Hello friends and welcome to Color the Shelves!
Today I’m bringing you a post that I really enjoyed reading and I hope you do as well! Roselle Lim, author of the upcoming VANESSA YU’S MAGICAL PARIS TEASHOP, talks about the concept of destiny and how she feels about it. This is a topic that’s extensively explored in her sophomore release where the main character who sees people’s fortunes in tea leaves, accidentally sees her own fate and the exact way she dies. The story unfolds from there exploring whether fate is set in stone and whether or not someone’s destiny can be changed by their actions, all of this while exploring the streets of Paris. This is one book I’m looking forward to reading, and if it’s not already on your radar, I hope it now is!
Do you believe in destiny, travelling a path predetermined? Is it comforting?
It terrifies me.
I know the life others would have had me live. The obedient child; the good daughter. An obedient wife; a good mother. Don’t rise above your station. It’s your destiny.
At one time, I thought obedience would lead to approval. That submitting myself to fate, submerging my own desires, would bring me happiness.
I took organ lessons to please my parents; I had no interest in music. I forwent extra curricular activities and clubs that required my parents to drive; I wasn’t to be a burden. When I was invited to birthday parties, I never stayed out late or attended sleepovers. I got good grades. I didn’t date until my parents approved.
My destiny. Walk it, never deviate. My parents’ words punctuated my step: be the perfect daughter, a person they could be proud of, one who fulfils every criteria of social standing. As I stumbled onward, I felt the thorns that tore my skin, the cuts deepening, and the world’s color fading.
One day, I told an aunt how I planned on attending university. She turned to me, incredulous, saying, “What for? The only thing you’re going to do is get married and have babies.” Was this all life had for me? It wasn’t even a decision I would be allowed to make, but an obligation predestined?
It was the last thorn. The last cut. No more would I let others determine my future.
Resistance and rebellion became my programming. Tell me to sit, and I will jump. To crawl, I’ll run. No force on Earth, nor the thread of the Fates, could compel me.
I took command and began living the life I wanted. I understood how easily destiny could be imposed when one gave up control. Steering fate, however, is hard, but when powered by determination or stubbornness (it doesn’t matter which), the journey becomes manageable.
Having set it aside years ago, I once again picked up a pen. Past admonishments on how I could never become a writer because English wasn’t my native language now fueled me.
I wrote books that never saw the light of day. I found critique partners and got better. I queried, and received no responses. I kept writing. I kept querying. I landed an agent, and then a second. I revised for two years, cursing each edit while acknowledging the improvement. When the manuscript sold, I sighed, picked up my pen, and started the next story.
I write my own destiny, one I control.
These contrasting ideas are the themes within my sophomore novel, Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop. Vanessa, our protagonist, is a clairvoyant with no control over her powers. She spills predictions that wreak havoc of those around her. She asks for help in controlling her gift, but really wants nothing more than to be free. Family expectations dictated that she should be proficient and happy.
Her’s is a struggle against a destiny she did not choose and does not desire.
What would you choose?
About the author
Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.
She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother’s) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.
An artist by nature, she considers writing as “painting with words.”
She is represented by Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.
About the book
Publication date : August 4th, 2020
Publisher : Berkley
Genre : Adult | Romance
Page Count: 304
Synopsis : Vanessa Yu never wanted to see people’s fortunes—or misfortunes—in tea leaves.
Ever since she can remember, Vanessa Yu has been able to see people’s fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life is so nonexistent that her parents enlist the services of a matchmaking expert from Shanghai.
The day before her matchmaking appointment, Vanessa accidentally sees her own fate: death by traffic accident. She decides that she can’t truly live until she can find a way to get rid of her uncanny abilities. When her eccentric aunt, Evelyn, shows up with a tempting offer to whisk her away, Vanessa says au revoir to America and bonjour to Paris. While working at Evelyn’s tea stall at a Parisian antique market, Vanessa performs some matchmaking of her own, attempting to help reconnect her aunt with a lost love. As she learns more about herself and the root of her gifts, she realizes one thing to be true: knowing one’s destiny isn’t a curse, but being unable to change it is.
That’s it until next time.
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.