Felicitas Ivey on Knitting, Surprises and her new story ‘I’m Not Who You Think I Am’ (author guest blog)

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I’m Not Who You Think I Am by Felicitas Ivey

Harmony Ink Press, Paperback by Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Tiferet Designs
Published March 19th 2019

Sales Links:   Harmony Ink Press | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Whenever I start these types of posts, I spend time debating what I’m going to write. Mainly because I don’t know what to say, because I don’t know how much of my personal life I want to write about. My bio covers the basics of my life, mostly, and I don’t want to overshare on the Internet. Basically I have a day job, I have three cats, and I have hobbies.

So this is going to be about one of the hobby obsessions in my life~Fiber. Yarn and not the other kind from food. From a casual scan on Facebook and at conferences, shows that  I’m not the only author who has this obsession. Yarn and authors, go together like cats and authors.

I knit in my spare time, mostly so I don’t fall asleep the rare times I’m watching television or a movie, when my cats let me. I’m not ant television, it’s just I really don’t have time for it. Knitting’s also useful on long trips, because I’m a bad passenger on highways and it keeps me distracted. I’ve been knitting since I was in high school and have collected a lot of yarn over the decades with my hobby. Some of it was bought on an impulse, some for projects which never got knit and some of it is left over from long ago projects. Unfortunately, I’ve outgrown most of the early knitting project or they’ve fallen apart because of wear.

I’m a yarn hoarder. I have far too much of the stuff, bought in binges when I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I have my stash stored in odd containers scattered around my home, in spare rooms and underneath my sofa. I have truly embraced the notion of the person with the most yarn wins. The hoard has gotten so bad, I have a spreadsheet, broken down by fiber type, noting the location of every skein and ball. That’s about the only organized part of my life. But if I didn’t have that, I would lose track of what I have. I’m proud that I’ve even separated the storage containers by fiber also. I also really don’t have to hide my stash, because I live alone, but it does keep the cats out of it. I’m lucky to have a large enough living space to indulge in the passion I have for fiber, the wonderful color and feel of all sorts of textures of fiber, from delicate lace to a hearty bulky yarn used to make rugs and toys.

I prefer natural fiber, mainly because I’m not knitting for anyone else but myself most of the time. I’ve looked for yarn wherever I can, dragging my traveling companion off the beaten path to find yarn shops in New England and beyond. Sometimes I buy the wrong things because I didn’t bring the correct pattern book with me. Most of these types of splurges were before tablets and smart phones made looking up patterns so easy.

I’ve also collected a number of knitting books over the years also. They are a snapshot of the changing fashions in fibers and styles over the last couple of decades. Unfortunately there are a number of books which I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to use because the yarns listed no longer exist and I can’t find any information on them to figure out yardage for the sweaters. “Beastly Knits” by Lalla Ward is the one that frustrates me the most, because it has a lot of interesting sweaters in it.  I haven’t had the ambition over the years to try and figure out what I could do in the way of substitutions, since everything is given in ounces/grams and not yards. I still like the book, I mainly bought it because I am a big Dr. Who fan and the author was a companion and later a Time Lady with the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.

My most recent project has been knitting a sweater out of Marino wool, which I’ve hand dyed on my own.  Dyeing has been something I’ve been dabbling in on and off for a couple of years. I’m lucky that I have access to stores in your area which I can buy the higher end dyes for these projects. The dye didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, but the colors are still nice.

Dyeing is fun and I do most of my dyeing in old crock pots. They are useful for me because I do individual skeins. The main issue I have is keeping the my cats away from the pots, but a sniff or two of the dye and they wander off to nap.

I had bought the above mentioned sweater project with me on vacation, not doing a test swatch to see if I had the correct sized needles to get the right gage, so my sweater doesn’t end up fitting me. I’d skipped that once and it didn’t end well for me. Hours of work and the sweater didn’t fit me. That was one of the reasons I switched to less form fitting projects, like shawls.

I needed to get different knitting needles than what I brought with me and wandered into a Michaels and found what I needed and then discovered a wonderful sight!

It seems that Pantone the color company and Caron a yarn producer, have gotten together to package five colors together, in different shades and the yarn tag looks like a paint strip. I haven’t used the skeins I’ve bought yet, but I do have a project in mind for it. And was very proud of the fact I waited to have a project in mind, before I gave into the squees of joy I had when I first saw the yarn

Blurb

Mykayla’s parents’ marriage is in trouble, but they’re working on it. Unfortunately for Mykayla, that means she’s getting shipped off to Boston to spend her summer with Uncle Yushua while they work out their issues. Mykayla has issues of her own—like her confusion about her sexuality, or apparent lack of it—that she’d like to explore alongside her best friend, Xiu. The situation at her uncle’s house is weird to say the least. There’s something off about his coworkers—aside from the fact that they won’t go away.

Things go from strange to stranger when a supernatural being shows up to protect Mykayla from someone he calls the Shadow Pharaoh. Sutekhgen is a sorcerer who never made it to the afterlife, with a huge Seth beast as a companion… and the mistaken assumption that Mykayla is the reincarnation of his lost romantic partner.

She doesn’t know what’s worse: being caught in a metaphysical conflict between ancient gods, or being stuck with a pushy jerk who doesn’t know the meaning of personal boundaries.

About the Author

Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her other husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.

Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which threaten to take over her house, even with e-books.

Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.

Website: www.Felicitasivey.com

Facebook: felicitasivey

Twitter: @felicitasive

A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: I’m Not Who You Think I Am by Felicitas Ivey

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Mykayla’s parents’ marriage is in trouble, but they’re working on it. Unfortunately for Mykayla, that means she’s getting shipped off to Boston to spend her summer with Uncle Yushua while they work out their issues. Mykayla has issues of her own-like her confusion about her sexuality, or apparent lack of it-that she’d like to explore alongside her best friend, Xiu. The situation at her uncle’s house is weird to say the least. There’s something off about his coworkers-aside from the fact that they won’t go away. Things go from strange to stranger when a supernatural being shows up to protect Mykayla from someone he calls the Shadow Pharaoh. Sutekhgen is a sorcerer who never made it to the afterlife, with a huge Set Beast as a companion… and the mistaken assumption that Mykayla is the reincarnation of his lost romantic partner. She doesn’t know what’s worse: being caught in a metaphysical conflict between ancient gods or being stuck with a pushy jerk who doesn’t know the meaning of personal boundaries.

“I’m Not Who You Think I Am” was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There were some elements I really enjoyed and others I didn’t really care for.

I haven’t seen a lot of books that mix old Egyptian mythology and urban fantasy, so this was a nice change. While I’m not completely ignorant of Egyptian history and religion, I’m hardly an expert and I did feel a little bit lost at times. Sometimes the in-depth on page research actually bordered on info-dump for me and it was hard to keep track of all the facts.

Mykayla is a girl after my tastes. She thinks museums are just as interesting as bookshops and can easily spend hours there without getting bored. That made me like her immediately. She’s also obsessed with knitting and still struggling a bit with her asexuality. Or rather, how and who to tell about it. She did get a little bit annoying toward the end, with her seemingly endless internal rants about sexism and how she was very much NOT attracted to anybody.

Her best friend Xiu was kind of annoying from the beginning. She never shuts up and kind of refuses to accept Mykayla’s asexuality. She’s the only person who knows about it and yet she keeps going on about how she wants to date Mykayla. It seemed quite insensitive to me, even if it was passed off as a sort of running gag. Plus, she acted awfully mature for a 15-year-old and not at all how I think a normal teenager would behave.

The adults were also very lenient towards the two teenagers. Who allows two 15-year-olds to go out alone at 11pm to have a coffee at the train station of a big city? And Mykayla’s parents were extremely neglectful. They weren’t abusive or anything, but they just seemed to not be as concerned about her as I’d expect. They’re actually somewhat important to the story, even if they don’t get all that much on-page time. That was actually a nice change from the usually absent parents of the YA genre.

I did like the fantasy elements and the scenes with Sutekhgen and his adorable Set Beast. Kudos to the author for creating two truly unique animal characters in this story. I’m still halfway convinced Yushua’s cat is secretly not a cat at all, but a shapeshifter or something like that. I think the animals were my favourite characters of the entire book.

Not a lot actually happens here. There’s one big event pretty early on, followed by lots of talking and research, and then there’s another big event toward the end. I didn’t quite understand the big reveal at the end, tbh.

Overall, I did find “ I’m Not Who You Think I Am” a mostly rather entertaining read. It does have its ups and downs, though, and it was far from a “great read” for me. I do believe there’s going to be a part two, the overall story arc definitely isn’t done just yet, even if there was no horrible cliffhanger at the end. I’m not sure if I want to read the sequel, yet.

I’m not a huge fan of the cover by Tiferet Design. While the cover model definitely has the right hair and skin tone, she just doesn’t look like she’s 15. Plus, I’m fairly sure Mykayla didn’t wear make up. I do like the font that was used for the title, though.

Sales Links:   Harmony Ink Press | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Book details:

eBook, 200 pages

Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press LLC