't agree with and NEVER tell your boyfriend the things she says about him.  My parents will tell you the truth about me, but actually think what they are saying is always good - and they will usually say it to my face, lol. We have had an interesting lives the three of us - good and bad - but we made the choices we did and that is on us.  The boyfriend's mother liked me and felt at ease I guess because she would tell me everything.  It got to a point where it became a bit uncomfortable being alone with her.  She would tell me things and the boyfriend would tell me something else.  It became a game of who was I to trust.  Seeing her every time I saw him, and him telling her everything we do, it was like being in a relationship with two people.  Which you think being Indian I would totally understand.  I am only child that has been around more adults than kids.  I like my own space and time.  The one awesome thing about my parents is that I can have an off day walk in look at them and then go to my space.  When I ready to see people they are there for me.  When I get home after dealing with people for 8 hours I need quiet time.  When I went to visit my boyfriend I had to be social because it is not just him.  And, because it's not your parent they are not going to be as forgiving.  And, I will probably be over the next day so I cannot avoid it.

Almost everyone in my family has lived with their mother-in-law.  Even my cousins from my generation.  After hearing about my own paternal grandmother's treatment of my mom and aunt, I was very sure I did NOT want a live-in mom.  My aunts and mom would cluck and say, "you have to, we did." HA! Darn, they were right...and darn, so was I.  Not that the boyfriend's mother is not a good person.  It's the lack of privacy and having a whole space to yourself.  When we met - I was in my early 30s and had some rules.  Non-smoker, saving for future, and must live alone.  It wasn't until our date (and we were friends for a year) that I discovered his mom lived with him.  It was the my mom is a widow and needs to share rent.  By date 4 - on her telling of the story - it was the boyfriend living with her because she was on disability and he never moved out - and both lived paycheck to paycheck.  So okay, I should have gotten smart then.  But of course being Indian, and having two parents who were in their 60s and I fully intend to care for if/when they needed it, who I to judge.  See what non-judging can lead to?! There was then a plan...he would move out, we'd get engaged and find a place and happily ever after, ta-da! Instead 4.5 years later we are in the same boat.  I did not foresee me losing my job so the money I saved for a down payment was now living expenses.  And, him staying at my place to save rent was not an option he wanted.  As much I love him, staying on at his place paying rent would never work.  Due to my phobia of other's housecleaning and sinking money into rent instead of saving we are at an impasse.  Since December 2015, I have refused to stay over there.  I want change.  I want to progress into the future.  I want to not drive there and back every weekend and not have it being seen as not being motivated, but rather I want more compromise.  I also just want to be in a relationship with the boyfriend.  If he's not dating my parents I feel I should not have to date his.  When "I'm going to tell my mom what you just said.  My mom and brother don't like... My mom says I can do better... If I tell my mom she won't like you..." becomes an actual statement from someone's mouth....TIME TO THINK who am I in a relationship with and even the comment above from his at his mother's urging.

As I write this free flow rant...and I am thinking of my friends reading this - some that I have never told some of this stuff to...I am a bit embarrassed.  For so long I have avoided saying I am a feminist because I felt I wasn't good enough for the title.  And when I got to the point I could say that I fell in love and let it consume me - like I'm living in a Twilight series.  He thinks I have let feminism turn me into a shrew and I am not agreeable and shoot off my mouth (which I do - a lot).  I lived the responsible be good life until I reached 30, and seem to be making mistakes I should have made as a teen and 20s now.  I can just ask my friends to be patient and I WILL figure my shit out...I just hope I can still have your respect at the end of this tunnel.

RANT OVER.

k

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

August 2016 Book Club Book




ORPHAN TRAIN
Written by Christine Baker Kline
2013; 278 Pages
William Morrow
Genre: historical fiction, contemporary, history, fiction

BOOK CLUB - AUGUST BOOK




"Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.

Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both." (From Publisher)
 First of all, I am probably in the minority when I say that this was just an okay read.  I have heard of orphan trains from my history class in university, so I was really looking forward to this book.  Actually, I am the one that suggested it to my book club because I had heard good things.  I do want to read more on this subject - whether fiction or nonfiction - in the future.  The best moment in the book was when Baker Kline described the orphans and the process they had to go through. 

I never really related to Molly as one of the main character so that may have been one of the reasons the book didn't work for me.  I also felt like we never really got to know Vivian - just a moment in her life.  We rushed through her teens and early adulthood and got a smidge about her later life.  I always felt a little on the outside - as if I was hearing this account third-hand.  By 75% I was just reading to finish the book for book club.  BUT people love this book so I will leave it up to you, as usual :)

k (My Novelesque Life)



Monday, 15 August 2016

The Missing Boyfriend


You may or may not have noticed but on my various social media accounts there is a certain person missing...the boyfriend.  He has a Facebook account but uses it mostly to watch odd videos...and we are not FB friends (gasp)! To be honest, I was not much of a social media user until I started by blog last year.  It was only supposed to be a platform to "advertise" my posts, but once I opened up to myself and being authentic I found myself loving it.  It was social media that motivated my personal writing.  People were actually liking what I had to say and how I wrote it.  Soon, friends, coworkers, family, and my parents were starting to see me as more than a book reader.  The bf, unfortunately is not very supportive of this new turn in my life.

I do see his point about safety.  Putting my thoughts and pictures out there does open the door to people doing nefarious things.  I have done things that I regret in life but I stand by my mistakes and have tried to turn them into lessons learned.  And, after many years of keeping whatever secrets in my life, I have nothing to hide or be embarrassed about.  But he has the right to feel how he does so I will not be posting anything about him and him and I.

What I don't agree with him about is that putting myself, my book life, blog, pictures of mostly things I do and am proud of - makes me less special.  In his opinion, all one has to do is follow me on social media and they know me and my life.  Ergo, what about me would make me special to get to know? I am not a popular person on social media but people that follow me choose to do so because they have things in common with me or like what I have to say about books and other randoms things. 

When I met him, I had just broken up with an ex, and Bibi was delving further into dementia.  Then she died and I was laid off from work.   My dad and I have always had a complicated relationship and it was pretty complicated at that point.  My cousin,who is also my best friend, and I had a falling out for a few years. I lost myself - my confidence, my light and my voice. I needed someone to hold me up and get me day to day.  He was that person for me.  I can write a few posts on the wonderful person he is, but he won't let me (lol). He fell for that person and now 4 and half years later I am a bit of who I was before he met me, while we dated and who I am now.  I like me.  I am a bit heavier (physical) version of me but I finally found my voice. 


Now almost five years together - I might lose him because I might pick me over him this time.  I have given my all in this relationship - done things I might not have, given more than I have, been there for everything, always traveling to him and doing things his way, forgiven things I have not in the past with others, lent him money and having given up my opinions to keep peace.   Oh, and the thing I always dreaded - living with the "mother-in-law" is something I did because when I visit him I am visiting him at his mother's place...ie his bedroom and hobbies room (he is not Punjabi like me, but of a mix of European). He dislikes my blogging, social media, feminist thoughts, and that I often choose a book over exercising and dieting.  So we are in this holding period...where I am hoping that love conquers all and he can love me for me and build the future he promised me.  And he's hoping I change back or he will just move on to one the mistakes I forgave in the past.  Relationships and love are fucking complicated.  I just wanted to meet the Gilbert to my Anne - be in love, get married, have a kid or not and write something that means something - all before my thirties.  35 and waiting...sigh.

So this is it...the blog about the missing boyfriend, who will not be mentioned again as his right.  I wanted to set the record straight and I had one blog to do so.  AND REMEMBER this is through my lens and only my side of the story.  This is not post to get people on my side or about one of us being the bad guy.  This is my life..I chose it...and I am trying to live it as I can.  This is one blog I am not looking for comments, haha.

Night all.  Better press publish before we both chicken out.

k