May 15, 2016

Release Blitz & Review -- The Other Side by Harlow Paige

Title: The Other Side
Series: A Series of Cliches #1
Author: Harlow Paige
Genre: Romance
Release Date: May 15, 2016
Cover Image by Perrywinkle Photography

True or False: 
From the outside looking in, you can be more objective to someone's situation.


People only see what you have, thinking your life and marriage are sheer perfection based on your tax bracket. If only they could step inside long enough to see how cracked the foundation truly is. 

True or False: 
The grass isn't always greener on the other side.


I firmly believe the only people who speak this nonsense are the ones living a life of contentment. They use this cliche to persuade you from searching for more out of life.

True or False: 
If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.


This momma hasn't been happy for a long time, and I plan on changing that.
The grass may not be greener on the other side, but if I'm the one mowing the lawn, who the hell cares?!

MY HUSBAND REFERS to the internet as the devil. He trusts nothing that takes place on the screens I’m constantly working from. It’s easy to sit back and judge something you haven’t allowed yourself to explore. I finally broke him out of his no-internet accessing flip phone, and he has now come to the dark side. 

Where I’m engrossed in social media and keeping up with my readers and fellow authors, he’s now consumed by stupid, childish games that make absolutely no sense to me. Who’s the hypocrite now? Well, both of us. But at least it keeps him out of my hair…a little. 
He likes to complain and assume the worst on my end, throwing out the fact that he’s kept in the dark and has no clue who I interact with. This is true. I do keep him out of my author world bubble. It’s mine. I don’t want to share it with him. If I allow him to get close enough, I know he’ll pop it. And I’m not ready to fall back into reality. He doesn’t get my “job” and doesn’t even see it as one—although he doesn’t complain when my “job” buys him stuff. 
Funny how that works. 
The internet is my office. And a very, very distracting one at times. But it’s a necessity. I wouldn’t be known without it. He doesn’t get that. He has no clue how much work goes into this passion of mine that has turned into a career. The truth of the matter is, he doesn’t support me. So therefore, his mind isn’t open to everything that goes hand in hand with me being an author. All he sees is me on my laptop or phone, and he instantly thinks I’m chatting with people—guys—I shouldn’t be. 
And maybe I do. 
And maybe I shouldn’t. 
I’m unhappy. I’ve been this way for a couple years now—since I started writing my books to be more precise. I didn’t wake up one day and tell myself, “Self, I want to be an author.” I woke up one day realizing I needed more in my life. Not that being a stay at home mother and wife isn’t satisfying, but it definitely wasn’t quenching my thirst once I delved into my new life as an author. Something was missing, and I was on a mission to find it. That’s when I discovered writing and that I could write out whatever I wanted and toss it into the black-hole known as the internet and if someone read it, cool. 
It felt amazing letting out anything and everything I had on my mind without any expectations in return. Slowly, I started gaining readers. It was scary and exciting. There were people who actually wanted to read what I had to say. Why? I didn’t understand it, and I still don’t. But as they started conversing with me, one by one, I realized I wasn’t alone in the grand scheme of life. And that felt good. I felt like my purpose had been found. And I planned on embracing it no matter who had my back, which my husband didn’t. But his unsupportiveness hasn’t detoured me from continuing my writing journey. It’s not a choice. It’s my destiny, my future. The passion burns throughout me and I can’t extinguish it even if I wanted to. And yes, there have been times I wished I could shut the ideas out. It completes me and gives me a sense of purpose. When a reader tells me that my story moved them, helped them, made them laugh or they related even a tiny bit to something I wrote—it changes you.
And that’s exactly what happened to me. 
I’ve changed. 
And dammit, I like who I’m becoming. 
I want to embrace this revolution rising within me. I want to spread my wings, and expand my horizons, and see where the possibilities of it can one day lead. 
But I can’t.
Because I’m stuck.
Being a prisoner to a life of contentment, knowing that I settled and wishing I knew then what I know now is so disheartening. I’m married to someone I’ve wanted by my side from the get go, but who loosened his hold on my hand, allowing us to grow apart. Now that he sees me pulling away, knowing I’m unhappy, he’s grasping for my fingertips, trying desperately to slip his fingers between mine and pull me back to him. 
But it’s too late. My fingertips are now curled, forming fists, and leaving nail imprints in my skin. Him refusing to take the journey with me not only hardened my stance against him, but also my heart. 
I can’t change it. I can’t change the way I feel. I can’t go back to two years ago when I picked up the first book I ever had the urge to read, and warn myself of what would take place once I closed that story with a new outlook on life. And if I could, I’m not sure I’d want to. 
I knew it the first time he came over to my apartment and we ended up sleeping together, that I was settling. I was compromising who I was, and who I wanted to be—even though I wasn’t sure of who that was at that time. 
The ironic part of it all is my settling led to my passion. But now I’m in a predicament. Do I stay with the man who loves me, but doesn’t know how to fully support me? Or do I skip bail and find what brings me joy? I have kids to take care of. I have to be smart instead of jumping on a whim and praying for a safe landing. 
Waiting it out shouldn’t be hard, right? 
I’m sure most will say I’m being a horrible wife, and that I shouldn’t have put myself in this situation to begin with. To an extent, I agree. I know all I’m doing now is flirting with disaster. 
I can’t help it…or stop it. 
It could be the fucking author in me reading into a web of lies my mind is forming, writing my own personal whacked out fairytale.
I know people say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but something inside me makes me want to test that theory.

"...I like who I'm becoming. I want to embrace this revolution rising within me. I want to spread my wings, and expand my horizon, and see where the possibilites of it can one day lead. But I can't. Because I'm stuck."

This is a fabulous debut novel for Harlow Paige!!

It's a very unique take on dealing with an unhappy marriage in today's society. It revolves around social media and the impact it has on your life. The friendships you make behind computer and phone screens that change your life.

This story also surrounds the life of an indie author and how she copes with day to day life. You see the inner workings of how she handles real life issues all while trying to continue her passion for writing.

"Disappointments don't have to revolve around your personal life. Actually, it's almost more devastating when a fantasy you put together in your mind crashes and burns before your eyes."

I love the honest and true feel of this book. Harlow is writing as herself in this story. She tells intimate details of her day to day life. You get to know her social media friends as if they were your own friends, and you applaud them for keeping her sane and understanding her needs.

You find yourself immersed into Harlow's world as it crumbles around her and as she tries to build it back up the best way she can. 

You see her try her hand at online dating. That was an enlightening experience to say the least!! I mean, wow!!!

"I'm pretty sure friendships are the strongest bond you can have with a person; possibly stronger than the one you have with your spouse. Relationships that last, now those are a dying breed. The sucky part is, some aren't meant to last."

I absolutely loved her friends in this book!!
They really were her backbone through it all. 

Being a part of this wonderful book world myself, I completely understood everything about social media friendships and how they make everything better. Sometimes it's easier to talk behind a screen rather than in person. 

That also goes for online dating. Oh my gosh! I wanted to hug Harlow and also kick some tush during this book! It's amazing how quickly your opinion of someone can change with just a single experience.

"Sometimes you don't see where a person fits into your life. That can be with anyone you encounter. Everyone has a reason for making an appearance in your life."

I think the greatest lesson to take away from Harlow's story is that if you're unhappy, change it.
Don't settle for the life you think you are supposed to have instead of a life worth living.

I believe this is a wonderful start in the journey of Harlow Paige. I call it a start because she is truly beginning to live her life for herself!

I can't wait to see the continuing story! 
I'm holding tight, because I know it will be a wild ride!

"Sometimes you just have to stop...And put yourself first."

Harlow Paige is a known author using a pen to shield her identity (and others) as she writes about her adventures and many, many mishaps in the world of online dating. Her Series of Cliches is bound to resonate within any woman who has jumped back into the dating saddle. No worries if single-hood doesn't apply to you. This series will be full of real life honesty, as Harlow twists her life experiences with a bit of fiction to keep the reader guessing. Everyone who joins in on this adventure will be able to relate in some form, and if not, will still be rooting her on along the way.

Harlow asks that all willing participants please keep their hands, feet and legs inside the ride at all times. Your safety... and ENJOYMENT is her number one goal. 
Hold on tight---you're in for one helluva ride!


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