Sunday Book Review – A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner

Sunday Book Review

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

 

Today’s book review is on author Stevie Turner’s book- A House Without Windows. This book captivated me from the get-go. The story drew me in immediately as the protagonist, Beth, took us right into a nightmare of captivity. I don’t wish to give any spoiler alerts but suffice it to say, the psychological damage that she endures had me reading uncomfortably, yet glued and anxiously hoping through each page she’d be rescued . . . being rescued doesn’t usually mean the events a captured victim experienced will ever go away.

 

 

Blurb:

Dr Beth Nichols thinks she has been held captive by Edwin Evans for about 8 or 9 years now. Amidst her grief she often looks back and thinks about her fiancée Liam; theirs was the greatest romance of all. She lays awake at night staring at the one light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that he is still out there somewhere searching for her…

 

My 5 Star Review:

This book has an unusual storyline with each chapter taking us into the minds and real life thoughts of each character, I could liken this story to the book/movie – Room, but the story isn’t only about ‘the room’ Beth is held captive in, but life after she is freed and the perspectives of every day life after being a victim.

A House Without Windows is the story of Beth Nichols whose compassion as a doctor leads to a scary nightmare in real life when Edwin Evans forms a ploy to kidnap her and keep her locked up all for himself. The story begins as a psychological thriller where Beth’s captivity in a tiny room with no windows becomes her life and the only home she will know for almost ten years,

Turner does a great job of giving us readers a ringside seat into what life is like for Beth, leaving us feeling uncomfortable, anxious, taking us in, almost as though we were that hostage, and wondering how on earth she will ever get out of her hell. Beth is a strong-willed and an intelligent woman, which has much to do with how she manages to stay sane while enduring solitude and the daily abuse, all the while remembering her love for her dear fiancee Liam.

I don’t want to reveal spoilers so it’s better I don’t talk about what happens in the second half of the book. Suffice it to say, I will plant some questions here that came to my mind as I read this captivating book:

Beth: How does one continue on back in the real world when it comes to love and sex and trust?

Beth: How does a mother keep love in her heart for a child who was born from rape?

Amy: How does a child born in captivity adapt to the real world after young childhood years in 4 walls?

Liam: Does true love ever die no matter the circumstance even after moving on and accepting the love of your life is dead?

Joss: Does being born of the spawn of a psychotic maniac carry through the genes?

These are just a few questions that came to mind and will no doubt come to any reader’s mind as they read this book, and as you continue to read those answers will be revealed. Turner has done a fantastic job of fleshing out characters, settings and mood. I would highly #recommend this book!

#Blogshare – Healthy Writer Tips: How To Use Dictation For A Healthier Writing Life | The Creative Penn

Healthy Writer Tips: How To Use Dictation For A Healthier Writing Life

 

writing tips

 

I came across this interesting article from the always informative author Joanna Penn from the Creative Penn.

The article gives us reasons and ideas about writing through dictation as opposed to typing our stories. I’ve heard about a few author friends of mine who use the Dragon program to dictate their work, as well as Voice to Text, but other than that I hadn’t given the idea much thought – but I’m getting interested now.

 

“The word ‘writing’ has become associated with hitting keys on a keyboard to make letters appear on a screen or inscribing by hand onto paper.

But the end result is a mode of communication from one brain to another through the medium of words. Those words can be generated by your voice, just as people can ‘read’ by listening to an audiobook.

Famous authors who have written with dictation include diverse creatives John Milton (Paradise Lost), Dan Brown, Henry James, Barbara Cartland and Winston Churchill. When Terry Pratchett, fantasy author of the Discworld series, developed Alzheimer’s Disease, he found he couldn’t write anymore, so he moved to dictation in his final years.

So clearly, dictation is a method that can work for many writers and it has become an emerging trend for authors these days as technology makes it easier and faster.”

 

So, why dictate?

 

(1) Health reasons

“You can dictate standing up or while walking, or lying in bed with injuries, or if pain stops you typing.

I started using dictation when I had RSI and used it to write the first drafts of Destroyer of Worlds and also Map of Shadows, plus some chapters for this book, which I dictated while walking along the canal towpath.

walking along tow path

Walking along the tow path, occasionally dictating!

Dictation can help alleviate or prevent pain right now, but learning how to write with dictation can also future-proof your living as a writer in case of problems later.

(2) Writing speed and stamina

Dictation is faster at getting words on the page than typing, especially if you are not self-censoring.

I’ve made it up to around 5000 words per hour with dictation, while I only manage around 1500 words per hour typing.

There is a trade-off with ‘finished’ words as you will have to at least lightly edit to correct transcription issues, but if you want to get that first draft done faster, then dictation can be the most effective way.”

 

(3) Increased creativity

“Some writers have a problem with perfectionism and the critical voice in a first draft. They struggle to finish a book because they are constantly editing what they have written.  Continue reading . . .

 

Are any of you here using dictation as a mode for you writing? If so, I’d be interesting in learning how you find the process by sharing your thoughts in comments.

 

Source: Healthy Writer Tips: How To Use Dictation For A Healthier Writing Life | The Creative Penn

#Memoir Bytes: Patterns – Cooking, Entertaining and Getting Social

Memoir Bytes

Vision perception - Memoirs

 

Have you ever tried to trace one of your habits back to its origins to attempt to piece together how it evolved? Many of our preferences and habits stem from situations or events that made us feel comfortable and cozy, stemming from our childhoods. Whether it’s a practice we enjoyed or craved, it tends to stay with us and becomes what develops into part of the patterns we form in our lives.

 

“The hostess with the mostess” is an old cliche I remember hearing when I was a kid by my mother when she’d talk about a party she threw or about one of the many she attended. I craved having company over when I was a child because we seldom did. Our family was far from ‘The Cleavers’, when the mom stayed home all day, wore pretty dresses with an apron tied around her waist, had dinner waiting on the table when Mr, Cleaver returned from work. No, my mother wasn’t a stay at home mom in the real sense of the term – not that she worked, rather she had an active social life that didn’t include her children.

Maybe it was because I’d taken on the motherly role at a young age that I eventually grew into that ‘hostess with the mostess’ role. The dinners I cooked for my siblings in my mother’s absence afforded me to learn how to become a decent cook. Once I moved away from home to my own little sanctuary, it became a social hangout for my friends to gather and hang out at – often a place where friends made their own home away from home because while I was on my own many of them were still living at home and considered my little ‘pad’ a place of refuge from their own parental constraints. I always enjoyed cooking and loved having visitors.

Within a few short weeks of living on my own, Sunday evenings became company is coming for dinner. Anyone who was over at my place knew there would be something tasty prepared by me. Sometimes friends would call first, but often I’d just hear that old apartment buzzer with a surprise drop by visit from a friend. I never minded at all as my constant wish for visitors as a child was coming to fruition in my own home.

As the years went by, there were numerous dinner parties, birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas parties I held at my place. I had friends from all walks of life and my world had expanded exponentially after I moved away from home. My dinner party gatherings continued after I got married as our new coupledom circle of friends was still growing. We had several  different groups of friends we’d get together with and take turns hosting dinner get togethers with on a monthly basis, and the Christmas parties we threw for years where friends would bring some of their friends and our gatherings were always fun and interesting.

As the years pass now, we don’t go out as often as we used to for dinner or dancing. And since we’ve downsized from our lovely homes into a condo we no longer throw lavish parties. But some of our simple pleasures are still getting together with our good friends and taking turns having each other over to our respective homes for a dinner gathering. Some things just remain.

Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Twenty years after “I do”. | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

I’m Over at Sue Vincent’s Sharing an Excerpt

Reblog and share

Since I am still in process of reading a big book with limited time, my regular Sunday Book Review post today is a sharing of my guest post over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

 

Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Twenty years after “I do”.

Twenty Years: After "I Do": Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging by [Kaye, D.G.]Thank you for having me over Sue to share a little about my newest book, Twenty Years: After “I Do” – Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging, which was released in December 2017.

This memoir touches on various aspects of situations that occur and change as the years went by in my marriage to a man 21 years my senior. I wrote the book around the title as opposed to writing a book and then wondering what it should be titled. And in the book, readers will soon learn why I chose the title.

Even going into marriage knowing that down the road there will inevitably be obstacles to endure and hopefully overcome, my eyes were wide open and heart full, enough to make me accept whatever challenges would come our way as the years ensued . . . and they did. And in this book, I bring to light some of the things that I encountered and how I dealt with them and how my marriage still managed to thrive with keeping with the foundations the marriage was built on and never taking any of those elements for granted – love, communication, compassion and laughter.


Excerpt from Twenty Years: After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye

To the Moon with Laughter

What would life be without laughter? I don’t think I’d even want to know the answer to that question, because only with laughter have I been able to get through many of life’s challenges. I could quote off a list of clichés about laughter, such as “Laughter is the best medicine”—but the fact is that it’s true. Laughter is good medicine. Every good belly laugh allows our bodies to take in more oxygen and creates endorphins, which prompt the enjoyment we receive from humor and lift our entire wellbeing. Besides being a great health benefit to our souls, lungs, and state of mind, laughter can provide comic relief in those moments that sometimes aren’t so humorous.

Based on all my relationships, I can attest to the fact that injecting humor in conversation when appropriate can take the edge off more serious circumstances. A healthy relationship will always contain humor, because laughter between two people creates a comfort bond, and comfort bonds maintain relationships through rockier times. Continue reading . . .

 

Source: Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Twenty years after “I do”. | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer – Kate Johnston

Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer

Reblog Share

Today’s article is a share from author/blogger/editor and friend Kate Johnston. Kate is talking about the topic of failure and rejection writers face and how they lead to our successes.

 

Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer

Mental preparedness, I think, is the most critical tool a writer needs. More than ability or talent or free time. Most new writers are intimidated, fearful, and they don’t think they’re up to the task. They’re afraid of failure. And they allow that fear of failure to stop them on their writing quests.

5 REASONS FAILURE CAN HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER WRITER

Failure means you tried

Writers who are new to the craft generally don’t fully understand what it takes to be a writer. What they have to do to make a story work. How much time they have to invest.

When they are faced with the truth of exactly what they’re in for, many writers give up.

They give up before they can actually fail.

Let’s read that again: they give up before they can actually fail.

Imagine the fear, disappointment, frustration, and discouragement as an enormous, thick, noxious cloud of smoke that is hovering in your way, smack-dab in the middle of your path. You have two options: push your way through or give up.

If you give up, that is the end of your writing journey. You stopped when things got too hard.

If you push through, and deal with fear, disappointment, frustration, and discouragement, you will come out to the other side. Where the air is clearer, friendlier, and smells a lot better.

Pushing through, facing and dealing with the crappy stuff, may not earn you the big win or the success you dreamed about. But it does give you something you need.

Experience.

Failure will prepare you for the next big obstacle

The worst mistake any writer can make is to think this gig will be easy or that their version of success is the only way to be successful. Thoughts like I should have been done by now. Why am I still having trouble with structure? will lead you down a dangerous landslide of limiting beliefs.

Writers who tumble down this slope are usually those who started this journey because they’d been inspired by a great book that they’ve read, or by a beloved author. They’re basing their desire on a finished, polished product. They don’t see the years and years of hard work and previous failures that led to that particular success. Years of dedication to learning the craft of writing.

Unless you have studied writing or been trained/educated as a writer, and you understand how the industry works, and you’re highly self-disciplined, then it is next to impossible to pump out a great book in a few months that will end up on the bestseller’s lists. An accomplishment like that takes years of experience and practice. And a little magic.

(I’ll pause here to excuse those rare, gifted writers who actually emerged from the womb with pen in hand.)

Even if you hit a win on your first try, and you’re not rare & gifted, what do you think is going to happen on your next try? Continue reading . . .

 

Source: Why Failure Can Help You Become a Better Writer – Kate Johnston