Thursday, May 29, 2014

Indie Chick Lit Book Tour!

Unfaithfully Yours: Confessions of a Cheating Bitch

My name is Chrystal Rose and I’m a cheating bitch. I’m not the first woman to cheat and I won’t be the last. I’m just one of the few who’ll admit to it. Forget what you think you know about cheaters. You think once we are, we always are. You think it’s all about sex. You think we’re whores. Maybe we are.
Maybe we’re just looking for the right one, the right one to keep us faithful. Maybe that’s you. Or maybe it’s no one. 
Either way, I spent 6 years with a man I wasn’t in love with, but promised to marry. And I cheated on him, mercilessly. This is my story.

This is my second review for Indie Chick Lit, and it's the second time they've taken me outside my comfort zone. First with vampires, now cheating. And I'm loving it.

Unfaithfully Yours is a memoir by Chrystal Rose, who lays it all on the line. She tells it just like it is and there is no sugar-coating option.

What I loved was that the book didn't begin with Chrystal as an adult, cheating away. It begins with her childhood and the how the events of her childhood shaped her beliefs, her thoughts, her ideals, and how to lie. Another thing I enjoyed about this book was that I went full circle in my feelings about Chrystal herself. I started off liking her, then I felt bad for her, then I wasn't sure how much I liked her, she aggravated me, I felt happy for her, I felt bad for her, and in the end, liked her.

Anyone who can survive a "therapeutic boarding school" that removes you from your bed in a "covert ninja-style operation where I was snatched from my bed rather than allowed to discuss it like a human" gets a lot of brownie points from me. But essentially, this is where she learned to how to lie so well. After surviving boarding school, she sets out in the world at age 18 to find her place in it.

She admits that she loves alcohol and sex, and not necessarily in that order. She always manages to have at least one job (in some cases three jobs at once, which I can completely relate to as I currently work three jobs and I totally applaud her for it, because, trust me, it ain't easy), and keeps her life in order.

I felt bad for her while she was with Shark Boy for so long, the man she "spent 6 years with, wasn't in love with, yet promised to marry". I never once felt sorry for Shark Boy, oddly enough. And I saw everything she didn't with Abaddon.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I laughed, I giggled, I facepalmed, I shook my head, I got angry and felt relief.  I give Chrystal brownie points for having the lady balls to write a memoir about her cheating past. She did it in an entertaining way, all the while, giving you pointers, tips, and do's and don'ts and how to tell if your guy is a "mama's boy". I enjoyed her tale of her life thus far and hope that she will do more in the future.

Where can you get your copy? You can shop with the Indie Chicks at their online bookstore!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

And that is exactly what I've been doing. For the past two weeks I have been buried in work. 

About a month ago, my Board of Directors wished me to fill out an application for the IRS to change our company's status to Non-Profit. One of our Members had filed an extension on our taxes, saying we had to wait for our tax preparer to be less busy after tax season; the reason I mention this is that the application required the finances for the current year, and the previous three years. So in order to complete it, I needed our 2013 taxes. And I have never done corporate taxes before, and I honestly believe it's best for a CPA to do them. About two weeks ago, I got a notice from the IRS saying they had rejected our application for extension. I automatically called our accountant and was informed that the deadline for corporate taxes was March 15th. The Board Member didn't mail the extension in until April. *sigh* I then asked her about doing our taxes and mentioned I was told we had to wait until she wasn't as busy with tax season. She seemed a bit confused about that. The next day I got her the information she needed. A week later she called to say they were done. I picked them up, got ahold of said Board Member to sign them and I will take them back on Tuesday for them to be submitted. Now, here's the thing: apparently last fall, a board member and the previous office gal had submitted a grant application to the California Department of Public Health, for planning funds (for upgrading our 60 year old system). The CDPH will not award funds to a For-Profit company. This Board Member knew about this for the past 6 months or so, and has been twiddling his thumbs and sitting on his ass. I show up and have it completed rather quickly, especially once the taxes were done.

Before this whole fiasco, I had typed up all the answers into a Word document so that I could copy and paste my answers into the form online and then print it out so that I could send it in. Now, pause this application for just a moment.

Also, two and a half weeks ago, Boyfriend asked me to go to a seminar that he couldn't make it to, regarding planning and funding. I agreed to go, believing it would be a snooze-fest. Oddly enough, it wasn't and it was super helpful on top of it. I learned of a grant that our company could apply for. As a For-Profit company (still), we are very limited in grant funding; only one agency will even consider it. And as it happens, this is one that did. Unfortunately, it was due in two weeks. I have never written a grant before, so this was going to be fun.

For two weeks, I have thought of nothing but this grant. I decided to not work on the Non-Profit application until the grant was finished. I had hour long phone calls with a gal who was my contact for assistance with the grant as she answered my questions and explained things. I lived and breathed this thing. Holy shit those things are hard! And this was a fairly "easy" one. I spent hours putting together supplemental documents and trying to track down agencies that would write a letter of support at the last minute. The grant was from Prop 84 funding for drought preparedness. As most know, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency due to the extremely dry winter we had. And previous not-so-went winters as well. Our little water company needs money to install meters on our customers. At the rate we can afford, we might be able to install two meters a month. That would take us a minimum of 6 years to complete. Our customers are on a flat rate for "unlimited" water and we have no way to enforce conservation. Our well production numbers are declining and we had to turn on the river pump a least two months earlier than normal to meet customer demand. Should this drought continue, it's possible our wells will start drying up and if the river  is too low, we won't be able to use it, either. We'd be up Shit Creek without a paddle. Hell, without a raft as well. We'd just be in Shit Creek. Installing meters is a very important first step for us - once we have meters, we can do a proper rate study to see how much water each household is using, come up with a new billing system, and we can enforce conservation. With grant funding, we could have all the meters installed in just a few months.

Last Monday, I got a call from a Board Member that he would like to take the Non-Profit application down to our contact at the Department of Public Health Drinking Water in Redding for review before sending it to the IRS. He was going to Redding on Friday and would like it done before then.


I juggled the two for the week. On Thursday, I finished up the Non-Profit application and made copies of all required documents that had to be sent in. After lunch, I worked the rest of the day on finishing up the grant application. I wanted to send it in early, in case there were any issues. The deadline was 5pm on the 26th, which for those of us in the States is a Federal Holiday - Memorial Day. The gal I needed to email it to (the gal whom I had been in contact with) wouldn't be at the office. Just before 8:30pm on Thursday, I emailed the grant in.

I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I hadn't realized just how stressed I had been for two weeks. I actually cried a little. And I was suddenly very tired.

Friday morning my grant contact called me and said we needed to fix a couple things. I fixed (hopefully) the issues and emailed it back to her.

Our contact at the Department of Health Drinking Water emailed me Friday to let me know that at a cursory glance the Non-Profit application looked good.

It's now out of my hands.

Talk about acquiring new job skills. I can now add grant writer to the list of things I can do.

I've learned that with this job, it's sink or swim baby. Deep end only. No shallow end and no kiddie pool.

My grant application. At least an inch thick.

The Non-Profit application. Right around an inch thick. On top is an "expedite letter" so that hopefully by telling them the one thing holding up grant funding is out status.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off

Shit. Shit. Shitshitshitshitshitshitshit. Shit!

I slip out of bed as quietly as humanly possible. At least until my legs get caught up in the sheet and I land on my back with a loud THUD. Hardwood floors are soooo unnecessary! My mind screamed. I finagle my feet out of the sheets and peered over the top of mattress. He was still snoring. I let out a sigh of relief. I crawl around, looking for my clothes. Shoes, check. Dress, check. Where in God's name are my bra and panties?!

I slowly stand, watching Brad sleep. And listening for any change in his breathing. Or is it Ben? Bob? Oh dear God, not again. I finally find my panties, flung somehow onto a lampshade. Just like in a movie. I give myself an eye roll as I slip my panties on. Now if I could just find my bra . . . Oh. My. God. Seriously?! Somehow, as if by a miracle, or Karma, my bra is wedged under Brad, or Ben, or whatever his name is. I decide it's not worth it since there's an extra in my hotel room.

Speaking of which, I suddenly realize that I have absolutely no idea where I am. As I wiggle back into my dress, I look around and deduce that it's not a hotel room; it's the guy's apartment. I tiptoe out to the hall and glance around - I can't see that he has a family or significant other. He probably told me that last night. I find my purse in a chair in the living room and grab my cell phone. A couple missed calls and several missed text messages. I looked up a number for a cab company but realized before I dialed, again, that I have no idea where I am.

Nice going, slick. I tiptoe to the front door, unlock it as quietly as possible and quickly found out that it could use a smidge of WD-40. I open the door, slipp out and shut it quietly.  I run down the front steps, reach the sidewalk and breathe a sigh of relief. I slip my shoes on and walk a few houses down and dial the cab company. A few minutes later, my savior was driving a yellow car. As long as it's not the "Cash Cab", I'm good.

Back at my hotel, I shower, change clothes and brace myself to check my phone again. I check the voicemail first.

"Hey babe, just checking in. I'm sure you're letting loose a bit after that horrible seminar you had. Just wanted to tell you I love you and I can't wait until you get home. Travel safe."

I. am. the. worst. person. in. the. world. Next I check the text messages. One from Andy wishing me a good morning and several from my boss. The latter was not to wish me a good morning. Suddenly a text message came in from an unknown number. "Yo babe, ya left witout sayin bye. Was hopin 4 a repeet of last nite."

The man can't even spell "repeat". I scratch my head, wondering what I had seen in Brad-Ben-Bob. Oh . . . that's right. A six pack and a nice ass. And Tequila. Lots and lots of Tequila. But I had given him my number? I hadn't done that before. But then, I hadn't done the whole cheating thing in awhile. Not since meeting Andy. Andy was different, he made me want to be a better person. He knew about my history; that I had cheated before. I earned his trust. And in one night I ruined it. The wedding is two months away. I'm not even stressed about it. Everything has been taken care of. All I have to do is look forward to it. I am, right? I am looking forward to it? I want this more than anything, right? I keep finding myself signing my name, with my new last name. I don't feel like a Princess in my wedding gown . . . I feel like a Queen and I love wearing it. I do, right? I hate myself for what I've done.

I call the airport and change my flight. Screw the rest of the seminar and flying home on a packed commuter flight. I pack my bags and check out of the hotel. The war in my head already giving me a migraine. I got another cab, telling him to take me to the airport.  What have I done? Why did I drink the Tequila?? I know what it does to me. And Andy? What about him? What about us? Will he call the wedding off? Will I? Will I even tell him? What he doesn't know won't hurt him. Right? No, it'll eat me up alive. I have to tell him. How? Shitshitshitshitshitshit.

To make matters worse, Brad-Ben-Bob won't stop texting me. I finally tell him to fuck off. Evidently I chose poorly last night since even "fuck off" doesn't seem to sink in. Picked a real winner, didn't I? Loser.

The flight seemed to take forever even though it was only a quick commuter flight of 45 minutes. Another cab ride later and I am home. Andy wouldn't be home from work for another few hours.
I walk in the house and started crying. I drag my suitcase up the stairs, loving the carpet as opposed to the hardwood flooring from this morning, and walk into the bedroom.

"What the fuck?!" I exclaim.

The sight before me was nearly more than I could take. Andy was in bed. And so was some blonde chick. On top of him. They scramble to cover themselves up as I just stand there, completely shocked. And angry. I know I had really screwed up and had some explaining to do, but what the hell was this?!

"Um, sweetie . . . hi . . . I thought you were getting home later tonight?" 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Indie Chicklit Book Tour!

Welcome my first book review for the Indie Chick Lit website! I am so excited to be a part of this endeavor.

Cerise Norrel, Type A substitute teacher by day, is ready to quit being a domme. Despite her best intentions, none of her partners can keep up with her scene fetish and attention to detail—let alone her demand that they have a costume and set waiting every afternoon by the time she’s home from school.
Over a dozen potential subs have left her in the past year, but just when Cerise thinks it’s impossible—that she’ll have to go back to vanilla relationships, or be alone forever–she meets William, who wants to make all her fantasies come true. He turns her home into a geisha’s dream apartment, a concert hall with a grand piano (which he uses to play an original composition while wearing a tuxedo), and even rents an abandoned loft for a zombie apocalypse scene—complete with canned goods.
But there’s something strange about William. Well, a lot of strange things. He must be absurdly rich, since he can afford to provide extravagant costumes and props on a daily basis without having to leave work early. He must be insane, since he puts up with Cerise’s over-the-top demands. And most importantly, he doesn’t redden when he’s spanked, and his skin is as cool as satin sheets. When Cerise discovers she’s become domme to the infamous “Chilly Willy,” as he’s known throughout BDSM urban lore, she begins to find out there’s a whole lot more to her handsome submissive than a creative mind and a hard body.
And when it’s William, ironically, who starts pressing Cerise to give him the kind of commitment she’s never given anyone, it’ll take everything she has to work through her issues, confront her past, and learn to be vulnerable.

Before I begin, I have to admit that I am not a fan of vampire anything and I have never read anything so . . . steamy. However, in the last few years I have begun to stray out from my little sheltered cove of book reading to try new things. With this book, I killed two birds with one stone.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I intended to read it over a few days as I had a deadline looming with my Grandparents paper as well, but that didn't happen. I read it in two evenings while Boyfriend watched movies I didn't care for, like Kill Bill. I literally couldn't stop reading.

We find that Cerise (or Mistress Cherry), our female Domme, is one helluva picky gal when it comes to her potential submissive men. Comically and annoyingly picky. She has an eye for detail and is highly disappointed when her Sub doesn't and they are summarily dismissed. She has ridiculously high standards and requests from her Sub being self-employed to the Sub being required to have a scene set up and waiting for her each afternoon when she gets home from work, and let's not forget that eye for detail. Details are the "thing" and are extremely important in Cerise's world of "scenes".

The most hilarious bits of this book include Bizzy, Cerise's very demanding . . . hmmm, how do I keep this this family friendly? I'm sure you get the point. Ahem. Anyway, Cerise describes Bizzy as a kind of heckler with absolutely no filter, and at least once accidentally attempts to silence her out loud, making people look at her funny.

She's fresh off the Disappointment Train when she goes to a BDSM type of speed-dating gig and meets William. From the moment she lays eyes on him, she can't stop thinking about him. He's not put off by her high demands and is hot enough that it makes Bizzy scream. William's nickname is "Chilly Willy", and pretty much tells Cerise point blank that he's a vampire but she doesn't believe him. Since vampire is very trendy these days she thinks nothing of it. But because William does things very differently than her previous Subs (mostly he does stuff right and amazes her with details) she soon begins to wonder just what secrets he's hiding. And William slowly pushes his Mistress to open up and we find out just what events in life have made Cerise who she is.

Another comical bit is that since she's a substitute teacher, Cerise is often reading things from William, or just thinking about him and gets lost in thought to the point where she wonders if the students in the classroom have any idea why she's flushed.

For me, one of the best things about this book was that the vampire thing, while a constant in the background, wasn't shoved in my face (you know, because of that whole not-into-vampires thing). It didn't really become a huge deal until the last quarter of the book. Considering the title of the book and the fact that William basically outs himself right away, you already know what he is, you're just waiting for Cerise to figure it out. Another thing I liked was that when Cerise realized the truth, she embraced William as he is; she didn't fly off the handle, wig out, and tell him that he was "dismissed".

Cerise has a lot to learn about being "human", and a vampire shows her that. A bit of a twist there and I liked that.

Overall, this was a great, saucy, humorous read that I recommend to just about anyone. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from Mina Vaughn. To get yourself a copy of this book, click here. To see what other great books are available, check out the Indie Chicks Store.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Love That Died

"We met in college - I a Wellesley girl, he a Harvard guy. It was just like it was in the movies. He swept me off my feet. We were married before we graduated. Looking back, we were just children, really. As a graduation gift to my family, I shared my first pregnancy - our daughter, Karen. She was our world, our reason for being. Not long after that, we were blessed with our son, Jackson. Darren was a savvy businessman, loved his job and his family. Our lives were, for us, perfect. We became parents, grandparents, soon to be great-grandparents. Darren was a wonderful man and father and husband. He will be missed by many."

A few tears streamed down my face. I sniffled. I had done it. I took my seat back in the first pew. My kids patted my shoulders, hugged me.

A few other family member got up and spoke of Darren, a few funny stories to try to lighten the mood.

Eventually people began filing out, hugging me and saying how sorry they were for my loss. I had opted for an outdoor service for one reason. My allergies would make sure I was convincing.

Finally it was just myself and the kids. I asked for a moment alone with my husband. They obliged. I waited until they were out of ear shot.

"I loved you. I married you. I bore children for you. I raised them for you. I was a dutiful wife to you. I know you didn't love me the same. I'm not sure when the love left, but it did. So did the respect. You lived a lie. You made my life a lie. In turn, you made me liar; I lied to the kids about you. I always told you that you could tell me anything. If you had just told me, I would have understood. I would have respected you. Don't get me wrong, I still would have been mad, but I would have forgiven you. We could have been so much happier. Instead you lied, you became a sneak, and you thought I didn't know. I knew. I knew about all of it. There would have been no shame had you just told me. Instead I discover from the lawyer that you left part of your estate to him. What am I supposed to tell your children? You bastard. You fucking bastard. Rot in Hell."

I turned to leave, to return to my family. How many of them know? If they know, how long have they known? I don't want their pity. I don't want their sympathy. I don't to see that look in their eyes. I knew he was here. He knew I knew. I could see it in his eyes.

The question remained: How do I tell our children that their parents lives were all a lie?

I remained stoic as I made my way across the cemetery lawn. But now the tears were real.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Friend in the Mirror 

I discovered her long ago, when I was just a child. Old enough to have an "imaginary friend" but too young for anyone to believe the truth. It was only after I got to a certain age that I stopped speaking of her to anyone. They said it wasn't "natural" for a kid to have still have an imaginary friend. So now she's my secret and I'm hers. Evidently in her world, it was similar.

She looks just like me. A little different, but we have the same eyes, the same nose, the same dimples when we smile, and the same color hair. Our voices are the same, our mannerisms are mostly the same, and we have the same sense of humor.

She's dirtier than me, but I think it's all from her lifestyle. I find her life so interesting; I would give my left arm some days to switch for just one day; she has the same wish. It has yet to happen as I still have my left arm. But we tell each other everything about our lives; our worlds.

Our worlds are so different. I don't understand why, but she tells me her world's history and it's not quite the same as ours. Many of the same incidents happened in both our worlds but the outcomes were different and a few different incidents, which I guess can greatly influence how our worlds evolved.

I discovered her in my mirror one day; my parents thought my "imaginary" friend was based on my love of Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, not to mention my overactive imagination. Over the years as we've gotten older we've had to be careful of meeting up so our families didn't think us crazy and in her case, that she wasn't caught by anyone else.  She says the lawmen in her world are strict concerning behavioral issues that arise.

She's a farmer in her world. I work for the Department of Agriculture. Only a few members of her family have ever chosen to not be a farmer. My sister is a lawyer and my brother is a Chiropractor. Water use is highly restricted in her world, none gets wasted; otherwise you could be punished to the fullest extent. Water is still widely available and while we are in a drought, no one is in danger of being arrested for wasting wasting a drop of water. People have a "station" in life, although they have an ability to leave it if they wish. Nobody has a "station", anyone can choose what they want to be. 

We've discussed the guys I've dated. She wishes she could have dated, but that's not quite how they do things. She's now married and has a baby on the way. I am still waiting to find Mr. Right.

We have no idea how we're able to communicate between our worlds and we speculate there have to be other worlds where we exist, but for some unknown, unexplainable reason, our mirrors connect us. We used to meet up nearly every week; we've become our own best friend. The last time we spoke was six months ago when she was going to tell me the name her and her husband had decided on for their baby. But she was scared someone was watching her and she disappeared in a rush.

Tonight, as usual, I spend a few minutes at my little mirror, hoping she'll come back. Just as I turned it, I saw her. She looks so different.

I grin and greet her with our usual greeting, "Hi me!'

She looks confused as she stares at me. "Is this a trick?"

"No, no of course not." Something's not right. "Do you remember me? I'm you, but from somewhere else." She only vaguely alluded to what her lawmen did to those who had "behavioral" problems, but it usually involved messing with their minds and even erasing their memories. She always told me that if she acted strangely to break the mirror to ensure safety.

"I don't understand. How are you speaking to me through a mirror?"

"We've never known how. I've been so worried about you. Please tell me you and your baby are okay."

Her answer shocked me. "What baby? I don't have a baby."

I broke down in sobs and grabbed the hammer that I always kept near the mirror. "Please forgive me."

"For what? What is going on?"

I don't want to lose my best friend forever. If I swing this hammer I will never get her back. But I don't have her now, this isn't her. If she was in danger before she could wind up that way again and Lord knows what her world will do to her.

I stare at the hammer.