Novella Review: The Visitor

Waiting at home for her husband to return on Christmas Eve, Old Mrs. Langstrum soon finds herself visited by a stranger in The Visitor by Ti Ca.

Waiting at home for her husband to return on Christmas Eve, Old Mrs. Langstrum soon finds herself visited by a stranger in The Visitor by Ti Ca.

Published by Patritus LLC., The Visitor is written by Ti Ca, an author I would love to introduce you to, but whose Amazon biography runs more like an ad for her publisher. The Patritus website states they represent authors who prefer their privacy. Though unusual, I hope both publisher and author the best.

My Thoughts on The Visitor:

At the beginning of The Visitor, we meet Mrs. Langstrum, an old woman who waits for her husband to return from the store with food on Christmas Eve. Through her eyes, we learn the heat is out, probably because of the breaker, and the cabinets are bare. In time, she pulls out a worn note written by her husband instructing her to take two pink pills when she’s hungry. She does so.

At this point, I found myself wondering if I was reading a science fiction novella or if Mrs. Langstrum struggled with some sort of a condition. The Visitor isn’t science fiction.

Mrs. Langstrum opens the door, after hearing a knock, and finds a stranger on her porch. Allowing him in to wait for her husband, the two begin to talk and share their stories.

Much of the book is written in first-person as the characters share various stories but switches to third-person when they are together in the present. Often times, the stories, which overlap throughout the book, come at the start of a chapter and, if you’ve stopped reading for a time, you may struggle to remember who is speaking. This can make the overlapping stories confusing.

The stories deal with several related topics: father and son, husband and wife, depression, uneducated to educated, as well as Mrs. Langstrum and the visiting stranger. Each story leaves you wanting to hear more until they all come together.

I found myself trying to understand the ending, and I’m not sure I got there. Though I like books that make me think, this one left me feeling similarly to how I felt after watching the last episode of LOST.

Still, the writing, vocabulary, and editing are impeccable. I’ve read many indie books that do not come close to Ti Ca’s perfection in these areas.

My suggestion to those interested in reading this novella is to read it in one sitting. Doing so will give you a better shot at following the various storylines.

The official Blurb:

It’s Christmas Eve but the furnace has gone out, the breaker needs to be reset, and the cupboards are empty. As Mrs. Langstrum shivers in her cold, dark house, waiting for her husband to arrive from his quick trip to the store, an impending snowstorm descends in earnest. Realizing her precarious situation, Mrs. Langstrum decides to get help. But who should she ask? Neither the Millners nor the Wylers appear to be home, either caught by the storm or other unforeseen events. Just as she determines to make her way into the town, a knock arrives at her door. It’s a visitor. He’s a stranger, likely a salesman. But before she can shoo him away, he tells her that he has news of her husband.

More Information:

Purchase your copy on Amazon
Visit Patritus LLC

Please follow and like us:

Stort Story Review: Elsie

Short story review: Everything in Elsie’s life is changing, yet once again, she finds herself listening to her sons and giving up one of her most precious possessions.

Everything in Elsie's life is changing, yet once again, she finds herself listening to her sons and giving up one of her most precious possessions.

Author of the Homecoming Short Story Series, Jessica Marie Holt, shares the wonderful women's fiction story of Elsie in her first fully-published series of three short stories.  The warmth of the South will fill your heart right from page one as you experience grief and joy alongside the main character.

My Thoughts about Elsie:

Holt introduced me to Elsie through beautiful writing that immediately dropped me into Elsie's emotional mindset. As memories of the porcelain teacup in her hand came forward, I experienced the love of a mother, a grandmother, and a husband. Life through Elsie's eyes continued as I viewed what she saw in explicit detail that didn't detract from the story. When she made a friend, I hoped for her and laughed with her. When her heart broke, mine did too.

Many of today's stories dwell within easy, emotional boxes. We feel sadness or anger for a short time only to move on to blissful love. In this short story, which takes less than forty minutes to read, I experienced a range of emotions usually left for much longer stories. And I enjoyed every second of it!

The style of this story, the way the author adds just the right amount of detail and just the right amount of characterization, held my attention captive. There is no doubt in my mind that if you decide to read Elsie, you will love it as much as I do!

The Official Blurb:

After the sudden death of her husband, Elsie is finally learning to enjoy life again. When her well-meaning, but overbearing sons convince her to turn her world upside-down, will she cling defiantly to the past, or find a way to move forward? A short story about grief, second chances, and finding hope in unlikely places.

More Info...

Purchase Elsie, by Jessica Marie Holt on Amazon for $o.99.
Follow Jessica Marie Holt on Facebook   &  Goodreads

Read more reviews and flash fiction at kameomonson.com, where you can download your free version of Sometimes a Bird has to Fly.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Please follow and like us:

Book Review: ZARA by Aureola

Young childhood as a refugee, human trafficking, and drugs wreak havoc in Aisha’s life. Human kindness and love come only small doses, leaving her with a soul tormented by abuses. But an end to suffering awaits if she can overcome the hardships driving her life.

Book Review: Zara by Aureola

Author, Aureola, takes us on a journey most of us cannot fathom. Those who can, wish they couldn’t. Her novel, ZARA, explores a world where abuse by one’s spouse isn’t only commonplace, but legal, where refugees run from criminals and their abusers, and young children are sold as slaves.

My Thoughts About ZARA:

Understanding the depths of terror that abound in the world can only come as we experience it ourselves. But a glimpse through a fictional story can help us recognize atrocities, hopefully, so we can change them. Just as Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped loosen the bonds of slavery in the United States, ZARA works to loosen the bonds placed on women and children by those who seek power over them. Aureola does this by highlighting the atrocities of spousal abuse and human trafficking.

Much of the story takes place through the eyes of Aisha, a young girl who lives through the cycle of abuse time and time again. The love of those in her same position carries her through the very torments of hell. Though she wishes to escape, as is true for many, escape isn’t always possible. There are pockets of happiness and hope, but much of the book shows how Aisha survives. The survival that comes through her strength and the hands of others causes readers to cheer from the bottom of their hearts.

This story is not written by an American, so you can expect some differences in spelling and punctuation—specifically when it comes to commas and periods found outside quotation marks, which is considered correct in British English. There are also some formatting issues in the ebook that the author is currently working to fix, as well as minor grammatical errors. Some confusion may arise as the author switches from one character’s point of view to another.

I, personally, feel the author handled such volatile subjects well. Though dark subjects line each page, gruesome violence and unnecessary descriptions do not, neither does nudity, sexual acts, or other inappropriate expressions. I struggle some with the end of the book, though it is a happy ending, how happiness is discovered, leaves me disconcerted. However, I do believe the ending to be realistic.

Overall, I cautiously recommend this book. It has the propensity to help readers understand some of the complexities women and children in the world may experience and will open eyes to harsh realities while shielding them from debilitating anguish.

Official Blurb:

“I am Zara… and I know what it means to live in terror for my life…”

Born into an existence in which life and death walk hand in hand, abuse and an impending war throw Zara into a fight for survival in a dystopian society ravaged by insurgents and run by drug lords, arms dealers as well as prostitution rings. With her innocence destroyed, she survives by building a façade that sells a lie to the world. But when this is stripped away, she is left with one choice: a final end, a final silence… even at the cost of her life.

More Info:

Purchase your copy of ZARA on Amazon.

Follow Aureola on Goodreads.

Read more reviews, flash fiction, and fun at KameoMonson.com, and don’t forget to grab your FREE downloadable copy of Sometimes A Bird Has to Fly!

I received a free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Book Review: Spinning Silk by T. Cook

T. Cook weaves Japanese mythology and women’s fiction together, creating one exquisite piece of literature in her debut novel Spinning Silk.

T Cook

Spinning Silk, written by T. Cook, transports readers back to a time of the Samurai when only nobles wore silk and peasants became slaves. Then, in a flash of fantasy so well-formed through mythology and the written word, reader’s find themselves believing the unreal to be true. Filled with the emotional gamut found in T. Cook’s novel, I found myself enamored and unable to put Spinning Silk down.

About Spinning Silk:

Furi lives anything but an easy life. Perhaps the most adept and creative silk weaver in all of Japan, she finds herself treated as a slave by her adoptive mother and then sold as a slave to a cruel woman who exploits her weaving talents to the brim. Though the beatings make life miserable, the pull of the loom keeps Furi creating for herself as much as for anyone else. Seven years she spends sprawled for punishment befitting the very masters who wield the whip, until Shin, a humble yet strange slave, comes as a gardener. Soon, illnesses and death surround Furi as much as Shin’s mysterious healing. When Furi finds herself alone, Madame Sato teaches her to live the life of nobility only to suddenly introduce Furi as her dead daughter. Searching for the truth of her existence, and hoping for love, Furi travels through the best and worst of emotions, creating and growing along the way.

My Thoughts:

T. Cook pulled me into her creation immediately with incredible prose and perfectly-written imagery. As a fan of fantasy, I know I can be pulled into other worlds but was uncertain about being pulled into Feudal Japan, and I hoped my limited knowledge of Japanese history wouldn’t distract from the story. My fears were unwarranted, as Cook painted an amazing picture. To help those who want more, she included explanations of the terms (found in italics) at the back of the book.

Not everyone loves fantasy, but I emphatically recommend Spinning Silk to readers of women’s fiction and romance novels, including those who don’t usually read fantasy. The fantasy is not overt, and life shines through more than mythical creatures, magic, or the like. Sorry, fantasy lovers, you won’t find a mage, and the dwarves stayed home with Snow White, but I promise you’ll love this incredible book anyway.

Spinning Silk does have some typos, and they are typos, not problems with word choice or lack of writing skills. They do not detract from the story at all. The novel is a clean read without the need for a disclaimer. It has immediately won a home in my library as a definite read-again-and-again. I can’t wait for the release of the second book, Shin.

More Info:

Purchase your copy of Spinning Silk on Amazon.
Follow T. Cook on Facebook and Twitter
Visit her website: www.tcookbooks.com

Learn more about me and download your free copy of Sometimes a Bird Has to Fly by visiting my website: kameomonson.com

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
Please follow and like us:

When Love Is Lost Release Day Celebration!

The day long-awaited has come. When Love Is Lost is live on Amazon and it’s time to celebrate!

Several years ago, I started a writer’s journey as I decided to write a book. This year I published When Love Is Lost—a clean women’s fiction novel!  In celebration of a dream realized, I’m giving away two paperback copies of When Love Is Lost to two wonderful winners.

About When Love Is Lost:

Cleaning, cooking, volunteering, attending church . . . Deb lives a monotonous life. Stuck in a loveless marriage, she doesn’t know where to turn or what to do. One day, out of the blue, a mysterious man enters her life, and her once boring existence is born anew. As he fills her heart with love, joy, and hope, she must decide whether her marriage is worth saving.

Betty’s life is nothing but fun, glamour, and shopping, especially where Deb is concerned. But can she continue hiding her torturous past from her best friend? When her past comes back to haunt her, Betty struggles to survive in a world where no-one knows the truth of her reality.

A young, pregnant mother of two, Mariah, makes new friendships with Deb as she continues her blissful journey through motherhood. But while her husband is recovering from an accident, new terrors threaten to destroy the happiness she’s worked so hard to build.

Can all three women come together to fight the battles of life? Find out in WHEN LOVE IS LOST. A novel that shines a new light on love and friendship, and keeps readers yearning for more as they cheer for three incredible women journeying through the ups and downs of life.

A Clean Read.

This book contains some ‘PG-13’ domestic abuse with other related themes. It has no graphic sex scenes (implied between married couples), nudity, or swearing. Though appropriate for most teenagers, When Love Is Lost has been written with adults in mind.

 

Praises:

“Women’s Fiction reborn. This beautiful and endearing story keeps you hooked until the very end. The adventures, twists, and turns kept me on the edge of my seat. I have found a new favourite author! Five out of five stars for this amazing addition to the world of literature.” Eanna Roberts, owner of Penmanship Editing

If you love Debbie Macomber books with a little bit of clean romance and heart-warming stories of personal tragedy and triumph, you will enjoy When Love is Lost. Kameo’s descriptions are never lacking, her story flows well, and she introduces a cast of characters you will fall in love with, or question, or hate.” Maggie Aldrich, author of It’s All Greek to Me.

“Beautifully, compassionately written, When Love Is Lost sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. It follows the experiences of three women who find strength through their unique challenges. The story is both timeless and familiar, relatable and personal. I couldn’t put it down!” Amy Klaus, author of Hearts Unshackled (coming soon).

Giveaway Information:

This giveaway begins August 14, 2018, at 12:00 AM EDT and ends August 22, 2018, at 12:00 EDT.

Rules: No purchase necessary. Ages 18 and up. US entries only. Winners will be notified by email and given 48 hours to respond. If no response is received within 48 hours another winner will be chosen. Prize value of $16.00. Odds of winning determined by the number of entries. Winners are chosen randomly. This giveaway is run by Kameo Monson from Maricopa, Arizona.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please follow and like us: