Blog Articles, Book Reviews


Through a Haze Snarkly, Into the Possibility of Love: a Helen Borel,MFA,PhD review

OPEN this jam-packed, descriptively tight little story with enough precious asides to tickle the fancy of any reader constrained by only a short space of time to sink into some stimulating fiction. Wendy Jane’s TEQUILA ROSE VIRGINITY BLUES is just bite-sized enough to bring you a swift, fun respite from whatever’s challenging your day. A romp through a, sometimes intense, bauble of a tease-y tale.

ENTER the outset, to experience the author planting visions of “alcohol-marinated brain cells” in your reading mind, to explain her protagonist’s post-inebriated state. You’ll feel engulged as her imaginative language evokes images and feelings you may easily identify with frrm your own analogous adventures. Like, “My desiccated tongue flapped inside my mouth like a beached dolphin struggling for the tide line.” Like that line, Wendy Jane’s bio-descriptive, well-honed voice propels her vivid story forward. The writer luring you forth to keep reading, to keep craving more such gems.

FEEL her poetic technique. At times, this unusual writer rhythmatizes her words, visually making them appear like poetry, staccato-like, stating solo word after solo word, following each with a period. An original technique that works particularly well in the context of Wendy Jane’s Tequila Rose thought-narrative. Thus, this most original, inspired juxtaposition of words, lets you joltedly feel the action as her character stumbles, victim of her alcohol-soaked brain, to the door to greet a male visitor. “Focus. Not. Going. To. Be. Sick. In. Front. Of. Man. Hammering. On. My. Door.” And, this author is very gifted at conjuring visuals in a reader’s mind, like “…his denim-clad thighs”. And, “Laughter sparked in his aquamarine eyes”. And, “Two dimples creased his face”. It appears a mystery man has brought her “the hangover kit”. Some challenging back-and-forth ensues which you’ll enjoy when you encounter it.

TOUR A BRIEF HISTORY OF SELF-PITY: At age thirty, in receipt of a publisher’s rejection notice, “…no thanks…blah blah blah,” our heroine broods. Speaking of “broods,” enter her mother. Now our post-alcoholic-night old-maid storyteller complains about her mom, who’s desperate for grandchildren from her only child. So, soon, there’s maternal intrusion pummeling Tequila Rose’s door after the creased-face guy with the Levi-thighs leaves, and after she’s gingerly stepping from her shower.

EXPERIENCE AN IN-BRAIN MOTHER CONFLICT: Whines the author’s self-castigating heroine, “In my lamentable thirty years, I’ve yet to win an argument with my mother.”
Most of the time, her mother, Evangeline, calls our brooding heroine, “Teq”. This time, though, she stretches out her child’s full name. “‘Tequila Rose,’ her mother demands determinedly, ‘I want grandchildren while I’m still young enough to hula-hoop.’” And, thus, Teq’s boundary-crossing mom swiftly gifts her a speed-dating invite.

Apparently, Evangeline has had a habit of consoling her daughter with questionable imbibings, too. So reports Teq, “Once I’d succumbed to her offering of a sure-fire elixir to cure the flu. The next three days had sped by in a psychedelic blur of kaleidoscopic colours and imaginary friends.” Such are the author’s vivid descriptions that spice up this deliciously-served, emotionally-engaging short story.

ATTEND TEQ’s SPEED-DATING ADVENTURE: Suddenly, Teq Rose is at the venue, speed-dating for real, a man plopped in a chair facing her which the author describes so describingly. “His torso lurched across the table until his elbows rested on either side of my wine glass and his face was only scant inches from mine. My personal space-invader alarm jangled as I counted the nose-hairs curling out of his nostrils….Like a fire-breathing dragon, he expelled his first question directly into my face.” This kind of writing is pictorially vivid and olfactorily rich in real-life visualizations and smell-sensings. Writing replete…a tale drenched with the aromas of vomitus, alcohol, halitosis and other odoriferous minglings, causing words, to the reader, to turn into sensibilities humanly familiar, picturesque and potent. The story’s images are made vivid by this descriptives-gifted writer. And there’s a surprise at the close of this scene.

Finally, so as not to give away THE FINESSED ENDING, I won’t reveal it. Let Wendy Jane (aka W.J. Scott when the author is penning works in other genres) deliver those gut-smashing scenes directly into the heart of your imagination as she did mine. Grab it. Because you, along with this author’s many readers, are in for a plot-twisting surprise.

And you can visit the author here:

2 thoughts on “TEQUILA ROSE VIRGINITY BLUES by Wendy Jane”

  1. I really enjoyed this gem of a story, Wendy. While immersed in it, it’s a great diversion from
    real-world goings-on that lower one’s mood. Engaging with your main character’s dilemmas and surprises is a mood elevator.


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