India needs your support.

Hi, guys.

Until last year, I barely knew anyone who was covid positive. And today, every where I look, there’s someone turning positive or dying. Personal tragedies hit differently. If you haven’t heard about what is happening in India, I would urge you to proceed with caution. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine on our end. Pictures that emerge give me an eerie sensation. As if Covid19 isn’t just a disease, but rather a mass genocide is being performed by some twisted tyrants on my people. But, we know the truth. It’s too late to point fingers. Fingers won’t bring back the dead. Fingers won’t bring oxygen to the ones on the brink of collapsing. Pointing fingers won’t provide food to the ones that have lost their jobs since it’s not “essential.” While I do wish that a nationwide lockdown comes in place to curb innocent people from dying, India can’t handle her economy being shut down.

I have seen too many videos and pictures that makes my skin crawl. All, I am asking for is your support. People are losing their lives not because of getting Covid19 but the lack of infrastructure. The healthcare system has too much weight on it. I pray not for the ones who are sick but also for the doctors. I command their bravery for facing so many people and trying their best to help them

Please help out in anyway possible. It could be in a form of monetary compensation to NGOs who are working day and night on ground zero to help out those in needs or you could just say a small prayer. If you’re not religious, then I request you take a moment and just send your best positive vibes to us. We need your positivity.

Amplify as much as you can. We appreciate your help in everyway possible.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We will overcome this. We just all need to work together.

Links of helpful NGOs would be provided here. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Hana Khan Carries On

Goodreads Blurb:

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.

As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.

My Thoughts:

Oh. My. God.

I am in love with this book. This would definitely be a book that I would re-read in the future.

I loved that Uzma took her time to build a story that tackles multiple issues while keeping the readers entertained. Ranging from racism to guilt children of immigrant parents face to building a successful career to the stereotypes Muslims around the world have to face and finally, delicious South Asian food! (The FOOD. I repeat. The imagery was so vivid that I was salivating.)

Stories about immigrants are always heart-touching. With my parents being one, I am always in awe at their sacrifice and strength that they’ve put up. Forget a different country but a continent altogether to literally swim with the sharks. Languages that they had to learn when they’re in their 20s. But all this strength does bring guilt and pressure on us, as being the children of immigrants. Which is ever rarely mentioned. I admired the portrayal of Hanan who goes on to battle her mother’s failing restaurant, her sick father, her job security, and at last, her potential love life.

Written by a Muslim author, I am pleased to validate, YES, THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR SO LONG!

The scenes of enduring racism or hate crime made my stomach churn.

Even though Aydin and Hana were rivals that eventually turned into lovers, I loved their journey. Both being Muslims, they were used to showcase different aspects of the culture. From an overly supportive father to a conservative, Uzma touched upon each nook of the culture without it being generalized. Side characters such as Yusuf, Big J, Rashid, Luxmi, and so on, were portrayed with such care and affection. I believe they were all successful in putting out the message that it doesn’t matter if you’re Muslim from Syria, Jewish from Yemen, Hindu from India, or Muslim from India, indifferences only exist if you let them pierce into your life. Ah, it was one of those books that just makes your heart all warm and giddy with its roller-coaster ride.

Let’s not forget Billi Aunty and her MAJOR SECRET STORY! That took me by surprise. Here, I was thinking about how this book would only touch upon the correct portrayal of Muslims but there was also feminisms.

Uzma has stepped up from her previous book which I am really happy about. Part of Ayesha At Last felt predictable to me, but Hana Khan Carries On is entirely different.

A little complain though, why was it never mentioned what Hana’s voice sounded like on her Podcast show? Had it been autotuned? Did she speak normally? This little detail, which I thought carried a lot of weight at the start, eventually faded in the background with a lot of things that happened. So, I suppose I wouldn’t give it a lot of weight. But I am still curious.

There’s lots of love. Banter. Heartache. Secrets. (So. Many. Secrets!) Good food. Drama (Can my Desi folks even live without Drama?) So yes, a whole Indian package that would fill your days with smile and laughter. (Until it ends… :()

My Rating: It’s a 4.6/5.

Content Notices: Death. Racism. Potential Hate Crime.

Audience: Young Adults

Pages: 325, Kindle Edition

Book Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters Book 3)

Kindle Blurb:

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. So she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore… and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

My Thoughts:

I finally read the book!!

Okay, so enough of fangirling over Eve’s story and my love for Talia.

Okay, I am ready. The book. Oh. My. God. What a beautiful book!

Talia’s writing style is what I would refer to as perfection. She’s the perfect mixture of funny, witty, quirky and even steamy writing. She mentions the pandemic in a sly manner that made me chuckle with the words “lockdown” and “tracking vaccine” in the book. Which was a good homage to 2020. Thank you for providing me with a good start to 2021 (erm… even if its 4 months in. haha)

There’s so much charisma in her writing style that pulls me in. Out of the Brown Sisters series, I enjoyed and adored Eve the most. Perhaps it had more to do with Jacob and the autistic representation in the story.

Some of Jacob’s mannerisms and fears felt personal to the point that I was in tears. Sure the book was more of a romantic comedy, but when faced with my fears in form of another character, it was an out of body experience where I felt Talia was able to split me open and look into my insides. A very raw feeling. Needless to say, I rooted for him. I understood what went through his mind, because I am the same way.

I adore that Talia’s writing takes me by surprise especially during the…. ahem….

Her knack for writing books that not only represents minorities but educates others on different aspects is what makes her respectable. I might seem bias but you have to understand that there are very rare writers that hold such command over their pens without coming off as being rude or disrespectful.

My Rating: It’s a 4.6/5. The ending melted my heart. So adorable. So cute. I loved all the Brown sisters who made a “cameo” appearance in this book.

Content Notices: Childhood neglect and anti-autistic ableism. (Which was graciously provided by Talia at the start of the book.)

Audience: Young Adults

Pages: 393, Kindle Edition

ARC Review: One Monsoon in Mumbai: Trouble and Laughter and Mushy Stuff

Goodreads Blurb:

A nerdy hero, a dashing villain…

and an interfering auntie.

Life’s complicated for Seema Rawat, cyberspy.

From picking pockets in the slums of Mumbai to being picked as an agent by Intelligence Bureau’s hacking unit, Seema has come a long way. For her first assignment, she has to romance the suspect and break into his systems.

The target, Adhith, isn’t the kind of criminal she’s met before.

Looks, charm, money, and power… he has it all.

Well… Seema never backed away from a challenge. There are just two problems. Her auntie keeps a very close eye on her virtue. Then there’s Vikram—Adhith’s boss and BFF—who’s nerdy and awkward and altogether adorable.

Also, he’s a tech wizard.

His specialty? Cybersecurity.

One Monsoon in Mumbai is a zany spy romance with twists, turns, and humor that make it the perfect adventure.

My Thoughts:

Okay, Okay, okaaayyy!

Take a seat because this might be a long one…

There’s no doubt that the author is a wordsmith. Even when she is the master of her pen, her words seem very bland. Very distant from the characters. Other than Seema’s curls or her brown eyes, I couldn’t describe any of the characters mentioned in the book. (Perhaps the henchman? He was described very well in detail!) I wish the narration was better.

There was a lot of purple prose included especially in the first few chapters that got my head spinning. I had to take a few breaks in between with all the information that had been presented to me. Plus that information meshed with the dialogue that the characters had amongst themselves, didn’t leave any room for a surprise for me. I couldn’t experience their pain, heartbreak, angst, or even love. Though, I should mention it does show an enormous amount of research on the author’s part!

The ending was extremely anti-climatic, we spent 90% of the book-building for it, and then… it just didn’t deliver it.

The complex relationships introduced seemed futile. They were just names that I didn’t want to remember.

Also, as a Mumbaikar, I have a few bones to pick:

  1. HOW DID ADHI GET TO A PHONE REPAIR SHOP FROM GATE WAY TO SOMEWHERE NOT MENTIONED THAT TOOK HIM THIRTY MINUTES!? From Gate Way to somewhere like…. Fort would take minutes! AND THERE WAS A RICKSHAW IN THE BACKGROUND?! No rickshaws are present in South Mumbai!!
  2. Why was Madhu always dressed in a Hoodie? In Mumbai’s weather where a cotton tunic could just be drenched in sweat from rigorous walks that we USED to take pre-covid.
  3. The term “Islamic Terrorists” used in the book for 26/11 terror attacks. Just. NO. I don’t know if it was her own bias that seeped into the book?
  4. Monsoon scene in the slums seemed extremely superficial, especially with the way young Seema tried to escape
  5. Lastly the “Mumbaikar” Hindi used was so off. It really did irk me.

Please, experience our city firsthand. There’s more to it than just Gateway or Marine Drive.

Also, the suicide scene. Plus put a trigger warning of any sort. That was something I wasn’t expecting and it was sort of explained in detail.

My Rating: It’s a 2.8/5 for me, the only reason I finished reading it was the fact it was based in Mumbai.

Content Notices: Loss of a loved one, blood, sexual assault, and suicide attempt.

Audience: Young Adults

Pages: 346, Kindle Edition

I received a complimentary advance review copy, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Reedsy Prompt: Write about someone who books a bargain vacation, only to be told when they arrive that they need to share a hotel suite with a stranger.

TW: Mention of suicide.

“Congratulations, you’ve won an all-paid holiday to Colombia for 5 days, completely free! Sign up now to claim it now!”

Ciara sighed after reading the text message, these spam texts were getting clever and sneaky by the day. This had been her third text this week while her email had been bombarded with it almost every day!

The first time she read this message, her face lit up by the idea. For a second she let herself enjoy that fantasy. Heading into Colombia, bathing in the sun while she enjoyed her time by the beach. Perhaps pretending to be someone else when she snorkeled underwater and watched the corals. Someone a lot more fun.

Instantly her breath felt lighter in her lungs, her aching shoulders relaxed as if she was physically there. Free from all her responsibilities, little tremors passed through her body, filling it with excitement.

“Stop!” She told herself, snapping out of her little dream. No way she won such an opportunity. Worst case scenario someone would lure her in and then trap her into human trafficking. Or a drug mule.

Ciara was in her early 20s, still trying to find her way through life. Some days she enjoyed being the Kindergarten teacher she was, other days she wanted to be a lawyer or a successful book blogger. But being in the public eye scared the crap out of her and her online persona was born from that same fear. Her book blog was under a pseudonym. Even though it wasn’t quite successful, she enjoyed her moments of interacting with like-minded people in the community.

It was when the same message was sent to her Goodreads profile, her attention was captured. Her jaw tightened, forcing her gums to take the impact. The searing pain was endured through her mouth. Something she should’ve taken care of a while ago but NHS’s long waiting list made her endure it anyway.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t touch” She taught herself after watching a few American films.

With all the anxiety that sank in the pit of her stomach, she checked the sender’s profile, Frank C.

He seemed to have created a new profile with zero books read. What was happening? She was certain no one could hack into her phone or laptop by just replying to the person back on Goodreads. With her heart dancing against her ribs, she replied to Frank C.

Frank C: Congratulations, you’ve won an all-paid holiday to Colombia for 5 days, completely free! Sign up now to claim it now!

Periwinkle: What do you mean? Why are you stalking me?

Frank C: We aren’t. We’re just providing you with the opportunity to obtain what’s yours.

Her brows knit together at the response. Were they truly behind her? How did they even find her? Especially on GoodReads.

She glanced around her bedroom as if someone else was lurking in the shadows. Her heart continued to palpitate.

Periwinkle: What’s the catch?

Frank C: “No catch, Miss Stalestrome. It’s a rare opportunity that has come knocking at your door. Why would you turn it down?”

His argument did seem convincing. Even when he seemed to be pressing. What did she really have to lose? It was just 5 days. With Spring Break around the corner, she could manage to miss school during the time period. It seemed like luck was finally on her side.

Periwinkle: Okay… Send me all the details.

She replied vaguely. Internally she was excited but Ciara had to maintain her cool. Her mind had to be in the right. She still had to investigate all their intentions before heading out.

Ciara spent another week going through all the details Frank C had provided before heading out. She could’ve canceled the trip last minute. Everything was paid for but she never signed a contract or made an agreement of sorts.

The idea of being in control gave her some mental peace.

Her air tickets were all in business class, heading out from London to Cartagena. She was rather impressed by her accommodation. A 7-star hotel’s presidential suite right in the heart of the city! She was getting the best of the best, but what could really go wrong?

Her sparkling smile dropped into a crease, situated in the Presidential suite, between all the glitz and glamour was a middle-aged man. He seemed out of place. His skin was withered from age but Ciara suspected there was some illness involved too. He smiled warmly at her, almost as if he had known her forever.

“Sorry, sir. I seemed to have the wrong room.” Ciara whispered, glancing down at her single black keycard in her hands. “Stupid technology, amiright?” She chuckled nervously while taking her steps back.

The bell boy stood awkwardly outside of her room with her bags. He exchanged a confused look between the two. It wasn’t just the language barrier but also the tension in the room, thick enough to cut through glass.

Before the bell boy could say anything, the man replied.

“No, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, Ciara.” His hoarse voice which lacked any malice made her shiver anyway.

“I’m… sorry…?” Her voice betrayed her, showcasing her fear for the stranger to see. She hadn’t even introduced herself to him. How did he know about her?

With a heaving breath, he cleared his throat. “I figured I could use some company. It only seems fair for an all-expense-paid trip. It is such a bargain, I tell you.”

All blood was drained, her tan skin turned pale as if she were a ghost herself. “I-I am sorry, sir. I don’t do such entertainment there’s been a mistake of some sort!” She blurted, picking up her pace towards the door when his laugh surrounded her instead.

It was a comforting laugh as if the air had been picked up around her, lifting into a warm hug. She embraced it before chuckling herself.

Oh good. Seems like a prank. Okay, where are the cameras? You got me!

“I am sorry, dear. You are a fine-looking woman, but a tad bit young for my taste.” His voice was laced with a playful tone.

Her breath came back in control, turning back on her heels to glance at the man.

 “Then what it is that you would like from me?” She asked suspiciously, tightening her coat around her slender body. Even if the man seemed weak, she couldn’t trust anyone. Internally she cursed her stupidity for falling for something like this.

Her hazel eyes landed on his blues, they were warm and kind. She let her guard down, finally exhaling a deep breath. Something in her action made him smiled brightly.

“C’mon child. Are you famished? Because I am. I am Arne, by the way.” He offered, forcing himself to his feet.

Arne winced as he tried to get up. His frail body now required more strength than ever. He faked a smile towards Ciara but she saw it through him. He was indeed sick.

With a few smiles, tension disseminated.

Arne gestured the bell boy to leave Ciara’s bags to the first floor of his Presidential Suite. Seemed like his Spanish was just as good as hers.

The two of them hit off instantly, falling into each other’s step as their conversation never ended. He was a diamond businessman, having his business set up in D.R. Congo. Ciara understood how he could afford such a lavish lifestyle but he never told her why she was there.

“Never been married?”

“Never… I was too busy being selfish…” He whispered, Ciara could observe the pain in his eyes. There was a storm building behind his ocean-colored blues.

Four days they spent together, eating, drinking, and chatting. Their routine felt simple and even though she hadn’t really known him, the thought of their time together ending soon made her uneasy… Or rather sad.

He felt like a father to her. Someone she had lacked her entire life.

On the very fifth day, Ciara hopped down the stairs from her room on the top floor to meet him, but instead, his bed was made.

“Where is Arne?” She questioned, confused. “Did he leave? I thought we were having breakfast together?”

A somber expression was over Frank’s face. “I am sorry, Ciara…” He said sadly before handing her a letter. A letter that might change her life forever.

My beautiful Ciara. I can’t believe you have grown up to be such a beautiful woman. My heart has truly been rejoiced to be reunited with you again. I regret not reaching out to you earlier…”

She started reading it out loud but her eyes betrayed her, tears pool in them. What was happening? How could Arne have known her?

“I know I have put you through a lot, and my selfish way will increase your burden but I have to do this. For the past 21 years, I have thought of you every day. I regretted leaving you and your mum but I had to do it…”

A heart-wrenching sob rippled through her throat followed by the bucking of her knees, forcing Ciara to fall. None of this could be true. What was he saying?!

Her tears smudged his penmanship. She wiped them away with the sleeves of her white shirt before continuing to read.

“I am dying… Or I might already be dead when you read this…”

That’s when Ciara’s eyes widened to why she was in Colombia. Euthanasia…was legal here… She couldn’t bring herself to read any further with her tears fogging her vision but Ciara paddled through.

Her mother said her father died before she was born but the new information was getting harder to process. Why did her mother lie to her then?

“I am happy you chose to take your time with me for which I will forever be grateful. I will love you always, my child. I am sorry for not seeing you earlier. In my last moments, I realized how much you mean to me. I had been blind, my whole life in search of money and meaningless relationships. Now that I am dying in my 40s, I understand how short life is. I shouldn’t have wasted it away. If I could turn back time, you would be my precious belonging, molded by my love and your mother’s nurture. Even in my end moments, your smiling face consoles me. If there is an after-life. I will be waiting for you. I hope that Sally forgives my actions. I will love you always, Ciara

Your Father

ARC Review: Heart of a Runaway Girl

Goodreads Blurb:

An original, captivating mystery series debuts

In a 1980s mountain town fueled by the drug trade, a young couple gets into an argument at Mabel’s Diner. Then the teen girl winds up brutally murdered, and the black boyfriend automatically jailed. Haunted by the tragedy, big-hearted, big-haired, single mom and waitress, Mabel Davison steps in and asks questions few want answered. But she’s unprepared for the secrets she uncovers, and now more lives may be destroyed, including her own.

My Thoughts:

I did enjoy reading this thriller though I felt like there some issues with it. Lots of purple prose was used along with “telling” rather than “showing”, forcing the story to be less engaging with the audience. I had to stop myself from sighing every time Mabel went on her internal monologues or how nice of a person she was to be doing nice things for other people.

Mabel’s journey was heartwarming through which she not only found the killer but her true calling. Though she isn’t a likable character. There’s no depth to her. A lot of the parts of her character seemed forced. The ending was abrupt with minuscule details. The story felt… hallow. Characters were too superficial for my taste.

It was a quick read, if the book had been any longer I would not have finished it.

So, if you are wondering what I liked about this book?

It was the sense of community, and help that everyone tried to provide for one another. Sure, it is a fictional world but that affection is missing nowadays. Along with the idea of gender equality and tolerance which Mabel was trying to accomplish.

My Rating: 2.8/5, this would’ve been a lovely read if it was in a journal format with all the descriptions that it lacked. In its current style, I am not sure if I would be continuing the series.

Content Notices: Mention of sexual abuse, murder, profanity and drugs.

Audience: Young Adults

Pages: 299, Kindle Edition

Would you like such a murder mystery? What books are your favorite?

Thank you to NetGalley and the Independent Book Publishers’ Association for a complimentary ARC in return for an unbiased review.

ARC Review: Finding Bryan

GoodReads Blurb:

Forrest Wilcox misses his younger life and the America of an earlier time. Plagued by a fear of change, irrational outbursts, and unrelenting insecurities, he’s a man weary of living a joyless life.

When Forrest’s mother summons him to tell him her cancer has progressed, it throws his already stressful life into chaos. Not only is he losing his mother, he’s now tasked with finding his brother, Bryan, who left suddenly and cut ties with the family sixteen years ago.

Determined to get something right, Forrest defies his wife’s orders and takes their twelve-year-old daughter out west, where he hopes to locate Bryan. But before he can see this mission through, he’s forced to confront his inner demons, battle with his unpredictability, and trust himself and the journey or risk losing everything and everyone he loves.

Follow Forrest’s journey of self-discovery in this timely tale that evokes the American voice akin to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and puts a spotlight on an imperfect man in need of redemption in self and fatherhood, and faith in what the future holds.

My Thoughts:

Personally, I find it hard to be submerged into a book when it is written in First Person Past Tense, but the way Matthew has written it, took me by surprise. Starting from the first chapter, I was engulfed. All the characters seemed flawed with their own shortcomings, I liked that a lot. I am tired of reading books where most of them are perfect. This book was raw, starting with the MC. His ambition could’ve taken him to places, but instead, his anger (due to his personal limitations) helped burn those bridges down. It was a good story, very well written. Even with the First Person Past Tense, I shed a few tears towards the end.

Forrest was a complex character. He seemed broken and terrified because of his personal loss in the past which made him lash out quite a few times. I wanted to wring his neck a few times because of how ignorant he appeared, which I believe was the point the author was trying to make. He didn’t have any malice at heart instead felt trapped in roles that were expected of him or what he was supposed to be doing.

It is a beautifully written story, Matthew surely has a way with words that paints the perfect picture before your eyes. There’s a lot to experience through this journey. Love, loss, friendship, anger, hate, but more importantly self-discovery. I suppose it’s never too late to find yourself and what you love. Life is a journey we must always overcome all the obstacles we face.

This book is definitely recommended to those who enjoy family-oriented drama which eventually tips towards MC’s mental health awareness. There’s no murder. There’s no mystery. Just an angry man with his young daughter in the search for his brother.

Rating: 4.0/5

Content Notices: There’s some ethnic slur (more so ignorance on the part of the MC). Profanity. Alcoholism.

Audience: Young Adults

Thank you Novel Novels for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

Everybody is looking for something.

Two brothers shared a glance. The elder, with his slightly salt and pepper hair, leaned back admiring the view which was presented before him. A greenfield across the horizon. The scenario also included the fresh scent of pine trees and the sounds of birds chirping. 

“Ah… This is the life” Said the older. 

“Perhaps, but you have yet to tell me.”

“What?”

“…..I thought you were trying to prove your point.”

“Oh right! Must’ve been my age. Apologies.” The older brother, dressed in all black, waved his hand over the horizon, its landscape shuffled slowly. At first, pixels deteriorated their illusion, and then all together, a different view was projected. 

The sweet scent of flowers hit both of them forcing the older to heave. 

“Disgusting” He murmured whilst the younger stayed quiet, curious to how his brother was going to win this bet. 

The sound of the church bells followed when a beautiful lady, dressed in all white appeared. From top to bottom, her body sparkled like she was dipped in glitter and was left under the sun to illuminate the earth.

“Miss Sparkles we have here” the younger brother laughed at his joke.

“She makes me want to pull my eyes out of my socket.”

They both exchanged looks before bursting out into laugher.

The lady walked to the altar with her father in hand where her groom beamed with pride. “Perfection…” He whispered to her and she smiled. 

“Yeah, yeah, she’s getting married. She is happy.” The younger brother yawned at the vision.

“Hush, patience.” The second man interjected with a glare. “Don’t be in such a hurry, we’ve got a bet.”

“Fine, brother.”

Clara was being seen standing at the altar, her soon to be husband cried tears of joy. They were perfect. The venue, at the beach, was perfect. All of their friends and families were present there, making it the perfect occasion. 

“YAWN AGAIN!” The younger man interjected once again.

Sighing softly the other brother snapped his fingers, forcing the projection to skip through some scenes. 

“Ah… Watch.” He smirked, giving his brother a glaring look. 

As soon as the wedding ended, Bridezilla emerged, grabbing the designer by her throat and demanding why her chosen flowers were missing.

“I don’t think this one is fair. I mean, c’mon.” The younger brother rolled his eyes, “Wedding is a stressful situation. It’s been a record for every bride to unleash somehow.”

“Fine. Another one it is, this one I will clearly win.”

Like a whirlpool, the scenario changed to a man sitting on a chair in a dimly lit casino. He rubbed his last quarter against his finger. His desire to gamble was far worse than his need to survive. He kissed his last quarter for what seemed like a thousand times before pressing it in the slot machine. His heart stomped in his chest as if his veins were being injected by caffeine. One by one, the rolls stopped until they were all the same. Clatters of coins dropped on the floor, igniting attention from the other patrons. Those coins never stopped coming, like a mountain full of cash, the man laughed. He laughed and laughed until there was no air in his lungs to sustain.  “I won!”

“Good for him!” The younger man chirped thinking it was his time to win this bet.

“Watch…”

Derick Hutton got lucky one night. His quarter helped him win $2000. To a normal individual, their win would be accompanied by satisfaction but Derick was a different breed. He wanted more. The thrill enthralled him. And as predicted, the castle of clouds that he had built couldn’t sustain him any longer. Came down the man, back on his knees. Begging for people to hand him change. Fighting with his wife to let him go to the casino. Scaring his children of what a father he had become.

A soft sigh escaped the first man’s lips, he glanced at his older counterpart. “So… That is sad but it doesn’t really prove your point, Thanatos.”

“Ah, you really think I am wrong?”

The first man nodded and just is, the screens kept changing. Stories of different men, women, and children. All tales. Someone surviving a car crash. Someone graduating. Someone failing. Someone earning 6 figures. Endless stories with different endings but regrets remained. Things lacked. Humans were never satisfied.

“So, do you see it now, Hypnos?”

Hypnos shrugged with a baffled look on his face. “So, is this why you bring those souls back?”

Thanatos’ lips curled in a proud smile towards his brother. “Everyone is always looking for something… And the Dead can’t wish for more…”

Writing Prompt: Two Characters show love without mentioning it.

Her eyes gawk, filled with rage.

Lips pressed, she keeps her composure in check.

“Since you’ve already made the decision” the strain apparent in her voice.

“And now that you’re an adult.”

“Mum, everyone’s going out, I want to, too!”

You whine, feeling like a little child again.

She nodded, understanding your pain and that your decision had been made.

Mum walked towards the entrance, holding the door open for you.

The cool breeze swayed in, chilling both of your bodies. Mountains burst erupt on your skin, the silence was dawning.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

You won the battle, but at what cost? Eyes that don’t meet, the reticence that greets.

Footsteps follow out of the house, but her voice never draws you out.

“Stop.. at least wear your coat… It’s cold outside…”

Difference between self-love and hate?

I don’t know about you folks, but I try to derive happiness from accomplishing tasks even if that said task does not provide me with the satisfaction I had originally intended. If you were asking for examples, I’d say getting into Dean’s or Chancellor’s lists. Completing NaNoWriMo 2020. The joy probably lasted two seconds, “Oh, wow. I actually did that” then the indifference would settle in. Humans are so fickle. Say, if I hadn’t received those recognitions then I’d be upset thinking I haven’t attained my full potential and thus why I am sad. Which makes sense as to why people try and set New Year Resolutions. I wanted to make this piece a lot more cheerful but I couldn’t overlook the mental state of the character in mind.

I mean, does body modification make someone like themselves more? I don’t know. I don’t think so. As I would imagine is that the state of mind does not change that is why when a slimmer person gains weight, their confidence isn’t affected as much. That confidence is bred in them. It wouldn’t shatter – like those piñata cakes we see on the gram- because of the change in number. Whereas, when a bigger person goes smaller, they’d imagine that would solve all their problems, but it wouldn’t. It takes time to build that confidence and self-appreciation.

So, yeah. I am not sure. But, I suppose my message is that it doesn’t matter how you look or what form you are in. As long as you’re content with yourself. With the New Year coming in, I do hope whatever resolutions you have, you have it because you want to do it for yourself. For your own mental health and peace. I know I will. 2021 will be a year where I will try to open my Third Eye and attain peace within. 

Namaste

Guest Post by Keira Shah (periwinkle.pens): Cancel Culture & Doxing — is it Hurting your Mental Health? — Tales From Boredom

Individuals have been affected by a new form of ostracism that has been taking the internet by a storm – the Cancel Culture.  Sure, it is always good to educate people on their mistakes, but none of us were born on a pedestal with omnipotent knowledge. It took trials and errors, blunders, and chastisements to […]

Guest Post by Keira Shah (periwinkle.pens): Cancel Culture & Doxing — is it Hurting your Mental Health? — Tales From Boredom

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity!! Please do check out TalesFromBoredom on WordPress or Instagram. She’s an amazing artist. (Seriously, an all rounder!)

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Recently I have come to acknowledge how important any form of publicity is for authors. They might not be able to answer all our questions, messages or DMs, but if we do admire them, its equally good to write a post or share more about their books. This post is dedicated to Khaled Hosseini. A human. A doctor. A refugee. His story strings my heart and lubricates my eyes. Every time I pick his book, I know my heart is going to go through a series of emotions and at the end of it, I would just be torn.

He is a fantastic writer and person. His contribution to the world is remarkable. To know more to help his cause, please visit.

I have read all of his books, but A Thousand Splendid Suns is my favorite.

Goodreads Blurb: A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years – from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding – that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives – the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness – are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love – a stunning accomplishment.

“Marriage can wait, education cannot.”

My Review: Having read this book twice, I can shamelessly say this has been my favorite book. It conjures different emotions ranging from disgust, fear, empathy and sadness. No, A Thousand Splendid Suns isn’t all about getting your heart broken, parts of it is, yes. But there is more. The way Mariam fights her way through and accompanies Laila in the way. It didn’t take me long to bawl my eyes out and cry. It hurt, like a effing punch in the gut to read. But motor on. I know books like these are hard to get through. Our privilege bubble gets pierced and left are the pieces that make us question our identity. Fantastic book but it isn’t for the faint of heart. Hold it dear because you will surely hear the shattering of your heart.

Rating: 5/5

Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for being a part of my journey. I couldn’t do it without all of you! I am so inspired by the different artists in our community who work endlessly to produce new blog articles and posts everyday!

I never imagined that I, out of all people, would have a blog. It seems surreal. A year ago if you had shown me this, I would have laughed. But, now I am incredibly proud of this. It might not seem a lot but it is who I am. It’s my legacy in an odd way, for which I am thankful for.

Here’s a list of my blogs that I am most proud of! (I am proud of them all, but these hold a special place in my heart.)

So, yeah. Counting my blessings and wishing you more. I hope you enjoy the New Year in store! Happy New Year! ❤

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

This year has been insane not just for me, for everyone. So many things occurred this year that weren’t even the worst case of my worst case scenario! But with everything that has happened or will occur, in this moment I am content. I am actually proud of myself and have managed to pull through everything that has been thrown at me.

In this moment, I am smiling. It could be the sugar rush coursing through my veins that’s making me giddy or it could just be the satisfaction of pulling through another year.

My family celebrates every possible festival there is. Navroz. Diwali. Eid. You name it, we do it! And Christmas has always marked of as the best. What’s there not to love? Schools are off. So are universities. The weather is amazing! ( Sorry to whomever that lives in the West, I cannot relate to your snow.) Every bakery in town starts selling out warm gingerbread cookies (If you want to buy my love. GET ME SOME!), pastries and cakes, (Bûche de Noël?!? Anyone still interested in buying my love? haha) Gosh, that’s the kind of white powder I thrive on!

I am happy to be alive right now. I hope you are too. And if you are feeling let down how things happened this year. I want you to know that I am proud of you for making this far. You could’ve given up but you didn’t. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t let other people’s accomplishments put you down. You are your own person. Turn that frown upside down, precious because the world needs you. ❤

Sending my best wishes to you and yours! Do keep us in your thoughts and prayers! ❤ 🙂

Heartstopper

Goodreads Synopsis: Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner

“You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.”

My Review: Gosh, I love this Graphic Novel so much! It is beautiful, sweet, adorable and so so so lovely. It almost melts my cynic heart. Now I don’t even know who I am! Everyone should read it. It is worth your time!

Once I started reading, I could not stop! I went through Volume 1, 2, & 3! I even went through the Mini Comics and now I am eager to read Volume 4! This is so insightful yet educational. To anyone out there who feels pressured to label themselves, don’t be. It is okay. You are accepted and loved the way you are. ❤

“Would you kiss me?”

“…yeah”

Feel free to read it here

Rating: No brainer. 5/5

Betrayal: As you’re stargazing one night you happen to see a shooting star, you jokingly wish for 1 billion dollars, to your surprise a man appears next to you and asks “Do you want that in cash or check?”

“Excuse me?” Kedar’s voice choked in his throat when the strange entity appeared out of thin air.

“Cash… or check?… Oh, sorry do you not speak English?” The strange man glanced over Kedar’s body who had been casually stargazing in the park.

It was silent that night, the sky was clear with stars twinkling away. Seconds before the man appeared, Kedar almost thought he could’ve abducted the stars, they were all so close to his touch, just like his dreams, but never within reach.

He closed his eyes, attempting to remember his mother’s smile and questioned if the pain of missing her would ever leave his body. Everyone kept telling him it gets better with time. He knew they meant well, but does time really ever heal? Sure, he wouldn’t ache for her as much he does in this instant but he would continue to grasp onto his anger until he died.

“Kanna, if you wish upon a star, all your dreams come true.”

And he tried. Every night until she passed on, he would stand out at his balcony and wait, hoping to wish for an extra day, second, moment with her. But now that she was gone, he did it out of spite. A game to see how much the universe disliked him. Even if there was no mother to look after him, it was better to cry in a seven-star hotel, wrapped in linen with thread counts higher than cells in his body, then go to the dump he called home.

“Just because I am a person of color, you think I can’t speak English?” He spat, slightly furious at the man’s assumption.

“No. You didn’t answer, thus I presumed.” He responded, pulling out a cigar from his trench coat. His hat hid most of his face, but Kedar could tell, something was peculiar about this man.

“I am Ezra, by the way.” He introduced himself lazily while smoke slowly surrounded the man. A halo formed over his head as if that was supposed to make Kedar trust him even more.

“Kedar…”

“I know. That’s why I am here. Helper to the sorrow ” A half crooked smile appeared on his lips.

“Very funny, you imagine you’re some Helper because that is what your name means, I am assuming since mine means Sorrow.” Kedar rambled, feeling uncomfortable with this situation.

“Cash or check!” He roared this time, the hairs on the back of Kedar’s neck rose as if summoned.

“Why now?” Kedar whispered as tears slowly burned the corner of his eyes. “WHY THE FUCK NOW?!”

Sorrow turned into anger as Kedar stepped towards Ezra. The burning ache in his heart could never be tranquilized with a billion dollars, but he desired to recognize why he couldn’t have achieved this wish earlier.

“That’s how she wanted it… Her wish was for a better future for you. Wishing a life for her would change nothing…”

Prompt Inspiration

Layla By Colleen Hoover

“I look over at my laptop, which is sitting on top of the piano. It’s opening. My Word document pulls up. Letters are being typed into the Word document. W . . . i . . . l . . . l . . . o . . . w . . .”

Okay, yeah. That is spine chilling. Being a CoHo fanatic, I had this book pre-booked from September. 😅 So, yes. I was extremely excited to read it.

Goodreads Synopsis: When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

“As soon as I’m finished typing the email, I move the cursor to send, but before I click it, my laptop slams shut—right on top of my hands. What the fuck?”

My Review: The biggest pet peeve was that I had no idea how Leed looked like. He was mentioned as being “hot” multiple times but yeah that was about it. (I searched again, if I am wrong, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!)

By the time I had read 70% of the book, the ending seemed predictable, which I appreciated rather than it being sprung out of nowhere. It was a well-thought-out and outlined book. CoHo left out little breadcrumbs for all of us to follow, some of which made me feel rather smart! I admired the dialogues and use of language. Especially the symbolism of how it all started and ended. (You’ll know what I am talking about once you’ve read it.

Comparing it to Verity, which I noticed a lot of the people were doing, I couldn’t see the similarities. I adored Verity and found it terrifying. Layla was somewhat sweet and cute perhaps because of the added romance that brewed between the characters.

I would’ve made the epilogue a different POV. I am so CURIOUS to know what happened!!

“Layla is my soul mate in every realm of life.”

My Rating: 4/5

If you love CoHo and admire sweet romance mixed with paranormal activity, this is the book for you! Grab yourself a nice cup of Cocoa and a warm blanket to enjoy this Christmas season with a slightly scary novel.

Psst… If you enjoyed this book, I would recommend reading Behind Her Hazel Eyes by Sarah Pinborough 

*might be a little spoiler* but I rather wished for a little sinister ending! But that’s what you get for reading a romance book. HEA.

How does it feel to be Alive?

Some days are better than others. Some breaths are deeper than most. How does it feel to be alive? If someone asked me that question a couple of years ago, I would’ve laughed because what’s there to live for? (Don’t go all alarmed! Hear me out…)

Loving parents. They spoil us, even if they didn’t intend to. We are suddenly their universe and that creates a bogus desire in us, to believe that the world revolves around us.

How many times has something bad happened to you and your instant reaction was:

“Only bad things happen to me?” “Universe doesn’t like me!” “Why am I so cursed?”

Certainly, I can’t be the only one with that thought.

Adolescence hits us like a truck. High school comes crashing in. Our parents, who were once our guardians are banished out of the kingdom, the lone prince/ss must fight their own battle. Here is where reality strikes us. That may be the world isn’t all black and white, that we aren’t the center of it. The imaginary world crumbles from the weight of reality. Fears topple over one another and then questions emerge. Why are we alive?

Why are we alive? Is it because we are here to learn about God and his beautiful creation? Or to build a name? Provide for a family? Or maybe there’s a possibility that there is no good reason at all. We are just alive, to be alive.

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Even a stray ant has a purpose. To look for food and bring it back to the queen, to feed and grow the colony. What about humans? We say we’re independent and yet we’re all so sad in our demise. So how does it feel to be alive? I would say it is scary. The meaning of life changes as I continue to grow but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to live. I do.

The younger version of me would’ve loved it if I hadn’t made it this far, but I have. I’m proud of myself and so should you. Because for every tear you’ve shed, I promise you, there is a smile striving to be plastered against your lips. You just have to make it through.

Recognize that sometimes we give ourselves less credit than required but criticize fourfold the minimum. But it’s okay. Life is like a piece of chewing gum, all the hard work one puts it, results in a wider outcome. (Don’t believe me? Stretch a bubble gum out and you’ll see!)

A few pointers to mention.

The world doesn’t revolve around you and that’s not a bad thing.

  • Don’t be embarrassed by your mistakes, seriously. How many embarrassing incidents do you remember of YOUR friends or people around you? I hardly remember such stories. So yes, don’t put yourself on a pedestal and wonder what others would think of you, quite frankly no one gives a f*ck.
  • Be kind to yourself. It’s a bad day, not a bad life. Bounce right back at it.
  • If someone calls you a loser or if you feel like one, wear it like a badge and improve from there onwards. Everyone starts somewhere right?
  • Know when to reach out for help. Talk to someone when you need a grip on reality.
  • Don’t be lost in the past. People might move on while you continuously dwell on your mistakes or stay up angry at others.
  • Last but not least, live life. I know it can be hard sometimes but peddle on. Your future self will thank you. People can be mean and rude for no apparent reason and don’t let that affect you. (It’s hard, I understand that.) If someone wants to stay in your life, they will. Don’t let one argument, one breakup, one bad date, one bad test score, one bad meal force you to do something drastic.
  • My simple motto is: treat yourself like you would your child. Something would seem unfair IF it would’ve happened to your own blood, then don’t be suppressed.

Analyze. Understand. Reform. Don’t waste your life over nonsense.
So yeah, it feels pretty darn good to be alive. 🙂

Access to the Internet in the After Life?

“Welcome to After Cloud!” A disturbingly sweet computerized voice welcomed her.

 “What?”

 “Welcome to After Cloud.”

 “Yeah, I heard that. What is this again?” Laila deadpanned.

“You’re dead–” “Yeah, I know. Can we move this along please?”

 “You are dead.” The voice repeated, hoping for a different reaction.

“Yes! I know! I was filming my Facebook live during my accident! Can we get to the POINT! Geez, you sound as condescending as my mom.”

If the voice was a machine, it would’ve sighed since Laila was someone she had never interacted with before. Giving up on the script, instant screens popped in front of Laila’s eyes. “Cool. You should’ve started with that. You’re pretty boh-ring.”

Laila smirked, stepping towards the Hologram. Feeds from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, her real Reddit, and fake stood before her. “Noice.” She smirked with her dreamy eyes. She had somehow managed to capture her car crash on Facebook live, not the possibility of being the talk of the town made her bubble up.

Something was different. This interface wasn’t like the one she had known, there was no section to read the notification, messages, comments, or likes!

“Hm… Insights?” Her voice was calm and collected even though a volcano gurgled within her.

“Hello! Can I get any insights on my profile? I need to know what my followers think of me!! I want them to cry for me!!”

“Sorry, Laila. After Cloud does not allow you to see comments, likes, or shares. We care about your mental health.”

“Oh fuck me.”

Prompt Inspiration

[WP] You’re 86 and just died. But, have woken up again as your 12 year-old self, recovering from being in coma for 2 weeks. Although, you still remember your “past” as if nothing happened and retain everything you’ve experienced.

“I miss you.” Jade smiled through his tears, running his fingers gently against a photo frame. An aged picture of him stood beside the first love of his life. His mum.

Even though he had been 86, the aching hole of his mother’s death haunted him nightly. If only he had been smarter. If only he wasn’t a reckless child to get into an accident. If only they weren’t so poor. If only…

So many Ifs but no solution prevailed.

=

=

=

The presence of people overpowered Jade’s subconscious mind. He constantly heard people coming in and stepping out.

Silent prayers were said when a calloused hand held onto his. His fingers felt saturated from tears, he immediately knew it was her.

There was no one else that could be this close to him. The familiar aroma of her skin invaded his nostrils. Bleach mixed with cheap soap and something that was just unique to his mum, the fragrance of her skin. Her earthy scent calmed his nerves even before he was born.

“Ma…” He finally mustered the courage, overcoming the barrier that was between his conscious and subconscious state. His eyelids faltered, too heavy to fling open.

His mother’s lips cracked into a wide smile, welcoming her child after two long weeks. “You’re awake…”

“And, you’re alive…” His rejoinder wasn’t what she had been expecting but was welcomed nonetheless. A gentle squeeze of his hand before she reached over to his head. Caressing it tenderly, as if she was trying to deplete all the pain he had felt. The doctors had informed her of the inflammation around his brain, she wasn’t sure how drastic it was until now.“

Yes, and I have missed you.” The sweet voice of his mother forced his eyes open as little clouds of joy formed in them.

It was her. She was really here!!

“I have missed you. So bloody much…” Jade whispered and in came the waterworks. He could see her before him, but his mind was in a fog.

Had this been a memory? He was just crying and missing his mother, what is he doing here 74 years in the past?

Jade tried to move his limbs, other than the external pain he could see from the accident, there was nothing else. No aching back. No throbbing knee pain. Even the skin on his hands was soft and supple.

Could he be alive? Importantly, could she be alive?

Jade pinched his arm and the skin around it pruned like the fruit.

“Jade!” She looked at him alarmed. This was real. She was real. He remembered this moment in the past. His heart crushed down into tiny little pieces. Jade reached forward and hugged his mother the best he could. He filled his lungs with her scent. Heart-breaking cries erupted from his lips Not because he couldn’t remember how he had died. But he recollected how she had…

A robbery went wrong at Hotel Serenity.

-The End-

Prompt Inspiration

NaNoWriMo… How it all went down?

50,000 words. 30 days. It all seemed ridiculously hard! My first time participating was exhilarating since I finished with just 15 minutes to spare!

My NaNo Journey

I can’t write on the spot. Inspiration drives me. And here I was, throwing myself into the deep end with no floaters! (Trust me, that is scary. I have a winning streak of drowning multiple times haha)

I faced a couple of problems on this end:

  • Lack of inspiration
  • The urge to edit while writing
  • Time management
  • Nothing worked out according to my outline!

The solution to my hurdles:

  • Forcing myself to write even if I have ZERO motivation to.
  • Writing in a different word document and quickly pasting it to the manuscript to avoid editing.
  • I missed a few days and wasn’t constantly writing for 30 days though I picked it up the next day!
  • I went with the flow. The outline was meant to be a guide and what I have written is much much better! (Along with lots of plot holes.)

What am I going to do now?

  • I am going to take some time out, let the manuscript brew while I get a fresh perspective on my story.

Was it easy?

  • Yes and no. This was an added workload to my already buzzing life. I did enjoy it. It turned out to be my escape and my excuse of NEVER HAVING ENOUGH TIME TO WRITE fell flat. I did have enough time. I wasn’t prioritizing it.

Will I be participating in it again?

  • Yes!! 2021 for sure. And that time, I hopefully overcome my hurdles again.

My Outlook.

  • I am slowly gaining more confidence and hoping to write a lot more now. Maybe I will even try to upload twice a week! Give me some time though. I love you all for taking the time out and reading my work. It means a lot.

How was NaNoWriMo for you? Did you find yourself in the new limelight? 

Guess 9/10 Dentists were wrong!

“How’s it going Elena?” George’s hoarse voice screeched from the other side of the street.

“It’s alright, getting pretty cold here, isn’t it?” I replied through my chattering teeth. I rubbed my palms close together to generate heat before placing them on my cheeks.

The streets had gone quiet, they always rendered after midnight. Surviving on the streets hadn’t been an easy task, but that seemed like the only choice after I lost my job and the ability to remunerate for the outstanding bills. All Hail 2020.

“Yeah, it is. At least the mask sort of helps with keeping the cold out” He smiled his toothless grin before putting his dirty brown mask on.

 I questioned if the color was actually brown or had it evolved that way through weeks and weeks of utilization without a proper wash.

“Hey, George. Do you mind if I borrow some toothpaste? I ran out of my last tube.” I smiled politely but his response caught me off guard.

 “You’re a good kid but I can’t. That’s all I’ve got.”  

“You can’t spare a small pea?”

“I can’t.” He said with a sad demise in his eyes. Part of me was extremely irritated at that fact. I mean, the man barely had teeth, to begin with.

Over the following few days, I noticed a substantial change in my teeth. Aside from the rancid breath, my gums got stronger. Gone were the receding gums and my nightly habit of gritting my teeth? That was gone too.

But something kept changing. George held his distance from me and went on brushing his teeth from across the road. Hell, he even went ahead and rubbed toothpaste on his face like it was some sort of a sunblock.

On the 5th night, something strange happened. My body was pressed against the cardboard, which was now starting to reek of something. Possibly it was my visceral scent. Inhabiting in the streets didn’t exactly allow me with a series of options to bathe in, that mixed with the snow that dropped constantly, I wasn’t going get water anywhere close to me.

Where was I? Oh, right, the 5th night! And then.

 A black SUV pulled out and ascended out a figure all dressed in PPE suit. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. Everyone put on masks and PPE suits from the pandemic, but this one carried a long string of… wait, was THAT dental floss?

“I am not going to hurt you.” His voice boomed from the suit, sending shivers down my body.

“What? What are you? Who are you?”

“A dentist.”

Prompt Inspiration

Lacking Inspiration for NaNoWriMo?

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after with with a club. -- Jack London

We’ve passed the 50% mark around 3 days ago. According to the “schedule” 30,000 words must have been written by today. I stand at around 26,000 words. The distance is growing faster but I will sprint to write soon! 

Sadly, I am one of those people that tend to write when I am feeling inspired. (Which isn’t a lot of the time, hence why I post once a week!) NaNo has been a challenge in itself with the goal being around 1,667 words/day, mine has gone up to around 2,000/day! So, yes, I am pretty much struggling in that part. Whether it may be writing utter rubbish down to meet the word count or just trying to get my creative juices flowing.

Yesterday I decided to take my time out and discuss with my Alpha Reader AKA my sister regarding the current formulation of my novel. (Ahem, my imposter syndrome is kicking in again, haha)

I laid out all the plots and subplots that I have written and asked her for her insights. My work lacks structure for now (I’m purposely avoiding writing a few dark scenes.), it is getting along pretty well! So yeah, stick to your guns or grab a club ( whatever Jack London says, the dude knows what he is talking about!)

So, here I am forcing myself to write this blog because if there is just one person out there that reads my blog or feels around the same way I am, I just want to tell you, thanks for stopping by. You’re not the only one that’s been lacking inspiration. GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE! *virtual hugs* (Or… not be so great, don’t quote me on it. 😉 )

A sneak peek to my WIP for NaNoWriMo!

Hello, beautiful people! Today I have got a special 2-in-1 deal for you. I am participating in a writing contest for OlivePitStories on Instagram! ( Amazing guy that works with crazy prompts! Check him out if you wish!) With a little sneak peek at my NaNoWriMo WIP! It’s been hard, I won’t lie but its been rewarding too! I hope you guys enjoy it. Thank you!

My life seemed like a chaotic pencil case, whatever was dumped at me, I threw it in. It didn’t matter if ink from pens sometimes stained the erasers, or if a scissor sometimes pricked me, it was all closed off to be, “dealt with it later. Deal with it later.” A strong mental barrier… which was already running thin as secrets were on the verge of being spilled.

“Sorry, I’m sure it is a lot to take in but she wanted you to have this.” An apologetic look creeped on her lawyer’s face. I had an urge to laugh or maybe scream at him. How many times had he repeated the same lines to bereaving family members?

Until three weeks ago, I had no idea about my sister, that too a twin! But now, this man claimed that Ira left me an apartment. A secret apartment.

I tried to process this information, but the previous was on a backlog. Mentally, I reached for the pencil case again, attempting to stuff Ira and her doings. But nothing worked. Even though she was gone, even though I never knew her, she was still here. And her presence would forever haunt me.

I looked away from him and around, a big mistake, an enormous claustrophobic mistake!

If my life hadn’t been this depressing, seeing the white bricked building would’ve surely done it for me. An asylum, that’s what it reminded me of.

“You must do this, it’s her final wish.” He said with a sorry look on his face. I wanted to punch that face, especially his hair that reminded me of hundreds of bird’s nests, all coiled together like his thick black mane.

Keys that used to be as light as a fidget spinner. Keys that danced on the tip of my finger from its keychain now felt like bricks, crawling deep into my skin. I stared at the weight in my palms, contemplating life.

I can’t do this, not now, not today…

-The End-

Show some love on Insta! (ꈍᴗꈍ)

What if your sister never existed?

She is not real! You never had a sister, son.”

Shayan, what has gotten into you..?

Are you certain?

Ridiculous, are you seriously asking if your mother is sure whether or not she gave birth to another child?!

B-but…”

No, buts! Set out these crazy ideas out of your mind!

The disoriented man turned pale and rigid as his body fought the eerie sensation.

“She was not real…” The words were projected like bricks sinking in his stomach.

Misery did love company.

His phone rang. A shriek, unable to smoother it, esccaped his lips the moment his phone flashed a picture of his sister.

She’s calling me…

Shayan nabbed his arm desperately to wake up from his nightmare. His calloused hands slapped his face, over and over until the only ringing he heard was of his ears.

Crimson red. A color that matched his eyes and pleading face. He was torn between his reality and the actuality his parents had portrayed.

How long had it been since his parents left? An hour? A day? A week? A sense of time seemed to have slipped out of him but his phone never stopped ringing.

Then his front entrance unlocked and Shayan pushed himself into the nook of his living room. His eyes remained glued on the door.

A silhouette made an appearance, inching towards his perplexed body.

“Hiba…” He whispered in a state of shock, contemplating whether to embrace or to run from her.

“Shayan…” He felt the tenderness of her body around his, like a caterpillar safe in its cocoon.

His happiness was short lived and his fear right back on track. He shuddered against her.

“Shh… it’s okay, I’ve got you…”

“You’re not REAL! LEAVE ME ALONE!”

“What…?”

“Mom and dad told me… You’re not real…”

“Shayan… they have been… d-dead for two years now…”

Prompt Inspiration here

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[WP] You involuntarily bring back souvenirs from your dreams, simple things like a flower or some dirt, an article of clothing, a paintbrush. This morning, you awake next to another person.

Adam Levine’s high pitched voice broke me from my deep slumber. Stereo hearts. A song that filled me up with joy and compelled my legs to dance to now was set to rouse me from my nightmares.

I dreaded waking up each day, given that the night before I must’ve done something erroneous. As hard drinks replaced my daily hydration requirement, my brain was no longer in command. Constantly foggy and absent-minded, irritation became my new nickname, a stride away from aggression.

I watched my body drain before my eyes, no longer being able to keep the food down, meals lost its meaning. Now I survived on continuous drinking and throwing in a greasy pizza once in a while. If it were up to me, a tap of Johnny Walker would’ve been mounted in my house. Though my “lifestyle” was already too expensive to aspire for such dreams.

I started waking up with strange items in my bed. It commenced with a fistful of dirt. For a month, I woke up in grime. Insects crawled over my skin from the topsoil, invading my body as if I was stagnant. I might as well be. A month later, a ‘stop” sign showed up its neon torching my retina to day. By then I was persuaded when I was drunk someone was pulling some sick prank on me. That fiasco continued for weeks before leaves showed up, then broken bicycle parts, then traffic lights… and now, a boy.

The second I landed my eyes on him, my jaw twitched open. Did the drunk me do something I would repent? My heart pumped against my chest cavity, barely holding itself inside.

No, no, no. You’re an asshole, Charles, but not a pedo!!

A sigh of relief washed over me when my clothes were still intact, no sign of promiscuity involved.

He was dressed in a T-shirt that was a little too small for him, and shorts that barely extended to his knees. What captured my eyes was the dried brown spots around his body and clothes. Was that mud? It had to be mud! The boy seemed perfectly healthy otherwise.

My first instinct was to shake him out of my bed, but the sense of serenity that washed over him during his slumber was somewhat contagious. A little mischievous smile played along his lips when he was snuggle up against the side of my pillow. His brown hair concealed most of his facial features, was he a boy? Did I assume he was a boy?

The alarm went off once again, internally I thanked Lew Wallace for the ever-hated snooze button. The boy flickered his eyes open slowly, hazel eyes landed on mine and both of us froze in place. It couldn’t be. It could never be… This is the first time we’re meeting!!

“How could you…?” His words cut something deep within me, something I could never admit. His betrayed gaze was pinned at me.

How could I have done that?

Now that the boy had sat up, I could see it the facial trauma, especially on the left side of his face. I couldn’t stomach to look at him any longer. I am a coward. I was a coward. I could’ve rescued him…. when I ran over him and his bicycle three years ago.

Inspired by u/Rivviken

What Happens When You Meet a Spirit in the Woods?

A soft exhale left Riku’s lips emptying his lungs while his shoulder bore the weight of his demise. “I need to do this…” his gentle voice reverberated throughout the ghastly forest. Feet pressing against the wet mud, the absurdity of it made him laugh, “leaving more mark than I ever will, ”

“You’d never be anything good!”

“You have no degree or former education; you can’t even hold a job!”

In a loop the voice sang, breaking his spirit, his soul no longer able to endure its weight.

“Stop…” a honey-laced voice cooed at him, a voice so sweet that Riku stopped dead in his tracks.

“Who said that?” He had to be alone, this wasn’t the place to promenade.

His eyes stared around his surrounding with nothing to achieve but the sound of crickets. It had been a long day and he was exhausted.

“You’re just tired man…” He comforted himself. For one final time, Riku shut his eyes, breathing in the dampness of the forest from the rain mixed with the musty wood. “Mama..” He whispered, catching her smiling face, “would she be okay…?” he murmured to himself then shook the thought away.

“Of course she would! She has two other children that will take care of her!” The uncomfortable man shuffled his weight between his feet, continuing his journey towards his doom after depreciating his worth.

“Why are you here?”

Riku had to fight his excitement in this situation, unable to avoid her lecherous voice. You seriously are twisted.

“Don’t do what you’re thinking.”

“Pardon me?” Goosebumps ran loose around his body, forming little mountains of terror the man no longer able to retain his composure.

“Don’t kill yourself…”

“Why not?”

“Why would you desire to be stuck here…?”

His knees caved in, unable to hold his weight any more. “Huh?” he requested, expecting she would elaborate.

“Enough of your antics, I am done with it!” He hissed, continuing his journey to procure a low tree.

Riku almost laughed at his plan, even in his end moments, he was extremely lazy to do was required. “I am being smart, not working hard.” He assured himself instead. “besides, what good does a tall tree—”The words choked in his throat as the figure appeared before him.

A woman, with pale skin, stood glowering at him. Her eyes, crimson red. He might’ve regarded this as a trick, but her neck. Slender but curved, surrounded by the garland that he, too, was going to welcome himself with!

“I ordered you… go away from here…”

“W-h… G-G-Ghost…?”

“Quiet! They might discover you!” She yelled in a hushed whisper.

Riku wanted to ask who it was that she was referring to, but his tongue went numb from fear. He could no longer bring his voice out.

“The undead…” The Spirit seemed to have gone from pale to paler.

Could a ghost experience fear? He reflected for a second before noticing the sound of rustling leaves. How it had merged with the sound of his racing heart.

Reality dawned upon him, as he observed a series of standardized figures, all pale, all dead, walking around him. Their flesh decomposing but lacked the stench. Like zombies, they slowly moved around towards him.

“Oh hell no…” For the first time in years, Riku ran for his life. His original plan did not matter. He desired to be safe.

Laughter roared through the woods, its reverberation reaching Riku, who frantically ran until he tilted over and emptied the contents of his stomach.

“These prosthetics look real!!!” “Yeah, one more life saved! Good job guys!” The “zombies” commemorated.

But the girl, she walked through the crowd without being noticed. “I wish I was saved…”

Accepting Myself- Coping Mechanism

Every dawn is a new battle, a conflict that has no win. It’s as if I’m in a loop every move is predictable, but not so much with my reaction. Anxiety. The word is easy to flaunt, but the repercussions not so much.

It started a few years ago I am not sure what ticked it off as a teenager, I lived through a series of events – some that are overly private to disclose, but that had impaired me nonetheless. I felt like I was drifting in the atmosphere, nothing could keep me grounded. I couldn’t be like Neil Armstrong, floundering around the moon with its gravity deficit atmosphere.

I suppose I took the word “grounded” way too literally, especially since I had transformed into an emotional eater. I couldn’t control the circumstances around me, but could damn sure regulate what I consumed! That was in my authority. The food felt good. It released endorphins, a drug that I wanted to be as high on for as long as I humanly could.

Unfortunately, that mechanism was flawed, my self-esteem dropped faster than a submarine plunging into the water. My waistline? Oh, boy. I could barely find clothes that would accommodate me. I found solace in wearing men’s clothes. They were comfortable and big, enough to conceal me from the world.

Perhaps the final catalyst was my hormonal acne – something that I didn’t recognize at the time. “Keep your skin clean, your pillowcases fresh!” the articles yelled at me, “Your phones are disgusting, even when compared to a public toilet!” These words echoed in my mind, weakening its components. Forcing me to fight a battle with the unseen.

Vulnerability isn’t my strongest suit. I was nurtured by the strongest woman I know. She’s been a shield, but a sword when she required to be. (Seriously, my mum once threatened the mum of my bully. “If your daughter touches mine, I’ll give her a reason to cry.” Needless to say, my bully and I became best friends. I reckon we both needed a little intimidation the get along anyway, haha.) So, writing this hasn’t exactly been comfortable.

Vulnerability is such a peculiar idea. Let’s feed in our weakness and hope that “they” won’t use it against us. It’s like that crack in the ozone layer, struggling to make its way back, to be whole again, but we all recognize it isn’t possible. That small tear is only the beginning of turning into something a little more jarring. Grievous.

Consequently, began my battle with my demons. A tactile sensation from a stranger felt like a retribution. I am extremely cautious of my personal space, and the perpetual thought of someone infecting me with their sickness keeps dwelling on my mind. It’s a shocker though, I live in a heavily populated city where humans roam in groups like they’re ants, ensuing a trail of honey. And even so, I’ve managed to live a life.

Certainly, there are sentiments that I would much rather not bear. Thoughts that keep me on edge, enough to make a grown woman cry. That grown woman being me. My family has been supportive for which I am indebted. Without them, I would struggle. For when they see me frantically cleaning, they don’t question it. They disregard the number of times I’ve sprayed rubbing alcohol on my clothes, my hands, my phone, my laptop, or even the sofa where I am going to be seated. “If you’re happy, that’s all that matters. Gives you a peace of mind, right?”

And certainly I do experience tranquility. I’m a frantic cleaner. It helps me decompress. Over the past 8 years, I’ve managed to wash my dried skin multiple times and shampoo my brittle hair every day. I am knowledgeable of the consequences of regular shampoo, trust me, my mum tells me every day. Though that is something I cannot manipulate.

Someone’s touch or a graze against something that did not have my consent leaves a jarring sensation. As if something is crawling up my skin, multiplying by reproducing. A chilling sensation is left behind which can merely be cleansed by purifying my skin.

How does it feel to be me? I don’t know, I’ve been unkind to myself for years and years abide. I seek to experience myself through some’s perspective. I am good looking, above average even. Sure, my body is a little tainted. Years of weight gain and weight loss, then leaves a series of stretch mark, loose skin and not very perky breasts. In recognition of all that, I am still good. This might sound vain, but rather is not. Perchance we all need to look at ourselves through the eyes of others. Others who we idealize but we don’t understand that they’ve got many procedures and surgical procedures done. What is the ideal self then? If the raw body, isn’t pretty in it, then where can we derive our stature from? How do we put bodies that have gone through cosmetic makeovers on pedestals while I disrespect my loose skin as being ugly? We have adopted the internet and generated a worse form of ogres. Our Frankensteins.

I’ve ultimately come to terms with myself. I am not perfect, I won’t ever be. My OCPD won’t go away, but I’ll have to live with it. That occurs with age. My younger self would be mortified to accept herself. I take pride. My germaphobia? That’s the consequence of me trying to dominate my surroundings. If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve probably eaten myself to death or seriously harmed myself. Sure, the dead don’t feel any pain once they’re gone. There are no emotions to prevail, no physical pain after passing on, but the vast hole that they leave behind, that. That breaks families down. That brews on for days, memories haunt the living. The dead are just…..dead.

My organization skills do have advantages too. In college, I completed my assignments and projects ages before the deadline. I was always up to date with everything. Today my sister says she won’t leave me for the following ten years! My household is dependent on what I order and plan in terms of meals. I have grown to become their support system. (They would starve. I tested it for two and a half weeks before I had to cave and be responsible again.)

Apart from all this, I’m grateful for my friends, who might be living far away from me but are just a call away. Life doesn’t feel so bad at all if only my younger self had adjusted a little.

For those who know Sima Aunty, this is for her!

[WP] Say “Instagremlin” in front of your mirror and earn 100,000 followers or…..Death!

“Greed and creed left to a simple deed, 100,000 was for whom to seed?”

“Stop it, Kara. This isn’t a joke! All of us could be dead!” He wasn’t sure if this was a blessing or a curse. Nauseated as he was, Michael sat down on the floor wheezing after his little outburst.

“It’s JUST an urban legend. Zuckerberg engineered it.” David whispered; his stomach no longer in knots. He recognized as a stupid idea, but peer pressure was something he was yet to overcome.

“100,000 followers could do me so right! I’m trying to break stereotypes here. ” Jonna intervene wishing he could break into his heels a similar way. “Maybe now Kylie would put me on her PR! OHMYGOD! WHAT IF KIM DID IT TOO! AND THEN KHLOE!” His face lit up at the endless outcomes. He adopted the terms “ride or die” too literally.

“I reckon it is a beneficial thing, if it were true, statistically speaking half of us would be dead, Kara.” David’s lips cracked into a little smile, “I am gratified with my 157 followers, at least they engage with me.”

“So… who is willing to die?” Kara sneered, a wicked smile cracking on her lips. “Maybe that’s the message, sacrifice one, then the other can be famous?” She whispered, her voice lacking of any emotion.

The three turned to her with distrust.

“What are you thinking?” Jonna answered quickly making his case. “I’m too pretty to die. Get rid of these uggos if you have to. Must be one of these nerds, I lay my bets on you, plant boy. No one cares about stupid flowers that you grow in your backyard!”

“Leave David alone!” Michael stepped in, getting right in his face.

“I know, that’s why I’ve been using you nerds. Do you think I would ever pass my time with you lot?” Jonna’s voice as a matter-of-fact.”

What’s wrong with you?!” David whispered defeated, were his friends using him this whole time?

Drip, drip, drip…

Blood trickled down Kara’s knife, the deed was done, two out of the three were dead.

“Any time now..”

And abruptly, all of their phones buzzed with a spine-chilling message. One that neither of them had anticipated.

“Is this it, Kara?” Michael inquired .

“No…”

“Greed and creed left to a simple deed, 100,000 was for whom to seed? There has been a time lag of an hour for fetching your wishes, may the odds be in your favor. Love, Gremz. HAHAHAHAHAH!

-The End-

Vector credit: Created by yahya012 – pngtree.com

Prompt Credit: Tribus Polaris

Man’s Search For Meaning

“After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”

Within darkness there is light.

About the book: This book is about Dr. Viktor’s journey throughout the holocaust. It is divided into two parts, one which he speaks on himself and in that setting and the other is how one should find a purpose in life, to live a happy life. I am speechless. I have the utmost respect for this man, even though he is no longer with us today, he has left a piece of himself that would go on to motivate others. Rest in peace, Dr. Viktor.

My Interpretation: I started off thinking I would write a thorough review on this book, but by the end of it all, I’m in awe. (Seriously though, I’ve got detail notes, page numbers of specific quotes, and all.)

This isn’t a book that requires a review. Honestly, I’m no one to rate such a book. There’s no rating on someone’s journey.

This book is an experience. At first, I was hesitant to read it since it was a “memoir of a holocaust survivor”, (reading is my escape from this chaotic world and I’d rather not put myself in a headspace when 2020 has already been so negative.) but I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.

It took me a while to read this book since I was holding onto every word printed on the script. Just like how people keep saying “glass is half full”, Dr. Viktor proved that in real life. I can’t fathom the misery he went through and still latched onto hope. He lost everyone. His parents. Brother. Wife. Unborn child. And even then, he was hopeful. Kind. Understanding.


I haven’t even endured 0.000000001% of what he has, and I’m bitter. (Slightly exaggeration for effect but you get it.) Maybe this is time I change it around. To constantly remind myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me and my sadness. There’s more to the world than just me. Generosity is nice. Hope is nice. Whatever the world decides to throw at me, I’ll tackle it headfirst. Because I’m my own god damn savior. ✌

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Washing Hands – My Battle with Germaphobia


Smooth palms purged,

Wept for help.

Each smidge of soap burnt like hell.


“One last time”

She cooed to them.

A lie to condemn.


Hands wrestled

Immersed into a waterfall.

Drowning.


“How many times more?”

Epidermis ruptured

A touch like sawdust


“I am sorry…

I can’t help it…

Can’t help it..”


When your life depend’s on other’s happiness.

Hello there, dear readers. I present another Writing Prompt to you. Feel free to read through and share your thoughts! I would VERY much appreciate that. If this prompt inspires you, please go ahead and write a story or poem and let me know when you do! So I can read it!!! This was inspired by u/Fuwo

A stern look of disappointment gushes lots of emotions through the human body – heart palpation increased breathing, which could all surmise into the sense of being in discomfort. But I was among the special ones, for my discomfort seemed beyond the norm. One thunderous look and my body burned like it was on fire, a flash of light phased through me, giving birth to a beam of red indicating -1. 

When it first started, I thought I was hallucinating, for my eyes kept seeing a constant increase and decrease in numbers.

Smile to a stranger +1 green appeared with 7184

Bump into a stranger -1 red, 7183

Looking back, I should’ve tried harder, maybe get a job in something…. less disappointing. Customer Service, a model that Hell should look into. It’s filled with disappointments and anger no matter what route I take.

“Welcome to GG Mart, this is Leslie, how may I help you today?” I tried to sound chirpy from my enclosed booth. It was shielded by glass, giving a sense of security one I knew I didn’t possess. My back ached in discomfort, as my derriere was planted on a wooden stool that had seen better days.

“My ice creamed melted” the voice of a young lady replied after meticulously chewing on her gum. 

“I’m sorry to hear that, are our freezers not working?” I inquired, glancing down at the number staring up at me on a piece of paper that I had written after my previous customer. 429. That is how many days I had left to live.

Down from 7184, in less than 6 months. Having my body go through a series of dramatic changes, I no longer felt like a 21-year-old. 

 Every joint in my body ached like it had too lived its span. My hair has been brittle just like my nails. The skin around my body sagged, my self-esteem was in ruins, but I had to push it through. Every customer mattered. Every feeling was valid. With a wide smile and lack of dentures, I looked up at my customer like a toothless newborn. 

“No. I left it in my car and it melted.” She answered as a matter of fact.

“How long was that?”

“Uh…. Yesterday?”

“It happened yesterday?”

“No” An exasperated sigh followed as if it was such a chore to explain to me her chain of thoughts. “yesterday. I wanted to surprise myself when I got done with work TODAY. So, I left it in my car YESTERDAY! Like ‘OH ICE CREAM!’ Y’know?” She enunciated every word to make a show of her paper-thin patience. 

My gaze on her narrowed, was this a joke? How did she expect the ice cream to NOT melt?

“I see… Ma’am… According to our policy… We can’t…” I swallowed as hard as I could, there it was another disappointment staring at my face. “Do.. anything about that…”

Now her eyes were narrowed on mine as I out a nervous chuckle. “Are you sure?”

“Would a coupon for buy 3 get 1 free for London Dairy do instead?” I reached for the pile of coupons and pushed it through the transactional drawer between us.

“Hmm…” She pondered as my heart was in my throat. “Take the bait! “I thought while mentally trying to vibe with her brain to be happy. “You are happy”

“I’m glad that you gave me this….” She said, the corners of her eyes fluttering upwards as her hand reached in and pulled the coupon out. “Oooh, this is good. Plus one. C’mon baby, plus one!” “…BUT I WANTED MY MONEY BACK, YOU CHEATS!!” She shrieked, taking the coupon anyway, before flicking me off and leaving. I sat there deflated, “She was sort of happy… RIGHT?” then a red beam appeared out of nowhere, with terrifying lightning that pierced through my chest. -1.

428

The effect continued to ripple through me, I grasped tightly onto my chair for support, with every effort to say grounded, my body refused to abide. My vision turned foggy, initially I assumed it was just because of the shock, but even after sipping some water, it remained constant. My eyes. They were no longer what they used to be.

I must make someone happy, I was borderline dying now.

“Excuse me!” A scorned voice broke me free from my encaged thoughts.

“I’m sorry, welcome to GG Mart, how may I help you today?” I answered through a series of panted breaths.

The customer seemed to vary now. Was that a good thing? Maybe I didn’t disappoint them now that I haven’t done anything… Yet.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, yes, what was the issue, sir?” I answered instead.

“Are the working conditions that bad here?” His question surprised me as I tried to focus on him through my hazy vision. A rectangular figure was grasped on the heel of his hand, a notepad perhaps? Was he some sort of an inspection officer, journalist… or worst…forming a…Union…?

“Oh, no, no, no!” I retorted instead, trying not to make a scandal out of this. “ I forgot my glasses home and had been drinking last night. Hungover.”

I lied through my clenched teeth, hoping for a miracle, “Please make this man believe me. Make him happy!”

But happiness isn’t so easy to attain. In search of happiness is a man who is capable of running through shards of glass on a bed of hot coal with nothing but his naked feet. That sort of dedication is required to attain happiness from self-within.

With that, my ignorance was no longer bliss. I had to make changes, but for myself. Be happy, but for myself.

I had a different ending in mind, but this felt a lot more wholesome. Hopefully the message was passed through. Take care and stay safe!

ARC Review: Fighter: A Bad Boy College Romance

Kindle Blurb:

True love sounds great until it shows up on your doorstep wrapped in a warning label.

When Tristan walks back into my life, he’s not the childhood friend I remember. He’s harder, dangerous, angry. But he’s gentle with me. And he wants to know why I gave up my dreams of being an artist. 

An underground fighter with a track record of leaving is the worst person I could fall for. But he keeps showing up at my door, telling me that my paintings are amazing and I’m even better. My head says, “No,” but my heart says, “Yes.”

He thrives on violence. I’m desperate for security. 
He’s angry and lost. I know exactly what I want, if only I dared reach for it. He’s on a dark, self-destructive spiral. I’ve already lost one person. I refuse to do it again.

Will the passion they’ve found together burn out in the light of day? Or can they change enough to find real happiness? 

My Thoughts:

Ahhhh, mixed feelings here!

I won’t lie, the blurb got me invested and I wanted to read this book. (That’s what a good blurb does, right?)

But!!!!!!

I felt like the story was a little all over the place, fast-paced without proper character building. I couldn’t connect with either one of them.

Tristan’s anger was unjustified, frankly, he seemed ungrateful for all he had. He was confused and rebellious towards his extremely supportive parents. Maybe if one of them had a menacing intend then I could’ve understood it.

Sure, I understand that the author wanted Kaia and Tristan to be childhood friends, that was a sweet intent, but it raised so many questions. Maybe if she had built more upon their past? I don’t think I could instantly recognize someone I hadn’t seen in ten years, especially when I was a child. It felt a little too far-fetched for me.

Why mention the “bear” tattoo without any significance to it? It frustrated me when Tristan sort of ignored that part of the conversation.

Although, it wasn’t all so bad. I liked the ending. I did like the touch upon mental and emotional health, that was really good. Her writing was a good effort, would like to see more of Anna’s word in the future.

My Rating: 2.7/5. Quick, fast read.

Content Notices: Mention of drugs, drugs abuse, loss of a loved one, blood, profanity and attempted sexual assault.

Audience: Young Adults

Pages: 200, Kindle Edition

I received a complimentary advance review copy, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.