Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guam Goddess in Training Does a Book Review! 'Scarlet Lies' By Lani Young

“Scarlet, are you a cynic?”
“No, I’m a realist. I think you’ll find many romance writers are.”


This is a book review of Lani Young’s ‘Scarlet Lies’ (Book One of the Scarlet Series). I was excited to receive this book from Lani herself in April. There are so many reasons I love anything Lani does and so many ways I loved ‘Scarlet Lies’ even before reading it. For one, Lani has become one of the strongest female voices for Pasifika writers. Her ‘Telesa’ series (YA) is a force upon itself. Young’s work is important because it offers islanders of all backgrounds a connection to characters who reflect their culture. We need more stories about US in this sea of literature, and she is a pioneer. Photo:jennphotog.com

I nibbled at ‘Scarlet Lies’ at first, getting to know Scar, the heroine of this story. Sometimes I devoured entire sections of the book; much like Scar would when faced with a tasty dessert. I had many LOL moments and many moments of cultural connectedness. I’ve discovered so much of the Samoan life reflects my life as a Chamorro from Guam. As I jumped from chapter to chapter, I highlighted sections in blue that hinted at Scar’s tortured past, pink for cultural observations, and brown for progression in her connection with love interest, Jackson.

Jackson=perfection. I’ll leave it there and let you discover more about him. #JasonMomoa

Young does an excellent job of giving you glimpses of the true pain that Scar has lived with. The Scarlet Letter A, so to speak that she’s been branded with controls her life in so many ways. And aren’t we all tortured by something in our past? Being from an island, they don’t let you forget it, do they?

The writing, every delicious layer, kept me eager to find out more about Scar. The broken Goddess that she is, Scar begins an evolution in this story. Scar is such a real person in my mind that I want to be her friend and bask in her unknowing awesomeness. I love that she is a dessert fiend and also blogs. Big Brown Beeetch.com, I wish it existed, trust me I checked. But Scar’s blog exists in this book and Young folds it into the story expertly. And Lani's blog link is here.

Without giving away too much more about this lovely story, because you should really get a copy and read it for yourself, I will praise Young’s writing magic and the journey I took with Scar. I identified with lovely Scar immediately—from being more woman than the norm #curves, to her predilection for anything sweet #croquembouche, and her admiration for sculptured physiques #mancandy, ‘Scarlet Lies’ is a complex, sophisticated dessert of a story and I cannot wait for the next serving, ‘Scarlet Secrets’.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Solitude Makes Me a Better Me.

"I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone."
--Lord Byron

Random fact: I attended both my junior and senior high school proms alone, or stag as it was called. I didn’t stress that I was dateless. I had my bestie with me and we had fun. I only bring this random fact up because as I was sitting in my mechanical massage chair getting a pedicure yesterday, and the many young ladies around me were discussing prom. I was privy to their schedule for the day, with nails getting done, hair and make up later and so forth. It was nice to see their enthusiasm. It’s been great seeing my friends' children’s prom pics on Facebook, reminding me that time has surely flown.

I have a good seven years or so before my first born is in the throngs of prom season. I want him to know, and my daughter to know when it’s her time that going “stag” or whatever they may call it in the future is fine. Not going at all, not a big deal either. You won’t get screwed up later in life despite the messages we get in movies or books or TV, as in Pretty in Pink, when Annie Potts’s character, Iona tells Molly Ringwald’s character, Andie that she had a friend who didn’t go to prom and is now “off’ somehow.

I’m also reading, and enjoying Paper Towns by John Green, where prom is a hot button topic. (Book review soon/in tandem with a movie review once I see it).

Here's Seventeen magazine's take on going to prom solo and I agree (except for the high heels thing). LINK, yo!

Solitude is a good thing. To be alone and to like yourself, that’s a healthy thing. I’ve had many opportunities to explore this, from eating alone in a restaurant, attending a concert solo (many, actually), and heading to a part of town that I don’t particularly like just to attend an author signing (as in Joe Hill). I know when the house is quiet, that I will be fine. I crave some solitude daily and use it, well heck, mostly to do chores, but more importantly to check in with myself.

As my family is playing golf in our backyard, and checking on wildlife (we have a raccoon family under our hot tub), I’m carving out a bit of time to write, in solitude.

I may feel this way too because I am an introvert, but alone time will always be my party time.

A Story of a Stolen Mermaid--(and the Infringement of an Artist)

Fact: I wrote Sirena: A Mermaid Legend from Guam in 2010. Fact: My brother, Sonny Chargualaf is the talented artist behind the imagery. ...