When my husband and I were planning our wedding a few of his, shall we say, less stable family members were being a bit problematic. For the sake of cordial relations with the in-laws I won’t get any more specific than that.
He looked at me one day and said, “ You’re not getting a very good deal out of this marriage in terms of extended family.”
I laughed. “Honey, we’ve got just as many crazies in my family,” I told him. “You just haven’t met them because they’re not speaking to the rest of us anymore.”
I thought of that conversation the other day as I started reading the latest Riga Hayworth mystery. In this fourth book in the series, Riga is getting married. Or at least, she’s trying to. But weird and wacky things keep happening. Like a dead photographer who gets up and walks away.
Then some of her crazier relatives show up and she finds out some things about her family that have her doubting whether she should even get married. Is it fair to her fiancé, Donovan, to bring this baggage into his life? But then again, Donovan has his own baggage.
The bottom line is we all do. Show me someone who has no past trauma, no issues from childhood, no crazy family members that make them cringe in embarrassment, and I will show you a… well, a fictional character, because that’s not reality. Actually it wouldn’t even be a very believable or interesting fictional character.
As a psychotherapist, I was always pleased to see engaged couples giving some thought beforehand to what impact their baggage might have on their relationship. It’s always better to know ahead of time what problems you’re likely to encounter so you can perhaps plan some strategies, or at least not be taken by surprise. Facing those possible demons head on right from the beginning is a lot healthier than denial and defensiveness.
But I also encouraged them to not let that baggage stop them from getting married. One of the many things that a good marriage does for us is provide healing experiences. Knowing someone loves you unconditionally goes a long way toward countering past hurts. And a loving spouse can help us realize that just because our family tree may have a few nuts in it, that doesn’t mean we’re damaged goods.
Riga knows they have their baggage but they also have plenty of good things going for them–genuine caring, good communication (or so she thinks) plus a few metaphysical talents–that are sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse.
It will be interesting to see how their marriage progresses in future books, that is if they can actually manage to get married in this one.
Check out The Infernal Detective below (I love the blurb for this book!) and then let’s chat a bit in the comments. What wacky relative showed up at your wedding? Have you ever felt like you were lugging too much baggage from the past into a relationship, or maybe found the other person’s baggage too hard to cope with?
Or if you don’t feel like getting that heavy (pun fully intended) you can just congratulate Kirsten on her new book. Happy Release Day, Kirsten!!
When Riga Hayworth finds a dead body in her bedroom a week before her wedding, it’s par for the course. When the corpse drives off with her fiancé…
That’s a problem.
Riga knows dead. More intimately than she’d like. So when a murdered photographer gets up and walks away, she believes there’s necromancy afoot. And when she discovers that several of her wedding guests are under the influence of dark magic, she’s certain. But how can she catch a killer and stop a necromancer when even her nearest and dearest are lying to her?
Murder. The undead. Irritating relatives. The Infernal Detective is a fast-paced, paranormal mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, and magic lies just beyond the veil. Available on AMAZON now!
Oh, I almost forgot. Kirsten also has a really cool trailer for the book. Would you like an invitation to Riga and Donovan’s wedding?
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.
We blog here at misterio press once a week about more serious topics, usually on Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes we blog again, on Friday or the weekend, with something just for fun.
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K.B. OwenMay 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Hey, Kass, cool topic. I remember the questionnaires and counseling session required by our church. Hubby and I got to see the places where we were in agreement, and where we were WIDE apart. Money and relatives seem to be the biggest adjustments for new couples, from what I understand, and that was true for us, too.
Here’s a great question for an engaged couple to answer separately, then get together to discuss their answer: What’s the highest dollar amount you feel comfortable spending without needing to consult your partner ahead of time?
If one person says $20 and the other says $500, there definitely needs to be a discussion, LOL!
Kirsten, congrats on your book release! Everyone, go out and get this book – you’ll love it! I’ve already read an ARC, and enjoyed it sooo much. 🙂
Kirsten WeissMay 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm
Thanks, Kathy! (And your editing is magnificent).
K.B. OwenMay 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm
Why, thank you, Kirsten! It was my pleasure. 😉
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm
That is very good advice, Kathy, about the money issue. My mother told me before I got married that couples fight mostly about sex, money and how to raise the kids. But we found that coping with each others’ families was another biggie.
And in my younger years, I wasn’t very good at keeping my thoughts to myself (as opposed to now when I ALWAYS think before I speak… yeah, not). I said something catty one time, in front of my sister-in-law, about one of my husband’s aunts whom I didn’t get along with. Tom told me later that his sister was actually quite fond of that aunt. Oops!
s0esp0sit0May 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Congrats on your release, Kirsten! Though, I suggest reading the books in a series in order, this one is fabulous as a stand-alone, too. Love Riga 🙂 As far as relatives, I would love some more wacky ones. Give me some aunts like Riga has and I would have more family events at my house! LOL!
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm
LOL Crazy relatives do make for lively family parties, that’s for sure.
Kim TerryMay 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm
Can’t remember wacky relatives, but one girl at our wedding came along and plucked my bouquet from the hands of two others who caught it at the same time. (Should’ve been an omen, as this hubby’s no longer in my life. )
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm
Don’t know if that would qualify for wacky or not, Kim, but that was certainly nervy of her. I don’t think ‘catching’ the bouquet has the same luck attached to it if you actually STOLE it. 🙂
Kirsten WeissMay 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm
I have lots of relatives who I love dearly and who are completely bananas. The funny thing is, I’ve come to understand they think I’m the crazy one. They usually behave pretty well during weddings. Receptions, however… Things can get wild.
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm
That’s really funny, Kirsten, because I’ve heard the same rumor in my family. They seem to think I’m the one who’s kinda out there in lala land. Especially since I started this crazy writing thing.
Karen McFarlandMay 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm
Hi Kassandra and Kirsten! Congratulations on your new release!
Wacky relatives. I don’t think you could escape that one in any family. We’re all wacky, aren’t we? 🙂
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm
I think that’s the consensus we’re coming up with here, Karen. 😀 We either have wacky relatives or we ARE the wacky relative.
Jess WitkinsMay 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm
Wacky relatives? Oh I’d say I’ve got those covered. At least no one’s ever died at the wedding!
Kirsten, your book looks amazing if I didn’t already tell you! Much success to you! You are so talented!
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm
Hey, Jess, delighted to see your smiling face at our little release party here. I felt so bad for Kirsten’s character, Riga. She not only has people dying on her, but then they get up and walk away. Definitely not good!!
Catie RhodesMay 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm
The wacky relative who showed up at my wedding was my future mother-in-law. We got married in 1991, and my mother-in-law died in 1998. My memories of those first seven years have a nightmarish quality to them. I’ve thought numerous times about writing a book starring a villain based on my late mother-in-law. She was that weird and scary. And she was a great actress. Nobody outside the family had any idea what she was really like.
Anyway…without further ado…congrats on the release Kristen. I wish you the best. 🙂
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm
Oh no, she sounds like the mother-in-law from hell. You should write her into a book. It would probably be very therapeutic!
Coleen PatrickMay 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm
I have to say I love wacky characters in books–but wacky relatives in real life? Hmmm… 🙂 A little too real!
Kassandra LambMay 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm
Amen to that, Coleen. The cousin whose mother is the wackiest member of my family would wholeheartedly agree with you. There are definitely some wacky characters in this book, but Riga, the main one, is quite solid.