📚’The creepiness surrounding the abandoned old house is beautifully built up’. @for_fi Reviews #Thriller The Misery House by @DavidKummer7 for Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Fiona.

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Fiona has been reading The Misery House by David Kummer

Five stars

“New Haven: This rural town has never seen a string of tragedies like this. A local store burns to the ground with two bodies inside. A newlywed couple goes missing, and all signs point to the abandoned house. With no answers, the townsfolk grow more and more worried.”

If I tell you that this tale starts out with a creepy old house you might think that a cliche was on its way, but it is done so beautifully, the cliche is avoided. Small town ordinariness is built in to a narrative out of which the shocking arises almost naturally. 

As a Brit reader, I don’t have an idea of where New Haven is but I still managed to appreciate the picture drawn in this book of the constant tension that small town life engenders – security or suffocation? The descriptions of the hills, the weather and Kaia’s beloved forest are beautiful, adding yet another layer to New Haven.

Events are sparked off as a middle school baseball game is played out under a baking sun. I found this opening excellent, building the sense of unease gradually from something as innocent and wholesome as a family attending the game. The fire that starts the action devastates the town but brings out some people’s suspicion of outsiders. The action is complicated by the fact that most of the characters have known each other all their lives: they have a natural reluctance to judge one another.

From the beginning though, the Woods family stand out because Cliff married Naomi, a girl he met a college, different in her appearance and her willingness to challenge the easy road, the acceptable version. Their children Nathaniel and Kaia are also given the chance to be different, and Kaia in particularly dreams of leaving New Haven despite her love for it, and her close friendship with Allison who has already married the loathsome Maliki. Led by Naomi’s strength the Woods family are going to challenge the easy assumptions of others, the people who want to believe that “…strangers mean trouble. New people mean trouble.”

The creepiness surrounding the abandoned old house is beautifully built up and unusually for me I read the book in one go. In fact, I was surprised when I reached the end – the story really does grab you and hold you. Watch out though – it ends on a terrific cliffhanger and you are going to wait impatiently for the next installment!

Orange rose book description
Book description

Sometimes the quietest little towns are haunted by the darkest secrets.
A psychological thriller and a family you’ll never forget.

New Haven: This rural town has never seen a string of tragedies like this. A local store burns to the ground with two bodies inside. A newlywed couple goes missing, and all signs point to the abandoned house. With no answers, the townsfolk grow more and more worried.

The Woods family has lived here forever. But when their friends and their own children are put in danger, the threat hits home. This close-knit family must risk everything to find answers, but time is running out.

New Haven has secrets. And a haunted house like you’ve never seen before.

The Misery House is a chilling, suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end and set the stage for an epic three-book haunting. With its twists and turns, a likable family thrust into danger, this page-turner will keep you up late into the night.

It’s up to the Woods family. Some fates are worse than death. Is it too late to save their town… and each other?

Expected publication July 7th 2023.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚A Ghost Story Set In The Lake District. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of Kindred Spirits by Eva Barker @bookmousetweets #GhostStory #Paranormal

Kindred Spirits: a ghost storyKindred Spirits: a ghost story by Eva Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindred Spirits is a contemporary ghost story set in the Lake District.

Grace has left her long-term boyfriend after confirming her suspicions that he was being unfaithful. Taking advice from a friend she rents a cottage for the summer, hoping to spend time sorting out her feelings and her future.

Living in the cottage next to Grace is widower Danny. Throw into the mix the fact that Grace can communicate with ghosts, and a complicated story unravels.

I liked the ghostly element of this story and there were some great secondary characters. The story bounced back and forth between Grace, before and after her move, and Danny’s point of view.

At first I thought that this would be a simple story with Grace helping Danny come to terms with his loss, but the story headed into a complex twist involving friends and relationships. There were plenty of surprises to keep the story interesting and by the end I was particularly invested in the outcome.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Grace Tapp can see ghosts. (Although she doesn’t particularly want to talk about it.)

When her relationship ends on the worst possible terms, Grace flees her boyfriend and arrives in the Lake District determined to have an uneventful summer. Her new home is calm and picturesque, just what she wanted, but looks can be deceiving…

Next door, single parent Danny is reeling from his beloved wife’s death, struggling to come to terms with the secrets she took to the grave. He knows something truly awful must have happened if she felt she couldn’t confide in him – but he can’t imagine what on earth it could be.

As Grace gets to know Danny, it becomes clear there are dark secrets hidden in this seemingly idyllic village. And, whether she likes it or not, her talent for communicating with the dead puts her in a unique position to uncover the truth.

Grace becomes obsessed with piecing together what really happened – and she must work quickly, because when her past threatens to catch up with her, she’ll need to know whom among her new friends she can trust, and whom she most certainly can’t.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS


📚’New Orleans has a rich and bloody history’. @AlisonW_Editor reviews Ash Tuesday by @AriadneBlayde for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Alison.

Alison blogs here https://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team
Book cover from Ash Tuesday by Ariadne Blayde set against a picture of a Mardi Gras mask from a free photo from Pixabay.
Ash Tuesday by Ariadne Blayde

New Orleans has a rich and bloody history, so it’s hardly surprising that its streets and buildings should be full of ghosts. And the author of ‘Ash Tuesday’ has found a wonderful way of telling those stories, along with the stories of an eclectic cast of characters, the ghost tour guides of Spirits of Yore.

It is Mardi Gras, and the city is full of tourists. We follow each of the guides as they give their tours, and then stay with them, learning about their lives, their struggles, their hopes, loves, dreams and pasts. And watching over it all is Kat, whose story is saved for the bittersweet ending.

This is one of the most beautifully crafted books I’ve read, every page, every paragraph a pleasure to read. I didn’t know much about New Orleans, but now I feel as though I know it well, and can see it so clearly from the author’s evocative descriptions – descriptions that never interfere with the narrative but provide a clear sense of time and place, conveying the atmosphere of chilly, eerie nights and bright carnival parades with equal skill.

The characters are brought to life with love and honesty. I adored Veda, and lovely Max, and wished so much for the other guides to understand Angela a bit more. The interactions between them all felt so real.

This is a book that will appeal not just to those who enjoy a good ghost story (although there are plenty of those), or those who are interested in history or in New Orleans. Because this is a novel that is fundamentally about people, their faults and their flaws, their mistakes and their victories, their love (and sometimes their hatred) for each other, and the ways in which we can let the past, and the people in the past, break us, or we can find our own ways forward, with people who love us for who we are.

A wonderful book.

Five stars

Orange rose book description
Book description

In New Orleans, the dead talk and the living listen. 

Giving ghost tours on the decaying streets of the French Quarter isn’t exactly a high-profile career, but the guides at Spirits of Yore Haunted Tours are too strange and troubled to do anything else. They call themselves Quarter Rats, a group of outcasts and dreamers and goths who gather in hole-in-the-wall bars to bicker, spin yarns, and search for belonging in the wee hours of the night after the tourists have staggered home. 

Through the ghost stories they tell, their own haunted lives come into focus. Like the city they call home, these tour guides are messy with contradiction: they suffer joyfully, live morbidly, and sin to find salvation. 

Weaving together real New Orleans folklore with the lives of eleven unforgettably vibrant characters, Ash Tuesday is a love letter to America’s last true bohemia and the people, both dead and living, who keep its heart beating. With her debut, Blayde has carved out a deep and uber-readable interpretation of what it means to live, love, and grieve in New Orleans.

“There’s something about New Orleans. Maybe you can trace it to Latin America or the Caribbean or maybe not, maybe you can’t define it at all. The divine? The diabolical? I don’t know what to call it. But there’s magic, here.” 

AmazonUk | AmazonUS

Rosie’s #Bookreview Of Paranormal #Mystery SOUTHERN SPIRITS (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #1) by @AngieFoxauthor

Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #1)Southern Spirits by Angie Fox

4 stars

Southern Spirits is book one of the Southern Ghost Hunter series of cosy mysteries.

Verity Long has been forced to sell almost everything she owns after she walked out on her cheating fiancé. It’s just Verity and her pet skunk until she mistakenly tries to empty an ugly old vase, which turns out to contain the ashes of one deceased.  After she’s thrown him into her roses, he makes his disgruntled presence known.

Frankie was a gangster before he died and after some coaxing has an idea about where Verity can lay her hands on urgently needed money which might save her home, but it means going into a haunted house. Frankie and Verity work together successfully across the spiritual planes, which then leads them onto a second haunted venue, but the danger level is almost more than they can handle.

This was a fun read, I like cosy ghost stories like this with just a sprinkling of fright rather than full blown horror. There’s also a possible romantic story thread, so it ticks more boxes for me. Ideal for those who enjoy books set in the southern states of the US or a light paranormal mystery.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she’s saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick—she gains the ability to see spirits. It leads to an offer she can’t refuse from the town’s bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with.

Ellis Wydell is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee’s finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless—and destructive. He hires Verity put an end to the disturbances. But soon Verity learns there’s more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms.

There’s a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn’t above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?

AmazonUk | AmazonUS Free on kindle at time of posting.