Book: The CreepShow.
Date Published: April 11, 2016
Copy : e-Book.
About The Book
Wanda Julienne was the perfect employee. Until she had a baby.
Wanda, a thirtysomething single mother, returns to her job at an international financial services firm after maternity leave and finds her world turned upside down. The colleague who filled in for her made disastrous errors that should have cost him his position. Instead, management pressures Wanda to repair the damage overnight and take on new assignments that are a sure recipe for failure. Add in a dose of sexual harassment and Wanda, who can’t afford to lose her job, feels trapped.
Slowly, she discovers that other colleagues have experienced similar treatment, but no one wants to talk about it.
At home, the situation isn’t much brighter. Wanda struggles to balance her baby’s needs and her tough work schedule. Her best friend, Galina, and the ex-boyfriend Wanda never thought would return try their best to offer support, but the attention only suffocates her.
Wanda turns her back and isolates herself, submerged in a downward spiral, until Galina suggests a way out—but the exit won’t be without drastic consequences.
Three days passed before Louis finally waved Wanda inside his office when she approached. Louis ran a hand through the dark hair that fell over his brow and looked up at Wanda through crystal blue eyes that had attitude. He was about Wanda’s age and moderately attractive, yet he saw himself as extremely attractive. That was written all over his face, especially when dealing with women. He had been transferred from New York to the Paris office more than a year ago. At first, Wanda had rolled her eyes at his comments, even laughing at his “I’ll fuck anyone to get ahead” manner, but after a while she simply avoided him. His behavior had always been borderline—although worse outside the office. But she didn’t want to think about that.
She placed her fund reports on the desk, the data facing Louis.
“Thomas should be fired,” she said, voice low, confidence high. “This is outrageous. I gave him specific instructions, and he did the opposite.”
Louis smiled with what appeared to be feigned sheepishness and shrugged.
“Babe, when you’re gone for four months, you can’t expect everything to remain frozen. Things evolve.”
She flinched. Wanda always flinched when Louis called her “babe,” but considering the importance of this conversation, it seemed even more inappropriate than usual.
“In this case, they didn’t evolve in the right direction. And I was on maternity leave! I didn’t just pop off for a four-month vacation.”
Louis stood up and walked around the desk. She refused to step back even though this felt too close for comfort.
“Whatever the reason for the absence, sweetheart, it was an absence.”
“It was a normal absence.” Wanda’s voice trembled with anger. Control, control, this is all about control, she reminded herself.
“How about if we discuss this tonight, maybe over a drink?” His lips curved into a smile, and his eyes seemed to undress her. “It’s been too long.”
Wanda thought back to her only social experience with Louis, the memory she hadn’t wanted to stir up: a cocktail hour at a neighborhood bar when she and Max were dating. She’d run into Louis there, and Max had called to cancel after an emergency at the hospital. So they’d had a couple of drinks. But when Louis’ hand had ended up wandering up her skirt, her hand had ended up slapping him across the face. The next day at work, business had continued as usual, and Wanda convinced herself to forget about it. He had been drunk. And it had been the first and last such situation.
“Well, what do you say, babe?” he asked, running a finger down her cheek.
She remained frozen to the spot, shocked at his audacity, then took a hasty step back. She hated being on the defensive.
“This is a business matter, Louis, and should be dealt with here in the office,” she said, her eyes locking with his.
“I heard you weren’t seeing—what is it, Mark?—any more.”
“It’s Max, but that isn’t anyone’s business, Louis.”
“So you’re still saying no to me, sweetheart?” He wore the arrogant smile Wanda knew well.
“Would it make a difference if I said ‘yes’?”
“Perhaps. I have power with the powers that be.”
Wanda felt as if she’d been hit in the stomach. She wanted to lash out at him, to threaten him, to tell him he wouldn’t get away with using her fund performance as a sexual bargaining chip. Instead, she took a deep breath and ordered herself to remain calm, to show indifference.
“Let me say it again: This is a professional matter, and I plan on dealing with it professionally. In the office.”
“OK, I’m fine with that.”
But it was clear that nothing was fine at all. Wanda’s mind was racing. Had Louis set this up from the start, or was he simply taking advantage of an opportunity? In any case, she didn’t understand his loyalty to Thomas. He should be punished regardless of whether Wanda was able to salvage the funds.
“Why are you protecting Thomas?” she hissed. “He betrayed me, and he betrayed our clients.”
“You only think about business, don’t you?” He shook his head and returned to the other side of the desk, where he lounged back in his chair. “This isn’t about protecting anyone. It’s about being reasonable.” Wanda shivered at the chill in his voice, but she didn’t waver.
“Being reasonable is handling our clients’ money properly. And in this case, that did not happen.”
“Well, now that you’re back, Wanda, you’ll manage to get things in order.” All of a sudden, he was businesslike too. Would he have been if she had accepted his advances? Of course not. He’d practically said it himself. She narrowed her eyes and continued as if her boss’ outrageous behavior had never happened. She would put it behind her with the barroom memory. But she couldn’t put fund performance behind her.
“I can’t make any promises, Louis. Did you see these numbers? I know the markets, but I’m not a magician.”
“Well maybe you’d better brush up on your tricks.” He grinned, as if delighted to see her squirm.
“What do you mean?”
“Wanda, you’re experienced enough to be able to iron out this type of problem pretty quickly.”
Wanda didn’t like the forceful tone of his voice, the implication that she’d better find a solution or else. She especially didn’t like this attitude in light of the unpredictable nature of the markets. There weren’t guarantees, and Louis knew that as well as she did. So why did he seem adamant about holding her responsible for Thomas’ mistakes? Was it punishment for rejecting him?
“When do you expect the funds to return to positive?” she asked. She willed her voice to remain steady and her eyes to remain unafraid, and each obeyed.
“At the end of the quarter.”
Not showing an ounce of emotion, she nodded, gathered her papers and left.
The book perfectly summarizes a life of a woman working in a corporate world, the situation that women face when they try to achieve their goal. The book perfectly describes the life of a ambitious women Wanda working in Whilt, a finance firm and her journey in the company where everyone wants their own good and to achieve it they can go to any extreme. Wanda who is the senior fund manager at Whilt, when returns to work after a maternity leave she’s taken aback when there is an investigation going around at Whilt as a co worker committed suicide. After a certain unfolding of events she discovers how ignorant she was before when she was a free bird and had no responsibility. Wanda is the women that we see every day or the women that you are. Her struggle for justice and to do what’s right is an inspiration to many of us, although just a fictional character she influences you to live your life the way you and it and without being judged by the gender , coz if you are willing to fly high in your career you don’t always have to be a man. She suppresses the people who try to take her down and helps herself through the struggles of her personal and professional life with the support of her friend Galina and Max, the love of her life.
The story is gripping as hell, it kept me hooked me hooked. A must read for all the people who love Women Fiction. And yes there wouldn’t be many. I have never come across someone who loves women fiction but this book will surely make you want to read more of this genre.
Rating :3.5/5 *
About the Author:
Adria J. Cimino is the author of Amazon Best-Selling novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs and Close to Destiny, as well as The Creepshow and A Perfumer’s Secret (out in Spring 2016). She also co-founded boutique publishing house Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. Adria is a member of Tall Poppy Writers, which unites bright authors with smart readers. Adria writes about her real-life adventures at AdriaJCimino.com and on Twitter @Adria_in_Paris. She lives in Paris with her husband Didier and daughter Phèdre. When she isn’t writing, you can find Adria at her neighborhood café watching the world go by.
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