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Sketches from the Spanish Mustang [Kindle Edition]

Benjamin X. Wretlind , Jesse S. Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £9.47
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Book Description

Haley Spencer sits at a table in a casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado. She is broken, alone, and she is waiting. She's waiting for redemption, waiting for a chance to prove she can really see through someone else's eyes. And as she waits, she sketches those around her, those who keep their secrets buried deep. It's not simply something she wants to do; it's something she has to do, and it might just save a life.



While all people have secrets, Haley quickly learns that some of them are every bit as dark as her own. There is the immigrant looking for fortune and finding death along the way. There is the woman running for her life, desperate to hide in a small town that is, for its own sake, trying to live again. There is the angry man, jilted by his now-dead wife, looking for revenge. There is the veteran who can't remember, the woman about to lose her mother, and the drunk who doesn't want to be what people see on the outside. There are more people, everywhere, behind every turn of the card, and all of them have secrets.



Sketches from the Spanish Mustang weaves each person's story--both intriguing and magical--into a single narrative of love, death, penance, and peace. As the mystery of each sketch unfolds, the lives of Haley's subjects unravel. This is her gift: to uncover the hidden in life. Yet gifts can be curses, and curses can be secrets.



Through the eyes of a woman forced to spend her life attempting to correct her own misguided view of those around her, the reader is given an opportunity to see more than the vagrant, more than the alcoholic, more than the immigrant or the woman running from her past. The novel breaks down stereotypes and allows the reader to peer into the eyes of the people we all turn away.



Remembering is penance.



Praise for Sketches from the Spanish Mustang:



"This is my second story by this author, and it reinforces my opinion of his skill as a storyteller, of his very natural way with words and emotion, and of his very capable way of moving the reader to where he, the author, desires you to be." -- S.Richards, Amazon.com Top 500 Reviewer



"Wretlind has an amazing descriptive style that paints a very vivid picture of his characters and setting." -- Jeff Currie, author of Judgment Tramp

Product Description

About the Author

Benjamin ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes. He has been--at different times, of course--a fry cook, range boy, greens maintenance technician, reservations agent, room service attendant, editor, banquet server, meteorologist, instructor, program manager for Internet applications, curriculum developer and simulation engineer. The author of Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors and Sketches from the Spanish Mustang, Benjamin has been called "a Pulitzer-caliber writer" with "a unique American voice." Aside from novels, he has been published in many magazines to include The Horror Express, All Hollows: The Journal of the Ghost Story Society, Horror Carousel and Bare Bones. He also gets up before 4am to milk (words, not cows). He is engaged to a wonderful and creative woman and has five kids, a dog, a hamster and two fish. You can find Benjamin psychoanalyzing himself on his blog (http://bxwretlind.com/) or lounging about in the Twitterverse (@bxwretlind).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3040 KB
  • Print Length: 295 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477531580
  • Publisher: Benjamin X. Wretlind; 3 edition (12 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008EXUULY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,424,486 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Benjamin X. Wretlind, has been--at different times, of course--a fry cook, range boy, greens maintenance technician, reservations agent, room service attendant, editor, banquet server, meteorologist, instructor, program manager for Internet applications and curriculum developer.

Ever since he ran with scissors when he was five, Mr. Wretlind has always wanted to write.

He has been published in many magazines, to include The Horror Express, All Hollows: The Journal of the Ghost Story Society, Horror Carousel and Bare Bones. He's penned a few novels, deleted a few novels, edited a few novels and is, of course, writing a few novels.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing collection 12 Feb. 2013
By RoyMcC
Format:Paperback
I guess the clue was in the title. It never quite all came together. Intriguing characters, each with his or her own story came and went...and never returned. Only reading the author's notes at the end did I realise that Sketches From the Spanish Mustang was indeed a collection of stand-alone novellas. There was never the intention for a rounded story in the traditional sense.
The background for each of the sketches is the former mining town turned gambling centre Cripple Creek in Colorado, a place the author clearly knows well. Crumbling boom town buildings saved by the tourist dollar. The decaying pitheads on the outskirts of town, the descendants of the miners' burros roaming the environs in the shadow of the inhospitable hills, all expertly conveyed to the reader. The glue holding the sketches together is the Artist, herself a tortured soul following the death of husband and son many years before. She blames herself and finds herself in a purgatory, condemned to sketch similarly troubled individuals until she is `released'.
She sits outside the Spanish Mustang Casino and, sensing favourable subjects, commences to sketch. We meet a former miner having lost his self-respect drawn into domestic killings sparked by money and jealousy; the Indian drunk who speaks with a boy ghost; the touching story of a mother and her wayward teenage daughter, a brain-damaged war veteran and the middle-aged waitress never able to find refuge from an abusive past.
The best sketch ought to have been left until last; instead the story of Fulano opened the book. An illegal immigrant seeking his fortune to support his family is granted his life on the journey across the border only for the bargain to come home to roost in Cripple Creek. A lovely piece of storytelling.
Writland is a good writer, no frills or fancy imagery, with the sense of how a good story works. I'd just have preferred to have known up front that it was a collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must-take" Unique Journey 27 Jun. 2012
By Gregory G. Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Benjamin Wretlind has done it to me again. Pulling me right out of my comfort zone, toying with my reality by spinning me around and dropping me back down to earth as I wrestle in my mind over what I have just witnessed. I write this to say...this man is damn good at his craft! This character driven story has an ebb and flow to each section that is satisfying when you finish their chapter, but also propels you to turn the page and read about the next in this unique telling of the people in the Spanish Mustang. Not since Clive Barker's Hellraiser has my perceptions been so altered, thrilling me with each twist on the ride. Wretlind truly takes his readers on a wild journey as he peels back layers on his well-written characters, breathing life into them that allows them to be more than sketches as the title suggests. Kudos Mr. Wretlind!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterful Achievement 27 Jun. 2012
By MKR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Every new work I read by Benjamin X. Wretlind solidifies in my mind an already rock solid belief: that he is one fantastic writer! With a skill on par with any of the great American novelists, Mr. Wretlind has penned a tale of such emotional and literary depth that it will haunt the reader long after the last page is turned. He has penned a tale filled with rage, sorrow, loss and just a little bit of hope. He has penned a tale that can only be described as a masterpiece. Do not miss this book. Do not miss any of Mr. Wretlind's work. He is truly a master of the written word.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Beautiful.An example of literary brilliance 21 July 2012
By Horror_Nerd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Benjamin X. Wretlind, author of "Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors", has released yet another literary masterpiece in "Sketches from the Spanish Mustang".

Centered on Cripple Creek, Colorado; a dying mining town clinging to life thanks to the emergence of casinos. Cripple Creek is only part of the story though, the citizens are the main focus in this haunting novel.

The tortured artist sketches these citizens giving us a glimpse in their life and revealing their struggles.

I thought "Castles" was a brilliant read from start to finish and Sketches from the Spanish Mustang lived up to everything that I expected. Wretlind's characters are fresh, rooted in realism, written brilliantly, and just fun to read. His writing style remains fluid and easy to read throughout. I still have a few questions about the conclusion of the novel but I'm sure I'll find those answers in my second read through.

If you have any doubt about Benjamin X. Wretlind as a writer, rest assured he is awesome and I'm positive he'll have a bright future. well worth the read and deserving of being on my top books of the year list.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Written 9 July 2012
By Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Mr. Wretlind has done a magnificent job of drawing me into this book, slight pun intended. The author has a well written style that had me turning pages quickly. The characters came to life and I connected with each of them.

I'm not one for lengthy reviews, so here's the short version: Read this book. If you haven't heard of Benjamin Wretlind, which may very well be the case, you will. He has a mesmerising way with words.

Thanks for writing this book and allowing me to read it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing characters but didn't realize it was a collection 16 Feb. 2013
By Masquerade Crew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
ROY MCCARTHY'S REVIEW

I guess the clue was in the title. It never quite all came together. Intriguing characters, each with his or her own story came and went…and never returned. Only reading the author’s notes at the end did I realise that Sketches From the Spanish Mustang was indeed a collection of stand-alone novellas. There was never the intention for a rounded story in the traditional sense.

The background for each of the sketches is the former mining town turned gambling centre Cripple Creek in Colorado, a place the author clearly knows well. Crumbling boom town buildings saved by the tourist dollar. The decaying pitheads on the outskirts of town, the descendants of the miners’ burros roaming the environs in the shadow of the inhospitable hills, all expertly conveyed to the reader. The glue holding the sketches together is the Artist, herself a tortured soul following the death of husband and son many years before. She blames herself and finds herself in a purgatory, condemned to sketch similarly troubled individuals until she is ‘released’.

She sits outside the Spanish Mustang Casino and, sensing favourable subjects, commences to sketch. We meet a former miner having lost his self-respect drawn into domestic killings sparked by money and jealousy; the Indian drunk who speaks with a boy ghost; the touching story of a mother and her wayward teenage daughter, a brain-damaged war veteran and the middle-aged waitress never able to find refuge from an abusive past.

The best sketch ought to have been left until last; instead the story of Fulano opened the book. An illegal immigrant seeking his fortune to support his family is granted his life on the journey across the border only for the bargain to come home to roost in Cripple Creek. A lovely piece of storytelling.

Writland is a good writer, no frills or fancy imagery, with the sense of how a good story works. I’d just have preferred to have known up front that it was a collection.

Review Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review. The above review was not influenced in any way, including financial.
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