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review 2017-03-25 13:42
Spooky
America's Secret Hauntings (Most Haunted Places Series) - Sarah Ashley

While I am slightly annoyed that my home state was not in this book, Ashley's book is quite a good collection of haunted places, including histories of the places. Nicely done, with illustrations. Ashley's tone is good and engaging. Not a dull read.

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review 2017-02-27 23:17
Book Review of The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow (Haunted Series Book 1) by Alexie Aaron
The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow - Alexie Aaron

Little Mia Cooper’s ability to see the dead made her an outcast in her hometown. Several years later, she has finally managed to blend in, but her hard-won peace is threatened by the arrival of a bumbling team of paranormal investigators. Mia is drawn in reluctantly as an advisor on what, at first, seems to be a fairly straightforward case, only to discover that the Hollow has much more in store for her. An ancient evil is rising in Cold Creek Hollow. What begins as a ghost hunt will become a fight for survival.

 

Review 4*

 

This is the first book in the Haunted Series. I really enjoyed it.

 

Mia Cooper is a likable character. She has been able to see ghosts since being a child. However, her ability has left her a bit of a pariah and loner. When a ghostly sighting leads to a group of paranormal investigators visiting Cold Creek Hollow, she finds herself involved in a race against a malevolent and ancient evil that threatens the residents.

 

I actually purchased this book when I first bought my Kindle way back in 2012. Unfortunately, due to my large reading list, I haven't been able to read this book until recently. I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

 

I started to read the book and quickly became intrigued. I found myself completely riveted by the story, though I did find some of the characters to be a little under developed. I must admit that I did like Deputy Whitney (Whit to his friends) Martin at first. However, he also can be a thoughtless and chauvinistic jerk and I wanted to slap him on more than one occasion. He and Mia have a history (though not romantic on his part even though Mia had a crush on him - they went to school together). Whit is married to Sherry, who is an aspiring artist who wants to show her work in the Museum of Modern Art. The paranormal investigators are an interesting bunch. They are: Burt Hicks and Mike Dupree, who are the leaders, then there are Amber (presenter), Beth (researcher) and Ted (camera/soundman). Rose Malloy is the town's real estate agent and has a penchant for gossip, which she uses for her own gain. However, I think my favourite character has to be Murphy. He has a sense of humour to match his razor sharp axe. He also happens to be a ghost and can only communicate through mime to Mia, or by using his axe to chop wood.

 

The story is told through the eyes of several of the characters. This gives the reader an opportunity to see different view points, I must admit that I enjoyed this aspect. This story has a slow-burning undercurrent of suspense to it that completely had me hooked. I wasn't sure where the author was going with this story at first, but as the history of the Hollow and horror of it was uncovered, I found myself feeling sorry for the ghostly inhabitants that were caught up in a vengeful evil. I also found myself turning the pages in a effort to find out what would happen next, as there are several twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I also enjoyed the romance aspect between Mia and Burt and thought they made a lovely couple and were well suited.

 

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours and, to say it's a four hundred and forty-three page book, that's how engrossing it was. There is mystery, danger, horror and happiness within the pages and it took me on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I did think that the explanation the author gave for the vengeful spirit's evil was a little disappointing, and I couldn't feel any emotional attachment to any of the characters apart from Murphy; this made me feel sad. I felt that the ending was a little anti-climatic for me, even though it concluded satisfactorily. Nevertheless, I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Ghostly Attachments, when I have the chance.

 

Alexie Aaron has written a wonderful supernatural horror. I love her fast paced writing style. However, I found the flow a little jerky at times. This is the first book I have read by this author, but it will not be my last (I hope).

 

Due to scenes of a sexual nature (though not explicit), as well as violence and horror, I do not recommend this book to younger readers or those of a nervous disposition. However, I highly recommend this book if you love supernatural or paranormal horror. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-02-24 17:48
Review: Ghostland: No Man's Land
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey
Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead - Christine Wicker

  I was quite excited to spend my monthly Audible credit on this book; what a fascinating idea--reframing American history by examining our relationship with our landmark haunted locales.

 

I, unfortunately, have returned it to Audible.

 

Each house is well-chosen: the Lemp mansion, for example, as a haunted touchstone in American history and culture...

and then debunked as an actual, or at least a full as-known haunting by the author. Chapter after chapter.

 

I hung on through the underlayer of smugness until the author stated repeatedly that Spiritualism didn't last, it was dead, it was no longer a thriving practice in the United States. Then I stopped reading. Why? I had reached the intolerable level of poor scholarship and research. There is an entire town of Spiritualists who live and work as such, in plain sight, and have done so for years: Lily Dale. Both a documentary and a book are available about Lily Dale, New York, and both are easy to find:

 

Lily Dale: The Town That Talks to the Dead * Christine Wicker

 

HBO Documentaries: No One Dies in Lily Dale

 

Side note: The author was also treated well by the Lemp Mansion's hosts, taken on their Haunted Tour, and given the choice room--one that is on the tour because it is reported to exhibit so much phenomena. His entire account of his Lemp tour and stay was mocking, in my opinion, disdainful of staff, location's history, and even his fellow tour group members! I feel as if I have been subjected to a history book written by a hipster: "Look, we're supposed to be enjoying this. OMG, all these people are really enjoying this! I cannot wait 'til I return to my cocktail and typewriter." Combined with the shoddy research, and some debunking claims without citations, this book is disappointedly unprofessional.

 

Also posted at The Dollop: American History Podcast

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review 2016-11-03 20:27
Confusing and shambolic
Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories - Tade Thompson,Sarah Lotz,Nina Allan,Robert Shearman,K.J. Parker,Jonathan Oliver

I am perplexed by this story and think that the content is almost too clever for the events that they purport to represent.

 

Irongrove Lodge is a house of mystery and intrigue where five separate happenings or ghostly chilling stories unfold so says the blurb.......What actually unfolds is well nothing!! words and events happen and escalate past my eyes and mind with no particular order, sense or meaning. So frustrated did I become with the style of writing and the content that (for my own sanity) I desisted from reading, just before the midpoint having attempted to digest (and failing) two of the novellas within the five.

 

I find it even hard to explain what it was I had actually read? In the second of the two stories the narrator, a shapeshifter, ( a person or being with the ability to change their physical form at will) markets himself as in individual who, for a price,  will supply you the client with an alibi. In addition to this he "becomes" you by physically adopting your appearance and character. Centered around this unusual occupation are thoughts and observations on the narrator's wife (an artist of some repute who has deserted him) and his father, a mathematical genius and the author/originator of a calculus/mathematical solution which has greatly added to his credibility and fame (until an Indian professor disputes the theory) During these events our narrator purchases a suit of armour (don't ask me why) and finds solace and content within a small room in his flat at Irongrove Lodge....ah Irongrove Lodge....remember it was the subject of this collection of 5 novellas.

 

Having requested this book from netgalley I was excited about the possibility of reading five separate ghostly adventures around the beautifully named, the historical and stately, Irongrove Lodge. What I read was a confusing literary mess with the actual Lodge playing a secondary role to the rambling and overfed egos of so called writers masquerading as horror authors! A reader must be honest and fair in his thoughts when reviewing, especially if he received that book free in return for an honest review.  His thoughts and words must be impartial and not be influenced as the recipient of a "gratis" copy. I rarely dismiss a book at the midway point, but on this occasion the text, form and content proved much too confusing and abstract for me to continue. A great disappointment and a book I do not recommend to anyone!

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review 2016-10-02 16:28
The Factory by Mark West
The Factory - Mark West

The Factory was a nasty little stroll through, (you guessed it!), an abandoned factory.

 

Four old friends meet up for the funeral of the fifth member of their group. Back in their school days, all 5 would get together and go on urban exploring trips. Urban Exploring (Urbex, as this group calls it), is the inspection of abandoned buildings, preferably at night, since technically it's an illegal activity. As a tribute to their recently deceased mate, they decide to explore the factory that HE had always wanted to check out when he was alive. As you may have guessed, everything did not work out for the best. To find out exactly what happened, you'll have to read this book.

 

This novella was packed full of atmosphere. I mean, really, what better place for a haunting than an old abandoned factory? Especially one that was known to have employed children? Everything is covered with layers of dust and strange noises own the night. Our plucky explorers think they have a handle on everything because they have flashlights and radios. They could not have been more wrong.

 

The ending packed one heck of a punch. Usually stories of hauntings fall short for me at the denouement, but not this one. It did not flinch away from what needed to be done and faced it head on. Bravo!

 

Recommended for fans of haunting stories, both in the haunted house sense and in the sense that this story may stay with you for weeks to come.

 

*I received a free e-copy if this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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