Loreena’s Gift by Colleen M. Story: Blog Tour, Review, Interview, and Giveaway
A BLIND GIRL’S TERRIFYING “GIFT” ALLOWS HER TO REGAIN HER EYESIGHT–BUT ONLY AS SHE FERRIES THE RECENTLY DECEASED INTO THE AFTERLIFE.
Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she’s a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation.
But they’re both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.
While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts.
Torn between doing her uncle’s bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.
An exciting debut that crosses fantasy and literary fiction, Loreena’s Gift is a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.
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This story was so much more than I thought it was going to be. The writing was excellent! I was drawn in from the very first page. I didn’t want to put it down for one minute, and I read it all in one sitting.
Everything was described in such vivid detail. It drew me into the story and I felt like I was in Loreena’s shoes every step of the way. It is a visual book without having any pictures. Everything is so detailed that I could see it all in my mind. The setting, and characters were all described so beautifully. The story moved along at a steady pace and was easy to follow. The chapters were well spaced out. Everything flowed very well. The plot thickened and the pace of the book picked up even more middle way through and it was impossible to put down. There are some twists and turns and a few surprised in the story.
The main character Loreena was really dealt a crappy hand in life. She suffered a horrific death of a parent, she was blind, and well, her gift was more of a curse. I definitely felt better about my life after having to read about her tragic life.
Warning: I just want readers to be forewarned, a rape does occur in this story. It wasn’t too hard to handle. It was quick and done in a way that it doesn’t completely make you nauseous. It did turn my stomach a little bit. I don’t like to read that type of stuff in books. This was my only dislike in the story. I could have done without reading about that. I know what the author was trying to do. She was trying to portray this character as completely evil. It all makes sense why she put this in the book not too long after it happens. It is just hard for me to stomach.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It held my interest, I was never bored, and it was something different from the norm. I hope this author decides to write more fiction because she is great at it! I will definitely read her next book.
Interview with the Author:
What advice would you give budding writers?
If you feel called to write, I would encourage you to do so, no matter what. Usually a calling like that is there for a reason. Maybe you’ll be a bestselling writer. Maybe you’ll win a Pulitzer. Maybe your book will be made into a movie.
Or maybe none of that will happen, and you’ll just write words that you won’t show anyone. But the process of writing holds many more gifts than what we can see in the outside world. It taps into the subconscious in ways few other things do, where it can produce healing, insight, and sometimes, pure joy. The craft of writing can be extremely difficult, but the rewards are worth it.
If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?
I’d be Loreena, of course! To have a chance to visit the afterlife, even if briefly, would be too big an opportunity to pass up. Everyone has ideas, but no one really knows what lies beyond the grave. To be able to catch a glimpse—knowing that you could come back anytime—I think would be amazing.
Plus, if you could go there with someone you love when it’s their time, and see where they were going to be, that could also be very comforting—unless, of course, it wasn’t such a nice place. That wouldn’t be so great!
Do you write every day?
Yes, and a lot. I work on my fiction most every morning, and then I’m a health and wellness writer as well, so I write a lot of non-fiction projects during the day. Then I usually write blog posts at night.
So I’m always writing, but I find that it’s easier that way. If I take too long a break, it can be tough to get back into it again. It’s kind of like playing an instrument. I’m a French horn player, and when I go for awhile without practicing, my muscles get out of shape and it takes a couple weeks to build them back up again. The same is true of writing—it’s a little like a muscle that you need to exercise on a daily basis.
In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?
I write notes like crazy on paper, so much so that I have little pieces flying around on my nightstand, near my writing chair, in my purse, in my car, everywhere.
When it comes to the actual writing of articles, stories, and books, though, I write through my fingers, so to speak. If I try to write scenes from my novel on paper, for example, it’s too slow for me. I end up not being able to read my writing because I’m scribbling so quickly, so I stick to my laptop for my actual writing work.
Besides playing musical instruments, I love to ride horseback. I grew up on a ranch bordering miles and miles of government land (belonging to the Bureau of Land Management), which meant that I could ride out my back gate and explore to my heart’s content.
I raised and trained my own horse and had a lot of great adventures with her. Though my parents still have a couple older mares, I don’t have any horses with me at the moment. I hope to change that one day.
About the Author:
Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives.
Connect with the Author:
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