so I heard you guys liked Chinese American Witches
I got an email last week from a good friend of mine about a book launch party where the author would be reading excerpts from her new e-book on… Chinese American witches
and I was like
oh my god
this is so exciting
WHO IS THIS GIRL SHE IS MY MIND TWIN WE MUST MEET AND I WANT TO BE HER FRIEND!
so I went to the reading and met Gwen Li, the author of The Switch Sisters. pointy hats were worn and Witches’ Brew beer was imbibed.
and guess what, guys! For the rest of today and all of tomorrow you can download the e-book FOR FREE off Amazon as part of a special promo!
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???
I can’t wait to read it!
As the only Chinese family in town, the Switch sisters have always kept to themselves. But when Mara Switch is framed for murder, her sisters are forced to step into the spotlight and prove her innocence—all without revealing a dark family secret.
The Switch sisters know they’re different. With ink black hair and cat-like eyes, they certainly draw stares in a small town like Ambrose, where everyone else is white and has lived in the same neat houses with the same grassy lawns for generations. Behind their Chinese faces, however, the girls are also witches. The sisters manage to keep their special powers under wraps—that is, until Mara falls in love with the mayor’s only son. Their wedding is the most exciting event in town history, but festivities abruptly end when someone is murdered and Mara is unjustly charged. Her three younger sisters know that she’s innocent. Each with a budding magical talent, the girls must bring their powers together in order to save their sister. Meanwhile, the real murderer is still on the loose…
An immigrant story inside a witch story, THE SWITCH SISTERS is the first novella in a young adult series that follows Mara, Morgan, Marie, and Mina as they grow up, fall in love, and learn to embrace who they are.
“In truth, artists live alongside, on the margin of life and of humanity; that’s why they’re very great or very small.”—Blaise Cendrars
The Problem with “I love you”:
“I love you.”
When people say these words, they make so many mistakes. The first is that they emphasize the first two words, “I love”, far too much. People think their love means something, that they should be awarded because they love you. They think it is such a great accomplishment and everyone should rejoice and pat them on the back. Some people make the mistake of thinking because they love you they own you. But Audrey Hepburn is right: “People don’t belong to people.” They make the mistake of thinking they are entitled to a certain piece of you or to more of your time and energy. But they’re wrong. The egotistical “I” and self-aggrandizing “love” should not be emphasized; only the last word should be emphasized: “you”.
“You” should be raised from its grammatical subjugation as the object of the sentence and should overwhelm the subject and verb, “I love.” When you say, “I love you,” what you should really be saying is “I love who you are.” This way, “you” is given more words and more dimensions. The identity and significance of the one being loved is emphasized so much so that the subject and verb fall apart. It’s a way of saying you love them separate from yourself, separate from the obligations that are often concomitant with declarations of love. It’s about loving someone because of how they approach an obstacle or read a book or look at the world. You love them wholly in and of themselves and that’s all there is to it. “You are loved” can accomplish the same goal, making “you” the subject of the sentence rather than “I”.
The first two words are responsible for so many mistakes that they should be removed entirely from the sentence. They are unnecessary. All you need is “you;” the love is implied. You, as we walk through Central Park. You, as we stumble down Broadway. You, as we both buy the same book for each other and laugh at the coincidence. You, at 11pm, getting ready for bed. You, at 2am, when your favorite character dies. You. I want you. I choose you. I love you.
The second mistake is perhaps the saddest: they think this love will last. We are sometimes forced to make this mistake, for how could we find the energy to love when we know it’s just going to end? It is more than naiveté; it is the human condition of hope, the hope that we won’t have to go home alone, eat dinner alone, and sleep alone. It is the hope that we are not unlovable. We see this mistake made countless times when a couple holds hands or wedding vows are exchanged at the altar. When people say, “I love you,” they think it’s forever. How else could they promise to be faithful to one person for the rest of their life? But love is not static; love is not forever.
The third mistake is that they think love is the most important thing in the world and that everything should revolve around it. Plans should be put on halt, promotions that would move us across the country should be declined, and planes should not be boarded if we are met at the gate with some cinematic outpouring of love. People think love is the key to life, a sort of panacea that will cure depression, loneliness, and despair. But they put too much emphasis on it. It is just one emotion among many, and there is no guarantee it will end with anything good. I would rather laugh with you than love you; I’d rather be your friend than your lover.
There are other mistakes: they think it won’t hurt, and if it does, the pain will be worth it. Too often, love swings like a pendulum between two great extremes. On one hand, love is pain, loss, jealousy, and heartache. On the other, love is a blinding passion of feverish desire and lust that distorts the truth and reality. It entails a relationship that is dangerously dependent on another human being.
But I believe there is a right way, an intelligent way, to love. If I do end up loving someone, I would want it to be a simple and mature love. I want it to be a love that is balanced, patient, and sophisticated, one that is immune to the despair, jealousy, and feverish passions that plague an ordinary love. I want it to be sensible and realistic and strong, not clouded by fantasy. I want it to be rich with conversation and I want honesty and mutual happiness to be the pillars our love is built on. I want our passion to be subtle, but strong, reserved, and deep. I want her first and foremost to be my best friend and I want our friendship to be a lifelong story.
Some people are going to treat you like a snow globe
and keep you on a shelf
and take you down only to shake you up
and watch what falls.
So break your glass
and let yourself pour out
and choose not to be so fragile.
Tip over the aquarium they keep you in
and seep into the ground
and grow flowers.
Evaporate into the clouds—
you’ll see more than a plastic house
where the snow is just paint
and the white-coated trees don’t grow or breathe—
let yourself fall in drops
and know you’ll be lifted up again.
How much weight should I lose
before I’m beautiful?
How many things should I know how to cook
before I can be a wife?
How many layers of clothes should I wear
so that I can be respectable?
How many girls should I kiss
to prove it’s not “just a phase”?
How many prayers must I pray
before you know I mean it?
How many things should I be silent about
in order to be a “lady”?
How many sexual frustrations must I experience
to uphold my dignity?
How must I dress
to prove that I’m a woman?
How must I dress
to prove my worth?
How many more expectations
can I and more women break,
so that you will stop handing