She entered the house with sure steps. She reached for the light switch and flipped it on, flooding the living room with light. “Tara, I’m back and cold to the bone.” Silence greeted her. It was odd how silence could clamor louder in the mind than an orchestra playing a symphony. Her chuckle died in her throat. A confusing rush of anticipation and dread whirled inside of her. Why wasn’t her sister answering? No sounds came from within as if she entered a tomb. Goose flesh moved up her spine, making her shiver.
Lightning crackled in the sky and thunder shook the windows, causing Brona to jump. She whirled around to shut and locked the door behind her. She headed for the stairs with a thought: What if she had locked the intruder in with her? She stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up at the inky blackness waiting for her.
She had to go up there. She had to make sure Tara was okay.
She’d only taken a step when a guttural cry of terror rose above the storm’s violence.
Professional Reviews for Shattered Illusions
Reviewed by: BD Whitney
Cold and wet after having been caught in a thunderstorm during her usual walk along the cliffs, Brona returns to her home to find her sister missing and evidence that someone has intruded inside. Convinced something terrible has happened, she creeps through the house until she hears voices. It is with relief that she notices that the voices are those of her beloved husband, who must be home early from his business trip, and her sister Tara.
Brona’s joy in welcoming Liam home is shattered, however, when she witnesses her husband kiss her sister. But even as she suffers an agony of betrayal, Brona realizes that something is not quite right. Why does Liam wear such an expression of grief? Why can neither of them see her when she is standing right next to them, and why can she not shake the feeling that there is still an intruder in the house?
Karen M. Nutt’s Shattered Illusions might be short, but it packs quite an impact into these few pages. This somewhat eerie story of love, loss, and realization combines mystery and the paranormal as a woman finds out that her life is not quite what she had believed it to be.
I found this story to be a pretty compelling read. It swept me along with Brona as she cycles through fear, joy, betrayal, and ultimately acceptance and peace. Her adoration for her husband shines through the narrative, making it a very poignant love story. Even when she feels angry and betrayed, Brona can’t deny her feelings, and when she finally acknowledges the truth of the situation, her devotion to her husband leads her to realize what she must do to bring him peace.
The setting for Shattered Illusions is perfect for a ghost story. Ms. Nutt sets the stage carefully: a stormy windswept night along Irish cliffs, lightning and thunder, darkness and silence within the house, accompanied with the unsettling feeling that one is not alone. It is chilling enough to raise the hair on the back of your neck.
While the moment of truth is not entirely a surprise, Ms. Nutt does a good job leading up to it. She builds the tension gradually until it comes to a head in the shattering of Rona’s beloved mirror. And while that image may be a little heavy-handed, it is a very effective tool for delivering the climax.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of a chill as well as a love story, you could do worse than reach for Shattered Illusions. I’m glad read it, and I’ll probably be seeking out more of Ms. Nutt’s stories in the future.
--Bobby Book Wenches
~PNR Paranormal Reviews~
"A Hauntingly Chilling Tale with a Twist"
This is my second paranormal horror read by Ms. Nutt, and I enjoyed this one every bit as much as the first! From page one, Ms. Nutt leaves you clues as to what is going on, and I still did not get them. I was surprised by the end, for it was the one thing I did not guess! Shattered Illusions was well written and thoughtfully plotted out, to a satisfying end. Well done, I can only seeing Ms. Nutt's game getting better, can't wait for more!
Reviewed by Missy Brown
Posted July 16, 2009
~Coffee Time Romance Reviews~
Rating: 4 Cups
Shattered Illusions is a good read for when you want a quick read that is enjoyable. It has its surprises and mystery. It mystery right until the very end.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
~Ghost Writers Literary Reviews
This is a haunting story in every sense of the word. I'd love to see it expanded into a fuller version. Great Job!
Reviewed by Summer
~Swamp Dwellers Review~
Rating: 4 Chills
Reviewer: Dianne Pearson
While Shattered Illusions isn’t a real horror story, it’s definitely got some tense moments and a very creepy atmosphere. The main character, Brona, is terrified of the voices she keeps hearing in her house, and the disappearing pool of blood. At first, she fears someone have broken in and hurt her sister, Tara, but upon further investigation, she recognizes the voices as Tara’s and her husband’s. Are they having an affair? What secrets are they keeping from her?
Ms.Nutt’s vivid descriptions and firm characterization bring this ghost story to life. While the twist isn’t entirely unpredictable, Ms. Nutt pulls it off very well.
MOST ARTISTIC COVER
Most Artistic Cover - This was selected by the Covey Judges as the cover that best combined art and design.
Title: Shattered Illusions
Author: Karen Michelle Nutt
Cover Artist: Ash Arceneaux