Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Humorous #Literary #Fiction: BULLY 4 LOVE, A Rather Odd Love Story by Steven Paul Leiva

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A Rather Odd Love Story


“She walked into my classroom ten minutes early on the first day of the Fall 1990 semester at South Pasadena Adult Education. I sat at my desk with my head down, going over notes and a sheet of mandatory announcements.

It was not hard to hear the entrance, which came with a slight swish to it. I raised my head to greet my first adult education student.

She stood just in from the door: a person—a woman—a person, unlike any person I had ever seen or, indeed, have ever seen since, for she was radiant. Radiant—a not unusual
adjective and often a metaphor—but at that moment, as she stood there, and as I possibly held my breath, the word was an utterly accurate adjective that was just barely a metaphor.”

Thus begins a very odd love story

“Steven Leiva not only promises but delivers. Bravo!” — Ray Bradbury, Author of “The Laurel & Hardy Love Affair”

A Rather Odd Love Story


She walked into my classroom ten minutes early on the first day of the Fall 1990 semester at South Pasadena Adult Education. I sat at my desk with my head down, going over my notes and a sheet of mandatory announcements. I had prepared the notes over the weekend, as I always did, for I was always prepared. The sheet of announcements had been handed to me just before I had gotten to my classroom by the Adult Education Director, Ms. Deborah Miller. It was not hard to hear the entrance, which came with a slight swish to it. I raised my head to greet my first adult education student.

She stood a little way in from the door: a person—a woman—a person, unlike any person I had ever seen or, indeed, have ever seen since, for she was radiant. Radiant—a not unusual adjective and often a metaphor—but at that moment, as she stood there, and as I possibly held my breath, the word was an utterly accurate adjective that was just barely a metaphor.

“Is this World History?” she asked with a slightly shy yet determined voice.

“This, um, this would be it, yeah.”

“Where would you like me to sit?”

“Oh, anywhere.”


“I don’t think we need to assign seats in adult education.”

She smiled, saying, “Okay.” She then surveyed the classroom, looking it over, taking it all in, not in a glance but with penetration and consideration, breaking it down, I guessed, into quadrants, musing on the advantages and disadvantages of various positions. Should I sit upfront to the teacher’s right? I assumed she was thinking, or directly in front of him or to the left? Should I sit back a little? What chair looks the most comfortable? Well, she couldn’t have been musing on that last one; the chairs were all exactly alike. They were those smallish blonde-wood chairs with collapsible writing surfaces that could be stored to the side of the chair or brought up via an ingenious mechanism to flatten and lock in place before the student. There were six rows of six chairs each—little soldiers in the literal support of public education bringing order, if not discipline, to classrooms worldwide, including my classroom here.

I say “my classroom,” but that is not accurate. It was Ms. Roberta Boxer’s classroom there at South Pasadena High School where, during the day, it catered to fifteen, and sixteen-year-old sophomores tasked, one fifty-minute session a day, with learning—Ms. Roberta Boxer so passionately hoped, I’m sure—some information and facts about, and possibly some understanding of, American history. On the wall behind my, or rather I should say, Ms. Roberta Boxer’s desk, were two large green chalkboards I was not allowed to use. Ms. Roberta Boxer, who, I was made to understand, had only grudgingly given up the evening use of her classroom, demanded that whatever was on the chalkboard remain untouched, and certainly unerased, as it would always be pertinent to her next day’s lesson. Due to this hard-as-stone stipulation from Ms. Roberta Boxer (I would have loved to have thought of her as “Bobbie,” but somehow I just couldn’t), the adult education administration—that is, Deb Miller—managed to score me a white dry erase board on wheeled legs. Deb had personally wheeled it into my—sorry, the—classroom, and I would have to wheel it out at the end of class. Ms. Roberta Boxer had made clear that in no way was it to be evident in the morning when American history would again be ascendant in the world.

Print Length: 329 pages
Publisher: Magpie Press; 1 edition (May 7, 2021)
Publication Date: May 7, 2021
Genre: Literary Fiction/Comedy
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1735298511

Meet Author Steven Paul Leiva…

Steven Paul Leiva is a Scribe Award-winner, receiving the praise of literary legend Ray Bradbury and Pulitzer Prize finalist Diana Ackerman. Leiva is no stranger to the business of telling a good story. Author of nine previous novels, and with a writing-style that lays hard on the satire, this Hollywood-escapee doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the zany and the absurd.


Links to Steven’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:

Pre-order on Amazon: http://mybook.to/Bully4Love

Need to know more? Follow him on Amazon or Goodreads, or check out his blog here: http://emotionalrationalist.blogspot.com


Special Giveaway: Steven will give away an ebook copy of BULLY 4 LOVE to one lucky reader who comments on his Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Happy Reading!


Thanks, Steven, for sharing your story with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!







13 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Humorous #Literary #Fiction: BULLY 4 LOVE, A Rather Odd Love Story by Steven Paul Leiva”

  1. I’m having a hard time getting a grip on this excerpt…. maybe its Monday morning brain!
    Nice to meet you, Steven, and thanks, Karen.

    1. Hi, K.A. — thanks for leaving a comment. Here’s another excerpt for you:
      She bowed her head back over the textbook, her blonde waves falling a bit over her face, but charmingly so, and her right hand started tapping out a little tattoo with her long, painted fingernails. Then with her left hand, she gathered up some of her hair that was probably impeding her vision and held it in place against her head. That’s when I noticed for the first time two rings on her left hand. Three rows away, and I could still see the details. One was a wide gold band, sculpted and textured with little evenly spaced glints that I assumed were diamonds. Next to it was a companion that had probably served as her engagement ring. It was a simple, plain gold band about half as wide as the diamond-studded one. It supported a large stone, a pink diamond I was sure from its color, that stood out proudly, challenging the wonderfulness of just about anything else in the whole wide world.
      Was I disappointed? It’s hard to say. At this time, she still wasn’t completely real for me, being quite the anomaly inside this high school classroom. She was an intriguing mystery. And I desired deeply, as is the wont of creatures like me, to know her history. So I continued, again without shame, to stare at her, quite prepared to suddenly drop my head and begin to scribble “notes” on a piece of paper, when she would inevitably raise hers. Which she did at 9:59 after looking at her thin, elegant, also diamond-studded wristwatch. I may have been a slight beat behind her head movement because when I looked up after she said, “Well, good night,” she was smiling a knowing smile. She stood up, gathered up her textbook, and held it against her chest like a schoolgirl of yore, and started to leave. Then she stopped and turned around.
      “Mr. Seruya?”
      “I’m really, really going to enjoy this class.”
      “Well, thank you, I hope so.”
      “Good night.”
      “Good night.”
      She left. After half a moment, I got up and followed her out of the room. And then, being a real fan of mystery novels, I stealthily—rather competently, I thought—followed her to the street where a Rolls Royce sat waiting. A man jumped out of the driver’s seat—he was not a chauffeur—and walked around to greet Lavinia, bending down to her as she stretched up to him for a generous kiss generously returned. Then he opened the passenger door and took her hand to help guide her into the car.
      There was something odd about the man.
      Thanks again for the comment — I hope you check out “Bully 4 Love”. Cheers!

  2. Good morning, Steven, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I’m intrigued by excerpt and want to know more about these two people. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  3. Thank you for sharing the excerpt. Sounds like an interesting story. I need to know more about these people.

    1. Your welcome, Eileen. Here’s a review from the MOM KAT READS blog that may give you more clues about my characters:
      Mom Kat Reads
      Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2021
      Adolphus didn’t know it, but his life would be forever changed when a woman named Lavinia walked into his Adult Education class. The changes wouldn’t come directly from or through her, though something about her presence seemed to bring about great change in those whose lives she touched.

      This was an unusual story. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It’s isn’t your typical romance story. (Lavinia is a very happily married woman, and there is no physical, romantic, or emotional relationship between Adolphus & Lavinia.) This book more truly explores the story of Adolphus & Lavinia’s husband Eugene.

      But again, it is not a physical or romantic love story between these two men, but more a story of how their lives intertwined throughout the years. The two had known each other as children, and while in the beginning they seemed destined to destroy one another’s futures, instead it turns out that they are meant to be each other’s saviors.

      I really enjoyed reading this story. It brings you through the full range of human relationships. This book at times made me laugh and at other times made me cry. This is a contemporary tale that you really won’t want to miss.

      Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading deeply personal stories about how the simplest of things can be the catalyst to forever alter the course of someone’s life.

    1. I hope, bn, it is. And that if you read it, you enjoy it.

      Here’s one of the first reviews of the book from Jean Rabe, a USA Today bestselling author.
      “I am envious. This isn’t a book I would have picked up off a shelf. It’s “literary,” and has romance in it. I am more of a blows-up-real-good kind of gal. But I have loved everything I’ve read from this author, and so I read this, too. And now I am envious. It so sooooooo well written. There are pages I went back and re-read just because they were that good. It has twists and turns and excellent dialog and I am envious that I cannot write something like this. So naturally I am recommending it, as I like to recommend good books. If you’re a writer, it’s good for study, too, as Leiva’s technique is exquisite. You’ll be envious, too.” — Jean Rabe, USA TODAY Bestselling Author

  4. Interesting blurb. The bit about the classroom and the other women was confusing, but that just makes it more interesting, I think. Thanks for sharing….

    1. Thanks, Samantha! Here’s another short excerpt for you.
      I felt like wearing gumshoes, a slouched-brim fedora, and a trenchcoat myself as I left to teach the second evening of my AD-ED class, for as prepared as I was to teach, all I could think about was a bit of detection. How could I find out what I was curious to find out without her finding out? Was it perverted or absolutely natural to who I was? It was, after all, not her, but her History I was interested in.
      All a moot point. When I started to call the roll, Lavinia had not shown up for class. Maybe it was early dementia. Perhaps she was but a lovely figment of the imagination I take so much pride in. And yet, there, on the roll call sheet, was her name: CARSON, LAVINIA. And although I had not seen her enter with the other students and knew she wasn’t there, I was obligated to call out her name. “Lavinia Carson?”
      I looked up. She was just entering the classroom. She looked at me and mouthed, “Sorry,” as she took the only seat left, one far in the back—so far away.

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