Seeing the Dead by Sheila Connolly

Seeing the Dead (Relatively Dead Mysteries Book 2)Seeing the Dead by Sheila Connolly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are a fan of history/paranormal then this is a book series that will likely appeal to you on many levels. Once more, Sheila Connolly proves that she can take the ordinary world and create characters that make it seem extraordinary.

This was a fun book to read with a lot of historical accuracy and interesting plot twists for the main character to face. I didn’t feel like the main character knew where she was headed relationship-wise throughout most of this though. Her intent with Ned was often confusing, although that may have been intentional on the part of the author.

I like that the author uses family lineage as the base of her story and connects her characters on so many levels. The setting is easy to visualise and feel part of.

This was a good book that I was able to read through quickly and get a lot of enjoyment from. If you are looking for some light reading that will make you smile and even laugh out loud, Sheila Connolly has a book for you.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House by Mark Spencer

A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen HouseA Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House by Mark Spencer

When Mark Spencer and his family moved into the beautiful old Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas, they were aware of its notorious reputation for being haunted. According to local lore, the troubled spirit of society belle Ladell Allen, who had mysteriously committed suicide in the master bedroom in 1948, still roamed the grand historic mansion. Yet, Mark remained skeptical–until he and his family began encountering faceless phantoms, a doppelganger spirit, and other paranormal phenomena. Ensuing ghost investigations offered convincing evidence that six spirits, including Ladell, inhabited their home. But the most shocking event occurred the day Mark followed a strange urge to explore the attic and found, crammed under a floorboard, secret love letters that touchingly depict Ladell Allen’s forbidden, heart-searing romance–and shed light on her tragic end. This haunting true ghost story includes several photographs of the Allen House.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Me thinketh thou doth protest too much–about people wanting to see your house and find out if it is really haunted. What an intrusion. Wait we could do ghost tours! Opinion stated. Okay, I’m done. Now on to the review.

Mark Spencer has written an interesting book with a lot of answers to questions the locals of Monticello, Arkansas have harboured for years. There is no doubt that many of the facts he relayed have quieted curious minds in the area.

I didn’t think this was a bad book at all. I appreciated that the author did not embellish everything to the tenth power and make the “hauntings” so unbelievable that the book seemed silly. I felt he was pretty down to earth about their various experiences there and really got the impression that he cared about the lives of the former owners as well.

The book is written in an easy going and conversational style that made it a quick and rather enjoyable read. His filling in of the gaps in between the letters between Ladell and her love interest were handled with charm.

What I did find, whilst reading this book, was that the author seemed to lose himself in his own feelings for the house and the past tenants occasionally, perhaps forgetting that we are not all in the same situation. Often times, the letters and his impressions of them came up a bit dry. I also thought it was interesting that he added his own speculation to the reason for the suicide of Ladell. The letters did not exactly confirm her reasoning and I found it a bit of a jump for the author to do so.

I felt closer to this tale than some others, as much of the letters have to do with being separated from someone you love, a feeling I know well.

Overall I thought this was good writing and an interesting inside look at one of “the most haunted houses” in America. If you enjoy ghost stories and are looking for something that will offer a glimpse of history at the same time, this would be a good one to pick up.

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Inn at Last Chance by Hope Ramsay

Inn at Last Chance (Last Chance, #7)Inn at Last Chance by Hope Ramsay

“Last Chance captures the essence of Southern charm and quirkiness. I’m totally captivated!” — Sherryl Woods, New York Times bestselling author

Jenny Carpenter is the unrivaled pie-baking champion of Last Chance, South Carolina’s annual Watermelon Festival and the town’s unofficial spinster. With her dream of marriage and children on hold, she focuses on another dream, turning the local haunted house into a charming bed-and-breakfast. But her plans go off course when the home’s former owner shows up on her doorstep on a dark and stormy night . . .

Mega-bestselling horror writer Gabriel Raintree is as mysterious and tortured as his heroes. His family’s long-deserted mansion is just the inspiration he needs to finish his latest twisted tale, or so he thinks until he learns it’s been sold. The new innkeeper proves to be as determined as she is kind, and soon Gabriel finds himself a paying guest in his own home. As Jenny and Gabe bring new passion to the old house, can she convince him to leave the ghosts of his past behind-and make Last Chance their first choice for a future together?

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have one minor complaint. Whilst that is a beautiful cover, it does not at all convey what this book is actually about.

Okay, on to the review.

I loved this book. This was unexpected and quite a stretch for an author that has never really been far into the paranormal genre. I was not at all surprised that the writing was good, as this is the case with Hope Ramsay. Still, the ideas she brought forth and based this novel on were anything but expected.

Right away I was interested in the main male protagonist as he was definitely not the usual variety of romantic love interest. Instead of being slightly damaged but incredibly handsome, he wasn’t really attractive, physically speaking, nor did he have a high opinion of himself in that regard. Instead, he was a likable and respectable character with a lot of other things going for him.

The romance aspect of this novel was done really well. The main characters didn’t start out falling into bed together right away and they had time to build up tension and romantic qualities before that part of the story became the focus.

I was pleased with this book from beginning to end. If you are a fan of romances with more than just romance going on this book is sure to please.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.

Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies Now on Amazon Kindle!

Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies has Arrived!!!

Buy it HERE!
And Add it to Your ‘To Be Read’ List on Goodreads!

Book Blurb:

The epic adventures of Luke Callindor and Nyx continue after their journey down the L’Dandrin River in Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.

Reeling from his failures in their previous adventure, Luke leads his surviving friends to his hometown.  With his mind frayed and his confidence fractured, Luke must face the family and fiancée he left behind.  It is a brief homecoming when the vampire Kalam attacks the village, forcing Luke and Nyx to break into his lair for the key to resurrecting a fallen warrior.  It is a quest that will force both young heroes to reach new heights of strength and power that they never knew they had.

Can Luke and Nyx escape the lair of Kalam?  And, what role will the orphaned gypsy Sari play in their looming destiny?

Wondering what you’re in for?  Check out the praise earned by the first two installments of this high fantasy series!

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“This is a sophisticated and delightful read. I recommend this book to lovers of Fantasy or to General Fiction readers. The story is compelling enough to entertain a wide audience.” – John Howell

“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust




Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

“Something I find unique about this fantasy novel that I don’t often find in others, is that the hero, Luke Callindor is rather of the

unlucky variety. He does not get everything he asks for, he stumbles, falls, gets knocked down (literally)and taught lessons as he goes. This is helping him to grow into the hero that was promised in the first book.” – Ionia Martin

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” —  Momto4Booklover



Author Biography:

Charles author photo B&WCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.



Twitter-  @cyallowitz



Goodreads Giveaway for a Paperback Copy of Beginning of a Hero, Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, & Allure of the Gypsies!!!

Grave Images by Jenny Goebel

Grave ImagesGrave Images by Jenny Goebel

A stylish debut mystery with the perfect balance of sweetness and scares!

Thirteen-year-old Bernie’s summer is looking pretty grim. It’s hard to make friends when your family runs a monument company, and your backyard is littered with tombstones. It’s even harder when your mother suddenly refuses to leave her room . . .

To make matters worse, her father has just hired a new artist to engrave the headstones–the creepy Mr. Stein. Bernie has a bad feeling about him right from the start, and after snooping around his cottage, she discovers an engraved portrait of their neighbor . . . a woman who promptly dies the next day. And it’s not just a weird coincidence. The pattern continues, and Bernie realizes that Mr. Stein has begun engraving headstones before people die, which forces Bernie to ask a horrifying question: Is Mr. Stein predicting the deaths . . . or causing them?

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lately I have been on a string of middle grade novels that left a lot to be desired. This one–total joy. I loved Bernie. She is the kind of character that will make your child feel like they have a new friend. Her attitude is often funny and the thoughts she has about the boy who likes her are hilarious.

I think the thing I enjoyed the most about this book, was that it was different. You don’t see too many stories out there where the main characters are in the headstone and monument business. This was a perfect backdrop to build an interesting and original story that you older children will surely love.

The story of why her mother was acting as she did was touching but not overly graphic or soppy to the point that it was tear producing. I liked the dynamic between the good hero and the bad bad guy. Bernie is pretty stealthy and smart and Mr. Stein was creepy!

I also really liked that there was a balance of terror and humour, realistic events and child-like feautures to this book.

This was a fun read that I imagine middle-grade students and parents alike will both enjoy. I would definitely recommend it. You don’t have to be a child to have fun with it.

This review is based on a digital ARC from Netgalley and the publisher.

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the Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney

The Ghost PrisonThe Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney

This is the entrance to the Witch Well and behind that door you’d face your worst nightmare. Don’t ever go through there.’

Night falls, the portcullis rises in the moonlight, and young Billy starts his first night as a prison guard. But this is no ordinary prison. There are haunted cells that can’t be used, whispers and cries in the night… and the dreaded Witch Well. Billy is warned to stay away from the prisoner down in the Witch Well. But who could it be? What prisoner could be so frightening? Billy is about to find out…

An unforgettable ghost story from the creator of the Wardstone Chronicles (Spook’s Apprentice) series.

Illustrated throughout by the incredible Scott M Fischer, this beautifully produced book will make the perfect Halloween gift.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a rather spooky, very fun and suspenseful novella for children. I would say the best age group for this book would be between 8-12, but that may also depend on the maturity and reading ability of your child. If I am very honest about it–I had a lot of fun with this book, too.

The illustrations are great and the longer you look at them, the more things you notice about how detailed the pictures actually are. I enjoyed the fact that the pictures really do help tell the story. When something is described in the book, you can see it reflected in the illustrations. Obviously the illustrator paid careful attention to the content of the book, which was a nice change.

The story itself revolves around one night and a young man who has become a prison guard for a castle-like prison, complete with ghosts. His adventures will make you want to keep turning pages. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that it was over so soon. It was just too much fun.

There is a surprise ending that is different from other children’s books and made me smile. I would definitely recommend this book to all the junior horror fans out there.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher and provided by Netgalley.

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Affinities by Chris Hollis

Andrew Goodwin hears voices. They wake him in the dead of night, lingering behind the walls, growing in strength until they take over.

Making him captive in his own home.

These voices are real. Andrew doesn’t know who they are or what they want. Every time he approaches the door, they force him back. Whenever he wakes up, they put him to sleep, making him live on stolen moments in the darkness.

Desperate, he records his own movements, and discovers his entire life is a lie – Andrew is somehow leaving the flat each day as if things were perfectly normal.

So why doesn’t he remember? Who is in control?
And why are there bruises and bloodstains all over his body?

Affinities is a fast-paced psychological thriller about a man whose very life is stolen from him. Sometimes, you can’t even trust yourself.–Description from Goodreads

Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published March 12th 2013
edition language
My Thoughts:
It isn’t very often that I begin a review this way, but I have to do it this time: You gotta read this book! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up. There have been a lot of books classified as psychological thrillers that have really been a let down. This one is anything but.

From the beginning of this novel you get the idea that something above average is going on with the main character, but you aren’t quite sure what. By the middle, there is a rather shocking reveal of information that ties the first and second halves of the book together (which I will not hint at for fear of a spoiler.) This is one Hell of a ride!

The character development in this novel is amazing. You not only get a sense of who the characters are physically speaking, but they each have unique traits that allow them to play their part in the story with perfect accuracy. I felt, after reading to the halfway point of the book, like these were people that I knew and it made me care what happened to them and pulled me in to the story more fully. In some places, you almost feel like you are experiencing the same things they are.

I was impressed by the way Chris Hollis uses his character’s reactions to build suspense. Rather than just telling the reader what happens, he shows you through the confusion and terror of his creations. i enjoyed this aspect, as I don’t see it very often in thrillers.

When you read this book, you forget about anything and everything else that is going on in the world around you and become totally absorbed in the struggles of the characters. The writing is edgy and exciting and shows that this author has real talent for his chosen genre. To put it simply, this is a book that you don’t want to miss.

I love books that keep you guessing and make you wait to find out the answers until the very end, and this book pulled that off in a fantastic way. If you have read a lot of books that you could figure out within the first twenty minutes of reading and it annoys you, pick up this one. You might just doubt your own sanity by the time you have finished.

I received a free copy of this book in order to give a review. My opinions are my own.