Genre: Paranormal

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.


Jonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan by Michael Lingaard

Posted August 16, 2017 by karenbaron in Adventure, Elves, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Paranormal People, Review, Supernatural, Time Travel, Witches / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Jonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan by Michael LingaardJonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan by Michael Lingaard
Published by Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC on November 24, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 663
Format: Paperback
five-stars

Twelve thousand years ago, the fabled island of Aztlan, in a cataclysmic event, disappeared beneath the sea, taking with it all the island's mysteries, which were lost forever. Or were they?

Bloodlines lived on, passed on through Aztlan's survivors. These bloodlines included powerful priests and priestesses, who controlled almost mythical powers through the magic of Greater and Lesser crystals.

In modern day England, 16-year-old Jonathon Goode and his cousin, Elizabeth Waterhouse, are told by a fairground fortune teller that they will meet an elf in an emporium where magic is bought and sold. It comes to pass.

The elf gives Jonathon an Everywhere Key, opening a doorway to a realm between realities. Three Muses of magic in the realm are convinced that Elizabeth is the heir to an ancient bloodline of Priestesses, and believe she has the power to control a Lesser crystal.

They were wrong. Elizabeth does have a magic power, but it is the power of a biomorph. Elizabeth is a shape-shifter.

It is Jonathon who has the true power.

The Muses tell a tale of a crystal that is no longer lost and is being use for evil. They want Jonathon and Elizabeth to find it and return it to them. But the crystal is in another reality, one they can access through the Everywhere Key. They end up in the land of Thallos, where the survivors of Aztlan fled when their island home was submerged. But Thallos is also the home of Great Worms, dwarves, trolls, and magicians.

My take on this story:             Jonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan by Michael Lingaard is really a great book. Despite some things that were a bit weird this book is definitely one that I can see myself rereading in the future.

What first caught me about this book is the wonderful plot it made me think about Atlantis since Aztlan sounded a little bit like Atlantis from the plot. I am so grateful that I did read it as it is such a great book. I like how Mr. Lingaard created a bit of three worlds and together into this book. I especially like the way he had the magic aspect of the book. I also liked how we followed more than one character throughout the book. I really liked that it actually made sense to do that. I also like despite the differences between Earth and the other two worlds the characters are all becoming friends with each other. The people from Earth try to help one of the worlds out even more than what they are supposed to do.

There were somethings I disliked about the book and the biggest one happened to be no chapters in the book. So, for someone, like me, who likes to read to the next chapter can’t exactly do that in this book. Instead I read from one set of bold words to the next. There were also some words missing but my brain was able to put the words in which is good and didn’t take me out of my story. That happens sometimes and I hate it when a story does that to you.

Another thing I liked about the book are the references to some past history thrown in. That history helped the protagonist a lot. Each of the characters are so well-crafted that I am glad to have read this book and created a lot of new friends.

I am giving this book a five-star rating because it is that good. Though I am sure by now my mom is tired of me talking about this book. I just can’t help it! Jonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan by Michael Lingaard is definitely a book good enough for both young adults and adults’ a like. The ending also left it open for a sequel or for us to just contemplate about Jonathon, Elizabeth, and everyone else’s lives now. I will definitely say more of the second option though.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

** Jonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan **

Goodreads

five-stars

About Michael Lingaard

Taken from the author’s website:

English born, New Zealand raised and Australia domiciled is the short answer to where I come from. Travel does that, you skip the bits in between in case people think you’re going to bring out the photographs.

New Zealand was where I grew up and finished my education. Then it was into engineering and getting on with things. It was also where I first began to read sci-fi.

Years and much traveling later, I’m in Australia working as a senior construction estimator when I decided that I was going to write a sci-fi novel. So I designed my universe along with appropriate technology and characters and diligently scribbled everything down over many, many, many late nights. Then I carefully put my story away for a while until I’d finished rebuilding the house. Then along came the kids. And a different house…

… twenty years later I finally got down to serious writing. Three hundred thousand words; first part of a trilogy; great story; great technology. Sure fire winner, right? ( those out there sniggering… this was my first book and I knew nothing ) Three re-writes and many bruises later I realized I needed something different. The ego had gone and I could look at things objectively.

From my now-uncluttered mind up popped the concept of the Mirror Worlds and I went from there. It was fun to write. I wanted to make magic believable, as if it could really be explained. I hope I’ve succeeded.

We’ll see.


Beyond Death by Deb McEwan

Posted August 6, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Death, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond Death by Deb McEwanBeyond Death (Afterlife, #1) by Deb McEwan
Published by Createspace on June 18th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 190
Format: ebook
four-stars

A DEAD WOMAN'S STORY
“With so many supernatural tales on the shelves it’s hard to find something genuinely original yet Beyond Death fits the description well, with author Deb McEwan bringing a distinctive new voice to this ever popular genre.” Book Viral
What really happens when we die? Twenty-something Claire Sylvester is about to find out. The morning after the best night of her life she is taken before her time.
Claire is suspended in her strange new world. She watches as the secret lives of those she loves unravels, and sadistic villains are punished on the road to their own personal hell.
All the while a higher authority ponders her ultimate fate.
More than Claire knows depends on her actions and those of the unlikely partner who accompanied her on her journey.
What will be her final destination?
Beyond Death - a supernatural thriller of love and loss, deceit and revenge, with a little romance and humour.

My take on this book:              Beyond Death by Deb McEwan is a pretty interesting read. What first caught my interest is the plot then the book cover. The plot was well-crafted and made me interested in reading the book. Since this book isn’t what I normally read and everyone who knows me and has read this blog knows that. I do know that this is bad to say but I also sometimes judge a book by its cover but not all the time. Anyways I’m giving this book a four-star rating because it did keep me entertained but it did have something keeping it from being five stars.

One of those things is how the first act seemed a bit choppy especially with introducing so many characters at first in the beginning and then not seeing them again until the middle act. She did have a lot of subplots going on and she did finish them all up which is a good thing. Ms. McEwan is a pretty good author and a bit of the book seemed like it still needed some work to truly be a good book. What I mean by that like she could have gone back to reread it and make sure that it flowed nicely with the rest of the book.

All the character in the book were very well developed and I liked them all. Even the ones that are evil because of how well developed they all are. I especially liked the transformations of Claire, Ken, and Ron. Claire because she did it the most. She died at a young age and has to go through with the fact that she isn’t alive anymore and that she needs to let go and forgive the people that she loves down on Earth. Ken also did the most as well. He was first introduced as a bad guy and then he died. He has been going through more of a tough time than Claire and Ron ever did since dying and he is hoping to redeem himself. Ron kind of did as well. The reason for that is because he is also trying to learn to let go and forgive the people that he loves down on Earth while trying to figure out if he should do a hard thing at the end of the book.

I do recommend this book to my more adult readers of this blog if they are interested in this book. Beyond Death is a good book and I am glad that the author contacted me to read it. I am also at this moment unsure if I will be reading the rest of this series.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

four-stars

About Deb McEwan

Following a career of over thirty years in the British Army, Deb and her husband moved to Cyprus to become weather refugees.

She’s written children’s books about Jason the penguin and Barry the reindeer and adult books about aliens, the afterlife, soldiers, and netball players.
The first book in the latest series ‘Unlikely Soldiers’ is set in nineteen seventies Britain. The second covers the early eighties and includes the Falklands War, service in Northern Ireland and (the former) West Germany. ‘Friends and Revenge’ is the third in the series, and takes a sinister turn of events.

‘Court Out (A Netball Girls’ Drama)’ is Deb’s latest book. Using netball as an escape from her miserable home life, Marsha Lawson is desperate to keep the past buried and to forge a brighter future. But she’s not the only one with secrets. When two players want revenge, a Tsunami of emotions is released at a tournament leaving destruction in its wake. As the wave starts spreading throughout the team, can Marsha and the others escape its deadly grasp, or will their emotional baggage pull them under, with devastating consequences for their families and team-mates? ‘Court Out’ will be published in August 2017.

Deb spends her time writing, avoiding housework and playing tour guide. She occasionally blogs about her books and (tongue in cheek) from Donut the dog’s point of view. She also tries – and mostly fails – to keep the pounds off.


The Vampire’s True Love Trials

Posted May 31, 2017 by karenbaron in Berserkers, Cats, Magic, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Supernatural, Valkyrie, Vampires / 0 Comments

The Vampire’s True Love TrialsThe Vampire's True Love Trials by Kristen Painter
Series: Nocturne Falls, #6.5
on 1/14/2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 55
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 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 in town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

Vampire Sebastian Ellingham wants one thing: to marry Tessa Blythe, the Valkyrie he’s fallen madly in love with. So meeting her parents seems like the natural thing to do. He’s even looking forward to it, until he discovers they’ve already found her a husband. Now the only way to keep Tessa in his life is to complete a series of tests meant for a very different kind of supernatural. And failing means losing her forever.

Proof that they are a team in love.

This novella The Vampire’s True Love Trials picks up the love story of Sebastian and Tessa. They have just finished testifying and the Vampire Council regarding Sebastian’s ex-wife, Evangeline. If you want to know more about that check out The Vampire’s Fake Fiancée.

Sebastian and Tessa are planning to stay in Europe for a short vacation when Tessa’s parents call. Now they are off to meet her parents in Paris. Tessa is nervous and Sebastian knows that this is important for their relationship. So, he is fine with it.

I have always loved the confidence that Sebastian puts out there. He seems like the perfect guy to bring home to meet Mom and Dad, except for the fang part. However, if your parents are a Berserker and Valkyrie maybe bringing a vampire home isn’t the easiest thing. Tessa just wants her parents to approve of Sebastian and her together.

Den is Tessa’s Dad and he is huge, just as you would think a Berserker would be. Den is a mixture of the traditional and the historical worlds. He seems like your typical over-protective father to me, with lots of grunting and super tight hand shaking.

Magna is Tessa’s Mom and she is a Valkyrie. She seems to love her daughters and really want them to be happy. I like Magna, she seemed sweet and yet has that don’t mess with me vibe. She is more compromising than Den but still believes that Sebastian needs to prove himself especially since Tessa didn’t tell them about him.

The True Love Trials are there for the Berserker to prove his ability to take care of and cherish the Valkyrie that he wants. Since Sebastian is a vampire, the trails don’t work in the same way. Or do they? I thought that the spark between Sebastian and Tessa worked great with this story, and we got to see how important the two have become to each other.

At the end, we find that Delaney has had her baby as Sebastian and Tessa stop by to visit at the hospital. I won’t spoil it, you will have to read it yourself to find out if the baby is a boy or girl.

My rating is 5 stars. I love this short story as much as the rest of the series. Kristin Painter has created a wonderful world full of exciting characters. I highly recommend this series, Nocturne Falls to all who read paranormal romance.

**Where to find The Vampire’s True Love Trials**

** 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 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.