Month: October 2015

New Book: I am Not Your “Baby”, by Joy Jennings | Summary and Excerpt

rain-and-a-book-sreesha-divakaran-joy-jennings
I am Not Your “Baby”

An Australian woman’s tortured life of sexual harassment and assault

In this suspenseful and riveting memoir about a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Australian beach girl, Joy faces the battle of her life against the not-so-friendly bronzed Aussie bloke.

Through her raw, dark stories of frightening sexual assaults, shocking rapes, non-stop abuse, violation and street harassment, Joy Jennings shares of how she tried to make her way in her coastal home town, while being hounded, followed and tormented at every turn.

Her powerfully moving story throws you into a world of tradies, hoons and bogans, who behave in the world’s most vile, vulgar and sexist of ways. With her candid and compelling recollections of being choked to within an inch of her life, having her car window smashed into her face, being stalked and having men rip the very clothes from her body, this memoir will not only keep you captivated, but also astonish you with every page.

Readers will be taken on an unrelenting ride as they share Joy’s emotional journey. I’m Not Your “Baby” will have you fighting for our author who, with a determined heart, never gives up hope of finding love, peace and ultimate happiness.

This is not a story about demonizing the Australian male, but one that humanizes the victims.

Genre: Memoir

Page Count: 244 pages
Release Date: 16 Oct 2015
Paperback: $19.99 Ebook $9.95

ISBN: Ebook: 978-0-9940962-0-1 Print Edition: 978-0-9940962-0-3
Publisher: AJP Publications

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About the Author

Joy Jennings was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. At seventeen, Joy and her family moved to Queensland where she spent over thirty years living on the Gold Coast.
Following in the footsteps of her father, published author and newspaper columnist, Joy realized her own talents as a writer with the debut of her artfully crafted memoir.

It is Joy’s hope that through her work, she can educate young women on how to make the right decisions if experiencing sexual harassment or assault and wishes to remain focused on establishing herself in her new life and helping others.

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Excerpt

The disadvantage of being an Aussie beach chick was that when I did go out anywhere alone, I became vulnerable to the onslaught of street harassment from every Australian male who passed me by. It didn’t matter where I went or what I wore, from light summer clothing through to baggy T-shirts and sweat pants, it was as though I had no right to walk the streets without being a target of sexually charged harassment. It didn’t only happen on the coast. I remember being harassed back in Melbourne starting at around the age of thirteen. The odd car would honk as it drove past, and some bloke would whistle at me, which I didn’t like. If I said anything to either one of my sisters, I was just told to take as a compliment. I tried to at first, but the car toots and whistles increased in both frequency and intensity with every year, and it really started to wear me down.

When I turned seventeen and first moved to the coast, the harassment increased tremendously, and I soon had all manner of men, of all ages, whistling, tooting and yelling out at me. Their comments were sexist, lewd and really quite vile.

“Hey baby, show us your pink bits!”

“Hey baby, wiggle that hot ass. You’re getting us hard!”

The invidious comments weren’t exclusive to Australian men, but they certainly were responsible for the crudest of them. Men anywhere from sixteen to seventy-six were all taking part in objectifying not only me, but many other women, my friends included. The very worst of it would usually come from the young Aussie men in their late teens and early twenties, who had absolutely no idea how to behave in public, especially in front of a lady.

There were also the physical assaults. If I was standing in a busy store or crowded place, especially on public transport, I would have my bottom pinched, my breasts groped, crotches rubbed against me, and propositions for sex and other lewd and vile remarks whispered in my ear. When I was at work, I had guys leaping over the counter to kiss my cheek or smell my neck, and I was hit on continually.

Quite often, I was followed by males who would make disgusting remarks.

“Ooh, baby, ya look like ya need big cock in ya!”

“Come on, baby. Flash us your tits!”

“Oh, baby, I’d like some of your tail!”

“You get me horny!”

“How about a head job?”

“Come on, baby. Suck it for me!”

“Ooh, baby, nice ass!”

“Show us your tits!”

“Hey baby, how much?”

“Bend over, sugar. I’ll give you a ride!”

“You get my cock hard!”

These so-called compliments were never something I found cute, funny or complimentary, but rather insulting, intimidating, abusive, rude, insensitive and vulgar. No woman deserves it, and it wasn’t something I should have expected because I was born female.

Many leered and snickered and called me over like a dog. Some would grab their crotches and ask me if I wanted some. They whistled, hooted and hollered and made sexual gestures with their hands, fingers, mouths and tongues. Driving a car often became dangerous because of the aggressive and risky manoeuvres males would make trying to catch my attention. They sped up, slowed down, blocked me in and hung out of their windows, whistling and hollering out at me, weaving their cars into my path. I was in constant fear of being driven off the road and crashing into something.

I never did anything to encourage their behaviour or attention. I did not wear anything too tight or too revealing. I didn’t wiggle anything, fall out of anything or show off in any way. I didn’t even toss my hair in anybody’s direction. None of this mistreatment was because of anything I did to attract it. My only crime was simply developing into a young woman.

Whenever I walked out onto the street, I felt objectified, degraded and humiliated in public, as if my intellect, my capabilities as a person or anything I might accomplish in life didn’t matter. Nor did any of my hopes, my dreams or my plans for my future. What only seemed to be important to them was how my appearance or sex appeal rated on their scales. They showed no concern about my feelings or whether what they yelled out hurt me. It seemed they expected me to be empty inside, to be the grateful recipient of their male lust.

It was exhausting being continually reminded that I was under constant observation and scrutiny, being evaluated and judged on my appearance. Despite what they thought, being attractive was not the sole purpose for my existence, and my secret wish was to yell at every single one of them, I am not your dog that you whistle for; I’m not a stray animal you call over, and I am not, I never have been, nor will I ever be, your “baby”!

My formative years never included any instruction on how to deal with harassment. It just wasn’t something anybody discussed or worried about. We were largely left to our own devices and told just to ignore it or accept it as part of our Australian, male-dominated culture.

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I, Corinthius: The Vasterium Saga, by Shae Christi

rain and a book-sreesha divakaran-corinthiusSo , I’ve decided not every review of mine needs to go on goodreads. Sometimes they’re harsh, and I don’t know, maybe some books don’t deserve it. No, don’t get me wrong, I am not “softening up” or anything (I am the only one who would make that statement with such derision). Honestly, I don’t know why, but books (such as this one, for instance) need not be reviewed on goodreads.

I, Corinthius begins with a preface about a monk. It sounds like a condensed summary of a larger story, and is narrated very well. Despite sounding condensed, it almost made me believe it is a true story and I looked forward to the rest. The preface talks about a monk who discovers a parallel world (reading this so soon after The Dark Tower, which deals with parallel worlds too was a strange coincidence) and begins to write about it. The other monks discover his journals and accuse him of heresy. One fine day, he vanishes.

The preface says this is a modern day retelling of the tale he recorded.

Like I said, this part was written exceptionally well. What followed – well, a little less so.

Summary: Corinthius is a stag who finds that the woods he had lived in were destroyed in a fire. When I began to read I thought, Woah, this is a stag? Is this a children’s book? Turns out, it wasn’t, but it could very well have been. Corinthius stares at the burning forest and begins to wonder who he is and where he came from. He meets another group of deer and tries to join them, but is turned away. He later meets a Goddess/witch/enchantress who knows about him and his past.

Writing/Narration: OK, so the story is being told from Corinthius’ POV. Which means, when he meets the group of deer  (or any other character) introductions need to be in order – for the characters’ sake as well as the reader’s. But, the names of all the deer are mentioned with no introduction whatsoever. Consider this scene, where he first encounters the group:

“Hello there. Could you help me, please? My name is Corinthius,” he said nervously. Even though he approached gently he still startled the does.

“Who are you? What do you want? We’ve never seen you around these grounds before,” snapped Geru, the doe with the long scar that wound itself over the bridge of her nose.

“We don’t care about your business. It’s nothing to do with us,” spat Zelna, the doe with a chocolate patch that covered her right eye.

How did he know their names? All the more reason to suspect if this is a children’s book.

He later meets Belovaya (queen/goddess/witch/enchantress) and I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but there is just so much wrong with their relationship. It’s just not right.

Also, Corinthius is the flawless good guy character. He is perfect – too perfect. The book has very clear lines about good and bad. There’s no grey.

The imagery, however, is beautiful. The vivid descriptions are hard to be ignored and deserve praise. The book would have been better had the characters and the story been narrated in the same vein and perfection.

Overall, I would say this book was not for me. It is not just the narration or the confusion over the age-group this book should be suitable for. The story was not nearly as riveting as the preface almost promised me it would be.

On the plus side, it is a really short read that would not take up too much of your time. Perhaps you could read it to your kids by removing the un-children’s-book bits and making Belovaya a little more nice.

Rating: 2/5

Buy it here: Amazon

Disclaimer: I received a PDF copy for review from the author.