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review 2018-06-03 05:13
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller

Dr. Montague is an occult scholar who believes that he has found in Hill House the perfect place to document and study paranormal activity. He plans to stay there for several months with a few other people, keeping detailed notes about his findings and experiences. He is asked to have Luke, the heir to Hill House, accompany him, and he selects two others, Theodora and Eleanor, as his assistants. Theodora is a vibrant artist who may or may not be psychic - in laboratory tests she was able to identify fifteen or more cards out of twenty without being able to see them. As a child, Eleanor experienced a three-day incident in which stones showered upon her home's roof for no apparent reason.

I read this because I wanted a good "haunted house" story. It started off strong, if a bit slow. I liked the image of Eleanor as some who had broken free, however briefly, from the cage of her home and family. She'd spent a good deal of her life caring for her ailing mother, and after her mother's death she was forced to live under her sister's thumb. Just starting her journey to Hill House was a tremendous ordeal for her.

Eleanor and Theodora's arrivals at Hill House were great, and underscored one thing that came up repeatedly in the book,

the importance of characters' perceptions of their surroundings. When Eleanor arrived at Hill House, it was an inherently monstrous and evil place, and Dudley's antagonism and Mrs. Dudley's creepiness only enhanced that interpretation. When Theodora arrived, however, Hill House immediately became more tolerable, and Mrs. Dudley's recitation might as well have been a recording for all the notice Theodora and Eleanor took of it.

(spoiler show)

While the characters, Hill House's history, and the tour of Hill House were interesting enough, I started to get impatient as the pages went by and still nothing had happened as far as the haunting aspect went. I enjoyed the supernatural activities once they finally started up, but I wish it hadn't taken quite so long,

approximately half the book.

(spoiler show)

It's been several weeks and I'm still not sure how I feel about how things turned out. It wasn't entirely a surprise, but I still ended up looking at the last few pages and thinking "Really? That's it?" I bet it'd be fun to debate what really happened during this group's stay at Hill House, though.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-07-20 00:49
Heart of Rock: Gargoyle Paranormal Romance Serial (The Misfits Book 1) by Xandra James
Heart of Rock: Gargoyle Paranormal Romance Serial (The Misfits Book 1) - Xandra James

I received a free kindle copy of Heart of Rock: Gargoyle Paranormal Romance Serial (The Misfits Book 1) by Xandra James in an Amazon promotion in exchange for a fair review.

I gave this paranormal romance book four stars. It was entertaining & kept me guessing. The well developed characters helped.

Here are a couple of quotes I found worth repeating. "She was trying to make idle chat to stop feeling uncomfortable & she was met with a curt reply & stony silence." Seemed appropriate for a gargoyle turning to rock.

"Even her husband hadn't evoked every one of her senses as he did, able to control her with only a smile or a touch to her overly sensitive skin." She fell hard for this paranormal man.

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Rock-Gargoyle-Paranormal-Romance-ebook/dp/B00QWA7SB6

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review 2015-07-19 07:53
A Christmas Mystery by A.L. Jambor
A Christmas Mystery - A.L. Jambor

I received a free kindle copy of A Christmas Mystery by A.L. Jambor in an Amazon promotion in exchange for a fair review.

I gave this short story four stars. It was about believing in the magic of Christmas, even if it took a ghost to make it happen.

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZCK7IW

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review 2015-07-18 08:34
The Winter Creek Beast by CP Bialois
The Winter Creek Beast - C.P. Bialois,Jamie White,R.J. Keith

I received a free kindle copy of The Winter Creek Beast by CP Bialois in an Amazon promotion in exchange for a fair review.

I gave this story four stars.

Caleb Wells is a thirteen year old boy. He want to please his father. He gave false testimony against an old woman & she was killed for being a witch. This came back to haunt him.

Mitch Rhodes was a local celebrity that was found mauled right off a hiking trail. Sheriff Jay Lightfeather is the one to investigate. What he finds changes him forever.

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Creek-Beast-CP-Bialois-ebook/dp/B00P1KB4RC

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review 2015-07-16 21:37
The Nibelung Gold by Koos Verkaik
The Nibelung Gold - Koos Verkaik

I received a free kindle copy of The Nibelung Gold by Koos Verkaik, published by Whiskey Creek Press from a goodreads promotion in exchange for a fair review. The author's other book is the 2015 EPIC eBook Awards finalist in the Children Category for The Monster.

I gave it five stars.

Willem Heindrik Wolf opens the first chapter. He is not what he appears. "No one who saw him would guess he was also the owner of a beautiful house on the bank of the river Vecht, where he lived among the moneybags; a century earlier successful Amsterdam merchants had started to build their impressive country seats there, and Wolf had acquired his by inheritance.

After a mysterious paranormal encounter with Wera Kelly, the situation turned dangerous. "What he saw was so revolting, that it was beyond his comprehension; if it had been less shocking, he probably would have been seized by panic or passed out.

But his heart skipped a beat when life came back in a flash in the dark eyes of the mutilated woman, when she lifted up her head, reached out her hand, and caught hold of his wrist.

Gasping for breath, he tried to free himself from this grip. Yet her fingers contracted with such strength that he feared she would crush his bones. She pulled herself up. The sparkling, dark, vivid eyes were extremely big in their deep sockets. Her cracked lips began to move. Automatically he bent his head closer towards her. He felt drops of blood spatter against his ear, as she said in a pleading tone,

“Keep searching for me. Please! Try to save me.”

They had a remarkably paranormal experience & Jacob & Wolf were both frightened.

“Let’s take a look at the possibilities,” he said. “Just suppose that there really exists something like a collective of paranormal gifted mediums. We don’t know who they are. It’s very well possible that you and I have already met some of them. If they all have concentrated on Wera Keller this morning, are they all aware then of the fact that she had come to visit us? What if Wera Keller doesn’t want to lend her assistance to the collective at all, but follows commands because she’s been brought under hypnosis, because she’s susceptible to their joint stream of thoughts, because—”

Her body had disappeared.

Wolf woke up to pounding at his door. Abraham de Wild, Jacob's secretary was there & informed Wolf that Van Beek was dead.

Two years later Wolf had become an avid investigator of the paranormal. "Only Wolf was walking to and fro and didn’t seem to suffer from the hot summer sun. He’d become someone now who could make or break reputations in the field of spiritism. A one-man inquisition, hunting for the truth, who made the inexplicable explicable, or gave it the benefit of the doubt until he finally saw through the trick. After he’d discovered that certain phenomena and materializations seemed to be real, his heart overflowed with enthusiasm.

His name fitted perfectly to his character; like a wolf, with unflagging zeal, he followed every track that had led to the solution of complex riddles. His wealth gave him the status of a nobleman, and everywhere he went the doors opened wide for him."

An excellent adventure & an interesting book to read.

Link to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Nibelung-Gold-Koos-Verkaik-ebook/dp/B00I7N53FE

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