Guest Post #4 and Excerpt from Jennifer Jamelli, Author of Checked

 

 

I’m just about ready to go to sleep. I just went through my house a few times, worked my way through my evening rituals . . . holding my fingers under every faucet to ensure that no water was running, inspecting every air vent for any blockages, putting my hand in the oven and on the stove to make sure they weren’t on (and if you are asking yourself whether I even used the oven or stove today, the answer is no) . . . and the list goes on. And on. And on. And that’s only my night routine. Not the one I do in the morning. Not the one I do every time I leave the house.

 

But we aren’t here to talk about me or my routines; we’re supposed to be talking about Callie, the main character in Checked. And Callie is in much, MUCH worse shape than I am in right now (I’ve been under treatment for OCD for about seven years – Callie is just starting).  Callie’s routines are very structured, very complicated, and VERY long. She vacuums, dusts, straightens, and organizes. She checks appliances, faucets, locks – everything in her house – over and over. Every task she does, she has to do in a specific order. If she messes up or is interrupted, she has to start all over again.

Her life is exhausting. And frustrating. And overwhelming.

What makes all of this even worse? Callie knows that what she is doing is ridiculous. She’s also embarrassed by it. But she can’t help it. She has to keep doing each task, going through with each routine. Otherwise she won’t be able to sleep, or eat, or work, or do anything at all – she’ll just drown in worries that something horrible will happen because of her negligence.

 

There’s much more to say about this – about Callie and her condition – but I’ll save that for future blog entries. I also will soon tell you a little more about her obsession with Dr. Blake . . .

 

For now, though, I’m going to sleep. I’m going to post this tomorrow, because I’m already in bed . . . and if I get up now to get my laptop (I’m writing in a notebook), I’ll have to start my night routine again . . .

 


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(Checked #1) First in a Trilogy
Publication date: December 17th 2013
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

 

Now here's an excerpt from "Checked":

 

“Calista.” That quiet voice pulls me around yet again.


I freeze. He’s looking at me. Sorrowful eyes…heavy…inconsolable. A tragedy in blue.
I can’t look away. I begin to feel a dull ache in my left side. {Damien Rice fills my head with “The Blower’s Daughter.”}


His eyes hold mine. They are relentless. The sharpening pain in my side weighs me down, cementing my shoes to their place on the floor. My lips part slightly as my body tries to remember to breathe.


In slow motion almost, he releases me, closing his eyes and clenching them shut. The blue eyes that open back up to me are hard, stony.


He swiftly spins his chair to grab the box of tissues on his bookshelf. Without meeting my eyes, he turns back around and holds the box out to me.


“To help you out of here,” he says in an almost inaudible voice. What?


“Th-thank you,” I stammer. I clutch my purse and take six slow steps toward his desk. Three steps at a time. One two three. One two three.


He stares past me, blankly looking at the door. I pull three white tissues from the box he’s holding and turn back to his point of focus. When I get to the silver doorknob, I quickly cover it with the three tissues spread out in my left hand.


And I’m out.

 

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