A “Q” review of :

Conduits  by Jennifer Loring

4 May 2019

Craft and Style Description: What do you get when you cross the stylistic prose of Shirley Jackson and Sylvia Plath, and then sprinkle it with chilling flavors from stories like of Sebastian Gutierrez’s Gothika? Let me tell you. You get Jennifer Loring’s “Conduits.” And yes, if you love a dark, psychological tale where the canvas of a story uses poetic language in both large and subtle brushstrokes, you won’t be able to help yourself–you’ll totally dig this novella.

Experience of the Tale: Just so you know, I’m constantly commuting–trapped in a car for three to five hour drives or jetting on a plane to different military bases to teach. On days off, I might be exercising in my small swim spa at home. Because of this, audio books are the best way for me to enjoy the many stories my fellow writers/word artists have written.

I purchased the Audible form of Loring’s “Conduits,” for one of my commutes and as soon as I pressed “play” on my iPhone screen, I invited her dark tale to take me into a world of mental terrors. The Audible book’s narrator, Margy Stein, has an unnerving and mysterious voice that complements this lovely piece. Her tone has the poetic lilt necessary to emphasize the art of Loring’s words.

The Story: In this tale, a young woman (Mara) fights for her sanity while struggling not to drown in her personal maelstrom of past tragedies. It doesn’t help that the people she loves most in her life, die. Mara’s past challenges her sanity as spirits of the dead seek her out to use her for their specific needs. I won’t go into more detail since the story is just over two hours long and I don’t want to provide spoilers. Suffice to say, if you love psychological terror and poetic words, you’ll truly enjoy this dark adventure.

Summary: Loring is, essentially, a narrative poet. Yes, she can tell an amazing story, but it’s the accompanying pace–the rise and fall of the prose that laps at your mind like ripples of freezing water on a winter lake shore. Loring’s unique style raises beads of red across the reader’s brain and anticipation reigns as her razor words hover, poised to cut once more. As you stare at the blade, glinting in the moonlight, you’ll find you are powerless–snared in her tale of obsession and pain. Don’t be afraid. It won’t hurt–much.

17 May 2018

Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare by [Wytovich, Stephanie M.]

A “Q” review of :

Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare

It is no easy path, to be a poet. The world may view such a writer as a romantic or as someone who simply strings words together because she can. The truth is that the writing and the presentation of poetry is no less than that of the artist who spends countless hours with oil, acrylic, clay or steel creating that soulful piece that exudes—EXPLODES!—from her pores and is set before the reader like a precious, unique child born of talent and imagination and yet always wet, new and taking its first breath. Stephanie Wytovich is such a poet who presents her art of Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare to the reader as if it were a one-time, unique experience meant just for the individual eyes that have met the page—and in that experience she teases the reader’s fingers, coaxing them to turn the pages as she shares her unnerving humanity, a ferocious beautiful reality show that goes beyond mere fascination and tumbles into the dark pulse of shattering life music. And then—well–then, she digs her nails right into the caverns of your central brain and shares the ravenous hunger, spurting blood and need for raw honesty, pain, and release. When you’re done? Encore! You can’t help but pick up the pages and play them again. And again. And again.

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10 May 2017

A “Q” Review of:

Single Bound: Krypton Nights

Single Bound is a fantastic compilation of skyrocketing words sure to hit your brain like a speeding bullet and leave your mind fluttering in the wind with a deep sense of curiosity and sublime wonder. Dr. Bryan Dietrich is witty and masterful in his exploration of the internal enigma of Superman, but more than this—he reaches out and dares you, the reader, to answer these questions: “What does it take to be a superhero?” and “What does it take to truly be human?” As Dr. Dietrich guides you on this journey, you may just discover that the answers are one and the same. Or not. This is far from a tame journey by any means, but if you dare to put on the S and become the alien, fall as a slave to your home planet, be raised as a Kansas child and then suddenly harness the sheer power of the stars in your laser eyes– you will not regret it. Not one skyrocketing minute!