So, I want to start with a disclaimer that I may or may not have just cried due to a single line in a book, and it may or may not have sparked this blog. I also want whoever is reading this to know that I'm about to bare myself to the world through this post, something I rarely do. Even if you've read all of my blog entries, you really don't know me at all. I'm a private person, only letting you see what I want you to see. The only glimpse into the Real Emily is through the L&J books I wrote. If you read those, then you know one side of me.
The other side of me is the woman who feels like a girl, and is floating through North America trying to figure out which way is up. This Emily is emotional, willing to endure the pain of losing a finger, but terrified of the ache brought on by a broke heart. It could be broken by a lover, a friend, a coworker, a demon boss (not mentioning names), or a casual acquaintance. They all hurt. This Emily is also a closet crier. Please don't tell anyone.
In the book world, it's totally acceptable to cry over a story. It could be due to exquisite writing, a compelling story, a sad ending, a happy ending, or a combination of any of the aforementioned sob-worthy book elements. Sometimes though, an author writes a line that isn't all that moving for the general public. It's a line that is merely taking us from one sentence to the next, from one scene to another, or in my case is a line of dialogue that is merely moving the story along.
So let's take a pause here, because I'm obviously reading something, right? Have you ever had a line or a paragraph hit so close to home with you that it overwhelms you with emotion? I'm not talking about those "perfect" lines in Kristen Ashley books. No, I'm talking about a line that speaks to you personally because it feels as if the writer is living your life and detailing it on your e-reader.
I'll cut to the chase. Love, in Spanish by Karina Halle. If you read my blog regularly then you already know how I felt about Love, in English, the first book in the series. I write Goodreads reviews all the time, but taking the time to write a blog about a book means it meant something to me and probably is going into my 'favs' file in GRs.
Anyhoo, Karina Halle just happened to write a book about a Canadian woman who spends a month in Spain and falls in love. In the sequel, we get the hero, Mateo's, POV. It is not a retelling, but a continuation of their love story. Before I move on, let me say that Halle is one of those writers that I can only hope to one day be. She has a gift with words, pulling you (or me) into her stories to the point I can see them playing out as a movie in my head. Surprisingly, I haven't read her Experiment in Terror series, which she is best known for. She got me with the Artists Trilogy, a super gritty romance that had all the elements I crave in a good romance: action, adventure, shoot outs, hot sex, hot hero, hot heroine, danger, passion, car chases, and exquisitely compelling characters. Shit, I digress.
Back to Love, in Spanish and why I may or may not be dabbing my eyes with a towel. This line:
"I don't belong in Vancouver, and yet I don't feel like I belong here either."
And then this one:
"I'm just afraid that Spain doesn't want me."
Nice lines but not monumental, right? So why am I bawling? (Fuck the may or may not shit. I'm bawling. There I said it.)
I'm an American (a Midwestern Girl) living in Central Mexico. I had these grand ideas of the adventure I'd have and the love I'd find. I thought it would be where I met my future husband and perfected my Spanish. In truth, it has been seven months of 25% bliss and 75% misery. I am struggling, like Vera, to get a work visa, I've been burned by people and have sequestered myself in my apartment, filling my time with writing and reading. If you don't leave the house, no one can hurt you, right?
Like Vera, I don't want to go back to the United States. It's not that I don't love my country. In fact, being in Mexico has made me love my country even more. I miss my music, going to clubs and dancing to hip hop, a place with (mostly) functioning break lights on the car in front of you, and perfume free products. I rue that I'm missing the last years of Obama's term. I miss my mom.
...Yet, I'm not ready to come back. I don't know why. I can't put words to it. I left for a reason. I wanted to live as Thoreau said:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."
I don't think I've accomplished this. I will likely spend my life attempting to achieve this, and THAT will be why I do not die feeling as though I haven't lived. Maybe I'm supposed to go someplace else, though, because it feels like Mexico doesn't want me, just like Spain doesn't want Vera. I've shed more tears south of the border than I've cried in the last five years (book tears not included because those don't count, right?). Mexico is ripping me apart, but there has to be a reason. I can't see it now, but I have faith there is a reason. Waiting it out is killing me slowly, though. I don't wait well.
So as you can see (read), Halle had managed to write words I've thought, but only said out loud to my mother. Coincidence that she wrote them? Yes. Coincidence that of the myriad of books on my Kindle, I chose to read this one tonight? Nope.
Now that I've written a weepy blog and told you a couple of my fears, let me close with a few words about the actual book. It fucking rocks. I read something Halle wrote about how she wasn't sure she could write a contemporary romance after writing horror and super gritty romance. Well, she nailed it with Love, in English and again (so far) with Love, in Spanish. I'm in love with Mateo and Vera. I desperately want them to get their HEA, though I have a feeling I won't get it without being put through the emotional wringer.
Both are such well developed characters that it feels as if I could reach through the Kindle and touch them. Halle's writing is flawless as she uses words to purge the feelings of two fictional characters onto our e-reader screens. There's no confusing sentences, fucked up time lines, or embarrassing typos. (Things I may or may not be in the process of fixing in my next book that will be releasing December 15th. Thank you, Melinda, editor extraordinaire.)
Damn. I think I'm done. I've told you Mexico doesn't want me, I don't want to return to the States, I'm a little broken over here, Love, in Spanish is just as good (so far) as Love, in English, and that I have a book about to come out. Whew, crammed quite a bit in there. I'm at 38% in Love, in Spanish and you will most likely be able to find a review on GRs in the next day or two for it. It's already five stars, I can tell you that.
And now you all know a little bit more about me. I'm not as tough as I might appear, but damnit, I'm a fighter and a believer. Things will work out. Even if they don't, it's OK because I'm already working on a new book for your reading pleasure. Now, if I magically find my Mateo and fall madly in love, you may have to wait a little bit for the book I have in progress. Fighting Words releases December 15th, so that one is in the bag.
Here's the cover, and I'll let you know when it goes live.
Thanks for reading my overly personal blog that I most definitely bawled while writing.