Tuesday, July 28, 2015

REVIEW: Out of the Corner of My Eye by FluffyLiz

Some stories have such a big following that it’s hard to remember where you first heard about them because every-freaking-body you know is reading them.  They're the stories that are recognized by initials or stand-apart details and are immediately connected to an author's name. They get you talking, screaming, and swooning about fic, and often become the standard by which other stories are compared. These are those stories.

We've invited four guest reviewers to share their thoughts on some of our recent ‘we can’t stop talking about them’ favorites.

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Out of the Corner of My Eye by FluffyLiz
For nearly 100 years the house has waited, defying time as it slowly crumbles, until it can finally draw in the one person it needs to save the lost soul within. But why has it chosen Bella, and will she understand the dangers before it's too late? Rated M

I write for work all the time. I can make my case for what needs to happen with all the boring manufacturing work stuff with no problem.  But ask me to write a blurb about a story that I’ve been reading and loving and I clam up.  While I feel I could best express myself with a series of gifs and sound clips from the Swedish Chef and various fangirl screams, I will do my best to put forth a coherent sentence or two.

Out of the Corner of my Eye was a first FluffyLiz story for me – but it certainly will not be the last! So many of the fanfics I read now are AH, so I was quite ready to dive in to a bit of supernatural for a change. Our first introduction to this Bella is her cursing up a storm at her GPS.  Now, cursing while driving is one of my all-time favorite sports. If it were an Olympic event, I’d have a gold medal and be on the cover of a Wheaties box. Needless to say I was hooked from Bella’s 1st “Goddamn it to hell!”

Bella is drawn to this dilapidated house in Cornwall England. She can’t explain why, but she just has to restore it to its former glory. Even though she is only supposed to be in England for a short while to settle her late grandmother’s estate and then get back home to US … she buys this money pit and sinks her entire inheritance into it.  So while the usual suspects appear throughout this story, there is also an unusual ghostly character that comes to play. But he can’t be all bad if his name is Edward, right?? And then there’s a 2nd Edward *wiggles eyebrows*.

Liz builds so much suspense with this story, I felt like most of it was read with one eye open. Just like watching a horror film, I knew something was going to go horribly wrong. And the sexual tension just building and building, I knew one way or another there would be an explosion.

Suddenly, the atmosphere in the room changed. It was subtle at first and, if I hadn't become so attuned to it over these past weeks, I might not have noticed. But I could feel my scalp tingle and the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stand up as the temperature dropped. The house was now watertight and draft-free, but I could nevertheless feel a cool waft of air against my skin where my hair was pulled up in a high ponytail. I knew it was foolish, but it almost seemed like someone was blowing gently on my neck, and it sent a thrill of both pleasure and fear right through me. As each day had gone by, the pleasure had grown and the fear had receded.

And the absolutely best part about reading a fic by FluffyLiz, is that she posts chapter teasers in her authors group.  But these are not ordinary teasers. Liz records herself reading the teaser in her beautiful British accent.

Well, this is really my kind of tale. Combine the supernatural with suspense and an amazing prologue, and I’m hooked.

The characters in this story are instantly fascinating. The first one we meet is a crumbling mansion near the Cornish coast in England, known as “Chimneys”, an entity in its own right with a frightening past. Then we’re introduced to Bella, an American architect, who is led to the house by a malfunctioning GPS. She doesn’t understand the pull she feels for the property, compelled to buy it and bring it back to life.

As she becomes friends with the charming locals of the seaside town, they try to warn her, but play their part in helping her achieve her dream, endangering themselves in the process.

When the inhabitant of the house, a dark and pained Edward, reveals himself, Bella learns of the ancient connection they share. As the house is beautifully renovated and she moves in, he becomes increasingly aggressive, taking what he wants from her, *cough* repeatedly.

Bella is under a dangerous spell from Edward and, just when I think I know what is going to happen, a new Edward enters the story, and what a bonus he is.

This Edward could not be more down to earth, sweet and mature, sexy and desirable. He’s no mere distraction for Bella, either. He belongs firmly in this story, just as much as she does.

There are plenty of moments where I want to scream NOOOOOOOO! Don’t go in there! Get out now! Just when I could not be more fearful for what is happening to Bella, she involves Edward and I’m even more terrified for him.

FluffyLiz writes this with fabulous detail and rich language. It plays out like a movie as the house becomes its former self and the sense of dread grows, culminating in one of the best-written scenes of chaos I’ve read. As the chapter runs out of paragraphs, I’m holding my breath, desperate for more words, unsure of who will survive the madness.

I’ve been wracking my brain for something, anything to say about Fluffy Liz’s newest story that isn’t a spoiler, and I can’t seem to come up with anything. That’s the problem with a really well-written suspense story; it seems like EVERYTHING is a spoiler! 

I was captivated by the story from the start, not only because of its geography (I have a bit of a “thing” about England), but also because I love old, restored homes. So initially, I was totally in it for the real estate.  However, I have to say that this strong Bella and a sexy ghost really kept me glued to every update. Bring in the other cast of supportive friends and you have yourself a great story. But add to that the intrigue of whether this apparition is actually a long lost relative of Bella’s, the effects of his presence on Bella (and yes, some of those encounters left me a little…um…flushed), and some other distant, but very important relatives and “Out of the Corner of My Eye” becomes a great thriller/romance.

Liz has weaved a very exciting and sexy tale. I look forward to seeing the new chapters in my inbox and can’t wait to see how this all turns out!

SMusic F. Reader~
Occasionally, I am in the mood for a different type of story.  The beauty of fanfiction is the fact that you can find different genres, and still have the familiarity of your favorite characters.  I decided to check out a fic based on comments I read on Facebook.  The story; Out of the Corner of my Eye, but FluffyLiz, was added to my TBR list.  I did not plan to read the story as a WIP because I knew it would be unlike any story I have read.  Then I read the prologue.  Through the prologue, FluffyLiz gives us the voice of what I like to think of as a main character.  An unexpected main character…a house.

“The house stands alone, empty, neglected yet defiant, as if waiting for something—or someone—to either bring it back to life or, perhaps, give it permission to return to the earth and the elements. Blank-eyed, it watches, year upon year, like a brick and concrete Miss Havisham—its beauty eroded by the vicissitudes and immutability of time.”  “The house stands in dreadful silence, watching, waiting, biding its time. And now, finally, that time has come”

After reading this, I was immediately intrigued and knew that I had to read the story right away. My mind went to the Disney movie, Monster House, thinking it had to be on the same lines of this most loved movie.  However, that assumption would soon go out the window.  When our heroine, Bella comes to the house by what she thought were faulty directions from her GPS, we know that there are other factors at hand.  The house, or some other being, brought her here.  She could not resist the lure of the house any more than we can resist the lure of the brilliant words of FluffyLiz. 

Normally, I am not a fan of horror stories.  I don’t like reading stories of things that go bump in the night, or objects flying, not to mention apparitions forming.  This story goes far beyond that, however.  Not wanting to give too much away, I can say that this story gives us chills, thrills, and then scares the hell out of us.  And those things that go bump in the night…can bring pleasure in the night as well.  At least for a while.  Until you realize you are not reading a Disney story that you would think would come from an author whose name is “FluffyLiz”.  Do not let her name fool you; there are no rainbows, no butterflies.  There is, however, brilliant dialogue, sensual encounters, beautiful scenery, and a spectacular story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, scared out of your wits, but unable to put down.   


Thanks to our guest reviewers MereCullen, Compass54, Nkubie, and SMusic F. Reader for sharing their thoughts on this amazing fic.  

1 comment:

  1. I agree with all of these reviews. This is one story you need to read. It has it all. And I'm sad that it's finished. I need more!