Tonya Smith's Lovers' Quarrels

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[Book Review]


Native New Yorker and author, Tonya Smith's latest work of art, Lovers' Quarrels, is a meta-fi/sci-fi compilation of short stories [441 pages, tpb $19.95], written in three dimensions. 

Smith effectively communicates a variety of perspectives, while remaining true to the underlying destination of her literary journey. She classifies her self as, "A bit avante guard," as her explorative works are based primarily on art and otherworldly concepts, which solidify her as a science fiction writer, crossbreeding her sci-fi story plots with love.

The first of five of the short stories is The Art & The Ego, which explores an argument in an otherworldly art gallery between two mutant artists with different talents, who are steadfast in their opposition to each other regarding what is real in art (from the heart), and what is not. With superlative ease and skill, Smith communicates the point of views of the artists, spectators and the artwork itself in the gallery [via her 3-D writing style] that never strays from the focal point of the main characters’ differences and yet, quite common social experience.

Additional stories are Viable Effects about a pair of emotionally-designed robots whose experimental mission goes awry when one of them begins to desire more ardor from the unwilling other and will do whatever it takes to get it; Valora is a story within a story about an anxious but shy young man, who has one chance to win back his hostile ex-lover by giving her a magical potion before she marries another and leaves his life for good.

But there is a surprise twist that he's not prepared for; The Mystic & The Sophist is based in another realm and about a spiritually challenged young woman who meets a charming and cunning man whom she believes to hold the key to her problem of spiritual ineptness - never knowing that she is in store for a wild ride with a man who has an agenda and misuses his secret magical powers; The Apex of Talise is a fantastic urban fairy tale of two betrothed lovers from another planet, who get stuck in a metropolis on Earth. When the Prince loses his mind and the mission, the Princess is ordered by their family of royal deities to locate and return him to their planet. But the change of dimensions alters their physical appearances and the Princess doesn't know what the Prince looks like, and the Prince (in his drug-induced madness) believes that she is an apparition there to kill him.

Smith says of her writing, "…The majority of the stories that I write are considered to be ‘Outside the box,’ but writing is an art form and our experiences are metaphorical for life; everybody knows that a tree is Green and Brown, but an artist may find a way to make it Red, and people will say, ‘Show me how it’s Red.’ It’s the author’s job to illustrate that it is, and successfully doing so, is what makes a writer good.”

Currently, Smith is working on Book two [another compilation of short stories] entitled, The Black Romantic.  She says of the title, “Love isn't always rosy and happy, sometimes it's dark and gloomy,” thus the usage of the word “Black.” 

The response Smith's been getting from readers has been great.  She says, “As a writer, you can direct people to see the things that you intend for them to see.”  Readers have said that her conveyances are so vivid, that they feel they are inside the story.

A self-taught writer from Mount Vernon, Smith is also an acrylic-paint artist, avid lover of movies, books and storytelling of all mediums.  She is if nothing else, a brilliant navigator of her metaphysical imagination and grounded about marrying her ideas to the contemporary, human experience. This is an excellent beach read as we ease in to summer.



The next book signing for Lovers’ Quarrels will be held at the Mount Vernon Public Library on June 14th from 2 – 4pm. To attend this event, please RSVP to

Lovers' Quarrels can be purchased at


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