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A Colorful Life: An Emotional Journey to Love, Life & India (Sweet Stand-Alones Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"This book will make you laugh and cry and everything in between." ★★★★★ from Kec200
"Every once in a while a book comes along that makes you feel, that pulls at your heart, and leaves you thinking. And often those books also come along with the question, why did the author just crush me that way? This is one of those books. In a oh so good way." ★★★★★ from Becca
"Melissa Storm writes from the heart and with such wonderful descriptions that I felt I was right there... I could hear the sounds, see the lights, smell the scents of another country. When you close A COLORFUL LIFE after the last page, you will feel like you are walking away from a friend." ★★★★★ from M Knits
"This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I had to find out what was coming next and what would happen next. I loved everything she had to go through to become who she is. This story was amazing and heart wrenching." ★★★★★ from Starwarslover
"What a wonderful book about friendship, adventure, love, family complications, and tragedy... I am so glad I found Melissa Storm's books." ★★★★★ from redfoxy
"If you're looking for your next great read, I highly recommend picking up a copy of A COLORFUL LIFE. Just make sure you have some tissues on hand." ★★★★★ from Jasmine B
"Wow what a story. It is one of love, tragedy, and also hope and new beginnings." ★★★★★ from G Smith
"I honestly can't say enough good things about this book." ★★★★★ from Reading Renee
From the Author
Q: Setting is very important in A Colorful Life. Why did you choose to set part of the book in India? How does the setting of Oxford, Michigan, reflect New Delhi?
A: Our setting often defines us. Do we belong where we live, or are we hopeless outsiders? Daly and Laine never quite fit into Oxford, yet they call it home. The small community stifles both women. Daly is unable to pursue her dreams, and Laine chooses to settle for good enough as a way of numbing her loss. New Delhi offers a stark contrast. Where Oxford is bland and colorless, Delhi is alive and vibrant. These two cities represent me personally as well. Oxford is where I grew up, but New Delhi is where I truly found myself.
Q: A Colorful Life features a great deal of symmetry (i.e. Oxford vs. New Delhi, Laine and Daly's relationship at the beginning and end, the missing painting in Daly's room at the beginning and the new painting at the end). What other devices did you use to relay the sense of symmetry? Why did you include so many of them in the novel?
A: The human experience is fundamentally mundane. Individual lives form patterns and separate lives flow in parallel. The characters in A Colorful Life believe themselves to be quite isolated, yet they have many unacknowledged shared experiences. Daly and Laine have difficulty bridging the gap in their relationship despite their overwhelming similarities. It is their similarities that keep them apart. Plus, life has a way of repeating lessons until they are, at last, learned.
Q: In traditional fiction, the East, or the unknown, is often represented by the feminine. In this case, the genders are reversed--Daly travels to the east as the civilized Westerner venturing into the unknown. If women represent chaos, what does Daly's position as a Western woman say about the U.S. in A Colorful Life?
A: Daly has a chaotic soul; we can see it in her when she paints. However, a life of continual disappointment has prompted her to seek comfort in the rigidity of ordinary life. The extreme differences presented by her travel to India allow Daly to acknowledge the core of who she is and effectively release her from this confined normality.
Q: Who was your favorite character to write in A Colorful Life? Why? Did you base this character off anyone?
A: I guess most people would expect me to answer Kashi, and then explain how I based him on my (then) husband. He was a joy to write, but Meghann was a surprising favorite as well. In fact, I set out to present a character with unexpected strength. To an outsider, Meghann is the epitome of a life wasted, but as the reader gets to know her, they see how wise she really is. In a lot of ways, Meghann is the hero of the novel. She brings Daly and Laine back together and offers Daly comfort and security both directly, through physical support, and indirectly (as witnessed at the otter exhibit during Daly's first date with Kashi).
Q: Art is central to Daly's character, just as much as literature is to Laine's. What were some of the reasons and inspirations behind giving Daly artistic talent? Do you feel her art owns her, or she owns her art?
A: Art is Daly's passion, her life force, the thing that keeps her going when nothing else seems to get the job done. Daly assumes it controls her as mentioned in her allusion to "art as a terrorist" in chapter two. The truth is, she's always in control; art is an easy and natural way for her to acknowledge her emotions. I relate to the creativity and conflict present in Daly's soul. I wanted her to have these traits without modeling her after me and my skill. Daly never felt like a writer to me.
Q: Other than art, love, and her relationship with Laine, what do you feel were some of Daly's strongest challenges? In comparison, what were some of the greatest obstacles in writing Daly as a character?
A: Daly had to get out of her own way. She was too afraid to pursue what she wanted for fear of rejection. This holds true in her extended community college experience and the end of her relationship with Rick. It also affects her early encounters with Kashi. Sometimes, it was a struggle to write such an emotionally repressed character. In early drafts, my trusted beta readers questioned whether Daly might have Asperger's Syndrome. The effusive characters like Kashi and Mishti write themselves; it takes far more time and understanding to bring a Daly or a Laine to life.
Q: A Colorful Life has proven to be an incredibly personal story for you. Not only did you base the character of Kashi off your (then) husband, you also integrated several personal anecdotes and feelings from your travels to India. Although the story was meant to reflect and celebrate your relationship with your husband, the two of you divorced during the final stages of editing this novel. How has all of this affected you, and why did you push forth with publication despite this hardship?
A: This has been such an emotional journey for me. I often joke that A Colorful Life was my prophetic autobiography. If you read the story and consider the events that followed, the metaphor should be perfectly clear. This is also the first novel I ever wrote. It's the book that taught me how to be a writer. I made all my mistakes and discovered the publishing world with A Colorful Life in hand. By the end, this novel saw more than eleven unique drafts and ended up being my third published novel, despite the fact it was written first. The divorce happened while my literary agent was shopping this novel to publishers, and I knew almost right away I couldn't wait another two to three years to get it out there. Divorce is amazingly difficult, and I had no desire to return to this fictionalized version of my own love-lost story after I put in the hard work to recover and move on. I hurt now; I wanted to publish now. What's a little more pain, I ask?
- ASIN : B00UZO4W4G
- Publisher : Partridge & Pear Press (May 1, 2015)
- Publication date : May 1, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 2172 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 293 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #44,466 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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**this book received in exchange for an honest review**
I honestly cant say enough good things about this book. I was so very lucky to meet the author and when I read the book I was fell in love. Mostly with the characters and the way they were written. It is a very emotional book and the main topic is recovery from loss. Whether you have gone through a loss such as the passing of a parent or a relative, you will be inspired by Daly English. Her explanation of her name is given and it is her Mother maiden name. A lot of people ask and she tells them it rhymes with tally. I had to add that I thought it was cute. We meet Daly at a crossroads. she lost her Dad almost ten years ago and she is trying to decide what she does after her Associate's Degree is finished.
Take the journey with Daly as she bounces back from a breakup, tries to understand Laine (her Mother who she calls Laine) and lets love find her.
Sometimes in life there are ups and downs and what Daly goes through is pretty tough for such a young girl. When she meets Kashi, she is sort of intrigued and then he re-appears. He is so special you will love him, his sayings and wisdom. His family in India is just so entertaining, as was Daly and her approach to his background, lifestyle and family customs.
I think this is a MUST read!. I felt like I knew all of the characters and it honestly touched me. The bonus is they will stay with you for a while I am sure. At the beginning of each chapter there is a drawing by Daly and a great quote. I loved them and made so many Kindle Hi-lights. I will post more in the next couple of days. get ready for me to shout from the highest about how good this was.
Totally recommend it and give it a very inspiring 5*
Melissa Storm is quickly becoming a new favorite author of mine with her new book A Colorful Life. My first reading experience of hers was A Texas Kind of Love. However, A Colorful Life had more meaningful with life lessons intertwined. I totally understood why the book was titled A Colorful Life: Drawn in Broken Crayon.
I loved how passionate Daly (rhymes with Tally) was about creating her artwork. As a reader I would have loved to see all the sketches and collages she made. She came off as very talented. It was incredible that she worked on a single project for 14 hours. Loved how Meghann and Kashi were her muse and inspiration.
I loved how Kashi told Daly they would be destined to be together if they ran into each other three times. Most men do not do or say things like that this day in age.
My heart hurt for the pain Meghann had been going through at school and at home with her parents. However, through it all though she stayed strong and positive. I was glad she had Dally and Mrs. Dally to lean on for support and friendship.
The characters in this book I found to be very unique. Dally, Kashi (like the granola cereal), or Laine.
Some memorable lines that pulled on my heart strings were:
“Sometimes I wish I could go back to my childhood and start all over again…but then I’d be stuck here even longer.”
“Although I’ve never been the type to live in the moment, maybe I should consider making a change.”
I hope to read and review more of Melissa Storm’s books in the future.
Top reviews from other countries
We see her fall in love with a mysterious and handsome stranger that the power of 3 and fate brought them together. Daly blossoms with the love of Kashi in her life.
When the young couple travel to India to meet his parents the way in which Melissa Storm writes means that you are right there with the characters experiencing the sights, sounds and smells as they do.
Daly and her mother finally get their relationship back albeit through their mutual experience of loss. Once Daly accepts her life events you can tell that she is going to soar and find her place in life.
The story is poignant, emotional and written from the heart and brought me to tears. I love the way Melissa writes that makes you feel that you are right there with the characters and not on thw sidelines lookin on. Keep the tissues close by, you will need them.
I thought this was going to be a typical girl lost dad to young and no man measured up story. I am so very happy to say I was so wrong. A Colorful Life brings heartache, interracial relationships and an amazing love story.
Some of the characters were only introduced into Daly’s life for a reason and weren’t going to be there for very long just to teach her what she needed to learn and then move on. This is a moving story it had many sub plots running through it one of them being how a daughter and mother can overcome years of angst and have a relationship again.
A Colorful Life was such a moving story that Melissa Storm had me ugly crying and I think I used a while box of tissues. It was such a touching read that I had to take a couple of days off reading to recover and to mourn with the characters of this story. Well done Melissa Storm.