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text 2017-10-16 21:50
Self-Pubs That Shine
The Book of Kindly Deaths - Eldritch Black
Rewinder - Brett Battles
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan
Paladin - Sally Slater
Haven - A.R. Ivanovich,Michelle Ivanovich
Nightfall Gardens - Allen Houston
Marking Time - April White
Slumber - Samantha Young
Timebound - Rysa Walker
Nefertiti's Heart - A.W. Exley

Most of us these days are aware of the flood of self-pubbed books and how difficult it can be to find a gem in the sea of mediocrity.  We often see reviews of the sub-par and/or reports of unethical marketing schemes or unprofessional behavior on the part of some authors.

But some of us who have stuck a toe or two into those waters have come across a few gems.  I thought it'd be good to share a few self-pubbed & small press books I really enjoyed and that I feel stand well among their trade-pubbed counterparts. 

So here are a few I've discovered that I am proud to recommend.

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review 2017-03-22 00:00
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan First off (and really my only criticism of this book): Why’s it gotta have a girl in a sexy pose on the cover? I actually overlooked this book several times because of that ridiculously cliche cover. Please don’t be fooled by it. The story inside is actually much better than that sad excuse for a typical eye-candy piece would lead you to believe.

I read this book immediately after reading Matheson’s Hell House. Its interesting, because in a lot of ways the two books were opposite sides of the same Haunted House coin. Hell House was full of gruesome images, lots of shock factor writing, and one of the darkest pieces of action packed writing you can read in this particular subgenre of thriller and/or horror. Ellie Jordan had very few disturbing images, relied more on atmosphere than shock factor, and was one of the more clean pieces. I wouldn’t quite call it “Teen” or “Young Adult”, but I’d have no problems recommending it to either of those age groups. The only thing that might be off-putting is there is vivid descriptions of a ghost that was a druggie before he died, so it talks about him being stuck with heroin needles and such. Whereas Hell House I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age of 18.

To be honest, I actually liked this book more than I liked Hell House. Not because of the cleanness of it, but because Hell House sort of fizzled on the ending, whereas Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper gave me a strong (if typical) ending that left me feeling satisfied with the story as a whole.

Overall, a strong, fun read that kept me turning the pages relentlessly until the very end. I loved the characters, the pacing, the setting, and the tension building. Great start and perfect follow-through. Highly recommended. Might even look further into the series!

For other Science Fiction, Horror, and Thriller reviews, please visit SciFi and Scary Book Reviews.
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review 2017-02-06 00:00
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan I really enjoyed this book. I love books about ghosts they are my favorite form of the paranormal genre. This book was filled with ghosts. Can't wait t read the rest of the series.

Ellie Jordan is a ghost trapper. When she was 15 hr parents were killed in a house fire that Ellie barely escaped but not before seeing the ghost who not only burned down her house but the 6 that set on the land before hers. She decided to make it her life's work to rid the world of bad ghosts.

As she grew up she enlisted he help of the detective from her house fire who retired from the police force and start his own ghost trapping investigations company. Ellie worked with him until she was old enough and able to take on the investigations herself. She still works for him.

Her latest case is a old abandoned mansion that is being restored to turn into a B&B. Ellie and her partner Stacy go in thinking there is just one ghost since that is all the family has seen. It turns out there are many many ghosts and most of them are not nice one trying to warn the family off.

No it's up to her to solve the mystery of why this house is so haunted and to clear it out.
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review 2016-10-23 13:22
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan

Ellie is a ghost hunter. Ellie removes ghosts from homes. She gets called out to this old home where the owners are trying to restore it and turn it into a B&B. But, something or someone haunts the house.
I wanted this to be scarier. I liked Ellie and Stacy. I liked the twists and the mystery. I didn't like Ellie's resistance to Jacob, someone who definitely had the ability to give them further insight. Yeah, he wins her over, but that took some time. I loved what they did with Mercy (per her request).

2nd and last book for the readathon.  I will be using this for the read by candlight/flashlight square.  

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review 2015-10-01 19:25
Scooby Doo meets Supernatural in Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper by J L Bryan – Review, Giveaway & Interview
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper - J.L. Bryan
I am happy to be able to kick off the month of October with this wonderful story about Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper by J L Bryan for Kiss Off Book Tours.
Add me to Goodreads now.
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1) by J.L Bryan
Publication Date: August 27th, 2014
Genre: Adult Paranormal Mystery
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper by J L Bryan is an eerie tale that had me laughing and cringing as Ellie and Stacey investigate a haunted mansion. It made me think of the movie, The Ghostbusters and the TV show, Ghost Hunters. There are plenty of screams and chills that you will not want to miss.
Ellie had trained her whole life to be a ghost trapper. Now she is a senior investigator for Eckhart Investigations. She has a degree in psychology that comes in handy when assessing the legitimacy of her clients. Ellie felt she didn’t need any help, but her boss, Calvin, coaxed her into it. It was a good thing.
Stacey is just learning, but I love her snarky attitude.
All jobs start with research and the mansion has a sordid history.
Ellie and Stacey set up all their equipment and wait.
Imagine…sitting there, alone, in the dark, and watching the bolt locking the door slide open on its own, feeling a huge drop in temperature, knowing something is there but unable to see it. Loud voices, banging, screaming…
l loved the tone of the writing, it had me laughing out loud.
“Well, let’s go check out the dark basement of the abandoned insane asylum. Nothing could possibly go wrong down there.”
They have ghost pajama parties and a mock funeral. There was much more going on than they anticipated and it was becoming very dangerous.
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper, started out in a Scooby Doo sort of way, but turned more Supernatural as the story went on.
“Let’s split up to save time”
“Isn’t that what they always say in a horror movie? Right before somebody gets killed?”
“Usually, yeah. So hurry.”
The characters had me yelling, don’t go in there, watch out, get out of there. I couldn’t help myself. I even felt sympathy for one of the ghosts. They are not all bad, are they?
J L Bryan’s writing had me hooked from the beginning. I liked the humor mixed with the danger of very unhappy evil spirits.
I loved the ending and couldn’t help but smile as I went to check out more of what J L Bryan has to offer. So if your house is haunted, be sure and call Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper. She will get the job done!
I picked up Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper, a while ago, so when I saw the tour, I decided this was the perfect time to review it.
Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars
Summary from Goodreads
Ellie Jordan’s job is to catch and remove unwanted ghosts. Part detective, part paranormal exterminator, Ellie operates out of Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest and most haunted cities in North America.
When a family contacts her to deal with a disturbing presence in the old mansion they’ve recently purchased, Ellie first believes it to be a typical, by-the-book specter, a residual haunting by a restless spirit. Instead, she finds herself confronting an evil older and more powerful than she’d ever expected, rooted in the house’s long and sordid history of luxury, sin, and murder. The dangerous entity seems particularly interested in her clients’ ten-year-old daughter.
Soon her own life is in danger, and Ellie must find a way to exorcise the darkness of the house before it can kill her, her clients, or their frightened young child.



  1. What inspired you to write Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper?

I was interested in writing about ghosts because, unlike pretty much any other kind of paranormal critter (vampires, werewolves, etc.) it’s not clear whether ghosts are real or not. I thought it would be fun to write a detective series about a character who deals with them all the time.


  1. Have you ever had a ghost experience before?

One time my wife and I were staying with some friends who lived in an old house in Athens, Georgia. We slept downstairs and were the only people on the floor. We were both awoken at the same time by a deep male voice saying “shoo, shoo” just a few inches above our heads, like someone was leaning over us and talking. Nobody else was in the room. We didn’t tell our friends about it until they’d moved out of that house.


  1. What made you choose to write in the paranormal genre?

I’ve always been interested in the supernatural and sort of looking into mysterious and unexplainable events. I also think that we can learn about ourselves through imagining human beings in extreme circumstances, whether that’s dealing with paranormal monsters or a dystopian future society.


  1. What was your favorite scene to write in Ellie Jordan?

Probably the ghost ones, like early on when she’s first encountering the ghost in the house, or later when they have to visit the abandoned old insane asylum to look for clues.


  1. Which character was your favorite to write?

I really enjoy writing both Ellie and Stacey and how they interact with each other. Their psychic friend Jacob is becoming more and more fun to write with each book.


  1. Do you have a dream cast for any of the characters?

I don’t because I don’t keep up with newer actors very well. This would be a really interesting blog post if someone else wanted to do it, though (hint, hint!).


  1. What is your writing process like?

I have a toddler, so I pretty much just write whenever I can. A lot of times that’s late night! I try to hit specific wordcounts, but it always goes slowest earliest in the first draft and gradually picks up steam. Then I go through a number of drafts before sending it for editing.


  1. What kind of research did you have to do for this book?

I’ve actually done kind of a silly amount of research for this series, and I still do. First, I’ve read or listened to as many true (or supposedly true) ghost stories as I can find. I wanted to learn all about what real ghostly experiences were like, instead of following other fiction. I also researched the real technology and procedures used by ghost hunters and applied those to Ellie’s investigative process. My goal has been to make it is as realistic as possible as far as reflecting “ghost culture” in the real world.


  1. How many books are you planning for the series?

Eight or ten right now.


  1. When you were a kid, what was your favorite ghost story you heard?

There was an old house in an overgrown field near where I grew up. People would say it was haunted. I think that was the scariest one because it was so close and I could have walked inside the place if I wanted to (but I didn’t want to). I don’t even remember a specific story about it, people said different things. I did watch a lot of Scooby-Doo as a kid, too. And I was obsessed with the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, which are about a certain kind of ghost.


  1. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was thirteen and wrote a book about a delusional kid who dressed up in a dog costume and tried to fight crime, despite his lack of any superpowers or anything. It was called Dogboy.


  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Ellie Jordan?

How many real or supposedly real ghost stories are out there. I’ve read several books about ghosts just in the Savannah area alone. There are lots of books and websites that collect people’s ghost stories, and lots of people have personal stories if you start asking around. There are at least a dozen “ghost reality” shows on TV, where haunted buildings are investigated with technology or by psychics, or people recount experiences they claim to have had. The abundance of ghostly experiences by real people has made researching and writing the series much more interesting to me.


  1. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read widely, not just in your own genre, read lots of books on craft, and write every day. Commercially, you want to write in a popular genre and make sure you have quality book covers that reflect the correct genre.


  1. What is your favorite genre to read or watch?

I like to read historical nonfiction, biographies, things like that. Nonfiction is great fuel for your imagination.

  1. If someone dared you, would you spend the night in the house in the story?

No! Not unless Ellie had cleared the place first.


  1. Is there a genre you’d like to write but haven’t yet?

I actually write some science fiction on the side, but it hasn’t done as well as the supernatural stories so I don’t focus on it.


  1. Why did you choose to have the book take place in Savannah, Georgia?
  2. It was an easy choice for me because I live in Georgia and have visited Savannah several times (and I’m always willing to go back for more research!). Some of my ancestors were present at the founding of that city. So I wanted to write about a city with which I was familiar, and Savannah is a great setting, with lots of old mansions built in every style and centuries-old graveyards, plus the city is built on top of multiple native burial grounds. It’s believed to be one of the most haunted cities in the country among paranormal researchers and among people who live there. Most of the buildings in the Historic District have at least one ghost story attached to them. It seemed like a place where professional ghost hunters would really have their hands full!
 About The Author

J.L. Bryan

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories.

He is the author of The Paranormals series of horror novels (Jenny PoxTommy Nightmare, and Alexander Death) the Songs of Magic series for younger readers (Fairy Metal ThunderFairy Blues, and Fairystruck…so far) and other books. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, their son, and some dogs and cats.


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Source: www.fundinmental.com/scooby-doo-meets-supernatural-in-ellie-jordan-ghost-trapper-by-j-l-bryan-review-giveaway-interview
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