The latest

  • Trying to stay sane when everything is hurly-burly

    I know it’s been a while. I apologise for the silence. I’ve been busy with preparing to move + being knee-deep in a new project at my 9-to-5. It’s been a pretty hectic time and I am looking forward to summer vacation, even though it’s still many weeks away.

    So what have I been doing?

    Besides working, I’ve been trying to stay focused on finishing some fiction writing projects. It hasn’t been easy. After a long day of meetings, I am not always motivated to sit at my computer and write. I’ve been trying to use Google docs on my phone, which sometimes helps. But there have been many, many days when I simply don’t have the energy. I end up watching a series on Netflix or Disney+ instead.

    Late to the game but I’m loving Only Murders in the Building and Abbott Elementary

    I was pretty adverse to subscribing to yet another streaming service since I already have Netflix, SkyShowtime and HBOMax. But ever since I heard about Only Murders in the Building and Abbott Elementary (which is set in my hometown of Philly) I finally gave in and subscribed to Disney+. The bonus is that the Swede gets to watch all the Star Wars stuff that he loves.

    But how awesome is it that both of us are totally hooked on Only Murders in the Building and Abbott Elementary? We’re nearing the end of season one of both series and we just want more.

    Hooked on Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story

    I’ve also been obsessed with Queen Charlotte: a Bridgerton Story. In my opinion, it has outclassed both seasons 1 and 2 of Bridgerton. Why? Well, the chemistry between India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest is electrifying. Plus, I am convinced that the writing and the conflicts are so much more interesting. Add to it the dynamic of Arsema Thomas as young Lady Danbury and you have a combo who makes you want so much more.

    Plus, I loved Brimsley and Reynolds’ love story, and I really need to know what happened to Reynolds since we never saw him in the the “present” scenes.

    And what have I been reading?

    I’m re-reading The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson. So what’s the story?

    “1950s Philadelphia: fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on track to becoming the first in her family to attend college, in spite of having a mother more interested in keeping a man than raising a daughter. But a taboo love affair threatens to pull her back down into the poverty and desperation that has been passed on to her like a birthright.

    Eleanor Quarles arrives in Washington, DC, with ambition and secrets. When she meets the handsome William Pride at Howard University, they fall madly in love. But William hails from one of DC’s elite wealthy Black families, and his par­ents don’t let just anyone into their fold. Eleanor hopes that a baby will make her finally feel at home in William’s family and grant her the life she’s been searching for. But having a baby—and fitting in—is easier said than done.

    With their stories colliding in the most unexpected of ways, Ruby and Eleanor will both make decisions that shape the trajectory of their lives.”

    I’m telling you – read it. Do NOT ask questions, just read it.

    That’s it for today. Must get back to writing so I can have something new for you soon.

  • What Kim’s reading: A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove

    A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove

    I always love book mail. So, just imagine how nice it was to receive an ARC of A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove.

    So, what’s it about? Here’s the blurb:

    This summer, escape to the Shores­–a Southern lake town full of elegance and glamour in a story about family traditions, friendship, and a love that can’t be denied.

    Chareese “Reese” Devlin spent every summer of her childhood in the lake town of Mount Dora, Florida, where her days were filled with fun in the sun. Reese never realized that the idyllic haven hid a deep divide between the town’s haves and have-nots. Not until the summer she turned seventeen and fell for Duncan McNeal, a boy who lacked the pedigree so valued by her parents and their equally well-connected friends.

    After her family squashed the budding romance, Reese refused to return to the place she lost her heart. Now, ten years later, she’s back to attend her sister’s debutante ball and must come to terms with all she’s missed. But the biggest surprise of all is that Duncan is now a successful real estate developer in Mount Dora—and time hasn’t weakened the connection between them.

    Behind the multimillion-dollar homes of the Shores lay old grudges and secrets capable of collapsing any family legacy. As the summer progresses, Reese must fix the sins of the past by facing the lines between truth and deception, tradition and breaking free, and family expectations and self-discovery.

    Kim’s review

    What happens when a couple on the verge are separated by her family who think he’s not top drawer enough for them… and then circumstances bring them together again? Well, that’s exactly what you get with A Lakeside Reunion by C. Chilove.

    Think of it as an updated version of Persuasion

    Especially since this story focuses on issues like classism and racism, among other things. How C. Chilove dealt with these issues resonated with me most, especially since they played a huge role in the relationships between Reese and Duncan. But for readers who are dealing with issues with how family members deal with homosexuality, there’s a lot to chew here as well.

    A Lakeside Reunion doesn’t shy away from these issues and, if you have a problem with them, then it’s not the book for you.

    But if you’re like me and you spent your summers in the South and you want a book that will challenge how you look at the world we live in, then you should absolutely read A Lakeside Reunion.

    I’ve already decided that it will be the book my mom and I discuss when she’s visiting me here in Sweden this summer. And I think you should put it high on your TBR list.

    Don’t hem and haw over it.

    Read it now.

    I received an advance copy of this book and voluntarily left this review.

  • Happy ninth #BookBirthday, Maybe Baby!

    Can it really be true? I was pretty shocked to realize that Maybe Baby turned nine yesterday. It truly does NOT feel like it’s been nine years since I pressed publish on Laney & Mads’ love story. But this book…which is truly my book baby… is now nine years old. Maybe it’s time for me to give it a new cover?

    How it started

    If you’ve been following me from the very beginning, you remember how I got the idea for Maybe Baby. It started while I was in Copenhagen one summer, germinated while talking to friends in Sweden and the US about everything from infertility, long-term relationships, IVF and how it affected relationships, and other options for having babies.

    All of this was the impetus for Maybe Baby. Add to it imagining Kerry Washington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the leads (c’mon, Simpson Street Productions, Ill Kippers or Hello Sunshine, this would be great project for Kerry and Nikolaj to star in!) and you’ve got the story that I focused on to help get me through the start of a very crazy and stressful time in my life.

    So what’s it about?

    Well, you have Laney, an African-American woman living in a sprawling turn of the century apartment in Stockholm, Sweden with her well-to-do Swedish partner, Niklas. Laney wants to have a baby; Niklas isn’t really interested since he has teenage children from his first marriage. Besides, he’s had a vasectomy – something he swears he’s told Laney about, but it news for her.

    My vision board from when I was writing Maybe Baby.

    Instead of simply accepting the situation, Laney finds out about an alternative fertility clinic/sperm bank in Copenhagen where you can meet your sperm donor before you commit. While she’s in Copenhagen for a work-related project, she decides to visit the clinic – which just happens to be having one of its mingles where prospective clients can meet the sperm donors. That’s when Laney and Mads meet.

    And what was supposed to be a simple meet-and-greet ends up leading to an affair and then Laney being forced to make a choice.

    One book became four

    I never intended for Maybe Baby to lead to a series… But Laney, Mads and some of the other characters in their lives kept speaking to me.

    Maybe Baby (told solely from Laney’s point of view) led to Maybe Tonight, a companion novella told from Mads’ perspective. Which then lead to Maybe Forever (which skips a few years into the future of Laney and Mads’ relationship) and Maybe Tomorrow (which focuses on Laney’s cousin, Eddy, and Mads’ cousin, Henrik).

    Haven’t read them yet? You can get the three books about Laney and Mads in one collection.

    More coming?

    For a few years, I’ve been promising more stories in the series, but life got in the way. I’ve told you before: I left a toxic work environment; my brother and several other people close to died quite suddenly; grief left me feeling like I had no writing mojo… but there are at least two other Maybe… books coming in the future. I promise, I will finish them.

    In the meantime, let’s celebrate Maybe Baby. If you’ve read it, what’s your favorite scene in the book? Drop me a line and let me know!

  • It should be our day every damn day

    Shouting out to all the women in the house

    Happy International Women’s Day.

    It should be our day every damn day.

    Women’s history shouldn’t be limited to the month of March. Women have been out here making history every damn day for as long as anyone can remember.

    Just like Black history shouldn’t just be limited to February. Our history is history and should be taught every damn day.

    To all the women who’ve inspired me

    I’m saying thank you to all the women in my life who’ve pushed me to challenge myself, who’ve encouraged me to ignore the barriers that others have set up.

    I think most of you know how much you’ve inspired me. A few have definitely NOT inspired me but that’s for another story.

    Don’t be upset if your name isn’t listed here. There are just too many to list. But to the relatives, writers, musicians, artists, etc who’ve always inspired me… thank you.

    Keep fighting the good fight

    Yes, our work is never done. We need to keep fighting for pay equity, mandated paid parental leave, our reproductive rights (that’s right – you don’t want to have an abortion or take birth control, then don’t! But YOU DO NOT have the right to stop the rest of us from doing what feels right for US), ALL our freedoms… keep fighting for them – even the freedoms you think you don’t need.

  • Catching up – holy moly it’s soon March!

    How can it already be the end of February? It feels like the month only just started. Maybe I’ve just been too busy with everything from my day job to notice the month whizzing by…? Plus, we were busy with searching for apartments in Malmö (found one – YAY!)…so many things on my mind, so little time. Oh my!

    Soon it’s the bookaversary for Maybe Baby

    In March, it will be nine years since I published Maybe Baby, the first book in the Maybe… series. I still can’t believe that so much time has passed. I think it’s time to update the cover.

    This is the current cover for Maybe Baby. I’ve loved it since 2014 but, after all this time, it’s time for an update.

    As much as I still love the original cover, it is time for new typography and a more up-to-date cover image. So, one of my plans for the next few weeks (months?) is finding the perfect image to be the new cover of Maybe Baby.

    While I am at it, I will probably refresh the covers of Maybe Tonight and Maybe Tomorrow. Not sure about Maybe Forever… I still think that cover feels fresh, but you never know.

    I still remember working on this cover with Ari from Cover It! Designs. We went through several iterations until we both agreed that this was the best cover image. And we had many discussions about the typography for the cover. Much as I love it, the typography is dated. So, yes, time for a refresh.

    Unfortunately, it seems like Cover It! Designs is no longer around. Her website is no longer live and the email I sent has gone unanswered.

    So the search for a new cover designer is on.

    I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

    Sometimes it snows in late February

    Yes, I know. I should be used to this. Especially since I live in Sweden. But I moved to southern Sweden back in 2020 and everyone assured us that it hardly ever snows here. I think we’ve had more snow in the 2+ years that we’ve lived here than we had in Stockholm in the last three years that I lived there. Yes, it’s climate change. It’s also that we live in what are called “the highlands of Småland.” We get hit by all the passing rain, all the snow…all the hurricane-force winds. I can’t complain too much. Generally, winters here are pretty mild compared to Stockholm. But when a cold front pulls in…oh boy! Yeah, it’s pretty raw and damp and bone-chillingly cold. In fact, it reminds me a lot of winters in my beloved hometown of Philly.

    Luckily I have plenty of clothing to deal with it. I also found a great naprapat (they’re similar to chiropractors but they focus more on joints and muscles than the spine) for those times when I wipeout on ice because I forgot my ice cleats at home. Yes, sometimes, I am dumb enough to forget them at home. I should definitely know better.

    Tomorrow it’s my mom’s birthday!

    Unfortunately, I won’t be able to travel to Philadelphia to help her celebrate her big day. I had to renew my US passport and it will be a few more weeks until I receive it. According to the US Embassy here in Sweden, it should take around 3-4 weeks to get my new passport, so I will have to wait a bit. I don’t mind. I just want to have it before May so that the Swede and I can celebrate our wedding anniversary with a weekend trip elsewhere.

    But…like I was saying, tomorrow is my wonderful mom’s birthday. She’ll be turning seventy-eight but she doesn’t look like she’s anywhere near that age. I am in awe. I like to joke with her about her anti-ageing skincare routine and she just gives me that look. If you have a Black mom, you know exactly what I mean.

    My mom doesn’t usually spend a lot of time online, but I want to wish her a happy birthday here anyway. I’m sure my oldest niece or my sister-in-law will show her this post. So, mom, I hope you have a wonderful birthday tomorrow. I wish I could be there with you. When I can finally come to Philadelphia either later in the spring or this summer, I am taking you out for the day and we will spoil ourselves.

    Happy Birthday, Mom! I love and miss you!

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