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review 2019-01-21 22:51
Review: The Haunting of Hillwood Farm
The Haunting of Hillwood Farm - Kathryn Knight

There seems to be a haunting at the Hillwood farm, but maybe there are two hauntings? No one knows why there a mean one or violent ghost? Alice is be attacked but also be helped by her husband Henry? It gets so bad that Callie is called in to help?

Luke seem to no want to believe that there are ghosts? You will be surprised as the event continue to happen when Luke and Callie are together and when they are apart? One is trying to get warn and one is about danger?

We get everything the author wants in a story. We get hauntings and the paranormal effect and along with it we get a romance that blooms. Whether this is the author intent or not, does not matter as it seem to just happen.

The plot is done well. I loved it. It one that got my attention as I was reading. I wanted to know who the ghosts were. Especially the one that was haunting the Turners and Callie? This is answered at the end. The reason for two ghost and who was who is revealed. One was protecting and the was hurtful? We find out why it happen as well. If you are into hauntings or ghosts or even paranormal aspect in the book this one is good.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2019/01/book-review-haunting-of-hillwood-farm.html
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review 2019-01-16 19:43
The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish
The Haunting of Henderson Close - Catherine Cavendish

I received this book in for review from Flame Tree Press. I’m going to do my best this year to read as many new ladies of horror fiction as I can and I snapped this up as soon as I noticed it was available without even reading the blurbage. I love all kinds of horror but the creepy, slow atmospheric kind has been working for me lately and this story has all of that and a little bonus gore too!

 

Way back in 1891 a do-gooder is brutally murdered in front of Henderson Close. Many moons later, the building is now a tourist trap where tours are given and it’s reputed to be haunted. When Hannah arrives as a new tour guide, the ghosts all seem to come out of hiding and it’s on her to figure out what the heck is truly going on. Is she losing her mind? Is she in danger? Why is she experiencing time jumps where she’s certain she’s been thrust back in time to 1891? What is going on and why won’t her bitchy employer believe her? Why am I asking so many annoying questions?! Hell if I know, these reviews write themselves.

 

Anyhow, this book has incredibly well written atmosphere. The author has taken care to create and set her scenes and create her characters and I appreciate that so much. You can nearly smell the stench that permeates the streets in 1891 and the dark corners of Henderson Close when the ghosties appear. It’s also very moody and creeptastic and the reader, as well as Hannah and a few friends, are left in the dark to figure out what the heck is going on. When the reveals are made in the last quarter, I have to admit that I was a wee bit confused by it all because there was too much going on and too many characters involved and it made my head hurt a little. Still, what I understood was pretty satisfying . . .

 

But up until that point, I was digging the story. There may (or may not) be ghosts, demons and gargoyles and there was even a surprise moment of serial killing gore. Call me crazy but I wouldn’t have minded a little more of that sort of thing!

 

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review 2019-01-10 20:27
Excellent paranormal thriller; historic Gothic mansion haunted by a past killing brings out demons, both literal and personal. This one had me gripped!
The Meadows - London Clarke

Scarlett DeHaven is a country-song songwriter who let success in Nashville lead her to fall into the trap of drugs and alcohol. After a stint in rehab, she moves to Virginia after having purchased a huge gothic historic mansion, and plans to turn it in to a bed and breakfast, despite the enormity of the task or even all the signs she seems to be getting from around her that it’s the wrong thing to do.

She gradually finds out that Asphodel House and Meadows was the site of a brutal mass killing, and ever since then, it’s been said to be used for some sort of cult, maybe even vampires or druids. Scarlett doesn’t want to believe any of it, and she soon breaks her sobriety when her friend Stella comes to stay  and starts to feel things will be okay with this new start.

That’s where the downward spiral, inside and out, seems to begin.

 

This is a not only an excellent paranormal thriller and ghost story, with elements of a cult and vampiric rituals, but also a novel about someone trying to go through recovery and deal with addiction and the trappings of what fame and fortune can do. It’s a lot more involved than initially meets the eye.

When asked to review this novel, I said yes based on it purely being a paranormal haunting-type story set in old house, and that didn’t even remotely set me up for what an amazing ride I had with this book.

Every time I sat down to read it, I was deeply entrenched in Scarlett’s plight: she had taken on this multi-million dollar money-pit with good intentions (even though her original  search for the house was made when she was high), and she starts drinking more as the stress  of it starts to take hold. When she breaks sobriety it broke my heart, but I found myself empathizing with the inner battle she constantly has with herself throughout the novel, and recognize the shame and isolation she feels. The addiction story may be hard for some people to read if they have had some experience dealing with addicts or recovery themselves. Still, it’s not done with kid gloves and Clarke does it with kindness and realistically.

 

Author London Clarke paints a vivid picture of both this looming mansion as well as this addiction in Scarlett’s life as they take over congruently; they work simultaneously like the demons that take hold. Asphodel House itself becomes its own character in the novel and is a force to be reckoned with, and it made me think of other famous literary haunted houses such as Hill House, and Amityville.

 

Scarlett’s past comes back to haunt her in many forms, and the other characters in the novel serve to remind her that she can’t step away from it. There are several humbling moments that serve as pivotal points for her too, and her story arc is heart-wrenching.   There are many bright spots though, as she pushes forward, and I appreciated the levity brought by some of the positivity she has (her denial serves her well too), and it broke up the moments where I truly had chills reading this book. It takes a lot for me, having read countless horror and thriller novels, and having worked on horror movies too. I also found the twists and turns to really take me by surprise.

 

I liken this indie-published ebook to one of the many independent movies I worked on when I worked in film; not enough people will get to read it (like they didn’t see those brilliant movies) because it’s not attached to a big publishing house (studio) or has a big name attached to it, and that’s a shame. This book is EXCELLENT. I was gripped all the way through. I want to make sure everyone I know who loves a good, chilling read, hears about ‘The Meadows’.

 

 

 

*I received a free copy of this book to review and this did not affect my opinion of the book.

 

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text 2018-12-24 05:27
24 Festive Tasks: Festivus, Task #1 - The Airing of Grievances
Murder in the Museum - John Rowland
Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries - Leonard Kniffel
The Road to Cardinal Valley - Earlene Fowler
Poison - Sarah Pinborough
The Haunting of Fox Mill - Phyl Cooke

Task 1:  It’s the annual airing of grievances!  Time to list the top 5 books that disappointed you the most this year and let us know why!

 

Well, looking at my shelves for the year and the overall ratings, I'm looking at these books and scratching my head as to why I rated them as high as I did.  

 

 

Murder in the Museum - John RowlandMy review of Murder in the Museum.  

 

This one should have been a DNF.  There was so much I disliked about this book.  It was just not a good story, at all.  

 

Looking back on my review I gave it .5 star each for the cover, the title and the setting of the British Museum.  I probably should have just gave it 1 star since the BM setting didn't last more than 24 pages.

 

 

 

Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries - Leonard KniffelMy review of Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries by Leonard Kniffel.  

 

A collection of essays by people who were supposed to be stars that weren't (except Julie Andrews and Oprah).  Most of them sounded far more defensive than celebratory and few of them were average at best. 

 

2 stars.

 

 

 

 

The Road to Cardinal Valley - Earlene FowlerMy review of The Road to Cardinal Valley by Earlene Fowler  

 

Now this one ... this one I had hopes and expectations for.  The author wrote a fabulous mystery series back in the day with outstanding characters and settings.  But she let me down with this one.  Still great characters and settings, but she yanked them around too much and was far too preachy and churchy to boot.

 

2 stars.  2 bitter stars.

 

 

 

 

Poison - Sarah PinboroughMy review of Poison by Sarah Pinborough  

 

Oh, how I didn't like this book.  A fairy tale retelling with juvenile prose and adult sex scenes.  I failed to feel the darkness, and cared nothing whatsoever for any of the characters.  This turned out to be a bonus since the story ended without any resolution for anyone.  Except me, who happily tossed it in the big black box to be given away at next opportunity.

 

1 star for a pretty cover. 

 

 

 

The Haunting of Fox Mill - Phyl CookeMy review of The Haunting of Fox Mill by Phyl Cooke  

 

Not sure why I gave this 2 stars - it's pretty terrible too.  The writing was bad, the MC was stupid and the plotting was, according to me, "a car crash".

 

A Ghost story that failed utterly to give me so much as a goosebump.

 

2 stars.  Why, I do not know.

 

 

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review 2018-11-15 03:59
Review: The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Bernadette Dunne

This was creepy and scary without gore or jump scares.  It was almost more psychological because there was never a solid presence or any one thing to fear like in a slasher film/book.  It's like going into a dark basement alone at night.  Logically you know there is nothing there that can harm you, but you still get the wiggins.  It's the not knowing that freaks you out because your imagination can conjure much worse things than what's actually hiding in the shadows.

 

Clearly there was a presence haunting the house and it tormented Doctor Montague and his group of young assistants--to a bad end for poor Eleanor.  The house seemed to be an entity itself and it sucked Eleanor in--bewitched her.  

 

Very well written, interesting characters.  I have to assume that the author meant for readers to hate Mrs. Montague, because she was just a nightmare.  I wanted bad things to happen to her in the house.  With the other characters [Doctor Montague, Theodora, Luke, Eleanor] you could see both their endearing, and annoying qualities.  And overall enjoyable listen.  

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