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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Review: Adventures in Amethyst Series

Adventures in Amethyst Series
By Karen Wiesner

Award-winning author Karen Wiesner is the founder of Jewels of the Quill, an award-winning group of authors in all genres banded together to promote their books. The group also does anthologies together. Adventures in Amethyst Series is a compilation of the first two novellas in the series that Karen contributed to Jewels of the Quill anthologies, plus a bonus short story and novella never before published!

These contemporary stories all take place in the small town of Amethyst where the characters’ lives intersect, drawing you into the drama of small town life.

The first two stories, A Rose for Romeo and Revenge in Amethyst, follow Dr. Melina Rose as she leaves behind her professional life and returns to her hometown. Fighting nightmares and gruesome fears, she returns looking for safety and simplicity. What she doesn’t expect are the demons that follow her there.

I enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at the secret life of a psychologist. It revealed the struggles that can arise from being unable to separate your professional and personal life. The fear and depression that Melina suffers from, having taken on the problems of her clients, gave a refreshing look at this profession and the hurdles it can cause in one’s life.

The third story, Reckless Rose, follows Lona, the wild sister who has built for herself a reputation she finds hard to shake. Constantly under the critical eye of the community, Lona finds it hard to listen to her heart instead of the gossips. This was one character I started out not liking at all, but by the end of the story I felt a strong compassion for her. I think everyone can identify with Lona. Each person has made mistakes in their life and had to face the consequences. This is a powerful story of learning to live despite them.

The fourth story in this anthology, Christmas in Amethyst, follows single mother Sheila and Police Officer Jeb. Sheila was deceived by the wrong guy and is now raising her son alone and trying to make the best of things while wishing she could change the past. She is a character easy to relate to. Each of us has things in our life we regret, second chances that we long for. This is a story of a hurting soul who doesn’t believe she is worthy of another chance.

There are some creepy elements in these stories that are, nevertheless, real and tragic. Karen Wiesner takes a bold step by wading into dark waters. The antagonists in these stories are not your average, selfish, greedy people. They are psychopaths, whose choices and decisions cannot be rationalized or explained. This made for a very unique and interesting story with unexpected twists. I read this one late at night and found myself peeking around dark corners long after the book was finished.

I’m giving this a four-and-a-half book rating. Karen Wiesner uses finely tuned skills to draw the reader in and make you live the story. She tugs at your heartstrings, pumps your adrenaline and sends you falling into love. And all with a masterful attack of words.

Book Rating:

Reveiwed by: Lily