Amazon Reviews of The Red Speck

Reviews are coming in and I continue to be genuinely taken aback.  Below are a few for your perusal.
Thank you all so much for the money you spent in buying the book, your time spent reading and reviewing it, and most of all your thoughtful consideration.  I am beyond grateful.


5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreak, Healing, and Angel Hunks,October 13, 2012
This review is from: The Red Speck (Kindle Edition)

“The Red Speck” blends lush, sensuous imagery with raw emotion on an individual’s otherworldly journey to psychological wholeness. Sophie’s heartbreak leads her to awaken in an unknown but strangely familiar world in which she meets and learns from gorgeous archetypal characters tinged with the colors of Miami and the old South.

While an engaging story on its own, the reader will find genuine insight into into their own fixations that hold them back from happiness, including hints on how to move forward. The author has a gift for taking airy spiritual and psychological experiences and thoroughly grounding them in the body. She accomplishes this by painting vivid, emotionally engaging scenes with words, evoking a visceral and sympathetic response in the reader in a manner similar to the techniques found in the poetry of Rumi. In this way the protagonist’s alchemical transmutation of leaden emotions to joyous golden freedom becomes our own. Highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars Gem!,September 10, 2012
This review is from: The Red Speck (Kindle Edition)

I was profoundly moved by Siddhartha in my College years; this book has done the same for me in my forties.
This is a lovely gem. A must read.
If you are currently looking for a voice to put to those “unanswered questions”..pick up The Red Speck.

5.0 out of 5 stars magic medicine,October 4, 2012
Mrs. SE Scott (South Africa)
This review is from: The Red Speck (Kindle Edition)

I much loved S. Conde’s book. It was well written, well paced, imaginative, intriguing.

This reader was immediately drawn in to the complexities of Sophia’s life, presented in the form of an adult fairy tale. The characters were finely drawn and could be seen in my mind’s eye. The chapter headings were so apt and orienting. The psychological and philosophical difficulties and resolutions of everyday life were intelligently and enchantingly addressed. I felt as if I was with Sophia on her journey as image after image was presented to me and for me this is a priceless criterion.

I enthusiastically echo all of the other written reviews

Well done, S. Conde and may we see more of your writing – soon hopefully.

Click here to read all the reviews available on Amazon.

S. Conde

The Immortality of Thought : Part Three

The woman stood up abruptly which caused the girl to open her eyes.  The woman extended her hand.  The girl reached out and took it.  The two women walked hand in hand, out of the house onto the simple wood slatted porch.

“Our thoughts are of the utmost importance.”, said the woman as she led the girl down the concrete steps.  The girl loved them, odd though it was to love such a thing as steps.  Thirty years ago when the cement was poured and just beginning to harden, three of her second cousins pressed their names, written in marbles, into these very steps.  Sometimes, the girl would sit at the bottom and run her fingers over the smooth glass marbles.  From the smooth marbles to rough cement, and back again.  She traced their names and pondered the permanence of things.  She always secretly wished her name was among theirs.

They stepped out onto the lush green lawn, which gave way gently under their feet, and walked over to the swing.  The swing was chained to a massive oak branch.  The woman loved the swing, as did the girl, but neither of them knew why.

The women sat and began to rock gently to and fro.  The girl lay down and rested her head in the woman’s lap.  The woman stroked the girl’s hair, as the breeze gently caressed her own.

“Remember, every thought which has ever been had exists.”

The girl closed her eyes and listened quietly.

“It will manifest as reality, either in this world or the next.”  The girl thought about what she had created so far.  “Thoughts do not die, they merely transform.”, said the woman.  “Your reaction to each situation you encounter acts as a building block for your world.”

“…but then there is no hope…”, said the girl.  “…if the bad thoughts just go on forever.”

“There is always hope.”, said the woman smiling kindly.  “A genuine change of heart, can transfigure the original idea.”

This made the girl smile in turn.  “You had me worried there for a minute.”

The woman laughed.  “There is no need to worry, you’re the architect of your world.  Just as you can create your own hell you can create your own heaven, in this world, the next and beyond.  The choice is yours, you get to decided which path to take.  Just be mindful of your decisions.”

“You have created this place and you have brought me here, which is in itself a small miracle.  Imagine all you’ll take back with you to the material world.  Soon you’ll be able to access this place at will.”

“What does it matter what I take back?”, asked the girl, “…if I’m unable to communicate the truth without destroying it.”

“There are nonverbal means of communication.  Learn them…and anyway, I didn’t say destroy, I said corrupt.  The kernel of truth will still be there when you speak, for those open to hearing it.”

The girl pulled a face, rolling her eyes and puckering her lips.  The woman smiled and continued loving on the girl’s hair.

“There are so many things which can not be learned by the intellect alone, or at all even.”, spoke the woman.  The girl let her eyes wander down the drive.  She focused on the old pecan tree off to the right of the gravel path. The woman barely needed to push the swing with her feet at all.  Still it swung.  The tree was at once closer then farther, closer then farther.  The great pecan tree was old but still producing; the driveway was littered with pecans.  The girl admired the tree, she remembered it so well, so fondly, from her youth.

“Didn’t you ever wonder why the teachers of awakening speak in riddles?”, asked the woman.  “I thought that was just how they talked.”, replied the girl.  “No…”, laughed the woman, “…it’s to free the mind of perfectly reasonable thought processes.  Certain concepts can not be grasped, only understood.  Sometimes, one and one make three.”

“Mother, father, child.”, said the girl.

“Mother, father, child.”, repeated the woman.

The girl turned her head and looked up at the woman.  She was so lovely.  How she had missed her.

“Pecan pie?”, asked the girl.  The woman nodded.  “Yes.”

The End


S. Conde





The Accessibility of Truth : Part Two

The woman returned to the humble task of folding napkins.

“If I were my mother…”, said the woman, “…I’d be ironing them.”

The girl smiled, finishing up her biscuit and gently wiping her mouth with the linen napkin before setting it down on the table next to her plate.  Her hands folded under her chin, and elbows on the table, she leaned forward.  The woman took it as a sign to continue.

“Just because these truths, or bits of information are lost, doesn’t mean they’re gone for good, or inaccessible to us as humans.  It just means that they’re more difficult to access.”

The woman picked up the pile of freshly laundered and folded white napkins and walked back into the kitchen.  She placed them neatly in a drawer then returned to the table for the girl’s plate.

“Think of a black hole not as a bottomless pit of darkness, but as an opening in the material world.”, she said as she rinsed the plate and put it in the dishwasher.

“It sucks up light, information, and shoots it out into an alternate world on the other end of the black hole.” She said as she again wiped her hands on her apron and sat back down in her chair at the table.

“Like a hose.”, said the girl tentatively.

“Yes…”, smiled the woman, “…very much like a hose.”  The girl was encouraged.

“Physically going there and retrieving the information is…”

“Impossible!”, interrupted the girl.

The woman winked, “Improbable.”

“However, we can access that world, and others, by tapping into the black hole within us, that is us.”, she said repeatedly pressing her hand over her heart in emphasis.

The girl’s brow wrinkled again.  They woman laughed lovingly.

“Energy from the Earth rises up within us, spiraling its way up through our bodies, awakening sacred energies that have always existed within us, but that reason will not allow us to see. This energy travels up through a series of electrical pathways finally igniting our mind and opening our eyes to that which can not be see mechanically.”

The woman reached for the pitcher to pour herself a glass of tea.

“Reason…”, sighed the woman as she lifted the pitcher, “…is the enemy of the improbable, trying at every turn to defeat the delicate and fleeting world of possibility.”

The girl smiled.  She liked the sound of that.  It was true, of course, but she liked how the words sounded. Like something monks might chant in a lost language.

The girl leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes.  “What about from above?”, said the girl with her eyes still closed, “What about from the heavens?”

Good, thought the woman.  “Yes, the energy flows downward as well.”  The girl smiled, pleased with herself.

“Energy…”, continued the woman, “…information, then flows freely from one dimension to the next, and the lost truths become accessible again.  There are as many ways to accomplish this as there are souls on the planet.  Some arrive through meditation, others prayer,  even a shock to the system can be an awakening of energies.  …some unique souls never lost the truths.  The soft spot on their head never hardened fully, blocking out the flow.”

The girl opened her eyes.  “Really?”


The girl raised a disapproving eyebrow at the woman and leaned back in her chair again closing her eyes.  The woman laughed…as did the girl.



The Corruption of Truth : Part One

“We, in our human form, are very similar to black holes.”

The girl looked disappointed.

The woman noticed.  “…not in a negative sense, I’m not speaking of a void…which I think is a misconception about black holes anyway…”  Her voice trailed off, following her thoughts.  The woman smiled with eyes closed and shook her head gently as if trying to nudge her mind back onto its tracks. “We are similar in that we consistently operate on two planes of existence.  …well more than two, but for our purposes, let’s stick with two.”

The girl listened carefully and followed, wide eyed, the woman’s every movement, as if the act of blinking would cause her to miss something important.  The girl watched every gesture of the woman’s delicate hands as she folded a small pile of linen napkins on the table next to her.  She observed the occasional sharp upward turn of her eyes when she was thinking, and tried to interpret the secret language of the woman’s body while absorbing the explicit language of her words.

“We are spiral vortices that suck up information.  Once a piece of information is within us it is very difficult to retrieve.  The only way we can share that information, on the material plane, is through communication…”

The girl nodded, her eyes locked on to those of the woman.  Blue on blue.  The woman searched the girls eyes for evidence of understanding.  Finding it, she was satisfied and continued.

“…which, of course…”, the woman smiled and rolled her eyes, “…is nearly futile, as communication always corrupts the original kernel of information.”

Now the girl was confused.  She wrinkled her lovely smooth brow.  “How so?”

“In order to communicate in a material sense, information must be processed within us, and in that process we color the information with our feelings, belief systems, rationale, experiences, and so on.  When the information finally emerges from us in the form of written or verbal communication it is no longer in it’s original form.  It is corrupt.”  The woman stopped to tuck a strand of her long, dark, silver streaked hair back into the bun she wore low, at the nape of her neck.

The girl nodded in agreement.  “…makes sense.”  The woman smiled, and refilled the girl’s glass of tea from the pitcher that was on the table beside them.  “Thank you”, said the girl as she lifted the glass to her rose colored lips. “Please, go on.”

“Then…”, exclaimed the woman throwing her hands up in the air for effect, “…to further obscure the original content of the information, the listener, or reader…the receiver, let’s just say, of said information, must internalize and process the information as well, leading to additional mutation.”

“Now…”, said the woman as she walked into the kitchen and removed the biscuits from the oven.

The house smelled good, in the way that only a house filled with love, warmth, and freshly baked biscuits does, thought the girl.

“…I am not saying this is necessarily a bad thing.  Many interesting ideas are formed in this way.  What I am saying is that this is how many essential truths are lost.”

The woman put all but one of the biscuits in a cloth lined basket sitting there on the counter.  She folded the edges of the cloth over the warm bread. Then with the tips of her fingers, she picked up the last one and placed it on a beautiful blue and white porcelain plate.  She opened the stainless steel refrigerator and removed the butter dish. The girl watched as the woman buttered the last golden icon of the South.

“Do you want honey or jelly?  Or both?”, asked the woman.  “Neither.”, smiled the girl.  “I’ll have it just like that, thank you.”  The woman smiled, nodded, and returned the butter dish to the refrigerator.  “You’re welcome baby girl.”, she replied as she ambled over to the kitchen table where the two women, one young and one not quite so, were talking.  She placed the buttermilk biscuit directly in front of the girl, and handed her a linen napkin from the pile she had been folding.

The woman wiped invisible crumbs from her hands on the front of her apron and sat down as the girl bit into the biscuit.  “Mmmm.”, came the familiar utterance.  The woman smiled, happy to nourish the girl.



S. Conde