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Friday, 22 February 2013

Ghosts, Girls and a Grandma...

For February's ARC, I decided to read and review a short book written by one of our group at ARC (Artful Readers Club)

AlmaMia Cienfuegos (a story of blood, scars and nightmares) by Magaly Guerrero

I have known Magaly since she started writing this story, and have had the privilege of watching it grow from a slippery fresh mango stone into the fabulously juicy ripened fruit that it is today :D
Not for the feint hearted, this short story is a roller-coaster ride of intense emotion wrapped in the snotty hanky of a small child.
It is a fabulous doorway into the lives of the Cienfuegos family, and I am already wanting to know much , much more about each of the characters involved. Why are they all so horrid to each the family cursed for some past transgression? What is the significance of the Mango trees? How far back in the family did the "Gifts" manifest?
There are amazing moments in this story, where I went from hating a character to sympathising to despising....but who is to blame for it all?
There are many stories yet to be told about this group of characters, and I really hope Magaly goes the whole hog one day and makes them into a full blown novel ...and I'm not bullshitting because she is a friend...I truly love this storyline!!!

I was inspired to make 2 pieces for this review.
The first is a dark and deeply textured canvas, from which evolved a gnarled and spooky Mango tree. Beneath it, in the dark of night, a spirit walks and gathers fallen fruit...
Dark Mangoes

The second is a portrait of one of the characters from the story...AlmaMia's devoted Grandmother.
I don't know how close to Magaly's vision it is. I saw her before I read the brief description ...and was thrilled to have gotten her body shape and hair right :D.(I is psychic you know...mwahahahaha...:D)

(Mamabuela Cienfuegos)
I think she must have been very beautiful in her youth :) It doesn't say in the story, but i think her eyes are a soft brown, flecked with gold :D

Enjoy :D XXX



  1. Loved this post - most because of YOUR writing. Just one of the passages which amused me "Not for the feint hearted, this short story is a roller-coaster ride of intense emotion wrapped in the snotty hanky of a small child." Your portrait is wonderful- I find it difficult to draw older faces. Looking forward to 'the rest of the story'. xoDonna

  2. So not my kind of book since I like to read right before I fall asleep! :)
    Your review is fabulous because I do want to read this story now...
    I love the Art pages! ♥

  3. Love grandma and great work as always.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  4. The mango tree picture is a little spooky, but beautiful in the way it looks as if a full moon is shining on the figure and the tree, highlighting them. Marvellous artwork.
    Then there's Grandma, such a real person, eyes that have seen many strange things in her life, and her bone structure evident beneath her flesh - so still beautiful even in her old age.
    Your writing, also, is a pleasure to read. Enjoyed every bit of the post.

  5. wow where do I start? Magaly needs to book you as her publicist as you've absolutely SOLD this story to me!

    and both your art responses are wonderful, the mango tree is SO intense, and grandma is beautiful

  6. I won't say that your words about AlmaMia's tale put a huge lump in my throat. No, I won't say it; I will just think of it all day and probably some time after that.

    That first piece... wow, Gina...

  7. wow Gina you totally sold this story, I agree it should be made into a full book. loving the art, the figure under the tree is so wonderful in its simplicity.

  8. Thanks for the review sounds good loving the art work as well Dxx

  9. Grandma certainly looks like she has many stories to share and reading your review so has Magaly. Let's hope that the novel will not be long in making an appearance. Love your Mango tree too, beautiful shades and tones.

  10. I'm IN...ready to read this short story. It sounds fascinating! Great review and art...

  11. Gina, your pieces created from Magaly's story are amazing! So much feeling in them!!!

  12. Your two pieces are beautiful.Sounds like a story to read.
    Jen x

  13. I agree with everything you have said, i have read it as well and am impatiently waiting for MORE! Wonderful art!

  14. Magaly's book sounds wonderfully intriguing Gina... adding that one to my wishlist too... and your art is stunning... I love your gnarly mango tree.... and the portrait of grandma is fabulous... love how you captured her facial lines...

    Jenny ♥

  15. A beautiful review for such an inspired writing by Magaly...I have lived with a huge mango tree in my yard and got chills seeing your textured canvas with the spirit gathering the fruit. The lines in Mamabuela's face tells many tales...thank you...would love to read this one.

  16. What a fantastic review Gina. I like the thought of the story flowing between dark tough mangos and bright ripe fleshy mangos. You have got me intrested. I love the art you are producing without the features in the faces lately:)

  17. Super artwork, Gina. A great review of a story that definitely has the legs to be extended into a novel.

    Janet xx

  18. Awesome portrait, Gina! I've read some excerpts from Alma Mia on Magaly's blog and it sounded fantastic. :)

  19. Great review Gina...the book sounds intriguing! And I love both pieces of artwork.
    Hugs xx

  20. the snotty hanky comment is so perfectly put... love the way you write, and your artwork is fabulous...xx

  21. Love the way your write about the book... Complete enthusiasm!
    Love the artwork too!

  22. Sounds like a gripping and fabulous story and you've created some amazing artwork as well!

  23. WOO GIRL!!! I love your review and the way you used that creative inspiration to produce these awesome results, ahh a novella & it's characters as a muse, I think you are onto something Gina - Brilliant!!!

  24. Great work, sounds like a fabulous book - I really enjoy those dark secret stories. Lovely artwork, really enjoyed reading your review and looking at your artwork.

  25. Sounds like your friend is a very talented writer. I hope she goes the whole hog.

    Your artwork is amazing.

  26. I actually have this one on my kindle - I must bump it up my TBR list.

    Your art is stunning - I love both but in different ways! Beautiful x

  27. Sounds like a good book - I'll have to get it on my kindle. Love that it inspired you to create TWO pieces of fabulous artwork. x