Loreena's Gift

Loreena's Gift

by Colleen M. Story

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Overview

Loreena's Gift by Colleen M. Story

2016 INDIES Winner – Silver, Fantasy (Adult Fiction)


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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938103476
Publisher: Dzanc Books
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Pages: 350
Sales rank: 1,088,098
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Colleen M. Story is a longtime freelance writer, editor, and ghostwriter, and author of Rise of the Sidenah , a 2015 North American Book Awards winner. Her short stories and poems have been published in Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother’s Soul , Country Extra , Nostalgia , and more. Her health articles have appeared in online and print magazines like Women’s Health , Healthline , Renegade Health , and 4Health , and she maintains a robust inspirational blog for creatives at Writing and Wellness. She lives in Idaho.

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Loreena's Gift 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (1/17) Colleen Story is a very creative writer that has developed her characters and story line into a fine craft. “Loreena’s Gift” is a story about loss, love, romance, and suspense. At the age of nine, Loreena lost her mother in a tragic accident, one that caused Loreena to become blind, and her brother Saul to change drastically. Loreena and Saul were taken in by their Uncle Don, a local minister. Uncle Don, a single man does the best he can raising two young children, however, he and Saul don’t see eye-to-eye and Saul moves out after harsh words were spoken. Saul has always been Loreena’s “eyes” and his moving out is a big loss. Loreena and her Uncle find she has a “gift” and can help those who are terminally ill move peacefully into death. Although her Uncle thinks this is fine, Loreena always ponders if it is the right thing to do. Very few are aware of her gift and her Uncle wants to keep it that way. When Saul returns home with his outspoken and controlling girlfriend, Loreena finds that he is involved in shady deals in the drug world. Wanting to help her brother get back to his old life, she follows the girlfriend to bargain for his life. Loreena is captured and used for her “gift” to end the lives of competing drug lords. One of the men who guard over her works for the FBI and wants Loreena to cooperate with Frank, the seedy drug lord, so the FBI can take him down. This puts Loreena in a very difficult and dangerous situation, one that might end her life. Initially, when reading Story’s book, I thought it was going to be a deeply involved religious lecture book, but surprisingly, it was not. The underlying story gave food for thought on the afterlife, and what it means. “Loreena’s Gift” by Colleen M. Story is very well written, engaging, and a book that is hard to put down. This is one of those books that really provides readers with all they might want in a book. It is easy to read, transitions between scenarios are smooth, and prompts readers to ponder, “What would I do in this situation?”
LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
I had read great reviews about this book so I had high expectations as I began reading it. And I was not disappointed! Loreena's Gift was an engrossing, well-written novel with a great heroine who I liked immediately. As a matter of fact, I so enjoyed reading this book that I didn't want it to end. I actually think the whole concept of this book would make a great TV mini-series. Loreena is blind at the age of nine from a car accident that killed her mother. She and her older brother Saul are raised by their kind Reverend uncle, but despite this, as soon as he is able, Saul moves out of that small town. Loreena has a strange gift, although she sees it more as a curse. She can kill someone with the touch of her hand. By placing the palm of her hand in another person's palm she temporarily regains her eyesight as she ferrets that person to their afterlife, an afterlife that is different for every person depending on what kind of life they've led. Being Christian, I have my views and beliefs of the afterlife, and the book did not dwell on a Biblical viewpoint. So this concept wasn't religious but rather a fantastical element in this fiction novel much like a superhero complex with a parallel world. Loreena leads a simple life until two things happen. Her troubled brother returns to town and she meets a stranger to whom she becomes attracted. The book is action-packed and there is never a dull moment as these two individuals inadvertently influence the decisions Loreena makes. She gets into the crossfire between two rival gangs and is forced to make some of the hardest choices in her life. The author has created an unforgettable character in Loreena. We see the world through her blind eyes and her young innocent persona. I've worked with the blind and I was impressed with the author's ability to bring this world to life realistically. The novel is suspenseful, with moments of romance and coming-of-age for a young secluded but intelligent girl. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel with its themes of family, forgiveness, choice of right and wrong, and the question of how we use our gifts, whatever they may be. I look forward to reading more of Colleen M. Story's work and hope she has another novel on the way. Loreena's Gift has made it on my Best Reads of 2016 list. Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy from the author. I voluntarily chose to write an unbiased review of this book.
BookwormforKids More than 1 year ago
There are so many layers to this novel, and once they unfold, there are so many more. Loreena lives with her uncle, a preacher, and fulfills her role as an ideal niece in every way. Her gift--or curse she wonders--allows her to lead people over the borders of death and accompany them a distance into their beyond with the single touch of her hand against theirs. Her uncle uses her for mercy killings, something she's not sure is right. But this use of her abilities is still much better than the nightmare she soon finds herself, when an attempt to save her brother lands in her the middle of a criminal war. This book blew me away on so many levels. Loreena is blind due to a car accident, but instead of wallowing in pity or trying to figure out how to live with it, she's already living again. The lack of sight is part of her life, as natural as the nose on her face. The author does a fantastic job allowing this disability to present the scenes in a way which concentrates on other senses besides sight and through this, really brings them to life. In some ways, this a coming of age. Loreena is about to turn eighteen but leads a very sheltered life. She questions her uncle and situation inwardly but doesn't really plan on rebelling. She's unsure of her talent and doubts that having such a gift could ever be deemed a blessing. The tight and controlled world she lives in some ways isn't much different than the confinement she finds herself in later. Outside of all this inner struggling depth, the story offers tons of tension, action and suspense. Loreena finds herself in a living nightmare, forced to use her gift to further a powerful man's lust for power. But this isn't only about her, the crime ring comes to life, each member she has contact with hitting with their own personality and importance. It's a gritty battle to survive, where everything takes sudden turns and never good ones. The author brings the fear, uncertainty, disgust and hatred across until it gets under the skin. In other words, this is not the kind of book easily set down until the very end. This is not a gentle book but bites hard. There is a brief rape scene and violence, although never overly graphic, plays along in many of the later scenes. I wouldn't recommend this to the lower end of the YA group and am sure adults will enjoy it as well. I received a complimentary copy and like it so much that I wanted to share my thoughts.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books where the blurb made it seem decidedly different and interesting - I just couldn’t resist asking to participate in the blog tour promoting it and reading it for myself. This is my honest review. I was right. This is a unique take on paranormal powers with the strong, blind, leading lady, Loreena Picket, having the ability to kill people just by touching them. Her uncle is the reverend and looks on this as a gift which she can use to help as a form of very caring euthanasia but Loreena isn’t quite so sure, though she appreciates being able to see whilst she does so. When her older brother returns, saving him draws her into a dark underworld where she has decisions to make that will have far reaching consequences, especially regarding how she uses her 'gift'. This is a well written, enthralling story with well developed characters who grow as the story progresses. The scenarios are vividly expressed, the imagery bringing them to life in the reader’s imagination. As the blurb says, it really is “ a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.” It makes you wonder just how you would react given similar circumstances and is a suspense filled read which I have no hesitation in highly recommending.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite In Loreena's Gift by Colleen M. Story, Loreena Picket is a blind woman who lives with her reverend uncle in a small town. She has an ability to send people to their death by the touch of her hand. Her Uncle Don sees it as a gift from God to help terminally ill people to move into the afterlife. Loreena, on the other hand, isn’t so sure about it, especially when she momentarily gains sight every time she helps those people - she sees what’s waiting for each person on the other side. Some are beautiful visions, but others are dark and frightening. Loreena's Gift, by its nature, makes us think about the afterlife through the protagonist’s ability and her reluctance to use it, as well as challenging our view about how her uncle and she perceive it. Personally, I agree with how her uncle views it - as a gift to help terminally ill individuals. That said, there’s a fine line between prolonging a person's suffering or keep trying to heal them, a sensitive issue with no simple right or wrong answer in terms of ethical responsibility. It’s easy to empathize with Loreena right away, especially when she’s stuck between two rival gangs after a series of events. The narrative is beautifully vivid and significantly more when Story lets us ‘view’ the world through Loreena’s perspective - “Loreena touched the door frame and found it cold and dusty. The thick rug cradled her shoes…” Simply put, this is a thought-provoking read from Story and I enjoyed the way the concept of the afterlife is delivered.
wifetoalineman02 More than 1 year ago
The most unusual book I ever read I am not a fan of paranormal but Loreena's gift is even better than that genre. Loreena will amaze you not only from her music talent but her extra ordinary gift. I just wish that I have that gift myself especially that I am working in a nursing home. It would be amazing to help the residents stop their suffering and rest on peace. This book is beyond amazing. It is so good. I could not put it down the moment I start reading it. The author did a fantastic job on this book. I cannot wait to read more of her writings. The book is very suspense as well. Just like in the real world, bad people used Loreena's gift to kill. She has no choice because she was trap. This book will blow your mind. This gives me an opinion to check more books like this. Disclosure: I received the paperback copy of the book in exchange of my honest review.
Bookaholic_Banter More than 1 year ago
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. * I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
corinnerodrigues78 More than 1 year ago
Somewhat of a classic good versus evil, the book has a great plot, the story flows at a good pace and the characters are well-developed. A young girl who at 9 loses her mother and her eyesight in a tragic accident. If that were not enough, she suddenly discovers that she is ‘gifted’ with a curse – people die with a touch of her hand. Her uncle convinces her to use this for good – helping terminally ill people transition into the after life. When her brother, who is estranged from their uncle, suddenly turns up, Loreena is compelled to help him and so is drawn into violence and evil circumstances. How she uses her ‘gift’ to survive, is what makes the story so absorbing. I like the way the author handled the story to make it entirely believable despite the supernatural elements in it. Loreena’s character evolves beautifully from a tentative young girl to a woman, who when confronted with difficult circumstances, proves her mettle. The other characters in the story are well portrayed too. Although I’m not too keen on reading books in a PDF format, I couldn’t stop reading this one once I started. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Catherine_Carrington More than 1 year ago
Lorrena's Gift is the debut novel of the author Colleen Story. This story is full of suspense fantasy and supernatural elements. This book is geared towards an older audience. It is not for children. The book centers around the character named Lorrena. Lorrena is a blind girl with an unusual and terrifying gift. On the outside she seems like a normal girl. She lives with her uncle who is a reverend in a small town. She is also a talented pianist. She has a secret. One she thinks is more as a curse and one that her uncle sees as merciful. With one touch she can kill someone. She cooperates with her uncle until her older brother returns and she reveals her power by saving him from a drug dealer. This will come into play in deciding the true nature of the gift. This is a gifted writer. The plot is very intriguing. The characters are very developed. This story is one that will pull you into the story from page one to the end of the book. Some things that should be pointed out is that there is foul language like using the Lord's name in vain and f'. It also uses other curse words. There is also a short sexual assault scene. This book also points to the afterlife differs between people and what they believe. I know it is just a book but I do believe there is only one way to heaven. This book does have a good plot. This book I would give four out of five stars.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
At the age of 9, Loreena lost her parents and her sight in a car accident. Her and her brother, Saul are sent to live with their Uncle Don, a preacher. Years later Loreena finds it strange that her palms always smell like sulfur, even after a lot of scrubbing. But when she accidently kills her friend and takes him to the afterlife. Loreena’s uncle convinces her to help terminally ill people cross over. But then her brother shows up and the head of a biker’s club learns of her gift/curse, Loreena is forced to use her gift to save her brother’s life. Loreena is such a strong young woman. She has the ability to kill and take a person to the afterlife, during this time she regains her vision. But in our world she is blind and helping her uncle to help those suffering. And after she is discovered, she still does what needs to be done to save both her and her brother’s lives. This book sucked me in and I could turn the pages fast enough to see what was going to happen to Loreena next. I really liked how although Loreena is blind she didn’t let that defeat her. Also, even though she has a gift/curse depending on how you look at it, she does her best with everything she faces. This is a great story and hard to tell that it is Colleen Story’s first book. I absolutely loved this story and I will be on the lookout for future books from Story. I received Loreena’s Gift for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Lindz2012 More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a girl with a special talent. She gets into quite a few bad things. She finds out what her brother gets into. If she can ever get him out? She loves her brother so much that she does something to save him. She's then pulled into a sinner kind of a life. In the process, she may have found her love of her life. Tough to survive, she got to do something that is within her power and a secret. Can she save her brother and herself or will she die as well? Her life in the afterlife is different than when she's out of the afterlife. The author does get your attention and pulls you in. Have ever been wondering what it's like in your afterlife? You can see what it's like by reading this. Is it different for each living person? That is still not answered for it really could be.