magical realism

  • Dear Abby by Peggy Barnett

    0 out of 5

    “Dear Abby” the letters begin, and Abigail has to answer each and every one with hokey travel advice that promotes her company’s package tours. Sure, she gets to experience a dozen all-inclusive resorts every year, but there’s only so much pina coladas and pool-side hamburgers a girl can stand.

    So when a beautiful woman begins to pay Abby more than the standard amount of attention, Abby takes notice. After all, a nice vacation affair is just what she might need to liven up her trip. But then things start to get weird. A creepy black mark has appeared on Abby’s palm, Abby’s new lover is growing unusually possessive, and Abby… Abby can’t seem to be able to have sex enough.

    And it is great sex. But it’s also just so weird. And sort of unearthly.

    Abby’s lover is named after a goddess, but she couldn’t really be one… could she?

  • Sunspots by Karen S. Bell @KarenSueBell

    0 out of 5

    Sunspots follows the healing journey of a young woman thrown into the horror of losing a spouse. It is a story of loss and redemption and the ghosts that haunt our lives and our houses. A love story, a romance, and a mystery of sorts, Sunspots, is above all an exploration into the psyche and emotional arc of the MC and it follows no formula.

    Snapshot:

    “One can never be, and should never be, smug about life,” says Aurora Goldberg. An aspiring New York actress who has never realized her dreams, Aurora keeps herself afloat by doing odd temp jobs where her rich fantasy life helps her get through the day. Aurora sees the world through the lens of characters in literature and film and these fictionalizations are woven into her interpretation of reality. On one of her temp assignments she meets Jake Stein, a man who could “charm the skin off a snake” and she decides to follow her destiny as his wife in Austin, Texas. But Jake’s sudden death after two short years disintegrates her world and Aurora must reevaluate her life and let go of a love that has become an obsession.

    Sunspots takes the reader on a journey of high emotion as Aurora uncovers Jake’s secret life and her own internal conflicts as she matures to self-awareness. Narrated by Aurora, the novel’s tone vacillates from irreverent humor to solemnity as she relates her previous life with Jake and her present challenges. The title refers to the solar maximum which became the backdrop for Aurora’s conception when her hippy parents went to Canada to observe the Aurora Borealis. In name and in spirit, Aurora is connected to the observable and unobservable energy around us.

    With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home’s original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake’s true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.

    Embedded in the novel is the question of the afterlife and paranormal events abound. The incidents are left vague enough so the reader is not certain if they are external events witnessed by Aurora or exist only in her own mind. My approach to the extraordinary has always been with keen interest and skepticism. Just as we cannot see unaided that at the quantum level solid objects consist of vast spaces and swirling particles, so too, we define our human existence with only our limited five senses, three dimensional orientation, and our perceived space/time continuum. So then, what can one say with any certainty is reality?