Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Character Like No Other! Call her Shame... Liv Hadden Blog Tour! Come Share Your Thoughts!


Do You Believe in Shame?
Do You Believe in Shame?
I am here to tell you my story as I
see it, before the hands of time sweep
it beneath the rug. As I said, this is
not born of an ill-begotten need for
redemption, but of my belief that
there are always two sides to
everything, and without both there
is no truth. You have heard one side.
Now you must hear mine.
And so, I begin.
I am ugly. I don't say this in an ironic, emotional, "I really want a compliment," kind of way. I say this in a matter of fact, "I've crunched the numbers," kind of way. I am not ugly because of a few extra pounds or a couple of unwanted blemishes; I am ugly because I am rotten on the inside. The rot inside, no matter how well disguised on the outside, spoils the whole fruit. Any logical person would say this should be fixed. But how do you fix something you can't see? Cut it open, shine a light into the darkness, examine, diagnose, and then fix it. I believe I have gotten as far as diagnosis, but when forced to take scalpel in hand and remove the rot, I couldn't do it. Who am I without it? I don't mind being ugly, is it really so important to remove it? At the very least I am comfortable. Life is short and comfort is hard to come by. So, instead, I choose to cope with the rot, make it my friend, and embody the ugliness. There is a certain beauty in that, I think.
Society would tell you it makes me dangerous. I would agree. I am dangerous, and I am powerful. What I am not is blind. I see the way the world works. I know I do not belong. I have come to embrace that face. And this they say is what makes me lethal...perhaps it does. I am not here to debate what you've already heard with "the truth." Truth is all about perspective anyway, isn't it?

The Shamed:
In the Mind of Revenge

By Liv Hadden

Immediately I must say that this novel is incredibly stunning. It will capture you but you will not become part of this story. You will not fall in love with the main character and wish the best for her throughout the book. What you will be is caught in her web. She spins a web tightly; even captured, you will not try to escape.. She's telling you her story and as dreadful as it might be, still you read on. You cannot help yourself. You may shiver at some of the book, sometimes even tears will come to your eyes. You will wonder how could this happen? Yet, in the back of your mind, you know it does, or it could, and that is what captures you. You need to learn what happens to this character... You pray for her, because you cannot love her...

My mother was not rich, but I would consider her wealthy. She had a full, beautiful laugh and a modest, but righteous, manner. She found light in the darkest of situations and made sure that I was well kept and satisfied...In the direst of times, she would become a "lady of the night," pleasing the very men who kept her down and refused her work. Ironic as it was, she never lost faith that her God would provide...
...mothers had no doubt discovered their husband's adulterous acts, and instead of placing their anger where it rightfully belonged, they slandered my mother's name, calling her a whore and a desperate harlot. Ther children would hear these flattering sentiments and repeat them to me, like trained monkeys.
Soon, I became as good as a leper in the hierarchy of childhood society. To make matters worse, most could couldn't tell if I was a boy or a girl. I soon became known by a variety of "clever" nicknames such as Genderless Pig, Bisexual bastard, Shemale and several others. It wasn't until high school that I became known as "The Shamed." 
The truth was, I liked my anonymity. I enjoyed the puzzled looks on people's faces and the whispered bets behind my back. I enjoyed being the anomaly in their lives and frustrating them with my apathy of their social standards...My peers have dubbed me The Shamed in an effort to bring me down, but instead, I fed off of it. I loved the name and wore it proudly as a badge of honor. ...I decided to brand the jacket with my unsolicited nickname by crudely spraypainting it across the back. In big, white, sloppy letters, it read...

The Shamed

I had been beaten up plenty of times before, but the day I dawned that jacket was by far the worst. This time, they used more than just their fists and feet; they used metal pipes, a wrench and someone even had scissors. They cut away all of my clothes to reveal the truth beneath them. I was sodomized by humans and objects alike. With their pipes, they bashed in my legs and arms, and with the scissors, mutilated my genitals and scarred my face. To add the icing on the cake, the leader of my death squad spit in my face and announced triumphantly,
"Now you are exactly what you wanted to be. You're a sexless broken pig...
"Fuck you. My body may die today, but I will find a way to come back, and I will destroy every last one of your evil spawn..."

Pre-release copy read...

For a split second, I could sense the fear bubbling under the surface of my attackers' calm expressions. I had never spoken up before, much less said something so psychotically creepy. Their trepidation was quickly replaced by fury as their leader smashed my face in with his metal wrench, attempting to silence me for good. I do not know how long I was passed out lying in the woods. All I know  is that when I opened my eyes, I was in excruciating pain, and it was ominously dark. I knew I was alone, and soon began to cry.
All I wanted was to die. I did not want to feel every broken bone and every cut on my body. I wanted to be released. This was God's last cruel joke, a slow and painful death...
Thinking of when my mother used to sing to me..."You are mine and I am yours, and I will love you forevermore."

Shame had been given her name by those who had bullied her in school. She had been teased, ridiculed over and over. But it was only when she was attacked and nearly died that she thought of revenge...and began to act on it...

Would you have guessed that one of the ways she began to cope was through poetry. She had cried when abused. She had hidden within a large coat and hood and tried to stay clear. Then one day on the bus, her mother had come to protect her. It may have been her only way out, but she still knew that they had won and that was on her. Until later that day she found a poem by D. H. Lawrence...

I reread and reread those two sentences the entire day. I thought about it all night, and into the next day, trying to dissect its meaning, make it applicable to my life. I thought about it for a week solid, and I was thinking about it when I was sitting in the nurse's office. And just as I was truly feeling sorry for myself, both because I wasn't allowed to watch the growing up video and because I couldn't figure out how to not feel sorry for myself, Cassie sat down... I was thinking about it right before I opened my mouth and spoke to her. And I was thinking about it just as I was using scissors to carve out Carly's dolphin tattoo.
After I had tied her to the chair and revealed my identity, I had decided to continue delivering punishment as it had been delivered to me. Carly had used scissors to cut my face, so I would return the favor, and gladly. I had just cut all of her hair off, and couldn't stop staring at her tattoo. I hated it. It represented everything she was, but after that day she would be someone new. The victim of a heinous crime. It changes you. I can promise you that. I decided I wanted a tattoo, and it was going to be of that poem.

Shame got her tattoo...and she got her revenge... She was changed, in more than one way after she had nearly died in the hands of those who'd assaulted her. Readers will see her revenge...and perhaps even understand. I seem to have a bit of need for revenge in myself, so I had not only sympathy but great empathy for Shame.

Yes, this book is difficult to read...most of the above is within the first 7 pages of the book! But there is so much more to come. And as I read, I began to form a prediction of how this series was going to move forward... I can't wait to see if I'm close or, maybe, even right!

Hadden's greatest talent is in conceiving her main character and then wrapping her within everything necessary to have a young girl become happy with the name Shame--and then prove it by her actions...

Beware of Shame
When you hurt her, she doesn't die...

Honestly? If I tell the truth on this one, I have to say it's a Must Read... Without saying more about this tragic, astonishing, but unforgettable book, I can only say that I read this book over a month ago but the impact, the emotional suspense, and the final ending are still fresh in my mind... I can't wait for the next book!


“Debut novelist Liv Hadden has been writing ever since she was a little girl. But, it wasn’t until 5th grade when her teacher said she’d one-day write a book that she started taking it seriously. Hadden has her roots in Burlington, Vermont and has lived in upstate New York and Oklahoma, where she went to college at the University of Oklahoma, and earned her degree in Environmental Sustainability Planning & Management. She now resides in Austin, TX with her partner and two dogs, Madison and Samuel. Incredibly inspired by artistic expression, Hadden immerses herself in creative endeavors on a daily basis. She finds great joy in getting lost in writing and seeing others fully express themselves through their greatest artistic passions, like music, body art, dance and photography. “I get chills when I have the great privilege of seeing someone express their authentic selves,” says Hadden. “I believe it gives us a true glimpse into the souls of others.”
Her Shamed series began in college, when Hadden employed her writing as an outlet for her feelings during a serious bout of depression. After a brief, yet impactful first night of writing, she dreamt of a shadowy figure, tormented and demonized by their own mind and realized this was the shadow of pain that hurting people everywhere felt.
She woke from her dream feeling more energized that she had in months, picked up her computer and began to write. "I felt if ever there was a story inside me and a character worth taking the leap, it was Shame and this story," says Hadden. "This one in particular is personal in nature, and perhaps the very reason it's so close to my heart."

Note: Shame is played by Demi Moore, in GIJane

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