Maybe Maby by Willow Aster

maybemaby

I’m having a meltdown. Not the put-her-in-the-loony-bin kind, but the rock-in-the-corner-so-I-can-breathe kind. Maybe they’re one and the same and I really do need to be put away, but I think I just need a little air. I’m bone tired. My eyes look like I haven’t slept in weeks. I’m eating my feelings and developing a pudge that isn’t gonna go anywhere if I keep binging on chocolate, nachos and wine.

I’m 28 and everyone has left me. I have no friends. My boyfriend left. My mom died, so technically she left me too. I hate my job.

I get this overwhelming oh my God, is this what my life is gonna be? feeling and I want to die.

Curl up and die.

And since I don’t feel my heartbeat fading or my breathing getting even slightly faint, I panic that I’m gonna have to live.

review

“Being with you makes me forget who I really am.”

I always say that an outstanding writer can make me fall in love with pretty much any reality they create, as farfetched as their imagination will travel, but only a few can truly capture me with their words to such an extent that I feel the characters, empathise with them, understand their every thought process, and walk in their shoes cover to cover. Willow Aster is an author whose writing I simply adore, her perfect prose enthralling and astounding me every time I open one of her books, so it came as no surprise to me that this story, this quirky, unusual, out-of-the-box story held me so captive and made me love everything about it. A curious tale of self-discovery and learning how to cope with one’s idiosyncrasies, a rare but splendid kind of romance, a bittersweet comedy of sorts—Maybe Maby is a book I’d recommend to anyone seeking a story to warm their heart and add a tinge of hope to their everyday life.

“The only way I find any relief is by counting … everything … repeatedly.”

Maby is a young woman in her late twenties who suffers from an obsessive compulsive disorder, brought about by a particularly stressful event in her adult life and then exacerbated by subsequent traumas. Maby’s everyday compulsions, such as repetitive counting of everything around her, excessive hand-washing, or repeatedly organizing her closets, help to somewhat alleviate her anxieties and neutralise the urges that rule her every thought, but they do not help in any way with the intense sense of shame from having to carry out these persistent compulsions or the occasional bouts of depression caused by her mental condition. Behind all these oddities lies a heartbroken young woman who does not see herself as worthy of the love she dreams of finding, convinced that all that is ‘wrong’ with her would only inevitably end up damaging the people who get close to her.

“I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to be anymore. I pray God will untether whatever is holding me afloat and just let me drift into nothingness.”

Maby lost control of most aspects of her life at the same time when her compulsions started, her love life and her career becoming casualties in the endless struggle that is her almost comical day-to-day existence. A fickle and selfish ex boyfriend, an unreliable best friend, a self-centred boss—Maby’s life is filled with barriers to her happiness and as it keeps getting more and more complicated, her condition also keeps getting worse and worse. One day, however, the right person steps into her life and for the first time since her only parent’s untimely death, Maby experiences the very thing she craved to feel the most—hope.

“There’s something about him that cuts through my hardened heart and makes me believe in more—something more than shattered fragments of a life and the endless emptiness.”

Torn between an all-consuming sense of helplessness and bleakness towards her own future, and the overwhelming joy from being loved, cherished, and never judged for her imperfections for once, Maby’s struggle to accept and feel worthy of the life that is being offered to her brings us to our knees as readers. Her every self-deprecating thought strikes us like a dagger, making us feel protective of this broken young woman who cannot make herself believe anyone could ever love her as completely as she hopes to be loved.

“He makes me believe I can be good. Or at the very least, that my ugly is really not so ugly at all.”

At the core of this quirky tale lies a truly beautiful love story—a story of patience, perseverance, honesty and unwavering affection. It’s a love that makes Maby believe she can have the things she never thought she could, a love that acts as an anchor in the stormy waters of her troubled mind, a love that she can depend on and draw strength from. I lived this story from beginning to end, I felt Maby’s pain in my soul, and I never stopped cheering for her. Ms Aster has also given us an extraordinary hero for our beloved heroine, a man who is almost too good to be true, but who perfectly balances someone as complex as Maby. This is a story that made my heart race, skip a beat, rejoice, shatter on so many occasions, and it never stopped making me love every word in it. A rare gem of a book, one I wholeheartedly recommend.

“This—this is the best night of my life.”
“You always say that.”
“I always mean it.”

5stars

signature2

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Connect with Willow: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
✤ ✤ ✤

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

COVER REVEAL: In the Fields by Willow Aster

I fell in love with this author’s flawless writing in the beautiful True Love Story, a book that is as timeless as it is unique, so imagine my joy when I discovered a new book was coming!!! Today, I have the great honour of showing you the beautiful new cover of In the Fields

Expected release date: 10 September 2013

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

1971 — In the tiny, backward town of Tulma, Tennessee, optimistic, bookish Caroline Carson unwittingly finds herself in the middle of a forbidden romance. Severely neglected by her family and forced to flee Tulma to protect her secrets, Caroline’s young life comes crashing down around her. She finds refuge in a new town, but the past always has a way of stretching around time and stirring up trouble.

When a new love comes into her life, she has to decide if she can give her heart to someone else, or if she will always be tied to someone she can’t have.

addtogoodreads

The Author

Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story and In the Fields, two standalone books published in 2013. When she’s not writing, you can find her staring out into space, dreaming about new characters. She also enjoys sliding across the hardwood floor in her socks and twirling in the sand.

Connect with Willow: WebsiteFacebook | TwitterGoodreads
✤ ✤ ✤

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

True (Love) Story by Willow Aster

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn’t so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places, and each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

 

 

 

 

review

“What I didn’t tell Ian about seeing him the first time was that I cried the whole time he played. I had never heard anything so beautiful. I found his name on a program and thought it fit him perfectly. When I got home, I took out my journal titled Important Things that Happened in my 14th Year and wrote: I Saw Ian Sterling. I’ve been looking for him ever since.”

Fictional stories rarely surprise me anymore these days. Maybe I read too much, maybe my very vivid imagination has entertained every possible scenario, one way or another. Maybe I had started believing that it had all been done before. Until I read this book. I dove in expecting great storytelling, nothing more, and I walked away with my mind spinning in so many directions, everything I thought I had believed about relationships and true love having been shaken, questioned, stretched beyond my own limits of familiarity. I don’t know how I expected this story to unfold, but I certainly did not expect it to make me question the one thing I have always believed I knew the answer to – whether love indeed conquers all.

This is the story of a young woman, Sparrow, and her tumultuous love affair with the only man she has ever loved, Ian. The story carries us over a five year period, following the ups and downs of the young couple who quite simply define the concept of soul mates. What starts as a playful game of courting, soon develops into a genuinely loving and doting bond between two people who naturally gravitate towards one another. They love each other completely, obsessively, uncontrollably.

“I think of everything I have ever loved, possessed, wanted, worked for, hoped for, treasured in my life. I love you more.”

Ian is Sparrow’s first love. He is the first man to whom she gives her heart freely, entrusting him with all the innocence and untainted devotion of someone who has never experienced heartbreak before. He consumes her every thought, dream, hope for the future. We watch them grow as a couple, slowly, believably. We fall in love with them, their innocent banter, their unquestionable tenderness and blind devotion to one another. We are bewitched by the chemistry between them and by how wonderful it feels to imagine ourselves in their shoes. But no love is uncomplicated and Ian and Sparrow’s love is no exception.

While Sparrow is inexperienced and idealistic when it comes to matters of the heart, Ian’s faith in love is stained by a childhood that was everything but idyllic. He does not believe himself capable of truly and selflessly loving another person, he mistrusts the longevity of love and he fears being rejected, hurt, not being loved enough.

“I’m not a good person, Sparrow. I … I’m not. I look at you and I see all the good and I know that I could never deserve someone like you.”

Sparrow is the first woman in his life that has ever made him believe he could have it all – a love that knows no boundaries; a love that would never fail him and that would always be enough. She makes him want to change and be a better man for her, but ultimately, his self-doubts and ingrained scepticism force their relationship in a direction neither of them willingly take.

Their journey is one constant roller coaster ride, oscillating between intense moments of happiness and gut-wrenching episodes of heartbreak. It’s a story that had me clenching my hand against my chest so many times, willing myself not to cry. The gentle pace of the relationship unfolding before us pulls us in like a magnet, never knowing which direction it would take, what the author’s stance on love really is. She has created a gentle hero, a hero that is both fallible and infallible at the same time. He loves with such intensity of emotion, such openness and devotion. He is romantic, attentive, affectionate, demonstrative, shamelessly in love with our heroine, committed to her body and soul. But by idolising her, he creates unrealistic expectations of himself, constantly expecting himself to fail her, and eventually he does just that.

“Sparrow. You are perfect.”
“No, I’m not.”
“To me, you are.”

A book that is so impeccably and skilfully structured, a story that is so truthfully and touchingly told, Ms Aster’s writing style is something to take note of. It is flawless, original, and it awoke every romantic bone in me. It is a story about the enduring power of love, about forgiveness and finding our own version of happiness in life. It’s an untraditional love story but it is an epic one nonetheless. By every standard possible, this book is an absolute must read.

“No pain, no rejection, no separation, no depression, no opposition, no fiery hell can drive you out of my heart.”

5stars

signature2

Buy book: Amazon
The Author

Willow Aster became a writer when the voices in her head became too loud to ignore. She lives with her family, where the most important things are good food, laughing, and stories. True Love Story is her first published book. 

Connect with Willow: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Blog Tour

TrueLoveStoryBanner_small

For a full list of the True Love Story Blog Tour stops, click on the image above.

The Giveaway

To win a Kindle Paperwhite and a signed copy of True Love Story, please enter below. This giveaway is administered by Willow Aster.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BIRTHDAY TEASER: True (Love) Story by Willow Aster

In only a few days’ time a very exciting new release will hit our e-readers, one that I have been dying to get my hands on from the moment I read its first chapter at the end of another book. From its unique and evocatively beautiful cover to its intriguing synopsis, this one is set to make me spend another sleepless night glued to its pages!

I am so excited to be part of the upcoming Blog Tour for this book and will have my review posted on 26 February, but in the meantime, the delightful Willow Aster has decided to tide us over poke our curiosity even further by giving us a scrumptious little teaser from True Love Story

Expected release date: 19 February 2013

“Sparrow Fisher, it’s sinful to have a body like that,” Ian says with a smirk. “You sure know how to fill out a dress.”

“Is that supposed to be a compliment?” I ask, tilting my head to the side.

“Hell, yes.” He laughs. “You know it is. Sparrow, meet J. Elliot. J, I’d like you to meet Sparrow Fisher, the love of my life.”

My eyes go wide as I shake J. Elliot’s hand. “I can’t believe you just said that,” I say to Ian, even though I’m looking at Mr. Elliot. Focus, Fisher.

They both laugh and Elliot says, “Miss Fisher, I’ve wanted to meet you for a long time. I needed to see the girl who turned Ian Sterling around.” I study Mr. Elliot then and try to read how much he knows.

“Hello, Mr. Elliot,” I reply.

“No ‘Mister’, please. Call me J … or Elliot. You know what? I’ll answer to anything you say,” he says smoothly.

Ian introduces Tessa, and she quickly takes the pressure off of me.

“We’re going dancing!” she says with excitement.

“Is that right? Well, let us take you – no need to get a cab, right, Ian? We were about to head out on the town ourselves.”

I wonder what mischief they were about to get up to … on second thought, no, I don’t want to know.

Jared walks in just then, saving us once again.

With the three of them chatting around us, Ian touches my elbow. “Sparrow? I’d love to be wherever you are, but I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. Will I? Can we be together tonight?” Ian asks it innocently enough, but my mind goes to all the nights we’ve had and it’s far from innocent.

When I go purple, Ian smiles a wicked grin and leans down by my ear, his breath tickling my neck and sending chill bumps all over my skin. “I’ll behave,” he whispers.

“You don’t know the meaning of being ‘have’,” I whisper back. It’s amazing how easily we fall back into our lusty banter.

The Maison 508 is going strong when we get there. Tessa and Jared start dancing immediately. J sees a musician he knows and gets engrossed in a conversation.

Ian stays by my side, not touching me, but no more than an inch away at all times.

“Dance?” he asks.

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“Okay.” He nods, as if I’ve said something very intelligent.

“You know what? I do want to. It’s been a long time since I’ve danced.”

He lights up and holds his hand out for me to take.

It’s a strange feeling after you’ve known someone so intimately, to maintain any sort of distance or to pretend that you don’t know their body better than you know your own. When Ian pulls me in and his body makes contact with mine, the currents pulse through us both. I know what he feels without looking at him. I know if I touch the small of his back like this or slightly rub my chest against his just so, it will drive him wild. He knows that my neck is sensitive and that I love it when he pulls my back against him. We try for about ten minutes to avoid these triggers, but the rhythm picks up in the room and the impulse is too strong. He swipes my hair off my neck first to say something in my ear, I rub my chest against his, lightly touch his back, he whips me around and presses me against the front of him.

Like dominos falling one by one, our pretenses fall away and we dance.

My hands say what my mouth cannot. I look in his eyes and see the love I feel gazing back at me.

He touches my face, my hair, my shoulders, my heart, my back, my thighs. I get lost in it. I move into him, matching him touch for touch. It’s intoxicating. His hands on me feel like finding water after years in the desert. It fills me up, as only he can do.

The Story

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn’t so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places, and each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

The Author

Willow Aster became a writer when the voices in her head became too loud to ignore. She lives with her family, where the most important things are good food, laughing, and stories. True Love Story is her first published book. 

Connect with Willow: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Giveaway

To win an e-copy of True Love Story sent to you on release day, please enter below. By entering, you accept the following Giveaway Conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

COVER REVEAL: True (Love) Story by Willow Aster

After reading the first chapter of this book, I have been awaiting its release with breathless anticipation. In one short chapter, this book has managed to make my heart race and my mind go in a million different directions from speculating where the story would go, making me a hot little mess in the process. I give you, no… I PRESENT to you the evocatively beautiful cover of True Love Story

Expected release date: 19 February 2013

TrueLoveStory

“He grabs my hand and kisses it.
In that gesture, I feel my childhood slip off of me like an old, worn-out cloak that has been barely hanging by a single thread. I know that something has shifted in me. It’s primal. I want this man.”

The Story

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn’t so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places, and each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

addtogoodreads

Connect with Willow: WebsiteFacebook | TwitterGoodreads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers