Stevie Turner, Author.

Stevie Turner,  Author

Queen of Spades' Reviews

2014

Queen of Spades' review of A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner


Queen Spades's review

Apr 03, 14


5 of 5 stars

bookshelves: royally-favored

Recommended for: fans of romance, realistic drama, thrillers
Read from March 28 to April 03, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1


A more detailed review will be hosted on TRB April 7th.

The color scheme of the book cover was done wonderfully. The light bulb was a symbol of the torment Beth and Amy went through and the blend of the illumination and the shade of green gave it a creepy ambiance. Simple yet very effective.

This book could have easily been divided into a series based on the varying conflicts in the book and the character dynamics. However, the author opted to divide this into different parts. For me, the different parts told by different characters in the story really helped me to connect with them and explore each one's dichotomy.

My favorite character was youthful Amy. She was smart, candid, and very brave. Quite a few moments I was in tears and cheered for her to have a wonderful outcome. My feelings for Liam and Joss were conflicted but their flaws made them highly realistic. I love this author's flair for giving her characters complexity and her ability to have your emotions ride a variety of waves: encouragement, anger, despair--the whole gambit!

The author also took her time with describing various locations. I felt like I was learning geography and going on a vacation at the same time. The balance between dialogue, conflict, humor, and narrative was sharp and did not miss a beat. Pace never became sluggish during times of back story and that can be tricky with a work that deals with so much emotional, physical, and psychological topics.

I first started reading Stevie's work with The Porn Detective and continued on with The Pilates Class. Stevie has continued to impress. Just when you think she is at her peak, a "you haven't seen anything yet" moment arises.

This is what A House Without Windows is for me. It has solidified this author as a permanent mainstay in my collection--both electronically and hopefully at some point, in paper form.

I highly recommend this fine work.

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The Porn  Detective, by Stevie Turner
4 out of 5 stars Candid With A Controversial Subject 12 Nov 2013
By No Labels ( Queen of Spades)
Format:Kindle Edition
Warning: slight spoiler

I am giving my perspective (No Labels Unleashed) view on this work. For the extended, full review, please visit The Review Board.

The Porn Detective is a snapshot where perception and reality aren't in alignment. Frances believes that her and her mate, Martin, are on the same page when it comes to sexual experience, views on sexuality, and faithfulness. However, certain events unfold where it is clearly not the case, and there were indicators early on where this is revealed.

The very first glance is at the actual wedding, after Martin and Frances got married, Indicators of all were not as they seemed when the Best Man, Marcus, started saying certain things about Martin. He mentioned Martin's trips to the pub, various women, and times when Martin's drinking got a bit excessive. This side of Martin Frances had never seen, yet when she asked him about it, he behaved as if he had no clue what Marcus was speaking of.

Martin's sexual behavior becomes destructive. The feel of his member in his hands while looking at sexual imagery becomes more important than making a spiritual and emotional connection through lovemaking with his wife.

His addiction spilled over into other aspects of his life, causing damage to his work dynamic as well as his finances. It also sparked Martin's addiction to alcohol due to his depression in his failure to fully handle his other issues in an effective manner.

Frances did her best to stay by his side during the course of all this. However, with each discovery, I could feel a sense of denial, a state of "I can't believe this is happening."

Frances' emotions were on a constant roller coaster. Day by day, she would have to wonder if Martin was really being honest about stopping looking at porn. When she was looking around, she'd have to brace herself for what she may or may not find. She had to struggle with knowing she wasn't the primary star in Martin's life. She had to decide to love herself enough to decide there was more to her life than this; that she was deserving of a marriage where she wasn't in constant competition with pornography and alcohol.

The dialogue bits in The Porn Detective, at times, ended a bit awkwardly. Also, there are a few people who would say that Frances' naivete seemed to stretch a bit too long before she accepted the truth about her husband. However, everyone's breaking point is different. I applaud the writer for addressing this issue with such candor.

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Review by: Queen of Spades on Jan. 07, 2014 :
*Extended review can be found on "Unleashed Speaks on The Pilates Class" (http://wp.me/p30Uww-j6)*

 The Pilates Class by Stevie Turner
Smashwords | Amazon Author Page

Disclaimer: Slight spoilers


Blurb: The Pilates class is a humorous look at the lives and loves of several different characters attending a Pilates exercise class for the first time.

There is a bit more than meets the eye with this blurb, and that is what I adore about this short, yet delightful write.

Strengths:

Pleasant Hook:  I really like how the author doesn’t waste any time in luring the reader into the story, yet she is able to outline each of the main participants in the story without it feeling overly rushed.

Consistent Conflict:  Amidst the comedy, there was quite a bit of individual conflict with the characters as well as group conflict once certain characters began getting deeply involved with each other.

Engaging Characters:  I really like that a lot of the characters went beyond how they were stereotyped by Petra (the fitness lady).

I loved Roger.  He was rough around the edges, yet I really adored how down to earth he was.  He never censored himself for the sake of others.

I had a lot of respect for Neville’s character.  You hear so much about guys that don’t care about the substance of a woman if she tends to look good.  He really seemed to know what he was looking for.  I’m also glad that the author dared to make him a virgin.  You rarely hear about guys his age being one.

I could also relate to Julian’s plight: the worry about still being alluring and sexy enough for your partner when there is a significant age difference (Side Note: There’s a ten year age difference between my husband and myself).

I also felt for Thelma’s dilemma: going from working to not working, yet didn’t agree with the self destructive way in which she tried to deal with the changes.

Each character invoked some type of emotional response from me, and that is a sign of awesome writing.

Setting/Mood:  As I was reading this work, I found myself trying to pull “in my navel” and “my pelvic floor”.  (Well, the mental image of me was trying to.)  That is how engaged I was in the book.  I was actually at the Pilates class, watching Roger tumble off his ball, and Edith looking in disdain.

Side Note: Now, I’m wondering if I should invest in Pilates.  Perhaps they have it as a Kinect game on Xbox360.

Oops, I got sidetracked.

Like I was saying, the author did an outstanding job of making the reader feels like she was actually there.

Make You Go Hmm…Moment

Lingering Conflict:  I do like the fact there was conflict because it proved great assistance in keeping the pace of the story steady.  However, there were certain parts where I wondered if the author did it intentionally (in anticipation for a possible expansion or follow up) or were there loose ends that needed tidying?

One example was when Judy’s ex-husband decided he wanted full custody of Elliot, yet it never circled back to whether the ex-husband was still going to go through with it or was he just trying to get under Judy’s skin.  Another example is what exactly happened with Mark after what transpired between him and Roz.  He didn’t get mentioned much after the confrontation.  What else happened to Edith after she dropped out of Pilates?  Just little things here and there.

Opportunity

Punctuation/Formatting:  I did notice an instance of punctuation where a colon was used at the end of a sentence, yet there was nothing to follow the colon (Chapter 43 before going into Chapter 44).  Other than that and a little bit of spacing (could be contributed to formatting), it was quite a smooth read.

Unleashed Verdict

The Pilates Class gets a 10 out of 10 Stars from The Review Board.

The comedic value, intermingling storylines, and inviting characters make The Pilates Class a definite win for me.  Although it is marketed as women’s fiction, I could see something in there for the men, too, due to how narrative strength of the male characters.

From her bravery to address the issue of pornography in The Porn Detective to the lighthearted zeal of The Pilates Class, Stevie Turner is effectively demonstrating her range as a writer.  She is definitely an indie writer to be on the watch for, and I will wait in anticipation for her next work.


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