Tag Archives: Ghosts

Books I’ve Recently Read

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently. (And yes, some of them I should have read a long time ago.)

I can’t tell you how long I waited to read this sequel to Caraval! Okay, I waited as long as everyone else had to, but after enjoying the first book in the series, I wanted more right then! And needless to say, Stephanie Garber did not disappoint with this mesmerizing tale filled with magic. Another game of Caraval must be played, avoiding a murderous heir to the throne. And there are people trapped in playing cards! Freaky! But do you finally find out who Legend really is? Well, I won’t spoil it, you’ll have to read Legendary for yourself!

The Dead Key by [Pulley, D. M.]

The Dead Key BY D. M. Pulley was a BookBub deal I decided to buy. I don’t normally read thrillers like this, but I was hoping I’d run into a ghost. (I’m not gonna tell if I did.) The author wove an interesting tale with flashbacks from 1998 to present day. Here are parts of the Blub that got me interested with the story of Iris, whom was doing a renovation study of the Cleveland Bank:

Amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland’s largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees, and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault’s safe-deposit boxes were lost. And then later in the blurb: With each haunting revelation, Iris follows the looming shadow of the past deeper into the vault—and soon realizes that the key to the mystery comes at an astonishing price.

The Witch's Boy by [Barnhill, Kelly]

The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill had healing witches, talking stones, bandits, and a boy carrying around the soul of his dead twin brother. I couldn’t wait to read the story of Ned to see how he got on with his life as he helps protect magic that bandits want to steal. A fantastic read!

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by [Black, Holly]
I have been a fan of author Holly Black for a while, so it’s no surprise I finally picked up her book The Coldest Girl In Cold TownJust look at that cover, it intrigued me from the start! The blurb sums it best: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black. So, if you LOVE stories about vampires, this is for you!

The False Prince (Ascendance Trilogy Book 1) by [Nielsen, Jennifer A.]

What would you do if someone forced you to fake being the Prince? What fun that’d be, you say? Well, what if that person said you’d die if you didn’t, so now you can’t flub anything up! Too much pressure, right? The False Prince by Jennifer A. Neilsen is full of tension, adventure, lies, and deadly truths that will keep you turning the page! I definitely recommend!

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by [Hahn, Mary Downing]

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn was made into a movie a few years ago (which I haven’t watched yet), so I decided I’d give it a whirl. Here is the blurb:

Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she’s made Molly and Michael’s life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that’s not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can’t get any worse.

But they do—when Helen comes. (Oooo, that sealed the deal for me!)

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by [Hahn, Mary Downing]

Is it no wonder I decided to try another Mary Downing Hahn story, Deep and Dark and Dangerous? After all, If I’m going to write ghost stories, I need to read ghost stories! I’ve decided that the author has a thing with bullies, which at times made this story unlikeable. But I had to know about the girl, the one missing from the photo. “Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. She knows the two children in it are her mother, Claire, and her aunt Dulcie. But who’s the third person, the one who’s been torn out of the picture? ” Could she possibly be the girl named Teresa who drowned under mysterious circumstances, and her body was never found? You’ll have to read to find out.

The Apprentice Witch by [Nicol, James]

As Library Journal put it, there are shades of J.K. Rowling in this story! The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol begins with Arianwyn failing her witch’s assessment and is thrust to a town called Lull to work as an apprentice for six months, then retake her assessment. Of course, she’s worried she’ll fail again, but has more troubles than the test to worry about as she encounters a dangerous infestation of hexes, banished spirits, forest creatures, and her arched-rival showing up.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel by [Bradley, Alan]

When I read The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley, I didn’t realize I was reading the 6th book of a nine book series. The story read as a standalone, so if you haven’t read the others, no worries! Though most of the narration felt old school, it was fitting considering the setting was 1951 and during the time of Winston Churchill. Flavia de Luce’s mother had been missing for ten years, but her body had recently been found in a glacier and returned home for burial. And I got delighted when Flavia gets a wild idea to resurrect her mother through some brilliant science research she reads about. (I love that she’s a science geek!) But the story is mostly about her following a trail of clues to discover who murdered her mother. An interesting tale, with some big words. LoL. Totally loved it!

What? You want to know if she resurrected her mother? Puh-lease! You know I’m not gonna tell!

See the source image

And there you have my current list of books. Hope you find one to put on your TBR. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

 

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Books I’ve Recently Read

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. (And yes, some of them I should have read a long time ago.)

Snow Like Ashes

NOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch. I loved this tale because instead of starting in a world of people showing of their magic, it started with only eight survivors (Winterians) whom had lost there magic (actually they had it stolen). This story is full of dangers and evil politics, and a bit of romance. I think readers of FROST BLOOD will enjoy this

The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy Book 1) The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy Book 2)

THE DELPHI EFFECT and it’s sequel THE DELPHI RESISTANCE by Rysa Walker. It’s no secret I love a story with ghosts involved, but then add magical powers, secret governments, and kids on the run…I’m in! The character Anna, picks ghosts up by simply touching something the spirit has clung to. Then they journey within her until they feel they’ve completed something, but bits of them stay with her after they’ve gone, which is really cool. For example, wouldn’t you love just to suddenly know how to play a piano without ever taking a lesson? There is a third book in this series and I can’t wait to get to it.

King's Cage (Red Queen)

KING’S CAGE by Victoria Aveyard. This is the third book in the RED QUEEN series. And y’all know I’ve already read the first two books. Mare Barrow’s journey continues after discovering new bloods and the war wages on between red bloods and silver bloods. In this story she is prisoner of the boy she once loved and stripped of her magic. I couldn’t wait to see how the story would end and how she’d regain her magic. One thing that has intrigued me throughout the series are the various types of magic in this series, I’m so in love! And lucky for me, the fourth installment came out last month, which means I get to read more about Mare Barrow!

Rise of the Empress (2 Book Series)

FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie C. Dao. The story of Xifeng destined to become empress had me WOW’d when I realized the story was darker than I had thought. Her aunt is a witch who has taught her magic, but until she finds herself in the company of the Empress and Emperor does she discover how callous she can be. I’ve never wanted to root for someone who is good and so bad at the same time! I’m crying because I have to wait for the sequel to come out this November. I want it NOW!

The Amulet of Samarkand: A Bartimaeus Novel, Book 1

THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND by Jonathan Stroud. I am a fan of a few of Jonathan Stroud’s LOCKWOOD & CO. series books, so I thought I’d give this a try. The author had me laughing out loud at times. Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice, but his master seems to be a bit daft. Then Nathaniel gets humiliated by other magicians and his master does absolutely nothing to protect him. So Nathaniel summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus, to help him get revenge. Seriously, this is a funny and magical read for kids and adults both.

Off to Be the Wizard [Kindle in Motion] (Magic 2.0 Book 1)

OFF TO BE THE WIZARD by Scott Meyer. What would you do if you found out that a computer program controlled everything you and everyone in the entire world did? Become a wizard, of course! This is another story that had me in stitches! Martin discovers a program that controls what he does, where he is, “when” he is, and how to get there, but it gets him in trouble with the cops, so he does what anyone else would do, he goes back in time and discovers someone thinks he’s Merlin (or rather, is imitating Merlin). But thankfully, Martin finds a wizard who is willing to make him an apprentice. Just know the computer has everything to do with why he’s a wizard. So miscalculate some codes and you’ll appear to hover above the floor instead of standing on the floor. There is so much funny in this story, you have to read it!

The Outsider: A Novel

THE OUSIDER by Stephen King. Okay, I have to admit that this was really, really, really, hard for me to read. I couldn’t stomach the way the young boy died. I put the book down, but would pick it back up again later. I’d put it down, then back up, and so forth, and so forth. What kept me going was my curiosity of how Mr. King would resolve the issue of the murder suspect being in two places at once, and the need to see the true murderer–an evil of no human being–be killed. But reading this story reminds me why I like to read middle grade and young adult novels, the brutality may be insinuated most times, but isn’t described in detail. (I don’t need details, not when it comes to kids being murdered.) So, read at your own risk. You have been warned!

Grayling's Song

GRAYLING’S SONG by Karen Cushman. Well now, when I read the blurb about people turning into trees, I HAD to read to find out how different it might be from a manuscript I wrote regarding the same issue. I’m was thrilled to find a huge difference, so I won’t have to shelf my story! Grayling must find who has stolen her mother’s grimoire and prevent her from turning completely into a tree. Along her journey she finds other witches are turning into shrubbery and their grimoires gone too. She picks up a few unlikely witches to help her along the way. This was an easy read and quick read. I not only enjoyed it but I found myself a new comp title. Woo-hoo!

And there you have my current list of books. Hope you find one to put on your TBR. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Books I’ve Recently Read And Enjoyed

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. And although Halloween has passed, I’m still in the mood for a good MG or YA ghost story, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase

LOCKWOOD & CO. THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE: (Jonathan Stroud) I listened to the audio book of this, which had an older voice than the age of the character. This distracted me a little. And while I felt the story moved a little slow due to the writer being heavy with backstory, it was full of ghosts and young kids trying to get rid of them as their daily paid jobs, which made me think of Ghostbusters! In the end, I quite enjoyed the tale.

THE AWKWARD PATH TO GETTING LUCKY: A NOVEL: (Summer Heacock) What can I say? Sometimes I read more than MG and YA. Okay? Okay. So, this story is very adult and hysterically funny about a woman’s lady-parts gone wonky and in need of mending. She gets guidance from her friends and coworkers at a bakery! Yes, there are plenty of sweets in this story:-) But no, this isn’t an erotic novel with explicit sex. That’s for porn people. Geesh!

JACK AND THE GENIUSES: AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: (Bill Nye) Yep, I’ve always been a science nerd. Whether it’s an invention or research for cures, I’m in! And when you throw brainiac kids in the mix doing the inventions and solving a missing case mystery, doubly better!

WONDER: (R.J. Palacio) It’s no wonder the book has been on NYT Bestselling list for two years and is being made into a movie. It has ALL THE FEELS! While this may be a story about a boy with a deformed face and will make you cry, it also makes you laugh OUT LOUD so many times! The main character seems to find the good in people most of the time and is more generous with his understanding of them than they deserve! This will tug at your heart, but you’ll be happy you read the story. I PROMISE!

THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES: (Wade Albert White)  The author is great at making the reader laugh, which is always a win. Orphans going on a dangerous quest, constant roadblocks, and unreliable characters make this story a fantastic read in a world of science and magic. Oh, and there is a cool dragon!

SAVAGE: DRAGONRIDER LEGACY 1: (Nicole Conway) While this suggests the first book of a new tale, it is really an extention of THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES and is another great story of Maldobar and Luntharda. I thought I’d miss the character of Jaevid who had been in the previous books (Okay, I kind of did!) but Reigh is introduced and I couldn’t help but fall in love with him and his magic, which he has to adapt to practically in the same manner as Jaevid had to with his. And for those that loved THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES as much as I did, there’s a sweet surprise at the end!

And there you have a quick view into what I’ve read lately. As you can see, my heart may be black in my writing, but I enjoy a range of genres and age groups when reading. Don’t forget to leave suggestions in the comments for some spooky reads for middle grade and young adult stories. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Ya fiction.

One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One For Sorrow BookPublisher: Clarion Books
Sold By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 18, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit the cover drew me to this story! But look at it, soooo spooky! ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.

While this was an easy read, Elsie didn’t become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I’d anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff–a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you’re looking for a darker read, this is for you!

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar.

***THE OFFICIAL BLURB***

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Amazon | BN | Kobo| Google PlayGoodreads | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Target | BAM! | Audible

And check out these additional reviews:

“Hahn’s story is characteristically steeped in eerie atmosphere, and the novel’s blend of historical drama, the supernatural, and the intricacies of adolescent friendship is a gripping combination.” —PW

“Hahn is a veteran author who clearly knows her apples about writing ghost stories, as this, her latest inventive page-turner, evidences… Shivers aplenty, but also genuine emotion that will invite empathy.” — Booklist

“Another historical and chilling success.” —Kirkus

“Another solid addition to Hahn’s oeuvre, this would also make a spine-chilling pair with Cohen’s The Doll’s Eye.” —Bulletin

Author Links: Website | Facebook

HORROR IN TWO SENTENCES

After seeing a writerly friend, Colin Mulhern, post a link on FB titled 20 SCARY HORROR STORIES WRITTEN in TWO SENTENCES, I thought it’d be a great exercise. But not just for me, for all my writing buddies. Click on the link above to read examples.

This caused me to be torn between two versions I wanted to write.  But I decided this could be part two of this fun practice.

Here is my first reflex:
After proclaiming his love, my boyfriend pressed the warmth of his moist lips against my face. The blood dripped from his tongue as I removed the knife from his throat.

Upon thinking further:
After proclaiming his love, my boyfriend pressed the warmth of his moist lips against my face. I licked the blood from his tongue as I withdrew the knife from his throat.

I’ve two different reasons for the killings in both examples. How do you read them? In the first, it’s self defense against an obsessive lover and unmasked serial killer. The second, the murderer is the serial killer. Now, give me your two sentence horror story. Can you rewrite it slightly to have a completely different meaning for the history behind the same story?

Ready. Set. Go!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA Fiction