Ghost Hold by Ripley Patton

The long-awaited second book of The PSS Chronicles is finally HERE! GHOST HOLD is now LIVE ON KINDLE and will be coming out in paperback in mid-October.

Buy it Now!

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Title: Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2)

Author: Ripley Patton

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Publication Date: September 30, 2013

About the book:

Olivia Black is back. Only this time she’s not the one in need of rescue. Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers’ list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.

Olivia doesn’t expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.

Amazon: 

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New Release – Seeing Ghosts by James Garcia Jr

Now, isn’t this just a gorgeous cover!

Seeing Ghosts, FINAL, RGB, Front Cover, 6 x 9Paul Herrera finds himself bequeathed a mysterious old house near the California central coast by a deceased aunt he never knew. The woman who shows it to him is the spitting image of his wife, taken from him three years before in a senseless car accident which also took his unborn son. While he deals with the ghosts of a past he cannot let go, there are new ghosts Paul must deal with – alone for the week in the expansive two-story house that he will soon discover holds many secrets. Eventually, he will see that he is surrounded by ghosts as he struggles to hold onto the only thing that he has left in this world – his sanity.

Excerpt:

I suppose you can say this whole thing began and ended with ghosts. Not all my life, of course, but only all that ever really mattered. Everything before meeting Angie happened simply to get me prepared for our life together. No real living had occurred until that moment. After Angie died, I was left only with ghosts. Now tonight I lie beside another woman who is not my wife, and who I have yet to touch. I marvel at her even, peaceful breathing as I stare at the awful ghost that sits calmly, but menacingly, near the foot of the bed.

Aunt Flora is dead and has been for several months. There’s really no reason on God’s green earth why she should be here, in my home, a place she’d never visited in life, but here she sits just the same, and I’m sure I know why. Perhaps it has everything to do with her not having a home of her own any longer, or because she’s lost her husband once again. She seems to grin at me as if she can read my thoughts.

Now she nods dramatically to say that she can, indeed.

“What do you want, Flora?” I finally ask, whispering. I try to be as quiet as possible. It seems like a useless proposition. Peace is an illusion to me at this

point; like something so far out of my grasp as to be laughable.

“You know what I want, Paul.” Her voice is low and calm, but seems to reverberate against the walls. “You know very well what I want,” she says as the all-too-familiar lightning flashes outside probe into the bedroom and illuminate her. A gust of wind rattles the window briefly. It must’ve been the reason I awoke in the first place. I’m pretty sure it was just wind, but who could know at this point? In any event, there’d be no more sleeping.

I see Flora’s terrible features—that aged and deep-wrinkled skin pulled over high cheekbones; and that profound smile that brings no pleasure, but only sets me on edge. Thunder doesn’t accompany the marvelous light show. It would seem strange to me had I not been intimately familiar with this particular storm. Both it and Flora seem to have followed me.

“I can’t help you with that, Flora,” I say.

“Yes, I know. All you can do is bring everything to ruin.”

I stare at the ghost and say nothing further, taking in the sight of her with her long-sleeved white blouse,

dark slacks and black shoes. It’s incredible to me that I’m having another conversation with my aunt. It’s clear she holds me to blame for what’s happened. If I wasn’t afraid before, there’s no denying it now.

Flora reclines against the winged-back chair that was Angie’s favorite and smiles. Her arms remain atop the arm rests, the perfect picture of quiet. Another bolt lights up the sky and my eyes immediately find her claw-like fingers as they seem to be digging into the upholstery. Now I know better and I shiver at this apparently perfect culmination of events.

“It’s not over, Paul,” Flora says. Her tone is firm and reminds me of a wild animal’s growl. “You know damn well what I want! It is all that I have ever wanted. But you have taken that from me. You have taken far too much. Now I shall do the taking. Do you hear me, Paul? Do you understand what I am telling you?”

Now I’m the one who leans back. I sit up first, positioning myself against the tall  headboard. Here is a trend I can’t shake free of—me being awake as the night wanes. Another burst of lightning flashes across the Central California sky and then disappears, casting the room back into shadow. I say nothing more as I recline and simply stare at my dead aunt who sits and stares back, composed for the moment. It would seem I’ve become quite comfortable with ghosts, doesn’t it?

 

Review

This is a strange tale, and it takes a while to get to the crux of the matter, but eventually the story unravels enough for us to know what is going on.

Paul is haunted by his past, his beautiful wife, Angie died in a car accident when she was 7 weeks pregnant.  He lost his wife and child.  Three year later, he inherits a house from an Aunt he didn’t know.

It isn’t until he moves into the house that Aunt Flora has an agenda for him, and she intends to make him pay for giving him the house.

Add to the mix, Anne, the lawyer who handled the aunts estate, who is a deadringer for his dead wife, a pastor who has secrets that he isn’t willing to share, and a strange woman who lives in the house on the same property, a woman who is helping his Aunt Flora to bring back the dead.

An interesting and complex story, filled with romance, suspense, horror and downright humour.  Worth a read if you like a mix of genre

Betwixt – Melissa Pearl

ISBN-10: 1479165913  ISBN-13: 978-1479165919

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes theBetwixt next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?

 

Nicole Tepper is a very underestimated person.  She has suffered tragedy in her life, and her way of coping is to close off to those around her.  Her parents have let her have her way, and she became known as bratty.  But she really wasn’t, just misunderstood.  She has had to live with the tragedy for two years, and it has slowly eaten away at her.  It is even eating away at her parents, so when she goes missing, the strain on their marriage is heightened.  The kids at school think she has run away, but the only person Nicole can turn to is the one person she really liked, and humiliated.

Dale has his own tragedies to deal with, and he liked Nicole, saw a kindred spirit, until she embarrassed him, and he is the only person who can hear her.  But she doesn’t know where she is.  How can Dale find Nicole if she doesn’t know where she is?  How can they find out who did this to her?

I loved the character of Nicole, and I could actually relate to her.  I understand where she is coming from, and how people have misconceptions about you, to try and explain away the behaviour.  By the end of the story, Nicole has opened up herself to the one person who could hurt her, Dale.  And Dale realises that Nicole isn’t as bad as she claims.

A lovely romance story, taken from a different perspective.

Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton

Published November 30th 2012 by Ripley Patton (first published November 28th 2012)  ISBN 13 9780988491007

Ghost HandOlivia Black just discovered that her ghost hand, a rare birth defect, can do more than light up a room. It can reach into people and pull things out. Things from the darkest depths of the human psyche never meant to exist in this world. 

Olivia can pickpocket the soul.

But she can’t control her ability, or the strange items it extracts, and the only thing between Olivia and the men bent on taking the power of her hand is a boy she barely knows and doesn’t trust.

I like fast paced books. My favourite author is Matthew Reilly and the Scarecrow series of books, where you can’t put the book down because there is always something happening. Ripley Patton has captured that same fast paced excitement and I couldn’t put her book down either. I bowled it over in three days (give and take sleep and work).

I loved the character of Olivia, she seemed so naive and knowledgeable at the same time, but she just didn’t know what was about to come crashing into her world. Marcus seemed too good to be true, and he was. It was only when Olivia finally called him out that the truth was revealed and the work could begin, but then he wasn’t being entirely truthful!

The twists and turns in the story had been reading until the very end, there was no let up of pace and that is what I loved about the story. There were no dead patches, no slow downs or let downs.

The editing was superb for a Indie writer! I can’t wait for the next instalment of the adventure.

Hanging By A Thread – Sophie Littlefield

Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year’s Fourth of July festival won’t see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects.

The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing’s wrong.  And they’re not the only ones hiding something. 

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people’s pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year’s Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.  In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?

When I read the above blurb for Hanging By A Thread, I thought it sounded like it could be my cup of tea – I really enjoyed Littlefield’s Aftertime series, and while I didn’t realize that this one was YA, that didn’t put me off. Littlefield has an engaging style of writing that transcends age or genre, so I thought I could probably trust her on this one.

It’s very much a YA novel though, and those aren’t exactly my cup of tea. There is a lot of inner chatter, and the main character is a talented and creative seamstress who spends vast amounts of time thinking about clothes and working with them. Some of this was really interesting, but for a woman lacking in style like me, it probably wasn’t the best match up.

That said, I actually enjoyed the book. It was a fun, lightweight read that I burned through very quickly. I really liked Clare, and I loved the idea of psychometry that was linked only to clothing. The fact that she is willing to risk learning things she doesn’t want to, shows just how important this passion for clothes of hers is. I enjoyed reading about her conflict between wanting to fit into this small town, as well as her desire to stay true to who she is. The cast of characters were your typical tight knit community and I wasn’t sure who the killer it was revealed near the end.

So in summary, this book is a nice blend of cozy mystery and paranormal YA romance, which isn’t something I have seen much of, but definitely think there is a market for. Worth a read, in any event 🙂

The Kingdom – Amanda Stevens

Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town….

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

I read and reviewed the first book in this series (The Restorer) a year ago, and finally the second book is out! I was so excited when I saw that The Kingdom was coming, and I waited very patiently. It was totally worth the wait.

This book is quite different from the first – not only is Amelia moving onto a new graveyard, but she is moving away from her love interest in the first novel, and away from everything that is familiar and safe.

Asher Falls is in a world of its own. A creepy world that seems to have its own rules and far too many secrets for Amelia’s liking. Very quickly it becomes obvious that everyone is protecting their own interests, and no-one is telling her the full truth of the situation.

Like the first, this book was deliciously dark and beautifully written. I quickly overcame the brief confusion I had at finding that Amelia and Devlin were not an item any longer, and poured myself into the mysteries within these pages. The book this time seems less about the graveyard, and more to do with the skeletons in the towns closet, and what they mean for Amelia. We finally learn more about her parentage and origins, and how she came to have the ability to see, and communicate, with the dead.

Amelia has spent a lot of her life playing by her fathers rules, which have until now kept her safe, but this town, and the people in it (living and dead), have their own agenda’s. Amelia has never been more at risk, and there were plenty of times I was on the edge of my seat, eager to find out how everything would come together at the end.

That said, it’s not a perfect book by any means. Amelia is in danger a lot and she makes some awfully risky decisions. I could understand some of them, but others felt like they were a little bit on the not-so-smart side for a character I felt was pretty savvy in the first book.

However, I still really enjoyed it and went straight from this book to the third in the series, which will be released later this year. I’ll be reviewing that closer to it’s release – but I can tell you that I really enjoyed that one too!

Blackbirds – Chuck Wendig

This is the first novel I’ve read by the author who is probably most famous for his foul-mouthed but fabulous writing advice (I’m currently reading 500 Ways To Be A Better Writer, full of great tips!), Chuck Wendig’s latest book, Blackbirds, is quite frankly, stunning.

Let’s start with the cover. Because OMFG from the moment I saw it I loved it and knew I HAD to read the book. It’s gorgeous.

You can try and tell me that you’re not curious, but I won’t believe you for a second.

Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. 

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. 

No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

This is a book right up my alley. Right from the beginning I was caught up in Miriam’s web. She is not a typical character by any means, and her gift, or curse depending on how you want to look at it, means that she sees life in a totally different way from those around her. At times I might not have agreed with her choices, but she was true to herself the whole way through. And when she meets Louis, she is confronted by the kind of life she might  have had, under other circumstances. He is sweet and caring in a world that has treated her badly, and she is the only one who might be able to save him.

This is not a book for everyone: there is a lot of profanity in it, but then, I think it was fitting to the kind of story, and the range of characters included. There is a lot of violence, this is a brutal and intense novel which does not hold back. If you are squeamish, you might want to sit this one out. But if those things don’t bother you so much, then I think you should definitely pick this up. It’s one hell of a ride. Not only is it dark and brutal, but it’s also funny, and sweet in parts. It runs the gamut of human emotion, and Miriam will draw you in almost despite yourself.

There are questions still unanswered about why Miriam can see how people will die, and plenty of room for exploration in her world. Luckily I only have to wait until later in the year for the second installment in this series. Chuck Wendig has secured a place on my ‘must-buy’ authors list.