No Resort but a Thrilling Read

A couple of weeks ago I won a giveaway on Instagram. It is always exciting to win something – and yet so unexpected as so many people enter. I was doubly excited to win as the book has been recently published, and it is by a Canadian author. I have not read any of her stories yet, so this read will determine whether I head out and pick up any of her other books.

This Summer Break will see me staying at home and not relaxing on the beach somewhere. Instead, I will immerse myself in Marissa Stapley’s novel and imagine myself at a resort somewhere observing the characters in the story.

Are you visiting a resort this summer?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. The theme for the month of July is “blue”.)

Reading in Line

I love it when the books I buy for people as gifts are actually read. For Father’s Day I gifted my husband with two books – one of which he has already completed. On Monday while we were waiting in line to enter the Mandarin Restaurant for a free meal, he was reading the second book.

Note the bookmark – which was created by my daughter for last year’s Father’s Day gift. It is difficult to buy gifts for my husband and we are always pleased when what we give him is enjoyed.

Do you see the recipients using your gifts?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. The theme for the month of July is “blue”.)

A Day of Reading

Last night I started reading Alafair Burke’s recent novel The Better Sister. Even though she has written a number of novels, this is the first one of hers that I am reading. This murder story has me guessing and I am waiting for something unexpected to drop during the court case.

I have spent quite a bit of time today reading. It is hot and humid and reading in front of the fan is a perfect way to cool down. Also I want to know who committed the murder …

What do you do on hot and humid days?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. The theme for the month of July is “blue”.)

A Book Buddy Discussion

Yesterday evening, I met up with my friend and book buddy to discuss the latest book we had read together. We took our tea out onto the balcony and, once we had caught up a little, we began highlighting the things we had enjoyed in Roselle Lim’s book Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune.

As usual, the time we had together was too short and we did not get to finish highlighting all that we had enjoyed in the story. I am sure we will get back to this novel at our next meetup – or we may begin texting our thoughts!

As my friend was preparing to leave, we noticed the light in the sky which had been grey all day. The rays of light hinted at the blue sky behind the clouds – a blue which we hoped would shine through the next day.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. The theme for the month of July is “blue”.)

Feeling Blue? Definitely not!

The long weekend is over but I am still relaxing! What a pleasure it is to be on Summer Break. My day has been unrushed and, in between chores and exercise, I am reading my current novel.

I find the image on the cover stunning and it suits the story well. I enjoy watching the Marvel superhero movies and imagine the faces of the actors as I read their characters in this tale. Today I am definitely not feeling blue! Instead I am enjoying the story as the Black Widow and Iron Man deal with unexpected attacks on humanity.

Are you feeling blue today?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. The theme for the month of July is “blue”.)

A Reading Reflection

Last year in January, I set my reading goal at 75 books thinking that it was a fair reflection of the number of books I read. I was surprised that by the end of the year I had read 94 books (this excludes the reading that I do for work). I found the summary on Goodreads to be interesting.

My longest book was a Stephen King novel, the shortest one I had received to review.

My average rating for books is 4 as I have learned to choose my reading material well. I know what I enjoy reading and I carefully read the synopsis of novels that I pick up.

I have read some wonderful books this year by authors that were unknown to me. Three books stood out for me during 2018: The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith (historical), Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin (contemporary), and The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. (fantasy). I loved the fantasy novel so much that I read the second in the saga and am now eagerly waiting for the third. (If you want to read my reviews, click on the titles of the books).

I enjoyed my reading journey during 2018 and look forward to discovering more authors and stories during 2019.

What was your reading journey like during 2018?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Linda G. Hill’s  Just Jot It January challenge. The prompt is reflection .)

 

A Master

“The Master is in the house!”

Stepping into the room, Fran looked across the room filled with the buzz of her colleagues. She did not appreciate the exaggerated introduction by Coburn as she knew he did not support her success. She had worked hard at this project and had taken a great leap of faith with the direction she had taken the company. Yes, she was good at what she did – but then so were many others. What separated her from the pack was her willingness to take risks, even at personal cost. It was these risks that had led to the jealousy she felt emanating from the room.

“Thank you Coburn.

Afternoon everyone. I will now detail the next step in the process to reverse the deterioration of the planet’s energy forms.”

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January challenge. The prompt for today is master.)

She Named Me Patience

I was born a week late.

“I was in a hurry for you to be born and  your dad kept telling me to be patient. I couldn’t wait to meet you and love you!”

She named me Patience in memory of my tardy arrival. And patience was what I had to learn. She said she wanted me with her – desperately! And yet I remember always waiting for her arrival while growing up. After school when all the other moms had bundled energetic siblings into cars. At concerts when she missed the encores and the after-show buzz. Over weekends when it was her turn to spend time with me. I learned patience through disappointments and waiting. And with patience, I became strong.

And now I am able to wait until the right moment to bid on an item. I can wade through piles of throwaway articles to find the gem. Months can go by until I find the perfect fit for a person’s home.

And I can wait until a person no longer disappoints me or hurts me.

Patience.

A name that reminds my mother that she had to wait.

Patience.

A name that reminds me that I have the strength to wait – and the strength to continue despite disappointment.

What does your name mean to you?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is a response to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Patience)

The Search for a Perfect Wife

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Even in our modern times, a man is in need of a woman on his arm who works beside him behind the scenes. He is in need of a woman who is both beautiful and graceful -and who successfully carries out the expectations that come with a fortune.

Nathan was in need of such a woman. He had lived for forty years – and lived them well. He had worked hard at bringing the family business to even greater heights. He had travelled the world and experienced it from both hotel penthouses and handmade tents. He had dined at the most exclusive restaurants as well as at the family diners that cooked up the most exquisite tastes. He dressed in fine cloth, drank fine wine and was driven everywhere by his chauffeur.

But when it came to women, Nathan had been unable to find what he needed. Oh, there were plenty of women who had volunteered to become the Mrs Alden over the years. And some had come close to achieving their goal. The beauty and grace had been there but the steely brain behind the beauty had not. He did not merely want a woman who would grace his arm at functions and politely chatter to the men and women that drove his business. He wanted more than a woman who would concern herself with charities and the business of running his homes. He wanted – no needed – a woman who was his equal intellectually: a woman who would be at his side in business dealings and who would support him during difficult business decisions.

Maybe it was time to look elsewhere beyond the trust fund babies and those that had been groomed from birth to be the perfect hostess. Maybe it was time to look at this from another angle – the business angle. Being the perfect hostess could be learnt – but business acumen comes naturally.

And so the search began – in a most unexpected place.

Where do you think Nathan finds his future wife?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post is a response to the Daily Prompt in which bloggers were challenged to take the first sentence from their favourite book and make it the first sentence of their post. My sentence comes from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice). 

A Sidewalk Artist

The day shone brightly on the people enjoying the last days of summer at the Toronto Buskerfest in 2013. The smell of food wafted in the air accompanied by the sounds of music and chatter. The art student, Marc, was excited to be one of the few picked to participate in the festival. His excitement came not from the potential to make a few coins, but from his knowledge that people would stop to admire his work. His dream was to be an artist, to make his living from it. And what he desired most was that people would stop to admire his work, that they would talk about it, and that he would eventually sell paintings to be hung up on walls in people’s homes.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Artist creating sidewalk art. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

He enjoyed the feel of the sun’s rays beating down on his shoulders. The warmth would not last for much longer as September was nearing as well as the cooler days that came with it. His hand stroked the tarmac with a piece of chalk, adding some colour to his creation. The sound of the chalk and the murmurings of those who watched him lulled him into what he called his artistic zone. The simple strokes of the chalk on the tarmac gave him a sense of peace. This was why he loved art so much: it was only when he was creating that he felt a sense of peace invade him.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Sidewalk artist creating with chalk. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

He glanced at what he was creating. He knew he was getting better at his technique and welcomed September for the lessons he would have with his teachers this year. He was moving into his final year – and then he would move out into the world to try and make a living.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Sidewalk Art. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

He knew that working as an artist would not be easy. He was lucky, though, in that he had parents who supported him in his dream. In the meantime, he would continue enjoy the sun on this last weekend before school began; and he would continue to enjoy the admiration of those who stopped to look at his work.

Do you stop to look at sidewalk art?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt: Edge of the Frame)