Category: Paranormal Mystery

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell

Posted August 19, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Dogs, Ghosts, Guest Post, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Urban / 0 Comments

A Ghostly Light by Juliet BlackwellA Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell
Published by Berkley on June 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 330
Format: Kindle
five-stars

In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Give Up the Ghost, it will take a beacon of ghostly intervention to guide contractor Mel Turner to the truth... Dangerous tides ahead...  When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.   But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit...

This lighthouse holds more than just light.

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell this is one of my favorite series. I truly love the mix of history, home renovation, paranormal, mystery and the quirkiness of San Francisco and the bay area.

The world that Ms. Blackwell has created by mixing fact and fiction is so believable. Honestly, I would like to hire Turner Construction just to be a little part of this world.

I really think that Mel is shining in this addition. It’s nice to see her with her new man Landon. She is so happy. She still has things to work on (such as her recent fear of heights0 but don’t we all. She is finally working through all of her jobs: ghost, construction or murder. Landon is extremely supportive. It’s so sweet.

Mel has two mysteries to solve: the recent murder that her friend has been accused of and the mystery of the lighthouse ghost. Ms. Blackwell does such a great job keeping the whole thing moving through the past, present and glimpses of the future.

I adored the lighthouse history that was included with the story. The treasure maps were so thoughtful. What a wonderful way to teach and entertain your child, so much better than handing them a cellphone to play with.

I found this quote online and thought it was such a great fit for this story. “Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” ~E.P. Whipple

My rating is 5 stars, of course. If you haven’t read the other books you should try the first book in the series, Home Renovation or you can just start with this one. I guarantee you will want more. Mel and her entourage are worth your time.

**A Ghostly Light**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Give up the Ghost gp

Posted August 18, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Supernatural / 0 Comments

Give up the Ghost gpGive Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell
Published by NAL on December 1st 2015
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle
five-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Keeper of the Castle, San Francisco contractor and ghost whisperer Mel Turner must solve a murder mystery at a haunted mansion in the Pacific Heights...
San Francisco millionaire Andrew Stirling wants to sell his Victorian mansion, but ghostly music, the squeaking of a long-disappeared weathervane, and an angry ghost keep running off potential buyers. After a famous psychic is called in, she informs the Stirlings that their multi-million-dollar renovations to “update” the home have left its resident ghost extremely agitated. So contractor Mel Turner is engaged to track down and replace some of the original features of the house. 
But when the beautiful psychic is found stabbed, it appears someone had a very human motive for murder. Now Mel must use her ghost whispering gift to uncover the secrets of the haunted house on the hill, and her sleuthing skills to catch a killer.

Completely Spectacular!

Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell. I love this series. The cast of characters, the history, ghosts and of course the bay area. Juliet Blackwell nails the whole package together.

Mel Turner is wonderful, eccentric and knowledgeable. She has such a great personality. I loved the way she does what she wants to do. Only in San Francisco could a general contractor be a woman who shows up for work in sequins dresses and occasional feathers with steel toed work boots. It is great how she jumps in and gets the job done, whether it is helping a ghost, taking a wall down or putting in a window. She is so like her father. I like that she restores the homes instead of tearing them down or apart. She is like a ghost talking Rehab Addict.

In this addition to the series, Mel takes on a new project that starts out as one of her ghost helping clients, so murder is soon involved. Mel keeps asking questions until motives start to surface. We meet some new characters and some of the old return. Mel is different in this book, she doesn’t talk about running away to Paris, and she seems more accepting of her life as it is. Mel’s definitely fitting in her own skin now. Although she is still a workaholic, she seems to finally be over the ex and has an understanding of what she wants. Her Dad is sort of accepting of her ghost helping in the volume. Mel seems happy.

She has quite a collection of ghosts to assist this time. There is one ghost who cleans the kitchen when it is messy. Honestly, I think I would learn to get along with that ghost. In this book more so then before she has to jump through the living hoops to assist the ghosts. Mel meets the murder victims’ family, however this time she feels an unexpected pull towards the brother of the victim. Mel isn’t sure if she can trust her feelings as she doesn’t seem to know what she is doing with regards to this gentleman and her boyfriend is out of town (again) on business.

I think that Ms. Blackwell has created such a great world of rich characters and history. She makes it so easy to follow and has creative plots. I am giving this 5 Stars and completely recommended it. Such a wonderful cozy mystery.

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

 

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five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Better Homes and Hauntings

Posted September 4, 2016 by karenbaron in Audiobook, Ghosts, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Review, Supernatural / 0 Comments

Better Homes and HauntingsBetter Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
Published by Pocket Books on June 24th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 318
Format: Kindle
four-stars

Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first!
When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”
But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.
But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

My Thoughts:                    Spooky, funny, witty, supernatural mystery with a touch of love.

I really enjoyed this audio book. The story is wonderful. I loved the nerdy comments, the film references, and the witty conversations. The hauntings added just the right amount of spookiness.

Deacon is an unusual hero. He has the background of old money and yet the money he uses to rebuild the family home is from money that he has made himself in the tech world. I love that Deacon was extremely comfortable in his own skin, even though others didn’t agree with his decisions. He has an eclectic taste in movies and is a self-proclaimed Si-Fi nerd. Deacon has a way of making things fun even when it is serious. However, Deacon doesn’t believe in the hauntings at first but he goes along with the others.

Nina is a great character. She starts out meek and afraid of her own shadow, who unfolds much like her beloved flowers. It just took friendship, love, and acceptance for her to bloom. She is extremely talented in landscape design. The indoor room that she creates is so easy to picture. I loved the ideas that Nina has for the gardens and the interior. She loves to dig and design but she truly has a heart of gold. Nina is highly sensitive to the hauntings on the island, it made me think that she was the one related to the ghosts.

The supporting cast is great too. They all make a wonderful team. Jake and Cindy with their little romance of sorts, along with Dottie and the others all fit together wonderfully with a comedic attitude toward finding the cause of the haunting. The way they each deal with the supernatural haunting on the island adds a real belief to the story. They form this wonderful family unit. It is extremely nice the way that they protect, support and work together.

The narrator, Amanda Ronconi does a wonderful job. She has a way of playing off the suspense in the story and the voices that she uses to add a warmth to the story are lovely.

This was the first book that I have read (heard) by Molly Harper, I truly enjoyed it and will be looking up some of her other books. The pop culture references and snarkiness is the best. My rating is 5 stars.

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

**Where to find this book**

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four-stars

About Molly Harper

About the Author:

Her Tagline: Snarky Romance with Bite

“My mother remembers an 8-year-old me setting up my “writing office” in our living room by putting her old manual typewriter on the couch next to a toy phone. And I (very slowly) pecked out the story of my third-grade class taking a trip around the world and losing a kid in each city.

I had a dark sense of humor, even then.

In high school, when other girls my age were writing poems about dying unicorns and bleeding roses, I was writing essays about having political arguments with my dad at the dinner table. (Whoever made the other person laugh at their own political party won the argument.) I knew I wanted to write when I grew up, but I also knew there was very little chance I could make a living writing books, so I went for the next best thing – newspaper writing.

I majored in print journalism at Western Kentucky University and used my shiny new degree to get a job at my hometown newspaper. I married my high school sweetheart, David, a local police officer. And for six years, I wrote about school board meetings, quilt shows, a man “losing” the fully grown bear he kept as a pet in his basement, and a guy who faked his death by shark attack in Florida and ended up tossing pies at a local pizzeria.

I loved my job at the paper. I loved meeting new people every day and never knowing where I would end up. But somehow, the ever-shifting schedules of a police officer and a reporter did not equal “family friendly.” One of us needed to take a normal job for the sake of our young daughter. I took a secretarial position at a local church office, which left me with dependably free evenings for the first time in my adult life. David was working the night shift that summer and I was losing-my-mind. We were living in “The Apartment of Lost Souls” while building our new home. This was the place where appliances and small electronics went to die. Every night I would tuck our snoozing child into bed and wait for the washing machine to start smoking or the computer to suddenly flash the “blue screen of death.” Then there was the plague of frogs in the bathroom that put our daughter of potty-training for about six months. “ ~to see the rest visit her author page on Goodreads (just follow the link below).


Catastrophe

Posted July 12, 2016 by karenbaron in Angels, Demons, Dragon Shifters, Elves, Fairies, Fantasy, Jinn, Magic, Paranormal, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal People, Review, Sekhmet, Series, Supernatural, Vampires, Witches / 0 Comments

CatastropheCatastrophe by Liz Schulte
Series: Sekhmet #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Smashwords Edition on December 15th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: Kindle
five-stars

I have learned a few things in my life. If you can’t wear clean underwear, don’t wear any at all. Never trust a vampire. Secret ruling councils should generally be avoided. Finally, and this is the most important, very few people are ever what they seem.However, it wasn’t always easy to live by these rules. Like, when said secret ruling council demanded my appearance and then did the worst thing they could possible do and inflamed my curiosity. Asking me to go to New Orleans to investigate a series of werewolf attacks, I couldn’t possibly say no to that.The first problem was werewolves had been eliminated from the Abyss so it was impossible that they were killing anyone. The second fiasco was that more vampires were in this city than ever before, including the one who was intent on ruining my life. And the third complication was I couldn’t tell anyone else about my mission or I would forfeit my freedom to the council.Some missions are easy. Others are a Catastrophe.

My Thoughts:         Curiosity may not kill the cat but…

First I must say that even though this is the first part of the Sekhmet Series, it is a spin off from the world of Liz Schulte. I like that Ms. Schulte doesn’t rehash the previous books and disrupt the story of this one. I have read her other books and thoroughly enjoy the world that she has created.

Femi is a wonderful character, she has depth, backbone, insecurities and attitude issues. She likes to know the “why” of each bounty not just how it is done. Femi does have a serious commitment issues. I am not sure if it is just a Sekhmet thing or just that she is afraid to lose someone she cares deeply for or she just hasn’t found that special person. Everyone has their own inner demons and reasons for being who they are. Femi is a warrior with tons of emotion and she cares way more than a Sekhmet should. Sekhmet are neutral in nature, but Femi has a hard time not helping the underdog/little guy.

Femi is extremely curious about the Abyss council. When they assign her a bounty in New Orleans, (ok they actually gloated her into taking the job). You know the ole’ greater good angle, either way Femi won’t back down and she can’t have unanswered questions if at all possible. Whenever the greater good plays in there is always a catastrophe on the horizon.

As for the Liz Schulte’s world of the Abyss, I love it. You have the humans who don’t see the other creatures walking among them, and you have the Abyss creatures. The Abyss creatures are wonderful and as with humans some are good, some are bad, and some are a little of both.

I think I truly like the mysteries that Ms. Schulte uses in each story, she keeps me guessing and manages to toss in that little bit to make me question if the one I picked is the bad guy (or should I say main bad guy). You really never know how many angles are being played until the story plays out. However, I like the way she wraps it up, with a kind of happy ending.

She also has that little bit of romance that keeps you coming back. As for Femi and Sy, I like the flirting and the way they protect each other, but I hope that there is a person that is truly for Femi. Someone who will compliment her and become the partner that she truly needs. If Sy is this person than that is great if not, I can’t wait to see who or what Ms. Schulte can imagine.

So, if you haven’t already read Liz Schulte’s Easy Bake Coven series, The Guardian Trilogy, or The Jinn Trilogy, you might want to look into these. She also has a few short stories that go with her world of the Abyss. My rating is 5 stars.

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

 **Where to find this book**

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five-stars

Vampire’s Fake Fiancée

Posted March 13, 2016 by karenbaron in Cats, Fairies, Gargoyles, Ghosts, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Review, Series, Shape Shifters, Supernatural, Urban, Valkyrie, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches / 0 Comments

Vampire’s Fake FiancéeThe Vampire’s Fake Fiancée by Kristen Painter
Series: Nocturne Falls #5
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Sugar Skull Books on January 11th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town where Halloween is celebrated 365 days a year. The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.
Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.
Sebastian Ellingham isn’t known for being a happy vampire. And when his long estranged wife comes to town expecting to pick up where they left off, things take a sharp turn toward cranky. Sure he’s been protecting her for centuries, but her assumption that he’s still available (he is) rankles.
His answer is to hire a woman to play his fiancée. The lucky victim is Tessa Blythe, sister of one of the town’s deputies, librarian in need of a job and, oh yes, reluctant Valkyrie. Playing along with Sebastian is all about the end game for her, the position of Dean of Library Studies at the local private academy.
When unexpected sparks fly between them, they agree to mutually deny the attraction. Fate, however, has other plans…

My Thoughts:         Love heals all wounds, even century old ones!

Sebastian Ellingham is the oldest of the three Ellingham Vampire Brothers. He is the recluse, stuffy, uptight and very lonely one. Some may even say he was untouchable, but then most don’t know him as he truly won’t allow anyone to get close to him.

Tessa Blythe older sister of the town’s deputy and Valkyrie. She has also lost her way in the world, set aside her heritage and found a different way to deal with the anger and the past. She is described as a mouse by many and allows it as a matter of fact.

Evangeline is a spoiled, self-serving, conniving, horrible Vampire. She wants what she wants and wants it now. She doesn’t care about the cost of the other person. She is as ugly on the inside as she is beautiful on the outside. Evangeline returns to Sebastian for reasons of her own, but it is clear they are for something and clearly not to reunite with Sebastian. She makes Sebastian lie and bring about the rouse of the engagement to save face in front of Evangeline.

Tessa isn’t keen on the act but understand and feels she should help protect Sebastian’s good name and wellbeing from being entangled with Evangeline again. Tessa and Sebastian are sweet together. They realize that they have much in common and start to enjoy each of others company. They are like kindred spirits. She helps him and he helps her. Evangeline never had a chance against love.

I truly love happy endings. I feel that a few things could have been wrapped up nicer, but I still adored the ending of the book. I like the combination of supernatural, lore, love, family, good vs evil that you find in Ms. Painter’s writings. She really has sucked me into this lovely world. If I could move to Nocturne Falls I would gladly drink the water and enjoy the wonder of living in a town that celebrates Halloween 365 days of the year.

My rating is 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoy reading these wonderful stories, filled with outstanding characters, funny, romantic and family-oriented plots. I love the series and highly recommend it, however not necessary, you’ll want to start with the first on The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, if you haven’t already.

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

**Where to find this book**

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five-stars

About Kristen Painter

About the Author:

Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsessions with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The former college English teacher can often be found on the social media links below where she loves to interact with readers.