Reviews

Jacqueline Rainey is an emerging author who definitely commands attention.

ByMichael DeStefanoon January 15, 2015

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

The true testimonial to an author's ability to draw attention to their book told in the first person is authenticity. In her previous outing, Rainey drew upon much of her own experiences in Toni's Blues to relay a story of inspired triumph from horrendous physical and emotional abuse.

Also told in the first person and in diary format, 30: The Dragonfly Catcher, is a significant departure from Rainey's previous work and the delicate and fragile creature called Toni.

The reprehensible trait of the sociopath is very nearly a male-exclusive disorder. However, Rainey explores this phenomenon in a uniquely disturbing and eros-centric way.

CaSandra is a completely self-absorbed woman who looks upon the opposite sex not as men, but as objects to be used for her own sordid gratification. When she's not referring to them as "dragonflies," she classifies them with the dismissive phrase, "testosterone and cologne." A manipulative, narcissistic woman who is usually in control, CaSandra's disastrous 30-year relationship with a married "dragonfly" ultimately leads to an irreparable personality schism.

As a result, CaSandra, becomes fixated on the number 30. She is burned by 30 "dragonflies." She will attract 30 "dragonflies" to her home, sending nearly all of them away for "incompatibility" before she will allow the 30th one to succeed in his "begging" in order to perform the carnal ministrations she chooses to direct. She plans only 30 visits to her psychiatrist before she abruptly ends them. She spends 30 days in a coma before regaining consciousness.

As with the number 30 and her references to her prospective male suitors, Rainey employs another Idée Fixe to the plot; that being the moniker, the dragonfly catcher, as the name given to the darkest of personalities within CaSandra. The first one is that of the little girl who caught dragonflies on the porch steps of her Grandfather's house and the second is CaSandra, herself; a timid, insecure woman who allows this third, a nympho-maniacal personality to assume control over her carnal desires for male companionship. Any male companionship will do, but only on the dragonfly catcher's overtly seductive and twisted terms.

It's this last personality that views herself as coming from a "beautiful family." A family who produced her. The dragonfly catcher, an insatiably voluptuous and irresistible woman--at least in her own mind. A mind that had become darkly egotistical...bordering on the sociopathic.
Until the very end...when she finally crosses the border.

Fast Read, Deep, Dark, and Gripping! (Paperback)

ByJuniorLoon March 22, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

The number 30 is significant in many ways in this tale of a woman seeking something more in her life, yet finding roadblocks, often from her own pain, suffering, and disappointments in her past. This story is a grab-hold/page-turner and not lacking in twists, and 'I didn't see that coming' moments.

Well written and deep with passion and emotion, the Dragon Fly Catcher will bring you into her world, and not let go.

Jacqueline finds her shoes

ByGarry Kayon January 12, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition

When she consoles her jilted child, a mother will always tell you "better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all". Maybe.
Many years ago, I loved and lost. It was painful. It was more emotional pain than I thought anyone could bear. It was all-consuming and the feeling off loss leaves you ruined and spiritually flaccid. Time stops. The word "hope" climbs out of the dictionary, packs its bags and walks away. But I was lucky. I had been loved. I have loved again.
The picture painted by Jacqueline Rainey in Toni's Blues is on a completely different level of hurt. Toni has been used and abused by a string of men. She loved them all. None of them returned the love she craved so badly. Instead they beat her and left her in a pool of her owns tears. A sorry tale that echoes the same trauma her mother had faced many times.
Toni's Blues is a harrowing journey from the depths of despair to a better place. It is told with the intimacy of somebody who surely must have felt the same anguish. It's too real. The reader shares Toni's every moment as she struggles through the torment.
Jacqueline's skilful prose drags the reader into Toni's ordeal. "When the world outside my window shuts down and finds me sitting side by side with my fears." And clever literary ideas keep you firmly in the room with our heroine as she moves forward. "I looked up from the floor and watched as the words began to slowly peel from the wall and float off and fall upon me like a blanket."
Beautifully written and powerful novel, which I recommend to men and women of all ages as it challenges our traditional and simple idea of love. If our mothers read the book, maybe they will change their words of advice "better to have been loved and lost, than to have never been loved at all".

The Smart Money is on Toni

ByAlan E. Freedmanon August 24, 2013

Format: Paperback

Just ask any of the millions of fans of the Rocky movies what one thing or trait comes to mind and you're certain to get a virtually unanimous response - incomprehensible capacity and GRACE in the face of overwhelming odds and unimaginable horror! But that's Hollywood! After the scenes for the day were shot, the makeup removed and hugs liberally shared until next time, the actors and the actresses went back to living their more than ample lifestyles! None of the scars, the bleeding, the trauma, was real! For Toni, there would be no cry of "Lights...Camera...Action," no stand-ins for those moments where there existed the potential for harm! For her, the times she lay prostrate "on the mat" at the hands of poorly chosen men weren't scripted. They were all too real! Time and time and time again, her broken body would muster the strength from "heaven knows where" to stand yet again, only to be dealt another blow, entertainment for her current oppressor whose lust for seeing her lying amongst the dust and the sea of tears was unquenchable. Toni is every woman who has gone through a season or more of inexpressible emotional and physical torment at the hands of those who were created to love and care for them. Many survived - some didn't! To every woman who can relate to this on any level and to those who find themselves in the midst of the nightmare still, desperately trying to wake up, this is a story of a woman of GOD, kept by DIVINE GRACE who eventually overcomes! For everyone who champions the cause for the dignity and intrinsic value of women globally, woman or man, Toni's Blues delivers a KNOCKOUT punch!!! "Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning" - Psalm 30:5. Alan E. Freedman, Author of "The Walk - A Journey Through Changes of the Heart With Grace, Truth and Purpose!" www.amazon.com/dp/1481027115

One for the Sisterhood

ByJGRWriteron March 24, 2013

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Toni is broken and devastated at the beginning of "Toni's Blues". Like so many other women that have taken a blow because of choices that we've made - consistent choices that eventually lead us to despair. Toni is alone at home, broke on the ground, even looking out as the world outside of her window continues to live; while she can barely find the strength to get up and start over, once again.Jacqueline Rainey sings Toni's Blues in a stream of conscious - not entirely calculated, but raw. She exposes the hurt, pain and shame her subject has endured. Until Toni finds God and faces her short comings, she can not move on.In one way or another, women can relate to this emotion journey of Toni's. I felt as if I were reading from a journal or diary, because the emotions were so real. I cried along with Toni for her pain, mine and the rest of the sisterhood. Thanks Jacqueline.

Rainey projects her deeply personal story...with an authenticity and candor

ByMichael DeStefanoon January 15, 2015

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

When an author is courageous enough to bear their soul in an effort to entertain the reader, it can either be a horrendous disaster or a triumph deluxe. Which way it goes depends greatly on the author’s ability to translate that experience to the reader in a meaningful way. In this, Rainey succeeds.

Rainey projects her deeply personal story unto Toni with an authenticity and candor those who’ve experienced the same thing can identify with. It reads like undated diary entries, whose author bore her troubled soul upon its tear-stained pages.

The use of a self-written letter, a “Letter to Toni” at the beginning sets up the reassuring ending. The novella itself describes Toni’s difficult journey and all the travails she had to endure before she arrived at the emotional place in her life to pen the letter at the very beginning of the story.

Rainey deftly employs “the dust and my tears” and “one-foot-in, on-foot-out, woman of God,” as Idée Fixe plot devices to periodically return the reader to a specific points within the diary; the former to recall her depth of despair and the latter as she contemplates turning to God for her redemption.

Toni’s Blues is a must read for anyone stuck on the treadmill of the cycle of violence. Understand that you are not alone and that you have the power within yourself to break free of this destructive cycle. You only need believe in yourself to own your personal redemption. You can do it. Toni did.