by Karen S. Bell


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A love story of loss and redemption and the ghosts that haunt our lives and our houses.

Aurora Goldberg Stein is lost in grief. Her beloved husband, Jake Stein, has just died in a tragic car accident and her sorrow is overwhelming. But is this really the end? Perhaps, perhaps not. She hears his voice. She sees his ghostly presence. She travels back in time to another life with Jake. What is going on? What is the message?

Jake Stein, a dashing Texan, sweeps Aurora off her feet and changes her life. A Brooklyn born actress, she moved to NYC and does temporary work to pay her bills. On this particular assignment, she accidentally meets Jake Stein, who is her dance with destiny. Leaving everything she knows, she marries him and moves to Austin, Texas. No longer struggling to make ends meet, Aurora wiles away her time bored and lonely, and trying to recapture the excitement she once had with this man. And then suddenly, it's all over, her life, her future is gone. Vanished are all her hopes and dreams.

But destiny comes in many forms, and when Aurora moves to a new house, she discovers that the previous owner has never left. The ghostly presence of Viola Parker looms large and becomes Aurora's guide through time revealing to her the mistakes she's made with Jake Stein through the centuries. This time, maybe this time, Aurora can get it right.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482307573
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 02/05/2013
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

I continue to be in awe of the magical and wondrous phenomenon called life. As an observer and obvious participant in feminine values and approach to our human challenges, I bring this perspective to my work. Fascinated by the mysteries of the unseen forces that perhaps play a role in guiding our choices, I search for answers in the mundane as well as in the cosmic forces that surround us.

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Sunspots 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Richard_Bunning More than 1 year ago
First off, let me say that I didn't much like the book and certainly not the main character. That doesn't mean this isn't a good read, this is. The mix of not quite literary, not quite paranormal and at times over romantic wasn't my cup of tea. That may be in part because I am a male reader. I hasten to add that I found no hardship in reading every word, and in piecing together every loopback in the chronological progress. I enjoyed the long prose, the well worked descriptions, the first person narrative and the deep and convoluted analysis of main character as writer. A lot of the book reads like classic memoir. I like the way Bell so well conveyed the characters confusions through the slow construction of the plot, almost like building a house jumping between bricklaying on different floors in total defiance of gravity. Those that are expecting a classic paranormal read will be disappointed, because the abnormal never really rises far beyond what might be interpreted as purely machinations of an intoxicated mind, often the toxin being romance itself. Those that like modern crisp plot in a sharp journalistic Hemingwayesk style will be annoyed. This is a book for those that enjoy deeply painted pictures and can stand lumps of plot diversion that allow the author to develop the grain of the picture rather than its total image. I didn't find the prose leaning to the 'purple' to be any problem. In fact I loved the well studied textures. What did annoy me was the padding with hardly relevant lists and references to film and literary history. Even if I wanted to wade through lists of media classics drawn from diverse dramatic arts it wouldn't be in the middle of a fiction novel. They weren't even marginally necessary to the conveyance of the plots drama and no one will convince me that anyone strung-out individual analyses information in that way. This is a book centred completely on the mind of the character as guide and director, which means that we only tend to see support characters as one dimensional. The dimension they are usually seen in by the first person's eyes. However, the other players were eventually painted well enough, being shown in greater depth not so much when the plot begged it; but rather more naturally, when the first person narrator became truly aware. But then that is a truth of life, we do tend to see characters as 'flat' personalities, as predictably animated instillations rather than as the rounded people they really are. Of course, people are never simple, but they can still be one dimensional to use even after a long time known. That actually is the whole point of the book, the central theme, being the rigid views that romantic love, social expectation and immediate impression bring. In this clever book we are led through that, even possibly nudged to recognise that flaws in our own observations. People are rarely even close to the masks we first paint and we suffer if we play to the single dimensions others have of us. Will I read any more of Bell's works? Possibly not, but that is a matter of my taste not the books artistic merits.
wazi More than 1 year ago
Sunspots by Karen S. Bell This book was a tough one for me to get through. I am not a lover of literary fiction. It often seems like pretentious drivel to me. This style uses way too many descriptive words to make a point or get the message across. Plus there is never really any plot to speak of, just days in the life of... Sunspots was like this for me. It was all I could do to pick the book back up again each day, up until the last ten or fifteen percent of the book when the story actually started moving forward. I understood that Aurora had aspirations to be an actress of stage and film who related events of her life to them. However in telling her story Ms. Bell made numerous references to actors, television soap operas, movie titles, and other famous literary works (ancient to contemporary) throughout this story. It starts off pretty innocuous but becomes overkill after a while with overusage numbing my brain and actually causing my eyes to roll. Honestly, I felt like Ms. Bell's descriptive prose was skilled enough to manage the scenes without using the pop-culture and literary references so much. Underneath all the pompous blather there is a good story here. Beyond all the Gothic reverie, depression, and malignant obsession Aurora is going through, you would be challenged to find a more flawed character. There is a positive message of being able to make it beyond the darkness of your life. If you can manage to stick with the story through all the time hopping as she remembers, relives, and tries to reorganize her life to see it through to the end. If you enjoy Literary Fiction about women’s issues, Aurora's journey is a unique one that you may enjoy. This book just wasn't for me, the ghosts pulled me in, but they weren't enough to satisfy me. Format/Typo Issues: I found no significant errors in editing or formatting. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** February 27, 2014
RabidReaderReviews More than 1 year ago
Technically, there is nothing wrong with this novel. Bell’s story is intricately written. She flashes back to Aurora and Jake and the moments that made them the strong couple they were despite their very limited time together. There is a slight paranormal aspect but the story is very much Aurora and Jake. Bell gives the reader detailed descriptions of the setting and characters that integrate well with the story.  There are twists within the story that are interesting. The haunting and they way the spirit characters influence Aurora’s life plan and her thought in regard to life plan. The discovery she has of her husband after his passing. The attempts she makes to find love again.” Sunspots” is a very well constructed book in professional presentation and character development. Aurora and Jake are very real characters. The point of view is first person and through Aurora’s eyes so we get the confusion and horror and wonder as she experiences them. We are with her when she discovers that perhaps she didn’t know all she should have about her husband. The story flows in a way that makes it easy to visualize for the reader. The bottom line for this reader that it is a good book that just didn’t hit my interest. If you like the work of Nicolas Sparks, you will likely enjoy “Sunspots.” 
LynelleClark More than 1 year ago
The one thing that stood out the most in this book Sunspots was the fluent flow of words creating wonderful sentences that put me in awe of the author's penmanship. She took normal average words and combine them with passionate flavor creating beautifully crafted lines that captivates you, draws you in and waken the imagination. Powerful wizardry with the flick of a pen; or in our modern case the punch of a keyboard. The character Aurora Celeste Sunny Abbott free-spirited New Yorker seeking her own fame in this world famous and culturally alive city that never sleeps. Doing what she does best, living a life set by her own rules. Birthed from hippie parents that were never married opening her world to all its mystic and magical  possibilities and wonders. Jewish born and holding onto the traditional ways all her life met Texan Jew Jake Stein, picture perfect with a bright smile that weaken her knees. So different but yet so connected that she left everything to follow him to Austin got married and life as she new it stopped exciting. She became obsessed and a clinging parasite to him, her world evolved only around him that she did not see the signs of a failing marriage.  Although he proclaimed he loved her and gave her every thing she could desire it was not enough to keep him from having an affair. Thoughtlessly he would plunge her life in danger with his adrenaline junkie escapades without considering what she would like or do.  Only after his death she find to many secrets, learned that her life was at an end and that she would have to sell every thing to settle his debt. Rumors of drugs and affairs floated around her while she tried to deal with his sudden death. The story goes back and forth as we are introduced to her first encounter with his family, their cold reception of her. Walking into a new world she did not understand. We learn more about their marriage, honeymoon while in her state of grieve she notice him every where not willing to come to grips of his death.  Buying a new house she was confronted with a ghost Voila Parker who leads her to the truth unwillingly. Traveling back in time to find her husband in the arms of another woman. Learning more about Jake's past. At times her thoughts was shadowed with dark and obsessed thoughts, at times it just overshadowed the story; as she secluded herself from every one. Easily side tracked  unfocused as she relive her brief marriage with this man she adored and loved possessively.  Drawn into a world that was mystical and without comprehension. As Voila open more and more secrets of a past best forgotten. But yet in its revealing deliverance she found she could finally move on to find a new love. Her lawyer mother who worked with battered women and friend Marinda keeping her body in tact while she tried to understand the forces at play. Her In-laws who still could not accept her stayed passive and Owen the lawyer used her for his own pleasure. Warning her of an eminent danger.  Confronting Charlotte and finding more than she bargain for. Her character involving from free-spirit to obsessed to depressed to maturity in a short span of a year. Rebuilding herself as a person to become the woman she always felt she could be. A thought provoking book I can recommend to serious readers.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite Aurora is grieving deeply for her husband Jake. He was killed in an automobile accident and she keeps imagining that he is coming back to bed with her. Her mother's friend Marina has stayed with Aurora after Jake's funeral; she is like a sister to Aurora. Steven and Harriet, Aurora's unmarried Jewish hippie parents, conceived her after they witnessed the Northern Lights. Steven and Harriet lived in separate apartments on different floors of the same apartment building in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, until Steven moves to California while Harriet continues her work in helping battered women. Aurora adopts the name Celeste Abbott and tries for a career on the stage, lives in cramped quarters with roommates, and supplements her career by working as a substitute clerical worker. While at one of her temporary jobs, Aurora meets handsome Jacob "Jake" Stein from Austin, Texas, who wears Ostrich boots and loves opera. Jake is Aurora's "dance with destiny" as she falls in love with him. He is a combination of looks, brains, and serious money, but is he really the man for Aurora? "Sunspots" by Karen S.Bell is a delightful and detailed story of Aurora's dealing with what life has dealt her with a little help from ghostly presences. Aurora has the ability to look at a situation before her and relate it to a movie and its actresses. The dialogue between characters and the action throughout the story are really good. Main character Aurora, her mother and father, Marina, Viola, Jake, Cliff and all the other characters are believable and multi-dimensional. "Sunspots" presents the cosmic forces and other-worldly influences very well and it is a novel that thoughtful readers everywhere will enjoy.